alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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"American Idol" Recap: Philadelphia Auditions

Season 15 of "American Idol" continued with auditions in Philadelphia, where I live. Clay Aiken, runner-up in Season 2, helped to screen the would-be contestants.

• First was Gianna Isabella, 15, the daughter of Brenda K. Starr. She had similar curly hair to her mom ad wore an off-the-shoulder white shorts jumper. She sang "House of the Rising Sun," with a bluesy sort of vibe. Jennifer Lopez told her that "Your mommy would be proud" and asked her to bring in her mom, who was also wearing a white shirt. Brenda gave Jennifer a hug. They'd taken lessons in the same dance studio, and Brenda used to coach Jennifer on singing. Harry Connick Jr. asked Brenda what she would tell her daughter if she was judging, and Brenda said that she was amazing and worked so hard. She should make it. Harry gave her the golden ticket to hang to her daughter. Aww.
• Derek Huffman, 21, sat down with Clay Aiken, who asked him a series of questions, all of which had the answer of Clay, but Derek got them all right. He claimed, though, that he's a big fan. He sang "Angel" by Shaggy, and he played a background track on a little boom box. Jennifer proclaimed, "This is a first," about that technique. "I feel like this is exactly how he does it in his bathroom." Keith Urban told us, "That's the first time we've had karaoke, by the way." Then he declared, "It's a yes for the boom box." But it was a no for him. On camera afterwards, he was a bit of a sore loser, saying he was pissed "on America's behalf."
• Then Isaac Cole McNanny, 15, a Keith Urban fan, sang "my a capella song with my guitar," a country tune. Harry pointed out that, since he's not from the southern United States, he should drop the twang. Keith said that he wasn't ready, and he commented that "You all thought Clark wasn't ready last year, and I'm a fast learner." They all said yes, then, and Isaac had Keith sign his guitar case.
• A quick montage of rejections was next. Then was Sara Strum, 17, sang "Lips Are Moving" by Meghan Trainor. It was a lot of fun, and she had great tone, wearing a white spaghetti-strap dress with hot pink ruffled hem. Jennifer called her fearless and said yes. Harry said she was special and had a voice that exceeded her years. Keith told her that she "exceeded our eggspectations," a reference to the restaurant where she works, Eggspectations, a chain featuring breakfast foods.
• A short segment then showed Clay hearing some auditions. Next to perform for the judges was Ellis Banks, 25 (which I heard as Ella Spanks). He wore a glittery sequined headdress he called his "Jesus" hair and wore a sequined pair of underwear and a black floor-length jacket. Before he sang, he handed one to each of them. He sang Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," complete with a head drop to the floor at the beginning. Harry egged him on: "Take it off!" Afterward he told him, "That was so fun. Not what we're looking for, but a lot of fun." Three nos.
• The next contestant, Jenn Blosil, 23, either was really drunk or had a mild speech problem. She wore a white dress that looked a lot like a nightgown. She came in with a guitar but sang "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons on the piano. Surprisingly, she was good, with a lot of color to her voice, and her piano playing was also interesting. Jennifer called her compelling. Keith told her there was a good story-telling quality. Harry didn't expect her voice but liked what he heard. Three yeses.
• Next came a montage of "ladies' mans," leading up to Harrison Cohen, 17, who said he's "single and ready to mingle." He performed an original song, accompanying himself on guitar, "No Time." It was a song with Latin overtones. It had a good hook, even though his voice was a little nasal. Harry told him he liked the song a lot, and Jennifer praised the Latin overtones. She also loved the song and liked that he'd had the pianist accompany him. Harry asked "Are you the powerhouse we're looking for for the bookend [to Kelly Clarkson]." They asked him to bring in his family, including his grandfather, who Harrison had described as his "foxy grandfather" who gave him dating advice.
• John Arthur Greene, 27, a Broadway actor, lost his brother when he was 8, after accidentally shooting him with a gun he didn't realize was loaded. He accompanied himself on guitar, wearing a V-neck gray T-shirt and dark jeans. He was very polished. Harry told him he had a strong voice but wondered "what else is there?" Jennifer told him that she wasn't sure how he would "hang with some of the other singers" but that he'd sounded good. Keith observed that he probably had other sides. Harry said no, but Jennifer and Keith said yes, putting him through.
• Tonight, auditions move to Denver, Colorado, and Little Rock, Arkansas.
Tags: american idol, music, television

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