Squeal! We survived the last week of auditions. Well, most of us as we’ve already had our first DQ contestant of the season (more on that below). I can only pray that Nicki will be toned down when we get to the Hollywood rounds. Wishful thinking? Full on delusions? Well, this is American Idol.
Ones I’ll Watch from San Antonio
- Vincent Powell – Okay, he killed that audition. I didn’t see that voice coming. He sings “Rock Me Baby” and puts just the right amount of soul and funk vibe into it. He made it to the end of Hollywood week last year, but I don’t remember him. Could be he didn’t get camera time.
- Savannah Votion – She sings “At Last.” Wow. I love her voice and Keith is right that you can hear her life through her voice. She makes me want to start rooting for her.
- Christabel Clack (shown above)– Okay, I must admit I go all “yikers” when I hear a contestant is singing “If I Ain’t Got You.” It isn’t one of my fave Alicia Keys songs because I feel it is repetitive in melody, which limits a singer’s ability to highlight their voice. Christabel is able to show some of the pretty parts of her voice and earns a ticket.
- Victoria Acosta sings “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” The Fergie song is a “different” choice and she has a beautiful voice with a lot of power behind it. Problem is that she sings it with the passion of a thumb tack buried in a garden. Randy asks her to sing some mariachi (her go to genre) so they can see she is able to connect to material. I’m on the fence with her—I like her voice, yet the lack of connection omen is a bad one.
- Papa Peachez rubs me wrong from his intro video. I’m listing him as one to watch only because I can see him bringing some drama to Hollywood. His voice is okay, nothing unique. He didn’t do himself any favors from singing his own creation. He gets a split vote and Randy, San Antonio’s tiebreaker judge, changes his vote to let Mr. PP through. Madness.
- Adam Sanders is one candidate for male diva voice this year. He aims full on into “I’d Rather Be Blind.” Now he can sing. No shade on his vocal ability. What I will take to task is the one note, amped up sound. It is all one level—in your face.
It reminds me a bit of Adam Lambert. Mad talented vocalist that delivered some of the most beautiful moments I’ve seen on the show when he emoted, yet the majority of the time we were accosted us with ear blasting turns. Singing a song full on blast the whole time is a bit much.
Ones I’ll Watch from Long Beach
- Matt Farmer says he’s a veteran who survived an explosion, brain injury and diagnosis of being sterile. His voice is raw (in a good way) on “A Change Is Gonna Come” and draws us in. As does his rugged cuteness and his “miracle” daughter, Cadence, who joins him to audition. She is too stinking cute. Like Cabbage Patch Kid cute.
- Jesaiah Baer has the misfortune of starting to sing then being derailed when a fire alarm goes off and everyone being forced to evacuate the ship the auditions are being held on. She comes back to continue and has a smoky, unique voice that is a perfect fit for her song choice, “Settle Down.” I’ll forgive her for having on a captain’s hat.
- Micah Johnson sings with a smooth, laid back soul in spite of now having a speech impediment caused by an error that occurred when his tonsils were removed. “Chicken Fried” is his song choice and it is a great one to showcase his voice.
- Rachel Hale sings “People Get Ready” and I’m a fan from her first five notes. She connects and sings the song from an honest place. I’m off to look for my pom-poms. Yes I know, from being burned by the Idol fates in seasons past, to not adopt favorites this soon. If I was a rule-breaking gal, I’d rally for Rachel.
- Briana Oakley sings “Up to the Mountain” and—whew—she sings like a blessed angel. Interesting back story of being bullied after appearing on a Maury Povich show in 2009 that highlighted talented kids. She got back to school and everyone, including apparent friends, turned on her. Cool fact they flashed on-screen was that she also opened once for Latoya London, one of my fave Idol finalist from Season Three.
Ones I’ll Watch from Oklahoma City
- Nate Tao gives us “For Once In My Life” and he has a beautiful tone and reaches the higher notes without strain.
- No one else to highlight from OC. They say 44 people made it through, yet the few others they show receiving tickets were just okay for me.
Fun fact: Who first sang Nate’s audition song on the show as one of their finalist performances? Cutie-pie and Season One runner-up Justin Guarini. He is the first Idol contestant I wore my fingers out voting for and I feel the pop star fame he could have spun from the show was stunted by the limiting rules at the time. Idol forced him into doing a dreadful movie with winner Kelly Clarkson. The contract also prevented him from accepting any outside offers, which killed a standing offer to play the Emcee in “Cabaret” on Broadway.
The release of his album was also was sidelined behind the winner’s so when it did come out, there was no remaining “hot” buzz and fans around him. Idol rectified that rule in Season Two and profited by putting runner-up Clay Aiken and winner Ruben Studdard’s singles out at the same time. Justin has done well performing in theater, releasing some jazz and acoustic music and getting married and starting a family.
Let’s take a moment and remember Justin. Ahh…
Back to the potential Idols of the moment and time for some awards. The first “liar liar, pants on fire” award for the season goes to Matt Farmer. Turns out he wasn’t injured and sent home from Iraq by an IED exploding. Nopers. He shipped home once found seizing from taking acne meds with alcohol. Word is the meds were unauthorized. Several of the men he served with stood up and called out this faker.
The award for most butchered audition goes to Zoanette Johnson from Oklahoma City’s auditions. What she does to the National Anthem is criminal. She mewls and mauls the notes, contorts her body and then drops it low. In a dress. She gets a golden ticket. The end is near.
What say you, fellow Idol fans? What group song choices do you think will turn up during the Hollywood rounds? Do you think the talent pool this year will favor the males or females? Anyone you are rooting for already?
Image Sources: AmericanIdol.com (top) Imdb.com (all others)