Season 9 Preview: Mary Powers, Josh Blaylock, Keia Johnson, Justin Kalama and Stephanie Daulong

Big day in the Idol world. Hollywood week starts today. Contestants from all over the US have been nervously filtering into LA, meeting their roommates, singing in the hallways of the hotel and checking out the competition. Today, if Idol follows it’s normal practices, half the group will go before the judges to sing another audition and good portion of those people’s dreams will be cut short. Probably many of the people we’ve been following. Those that survive the next few days will probably slowly disappear from the internet.

So, for a special event today, I’m going to feature 5 contestants! (to be updated over the morning).

Number 21: Mary Powers
Hometown: Burbank, California
Style: Rock

Number 22: Josh Blaylock **UPDATED**
Home State: Indiana, Now lives in New York City
Style: Country? Acoustic?
**Now With Video**

Number 23: Keia Johnson
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Style: R&B/Jazz/Rock

Number 24: Justin Kalama
Homestate: California
Style: Rock/Alternative

Number 25: Stephanie Daulong
Age: 20
Hometown: Austin Texas
Style: Acoustic/Alternative/Jazzy

Pictures/Myspace/Links after the jump

**UPDATED** Our investigative reporters have managed to figure out which of the 3 Josh’s is the real Josh Blaylock. And it’s NOT the actor guy or the comic dude (it’s the Facebook guy).

Mary Powers:
Picture 1
Acapella True Colours (youtube)
Song Competition (youtube)
Youtube Channel
Vocal Demos (for voice-over work, totally cute)

I like her tone, her phrasing and her funky sound. Given that a lot of the female contestants this year seem to be acoustic/jazzy blondes, Mary might be able to separate herself from the crowd. She also seems kind of fun (and Ryan can get her to do some of her voice-over examples…like he did with Syesha’s creepy baby voice, but better). I think she’d bring something to the competition.

What do you think? Will she be going back down the road to Burbank by the end of the day or will she have a sucky Final 3 visit home (the LA area never manages to produce an impressive visit home)?

Josh Blaylock:
New Picture
Picture 1
Picture 2
Video Clip in Fox Preview (at the 22 second mark, guy in green shirt)

We’ve now figured out the real Josh Blaylock who is the Idol contestant. This guy is certainly good-looking enough to survive a few rounds, but can he sing? Anybody got a youtube or Myspace link for this dude?

UPDATE: He is featured in one of the Idol Fox Previews (on one of the local stations after the bad singing guy with the tragic hair). He’s the dude in the green shirt that got some positive comments on this blog when MJ featured the preview. He seems a little bit country and Idol has never had a male country artist go far on this show (although some did convert part way through the show or later went country after the show). Good voice.

Keia Johnson
On and On (youtube)
Blackcat (youtube)
How Great their Art

Any African-American woman who appears on this show gets called a “Diva” regardless of the fact that they have all had very diverse styles (the subject of that label causes many a debate). I’d be surprised if Keia didn’t earn that title as well. While African-American men haven’t had much luck on the show (IIRC, you can practically count on one hand how many African-American men have made the tour…another topic for a race relations debate that we should probably not have here), African-American women have done very well so perhaps being labeled a “Diva” helps? IDK.

What I do know is that Keia has a strong voice with a nice tone and she’s good looking. People with big voices typically do well on Idol and she seems like she’d be able to handle the theme weeks, so Keia could be a contender. She has some nice jazz riffs in some of her youtube songs and she’s got performing experience (just tone down the wedding singer stuff a bit and she’ll do well).

Justin Kalama

Someone Who Gets Me (youtube)
Performing at a Coffee House (youtube)
More of You (youtube)
Original Song? (youtube)

Well, you didn’t think I could feature 5 Idol hopefuls and not include a single WBWG (white boy with guitar), could you? As a person who likes WBWG, I have to say even I’m beginning to feel overwhelmed. They each have their pluses and minuses, but you can’t put them all on the show. This dude at least looks a little different than the others (kind of a geek-cutey which is a look that’s popular these days) and his original music is pretty good. I found no evidence of him being able to do covers though, so that could hurt him on Idol. Who knows if Idol will even risk another WBWG on this show after the last two winners coming from that demographic. Maybe instead of bringing X-Factor to the States, Simon could bring Who Will Be the Next White Boy With Guitar? Sadly, Simon cannot do that because he doesn’t appreciate the genre. I digress. I’m getting punch drunk from viewing so many youtubes this morning.

What do you think? Will Justin be the token WBWG or am I guilty of labeling him like many do the Divas? Does being a white dude and playing the guitar in a mellow way constitute a genre? How does he compare to the other WBWG we’ve featured as Hollywood Hopefuls?

Stephanie Daulong
The Sun is Shining Down
Singing in a Bar in Austin
Jolene (acapella/sideways/youtube)

Again, I’m featuring 5 Idols, so I must include at least one BGCS (Blonde Girl that Can Sing). There are so many of them this year. Pretty, blonde, skinny, jazzy, acoustic…the total package/commercial. I must say that Stephanie is absolutely freakin’ gorgeous. She also has a great tone to her voice and can definitely sing. I think she has a nice vibe. I often wonder why they put people like Megan on (pretty, but she had no idea what she was doing up there) when there are girls like this around. Did people like her get cut last year or did they just decide to audition en masse this year (with their friends the WBWG) or does Idol stack the deck so that the type they want to win each year wins (so they must weed out good people from other genres).

What do you think? Are we going to get 6 jazzy/acoustic blonds in the Final 24? If not, which ones will they pick? So many talented people out there. I wish that more of them got their chance on Idol.

Disclaimer: Remember, that the Hollywood round doesn’t occur until today 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.

Names leaked at IDF. Thanks to Idol Maniac for suggesting Mary and Stephanie

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

About Kirsten 3060 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.