Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Auditons Part 5: Salt Lake City

Welcome back. We are on the third and final week of American Idol auditions. Next week we are going to Hollywood. We have seen a lot of really good to great talent. I haven't been that upset at most of the selections, the judges have done well, especially Harry Connick Jr, and Ryan Seacrest has yet to really annoy me. It's such an odd thing to not be discouraged or upset at this point in the audition rounds. We'll see if it continues, so as always let's get to it:


Austin Wolfe (16). She has a cool name, dresses cool, very pretty, but her voice is just okay. I'm not entirely impressed right off the bat while she sings "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. She has a voice, but is it outstanding? No. The judges think she has everything going for her and they send her to Hollywood.  

Notable Comment: JENNIFER: "You Have The Whole Package Going On"

Kylee Adamson(18). She's a lumberjack so that's pretty different already. She sings "When You Say Nothing At All". It's a good enough voice for now. I think she has some nice dynamics that can go places. I don't think we saw everything I needed to to know if she is really good at this, but it's a good start. She is sent to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: HARRY: "The fact that you use an axe for a living is extremely intimidating"

Alex Preston (20). Decides to sing his own original. I don't think it's that great. It's very start and stop and doesn't allow for his voice to really take off. He can sing, but I don't like the song with his voice. Harry is impressed with how knowledgeable his guitar playing is. They think he is very professional and likes him a lot, enough to go to Hollywood. I think he needs to work on his voice a little more, and maybe when he sings the more well known songs it will help me connect to his voice.

Notable Comment: JENNIFER: "Your tone is soft, it's nice though...[You] really tried to make that connection. Good sign of a good performer".

Samantha Calmes(25). She decides to sing an original called "From Birth".  Her first verse is like she is just speaking. It's not quite singing, it's more spoken word, not quite rap, because it's gentle and not very rap-y. Her next verse goes into the typical song with melody and tone and all that. It's kinda like Joni Mitchell meets (as Keith said) Macklemore. Harry wants to hear her sing a non-original and she goes with "The Jeffersons" theme song. Her voice is very bluesy and very cool. I like all that came from this audition. Harry wasn't impressed with her voice but  was with the choices she made. Jennifer likes her voice. Keith applauds her originality. They are impressed enough and send her to Hollywood.  

Notable Comment: HARRY: "You're rocking the fanny pack...what's in there.? ...It's like we're on Let's Make A Deal..If you pull out a boiled egg and a safety pin then you win what's behind Door Number 3".

D.J Bradley(20) He goes with Adele's "Hometown Glory". I think he is better than what he did with that song. He seems shy, and that's kinda coming out in his performance. Jennifer wants him to come out of shell. Keith liked his voice but thought the performance was mysterious but also disinterested, which made him disinterested. Jennifer votes him to Hollywood, Keith and Harry give him another shot to go to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: KEITH: "It's Ed Sheeran".

Hollywood or Home Game
It's that time of the episode where the home audience is to tweet if they believe that the contestant we are watching will be sent to Hollywood or Home. We learn that this contestant's name is Julie Awful. She has a pretty voice and tone. I think she will be sent to Hollywood, and so does 68% of  America. Harry and Jennifer send her to Hollywood with Keith voting against. So I win again at this game and again I win a whole bunch of nothing.

Kenzie Hall(16). Hmm. Initially my thought was that her voice isn't there yet, but as she went on with John Mayer's "Another You" it got better and better. I think she is adorable and has some potential and she definitely doesn't have the seasoned voice, but, I do think it can come out as the season progresses. The judges are very impressed and send her to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: JENNIFER: "She's one of my faves...she is great".

Paisley Van Patten(25). She got a record contract at age 15 and within a year everything was gone because she was an alcoholic. She got the help she needed and decided to come out and try again. Her fiancee wasn't supportive of the American Idol experience and broke up with her. She has a lot riding on this audition, and luckily for her she does wonderfully. Her voice is very rich and has depth to it while singing Faith Hill's "When The Lights Go Down".  She has a lot of passion, and you can tell she knows what she is doing. The judges think she has great control and talent and give her the Golden Ticket.

Notable Comment: KEITH: "I love your voice...I love that you chose that song...I love that you sang it so was a good thing to do".

Also Going To Hollywood
Keith Sanders(26). I think he seems pretty good, didn't get a huge grasp of his talent quite yet.
Michael Simeon(19). He's a good looking guy with a decent enough voice.
Tessa Norman(19). She has good control for a big voice.
Lebryant Crew(24). Not bad at all. He is a minister and you can hear some of that inflection in his voice.
Laurel Wright(18). She sings her own original and it's very Taylor Swift, in a good way.
Joceyln Baker(18). Can play guitar, but the 
Blake Branscom(16). He's pleasant enough, but nothing outstanding.
C.J Harris (22). He came from Alabama to Utah for this audition and it paid off, really good, I'm excited to see him soon.

Also Going Home
Samantha Townsend(22). Didn't actually sing for the audition...although she was singing the whole time. So yep.
Haydn Olsen (15). I don't think her voice is quite there, very young.
Chase Boyle(23). Probably the best in his family, but bad here.
Julia "Missy Cyclops" Flores(18). I don't understand her nickname and that throws me off.


Tiquila Wilson (24). Confidence is not a problem for this contestant. She goes for Adeles "Someone Like You". She does a really good job for a really big song. There are some screetchiness and high pitched points, but it mainly stays on key. She is a church going girl and the judges wonder if the church will care if she sings non-secular songs, she said that she doesn't care and she has to do what she has to do. The judges love her and send her to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: KEITH "The real deal, great voice...carries a great message". 

Briston Maroney(15). He is from a musical family and a long line of musicians. He sings The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want". His voice is very distinctive, very nice. It's like he should be doing some hardcore rock or pop. It's really cool.The judges worry that he will lose his voice because it's very powerful voice, but he isn't worried. They send him to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: KEITH "The only thing is that from that very affective style of singing that other colors come out from that".

Johnny Newcomb(16). I liked his voice from the first note but that's because it's Eddie Vedder singing Pearl Jam's "Last Kiss". No it really wasn't Eddie Vedder it was Johnny, but he sounds so much like Eddie Vedder. Johnny then goes and sings another song and he still kinda has that voice. It might just be his voice. Jennifer changed her mind and thinks he is too good at what he does to say "No" to. Harry thinks he isn't ready. Keith let's him go and so on to Hollywood does Johnny go. It rhymed and I have no shame i that.

Notable Comment: HARRY "I just don't believe that's your voice I think you're highly impressionable because of your age...I think it's a little premature to be on American Idol. 

Casey Thrasher(22). He's a young Dad that has a lot going on, struggling to get by. He sings "I Believe" by Brooks and Dunn. It wasn't a perfect audition, he kinda loses it at one point. But you can tell he is very seasoned and has a depth to him. I think he can do really well on this show if he can manage it. The judges didn't think it was 100% perfect but they believed his voice and really felt his performance. They send him to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: KEITH "Like halfway through the song you got frustrated with something and you channeled it in your voice, it was very appealing".

Also Going To Hollywood
Emily Rotter(17). I would have loved to hear her sing without her guitar, because I think it overshadowed what's there.
Dexter Roberts (22). Country singer that sings country really well. So he's got that going for him.
Leia "Fish" Lotulelei(19) Not bad but not horrible. Kinda forgettable if he didn't have 50 members of his family with him.
Sabrina Lentini(15). She doesn't look 15, but sounds it. Could need a few more years and more vocal experience. 
Carmen Delgina(24) Her Dad is Wonder Mike from the SugarHill Gang, so she has some musical genes. Not bad, but not unbelievable.
Kassandra Castaneda(16). I like her voice a ton, I think she is one to look for later.  Harry doesn't think she's ready but the other 2 think she can blossom into a great singer.
Kenneth "Woodie" Gaddie(28). I don't know. He has a voice, just didn't really feel it. 

Also Going Home
Chase Thornton(20). A male model, that needs to stick with that.
Jessica Bassett(22). Really pretty voice but she isn't quite there yet.
Ally Roundy(18). Not bad, but didn't really do a ton for me. 
Carson Henline(15). Looks like he is about 7 and his voice just isn't there yet, which is understandable.
Kimberly Tosti (25). She is an opera singer that probably is good at that, but singing a regular song doesn't work out for her.

Paisley Van Patten(25).  She has a really interesting back story of getting a recording contract at a young age only to lose it within a year due to her problems with alcohol. I think her voice is very professional and mature, and I am excited to hear more from her.


30 From Salt Lake City + 163 From Previous Episodes=193 Going To Hollywood

Final Thoughts

*I really don't think I have seen Jennifer Lopez say "No" yet when it comes to a contestant that is sort of on the fence. The guys have said "No" plenty of times, but Jennifer goes on the side of letting the contestants go to Hollywood then maybe saying "No" later, rather than say "No" now. She has said countless times "it's worth another look".  I don't know what to think of that. On the one hand I do get that it doesn't really hurt anyone by her saying "Yes" and seeing what happens later, rather than making a mistake, but on the other hand what is the point of auditions? They are there so the judges can weed out some people, not just appease people and not take a risk. I get both sides of the argument, but I would love to see Jennifer be a bit more decisive and go with her gut rather than playing on the safe side.

*I looked back at last year's recap, and in the 5th audition of last year we saw 19 people. Tonight's episode featured 35 contestants.That's pretty damn impressive. They have really gotten rid of those silly montages, and stopped with some of the very long drawn out sob stories. They get right to the contestants. Sure they feature some more than others, but overall we are seeing a ton of contestants, and that will definitely help the audience really root for their favorites as the season progresses.

That's it. Only 1 more audition episode to go. It's only a one hour show so it will be a lot shorter of a recap. We hope you enjoyed our review of the night's performances. Please come on back here tomorrow night after the next new episode. So until then, see ya!

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