Judges return to the north in pursuit of the next American Idol winner and Superstar with their stop in Minnesota. Armed with a stack of Golden Tickets they’ll meet the Hopefuls and send the very best on through to Hollywood.
Can this week’s talent beat out what we’ve seen in the Idol auditions so far this season? Harry Connick Jr. said of last week that we may have already had the best up to that point which sets the bar high.
Our live recap runs with tonight’s American Idol 2015 show from 8-10PM ET and features all the auditions and videos of the performances. If you missed anything you can now watch full Idol episodes online as a first for the series. Join us in our Idol chat room right now and talk about the auditions with other Idol fans!
The judges have arrived for the auditions as we hear reporters remind host Ryan Seacrest that it’s been seven years since the series came to town, but they’re now here and we hope to be well pleased with the talent that turns out for the auditions!
Starting the night we’ve got Shannon Berthiaume, 17 from St. Paul, who says she doesn’t usually sing for other people but she’s ready to perform some Soul music for the Judges. She’s off with “House of the Rising Sun” and the Judges are clearly impressed.
Harry loves that Shannon wasn’t overly polished. Keith praises her “raw talent” and immediately says Yes for her to go to Hollywood. Jennifer and Harry agree which puts her on the path to Los Angeles.
Next up it looks like we could be getting more style than substance. Kemil Casey has brought his own microphone, a golden microphone that is, to sing “Human Nature.” After a montage of wild dancing and flashing his gold mic around the town he’s ready to audition. Oh boy.
Harry says Kemil was “oddly entertaining” considering the way he entered the room but was soon working the camera and knowing what to do next. JLo says he’s got a future in showbiz, but it isn’t going to be with singing. Keith says Kemil is a “sweet person” but agrees that this isn’t the thing for him. Sorry, Kemil, but no Golden Ticket.
It’s montage performance time with Morgan Ovens, Gabrielle Noe’l, and Courtney Guns. All three women are fantastic singers, but it’s Courtney who gets special attention for how close she drew to the table for her audition. We get a few jokes from Harry and Keith as they get in each other’s face before announcing in another montage that yes, all three will be heading to Hollywood with a Golden Ticket.
Next up we have Vanessa Andrea who has traveled here from North Dakota as a mother of three who is desperately infatuated with Keith Urban. She’s singing “Some Kind of Wonderful” for her audition as she plays the guitar and she’s doing it well.
Harry compliments her that she plays guitar better than most people who claim they can. Keith says the song choice “fit her to a T.” Andrea says she loves classic rock. JLo loved her style and confidence in the performance. Andrea pulls out her cell phone and passes it around the Judges’ table as they announce to her husband that she’s on to Hollywood.
Big energy here with the next Hopeful who comes in roaring and Harry Connick Jr. asks him to start things off with a high-five. We’ve got Zach Johnson here with a great voice as he sings “Don’t Close Your Eyes” in a surprisingly strong voice that almost doesn’t seem to match the guy who walked in the room.
Keith asks if Zach likes Garth Brooks and he admits he does indeed. Harry starts out with “I like you. A lot!” but, you could tell there was a but coming, right? Harry tells Zach not to sing with a Country accent if he doesn’t talk with one. It was very opposing in the shift and it’s a sticking point for the Judges. JLo asks why he’s doing the accent with the singing. Zach says it was something he picked up when he moved there.
Keith says it’s a Yes for him, but Jennifer wants to hear another song first and that gives Zach pause as he tries to not start with a Country accent. He gives it another try before Harry stops him with a Golden Ticket. He’s on through to Hollywood but before he leaves Keith offers Zach a chance to perform with him at an upcoming concert. Sure enough we get to jump forward and see the actual concert where Keith brings Zach up and they sing together at his concert. Wild!
We get a quick performance from Aaron Bissell with a soft voice but great sound. It’s enough to get Harry to crack a few jokes about him being too loud before he gets up out of his chair, hands him a Golden Ticket, and then kicks him out of the room. No vote required.
Cindy-Jo Schloer is here with a split interest between singing and hunting. Lots of hunting and fishing would make this little lady happy. She’s singing “Crazy” and she’s doing it with a lot of passion.
Jennifer says Cindy-Jo seemed to be losing her place in the performance while trying to almost overdo it. Keith wants her to ditch all the costume garb and boil it down to her voice, which he thinks is great. Harry liked her voice, but felt it was “pedal to the metal” with too much yelling.
Leading the vote Jennifer says it’s a No for her, but Keith is a Yes. That leaves it to Harry. He says it’s hard for him to hear through all the fuss, but he’s interested in hearing her again so she’s off to Hollywood. After she leaves we get a lot of joking from Harry about how he had to vote Yes because she shot a bear the weekend before. Wouldn’t you know it, the next singer walks in wearing a bear costume and make-up. Keith says you can’t make this stuff up and he’s right!
Piano man here next with Jacob Tolliver, a performer from Ohio. He’s banging away on the piano performing “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” in just the way he has rehearsed for the show he works in Las Vegas.
It’s a fun performance, but Harry is quick to point out that it wouldn’t fly on the radio today or on American Idol. Keith agrees that it was too much of a chameleon for him to get a real sense of Jacob as an artist and sends him back to the piano for something more unique to him. This time it’s a performance of “Stay With Me.”
Second time was the charm for Jacob though Harry says it was still a little too close to Sam Smith. JLo says it was different enough for her and she says yes. Keith and Harry and soon behind and Jacob is off to Hollywood.
Ditching the instruments we’ve got Hannah Mrozak singing away before the Judges cut her off and waste no time telling her how great she is. Jennifer can’t believe she’s just 16 years old. All three Judges say they can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.
There have been a lot of Golden Tickets tonight, but not everyone gets one. We see Kristi Kroker, a student from La Crosse, WI, who is told by Jennifer that it was just too much like a high school audition rather than one for American Idol. The judges decline and she leaves empty handed followed by a montage of tearful rejections that day.
Closing out the night we’ve got Mark Andrew who is at the age limit for Idol and wants one more chance to show his infant son that you should pursue your dreams. You might recognize Mark from his stint on The Voice awhile back.
Keith says “Soulshine,” Mark’s song of choice, is very tailored for his voice and wants another performance to see what he’s like outside of that comfort zone. Mark Andrew goes with “Be Like You” from Junglebook and the Judges love that pick as they all start jittering in their seats. No surprise here that he’s right on through and we’re sure to hear more from this Hopeful on Season 14.