Thursday, January 29, 2015

Auditions Part 8: San Francisco Part 2

Welcome back. Tonight is the last night of auditions for American Idol 2015. I can't wait to really whittle down the field of over 200 Golden Ticket recipients. It's really a mixed group of people, it's people that are just lucky to have gotten a free trip to Hollywood and then there are some legitimate contenders out there. Next week we will post our Top 12 contestants from the audition rounds heading into the Hollywood round and we'll see how they do.

Tonight we also get to see a little behind the scenes of the audition process. As most people know when the contestants see the Idol judges of Harry, Keith and Jennifer,  it is a couple months after their first audition in front of pre-judges. Tonight we get to see that Season 7 stand out Carly Smithson and Idol Associate musical director Michael Orland are the pre-judges, as well as other producers that we don't see. We don't really see this part on the show that often, but it's kind of cool that they are showing us and that another Idol alum in Carly is taking part in it. This is an important part of the Idol process because if they don't get through the initial audition they will never see the actual judges. It's make or break for sure.

So we have that to look forward to and hopefully some other good things tonight. So as we always do, let's get started:

San Francisco Auditions

Adanna Duru (17) She is going to school to be a performer so she obviously has some natural talent. During this particular audition she proves that she can really sing and her education isn't wasted. She is put together really well, she dresses well, she has a nice personality and she hits some great runs. Nice professional audition. She missed a couple notes towards the end but it doesn't overshadow the overall audition.  She Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Jennifer=The full package. Harry=Very talented, cautions her to understand the lyrics before she sings a song.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Christopher Michael (26) Intense is probably an understatement when you hear this guy sing. He just has an angry face, hits the notes on his guitar really hard and actually beats up on it a little. The lyrics to his original song are hard to understand but I heard the words, "death", "chopped", "lay you down". Crazy audition. Should Not Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Keith=Love the passion but that was it. Singing wasn't there. Harry=Fired him up, but music wasn't there.
Going To Hollywood= Nope.

Hunter Larson (20) She decides to take Frank Sinatra's "That's Life" and turn it into an Adele sounding song. That's not terrible. Hopefully we see more of her and she can take her soulful sounding voice and play around with some different song choices. She Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Jennifer-Really interesting voice and gritty tone. Sets her apart from the rest. Memorable. Keith-An immediate reaction.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her. 

Tara Honda (22) She has a very pleasant voice.We only hear about 20 seconds of her sing but it's a slam dunk. Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Harry-Would buy that new version of her singing that song. Lovely sound great. Jennifer-Soul of an artist.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Daniel Seavey (15) Sometimes someone says that they are 15 and they look 25 or 35, in this case, this kid actually looks 15, actually he looks 12. When he sings he actually sounds like he is going through puberty, like as if his voice is changing every lyric. It's a weird sound at first. When he plays the piano it doesn't sound great, but his second song sounds a lot better on the guitar. He hits better runs and his voice doesn't sound as broken up. Overall he just isn't quite there yet. It doesn't cost me anything if he goes to Hollywood and maybe in a couple months his voice will sound better, but based on this particular audition, even though he is talented,  He Should Not Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Keith-Wonders if his voice will continue to break. Jennifer- A little nervous but has a really beautiful voice in there. Saw it in glimpses. Musically talented, he is blossoming but it wasn't complete. Harry-Has a lot of Idol qualities, but because of his age he doesn't have the maturity yet.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. Keith and Jennifer Send Him.

Rocky Peter (27) Grew up in Nigeria and grew up poor, but he is here now. He sings an original song. I don't know what to think about it. Some of his notes are quite beautiful and he sings with a lot of passion and emotion, but the falsetto his a sound that only dogs can hear. I'd like to hear him sing a different song. So he Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Jennifer-Love the song, can hear his beautiful voice and pain in his writing. Keith=Is concerned with the Idol journey and him being compatible with it.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him.

Jaq Mackenzie (15) She decides to sing an original and it just isn't good. Her voice is very flimsy and she has way too many runs and does way too much in a very short amount of time. She isn't the worst person I have ever seen but based on this particular audition she isn't there yet. She Should Not Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Jennifer-Makings of a great artist, one day. Voice is really young.  Doesn't know how she'll do down the line. Harry-Classic case of would sending her to Hollywood help or hurt her? Doesn't have a lot of experience to face certain things.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Tyanna Jones (16)  She is the middle child of 11 siblings. Given the Idol producers spent nearly 5 minutes on Tyanna's back story and journey to this point and she is the last singer on the show, ya figured she would be good, and she is. She just sings really well. Flat out can sing. She Should Go To Hollywood
Notable Comments=Jennifer-Can sing for the rest of her life. Very talented. Harry-Extremely talented, with a lot of potential, has a way to go given her age, but is a special young lady.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Best of The Night= Adanna Duru. I liked how she was put together, I liked how she came in confident but not cocky, and I liked her voice. It all just worked.

Final Thoughts

*200 contestants are heading to Hollywood and out of the contestants that sang tonight I only see a couple of them doing well there. Adanna, Tyanna, Tara, and Hunter each were very good tonight and I can see them succeeding in Hollywood. I would take back the Golden tickets from the young Daniel Seavey and Jaq Mackenzie. They both sounded their age, very young, and very thin at points. Maybe they will be good one day, but given the contestants that we will see in Hollywood they aren't even close.

*As a whole I just wasn't impressed with the talent group tonight. I think the judges were crossing their fingers and placing a lot of hope on a lot of these contestants. I think that has been the case for a lot of the contestants put through to Hollywood this season. The judges were on the fence a ton this year. There were a lot of no doubt about it contestants, but the amount of contestants that they sent to Hollywood when they weren't actually sure if they should go is almost too many to count. I am not saying every single audition has to be perfect, and we should know right out of the gate if someone is going to win, but there were just too many "wait and let's see what happens" contestants. That really was my biggest pet peeve through the past 8 audition episodes.

That's it. Next week begins Hollywood rounds and I couldn't be happier to see some of this talent group start to reduce significantly. Anything can happen in Hollywood, some front runners can fall, some under-rated people can rise. We shall see. So come back next Wednesday for an all new recap after an all new episode, so until next time, see ya!

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