“American Idol” returns to Denver & Little Rock for their final auditions

Jennifer Lopez takes a selfie with Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. on the "Idol" set. (Photo & graphic property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

Jennifer Lopez takes a selfie with Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. on the “Idol” set. (Photo & graphic property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America & 19 Entertainment)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

So far this season, hundreds of hopefuls have auditioned to be the final American Idol.

But, in order to get to Hollywood, the aspiring singers must go through the producers and Idol alums such as Kris Allen, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks before they are worthy to face the Idol judges (Harry Connick, Jr., Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban).  As always, the judges will have the final say on which singers get the Golden Ticket to Hollywood!

Whose dreams will come true tonight? Read on to find out!

The show started the first half of the night in the Mile High City. Up first, two friends, Amber Lynn and James the Eighth. The duo drove from Provost, Utah to impress the judges. Amber Lynn reminded me a little bit of Haley and Joss Stone and she gave me the first case of the goosies of the night. Harry stated that Amber was talented and Jennifer loved her soulful voice. Meanwhile, James the Eighth, attempted to do a John Legend track. While he delivered rapid-fire lyrics, Harry liked his energy and thought they were good. They received two Golden Tickets to Hollywood!

As the duo celebrated, Midwest darling Emily Wears showcased her auctioneer skills to Ryan and taught Betty Boughter to the judges. While I was impressed with her auctioneering skills, I was a little underwhelmed with her vocals on JoDee Messina’s “Bring On The Rain.” While the judges liked her personality, Keith said that her pitch was everywhere and sent her off into the sunset with a “No.”

The show quickly traveled to Little Rock to find new talent. Professional musician CJ (Chris Johnson) showcased his tattoo collection to his judges and shared his story on how he hustled for 11 years to get a career in the music industry. I liked his take on Hall & Oates’ “Make My Dreams Come True.” He has a strong voice and if he put down his guitar, CJ would be a force to be reckoned with. Keith admired his road warrior attitude while Harry thought it was a cool arrangement.  He received his Golden Ticket to Hollywood.

23-year-old Mary Williams brought bling to her audition. She blew me away from the moment that she opened her mouth and covered Tammy Wynette. I am surprised that Nashville has not signed her. Jennifer stated that she got “goosies” on her leg, however, Keith stated that she performed and not confessed the song. Luckily, Harry sided with Jennifer and now she has a chance to prove Keith wrong in Hollywood.

As Xavier headed back to the Denver Nuggets, Terrian tackled Pharrell’s “Happy.” I liked her energy…but it was not like Tonya Boyd-Cannon’s energetic cover of the song. I wish that Melinda Doolittle and Michael Slezak would revoke her Golden Ticket.

23-year-old singing nomad Blue made an interesting first impression on the judges. She requested the judges to pick words that mean the most to them. Blue had a gorgeous tone, but she did not belong on American Idol. Luckily, she was not the only one to receive a “No” from the judges.

Hoping not to receive a “No” from the judges was high school student Thomas Stringfellow. I like his mission to inspire foster kids to not give up on their dreams. I was captivated by Thomas’s voice when he covered Ed Sheeran’s “Gimme Love.” This high school kid’s voice is not only 1000-times better than Sam Woolf, but his charisma captivated me from the word: “go!” I know that he is going to do bright things in Hollywood!

Before he went to the auditions, Keith busked the streets of Denver and received a lot of tips until an incognito Harry stole a bulk of them from Keith’s guitar case. As Harry dropped some of Keith’s stolen tips, “Tank” Johnson delivered a powerful cover of “Superstar” that was on par to Mr. Ruben Studdard’s version. Jennifer was captivated by the dance instructor’s vocals while Harry advised him to listen to Reverend James Moore and added that there was “no substitute” for a clear voice.  He won a Golden Ticket to the next round!

Idol paid homage to both Chris Daughtry (Season Five) and Tori Kelly (Season Nine-but eliminated in the final round) who auditioned in the Mile High City. Hoping to follow in their footsteps was 15-year-old Jordyn Simone. Jordyn’s vocals on her cover of “Who’s Lovin’ You?” reminded me a little bit of Leona Lewis.  While Jennifer was confused by the audition, Jordyn received a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.

Both Kassy Levels and Rhea Raj received their Golden Tickets (and should have expanded their auditions), plumber’s apprentice and father-of-two Jake Dillon delivered a heartbreaking rendition of Loggins and Messina’s “Danny’s Song,” that gave me chills. Harry said it was “good, but isn’t going to cut it!” Keith liked him as a guy, but was worried that he was going to get killed in Hollywood. Thank goodness, Keith Urban said “Yes!” I hope Jake proves Harry wrong in Hollywood.

The final audition of the night belonged to 27-year-old Elvie Shane. He overcame drugs to become a loving stepfather to his wife’s son. For his audition, Elvie performed “The House of the Rising Sun.” While Haley and Kimberly Nichole gave powerful renditions of “The House of the Rising Sun,” Elvie gave a solid storyteller’s twist to the Animals’ signature classic. I have five words for Mr. Shane: “Best Audition of the Night!” He brought his wife and stepson to meet the judges and celebrate his Golden Ticket to Hollywood!

Next week, the “Idol” Auditions continue!

Tonya Boyd-Cannon’s audition is the property of NBC & United Artists Media Group. 

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar