American Idol New Orleans Auditions: Who Was Your Favorite?

Talent, 2; Trainwrecks, 0. That’s how the score is shaping up now that the first two episodes of American Idol‘s tenth season are in the books. Tonight’s one-hour telecast featured seven wannabes whose auditions resulted in a variation on the coveted message: “You’re goin’ to Hollywood!” And collectively, I’d say the septet is a slightly stronger bunch than the 11 Golden Ticket recipients from Wednesday night’s two-hour premiere from New Jersey.

Oh sure, the show’s producers used every cheap trick in their arsenal tonight to tug at my heartstrings — here’s the kid who got bullied! here’s the lovely young mom who looks like Courteney Cox and has a special-needs child! here’s a smooshy-faced little 15-year-old that only a montster could root against! — but I’m okay with a little shameless manipulation as long as there’s talent to back up the sob story backstory. And Brett Loewenstern, Paris Tassin, and Jacee Badeaux all displayed a combination of vocal firepower and merciful restraint that I’m looking forward to their “journeys” — hopefully sans maudlin music or shots of single tears rolling down faces — come Hollywood week. Better still, none of that trio qualified as my absolute favorite of the night!

What did you think of the New Orleans auditions? Who was your favorite hopeful? How did the new judges’ panel fare compared to last night. While I hunker down to write my full episode recap — look for it to include my No. 1 New Orleans wannabe and to post overnight right here at — I’m hoping you’ll head down to the comments section and sound off. What’s more, if you have some strong thoughts or opinions on anything you saw this week on Idol — pertaining to judges, contestants, trends or conspiracy theories — and you’d like to share them on the premiere episode of TVLine’s new Idol-related Web series, Idoloonies, email a paragraph or two to (and be sure to include a contact phone number). We’ll be selecting a handful of readers each week to join me in cohosting the Webcast via Skype or video chat on Fridays at 3/2 c. We’ll also be choosing a Twitter Question of the Week, so don’t hesitate to fire your best shots to me @MichaelSlezakTV. Be sure to tag it #Idoloonies!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jean says:

    Jacee Badeaux all the way!!!

  2. I thought this episode was so much better than the first episode. I think the 1 hour format fit these audtion rounds better. It was a good mix of crazy to heartfelt.

    I think Steven Tyler is fantastic. Sure he isn’t Simon Cowell but he is himself which is always a great thing. J.Lo is now inducted into the Paula Abdul school of crying and being emotionally attached, but it is endearing. The show still has flaws and it being 2 hours on Wednesdays is the biggest one. I like that Ryan Seacrest(so far) hasn’t imposed himself into the show as much as he usually does. This could all change based on city but so far so good.

    For more Idol commentary visit:

  3. Sandy says:

    Jordin, Jayee and Brett (even without the backstory) were my favorites tonight, but I hate liking contestants this early on. Who knows if we’ll see much of them after they get to Hollywood?

  4. OtterChaos says:

    premiere episode of TVLine’s new Idol-related Web series, Idoloonies,

    Yes yes yes! Can’t wait to see this!

  5. JenR says:

    Jacee “Better Than Beiber” Badeaux for the win!

  6. AM says:

    Sarah Sellers was my favorite tonight. Jovany and Brett were annoying. And Brett’s sob story, when compared to the Kosovo story last night, was pathetic.

    Another great performance from Steven Tyler.

  7. BettyDraperAlliance says:

    Brett Loewenstern. Just rewatched via youtube and thought it was just amazing and all things beautiful that we hope for in the audition rounds. I agree with Sandy – it’s so frustrating when early favorites don’t make it past Hollywood!

  8. word nerd says:

    Sometimes slezak, I thin you would rather find the next jesse langseth. And I mean that in a good way. also, annie is doing a really great job at, doncha think?

  9. susan says:

    So I think I’m the only person that hasn’t quite gotten over the fact that Simon isn’t with us anymore. I’m still not quite okay with that. But Steven Tyler is growing on me – s…l…o…w…l…y winning me over. Verdict is out for me with J-Lo. And Randy hasn’t been nearly as annoying so far. It’s early in the season though.
    Mostly, I wanted to say this and then I won’t again….I’m so glad that after watching, I can read what Slezak has to say about it all. That’s always every bit as entertaining as the show itself.
    Can’t wait for this new season to unfold.

  10. Sips says:

    I don’t know — new judges may end up being ok — we’ll see. So far, though, the contestants aren’t exactly exciting to listen to.

  11. allie says:

    I’m enjoying it. no stand outs for me yet but then again we haven’t seen anyone over the age of 23. randy continues to be useless – I mean seriously – the kid who sang Sitting on the Dock of the Bay & tounched his watch… Randy complemented him on that? The kid has a lovely voice but he is 15 and can use TONS of help. THAT is where I miss Simon. JLo is making me a fan – she is lovely and genuine. Who knew? Tyler is quirky, fun to watch and has talent. I am pleasantly surprised by them. Contestants? We’ll see. No Clarkson, Underwood, Lambert or Daughtry in the bunch yet.

  12. annab says:

    Slezak, I missed your Idol words and can’t wait for Idoloonies! I too have been pleasantly surprised by the judges so far, although I worry about Steven Tyler in a live show – will he just default to the same crazy 10 sayings over and over again, or be able to think of original things to say on the spot? And worried about J Lo being E DeG 2.0. So far, my favs have been Sarah, Brett and Devyn. No goosebumps yet though. Still waiting.

  13. Just Jules says:

    I believe this will be the Season of the Underdog… MARK my words. :o) I am rooting for the ‘gLee’ kids to Shine this year!

  14. Alex says:

    I’m a big fan of the spoiler lists, and on January 3rd I texted my friend that I had found my favorite for the season and that “He was 17 and looked like Sasquatch.” I also commented on how since he was my favorite he probably wouldn’t make it far past Hollywood. Clearly I was referring to Brett, and after his audition tonight, I hope the kid makes it to the top 12/13/whatever and beyond. Not only is his voice strong and unique, he might be the most adorable person ever. “I can’t stop smiling!” I’ve read some stuff bashing him already- but come on. He’s fantastic!

  15. jackie says:

    i thought i would hate this season but i’ve been wrong so far. jLo isn’t playing a haughty diva (ahem KARA), steven tyler is great, and randy is making sense.
    and i really like the dial down of the crazies this year. the 15 year old kid got me the most tonight!

  16. Eric says:

    with these 15 year old boys that make it through what happens if their voices during their idol run. is it wrong that I’m hoping it happens?

  17. Jake says:

    Am I the only one who hates this installment of AI? I really really really hate the judges panel. How boring are they? I so miss Simon. SO i’m not gonna watch this… I’ll wait until Simon returns in September with his X Factor!

  18. dona says:

    oops! i meant that my fav is JORDAN! not tyler I mean I love the judge but as fas the contestants go jordan dorsey is my fav by a long mile!

  19. WriterRoss says:

    Typo in Michael’s copy. You meant “monster” here:

    “here’s a smooshy-faced little 15-year-old that only a montster could root against!”

    Two decent shows in a row. I’m glad. I was anticipating all sorts of nausea.

  20. as says:

    I miss Simon, and I hope the 20 million that watches American Idol isn’t the same audience as those watching Big Bang theory. Because BBT still makes me laugh unlike american idol which has turned into sappy tv.

    Also, couldn’t believe the ginger kid actually could sing, I was begining to think he’s .. pretty much just a glee fan.

    Any chance those interviews with previous idols will be available again? I used to rewatch Didi Benamis, Crystals, Allisons.. all the time

  21. Simone says:

    New Orleans > than the first show. Still think it will be a train wreck when the show goes “live.” It will fun to watching how many times Tyler will get bleeped. Still curious why the opening montage has Adam Lambert along with the winners. What kind of sweetheart deal does he have with the producers? Sort of diminishes the aspect of actually “winning” to have the losers with the winners.

    • Travis says:

      Actually the opening montage has Adam, Jennifer Hudson, and Chris Daughtery, none of whom were winners but ALL of whom are more well known than some who DID win. Seems like great marketing to remind us Idol is responsible for these other stars as well…

    • John Berggren says:

      The intro celebrates Idol success – not Idol wins. There are winners missing, and Adam isn’t the only non winner there. Chris Daughtrey and Jennifer Hudson are there too. I guess they diminish the Idol brand?

  22. kali says:

    I love having successful “idols” in the montage, winners or not.

    So far none of the contestants have jumped out at me but the show…well someone wiped off the dust and it’s all shiny again!

  23. John Berggren says:

    I’m really happy with the new panel. I think they give good criticism without being mean. I also favor the fact that they are cutting back on the train wreck auditions and focussing on talent.

    Hopefully Brett goes far.

  24. Cy says:

    Yes, New Orleans was a LOT stronger than NJ (why didn’t they devote 2 hours to this one instead?). I loved Jaycee–genuine talent and no stupid pretentiousness. But I think my fave of the night was actually Sarah Sellers. There’s something about her personality/the way she handled herself that makes me like her a lot. She seems intelligent and composed and has that great voice to back her up. Hope she makes it through Hollywood Week! Jaycee and Tyler too–I don’t think Tyler’s that great a singer, but he’s really charming somehow.

  25. Bill says:

    Second night was muuuuuch stronger than first, and Sarah Sellers is a star in the making!

  26. Suncatcher says:

    AI S10 continues to climb! NJ was excellent! Expected New Orleans to take a dip – instead it soared! We have lift off?!

    Steven Tyler and J-Lo are WONDERFUL! The chemistry is outstanding – even with Randy in the mix.

    (And where WAS Seacrest these past 2 days – certainly not hogging the audition interviews. Hmmmmmmm….)

    Keep it going AI!!!

  27. MaryS-NJ says:

    NJ had 51 golden ticket winners. We saw, what…11? in 2 hours. I wish Idol peeps had done less of the Jersey Shore schtick (I’m a lifelong Jersey resident and while it’s nice that our state is “cool” now, it’s for all the wrong reasons). An hour is enough.

    NO had better pacing and packed more good auditions without the drawn-out filler.

    Talent wise, I’ve liked several from both N.J. and N.O. but Brett Lowenstern is the first of the two shows who kinda “wowed” me, or at least made me excited to see what he does in Hollywood. Jacee is adorable and has a really lovely soprano. I still think it would have been better if he’d waited until his voice changes. I’m getting awfully sick of (and cynical about) the maudlin sob stories. I actually flipped the channel during Paris’s because I hate feeling like I’m being manipulated. Just sing, damn it!… and bring up the back stories afterward if at all.

    I love the new judges panel. LOVE! Steven is hilarious with his random non sequiturs and knowledgable, well-meaning and just a character. JLo is beautiful and sweet but has learned how to let them down easy. And Randy is manning up to the daddy judge role well so far. Simon who? I do not miss him. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  28. Judy says:

    Idoloonies sounds nice, but does this mean no more Idolatry? That would suck so bad.

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