American Idol Salt Lake City Auditions Recap: Blame It on the A-a-a-a-a-altitude [Updated]

jessica-bassett-american-idol-salt-lake-cityKeith Urban rocking a wide-collared red polyester shirt and white textured vest. J.Lo sporting a dark, curly bob, fingerless gloves and a baffling choker/triangle charm necklace combo. Harry Connick, Jr. in a striped Izod polo with rumpled collar and a shaggy bowl cut.

Tonight’s “Before They Were Household Names” footage on American Idol proved that, among other things, the new and improved (and universally lauded) Season 13 judges’ panel is capable of making mistakes. Unfortunately, that vibe permeated through the entire episode — with questionable call after questionable call, along with the sense that Harry Connick Jr. woke up on the wrong side of the piano.

Which is all kind of a long-winded way of saying…Jessica Bassett, the girl in the floral print blouse and polka-dot pants who sang a song that might’ve been called “Russian Girl” – wuz robbed! (In J.Lo’s defense, she voted “yes” and grumbled that her fellow panelists had “let a good one slip away.”) And several contestants who were as underbaked as cake dough in an oven set at 40 degrees somehow scored trips to Hollywood. Could it have been Utah’s relatively high altitude playing games with our judges’ ears?

Then again, at least executive producer Per Blankens made the bold and very welcome decision to show extended footage from 25 of Salt Lake City’s 30 Golden Ticket recipients. (That’s a ratio about which I can get excited.) And yes, some of ‘em were seriously talented.

My personal Top 10 is as follows (with reviews kept mostly to a Twitter-esque 140 characters or less, because really, it’s too early to get too attached) (#jessicabarrett4eva).

10. Laurel Wright, an original song | Pretty brunette’s lilting voice had an almost bird-like delicacy, and from what little we heard of her self-penned tune, she’s not a half bad songwriter, either.

9. Alex “world’s most obnoxious guitar player” Preston, an original song | Use of “obnoxious” to describe self had me worried, but college dropout showcased a sweet tone (although I’m not sure I love-loved his original track).

8. Blake Branscom, “I’ve Always Been Crazy” | I’ll admit: He got me with that mid-song wink at JLo. But the twang and playfulness in his delivery were dang pleasing, too.

7. Keith Sanders, “Use Me” | “Rethink yourself w/ regard to confidence,” said HCJ. And I concur. Dude’s lucious, soulful tone made a big impression despite limited screentime.

6. Casey Thrasher, “Believe” | They laid the “hardscrabble/doin’ it for my kids” backstory on a little thick — opening and closing the show with him, come ON! — but Casey is nevertheless a talented fella. I felt like his emotions almost got the best of his vocal control, but he ended with the kind of control and intensity that plays well with voters.

5. Kassandra Castaneda, “Chasing Pavements” | Color me irked that Harry dismissed Kassandra’s sweet, restrained Adele cover with a complaint about her throwing in too many riffs. OK, yeah, maybe giving her uncle’s phone number to JLo was a tad presumptuous (or even creepy), but Kass was eons better than at least six or seven singers who scored unanimous “yeses” tonight.

4. Austin Wolfe, “Radioactive” | One of those voices that cuts through the living room like a hot knife thru butter. A couple of Adele-esque runs added unexpected flavor.

3. Tiquila Wilson, “Someone Like You” | Admittedly, this chica’s guffaw-inducing “HEY! WHAT’S UP?” shock at seeing Ryan Seacrest made me j’adore her. But the shred in her voice and her flawless pitch were equally enticing.

2. Dexter Roberts, “I Like to Drive” | Farm-hand/dog trainer seemed a little low-wattage at first — but his light shone very, very brightly once he started singing. He’s country, yeah, but was I crazy or was there a little bit of Elvis in his tone, too?

1. Paisley Van Patten, “When the Lights Go Down” | One of those rare vocalists who doesn’t wield her powerful, muscular voice like a blunt instrument. The subtle shading and meticulous phrasing hinted at a mature artist who means every word she sings. Can we send her straight to the live shows?

And with that, I turn things over to you. What did you think of Episode 5 of Season 13? What did you think of the judges tonight? Any fave moments or decisions with which you disagreed? And who was your favorite Golden Ticket recipient? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!



Comments (121)

  • Austin Wolfe was my favorite tonight, tied with Kenzie Hall (she played guitar and sang the John Mayer song). I also liked Dexter Roberts, Casey Thrasher, Alex Preston, Briston Maroney (he just needs a little more work) and CJ Harris (he should sound better when he’s not so emotional). I was kind of tuned out tonight; there were more bad ones than last week, and I agree that the judges put through some who should’ve gone home. But hey, that’s what the Hunger Games — oops, I meant Hollywood Week — is for.

    Comment by LeahKittyS – January 29, 2014 08:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I haven’t watched this episode but when I saw the name Austin Wolfe, i immediately googled it to find out if it is Austin Wolfe the gay porn star. Turns out, it wasn’t. lol

      Comment by Adam Reinaldy – January 29, 2014 08:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I loved Kenzie too! As with Austin and Alex. But Jessica Bassett was so robbed I’m wondering if its a trick.

      Comment by sg54 – January 30, 2014 01:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I totally agree. I don’t think i have been so shocked to see such a talent let go. Her voice was permeated with musicality, so full, an captivating. This is a mistake. Jessica should be brought back or……………giving a record contract because I won’t to hear voice again, soon! Jessica I thought you were the best.

        Comment by Rick – January 30, 2014 09:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I actually stopped my DVR playback after watching the No-to-Hollywood travesty dismissal of Jessica Bassett and spent the next 20 minutes online trying to find out the name of her beautiful audition song (can anyone help me?) and watching some of her YouTube videos…and then it was back to the show, where I became even more dismayed at the crop of unripe ones they DID send through :( …Why them and not Jessica??? Looks from all the commentary I found online that America agreed with JLo and would have voted for Jessica for a long long time. I think they very well seem to have overlooked The Next American Idol. I wish there was some sort of callback system. America does not want to wait a whole ‘nother year for her to have to come back and try again!

          Comment by Kaykee – January 31, 2014 02:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Kaykee, I had the same reaction as you. Of all the contestants so far, Jessica Bassett was one of my favorites. I will definitely buy her music when it becomes available.

            Comment by Steve – January 31, 2014 09:41 AM PDT  
          • You couldn’t find it because it’s an original song that Jessica wrote for her friend. It’s called Lydia.

            Comment by David – February 3, 2014 07:07 PM PDT  
        • What a talent. You said it better than I could. This is why I don’t watch idol any more. However I do watch ellen and she agrees that jessica deserves a chance to be heard.

          Comment by claire muller – February 4, 2014 05:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m still impressed that this time last year we saw maybe 10-15 contestants in a 2 hour episode and tonight we saw 35. Of those 35 there were at least 20-25 really decent performances. I think the judges messed up a little on a couple of those contestants. I am getting a little tired of J.LO having the inability to say “No” and leaving the bad guy duties to Keith or Harry. Tonight I really enjoyed Paisley Van Patten, CJ Harris and Kassandra.

    Comment by idolbethejudge.blogspot.com – January 29, 2014 08:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed on J.Lo. She’ll never make a decision on her own, and if the deciding vote is left to her, it’s always a yes. I’m loving the judges this year but she is already the weakest one by far.

      Comment by jen – January 30, 2014 05:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I was sorry to ser her come back–she has always disappointed me with her determination to come off as “sweet.” Other than beauty, I don’t see what she adds. You wait–her performance feedback is going to be equally annoying.

        Comment by rio – January 30, 2014 05:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree about JLO, she jumps in to say yes, leaving the dirty work to Harry and Keith.
      Her responses are boring, and she certainly seems to resent Harry, her nasty asides to Keith.
      I think her lack of true education shows, she has no knowledge, sadly she can’t get over the fac that she is 40. Note the stupid hair bow.

      Comment by Libby – January 30, 2014 05:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kind of vague feedback. But they have to have cannon fodder for Hollywood week.
    200 has to become 31. Wake me up when we get there.

    Comment by Ginger Snap – January 29, 2014 08:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Speaking of the Top 31, there’s something I think is cool. I won’t give away any names here, but between the first 5 episodes of auditions, we have already seen 29 of them. Only 2 have yet to be seen, and they could both be on tomorrow. If so, I believe it will be the first time all of the semifinalists’ auditions were shown before Hollywood Week.

      Comment by LeahKittyS – January 29, 2014 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • LeahKittyS, I think the producers are listening to what Idol fans have commented about being fair. I really enjoyed Austin and Kenzie. Too many guitar playing performances, but I am enjoying the auditions.

        Comment by Kariann Hart – January 30, 2014 01:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Watching her youtube videos, I think they did this girl Jessica a favor for now… Sure, she could made it to hollywood, but not much further, And how you dont have Kenzie Hall on your top?

    Comment by Guilherme Santos – January 29, 2014 08:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Everybody seems so surprised they cut Jessica Bassett,but I think it probably relates to what Keith said last night about the process. It’s not just the voice but also the emotional maturity. Can they handle the whole ‘American Idol’ hoopla. She seems very shy (I watched a couple of her videos on Youtube to confirm this) and had a hard time expressing her thoughts. She would stumble over her words and say, “ummm” a lot. I think they were right….give her some time to grow up a little and she could actually be fabulous another year.

      Comment by Elizabeth – January 30, 2014 02:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Nevermind, I just watched the episode again and saw that Jessica is actually 22 years old (I think the braces threw me off). I think the decision must have been more about personality than maturity.

        Comment by Elizabeth – January 30, 2014 07:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • If that was truly the case Elizabeth….then why did they allow the woman whoses dad was a famous singer to go threw….I am sure her father coached her and she was not nearly as enjoyable to listen too…..

        Comment by Barbara Doyle – January 30, 2014 11:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • she is 22

        Comment by richard – January 30, 2014 06:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yeah I hear that, but the compelling argument is this: IF she should have gone, what about several people much LESS than her, in voice AND maturity who went through? No, here is what happened, or at least I can’t think of another reason. They were letting too many through and at some point were told “you have a full 40 minutes (or whatever it was) remaining and only (whatever number) of spots left–time to get critical. They would never share that they screwed up, letting too many through, too soon. What else really explains passing on her and letting several very weak singer/performers through?

        Comment by J Isbell – January 30, 2014 08:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Really? Please that’s the point let them grow as the show progresses. Her voice was so much better than at least a few dozen they said yes too. It’s always sexism. Sexist remarks you never hear about the shy “boys” also Henry con wick jr seems to be a tad jealous of Jennifer Lopez & wants to be alpha male on show. Real men don’t insult & feel insecure with women. Boys grow up!

        Comment by Gregg – January 31, 2014 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree about the girl singing “Russian girl” (potentially?) so sad! And paisley was definitely the stand out!

    Comment by tewence – January 29, 2014 08:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I had to go look on Google because I thought Jessica Bassett sounded really special, and was as surprised as J Lo that Keith and especially my home town boy Harry didnt see that. But I felt they let a few come through that were not consistent with last week’s better standards. Maybe it truly is the high altitude!

    Comment by jeffteach – January 29, 2014 08:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. Jessica Bassett was one of my very favorites! What are these judges thinking???

      Comment by Tammy – January 29, 2014 09:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree…Jessica Bassett was awesome. I can’t believe they let her go. One of the best in my opinion

      Comment by Archie – January 29, 2014 10:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I guess we’ll see Jessica Bassett on the Voice where she will shine.

        Comment by Davey – January 30, 2014 08:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Well, I am just now watching Idol and came here to make this very comment about Jessica Barrett. Hopefully she will get chance on The Voice and “the blind audition” might be the thing to help her advance.

          Hi “The Voice” producers! Pick this girl up for your show.

          Comment by Cookie – January 30, 2014 03:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • They played her as background music while Keith was giving his diatribe about musical developement and I thought it was professional. I’m upset with this show already. there are lots of good people but there are plenty of bad and Jessica was great. Now the judges just seem like idiots

            Comment by richard – January 30, 2014 06:45 PM PDT  
    • I agree

      Comment by Barbara Doyle – January 30, 2014 11:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Maybe they’ll have “the save??”…she’d be THE candidate for that, imo.
        Much as I’m still enjoying “refreshed” idol and the judges are ok, so far (if not a tad enamored with their own “cool” this year, still…), I do agree however, last night they put through more than a few “just ok” choices. But, like others have said…they need to do Hollywood week with lots of fodder…so, there you go.

        Comment by Amy – February 2, 2014 04:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How is Kenzie not in your top 10??

    Comment by Cah – January 29, 2014 08:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • THIS! She was my favorite of the night!

      Comment by ktbanks – January 30, 2014 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Worry not. I am certain either Melinda or Jason will have that corrected on Reality Check.

      Comment by Leticia Prado – January 30, 2014 03:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Perhaps because her voice was shrill and unpleasant to listen to?

      Comment by Lauren – February 3, 2014 12:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While I do appreciate seeing more quantitative talent, I have to say that I miss some of the laughs I used to get with some clueless auditioners. Not the ones who aren’t serious and are just trying to get on TV, but the ones who think they are good but are hilariously bad. AI used to be known for that. Without at least some of them, these audition rounds are kind of boring. The Voice’s “chair” auditions, albeit it gimmicky, are more engaging to me. BTW, anyone else annoyed when they play the auditioner’s interview at the same time as the actual audition…preventing us from hearing them sing?

    Comment by jsnj – January 29, 2014 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica Bassett’s dismissal was absolutely bizarre to me. She’s had a sublime tone and a understated cool vibe that was relaxing and enjoyable. I cannot believe Harry dismissed her with nothing but a “you’re not ready yet”. Props to J Lo for voting yes.

    Comment by Pat – January 29, 2014 08:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Keep in mind neither was a girl name Colby Collett???? Lets wish her the same success as Colby….Im sure somone saw her talent last night and is snatching her up now,,,,,,,

      Comment by Barbara Doyle – January 30, 2014 11:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That singer’s name is spelled Colbie Caillat. But I get your point. She’s one of my favorite singers, and I actually didn’t know Idol rejected her until later. I know it turned out for the best, but what were they thinking?

        Comment by LeahKittyS – January 30, 2014 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael! Thank you!! I was so perplexed by Keith and Harry not putting Jessica Bassett through. And when they didn’t, I was thinking that you would probably mention her. What a beautiful and interesting voice — she reminded me a bit of Norah Jones. I almost always agree with Harry…..not this time!

    Comment by Blinged Up – January 29, 2014 08:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica Bassett was robbed. Im still shocked that she was not put through. The only time I turned my head to the TV screen was to see if that was actually a contestant or a recorded singer I never heard of being played in the background. Gorgeous voice. This episode had inconsistent judging. Mediocre and bad singers put through, while Jessica was turned away. Amazing. I agree with J.Lo, they let a good one get away.

    Comment by J – January 29, 2014 09:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have to echo the other sentiments here. Jessica was robbed. It seems like they don’t want original artists, just clones of existing pop stars.

    Comment by Timmah – January 29, 2014 09:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mike and I are pretty close! My top 3 for this night was Mike’s # 2, his # 1 and his # 3 in that order! And yes, so many poor singers went through…I was amazed! Mike has been pretty spot on so far on this Idol season…KUDOS!

    Comment by Jim Welker – January 29, 2014 09:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ms. BASSETT WAS ROBBED…I LIKED HER!

    Comment by Jim Welker – January 29, 2014 09:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Slezak, your selections have really jumped the shark. No Kenzie? She’s a superstar.

    Comment by Smac – January 29, 2014 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Total bias here, but I think Detroit had the best auditioners. Salt Lake was good for the first hour. I haven’t seen the 2nd hour yet. I’m glad most of the auditons are good ones. Someone above mentioned they’ve shown 29 of the final 31. That seems a lot more fair in that with maybe the one double shown auditon, no one seems to be getting extra promotion.

    It’s nice that whoever we see in the finals won’t have their first screentime in the top 30 or later on in the show. Pretty much everyone gets a chance to build up their fanbase.

    Has JLo yet been a lone “no” judge? Has she ever been 1 of the 2 who’ve been a no when a contestant has been sent home or has it always been the 2 guys?

    Then a general Q for anyone who’d care to answer- How do you people remember the names of the auditioners so quickly? It seems so many of ya’s know the lineup by heart already. I remember things like “guy w/ dog at his audition” or “girl who said she’s gonna either be a successful musician or a broke one” but have a tough time remembering their names until I see them a few more times. What’s your secret to remembering the names so early?

    Comment by Danny – January 29, 2014 09:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Write down the names as you’re watching the show. Add a brief description which will help you remember the singer.

      Comment by Var – January 30, 2014 07:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yes, that’s what I do.

        Comment by JM – January 30, 2014 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • DOH!!! Thanks and seriously, it never crossed my mind. One year (season 10) I wrote down my favorites from the group rounds to see who’d make it. It never crossed my mind for a cheat sheet though. Sometimes the simplest of ideas are overlooked. Again, Thanks.

          Comment by Danny – January 30, 2014 04:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Could it be just jotting the name down? You know, like with a pen and on a piece of paper?

      Comment by ChrissieK – January 30, 2014 08:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m the one who mentioned that we’ve seen 29 of the Top 31 so far. And yeah, having that list reminds me of the ones I like, but it’s mostly my Asperger Syndrome that helps me remember my names. I can actually recall the names of every American Idol finalist from Seasons 1-12 in about 2 minutes. (I had a friend time me once.)

      Comment by LeahKittyS – January 30, 2014 09:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • …gone is that feeling of dread seeing another ‘train wreck’ episode, eventually leading to drama fatigue that I felt the last two seasons. I actually enjoyed most of the talent they showed tonight.

    Hopefully they follow through going forward, hopefully it’s not another case of fool’s gold

    Comment by Tusk – January 29, 2014 09:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Here’s hoping!

      Comment by kangaroo16 – January 30, 2014 07:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Had some issues with Casey (he sang with passion, but seemed to not quite reach the high notes he was aiming for) and especially with Tiquila Wilson (psst…louder isn’t always better, especially when you’re singing “Someone Like You”!). I was suprised to see them ranked so highly here.

    Comment by kcostell – January 29, 2014 10:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica was seriously robbed!! I never go online and research American idol but today I just had to. What on earth were they thinking? The way they played it in the background was absolutely beautiful. I hope Jessica sees this. She seemed like such a humble sweetheart with great and original talent!!

    Comment by Aileen – January 29, 2014 10:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree with Aileen. She was not respected. Jessica Bassett was awesome. I can’t believe they let her go. One of the best in my opinion.

      Comment by Archie – January 29, 2014 10:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • When they used Jessica’s song for the background music, I thought it was an actual single from a recording artist, not an audition! I hope she tries again next year.

      Comment by Elizabeth Rosalyn The – January 29, 2014 10:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I thought the same thing, I actually rewound it to listen more close through those interviews as Jessica Barrett was singing. I thought she was incredibly good on that song, evidently so did the editors and producers, that’s huge to have her music and singing playing for all that…………..

        Sad that she didn’t make it, hope she finds another avenue or comes back next year. Maybe *cough* The Voice *cough*

        Comment by Matrim – January 30, 2014 06:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I think she would do much better on The Voice because they seem to value artistry a lot more than Idol does.

          Comment by Timmah – January 30, 2014 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes! I too went online to research her! I noticed the editors of the show didn’t let us see what they talked about before she sang. Was there something that we missed causing Harry and Keith to let her go? Sad Sad

      Comment by J&P – January 29, 2014 11:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Holy Moly…there are lots of guitar stores making lots of money if this season of AI is any indication. It seems like 90% of those auditioners have guitars strapped on. I sure don’t remember this being the case in previous seasons.

    Comment by The Beach – January 29, 2014 10:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can’t agree. I thought Harry and Keith were right to let Jessica go. Frankly I was surprised she didn’t get 3 nos from the judges. We’re really going with JLo’s gut here?

    Comment by S. – January 29, 2014 10:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ah the road to Hollywood…. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? It’s starting to all look the same.

    Comment by Tahoe Mike – January 29, 2014 10:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved Kenzie and really dug Alex’s song. I like Austin and CJ but need to hear more from them first.

    Comment by Elizabeth Rosalyn The – January 29, 2014 10:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • WE ARE IN SHOCK! We’ve played and replayed Jessica Bassett’s performance over and over….not to mention the entire one minute BEFORE she performed that the editors used her singing as the background music to all the blah blah about being “ready” for Hollywood! Did you all out there notice that? What was Harry and Keith thinking?! Jessica, you should be going to Hollywood! In fact, you should be recording that song! Good job recognizing REAL talent, Jennifer Lopez!

    Comment by J&P – January 29, 2014 10:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Again…maybe they have something in mind for a “save?”….I’m thinking especially because they used her music as background…sometimes when they use clips of certain contestants for their edits it usually means someone they’re into and we’re going to see more of. However, I’m wondering…has anyone who was denied at the audition ever been saved? Probably only “Green Mile rejects” have been saved?…ie. only those further down the process.

      Comment by Amy – February 2, 2014 04:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica was top 10 for the finals, shocking they didn’t put her through, bring her back or I have lost all respect!

    Comment by Jim – January 29, 2014 11:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica was good but I am leaning towards the different ones, like the girl with huge holes in her pants but her singing made me forget the pants{sort of} I’m with you Danny I have no idea how everyone knows all of their names, I am impressed but will continue saying guy with dog and so on until after Hollywood week. Well at my age I may forget even after then but eventually when we get to the top three I will have their names down pat. Anyways there were some great, different singers tonight and I am enjoying this season so far.

    Comment by Lana – January 29, 2014 11:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael, I question your inappropriate attachment if you misspell the girls name in your hashtag. She’s Bassett, not Barrett. Would you have misspelled Mishavonna Hanson ?

    Comment by Shroom – January 30, 2014 02:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And before you think I only post snarky spellcheck comments (this is the second time), I love reading your recaps and watching Reality Check.

      Comment by Shroom – January 30, 2014 02:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Henson.

      Comment by Carol Barnett – January 30, 2014 10:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That was intentional to make my point. I actually googled her name to make sure I got it wrong :) Didn’t want it to be an obvious typo that is more likely with her first name, but a perfectly valid surname like Barrett for Bassett. I just killed this comment by explaining it too much :(

        Comment by Shroom – January 30, 2014 09:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • lol…not really. Point made. :) …really…made! ;)

          Comment by Amy – February 2, 2014 04:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My husband isn’t a huge Idol fan but he kind of echoed my sentiments. There were a lot of interesting voices in Salt Lake but we aren’t sure we want to listen to an entire concert of those voices. I must say I enjoyed the Detroit auditions more.

    Put me in the camp that was surprised Jessica Bassett wasn’t put through.

    My top two are probably the same as Mr. Slezak’s. I also enjoyed the girl with the torn pants that sang the theme from “The Jeffersons”, although she’s one I’m not certain I’d want to listen to for two hours at a concert.

    I also rather liked Kylee Adamson (?) the lumberjack that sang Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing At All”.

    Comment by darcy's evil twin – January 30, 2014 02:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There are a lot who auditioned with guitars but it still interesting to see some who are exceptionally capable of playing the instrument and can sing well. I like Alex Preston a lot.

    Comment by Jushi – January 30, 2014 02:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Maybe they felt that Jessica Bassett was so good that she would have easily won and there would be no competition so instead of putting her through they just said no. Or maybe she got an instant recording deal. Is this in anyway possible? Because I cannot figure for the life of me how this could have been just a mistake.

    Comment by Steve Blankenbaker – January 30, 2014 02:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Or maybe there will be a “shocking” reconsideration. Simon’s pulled that a few times on the awful “X Factor.”

      Comment by rio – January 30, 2014 06:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Or maybe with her nerves they thought she would fall apart in Hollywood week. You have to remember they have to narrow this down to 31, so maybe they thought if she waits a year or two she will be more equipped to handle it. These contestants have to be able to handle the pressure of this show and yes her voice was nice but they probably did her a favor by not putting her through.

        Comment by Mary – January 30, 2014 06:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I do not agree with the love for Tiquila Wilson. I thought she had a great personality but she was way too screamy on that song. She didn’t sing well enough to be in your Top 10, Michael — and at #3 no less?

    Comment by duranmom – January 30, 2014 03:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed. I loved her personality but did not love her singing. I found her voice unpleasant.

      Comment by Kim R – January 30, 2014 09:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Agree with you both on that. Not top 3 for sure, in my book. …and ps. and btw…what was with the bite of the “hoagie” or whatever that was.. ?! …but she did have a “great spirit” as Keith said, (“baybay”)…and the moment with Ryan was hilarious. She’ll be fun to watch…even while sometimes getting on my nerves at those decibels! LOL.

        Comment by Amy – February 2, 2014 05:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m with a lot of people here in that I couldn’t believe they dismissed Jessica Bassett. I actually stopped watching the rest of the show after that and it seemed like Keith was just agreeing with whatever Harry had to say. You guys suck.

    Comment by kjohn – January 30, 2014 03:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m sure the thing with Jessica Bassett was faked. They must have some kind of protocol when they find someone with exceptional talent. I feel they probably though she was overqualified, too talented or whatever you want to call it to be on american idol.

    Comment by Steve Blankenbaker – January 30, 2014 04:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Minimal sob stories: good. At this stage, NO sob stories would be even better. Even so, I’m still enjoying the unadulterated entertainment of these audition shows as edited by the new production team.

    Comment by marie – January 30, 2014 04:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Are we bearing witness to the birth of a new generation of singer/SONGWRITERS? If memory serves, so far we’ve seen about half a dozen candidates singing originals and they aren’t half bad. Most of them bringing something this show sorely needed: originality.

    Comment by Claudia Costa Chaves – January 30, 2014 05:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree. I’ve always wondered why they don’t allow the contestants to sing originals. The ability to write good songs is a crucial element to success, IMO. Why not have an ‘Originals’ week where they all sing a song they wrote? I would love that.

      Comment by JM – January 30, 2014 10:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Agree with you both as to how good the originals have been, and I enjoy that added element. However, I don’t see an “Originals” week happening, because every contestant would have to be a writer.

        Comment by Amy – February 2, 2014 05:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The consensus on this board is that Jessica Bassett was robbed, and I have to agree. Her YouTube videos are sublime and her audition was both memorable and showed her talent. I wasn’t too sure what her outfit was all about, but this isn’t Project Runway. Is It?

    Comment by J. May – January 30, 2014 05:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They let a good one go, Jessica Bassett. The judges have made mistakes before and brought others back, why not Jessica? Society is speaking out. Now to get the judges to listen. Isn’t it the public who makes the final decision in the end anyway at the finale?

    Comment by lynn H. – January 30, 2014 05:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Amen to all of you who enjoyed listening to Jessica Bassett and would like to hear her again. American Idol: Please bring her back!

      Comment by Texas fan of Jessica – January 31, 2014 09:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was wondering the same thing about the judges choices tonight. So far, a lot of the singers sound very similar and not a style I particularly enjoy. Those waif-like voices that seem incapable of really belting out a song. Yet that may change once they’re in the hands of some good vocal coaches. Love. Love. Lovin’ HCJ. I love his voice of reason and his educated and technical offerings. His stealing of the utensils at the end of the show had me rollin’ and I love his banter with Keith. He’s really bringing out a side of Keith that we hadn’t seen before and raising Keith’s game as a judge. Not being a singer or musician, JLo will never be able to rise to that level of expertise. So when do we go to Hollywood??

    Comment by twnkltoze – January 30, 2014 06:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • P.S. I sure miss the days when the contestants HAD to sing completely a capella. Let them bring out the guitars once in Hollywood but not the initial auditions. JMO.

      Comment by twnkltoze – January 30, 2014 06:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked Austin the most tonight, and I was questioning some of the contestants that were put through. I guess they need some easy decisions in Hollywood week to send them home. There was a couple I liked that was not put through. I have come to the conclusion that Harry does not like runs, which I am not thrill with, but he seems to say no every time. I want a variety not all the same when it comes to the live shows. I love guitars but I think they are going way overboard on these contestants. I actually wish they left them out during the audition stage. I am praying that they are not allowed to use them every week.

    Comment by Mary – January 30, 2014 06:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • JLo continues to embarrass herself with her lack of music knowledge. Putting her next to Harry Connick Jr makes it very entertaining to watch.

    Comment by Gen of Montreal (@GenofMontreal) – January 30, 2014 06:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was in agreement with Harry’s “bad mood” because Salt Lake wasn’t that impressive to me. I just watched and vaguely remember two people. I think Tiquila took all of the confidence from everyone lol.

    Comment by Jessica – January 30, 2014 07:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • To those who regret not remembering contestants’ names at this point, don’t feel bad, not everyone does. I personally don’t even start to remember names before Hollywood Week. Most of these people will be gone soon enough; I try not to get too interested in anyone before I know they’re going to the live shows.

    Comment by marie – January 30, 2014 07:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I really liked Adam, Scotty, and Phillip from auditions. Best thing about this year is there is more suspense on who can win it.

      Comment by Jessica – January 30, 2014 08:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The beauty of YouTube and Hulu is you can go back and watch their auditions once you know they make it through. You don’t have to spend 2 months of your life filtering out the duffers.

        Comment by Ginger Snap – January 30, 2014 08:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • True. And sometimes I do just that.

          Comment by marie – January 30, 2014 12:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Adam was probably the last contestant whom I really noticed right from the start – yes, there certainly have been other talented auditioners since, but no one has hit me quite as immediately as Adam to the point where I didn’t even have to make an effort to remember him – I just did. (Unfortunately for me, he’s gone on to forge a career releasing music I personally don’t much like, but what can you do; I don’t begrudge him his success at all.)

        Comment by marie – January 30, 2014 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I have watched exactly three auditions in the entire history of Idol where I immediately predicted they would be the winners: Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert, and Jessica Bassett.
          I still think Adam should have won over Kris Allen, but we’ll never get to see how far Jessica would have gone :(

          Comment by Kaykee – January 31, 2014 03:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am curious how things are going to play out next week with ratings for this show. ‘Cuz the Olympics coverage on the Peacock network starts right after the Super Bowl and the other networks are putting the bulk of their shows in hiatus/reruns. I am not a fan of the winter Olympics, but I would take figure skating over another week of auditions and Hollywood week. I have not been watching the audition shows but I can sense of a blur of singers that have flashed by your eyes since mid January. By the time the Olympics end (late February), we will just be getting to the top 31 and the real competition begins. And The Voice returns.

    The show is just as scripted as ever. They pretty much know who’s going forward and we’re just filling time until March.

    Comment by Ginger Snap – January 30, 2014 08:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Honestly, Jessica Bassett was decent, but she was not robbed. i don’t know what all the hoopla is all about. Many others sounded just as good if not better. She can come back next year if she is serious about this pursuit and more than likely make the cut. I doubt she would have made it passed this season’s hollywood week though. Not because of her lack of talent, but because of the abundant talent pool with neon personalities the producers have to pick from this season..

    Comment by waterbug – January 30, 2014 08:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just found out Alex Preston went to the University of New Hampshire. That’s the college e’s taken a year off from, and that’s where I am right now. Someone from my school is on American Idol! How cool is that? And I liked him, too, so let’s hope he does well.

    Comment by LeahKittyS – January 30, 2014 08:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Yes — JLo is not a musician. I get it. But she is multi-talented and business-suave in other areas of entertainment or she would not be as successful as she is today. Let’s be real. In a nutshell, the catty JLo-hating is getting old.

    Comment by waterbug – January 30, 2014 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • GAWD how I despise JHo with every fibre of my being. UGH, why did they have to bring that self-promoting no-talent back, WHY.

      Comment by catty – January 30, 2014 10:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree completely about Jessica Bassett being robbed, in fact I was just about shocked when they turned her down because I loved her voice better than most of the other auditions so far this year. My primary reason for checking the media reaction was to see if I was just imagining things, but obviously not. I agree about Paisley Van Patten and Austin Wolfe, I also liked the girl who started with an original song then did “Moving on Up” from the Jeffersons. I’m reserving the rest of my judgments until we get through Hollywood Week. I hate getting attached to someone too early only to see them gone before the live shows start. Hoping that during the season we get to see some of the Idol Workshop Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry did with the contestants yesterday.

    Comment by SoozinCA – January 30, 2014 09:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • SoozinCA, I didn’t know that the contestants get to take a workshop with Adam and Chris. That’s fantastic! I hope they do show it, because I’d much rather see them than Randy any day.

      Comment by JM – January 30, 2014 10:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My thoughts:

    Kenzie Hall was by far the best female singer. How she’s not on the top ten list, I don’t know. Also liked Kassandra Castaneda and Jocelyn Baker who got almost no airtime.

    I would’ve voted no on Paisley and Tiquila so how they’re #1 and #3 is beyond me.

    Love Dexter Roberts, Casey Thrasher, Keith Sanders and Alex Preston.

    Some young’uns that are worth mentioning are: Briston Maroney, his sophisticated delivery of the Rolling Stones song was amazing. DJ Bradley (Ed Sheeran lookalike) is very interesting. Not sure he’s ready, (he seems nervous in front of cameras, people), but glad he’s going to experience Hollywood Week. Ditto for Johnny Newcomb (Eddy Vedder soundalike), happy he gets a second chance.

    Oh, and yes, Jessica Bassett was robbed!

    Comment by JM – January 30, 2014 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I haven’t been watching, but I took a look at Jessica Bassett on YouTube, and her voice is too weak. She cannot compete with such little power.

    Comment by AEvangelista – January 30, 2014 10:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t be the only one who saw Jessica Bassett and noticed she was definitely playing the wrong chords on her guitar? It sounded incredibly OFF to me. No one stood out for me. The one I remember most was the pretty blonde with the mediocre voice that was a part of the #GoHome or #Hollywood hashtag. Awful.

    Comment by rowan – January 30, 2014 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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