Here we go, round 2 of the initial auditions for AI. I love and hate these initial shows. It's fun to see so many people trying, and there are a lot of quirky people out there, but it's also frustrating to only hear a few seconds of someone singing. The shows are chaotic, basically, and my orderly self objects.
On to the singers who go through (or most of them).
Jesse Roach is not AI's style, but I sense genuine talent. What an unusual voice--power and rasp, but it can still be awfully expressive. Please, darling, get some help with the makeup. The neighbor seems a little creepy, but she was right to sign Jesse up for the auditions.
Steven Curd sounds a lot like Chris Isaac, doesn't he? I like him. Both of them. It's another threesome. I'm developing a real hatred of this format. Anna Melvin has a truly awful song choice. Wrecking ball? Really? Plus I hate her voice. Ryan Clark is fine, not exciting. Harry obviously heard more than I did, given his effusive praise.
Quiandra might have a nice voice. I think she probably does. The editing was so confusing. I felt so bad for her when her buddy didn't go through and she did--I don't think she was prepared for that.
Megan Miller is yet another country singer with no sense for how to choose an a capella audition piece. So shouty. I am not a fan, not at all.
Austen and Eric are cut together, obviously to play up the opposites, and I really have no idea what either one sounds like.
Spencer Lloyd might be prettier in person than on tv. Or he's just not my type. Plus he's singing "Christian worship" music or whatever it's called, and that drives me nuts. Go with the old hymns or go home, I say. As HCJ says, this kid doesn't have a great voice, but his looks might carry him quite a long way. "It's an image thing." Oh, HCJ dishing some truth! Jennifer, there is not a really really beautiful voice there. Don't get so carried away.
Marlon Lindsey, a former soldier, oozes charm. And I mean that in a good way. He has the good sense to choose a Sam Cooke song, but he needs to spend more time listening to Sam sing. Sam was a phenomenal singer with impeccable phrasing, and Marlon gets quite silly with his runs. They make no musical sense. But I love this guy.
Disrespecting the process. Pretty sure only HCJ could say that with a straight face about AI.
The Obama impersonator! Omg. I adore. T.K. Hash, a man with a sense of humor and loads of charm. Voice? Well. I've heard worse, for sure. Keith obviously loves him, with that impromptu duet. Jennifer notes the way he changes the chemistry in the room, and he does. HCJ is correct, not the greatest singer, but so likeable.
McKenna? Nice enough voice, what little we could hear of it behind Ryan's voice over.
The Chamber (of horrors) is playing a bigger role tonight. Oh dear.
There's a second generation AI-er? Holy cow. Tristen Langley wins for choosing a Sublime song, but loses on tempo. He's cute, though, and he is cwbwg. JLo loves, of course. "Hatchet Harry"--I can tell, I'm going to get tired of hearing him be the voice of reason. No, I'm going to get tired of HH being the only voice of reason. Cwbwg goes to Hollywood. Is this the theme? Has AI given up and embraced its fate as the way to find the latest cwbwg?
Taylor Stearns, or is it Stearns Taylor? Nice. Not striking.
John Fox. That, otoh, is a great name. Simple, straightforward. Another worship leader, which I admit makes me quirk an eyebrow, but it is performance experience in a way. Anyway. He can sing, but I can tell you right now his looks aren't at the level of some of the other guitar guys. And this is, after all, a beauty pageant--oh wait, it's not? I genuinely did like his voice. His parents are the cutest.
Rachel, singing Stay, has a voice older than she is. She can also keep performing while the judges are laughing and talking, which is impressive. HCJ again provides excellent advice--don't alert the audience to your mistakes.
Athena, now that's a winning name. She's young, pretty, fit, and seems to sing ok. I don't like it that for so many contestants, I don't hear enough to develope a real opinion as to their musical skills.
Big Hair Girl and The Androgenous One were in the same trio, all going through.
And then a guy comes out of the closet (I'm sorry, but that's what it is) singing on his way to the stage. That's different. HCJ: "Sometimes good theater is scary." Emmanuel actually has a half decent voice when he's not goofing around. It's genuinely heartwarming, sometimes, to see someone have what is clearly the very best moment of their entire lives. Dreams come true.
Caitlin the horse rancher, living the dream. Well, I don't know that I would mind living on a horse ranch and looking like that. And she's got pipes, which is nice, if you like power. I'm not in love with her tone and she's just too young. TOO YOUNG.
That's right, I'm still against teenyboppers competing on this show.
I'm sure the judges endured nightmarish amounts of horrible singing which the audience is spared. Yet they're still professional and kind in dismissing the ones who aren't good. They're earning a few of those millions of dollars they're paid.
David Luning is a cwgwg but not in the usual mode. Nice deep voice, though the guitar is overpowering it and I don't know if he could sing without it. The guitar, not the voice. HCJ uses "misanthropic" in his critique. We'll see, sometimes the odd ducks do alright for a while.
The twins are gorgeous. And so cute. Try by Janis Joplin is an interesting choice for an audition--pretty bold choice, but smart I think. Sierra shows a different approach with a lighter touch. Really, again, they're both too young. Go learn some instruments, get some more voice lessons, get some life experience, because you're not quite there yet. But Selena (Sierra?) goes through.
HCJ is giving a clinic on how to judge.
Briana I actually remember from last year. She looks better, even though she looks exactly the same. Not sure how that works. Singing Stay--how many times do you suppose the judges hear the same songs being mis-sung? (Is too a word.) The judges love her, and she's got some chops, but why do I feel as though she lacks musicalilty? Maybe it's the song. She does have great hair.
Willy Wonka? Someone sings a Willy Wonka song? And she goes to Hollywood. She does have a good voice.
The way AI is putting some of these contestants through in clumps, it's harder to catch their names.
The sound healer is hilarious. Not intentionally, obviously. HCJ, however, is intentionally hilarious. Sound healer can laugh at himself, though, so points for that. And I love the song he picked for himself. Please, though, if you're singing a song with a million hallelujahs, try to pronounce it in some recognizable fashion.
No one really sticks out in my mind at the end of the show as a Singer, expect perhaps Jesse. That really is an unusual voice and she might have a real personality. The Obama impersonator sticks in my memory too, but not really for his voice. So I'm overall underwhelmed by the night.
And I'm still delighting in Harry Connick Jr's judging and banter and ocassional shafts of bitter truth.