Blessing us, the devoted American Idol viewer with a compacted audition show, squeezing four days of auditions in two cities into a single two-hour show. They should do this more often.
Vincent Powell started the San Antonio hour of the show with a soulful Rock Me then proceeded to explain how Randy threw him off last year at the end of Hollywood week. Having made it so far last year, it would have been somewhat odd if he wasn’t good enough to get to Hollywood this year.
You know that special harmony family members like the Beach Boys or the Pointer Sisters have. That kind of unique and magical blend that only genetics and living and singing together can bring. Brothers Derek and David Hacerott had none of that. Then they got defensive and a bit argumentative when the judges unanimously and rightfully shot down their ill-conceived dreams of musical stardom.
Savannah Votion’s sad tale of single motherhood had me ready to discount her as a frustrated neverwillbe but she was actually quite good. Definitely Hollywood week potential from note one. The judges heard her and sent her to the next round. I look forward to hearing more from her.
Cristabel Clack had a nascent gravely voice the judges really liked. I didn’t think she was that great. Good for sure. Hollywood worthy, yes. Top twelve in her future, probably not.
Country singer, Ann DiFani, aka Miss University of Arkansas, had a better than pleasant and somewhat sweet country voice but didn’t have the stereotypical country twang.
I liked her as did all four judges.
Victoria Acosta, a mariachi singer since the age of six, had a fair voice. Like many singers on this show, she was pretty good when she was loud but singing softly was her Achilles heel. She didn’t display that weakness at all when she sang a mariachi song at Randy’s request. As Randy so wisely understood, her emotional connection to the material and not her technical prowess was crucial to her performance.
Some of the worst auditioners followed next which included Nikki’s remark, “Well, there’s always autotune.”
Stating that he was a big black woman stuck inside a boy’s body, Papa Peachez, sang his own tune. He also had the only three digit number on his belly that I’ve ever seen on Idol. Nikki and Mariah gave him a yes. Randy and Keith gave him a no. As tiebreaker, Randy got to decide his fate and for some unknown reason, he went against his better judgement and let him through to Hollywood.
Charismatic singer-dancer, Sanni M’mairura pleased the judges without even busting a move. I didn’t think he was all that good he had an artful sense of phrasing. I hope he does well in Hollywood. He could be an interesting in future rounds. Adam Sanders sang Etta James and unlike Papa Peachez, actually sounded like a black woman trapped inside the body of a white boy. I thought for sure he was going to be a wacko.
The second hour, from the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, California, started out with only two judges as Nikki had a prior commitment and Mariah was stuck in traffic.
Shubha Vedula started the hour with a Christina Aguelera song and did it very well. On good speakers she sounded professional. She got two yeses. Brian Martinez butchered Phil Collins. Singing in the bathroom is not the best way to be discovered.
Matt Farmer, a vet with a lot of ink and a daughter sang A Change is Gonna Come blowing away the judges with his passion and vocal tone. His daughter acted like she couldn’t have cared less. She was surprisingly blasé for a kid in front of cameras.
Purple-haired Stephanie Samson did a punk/screaming version of Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain. She was a joke and everybody knew it. Jesaiah Baer’s audition was briefly interrupted by a fire alarm. She was OK but she should refrain from scatting.
After a series of losers, tonsilectomy gone-wrong victim, Micah Johnson who talked with a speech impediment sang without a trace of it. And he was good to boot. As Randy noted, it was a huge fake-out. I think he might be top twenty material.
Day two in Long Beach started with a perky Rachel Hale singing People Get Ready. She was surprisingly soulful and melodic for a country girl. Brianna Oakley may have been on the Maury Show as one of the most talented kids of 2009, and she is still talented. But I thought she wasn’t nearly as good as Rachel or a number of other singers we saw tonight. The judges raved about her so much I have to think something got lost in the sound mix. I just didn’t get the adoration.
Vertically-challenged Matheus Ferndandes sang A Change is Going To Come. As others before him, he was good but I didn’t think he was great. For me, for you, he didn’t have “it.” But of course he was going to make it to Hollywood. I mean, he was certainly better than a lot of those who have already made it to Hollywood so he definitely deserves the golden ticket.