Season 9 Preview: Jennifer Hirsch and Mark Labriola

This is our continuation of our preview of possible Season 9 contestants. Remember, that the Hollywood round doesn’t occur until January 9th this year. We don’t know how far any of these contestants might go. And since we never see some of the competition round contestants until the competition starts, we might never see some of these people. We might have even found the wrong person with the same name.

Number 20 : Jennifer Hirsch
Age: 19
Hometown: Agoura Hills, CA, New York, NY
Styles: Jazz

Jennifer Damiano, Rob McClure &...
Jennifer Damiano, Rob McClure & More Preview Shows at 54 Below!

Idol Chatter: Mark Labriola
Style: Christian Rock

Pictures/Myspace/Links for Jennifer after the jump

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3
Can’t Make Up My Mind (youtube)
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead
Hold On
Youtube Channel
EP On CD Baby (also available on iTunes)

This season could be: American Idol the Berklee College Addition. We’ve had Berklee grads and future students to be on the show before, but this season seems to have attracted a bumper crop of viable contestants from that school. Jennifer is yet another one of those grads with a good chance of making the show. Her voice has a rich tone, she sounds current and she can blow. She’s easy on the eyes, too.

I like her style of singing. I think that she fills the niche which they were aiming for with Megan last year. Kind of a bluesy pretty girl with some quirky phrasing. But, sorry Megan fans, I think that Jennifer has way more experience, range and musicality. I was thinking that Alex Nester had this in the bag for being the top female, but now I think she’s got serious competition from Jennifer.

Many feel that Idol likes a clean narrative. Set up your chosen ones to make it to top 3-4 (or to straight up win), throw in some middling talents who will gracefully bow at 5-10 and toss in a helping of cannon fodder who can be eliminated early to ensure that the chosen ones have time to gain their footing. So, will Idol take the risk of having multiple female contestants who could be viable recording artists? Or will they pick the one they like the best and eliminate the rest in Hollywood? Can Idol have a Top 12 consisting of contestants that all could vie to be the winner? Would that improve the show by attracting more viewers or would people be turned off as they saw people who deserve recording contracts being voted off (keeping in mind that many people felt people like Sanjaya deserved a recording contract and even William Hung got one so that element is not really new)? Or will Idol make room for several Skinny Girls that Can Sing (SGCS) and hope that fan support will slide from one to another as they get eliminated and coalesce on the last one standing and ensure the win?

What do you think? Is she too old school? Is there room on Idol for skatting?

Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out Idol Chatter’s season 9 preview of the day, Mark Labriola. He used to belong to a Christian Rock band that has an EP out. Brian seems to think that he will bring the humour. That kind of reminds be of Chris Sligh (Christian music, funny, everyguy looks). I listened to some of the music on the bands Myspace and he’s got a good voice. To be honest, I don’t know if he can win, but if he’s amusing enough he could stand out enough to make the tour. The pictures of kids in his photostream are ridiculously cute.

Spoiler names leaked by IDF.

If you’ve missed some of the Idol Hopefuls for Season 9, checkout the Season 9 Preview Roundup.

About Kirsten 3046 Articles
Kirsten has had a long love affair with numbers. Marry that with her love of cheese and the Numbers Threads at MJs were born.


  1. I think I’ll finally be getting my real life back after S7 and S8 stole it. So far, not one contestant I’ve wanted to see more of yet.

    I have to admit, it’s a relief. I don’t know if I could be this invested 3 years in a row, it’s exhausting.

  2. I think Mark is great and will hopefully make it far. Jennifer is good too, but not among the best in her genre which is highly competitive.

  3. MJ – is there a tag for all the Season 9 preview contestants? I’d like to review them all at once.

  4. MJ – is there a tag for all the Season 9 preview contestants? I’d like to review them all at once.

    They are tagged with “AI Season 9”, but so are the other Season 9 related articles.

    Links to all the preview articles are gathered here. The post is updated for each new contestant previewed (and includes links to Idol Chatter’s previews as well).

  5. Wow I like both of them! I love how Jennifer added damn to the song can’t make up my mind. :) Very good! :) Nice touch. Great way to make it your own. :) And Mark I like his singing. I want to hear more. I want to hear more of the song too. And he is funny. I like how he says melt your face off ROFL!

  6. Musically, Jennifer blows Megan away in the dust. I don’t think she’s as pretty as Megan…but this is a singing competition, not America’s !Top Model. (Besides, a moderate makeover can do wonders). And that sax player…wow!

    Unfortunately, she might be a little bit old school (I love old school). She reminds me a little of Leslie from Season 6 (the one who couldn’t understand why America doesn’t get jazz). Except Jennifer is better.

    Wonder if TPTB had Boston auditions strictly to find another Megan Joy. Berklee College in Boston has one of the best (if not the best) jazz performance programs in the country. John Stevens recently graduated from Berklee, and I think Leah Labelle also went there as well.

  7. The Boston audition site probably does have something to do with the preponderance of Berklee alums/students this year.

  8. Jennifer….MMMmmmm! I could sit through a long days night listening to this velvet jazz. I Krall as well.
    She’s attractive but she is somewhat old school.
    I’d love to hear her sing Duffy,Adele and the misfit who had to go to rehab!!.
    ? Could she win idol IDK, but I’d love to hear her trying!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.