I guess it was bound to happen at some point. After solid-to-great nights of auditions in season 14 of American Idol, Minneapolis brought that to a halt, delivering auditions that were mostly average or good-but-forgettable. But don’t worry, there was still a stand-out singer I can claim as the one singer to watch.
Many of the singers who received a golden ticket to Hollywood have a lot of work to do if they want a chance at making it far in the competition. Take the first audition of the night by Shannon Berthiaume, who sang one of my favorite songs, “House of the Rising Sun.” She’s really good, but way too shouty.
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There’s also Zach Johnson, who Harry called out for adding a country twang to his voice when singing. While I appreciated that his slower song allowed us to focus more on his voice, he needs to hold out his notes longer.
I would not have advanced Jacob Tolliver. Since he’s from Million Dollar Quartet, his musical theatre background came through a million percent, and it’s obvious he’s not right for this show, despite toning it down with his second song, “Stay with Me,” which I wasn’t overly impressed by. (Since I love that Sam Smith tune, these singers really have to bring it to impress me.)
And even when you look at the singers (aside from my One Singer to Watch) who were better than the above contestants, will I remember them tomorrow or next week or in Hollywood Week?
Hannah Mrozak, for instance, is really good and has a great power to her voice, but I just don’t think she knows who she is as an artist yet. While watching her audition, I got this feeling she was imitating other singers she has seen perform. Like I said, she’s got a really good voice, so I would like to think she’ll impress us more in future rounds. Only time will tell.
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Vanessa Andrea has a good voice, and “Some Kind of Wonderful” is a great song, but what I remember most about her audition is the story she told about her husband being in the Air Force.
I do really like Cindy Jo Scholer. Her audition wasn’t perfect, of course. Sure, a big focus of her screentime was on the fact that she’s a hunter and Harry went off on a hilarious tangent about sending her through because she killed a bear. The guy who walked in wearing a bear costume was the cherry on top.
But as far as Cindy Jo’s voice is concerned, I like it. Some of those bigger notes she will need to work on a little, but there’s potential here. Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” was a very fitting song for her and we got a good sense of who she is as an artist.
Because this was a weak night overall, I’m not sure who I would choose as the runner-up. Maybe Vanessa, maybe Cindy Jo. But it’s obvious who the one singer to watch is…
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The One Singer to Watch: Mark Andrew
American Idol saved the best for last during the Minneapolis auditions. Mark Andrew, if you didn’t know, tried out for The Voice back in season 4. He made it onto Team Shakira, but lost during the Battle Rounds. We usually see singers from Idol audition for The Voice, not the other way around.
(Is it just me, or does he look a lot like Casey Abrams from Idol season 10, just with slightly darker hair? His music style seems similar as well.)
First singing “Soulshine,” I already can tell the vibe he’ll bring to the show, with a cool, laid-back style. And when Keith asked for another song, he went into “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book, which I loved. The song choice seems random, but you know what? For him, it works.
What did you think of the Minneapolis auditions? Despite this being a weak night overall, do you still have any favorites? Are you looking forward to seeing Mark Andrew again? Take our poll below and share your thoughts in the comments section.
American Idol airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8pm on FOX.
(Image and video courtesy of FOX)