The 14th season of American Idol continued its two-night premiere Thursday with two more hours of auditions. Things concluded in Nashville before the judges moved on to Kansas City.
The best trend on Idol in recent years is the focus on good auditions. In two hours, there are only two named contestants who get rejected. The rest is all good.
The Best Audition from Night #1>>
And tonight we get a talented blind cowboy who can sing in Spanish, two memorable past contestants who almost made it last year, a science nerd and the world’s cutest kid.
The Best from Nashville, Part 2
Andrew Annello: He’s a 22-year-old Alabama boy with ADHD, which means he’s exceedingly energetic. ADHD is a medical term that means “annoying,” which this guy is. He takes on Stevie Wonder and his soulful voice is just OK. The judges find him a bit silly, but he gets a ticket to Hollywood anyway. I’ll be shocked if we ever see this guy again, unless it’s during the Group Round when he’s annoying the crap out of his team.
Loren Lott: She’s an actress who sings some Bruno Mars, and she’s overly animated. She’s definitely a performer, which can be a huge asset, but she needs to take it down about three notches, which Harry forces her to do by asking her to sing without acting. Harry says “No,” but he’s outvoted by J. Lo and Keith.
Trevor Douglas: This 16-year-old science geek wants to be the next Bill Nye if music fails. He’s just an adorably weird hipster nerd with a good voice. He could work a bit on his diction, but he has a quirky falsetto and the judges like him a lot.
Piper Jones: She’s a big girl with a diva-licious voice to match.
Kelley Kime: She’s a 23-year-old single mom with a super cute almost-4-year-old daughter named Hope. Hope goes into the audition and sings a bit of “Let It Go.” I’m a guy, but that somehow made my ovaries smile. J. Lo nearly explodes from cute overload. Luckily, the mom is a good singer and goes to Hollywood. But Hope is the real star.
Garrett Miles: He’s 25 and blind, so his dad walks him in and serves as his roadie, setting up mic stands. He has a solid country voice , but what really makes him stand out (besides being blind) is when he sings a song in Spanish from J. Lo’s film Selena, and he’s surprisingly muy bueno.
Clark Beckham: He’s a busker with a gritty, authentic street voice. The judges nitpick about his breath control and authenticity, and once again Harry says “No” but gets outvoted.
Gina Venier: She’s a cool one-woman-band kinda chick. She shakes a maraca-like egg and kicks a wooden box that she sits on as percussion, creating a totally awesome sound to her performance. I’m totally feeling her vibe.
Alex Shier: He auditioned last year at 18 with long hair, but now he cut it off, grew a beard and became the typical college freshman WGWG (white guy with guitar).
Cody Fry: He’s a life-long musician who grew up singing jingles for his dad. He’s way too polished for my liking. His rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is very affected, and it sounds like he put too much effort and thought into every single note and decision. But the judges all love him.
Hector Montenegro: This master cosmetologist plays the guitar. He has a really good voice, but there’s nothing all that special about him.
Sarina-Joi Crowe and Savion Wright: I’m lumping these two together because they’re both past favorites. This is Sarina’s fourth season. They both barely missed out on the Top 30 last year. As such, they’re incredibly talented and will definitely make it that far again. Heck, they’re both probably gonna make it to the live shows, because Idol loves that kind of redemption. After getting his ticket to Hollywood, Savion wisely asks for specific, actionable criticism, and Harry tells him about chord progressions and other technical stuff that will probably help.
Alison Peratikos, Jake Black and Steffi Ledbetter: We get a quick montage of a girl with a pretty voice, beat-boxing guitarist and a sweet blond girl who gets a “No” from Harry but is outvoted by the others.
The Best from the Bus in Kansas City
Zack Kaltenbach: He’s a cute redhead (an oxymoron, I know) with a decent voice, but no real charisma. For the fourth time in this episode, Harry says “No” but gets outvoted.
Naomi Tatsuoka: She’s a very weird Japanese hipster from Portland, Oregon who delivers a supremely unusual but enjoyably theatrical performance of Adele’s “Someone Like You.” She starts on her knees, gets up and goes to town. The judges are impressed with what she can do, but are worried that she needs to be more selective in when to use her theatrics.
Jnameel Kim: He made origami for the judges, a turtle for Harry, a rose for J. Lo and a spaceship for Keith. He also has O.C.D. and deals with his need for perfect symmetry by overcompensating against it with streaks of face paint under one eye to make himself appear so asymmetrical that it somehow balances out. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, nor does his understated musical style. But the judges like him, though Harry really just loves pretending to be a drunken origami turtle.
Lovey James: She’s 16 and Lovey is just a stage name. She represents the YouTube music generation with this bubbly pop style.
Jess Lamb: At 28, she’s basically a senior citizen as far as American Idol is concerned. She plays the piano and sings some soulful Motown. After getting a ticket to Hollywood, she ends the episode by jamming on the piano with Harry.
Next week on American Idol: The auditions continue Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)