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).

Baby - Justin Bieber covered by Mig...
Baby - Justin Bieber covered by Miguel

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
Myspace
Acapella True Colours (youtube)
Song Competition (youtube)
Forever
Youtube Channel
Powers$Haller
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
Facebook
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
Picture
Myspace
Website
Facebook
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

Picture
Myspace
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
Myspace
Facebook
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 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.

33 Comments

  1. I agree that she’d bring something good to the competition for sure, and could do quite well…but it is hard to say.

  2. Mary Powers-Well first off her look is different from the blond bombshells or future Nair models American Idol has a nack for displaying..Her vocals have a bluesish/funk to them and a fun glint in her eyes..I do hope she makes it far.

    Josh Blaylock-if he does have the credits mention yep VFTW will have a field day rightfully so.Fair part he does not have a contract the unfair part Josh been in front of the camera while most have not.. There maybe be a point when you see a contestant and say “was he/she a regular on so and so” …

  3. Josh: No. Thank You. Just on that description.

    Keia: I say she should make it, she is really good! While divas have existed in other seasons, she seems to be the best of the Season 9 crop of divas.

  4. I like Mary. I like the tone of her voice. She looks fun too. Definately could make a run for the title.

  5. I like Mary Powers – she’s intriguing. I usually don’t watch much by way of auditions but now I have people to look for, lol. I’ll sorta keep it on in the background. My husband likes the point and laugh people, so it works out.

  6. Justin Kalama: I couldn’t hear him sing in the videos because the quality wasn’t good until the last one he sang. I say YES! :)

    Stephanie Daulong: WOW!!! YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  7. Justin Kalama: I couldn’t hear him sing in the videos because the quality wasn’t good until the last one he sang. I say YES!

    The song streamer on his Myspace has some clean recordings (he has a big photo on his page, so you have to scroll right to see it). He’s got a nice voice. Rich and kind of furry.

  8. Some of the contestants are arriving today, but the competition is the 10th-21st.

  9. Some of the contestants are arriving today, but the competition is the 10th-21st.

    So, everybody will survive today. Should be a nerve-wracking week for them.

    I wonder if more “scandals” slip through because they had more people to fully vet. Usually, by now, they have reduced the number of contestants so they can just focus their background checks on them.

    Plus, it makes me think that they have already decided who they want. If they aren’t picking the finalists until the 21st, how will they have time to do all their “background pimp packages” unless they are already done. Might make Hollywood week more relaxing. You’re either in or you’re out already. Nothing rides on what you do. Although, you could position yourself for next year (and there is likely a few spots they are holding in reserve).

  10. On to the subject of Keia the black women are always called the divas no matter what type of songs they sing while white woman who have the same style and sing the same type of songs are never labeled this *smh*. Anyway, I really do like Keia’s voice and no matter what she does she’ll be labeled the diva. I didn’t wanna bring this up but considering that they hardly pick African American men to be on the show or the small amount they do are not actually capable of winning. I remember Junot being really good last year and they didn’t even pick him for the wild card round. I find it hard to believe that Ruben was that last good male black singer they could find.

  11. Kirsten says

    The song streamer on his Myspace has some clean recordings
    =====================================
    Oh okay cool thanks! :)

    He’s got a nice voice. Rich and kind of furry.
    =============================
    Hahahaha I never heard anybody say someones singing is furry! :) What does that mean? :)

  12. Stephanie: The real deal for sure…but she is quite similar to Carrie and Kellie. Has that road been cleared enough for her?

    Justin: I say yes to him too. He seems pretty good.

    One other thing: a total of 19 people are returning to Hollywood that have been there previously. IMO, few – if any – of them should make the top 24, since the new faces overall seem to be far better.

  13. Hahahaha I never heard anybody say someones singing is furry! :) What does that mean?

    Hmm…well, when I use the term it means it’s kind of full and soft around the edges. IDK. It just seems that way to me. Some voices are thin and reedy. Some seem to have sharp edges. Furry is just kind of warm, covering the spectrum and…well…furry. LOL.

  14. BTW If people really like one of these contestants, try to save their pictures, youtubes, myspace music, whatever.

    In the past, Idol has required that people remove their own digital footprints from the internet (but they can’t remove your copies).

  15. So far, there have been very few deletions.

    Yes. I don’t know if it’s a new policy that Idol has (why stop this stuff, it builds stronger fan bases) or if they only do it to people who survive Hollywood (since the odds of people making on the show prior to Hollywood are pretty slim) and since Hollywood hasn’t happened, the stuff is still up.

  16. Yes. I don’t know if it’s a new policy that Idol has (why stop this stuff, it builds stronger fan bases) or if they only do it to people who survive Hollywood (since the odds of people making on the show prior to Hollywood are pretty slim) and since Hollywood hasn’t happened, the stuff is still up.

    Hard to say. Since they cannot update while Hollywood week is going on, it really doesn’t hurt to freeze everything while leaving everything up. I agree that it builds stronger fan bases and makes it harder for the producers and judges to manipulate when we have a way around them…but I guess they don’t like that? Sucks to be you, 19E!

  17. Hard to say. Since they cannot update while Hollywood week is going on, it really doesn’t hurt to freeze everything while leaving everything up. I agree that it builds stronger fan bases and makes it harder for the producers and judges to manipulate when we have a way around them…but I guess they don’t like that? Sucks to be you, 19E!

    Right now, though, the effect is negligible. At some point where it’ll approach becoming an influencing factor, they might force the stuff off. But I don’t think they’re worried about fanbases forming around shot-in-the-dark Hollywood contestants who haven’t been seen. Even here, I don’t think any strong fanbase action is being generated amongst the commentators, and we’re a negligible block of the Idol voting populace.

  18. Kirsten

    Hmm…well, when I use the term it means it’s kind of full and soft around the edges. IDK. It just seems that way to me. Some voices are thin and reedy. Some seem to have sharp edges. Furry is just kind of warm, covering the spectrum and…well…furry. LOL.

    ROFL! Well, that is cute. :) their singing is full and soft around the edges hahaha.. I like that. :)

  19. the “real” josh baylock is the one in the green shirt that mj thought was cute in that idol commercial.

  20. Even here, I don’t think any strong fanbase action is being generated amongst the commentators, and we’re a negligible block of the Idol voting populace.

    Too true. Last year, when we had some previews of the contestants who made it to semis, some of the rabid fan groups began to build.

    I’m not sure if I just haven’t found the right contestants to feature to generate buzz or if people just can’t get invested when they know there is like a one in seven chance that a person featured will make the voting rounds. Heck, it’s entirely possible that not a single artist we preview here will make the voting rounds (goodness knows I don’t have time to check out all 168 contestants and decide who is likely to make it. Plus, good contestants get cut if they don’t fit what they are casting for this year). But, if one of these guys win, I won’t rule out bragging a little. LOL.

  21. Like that Mary Powers, she seems original and fun and spunky!

    Keia’s singing with a pretty slick sounding quartet there, and she seemed super comfortably and jazzy. Maybe she won’t fall into one of the categories that have bedevilled some of the young African-American women the last few seasons: Jasmine and Lil, insufficient performance experience, Syesha, too reserved, none of them coming across as strong enough to stand up to the past season powerhouse R&B gals like JHud, Fantasia and Melinda.

    Josh (green shirt Kiss from a Rose guy): lord no. He’s like a smaller Sarver.

    Justin Kalama: okay, he’s another WBWG, but I like his tone — kind of langorous and Ryan Adams-esque. Unfortunately for him, Idol wants Bryan Adams not Ryan Adams. Or actually, this year, they don’t want either.

    Yeah, that Stephanie sounds polished, intelligent, cool, she can connect via the camera, she’s gorgeous. Based on the Jesse Langseth Rule, this means she’s out.

    Seriously, damn it, put some confident, experienced, and current women through this year –not a bunch of unformed pretty girls and insecure head cases. Geez.

    Thank gosh for Alison in S8, she was outstanding, but it was so weird to have only ONE, one, strong woman singer in the whole dang Top 12.

  22. Plus, it makes me think that they have already decided who they want. If they aren’t picking the finalists until the 21st, how will they have time to do all their “background pimp packages” unless they are already done. Might make Hollywood week more relaxing. You’re either in or you’re out already. Nothing rides on what you do.

    Evil, but possibly true. We know the city audition episodes are generally very very carefully manipulated so that by an *amazing* coincidence, the auditions and home footage of many of those destined to make it past Hollywood are included. Those start airing next week. Maybe they really did decide who they wanted to go through before Hollywood even happened.

  23. I don’t really remember Josh Blaylock, all I remember is saying “I always go for that cute guy, no homo” and being insecure about it. I’ll need more than his audition to give him my sign of approval, but I liked his audition.

    Mary Powers, the one that sold me was her funky vibe after the a cappella True Colors. She can SING! Great, unique tone. The other two songs didn’t have me jumping, but that one was pretty cool. She can be a great stand out.

    Keia Johnson did better with On and On than she did with Black Cat. I don’t think she’s perfect, but she has potential and personality. She could be the dark horse. Like it.

    When I say Stephanie Laudong’s name, I was like “Sweet, an Asian girl got through!” with a bunch of Filipino pride >_>. Then I saw “BGCS” but I checked her out anyway. She’s hot and she can sing some acoustic jazzy soul stuff. Me likey.

    Not really into Justin Kalama, but I need more sound quality. Seems good, but seems kinda…. country rock ish.

    I don’t wanna jinx it, but so far I’ve liked a lot of these previews. Good season?

  24. I love Stephanie Daulong, her voice reminds me of Jennifer Nettles, but I could see her grating on some fans.

  25. Well ,seems(if they make it to the show!) there is some strong talent maybe to enjoy this year-FINALLY!…I have been AI fan since its beginning but have found for me that after SEASON 5, everything went down hill…I have not been much impressed with the pickings. Season 5 seemed to offer alot of talent without gimmick. I have noticed that after that it has been alot about either someone’s eyeglasses, red or strange color hair and mod outfits,body piercings, tattos,male glamour,men’s cool hairstyles, and just how “current” can they be, and empty of real individual personalities that are not “manufactured” for a stage presence,etc and oh, yes -they might can sing also! I rather it be MORE about they can REALLY SING and anything else is just a minor addition that you kinda notice….just saying.

  26. I’m not sure if I just haven’t found the right contestants to feature to generate buzz or if people just can’t get invested when they know there is like a one in seven chance that a person featured will make the voting rounds.

    I can only speak for myself, but I don’t get invested until there’s a top 24/36. When they start to sing live is when I start picking who I like. I think a lot of people are like that.

  27. From all of the previews on the internet, I found 3 here that I really like

    Mary

    Josh

    Stephanie

    I could see all of them doing well on the show.

  28. All three sing well and are good looking people!!
    Only one of them really pumped up my interest Mary powers!
    Talk about a power house voice, coupled with personality and charisma that
    just shines through, tripled with originality. She isn’t the Idol package per se,
    but she has a mega talent, and I can imagine that she could sing well within a wide range of genres. So far, she rises like creme to the top for me for now,……will have to see if she makes it through Hollywood to the top
    24.
    Josh is too much like Cook and Kris, and I didn’t feel the charisma yet.
    Stephanie, (like gangreen said), could grate, but there is no denying her talent
    and her beauty. She fits ,for me, too strongly in the groove of Jennifer Nettles who owns that groove IMO
    Who knows? I find I am surprised at some who get through and some who don’t?????

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