Monday, 26 January 2015

American Idol XIV Auditions Day 4

New York. Cue Jennifer walking down a street and trying to tell some guy that she used to live there. He has no idea who she is!

Cue Sal Valentinetti. He has the name and the look and the accent. He sounds a bit like Sinatra and plays the part well. Harry is right. he won't go far but he's fun to watch and can sing.

This is an interesting first too as Adam Lambert joins the panel in place of Keith for the day. Adam really has done well since coming 2nd several years ago now. he has been a superb mentor on previous shows but this is the first time a contestant has been a panel member. He is also at the time of writing performing to great reviews with the remaining Queen band members, substituting for the almost impossible to substitute Freddie Mercury.

Next up is someone called J None. Hmmm. He brings on some toy bear. I didn't think he was particularly good but he gets through. Nicer enough chap but lacking a memorable voice and none too sure about the tuning either. I can only guess the panel were distracted by the bear.

Jax is blonde but New York blonde and she is just Jax, no surname. Playing the piano she does a great version of the Beatles' I Wanna Hold Your Hand. She is really original, bags of confident. I like Jennifer's description of her being shy and confident at the same time. The real thing. Definitely one I would like to see more of. 18 going on 28.

New York is certainly bringing some different talent! Johnny Arco is next and very off the wall with a cool track using a violin like a banjo.

Another performer from the underground stations (seem to be getting a few of them this year) is Najah Lewis. Sha says that she makes a decent income singing in the stations already. She's OK. Not brilliant but she's OK. The panel like her and she flies through.

Tion Phillips does Bruno Mars well. Very well.

James Dillian Dunn isn't as good. They both fancy Jennifer Lopez and get through. Adam wasn't sure about James. He was right.

Nervously rushing on to stage is Shi Scott. Just 19 but good and sounds very like Amy Winehouse with an excellent cover of Valleri or Valerie. Harry says it's an Amy impression. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Adam likes her but the panel don't seem to think she's ready. I would say she was a damn sight more ready than the two guys before. Jennifer is very much for her. Nice surprise as Harry actually overturns Adam and takes her through. She's genuine. I like her.

We see Adam turning down a lot of acts. Good job, Finally we get Eric. Now how can Eric get through looking like that and wearing those clothes. He's singing The Show Must Go On. OK. That's going to be another that Adam turns down. Eh? Harry says No. Adam has to choose. Our Eric persuades Adam. Harry says he 'hustled the crap out of Adam'! How did that happen. I don't think we'll see much of him at Hollywood.

Maddie Walker is only 16 but this is her second attempt to get in. Jennifer recognises her. Pretty. Blonde.

Courtney Zahne and Jackie Nese Two more very pretty blondes. All just teenagers. None are really impressive but they can sing and do look good so, yes, they get through. I am not so sure Harry would have put them through.

Qaasim Middleton is fun and pretty talented, doing an amusing but quite smart version of Sir Duke from the Stevie Wonder days. He's also at a jazz school, 'working on his craft' as Harry says. Three very firm and solid yesses for that guy.

Brigette Guerette comes and goes. She gets a minute of fame, I guess. Harry then recalls how Adam must have been a great audition many years ago. He gets Adam to stand up and recreate his audition. We get the old video too, with LA Reid, Paula and Simon Cowell in the background! Oh boy. Those were the days. Adam is amazing. Quite a cool moment.

Adam Ezegelian is another Adam with a big voice and actually he gets some good notes for Born To Be Wild which is not at all an easy song. He admits to taking some of Adam Lambert's ideas there. He does a second track and that's pretty good. This is a podgy looking fellow with 70s frizzy hair. Odd but I quite like the fellow who didn't bother to dress up, sings with his hand in his shorts pocket. He's through. Interesting guy. I doubt he'll get too far.

Katherine Winston is lovely. Just 18 and easily through with a gentle number that is like Country but also with soul. Reminded me of Ella Henderson in UK's X factor. Talent but will she get lost in the crowd at Hollywood? Hope not.

Travis Finlay writes songs and teaches 'Beats' and stuff. he had to save his house in the recent hurricane so missed out on a lot of chances. Nice fellow and great voice. He'll be through for sure and I'd expect to see him get past Hollywood too. Nice audition. I know I can look up who makes the Top 24 and cheat with all these predictions but I am genuinely not doing that and, although I have looked at the list before, I can't remember who's in it. I am not sure he is but the pane; reckon he;s a star so maybe he should be.

Benjamin Farmer. He's a bit annoying to listen to. Great song but he's no good. S we get quite a few bad auditions where people try to stand out. Most fail dreadfully.

Ariana is Yanni G apparently. She does things with a stool and a cup and even has her boyfriend playing guitar with her. Is that what the programme rules allow? If so, everyone should come in with friends. She gets short shrift. Nick Fradiani, her boyfriend, is good. He auditions on his own so all's well after all. He really gets the song across. I don't know what it was but there's something about him that works. He's through but not the girl. I would have given her more of a chance.

Another busker in New York City. These are certainly individuals. The last one today is 22 year old 'Hollywood' Anderson who sings a song he's written himself and it's great. Nice voice, great style. He has to go through. That song is something special. Harry says his audition is possibly the best not only of New York but of the Season so far.

Surely he makes it further than his name.