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I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday.



• Andrew Annello, 22, Springville, Alabama, claimed to not be nervous. He had a big personality, hamming it up for the camera in the waiting room, along with his family. A big guy with a penchant for doing silly impressions, he threw punches like a fighter in the waiting booth, then burst in, with a "What's happening?" and shook the hands of all the judges. He sang the Stevie Wonder song, "Signed, Sealed and Delivered." He had quite the energy, for sure, but Keith Urban called it a caricature of a performance. Harry Connick Jr. demanded that he give him something that wasn't so silly, so he stood still and sang, "My Girl." After that, Harry told him that he liked him, cautioning him to keep the silliness under control. Keith still wanted to feel it more, but told him not to undervalue his own voice. Andrew got three yeses after all. He asked if he could bring his mom in to meet Harry, and she was beside herself, accepting a big hug from him.
• Loren Lott, 21, San Diego, California, is an actress, and Harry thought she had the look as soon as she came in. She did look very Hollywood already, with a great complexion, long curly brown locks, and a white zig-zag shirt that was a nice contrast to her chocolate-brown skin. She sang "Treasure," accompanied by the musical director on piano. Harry said she sounded like an actress who is singing. He put her on the spot to sing something that "sounds like you." Keith advised her to pretend she was just doing the dishes with no one else around. She then pretended to wash dishes while singing a torch song. Keith said yes. Harry thought she had star quality but added, "this is a singing competition." He told her, "This isn't your year." That left it up to Jennifer Lopez. She silently handed her the golden ticket, meaning Loren was through.
• Trevor Douglas, 16, Fort Worth, Texas, sang "Sing" by Ed Sheeran, accompanying himself on guitar. A skinny pale guy with horn-rimmed glasses and an oversized maroon jacket with a silver tie, he had sort of a Buddy Holly vibe. His singing was somewhat unremarkable until he went into a pretty cool falsetto. Keith asked him how he'd managed to go through puberty with singing, since he'd been singing since he was 7. Trevor joked about a "sugar-coated puberty," a term that Harry picked up on. Jennifer told him she liked his geeky vibe and told him not to take offense, and he totally didn't. Keith was the first to say yes, and the others agreed.
• The we saw just a taste of the audition by Piper Jones, 24, a big beautiful girl with an equally big voice; who presumably made it through.
• Next was Kelley Kime, 23, Fairfax, Virginia, a petite blonde single mother of an adorable 3-year-old who sang the "Frozen" tune, "Let It Go" for the judges before her mommy auditioned. Jennifer gave her a golden ticket, because she was so sweet. Kelley had a nice voice, too, and she also got a golden ticket.
• Cammie Lester, 15, Sebring, Florida, sang an Adele song, and she messed up immediately and had to start earlier, but was having severe pitch problems. She left the room weeping, for a big hug from her father.
• Then was a montage of several auditioners who said that music was their life. Unfortunately, the answer was no for all of them.
• Garrett Miles, 25, Phoenix City, Alabama, was born with an optic nerve problem and is visually impaired. His father accompanied him to the audition. Garrett wore a black cowboy hat and dark sunglasses. He sang "Proud Mary" by Credence Clearwater, in part because he knew that Keith was a big Dan Fogarty fan. He switched up the melody and did a country version of the song, accompanying himself on guitar. As if he wasn't a shoo-in already, he endeared himself to Jennifer by singing a song from her first movie, "Selena," and nailing the accent. Three yeses.
• Clark Beckham, 22, sang the James Brown song, "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," accompanying himself on guitar. A blue-eyed guy with a scruffy beard and medium brown hair, Jennifer thought he ran out of breath partway through. Harry asked him why he liked it, and he said he liked the grit and the intensity. But Keith wasn't feeling it, saying that maybe he was holding back because he was used to being a street performer. But Harry felt he wasn't ready yet. Jennifer made his day by saying yes and putting him through.
• Gina Venier, 24, Dixon, Illinois, brought her lucky egg, one of those little shakers. She also plays guitar and drums, taught by her dad. A very down-to-earth seeming girl, she had straight dark blonde hair and wore a shapeless gray shirt and gray newsboy cap. She sang Z.Z. Ward's "Put the Gun Down," accompanying herself with a drum box and the shaker. Very funky. "Who needs a band?" said Keith. Three yeses.
• Alex Shier, 19, Port Huron, Michigan, also played guitar while auditioning, also with a scrubby beard. Jennifer remembered him from the previous year, when he'd had long hair. Harry asked what he had that was different, saying he hadn't seen it. Keith, however, said yes and so did Jennifer.
• Cody Fry, 24, Northfield, Illinois, grew up in a musical family, whose dad composed songs for commercials and such. He'd grown up singing jingles on those commercials. He sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," accompanying himself on guitar. At least he had a different look, with a groomed blonde short hairdo, a black blazer over a red V-neck shirt. His rendition of the Judy Garland classic showed his vocal range, including an incredible high note, along with skillful handling of breath control, all while strumming along. Harry said that 10 years ago, he might not have done well but that this could be his year. He said yes, as did the other two judges.
• Hector Montenegro, 24, West Palm Beach, Florida, a cosmetologist, was very put together, with a nearly trimmed bear and a current haircut, and a simple blue chambray shirt. Obviously, he knew the important thing to do was to focus on his vocals, and he showed off good tone. Harry thought there was a "piece that's missing" from his presentation. Jennifer liked his "swag" and his voice, too. Keith called him "naturally a great singer." He got three yeses.
• Then we saw another montage of tearful rejected contestants, many of them promising to come back next here.
• Sarina- Joi Crowe, 19, had auditioned four times previously. A perky African-American girl with a pale pink jacket over a white crocheted sweater and yellow high-heeled sandals, she had a lot of personality in her performance and showed off a lot of runs. Harry thought she was good enough to go straight to the voting. Keith joked that it was a no, and Jennifer added, "Try again next year." In actuality, she got three yeses.
• Then came a montage with a few contestants with unique sounds: Alison Peratikos; Jake Black; Steffi Ledbetter.
• Returning this year, Baylor University senior Savion Wright, 22, Jasper, Texas, who had just lost his brother in Season 13 when he got cut. He gave all the judges hugs, and his braces were gone. Since last year, he'd written more songs and been touring. He did the Clapton song, "Change the World." A year had done him well: he was more polished and comfortable in his own skin, as well as still being a phenomenal guitarist. Jennifer said he seemed more calm in his own skin. Keith said there was "no way I'm not going to say yes." He was back in, but he asked them for critiques. Harry said that he was more advanced than most harmonically. He told him to learn every chord in a song, not to skip.
• In the second half of the show, the judges went to Kansas City to hear some more auditions. Zach Kaltenbach, 22, Lee's Summit, Missouri, sang "Grenade" by Bruno Mars. He'd been one of the outstanding singers from the bus tour, which crossed the country and hit some smaller towns. A red-haired guy with pale eyes, he had a hesitant start but then picked it up a little. Harry said he felt it was a flat audition, that he wants to hear people who feel something is moving them to sing. Jennifer thought he had a good star quality, but Keith felt he needed more work. Harry said no, and Jennifer said yes. Keith pondered before finally saying yes. He was through to the Hollywood round.
• Naomi Tatsuoka, 24, Portland Oregon, had a mohawk, with the curly hair on top bleached blond, dressed in a sort of Goth outfit of a purple top with black lacy sleeves . She got down on her knees to sing "Someone Like You," removing her glasses and standing up in the middle of the song. Not only does she have a fun sense of humor, but she also has a great voice. Jennifer said some of it was very enjoyable, but sometimes she needs to learn to pull back. Keith also liked that she can tap into emotion but needs to work on being more genuine. Harry found her vocal ability impressive. Three yeses. She's lucky they gave her so many notes so early; it proves they're taking her seriously.
• Jhameel Kim, 24, Oakland, California, had brought some origami for them, including a turtle for Harry, a rose for Jennifer and a spaceship for Keith. He put face paint of two streaks of black underneath his eyes. He sang a T-Pain song as an acoustic number, accompanying himself on guitar. It was fun. Jennifer called it interesting and liked that he had his own style. Keith felt like the voice wasn't enough, but there was entertainment value. Harry agreed, saying that the most important aspect is "Do you touch people?" He goes three yeses.
• The next auditioner, Jasmine Pinela, 24, Bronx, New York, walked in saying, "Have no fear, the star is here." She looked like a refugee from the 1980s, complete with a big curly perm, turquoise plaid shirt with short-shorts and a silver choke chain on top of the shirt. She had a lot of emotion but tons of pitch problems as she sang with piano accompaniment. Jennifer winced. Jasmine tried to explain it away, saying she'd been up practicing all night. Keith said that wasn't the problem; it wasn't that her voice was giving out but that she was in a completely different key. The other judges agreed, and it was a no.
• Lovey James, 16, Portland, Oregon. She sang an Arianna Grande song, and her phrasing was a little sloppy. Jennifer said that her voice really matches her stage name. Keith asked where she got the name. She said that she was working with a guy, and he came up with it. Keith thought she had originality, and Harry agreed that she added her own thing to a pop sound. She got through to Hollywood.
• Jess Lamb, 28, Cincinnati, Ohio. She's been gigging for years and traveling with a band. She wore long feather earrings which contrasted against her long dark hair, and she also wore a broad-brimmed black hat and a short, black dress. She played piano along with her audition, the Bill Withers song, "Ain't no Sunshine," and she had a really interesting sound, with a lot of vibrato (but not too much). Harry called her adorable as well as "the definition of creativity." Jennifer liked that she has a point of view and is an artist. Keith said if he heard her in a club, she would hold his attention. Three yeses. She finished by jamming with Harry on the piano. Nice.
• Next week: the conclusion of the bus auditions.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
rosiedlotrfan
Jan. 10th, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC)
I liked a lot of the contestants on Thursday - basically everyone except:

Loren Lott - a bit boring.
Cammie Lester, for obvious reasons, poor girl.
Clark Beckham, because I hate that song, even though I'll admit he has a good voice.
Jasmine Pinela, also for obvious reasons.
Lovey James - interchangeable with Loren Lott.

It's easy to see where Kelley Kime's daughter gets her voice, and her pitch was really impressive from someone so young.

Also, I was particularly impressed by Savion Glover asking for critique even though he'd already been put through.
alycewilson
Jan. 10th, 2015 07:42 pm (UTC)
I doubt that Loren Lott will get very far, actually. Clark is one of nearly a dozen similar guys they've already put through and would have to work harder to stand out. I find it hard to believe someone like Jasmine Pinela actually exists, except that there are, apparently, pockets of the United States where the year 2000 never happened. Lovey James annoyed me, because she's such a star wannabe. If she keeps that up, and sticks around, I hope Harry and Jennifer set her straight. I'd have to hear Kelley's little girl sing another song, because I'm around kids that age quite a bit these days, and a LOT of little girls sing that song almost exactly the same way. :) I think Savion was too distracted last season, understandably. Like you, I agree it's a great sign that he asked for notes, because I honestly thought he would go further this year and expect him to do so this year.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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