The American Idol 12 auditions are over. Time just flew while we were having fun, no? Heh. To celebrate, I’ve chosen 15 memorable performances from the 6 audition episodes for you to enjoy again. Or not.
Notice that I didn’t label the performances GOOD or THE BEST. Although most of the auditions I chose rank up there with the very best of the season so far, other picks I made were driven by the hopeful’s personality or backstory.
Something tells me Nigel Lythgoe, as he usually does, is holding back some of the good stuff for Hollywood. The best may be yet to come. But in the meantime, check out the auditions below, and let us know in comments if you agree or disagree. Which season 12 auditions do you remember?
There is not one performance on my list from New York City! That episode was all about the judges anyway.
In no particular order:
The 27 year old fire eater, Kez Ban, from Durham, North Carolina sang a delightful version of “No Strings” from Disney’s Pinocchio, but she’s also a singer/songwriter and sang a snippet of an original song. Bold, engaging, quirky and original, Kez was one of my favorite contestants. I’m looking forward to what she brings in Hollywood.
Ashley Smith, 22, from Charlotte was like a breath of fresh air! This spirited African American girl, with the crazy clothes and blonde wig (Nikki dubbed her BLONDIE) busted out with a most surprising–and beautifully sung—version of Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova.” Very entertaining.
Tennessee girl and season 10 and 11 returnee, Janelle Arthur, is back. She’s got a huge, huge voice with great control. She sang a strong rendition of “Where the Blacktop Ends.” Maybe it’s finally Janelle’s year. She’s been singing ever since she was cast as Dolly Parton at a theme park, and already a fan favorite.
The sweet and socially awkward Charlie Askew is like a different person when he opens his mouth to sing. Able to do lots of interesting things with his sweet, high falsetto, Charlie possesses an impressive vocal range and knows how to use it. As Mariah said during her critique, Charlie could definitely shake things up in this competition.
Teen singer, Maddie Assel, was nominated by the coolest grandma ever! Maddie says she’s been influenced by Haley Reinhart, Adele and Beyonce. The soul and jazz influences are apparent in her style, which is impressively developed at 17. I’d love for Maddie to go far in the competition.-
It is the TRIUMPHANT RETURN of Candice Glover, after she was unceremoniously dumped after a fantastic performance of “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” with Jessica Sanchez and Deandre Brackensick in Las Vegas last season. Candice is back with a vengeance, as her fantastic audition of Duffy’s “Syrup and Honey” revealed. The judges gave her a standing ovation!
I didn’t think Papa Peachez should have gone through. His singing was half baked and affected. But he sure is a character. And while I may not be a fan, I didn’t forget him either. He split the judging panel right down the middle, and only Nicki begging Randy to change his vote saved him. Also, Peachez may be the only Idol hopeful to come out as gay on the show–even if it was through song.
Nineteen year old Adam Sanders had the judges on his feet after his big-voiced performance of “I’d Rather Go Blind.” I thought he needed a little more development and control. And maybe his own vibe–he’s an Adam Lambert clone all the way from his high notes to his black hair. But the young singer definitely made his mark.
Shubha Vedula is only 17, but she’s got a big ole soulful voice with a ton of potential. I really hope she goes far in the competition. Definitely one of my favorite voices.
After a botched tonsillectomy, Micah Johnson, speaks with an obvious impediment. But that’s not why I remember him The dude sings impediment free, and brilliantly. I loved his soulful take on the country tune “Chicken Fry” by the Zach Brown Band. He’s got the potential to bring a unique voice to the competition.
I really dug Rachel Hale’s big ole soulful alto. Her rendition of “People Get Ready” had Keith Urban calling her “A Little Wynonna Juddish.” But really, although she’s from the south, I’d call her an R&B singer. Really good stuff.
Nineteen year old Burnell Taylor had a pretty compelling backstory–his family home was destroyed by Kartrina, but the boy can also SANG. His rendition of “I’m Here” from the Color Purple was emotional and soulful and it earned him a standing ovation from the judges. Lots of star quality right there.
Lazaro Arbos, extreme stutterer, is a solid singer, but really it’s his backstory that makes him unforgettable. It’s not unusual for a stutter to disappear when a person sings. But this boy boy can barely get a sentence out when he speaks. He only seems free to express himself through song. Idol producers really pushed for this video to go viral–sending out emails to reporters with a link to his performance. Producers see him as their very own Susan Boyle. His audition did manage to go viral, but we’ll see if he can ride the backstory bus straight into the finals.
How on earth could I forget Matheus Fernandes when I had already watched him compete on The Glee Project in the summer of 2011? Methinks Matheus is a very savvy reality show player by now. I expect (and have actually heard that there is) plenty of drama from the little guy in Hollywood. Here are videos from The Glee Project “Pairability”, including his elimination.
Nineteen year old, Zoanette Johnson, is a really terrible singer. But fans are split on weather she’s entertaining or not. I found her audacious and atrocious version of the National Anthem completely nutty and highly entertaining. I’m all for advancing one or two entertainment ringers to Hollywood. But if they can’t sing, the fun should stop right there.