Thursday, January 16, 2014

American Idol 13: Auditions #1

It's that time again. Idol is back, so it's time to spend hours upon hours talking about America's favorite reality singing competition. The show everyone loves to hate on. Well, maybe this year will be different. Idol sure hopes so and so do I. I actually love this show, or at least the premise of the show. Finding the unknowns of the world and shining a light on them for all the world to see their talent. It has worked well in the past for some and not so well for others. Of course, not everyone can become as big of a star as Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. Just ask Lee DeWyze. You remember him; he won season 9.

So last night was show numero uno and we saw auditions from Boston and Austin. (Yeah Austin! I live in Austin.)

The show started with an audition held on Oct 8, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. It was contestant #45201.
Idol: "Life can a heartbeat."

Marialle Sellars, 17, who will now forever be know to Idol fans by the acronym BGWG- black girl with guitar. She is good. Looks like TPTB are ready to name the new champion already.
Harry says "You are going to be a nightmare for the other competitors in this competition."
She is handed 3 parts of her "Golden Ticket" (yes, this season they are actually golden and look like large tickets instead of yellow printer paper). Looks like Harry is in charge this season. He prompts Marialle to say she plans to be "the next American Idol."

Idol : "Or will it be one of the other 75,000 hopefuls. You will decide. The journey starts now.

First city up-  Boston

Harry Connick Jr feels a great responsibility being a judge. He plans to be an honest judge.
Jennifer Lopez thinks its magic.
Keith Urban thinks its great to give someone the break they've been looking for.

Troy Durden- 29 - club singer - Boston, MA
First thing he does is "twerk" for the judges. Harry doesn't look amused. Then the guy sings and he is actually ok on "Over The Rainbow."  I wouldn't put him through but the judges say YES x 3.

Sam Woolf - 17 - student - Bradenton, FL
Lives with grandparents. Grandpa is his agent.
He sings "Lego House" and is good.
Keith says his pitch is incredible.  YES
Jennifer says he was scared at first and then opened up like a flower.  YES
Harry doesn't like the fact the kid has tattoos because he told his 17 yr old daughter she can't get one,  but he likes the kid's singing and Sam is on his way to Hollywood.
Harry thinks his daughters are going to go absolutely crazy over this kid. I think America will too.

We see a new feature: The Chamber. Looks like a closet the contestants need to go in before they see the judges.

We get introduced to the judges.
Jennifer Lopez is back.
Keith Urban is back.
Harry Connick Jr is the new judge. I didn't realize he was a 5 yr old piano prodigy. He might be too knowledgeable for this show. JK.He should be great. America needs an expert to tell them what is good and what isn't.

A quick montage of YES auditions:
Ethan Thompson - 23 - student - Whitefish, MT         (WGWG- Mraz sound)
Lindsey Pedicone - 18 - student - Kennett Square, PA       (Jazzy)
Jillian Jenson - 20 - Rochester, MA      (WGirlWG- I saw her on X Factor a couple of seasons ago)

Taylor Hildack - 19 - student - Westfield, MA  ( Jazz vocalist in  community college)
Sings Carrie Underwood. Weird choice for self-proclaimed Jazz singer. Ok, but not great.
Jennifer says YES, Keith and Harry say NO.

Harry is nicknamed "Harsh Harry" and we get a montage of NO's.

Stephanie Hanvey - 16 - lifeguard - Howell, NJ   (Jersey Shore girl - J Lo is her favorite artist.)
She's not that good.
Keith- needs some work.
Harry- needs time to develope.
Jennifer- emotionally lacking.
But they all say YES and she is going to Hollywood.

Morgan Deplitch - 15 - student - Somerset, MA   (Another big J Lo fan. Mom likes Harry.)
Sings Grace Potter's "Paris"  Ok voice but I don't like the song choice.
Jennifer says losing breath from nerves.
Harry says the song is not appropriate for her age.  (Thank you Harry. My thoughts exactly.)
Keith likes her voice.
She still gets a Golden Ticket.

James Earl - 22 - burger flipper - Norwich, CT   ( I can barely understand what this guy is saying.)
Sings an original song.   Judges love him, but not his voice.  NO

Jacqueline Verna - 18 - student - West Chester, PA
Her runs are out of control. Yuck
Harry says he "is not so taken by the smoking mirrors of pentatonics as these two are. It just didn't do it for me.
Jennifer says to keep practicing and come back next year.

Harry gives Jennifer and America a music lesson on pentatonics. Jennifer says Harry knows too much.

Austin Percario - 17 - student - Warren, NJ  (Austin says mom is a stage mom. He will be 18 before Hollywood and Mom won't be along.)
Sings "Titanium" and does a decent job. He gets YES x 3.

Kaitlyn Jackson - 15 - student - Norwich, NY
Sings original song about grandfather. He had a heart attack while sitting in the audience at one of her performances, but lived. Died before he could hear her song.
She's good and on the way to Hollywood. YES

Keith London - 21 - handyman - Hazelton, PA   (WGWG)
Jennifer likes it.  YES
Keith will remember him. YES
Harry says not good enough. NO   But it doesn't matter because Jennifer hands him a Golden Ticket

Sam Atherton - 23 - Unemployed - Tauton, MA  (Knows the pronunciation of towns name. He got an attitude. Thinks he's too good to practice.)
Total NO.

Introduction of new way to connect with show. Tweet if you think the next contestant goes to Hollywood or goes home.
Erin Christine-
"House of the Rising Sun"  is good. YES #gointohollywood.

Shanon Wilson - 24 - student - Houston, TX  (Big ol'boy football player. Ryan proclaims he played in high school)
Nice R&B sound. I'm not so thrilled over very high falsetto, but the judges love it.  YES

Stephanie Petronelli - 22 - cheerleader - West Bridgewater, MA (Wearing cheer uniform)
Voice is strained before she even starts. Singing the Grace Potter song "Paris" again. I'm getting tired of it.
Harry says he is worried about her voice. It doesn't look like she is singing properly. NO
Jennifer says she had more soul than she expected. YES
Keith really wanted to hear more to see if she lost the nerves.  hesitant YES

Time for Austin!!! The Live Music Capital of the World!  Yes, we are.
Keith is wearing a "Keep Austin Weird" T-shirt.

Durann Cree - 17 - student - Austin, TX
"Cupid's Got A Shot Gun" Carrie Underwood
Nice voice but seems shy and might be eaten alive in Hollywood.
Harry and Keith are worried about the effects of the competition on her. NO
Jennifer says Yes, but the guys rule on this one.

Quick montage of NO:
Michael Gonzales - 18 - builds trailers - Waco, TX      
Lyden McCown - 28 - Store Manager - Jacksonville, TX  
Nikki Pool - 19 - student - Sherwood, AR

Quick montage of YES but no names.

Isabell Gallegos - 17 - student - Cedar Hill, TX    YES

Ryan explains "The Chamber" as a place for contestants to prep before seeing the judges.  Some are adjusting in the mirrors, some are freaking.

Savion Wright - 21 - student - Jasper, TX    (BGWG -  He explains he has ADHD and playing the guitar saved his life. he waited eight years to audition because he never felt he was ready until now.)
He sings an original song and is really good. Forget the first girl TPTB showed us. This is the guy who should win.
Jennifer says he is really great.
Keith says he couldn't look away. There's a performer there.
Harry "You are going to need to work on how to be nice to people because the other competitors are going to be very intimidated by you."
He is so going to Hollywood.   YES YES YES and YES from me too.

Quick YES montage:
Terrica Curry - 20 - rec center staff - North Little Rock, AR
Justin Fira - 24 - Valet - Corpus Christi, TX
Shelby Comey - 15 - student - Mason, TX

Madelyn Patterson - 22 - Hairdresser - Jackson, GA
"Up To The Mountain"   Way too many runs. The whole song was a run. YUCK
Harry tries too give her advise. I don't think he liked the runs either, but Jennifer and Keith did and Jennifer cuts off Harry's critique and hands her a golden ticket.

Viviana Villalon - 19 - student - Mission, TX   (Latina girl with ukulele)
 Maroon 5 "Love Somebody".  Interesting voice.  YES

Savannah Young - 17 - lifeguard - Odessa, TX
Nice voice.   YES

Ben Boone - 22 -student - Pineville, LA
Jennifer gets first "goosies" of the season.   YES

Malcolm Allen - 21 - deli grocer - Wrightsville, AR   (Air guitar intro)
"Superstitious"   Pretty good
Jennifer- so natural.
Harry- "You know you can sing."
YES x 3.

Rolando Guerrero - 21- server/host - Bastrop, TX  (giggling weird dude spazzing over Jennifer)
Sings a Jennifer Lopez song. Not awful, but not good either.  He is just so happy he met Jennifer Lopez.

WHO DAT- A montage of contestants who have no idea who Harry Connick Jr is.  They might want to figure that out if he is judging them. DUH.

Munfarid Zaidi - 19 - student - Sugar Land, TX by way of Pakistan
The first contest fawning over Harry. Harry goes to the stage and hugs him. "If you blow us away on the first song, I will pick you up and hold you like a baby on the second."
Sings Adele's "Crazy For You" and he is pretty good. Harry picks him up and we get a few bars of "I just want you close."  Keith and Jennifer are besides themselves in laughter.

Since I am a happy and proud Austinite, I love the montage of Golden Ticket winners dancing in Butler Park with our lovely downtown skyscape in the background.Good job Idol.

Ryan tells us there were 21 Golden Tickets issued in Austin (we've seen 11 named) and 25  in Boston (we've seen 13 named), giving us 46 Golden Tickets so far. I think that should be 47. Ryan didn't count the first one from Detroit.

Tonight on Auditions #2 we have more from Austin and also San Francisco.

Jennifer Lopez closes with "It's going to be a good season."

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