Sunday, 23 February 2014

Hollywood: the hardest day

This was a crazy programme. We do get to see a few complete group performances but they were all pretty crap - decent efforts over the preceding 24 hours by some but others would have been better just having some sleep.

As usual, there are some real pains but none match the helicopter mother. Although her daughter, Stephanie I think, sounded pretty good to me, it somehow seemed right that she did get sent home. The mother was awful, embarrassingly so.

No surprises tonight in who goes on and who goes home and we're told that they will be 77 singing solos next. That should be the end of Hollywood and we'll be told who makes the final 30-ish.

This group round business is not good viewing and I am not totally convinced that it tells us that much about the individuals either as some are far better organised than others, some performing very comfortably with people they had become friends with and who clearly liked each other. Others had almost no time to rehearse after being messed around or messing others around themselves and the who thing just strikes me as unreasonable.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Hollywood Round 1

This is always an awkward round. This year the producers made it even more awkward by making quite a few sing for their supper. As soon as they'd arrived at a big warehouse type place, this group was asked to perform. They were mostly ones that maybe shouldn't be there anyway but also quite a lot that hadn't made three yesses - and I am sure they were all Harry's rejects!

I remember quite a few of them and eventually they whittle however many there were to 52 and they're put on two buses. One goes to the airport, the other to the hotel. It's all a bit strange and my guess is that most had figured out which bus they were on along the way by looking around at who was with them. It was a tearful journey for some and not the best viewing in the world, a dark and dismal bus interior at night.

Next day there are lines of several candidates on a stage and some get the step forward, step back treatment and there are some very impressive acts we shall get to see fight again. So far, I haven't spotted anyone wonderful being sent away but it is pretty early days still.

One or two acts seemed to get to sing on their own. Not quite sure how they got to do that but they seem to get through anyway.

104 left.

Tomorrow is 'Group Day'. Oh dear. First they have to find a group. This is mad and slightly depressing. Some were already organised and get to see the vocal coaches quickly and move forward with some advice. Others either are inexperienced at working with others or wanting to control everyone and things go wrong at both levels - people who can't help or understand less confident ones and those who just can't push themselves at all and get walked over. We see some pretty selfish people and some odd personalities as well some reasonable people having trouble for no reason at all.

I suppose the judges have, to some extent, decided that certain people are through anyway so, unless someone does something crazily bad, they'll stay regardless. We saw that last year. It's a round that I have heard justified in terms of people have to show they can cope with pressure and communicate, work with others etc. time and again but I still doubt its importance in this competition and think it was put there as 'good tv' but now, 13 series in, I think it's time to drop it.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Omaha and the last auditions

After this show we should have seen ever act that makes it through to the Live Shows. If previous years are any guide that isn't strictly true - someone always appears later!

First up in Omaha is a nice lad whose mum sang at the same gigs as Keith Urban. Keith remembers but who wouldn't as his mum still looks cool. Quaid Edwards - now we've already started with the strange first names! - sounds good but gets quite a bit of criticism. Mum seems genuinely happy he gets through, despite the connection advantage. Nice people but I an not sure we'll see much more of him.

Simon Hauck is a slightly dozy Country boy and starts a series of rejects. Eventually Madison Walker floats in. She's good but only 15. Pretty and holds a tune well but just a bit bland. She gets through for another stage. Is the emotion there? That's usually what's missing at that age. Harry suggests that she goes out and gets some life experience!

Girl with guitar. Alyssa Stebken sings very fast. I guess that's a talent of sorts and she seems to be in tune. I suppose she should get through for another round but I am none too convinced we'll see much of her. The judges sort of agree and say they'd like to see 'where she goes'. Ryan gets a selfie with her. Great.

Quiet, well-mannered Country boy next called Tyler Gurwicz who sings Adele. It's OK but Harry can't see where he'd place him in American Idol. The guy's voice is OK but he doesn't come across visually so well. Jennifer likes him. Harry turns him down. The guy gets another chance and has to come up with something else. Slightly embarrassing wait - that would go against him as you really would expect someone to come along to audition with more than one ruddy song. Harry relents but regrets it almost as soon as the guy is out of the room. I expect they'll let him down gently when they whittle 200+ down to 30!

Tyler Marshall has a very silly colour pair of trousers but can sing Proud Mary fairly well. I remind myself to tell my son never to ear that shade of blue pants. He's a cheerful chap and sings in church a lot. I am beginning to wonder if there are any black singers who don't sing in the church on this show. He's through but I don't know how long for.

CJ Jones is an interesting character - one of a very few showmen we've had. He sings Stand By Me well, even with Harry standing by his side. Good audition.

Oh dear. Dayjontae Fernear wears pink top and pink shorts. Jennifer says he's cute. Hmmm.

Dylan Becker is so normal in comparison!! Both through although we don't hear much.

The next girl sings with a US Army Band so has bags of experience. She's pretty competent and serious. A natural to get through. After that, I don't know. She's got a back story so we know we'll see more of her. Paula Hunt makes it to Hollywood as one of the panels' favourites. Quite why she doesn't progress afterwards we'll have to wait and see.

Andrina Brogden is from North Dakota. Now she is one to watch, I think. Totally original and not self-conscious. She has a style of dress from the 70s but will look much better when the makeover teams get to work. I expect to see a lot more of her. Surprisingly, Harry doesn't think she's strong enough for Idol. Keith reckons she'll rise to the occasion. Jennifer is definitely in her camp.

Next guy is a square dance caller. I suppose people have to do something out there. He is a bit of a disaster and you sort of feel sorry for him. He sings about one line. I hope he didn't travel too far just to do that. he looked quite sweet and you tend to feel that his life is very restricted in some small town in the Country where everyone knows everyone and he hasn't been lucky with girls because there are some annoying big guys out there he can't compete with, despite being cute. His dad looks like someone I wouldn't want to argue with. Strange five minutes all round that.

Casey McQuillan does Skyscraper extremely well and is straight through. Nice to see a girl with dark hair getting through. I am sure they've all been blondes so far. Everyone likes her. Nice dress too.

Last audition. Slightly older girl - 25!! - Tessa Kay looks 35 but has a great personality and is very Country, from Arkansas. She does Fulsom Prison Blues and you can see where she fits in and whose votes she'll be looking for. Reminds me of Kelly Pickler. She is an almost ready made Country artist. Harry calls her timeless. Jennifer mentions chipmunks - meaning she went so fast at the end but didn't go into chipmunk cartoon voice territory. The boys were thinking about the way she looked with those high cheeks and the expression she puts on!

21 more through. 212 contenders at Hollywood. That's it.

I never used to like Hollywood week - the insistence on working in groups and pressure isn't necessarily a good way to find the best future artist for the charts. Yes, they need to cope with things and get on with people but I do feel some get badly messed around by others and that seems unfair. Oh well, we'll see what happens.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Utah auditions. There must be something in the genes.

There's an intro this week but it's a gentle affair and sort of rolls along instead of shouting at us. Ryan Seacrest has to earn his money, I guess, and narrates us around Utah's hopefuls.

First up is a pretty girl called Austin Wolfe. Everyone likes her name. Once she starts singing they like her singing too. She seems pretty 'normal' with just a simple denim dress.

Next is another pretty girl and I had to look two or three times to check it wasn't Austin's older sister. I am sure she had exactly the same genes. Her name is  Kylee Adamson and she's a limberjack! You just want her to get through for that alone but she can sing too.

Tessa Norman and some guys sing next and are sort of OK. They're through but I wouldn't expect to see too much more of them.

Alex Preston writes songs and plays guitar a lot. He sings something he's written himself and it develops pretty well into something quite impressive. I wasn't sure when he started and thought he might be a reject as we'd had a few just before but he's through easily and really does seem to have some talent. I don't see him making the Live Shows but a nice guy and wishing him luck.

'Rocking a fanny pack' is not an expression I'd heard before. Harry Connick Jnr comes out with it as soon as Samantha Calmes walks in. She had been nervous but, after that intro, she seems fine and sings something she's written herself. That's an odd tune and style and they get gher to do something else. She comes in with soem jefferson show theme which was new to me too. I'm learning a lot this week. She's through. Not sure how long we'll see her though.

That's the theme so far. Lots of decent singers but I am not convinced there's been any real star talent yet.

Julie Offal was found on the Idol bus. Small towns have talent too and not everyone can get to the main places. We don't get to know whether she made it.

Labryant Crew. Preacher. Performer. Confident and good singer.
Laurel Wright. Nice, Gentle. Lovable girl.

DJ Bradley. I like him and his simple style, playing guitar and sounding quirky but getting messages across. Modern. Not sure how he's manage some of the Live Show rounds but he would be popular and could be the first really good act we've seem in Utah.

Ah, Ryan reminds us that we hadn't heard about Julie. She sings sweetly and just gets in.

Yet another pretty girl! This is crazy. Kenzie Hall has bags of personality and pays beautifully with the words. She has to be in. 16. Super girl. Something about her. We will see her again, for sure.

Interesting story, with Say Something playing in the background for Paisley Van Patten who was a star with a contract at 15 but only lasted a year before drink and stuff took over. So she's trying again. Yes, she has a great voice and confidence. She has to be through but I wonder if she's not still living a bit in the past and whether she has appeal for today's buyers.

Haydn Olsen is another attractive girl with an unusual name. She doesn't make it but wasn't bad.

Then we get some more who didn't make it. Jocelyn Baker and Blake Branscorn do, not that we see much of them! We get a back story about CJ Harris so I expect he'll be good. He's from Jasper, Alabama, a long way away. Nice voice and approach. Not the usual gospel wailing. Heartfelt stuff but he has a nice character and comes across pretty well. The guitar was almost unnecessary and got in the way but a good talent here. He was one of the most appreciative at getting through I have seen.

Day 2 in Salt Lake City.

It looks chilly up there.

Oh dear. A large and loud woman called Tequila comes along. You sort of feel sorry for the panel. She belts out an Adele number. You can just see her on the stage in church screeching out the gospel songs. She is massive. Very noisy. Very annoying. That will, hopefully, be as far as she goes. Please.

Chase Thornton is a male model. OK. So there are good looking blokes in Utah too. He can't sing.

Jessica Bassett is lovely and has an amazing voice. Unbelievably she doesn't get through. We don't get to see why as it's a very short extract and Jennifer does make a comment about missing someone special. Interesting.

Girl with mustard colour tights. I love the way she doesn't seem to like the colour but says it matches her dress! Simple things have great appeal. Emily Rottier is lovely and is, I swear, another twin of some family in Utah that has a hundred identical children. She sings well and is easily through.

Dexter Robinson is a fram hand and trains dogs to hunt ducks. That's lose him a few votes! Nice good ol' Country guy. We haven't had many like him and he is authentic. He gets through and may have an easy run through for a while in the absence of anyone quite like him. Fast Country with some rock in there. It sort of works.

Ally Roundy. A girl with long curly hair and emotion. I am surprised again that she desn;t get through.

Briston Maroney is young buy exceptional. 15. Vintage Gibson as observed by Harry. Great grandfather owned the guitar. He does You Can't Always Get What You Want! Remarkable. What an audition. That will be replayed a good few times, I think, and I see him on the Live Shows. He looks good and has a powerful voice and is different. Cool young guy. You have to smile at Yes, sir, No sir. Great to see someone so polite.

Carson Henline was voted most likely to get on but doesn't make it. Sabrina Lentini, also just 15 does and seemed quite good but it was over very quickly. Fish sings The A Team and has 50 supporters. He was a bit ordinary but gets through.

Johnny Newcomb has an amazing voice. He looks so young. Rasping, deep Country stuff which sounds great and just doesn't seem to be what he ought to be singing. He deserves to get through. Nice.

Carmen Delgina has a dad who sang something we all know but I can't recall it now. Wonder Mike? Well, she had to get through. Not very good.

Kassandra Caseneda has a long name. Nice delivery of Chasing Pavements. Not sure though.

Kenneth Gaddie is huge and sings very very slowly.

We get a long intro and back story for holding a baby almost all the time. So we know he'll be through. Now, is he worth all the promo? Casey Thrasher is a nice guy. Sings Believe - one of the few ballads we've had from guys. He has plenty of emotion and comes over well. He's a must to get through and viewers will like him so here's another Live Show candidate.

30 more. There's now 193 at Hollywood!

Last auditions coming up tomorrow. Will Cannel 5* here in UK ever catch up I wonder?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Atlanta and Georgia Idol auditions find nine acts who'll make the Top 30.

Majesty Rose. Wow, straight in, no messing around and this girl is wonderful. Great control and nice rendering of the Coldplay song. Looks cute, sounds pretty - she will do well in this competition.

Jesse Cline is a gas station attendant. He drove all night. H Doubt if he'll do that song, though. He has a style of his own, doing a country-rock number and impresses the panel just like that. He's not your classic 'obvious star' but neither was Phillip Phillips.

A girl with pink hair comes and goes. Now we have the first big cowboy hat. And a dog. Why the dog? No idea. The panel like him. Chris Medina. I wasn't sure why. Oh well.

Kristen O'Connor is someone who you can just tell wants to do this and make it work. You wonder whether she might be trying too hard but she's good.

Emily Piriz is much cooler an I prefer her at the outset. I guess they'll both be through and we'll see what happens from there. They're difficult to put in boxes at this stage - but they don't really compare to the first girl.

Ben Briley is a good ol' Country boy with a ballad as an audition, slightly Country-style. It's an odd song to audition with but he has lots of passion and something that seems to come across. He isn't much to look at and doesn't strike you as an artist but the panel sure liked his tone. He has a guitar too.

Nica Nashea does quite a bit of the screechy stuff with Natural Woman. Another impressive audition, despite that and the panel really like her too. they are liking a lot of people. Or perhaps the producers are showing is the good acts only. So much better than X Factor's inclusion of so many rubbish acts although, to be fair to them, they have shown substantially fewer in the most recent series.

Jordan Brisbane is just 15 and does fairly good things with the Bruno Mars number. He tends to belt things out and needn't and Harry gets it dead right in telling him that audiences will love him but he could sing a lot better. They give him a chance at Hollywood, though, and maybe he'll stop yelling at us and move on.

Sam comes on next, having been at a Phillip Phillips concert a few nights earlier. He does a crazy I Want To Be Like You for audition which Jennifer loves and Keith likes so he's through but Harry doesn't think he'll last and thinks he has a speech impediment.

Jesse Meuse is very cool indeed. I like her. She writes her own songs and plays one on tonight's show. It's excellent too. Here is someone I do hope survives for a while yet. She's a must through to Hollywood. After that we'll have to see.

Lauren Ogburn is a real blonde Country singing girl. I didn't think she had much going for her but we haven't had many in her style so she'll survive at least to the next round.

Neco Starr and Caleb Johnson were both well in a couple of seasons ago, making the last few. Keith is still not impressed with Neco who seems to be trying a bit too hard but he gets through. Caleb gets all three on his side with a heavy rocking ballad but I can't see him getting any further than he has in the past. I guess that they are both on a par with many who have been put through but neither is anywhere close to being the winner.

Bria Anai is very naturally talented. She looks good but is relaxed and her personality shines. One of the best to get through. A really nice audition on all levels.

Another 44 through. 163 so far through to Hollywood. That's a lot.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Doing it for Detroit and Michegan

As the introduction shows us, there really are masses of people auditioning, and unlike X Factor, they all seem pretty young.

Carrie LeRoche is a lovely girl who starts the show. Like many more on this show this year she has a guitar! Radioactive sounds good to me and she has an earthiness that''s natural. then she gets a second song I'd Rather Go Blind is another track I love and she is straight through. It'd be nice to see more of her but so many are getting through, who knows.

Julian Miller next is OK. A bit samey, not much variation in his delivery but he knows what he's doing and is young. he also has a guitar.

Olivia Diamond belts out something and is through. Paris Primereau has very pink hair and does a nice version of House of The Rising Sun. Both have star names already and we'll see them again.

Malaya Watson is just 15 but comes out with bags of passion. Although songs about a woman's duty just doesn't sound right from someone like her. Great singer and she'll be on future shows.

Bryan Watt is a nice enough fellow and sings OK but I don't see him getting far. All been heard before, really, but he has a lovely tone at the low end. He has a guitar too.

Nice-looking Khristian D'Avis has Sicilian parents. So they were very brave not putting her through. Really attractive but not good enough vocally. Jennifer gives her a chance after all. That was not what I'd expected. Maybe they got a call from her uncle. Keith stays unimpressed but Harry gives her that extra vote she needs. There is something about that girl that I like but I rather suspect that that will be all we see of her.

Jena Ascuttio deosn't have a guitar. She does an Adele number but is good for all that. Good pitch and nice personality. The judges really liked her and sent her straight through to Hollywood.

Melanie Forrest plays a nice guitar well. Jennifer says she should be making records and they clearly like her a lot. They still get her to do two tracks and she follows Fever with a Bon Jovi track!

While Jennifer takes a break, Harry is really entertaining and does an 'audition' with Keith as the panel. Hilarious! I like this series so far. No sure about the talent

Next up is a chap with very blue trousers. He also has a shirt that has some text on the front near his navel which he wears with a grey tie that's too long. He is a little over-weight and wears glasses. So singing a ballad and admiring Harry seems reasonable and his singing itself isn't terrible but really he is no Idol competitor. They try to tell him that but he gets a bit angry, holds onto it, though. Mum and dad are outside to take him home. Odd.

Jade Nathan is pretty and stylish and totally naturally good. They put her straight through with a snippet of an Amy Winehouse number.

Sarah Schero is nice and sings well. So many good-looking females in this edition. Many are Italian.

Sydney Afterbridge sings Lovin' You. She hits the top note just as well as Minnie Ripperton used to. She had to get through after that but I am not so sure she'll get much further.

Maurice Townsend is a Minister of Music! At his local church, not in Parliament. He has four children and, at 26, I think he is at the top end of eligibility for this. He is good, even though the song is a bit boring. He has to be through - lots of talent there.

David Willis is very good and confident. he was cut last year at the Vegas round so he did pretty well. Definitely has to get another chance this year.

Twins Carlita and Rakita are a bit off-key and can't manage without a backing track. Quite painful listening to them. Maybe they thought they sounded better at home when practising.

Brandy Neely is back again. She sounds pretty good, great notes and lots of emotion. Good song choice. They'll give her another chance. She has had two already. Maybe this time she'll get a bit further.

Ethan Harris comes in with a lovely drawing of Keith that he had done himself. He gets Keith to autograph it and that'll be worth a fortune. They call him the sixth Osmond - Ronnie Osmond!! Eventually he starts singing and does a Keith Urban number and does it really well. Nice guy and a bit different to all the others. I can't put him in a pigeonhole but he is definitely someone I would like to see succeed. One to watch.

Leah Guerrero is very positive and a determined type. Symphony Howlett is a bit straight but tries hard. These two and a guy whose name wasn't shown get through - just.

Ayla Stockhouse has a natural enthusiasm and nice personality. She comes from Detroit and feels the sense of music history there so doing Little Mix's Wings was not what I'd expected. She is good and wows the judges, getting through very easily. They see great things for her.

Eric Gordon is a good singer but looks a bit strange, with his combed up hair which the boys joke about. He is a bit out-of-date in some ways but they'll probably put him through anyway. They do. I don't see much more for him though, to be honest.

Man with a beard tries CCR's excellent Have You Ever Seen The Rain but isn't very good. He wants another chance and I wonder if they'll

Ryan Nesbitt has hair up too. In The Arms Of An Angel has some passion and silences the judges although he looks quite strange singing it. He is unique. They love him. He had a cold but didn't moan about it. They really do take to him and say he'll go all the way. I am not so sure but he's off to a good start, at least.

There's a really long intro for Marialle Sellars. She's the girl at the start of this series that we wondered about. Gosh, it goes on and on. She does Bruno Mars Grenade really well. There is something confident and competent about her. At 17 she's very professional. Definitely one we'll see a lot more of.

40 new Hollywood tickets issued so far. 119 so far.

Monday, 3 February 2014

More Worship Leaders Get Through.

Like audition week 1 we get straight in with an audition as a sort of intro and then it broadens out and we see a selection of names and people and a rather over-prepared thing where everyone has a placard and when turned they show the Idol logo. A ot of effort went into that but I'm not entirely sure it was worth it.

First up properly is Jesse. She's got a guitar like so many others. She is very good. Rough and ready looking, Too many tattoos but she has some talent alright. It seems some woman heard her in the garage and paid for everything for the first audition for her.

Stephen and Ryan and a blonde singing Wrecking Ball get through. We get about one bar from each.

Jamiah is a cute boy who sings some track he wrote himself. Looks about 12. Quiandra is photogenic too and cute. I could see both making it a long way but it's the girl who gets the ticket.

Megan comes from a town called Ethel. A town called Ethel? I know Ethel says Harry. Love this chap. Back to Megan - she doesn't look that impressive on TV but she can sing OK. I can't see her getting far but she makes it to Hollywood.

Grace Ann Field has all sorts of qualifications in music and plays piano in bars. Over-confident and she uses her phone to get a pitch. All a bit embarrassing as she can't sing very well at all.

Austin and Eric get through, as does the good-looking Spencer Lloyd who seems to have it all going for him. His family even have expensive banners. He gets billed as a Worship Leader. That sounds worrying. Other than that he was OK. Harry says yes for the 'image thing'. I'm not sure the family will celebrate quite so loudly when they get home and see the programme.

Marlon seems to have been made to sing A Change Is Going To Come. He's safely through and we'll see more of him for sure.

TK Hash (don't ask - that's what they show on the screen) does great Obama impressions. Not so sure about the singing, though. Keith loved it and he gets through but goodness knows why. Just 'cos he's likeable, by the seems of it.

Tristan's mum comes with him and we learn that she came 3rd in the very first season of American Idol! Amazing that there's a second generation coming through in a sense. He's OK and, at 15, has a way to go. He gets a chance, possibly as much for the TV as anything.

Taylor is good. Yet another girl with a guitar through!

LJ comes from Goliad, Texas. Cue shot of him driving an absolutely huge tractor. He's got a big black hat. His ex-fiancee says he hasn't got any talent. She was right.

John Fox is from Magnolia, Texas, population 1,111. Another Worship Leader. Just what is a Worship leader? He has Chris Evans glasses and hair. He can sing well. One of the better ones. Odd redneck look but the makeover guys will fix that. I can see him making the Live Shows.

Next we get to San Francisco. People really do look different there - and definitely sound different. It's still very overcast, though. Now that's not what I expect in San Francisco. there should be sunshine, people with flowers in their hair.

Rachel is 17. She looks exactly like American Idol material. Big Keith Urban fan but, unlike some others, she holds that back and just gets on with it. Nice.

Athena also looks like someone we could see on TV. She could go far. Very good indeed. One of the better ones there even though we only see a fraction.

MK Nobliette could be - he's good but the name?? Edit: Er, he's a she, apparently! Sorry to MK and readers. Looks like she gets further than Hollywood too so I need to get this right!

All though quite easily.

Emmanuel is a bit full of himself and comes on singing before he even introduces himself. I don't see him getting far but they seem to think he has something.

Caitlin does not look just 15, Harry is quite right. She lives on a 46 acre ranch and rides horses and it's all great stuff. I am surprised that Harry says 'No'. Keith is a definite 'Yes' and eventually Jennifer gives her the chance. She could be very good indeed. We'll see who's right - Harry or Keith in a few weeks' time I guess.

Ronald Reed sings For You. Well, he doesn't sing and it's all a bit worrying as he looks for a moment as if he might attack someone. Ryan looks quite relieved when he goes. There's something slightly mad about that fellow.

David Luning sings his own track. Nearly everyone has guitars! This is a good, well-constructed track. Nice job. He looks a bit like Keith Urban at times. Sounds like he could do good CCR stuff. Nothing like him on Idol so far. that might go against him. They put him through. That'll be worth watching how he gets on. I'd like to see him survive. Very very genuine.

Selina sings Try. Now that's one great audition song. She just doesn't look ugly enough for the song. Sierra next. Her twin sister. Selina makes it through. Sierra doesn't. That was quite emotional to watch.

Brianna auditioned last week and made it to Hollywood week. Keith asks her what she learned from last year's experience. Only that I want it more, I she replies. That's lost it for her this year. Something to do with understanding why she didn't get further, recognising that some other people sang better and all that kind of stuff might have gone down better. Anyway, she is a reasonably good singer. Not a winner. She'll go to Hollywood again but after that? She'll need to have learned something by then or we'll not remember her again.

Now we have some people with really cool names. Rico Perkins. Aranesa Turner. Gary Guns. Gary Guns? OK, well the first two were very good and straight through. Look out for the thin chap with red hair. And the girl is bound to be noticed - very sweet, very sincere. Gary you can forget. Just some huge muscle chap with a very strange shirt and an even stranger voice that had Jennifer giggling.

Lastly we get a real San Francisco weirdo. At last. White suit. Tick. Long blond hair. Tick. Uncertain age. Tick. Tanned. Tick. Occupation sound healer. Big, massive tick! Now we 're all expecting this guy to be useless but, in fact, he performs Hallelujah excellently and genuinely has a good voice and can sing. Hilarious moments again with Harry playing the Devil to the kaftan man's everything is groovy.

That's another 33 through. 79 in total.

American Idol 2014: In The UK At Last!

At last, this is... American Idol...

Meet Marielle who gets the show off to a good start with Grenade. A smart-looking girl with a guitar and nice shoes. Then the show really starts. You are left wondering if we'll see Marielle again or if she was just part of a trailer. In the UK American idol is shown at 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, when most people are doing something other than watching TV. It's on a channel called 5* which doesn't appear in most newspaper TV guides either. I missed the first two shows and I'm supposed to know what I'm doing! Oh dear. Luckily I can catch up - and you can too - on-line via Demand 5. It's free and there are no ads either. Remarkable!

Grey skies and cold-looking people don't show Boston in its best light. Harry Connick Jnr joins Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez for a three-line panel that ought to be free of argument and they all seem to be able to review well and effectively without descending to some of the antics of some X Factor judges.

We see a chap called Troy being interviewed after his audition but shown before his audition so it's obvious that he'll be through. A funny audition - he's just average and not memorable - and too many jokes about twerking.

The first real potential star we see is Sam, a nice young lad with a sad back story, a grandad and a low voice. He does a great job with Lego House. Nice. We'll see more of him. Another great little act was Stephanie - a 16 year old from Jersey - who had a cool hat and we get treated to huge delays as the judges take an age to say 'Yes'. Her success is quite emotional and she gets followed by Morgan who is just 15 and nowhere near as good.

James sounds drunk. Harry thinks he is the coolest man he's met. His song is his own and might have been OK had he not had three separate singing voices which made it laughable.

Austin has a helicopter mother. He's from New Jersey. Austin Bacario just manages the high notes in Titanium. He could be good with some coaching. Looks like he'll be around for a while and, 18 by the time you read this, he is keen to get to Hollywood without his mum.

Caitlin talks a lot and really quickly. She sang her own song which was pretty nice, something about her grandad dying I think. Bit of a wail but she deserved a space at the Hollywood round. Another very young one at 15.

Keith London had a guitar. Quite a few acts have brought guitars. He does Roar by Katy Perry and gets two out of three, Harry not being so sure.

An annoying chap called Sam says he's going to win the show hands down. He's one of those boring people that you don't want to listen to talking for long. You don't want to listen to him sing for long either. I was worried that he might prove a good singer but, luckily, that was it. Good.

Shanon is one enormous guy. He seems to be confused by Ryan running around a jumoing over chairs for no reason whatsoever. A reasonable voice at the start and then he finds all kind of strange squeaking notes that are in tune as well.

Bikini babe next. She's a cheerleader.  Stephanie Petroneli. With that surname you feel a bit nervous about not giving her a ticket. She looks like a model but the voice isn't great. Smoky, possibly different enough to get her through. It is. Once again, Harry fails her on the voice but Jennifer and Keith give her a chance.

Jacob from Arkansas. Strums a lot. No idea what happened to him.

Now we're in Austin. Keep Austin Weird say the posters!! Duran is a pretty little girl who isn't very memorable. Keith gets to choose again and she's out. Quite a few failures follow. Then I counted about 12 golden tickets being handed out but no idea what they were like.

Savion from Jasper, Texas has ADHD so we know he'll be through. In fact, he's damn good. Maybe the best so far. Another one to watch if he can keep it together doing other people's tracks and not just his own.

Terrica will look great on camera. Justin won't but may get through. Haley is a cute young country girl from a little place in Texas where her dad's a real cowboy.

Madelyn has very nice legs and is a bit older - at least 19. Not so sure about her audition but she was controlled and sultry and made Harry talk about her runs. Not at all sure I liked the look of her boyfriend though.

Viviana plays a ukelele and gets through

Savannah looks nice and sings OK and gets through.

Ben Boone has to be though with a name like Ben Boone.

Another pile get golden tickets. Malcolm Allen did some weird stuff with an air guitar at the start but actually sang well once he got on to the proper stuff.

Some guy cries his heart out. Rollando is really not a great singer at all. So many people come on and just fall for JLo so poor Harry gets well left out but finally Munfarid from Pakistan and Texas, not sure which, comes on as a majot Harry fan. Hilarious reaction from the excellent Harry who picks up Munfarid and it's all too much for me to watch. Lots more through. Hollywood will be packed out this year. 46 so far, we're told.

Part 2 coming soon.