American Idol XIV – Live Blog and Recap – Auditions No. 7 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for American Idol 14, “Auditions No. 7”! The search continues for the next American Idol!
Tonight, we come to the final audition city for Season 14, as San Francisco takes a crack at Idol stardom! Will San Fran represent and end the auditions for Season 14 on a high note? Or will they leave us underwhelmed heading into Hollywood Week? Could the winner come from tonight’s group of auditioners? It’s night one of the two-night conclusion of American Idol auditions for 2015!
Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating the post with live, running commentary and analysis.
Let’s get this show on the road!
-The judges arrive in San Francisco, looking at a group photo of themselves on a phone. Harry notes that it’s impossible to take a bad photo of J-Lo, while Keith notes that, yes, he does look that weird in person.
KATHERINE SKINNER, 15, opens the show!
-Who told Lena Dunham she could audition for American Idol? Seriously, they have practically the same speaking voice. And they share a few facial features. As a bonus, she also has Hannah Horvath’s random fashion sense. She has a psychic cat who told her she had to audition for American Idol, so here she is…in a fur coat and a weird spandex-looking outfit. I don’t even know how to describe this.
-Katherine sings “Shake It Out” by Florence and the Machine, and…hot damn, she’s actually GOOD! Seriously, I was floored by her voice. She has a fairly rich tone that still manages to sound fairly youthful. I was absolutely not expecting that sound to come out of her.
-J-Lo feels Katherine belongs on a stage, but she isn’t sure if the Idol stage is where she belongs. But she admits that Katherine IS talented. Harry agrees, saying he finds her exciting. The judges vote, and they’re all in agreement…
KATHERINE SKINNER is going to Hollywood!
-I don’t think she’ll last, but I don’t disagree with the decision to send her to Hollywood. Her quirkiness adds a certain flair to the competition.
-We’re back from break with a montage of hopefuls
ERIKA DAVID, 25, sings “No One” by Alicia Keys, and it’s a performance that I didn’t love at the start. However, it does get stronger as it goes on.
CHANDLER LEIGHTON, 20, sings “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel, and I LOVE her. She reminds me of Drew Ryniewicz from The X Factor USA. I absolutely adore her tone.
RYAN PINKSTON, 27, sings “As” by Stevie Wonder, and it’s an effortless, smooth R&B performance. A few too many runs for my taste, but there’s no doubt this guy can sing.
The judges are unanimous on Chandler and Ryan, but they’re iffy on Erika. Harry says yes, Keith says no, and J-Lo breaks the tie, sending a tearful Erika through to Hollywood.
ERIKA DAVID, CHANDLER LEIGHTON and RYAN PINKSTON are going to Hollywood!
-Up next is a teenager with a guitar who looks like a famous football star…
ANDREW BLOOM, 17, is up next!
-The judges immediately note that he looks like Tim Tebow, which is something Andrew apparently hears all the time. He has a certain worry-free confidence I find interesting. I wouldn’t have immediately guessed he’s just 20. He seems older than his years.
-Andrew sings “Too Close” by Alex Clare, and I really didn’t like this when it started. However, much like with Erika David, it improved as it went along. He hit some cool runs, and even got the chance to show off the deeper tone of his voice.
-The judges like Andrew a lot. They admit he has some things he needs to work on, but overall, they’re enthusiastic about him. I’m kind of getting a similar vibe to the first time they saw Sam Woolf. Not saying Andrew has that same potential, but I could imagine him developing into quite a performer with the right amount of work and coaching.
ANDREW BLOOM is going to Hollywood!
-After the audition, Harry races Andrew’s friend, Olympic silver-medalist sprinter Ryan Bailey. Yeah, that wasn’t even close. Harry got “walked,” indeed.
-We return from break with KELLYEANN RODGERS, 24, singing “A Song For You,” and it’s pretty damn good. Seriously, this is a difficult song to sing, and not everyone who goes for it can nail it this confidently. I was impressed, and so were the judges, who unanimously vote her through to Hollywood. In a cute moment, she can’t find the exit. This is followed by a silly montage of people failing to find the exit. I have no idea how leaving is hard. All they need to do is gind the door with the sticker! It’s RIGHT THERE!
KELLYEANN RODGERS is going to Hollywood!
-Up next is a self-described “100% Samoan.”
RENO ANOA’I, 16, is up next!
-He’s one of six siblings, and his mother is one of 22! He and his brother share the garage as a bedroom, since the house is crowded as it is. There’s enough family in their area visiting and hanging out that they have damn near 60 people in the house in any one day. and his grandmother taught him how to play the ukulele along with his grandfather.
-He sings “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” by Rod Stewart, and I love his voice. He has a very gentle, soft tone with loads of sincerity. I love his runs too, along with his artistry, as he gave the song a pretty neat arrangement on his ukulele.
-What J-Lo likes about Reno is that she believes him when he sings, although she felt he loses that authenticity a bit when he does the runs. Harry thinks Reno has a great voice, but feels he only showed them one side. Reno begins praying to himself, and Keith asks what that’s about. He says he’s praying because this means so much to him, and while Keith gets that, he also feels that Reno should pay attention and not let his desire and drive cause him to miss the advice the judges are giving him, since this could help him grow. Reno understands what Keith is saying, and Keith gives him a yes. The other judges quickly add their votes as well.
RENO ANOA’I is going to Hollywood!
-Reno’s family comes in to celebrate with him, and it’s a huge family! It’s also a lovely moment, as everyone gets teary-eyed, including Reno.
SAMUEL PRINCE, 22, is up next!
-He was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and lets J-Lo know she’s “Puerto Rico’s Queen.” However, before his audition, he wants J-Lo to act out a scene from a telenovela he was in. But then he goes and screws it up by calling Harry “Henry.” Although, in Samuel’s defense, “Harry” is an abbreviation for “Henry” in some cases (like Prince Harry’s). We get a cute telenovela opening credits sequence, followed by Samuel acting out a scene in which he goes off on J-Lo for cheating on him with Harry and Keith. The big conclusion? He gets a MASSIVE SLAP across the face from J-Lo, sending him crashing to the floor. Awesome. Then Harry “knocks out” Keith for good measure (and congratulating him for doing a solid pratfall afterwards).
-Samuel sings “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber, and it’s an okay vocal, although they cut him off before it really has a chance to go anywhere.
-Harry says he was entertained by the whole telenovela of it all, but says the “harsh reality” is that the vocals aren’t strong enough. Keith says he comes across as a person acting like a singer. It’s a no from him, a no from Harry, and a no from J-Lo. We follow this up with a montage of “No” auditions, as MATTHEW SEQUEIRA, 15, is rejected, LUKE RANDALL, 23, is sent packing, and SADES SHINE, 23, is sent home. Sades had a nice enough voice, but I still think they made the right call in all three cases.
-We go to commercial break on the question of whether or not guitar-wielding ZACK DYER is going to Hollywood. We return, and it’s a no, which I found surprising, since I thought he was pretty decent.
RAYVON OWEN, 23, is up next!
-I love any dude who loves his mother, and Ray loves his mother, detailing how she’s supported him over the years. He adds that he can’t wait to see her reaction when he comes out with a golden ticket. Seems like a cool guy. I also love that hat he’s got on. Seriously, so jealous of people who can wear those sorts of hats. My head is too abnormally large for any to fit. No, I’m not making that up.
-Rayvon sings “Wide Awake” by Katy Perry, and this is BEAUTIFUL! He has this breathy, delicate quality to his voice at the start, before delivering a fuller-bodied vocal as the song progresses. He doesn’t overdo the runs, and exhibits solid vocal control. This is my favorite audition of the night so far.
-Harry declares Rayvon can really sing, and J-Lo lets out some sort of weird fairy noise that went through me like nails on a chalkboard. Keith loved Rayvon’s voice, despite the fact that he should have been mad at Rayvon for smiling through such a tortured song. But he’s got the confidence of the judges behind him…
RAYVON OWEN is going to Hollywood!
-As expected, Rayvon’s mother FLIPS OUT when he comes out with the golden ticket.
-We return from break with EZEKIEL AND JEREMIAH CARDENAS, 20,, twins who sing together all the time. However, this is their first audition. And it kinda shows. The vocals aren’t good, and Harry notes that the guitar is painfully out of tune.
MADDY HUDSON, 16, closes the show!
-Maddie says her mother is her best friend, her “rock”. She notes that middle school was the worst, since she was never cool and never fit in. I have no idea how this is possible though because she’s absolutely gorgeous. And if she’s any good, then talented too. She feels her purpose in life is music. When she meets the judges, she expresses her adoration of J-Lo, and her attempts to look like her, which didn’t really work out.
-Maddie sings “Resentment” by Beyonce, and it’s one of the better auditions of the night.
-J-Lo feels Maddy was fantastic, saying she got goosebumps over her whole body because of the performance. Maddy begins to tear up as J-Lo calls her one of her favorites. Keith “heard and felt” every bit of what Maddy sang, while Harry says she has every quality needed to be a superstar. Maddy thanks him for being so nice, but Harry says he isn’t just being nice. They give her three golden tickets, and tell her to tell anyone else she runs into to go home.
MADDY HUDSON is going to Hollywood!
-J-Lo feels Maddy could actually win, and while I’m not entirely sure about that, I do like Maddy a lot, and think she has heaps of potential.
-But what do you think? Were there any contestants who shouldn’t have gotten golden tickets that did? Or any that should have but didn’t? Sound off in the comments, and join me tomorrow night for the final night of auditions for American Idol XIV!