By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
American Idol is back for its landmark 14th season!
Last night, Ryan and veteran judges Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban began their search for the next big superstar in Keith’s American hometown of Nashville.
Tonight, as they wrap things up in Nashville, the judges will travel to my hometown of Kansas City to meet with the winners of the American Idol Bus Tour!
Did the judges’ trip to Nashville end in a high note? Were there any future superstars in KC? Read on to find out…
22-year-old Andrew Annello looked like he was going to be the next Dexter Roberts! I was worried that he was going to have abysmal vocals. His personality almost cost him his place in Hollywood as Harry told him that he was silly during his first song. However, he was able to convince the judges he could be serious as he crooned a few bars of “My Girl.” He was the first unanimous “Yes” of the night and he headed to Hollywood.
Actress Loren Lott almost did not make the cut, when she performed a theatrical cover of Bruno Mars’s “Treasure.” While Harry told her that it was not her year, Jennifer and Keith gave her a second chance and invited her to Hollywood.
16-year-old Fort Worth student Trevor Douglas might be the first quirky contestant of the season. The future Bill Nye heir sped through Ed Sheeran’s “Sing” and made the judges laugh when talking about puberty. As Jennifer loved his falsetto, Harry added that he liked his confidence! He was the second consecutive unanimous “Yes” of the night.
Kelley and her daughter, Hope, stole America’s hearts when the mother-daughter appeared in Nashville. Little Hope’s “Let It Go” made Jennifer cry and impressed both Keith and Harry. She got a Golden Ticket for Hollywood! As for her mother, she delivered a sweet cover of “Sunday Morning” that would make Adam Levine and Maroon 5 very proud of her. She will be accompanying her young daughter to Hollywood Week.
As dreams were being crushed around him, Garrett Miles remained calm, cool and collective. Accompanied by his father, Garrett impressed the judges with his cover of “Proud Mary.” Garrett has one of the best rock voices I have EVER heard! He also impressed Jennifer by singing a few bars of “Como La Flor” in Spanish! After getting Jennifer to sing along, Keith handed him a Golden Ticket.
Gena Venier brought all of her toys into her audition! Her cover of ZZ Ward’s “Put the Gun Down” seriously hypnotized me! She reminded me of Melissa Etheridge and was one of the most impressive female singers I heard so far. I expect big things from her in Hollywood!
24-year-old Cody Fry gave an impeccable cover of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The first notes were spectacular and I was so surprised by his amazing falsetto. I also thought that if Matt McAndrew sang the iconic Wizard of Oz track the way Cody did, he would have won The Voice: Season Seven! Hopefully, Cody will make it to the live shows this season! In my opinion, he is a front-runner to watch!
Sarina-Joi Crowe is making her fourth appearance on American Idol! She came back stronger than ever and killed One Republic’s “Love Runs Out.” I really hope that she does make it to the Live Shows because Sarina-Joi Crowe would definitely rock the house!
Sarina was not the only familiar face to return to the show! Savion Wright came back and was determined to return to Hollywood! The judges were excited to see him and he did not disappoint with his cover of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.” There was so much charisma that poured out of the performance. His vocals improved so much and I think he could be in the Top 10 this year!
The final 40 minutes of night two were featured in Kansas City! 22-year-old and Lee’s Summit native Zack Kallenbach! While he went to the same high school as David Cook, Harry Connick Jr. was unimpressed with his “flat” cover of “Grenade.” Luckily, Jennifer and Keith were on the same wavelength and voted him through to the next round! Zack, please prove Harry wrong and represent Kansas City in Hollywood!
24-year-old Naomi Tatsuoka made her American Idol debut in a huge way! Her “Someone Like You” was out-of-this world and took everyone to church! It was a star-making moment and she received three “Yeses” from the judges and a Golden Ticket to Hollywood!
Lovey James brought some stage experience to American Idol and her cheery personality into the judges’ room. Her cover of Ariana Grande & Zedd’s “Break Free” was exceptional and like Jennifer stated: “her voice matched her name.” Keith praised her originality and handed her a Golden Ticket.
28-year-old Jess Lamb traveled from Cincinnati to audition for American Idol. She sat down at the piano and performed a Jazzy cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine!” You could feel the pain in her vocal and it was probably the best vocal of the night! After she got her three “Yeses,” she invited Harry to play the piano with her and it definitely put a smile on my face!
Next week, the auditions continue in Kansas City!!!