The 'American Idol' Honor Roll: Let's Make Emma Wait
The 'American Idol' Honor Roll: Let's Make Emma Wait
Two seasons ago, I was getting really annoyed at the American Idol audition episodes. Now, I'm actually enjoying them. It must be the British sense of editing. Maybe it's all the water behind the judges' desk. Maybe it's the new judges, but we've got that covered already. Oh, right, yes, the fact that we actually have a bunch of really interesting singers. Different styles, different tones, different ages -- fine, they're mostly teenagers, but that's beside the point: After watching last night's episode, I had too many candidates for the Honor Roll.

I mean, I could go for the soul of Jerome Bell, or the complete package that is Naima Adedapo, or the unusual hybrid that is Thia Megia, but I'm looking for that someone who'll pop. (This is where we probably won't agree.) And I found them. And I'm still left with three names. Milwaukee, you are not doing me any favors!


The first name I had on my list is Molly DeWolf Swenson, also known as the Harvard graduate and White House intern who got a smack from Randy Jackson. I like the tone of her voice -- very cool and jazzy, reminiscent of Tracy Chapman and Patti Cathcart -- but I'm not really sure whether this show is the right track for her.

The second name I had on my list is Alyson Jaydos, who looks a little bit like Julianna Marguiles and sounds a little bit like Allison Iraheta. I'm sorry, but I like my rockers and I loved the way her voice stayed solid even if she was fawning over Steven. You call that pitchy, Steve? She wasn't pitchy at all! 

So I decided to dedicate today's Honor Roll to a contestant who I really like but at the same time really believe has no chance to go beyond the first Hollywood round.

Emma Henry, Why So Nervous?

Yes, the girl who drove from Colorado to Wisconsin. She looks like an anime character, or maybe it's me still missing Lilly Scott. Oh, and she has a really interesting, cool sound to her voice -- I couldn't even believe she is just 15. Of course, watching her audition, you know she'll be eaten alive during Hollywood week.


So why did the judges send her to Hollywood? Yes, she drove 16 hours, and she cried during the audition, and she did deserve a second shot. But they should've done something like what the SYTYCD judges did to Nathan Trasoras when he first auditioned: send her to Hollywood but not this season. She needs to gather herself, maybe do a little more practice, and come out a more mature-sounding singer. If they did it to Hailee Reinhart, why not to Emma?

To her credit, though, Emma was sick. "I auditioned in Milwaukee sick as a dog trying to sing the best I possibly could with the voice I had left," she wrote on her YouTube page. Maybe if she wasn't that sick, she would've gotten more definite yeses from the judges. I mean, look here:



Well, now that we're here, I hope she gets far. And if she doesn't, well, Emma, you still have a lot of chances. Someday soon.

And whatever you do, don't do what Chris Medina did.

(Image courtesy of Emma Henry's website)

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