The 'American Idol' Honor Roll: Intensity Served Two Ways
The 'American Idol' Honor Roll: Intensity Served Two Ways
This is an odd proposition. There were more golden tickets on the first day of Orlando auditions than both days of the Chicago auditions. That's a check for my "fingers crossed there's more good talent" line yesterday morning. But, oddly, there weren't much that made me go "oh wow!"--and we've had many of those moments before. Disappointing, yes. Still, there's enough to work with for my American Idol honor roll today, slightly tweaked for your convenience.

The obligatory shoutouts: Shelby Dressel and Janell Wheeler. I'll be focusing on a couple of singers from now on instead, but I'm still giving an obligatory shoutout to some others. The first goes to Shelby Dressel, that girl who can't move one side of her face. She sounds good, and she is pretty, although I unfortunately don't see her making it to Hollywood. Another obligatory shoutout goes to Janell Wheeler, who we only saw for ten seconds or so, and yet is on the list of supposed Top 24 contestants.

Honoree number one: Matt Lawrence. I'll admit, I had a pretty hard time looking for bits about Matt, also known as the guy who robbed at bank at age 15, spent four birthdays in prison, and is out for redemption. I only saw a fan page on Facebook with the same things we already know about him on that segment. But his singing?

I mentioned to Abbey after the show that when Matt sang "Trouble", I thought I was hearing Ray LaMontagne's original! He was that good. Better than I expected, really. I like his authenticity, his rawness and his intensity. I see him making it to the Top 12, although his name isn't on the spoilers list, unfortunately. Someone, please give him a record deal.

Honoree number two: Jay Stone. Let's get this out of the way: I don't see him making it to the Top 12. He's got a singing voice but I think he'll try to shoehorn in his beatboxing at every opportunity. Not that it's a bad thing, but I have this feeling he wants to be known as a beatboxer more than a singer.

Because that's what he does. There are many videos of him beatboxing on YouTube:

It's interesting how he got into beatboxing. His website states that Jay (or J Stone, if you prefer) started in 2001 "out of an urge to continue 'drumming' while being physically away from a drumkit." His influences are diverse: from Bobby McFerrin to Jeff Buckley, from Matisyahu to The Roots, from Imogen Heap to Rage Against the Machine.

Surely someone out there will see his American Idol audition and get him a relatively bigger stage to shine? I wouldn't be surprised.

(Image courtesy of Jay Stone's official website)