Thursday, January 7, 2016

Season 15 Premiere: Last Idol Premiere EVER! & Atlanta & Denver Auditions

 Welcome back to I'dol Be The Judge and to the last season premiere of American Idol. Yes, we all knew it had to come and although it is sad it was more than time, 15 years is a lifetime, especially on television. Before we begin we would like to welcome all those who have been faithful readers of I'dol Be The Judge for reading our blog and coming back year after year. We try our best to provide accurate recaps, reviews and critiques on the show, and we will try to do the same again this year. This is our last year of doing recaps so we will do our best to provide the best coverage we can in the most streamline and efficient way as possible. For those new to the blog, thank you for checking us out and we hope you enjoy.

Auditions start tonight. The entire panel of judges Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and host Ryan Seacrest return one last time. Throughout the season there is no doubt that notable past performers, contestants and past judges and guests will pop up to say their Goodbyes to the once ratings-juggernaut. I am excited to revisit the past with the show and with all of you. We will try to include the past into the present and mix it up and really try to incorporate the past 15 seasons into this last one, while trying to find the next and last American Idol. So without further ado, let's get started with tonight's premiere episode.

June 11th, 2002 & Quick Idol Retrospective
Before tonight's premiere begins American Idol shows us the first few minutes of the Series Premiere of the show almost 14 years ago. Therefore, we got a Brian Dunkleman sighting right off the bat. Great start.It's only 5 minutes in or so and we get a ton of Idol love from the judges and we see clips of past Idol winners.

Atlanta Auditions

Michelle Marie (15) They show us that Michelle is a life-long American Idol contestant. She has waited to audition since she was 4 years old. She has a bluesy, very pretty voice. She is adorable and is a fan of the show, good combination for the judges.
Notable Comments- Harry-She is terrific, and did some really technical things. Nice job.
Goes To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send her.

Clay Aiken, Kris Allen, Ruben Studdard, Lee DeWyze, and Taylor Hicks all are "helping out" with selecting some contestants that will eventually move on to see the judges. It's nice to see some of them again.

Josiah Siska (18) He has a super low voice, and his big influence is Johnny Cash, and it sounds it. It's an interesting voice, not sure how it will be incorporated into 1980s theme week.
Notable Comments- Harry-Never heard anything like that. There was real commitment. Admire all of it.
Goes To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send him.

Lindita (26) She explains she lost 150 pounds since she was a teenager and is now a personal trainer, but she might be a long time contestant on the show if she sings like she did tonight. She sang her heart out. Great audition.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-People would dream to nail it like that.  
Goes To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send her.

Billy Bob Evett (25) Big dude, big personality, big voice. He is a good ol' boy for sure. He actually has a real pleasant voice. Not saying it blew me away, but it is kinda nice.
Notable Comments-Keith-Great heart, great person, loves pure country singing. Pitch all over the place.
Goes To Hollywood?  Nope

Lee Jean (15) Right off the bat Lee Jean's voice is nice to the ear. It isn't over dominating, but just pleasant. I really enjoy his voice a lot. I can hear him on the radio right now. Very current and very professional for a 15 year old.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-I wanna squeeze you. So cute, so talented. There is an ease about him.
Goes To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send him.

Sylvia Lee Walker (16) She talks incessantly for a good couple minutes about absolutely nonsense. Then does some yodeling that is pretty horrific. So crazy audition.
Notable Comments-Keith-Doesn't no where to begin. Amazing accent. Entertaining as a person, but for the singing the pitch and everything is all over the place.
Goes To Hollywood? Nope

Past Contestants
Shevonne Philidor (24) Auditioned 6 times and never made it. Back in Season 12 Randy Jackson told her with some work she can get there, I think she is there. Kory Wheeler (27) He auditioned last year. I like his voice as well. Really fun. Laurel Wright (19) She auditioned Season 13 and didn't make it. It's really sweet and pleasant.
Goes To Hollywood? Yep to all 3 contestants from all 3 judges.

Joshua Wicker (25) He has a very unique voice. He has a lot of passion and emotion. Seems easy for him but it comes out very intriguing for sure.
Notable Comments- Harry-Compelling and that's all I care about. Gonna blow him away when we get 3 no's.
Goes To Hollywood?
Yep, all 3 send him.

Alex Sasser (23) Alex and Jordan are a married couple and have a baby that they bring out. The baby is adorable in her little pink dress. Alex has a very nice voice. Super sweet with sprinkles on top.
Notable Comments-Keith-Thought it was too light for me. 
Going To Hollywood? Nope

Jordan Sasser (27) Jordan is up next right after his wife got a big "No" from the judges. Gotta be tough. But his voice is great. It has grit, and passion and a lot of power, everything that Alex didn't have. He has some pitch issues and some staying on tune problems, but that could be worked on. Alex is pretty upset after Jordan goes through. Hopefully their marriage can sustain.
Notable Comments- Jennifer-Into the song, really good. Big voice.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send him.

Denver Auditions

Jeneve Rose Mitchell (15). She lives without electricity and is carrying a Cello, quite the combo. Unfortunately she also doesn't have a perfect voice to go along with her good cello playing. There was some good spots, but there was some rough spots. She is interesting to say the least.
Notable Comments-Harry-Rhythmic sensibility is really compelling. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send her.

Sonika Vaid (20) Her parents came from India, she is from Martha's Vineyard and she is auditioning in Denver. Sure. Anyways, Sonika's voice is lovely. There is some power issues she needs to work on, but there is a lot of talent there. Very sweet voice. Very natural.
Notable Comments-Harry-Sang beautifully. Fully engaged. Saw someone that can win the whole thing. A pure gift.

Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send her.

Joseph Kohl Russ (16) He calls his voice, deep and rich.  It's deep, not so rich. It is very out of tune, not on the melody and super theatrical, but in a very bad way. Just not good at all.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Super strong voice, but really inconsistent, all over the place. 
Going To Hollywood? Nope

Reanna Molinaro (24) She is a police officer and handcuffs Harry.  It was amusing. Even better is her voice. I really enjoyed it. She has a good amount of power.
Notable Comments-Harry-A solid performance, thought it was pretty good. I'm in extreme pain right now.

Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send her.

Kerry Courtney (24) He has such an interesting voice and intensity. It's like he is on the verge of crying mixed with anger mixed with a cool voice.
Notable Comments-Harry-Interested in it. Quirky and different. An interesting piece of art.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send him.

Shelbie Z (23) Her voice is big and country and has some groove to it. She seems to have a nice personality to go along with her nice voice. Really awesome.
Notable Comments- Jennifer- Has a lot of character and a lot of fight in her. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send him.

Kanye West (38) We all knew that Kanye West decided to audition for the show. He suprised all 3 judges. Kim Kardashian is cheering her husband on. He does a rendition of "Gold Digger". It was a good P.R move by Kanye. Makes him look down to earth and fun, a couple of things he is not known for.
Notable Comments- Keith-Hopefully he makes it as a rapper.
Going to Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send him. But I'm thinking we won't see him in Hollywood.

Best of the Night- Lee Jean from Atlanta and Sonika Vaid from Denver. There voices were different, they were memorable and they both seem like they have good personalities. They both need a little fine tuning, but they could do well if they continue to do as well as they did tonight.

Final Thoughts

* I like how the show is already incorporating the past into the farwell season. Given that this season of American Idol has 4 weeks of less show than last season, we have a lot to get to in only a few short months. So very good start. I can see some potential nice contestants from this group. Should be a fun few weeks. 

Could I have done without a Kardashian sighting on American Idol given I went nearly 15 years without one? Sure. But it's a TV show that still would like to do well in the ratings, so can't fault FOX for doing something like this.

Come back here tomorrow for another recap of auditions, past Idol moments and much more. Until then, see ya!

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