Thursday, January 16, 2014

Season 13 Premiere: Audtions Part 1-Boston & Austin

We are back! For those who are returning Welcome Back!, and for those that are brand new to this website...Welcome! Tonight is the night, it's the Season 13 Premiere of American Idol. The baton of American Idol Season 12 winner Candice Glover is on the way to being handed off, but it's gonna take awhile until we get there. The new and returning judges of Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban have a lot of hype around their chemistry so we will see how it all boils down. We are here to ensure you get all the info you need and more. We will provide recaps, opinions and some great commentary on the show. We hope you enjoy it, and hope you will stick with us through the season.

So without further ado, let's get to tonight's premiere:

Boston Auditions

Marialle Sellers(17)
I like that she went all acoustic for her version of "Grenade".  I liked it, didn't love it, but I think she has a ton of potential.
Notable Comment: HARRY-"You're gonna be a nightmare for the other contestants".

Troy Durden(29)
Self-proclaimed lover of twerking is Troy Druden. He twerks for the judges, and even though I am not a twerking expert, he does a bad job in it. A twerker he isn't but a singer he might be.  He sings a nice version of "Over the Rainbow". He does a few more runs than was necessary and an off falsetto at the end. But not bad at all.

Notable Comment:HARRY-"Twerk Over The Rainbow"

Sam Woolf(17) 
This was a cool performance. He sang really well, and had a different tone that I like. He sang it quick, but that's what made it kinda different.

Notable Comment: KEITH-Never heard the song like that, like it was an auction song.

Absolute Yes's Montage
These contestants didn't get a full audition to themselves and were grouped together, but they all received a Yes from each of the judges:
-Ethan Thompson(23)-This guy reminds me of Season 11 champ Phillip Phillips, which is a good compliment.
-Lindsay Pedicone(18) She's a jazzy, cool kinda chick with a sultry kind of voice.
-Jillian Jensen(20) A former X Factor contestant that was good on this show and good her too.

Taylor Hildack(19)
She has some potential for sure but I think her voice isn't ready right now. Jennifer thinks she has some talent and gives her a "Yes", Harry thinks her voice isn't strong enough and gives her a "No". Keith thinks she has potential but at this moment he gives her a "No".

Notable Comment: KEITH-Voice needs a lot of work, limitations in her range. 

Stephanie Hanvey(16)
I think she has a nice sweet voice. It's young, and doesn't stand out too much.Jennifer thinks she was inconsistent but likes her enough to want to see her again, the other guys agree and she is off to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: KEITH:There's a composure about you that's really powerful but your voice needs time to develop.

Morgan Deplitch(15)
Harry didn't like the fact she sang a lyrically inappropriate song, but Keith and Jennifer didn't care too much.

Notable comment: HARRY-Singing the lyrics "if I was a blade I'd shave you smooth", is inappropriate for someone so young.

James Earl(22)
Singing his own song. He goes from being a very high pitched singer, to a very low deep down singer. He is essentially doing a duet all on his own. 3 "No's".

Notable comment: HARRY/KEITH-He should be a comedian, not a singer.

Jacqueline Verna(18)
We see her sing a few verses of "Love You I Do". Has a good voice, but should come back next time.

Notable comment: HARRY-He didn't like the panatonics of her voice. 

Austin Percario(17)
With his stage Mom right next to him.  He sounded great on Sia's "Titanium". I like how he had some power but restraint as well. It got a little thin at points, but still good. All 3 say "Yes".

Notable comment: KEITH-Justin Bieber at 5 A.M. Like Rock and Pop mix.

Kaitlyn Jackson(15)
She wrote a song called "Another Angel". She wrote the song for her grandfather that passed away. The song is beautiful, and she sang it so well. Keith is entranced by her story and the lyrics to the song. It's a great song. All 3 say "Yes". 

Notable comment: KEITH-That she can write a song that young and she is so good already.

Keith London(21)
With guitar in hand he goes acoustic to sing Katy Perry's "Roar". He messes up the lyrics a little but recovers well, I like that he switched the song up to make it his own. Harry thought it was okay. Keith thinks he is memorable. Jennifer and Keith agree to send him to Hollywood. 

Notable comment: JENNIFER-" Liked the song, but made me like it more".

Sam Atherton(23) 
He comes in rough, kind of making a crack about Keith, when Keith was kidding around. It's pretty rough all around, with the odd comments and the voice. The judges give Sam 3 "No's".

Notable comment: JENNIFER-"He's pissed at you two[Keith and Harry]".

So Idol decided to add a little new aspect to the audition rounds. Before the commercial break we are given a little tease of a singer, and we at home are to tweet in what we think the judges will do whether it be sending the contestant to "Hollywood or Home"? We'll post what we think of this new addition at the end of this recap during our Final Thoughts section.

Hollywood or Home Contestant

56% said she would go to Hollywood. And they were right. But we don't really know anything about her, whether it be her name, or age, or anything. But at least the public got to vote....

Shanon Wilson(24)
He is a big dude, with a very soft voice, and I kinda dig it. I don't like the song choice, but maybe on another song he would do better. He goes really falsetto on some of the lines.All 3 agree he is going to Hollywood. 

Notable Comment: JENNIFER-I Want You. Period.

Stephanie Petronelli(22)
She walks in her cheerleading uniform, (with the stomach shown and little clothes), I guess to stand out. She has a very raspy voice, like very super raspy. Harry doesn't think her voice can sustain and says "No". Jennifer thinks she is good enough and Keith just barely agrees. Then all the other cheerleaders come in.  

Notable Comment: JENNIFER: Judged a book by it's cover. Not a lot of cover, but the voice was surprisingly good.


Durann Cree(17)
I like her, but I think her voice is kind of hit or miss. They all think she has a lot of work to do. Harry says "No", Jennifer says "Yes" but Keith eventually says "No".  

Notable Comment: HARRY-She's probably a big fish in a little pond.

The Chamber
Right after Ryan Seacrest allows the contestants in but before they go into the judge's room they go into this little tiny closet called "The Chamber". When the light goes green in the room, it's showtime. I guess this is supposed to better than Ryan telling them to just go in, and they are in the judge's room. Again, this new addition will be discussed in the Final Thought section found below. 

Savion Wright(21)
He waited for 8 years to get here. Didn't think he was creative enough yet, so he didn't want to try out until he felt right. He is diagnosed with ADHD. He sings an original. He is cool, he plays the guitar really well. They think he performs with everything he's got. He gets 3 fake "No's" and then immediately gets 3 big "Yes's".  

Notable Comment:HARRY-I'm Chris Issak. Wicked Games.

15 Seconds Contestants
We get to see a few seconds of these contestants sing and their story, but not a ton more than that. But they each are going to Hollywood:
Terrica Curry(20)
Justin Fira(24)
Shelby Comey(15)

Madelyn Patterson(22)
She did a lot in her few seconds. She has a decent enough voice, but it didn't bowl me over. Harry wasn't overly impressed but Keith and Jennifer send her on her way to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: JENNIFER-Don't say another word. 

Guitar Contestants
We see 3 contestants play guitars and Viviana plays ukelele. All 3 are going to Hollywood. 
-Viviana Villalon(19)
-Savannah Young(17)
-Ben Boon(22)

Malcolm Allen(22)
He is jealous that he doesn't know how to play the guitar, and pretends he has one. But when he loses the skit of playing air guitar he sounds amazing. His voice is really right on it.

Notable Comment: JENNIFER-A Triple Yes. He is a natural.

Rolando Guerrero(21)
He loves Jennifer Lopez a ton, he starts crying when he sees her, he just repeats her full name countless times. Then he tries to sing one of her songs. Didn't work out. All 3 give him "No's".

Notable Comment: HARRY-You know you're a superstar when they call you by your whole name.

Muhfarid Zandi(19)
Harry loves that he knows who he is so he picks him up. He is cool and has a very sweet voice. He hits some really fun runs. On the last song Harry picks him up and carries him like a baby while Muhfarid starts singing "I just wanna hold you close...". Really funny. All 3 judges send him to Hollywood.

Notable Comment: HARRY-If you blow us away on the first one, I'll pick you up and hold you like a baby on the second song. 

21 From the Austin Auditions and 25 from Boston. 46 Going to Hollywood. 

Favorite of the Night
Savion Wright. I love that he waited 8 years to perform on American Idol. He knew he wasn't ready and decided to wait, rather than try out and get cut or eliminated too soon. He has a great personality and a lot of talent.

Final Thoughts

-Harry Connick Jr is a breath of fresh air. He is quick, and funny and very knowledgeable. He makes everyone seem funnier, which is hard to do sometimes. I have wanted Harry on the panel since Simon Cowell left 4 seasons ago, so I am glad he is around and I can't wait to see how he does this season. The last bit when he picked up the contestant and allowed him to sing in his arms was one of the funniest things I have seen on Idol in years.

-I don't really like the new bit "Hollywood or Home". It's really a stretch. I know they are trying to get in on the tweeting public that "The Voice" and even "X Factor" utilize, but it's just a no nothing kind of bit. Who cares if we are right or wrong in our predictions? Plus we didn't even get to see more than 3 seconds of the contestant, so what does that mean? If they wanted to show us a whole audition, and then pause it so we could guess, then maybe that could be something, but in this formation it is just a waste of time.

-"The Chamber" element to the show is more for the contestants at the auditions then the people at home. When the contestants physically go into the audition room with the judges has no impact on how I think of the contestant as a singer. It's probably nice for the contestants that they get another few seconds to compose themselves, but for me it doesn't do much.

-I like that the contestants actually get a golden ticket rather than a gold/yellow piece of paper. It's much more "Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory" this way. 

Well there you have it. The first episode of the season is officially in the books, and we are on our way. I hope you enjoyed the recap, we will be back after tomorrow night's episode. So until then...see ya!

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