American Idol XIV – Live Blog and Recap – Auditions No. 8 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for American Idol 14, “Auditions No. 8”! The search continues for the next American Idol!
Tonight, the auditions for Season 14 come to an end, as the final hopefuls give it a shot in San Francisco! But have they saved the best for last? Could the winner be in tonight’s group of auditioners? Hollywood Week is right around the corner!
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!
-We open with a bald guy — who has a pretty good voice, in all honesty — opening with a corny original song where he welcomes Idol to San Francisco and says, much like J-Lo, he’s going to shake his booty too. Then he does the chorus, which basically involves shouting “Idol Booty, #IdolBooty Booty!” over and over again. J-Lo is charmed, but it’s a no.
ADANNA DURU, 17, opens the show!
-Adana would always perform at middle school talent shows, and would always sing in her house. Her brothers never wanted to hear her sing, pleading with her to stop, but she refused to ever stop. So here she is.
-She sings “You and I” by Lady Gaga, and it starts out really good. In fact, it’s about 90% good. But I’m hung up on that last 10%. I just feel it gets a bit shouty, and it gets to be a little unpleasant on the final note or two. But honestly, she can really sing. That said, she looks far more mature than 17.
-J-Lo thinks Adanna is the total package, and Harry agrees that she’s really talented, although he wants her to look over the lyrics to every song she sings and pay attention to their meaning. He doesn’t say why he’s telling her this, but presumably, it’s because she smiled through the whole thing, despite “You and I” not being the type of song you should smile through. But Harry still likes her, and so does Keith, who kicks things off with a yes. The other two judges follow suit.
ADANNA DURU is going to Hollywood!
-Back from break, we meet a guy named CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL who’s auditioning in the arena for production staff…one of whom is CARLY SMITHSON?!?! WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?! It was great to see her, largely because she’s better than a sizable portion we’ve seen this season. Chris auditions by beating the living Hell out of his guitar. His voice is…meh. The judges unanimously vote “no,” and when he offers to play them something else, Keith insists that they’re good. It’s a no for Christopher Michael.
HUNTER LARSEN, 20, is up next!
-We open the intro video with Hunter dancing her ass off. In her interview, she does a lot of talking with her left hand, as she’s very expressive. I find it adorable. She’s got a lot of personality…and hey, she can move too.
-Hunter sings “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra, and it’s over almost before it begins. She’s one of the few who’s finished her song without getting cut off by the judges, but most people don’t perform for what was practically just ten seconds. I really enjoyed it though. Her voice was a bit loud, bordering on shouting, but she managed to rein it in and maintain her strong tone.
-Harry notes that it was short and sweet, and J-Lo notes that her voice is very interesting. But she really liked it, as did Keith. It’s a yes from all three judges.
HUNTER LARSEN is going to Hollywood!
-We return from break with TARA HONDA, 22, sings “I Feel the Earth Move” and she sounds a lot like Carole King to me, which is probably why she picked that song. Harry says he would actually pay for her version. I would too. Girlfriend has great tone.
TARA HONDA is going to Hollywood!
-We then get a montage of proud parents touting their kid as the next American Idol, and then comforting them when they get rejected. But one father is super certain about his kid…
DANIEL SEAVEY, 15, is up next!
-Daniel’s father says there are a lot of talented kids here, but he’s really confident in his son’s abilities. We learn that Daniel plays an insane amount of instruments, going instrument-for-instrument with Alex Preston last season. He says he gets compared to Justin Bieber a lot, but he says that isn’t his style at all. Dude, I’m sure Justin Bieber didn’t think Justin Bieber was his style when he first started.
-Daniel has a guitar strapped to his back, but he opts to do “Hallelujah” at the piano, and while it’s not awful, it’s not exactly good either. The judges note that his voice is breaking a lot, and I notice it too, but I guess that’s to be expected when you’re still going through changes. They ask to hear something on his guitar, and he does “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul, and this is WAY better. He makes some awesome vocal choices, and does some impressive runs. He’s also really good on the guitar. Again, not great, but I can see the potential. Still, I would say no to him now. He needs a few years still.
-Keith asks if his voice used to be higher, and he talks about how his voice has changed over time. J-Lo feels Daniel is really talented, but feels he’s still blossoming. Harry agrees, saying Daniel has talent, and that he will one day have the maturity to match it, but he’s not there yet. He says no. Keith says that Hollywood is where people either step up or fall apart, so he wants to see more from Daniel, to see how he stacks up against everyone else. It’s a yes from Keith. That leaves it down to J-Lo, as we head to commercial break. And I’d be SHOCKED if she said no, because J-Lo is the sentimental one of the group.
-We cut outside to Daniel revealing his golden ticket to his parents.
DANIEL SEAVEY is going to Hollywood!
-He’s almost as excited about J-Lo calling him adorable and taking a selfie with him as he is about the golden ticket. I like Daniel. I wouldn’t have given him the golden ticket, but I like him nonetheless.
ROCKY PETER, 27, is up next!
-Rocky grew up in Nigeria with nothing, until his father sent him, his brother and their mother ahead to America. He grew up with a love of music, even through the poverty and the hard times. He feels he has hope now, because he’s an American citizen. He tells Ryan Seacrest, in the holding room, that this audition could change his life.
-Rocky sings an original song called “Wrong Places,” and yet again, the quality of songwriting this season has been miles better than the vocal talent. Rocky definitely has a voice though. He’s got a really nice falsetto, and some solid vocal control.
-Harry liked that the notes got longer as the song progressed, while J-Lo really felt the passion and the pain in his voice. Keith, however, worries that Rocky’s style will not be compatible with Idol. But he thinks Rocky is a real talent, so for that reason alone, it’s a yes. The other judges are eager to send him through as well.
ROCKY PETER is going to Hollywood!
-Rocky is thrilled to have made it through, and says he’s honored to have met Ryan, met the judges, and to have this golden ticket.
-We then go to break on the question of whether or not a young girl named SOPHIA makes it through to Hollywood. J-Lo says yes, but Harry thinks she’s a bit young and says no. Keith says he thinks she has a great voice…and we go to break on that. Feels like a “but” is coming. And, sure enough, we return to find that it was a “no” for Sophia.
-And we see a montage of renditions of “Chandelier,” since it was apparently a really popular song for auditioners to sing…even Harry, who sings the whole thing in falsetto. Honestly, I kind of love it. He’s so loud that the person accompanying the next contestant opens the holding room door to see if that was her, since he could hear it from outside. T
JAQ MACKENZIE, 15, is up next!
-Jaq comes in wondering what that “noise” was. Harry jokingly replies that it was “a 12-year-old from St. Louis.” Jaq is a high school student, but she writes a lot of her own music. And it makes sense, since she studies at an art school.
-She sings an original, “You Waste My Time,” and while I’m not sure the voice is entirely there, there are hints of something more there that can come out over time. Her fashion suggests she’s straight out of the mid-90s.
-J-Lo feels Jaq has the makings of a star “some day,” but she isn’t sure if Jaq is there yet. Harry wonders if going to Hollywood will help or harm her, but she has real artistry. Keith agrees, saying Jaq has “great, raw artistry.” They vote, and J-Lo says “yes” based on Jaq’s artistry. Keith puts her through to see her artistry represented in Hollywood. Harry adds a third “yes” to the lineup.
JAQ MACKENZIE is going to Hollywood!
-Jaq compliments J-Lo on her nails while picking up her ticket. Jaq then lets out a huge scream once she gets back to the waiting room, thrilled to be going to Hollywood. Kind of adorable.
TYANNA JONES, 16, is up next!
-Tyanna is one of 11 children, saying it works out beautifully since she has the older siblings who tell her what to do, and she also has younger siblings she can tell what to do. She then notes that her family has had hard times, as they were homeless for a brief stretch, living in the church and with their pastor. They had to sleep on the floor and wash up in the sink, since there was no shower. She never saw her mother cry, but she’s sure she did. In the waiting room, Tyanna’s mother lets her know how proud she is of her. It’s a beautiful moment, so much so that I almost felt like I was intruding on something private.
-Tyanna sings “Wings” by Little Mix, and I like it. She has a very theatrical quality to her voice that I think this season could use a bit more of. She’s got a solid sense of showmanship, conveying the mood of the song without having to move all that much.
-J-Lo says she’s very talented, while Keith asks if there’s anything she’s working on right now. Tyanna says she’s working on pitch, which prompts Harry to note that a lot of people ask him to listen to their kids sing and offer his advice. He says a lot of the time it isn’t good, but if he’d heard a recording of Tyanna, he’d have told her parent, “Your little girl is EXTREMELY talented.” He notes that she has a long way to go, but of course she does, she’s 16. He likes her a lot, and think she deserves to move on to Hollywood.
TYANNA JONES is going to Hollywood!
-And that’s a wrap! What did you think of tonight’s auditions? Did anyone get a ticket they shouldn’t have gotten? Was anyone turned away that should have gone through to Hollywood? Sound off in the comments! Until then, click refresh, as I’ll be adding more videos to the post! Thanks for hanging out, and I’ll see you next week for Hollywood!