Philadelphia didn't prove to have too many contestants who are gonna fly now to Hollywood...but there were a few gems. Clay Aiken was a guest judge and he radiated smugness. At least this episode was only an hour compared to last week's 2-hour slogs.
Gianna Isabella - Her mom is Brenda K Starr! J Lo knew her mom back in the day because they trained at the same dance studio, and they reunited after the audition. Gianna is 15, cute, and delivered a powerful rendition of "House of the Rising Sun"
Isaac Cole - A cute farm boy who seems perfect for a country boy band. He said he can sing an a capella song or a guitar song and the judges tell him to do whichever he'd like. He then said, "I'm gonna do my acapella song with my guitar." Keith thought he was not quite ready but said yes anyway. Isaac assured him that he is a fast learner. J Lo found herself still thinking about Isaac at the end of the day and wondering if he could be Top Ten.
Sara Sturm - This energetic 17-year-old began the audition by chatting about her job waitressing at a breakfast place called Great Eggspectations. She sang "Lips are Moving" by Megan Trainor. Keith liked her confidence. I found her likable but probably forgettable.
Jenn Blosil - She came across like a very spacey girl, like something was slightly off kilter about her. She looks like an awkward Michelle Pfeiffer. She played piano and sang "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons in a way that reminded me of Alanis. Harry said he is surprised she can sing, after her weird intro. J Lo felt she was watching an artist. I felt like I was watching someone who was interesting but too weird to go far in the populist competition.
Harrison Cohen - This cute 17 year old brought his "foxy grandpa" who couldn't get over how many cute girls were there to audition. Harrison sang "No Time" - an original song about his experiences with the ladies. J Lo felt it was a great pop song. I agree it was a catchy song, but I thought his voice was unremarkable.
John Arthur Greene - This hunky guy had one of the saddest stories in Idol history. He accidentally shot and killed his brother when they were kids. John performs in Matilda on Broadway, and his voice didn't really grab me but it was decent. Judges were split with Harry saying no but Keith and J Lo saying yes.
Derek Huffman - He sang "Angel" by Shaggy and brought his boom box for accompaniment. The judges laughed at him. After his rejection, he inexplicably removed his shirt and said he supposed they weren't ready for a real entertainer and just want another Adam Lambert.
Ellis Banks - Elis wore a sparkly doo rag that he referred to as a "Jesus head piece" and he gave them to all 3 judges. He also wore a bejeweled speedo and a robe. He performed "Born this Way" by Lady Gaga, and he certainly is one of her monsters.
I thought the most interesting thing about tonight's show was Keith's "Star" T-shirt that looked like half the logo of the old Stardust casino. Anyone know where I can get one? As for this group, I'll be rooting for Gianna, but I won't be surprised if Isaac and John Arthur make it to the semi-finals.