Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Season 14 Premiere-Auditions Part 1: Nashville

Welcome back. Tonight is the beginning of Season 14 of American Idol and we are I'dol Be the Judge. Whether you are new to this blog, or are a faithful reader, or somewhere in between, we welcome you. We try our best to give a fair and sometimes critical reaction to the show as a whole in as streamline and entertaining way as possible. Episodes that are two  hours can get a little repetitive so we will try to make our recaps and opinions as brief yet accurate and descriptive as we can. Tonight's episode is only one hour but tomorrow night's episode is two, so we'll see how it goes.

If you didn't check out our previous post that described some of the changes that American Idol has and will continue to go through this season we suggest you do. As an added bonus we compare the other singing reality show The Voice to American Idol and describe which show has a better way of putting an entertaining show together. Anyways, we hope you enjoy tonight's recap and as they say "on with the blog" (actually no one says that), but either way, here we go:

Top 24 Perform?!
So about a week ago American Idol released a video and some pics of the Top 24. Obviously the video was dark and you couldn't fully see the contestants, but you see their shapes, hair color and most importantly hear their voices. Tonight they are showing the Top 24 perform "Feeling Good". I don't know if I care for this little ploy. I am not one of those people that reads the end of a book or last page before I actually start a book. I know that a lot of people do that, but I like to be a little surprised and be on a journey. I know the faces are pretty blacked out and in the shadows, but I'm still not feeling this little trick to get the public to talk and generate speculation. Seems unnecessary. Because I don't like spoilers I will not try to compare the faces and voices to the people, if you choose to do that go for it, but I am gonna try to pretend I didn't watch this video. Although a lot of the voices are pretty amazing.

Nashville Auditions

Riley Bria (17)- Keith knows this kid, he got a chance to play with him in 2012 because he went to a summer camp set up by the Grammy foundation. He was and still is a really great guitar player and he has a nice voice and he is a good looking guy, decent combination. Should make it to Hollywood.
Notable Comments: Harry-Doesn't see him try at all. Entertaining and Captivating. Keith-Wants him to dig in but he can shred on the guitar.
Goes To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 said yes.

Priscilla Barker (19)- The baby of 10 children. She is pure country, which you are gonna find when you go to Nashville. Her voice is pretty, it's not the strongest in some spots, but it's pretty. Should make it to Hollywood, but not sure what will happen once she is there.
Notable Comments: Harry-Likes her enough to see her again. Jennifer-Just not special enough to move on.
Goes to Hollywood? Yep. Got Keith and Harry's approval.

Cameron Bedell (25)-I like this guy. He is from Wichita, Kansas and moved to Nashville, and I think that was a good move. He has a lot of soul and groove in his voice and he plays a nice guitar. Definitely should make it to Hollywood.
Notable Comments: Harry-Didn't open his eyes once but it didn't matter, lacked no disconnect, completely into what he was doing. Keith-Wants to play with him...means he wants to jam with him. 
Goes to Hollywood? Yep. All 3 said Yes.

They show a montage of some pretty bad auditions and the judge's laugh. 

Amber Kelechi Walker (15) We see her back-story that she grew up where there was a lot of gang violence in Memphis, TN. She explains that if she didn't love music she'd probably be pregnant, in jail or dead.  With piano accompiament(which I never saw before in an audition) Amber does a decent job. For a 15-year old she has a lot of power behind her voice but lacked a little finesse with some of the quieter moments. Not sure if she should go to Hollywood.
Notable Comments: Jennifer-Great performance. Harry-Likes her as a person but wants her to spend more time working on her vocals. 
Goes to Hollywood? Yep. Keith and Jennifer give her their approval.

Kyle Blaine Corman (24) With hair as red and big as Carrot Top's he literally jumps right into the audition.He works in a supermarket and doesn't like when little old ladies touch his hair, which leads Harry to proceed to go over and touch this guy's hair and then ask for some Purell. Kyle can play a decent guitar, but his voice is kinda weak. Not the worst I've ever heard but it's like he wants to be a rock guy but with a tender voice, it just doesn't match well enough for me. He should not go to Hollywood.
Notable Comments: Jennifer-Has a talking tone over a singing tone. Keith-Doesn't like that he doesn't listen to the feedback the judges were giving him. (Got kinda annoyed at him for continuing to sing instead of listening).
Goes to Hollywood? Nope.

Kory Wheeler (26) Works at the coffee shop across the street from the place that he is auditioning.  Not to be funny, but he has a very coffee house kind of a voice. It's sweet and slow in spots but then he hits some nicer bolder moments. The song he sang was "I Can Make You Love Me". I liked this audition, he can sing, so that's a great first step.Should go to Hollywood.
Notable Comments: Jennifer-Doesn't know if she has heard someone sing like him even though she has heard this song done so many times. Harry-Loves the sound of his voice. 
Goes To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 said Yes.

Michael Simeon (20) He is a good looking guy and has a very gravely kind of soul thing going on. His voice is really nice, he carries a really nice tone and stays in tune the whole time. Should go to Hollywood.
Notable Comments: Jennifer-Made it too easy.
Goes To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 said Yes.
Bonus-After he got his ticket he requests/hopes that Jennifer would dance with him and she agrees. She does like a slow dance with him. Keith picks up his guitar and Harry goes to the piano and Michael continues to sing "Stay With Me". So he got a golden ticket, got Keith and Harry to be his backup singers and band and danced with Jennifer Lopez. Not a bad day for the guy.

Emily Brooke (15) Worked for the past year playing and performing to get ready for the show and to afford to get to this audition. I love her voice and the fact that she worked on her vocals and talent to get to this point. She has a lot of depth to her voice and personality. She's a country singer but could easily get to the pop side easily too. Should definitely go to Hollywood.
Notable Comments: Jennifer-Pretty great. Sang every word and told a story. Keith-Loved it. Lotta raw talent. Harry-Knows who she is, and would be interested to see how she lines up against the other Idol competitors.
Goes To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 said Yes.

Best of The Night= Cameron Bedell. I just liked his tone, his personality and overall audition. Though Emily Brooke and Riley Bria were really good.

Final Thoughts

*Decent start to Season 14 of American Idol. I thought out of the 8 performances and 7 contestants proceeding to Hollywood that 5 of them were pretty great. That's hopefully a good sign of things to come. I also enjoyed that the show was only an hour. I know that tomorrow is 2 hours and we will get a lot more filler and unnecessary back-stories, but if they stick with good/great performances and less nonsense then hopefully the time will fly by.

*Has there ever been piano accompaniment by someone other than the contestant auditioning? Michael Orland was helping out on piano during the auditions. Which is helpful because it wasn't acapella, but I just don't think I ever saw that before. Not sure if I like that. I kinda like the contestant starting without any help or  just their own guitar or piano playing and then kinda growing into the bigger stages and bands and musical accompaniment. But maybe that's just me.

That's it. Tomorrow we will be back with a little longer recap of the second day of auditions. Hopefully you enjoyed this one and will come back after the show. So until then, see ya!

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