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"American Idol" - Auditions #1 - Jan. 16, 2013And we're back!Tonight we meet new judges Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj and say hello to old dawg Randy Jackson.We kick off with a performance from last year's winner Phillip Phillips and his hit song "Home" with a montage of his video, the U.S. gymnastics team, and this year's wannabes.We then go to a montage of successful previous winners and contestants from Carrie to Kelly to Fantasia to Jennifer Hudson.Then a montage introducing us to the new judges and reacquainting us with Randy, and their various accomplishments.We then get a teaser montage of people excited to have gotten their golden tickets to Hollywood. And others angrily yelling at the camera. And the judges disagreeing.Our first audition city is New York.Mariah references Nicki's hat and the first of the spats.It's interrupted by a Michael Buonopane singing his own version of Queen's "We Will Rock You" with lyrics about the judges. He talks a lot about his plan coming in and starts singing a bunch of different kinds of music and dancing. Then they ask him to actually sing but he doesn't get a chance and they turn him down.They are being primped during the break and Mariah and Nicki fight about the movie "Mean Girls." At one point Nicki pretends like she's going to choke Mariah. They both use fake British accents. Nicki keeps making "funny" angry faces.The next contestant is Tenna Torres who actually went to "Camp Mariah" when she was a little girl and got to sing for Carey when seh was 13. She tells Mariah and shows her pictures. Mariah is thrilled and wants copies. She sings "You've Got a Friend" by Carole King. She overdoes the melisma a bit, just like her idol, but she can clearly sing. And she is lovely. She gets four yes's and her golden ticket to Hollywood.We get a montage of three other good singers and their yes's.Next up is a young man named James Bae who is a Justin Bieber superfan. He attempts to sing a Bieber song except he cannot sing and is turned down. Nicki gives him a pep talk. Mariah tells him to be a deejay.Next up is Christina "Isabelle" who apparently has struggled with her weight and has lost 50 pounds. Randy calls back "Mean Girls." She sings "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess." She can sing, but also overdoes it, as they so often do in the auditions to show off all of their skills. She's very strong. She gets four yes's and is going to Hollywood.Next up is Evan Ruggiero who has primarily been a dancer and wanted to hit Broadway. He was diagnosed with cancer at 19. After multiple surgeries and lengthy chemo, he had to have his leg amputated, obviously devastating for anyone, but especially a dancer. He sings "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. He's got sparkle and precision but he's clearly nervous and is having pitch problems. Then he plays "Wanted: Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi, which sounds much stronger and better. A little nasal but more assured pitch-wise. Keith sings along. They don't feel his star power but think he's talented. They tell him not to give up and to find his niche.Ryan tells us about the "I Nominate" campaign about people who have been nominated by people in their lives since they have been reticent. Randy goes to see one of them Jessica Kartalis on Staten Island. He gives her a number to audition. She sings an original song with her guitar. She plays in the wrong key at first. She sings well enough. She asks to sing a second sing. Nicki tells her to come back next year and the others agree.Up next is Shira Gavrielov who is from Israel and had a hit there. Now she wants the American dream. She's okay singing "Valerie" by the Zutons. She's got power but not a lot of sense of dynamics. She starts at 10 and keeps going there. She gets four yes's and a golden ticket.The last contestant on the first day is Frankie Ford who is from Brooklyn and sings on the train to make money. He sings "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics. He starts a little high and then stops himself and says he's nervous. He starts again a little slower and more contained. He's got power and pitch and they love him. Four yes's and a golden ticket and a hug and a handshake from Keith and everyone.Day two in NYC begins and the table line-up has changed, Randy, Nicki, Keith, and Mariah from left to right, which is the opposite of the previous day.But then when it's showtime it's switched back?First up is BenjaminGaisey. He is dressed in MJ-esque red leather and a horrible wig and you just know he's going to be terrible. And, he is. He sings "I'll Make Love to You" and "Every Time I Close My Eyes" to Mariah and Nicki respectively. He is awful and they laugh at him and Nicki makes him sing more. They laugh at him some more.Keith actually hides under the table saying "It's not safe." They all say no as nicely as possible. Except Randy who says he's terrible.Next up is Rozanna Shindelman who is very supported by her parents. She sings "To Know Him is to Love Him." She is loud but not very good. That's a no.Nicki says it's harder than she thought to say no.And then we get a montage of no's, some of whom angrily yell at the camera. Keith calls Randy Obi-Wan Kenobi for being able to say no so easily.Next up is Sarah Restuccio who talks about being from the rural part of New Jersey where she works on a blueberry farm. She sings "Mama's Song" by Carrie Underwood. She is flat for a lot of the audition but for some reason they love her. She is sweet and confident. Mariah sees a complete package. Randy wants to hear another song. She does "Super Bass," nearly flawlessly. Nicki, of course, loves it. And the others love it too. Keith says he doesn't know who she is. Nicki says she's amazing that she does it all. Nicki kind of yells at Keith saying she has to choose one. It's four yes's and a golden ticket.Mariah gives the contestants a pep talk and tells them to be themselves.Up next is Albert Chang who is a receptionist. He should stick to answering phones. He sings "Phantom of the Opera" and he is terrible including a duck-like high end. They mock him and then Nicki goofs on Mariah's famous range.We get a montage of Nicki's British accent,which she says comes out when she's nervous. Then Mariah starts doing it as well. It is all insufferable.Next up is Angela Miller who has hearing loss in both ears. She sings "Mama Knows Best" by Jessie J. She can definitely sing, and it is very loud. They really like her. Four yes's and a golden ticket.Next up is Brett Holt who is a huge "Idol" fan. Ryan quizzes him. He's auditioned seven times. They show him struggling to stay awake. He sings "When I Fall in Love." We see, apparently, a fantasy where all the judges say yes but in reality, it's a no.Next up is Gurpreet Singh Sarin who coordinates his turban with his outfit. He has 40-50 and calls himself "The Turbanator." He sings "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5. He is a nice energy but only a serviceable voice. Nicki likes his look. Keith thinks his voice is too light. Mariah and Randy say yes. Keith says no. He begs Nicki, the deciding vote, and she is swayed by this. Three yes's and he's going to Hollywood.The final audition arrives. Ashlee Feliciano has a large family including many foster siblings, many of them "medically complex," and all of them are there to support her. She sings "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. She is very cute and does a good job. The judges love her and ask her family to come in and hear the verdict. Four yes's and a golden ticket. více
"American Idol" - Auditions #2 - Jan. 17, 2013It's time to head to Chicago for more auditions.First up is MacKenzie Wasner whose dad Pete Wasner is a pianist and singer-songwriter, and plays with Vince Gill. She is a country singer and sings Vince's "Whenever You Come Around." She's very sweet and the judges clearly love her. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Austin Earles who does "Fantasy" by Mariah, who laughs at him and cuts him off. That's a no.Next up is Kiara Lanier who recently sang for President Obama at a birthday fundraiser. She loves Mariah. She sings "The Prayer" by Celine Dion. She is beautiful and has a nice sense of dynamics. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Stephanie Schimel who sings "Dream a Little Dream of Me." She has a girlish, jazzy style that Blake Shelton would love. Keith loves her light. Nicki wasn't wowed even though she thinks her voice is pretty. Three yeses and a golden ticket. Nicki said no. Stephanie says she doesn't like her any less. Than everyone starts talking at once. Randy tells her to run away to Hollywood.Nicki and Mariah start bickering over Keith who looks exasperated and there is a contestant waiting to sing. Keith starts banging his head on the table and says he feels like a scratching post.Next up is Melissa Bush a quiet, massage therapist who shows up in a sparkly pink suit. She brings Randy a t-shirt says "Get Down Dawg." She sings "Downtown" by Petula Clark. She is mediocre but sweet. They all sort of just say okay. Keith asks for the check. They all say no. Mariah calls the other judges awful and vulgar.Haley Reinhart has shown up to give the contestants a pep talk.We also get a look at the "small town Idol bus tour." In Iowa City they found Gabe Brown and invited him to audition. He arrives with cookies that he baked himself. He sings "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones. He launches in at the highest end of his range. He's screaming it like a metal song. He certainly has passion. Keith asks if he has something with volume. Mariah asks him to do something mellower. He then he does "We All Die Young," at a lower intensity, and sounds much better but still not really great and then he starts screaming again. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Kevin Nabity who says he loves Vanilla Ice and the Ninja Turtles and martial arts and dancing. He is clearly one of those guys they've picked just to be terrible. He sings "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies. And then "Come Sail Away" by Styx. And he is. That's a no.We then get a montage of no's and people begging for another chance and Nicki hugging people and telling them they're special.Next up is Isabelle Parell. She sings "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and she hands Keith notes so he can sing the guy's part. She's very sweet and husky and jazzy and cute. And Keith is totally game and great. Mariah mouths along. That's three yeses and a golden ticket. Randy said no.Next up we see Keith skedaddling to make a show. Randy is in the middle of the women now.We get a montage of Nicki leering at male contestants.Next up is Griffin Peterson who doesn't have a girlfriend and Nicki is happy about that. He sings "Washed by the Water" by NeedtoBreathe. The song doesn't have much range but he sounds okay. Nicki thinks he's a star. Randy didn't get it. Nicki argues with him. It's two yeses--Nicki and Mariah-- and a no from Randy and a golden ticket.Next up is Curtis Finch, Jr. who is a tutor at charter school. He's very excited. His friend wants to meet Mariah. He sings "God is Able" by Smokie Norful. Curtis is a gospel singer and he sounds mostly great, clearly raised up in the church. He's got sweet sprit. They love him, three yeses and a golden ticket. He brings his friend in to meet Mariah.Nicki talks about how monumental it was the first time she met Mariah. Mariah thanks her, but not before she says Nicki didn't like her when they met.Next up is Mariah[ Pulice/b] who has had a rough couple of years after battling anorexia. We hear her story about anorexia and depression before she sings. But she's getting better and says music saved her life. Then she sings "Let it Be" by the Beatles. She is heartfelt and in tune. It's three yeses and a golden ticket. She cries and is embraced by her family who, delightfully, brought confetti to throw over her head. Nicki and Mariah are very teary.Day two in Chicago.First up is [b]Brandy Neelly who had a rough early life and was put up for adoption and was taken in by her aunt. She loves Keith. She sings "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams. She's got a nice country quiver and some good power and nice confidence. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Josh Holiday who gets four yeses and a golden ticket for his take on Brian McKnight's "Back at One."Then it's a double up of four yeses for Courtney Williams, Andrew Jones.Next up is the interesting case of Clifton Duffin whose parents, who are with him, have never heard him sing. He says he didn't feel confident to sing in front of them. Ryan sneaks his parents into the audition room to hear from the first time. He sings "Superstar" by Luther Vandross, one of his mom's favorite. Fortunately, he can indeed sing. It's sweet watching his parents watch him. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.We get a montage of contestants talking about how much they love Mariah.Next up is Ieshia Cotton who is a professional dancer which is good since she isn't much of a singer, which she proves by performing "Thank U" by Ashanti. Mariah tells her to stick with dancing. Randy says she's tone deaf. That's a no.Next up is returning contestant Johnny Keyser the hot guy who sang Sam Cooke last year. This year he sings "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding with the same kind of results. Four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Kez Ban who asks if she's destined for the bloopers reel in a way that will embarrass her family, she wants to know so she can leave. She's a street performer who makes balloon animals and plays with fire. She says it isn't her dream to win but she wants to go to Hollywood. She sings "Pinocchio" and she's got a husky, groovy alto and a snappy style. She performs an original with her guitar and it's got a nice melody and swing. She's pretty great actually. They let her sing the whole thing. She's not typical "Idol' but she's got her own style. That's four yeses and a golden ticket. She hops out jauntily. She is in total shock she says. She thought it might be possible but thought she might be too bizarre.Now it's a montage of the truly awful and the angry people swearing and batting at the camera edited together and called "The Miserables."Next up is musical theatre major Ashley Curry. She sings "Mama Knows Best" by Jessie J. She way overdoes it and sounds strident and rough. She tries again. Oof. Mariah actually walks away laughing. They all erupt into giggles. That's a no. Randy says somebody should have told her before. Nicki and Mariah start improv-ing and Mariah makes Nicki the "evil sister." Ashley is confused and starts singing again. It's a train wreck. Security escorts her out. She is confused by this reaction.The final contestant of the night Lazaro Arbos who is Cuban and moved to Florida when he was 10. He has a very severe stutter which started at age 6 and has made his life difficult. No therapy has seemed to help. He's very sweet as he tells a hard story. But oh, when he sings "Bridge Over Troubled Water," he's pretty great. The judges are not only moved by his story but can legitimately put him through on his voice. Four yeses and a golden ticket.We get a montage of some of the other 46 yeses from Chicago. více
"American Idol" - Auditions #4 - Jan. 24, 2012The "Idol" audition train pulls in to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.First up is Miss Baton Rouge herself Megan Miller who shows up in crutches after a car accident. She blew off doctor's advice to come audition. She will have surgery on her leg right after the audition. She sings "Something's Got a Hold on Me." She's a soulful belter with poise, power, and control and moxieThat's four yeses and a golden ticket.(We learn her surgery was a success and she'll be back on her feet by Hollywood.)Next up is Charlie Askew a teen who considers himself socially awkward. He sings "Breakthrough" by Queen. He starts off well but when he starts belting it's a bit strident. He's very committed though. He then sings an apt "Nature Boy" and it's much better, more controlled. That's four yeses and a golden ticket. He seems really sweet, it's a nice moment.Next up is Maddie Assel who was nominated by her grandmother. Randy showed up randomly while she's singing with a band on the street in New Orleans and extended an invitation to audition...the next day. She sings "Oh Darlin' by the Beatles. She's a little hiccupy in that way which is currently fashionable. Then she works her way into an overwrought, but powerful, belt. That's four yeses and a golden ticket. Her grandmother, decked out in Mardi Gras beads and umbrella and mask and starts dancing.We then get a montage set to the "True Blood" theme to swamps, crocodiles, and terrible singers and then people crying and being upset.Next up is Paul Jolly who considers singing his "calling." He sings "I Won't Let Go" by Rascal Flatts.He can carry a tune and is very earnest. They love him. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Christopher Barthel who calls himself crazy and says he has an alter ego. He is very energetic and terrible as he sings "If I Had You" by Adam Lambert. The judges have a good laught at his voice and moves. That's a no. He takes it well.Next up is Dr. Calvin Peters who is in his third year of residency. We see him at work at the hospital. He's supercute and had a blazing smile. He sings "Whenever, Wherever,Whatever" by Maxwell. He has a decent falsetto but seems a little nervous but sells it well and it gets stronger as it goes along. That's four yeses and a golden ticket for the good doctor.We then get a montage of yeses to Michelle Montezzeri, Breanna Steer, and Brandy Hotard.Next up the judges complain of the heat and a terrible singer.The we meet Dustin Watts a fireman who we see at work at the firehouse and on the truck. He sings "She's Every Woman" by Garth Brooks, it's fine, not spectacular, but acceptable. He seems very nice as well. That's four yeses and a golden ticket. We follow him to the fire station to tell his firemen buddies. They're very happy.The final auditioner is Burnell Taylor whose family lost everything in Katrina. He sings "I'm Here" from "The Color Purple." He's very soft-spoken when talking but comes to great, gospel-like life when he starts singing. It's terrific. The judges love it and three of four give him a standing ovation. Keith says he could turn an atheist. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.We then get a montage of some of the other 34 folks who got golden tickets.We close on Keith looking at Nicki but accidentally saying Mariah. Neither queen is amused and he figures he needs to say 1,000 Hail Marys. více
"American Idol" - Auditions #5 - Jan. 30, 2013Tonight's first stop is San Antonio, TX.First up is returning contestant Vincent Powell. He is in love with Mariah Carey. He sings "Rock Me Baby" by B.B. King and he sounds pretty good, soulful and raspy if a little tight on top. Last year he made it to the end of Hollywood Week. We flash back. They like him and it's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up isa duo Derek and David Bacerott they sing "You Should Let Me Love You" and try to harmonize. It is not good. Randy calls it terrible. They seem surprised and argue, a lot, but it gets nowhere. Nicki tries to calm them down. Randy says they have bad attitudes and they don't like it. They claim we'll hear from them again. They are wrong.Next up is Savannah Votion and she has a five-year old daughter and tells them she's the next "Idol." She sings "At Last" by Etta James.A brave choice but she does have some talent and conviction and is quite heartfelt. They like her so it's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Cristabel Clack a worship leader. She's 29 so it's her last shot. She sings "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys. She's also got a nice raspy, soulful approach and has some nice runs. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.Up next is Ann Difani one of Randy's "I nominate" contestans that he found in Arkansas and was nominated by her husband. She sings "Stronger" by Faith Hill. She has some good, strong passages. She's also very bright-eyed and confident. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Victoria Acosta who plays in an all-female mariachi band. She sings "Big Girls, Don't Cry" by Fergie. She's very cute and has pretty impressive breath control. It's not spectacular but it's pretty good. Randy asks her to sing her a little mariachi and it's much stronger and better. It's four yeses and a golden ticket.We see a montage of bad singers.Next up is Papa Peachez who works with homeless people. He claims he's a big black woman trapped in a boy's body. He sings an original sing about being a woman in disguise and being a gypsy and being gay that's okay. He has a big "Ole Man River" type of voice. He's very flamboyant but his voice is actually not bad. Nicki calls him the most special person they saw today. Nicki says yes but then Randy and Keith say no. Mariah says a small yes. Randy is the tiebreaker and he relents. So he's through to Hollywood.Next up is 16-year-old Sanni M'Mairura whose parents are from Africa. He also wants to be a choreographer. We see him performing with his church group and he's definitely got moves. He sings "Who's Lovin' You" by Smokey Robinson/Michael Jackson. He's got a sort of nasal tone but he's got great pitch, control, and style. And he's really cute. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.The final San Antonio contestant is a crazy Mariah Carey fan named Adam Saunders. He sings "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James. He is presented like he's going to be a trainwreck but he's actually got some skills. He overdoes the upper register but he can sing. He shocks all the judges and Keith, Mariah, and Randy give him a standing ovation. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.For hour two we move on to Long Beach, CA where they do the auditions on the Queen Mary.We see Ryan doing his radio show and he talks about "Idol" auditions snarling traffic. And Mariah and Nicki aren't there. Mariah's stuck in traffic and Nicki has an "American Music Awards" commitment so Keith and Randy are going it alone. First up is Shuba Vedula She sings "Something's Got a Hold on Me" by Christina Aguilera. She's got a big range and good control. Randy and Keith put her through.Mariah--and her breasts-- arrives complaining about L.A. traffic. (Amen, sister.)Next up is Brian Martinez He was discovered singing in a restroom by a producer who told him to audition. He sings "You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins. He is tone deaf.Next up is Matt Farmer who brings his cute little three year old daughter Cadence. He was once told he wouldn't be able to have kids because while he was serving in Iraq he was injured by an IED and the medication he was given for his brain injury had a side effect of sterility but six months later the mother of his child became pregnant. He brings his daughter into the audition. He sings "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. He is strong and has a feathery falsetto.That's three yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Stephanie Sanson who is in a band with her sister. The band has come to support her. She thinks she can bring something different to the show. She sings "Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele as if she's in a Cookie Monster thrash rock band, just screaming and running around the room. Randy just tells her to keep running towards the door and she does. Keith jokes that Nicki would've sent her to Hollywood.Next up is Jesaiah Baer she sings "Settle Down" by Kimbra. She's got one of those jazzy girlish voices. As she sings the ship's alarm goes off. She's actually not bad. It's a fire alarm and everybody has to evacuate. She finishes her audition, obviously a little rattled. It's four yeses and a golden ticket.We get a montage of bad singers.And then the final contestant of the day is Micah Johnston whose loved music all his life. Sadly, he recently got his tonsils removed and the doctor goofed and hit some nerves and left him with a speech impediment. He says it's 1 in a 100,000. He's working with a speech therapist. He sings "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band. When he sings the speech impediment goes away completely. it's remarkable really. He's good and has a nice energy. Keith gets so caught up that he harmonizes with him. Randy calls it the biggest fake out of all time. They love him. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.On the second day everyone is on time and Nicki and Mariah are seated next to each other.First up is Rachel Hale from Arkansas. She sings "People Get Ready" by Curtis Mayfield and she's another one with a nice soulful, Southern rasp. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.Next up is Briana Oakley who is 16. She was bullied severely in school because she was on "Maury" as a "talented kid." Her friends turned on her. She ater her lunch in the bathroom. She sings "Up to the Mountain" by Patty Griffin. "Maury" was right, she is talented.Big,strong, excellent voice. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.We close out Long Beach with Matheus Fernandes. He has some kind of condition that is undiagnosed. Apparently, he is not technically a "little person" or dwarf, he's just very short. He sings "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cooke. He says big things come in little packages and he does have a big voice. He's very charming and tearful. He gets four yeses and a golden ticket.We see a montage of some of the 49 others who got golden tickets. více
"American Idol" - Auditions #6 - Jan. 31, 2013Our final audition city is Oklahoma City, OK.We are reminded that Carrie Underwood is from Oklahoma.First up is Karl Skinner who was found during the small town audition bus tour. He's a newlywed. He sings "I Feel Good" by James Brown. He's a little goofy but he can sing. He then plays his guitar and sings an original song. The song is not much but he sings it alright, overdoing it a bit to his detriment. Randy and Nicki like him and Randy thinks he could be an "Idol" mascot. It's four yeses and a golden ticket.We get a montage of the terrible.Next up is Nate Tao who is an American Sign Language instructor. Both of his parents are deaf. He sings "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder. He has a weird breath thing but he sings well. (It's truly a shame his parents can't hear him.) He gets four yeses and a goldent ticket. His dad is very excited for him he teaches Ryan how to sign "Congratulations."Next up is Halie Hilburn who is a puppeteer/ventriloquist who has a puppy dummy named Oscar. She/they sing "Cowboy Sweetheart" by Leann Rimes. (Oscar provides the yodeling at the end.) They sound pretty good but it feels silly. She then sings on her own and it's lovely. They tell her to leave Oscar behind. Keith, Mariah, and Nicki say yes. Randy says he was going to say no but it doesn't matter. She gives Oscar to Ryan.There is a goodbye montage set to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" and Oscar ends up in the dumpster.Next up is an obvious train wreck, Zoannette Johnson who butchers the national anthem It's so scary Keith falls off his chair on "free." There are actually a couple of okay moments but she's just so loco she can't control herself.Nicki isn't kidding when she says her voice is out of control. Zoanette than starts babbling about getting an invitation to the White House.They, insanely, all say yes.We get a montage of people crying/trying not to cry, either with nerves or being rejected or one tearful who actually gets put through.Next up is Anastacia Freeman who is also tearful but gathers herself and then trips on her way in. She takes her shoes off before she sings. She sings "Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton. She is terrible. They laugh at her. She asks if they're laughing at her. They say no. She continues to sing. They laugh more. Randy asks if someone told her to audition. She says God did. They do a bizarre, mean "re-enactment." That's a no. As she leaves she says she will no longer listen to Mariah and she never listened to Nicki because she heard she worshipped Satan. Okay.The final contestant is 16-year-old Kayden Stevenson who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and his life expectancy is 35 years old. He sings "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder. He's adorable and has a great spirit which they really like. That's four yeses and a golden ticket.We get a montage of some of the 44 others who got a golden ticket.Then they show us a "bonus" audition. It's Steven Tyler in drag. It's a pretty good get up. He's come to wish them well on the new season. He gets a golden ticket. více
"American Idol" - Hollywood Week Episode #1 - Feb. 6, 2013Ryan informs us the march to the top 40 is on.We get a montage of people being awakened to go to Hollywood. Some of them areon flights out together. They're all very excited.We start off with all of the guys. We'll see the ladies next week. The judges give them a pep talk.The men come out in lines of 10. They sing individually a cappella. It's sudden death elimination. Ryan points out that many have family members in the balcony.The first line includes Micah Johnson the guy who got nerve damages from his tonsilectomy. He sings "Benny and the Jets" and Keith sings with him. We see quick snippets of others in his line. He gets through as do four others from his line.We see a montage of yeses to Nate Tao, Gabe Brown, and "the Turbanator" Gurpreet Singh Sarin. Then we see the energetic Karl Skinner who is hyped on caffeine and members of his line. Karl gets a no as do firefighter Dustin Watts and Dr. Calvin Peters.The final contestant before lunch is Cortez Shaw who sings "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston/Dolly Parton. The judges fight over him. Mariah loved him and Nicki thought he did poor job. But he got put through. They also put through Curtis Finch, Jr. and Frankie Ford.Next up is Lazaro Arbos the young man with the tough stutter. He sings by "Angels" by Robbie Williams. He does a nice job, they put him and several others from his line through. They also put through Trevor Blakney, Bryant Tadeo, and Charles Allen.The final line includes Brian Rittenberry who sings "Back at One" by Brian McKnight and whose wife is battling cancer. He gets a no, which wasn't unanimous.Next up is the "notorious" group round.Some started setting up groups from the minute they knew they were going through. But Ryan says there's a twist. Executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick are deciding the composition of the groups. The guys are not happy about it but all hug it out to make it happen. They must choose a song from a list of 20 arrange and choreograph it in one night.Lazaro's group has trouble picking a song because he doesn't know many of them, plus, honestly they're not excited about his speech impediment.There's also a group with an army sergeant who likes country and two more "flamboyant" contestants.Some are doing well and already rehearsing.The night goes on and we get the typical shots, folks rehearsing in the bathroom, by exit doors etc.The group with Papa Peachez is considering changing its song late at night and some aren't feeling it.It's 4 a.m. and folks are getting tired and cranky. The army sergeant is getting angry that they're focusing on dance moves and not singing. They eventually part ways to get sleep.Group day begins.Up first are The Mathheads who had a smooth rehearsal and seem happy. The group includes Maheus Fernandes, Nick Boddington, Mathenee Treco and Gabe Brown the very short man with big voice. They sing Queen's "Somebody to Love." They do a great job. The judges love them. They all go through.Next up is the group called Normal Hills which includes Johnny Keyser and Kareem Clark they sing "Reach Out, I'll Be There." Johnny struggles with the words during his audition and others struggle with pitch and harmony. It is rough. Keith can't believe that Johnny's never heard the song before. He also thinks they have great voices but it was a tough audition. Kareem is sent home.Next up is a group called which includes Charlie Askew, Curtis Finch, Jr., and . Charlie, who is socialy awkward and felt a little sick and one of his team mates looked out for him, the other (Curtis) didn't. They sing "Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars. Curtis totally showboats the audition but he's good. All of them are. It's ramshackle but charming. They get a standing ovation from the stages. They all go through.We see more groups gearing up.Next up is The Four Tones which includes Micah Johnson, Vincent Powell, Marvin Calderon, and David Willis. They're great on Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming" and they're all through.Next up is Young Love which includes Zach Birnbaum, Nate Tao, Cortez Shaw, and Elijah Liu. They sing "Some Kind of Wonderful" by the Temptations. Very strong and they're all through.Next up is a group that sings One Direction's "Beautiful" and they goof up the wordsThe next group boasts about how easy the lyrics are in their song "Don't You Wanna Stay" but Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean and they all goof them up. Paul Jolley and Will White are put through.Next up is he The B Sides which includes the Turbanator and they sing "Payphone" by Maroon 5 they all goof the words too. It is a mess. But they save themselves, almost, at the end when they come together and then the train wrecks again. Nicki likes the way it looks. It's pretty funny actually and they're all through. Randy tells them to be better next time. Even they can't believe it. Nicki goes to give them a group hug.Next up is Last Minute which includes Jason Jones, Dan Wood, Jessie Lawrence, and another.They were confident. But then they sing "Beautiful" by One Direction and they also mess up all the words and melody. They all get sent home.The next group is singing a cappella. Their vocal coach tells them it's a risk. They sing "Payphone." It's okay but not spectacular. The group includes Devan Jones and Devin Velez who are both put through along with someone named Adrian. The guy whose idea it was to do a cappella gets a no.Next up is Mo Flow which includes Burnell Taylor, Tony Foster, Jr., Mario Jose, and Darien Moses Burnell is very tired. They actually admit to being nervous about the lyrics but do alright. Burnell and Tony are through.Next up is Super 55 the group that includes Lazaro. They sing the Beach Boys "Wouldn't it Be Nice." Lazaro didn't know the song or even the Beach Boys. He's worried that he was treated like he was dumb as opposed to having a speech impediment. They all goof it a bit but also do parts well too. It's inconsistent. Lazaro and another guy named Christian are put through. He's incredibly grateful.Next up is Country Queen the group with the very flamboyant folks and the army sergeant. The group includes Lee Pritchard, JDA, Joel Wayman, and Trevor Blakney. They all goof the words but some recover better than others. Wayman is epecally good. (Keith is urging them along singing with them.) They put through JDA and Joel but cut Trevor and Lee. Trevor takes it hard and says he can't believe he's a failure.Next up is DKSK the group that includes David Leathers, Kayden Stevenson, Kevin Quinn, and Sanni M'Maiura. They are the youngest guys in the competition, all teenagers. They sing Billy Joel's "The Longest Time." They do a good job and even execute a key change but Kayden struggled with the lyrics and some of the melody. They put through David and Sanni. The judges feel bad.We see a montage of other people who got nos including the guy whose parents had never heard him sing before.The final group is Oz which includes Frankie Ford, Papa Peachez, Adam Sanders, and Charles Allen. Frankie was a problem and has a lot of excuses; asthma, drama. He starts breaking down before they go on. They sing "American Boy" by Estelle. Frankie completely forgets the words. Charles kills it. Papa goofs the words a bit but recovers cutely. Adam is solid. Frankie is going home. více
"American Idol" - Hollywood Week- Part 2 - Feb. 7, 2013It's solo day for the remaining 43 guys who made it through group round.If they want they can accompany themselves on their instruments.First up is Paul Jolley who is incredibly stressed out and talks way too much about being incredibly stressed out. He sings "Blown Away" by Carrie Underwood and he sounds just fine. The judges are making cuts after every 8 singers. We next see Lazaro Arbos sing Lady Gaga's "Edge of Glory." He is also nervous but sounds fine. And then Curtis Finch, Jr. who sings "Jar of Hearts" and just slays it. All three are put through from their 8.From the next group we see Devin Velez. He sings "What a Wonderful World." He way overdoes the runs and the Mariah-esque hand gestures. He has a few control issues but mostly he's good, clearly a dedicated singer. We also see Gurpreet Singh Sarin aka the Turbanator who sings "Georgia on My Mind" and strums his guitar with it. And Cortez Shaw who sings "Sunny" and is a little overwrought but strong. Then we see Matheus Fernandes who is very nervous. He sings "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. He has both pitch and timing issues. It shows that it's his first time singing with a live band. (Nicki tells him not to milk his height issue anymore. He has proven he's great and should rely on that.) Devin, Gupreet, and Cortez make it as well as a guy named Adam. Matheus does not.From the next group we see Nicholas Mathis who sings "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars. It's not perfect and he has some breath issues but, again, he can clearly sing and be strong if he could control it more.We also see Papa Peachez who sings "You and I" by Lady Gaga in an oddly low register. Nicki is mad that he didn't step up like she asked him to the day before. She berates him pretty seriously. And then we seeJimmy Smith who sings "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. It's good, consistent but not amazing. Of the ones they featured only Jimmy Smith is going forward (along with Johnny Keyser and Vincent Powell.) Nicholas is very upset.In the next group we see Nick Boddington who is a returnee who got cut in Vegas last year. He decides to play piano and sings "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. He does a lovely job, hitting some high notes and holding them well. Also Charlie Askew who sings "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye and does a long intro for it. He's obviously nervous but throws himself into it and sounds pretty good. Nicki says he's become an artist. He says he glorifies weirdness. Nicki tells him to stay himself. Both Nick and Charlie are through as well as JDA and Mathnee.We get a back to back montage of guys singing "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri including Burnell Taylor who does a fine job andMarvin Calderon who also sounds pretty good. Both are through.The next group includes Micah Johnson, aka tonsilectomy guy. He sings "I Told You So" by Randy Travis. It's lovely, he's got a nice, deep tone and nice control of dynamics, telling a whole story in just a minute. But they send him away. It's sad. Oddly he's told alone, not as part of a group. He's very gracious in departure.The ones that got put through are called back onstage and told that the following Thursday that 20 will stay and 8 will have to go and they won't know which ones until next week. více
Hollywood Week, Part 3
"American Idol" - "Hollywood Week, Pt. 3" - Feb. 13, 2013It's time for the 162 girls to compete in Hollywood.First up is the line of a cappella sudden death.The first line includes Angela Miller, Victoria Acosta, and Mariah Pulice. Victoria and Angela are put through but it's the end of the road for Mariah, who shared her story about anorexia.We see a montage of other people sent away.The next line we see includes country girls Rachel Hale and Jannelle Arthur. Rachel sings "Nothing But the Water" by Grace Potter and Janelle sings "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." They both shine and are put through.We see a montage of others put through to group night.The next line includes Candice Glover and Megan Miller and the judges argue about this line in particular, with Nicki saying none of the other lines being this good. Candice is put through but Megan isn't.The next line includes Isabelle who isput through.We get a chat with the quirky Kez Ban, who has a deep voice and likes to sing her own material. She feels like a misfit. She's been very supportive of other contestants. She was told she'd get a quick break but doesn't get one. She tells the judges she's getting a cold and sings the end of "Nights in White Satin" and it's rough. Also in this line is Briana Oakley. Everyone in the final line is put through. Making 76 for group night.Group NightThe producers again let the ladies know they have picked the groups themselves and they set about picking their song from a list of 20.The group with Briana, Kez Ban, Janelle, and Megan is struggling a little bit but Kez Ban is being a kind of pain in the ass. Other groups are also struggling with song choice.Rehearsals begin as does the bickering, including a group that has Brittany Kellogg who was cut in Hollywood Week last year.Then we see a montage of groups working with the vocal coach.Some groups are headed off to bed, confident in their harmony and choreography.The group with Kez Ban is struggling with her, she is being wacky and manic and the vocal coach freaks a bit. Kez Ban leaves to findfood and the others agree to rehearse before breakfast because they're the ones doing harmony.The contestants start facing just Keith, Mariah, and Nicki because Randy is tied up in the studio.First up is the Swaggettes which includes Candice Glover, Kamaria Ousley, Melinda Ademi, and Denise Jackson who sing "Hit 'Em Up Style" by Blu Cantrell. They do great harmonies and all shine. They are all put through.The next group is Raisin' Cane including Brittany Kellogg, Morgan Leigh Boberg, Lauren Mink, and Brandy Hotard. They sing "Sin Wagaon" by the Dixie Chicks and individually do well. They're choreography is corny but they sound good. All four are put through.The next group is Almost Famous and includes Savannah Votion, Lizz Weiss, Daysia Hall, and J'Leigh Chauvin . They had trouble finding harmonies the night before, and Savannah took the lead. They sing okay but several of them goof the lyrics. Oddly the harmonies aren't horrific. Only Daysia gets through and she forgot the most lyrics which isn't lost on the other girls. Daysia feels guilty.The next group the Dramatics include Christabel Clack, Janel Stinney, Kriss Mincey, and another girl. It started well the night before but then Janelle was still up til 4 am working and her group mates were worried she was compromising her vocal health. Then the next morning Janel acts weird. She apologizes and walks off again. During their performance of "If I Die Young," by the Band Perry and Janel messes up a lot of the words. All four are put through.We see a montage of hot mess groups, some who all get nixed and some that include single individuals who shine.Next up is Urban Hue which includes Seretha Guinn, Tenna Torres, Kiara Lanter, and one other un-ID-ed girl. They sing "American Boy" by Estelle. Nicki calls it painful. They put through all but Seretha.Randy returns.The next group is Pooh Snaps which includes Zoanette Johnson, Erin Christine, Lauren Bettes and another girl they had a tough night with Zonette pouting about the song choice. They sing "Knock on Wood." Zoanette brings the crazy. They all sound fine individually, but it's a little messy harmony-wise. They send Lauren home.The next group is Handsome Woman including Courtney Calle, Shira Gavrierlov, Liz Bills, and Alisha Dixon. They struggled with their song all night and had one member Liz who was being a pain. They sing "Somebody That I Used To Now." They are a hot mess as a group but have nice individual moments. Liz, of course, is the only one put through. Shira goes back to ask for an explanation and another chance.The next group is Four You including Stephanie Schimel, Alex Delaney, Kalli Therinae, Holly Miller. They decided at the last minute to switch songs this morning after a rough night of it not working out. They sing "Somebody That I Used to Know" instead. A couple don't know the words at all and the girl who gets the chorus totally wins. They put through Holly and Stephanie.The next group is all reading from their hands and are a crazy hot mess.The next group is the Dollychicks including Britnee Kellogg, Brandi Neelly, Kree Harrison, and Haley Davis. Brittany felt like the whole thing was on our shoulders. They stayed up all night and are angry at each other. They sing "Sin Wagon." Haley sings directly from her hand but sounds good. They all sound good individually. Nicki asked who didn't rehearse. Britnee rats out Haley in the nicest way possible. Nicki castigates Haley for going to bed. Nicki tells the girls that none of the decisions were unanimous. Everyone but Brandi is through to the next round.The final group is of course The Misfits featuring Kez Ban, Megan, Breanna Steer, Angela Miller, and Janelle Arthur. After a rough night with a missing Kez Ban, it's a rough morning, Kez Ban is missing again. They rehearse wihout her. They sing "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes. And it's shockingly great, with each one doing a fine job. They are all put through. Nicki calls them the best group of the day. více
Hollywood Week, Part 4
"American Idol" - "Hollywood Week, Part 4" - Feb. 14, 2013The final day has arrived. The 47 women have one last solo shot in front of the judges to make it to the top 20 girls.First up is Angela Miller who performs "You Set Me Free," an original song and plays the piano to accompany herself. She sounds a little in the Sarah McLachlan/Sara Bareilles vein with this piano ballad. There's a full band arrangement. It's really impressive. She's clearly very comfortable singing and playing. The judges love her and put her through.Next up is Candice Glover who sings Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire." And she is. They love her too.And then country girl and judge favorite Janelle Arthur. She does a lovely job on "I Told You So" by Carrie Underwood. Also through.Next up is the quirky Zoanette Johnson who takes her larger than life personality and applies it to playing the drums while singing and gives the band some pointers to wing a song she made up onstage. She sings a song about the judges while pounding out a beat. She sings pretty well and she plays well enough to and then yells at the band. The judges laugh and cheer. She is put through as well.Now we see Shubha Vedula sing "When You Believe" by Mariah and Whitney. Talk about a double risk. She's very diva-esque and does a good enough job to be put through.Then Juliana Chahayed does "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac and is also just fine. She is put through.Up next is Kez Ban who performs an original ballad. It's a little stiff and boring and draws very little response from the judges. She is sent home and is sad but takes it well.They say the girls are blowing them away but not really showing us many of the auditions.Up next is Ashlee Feliciano who isn't feeling well but is going to try her best. She sings a song called, maybe, "AThousand Years." And she hits some crazy high notes and holds it together well for someone not feeling well. Randy didn't like the serious song choice. She doesn't make it through.We get a montage of people introducing serious songs and talking about their issues after Randy told them to lighten it up.Melinda Ademi brightens things up and the judges are grateful and give her nice feedback. She is put through.Next up is Kree Harrison who sings "Stars" by Grace Potter. Her parents both died when she was young and she hopes they're proud of her. It's a song with a big chorus and she nails it. Keith gets goosebumps. Keith says he's been fighting for her all along. Mariah says she's genuine. She is put through.But there are 24 girls, 4 too many. So they come back for a final cut and some sing offs. Randy sends three home right away.So he then he makes a few girls sing again in a sing off.Stephanie Schimel sings for her life with Phillip Phillips' "Home." They like it. Rachel Hale displays some of the pitch problems she showed earlier on "Undone." But there are parts that are good too. Stephanie was better from a technical standpoint but they send her home and keep Rachel.Randy congratulates the top 20.Then the boys are called back for a similar cut, this time 8, and a sing off.First up is Adam Sanders who sings "Taking Chances" by Celine Dion, it is very screechy and pitchy and not his best performance.Next up is Josh Holiday who does "Georgia on My Mind," who is certainly much stronger than Adam was and very charismatic and tuneful. It's pretty flawless. He even splits his pants.The final cut is Peter Garrett, Marvin Calderon, Devin Jones, Kenny Harrison, Will White, Tony Foster, David Leathers, Jr., and Adam Sanders. That's got to be particularly tough for Leathers, who is cut two years in a row at the same spot.Nicki congratulates the remaining guys as the top 20.And now they're headed to Vegas. více
Las Vegas: Girls Perform
"American Idol" - Sudden Death Rounds - Feb. 20, 2013Ryan tells us we're about to witness an "Idol" first. Ten of the twenty female contestants will sing tonight for a live audience at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas and face instant elimination, leaving five for the top ten and America's vote. Another ten boys tomorrow and then again next Tuesday and Wednesday.The judges talk about how tough it's going to be. Jimmy Iovine will be the tiebreaker if there's a split decision on the panel.First up is Jenny Beth Willis who is 17, a junior in high school from Owensville, KY. She goes the cowgirl route complete with boots and full skirt to sing Trisha Yearwood's "Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love." It's okay in the main, some good bits, a little shaky, and a strong ending. Keith has mixed feelings about the song but loved the effortless confidence she performs with. Nicki liked her voice but she didn't feel she came alive until the very end. Randy thought it was a little jerky and not in sync rhythmically with the band. Mariah felt it was a nice performance but felt she could be more dynamic during the verses. It's actually, for "Idol," amazing critiques.Next up is Tenna Torres the girl from New York City who went to Camp Mariah as a young girl. She's 28 and considers herself an underdog. She sings "Incompatible" by Natasha Bedingfield. It's a ballad. She starts off a little low and a bit shaky but never loses confidence and climbs her way up towards the chorus with more power and has a nice sense of dynamics. Keith thought it was a beautiful song and thought she had control of it mostly and the diversity of her voice. Nicki also thinks she has good control and chose a great song and has good tone and tells her to lose the hair. (It looks like a wig, and Nicki says it's aging her.) Randy says this is how you do it and the true start of the night. Mariah says it was all her and gave every bit of her emotion.Next up is Adriana she is 17 and from Anchorage, Alaska. We see a little bit of her hometown. She sings "Ain't No Way" by Aretha Franklin, a sultry/sad torch song. She is young but also has good control. The song itself is in a little danger of limpness but she does a good job and ends on a strong note. Keith loved it and he thinks that NOW the night has started. Nicki asks her height and when she tells her five feet, she says she's tiny but powerful and poised and ready. Randy says she's born to do it and a real pro. Mariah says it was a big song and she's proud she made it work.Next up is Brandy Hotard. She's 26 and is a psych nurse from Louisiana. She promises sass and personality. She sings "Anymore" by Travis Tritt, it's another ballad and she struggles with pitch in a few places, it's not a very dynamic performance. Keith likes that she did that song and thinks her voice is good but felt that it was emotionally disconnected at points. Nicki says Keith is in her head and took the words out of her mouth. Nicki says it was a pagaent delivery of the song and she needed to be more realistic and believable. Randy agrees and also feels the performance didn't tell him who she is. Mariah says she wasn't bothered by the occasional disconnection but has seen her more emotionally connected and wonders if it was nerves. She also says she looks great.Next up is Shubha Vedula. She is a 17-year-old high school senior. She wants to be seen as unique. She plays the piano to accompany herself on "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga. She starts off low and slow. Then she grabs the microphone and stands up and the band kicks in and she starts getting more animated. She sounds alright, great in places, but there is a sense of "acting" like a rock star in the busy-ness of her stage moves, lots of pointing and pumping to the beat and overdoing the melisma at the end. Keith notes that the crowd loved it but thought she crammed a lot into the performance and it was confusing because there were so many things going on but despite all the stuff her voice came powering through. Nicki agrees that there was too much going on. But she feels like it's a mash-up of Xtina and Psy and it's almost comical. Randy agrees on the one hand and says at 17 she has unbelievable talent but there were way too many runs and is impressed with her potential. Mariah agrees with Randy and says she would've preferred if she stayed at the piano as well because it was less forced.Next up is Kamaria Owsley. She's from Oakland, CA and has sung backgrounds for Diddy, Ledisi and others. She sings "Mr. Know-it-All" by Kelly Clarkson. She looks great but she only has a passing acquaintance with the song's pitch. It is very rough and weak at the beginning. Keith things it wasn't a great song because she can really sing but that song didn't have an emotional connection for her and he doesn't like unnecessary theatrical performance. Nicki thinks she looks nicely styled and she didn't hear the throaty thing she was doing before and it didn't work. Randy thought it was bad from the beginning and thought the pitch was all over the place and her worst performance so far. Mariah thought she might've been struggling to hear herself. She thinks she's adorable and vivacious and thinks she's marketable. She also thinks it was a bad song choice and thinks she can do better.Next up is Kree Harrison. She's a demo singer from Nashville. She sings "Up To the Mountain" by Patty Griffin. It's a gospel-tinged ballad. She's very impassioned and clearly loves the song. She hits some good money notes. Keith and Nicki stand for her. Keith thinks she's a natural born singer. He loves to watch and listen. Nicki says the other girls should be afraid of her and she says there is a mystery to her and she makes love to the song. And she thinks she's sexy. Randy agrees she's natural born and calls it effortless. Mariah says she thinks its' beautiful to watch her get lost in the song.Next up is Angela Miller an 18-year-old from Beverly, Massachusetts. She started watching Idol in Season 2 and knew she'd be on it. She sings "Nobody's Perfect" by Jessie J, another dramatic piano ballad. She owns it from beginning to end. She's a little awkward moving about but sounds and looks great. Keith thinks she's a huge talent. Nicki says nothing will compare to her last performance of her original song and tells her not to force anything and to rest in that. Randy says she's one of his favorites and America is watching the building of a superstar. He loves that she gets inside the song. Mariah feels like her potential is limitless. Mariah also says she loved the original because she had her "clothed in goosebumps and bathed in tears."Next up is Isabelle. She's a 22-year-old former fat kid from Georgia. She wants to empower young women. She sings 'God Bless the Child" by lotsa people but well known by Billie Holiday. She does a jazzy rendition. Lots of it is good, there are a few big clunkers but she commits and ends strong. Keith says her performance is the key to the side of every car of the guys who didn't ask her out. Nicki is proud of her and says she's shining. Randy loves that she's an inspiration and is talented and thought it was a bit old-fashioned and pagaent-y. Mariah agrees on the arrangement but says her vocal and heart shine through.Next up is Amber Holcomb who is an 18-year-old Texan who got cut in Las Vegas last year. She says she's more confident this year. She sings the standard "My Funny Valentine." This is a deceptively difficult song to sing and she's handling it like a pro. She is dynamite. One of the night's very best performances by far. Randy, Keith, and Mariah stand for her. Keith says she makes it hard on everyone else by making it look so effortless. Nicki calls the vocal A+++ and hopes her shine comes out more on live TV. Randy says she has to believe and the vocal was amazing and that she didn't oversing. Mariah says she thinks she knows how good she was, so good she wanted to smack her.Time for the cuts.Five cut: Jenny Beth, Brandy, Isabelle, Kamaria, ShubhaFive who made it to the top ten: Tenna, Kree, Angela, Amber, Adriana více
"American Idol" - Sudden Death Rounds - Men #1- Feb. 21,2013It is now time for ten guys to step up to be cut down to five. First up is Paul Jolley who works in retail in TN. He sings "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by judge Keith Urban. It's a gentle piano ballad and he has a nice sense of dynamics and hits some big money notes in the chorus. Brave choice but he makes it work. Keith thanks him for singing his song. He thinks he has a great voice and if he goes through and he doesn't underestimate his voice and shouldn't oversing. Nicki was wowed by previous performances and thought his eyes were very theatrical in contrast to the song. Randy thinks he has a lot of potential as a country star and crossing boundaries. Mariah felt the front half was intimate and thought he showed flexibility in the genre.Next up is Johnny Keyser who got cut last year during this round. He's 23 from Fort Lauderdale. He sings "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz. It starts slow and low and controlled well enough. It gets more spirited as it goes along. It's not perfect but it's heartfelt. He's definitely a certain kind of All American handsome that some women enjoy. Keith thinks it was good and perhaps his best. He saw nerves and also saw moments where he got back in it. Nicki thought he came out really relaxed and thought he was sexy. She doesn't think he has the best voice but thinks he's masculine and sexy. Randy agrees he doesn't have the greatest voice but he likes it. He thought it was just okay. Mariah likes his commitment and focus and likes that he's bringing the masculinity. Mariah says he's worthy to be around basically because he's hot.Next up is JDA who presents very flamboyantly and theatrical and occasionally crossdresses. He's 27 and sells "luxurious French cosmetics." He sings "Rumor Has It" by Adele and he works a kind of Boy George meets Dead or Alive meets Adele. He collapses onstage during the bridge. Aside from the stubble he wouldn't be out of place on"Rupaul's Drag Race." He sings pretty well though. Nasal but tuneful. He gets a standing O from the crowd. Keith notes that they are in Vegas so JDA is right at home. He commends him for putting on a show. He also applauds his originality. He wish he'd felt a little less of the counting steps. Nicki, of course, loved it. He says he's gotta represent for the gays. She says he's a superstar performer but for this show he needs to be a better singer since he was kinda whiny. Randy says he was so keyed in on the performance that his vocal suffered. He felt like he saw no originality. Mariah thought he was good vocally and seemed confident.Next up is Kevin Harris who is a 28-year-old from Alabama who works as a supervisor in a call center. Randy nicknamed him "Buttah." He sings "Everything I Do (I Do it for You)" by Bryan Adams. He's a got a soulful rasp that feels a little pinched tonight on the high end. He has a couple of struggles but finishes up nicely. Keith liked it. Nicki thought it was perfection. Randy disagrees 100 percent, he was bored and thought it was karaoke and the end wasn't that impressive. Mariah wishes he had chosen a different song but is a huge admirer of his.Next up is Chris Watson who is a 25-year-old from Delaware. He sings "Sittin on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. He rocks it up a little. His stage moves are a little goofy trying to make it sexy when that's not really what the song is. The vocal is just okay and ends with a clunker. Keith says it's a singing competition but it's also a connection competition. He thinks it wasn't a great vocal but he likes the way he carries himself. Nicki thinks he's the prettiest man she's ever seen. She wants to marry his vibrato. She didn't think it was the best song choice but she loves him. Randy likes him and his look but didn't think it was a great vocal and it was a limp performance. Again he was bored. Mariah also thought it was a bad song choice and didn't live up to his other performances vocally but thought his charm and good looks overrode that.Next up is Devin Veles an 18-year-old high school student and barista in Chicago who grew up without a dad. He sings "Listen" by Beyonce. He shows off a very rich deep end of his range and climbs up to a higher register with ease as the song builds. He sings part of the song in Spanish. It's a very warm performance. Keith loves that he sang and made a connection and didn't put on a big show. Nicki agrees that it was good and he made a smart choice to sing in Spanish. Randy thought it was amazing. Mariah also loved it.Next up is Elijah Liu is a half-Mexican/half-Chinese, 18-year-old college student. He sings "Talking to the Moon" a Bruno Mars piano ballad. He has a very boy band vibe from the vocal to the hair to the styling. It's a very mild performance, neither horrible nor amazing. Keith thought it was a perfect song choice but thought it was a shaky performance vocally. But he thinks he looks like a current, relevan pop star. Nicki thinks he's a super duper star. She wants to have his babies. She's obssessed with him. She thinks he's ready now. Randy likes him but didn't think it was a good vocal but know he's capable of it and they're pulling for him. Mariah thought there were two distinct moments one that reminded her of New Edition and his softer voice.Next up is Charlie Askew the socially awkward teen who found a home in music and says he glorifies weirdness. He sings "Rocket Man" by Elton John. He seems nervous at first, physically shaky but you can just feel the room rooting for him. He kneels and uses a baseless microphone stand. He tries a few moves and really stretches his voice and tries to will his confidence. It feels like a great high school talent show performance. Nickie and much of the crowd gives him a standing ovation. Keith loves his originality, fearlessness, and unpredictability and he had somehow he made it work. Nicki tells him to soak it up and thinks he made the most interesting song choice of the night and says his awkwardness and weirdness works for him. She wants to cradle him in her arms. She loves him so much and tells her fan to love them. Randy is confused and loves him and his wild originality, he thought it was a bit stage school for him. Mariah lives for the song choice but didn't think this was his best and liked previous performances but he could be honed well.Next up is Jimmy Smith who works at a dialysis clinic in Nashville. He also sings a Keith Urban song "Raining on Sunday," a sultry ballad. He's very shaky,tight, pitchy. Keith says it's hard to critique someone singing their song, which is actually a Radney Foster song. Keith thought he did a good job. Nicki thought it was an okay vocal but that it was boring. Randy was also bored and thought it was a mixed bag. Mariah has been fighting for him and thinks he had a great quality in the early auditions and maybe he was feeling the pressure tonight and it wasn't his best vocal.Finally it'sCurtis Finch, Jr. who is a 24-year-old tutor from St. Louis, Mo who sang gospel his whole life. He sings "Superstar" by Luther Vandross. His control, range, and tone are all great and he's got sassy stage presence. Many great moments vocally. Hot stuff. Keith loved it and tells him he feels thoroughly cleansed of his sins. He thought some of it was overperformed but thinks his voice is beautiful. Nicki says he raises the bar every time he sings. Randy says his voice is unparallelled. His one tip is to keep it young and not be too old-fashioned. Mariah was moved to tears but agrees he nees to relax it a little.The five going home:Jimmy, Kevin, JDA, Chris, JohnnyThe five going through: Curtis, Elijah, Charlie, Paul (who gets the tiebreaker vote from Jimmy), Devin více
"American Idol" - Sudden Death Round/Girls Pt. II- Feb. 27, 2013We will meet the final 10 female contestants who will be cut down to five.First up is Melinda Ademi who is a 19-year-old music major at Hunter College. She had previously auditioned in season 10. She feels more ready now. She sings "Nobody's Perfect" by Jessie J and takes a lot of loud, squeaky breaths. This song is doing her no favors in eiher her lower register or her more comfortable belt. She definitely has breath control problems and later in the song, pitch issues as well. It was a very clenched performance without any real peaks. Keith loved it and felt like her nerves were getting to her and she finally took control of it. Nicki compares it unfavorably to Angela's performance of the song last week. She liked it but didn't love it and tells her to try a different artist. Randy thought it was okay but that it didn't have any big moments. Mariah thinks she was too nervous and her voice was wavering and she thought she got there by the end.Next up is Candice Glover is a 23-year-old excursions coordinator from South Carolina. She got cut last year in Vegas. She sings "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin. She starts off understated and easy breezy. She does some nice work in the chorus and bridge and tears it up at the end. Keith gives her a standing ovation. He loved it and thought it was a good choice. He sings to her that she's a natural singer. Nicki thinks she was born to do this. Randy thinks she's grown since last year and tells her to be even freer. Mariah agrees she's a great singer.Next up is Juliana Chayahed who is a 15-year-old sophomore in high school in California and writes original songs with her sister. She sings a way slowed down version of "Skyscraper" by Demi Lovato, while accompanying herself on guitar. It is glacial, her voice feels clenched and her breath is getting away from her. She is endearing but she definitely feels too young. Keith can tell that she's nervous and could tell that she was struggling with pitch but he loves the purity of her tone. Nicki thinks she has a signature sound. She thinks her timidity works for what she does but might not work in this competition. Randy likes the honesty of her delivery. Mariah thinks she has an angelic quality.Next up is Jett Hermano a 25-year-old from Seattle. Accompanying herself on piano she sings "The Only Girl in the World" by Rihanna. It starts slow and slight and improves greatly when the band kicks in and she starts belting. She brings it back down/up to her airy register for the end. Keith loved the unique arrangement. He thinks she brought out the sexiness in the song. Nicki also liked the arrangement and the breathy falsetto stuff but she thought it was going to climax to something but it never did. Randy agrees thinking it was going to rock out more. Mariah thinks she's a unique addition to the show and that she's unpredictable.Next up is Christabel Clack who almost talked herself out of coming to Hollywood but then God gave her the lyrics to the song she was working on. She's 29, from San Antonio, and a worship leader. She toured as a backing vocalist for a gospel artist. She sings "No One" by Alicia Keys. She's very cute, she's got some chops but seems to rely on the break in her voice just a little too much and the song is just a dead bore. She livens it up with some big notes and runs and gets Randy on his feet. Keith thinks it was fantastic and he loves her voice and that thing, that croaky thing. He thinks she has crazy potential. Nicki likes the song for her and her rasp but thinks it got more out of control today. Randy loved it and loved the rasp and she may have oversung a bit but she let herself go. Mariah loved when she sang "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and wants her to show more of that.Next up is Aubrey Cleland a 19-year-old student from Oregon. She is beautiful and poised but she is having some pitch issues that seem like they might be nerves related as she sings Beyonce's "Beautiful Nightmare." She ends strong. Keith loves that she made it her own and loves her balance of poise and fire. Nicki says she is obsessed with her and thinks she looks and sounds current. Randy is a huge fan and agrees that she's a very commercial artist. Mariah thinks she's limitless.Next up is Rachel Hale, a 22-year-old from small town Arkansas currently attending Belmont University in Nashville as a songwriting major. She sings "Nothin' But the Water" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals which is a bluesy-country jam. She does pretty well at the start but it picks up in quality during the chorus. She has a little pitch struggle at the end but she powers through. Keith gives a shout out to the band and liked seeing that side of her even though the song got away from her a little bit but he loves her spirit. Nicki loves her burst of confidence and that she came alive. Randy liked that she picked up an uptempo song and seeing this energetic side of her. Mariah thinks she may have heard better performances that reflected her before but she liked it.Next up is Breanna Steer an 18-year-old college student whose home was lost in a recent flood during Hurricane Isaac. She thinks "Bust Your Windows" by Jazmine Sullivan with a kind fo latent Latin vibe. She's got all kinds of sassy attitude. She seems in danger of going flat a lot, like she's just holding on to the pitch but she carries it with the perfomance. Keith didn't know the song and he loves it despite it's violent nature and he liked her whole vibe. Nicki says "work, work, work" and thinks Aubrey and she should do a group and they could take over. She says she's giving sexy on a stick. Randy agrees and thinks she is totally commercial and ready like Aubrey and it was a perfect song choice. Mariah loves the song and her presentation of it and agrees she's very marketable.Next up is Janelle Arthur a 23-year-old fitness instructor from Tennessee. She considers herself a country girl like Dolly Parton. She sings "Just a Kiss" by Lady Antebellum. She's very smily and pageanty but she sings well enough. She's defnitely been better than this but it's the song's fault. Keith agrees and thinks it's a limiting melody in the chorus and that she did a key change to show off so it wasn't a great choice for her. Nicki thought it fell a little bit flat and she feels like her confidence was lacking and disconnecting she tells her not to try too hard. Randy agrees with Keith and Nicki and says she's his favorite country singer and says it was a bad song choice. Mariah agrees with all of that but is rooting for her.The final contestant is crazy Zoanette Johnson, she of the tight leopard print, wild tresses, and outsize personality. She is 20 years old and lives in Tulsa and works with the elderly. She starts off shocking strong singing in some African tongue singing "The Circle of Life" from "The Lion King." Although her personality and presence remain larger-than-life this may be her most serious performance in terms of ptich control and conviction and concentration. It's all at 11 though with very little sense of dynamics but that's not what this perofrmance was about. Keith, Nicki, and Randy all stand. She breaks into tears. Keith loves how unpredictable she is and calls her the queen of the jungle. Nicki says she just served it and she makes her so emotional and is so proud of her. She doesn't care what people say about her she says she's unforgettable and she's a superstar and thinks the song was a smart choice. Randy says Zoanette just showed America why she's here and how great her spirit is. Mariah says it's almost like her spirit is almost too big to be contained and that's what she was trying to give.The five going through: Zoanette, Aubrey, Breanna, Candice, and JanelleThe five going home: Melinda, Juliana, Christabel, Jett, and Rachel více
"American Idol" - Final Sudden Death Round- Men - Feb. 28, 2013The final 10 men face the judges. Five will stay, five will go.First up is Mathenee Treco a 26-year-old choreographer from the Bahamas. He made it all the way to Vegas last year. He sings "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis Presley. It's fun and uptempo and unsurprisingly he moves well. He has some breath control issues which lead to a couple of pitch problems but in the main he does well. Keith thinks he's got huge range and power and he likes that he wants to entertain but says he needs to pay attention to make a connection. Nicki thought he was doing stuff to please he judges and it was cheesy and karaoke. Randy thinks he's very good but was surprised at the song choice and thought it wasn't good. Mariah has always dug him as a real person and she also felt a little disconnect, she also didn't know the song.Next up is Gurpreet Singh Sarin aka the Turbanator. He's 22 years old and from Maryland. He's a Sikh. His family is also musical. He sings "Nothing Ever Hurt Like You" by James Morrison, it's a an old-school style soul jam. He's got a fun presence and seems very sweet but his voice just isn't spectacular. Keith likes his voice but he liked him better with the acoustic guitar and didn't love the song choice. Nicki says he seemed very intimate coming into the competition and he drew them in at first but he took a risk tonight and it didn't work. Randy says a bunch of nothing and he says it was terrible. Mariah was disappointed that they didn't hear his softer voice and his more organic style.Next up is Vincent Powell who is a 29-year-old worship leader from Austin, TX. He's sung back up for Whitney Houston, LeToya Luckett, and Scarface. He does a slow jam, "Cause I Love You" by Lenny Williams. He is astonishingly good. A soul singer born with insane range, power, and control. Keith, Randy, and Mariah stand. Keith loved it. Nicki says he was sexy, old-fashioned and she could picture older women throwing panties at him. Randy says the show started right here and he's the real deal. Mariah says: Finally.Next up is Nick Boddington who is a 27-year-old bartender from New York. He's been performing his whole life. He sings "Say Something," by James Morrison, a midtempo pop soul number. He sings well but the whole thing is very mild and adult contemporary. It feels very light after Vincent. Keith loves his timbre and thinks he sang beautifully but he didn't feel a connection. Nicki loves the warmth in his voice and it doesn't try too hard. She didn't dislike it but says it wasn't his best. Randy didn't think it was the right song and it wasn't his best but he knows he's up to it and he needs a moment. Mariah thinks he's very consistent but agrees it didn't feel superconnected.Next up is Josh Holiday a 24-year-old from a cow farm in Texas and now he lives in Nashville working on a country music career. He accompanies himself on piano and sings "Better With You," an original. It's a piano ballad that gets a little tempo at the bridge and stands. It's a lovely melody but he has some breath control issues in the falsetto, which is good but he loses himself a little moving around. Keith thinks he's a great singer but wanted more passion. Nicki wanted him to stay on piano and not gotten up and tried to "please" them. Randy thinks it was a risk to do an original but he thought the song was good but he wasn't wowed by it. Mariah loves that he's a singer-songwriter and she was impressed by the audience response. She agrees it would've been nice if he stayed at the piano.Next up is David Oliver Willis who is a 22-year-old worship leader from Florida. His adoptive parents are doctors and are older folks. He accompanies himself on guitar and sings a sort of country-soul version of "Fever" that is jaunty and funky. He has a very engaging stage presence and sounds solid. He really likes him but didn't think it was the best showcase for his voice but he thought it was really good. Nicki feels like he was playing his new guitar at Christmas. Randy likes his bluesy vibe and he felt like the song choice wasn't good enough for his voice and he's intrigued by this side of him. Mariah felt like it was enjoyable but knows he can do more vocally. Next up is Bryant Tadeo is a 24-year-old department store worker from Hawaii. He sings "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel. He does a little too much gesturing with his hands but he sounds good. Keith thinks it was great but isn't sure how it played at home. He thought it was a good song choice. Nicki loved the falsetto note at the end but didn't like anything else. Randy loved the beginning but was waiting for it to go somewhere at the end and it didn't. But he thinks he has a beautiful voice. Mariah thinks he sounded professional and he has a lovely tonality and thought he got a little lost and she thinks he has raw talent.Next up is Burnell Taylor who has lost 40 pounds since the auditions. He is a 19-year-old from New Orleans. His home was demolished in Katrina. He says performing has always been easy for him. He sings "This Time" by John Legend which is perfect for his voice, which has a nice rasp and effortless quality. He also does a ton of busy hand gestures. Keith congratulates him on losing weight and says he really liked the performance and felt it was very original and he was very connected to it. Nicki says right now she would pay to hear him sing. She is also inspired by his story. Randy is proud of him, says it wasn't his best performance but liked that he put his spin on it. Mariah thinks it was fantastic and has been rooting for him. Next up is Lazaro Arbos the young man with the painful stutter which disappears when he sings. He works at an ice cream shop because he doesn't have to talk there. He sings "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban. He seems very nervous at the start and his lower register is shaky and his voice feels very tight. He has some nice moments as the song ascends but his nerves seem to be getting the better of him. (He's also sweating pretty profusely.) He gets a nice ovation though. Keith thanks him for singing his song. He thinks he's a good singer. Ironically, he feels like it was a bad song choice for him and he kept falling behind it. Nicki loves that he always gives himself and he played it safe but it was stuff they like. Randy said every time he hit the chorus he hit the sweet spot in his voice and was able to relax in that since he knew he was nervous. Mariah knows that he knows the flaws of the performance but loved his performance and says she knows it's not easy.Next up is Cortez Shaw he's a 22-year-old Texan with a hard-scrabble background. He sings "Titanium" by David Guetta featuring Sia. One of the female backing vocalists is doing a lovely harmony vocal. He does a nice job, showing up power, range, and professionalism. Keith loves that song and loved his performance but he does say there were a couple of spots that were rough but when he hit the big notes right it was total redemption. Nicki thought the performance was sexy and she liked him a lot. Randy was surprised by his range and says it was pitchy at points but agrees the big notes were impressive and he thinks he's very current. Mariah has loved him from the beginning and loved that song and says of course it can't be perfect in this environment and she thought he made great choices.The five going home:David Oliver Willis, Bryant Tadeo, Mathenee Treco, Josh Holiday, Gurprett Singh SarinThe five going through:Vincent Powell, Lazaro Arbos, Cortez Shaw, Burnell Taylor, Nick Boddington více
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