Season 9 Preview:Bryce Larsen

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.

Number 11:Bryce Larsen
Age: 26 (10/25/1983)
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia, Long Island, NY
Style: Pop/Rock
Instruments: Rhythm Guitar/Vocals

Pictures/Myspace/Links after the jump

When the Boys Run
Life Support (original) (youtube)
Buddy Holly
Let’s Get it On

Band: Stealing Jane
Youtube Channel
Outside (Official Music Video) (youtube)
Same Page (youtube)

With this guy, the question you have to ask yourself is if the Idol powers that be want to take the risk of featuring another good looking guy with a guitar and a talent for re-arranging songs. No question, this guy is talented, but with his similarities to the previous winners, will Idol risk having a third winner in this vein? On the one hand, this type of talent is clearly popular with the Idol fan base, is current on the charts, moves singles and will help to sell tickets on the tour. To have nobody to offer this segment of the Idol fanbase would be a mistake. On the other hand, you need to mix up the winners or you turn off other segments of the Idol audience (why even bother watching, you know the dude with the guitar will go far). And this guy seems to be a threat. He’s got the “highschool quarterback” good looks. He’s got a lot of on stage experience. He knows how to re-arrange. He’ll have no problem with the theme weeks. And he can sing.

What would be the bigger mistake for Idol to make? To cast this guy or to not cast him? With this guy, is the bigger misfortune to be cast or not to be cast? Can his band get signed on their own? They really seem to be organized and to be making some headway.

What do you think?

Thanks to Nico for the suggestion.

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 checked out his versions of Heartless, Let’s Get It On and Buddy Holly. Considering he’s doing an acoustic version and not having any autotune like Kanye, Heartless was too oddly monotonic. Let’s Get It On was rather messy. Buddy Holly was just ok.

    So I gotta disagree with you on this one MJ. I don’t find him good-looking either. I’ll pass on this guy personally.

  2. Dude. As a ‘Chuck’ fan, if this guy makes it I will never be able to shake the Bryce Larkin associations. The guy is even a dead ringer for Matthew Bomer (well, maybe not quite that dreamy, but still…).

    But yeah, Kirsten, I agree with you. This one is dicey for TPTB. The Cook-Allen wins established a pattern that I know makes the producers squirm in their seats. But they can’t ignore the public demand that back-to-back champs from similar molds may represent. If he makes it past the chairs, they’ll do everything in their power to bus him, and they’ll try to shift the vote to a girl with similar DNA. Honestly, based on trends over the past four seasons, the best way to do that would be to pimp him hard and early.

  3. I think I prefer Kris’ version of Heartless, and didn’t particularly enjoy Buddy Holly actually. Lol at peeps who used to diss Kris for “ripping” other people’s version of Heartless or pooh-pooh it as as no big deal. Ain’t as easy as it seems to rearrange a song, it takes some degree of skill to rearrange a song.

    ETA: Gigi3, I agree with you on the looks part too. ;P

  4. I definitely hope it isn’t a third year in a row for a cute guitar playing mid twenties white male to win. I think it is time for someone a bit different to win this year, besides you don’t really want the AI winners to have to compete against each other in the real world. It is seeming to me that Cook, Castro, Daughtry and Allen could be competing for alot of the same fan base inside and outside the AI bubble. Having the same type of winner every year can make AI seem really cookie cutter. I know maybe they are risking having a winner who flops by going against the current mainstream type, but taking a risk could get them superstar who fills a different niche.

  5. Yeah didn’t like the Heartless version but I liked the Let’s Get It On verison. My son is so use to Kris singing the song He asked me why this guy was singing it and not Kris. His not a bad singer and I love David Cook and of course Kris since I voted for them but hope we either get a girl this season or a different type of singer altogether.

  6. I really like his other covers such as the Beatles song ‘Come Together’. Yeah I agree he is similar to Kris Allen in terms of having a laidback style, but I wouldn’t mind him being in the competition!

  7. Not impressed one bit. Don’t need another low-key, guitar-strumming winner. Besides, this guy can’t sing.

  8. Wow!! This guy is awesome! I especially love the way he sings let’s get it on! :) I had to favorite him singing let’s get it on, on youtube. :) I hope he makes it.

  9. JazzRocks

    his guy can’t sing.

    What do you mean he can’t sing? You mean he doesn’t belt out songs?

  10. IMO the only thing he has in common with Kris Allen is that they both play the guitar. He has a nice strong voice, puts a lot of feeling in his song(I only listened to Let’s Get it On), and that picture of him is Hot!

  11. eh. same o same o. I definitely agree AI needs some diversity in musical genres ASAP! R&B better be represented this year!

  12. Plaid!?

    Wait … what season is this…I’m having flashbacks.

    Been there done that. Yawn.

  13. koshka


    Wait ‘ ¦ what season is this’ ¦I’m having flashbacks.

    You mean of Kris Allen? ROFL!

  14. Well, considering he had my very favorite promo poster on the wall behind him during Buddy Holly this guy can’t be all bad.

  15. Oh, this guy is good.

    I have to admit I’m not really a fan of guitar players on Idol.

    I didn’t really like David Cook. He is a decent singer, but he reminded me of Chris Daughtry too much. And I’m a fan of Chris, he is my favorite season 5 contestant by far (Really great voice, a lot of charisma and also performance skills. And he wasn’t allowed to play guitar – perfect.). David Cook just wasn’t as good or better than Chris Daughtry for me, so… But he at least has a few good songs on his album.

    I liked Jason Castro on Idol more than Cook, he had a few great performances, but yeah, he was far from being the best singer of season 7. But I quite like his current single (Let’s just fall in love again). Too bad it didn’t really catch on.

    Kris Allen is by far my least favorite guitar playing Idol contestant. I mean, his performances were all decent – no trainwrecks, but also no standouts. Kris’ voice is just average (and sometimes annoying) for me and sometimes he looks like he is straining to sing. Usually his performances were too boring for me to even remember.

    Now this guy… Bryce. His voice is better than Kris’ and he is more interesting than Kris, too. I think I could actually manage to pay attention to him performing on Idol. And he is also good looking.

    Yeah, I don’t think Idol wants another guitar playing white guy in mid twenties to win. It’s sad because I like this guy more than Cook and Allen. But yeah, I also want a girl to win this year. Pop/Rock/RnB/Dance type singer preferably, I don’t want another singer-songwriter.

    I probably won’t dare to like anyone on Idol this year. My favorites always end up in 2nd place (Last year Archie, this year Adam) and I don’t want to curse anyone.

  16. There are a number of similar guys that made Hollywood this year. All early-mid 20’s, nice looking, singer-songwriter, play guitar. Since the show is so desperate to have a girl at least make the final, I’m thinking they put through 3-4 of them and dilute the fan support. Individually, there are a couple real good ones. But, putting a bunch on the show at once, and with comparisons to the last two winners, could make them disappear faster than they deserve.

    Similar S9 contestants: Colin Benward , Justin Kalama, Lee DeWyze.

    A possible candidate for a girl the show may subtly push is Ashley Makailah. She is early twenties, Berklee graduate via a full ride scholarship earned through a program aimed at inner city Boston kids. Fantastic smile, the camera just plain loves her. Her style is new-school R&B and AC. She spent her time at Berklee very well, her vocals are on the mark and the performance skills are a step above the typical Idol contestant.

    She is on one of the S9 commercials, receiving praise from Simon, ” I like you as a singer, I like you as a person, your just good.” She didn’t get a big pimp commercial like Michelle, but the combination of backstory, looks and vocal talent, makes her a serious contender.

    She has a number of YouTube vids.

    Gravity (Cover)
    Berklee ’08 Singer Showcase
    Blaque Lyte Live at Berklee- “Crazy Race/ The Good Life”

    Her MySpace:

    Check out Run Away with Me, very radio worthy song.

  17. This guy’s band is frickin’ awesome. Interesting writing, cool arrangements, and excellent execution. He’s a really good singer and rhythm player, and I’d be very happy to hear him sing and wail on the guitar on AI — but frankly I’d like to see him go just far enough that his band gets snapped up, because they really deserve a record deal, just as they are, without being popified by The Machine. My wife and I are going to buy/download what we can from this band, and I’m going to recommend them to our local alt station, which asks listeners for tips on up-and-coming bands.

  18. I don’t see anything special in him either. I’d take a pass on him. He is not what Idol needs either – more of the same.

  19. It’s ironic that if Idol really doesn’t want to repeat “white boy with guitar” and yet wants to connect with the current charts, then what they need is waay more *current* R&B –the 2000s flavor, not every week with the Motown and 60s/70s–and hiphop. Some classic theme weeks, sure, but stop ruling out 60% of what’s on the Top40 chart.

    The old canard is that you can’t cover current music because you’ll be unfavorably compared to the original artist. But Glee has done it completely successfully with every thing from Bust Your Windows, Hate On Me, Gold Digger and a bunch of others. Not to mention Kris’ Heartless. And Anoop making some good tries to get a little college boy Ne Yo in there.

    I think the harder part is that the Idol band and stage production are poorly adapted to those styles, the judges are lost and unfamiliar with it, and so on.

    But the boys with guitars (and maybe girls with guitars) will continue to have a great shot if they keep the prospective R&B singers doing straight up Donny Hathaway and Whitney.

    This Bryce kid is pretty good with this band, but I thought just OK solo.

  20. chessguy, I’m LOVING her. Really looking forward to hearing some great female voices this year.

  21. Mateja says Now this guy’ ¦ Bryce. His voice is better than Kris’ and he is more interesting than Kris,
    Agree and agree. :)

  22. sonyab
    12/30/2009 at 9:59 am


    Wait ‘ ¦ what season is this’ ¦I’m having flashbacks.

    You mean of Kris Allen? ROFL!

    Cook too… I think Daughtry did too in the beginning. Ugh.

  23. Since the show is so desperate to have a girl at least make the final, I’m thinking they put through 3-4 of them and dilute the fan support. Individually, there are a couple real good ones. But, putting a bunch on the show at once, and with comparisons to the last two winners, could make them disappear faster than they deserve.

    Sounds about right. There’s no way they want their stable of AI peeps to start canibalizing themselves with multiple peeps in the same genre, so the best way to turn the tide is to overdo it and give America guy-with-guitar burn out. The girls will stand out better that way. And there are bound to be cross season comparisons. At this point, it’s easy to say Cook is different from Daughtry who is different from Kris, but you start having more rock-ish guitar playing AI alum out there and it gets too samey. Unfair, really, but that’s the way it goes.

    So, on one hand, I’ll be happy if the focus on singer/musicians makes a big return next season. On the other, vocally this guy can’t touch Cook. But then, for me, few can. Also, while Kris’s cover of Heartless was an awesome AI moment, not every pop or rap tune works that way. Like I said in the other thread when someone posted a link to this guy’s iTunes EP of rap covers, I don’t think the world needs an acoustic cover of Kiss Me Through The Phone. Songwriting is decent but lyrically nothing really grabs me. Life Support is the best tune I’ve seen linked so far. I do like that he uses horn players in his band…that’s new and different for an AI-linked artist. A little Dave Matthews-ish vibe there.

  24. His voice isn’t unpleasant but there’s nothing distinctive or interesting about it. He’s probably best with a band rather than solo because I can’t imagine just listening to him sitting there with a guitar the way that Cook and Kris have done.

  25. I suggest checking out Benjamin Honeycutt on YouTube. He has a ton of songs on there and he’s kind of the same style as Bryce and Kris – the acoustic guitar player but I think Ben is really, really talented. A Top 24 without him would just be wrong!

  26. I really, really love the Stealing Jane stuff, don’t care as much about his solo stuff, but, then again, I actually don’t care much about guy-with-an-acoustic-guitar music, unless the guy is Jason Mraz, DC or KA. I’d like to see Bryce go far enough to get noticed and get the whole band signed, but not be in the Top 2- I want the focus to stay on the whole band, once AI9 is over. At least DC and KA (and Bo?) have set a precedent for bringing along pre-Idol collaborators. So, I hope he at least makes the semis, maybe even the Top 10, but finishes 4th-10th.

    I don’t think the show needs a 3rd mid-20s white-boy singer-songwriter to win this year either, but I also hope it doesn’t go back to having the emphasis be on big-voiced divas. Totally not interested in that style, which is why I didn’t watch AI until season 7. I hope they at least stick with people who write their own music and play an instrument. There are people doing that in every genre.

  27. Well while I agree we don’t need another guitar playin white boy to win, he should still be allowed to be on the show at least if he’s good.. Which.. he’s alright. Not all that good looking though. I think we were spoiled last year with the variety of sounds/styles we had- allison, adam, danny, anoop, megan even, they were all pretty distinct- Matt too maybe. But Kris, Lil, Scott and Michael all had been there done that voices.

  28. I think idol would make a huge mistake not to cast this guy. Even if he doesnt win he would attract a lot of viewers because he’s good looking and talented.

    from a money-making stand point Idol should cast this guy. The reason why the “cute guitar guys” have done so well on idol this year is because they show relevance to the music industry. The audience can picture what kind of CD they would make.

    In the end he would probably not win because the judges and producers will try to get a girl to win (have you noticed that on all the commercials there have been cute girls) -OR- the judges will just give up trying to force the who process and let the most talented win,

    Check this cover out it reminds me of Kris’ Heartless:

  29. I wouldnt compare his covers to David Cook or Daughtry or even Kris. Everyone improves so much during/after Idol. Compare his covers to David Cook before Idol.

  30. This guy makes Kris Allen look like a kindergartener.

    So of course that means he has no chance of winning. lol.

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