American Idol 2022: Retro Alabama singer Tristen Gressette Audition is a ball of energy
Tristen Gressett burst into the American Idol audition room to sing for judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, full of energy (Read our Recap). In his video package, the 17-year-old from Pell City, Alabama, shares that his supportive mom is his number 1 fan, as well as his manager. Full of pride, she calls her son a “natural performer.”
Every American Idol TV promo this season has featured Tristen so I knew he’d be solid. His unique style, featuring a cowboy hat and harmonica, always came through in the clips.
In the audition room, Tristen makes clear that he’s in awe of Lionel. And it’s no wonder, as his bluesy style harks back to the soulful 7os. Back in the FOX era when Motown covers were a big thing, Tristen would have been at home. Nowadays, the singer’s style may seem outdated. But some may find him refreshing compared to the typical country and ballad singers seen on the current version of the show.
Tristen’s second song saves him
The judges correctly point out that Tristen was overdoing it during his audition and appeared overly gimmicky at first. His cover of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” started with a harmonica intro that seemed too tribute band-like. Everything was a bit much with the loud guitar playing and the slightly cheesy stage presence. But his talent and confidence shone through all the extra-ness. His second song, “Colors” by The Black Pumas was a better showcase for his talent. He came alive, showing that he’s more than just a gimmick. The vocal choices were more artistic. He could take on bluesy performers like Gary Clark Jr.
And although his stage presence can be cheesy, his performance exuded confidence in an authentic way. He seems ready for the stage, His energy could thrive in front of a crowd.
After hearing his second song, the judges say that Tristen has his work cut out for him. Lionel believes he has “real substance” and that Tristen could “keep an audience for the whole night.” Luke loves his energy and says he needs to just “play and sing.” Katy agrees, adding that he needs to “think about the music first.” The judges give Tristen a nervous 3 yeses, but he seems ready to take their advice and try to improve in the next rounds.
The bonus clip of the week is Tristen’s bluesy acoustic original “Beauty Queen.
Original song- Beauty Queen #recordingartist #now #americanidol #songwriter #live #singer #travellife #rock #rockmusic #band ?@skylar._.thompson
My standouts of the night were Tristen, Mark Osborn, and Cadence Baker. I see potential in youthful country singers Dakota Hayden and Ryleigh Madison. I found Sam Finelli’s audition very touching, and Taniyah Boatwright was better than a few other auditioners who have gone through. Overall, I didn’t love this episode, so hopefully, next week’s 2 episodes are stronger.