alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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American Idol Recap: Atlanta and Denver Auditions

Season 15 will mark the last hurrah of "American Idol." I will attempt one last time to do recaps, although I apologize in advance if they are sometimes a bit late. Putting a 5-year-old to bed during the middle of the show means I will be time-shifting my watching more often.

Please, if you've been reading these, speak up every once in a while! I'd love to talk about the show, especially since this will be the last chance to do so.

• The show kicked off with a creative opening segment that included scenes from past seasons, along with some preliminary shots from this year.
• Auditions kicked off in Atlanta with Michelle Marie, 15, had wanted to compete on the show since she was 4. A cute little princes with long brunette hair and bangs, wearing a blue fluffy dress with cowboy boots, she was aglow with Idol knowledge and hopes. She sang "Blue" with a country twang, including a little yodeling rise on some of her notes. Jennifer Lopez declared her "so cute." Harry Connick Jr. noted she'd done some things that were pretty technically difficult. Keith Urban said he'd loved it, too. She got three yeses to go through to Hollywood.
• Then we saw a montage of former Idol winners doing some pre-screenings of contestants, some of them absolutely dreadful.
• Josiah Siska, 18, wanted to bring old-school country back. Not really a surprise, considering he was a farm boy. Wearing jeans, a checkered shirt over a white T-shirt and a baseball cap, he turned his really deep voice to singing "Ghostriders" by Johnny Cash. Harry praised his commitment, while Keith said he was in "his own lane." Harry charged him to sing the lowest note he has, and Harry praised him for singing a chromatic scale. He got three yeses.
• Lindita was a personal trainer who had lost 150 pounds in preparation for the show. She had a Eastern European accent and wore a yellow crop top and black leggings. She sang, "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," taking a lot of liberties with it but showing off a lot of control. Harry told her that "Fans eat that stuff up." Jennifer and Keith both praised her. Keith told her that he was really surprised. Three yeses.
• Billy Bob Evett, 25, is a self-described "fat John Travolta" who loved honky-tonks. He wore a red T-shirt with a pair of dark overalls and a brown cowboy hat. He sang some Waylon Jennings, accompanying himself on guitar. Keith said he loved him as a person but the singing "was just not strong enough." Jennifer agreed, saying he lacked consistency. Harry said he'd come close to saying yes, just because he liked him, but also noted the pitch problems.
• Lee Jean, 15, whose older brother died in an accident, sang "I See Fire," starting out a capella, wearing a cornflower blue shirt buttoned all the way up with butter yellow shorts. After the beautiful introduction, he picked up with guitar, which threw him off a little bit in terms of pitch. Jennifer said she wanted to squeeze him: "You're so cute, and you're so talented." She also loved his humility. Harry noted some pitch problems. Keith praised his tone and said he had a singer-songwriter quality. He got three yeses.
• Auditions continued next in Denver.
• Jeneve Rose Mitchell, 15, lives in the elk wilderness of Colorado, where they have to start up a generator to watch "American Idol" on TV. She wore fancy cowboy boots, jeans, a white blousy shirt, and a gray cowboy hat, and she played a cello while singing a country tune. Harry called her music "super funky." Keith praised her rhythmic sensibility and originality. Harry called it some "crazy stupid funk you were playing." He said, "You're a work in progress, but there's a lot to work with." Three yeses.
• Sonika Vaid, 20, is a second-generation American of parents who came from India. With long black hair and a dove-gray tunic gathered at the waist, she looked like so many American Idol wannabes of the past. She had decent tone but could have used better breath control. Harry thought it was a "perfect performance" and he was fully engaged. He said she could win (!). Keith liked that she hadn't "stacked it with a bunch of runs." Jennifer called the audition "gorgeous." With three yeses, she was on to Hollywood.
• Joseph Kohlruss, 16, a red head, showed up in a suit with open collar, describing his voice as "deep and rich." He was traveling with a group of friends singing his praises. He sang "Hello" by Lionel Richie, giving it the classical singer treatment. Unfortunately, it wasn't as good as he thought it was. Jennifer told him he had a strong voice but it was "super inconsistent." Keith said he had a flexible range but "having figured out how to use it yet." Harry asked him how low he went, and he descended to a low note (not using a scale). It was three nos. His fans clapped for him anyway, and he looked like he wanted to strangle them.
• Reanna Molinara is a police officer and showed up in a "Hobbs Police" T-shirt, with her handcuffs clipped to her belt. Harry begged her to handcuff him, and then he tried to play the piano with his hands handcuffed behind her back. She sang a Patsy Cline song, and she had a souful voice. Harry said it was hard to critique when he couldn't feel his hands, but it was a solid performance. Jennifer agreed but said there could have been more performance quality. Keith agreed, praising her "pure country voice." They put her through.
• Sylvia Lee Walker, 16, definitely does not have a sob story, having sung since 7 and skipped two years of school to enter college early. She talked a mile a minute. She yodels, having taught herself when she was 10. She yodeled, wearing a cute little chocolate brown dress, and reached a really high note. Jennifer called it "awesome." Keith liked her "amazing accent." Jennifer called her "charming" and "cute." While Keith called her entertaining, he thought her pitch was all over the place. Both he and Jennifer said no, and Harry muttered no, too.
• Next we saw abbreviated auditions from two returning wannabes. First was Shevonne Philidor, 24, who was on her sixth audition. A young woman with short dreds and caramel skin wore a gray sleeveless crop top. Kory Wheeler, 27, had auditioned last year and sang "Benny and the Jets," wearing an olive cardigan and a shirt buttoned all the way up. Laurel Wright, 19, accompanied herself on guitar, saying she had more confidence. She wore a black flowered minidress. Keith said Laurel had a singer-songwriter quality, and Jennifer said she had a cool quality. They all made it through.
• Ryan reintroduced Steve Borchetta, the mentor, and Season 14 winner Nick Fradiani. Steve said they were currently cutting Nick's first album (what's taken so long?)
• Joshua Wicker, 25, as there with his pregnant wife. The judges thought he looked like Ryan Gosling (with a beard). He sang "Stay" by Rihanna. He gave it the singer-songwriter acoustic guitar treatment, which worked really well with his mellow voice. Keith thought he sang it like he wrote it. Harry, after joking they were giving him three nos, said it was terrific. He got three yeses. They asked him to bring his wife in, with Harry saying, "At least you have this incredible baby coming. It's going to be hard dealing without Josh for a while, because he's coming to Hollywood." The cameras caught up with them three weeks later, to show the couple holding their newborn baby.
• Then came a high-energy couple, who auditioned in Atlanta, bringing along their baby, whom they dubbed the "American Idol mascot." Jordan and Alex Sasser. First was Alex, the wife, who accompanied herself on ukelele while singing a Bruno Mars song. She rushed the song a bit but had great control and a pure tone. "There's too much goodness in here right now," Harry joked. He found that it wasn't passionate at all. Keith also felt that it was too much of a surface performance. It was a no from all three. Next, it was Jordan's turn (age 27). He sang "It's All Coming Back to Me" by Celine Dion, and he gave it the leading man treatment, while his wife watched, clearly disappointed. Harry called him a talented vocalist. Keith remarked on the buoyancy they both have. Jennifer loved it and said yes, and the others followed suit. Afterward, she was all smiles as they announced the news to their family but then broke into tears. He told her he still believed in her, and hugged her.
• Then, we saw previous winner Taylor Hicks, jamming on harmonica with two guitarists in the lobby. One of them, Kerry Courtney, 24, a mustached guy wearing a denim baseball hat and burgundy flowered shot, told about how his mother passed away from cancer. He sang a Death Cab for Cutie song, accompanying himself on guitar. He made some very odd faces while singing, but he had some real gravitas and lovely high notes. Keith told him he has a "unique style." Harry called it quirky and different and said it was an "interesting piece of art." Jennifer wasn't sure how America would respond to it, saying it was a little scary at times, but she loved the tone of his voice. Harry made him guess what they'd vote, and he did guess they would all vote yes. They did.
• Next was a montage of people going gaga over Keith Urban. Then was Shelbie Z, a small-town hairdresser with dark blonde curls, a flowered headband, and a bunch of necklaces, a dark green velvet fringed jacket and a long skirt. She sang "Last Night" from Carrie Underwood, with oodles of attitude. Jennifer liked her spirit. Harry said, "I don't like you. I love you." He predicted people would love her, too. Three yeses.
• Kanye West and Kim Kardashian stopped in for Kanye to do a joke audition. Kanye did a rap that featured Jennifer's name. They so wouldn't have put him through, because he didn't actually sing. But Keith gave him a golden ticket. (Right.)
• Next up, auditions in Little Rock.
Tags: american idol, music, television

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