American Idol Omaha Auditions Recap: We're Goin' to Hollywood! [Updated]

Tessa-Kate-American-Idol-OmahaComing up at ten o’clock: 212 wannabe music superstars get trapped in an airplane hanger — but only two-thirds of ‘em will walk out alive. Will your favorite be turned into ground chuck and washed out onto the tarmac as seagull chow?

OK, OK, maybe the next phase of American Idol Season 13 isn’t quite so Mad Max-ian — but dangit all, the promos for the start of Hollywood Week next Wednesday sure promised a lot of tears, side-eyes and pointed fingers. In other words, after tonight’s ho-hum audition outing from Omaha, Neb., I’m ready to press pause on Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” and let Per Blankens & Co. bring this competition to a boil.

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Before that happens, however, we’ve got to dive deeper into Season 13′s final hour of tryouts, which featured the ever game (and charming) Ryan Seacrest getting tackled by an overenthusiastic hugger, a retro-looking blond kid showing off an America’s Got Talent-level knack for presidential impressions and another liberal serving of Harry Connick, Jr. hilarity.

Among my favorite HCJ zingers? Harry’s rejection of a Ben Afflect lookalike, softened by this kicker: “But your work directing Argo was phenomenal!” And, of course, there was his response to a square-dance caller’s explanation that an “allemande” requires the man to grab the woman by the forearm: “Where I come from, they call that domestic abuse.” (OK, OK, maybe I shouldn’t have laughed at the latter bon mot, but I cannot lie to you in an Idol recap — especially not in an episode that finally, sorta acknowledged Season 12 champ Candice Glover by playing a snippet of her addictive cover of “Lovesong.”)

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My personal Top 7 is as follows — and doesn’t include Andrina Brogden (I agreed with Harry this stunning North Dakota native didn’t seem ready based on her rushed phrasing and wobbly pitch) nor Tyler Gurwicz (whose exaggerated mid-performance facial expressions bothered both Keith and yours truly).

7. Madisen Welker, “Before He Cheats” | Keith was right that the 15-year-old — Side note: OMG, is this what 15-year-olds look like nowadays? — gave a “perfect karaoke rendition” of Carrie Underwood’s chart topper. But while Harry argued that Madisen’s inevitable Hollywood heartbreak was reason enough to end her journey, I can’t pretend I’m not curious to see what the kid will do with the judges’ notes about infusing more of her own personality into her music.

6. Quaid Edwards, “A Change Is Gonna Come” | “Girls are gonna scream,” Harry predicted of the handsome college senior with the glistening teeth. But with a little added polish, his clean, clear tone and pretty upper register might give talent-focused viewers a reason to vote, too (though probably not till Season 15 or so…)

5. Tyler Marshall, “Proud Mary” | Tyler’s jubilation just walking into the audition room was as intoxicating as a Long Island Iced Tea. So while the overabundance of cry in his voice made me wonder if his destiny is to play the role of Hollywood Hangar Round Victim No. 17, I couldn’t really be mad at the judges for their enthusiasm.

4. Casey McQuillen, “Skyscraper” | This brunette Jayma Mays doppelganger delivered her Demi Lovato cover with such plainspoken simplicity and impeccable timining, it was like a trip to an organic salad bar after a month’s worth of McDonald’s.

3. CJ Jones, “Stand By Me” | This babyfaced contestant showcased a tone much huskier and richer than I’d anticipated. And the fact that he not only maintained his groove while Harry stomped and goofed off alongside him — the result of the judge literally interpreting the title “Stand by Me” — but played off his A-lister energy, gave me hope that CJ might be ready for prime time.

2. Paula Hunt, “All I Could Do Was Cry” | In a season where back stories have been kept to a minimum, Paula’s tale of fulfilling the dreams of her mom — a Gospel/R&B artist who lost her voice to multiple sclerosis — as a member of the U.S. Air Force’s Heartland of America Band brought undeniable warm fuzzies to the proceedings. Far more important, though, was the way Paula brought slow, aching intensity to her Etta James jam. As Harry noted, the woman simply knows when to throw in a run, and the result is both tasteful and elegant. (There’s still going to be a place for tasteful and elegant in Season 13, right?)

1. Tessa Kate, “Folsom Prison Blues” | I’ll admit that it took my ears a moment to process the juxtaposition of Tessa’s quavery little instrument with the Man in Black’s low, rumbly classic. But when she picked up the pace and jammed out on the second verse, my involuntary head-bobbing and foot-tapping convinced me she’s got the kind of bravado and creativity to help make Season 13 the dogfight that the judges keep promising.

And with that, I turn things over to you. What did you think of Episode 6 of Season 13? What did you think of the judges tonight? Any fave moments or decisions with which you disagreed? Who was your favorite Golden Ticket recipient? And are you glad to be done with Auditions and on to Hollywood? Sound off in the comments, and for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!



Comments (78)

  • I wasn’t really excited by a lot of these contestants tonight. There was definitely some talent out there, but only a couple of them really stood out for me tonight. Paula Hunt, Dajontae Lenear and maybe Tessa Kate. Each of them were really good, but I feel they still don’t even match up to some of the talent we saw in other auditions. I am excited about a ton of contestants that we have seen, just not sure how many from this particular audition will make it very far.

    Comment by idolbethejudge.blogspot.com – January 30, 2014 06:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I liked Tessa Kate too, but did she get two chances because in her audition if you look close she
      she has different guitars during her song

      Comment by Judy Stephens – January 30, 2014 06:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I saw that too! What the hell? Do we know if this happens often. And why does she get a kick ass guitar? Maybe something happened to her other one? I like how production put her blue thing on the head of the second guitar and then did the judging portion with her actual guitar! Weird.

        Comment by Brandon – January 30, 2014 06:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I’m pretty sure we never see the “full” auditions for every contestant. I think they’re supposed to be prepared to sing more than one song. Even with a lot of the critiques last night you could hear the judges saying “I don’t think we even need to hear another song, do we?”. Of course, she wasn’t shown entering with 2 guitars, so maybe it was more of the producers needing some additional shots/angles of her and for some reason she had a different guitar with her. Strange in any case.

          Comment by Mike – January 31, 2014 07:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Went back and rewatched it! So strange. Maybe she had a broken string or something. They really edited it pretty well. I thought she sounded like Dolly Parton. Not my personal favorite, but bouncy and cute.

        Comment by Sue C. (@sam12418) – January 30, 2014 07:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Yup. She reminded me of Dolly as well. J Lo said “chipmunk”, but she meant “Dolly Parton”.

          Comment by Joey – February 3, 2014 11:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Is she the one who sang Folsom Prison Blues? I don’t know, she has a pretty good voice, I guess but I may have liked her better if she’d sung a different song because i just didn’t buy that song coming from her. Surprised me that all the judges liked it so much. Shows you how much I know, heh. :-}}

        Comment by CatLover04 – January 31, 2014 01:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I agree about the song choice. The lyrics to the song do not got with the performance.
          I liked the performance. She has a good personality and style. But it might be a red flag that she’s going to give just about the same performance no matter what she is singing.
          At least she had the sense to not sing a Dolly Parton song.

          Comment by tealeaves – February 1, 2014 07:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It does happen a lot! If you look up Majesty York’s audition, you can see that her earring changes during the audition!

        Comment by Sara – February 1, 2014 03:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This episode was much better than last night in terms of the flow, but I was still disinterested, for the most part. The only ones who held my attention for long were the judges, and there was only one singer who I think can survive the Hollywood Games.

    Which brings me to my next point: she is not in your Honorable Mentions! What did you have against Andrina Brodgen, Mike? Sure, she was a little held back by fear, but there’s something bubbling under that lovely surface that you just know is going to break through in Hollywood. Wait and see.

    Whatever. I just can’t wait for Hollywood Week to start! (Though I was ready to tell off that diva who was picking on Jessica Meuse in the promo.) And I think I have a premise for this season’s “comment section saga!” You asked for something more uplifting this year, and I don’t think we’ll need a pick-em-off horror story like we did last year. So how about a good old-fashioned adventure? “American Idols and the Treasure of the Twelve Kingdoms.” How does that sound?

    Comment by LeahKittyS – January 30, 2014 06:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LeahKitty, that sounds fun! I’ve already got the Indiana Jones theme (song) running through my head. (Hopefully that won’t last though May, or I might truly hate that song by then – ;-)

      Comment by My Alter Ego – January 31, 2014 04:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Well, good to see someone’s interested. I know the title sounds like “Indiana Jones,” but I was thinking more “Pirates of the Caribbean.” So go ahead and get that theme music stuck in your head. LOL

        Comment by LeahKittyS – January 31, 2014 07:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • OK, I can do that :-) Perhaps, I’ll just make a mix (in my head) of Pirates/Indiana Jones/maybe even the Superman theme (or more) to make it more interesting…;-)

          Comment by My Alter Ego – January 31, 2014 06:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it’s Madisen not Madison which is annoying enough–weird spellings don’t make a child unique. I thought she had potential and a nice sparkle to her, but it was definitely karaoke, I agreed with Keith (I think he’s the one that said that). She actually demonstrated less range than Carrie and the first line or so was almost entirely the same note. It was fine enough, but she’s gotta show more. Does she have much of a lower range? I don’t get how she’d be a favorite audition.

    Comment by S. – January 30, 2014 06:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was quite awkward when Harry asked about the one girl’s (curly hair, went through) last name and where it came from? Did anyone else catch that awkward moment? She said it was Norwegian and belonged to her grandparents. It was a bit unsettling for me.

    Comment by Flicker – January 30, 2014 07:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, you don’t run into people named Andrina every day; I can understand him wanting to know the origin. At least he wasn’t making fun of her name.

      Comment by LeahKittyS – January 30, 2014 07:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’m pretty sure he was asking her about her last name though, not first. That’s how she answered it too.

        Comment by Flicker – January 30, 2014 07:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I don’t see where you get that idea. Didn’t she say it was her grandmother’s name?

          Comment by JustMe – January 30, 2014 08:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • They need to take Harry to HR – you can’t ask that during an interview!

        Comment by LG – January 31, 2014 06:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • You can’t? Why not? He was just trying to break the ice; this isn’t as formal a situation as a job interview. If I had an uncommon name I would expect to be asked about it a lot.

          Comment by LeahKittyS – January 31, 2014 07:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I haven’t met many LeahKittys in my life. Are you asked about your name a lot?

            Comment by Scott – January 31, 2014 07:23 AM PDT  
          • Very funny, Scott. But I’m only LeahKittyS on the Internet. To the rest of the world, I’m just Leah. Mom thought it was pretty, and Dad liked it because it reminded him of the “Star Wars” princess. He’s probably the biggest Star Wars fan on the East Coast.

            Comment by LeahKittyS – January 31, 2014 08:00 AM PDT  
    • The producers feed them questions.

      Comment by NJidoloonie – January 31, 2014 11:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Why would that be unsettling?

      Comment by ChrissieK – January 31, 2014 06:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What I found unsettling was the clip from the hangar. That had to be awful for both the contestants ( Hello Mom, mmmm, I’m on my way home. All the way to Hollywood and I didn’t make it out of the airport!!) and the judges. I’ve got to believe Keith Urban, who is possibly the sweetest guy on the planet, had to be miserable through that ordeal. JLo was probably teary. I’m guessing Harry does most of the talking!

    Comment by Sue C. (@sam12418) – January 30, 2014 07:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This should be a signal that it’s time to get a little tougher in the auditions. The Hollywood round has gotten so bloated (over 200 contestants????) that there has to be some kind of mass purging done quickly. Maybe they should go to a unanimous three votes from the judges to go to Hollywood.

      Comment by TD – January 31, 2014 06:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The only ones I remember are Andrina and Tessa. The rest were meh. I DID however feel sorry for CJ having to sing with HCJ’s antics right next to him. Don’t know if I could’ve kept my composure like he did.

    Comment by JM – January 30, 2014 07:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t believe Harry said Andrina wasn’t good enough for Idol. I thought she was fantastic.

    Comment by Timmah – January 30, 2014 08:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank you! So I’m not the only one who was impressed by her. Like I said, the nerves get to some people once in a while. She may come into her own in Hollywood.

      Comment by LeahKittyS – January 30, 2014 08:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I didn’t even process the nervousness. I thought she had a great tone and sang a really difficult Beyonce song well. If that’s what she sounds like nervous though she’s going to sound amazing once she shakes that off.

        Comment by Timmah – January 30, 2014 09:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tessa had a nice tone to her voice, but her performance seemed a bit too “Folsom Prison Happy Fun Times” for my taste.

    Comment by kcostell – January 30, 2014 08:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I didn’t like the vibrato at all. I was thinking chipmunk-y before they said it.

      Comment by Timmah – January 30, 2014 09:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Exactly. Her manner was so disconnected from the lyrics it was as if she wasn’t processing the meaning of the words she was singing at all. Whoo hoo! I’m in prison and I can’t stop grinning about it! Zero artistry.

      Comment by ThatBob – January 31, 2014 10:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Haahaa…thanks for the laugh ThatBob!

        Comment by waterbug – January 31, 2014 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yup — disconnect is exactly the right way to describe that. It will be interesting to see what happens, and how many melt downs occur during Hollywood week.

        Comment by My Alter Ego – February 2, 2014 01:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My two favorite auditions were Mike’s #2 and his #3, in that order! My favorite 2 auditions af all the auditions that made it to Hollywood are…#1, Briana Oakley….#2, Melanie Porras! These are very early auditions! Briana was the girl who reminded me of Jordin Sparks! Melanie reminded me of Haley Reinhart! Look for these 2 to make top ten!

    Comment by Jim Welker – January 30, 2014 09:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did one of the guys have his profession listed as “shoe caddy”? If so, what the heck is a shoe caddy? Someone who moves shoes around for rich people??

    Comment by rwfblog – January 30, 2014 09:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I thought a shoe caddy was one who polishes shoes like at a hotel lobby? Maybe wrong.

      Comment by Forwardad – January 31, 2014 04:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • When I was a kid, we called those guys “shoe shine boys”. The phrase does seem dated, though. Looking up “shoe caddy” in Google, all I find are portable shelves for shoes, usually on wheels. And the Wikipedia article for Caddy does not mention shoes at all.

        Comment by rwfblog – January 31, 2014 12:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is my first time commenting. I’ve watched Idol since season three, but just discovered Michael’s reviews and really enjoy them. Especially the videos with my all time favorite, Melinda.
    As much as I enjoy the judges this season, Harry can get rude. He meant to be funny by standing by that young man, but that was the contestant’s moment, not Harry’s. He does that stuff too much. And I LIKE Jennifer. Don’t always agree with everyone, but it’s enjoyable watching this year. My favorite contestant so far? Majesty Rose!
    By the way, in case demographics matter to anyone, I’m a 63 year old grandma.

    Comment by Jane Boyars – January 30, 2014 10:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Welcome to TV Line, Jane! We’re happy to have you, and as the season goes on, you’ll see we have all different opinions on the best singers, and judges. (By the way, Majesty Rose is also a favorite of mine.) I’ve been following Mike’s recaps since Season 6, and there’s a distinct sense of humor in his writing you won’t find anywhere else. So make yourself at home.

      Comment by LeahKittyS – January 30, 2014 11:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Welcome, Jane! You’ll like it here, I’m sure. I’ve been following Michael’s recaps since season 6 as well and he’s always entertaining.

      Comment by darcy's evil twin – January 31, 2014 01:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I started watching Season 6. My kids saw the promos for the goofballs and wanted to see the show then I got hooked because of Melinda Doolittle. I don’t think I’ve missed 5 shows since that season. Slezak’s commentary is outstanding. My Omaha favorite was Dylan Becker who got maybe 15 seconds. P.S. Anyone notice that quite a few of the singers audition thousands of miles from their homes when they could’ve stayed local?

        Comment by Var – January 31, 2014 07:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I am curious about those who audition thousands of miles from home when there was a closer audition site. I’ve heard that sometimes people will be turned down in one city and try again in another city. Maybe sometimes it is just a matter of timing. They might travel to an earlier audition in case they need a second chance audition, or they might only decide to audition later in the process and so they have to go further away.
          I wonder if some of them strategically go to a place where they might stand out more among the other contestants at that location. For instance, I would expect mostly country singers to audition on Omaha so it might be a good strategy for someone else to travel there to stand out better among everyone else auditioning on the same day.

          Comment by tealeaves – February 1, 2014 06:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I disagree on Harry. He brings such a breath of fresh air to the show and he was having fun. CJ stood out even more for being able to perform with Harry next to him on “percussion”, and it made his audition stand out to me. I am now so curious to hear him sing without distraction, because his voice is really good and he came across as a cool kid who will be able to handle whatever Idol throws at him. I’ll bet it becomes a story CJ will tell for many years to come. LOVING this season of Idol.

      Comment by Carrie – January 31, 2014 05:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Keep in mind that the contestants have been seen by several members of the production staff before they ever get in front of the judges. You can be sure that the best ones come pre-approved.

        Comment by rio – January 31, 2014 06:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hi Jane: I’m a 60+ grandma also and have been watching AI since season one!!!! but just found this site. I am enjoying it thoroughly, especially the comments. They are thoughtful and intelligent, something you don’t find on too many sites.

      Comment by Saragee – January 31, 2014 06:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 63 year old grandma sounds about right for the demographics of American Idol (no disrespect, it’s just a fact.) I love it too.

      Comment by Leah Hoffman – January 31, 2014 08:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Welcome Jane! I swim around here during Idol season and look forward to your comments. I get teased a lot for my occassional comments but I take it with a light heart and they always make me smile or laugh.

      Comment by waterbug – January 31, 2014 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Oh yeah…I almost forgot! I am 33/mommie/wife/artist that will call anyone out on catty comments.

        Comment by waterbug – January 31, 2014 11:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You “swim around” — cute, waterbug,cute.

        Comment by My Alter Ego – January 31, 2014 06:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes but Harry’s real enthusiasm is just so refreshing BUT I think he should have allowed C J Jones his moment in the sun…and I really liked his singing and was happy he is going to Hollywood baby!

      Comment by ChrissieK – January 31, 2014 06:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LeahKittyS, Twelve Kingdoms, now I’m trying to figure out what Kingdoms and what do the idols have to with them, start writing girl!! Tonight had some interesting singers, some surprised me on how they sounded. I love Dolly Parton and I also thought that one girl sounded like her, not a chipmunk Jennifer, so I did enjoy her. I can’t wait for Hollywood week!!

    Comment by Lana – January 31, 2014 12:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Lana, the Twelve Kingdoms represent the past twelve seasons of American Idol. The Idols who make the finals will be the young pirates who are searching for this treasure. Once the live shows begin, look for the first part of the story in the comments.

      Comment by LeahKittyS – January 31, 2014 07:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Where is Johnny Keyser? I looked forward to his likely improvement. I thought he would give it another shot after Idols last seasons need for a female champ screwed him out of the live shows. Truly disappointed.

    Comment by Alan Dvorkis – January 31, 2014 01:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • How old is Johnny Keyser. I wondered about that as well. Is he still young enough for Idol?

      Comment by darcy's evil twin – January 31, 2014 06:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Isn’t there a rule that says tonce you’ve been in live-rounds you’re not allowed to come back??? Pretty sure he can’t try out again.

        Comment by kate'shomesick – January 31, 2014 06:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I wish Johnny would come back. Not sure of the rules but he was so robbed of a spot in the top ten last season….and I’m not sure what happened to him the season before….just seems his Idol experiences have been a bit unfair to him. He might have had a better shot at getting to the top this season with a better set of judges and, hopefully, not an agenda of who the powers that be want to have win. Last season was just not a good season to be a great guy singer on American Idol. heh.

          Comment by CatLover04 – January 31, 2014 01:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Kate’s….., there is such a rule, but I don’t think that Johnny has made it that far yet. Johnny looked pretty fried last year, so maybe he’s moved on to other things at this point. On the other hand, maybe, as in seasons past, we haven’t seen everyone who made it to Hollywood at this point. (BTW, I’m sorry that you’re homesick.)

          Comment by My Alter Ego – January 31, 2014 06:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m not sure Johnny Keyser can come back. Once you make it out of Hollywood week and into the top 24 (or whatever), I don’t think you can come back, right?

      Comment by TD – January 31, 2014 06:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Madisen, Tessa, and CJ????? Come on, slezak! Madisen doesn’t stand a chance, CJ sounds like he swallowed a frog, and Tessa won’t have enough tonal support to let her sing anything remotely powerful. ALSO. Don’t be doggin’ on andrina. She’s a dark horse, that one. I actually didn’t see what Harry was talking about with her. I think she has a TON of potential. Sky scraper chick? Next.
    Side note, I generally wasn’t excited about this episode, and I found myself with several people thinking “they’re going to make it a lot further in this competition than they should”…another Phillip Phillips. We’ll see.

    Comment by tewence – January 31, 2014 04:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Phillip Phillips?
      -
      Phillip’s Home is 4x platinum. It is the best selling single of any Idol contestant, ever. It has sold more than any of the big hits from Kelly or Carrie or Jordan.
      -
      Phillip is one of 10 idols to have a platinum selling album. (Kelly Clarkson, Reuben Studdard, Clay Aiken, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Jordan Sparks, David Cook, Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips)
      -
      Phillip is one of 10 idols to have a platinum single. (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Elliott Yamin, Jordan, David Cook, David Archuleta, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Phillip Phillips)
      -
      Phillip is one of only 6 to have both a platinum album and a platinum single. (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Jordan Sparks, David Cook, Phillip Phillips)
      -
      Phillip is one of 4 idols to have written of co-written most of the songs on a platinum album. (Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, David Cook, Phillip Phillips)
      -
      Phillip is by far the most successful contestant from his season.

      Phillip is not someone who should be used as an example of someone who made it a lot further than they should have. Not everyone is a fan, but credit is due.

      Comment by tealeaves – February 1, 2014 06:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • THIS. All of this. Thank you, tealeaves.

        Comment by LeahKittyS – February 1, 2014 07:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ben Afflect?

    Comment by Stormy – January 31, 2014 06:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Totally agree with your number 1 and 2 Michael! Both ladies were excellent.

    Comment by Muriel – January 31, 2014 07:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Although the panel and the show is better than last year, the past 3 weeks all seemed boring and uneventful. is it just me?

    Comment by PJ – January 31, 2014 07:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Impressed with the judges (best panel yet on AI), not impressed much by the talent on this last episode.

    Comment by Areid – January 31, 2014 09:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m sure it will get better now that the auditions are over. As auditions go, this was a better season than last year but the fun doesn’t really start until Hollywood week. I have really enjoyed this judges panel too. Such an improvement over the past few seasons.

      Comment by CatLover04 – January 31, 2014 01:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Majesty Rose still has my vote for best contestant going to Hollywoooood! OMG Iove Harry Connick Jr so much. And did anyone catch JLo commenting negatively about a contestant’s runs? I couldn’t believe my ears. The editors finally gave her a moment in which she actually judges. I’m looking forward to it all!

    Comment by J – January 31, 2014 10:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The lack of sobby backstories has been wonderful change this year, hate to think we’re in for more when the finalists are revealed. Tessa’s bleaty vibrato is horrible; I remember Kara warning Casey James about lapsing into that “goat bleat” sound, excellent advice.

    Comment by Leela – January 31, 2014 10:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • my 1, 2, and 3 in this episode:
    Andrina, CJ, and Casey

    Comment by waterbug – January 31, 2014 11:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I watched Ellen today. She called out the judges on not letting Jessica Bassett through. I remember thinking the same thing. I think maybe they didn’t think she had enough of the “package.” Bummer, she had a really nice vocal style.

    Comment by Sue C. (@sam12418) – January 31, 2014 04:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Forgive me if this has already been said, but did anyone else notice that Tessa “Folsom prison blues” gal had a different guitar halfway through the song? What’s up with that? Did she have two auditions? I don’t know, it just made me feel like they were trying to pull something over on us.

    Comment by glamourcat6 – January 31, 2014 09:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with you completely about Tessa. She gave the best televised audition of this season. She’s not trying to become a singer; she was born one. I was quite taken aback at how much she sounded like a young Dolly Parton…a true songbird, that girl. Additionally, she can play the guitar; it’s not the “prop” others used it as and has real stage presence.

    Comment by Robert Richman – February 1, 2014 02:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have watched all the auditions, but usually TiVO’d, so haven’t been around to post. But now that the auditions are done…..

    American Idol has brought in a breath of fresh air this season! I cannot express adequately how much I love this panel of judges, and their chemistry is so much fun to watch. It is also relaxing. I didn’t realize how tense you can get, waiting for some awful performance and critique, until it was completely absent this year.

    I think the bulk of the credit for the chemistry goes to Harry – what an amazing man. I am a long-time fan, thought he would be great as a judge, but had no idea how he would just become one of the best judges ever in a matter of moments (IMO). But he can’t do chemistry alone. JLo seems much more able to relax into the whole thing now, and Keith looks and acts like he has been rejuvenated. It is fun to see his sense of humor as well.

    Kudos have to go to the new producers, though. I honestly cannot remember one season where I enjoyed the auditions more. The pace is great. The lack of tear-jerking 10-minute back-story videos is wonderful. Even when they shared back-story, it was kept to a minimum and almost always happened after the singer’s audition was done. This is so important, because you don’t want a back-story influencing your opinion rather than the voice.

    I didn’t start really watching Idol completely – auditions to finals – until probably Season 5, after watching the 2nd half of Season 4. I slowly got hooked in, but have to admit that the audition process seemed interminable back then, and left me begging the TV to move on to Hollywood rounds. But nothing was worse than last season – I tuned in once to see the train wreck that was supposed to be happening, and never tuned back in again til Hollywood.

    While I do not regret not wasting any part of my life by watching the auditions last year, you do miss something without watching it. You certainly miss a feeling for the judges as a group, and for the history of some of the singers. But, for me, it truly was unwatchable.

    This season is like 200 zillion times better. I’m so excited to see what else they have in store to perk up this show. I’m really hoping not to see any swaybots in the future. ;>

    The only negative that I had was that stupid box they had the contestants waiting in before they were up for their audition. But even that didn’t turn out so bad once Ryan stopped calling it by its (weird) name all the time and once I realized that the producers were not going to abuse the ability to see these people in their last moments before auditioning.

    I have a lot of favorites this year, too many to count or list. I am not like the other Idoloonies here – I don’t know any contestant’s name at the moment. lol But that’s okay – for me, there were far too many singers who I loved, and so I cannot afford to get invested in that many when odds are not in their favor. I’ll wait until the end of Hollywood weeks to get ready to be heartbroken. lol

    I am dreading what looks like a cutting of the singers right off the planes/buses. I hate when reality shows do that. Give them their moment of full immersion in the process before crashing their dreams to bits.

    Comment by Shel – February 4, 2014 01:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Great post. I, too, enjoyed the auditions this year much more than in recent years. There is a lot of talent this year.
      I have fingers crossed most of the best contestants will still be there when it is turned over to America to vote.

      Comment by tealeaves – February 5, 2014 07:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jessica Bassett sang her song from AI today! She looked 100% better and actually pretty cute! The song is called LYDIA, not Russian Girl! The judges made a big mistake; she was pretty good! She sang it on ELLEN!

    Comment by Jim Welker – February 4, 2014 05:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is C.J Jones and you are right they do a lot of cutting things out. I sang two songs, But you guys only saw me singing and dancing with HCJ. The first one was I won’t let go by Rascal Flatts. It definately showcased more of My vocal abilities then Stand by Me. But that is ok. I know they don’t have enough air time to Show everything. I am just Grateful that they gave me this opportunity this year, Most don’t get that chance, And on top of that America got to hear me for the first time ever. Everything has been so surreal this year. I am still taking it all in. 2 years ago I went to Hollywood from Aspen Colorodo went all the way through Hollywood, Got cut in the end, when they separated us into different rooms. Noone heard me sing once. I have gotten more out of this Year, And I owe it all to American Idol. I was very disappointed when I got sent Home, But that was my fault for not picking a stronger song. Now I know what I need to do. It isn’t over for Me , ANd next time I will go all the way. Lots of love to all my fans.

    Comment by Christopher Jones – February 9, 2014 08:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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