American Idol Audition: Graham DeFranco can sing but does he lack commitment?
Twenty-seven year old Graham DeFranco, aerial survey pilot from Rockwell, Texas has always been unsure if he should pursue singing, but it is almost his last shot at American Idol. The thing that stood out to me the most about Graham’s audition from Sunday night’s episode (Feb 28) was his song choice of “Part One” by The Band of Horses. I had to go listen to the song, and it sure is gorgeous. Graham’s rendition was a bit more mellow and less angelic and didn’t quite carry the beauty of the original, but he still sang the song exceptionally well.
The older contestants on Idol over the years and especially the past few years have had trouble connecting with viewers. Graham technically is a very good singer, but his style might be too dated. He reminds me a little of John Mayer and last season’s Franklin Boone, with whom Graham could have a similar journey. I would love to see him take on Chris Stapleton’s recent bluesy country hit “Starting Over”.
The judges give Graham a little bit of tough love, but it is not due to Graham’s singing. It is due to a lack of commitment. Luke Bryan says Graham has “one of the most listenable voices this year”. Katy Perry tells him to “wake up” and encourages him with a little lesson, teaching him that being a pilot isn’t easy, so being a singer shouldn’t be something he’s afraid of. He should chase the dream.
Graham has been performing for over 10 years. He’s one of the most seasoned performers on this season. Even if the performances are in amateur settings, stage experience goes a long way and could help him greatly in future rounds. Here’s an old YouTube cover of “Feeling Good” that seems to lean soft rock.
Shortly after their auditions, Ren Patrick from last season who has also confirmed she will be on this season, met up with Graham as they are from the same neck of the woods. They covered JOHNNYSWIM’s Annie and their styles blend in a very cohesive way on the harmonious cover: Watch it HERE.
Graham DeFranco sings “Part One” by The Band of Horses