Second to last stop on the American Idol auditions tour this season as Harry Connick Jr. brings Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban to his hometown of New Orleans in their search for the next Idol Superstar.
Last night on American Idol we encountered a mild batch of talent which leaves me hoping for big results tonight in the auditions round. Can the Judges stir up the best NOLA has to offer? Let’s hope so when the show kicks off at 8PM ET along with our live coverage and American Idol recap complete with results and videos.
So far we’ve met a lot of the alleged Top 24 spoilers list of contestants, but between New Orleans and next week’s stop in San Francisco there are still plenty more to meet as we narrow down on who could win American Idol 2015. Do you have a favorite yet? You just might meet that one tonight. Discuss with other fans in our Idol chat room.
Tonight’s show starts off with Harry Connick Jr. introducing his beloved hometown of New Orleans which he describes as teeming with talent that makes it a perfect match for American Idol. He’s got high hopes that locals will come in and make him proud.
First up tonight we’ve got Drew Plaisance straight from NOLA with a family connection to Harry. He’s singing Michael Jackson’s “Pretty Young Thing” and this doesn’t look promising from the moment he starts. Oh yeah, this is bad and it’s a no for him.
Things aren’t getting better anytime soon either as we get a montage of the awful. “It’s one of them days,” says Keith. Nothing is getting through and Harry is hurting here. He says it breaks his heart to see nothing from New Orleans.
Harry might finally get his break here with Jelly Joseph, a local singer from NOLA performing “Rolling In The Deep.” After she takes Ryan Seacrest on a tour of the town she settles in for her audition and is doing it very well.
Jelly elicits cheers and claps from all of the judges. Harry says he had been hoping someone like her would be coming in with such a great voice and spirit. Keith says he loves the spunk in her voice. Harry says he wants to hear her sing again and hands her a Golden Ticket.
Now we’ve got an over the top energy Hopeful with Tiffany Stringer who couldn’t be more excited to be there in the American Idol auditions. She’s singing “Want You Back” for her chance at Hollywood.
Harry says that it was too “drill team” for him but Keith says all her energy and personality made it entertaining for him. He agrees that the voice wasn’t the best, “but at least I was entertained,” says Keith. Harry says he believes in entertainment too, but doesn’t think it’s the right kind for Idol. JLo breaks the tie in Tiffany’s favor. Yeah, cute kid, but she really shouldn’t have gone through.
Another young Hopeful here with Greyson Turner at just 15. He’ll be singing his own original song, “Chasing Shadows,” for the Judges. It’s a soft delivery as Greyson strums his guitar with it, but is it strong enough to win a Ticket?
Jennifer says his passion is impressive and seems like a natural instinct for him. Harry would normally worry about someone blowing his voice out, but with Greyson he thinks he’ll be okay and he wants to hear how he handles it. Keith says he has a great voice and it’s a Yes for him. Harry and Jennifer agree and he’s off to Hollywood.
After a break the show returns to Harry playing piano for Sarah Quintana with “Saint James Infirmary Blues.” It’s a definite Blues performance and it’s very, very good. The other two judges sit transfixed as the two perform together.
When Harry returns to the table he tells Sarah that he thinks she’s great, but he doesn’t think American Idol is the path for her. Sarah says she appreciates his honesty, but still wants to go to LA. That earns a lot of laughs from the Judges. Harry sticks to his guns and says No as does JLo because she doesn’t think Sarah could win the whole thing (as compared to the bubbly blonde that couldn’t sing earlier, JLo?). Keith tells her, for what it’s worth, that he gives her a Yes, but it doesn’t matter. No Ticket for her.
Now we’ve got Quentin Alexander, a name you might recognize from our spoilers list. He’s a local singer with the local flare that Harry has been seeking. Quentin is singing “Royals” with hopes of a Golden Ticket.
Harry says Quentin has a great voice and style, but he takes a lot of risks and Harry wants him to push further in his risks. Jennifer agrees that he needs to play more in to his potential. Keith is equally impressed and it’s three Yes votes all around and he’s off to Hollywood and beyond.
Another local singer with Mikey Durkan performing “My Demise,” an original song. It’s an interesting mix of high but raspy singing that is impressing the Judges.
Jennifer says she was surprised by Mikey’s voice and it was so unique. It requires little discussion for Keith and Harry to agree and send Mikey on to Hollywood.
Time for a montage of performances and it starts with Nalani Quintello who is back to finish what she started last season. Then there’s Tori Martin who wants to be the next female Country star on the radio. We’re also watching Hope Windle who doesn’t want to wake up and realized she never tried.
Harry votes No on Hope, but Keith is a Yes and JLo is willing to give her another chance with Hollywood. Hope isn’t alone either as both Nalani and Tori get Golden Tickets as well.
Next up we’ve got a “Rolling Thunder” performance from Ricky Dale Hendricks. The Judges make sure that’s his real name and Keith jokes that’s a very Talladega name.
Ricky’s performance is strong and demonstrates a real potential which the Judges latch on to. Keith says he’s all over the place, but he thinks there’s some talent ready to be harnessed like a phenomenal car that he just doesn’t know how to drive yet. Jennifer says she most liked the way he moved his body and made it part of his singing. Harry wants to see what Ricky can do in the ring with some big fish. That’s three Yes votes and he’s moving on.
Mixing things up a little after a montage of silliness we’ve got Dakota Suarez, a performing drag queen, singing “Dog Days Are Over.”
Harry says Dakota voice is nice, but it’s not a strong enough one for this competition. Jennifer disagrees and thinks he does have what it takes. She’s a Yes vote. Keith is left to decide Dakota’s fate and agrees to give him another chance. He’s off to Hollywood.
Getting close to the end of the night and we’ve got Adam Lasher, a nephew of Carlos Santana who just happened to help teach him guitar. Nice. Adam’s got a busted thumb, but he’s not going to let that slow him down tonight as he comes right in and builds a good rapport with the Judges.
Keith says he loves his voice and artistry. Harry says he loves his voice and how hard he worked around his thumb. No surprises here that Adam gets on through with three Yes votes.
Now we’ve reach the end of the American Idol auditions tonight with Erica Washington singing “Halo” and it’s awesome. Very nicely done.
Harry says she’s very talented and the “thick sound” she has. Jennifer says her presence is great. Keith is impressed with how well she did the cover and lets us know how she hears it with her delivery. Harry goes straight to his pile of Tickets and Erica is off to Hollywood.
Next week we’ve got one last stop of American Idol auditions before Hollywood Week when we head to San Francisco next Wednesday and Thursday night.