Here we are, the second to last audition night on American Idol …ever. We’ve sat on our couches for 15 years watching modest and humble voices sing for a chance to be the-next-Kelly-Clarkson. We’ve seen hundreds of kids with zero chance at ever making a living with their voice, and actually a better shot at causing a riot via their voice, and oh how we laughed. We watched. We Tweeted (once Twitter became a thing around Season 6 or 7). I blogged. Other people blogged. You read my blog. I read yours. I once was asked to be an on-air correspondent for a radio show. I sucked as an on-air correspondent and after 3 weeks, this particular radio show stopped returning my calls.
Anyway, the point is, this is it. This is almost the end. I’m sad. And like J-Lo talked a little about last night, the judges always had the luxury of not having to give a final, end-all “no” and could sometimes go with the tried and true, “keep working and trying and come back next season, baby.” Kids auditioning, when not receiving a Golden Ticket, well they could cry themselves to sleep knowing they could try again next year. Kids under the age of 15 would practice their guitar and their piano in hopes that in a few years they could go try out. Now? The very talent-fabric of our society is about to unravel because their is no, “next year.”
And what am I going to blog about? I’ll worry about that in June. For now, let’s talk about some highlights from last Night 5 of the audition rounds.
Miranda “Po” Scott – Named after a Teletubbie, this sister of a former American Idol top-20 contestant has pure, animal-like, raw talent. She has a cool “look” and she has a screamy, gravelly voice. Before she started, she said, “I’ve never really had training or much performing experience,” and the judges scolded her for that. They said, and I’m paraphrasing, don’t ever tell anyone what to expect – just do your thing and let people will judge for themselves.
This is the great thing about American Idol and what made it special at the start, and I think still endures …because it really is a place to get discovered. We see 15, 16, and 17-year-old kids on American Idol, and sure, OK, yes …some of these kids come from musical backgrounds. But for the most part, they’re nothing more than the most talented kid at their high-school. They don’t show up on our TV screen with baggage and much experience, and haven’t been rejected over and over and over again. It’s fun. It’s not how musical stardom typically works. On American Idol, someone arrives on the scene in January and by May, bam, they’re famous and have a record deal and will be on tour and have an agent and handlers and adoring fans. It’s crazy.
Amelia Eisenhauer – Red-haired girl played a violin (or was it a fiddle?) and sounded like Janis Joplin with a bit of Elmer Fudd annunciation issues. Harry liked the “mysteriousness” around her and Keith said she has so much more to show. We’ll see. Didn’t impress me as much.
Joy Dove – I don’t know if she’s an American Idol, but I certainly like watching her perform and hearing her. And …loooooooud. Oh, boy. I mean …loud. She’s like Jennifer Hudson. She’s out of control. But maybe Joy can keep it reigned in.
Mackenzie Bourg – He did a medley-mashup of two Keith Urban songs, one Harry Connick Jr. song, and a J-Lo classic. That’s a recipe for obnoxious pretentiousness and over-the-top annoyance, but this kid made it work. Although, I’m not entirely convinced he’s not Justin Beiber wearing a wig. Didn’t anyone check?
Jenna Renae – My ears heard missed notes and nothing special. But the judges thought she was the first “performer” they’d seen in a while, so they forgave her pitch problems and the fact she might be singing a genre outside her comfort zone.
Adam Lasher – Back for another crack (he previously made it to Hollywood) and he changed his look from scruffy-hipster to 90’s-fashion-model.
Emily Brooke – Another returning hopeful who previously made it to the third-round in Hollywood, she came back and blew us all away. A year of singing and rehearsing looked real, real good on her.
Train Wrecks and Heartaches
My favorite audition of the night, by a mile, were the self-proclaimed nerds who played D&D while waiting and then were allowed to perform a duet. In a very strange way, I liked their duet.
It shook me a little when Mario Bonds auditioned. This young man lost his vision when he was 10, and he’s pushed through, sings big, and stole my heart. He stole the judge’s hearts, and it obviously made it very difficult to them to say, “no” and I can imagine only harder when they had to say, “you’re just not what we’re looking for.”
My wife and daughter think we don’t seen enough auditions, and they have a point. We only saw six Golden Tickets given out. But do we really need to see everyone? Are they even giving out as many Golden Tickets? In the past we’d see a rapid fire highlights and at least see a few more. But I’m OK. We’ll see who we need to see in Hollywood.
Hopefully tomorrow night is two hours and we can cry and give auditions a big hug goodbye …and never let go.
Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.