Hollywood and Bust
It was pretty clear in the audition round s that they were sending too many people to Hollywood. So tonight, first round of Hollywood nonsense, it looks as though they’ll be sending a bunch of them home asap in rather brutal fashion. I’m in favor.
I mean, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
Keith has changed his hair! It’s pretty radical, but I’m not sure his hairdresser knows he’s a guy. I didn’t like his old style either, though, so what do I know?
Johnny Newcomb gets called first, and he still doesn’t rock my world. he’s got talent, but lacks a point of view. He is an incredible mimic, really, and you want more than that in an artist.
Connor is a girl… ok. And she is okay.
Ali Jane is too young. Otherwise, I kind of like her.
And then they show a series of singers who are Not Ready. Off key, no breath, just bad.
Adam Roth comes out with a keyboard, and I feel like if he had a pinch of discipline maybe he would be ok, but he’s the type who will take short cuts. Let him go home and get focused. (ha.)
Tristan got on the show because his mom was on AI. The judges flat-out admitted as much. You can hear something really nice in his voice, and he’s an incredibly good-looking kid, but…
Morgan is Too Young. You’re going to tell me I have to let that go, right? She doesn’t know how to breathe, so she lost her pitch.
Stephanie the Cheerleader seems about the same but hard to tell when they’re talking all over her singing.
We’re seeing some people we hadn’t seen in the audition rounds. Eric Wood seems fine, very country. Alyssa we did see before, and she sounded pretty strong. Neco got up and performed, good for him.
On to the next round! This time, it’s a quick 10 seconds or so to sing solo.
Majesty Rose starts it off, the cutest thing ever. Her statement is rather incoherent, but she really does have a voice. Light and delicate but not at all weak. Really nice. I’d hate to follow her. A-.
John Fox, where did that come from? He was shouting. C-
Brandy Neelly, I’m just not a fan of her voice, but the judges are. C+
Spencer Lloyd is still a gorgeous beast. There’s not a lot of support under his voice though, so he gets a nice tone once in a while but you can hear the strain in the corners. That gets really unpleasant after a while. C.
Austin Wolfe! She tackles Adele, generally a no no, but she does put her own spin on it, and she has the right husky tone. B (too short to get a higher score, and dinged a bit for Adele).
Bria Anai has toned down the lipstick a little. I don’t know what she’s singing, and it sounds really shouty. C.
I’m skipping the ones who are obviously not going on unless there’s a comment that must be made.
Jess Meuse we don’t get to hear, but she went through. Good.
Sam Woolf. Wolfe and Woolf? Oof. They’re giving him a lot of air time and I can see why. He’s got an excellent voice, a good sense of self and self-possession, and he can play (not just strum) the guitar. A-.
Keri Lynn, I have a soft spot for her. There’s the Detroit thing, and she sings like someone who’s seen a bit of life and learned how to smile anyway. B+.
CJ Harris, definitely one of my favorites. He’s got a completely natural, unaffected charm, and a good strong voice. He’s always going to be so appealing to watch. I’m not a huge fan of the song he’s singing this round, but I still love him. JLo is in love. B? I guess B, but that’s not a reflection of how much I like him.
Alex Preston can definitely play guitar. And he can sing. If only we could put his talent in Spencer’s body. Shallow? yes. It’s a shallow business. B.
Jesse Roach was one of the few who really, really stood out from the auditions, but I don’t think this performance was as strong.
Jade went home, which is fine because she’s too young.
Kenzie sings Macklemore as though it’s a ballad at first, and then speeds it up. Interesting take, a little originality. B-/C+.
Ben Briley sings another song I’ve never heard, does pretty well. C+
Briston Maroney is too young. TOO YOUNG. I like what he does. C+
Dexter Roberts is still a rocking’ country boy. Great power, he’s not so much in the pop-country mode (thank goodness). And he gets Keith to play his guitar after he sings! Keith can—wow. He can definitely play. Anyway, B for Dexter.
Rachel Rzzzzz. Sorry, fell asleep while she was singing, out of boredom. D.
Awww, the daddies. They’re so cute. Maurice can belt it out, I’m not sure his phrasing is all that. Casey Thrasher I can imagine singing heartbreaking songs forever. He’s good, and it was a smart song choice for him. B for both of them! No, B+ for Casey.
Tiquila reins it in a bit, which is good. Emiliy Piriz looks ridiculous and we get two bars. Malcolm Allen, put your hoodie down. Not as good as his audition. I default to C+ all around. [Insert complaint about 2-second snippets of singing.]
Munfarid! Great deadpan, terrrrrrible song choice, hilarious take on it. Joke contestant? I mean… there is a real voice in there somewhere. Hard to say how good he is. C-
Ethan Thompson is another cutie. Meh voice. C-.
Austin Precario strayed from a boy band. He’s not strong enough on his own but he’d sell millions of tickets. C-.
Caleb is a rock ’n’ roller. We don’t have enough of those, but this guy is no Robert Plant. C.
Stephanie H. is breathy. C.
Kristen O’Connor might be a real performer as well as stunningly pretty. Strong voice. B+.
Emmanuel busts it right out. What an expressive face. Not that much a voice, though, so C.
Briana benefitted from another year but I’m still not really sold (though she’s better than many. Jesse Klein pretty decent, and both go through. C for both!
Keith London is right, you have to be memorable. He is. The judges are thoroughly thrown by his song choice, and I can’t blame them. They make him sing another song. So he sings Same Love, and interestingly doesn’t do too badly. Overall, C-. He’s going to have a REAL problem, though, if he can’t tell his guitar is out of tune.
Malaya plays the keyboard like she means it, though I don’t think it’s the best song choice. B-.
Jena is consistent, and that is a HUGE huge benefit in this competition. I still don’t completely love her voice. B.
Savion, definitely a star, and oh my, his brother just died. How awful, and how brave of this kid to keep going. So AI tugs on the heartstrings a bit with his story, but I’m giving them a pass. It’s a genuine story, from a genuine kid. And yes, he really can sing. A (probably inflated).
Next up is Group Day! That’s when the messy stuff really hits the fan. Train wrecks a go go! Possibly my favorite part of the whole competition. It brings to mind all the torture of waiting to be called to join a team at recess, plus more.
Ben Briley, Casey, and Dexter joined up, a very smart move. They’re going to sail through. And it’s a race to get to the vocal coaches? Wow.
Jess is not in a great group, looks like, but she’s keeping her cool and acting like a professional. So far. Poor thing. You see the difference between kids who’ve had everything done for them, and those who’ve scraped and sacrificed every step of the way.
Tensions flare! Divas point fingers! I’m chortling.
And Jess joins Casey, Ben, and Dexter? Or not? They turn her down?! I’ve now taken against them all, if that’s what happened. It’s awfully hard to tell.
Diva lectures! Jess struggles! Tears abound! Lyrics flee! Dramadramadrama. Can’t wait for tomorrow.