Friday, January 15, 2016

American Idol: Still More Denver and Little Rock Auditions

Tonight we got 2 hours of auditions from Little Rock and Denver. We also saw some auditions from those cities last week. I think I preferred the old format when an episode was devoted to one city. It gave you more of a feel for that part of the country. Tonight, they skipped around so much that I couldn't keep track of who was auditioning where. 

The Good

Amber Lynn - She sang the Allen Stone song "Unaware." J Lo said she had a lot of soul. She was accompanied by her friend James the 8th on guitar, and she convinced him to audition too.

James the 8th - He sang "Sun Comes Up" by John Legend. His contorted face was a bit hard to watch, but he demonstrated a soulful voice and made it through. He's the 8th generation in his family to have the same name, hence the catchy nickname "James the 8th."

Chris "CJ" Johnson - He's a professional musician with some cool tattoos that Keith complimented. He sang Hall and Oates' "You Make My Dreams Come True" and put a lot of swagger and soul into it. He's one of my favorites so far. 

Ethan Kuntz - This kid from Nashville, AR was so sweet and polite that he called the judges sir and ma'am. I have to overlook the fact that his family breeds dogs because I like everything else about him. He sang "Stormy Monday" by The Allman Brothers - an odd choice for a 15-year-old. He definitely has the blues and a big voice to match. Harry didn't think he was ready but Keith and J Lo put him through to Hollywood.  

Mary Williams - She loves horses and sparkly clothes. She's a world champion mule rider. She has a classic country voice, but Keith felt it was missing the feeling that Tammy Wynette put into the song. Harry and J felt all the feels and gave her a golden ticket. 

Terrian - She's from North Memphis and talked about growing up in a rough neighborhood, yet she sang "Happy" by Pharrell. She's stylish and pretty and reminded me of Lauryn Hill.

Thomas Stringfellow - His family takes in foster kids, and he dedicated his quest for gold to them. This cutie sang "Give me Love" by Ed Sheeran. He has a mellow poise about him, with boy band looks. 

Tywan "Tank" Jackson - They showed this heavy guy dancing in the crowd and I thought it was going to be a bad audition for sure. I was totally wrong. He sang "Superstar" by Luther Vandross and wowed the judges. And before he sang he did a little dance routine, so J Lo pointed out he was out of breath when he sang yet still revealed an amazing voice.  Roll on, Tank!

John Wayne Schulz - He auditioned in season 10 and was in a run off with Scotty McCreary but lost. Perhaps it was meant to be, as he got to spend his mom's final months with her since he wasn't on the show. She passed away from cancer. This tall country hunk sang "The Dance" by Garth Brooks but didn't make it sound cliched.  I expect he'll do well. 

Jordyn Simone - She's 15, but the judges think she looks 25. She sang "Who's Loving You" by The Jackson 5. She's a sweet girl and J Lo thinks she's special.

Kassy Levels and Rhea Raj - 2 pretty ladies who made it to Hollywood but we only saw snippets of their auditions. 

Jake Dillon - He is 23, got married at 18, has 2 kids, and works as a plumber's apprentice. He sang "Danny's Song" by Kenny Loggins, and I would have given him a golden ticket just for the excellent song choice. Why don't more people audition with the light rock sounds of the 70s? The song seemed autobiographical and he sang it with feeling. Inexplicably, Harry said he wasn't special enough. Thankfully, J Lo and Keith disagreed.  

Ashley Lilinoe - Her name was a shortened version of her super-long Hawaiian name. She sauntered in and sang that old Idol chestnut "Black Velvet." J Lo said no but Keith and Harry, no doubt blinded by her beauty, put her through to Hollywood. 

Andrew Nazarbekian - Born in NYC, he grew up in Moscow. He sang "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele. He has a nice voice but I found him kind of awkward. 

Elvie Shane - This Kentucky dude overcame a rough past of drug use thanks to the support of his wife Mandy. He took on her 5 year old son, and he wants to make it big for them. He sang "House of the Rising Sun" and revealed amazing range and presence. He's got a cool name too. Harry said he might steal his name. 


The Bad

Emily Wears - She's an auctioneer from Iowa, who dazzles the judges with a tongue twister she learned in auction school. But her voice isn't as impressive. 

Xavier Soller - He's a emcee for the Denver Nuggets, who sets up a basketball game for the judges. J Lo makes a basket despite her tight dress. Unfortunately, Xavier fouled out due to his singing voice. 

Leann "Blue" McIsaac - She's a singing nomad, with blue hair and a lot of piercings and unique look. After hearing her story of living in the jungle in Hawaii, J Lo said she could never live outside. Harry replied, "You could build a shelter out of all your assistants." Zing! Blue made up a song for the judges using their names and key words they gave her. Keith said she's creative but her voice isn't good enough. So it's on the road again for Blue...


Leah Harbert - She said she was taught to sing by listening to her Britney Spears cassette over and over. She performed "Chain of Fools" by Aretha in a very affected manner that was painful to watch.  

There did find a lot of good talent in Denver and Little Rock. 2 hours is a long haul, but Harry's sense of humor made it tolerable.  

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