Friday, 29 January 2016

That's it. We've now seen the winner. Just not sure which.

The last auditions start with a very accomplished Jessica Cobral who really impresses the judges. She sounds as if she is already a recording artist with a super voice, control and she just seems so professional. Harry says he would be shocked if she didn't make it 'very far'. She's overdone the teeth whitening, though.

Cody Ostrenga is a world champion horse riding balloon shooter and a belly dancer. He tries to sing Proud Mary but singing isn't something he'll win. He's a smart guy and looks great, easily entertaining everyone but, regrettably, not a singer.

Brian Dale Brown is a big cellphone salesman who has auditioned every year. Thank goodness there won't be another year. He makes Hollywood as he does have signs of a decent voice beneath all the silly stuff but that'll be the end of his road, I'm afraid.

Gina Naomi Baez is a sort of older cheerleader type, looking just like a girl from an anerican 1960s movie and carrying a dog. The combination is like an advert for a hoover or something and she might have been better ditching the dog and just doing a gentle ballad. She's pretty disappointed. I think she had sold it to herself that she would go through. I would have given her another chance as she was actually quite good but all the impressions were needing control.

We're getting lots of 'almost made it' people and it's quite sad as some have to be sent home and that's the end of the Idol road for them, with no 'Come back next year' option. I suppose there'll be The Voice or something else. Or they can come to UK and enliven our X Factor.

Next is Melanie Huber who has recently recovered from some nasty illness. With her short hair and odd socks and harsh glasses, she is not someone you would immediately expect to see pictured on an album sleeve. She is definitely different and, musically, quite appealing. She'll be through easily. Next stages, though. Not so sure.

Rachel Karryn performs with her dad playing guitar. Bianca Espinal sings with her granddad playing guitar and each of them get through as well as a few more we only get glimpses of but all seem to have old folk around with guitars. We don't see much of those two either so I can't really say much about them.

Next up is Justin Sullivan who is infatuated with Kelly Clarkson. Harry moves a pull-up poster of Kelly so that she appears to be singing with him. The guy is pretty average, though. The best part is the joke Harry cracks when asking if the young Filipino guitarist on stage with him is his dad! Hilarious, after all the acts shown with people accompanied by members of their family.

Chynna Sherrod is a pleasant change from all that. She 'represents', as the jargon has it, Connecticut which is where Harry is from too. He cracks another joke about how two different people can 'represent': Hey I'm from Connecticut and live in  a mansion with a swimming pool and eat at restaurants. Yeah, and I live on the street. She is a great singer, though, and has some personality although not that much . So she's through but that's probably as far as she gets.

Lilian Glanton has a few million chickens. She is real Country with a crazy accent, jeans, blonde hair and is full of Alabama. She sings her own song. Nice personality that puts most of those who have gone before tonight well in the shade. I like this girl and that was a cute little song too. She almost doesn't make it as Harry doesn't go for her at all. She reminds me of a girl who did Country and was quite amusing and came about 6th a few years back. She's had quite a lot of success and this girl could do well to follow her lead. Oh dear, what was that other girls's name. The Red Shoes girl.

Kacye Haynes talks about how he used to use drugs but now seems to have got himself off them. He looks and sounds pretty mature and comes across quite strong. He reminds me a bit of Nick who won last year, quite passionate and, although a bit 2000s, he is a bit different to a lot of this year's people. Keith is not impressed but Harry and Jennifer put him through.

Zach Person has the right look and lots of talent. A great blues guitarist and he certainly sings the blues well too. Quite unique and refreshing. He should do well. I am not sure how many votes he'd garner on the Live Shows but he certainly should stay with the programme for a while yet. Nice chap. One of the better ones in a very average evening so far.

Collette Lush is a nanny and comes in wearing what look like clown's trousers. Now she was good. She is proud of being a redhead but she should be more proud of her talent. Super talent. She made a big impression on all three. Harry wondered whether she thought she could make it all the way to the finishing line. Keith says that's a big old star that goes next to her name on his sheet.

Avalon Young is quite plain-looking and talks about how plain she is too. Like a tom boy. She could use some work from the makeover team but her voice is great, doing justice in a major way to the Beyonce number. Another good one. She could do well. She plays guitar well, it worked with her singing, not against it as some have done.

Usen Isong is an actor with a name that's different. He can perform but his singing was a bit painful on the ears. The judges must have heard something different as they loved him. Nice guy for sure but I am not at all sure he should be through. Oh well. Good tv.

Jaci Butler has green hair. She's the lead singer of a band who have green and black as a sort of theme so it may not need to stay. It is bright, though! Her band is a rock band so this should be good and a nice change. I was a bit disappointed with her Bruno Mars number. The judges liked her and put her through. I think she needs that band or some heavy accompaniment of some sort.

We then see a few fly through but we'll have to wait for another day to find out who or how good they are.

Looking a bit more amazing is Stephany Negrete. She sounds pretty good too and with no instruments in sight she just stands there and sings, making a very good impression indeed with Who's Lovin' You Now. Jennifer pointed out that she was more concerned with thinking about the next note than the meaning of the words. Fair point. She is certainly through but will need to be a bit more natural next time. No need for the makeover team, though.

Manny Torres is a Porto Rican so gets an automatic yes from Jennifer. He does a great job of This Love from Maroon Five. Nice attitude and voice and he deserves a place. Sounds great and very relaxed.

And he is the last through.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Bus Auditions and some more who make it through very easily

Bus Auditions is an odd title but this is where the AI bus goes around places and people get a chance to

Po is Chi Scott's sister. Chi reached the final 24 last year. Nice girl that I would like to have seen do better. This one has a sort of broken voice and is a good performer. She is pleasantly natural and impressed all the judges a lot. Straight through. Her real name is Miranda. Po is a TellyTubbies thing. I'd forgotten all about TellyTubbies and thought that they were only a British thing too. See what you learn watching American Idol.

Amelia Eisenhauer comes with a samurai sword. I am not entirely sure why. She is a confident girl with quite a bit of experience and really does know what she's doing. She comes in to the audition room with a fiddle but only plays a few notes at the start. Harry says she has a mysterious quality and I agree with that. Another strong, slightly rough-edged audition from a girl. Clearly talented this one. I don't think her granddad was the president.

Joy Dove is a bouncy, very cheerful girl. Jumbalayo I haven't heard since Karen Carpenter passed away. Full of energy and she just sings away. She may not get much further but quite fun to watch and at least she was in tune.

Nice chap up next. Mackenzie Bourg puts a medley together and sounds a bit like a more mature Justin Bieber, cleverly doing one of each of the judges' tracks - not an easy thing. 'You're a smart son of a something!' jokes Harry and, once again, he's spot on there. This is one cool dude who is very likeable, very grateful to get through and I can see him getting on very well. Watch that one.

Andrew and Aaron are nerds and are not the prettiest of contestants, particularly with low cut jeans on bend-over. A very odd couple. Not sure what they are doing together. Bits are pleasant in places but most of that was rubbish. 'A Gregorian acid trip', says Harry. 'A Gregorian Cant.' said Keith.

Next up is another one to watch. Jenna Renae plays piano and sings very well and looks totally at home. A good voice, lots of emotion but without going over the top. Not Country, more Elton and soul. A very, very good audition and she is a must to move forward. She is also photogenic and will look good on the posters. 'She's good.' says Harry.

Mario Bonds thinks he'll be the Season XV winner. He's been blind since age 10. That's a tough gig. He comes across very well, full of confidence and humour. His performance is maybe just a bit OTT but he does have a good voice if only he could control his breathing and cut out some of the chewy bits. Jennifer is spot-on when she says there are some parts that were great and others that weren't. Great person but he's not going through. Bit sad. I think I would have let him sing another song to see whether he had just been a bit nervous and might have made a good audition without all the odd bits after all.

Adam Lasher reached the last few in Season XIV. Everyone liked him and I don't know why he didn't go further. The judges clearly like him again. A quick and simple audition by this professional-looking and professional-sounding guy. He's going to do well this year.

Another one who made Hollywood last year is Emily Brooke. She made it a bit further actually too. So she's back and is very nice and modern. I like this girl and wonder how she can be just 16. With the lyrics of her audition song and clear confidence she shows a lot of experience and talent. I doubt if she's just been at school for the last year.

That's nearly it. One more audition programme and that will be that. We will have seen the Season XV Idol Winner. If, that is, we haven't seen her already.

Oh. Did I say 'her'?


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The search continues in Denver and Little Rock. But only John Wayne really impresses.

Welcome to Denver. People here seem quite big and look older. Oh, there's a beer festival next door. That explains it.

Emma or Amber Lynn and James The Eighth (don't ask!) do their thing to start us off. Emma Lynn sings an off the wall number and actually does quite a reasonable job of it. Quite a talented girl. The guy's guitar leaves quite a bit to be desired and he is a fan of odd stuff too but, again, not a bad audition and certainly different. Both are interesting but I can't see them going far in this competition after Boot Camp.

Emily Wears is a professional auctioneer and does an amazing job of the true spiel! That's really quite impressive but more so is her performance. I love this girl and she came across really well. I don't know the song but it was good. Unfortunately, she doesn't make it, none of the judges wanting to put her through. Pity. I think she was pretty annoyed with herself too. Normally she'd be a classic case of next year she'll be along and will get through easily. That makes it all the tougher this time. That's it. We won't see Emily again.

Chris Johnson is quite keen to move on. He is a professional musician doing whatever it takes in Memphis but he wants more. He picks a Hall & Oakes number which doesn't do much for me but the panel like him. They call him a Road Warrior and say how well he performs in a natural way. When Keith says 'Let's get you out of Memphis and on to Hollywood' that is exactly what he wants to hear.

Nashville, Arkansas is where a very young-looking chap comes from. I think there about four people living there and lots of dogs. He calls everyone 'Sir'. Ethan Kuntz is just 15. He sings the Blues and actually sings them well. Unbelievable because he's way too inexperienced to know anything about the Blues or what's behind the lyrics. He is very good, nevertheless. Keith has mixed reactions. Harry is not keen, despite him being so good, worrying about his not being able to handle some mixed genres. Jennifer is very keen to put him through. Keith is torn but he has to decide. He puts him through and we'll see what he can do in a while. he may need to change his name if he gets famous.

Mary Williams loves horses and sparkly stuff. She lives on a ranch with dogs and horses and says Y'all a lot. she does old school Country. Yes, she can don that well. Good voice and, with no accompaniment, she just hits all the notes well. Remembering how they weren't sure about Ethan being stuck in a groove I was wondering what they'd decide this time. Keith was not convinced this time but Harry was so she's through.

Xavier Sollen is a noisy chap but his job is to warm up audiences so that makes some sense and you sort of forgive him. He gets them chucking balls and Jennifer gets her first shot right in the basket, much to everyone's surprise. Nice fellow but he can't really sing. he did wake them up a bit though.

Teryan comes from a bad part of town. She uses music to escape from the drugs and guns and whatever goes on where she lives. You sort of don't want to say no as you want to rescue this girl from that world. However she didn't do that good a job of Happy. Such a shame. She's pretty and comes across well. They put her through and that's nice but I am not sure how far she'll get.

A singing Nomad called Blue is like a hippy chick. Leanne McIsaac comes across pleasantly and puts together a song specially for them. Cute, not the simplest song and I don't know if she is an Idol. I think she should have tried a better song and shown that she can sing as she seemed disappointed not to get through. Thereagain, she wouldn't have been good doing Abba and One D songs.

Tommy Stringfellow is probably last up in Denver. Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran is a cool number for this chap. Straight away you can hear that he has something special. He's good and ought to balance the books as so far it has been all girls showing talent so far. He deserves his golden ticket for sure. Hope he survives Hollywood.

Oh, there's more. Someone called Tank. He also comes with a teeny wee 'Boom Box'. Slightly embarrassing dancing we can do without. Tywan Jackson is his name. His singing isn't bad. But he isn't in tune and it gets a bit painful after a while and even The Carpenters' Guitar Man sounds bad, which is a shame, as that's a nice song. Very oddly, the judges seem to like him. he actually gets through, seemingly because he can 'entertain'. Now that doesn't make any sense to me, unless they need to balance a black v white thing. Nice chap but surely he shouldn't be through.

A big cowboy comes next. John Wayne Shultz was here a few years ago and lost out at a crucial stage to Scotty McCririck who went on to win the whole thing. John was as good and maybe better as he's more mature. So we know he's through to Hollywood for sure. It will be interesting to have a class act in there and to see how far he goes. Nice, Very good audition. And I'm not a Country fan.

Leah Harbert is frightening. I hope they stop her soon. Thank goodness.

We get reminded that Tori Kelly, currently topping the US Charts go a fair way through American Idol a year or two back and has done very well despite not reaching the Live Shows.

Jordyn Simone is 15 going on 25. She is good, doing Who's loving you? the Jacksons' number. They find it hard to believe that she is just 15 and she gets through so easily. Now there is someone who ought to do well. 'She'll look exactly the same at 45' says Harry.

Back to Little Rock,, Kassy Levels auditions well and is shown with Rhea Raj. She is different and also does a super audition, not that we see much of either. Both fly through. Chap with a beard and his hat on backwards next. Jake Dillon has a super Country-style voice and does a Kenny Loggins number about Ben. Nice track and he has to do well. Yet, again, Harry and Keith worry about his being stuck in a groove in the competition - a bit like some that have gone before. They could be right but pure Country guys have won quite often! For a moment I am thinking he is not even going to make Hollywood but Keith gives him that chance. Thank goodness. Even if his journey stops there, like several others' might too, he will have had that experience that the panel have already given to quite a few more questionable talents mostly on the basis of their just being a bit more current or pretty.

Ashley has a crazily long name and comes from Hawaii. She is seemingly very relaxed and out there. Her song is Black Velvet. I don't know. She looks lovely and sings OK but she doesn't really fit anywhere. She gets through but I feel that will be the end of her run.

Andrew Nazabekian is from Russia! Just flown in. He used to live in New York but his parents went back to Russia so he had to go to. He is a more serious singer and I am not sure how his slightly broken English will go down with voters. The panel just seem to throw him through anyway. I still think that's as far as he'll go.

Now this is the last one. From Kentucky Elvie Shane gives us House Of The Rising Sun and seems to have something a bit more interesting about him. Quite entertaining. Good choice of track and he knows what he's doing too. He's a good one to watch.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Philadelphia auditions. Everyone's a bit different.

This week sees the Philadelphia auditions. They seem quite a markedly different bunch to what ahs gone before. Almost everyone is quite memorable.

Gianna Isabella has a mum who shared a studio with Jennifer Lopez and had connections with Mariah Carey. She auditions with House Of The Rising Sun which is sort of OK but not exactly spectacular. Nevertheless she deserves a place at Boot Camp as she may have some hidden abilities.

We see a pile of successes as more people go through but we'll have to wait a while before knowing who they are.

Derek Huffman fails on three counts. First he says he's a major Idol fan but can't get any of Clay Aitken's questions right. It was pity because all the answers were actually Clay! Quite amusing, although I do find Clay a little odd. Secondly, he brings on a little CD player and plays a Shaggy track background as he tries to sing along. Thirdly he can't sing.

Country boy Isaac Cole is a real country boy and has a haircut that looks like a coconut. The panel seem to like him. He is nearly good enough and gets through. It looks as though his parents were really surprised. He certainly had a day to remember as his own 'idol', Keith Urban signs his guitar case. Nice. I doubt if we'll see much more of the lad though.

Sarah Sturm works in an egg restaurant. Cheerful lass and she chose a good song with Your Lips Are Moving and is such a plain-looking girl that I actually hope she'll do well and get the benefit of the makeover team's work for a few weeks.

Ellis Spanks is weird. He comes in with what he calls a Jesus hairpiece and not a great deal else. Very odd. He tries to sing Lady Gaga's Born This Way but he can't really sing. He makes us laugh but that's all.

Quirky describes the next girl. Jenn Blosil is quite strange but also endearing. You sort of want her to do well but don't know what she'll do. As it happens, she does a great job of Imagine Dragons' Radioactive. I quite like her. No idea how she'll get on from here but she could do well if she gets some support and chooses the right tracks. No-one there to meet her afterwards. That was a shame. Maybe there ws someone hiding outside.

Harry Cohen has his grandad with him who fancies just about every girl he sees. Some might think him  a bit pervy but I think he's OK. Anyway, his grandson, Harry or Harrison sings a song he has written himself and it's pretty good. The lad's a bit odd but he can sing and can write from what we hear.

John Greene has a sad back story and that might explain why he has a big passion in his voice. He is currently in Matilda on Broadway and that puts him in a particular category. Harry says no, unsure whether he can be made to appeal in other genres but Keith and Jennifer get him through.

Next auditions in Denver.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

So many good people. How will they ever choose just 12?

Down in Little Rock and they kick off with a little rocker in shorts. After a few minutes of him chatting with Harry about the Louisiana accent he gets to Give Me Love, the Ed Sheeran song. And, despite seeming to be about 13 years old he sings that really really well. I don't know what to make of this fellow Cameron. He just looks so young and seems out of place. He's though to Boot Camp but will be one of those contestants who really will wish American Idol could return next year.

Daniel Farmer sings nicely. Good voice but a bit ordinary and occasionally a strange octave lower note emerges that sounds weird. then he goes off an octave higher which may show some great range but I really don't think I can see him in the charts or selling albums to more than a few specialists.

Dalton Rappotoni has a very good audition. He sings Phantom Of the Opera accompanying himself on a guitar. Amazingly good. Reminded me of Adam Lambert, one of the best ever guys on AI. Superb and interesting tone. He is one to watch and throws several others we've seen so far way out of the game. Nice.

La Porsha Danae gets a big intro so I guess we'll be seeing more of her. She has big and slightly unflattering hair. She comes on with her baby with Jennifer has to hold. She sings Creep well and with some passion. Quite a talent and easily through. I have some doubts but the panel reckon she could be capable of shutting down quite a lot of the competition if she continues to perform that well. We'll see. I am not so sure.

One things is certain and that is there is plenty of interesting talent coming along in just these first two sets of auditions. Now, I know they will have been edited and saved us from being dragged through a pile of rubbish but, in comparison to some years, things are looking good. So far Dalton, in my view, is the one that will take some beating.

I have just noticed that we're not seeing much of Ryan. Kris Allen is making a good job, though.

Maddie McAllister is a country girl from Arkansas. She comes in with a chicken. Her chickens have the biggest breasts in Arkansas!! Oh boy. Nice girl but she's off key. So many of the contestants here are working on farms and coming in with this or that animal but few more seem to impress until the next lad appears. 'Do you have any creatures with you?' asks Harry.

Trent Harmon maybe a real Country boy but he redoes one track into a totally different thing that is more soul than anything. All a bit weird. The guy gets a great compliment from Harry as one of the favourite auditions so far. I don't quite see that but he's through and may have to leave the 3000 cattle ranch and restaurant for a while. I like the sound of his family's restaurant where the cows are grazing just a few yards from where the steaks are served.

Ah! Ryan's back, welcoming us to San Francisco. Hopefully we'll see some people with flowers in their hair and a few less tractor drivers and chicken-carrying girls.

We get a slightly annoying waste of time with an otherwise nice girl saying sorry a lot in some practice filming to promote the show. Brook Sample is a waitress. I like this girl. she does a Dixie Chicks number and that's not an easy one to cover with just a piano. I like the fact that she was genuinely surprised at getting through. She could do well but they'll need to help her and stop her saying sorry so often!

Olivia Rox performs the lovely Bruno Mars When I Was Your Man and she is super talented. A very gentle but natural, quite spell-binding audition. I like her a lot and surely she has to go far.

Melanie Tierce is another great singer. San Francisco is producing some really good girl auditions. All of them could make the Live Shows. harry says people would pay to watch her audition and says she's the best so far! That makes about five he's said that too! But he does genuinely mean what he says. They could make a show with just the girls. Well, the girls and Dalton.

Miss Alalska next!! 'Oh Jesus!' she says as she comes in. 'No, I'm Harry. Jesus couldn't make it'. says Harry. This is Maylie Deroado or something like that. Yet another very interesting girl. She looks good but just has a great personality and isn't the cheerleader type that Miss Wherevers often can be. How on Earth can they choose between all these girls?

Brandyn Burnette sings a song he wrote himself called Lost. It's pretty good and he puts a lot into this audition. Very good indeed and that's one for the boys. He deserves his spot in Hollywood. Ryan took a seat in Harry's place for no reason other than something that just happens when Harry starts messing around. Brandyn gets four yesses!

The Chavez family seem to be the biggest AI fans ever, with all the series on old VHS tapes. Kirstie is the daughter that is performing. To be honest she's not very good, losing the notes and screaming tinnily a lot. I think I might well just send her to Hollywood for the sake of her parents! And that's what they do but I doubt if she'll get much further as she really is not very good at all. Sorry, nice people but she's not a singer for this show.

Sarah Hayes talks herself right out of a ticket. She comes in all confident and sassy but throws it away. She shows signs of talent in what little she does and Harry thinks that they're goofing around may have put her off but Jennifer and Keith say no. She probably offended Keith with her attempt to define Country too. that didn't help and I think she'll be a bit less 'confident' in her next audition, wherever that may be. Odd.

Tristan McIntosh is 15. Great look and great personality. her mum is in the army in the Middle East somewhere. She missed her but carries on regardless. Also confident but this was a far better audition. Why Baby, Why? was a good choice and she sits at a piano and really seems to know what the song is all about. Nice job. She's good and definitely needs to be in Hollywood. Next comes a very emotional moment when, even to her family's surprise, the AI team have arranged to get her mother home from the Far East. Huge moment and well set up. All very genuine. Good ending, and I don't usually like that sort of thing.

Monday, 11 January 2016

This is... the Farewell Season

Harry Connick Jnr, Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez have been three excellent judges and mentors and I feel they will guide us through the series to end in a good way, assisted as ever by Ryan Seacrest, not looking that much older than he did at the outset.

There is a rapid run through of previous winners. It was interesting to see whether I remembered each one and whether any were still making good music now. A few are.

Michelle Marie gets the honour of kicking us off. At the age of 15 she can sing well, although most of it is at full volume and lacking any real emotion. Good notes and sound but she is a bit too much and over excited and when the audition room gets invaded by several (quite odd looking but probably very nice) people I do wonder whether the panel were wondering what they'd done! Just as I write this, Harry says that the people coming in had scared the sh#t out of him!

I don't think she's going to get much further and I'm not totally sure she was the best audition to start this series off with but it may have been the sort of thing that American production team people think their viewers will like.

In Atlanta they have winners Rubin and Lee and possibly Kris, I'm not sure, to greet some of the contestants.

The next one up is Josiah Siska, a totally Country & Western guy with a superbly low voice. He is a nice fellow and Ghost Riders In The Sky may be a 1950s number but he does a great job. Nice audition, although he doesn't strike me as modern that really doesn't seem to matter on this programme. He's through.

Third up is a powerful girl with It's A Man's World and a lot of runs that were pretty pointless. She's through too. I don't recall her name but I don't see her making any Live Shows.

Fourth up is Billy Bob who is a Honky Tonky man. He is gigantic. You can listen to him talk all day. Great character. Some of his sentences were classic out of some Western film. He doesn't sing too well, though, which is a shame.

Lee Jean is another 15 year old but nothing like the girl at the start. He just strikes you straightaway as more mature and 'normal'. I don't know the song he sang but there was something special about this young man that, despite some notes going astray, showed talent. he has to go through and we'll see more of him. Nice job.

Off to Denver and we meet Jeneve Rose Mitchell who lives somewhere with no electricity. She uses a generator to watch TV and spends most of her time with horses. She is genuinely from the outback! Off the grid on 'Saddle Mountain'. Amazing. she is very original, playing a cello and singing. Fascinating. I don't know where she fits in but she is through and should be good to watch as she must surely progress.

Sonika Viad is a very pretty girl with parents from India and the first almost typical 'pop star' of the evening to audition. Nice voice, a simple look but all the more attractive for that. Harry says that she could win, she just sang, no runs or fancy bits.

Next comes a lad called Joseph who sings semi-operatically as if he is in pain. He looks like he is suffering too. Big voice but he's all over the place. Everyone's saying 'Let's go Jo' and they look as if they had really not expected anything other than a Golden Ticket.

Next we have a nice girl police officer. Reanna Molinaro has a nice name and attitude too. Once she had handcuffed Harry she does a lovely job of a Patsy Cline number. She'll be through.

Sylvia yodels. Oh dear. She is a cool lady but really she gets a bit annoying after a while. Lovely character and she hardly stops talking.

Shevonne has auditioned five times before. she looks a lot better than before. Laurel Wright too has been here before and, from last year a guy whose name I missed returns and did Benny & The Jets. All three sounded like they should go through and they do.

We see Nick Fradiani briefly who has an album coming out soon.

Joshua next and he has a good voice and nice personality. One of the better guys so far, after Lee Jean. Possibly the first to have made me stop and listen and you get the feeling he really means what he sings. He is easily through and I'd like to see him.

Jordan Sasser and his wife Alex are both entering the competition. He looks a prat with the mini pony tail. Alex sings Bruno Mars and plays a ukelele. It is neither one thing nor the other. Nice enough girl but it's all a bit sweet. No passion, all on the surface. So she gets a 'no'. In quite substantial contrast Jordan does a pretty good job of Celine Dion's It's All Coming Back. He is a bit over the top but he could be helped to control that. He gets through and certainly can perform although whether he'll stand out isn't s clear. He might be a bit 'ordinary'.

Kerry Courtney is a solid singer but a bit heavy on the guitar. He has quite a lot of emotion going on in this slightly off beat number and it doesn't really show off whatever talent he may have as well as it might at the start. As he progresses, however, he gets in to it and he is interesting. Quirky, as Harry says. Idol material I am not sure about. Jenny says he gets dark and even a bit scary at times. He goes through, deservedly so. It was interesting also to see that he was on his own - no-one to shout and jump up and down when emerging with the Golden Ticket.

Shelbie Z is a powerful Country South singer. She delivers a Carrie Underwood number well and flies through to Hollywood round. She could be a competitor although i don't know how she'll g down with the voters if she gets that far. She can be a bit over the top after a while. She was a Voice contestant.

Kanye West closes the first show of this Final Season by doing an audition himself. Quite funny, especially with his mum chatting with Ryan outside.

A good start. Quite a classy show in comparison to X Factor at the same stage. Far fewer bum auditions, indeed only one or two that I recall. The panel seem settled in their skins and just enjoy life. The small audition room with no instruments other than an occasional piano accompaniment or the auditionees own guitars works well for me.