Friday, January 29, 2016

Hollywood Rounds: Part 2

Welcome back. Last night saw the elimination of almost half of the contestants that were selected to go to Hollywood, but we only saw a handful of eliminations. To be exact there were 190 that started and only 108 left. Tonight we will see more eliminations and hopefully some nice and memorable performances as well. Tonight also features the dreaded Group Rounds. Should be interesting. There are a lot of groups so we will try our best to streamline it.  Let's get right to this 2-hour show:

Hollywood Day 3: Group Round
The contestants can be in groups of 3 or 4, they can pick whatever song and do whatever choreography they want all in one night. Idol mentor Scott Borchetta is around to help some of the groups. 

Notable Group Round Drama: Shelbie Z left her group.  Dalton and Cassie couldn't find Poh. Poh decides that she can't continue the show.  The group with La'Porsha and Manny tries to be nice and give one member to the group of 2 that Shelbie left then decides not to, but then La'Porsha goes anyways. 

Group 1: Jordan Sasser, Kory Wheeler, Jenna Renae, Kelsie Watts
Our Take: They sing "Treasure" and have a nice harmony. Jenna sounds great, Kory surprised me a little. Jordan had good attitude. Kelsie was a little weaker than the rest but still pretty decent.
Notable Comments: Jennifer-Thought that was great. Great start to group day. Happy w/what they did. Utilized their strengths.
Results: All 4 are going through.

Group 2: Jenn Blosil, Bri Ray, Lynnzee Fraye, Sara Sturm
Our Take: Jenn was good best of the bunch, Bri was light, Lynnzee was kinda forgettable, Sara was not so good. It was a little weird at points, but not a disaster or anything.
Notable Comments: Jennifer-Wasn't perfect, but they did a good job. Keith-Good song choice, Jenn has a nice quirky thing.
Results: All 4 are going through. 

Group 3: Amelia Eisenhauer, Tristan McIntosh, Lee Jean and 1 unnamed girl
Our Take: Amelia has a nice voice, I think Tristan did too much again with a simple song. 
Notable Comments=Keith-Tristan was really good.
Results: All 4 going through

Group 4: Avalon Young and 2 others 
Notable Comments: Harry- Avalon is a really talented singer. Looks like a kid having fun.
Results: All 3 going through. 

Group 5: Jeneve Rose Mitchell and 2 others
Notable Comments: Harry- Jeneve had a pining in her voice, made lyric most important thing. Real artistry.
Results: All 3 Going through

Group 6:Chynna Sherrod, Terrian and 2 others
Our Take: Terrian sounded nice, couldn't hear Chynna on her own.
Notable Comments: Jennifer: Reminded her of how much she is gonna miss Idol. It's been a joy and honor to be part of this show.
Results: They don't tell us.

Trent, the guy from last night that we heard has Mono,  was told he has to perform alone to protect the other contestants. This never happened before in the history of American Idol, no one has ever performed alone for group round.
Group 7: Just Trent Harmon
Our Take: He sounds pretty good, even with mono and all by himself. He just tries hard to fill up the stage where 2 or 3 other people would have this round.
Notable Comments: Harry: It sounds better in "mono". Keith: No one else wants to go near his talent, not just because he is sick.
Results: Going through. 

Group 8: Shelbie Z (found her new group), Michelle Marie, Ashley Lusk, Lindsey Carrier
Our Take: Michelle is not so great. Ashley was kind of forgettable, Lindsey was just not so great, Shelbie has a strong voice and has got a strong personality.
Notable Comments: Keith-Everyone had something strong, Lindsey could have tweaked it.
Results: Michelle, Shelbie and Ashley go through. Lindsey is going home. 

Group 9: Elvie Shane and John Wayne Shultz and 2 others.
Our Take: Elvie tried too hard on his part, didn't hear John sing.  
Notable Comments: Harry: Use the stage, even if the song sucks. 
Results: John and 2 others going through. Elvie goes home.

Group 10: Ashley Lilinoe, Mackenzie Bourg and 2 others.  
Notable Comments: Harry: Lot of talent, but unfortunately not all going through.
Results: Mackenize and 2 others going through. Ashley going home. 

Group 11: Dalton, Anatalia, Kassy (Anatalia was kicked out of her group and Dalton and Kassy lost Poh)
Our Take: Dalton has a good voice. Anatalia sounds not bad at all. Kassy has a great voice. Overall pretty good group.
Notable Comments: Keith-Wondering why they clipped some lyrics to make it their own. Did really well.
Results: All going through.

Group 12: Sonika Vaid, Stephany Negrete, Andrew Nazarbekian  (They are the ones that kicked out Anatalia)
Our Take: The fact that they kicked out Anatalia and then struggled in rehearsals isn't a great sign for some of these contestants.  Sonika did sound nice. Stephany did as well. Andrew did not sound good at all. He hit some real weird notes.  
Notable Comments: Keith-3 can sing, but Stephany only performed and worked stage. Andrew has nice range but didn't seem like he had been on a stage before in his life.
Results: All going through. 

Group 13: Marcio Donaldson, Jonn Klaasen, Kylle Thomasson, Kacye Haynes
Our Take:  They tried to make the song their own, I'll give that to them. It was creative.
Notable Comments: Keith-None of you got sleep, but you guys were on. Jennifer: Loved how they utilized the stage. Commanded the stage. 
Results: All going through. 

Group 14: Daniel Farmer, Joy Dove, Lindita
Our Take: The group has a great personality. Joy and Daniel are characters for sure, and they can sing. Lindita sounded better in her audition, here she sounded pitchy.
Notable Comments: Harry: Surprised Joy let Lindita have the last note. Joy needs to crush the others. Surprised she didn't finish. 
Results: Joy and Lindita going through. Daniel going home. 

Group 15: Eliz Comacho, Gianna Isabella, Dana Ordway
Our Take: Eliz makes some drama with her group, she does her part and then leaves during rehearsal. Tries to be louder than the others and overtakes it. She doesn't come off well. Gianna forgot her words. Eliz did not sound good at all. Did not hear much from Dana. They sing "Hit Em Up Style" which has always been a very tough song in group rounds.  
Notable Comments: Jennifer: There was obvious tension and you can feel it in the performance. 
Results: Gianna and Dana going through. Eliz going home. 

Group 16: Joe Dahman, Alesana Tolai, Olivia Thai, Jessica Paige
Our Take: Overall not a good perfomance by this group. No one really stood out or outpeformed the others.
Notable Comments: Harry: Looks like their dog just died. No energy, no joy. Seemed complacent. 
Results: Jessica going through. Joe, Alesana and Oliva going home. 

Group 17: CJ Johnson, Jess Kellner, Jessica Baker, Zach Joseph
Our Take: CJ sounded really good, he stood out, but Jessica has a nice tone.
Notable Comments: Harry: Didn't show which one was a superstar. 
Results: CJ, Jess and Jessica make it through. Zach going home. 

Group 18: Thomas Muglia, Joey Hendricks, Bryson Dunn, Thomas Stringfellow
Notable Comments: Harry: Need absouletly great and that was average performances. 
Results:  Thomas and Thomas are going through. Bryson and Joey going home. 

Group 19: Manny Torres, Malie Delgado, Christian Eason
Our Take: They had La'Porsha but she left to go to a group with only 2. Manny has a good personality and a nice voice and tonight proved he belongs in the competition.  Christian did a really nice job. Malie was kinda forgettable.
Notable Comments: Jennifer: Sounded really good together, loves that they are almost losing their voices. Sounds really good. Harry: Looks like they wanna fight for this. Keith: Best performance was from Manny.
Results: All going through. 

Group 20: Laurel Wright, Marshall Cunnicgam, Drew Angus, John Arthur Greene.
Our Take: All of them forgot their lyrics.
Notable Comments: Harry: Act like they own the stage.
Results: Marshall and Laurel going through. Drew and John going home. 

Group 21: La'Porsha Renae, Tonie Starr, Marlena Johnson
Our Take: Great move by La'Porsha to be the "angel" as they said. She left another group to help this group have the right number of members. It looks selfless and makes her look really good. She also owns the stage, has a fantastic beautiful voice to boot. Marlena forgot her lyrics, as she predicted but kept trying to own the stage. 
Notable Comments: Harry: That's how you forget words. Jennifer: Held her own. Had a very group feeling. Felt like she was watching Dreamgirls.
Results: All going through.

Final Thoughts
*Gonna keep this brief given we saw 21 groups and a lot of montages. There were so many people that went through. I guess it's better to keep people just in case they do better next time, rather than eliminate them and never know, but they kept an exorbitant amount of full groups. I think because there is no next year they were being safe with their eliminations.

*A few standout performances were from La'Porsha, Manny, Jenna Renae, and Trent "mono guy" Harmon. There really weren't a ton of standout performances tonight. Next week is a big one, it will determine the Top 48, so should be interesting how everything shakes out.

That's it. Hope you all enjoyed this recap, we know there was a lot of groups and performances, so we appreciate you reading our blog. We'll be back next week for the conclusion of Hollywood week. So until next time, see ya!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hollywood Rounds: Part 1

Welcome back. This week begins Hollywood "Week". It's actually 3 episodes this season, last year there were 4 episodes. This season is ending very early, April 7th is the last episode to be exact, last season the finale was May 13th. So many aspects of the show will be reduced or cut altogether. For instance, there is no Top 48 House of Blues performances this year, after Hollywood week the Top 24 will be immediately be revealed. We'll keep you updated on the schedule and any other tidbits along the way.

Before we begin recapping tonight's episode we wanted to post our Top 20 Contestants from the audition round episodes. There were several other notable contestants not mentioned on the list, but these are the ones that really stood out. We will see how they progress, but last year we did a list of our top audition round performers and 4 of them made it to the Top 10. So we'll see how this list goes.

Our Top 20 Going into Hollywood
Audition 1=Lee Jean, Sonika Vaid
Audition 2=LaPorsha Renae, Tristan McIntosh, Melanie Tierce
Audition 3 =Jenn Blosil, John Wayne Shultz
Audition 4=Amber Lynn, Chris "CJ" Johnson
Audition 5=Mackenzie Bourg, Jenna Renae, Emily Brooke, Adam Lasher
Audition 6=Jessica Cabral, Melany Huber, Chynna Sherrod, Zach Person, Collette Nash, Stephany Negrete, Manny Torres

We'll keep track of how they do throughout the season. Tonight we will keep track of the rundown of the show and try to feature as many notable contestants and give as many opinions and thoughts along the way. So without further ado, let's get to tonight's episode.

Hollywood Day 1
Lines of 10
The contestants are put into Lines of 10 to perform for the judges.
Line 1 Notable Contestants= Jordan Sasser (the guy with the wife who didn't get to Hollywood & was pissed), Jaci Butler (green haired girl), Dalton Rapattoni
Results Moving On= Jordan, Jaci and Dalton along with 5 others made it through.
Results Going Home=Two guys that we didn't hear.
Our Additional Comments? Dalton was impressive and his eyes are so blue. Jaci went for it. Jordan was alright.

Line 2 Notable Contestants=Jenn Blosil(quirky girl with great voice), Thomas Stringfellow, Olivia Rox
Results Moving On=Jenn, Thomas and Oliva make it.
Results Going Home=People we didn't hear
Our Additional Comments?= Jenn was great, Thomas was okay, and Olivia was alright.

Line 3 Notable Contestants=Jessica Cabral, Melanie Tierce(Harry walked away while she was singing because she was that good), Sonika Vaid (Harry said she thinks she can win in her audition)
Results Moving On= Sonika and Jessica
Results Going Home=Melanie Tierce
Our Additional Comments? Jessica was fantastic. Really nice. Melanie was very good. Sonika has a great voice and a lot of emotion. Surprised Melanie didn't make it. She was quite good. One of our Top 20.

Line 4 Notable Contestants=La'Porsha Renae (auditioned with her adorable daughter)
Results Moving On=LaPorsha Renae and some others
Results Going Home=No idea
Our Additional Comments? La'Porsha was just so darn good, even better than her audition. Keith seemed really impressed with her. She has to be one of the front runners right now. That Line was devoted to only her and no one else.

Line 5 Notable Contestants= Harrison Cohen (auditioned with his grandpa that hits on everyone), Daniel Farmer (had a crush on JLo and made it clear in the audition), Manny Torres(last audition contestant)
Results Moving On= Daniel and Manny
Results Going Home= Harrison Cohen
Our Additional Comments? Harrison was alright, nothing outstanding. Daniel is a fun character, his voice is a little thin at points. Manny sounds really good, and is good looking and seems fun as well, good combination.

Line 6 Notable Contestants= Lee Jean, Melany Huber, Shelbie Z
Results Moving On= Everyone but Melany
Results Going Home=Melany Huber
Our Additional Comments? It is strange that everyone but Melany made it through, she didn't sound that bad.

Hollywood Day 2
Lines of 10 Continued...

Line 1 Notable Contestants= Jeneve Rose Mitchell (she lives off the grid in Colorado)
Results Moving On=Jeneve
Results Going Home=Random people
Our Additional Comments? Jeneve came in with her cello and played straight up country, it's interesting for sure.

Line 2 Notable Contestants= Gianna Isabella (her Mom is Brenda K. Starr), Tristan McIntosh(was surprised by her military Mom at the audition)
Results Moving On=Gianna and Tristan
Results Going Home=Random people
Our Additional Comments? Gianna did a little too much with some of her song. I liked Tristan more in her audition, it seemed too rushed or something. Both deserve another shot despite some flaws.

Line 3 Notable Contestants= Michelle Marie, Krysti Jewel
Results Moving On=Michelle and others
Results Going Home=Krysti and others
Our Additional Comments? Didn't like Michelle too much here, it was just overdone. Krysti chose a bad song, I didn't like what she did with it or what it sounded like.

Going Home Montage=Kerry Courtney, Brook Sample, Usen Isong, Rianna Molenro, Ethan Kuntz, Jake Dylan

Line 4 Notable Contestants= Trent Harmon (he has full blown mono tonight), Poh Scott (her sister is She), Emily Brook (was on last season)
Results Moving On= Everyone
Results Going Home=No one
Our Additional Comments? Even with mono Trent sounds pretty nice, he put everything he had out there. Real good. Poh was good, not outstanding. Emily sounds great, she sounds ready to do well in this show, and she has a good shot at it.

Final Thoughts
*There were a dominating amount of girls tonight with a sprinkle of decent guys. My biggest gripe, and most people know it if they have read this blog over the years, is that the show narrows down the contestants incorrectly. Instead of having the best people, guy or girl, they narrow it down to 12 and 12 or ultimately 5 guys and 5 girls, instead of just having the Best 24 or Best 10. I don't care if it's 6 and 4 or even 7 and 3. If those 2 extra girls are better than those 2 guys that didn't make it then so be it. Why eliminate someone because they are or aren't a certain gender? It's wrong, and over the years a lot of people have joined the Top 10 over others that deserve to be there but couldn't because the amount of their gender was filled up. So again, if this season the girls are just so good why do we have to eliminate them? Just doesn't seem fair, but it's the last season and if they haven't changed it yet, they obviously never will.

*Tomorrow is Group Rounds. I never got the concept of groups in an individual competition, but group round is almost as famous and really infamous than any other round. So much drama. It's fun, it's crazy, I am sure we all will enjoy at least some of it.

*Two of our Top 20 went home. Oddly they have the same name, spelled differently, Melanie Tierce and Melany Huber. I liked both in audition rounds and didn't mind them here, but whatcha gonna do. 

That's it. We saw a lot of good talent go through, a couple of interesting eliminations, but we move on. Come back here tomorrow for more Hollywood Week. Until then, see ya!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

S15- Auditions #6- Last Auditions Ever

Welcome back. As we mentioned yesterday tonight is the last Audition episode of Idol. It would be remiss of this blog not to mention the importance of the auditions, thus the above picture of the original crew Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. The auditions were one of, if not the biggest talking point about the show for many years. Simon Cowell's blunt honesty during the auditions is one of the big reasons the show became a sensation. He never held back and Randy, Paula and all the other judges that have come and gone, including the special guest judges, never held a candle to Simon's reactions to these crazy contestants. All of this was just never seen on TV before, it was never done before. Over the years, especially when the original judges were leaving, the auditions became a lot less crazy. It went from the William Hung, Pants on the Ground guy, Bikini Girl auditions dominating episodes, to really standout, real performances, with only a sprinkle of ridiculousness. The auditions were a big part of the American Idol process and although it became a lot less funny over the years it still was and is an important part of the show.

After tonight one of the people that we have either seen or went to Hollywood because of the auditions will win Season 15. With that being said, let's get to the last audition episode of the series:

Auditions #6 Atlanta, Philadelphia 
& San Francisco

Jessica Cabral(21) Right out the gate Jessica sounds amazing. Her voice is ready right now. She has a lot of soul, strength and talent. It's really one of the better ones I have heard the past few weeks.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Beautiful, low, lush tone voice. Inklings of Kelly in there. Keith-So beautiful and great control. Harry-One of best voices I've heard. Great talent.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Cody Ostrenga (23) Is a on a horse gun shooting at  target, something World Champion and belly dancer. Interesting combination. He decides to sing and dance. It's good he does all those all those other things because his voice is very bad. It's a crazy audition when he tried to do all those other things. Notable contestant but not for his voice.
Notable Comments- Harry-Singular most collection of talent ever seen in his life. Singing would be the third highest rating. But very entertaining.
Going To Hollywood? Nope

Brian Dale Brown (27) He tried 10 times to make it to the judges. This is the first time he got through, of course Lee DeWyze was one of the guys that allowed him to make it through, given he was helping with that part of the process.  He does impressions of Scooby Doo and Keith Urban, not so great. He is a big guy with a big voice. He isn't the worst ever, but it's all over the place. There were parts that were okay. I don't know if he should be going to Hollywood.
Notable Comments- Jennifer- Powerful, all over the place. Tiny bit confused. How he performed it through her off.  Gotta pare it off. Harry- Doesn't need to do all of that. Is a talented guy. It's too over the top.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him. 

Gina Naomi Baez (27) She brings her little tiny dog Tinkerbell into the audition with her. I don't like her voice here. It is loud and is not in tune.
Notable Comments- Harry-There is a lot of interesting characters in Pop, and on surface that was interesting, it wasn't deeply interesting. Didn't take him anywhere.
Going To Hollywood? Nope.

Melany Huber (17) She was diagnosed with Stage 3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She is now cancer free and auditioning with the judges. That's great to hear. Another thing great to hear is her voice. Just really sweet and easy. There wasn't anything fake or affected, she just is herself and going for it. It's refreshing to see.
Notable Comments- Keith-Good storytelling aspect to her voice. Got this easy presence about her which makes it easy to listen to.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Rachel Karryn (20) She brings her grandfather in to play guitar for her while she sings. She has a nice, different voice. Caroline Bryne (25) She brings her brother in to play guitar for her while she sings. It's a nice, solid voice. A lot of nice dynamics.  Bianca Espinal (22) She brings her Dad in to play guitar for her while she sings. She actually blanked out and her Dad was able to quickly bring her back and helped her remember the lyrics. It was a cool trick. I like her voice a lot. It's fun and easy.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 judges send all 3 ladies.

Justin Sullivan (22) He is obsessed with Kelly Clarkson, wants to marry her. Harry and Keith bring the large picture of Kelly Clarkson over to where he is performing so it looks like they are singing together. This was tricky, I didn't like a lot about his voice, but then I waited a little longer and I did kinda like it. Not really enough good to combat the not great moments.
Notable Comments-Harry-Some moments to really enjoy. Then couple times it sounded like he was really singing. Downside is this is the 15th season is that Kelly was biggest way to kick start this show, looking for a bookend, doesn't seem like he is the guy to do it. 
Going To Hollywood? Nope.

Chynna Sherrod (16) She is from Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Harry kind of teases her that it's tough to get "down" about Connecticut because of all the mansions, he's a bit off about where she lives. But anyways, Chynna has a very pretty voice. It's very soulful, and groovy and like an indie singer. Really nice audition. She has a lot of maturity for a 16-year old.
Notable Comments- Keith-Sings like she is,  laid back, chill. Full of life. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 judges send her.

Lillian Glanton (15) She lives/works on a poultry farm.  She is a singer/songwriter so she sings one of her originals. The song is cute, the voice isn't as much. Just very young and not a lot of dynamics.
Notable Comments- Harry-Seems like she'd be fun to hang out with, but her voice isn't quite on the level of what he is looking for. Jennifer-Likes her, and her song. Keith-Likes her voice because it's legit and her.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Keith and a very reluctant Jennifer send her through.

Kayce Haynes (23) He is a recovering addict for almost a year. So that's great for him. I liked a lot about is voice, it has some potential there. It's not all there yet, but there's something.
Notable Comments- Jennifer-Likes everything that is going on. Sang from his experiences. Keith-Lacking power, didn't come to get him. Wasn't enough.  
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Jennifer and Harry send him.

Zach Person (18) He is a full-time musician. So he has some talent for sure, especially his guitar playing. He definetly has that blues/rock thing going on. His guitar playing right now is far superior over his singing, but his singing is still very good.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Likes his style, super unique. No one in the world sounds like him. Harry-Nice and refreshing to hear his own thing. Confident in that. Enjoyed it.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Collette Nash (19) She is a red head, and loves all red heads. That's her story. Another part of her story is that she has a very pretty voice. Very sweet, but there was some power there. It was very natural, very very good.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Wow. Very surprised. People are born to sing, she doesn't have to try. Like Carrie Underwood walked in the door, really easy for her. Harry-Terrific. Showcased so many aspects to her voice. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Avalon Young (21) She is who she is, she doesn't care how she is dressed or anything, she just wants to sing. And she can sing, very nice job by her. I don't see a lot of power, but there is something nice and tender there.
Notable Comments-Keith-Plays guitar to her vocals really well. Harry-Has a very different voice, in a good way. Great thing for her because it forces her to look inward to make herself even better.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Usen Isong (23) He is a background actor. Just in the background of notable TV shows, like Law and Order, Orange is the New Black, things like that. They show a montage of him lurking in the background of scenes of people getting ready for their audition, kinda funny.  His parents are from Nigeria, that's where his name comes from. He has a good voice. He does a little too much with it at times, and overacts it, but there is a voice in there.
Notable Comments-Keith-Can sing. Harry-He is trouble, the people behind him are gonna be upset that he went in front of them.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Jaci Butler (19) She is in a rock/grunge/battle band. She has green hair and face paint, it's cool. Plus her voice is really good. There hasn't been a lot of rock women so far this season, so I think she would be a good addition.
Notable Comments- Jennifer-Really strong voice. Sings it in her voice. Harry-Looking and listening, she can sing, pulled against her. Didn't cheer for her at one point, but then it switched when it sounded just like her.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Stephany Negrete (21) Her family is from the heart of Mexico. I really love her voice. Pure and simple. She has amazing control, power, intensity and she is smart. She does a little too much with some notes, but her voice is really quite good, I can't wait to see what she does with other songs.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Wonders if she could just think less how it would have went. Just wants her to think about she is singing rather than notes. Harry-Right in there with great singers. Wants her to be really confident. Keith-Likes her voice, vibe, and can see her singing other voices. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Manny Torres (20) He is the last contestant to audition for the show. Weird...Anyways, he is cool. He has a cool vibe, and is very cute and has a nice voice to boot. Got it going on for sure.
Notable Comments- Jennifer-Digs him. Sounds great. Performance energy is present and joyous, lots to love. Harry-Doesn't wanna hear another song and that's a big compliment. Keith-So much energy, but kept it focused, not all over the place. Stayed in the zone.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Best of the Night?
Almost too many to name tonight. Jessica Cabral, Melany Huber, Chynna Sherrod, Zach Person, Collette Nash, and Stephany Negrete. I mean that's insane. 14 people went through tonight. I would say at least 8 or 9 were really good, and these 6 were just fantastic. After a two hour show they were still memorable to me.

Final Thoughts
*The show did a nice job giving a little respect to the audition process and showed a montage of some great auditions and how a great audition turned into a win for 14 prior contestants, we will see who is the next and last one to have that journey.

*So many great contestants tonight. I feel last week was sort of a let down in terms of some stand out talent, I guess they were holding it back for this week. Because between yesterday and today there were almost a dozen really great performances. If they keep that up it will be a great season. So far it seems the women have outshone the men, but that can always change.

*This was a nitpicky thing, but that's what this part of the blog is for. Ryan was around beforehand with some of the contestants prior to their audition, but was not there when they came out for 95% of the people, especially the ones that had family there. I am sure it's been happening all season, but I really noticed it tonight when they showed a montage of notable times that contestants have hurt Ryan over the years in their excitement when they went to Hollywood. Him not being there was noticeable, he was a part of every audition episode, so when he isn't there it's a big thing, even if he is still doing the voice overs and all that. Wonder why this changed? Guess we'll never know.

That's it. Auditions are over. Next week begins the dreaded, yet very important Hollywood Week round. Right now there over 190 contestants, so next week will separate the pretenders from the contenders. So stick with us and we'll get through it all together. So until next time, see ya!

S15- Auditions 5- Baltimore & Philadelphia

Welcome back everyone. Tonight is the 5th episode of the last season of American Idol and the next to last audition episode ever.  I think we have gotten some pretty good talent, but I would love to see more. I would say out of the 4 prior audition episodes only 1 or 2 were really memorable, so hopefully tonight will be a good showing. So let's get started:

Auditions # 5

Miranda "Poh" Scott (17) Her sister Shi made the Top 24 last season. These two with these names is crazy, but we'll have to go for it.  Poh is not bad at all. She has a voice for sure, I think it needs more control and finesse, but there might be something they can work with.
Notable Comments-Harry-Said negative things about herself. Found many things very refreshing. She just put it out there.
Going To Hollywood?Yep. All 3 send her.

Amelia Eisenhauer (15) She decides to bring a samurai sword to the studio with her. She isn't bringing it into the audition, so other than a thing to let you get on TV I don't get the point. But maybe that is the point. She does bring in her fiddle into the audition. She plays maybe one note with the fiddle, and then goes right to the singing. She has a nice intensity to her voice, it's a little too loud at points, almost screamy, but there were some nice soft moments.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Very beautiful. Like the sound of her voice. There is a strength to it. Harry-Has a mysterious aspect to herself. Wants to hit the notes more squarely.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Joy Dove (21) She is from the Little Rock audition. Not sure why they didn't include it when they were doing that episode, but it's fine they included her. She's different, but in a good way. It's also a little loud, but she has power behind her. We'll see if she can control some of that.
Notable Comments-Harry-Energy and spirit is awesome. Beautiful and full of voice. Just sings loud.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her. 

Mackenzie Bourg (23) He is doing a medley of all 3 judges' hits. He starts with Keith Urban's "Stupid Boy" and into Harry Connick's "Come By Me" and then into Jennifer Lopez's "Love Don't Cost A Thing" and ended back on Keith's song. This guy is super talented, he blended it so well, and has an amazing voice and obvious serious creativity.
Notable Comments-Harry-Smart son of a gun. Jennifer-Liked it very much. Liked the sound of his voice. Keith-Loved the first and last song the best.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Andrew & Aaron Birdwell (27) and (23) These guys are brothers. They consider themselves nerds because they still play D&D aka Dungeons and Dragons. They should probably go back to playing games because singing is not their thing. Aaron has a better voice then Andrew but that's like saying getting poked in the eye is better then cutting off your ear. I mean both are bad, but one is much much more.
Notable Comments- Keith-Gregorian acid trip. 
Going To Hollywood? Nope

Jenna Renae (23) She has watched the show and actually waited to come to audition until she was ready. That's more than some of these younger singers that are just coming because there is no next year. I would put her in the realm of Sara Barielles or Ingrid Michelson or something along those lines. Really super talented. I think she has the whole package.
Notable Comments- Jennifer-Feels the lyrics. Has the whole package. Keith-Sounds like she grew up something outside of country. It's a good thing.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Mario Bonds (27) He loves to sing and dance, and even though he is blind he does a lot of stuff and says he forgets he is blind sometimes. Very clever and cool. Mario has a lot of soul. Wavered back and forth on good but not great.  
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Kept going back and forth. Loves everything about him. Parts that really loved, but parts that took her out of the performance. Harry- Very strong spirit. Thinks he has talent but not specifically what he is looking for. As a whole performance didn't hear enough. 
Going To Hollywood?  Nope

Adam Lasher (28). I loved this guy last season. He kind of disappeared last year. He was there and then he wasn't and I never remember him being bad. He also got a hair cut and a new suit and looks amazing. There have been 2 winners and countless other contestants that have come back after not getting through at all or getting cut early on, so it's possible Adam could do well here. I hope so. I was a fan last year and I am a fan this year. I mentioned last year that his uncle is the great singer/guitarist Carlos Santana, so Adam can and still plays a great guitar. Let's see how it does this year.
Notable Comments- Jennifer- Really nice sound to his voice. Harry-Great rendition. 

Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Emily Brooke (16) She has also returned after making it to Top 48. She was in the premiere episode last season. I wrote that she has a lot of depth and personality.  That hasn't changed. She actually is better this time around. She is a country singer, very Taylor Swift-like. I think she can get past the Top 48 this year if she keeps this quality up.
Notable Comments- Jennifer- Really improved. Tough to let her go last year, but that forced this, so it all worked out. Harry- This was a training ground for her, took it all and made her better. Proud that the show fostered talent to her.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Best of the Night
Mackenzie Bourg and Jenna Renae. Mackenzie for his creativity and Jenna for her pure talent. I really enjoyed Emily Brooke and Adam Lasher also and am so happy they both came back and were better than last season when they were both were really good. There was so many really stand outs. Tough to pin point one. So those are my favorites of the night.

Final Thoughts
*Very strong night. There were at least 4, maybe 5 out of the 7 contestants that went to Hollywood  that can do really well. Tonight really showed that there is talent this season and someone from tonight's episode could easily win the whole show. It was that strong and creative.

That's it. Come back tomorrow for the very last audition episode of American Idol ever. That's crazy. We will be back with our recap and thoughts and hope you will too. So until next time, see ya!

Friday, January 15, 2016

S15: Auditions 4-Denver & Little Rock

Welcome back. American Idol is holding auditions in Denver tonight and Little Rock again. Obviously Little Rock had a good amount of talent to see them again, in a different episode. The auditions have been good, not great. Hopefully tonight we will see some real talent. Let's get started:

Denver & Little Rock Auditions

Amber Lynn (28) and James VIII (23) These two came into together but audition separately. She sang first. He plays guitar for her. She has a lovely voice. She can hit some higher notes but can hold it back when she needs to as well. The fact that she is 28 means she has a lot of experience doing what she does. His name is actually something else, but he is the 8th James the whatever in his family, so it's cool. He was reluctant to audition. He does a lot in his audition. I am not sure he knows what to do with his voice so he just threw it all out there. He went deep, he went light, he went soul, he went Pop. It was interesting.
Notable Comments=Harry-He was rushing when he was playing the guitar. Bottom line she can sing. Jennifer-She has soul. Loves the sound of her voice, the way she plays with it. Harry-He was born to do this. Interesting thing about you. It was weird cause it was effective, but it was interestingly good.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Both are Going to Hollywood. All 3 Judges Send them.

Emily Wears (25) She is an auctioneer, so she can speak really fast. She does a tongue twister that is insane because of how fast she goes, and then she goes and sing a really slow song. Very tenderly. It's sweet.
Notable Comments=Harry-Singing needs a little bit of work. Has a nice sustaining of the tone. Lot of talent there. Wasn't strong enough for him. Jennifer- Was really sweet. Didn't have a lot of power or emotion.
Going To Hollywood? Nope.

Chris "CJ" Johnson (28) He has the cutoff t shirt and tattoos but goes and sings a really cool version of a Hall & Oates song "You Make My Dreams Come True". It was creative and he really got into the groove. Made me like the song again.He has such a nice voice. Very talented.
Notable Comments= Keith-There's an effortless confidence. Connect with road warriors. Did his own thing.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 sent him.

Ethan Kuntz (15) This kid is super cute. He is bluesy kind of singer. He is very fresh faced and his voice is young, even though the song is kinda old school.
Notable Comments=Keith-Did not expect that song to come out. Had mixed reactions. Jennifer-Such a natural. Knows exactly who he is.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Jennifer & Keith send him.

Mary Williams (23) She is a horse trainer and world champion donkey competitor. Not sure I get that, but it's ok. Her voice is pure country. There is a voice there. Some shaky moments, and the nerves came out at points but it was nice.
Notable Comments=Jennifer-Felt the emotion. Pleasing to her. Keith-It's a tall order. Missed the feeling of the story telling. Performance and put on, more than story telling.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Jennifer and Harry send her.

Xavier Soller(26)  He is the Denver Nuggets M.C.  He brings a mini basketball net into his audition. A little too much schtick for me. But Jennifer Lopez actually did make the basket. So that was pretty cool and her reaction was funny. The audition was a little too much shtick too. It's not a great voice, but it was a fun performance.
Notable Comments= Jennifer-Loved playing basketball, loved that she won. But it's a No today.
Going To Hollywood? Nope

Terrian (18) She explains she lives in a very rough area. Her voice is nice, and she makes the song "Happy" a little different and very cool and groovy.
Notable Comments= Harry-Likes her and is talented for sure. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Leann "Blue" McIssac (23) She is a nomad for sure, in fact her occupation that they display is traveling nomad. She has been all over the world and stayed outside and lived from place to place. On the spot she writes a song that has each of their names and a word that they connect. It's an intersting parlor trick. Her voice is interesting and she obviously is very smart.
Notable Comments=Harry-Sounded like a Jewish prayer vibe. Glad there are people like her in the world. Doesn't think singing is for her. But her spirit is big for her.
Going To Hollywood? Nope

Thomas Stringfellow (17) He is a cute kid with a very floaty, light voice. He has a great intensity and restrain and power, and all the good things a natural singer should have.
Notable Comments= Keith-Likes that he does his own thing, which is really appealing and didn't copy the original. Likes his vibe a lot. It's interesting.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Tywan "Tank" Jackson (29) He is a big guy, with a lot of energy, he is a dancer, and dances a little for the judges. He has a really nice voice, and seems like a good guy. He goes off tune a little, but overall it was pretty good.  
Notable Comments= Jennifer-Sang even while out of breath. Really nice voice.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

John Wayne Schultz (27) He auditioned Season 10. It came down to him and Scotty McCreery in the later rounds, and they kept Scotty and he won the whole season. So that's not a bad person to be compared to. Season 10 his Mom was with him to celebrate him going to Hollywood, unfortunately his Mom has since passed, so it took John a few years to come back. Luckily, he did because he has a very pure country voice. I am not the biggest country fan, but I appreciate a person that knows what works for them, and it works for John. There are a few things that can help him along the way, but it's a nice audition. 
Notable Comments= Keith- Didn't copy any way, it was natural. So refreshing. Harry-Perfect performance.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Leah Harbert (24) This girl is delusional, but sweet. She legitimately thought she could sing, but she can't at all. You knew she was gonna be in trouble when Britney Spears was her musical influence. Not good.  
Notable Comments=Keith-Hides the influence of Britney. Harry-Spend time working with vocal coaches.
Going To Hollywood? Nope.

Jordyn Simone(15) She is so young, but she looks like she is 25 years old, as commented on by the judges. Her voice is that of an older singer. It's very controlled, deep, rich and Velvet.
Notable Comments= Jennifer-She don't sing 15 either. It's a phenomenon. Speechless. Something different and special there.  Harry-Showed a complete variety of skills, sang beautifully.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Kassy Levels (19) and Rhea Raj (15) Heard only a second of each of them.But both brought different vibes, I liked Rhea a bit more.
Notable Comments= Keith-Some wanna be a star, Kassy is one... Jennifer-Rhea's voice matches her vibe. It all works.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Both are going.

Jake Dillon (22) He has been married since 18, has a wife, kids, the whole thing. I like Jake's voice.He is a cool character, seems like a good dude.  
Notable Comments=Harry-It was good. Like his voice, likes his vibe. It's not gonna cut it for him, or him in this competition. Not overwhelmingly good. Keith-Thinks musically he will get killed in Hollywood.Wanted more boxes checked.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Jennifer and a reluctant Keith send him.

Ashley Lilinoe (20) She is from Hawaii and has a very laid back, groovy, mellow vibe. She doesn't let anything get to her. I liked her, didn't love her. If she goes through, great, if not, not a big deal.
Notable Comments=Jennifer-Some nice things, but wanted a bit more from her.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Keith and Harry send her.

Andrew Nazarbekian (20) He bascially flew from Russia to Denver for this auditon.  If you are coming from that far way for this and only this you have to be good, and Andrew is very good. He has a very pretty voice. He did a few runs that went out of whack, but still good.
Notable Comments= Jennifer-Really naturally beautiful voice. Be interesting to see what happesn along the way.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Elivie Shane (27) He is a singer. Pure singer for sure. I can see him doing well with different genres that American Idol throws at them. He seems like a guy that can adapt.
Notable Comments= Keith- Loves that he loves to do this. Really contagious to watch.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Best of the Night?
Amber Lynn  and Thomas Stringfellow. They each had a real natrualness. I remembered them after a very long episode, so that's saying something.

Final Thoughts
*Tonight's episode was far and away better than last night. There were many more natural singers and people with a lot of experience and emotion.

* I think it is possible that the judges are taking more people that they are on the fence about, only because there is no next year or another season. There is no more coming back when they are ready. So I think they are going on the side of caution and just taking the people that they might have turned away before and if it works it works, and if it doesn't all it costs is plane ticket and hotel room for FOX. No big deal.

That's it. Come back next week for the last of auditions. We hope you are enjoying the blog and tell others to check it out. Like American Idol this is our last season doing this, so hope you have and will continue to enjoy it this season. So with that being said, until next time, see ya!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

S15: Auditions 3- Philadelphia

Welcome back. Tonight's auditions are in Philadelphia. Last week Clay Aiken said some pretty rough things about American Idol and the judges, and this week we see that Aiken was helping out during the Philadelphia auditions, hanging with contestants and speaking with them. Seems a little messed up that he agreed to be on a show this season that he goes and bashes. Kinda of biting the hand that fed you. Not cool. But let's get to this one-hour episode, it should fly by.

Philadelphia Auditions

Gianna Isabella (15) Her mother is Brenda Starr. She is notable for her song "I Still Believe" it was relatively big in the 1980s. Gianna obviously has a good gene pool because she can sang. She has a lot of control and has a nice intensity. The judges bring in Brenda and we find out that Jennifer has a fomer connection to Brenda. It's really sweet how close Brenda and Gianna are.

Notable Comments-Jennifer-Sounded really great. Can tell she is [Brenda's] daughter.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Derek Huffman (21) He came with a boom box and the instrumental version of "Angel" by Shaggy. It's not acapella, it's not creative. Not a good karaoke version.
Notable Comments- Jennifer-Really sweet. That was a first. But a No.
Going To Hollywood? Nope.

Issac Cole (15) He does his acapella song with a guitar. Makes sense to me. But what does actually make sense is that he has nice country voice. It's a little young, but there might be something there.
Notable Comments-Harry-Alot to like about him. Country music has to do with southern but he isn't southern. He should get rid of the twang. Keith-He's a work in progress. Close to ready, but not there yet.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

Sara Sturm (17) She comes with a story about a restaurant she works out. I don't even know. Her voice is okay. I have heard worse, but I wasn't totally impressed yet.
Notable Comments- Jennifer-Really good singer. Got that young thing. Fearless.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her. 

Ellis Banks (25) This dude comes in with a robe, glittery hair piece and thong, no shirt, no pants. This is extreme. He sings Lady Gaga's "Born This Way". It's a performance, but a singer he is not.
Notable Comments-  Harry-Not what we are looking for, but a lot of fun. 
Going To Hollywood? Nope.

Jenn Blosil (23) She is very, um...quirky. I don't know if it's a put on, or she really is that way, but she has an interesting personality. Her voice is kind of like Sia. A little gravely, and bluesy. I like how she slowed the song down and made "Radioactive" a big rock song, into a tender, yet intense song on the piano. Very creative.
Notable Comments- Jennifer- Interesting, compelling almost. Likes her. Keith-Good storytelling quality. Very present.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send her.

Harrison Cohen (17) He comes up with his own original song, and it's kind of catchy. I enjoy the song, even more so than his voice, which was serviceable. He's a good writer.
Notable Comments- Harry- Scares him that he is not the bookend to Kelly Clarkson, if he is that powerhouse. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep. All 3 send him.

John Arthur Greene (27) He tells the story of how we was playing Cops and Robbers with his brother when they were little, and accidentally picked up a real loaded gun and he killed his brother, at the age of 8. It's a real sad, terrible story.  From tonight's perspective only, he has a nice voice. I wasn't excited about it, but it's a solid voice that deserves another try. He makes some facial expressions that I could do without. So hopefully he can work on that.
Notable Comments-Harry-Strong voice, but wonders what else is there. Jennifer-Doesn't know if at a certain point he will be able to hang with some of the other singers.
Going To Hollywood? Yep. Keith and Jennifer send him.

Best of The Night?
Jenn Blosil. I really didn't like much of her kind of quirky, floaty, kind of personality, but her voice rocked this pretty weak episode. We'll see how she does when compared to more formidable contestants.

Final Thoughts
*Pretty weak episode. I thought there was potential in a couple of them, Gianna and Jenn, and Harrison had a nice song, but that was about it. Not much to go on. We'll see if Philadelphia represents at all in Hollywood.

That's it. A weak episode, so not a ton to say. We will be back her tomorrow for 2 hours of Auditions. Hopefully they will be a lot stronger than tonight. Until then, see ya!

Friday, January 8, 2016

S15: Audtions 2-Little Rock & San Francisco

Welcome back. Last night was the last season premiere of American Idol ever, and tonight I guess is the last second episode of the season ever. I promise I won't continue doing this all season. Anyways, last night saw some talent, but I look forward to a few more standout performers, a few more standout performances and memorable auditions. Season 8 winner Kris Allen is in Little Rock to help ease some of the nerves of the contestants and Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze is helping out as well, so another blast from the past tonight.  So let's get to it:

Little Rock Auditions

Cameron Richard (15) He has an interesting story, he was born with a clef pallet and overcome a lot of surgeries and struggles to get here. His voice is a little too high pitched and pitchy at points. But I didn't hate it, there were points that were very nice to hear. If he can get rid of the bad and focus on the good he would be in good shape. Right now if he didn't make it I wouldn't have been upset, but let's hope he gets some work done.  
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Loves his voice and passion. Felt really good to me. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send him.

Daniel Farmer (24) He is a fun personality, hitting on J.Lo, but he actually has a nice voice to go along with it. Really rich and velvety. He has a lot of passion and the way he sings to Jennifer is pretty entertaining.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-His voice is just so perfect. Funny, and sexy and confidence. Very attractive quality. Very good performance.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send him.

Dalton Rapattoni (19) The fact that he took a song like "Phantom of the Opera" and made it into an acoustic, rock kind of version is awesome and shows a lot of creativity and originality. His voice is really good too, so that also helps. I am excited to see what he can do.
Notable Comments-Harry-Sometimes people get constricted by what people should be singing, people aren't able to see the song for what it is. He sang that song how he wanted to sing it. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send him.

La'Porsha Renae (22) She comes in with her cutie pie 7-month old daughter that J.Lo willingly holds during the audition. La'Porsha has a beautiful voice, really delicate and strong at the same time. She dealt with a lot in her young life and it comes out in her performance, a lot of emotion. Memorable indeed.  
Notable Comments- Harry-Loves her fresh new take on the song. Loved it.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 judges send her.

Maddie McAllister (16) She comes in with a chicken. Her chicken has the biggest breast in Arkansas, and is a state champion. It sure is a way to make an impression. Her voice didn't leave a big impression on me right away. It was fine, it was good, but nothing incredibly memorable.
Notable Comments-Harry-Sounds so young. Needs a couple more years to come into her own.
Going To Hollywood? Nope

Trent Harmon (24) This guy came out with a voice you don't hear every day. He is a country boy that has an R&B voice. It's kinda crazy. It's a very interesting and intricate voice. J.Lo freaks out during the whole audition, just astounded by the sounds coming out of him.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Was freaking out the whole time. That was really surprising. So blown away. Loves the way he sings. A lot of soul and dynamics.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send him.

Tristan McIntosh (15) For a very young girl she has a great way of telling a story. Very compelling and it brings you in. Her mom, came from overseas in the military to come see her. It's an amazing moment. Keith tears up. Tristan is crying.
Notable Comments-Harry-Likes her a lot. A lot going on. Jennifer-See in her something very special. Reminds her of Alicia Keys, not just because of her way she looks but her talent.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send her. 
San Francisco Auditions

Brook Sample (28) She has such a pretty voice and a very sweet personality. She has to get a little bit better at interviews, because it took her a few shots to get it done, but her voice is gritty and she invokes a lot of emotion and naturalness in there.  A couple not great moments but overall it was awesome. She is kinda goofy, she apologizes for stuff she doesn't need to. Really nice audition.
Notable Comments-Harry-Owes herself a little confidence. Did a real great job. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send him.

Olivia Rox (16) She is a big American Idol fan, that loves Kelly Clarkson and her voice is kinda similar to Kelly's. It is a little young, and needs a little fine tuning, but there is something really strong and natural there. When she goes into the falsetto it is very pretty because there is some weight behind the other parts of her voice. I look forward to hearing more from her.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Did really really beautifully. Can tell she will add a lot to this competition.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send her.

Montage-Jessica Clark(23) , only heard a second but really cool and strong. Ameet Kanon (18) She has a really bluesy, velvety sultry voice. Really great. Kayla Mickelsen (18) She has the old-school voice that meets the current. Very stylish approach.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all of em are sent. 

Melanie Tierce(21)-Her voice is just so good that Harry just walks away. I don't get why she got montaged in with others, she was amazing. So much passion, vocal control,she made Keith tear up. Gave Jennifer goosebumps. I loved it.  
Notable Comments-Harry-Best audition in 3 years. People would pay money to watch that.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send her.

Malie Delgado (20) She is the former Miss. Alaska.  She has a great voice. It doesn't even look like she is trying. The song has a little rap in it, and she does well with it. She probably should stick with the melody stuff, but still quite good.
Notable Comments-Jennifer-Really really great voice. Present, super strong. Really liked it.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send her.

Brandyn Burnette(25) Harry and Ryan decide to switch spots, and Ryan is judging for basically the first time ever in 15 seasons. Brandyn is an easy contestant to judge, he sings his original song and it's amazing. Harry comes over to Brandyn while he is singing and gives him a big hug.
Notable Comments-Ryan-Liked him a lot. Felt the emotion. Sang beautifully. Lyrics were great. Impressed. Easy one to judge.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 4 send him. (Ryan, Harry and Keith and J.Lo)

Kyrsti Jewel (15) Her first note is a big one, and she delivers. She has a lot of attitude, but in a good way. There were a couple of rough notes, but there was a lot of good there. I think she has a good chance to turn into something really good.
Notable Comments-Harry-Incredible instrument. Clear, and loud and energetic. 
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send him.

Sarah Hayes (26) She seems a little drunk or inebriated in some way or just super nervous that it came out in the weirdest most awkward way. She just keeps forgetting the words. It's a really terrible audition.
Notable Comments- Harry-Tremendous lack of focus going on. Seemed frenetic. There is some meat in there to think there is some good stuff in there.  Jennifer-I worry about you. Not sure if she can control her voice enough. Keith-Doesn't seem ready for this at all. Everything was unstable.
Going To Hollywood? Nope. Jennifer and Keith say No, Harry would have sent her through.

Tristan McIntosh (15) For a very young girl she has a great way of telling a story. Very compelling and it brings you in. Her mom, came from overseas in the military to come see her. It's an amazing moment. Keith tears up. Tristan is crying.
Notable Comments-Harry-Likes her a lot. A lot going on. Jennifer-See in her something very special. Reminds her of Alicia Keys, not just because of her way she looks but her talent.
Going To Hollywood? Yep, all 3 send her. 

Best of the Night-LaPorsha Renae and Tristan McIntosh from Little Rock and Melanie Tierce from San Francisco. I wanted people to stand out tonight and these ladies did that. They really put it all out there. Can't wait to see what comes of them in this competition.

Final Thoughts

*Last night was good, but tonight was great. There was so many talented people. I like to be tough, and give critical feedback, but there was just a whole bunch of great contestants tonight. Many have a chance to go a long way.

*I am pleased that the majority of songs are from past Idol contestants, mostly winners, I love the inclusion of Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze in parts of the process. I am excited to see more and more Idol alum pop up along the way this season.

Come on back here next week for more Idol recaps. It's gonna be a good season, stay here to follow along with it. Until next time, see ya!

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!