American Idol 2016 – Live Blog and Recap – Auditions #3 in Philadelphia (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for American Idol 2016, “Auditions No. 3”! Host Ryan Seacrest and judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. continue the search for the final American Idol!
Tonight, the auditions continue in Philadelphia with a diverse array of singers looking to score that big record contract. Of course, they’ll need to score a Golden Ticket to Hollywood first. Will we see any familiar faces from seasons past pop up? Is the winner among tonight’s singers? American Idol 2016 rages on!
Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating with commentary and videos as soon as they become available!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-So we’re back in Philly, and Clay Aiken is here to help out with the audition process! Hopefully, he likes this episode better than the premiere.
GIANNA ISABELLA opens the show!
-Gianna is the daughter of Brenda K. Starr, who not only worked in the same dance studio as J-Lo, but also had a pop hit with the ballad “I Still Believe”. Gianna says her mother is her idol, and that she taught her everything she knows. Brenda has a hard time holding back her tears when expressing how proud she is of her girl. Such a lovely little vignette. And Brenda has aged extraordinarily well, I’d say.
-Gianna sings “House of the Rising Sun”, and it’s pretty good. It’s not a blowaway performance or anything, but I think she definitely deserves a golden ticket. She has a lot of potential to grow as this competition continues. After the audition, Jennifer asks Gianna to bring her mother in so she can say hi, and it’s a wonderful moment as the two old friends reminisce about Brenda teaching J-Lo how to sing. Brenda sits in on the vote, and struggles to hold back the tears when saying she’d give her daughter a golden ticket because of how hard she works. The judges concur, and unanimously send her through to the next round as mother and daughter both break down in tears. This was a genuinely fantastic moment.
GIANNA ISABELLA is going to Hollywood!
-Brenda states she’s so humbled by this experience. I can’t help but root for Gianna, especially if it means she’ll get to duet with her mother at the finale. That could be an awesome Idol moment, like Haley Reinhart singing a Led Zeppelin song with her dad on the guitar in Season 10.
-Back from break with Clay giving advice from people, and from what little we hear, he gives great advice. But he adds that they don’t have to listen to him, since he didn’t win his season anyway. He then interviews a contestant named DEREK HUFFMAN, and grills him on Idol trivia. He gets every question wrong, not realizing every answer was “Clay Aiken”. For his audition, Derek sings a flat version of “Angel” by Shaggy, complete with a boombox with the karaoke version on it. J-Lo tells him he’s sweet, but says this isn’t going to work out. It’s a no. Once outside, Derek gets pretty damn mad, saying they must not want a genuine entertainer. He strives to achieve fame, and…well, at least he kinda has the look, even if he doesn’t really have the voice.
ISAAC COLE is up next!
-Colin is a 15-year-old country boy who loves riding his quad bike, shooting his bow, and singing about the country lifestyle. He also loves Keith Urban, so he’s pretty excited. Of course, Cole is a stage name since no one can pronounce his last name, which sounds like “McNanny”. “So like an Irish babysitter then,” Keith says, sending everyone into hysterics.
-Isaac sings “Love Like Crazy” by Lee Brice has a nice voice, but I feel like he was aided considerably by his guitar. Had he done his song a cappella like he was considering, I think his voice would have been a bit exposed. That said, I like Isaac a lot, and I really enjoyed the emotion with which he performed. He’s young, but I think he’s got skill.
-J-Lo really liked the song, and Harry states that there’s a lot to like about Isaac, although he wishes the kid wouldn’t sing with a twang, since he doesn’t speak with one. Keith isn’t entirely sure Isaac is ready yet. Isaac speaks up and notes, with all due respect, that they didn’t think Clark Beckham was ready last year. But, much like Clark, he’s a quick learner. With that, Keith is convinced. All three judges say yes to Isaac.
ISAAC COLE is going to Hollywood!
-Back from break with a montage of rejections and heartbreak, especially from J-Lo, who has grown accustomed to saying no since her first season five years ago, but who still feels awful for the people she has to reject.
SARA STURM is up next!
-17-year-old Sara works at an egg restaurant called Eggspectations. She recalls a weird story in which a guy came in and asked for all their eggshells, to which she asked what he needed them for. “For walking on them, probably,” Keith responded, in a quick-witted remark. He then offers the real reason, saying some farmers mix them in with chicken food, or something to that effect. Sara seems really fun and easygoing, and I’m interested to see how well she’ll do.
-Sara sings “Lips Are Moving” by Meghan Trainor, and it’s a really good vocal. Like, REALLY good. She’s young, but she’s already got something special, I think. Very energetic but very nuanced.
-The judges love her, with J-Lo stating that Sara is a really impressive singer, while Keith and Harry think she’s adorable. They all vote yes, but Harry laments afterwards that no one got his egg joke when he voted yes (“I’mma let you through to Hollywood” = “Omelette you through to Hollywood”). Hey, I thought it was a good joke!
SARA STURM is going to Hollywood!
-I like Sara a lot, and I’m hoping she manages to go far.
-Back from break with Clay critiquing bad singers. Man alive, some of these were a mess.
ELLIS BANKS is up next!
-Ellis comes in wearing a sparkly speedo with matching headress and a black robe. He gives sparkly headresses to the other judges, although they’re hesitant to wear them at the moment. Ellis explains that he’s a janitor by day, but by night, he becomes this lively character he calls “Ellis Banks”.
-Ellis sings “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, and vocally, it’s not bad at all, honestly. He has a voice. Maybe not a superstar voice, but more of a voice than some people who actually do get through on some of these shows.
-The judges love Ellis and think he’s incredibly sweet and fun, but Harry says this isn’t what they’re looking for. The other judges agree, and that’s it for Ellis. On the way out, he admits that the judges have likely never seen something like this before, so he understands why they were weirded out. But he says he’ll achieve fame somehow, with or without American Idol.
JENN BLOSIL is up next!
-Jenn is a 23-year-old woman with a guitar and a dream. She’s quirky as all get-out, having a funny conversation with Ryan Seacrest about watching Kelly Clarkson win the show back in Season 1, and then spend all sorts of time practicing “A Moment Like This” in her mirror. She’s really not that strange, I think it’s just the vibe she gives off from her speaking cadence and the constant look of befuddlement on her face. She says she’ll be singing “Radioactive” on the piano, but seems befuddled about even that.
-This is actually a really cool version of the song. She doesn’t sing the “woahs” on the chorus, allowing the piano to communicate the emotion and vibe of the song. She also has a wonderful lilting tone to her voice as well. I thought it was great.
-Harry thinks her voice was a nice surprise, while Keith thinks she has a great storytelling quality to her performance style. Jennifer was just straight-up impressed, saying she feels like she’s watching an artist. The judges are unanimous in their decision…
JENN BLOSIL is going to Hollywood!
-I don’t anticipate she’ll go that far, but I’m glad she’s getting the chance to show what she’s got in Hollywood. I liked Jenn quite a bit here.
-Back from break with a lot of guys who’ve flirted with the female panelists over the years, particularly J-Lo before introducing us to our next contestant…and his lady-crazy, flirtatious grandpa…
HARRISON COHEN is up next!
-Harrison is 17-years-old, and describes himself as a ladies man. In some instances, this is due to his adorable grandfather, Al. Al is fantastic, making a running commentary about all the pretty girls he sees, and how Harrison should talk to them. He even chats about J-Lo, who he hears “is unattached at the moment.”
-Harrison sings an original song, and it’s a really impressively-written track with some Latin tones to it. His voice is also very smooth, and his runs are virtually effortless when he chooses to use them. And his restraint in using them is really smart.
-J-Lo loved the song, and thinks she can hear it on the radio right now. Keith thought it was really cool how Harrison had the pianist back him up while he played guitar. Harry liked it, but doesn’t know if Harrison is the star they’re looking for the bookend American Idol, since they have Kelly Clarkson at one end, and could potentially have Harrison at the other. But the judges are ultimately all in agreement, sending him through to Hollywood, and then meeting his family, including his “foxy grandpa”.
HARRISON COHEN is going to Hollywood!
-Harrison is my favorite audition of the night so far. I’m not sure how far he;ll go, but he’s definitely got loads of talent for being as young as he is.
JOHN ARTHUR GREENE closes the show!
-John is 27-years-old and grew up in North Carolina, but he lives in New York City now. He recounts the emotional story of his brother’s death: they were playing cops and robbers, and it was his turn to hide. The guns in their house were never loaded, except this one time — he aimed at his brother, the gun went off, and he held his brother in his arms as he watched him die. John says he would give up his life in a heartbeat if it meant his brother could live in his place, since he’s been carrying around the grief and guilt of killing his brother all these years. But he says this isn’t how this story was written, so while he’s doing this for himself, his brother is still a part of him. In the sad backstory sweepstakes, John wins now and forever. My heart really goes out to him. I can’t even imagine what he’s gone through over the years.
-Keith asks what John does, and he admits he’s currently on Matilda on Broadway. Harry thought it was good but not great. J-Lo says she isn’t sure if he’ll be able to hang with the other singers in this competition. Keith feels that his Broadway stylings imply that he has more to show them than they’ve seen or heard, so he’s curious about John. Harry says no, but J-Lo and Keith take a risk on John.
JOHN ARTHUR GREENE is going to Hollywood!
-Strangely, his backstory never comes up to the judges beyond just learning that his brother passed away. It’s for the best, really. If he goes through, it deserves to be on his voice and potential, and not on sympathy.
-And that’s a wrap on tonight’s show! Who were your favorites? Did the right singers go through? Sound off in the comments!
Until tomorrow night, thanks for reading!