American Idol 2019 auditions continue TONIGHT (March 10) on ABC 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 spoiler 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
Ashton Gill – 20 – Livingston, LA – Broken Halos by Chris Stapleton – Laine Hardy, who was eliminated before the Top 24 last year, is from the same small town as Ashton. He accompanied his pal as support, with supposedly NO intention of auditioning again. They’ve been playing music together since they were wee ones. Laine’s in the audition room to accompany Ashton on guitar. Wow. He got new teeth! And he’s been working out. And he’s wearing his own merch. So really? He has no intention to audition again? Ashton is a nursing student at a local university, but hopes to find a way into the music business. As a country singer, she’s solid. Katy notes some nerves, but thinks she has something. Luke calls her voice “purty.” – 3 yeses
Laine Hardy – 18 – Livingston LA – The Weight by The Band – Katy asks Laine to sing a song. He obliges of course! He sings “The Weight” and the judges flip out, noting his improvement from the previous year. It’s true. Laine had lots of problems with intonation last year, which he seems to have worked on. His raspy voice sounds strong. He found his confidence, the judges agree. They beg him to take a ticket…and we learn after the break that he goes for it. Lionel promises him that he’s got a shot. “You could win this one,” says Katy. Oh Laine’s mom happens to be there. Hm. – 3 judges “twist his arm”
Austin Michael Robinson – 15 – Van Alstyne, TX – Your Man by Josh Turner – The family drove for HOURS to Denver from Texas, enduring a flat tire in between. He’s a small town country boy who works on the family farm. His pretty face, blond hair and blue eyes prompts Katy to call Austin “a country Justin Bieber.” Dude. Moving your mouth when you sing might help! He’s got a nice tone, but he definitely needs work. MUMBLE MUMBLE MUMBLE. He’s adding some “sexy” moves stolen from Luke. Uh. Katy thinks he’s good for 15, but maybe needs to be “slow cooked”. She thinks a couple of years would help (she is CORRECT). Lionel suggests he “open his mouth.” Luke says yes, “I don’t know if they’ll renew us next year.” Oh boy. – Katy says NO, Luke and Lionel say YES. He’s through to Hollywood. Austin brought his lasso rope. OH ANTICS. There’s no escaping them as he hops on Luke’s shoulders to lasso Katy.
We’re in New York now. Katy Perry “auditions” for American Idol wearing a Lionel Richie shirt. She sings “New York New York.” Oh hardy har har.
Jake Puliti – 20 – Etters, PA – This is How We Do It by Montell Charmer – For some reason, folks are surprised when they hear he’s a singer. Because dudes with a football player build would never pick up a guitar? Or something. Hilarious that he thinks his performance will be a “surprise.” As soon as he said that I thought “Oh. Doing a white boy twist with guitar on an R&B classic. So.” And indeed, he flips “This is How We Do It.” Not bad, actually. He has a pleasant tone. Katy gets up to dance. She does the worm. Jake deserves props for keeping it together during that. Luke thinks he has a great voice. Katy calls his tone “amazing.” Jake says about Katy’s dancing “That was the best worm I’ve ever seen.” – 3 yeses.
Time for a montage of very bad auditions. Lots of screaming and over-growling. Plus some totally off key singing. One chick warbles some off pitch Mariah Carey and it’s so painful.
Shawn Robinson – 21 – Atlanta, GA – Who Are You by Jesse J – He’s a garden associate at a hardware store. He likes the garden department. “But it’s not my dream job,” he says. Shawn sings an acoustic version of “Who Are You” with a sweet tenor. I’d like him more if his tone was a tad more dynamic. Lionel is jealous. “Your voice is butter…I’m in love with your personality.” Luke calls his voice “very unique in its own style. When you’re in your lane, you’re perfection.” Katy calls him a “ray of light…there’s joy in you.” She wants to hear him “dig in next time.” She’s “looking for another gear.” Yeah, that performance was on the lightweight side. Also: We should start a drinking game. Down a shot every time Katy tells a contestant she’s “looking for another gear.” Likewise Lionel and his “package” references. – 3 yeses
Voice over from Ryan Seacrest introduces Bobby Bones as returning mentor. He’ll be joining the group in Hollywood. Also, Ryan nods to Bobby’s recent Dancing with the Stars win.
Nate Walker – 18 – Pittsburgh, PA – Say Something by A Great Big world – Nate is pals with American Idol 2018 2nd runner up Gabby Barrett. She calls him to wish good luck. The two sang in the church choir together. His dad coached Gabby’s performances. He accompanies himself on piano. He’s got the Fantasia habit of Shhhing his S’s. Actually, he sounds a little like a male Fantasia. But his phrasing is beautiful–a very musical performance. Luke loves his runs, and is “massively excited about what you just showed.” “Something in the water in Pittsburgh,” says Katy. Lionel thinks he’s “anointed.” Gabby calls afterward to congratulate him. – 3 yeses
Hello Los Angeles!!!
Wade Cota – 27 year – Phoenix, AZ – Blame it On Me by George Ezra – He grew up in a poor single family. His biological father was “the devil.” He beat both him and his mother. He has a facial scar and a cracked skull as a result. Mom’s final straw was seeing him kick Wade in the ribs. It took two years to get away. One of his brothers decided to stay with his dad. “I wouldn’t change anything,” Wade says to the panel. “Nobody without a broken heart can write a song.” I was not expecting his deep, raspy voice. Wade has a unique, rootsy sound. His well-worn style is appealing. “I was not expecting that other person to jump out of your body,” says Lionel. “My friend, you brought me a character.” Luke compares him to Johnny Cash. He hears his music in movie soundtracks. – 3 yeses “You’ve got one of the most unique voices I’ve heard in my life,” says Katy.
Riley Thompson – 16 – Mabank, TX – Oh Daddy (Original Song) – Woah. She’s sporting some huge bell bottoms. She still sounds young, even with the twang and that little cry in her voice down pat. A couple of years more experience would help her. But her potential as a songwriter and a country singer is undeniable. Katy calls Riley a country Lana Del Rey. Luke thinks she has star quality – 3 yeses.
Lionel talks about “Instant Identity” It’s another judges’ phrase worthy of a drinking game.
Peter Lemongello Jr. – 19 – Boca Raton, FL – Can’t Help Myself by Four Tops – Those of you of a certain age may remember the album Peter’s father hawked on TV in the mid-70s. Peter Sr. was the first person to sell over one million albums on TV in 1976. We see a bit of the cringy commercial. He described his song as “mood love rock.” Peter Jr. loves music from the 50s and claims to be friends with all the old groups. Well, the replacement dudes in the old groups. His voice is better than I expected. He’s soulful. Cheesy, though. He should can the hokey stolen Motown moves. Luke thinks he needs some polish. Lionel thinks he’s not right for American Idol. Lionel and Luke say NO. Katy says YES. Check out Pete Sr’s commercial circa the 70’s CRINGE. Oh gosh, dad had some trouble with the law. Arson charge resulted in 10 years probation. Also, Peter Jr performed on a PBS Doo Wop special “I was never happy with today’s music,” he says. Oh gosh. Idol put together a fake TV commercial mocking poor young Peter. On the way out, he’s very disappointed, sneering that the “other guy” (Luke) “didn’t like me from the get go.”
Clay Page – 24 – Elberton, GA – Die a Happy Man by Thomas Rhett – He started playing guitar at 9. His uncle taught him. He died three months before Clay’s audition. He describes the past year as a “roller coaster.” Clay has a beautiful, expressive tone. Simple, but pretty. Lionel likes his vibe. “I’m listening to the story. On the money.” Katy calls it “real country…a pure deal. I love your spirit.” Luke says, “you have a very very infectious knack. A perfect not-trying-hard delivery.” It’s true. It’s a laid back performance, but still engaging. “I’m sold completely,” says Luke – 3 yeses
Now, we’re at the Mohammed Ali center in Louisville
Drake McCain – 17 – Spring City, TN – His Eye is on the Sparrow -He bags groceries at his small town’s Piggly Wiggly. He has 8 sisters and 2 brothers. “None of the dads are in the picture.” All 10 of his siblings have travelled to the audition to support him. The judges can’t get over his giant, red wedge. Katy is moved to sing along with his audition. They harmonize together. Next, they launch into a rendition of “Oh Happy Day” from Sister Act 2. Katy likes his tone, but feels that he needs to choose the right songs. Luke advises him not to over do the runs. Before Katy totally took over that audition, the solo bit I heard didn’t impress me. However, he did harmonize with ease, and seems able to be spontaneous–both plusses in Hollywood – 3 yeses.
We’re back in Los Angeles, and it’s time for a montage featuring several talented teens.
Mica Giaconi, 16 from San Diego CA sings “Is This Love” by Bob Marley; Darian Baena, 15 from Orange CA sings and English/Spanish version of “Angels” by Robbie Williams. Both are very good and earn tickets to Hollywood. The short clip a segue to the next auditioner…who of course, is a teen.
Madison VanDenburg – 16 – Cohoes NY – Speechless by Dan + Shay – She started playing piano at a young age. And indeed, she sits at the baby grand to sing “Speechless.” Unlike some of the other teens on the show, her voice is very mature. She sings with an effortless, clear tone. Her range is huge and intonation on point. Very impressive. VERY. She sings like a pro! Lionel can’t believe her age. “You rendered us speechless,” says Lionel. Katy says, “It’s my first goosebumps. I thought there was a winner earlier today….there might be a winner now…you could be the next Kelly Clarkson. You’re a massive star.” Luke agrees. – 3 yeses.
We’re winding the show up in New York City
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon – 25 – Cantonsville, MD – Almost Heaven (Original) He works as a janitor at his dad’s church. He’s a “PK” just like Katy. He sings all the time as he cleans the church. His growing up in a church family was complicated–he realized at 9 that he was gay. When he came out 3 years ago, the family didn’t accept it. Oh, they still don’t. Ugh. “All of my religion has been stripped down to I love you, no matter what.” Sad. The song is about “questioning if there’s a place for me, and people like me, in heaven.” Good Lawd. I want to punch his parents in the face. Metaphorically, of course. He performs sitting at the piano. The song has a gorgeous melody. His tenor has a beautiful timbre and that range. WOW. It’s a very moving performance. Jeremiah! You need to get the HELL out of Dodge. LIKE NOW. Katy calls him a “serious musician…those were some serious chords.” Luke says, “I’m not touching you.” Lionel compares him to Billy Joel, calling his range and voice “incredible.” – 3 yeses