Friday, January 22, 2016

American Idol 15: Audition Rounds #5 and #6

I'm running behind schedule on posting this week's Idol results ... so here are the results from rounds 5 and 6 in one post.

American Idol Audition Round #5:
Ryan tells us the Idol bus tour auditions stopped in 11 cities over the summer. I assume some, if not all, of today's contestants were found this way.

Miranda "Poh" Scott - 17 - Baltimore, MD - student
Sister of last season Top 24 contestant, She Scott.
"FairyTale" by Sarah Barrellis
Interesting gravelly voice. No formal training is evident. She isn't terrible, but she definitely isn't ready for Idol.

HAIL, HAIL! THE GANGS ALL HERE!  We once again are told that Taylor Hicks, Nick Fradiani, Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, Ruben Stoddard, and Clay Akin helped with the auditions this season.

Amelia Eisenhauer - 15 - Nashville, TN - student- plays fiddle and sings in family band
"Many Rivers To Cross"
She has a strong voice, but her pitch wavered during the song.
I think she is too young, and won't make it long in Hollywood.

Joy Dove - 21 - Natchitoches, LA - Youth Development Specialist
She kept saying, "Put me in the game, coach" to the judges.
She is too energetic and too loud in my opinion. She needs to harness the crazy and she might be ok. The judges love her.

Mackenzie Bourg - 23 - Lafayette, LA - musician - WGWG
He sings a medley of the judges songs - Stupid Boy (Keith), Come By Me (Harry), Love Don't Cost A Thing (Jennifer), and Making Memories (Keith).
He has a soft but pleasing voice. Singer-songwriter style. The judges loved him and so did I.
He will really have to work hard, but he might last a little while.

Jenna Renae - 23 - Williamson, NY - musician
Not sure of the song. She plays piano. She is soulful, but she sounded nervous to me. She might last a little while. She has the right look.

Ryan tells us former contestants have one last shot at redemption, Que up Adam and Emily from season 14.

Adam Lasher - 28 - Danville, CA - musician
Idol doesn't mention that Adam is the nephew of Carlos Santana. I loved Adam last season and was really sad to see him go so early.  Adam has cleaned up his appearance for this season. Nice move. He will have much more appeal to middle America now.
"Knocking On Heavens Door" done in Adam's own style. Different rendition but I still like Adam's voice. Maybe this is his year. No wait, the "bookend to Kelly" Clarkson that they all keep referring to is probably a girl.

Emily Brook - 16 - Wellington, FL - student
"Careless" by RaeLynn
For a girl from Florida, she has a really country sounding voice. Her accent seems stronger than I remember. She is good, but not the next American Idol.

My favorite from this episode: Adam


American Idol Audition Round #6

We start the final audition episode with a montage of contestants in their home environment and this quote:


Jessica Cabral - 21 Worcester, MA - Worship Music Director
Parents are from Brazil and she is the first one born in US.
"Brand New Kind Of Me"?
She has a nice voice with an interesting lower tone. She might go far.

Brian Dale Brown - 27 - Bakersfield, CA - cell phone salesman
Odd dude. His package doesn't help his weirdness. His girlfriend is 15 yrs older than him and he is very overweight. This is the 10th, yes I said 10th time he has auditioned for Idol and has never made it past the "cattle call" rounds. Lee Dewyze puts him through to the judges. He seems more like he should be on the stand up comedy show than Idol.
"Unchained Melody"
He has a few moments where a nice voice comes through but most of the song is totally overdone.
For some reason the judges put him through to Hollywood.   Umm, NO.

Melany Huber - 17 - Livonia, MI - student
"Talking To The Moon" Brumo Mars
Melany is a recent cancer survivor. Nice girl, nice voice. She sings this song with plenty of emotion. I'm just not sure if she is up to the stress of this competition.

A quick montage of singers accompanied by family members on guitar.
Rachel Karryn - 20 - Columbus, OH - musician - accompanied by grandfather whom she performs with
Caroline Bryne - 25 - Waldwick, NJ - pilates instructor - accompanied by her brother  whom she performs with
Bianca Espinal - 22 - Harlem, NY - busker - accompanied by her father
Of the three, I liked Bianca the best.

Chynna Sherrod - 16 - Bridgeport, CT - student
"One Last Time" by Ariana Grande
She has a nice voice and a nice personality. She is young, but might be able to hang with the older contestants.

Lillian Glanton - 15 - Athens, AL - student
This girl grew up on a poultry farm. She has a HUGE Alabama accent. She sounds a little like Dolly Parton when she speaks, but not when she sings.
Original song "Country Boyfriend"  was cute. She plays guitar.
Harry says she's not ready, but Keith says yes and Jennifer reluctantly says yes. I think I agree with Harry. She's not ready.

Kacye Haynes - 23 - Talladega, AL - musician   - WGWG
Backstory tells us of his drug use when he was younger and in a band.
"Brother" Need To Breathe
He has an interesting voice and good guitar skills, but he seems to be lacking something in the performance. I think he is putting too much pressure on himself to make it on Idol.
Keith says No. I'm not sure. I want him to do good, but Next American Idol - I'm just don't see it.

Zach Person - 18 - Houston, Texas - musician
"Next Door Neighbor Blues" by Gary Clark Jr
Well, I've seen Gary Clark Jr perform live here in ATX and this young man is definitely not GCJr, but he is ok. Good blues voice. If he makes it through Hollywood week the theme shows might throw him for a loop.

Collette Lush - 19 - Orange County, CA - nanny
Can we say overdone backstory about her having red hair? Way too much.
"Who's Loving You" by Jackson 5
The judges are totally stoked about her performance, but I didn't like it much. Maybe it's because of her annoying personality from the backstory. We will see what happens in Hollywood.

Avalon Young - 21 - San Diego, CA - server
This girl is presented as the opposite of Collette. She isn't worried about how she looks. She is a NO Frills girl, yet quiet pretty.
"XO" by Beyonce. She plays guitar.
She has a pretty voice. The song choice didn't let her show any power, but I still liked her. I think she has room to grow in Hollywood.

Usen Isong - 23 - Queens, NY - background actor
"Not The Only One" Sam Smith
Weird guy. Voice is ok, I guess, but he's just not my cup of tea. Make some music with him would help. We will see.

Jaci Butler - 19 - Rowlett, Texas - musician
She has been performing with a band for 6 yrs. She has green hair (for the band.)
"It'll Rain" by Bruno Mars
She has a good strong voice that got better as she sang. She has the work ethic and experience to survive Hollywood.

Stephany Negrete - 21 - San Diego, CA - student
Very pretty girl (which I assume is the reason she was put through), but annoying when she was talking to the judges.
"Who's Loving You" by Jackson 5
You could see her thinking about what to do instead of just singing the song. Her voice was good, but I think she tried to include too much. I don't think she will go far.

And The Final Audition Contestant to see the judges during the final (maybe) season of American Idol is:

Manny Torres - 20 - Flushing, MI - worship leader
The worship leader job surprised me, considering all of the fawning over JLo that went on in the intro package about him.
"This Love" by Maroon Five. He plays the guitar.
He has a really nice, powerful voice. He seems to have a joyous energy about him. The judges really like him, especially Keith.
He might do well if the producers never mention his crush on Jennifer again. I hope he makes it past Hollywood.

My favorites from this episode: Manny, Avalon, Bianca, and Jessica.


And so the audition episodes have come to an end.  We are told that 190 contestants are advancing to Hollywood week. We have seen 74 Golden Ticket winners named on the audition episodes.

Will the final winner of American Idol be one of these 74 contestants? Has Idol unknowingly already shown us the winner. Does it make a difference how soon America hears about a contestant?

I wasn't sure about all of the past seasons of AI, since I have only been watching AI since the middle of Season 6 and blogging about AI since Season 10, but after a little research I have concluded that all of the winners except Kris Allen and possibly Carrie Underwood were shown during the audition episodes.

Coincidence? I think not.

So if we go with the theory that we have already seen the Season 15 champion, who is it?
I think Idol is leaning towards a girl winning this season to "bookend" Kelly Clarkson's Season 1 win. Since American Idol began, there have only been 5 females winners: Kelly, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Jordan Sparks, and Candice Glover. Three of those wins were in the first four seasons of Idol. And most Idol followers feel that Candice's win was forced by "The Powers That Be" the producers) to break the WGWG factor. The WGWG factor (white guy with guitar) has been in play since David Cook won Season 7. Since then, all guys who have won play guitar.  The only female winner since Season 7 was Candice Glover in Season 12.

If  Idol wants another female champion,  I hope it is Olivia Rox (see audition #2) or Jordyn Simone (see audition #4).

If the guys even stand a fighting chance, I hope to see Adam Lasher (see audition #5) or Manny Torres (see audition #6) or John Wayne Shulz (see audition #4) vying for the championship.

This should be an interesting adventure. Get ready America.

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