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.