American Idol 2019 auditions continue TONIGHT on ABC in a special WEDNESDAY edition at 8 pm ET/PT. 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 on the left side bar. Gonna link them here. NO SPOILER DISCUSSION ON THE LIVE BLOG. Keep talk under the spoilers posts. Giving stuff away will result in an instant banning.
When Does American Idol 2019 Start? Full Season 17 Schedule
American Idol 2019 Spoilers: Top 14 Contestant List
American Idol 2019 Spoilers: Top 20 Solo and Celebrity Song Choices
American Idol 2019 Spoilers: Top 40 Showcase Round Contestant List with Songs
We kick off the night in Idaho!
Courtney Penry – 24 – Houston – Parachute by Chris Stapleton – Everybody loves Ryan Seacrest! Including Courtney Penry who appeared on season 11 as the “crazy chicken girl in love with Ryan Seacrest.” Courtney has a new man, however, and he’s her No. 1 fan. She’s engaged. “Oh you can skate on that!” says Katy upon viewing her engagement ring. Courtney’s performance is…odd. She stomps, claps and adds extraneous and unnecessary vocal effects during her performance. It’s distracting! Katy calls her “fearless.” Luke was actually impressed with the “antics.” Courtney sings “Girl Crush” next. Now that she’s calmed down, her singing ability is allowed to shine through. She made it to the group rounds last time. Lionel appreciates that she has her own style. Ryan reveals that Courtney was married two weeks after her audition. Video of the wedding is included! – 3 yeses
Ryan teases “the greatest audition Idol has ever seen.” Uhm….Oversell much? He’s referring to Alejandro Arando who will close the show.
Logan Johnson – 20 – Boise, Idaho – Sober by Demi Lovato – It’s been his dream to audition for Idol his entire life. His older brother struggled with drug abuse, and sadly, so did he. Logan was addicted to painkillers. He believes he put his family through hell. His mother talks about how hard it’s been. Finally, he got clean. “Our family really needs a win right now. Something positive,” says Mom. He’s 8 months sober. Hm. Maybe too soon to jump into a stressful competition like American Idol. He performs a sweet, if unremarkable performance of “Sober.” Luke thinks he’s incredible. He likes his look. “These girls are going to lose their minds.” Luke compares him to Timberlake. Really? Katy wants to find an additional gear for his voice. Yes. That’s the problem. I kept waiting for more. They bring the family in for the vote. Katy warns the family to look after each other. Good advice. I would have advised devoting a couple of years to getting and staying clean before jumping into the fire. (I’m not talking out of my butt. I’ll just throw out a date: Jan 6 1992. And leave it at that.) – 3 yeses
We’re heading to Los Angeles
Eddie Island – 25 – Nashville, TN – Stay Ok (original song) – Katy yells at Luke for clipping his fingernails at the judges table. That is pretty gross to be honest. Katy has googly eyed fingernails, which matches the googly eyes on Eddie’s guitar. He’s dubbed himself the “mayor of Nashville.” Eddie puts a ton of effort into promoting himself. He’s both laid back and out of his mind, which is a weird combination. Unsurprisingly, Island is not Eddie’s real name. He stayed in Nashville after arriving for a Paramore concert. Eddie sings with an odd tremor in his voice, which I find rather unpleasant. Also, he would have been better served performing a cover–the original song he performed is a little bland. Luke calls him a star? Really? Lionel calls his “package” contagious. Katy declares that she’s part of the “Eddie Island fan club.” – 3 yeses
Let’s head to Louisville!
Kason Lester – 28 – Lebanon, TN – Holding Her by Chris Janson – Kason runs a strawberry farm with his brother. He brings fruit treats for everybody! He planted 30,000 strawberries by hand. He especially loves them chocolate covered. Still, his passion is music. Kason has a strong voice which he delivers with a slight rasp. Katy thinks he’s Top 10. She notes his nerves. But she does like his tone. Luke didn’t like his guitar playing, likes his voice. “You’ve got to hone in on your key signature sound.” Luke and Katy make good points. He’s got a good voice, but he didn’t quite deliver the goods. Still, 3 yeses.
Now, for a quick montage including Jake Durkin, 25 from Cohasset, Massachusetts, Cory Young, 21 from Temecula California, Betsy Jo, 21 from Miami, Florida Betsy’s hat falls off, she’s so animated. All 3 are through to Hollywood.
Karli Ryan – 17 – Milton, FL – Give Me Back My Heart (Original Song) – Karli’s mom, who is with her in the holding room, auditioned for American Idol 15 years ago. She didn’t make it to the judges. “I was so nervous when I did this,” she says. Karli sings her original at the piano. Her tone is beautiful. Very pretty. Nice subtle phrasing too. Her songwriting skills are solid. “I really love your voice,” says Luke. He calls it “understated.” Katy says she needs a few more “gears.” Eh. Lionel is also unsure. Luke is a big believer in her. Katy thinks she could turn into a star. But she’s not ready. Aw. Lionel also says no. In tears, Karli is disappointed. She wanted to go through for her mom. OK I disagree with this decision. The panel has allowed lesser talents through. Maybe she needed a dramatic backstory (she’s a better singer than Logan, OK?) – Luke – yes Katy and Lionel – No
Another montage. A girl sings “Girl Crush” playing a mini-harp while sitting on the floor, a dude sings a very slow version of Fly Me to The Moon. Oh there’s a theme here. VERY SLOW RENDITIONS OF SONGS. All nos.
Juan Pablo – 26 – North Hollywood, CA – Besame Mucho – Originally from Mexico, he lives in Los Angeles now. The video package has barely started and I’m already annoyed. This guy seems super obnoxious–referring to himself in 3rd person and comparing himself to great singers. Hm. Sanjaya sang it better. I’m not even kidding. Katy’s fanning herself, which is ridiculous. He’s practically crying by the end. Can you say overwrought? “You’ve got drama,” says Katy. They segue into a little parody of a Latin soap opera. WE NEED AN EDITOR STAT. Lionel is seduced. Katy goes on and on and on…really the editor needs to step in here. Like now. Luke isn’t feeling it. Finally, some sense. But then he gives in and says yes. I feel like I just took some crazy pills. That audition was a joke. – 3 yeses
We’re in Louisville at the “iconic” Muhammad Ali center
Shayy Winn – 17 – Midlothian, VA – Rise Up by Andra Day – Last year, Shayy’s doctors discovered a tumor on her brain. After surgery, she became legally blind. They couldn’t get the entire tumor out without cracking her cranium. She’s a question mark at this point. She was teased by the kids at school. But there were many people in her corner. “It’s a whole nother side of life,” she says. Currently, she attends a performing arts high school. Her tone is really gorgeous and she hits the high notes beautifully. Her intonation is on point. Lionel is crying. “You have wrecked me,” he says, getting up to hug her. “Thank you for that…you’re a lesson to us all.” Luke says, “You have what we cannot teach.” Lionel says, “You touched me…I’m so in love with you.” Katy, is also in love and inspired. “You sing like an angel,” she says. – 3 yeses. “You are meant to be here,” says Katy to a tearful Shayy. Next, footage of her high school welcoming her back with a rally. Truly. That girl can sang.
The show returns from commercial break with 7 year old viral sensation Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja belting out the National Anthem in Los Angeles. The judges stand with hands over their hearts, reacting to her very, uhm, enthusiastic rendition.
Landen Knowlton – 23 – Tupelo, MS – Washed by the Water by Needtobreathe – He’s a sergeant in the military. He comes from a military family. “Yes Sir No Sir” by the Kinks playing through the video package is an A+ musical decision. Maybe the song’s disdain for authority is lost on the producers? Or maybe not! Katy wants him to talk to them as if they’re in his unit. He does the standard yelly sargeant thing. The judges hit the floor for push ups. “Miss Perry, you’re going to have to try again.” I like his voice. He’s got a cool tone and soulful phrasing. Lionel thinks there’s more in there. Katy felt he may have been trying too hard? Luke agrees. Geez. These comments. First the singers need an “extra gear” now Landen needs more subtlety. Still, they let him through – 3 yeses
The episode spoilers mentioned that Landen starred in an award winning short film Flip, but it was never mentioned on the show. Landon was 8 years old when he starred in the film, about a boy in the 60’s trying to decide what to spend his dollar on. FLIP won the RONDO fan award for best independent film in 2004. Check it out.
We’re in Idaho!
Ethan Payne – 15 – Macon, GA – Do I by Luke Bryan – Ethan was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at 18 months. That is some serious stuff. He’s chasing his dreams. At 13 he met Luke Bryan through Make a Wish. His wish was to meet his hero, Luke Bryan. Making his experience as special as possible, Luke sang a duet with Ethan during one of his concerts. After, Luke gave Ethan his guitar. These days, the young singer is doing well. Maybe he had a lung transplant at some point? With Luke’s gift in hand, he sings a duet with the judge. Sigh. I wish Ethan was a better singer. Lionel calls him an inspiration. Katy loves his confidence. If Ethan wasn’t living with a disease that could kill him at any time, I’d normally say he should wait a few years and come back. But instead, I’m going to accept this segment for the feel good segment it’s meant to be and leave it at that. – 3 yeses.
Ryan offers a few words about the summer’s audition bus tour to strains of Maddie Poppe’s “Going Going Gone.” Look. It’s Catie Turner with Minnie Mouse. Maddie and BF Caleb Lee Hutchinson are in on the fun too.
Kimberly Gatski & Bernie Gonzalez – (26 and 27, respectively) – Fort Lauderdale FL – This is Love – The couple got married a month ago at Disney World. Her fiance surprised her with a Cinderella carriage ride. It sounds like a nightmare, to be honest. They sing a duet. Oh gosh. It’s embarrassing. WHY WHY WHY are we wasting time on this? Oh right. SYNERGY. Gotta pimp those Disney theme parks. There’s got to be a better way, though. Katy offers her Gus Gus impression. Confession: I may be the only person on the planet who hates Disney characters. Would rather pluck my own eyeballs out than spend a day at a theme park. Of course it’s a no. Katy’s glad they both sucked so she didn’t have to split them up. OK. She didn’t put it like that. But more or less.
We end in Los Angeles
Next there’s a mini montage of talented singers. “We do see the diamonds in the rough,” says Katy.
Alejandro Aranda – 24 – Pomona, CA – Out Loud (Original Song) – Here we go with the audition Idol has been pimping as THE BEST EVER. Alejandro has been performing for only 3 or 4 years. He started playing guitar at 20 and began busking on the street. Alejandro is feeling a little insecure ahead of his audition. He was homeschooled. Definitely the most original and interesting audition of the night. His guitar playing is mesmerizing. He’s not a perfect singer, but he’s so caught up in the performance–he feels what he’s singing to his bones. The judges lose their minds. “You my friend are so talented,” gushes Lionel. He wants something on the piano. He sits down to play a jazzy thing. Another original, I’m guessing. His voice, which stays mostly in his higher register, is weaker on this, but I’m going to remember that piano playing. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” says Luke. Katy wants to know if he’s the next American Idol. Instantly shy, Alejandro won’t answer. Trent Reznor, Chopin and Bach are his inspirations. Katy thinks he’s the winner and a genius. My take: Not the BEST IDOL AUDITION EVER but pretty damn good – 3 yeses. We previewed Alejandro’s audition HERE.