The American Idol 2014 premiere is finally here and we had an amazing night of performances! All the American Idol spoilers and sneak peeks for season 13 left us giddy with anticipation for the new year and the premiere did not disappoint! Finally, it looks like American Idol season 13 is returning to it’s roots and putting the focus where it should be — on the talent.
The American Idol auditions for season 13 kicked off tonight in Boston, MA and Austin, TX. From what we’ve seen of the contestants so far, we’re feeling very pleased about the quality of the singers this year. The American Idol 2014 judges have said they are very determined to make sure they find the best to show the fans this season, and it looks like they mean it.
Speaking of the American Idol judges, we are absolutely loving the panel that has been put together for season 13. Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban look like they have been sitting behind the table together for years and all of them truly seem to like and respect each other. Not at all like last year’s craziness between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, with Randy Jackson bored off to one side, and Keith Urban looking like he wanted to flee at any minute!
Although she actually auditioned in Detroit, not in Boston or Austin (the two cities supposed to be featured on part one of the premiere), American Idol 2014 hopeful Marrialle Sellars, 17, is the first contestant we get to see perform. She brings a guitar with her to her audition, showing off that this is the first year that hopefuls have been allowed to play them in auditions. She’s an easy yes for the first Golden Ticket of the season.
The first Boston audition tonight is by contestant Troy Durden, 29, who believes he is a 100 on a scale of one to 10. Although we don’t think so… the judges do send him on to Hollywood.
Up next is one of our favorite contestants we saw in the American Idol spoilers coming out about season 13, Sam Woolf. Honestly, you should visit his profile page and listen to some more. We aren’t surprised when he gets a Golden Ticket.
On to more rapid-fire auditions from Ethan Thompson, Lindsey Pendicone, and Jillian Jensen. Remember her? She’s auditioned for American Idol in the past, and was a semifinalist on The X Factor USA. All three of them make it to Hollywood.
Taylor Hildack, 19, is the next hopeful up in front of the judges. She takes on a Carrie Underwood song, and frankly it comes off as pretty underwhelming. She gets two no votes from Harry and Keith, and she won’t be going through.
After Taylor, we have a montage of failed auditions, including one girl who has tried out SEVEN times. Ouch! We hate seeing people have their dreams crushed. At least this season, the judges are really being as nice about it as one could hope for.
Sixteen-year-old Stephanie Hanvey performs “Price Tag” by Jessie J for the American Idol judges and we’re not terrible impressed. She’s not terrible, but we don’t think she really deserves the three yes votes she finally gets.
We are more impressed with Morgan Deplitch, 15, who performs “If I Was From Paris” by Grace Potter. Good, solid vocals, but the song doesn’t really suit her. We agree with Harry on that one. She still gets a Golden Ticket though.
James Earl, 22, is one of the fails for the night. He isn’t just absolutely aweful, but it’s obvious he is not going to get through with his rendition of his original song, “Everything In Life.” If this is as bad as it is going to get this season in auditions, we’re happy. We hate the cruel auditions where they really ridicule people.
Up next is Jaqueline Verna, 18, who gives the judges a performance of “I Love You, I Do” from Dreamgirls. Harry pulls out the technical language for this one all over the place. In the end, the judges decide to pass but tell her maybe to come back next year.
Way too cute Austin Percario, 17, steps up to perform “Titanium” by David Guetta ft. Sia, and we think it is reasonably good, although a bit off at the end. We think it will be good for him to get out from under his ‘stage mom’ when he goes to Hollywood. Yep, Golden Ticket and he will turn 18 before that round!
Kaitlyn Jackson, 15, is one of our favorites so far among the girls. Her country voice is sweet and smooth on the original song she performs, and the judges are obviously loving the whole package.
Apparently Keith London, 21, thinks American Idol is a great way to pay off his overwhelming student loans. He’s not bad, but from his performance of “Roar” by Katy Perry, we’re not sure we see him winning that big money recording contract at the end…
Twenty-three year old Sam Atheron believes he IS the next American Idol winner. He says he’s been playing the guitar forever and has lots of original songs. He barely starts before the judges shut him down… and then he gets a bit scary after failing to make it to Hollywood.
We break for a little something different as host Ryan Seacrest pops up a clip of a girl singing “House of the Rising Sun” and asks fans on Twitter to guess whether she will get through. It’s pretty good, and after the commercial break, we learn she will go to Hollywood. (Sorry, didn’t catch the name…)
Shanon Wilson, 24, is a guy (note the spelling) and a linebacker. Ryan tries to pretend to do the football thing… and that’s a fail. Shanon is crazy good with his falsetto and has J-Lo just amaze balls over him. He grabs a Golden Ticket with no problem.
Cheerleader Stephanie Petronelli, 22, wears her uniform to her audition. It was probably a good idea, since the judges are torn over whether she’s good enough to go through. We think maybe the cheerleader outfit might have helped her get Keith’s vote… kidding, kidding.
Now we’re off to the Austin, TX auditions to see what the Lone Star State has to offer this year.
We have another Carrie Underwood song for the judges now from 17-year-old Durann Cree. This one is not so good either, leaving us to think maybe people should not be trying to emulate her at an American Idol audition. Durann fails to impress and won’t go to Hollywood. That rejection leads us into another montage of contestants, some of whom get Golden Tickets, and some who don’t. Isabell Gallegos (who auditioned last season) is the only one that got through and had her name shown.
Next we have Savion Wright, 21, and we’ve been looking forward to this audition based on what we’ve seen of this guy on the Internet. Savion gives the judges an original tune and it’s as great as we hoped it would be. He gets three yes votes, after a bit of practical joking, and it’s on to Hollywood.
After him, we have four more successful auditions in quick order. Terrica Curry, 20; Justin Fira, 24; Shelby Comey, 15; and Madelyn Patterson, 22 all make it through to the next round.
We think Madelyn’s performance in particular was lovely, although Harry got irritated by her runs.
Another group of singers flies through on their way to Hollywood as Golden Tickets are handed out to Viviana Villalon, Savannah Young, and Ben Boone.
Now we’re on to Malcolm Allen, 21, one of our favorites we’ve heard in American Idol spoilers for season 13. He greatly entertains the judges with his performance of “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and easily earns a Golden Ticket. Harry thinks he is the best of the day!
Our last audition of the evening is also perhaps the most fun to watch. Munfarid Zaidi, 19, spills the dish that he actually reads Harry Connick Jr.’s Wikipedia page EVERY night before he goes to sleep. Harry is thrilled someone his age actually knows who he is. Things just get hilarious from there. But while it is all fun and games, Munfarid actually sings the heck out of “Crazy For You” by Adele… and he’s off to Hollywood!
Thanks for visiting with us and be sure to join us again Thursday night for our next American Idol live recap!