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American Idol Recap: Get On the Bus

Posting this a little late. Life got away from me today!

• The judges continued to evaluate the best finds from the 11-city bus tour, with the judges hearing them in Kansas City, Missouri.
• Ron "Big Ron" Wilson, a.k.a. "Big Sexy," 24, Gretna, Florida, a tall, stocky guy with a chin beard but no moustache, oozed confidence. He thought "Miss J. Lo is going to feel me," because he was going to unbutton his shirt at the top. He sauntered in singing Jennifer's song, "Jenny from the Block." He sang Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On." While he sang for Jennifer, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. pretended to go out for barbecue. Harry said there was a lot of showmanship going on, but before he could give him any critiques, Jennifer stopped him, saying that he hadn't been listening to most of it. Still, Big Sexy managed to get three yeses.
• Ian Subsara, 28, sang in a falsetto, "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing." He had a very 1980s retro-looking shirt, in faded denim with pink denim sleeves. Harry tested him, playing notes on the piano to see how high he could get. Dogs were probably staring at the TV about then. Harry, though, said that as entertaining as it was, it wasn't right for the show. The other judges agreed, and Ian took it in stride.
• Then we saw a hint of some others who were more successful: Ashley Lusk, 15; Josh Sanders, 26; country-flavored Casey Thrasher, 23. All of them made it to the next level of competition.
• Joey Hook, 23, stood out because of her short, dyed aqua hair and the fact that she plays accordion, or as she calls it, a squeezebox. She sang "Tallest Man on Earth." Unfortunately, she sort of talked some of her audition, although when she did sing, she had an interesting voice which sounded very alternative, with just a little vibrato. Keith called her the favorite voice of the whole day. Jennifer said she was as cute as a doll. Harry said she was wonderful but told her to remember to take a look at herself and realize how close she was to being "novelty." In other words, be careful not to come off as too marginal. Three yeses.
• Alexis Gomez, 22, described herself as a "hippie Mexican hillbilly," and she sang "Little White Church," rocking out to the country. With her black tank top and a long net skirt over a short skirt, she had more of a hippie look. Keith, though, said no. Jennifer said yes. Harry, after calling her "good but not spectacular," decided to give her another chance and said yes. She was through to Hollywood.
• Anton Bushner, 19, a farmhand, another atypical country singer, in that he was African-American, wore a white cowboy hat and sang "Tonight I Want to Cry," a Keith song. He had a nice sound and good country. Very mellow. Harry liked that he showed respect for Keith and called him great. Jennifer said he has a sweet voice. He got three yeses.
• Then the audience was asked to guess whether a singer identified only as Cedric was going to Hollywood or going home, by voting via Twitter during the commercial break. He seemed pretty confident and had a good tone, so I guessed yes.
• After the break, we learned that just over half of the voters got it right, predicting he would go through to Hollywood.
• Stephanie Gummelt, 18, had a high, squeaky speaking voice. A girl next door, with long honey-blond hair, a medium blue long sundress and minimal make-up, she sang an original song, accompanying herself on guitar. It may not have been the best song, but she had a pretty voice that was actually lower than her speaking voice. They asked her who she liked, and she said Steve Perry, Stevie Nicks, James Taylor and some others. Jennifer called her a natural singer. Harry told her to put more breath and breadth behind her singing, voting no. Jennifer and Keith voted yes, putting her through.
• Then was a short montage of contestants who were there with the support of their families, ending with Ashley Stehle, 15, whose parents are both deaf. Her dad recently obtained a device that allows him to hear what she's singing when she wears a companion device around her neck. She sang, "If I Got You," a capella, and she was a belter, unintentionally changing keys halfway through. Jennifer thought it was very off. Harry said he was really touched by her family's support but "you're just not ready for this competition." The other judges agreed, even though you could tell that, emotionally, they wanted to accept her. A little tearful, she vowed to return next year.
• After a commercial break was a montage of singers who didn't make it.
• Ellen Peterson, 22, wearing a white sundress with embroidery on the top, played a banjo and sang, "I Want to Be a Cowboy Sweetheart." She had a sunny smile and a pleasant voice and even yodeled. Harry said, "You're really, really good." He liked that she didn't "overplay" the banjo. Keith loved it, and so did Jennifer, who said that "you're just about to bloom." Three yeses.
• Kohlton Pascal, 21, is a long-haired traveling troubadour, traveling by either bus or hitchhiking. He sang an original, and he had a deep, growly delivery that reminded me of Leonard Cohen. Jennifer called him interesting, and Harry called him terrific. He wondered, though, if he was willing to do what he needed to do for the competition, because it would take him out of his comfort zone. Jennifer agreed, saying that he's captivating but hoped that he could sing something lighter, too. Keith also liked his voice. Despite their expressed reservations, they put him through.
• Tomorrow, the search continues in New York City, with "Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert sitting in as a guest judge.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2015 01:34 am (UTC)
I have to say I was pretty underwhelmed by last night's auditions (tonight is already a different story - I've loved the first three artists so far, especially Number 3).

Incidentally, isn't Casey Thrasher the Backstreet Cowboy who didn't get called by the judges to sing at the first live show last year? Or am I misremembering? (If I'm not, you go guy, and I'm looking forward to your group round performance!)

I quite liked Anton and Stephanie. Big Sexy did stand out, but not in a good way. Other than that, meh.
Jan. 16th, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC)
You might be right about Casey Thrasher. I'd look it up, but I don't like to accidentally come across spoilers before the Top 24 are announced. :)

Big Sexy was a big joke. Still, he could be entertaining during Group Week in Hollywood. Maybe that's why they put him through?

I've only gotten through half of last night's show so far. My husband got home late from work last night, and the TV was stuck on Sprout for my 4-year-old. Usually, I watch the show from my office upstairs while I do my evening work. Once we get done with the library and other stuff this afternoon, I hope to convince my son to let me watch the second half.

Ironically, he hasn't wanted to watch "Idol" since the season when Scotty McCreery won, but every time Scotty sang, he was riveted!
Jan. 17th, 2015 12:12 am (UTC)
I just checked the Backstreet Cowboys clip that I downloaded from YouTube after that show, and it is Casey Thrasher, yay! I hope he makes it through to the live shows this time, though I think he might have quite a bit of competition again. I think the judges would have done better last year to have picked Casey over Dexter; hopefully they'll get it right this time! :)

That's funny about your son and Scotty - maybe it was the deep deep voice he liked!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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