Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Auditions Part 7: San Francisco


Welcome back. Tonight is the beginning of the last week of American Idol auditions in the final city, San Francisco. I am more than ready for auditions to be done. I feel we have seen a lot of great talent, and we have seen contestants get through to Hollywood that probably shouldn't, so I am excited to see how everything pans out. We will see what happens with the contestants tonight. So let's get started:

San Francisco Auditions

Katherine Skinner (15) This contestant is what we are gonna call...um...hmm...interesting? I don't know. She loves cats so much that she says one is a psychic that told her to audition, claims to have partied with Bowie in the 70s even though she is only 15 and is wearing some crazy get up including her "pimp coat". She has the weirdest voice that is actually not terrible. It's all surprising because her voice hits some really beautiful notes, in the midst of her oddness. She's a cooky, crazy character. I don't think I can take too much of her personality but her voice is not bad at all. She Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Jennifer-You're talented, but you're "cray". Doesn't know if it's a joke, could be 15, could be 35. Is talented, and made for a stage. Not sure if it's American Idol. Harry-Exciting to see her find her own originality and creativity. Likes the stories and weirdness.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Montage=Erika David (25) Not sure if I dig her voice too much at this point. There are spots that need to be improved. Chandler Leighton (20) She has this really bluesy and old-school sound quality to her voice. Really enjoyable to listen to. Ryan Pinkston (27) Didn't like what he did with his song choice, but his voice is so pure and great that he can do well. Chandler and Ryan Should Go To Hollywood, Erika Should Not Go To Hollywood.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. Chandler and Ryan get all 3 yes votes. Erika gets Harry and Jennifer's voice. 

Andrew Bloom (17) As Harry mentioned he kinda looks like a younger Tim Tebow. Andrew has a very distinctive tone and quality to his voice. He puts a lot of aggression and personality into his performance. His friend is Olympic sprinter Ryan Bailey. Harry brings him in and tries to beat him in a quick sprint, he fails miserably. But Andrew does not, He Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Keith-Good spirit. Can work on a few things vocally. Jennifer-Has a fight and attack. Harry-Needs to be careful with the blues lick, needs to watch out for that.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him.

Kellyeann Rodgers (24) If I didn't see her age, I would have thought she was 45 years old based on her voice. Not saying that's terrible, but she will need to pick some younger songs. She still Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= None
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Reno Anoa'i (16) He is a Samoan and is proud of it. He is 1 of 6, but his Mom is 1 of 22, so he has a large family, to say the least. He plays the ukulele and has the sweetest, cutest voice. This guy is adorable. He wears a little bowtie and a necklace that his late grandfather gave him. His voice doesn't do too much, it's just simple enough to get by. I liked him. Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Jennifer-Believes when he sings, didn't believe his runs, should just tap into the stories. Harry-Great voice. American Idol encompasses more than just the voice, needs to provide a little variety.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him.

Samuel Prince (22) He is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, he bows down to the Puerto Rican Queen, Jennifer Lopez.  He and the judges put on a telenova thing because Samuel really wanted to get fake "smacked" by Jennifer. Kind of weird, but oddly entertaining. His voice unfortunately is really pedestrian and not entertaining at all. Should Not Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Harry-Entertained by the whole thing but voice isn't strong. Jennifer-Great character. Keith-Singing sounded like he was an actor singing like a singer. Not truthful.
Going To Hollywood= Nope.

Matthew Sequeira (15), Luke Randall (23) and Sade Shine (23) get montaged together to show Jennifer saying "No" to them. I do have to say she has gotten a decent amount better at saying "No". Back when she first started a number of years ago she was way too nice and couldn't handle saying anything negative. She still isn't as straightforward as I wish, but she is a lot better.

Rayvon Owen (23) His voice is as sweet as a children's lullaby. It's quiet and tender. Even when he goes for some runs and higher notes it's still very delicate. Not saying any of this is bad, it's just a little limited in spots. His last note right at the end was the best note of the whole audition. I am interested in what he can do and if he can grow. Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Keith-Great song, lyrics and showed everything in his voice. Tone is so beautiful. Jennifer-Had us on the journey with you. Harry-Something to be said for just standing there and singing.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him.

Ezekiel & Jeremiah Cardenas (20) They are twins that decided to audition together. Bad choice. I don't know which one is which but the voice is not good at all.  The guitar that one of the twins was playing was so out of tune. Everything in this audition was out of tune. They Should Not Go To Hollywood
Notable Comments= Jennifer-Need more practice.
Going To Hollywood= Nope

Maddie Hudson (16) Her voice is beyond her age. It's very professional and has a real pain and anguish to it. She puts all of her emotions into the song, and that gives me a lot of hope that she could be a great contestant on this show. Plus she has a very sweet and fun personality that gives her even more flair than she already has. I like Maddie a lot and am excited that she is on the show. She Should Definitely Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Jennifer-Just fantastic. Full of goosebumps. Loves it. Everything was polished and then her personality is fun and goofy. One of her favorites. Has heart.  Keith-Loves everything on the outside and everything that it's covering up. Harry-Has the makings of a superstar. Exudes star quality. Lovely.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Best of The Night= Maddie Hudson. She is so good. Tonight wasn't the strongest night in the competition, but she made up for it big time. This show is about finding one superstar and if Harry and Keith are right she has the makings to be one. I think her potential is endless. Really exciting performer.

Final Thoughts

*Tonight brought more characters than great contestants. Maddie Hudson was far and away the best part of the show. She is only 16 but exudes a lot of maturity and has an incredible voice and presence. The rest of the show was not great. The cat lady/girl's personality distracted from her voice, I liked Rayvon, Reno and Andrew but not sure how far they will go, it might depend on their song choices. I really enjoyed Chandler but we only saw a small sampling from her. Not the best episode, but Maddie saved the show from being a total loss.

*This season is weird in a lot of ways. I think we have seen some amazing contestants, potential stars, and a slew of great talent, but then there are so many contestants that have been put through to Hollywood that are beneath those people. The gap beween the really good and the rest is getting larger and larger. I know that there are so many variations of what a contestant can be, and what their potential is, but when I see some outstanding talent go through and then they are followed to Hollywood with people not up to their level it makes it hard to see why they are there. I guess we'll see when we get to Hollywood rounds where those middle of the road contestants land.

That's it. Come on back here tomorrow after another brand new episode of American Idol. So until next time, see ya!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Auditions Part 6: New Orleans


Welcome back. Tonight the auditions are in New Orleans. As most people know, that is the hometown of Idol Judge Harry Connick Jr. So far this season for auditions we visited Nashville, Keith's current residence, and New York, Jennifer's former residence. So we got a little bit from everywhere. Tonight's episode is the first Thursday episode of the season that is only an hour. The talent last night was mixed. There were a couple talented people, there were some decent contestants that can go either way, and the majority of the rest of the contestants that received golden tickets have a lot of work to do. Hopefully tonight we will get some standout stars that are already ready to go. We shall see. So as we always do, let's get started:

New Orleans Auditions

Drew Plaisance (23)  We find out that his second cousin baby-sat Harry Connick Jr when he was a kid. That was the most interesting thing about Drew and even that wasn't so interesting. He starts screaming and carrying on with Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T". Insane. He just keeps spinning around and has a terrible voice. It was as bad as you can get. 100% Should Not Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= None, just blank stares from the judges.
Going To Hollywood= Nope

Angelica "Jelly" Joseph (26) She has a very Aretha Franklin-esque quality to her voice. So that's a really big positive right there. Then she goes and hits some really beautiful notes and does some fantastic runs. A very high quality talent that I can definitely see doing well in this competition. She Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Harry-Wished for someone like her. Has great style and elegance. Keith-Loved it. Had a spunk to it.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Tiffany Stringer (16) She is on the drill team, the dance team and she is super duper peppy. Jennifer asks her to do a cartwheel and she does that on the spot. She would be a great karaoke singer and even a great singer in the high school Glee club, but it's just very pedestrian. Nothing too special about it. Maybe she will be ready in 2 or 3 years, but not now. Should Not Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Harry-Felt really drill team, wasn't strong enough vocally. Keith-Everything was entertaining when coupled with her personality and decent enough voice.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. Jennifer and Keith Send Her.

Greyson Turner (15) He is an adorable kid. Even Harry likes the way he walks. He sings an original called "Chasing Shadows". The song is really good and his voice is very strong. His song and his voice are original, that's a great thing. Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Jennifer-Talented, talented person. So much natural intensity and passion. Harry-First instinct is to not blow his voice out but wants him to.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. All 3 Judges Send Her.

Sarah Quintana (28) Playing the piano as Sarah's accompaniment on her jazz performance is Harry Connick Jr. Pretty cool to have him play for you. Her voice is all jazz, I wonder what it will do on other types of genres and songs, but for this particular audition it was decent. Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Harry-Really nice. An infectious joyous spirit. Not sure if Idol is the way she should go. Jennifer-Sounded good.
Going To Hollywood= Nope. Though Keith said he would have said  "Yes". 

Quentin Alexander (20) He is wearing a crazy outfit that Jennifer describes as half tribal, half pilgrim.He sings so well, until he forgets the lyrics and messes up a little. But his voice has a very smooth quality to it. Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Harry=Everything pushes to the edge but doesn't go over it. Wants him to be quirky. Can push further. Jennifer-Does interesting stuff, but needs to do more interesting things with his voice.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him. 

Mikey Duran (19) Went to the same high school as Harry Connick Jr. He sings an original called "My Demise". His voice is so different. It's a little froggy, a little soprano, it's actually hard to describe. It's enjoyable so that's a really good thing.  It's a really great song to boot. Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Keith=Loves that song. Jennifer=Sound of voice is so unique.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him.

Nalani Quintello (19), Tori Martin (20) and Hope Windle (24) get montaged together. Nalani has the best voice of all of them, followed somewhat closely by Tori. Hope struggles. She has a voice, but not strong at all. Nalani and Tori Should Go To Hollywood. Hope Should Not Go To Hollywood.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. Nalani and Tori get all 3 Judges sending her. Hope gets Keith and Jennifer's vote.

Ricky Hendricks (17) He goes hunting, fishing and throws rocks in the water. He is a pure country boy and country singer. His voice is really young and there are parts that were a little thin, but there was a part of his voice and his personality that really connected with the audience. I enjoyed how he was going for the entertaining aspect of performing. I wish he had a bit of a stronger voice, but it's enough to go further. Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Keith-Excellent. Natural talent but it is flying all over the place right now. Jennifer=Moves his body, and smiled and lyric made him feel is amazing. Needs his voice to feel as good. Harry=Is a young man and sounds like it but is interested in seeing him grow by being with other more experienced singers.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him.

Dakota Suarez (18) He says he is from a small town and there is no one like him because he is a Drag Queen, his performer name is Bianca Jade. He definitely knows how to perform and is super comfortable on stage. His voice is lacking a little. But, it's not that bad that he shouldn't move on. He Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Harry-No better pleasure seeing a Drag Queen on this show, seeing him dressed up one day as himself and next as a Drag Queen, but his voice is nice but not an incredible voice. Jennifer=Likes him and his voice is really good.
Going To Hollywood=  Yep. Keith and Jennifer Send Him.

Adam Lasher (27) Is related to Carlos Santana because he is his nephew. Jennifer Lopez says he looks like Jimmy Fallon, and he really does. Despite having a busted hand he plays an original with his guitar. Adam is really cool. He has had a lot of experience playing with his uncle, and you can tell that right away, but Adam is great on his own. He Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments=Harry-Loves his artistry. Harry-Liked way he sings, made the guitar happen without thumb function.
Going To Hollywood=Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him.

Erica Washington (24) When she was 18 she had a daughter and has struggled, but finally got here. She sings Beyonce's "Halo", which is a pretty difficult song to sing, but Erica handles it pretty well. Her voice really cuts through. Doesn't do too much and just can flat out sing. Not at the top of my list tonight, but is still really so good.  Should Go To Hollywood.
Notable Comments= Harry-Really talented. Has a thick sound. It's a gift. Jennifer-Amazing voice, way she looks. Everything.
Going To Hollywood= Yep. All 3 Judges Send Him.

Best of The Night= Angelica "Jelly" Joseph. Her voice is really memorable and quite dynamic. She flawlessly hit some crazy notes and did some fantastic runs with such ease. I love performers that make things easy, and she really did tonight.

Final Thoughts

*Tonight was so much better than last night. There were a lot more ready-made stars that knew their voice and what to do with it. Jelly Joseph, Adam Lasher, Ricky Hendricks and Greyson Turner really stood out. I'd revoke only a couple tickets tonight, including Hope Windle and Tiffany Stringer. The rest of the folks have to push themselves a little more or take a few more risks, but overall tonight was pretty successful.

*Not a ton to complain about tonight. It was a really solid episode. With only one-hour there isn't time for the sob-stories or really awful auditions (although we got one). This format is really getting to the talent a lot quicker and makes the contestants more memorable. Despite the abbreviated episode we still saw 14 or 15 contestants tonight go through. Not bad at all.

That's it. Next week is the last week of auditions and then we are going to Hollywood. Come back here next Wednesday for a brand new recap. So until then, see ya!