American Idol 2018 Recap – Auditions 2 Live Blog with VIDEOS
The American Idol 2018 auditions continue on ABC tonight (March 12). Featured on the panel are veteran R&B master, Lionel Richie, pop star Katy Perry and country singer Luke Bryan. Ryan Seacrest returns to host.
We’ve got a TON of Spoiler posts linked on the left side bar. Gonna link a few below. NO SPOILER DISCUSSION ON THE LIVE BLOG. Keep spoiler chatter confined to spoilers posts’ comment sections. Giving results away during the live blog will result in an instant banning. Thank you for your cooperation.
We’re back in New York! Ryan Seacrest exclaims to the crowd how nice it is to be back. THIS IS AMERICAN IDOL NEW YORK he declares. A hopeful meets him OMG YOU’RE RYAN SEACREST.
Mara Justine – 15 – Love on the Brain by Rihanna – Katy literally faints when she learns the hopeful was born in 2002. This singer is young. But she was even YOUNGER when she competed on America’s Got Talent a few years back. OH. Here she is as an 11 year old AGT contestant singing Katy’s “Unconditionally.” She made the Top 12 that season. She’s still got a big soulful voice, and even if you didn’t know it, it’s obvious she’s been singing for years. She’s got a veneer of professionalism about her. She growls and adlibs her way through the song. There’s lots of pointing and gesturing too. She’s very animated! The panel gives her a standing ovation. The yeses are instantaneous. “This is a top 10!” Katy gushes. Mara is crying happy tears. – 3 ENTHUSIASTIC yeses
A montage all about how YOUNG these singers are! TEENS TEENS and more TEENS which leads into a trio of singers: Andrew Weaver – 16 – A guy with a guitar! Griffin Tucker – 15 – He sings Lady Madonna by the Beatles like a 40 year old who smokes two packs a day. Christina Jones – 18 performs an excitable The Best Thing that Ever Happened to me by Gladys Knight. Luke comments on her braces. 3 yeses for all
William Casanova – 26 – Washington DC – A Song for You by Donny Hathaway – Claims he has had a rapport with women “from a very young age.” Oh boy. And he works selling women’s shoes: “If you’re going to be smooth, you might as well make money from it.” Luke asks him about stinky feet. This is fascinating. Not. Katy claims she has internet famous feet. OK then. As far as his singing? His vocals aren’t remarkable, but he sings with feeling. Lionel noted nerves, but he sees possibilities. “You are exactly what I signed up for,” says Luke. Katy thinks he’s fantastic and “not afraid to look into people’s souls.” He was giving Katy some serious eyes during his performance – 3 yeses. William picked up his ticket from between Katy’s toes. Eep.
We’re back in Los Angeles
Katy swears that the decisions are REALLY up to her Luke and Lionel. SHE SWEARS. Hm.
Michelle Sussett – 22 – Miami – She is originally from Venezuela and has only been in the USA for 3 years. She’s wearing very very short shorts and thigh high boots. She sings in Spanish while shaking her booty. Halfway through, she runs to the piano, where she turns on a little music player. She encourages the judges to join her on the seal. They’re all dancing. If she wasn’t a good singer, this would definitely be a joke audition. But she’s got some vocal chops, for sure. Katy falls on her ass, and apparently her dress rides up. If it weren’t for the strategically placed American Idol logo, there would be a major MAJOR wardrobe malfunction. Katy is not embarrassed. She plays it up like a lewd Lucille Ball. (Ha. she’s got underwear on, I’m sure) “There are things a man can’t unsee,” says Luke. After the mayhem, Katy calls Michelle fearless, “You make people happy.” Lionel calls her a “welcome sight.” Luke gushes, “You can sing!” Katy isn’t sure she’ll be able to compete vocally, but she loves her personality – 3 yeses – Luke thinks she could be the next Jennifer Lopez.
Misha Gontar – 26 – Marengo IL – He’s from Ukraine and sings a wordless song, accompanying himself on guitar. The tune consists of a blend of beat boxing and rap. It’s an actual Ukrainian song. He did not make that up. It’s also really really annoying. At least he gets the judges to sing along. The panel enjoyed it, but doesn’t think it’s right for American Idol. Luke calls him the “Busta Rhymes of the Ukraine.” Lionel seems skeptical – 3 nos
Brandon Diaz – 21 – Ashburn VA – Unaware by Allen Stone – He’s a Berklee College of Music student, currently living in Boston. His dad was born in Cuba the same year Castro came in power. His parents left the country to make a better life for their kids. Brandon becomes very emotional talking about his dad, who is also a singer. Accompanying himself on guitar, Brandon sings in a smooth soulful voice. He slides with ease into a falsetto that’s to die for. Lovely chest voice as well. That went down real nice. Lionel is blown away by his falsetto. Luke felt he went too high once (What?). Katy thinks he’s Top 10 and the best male singer they’ve seen so far. – 3 yeses
Next, a montage of male contestants coming on to Katy. She’s single and definitely looking for a date. Katy demonstrated Frog throat along with another contestant that can do it too. They’re SOUL MATES. She demontrates in this clip:
Trevor Holmes – 27 – Thousand Oaks CA – In Case You Didn’t Know by Brett Young – He’s a construction worker, and a big fan of Katy’s. He knew that one day he’d meet her. Slightly creepy? He swears his girlfriend is understanding. On the personal front, he needs to keep a day job (construction work) to help his mom, who suffers from Lupus. On the side, he writes songs. Oh boy. It’s Trevor’s lucky day. Katy thinks he’s hot. He calls her ma’am. “DON’T RESPECT ME” she pleads. This is cracking me up “Are you engaged” she asks. “Cool,” she replies when he confirms he’s not. He incorporates Katy’s name into his performance. She’s smitten. He admits his crush. “He’s in construction, he’s got lots of tools,” coos Katy. – 3 yeses – Ha. He’s an OK singer, but nothing special, but Katy doesn’t care. The girlfriend comes in to give him a hug and claim her man. Poor Katy is brokenhearted (not really).
And now it’s on to New Orleans. The judges set up shop at Mardis Gras world.
Laine Hardy – 17 – Livingston LA – Hurricane by Levon Helm – He was born on the bayou and is a big Elvis fan. He lives near the swamps where he fishes and hunts including ALLIGATORS. His parents say he’s shy. He’s only been singing for a couple of years. Oh and I missed part of his video package BECAUSE OF A DAMN LOCAL WEATHER REPORT. Cripe. That’s what the annoying chyron is for WCVB! Back to our broadcast. Katy happens to be wearing alligator earrings. What a coincidence! (right). Luke grills him to make sure his country cred is real. Actually, Laine’s growly rough hewn voice lends him all the country cred he needs. He reminds me a little of The Voice 8 winner Sawyer Fredericks. Poor kid is sweating up a storm, though. The kid knows a Levon Helm song. I’m impressed. “If you ain’t careful, you might win American Idol,” warns Luke. Lionel says don’t even bother with the vote! – 3 yeses
And now a montage of Joke contestants. You know…the thing that wasn’t supposed to happen this season. Autumn Woods – 27 – sings Total Eclipse of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler in the weirdest alto ever. The judges sing the “turn around” part. Katy loves her “Glamazon” look, but it’s a no. “I’m not feeling it sugar plum,” says Luke in a very candid moment. 3 nos
Gabbii Jones – 20 – St. Louis MO – Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande – Her daddy has given her 30 days to accomplish her musical dreams. If she fails to succeed in a month? It’s back to school for Gabbii. Personality plus, she delivers a super raspy performance a little too enthusiastically. Dial it back, girl. Still, her voice is unusual and she does manage to put her own gritty spin on the song. Raw talent. Lionel is so excited he gets up to hug her. Katy is impressed that she brought something entirely new to the song. When she gets her golden ticket, Gabbii loses her mind. – 3 yeses.
Oh interesting. Before Gabbii takes off, she’s offstage with Seacrest talking about the importance of fashion. At that moment, a Macy’s rep appears and shares how the retail store is set to help contestants with their looks all through the competition. It’s called INTEGRATION people.
Cameron Theodos – 25 – Shreveport LA – He performs a solid original song with verve! The judges see potential and all say yes. The entire family bursts into the room to celebrate. 3 yeses
Thaddeus Johnson – 25 – Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia – He did American Idol in season 9! He was only 17 at the time. He made it pretty far…just short of The Top 24? He lost a lot of weight in the past few years. After being cut from Idol, he ballooned up to 390 pounds. He didn’t have enough breath to sing. He had suicidal thoughts, until music saved him! He sang more, he started working out and lost 162 pounds. Soulful voice, he soars on the high notes. Lionel is back up for another hug. He’s moved. “You’re here for a reason, you have an incredible instrument.” Katy wants him to figure out who he is as an artist. I agree. Right now: Good voice, but generic – 3 yeses
Rissa Watson – 17 – Apache OK – When We Were Young by Adele – Her mom owns one of the only businesses in town, a furniture store her grandfather started. She was so shy, but blossomed once she was in front of a crowd singing. She’s in line to take over the store…but she’d rather be a singer. Rissa has a beautiful dusky tone. Very Adelish, actually. She slides up into her head voice, and its so pretty! She’s still imitating other singers, but there is a ton of potential here. Katy got goosies. Heh. She called them goosebumps. “Voice of an angel,” says Luke. But he thinks she should put away the guitar in order to concentrate on her voice. “No more sofas and loveseats!” he says. – 3 yeses.
Now, it’s a montage of GRANDMAS. How nice.
Garrett Jacobs – 17 – A Man’s Man’s Man’s World – His grandma, whom his family call “honey” is super sweet. “She supports me no matter what I do.” She says, “Garrett’s got a heart of gold..a God given talent.” He’s been playing guitar for six years, but singing forever. He’s 6 foot 4. A big guy. Oh hey. He’s basically the second coming of Clark Beckham. No really. Their soulful styles are very similar. Lionel thinks he could go places with that voice. Luke calls him beautiful and raw. Katy calls him “spectacular to look at.” He thinks his guitar playing might be holding him back. He does have a really nice smile. They facetime “Honey” with the good news. She is very excited, to put it mildly. – 3 yeses
David Francisco – 25 – Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder – He moved to Nashville to do music. Three weeks later, he got hit by a car while riding his bike. He was paralyzed from the waist down. He was devastated–thought his life was over in every way possible. But then his foot moved! The improvement has been steady. He can walk a bit with metal crutches. A friend reconnected, and they fell in love. He takes a seat with his guitar and performs a lovely version of the Stevie Wonder classic. He’s got a sweet, soulful tenor voice. He’s a decent guitar player too. The fiance is crying. Katy is crying. “I’m just watching her…I’m just losing it,” Katy weeps. Lionel calls the spirit “the blessing of life.” And the show ends with a big group hug. – 3 yeses
More auditions next Sunday and Monday!