American Idol 2016 Recap: Judges Head To Philadelphia

American Idol auditions head to Philadelphia as the Golden Tickets to Hollywood find themselves in the hands of new talent looking to be the last American Idol winner with Season 15.

Gianna Isabella auditions in Philadelphia
Gianna Isabella auditions in Philadelphia – Source: FOX

Last week things started out strong with the Idol season premiere and we’re hoping to see things keep that special feel as Jennifer, Harry, and Keith head east to Philly.

During tonight’s show we’ll hear auditions from American Idol 2016 Hopefuls like Sarah Sturm, Isaac Cole, Derek Huffman, Gianna Isabella, Jenn Blosil, and what looks to be one of those standout performances from Ellis Banks. There really haven’t been too many of the oddball routines so far this year as FOX is focusing on the talent rather than the sideshows.

We’ve got one hour of auditions in tonight’s show on FOX so settle in with us to watch then get ready for another two hours on Thursday’s show.

Gianna Isabella is the first auditioner up. And she’s the daughter of 80s pop singer Brenda K. Starr. She takes on “House of the Rising Sun” and while she’s fine, I couldn’t find anything to get excited about. But they sure liked that she had a once-famous mom. J-Lo even asked for her mom to come in. So it’s no surprise that Gianna Isabella got her golden ticket to Hollywood.

Up next for the judges is Derek Huffman. And he made Idol history by bringing in his own backing track in the form of a boombox. His version of Shaggy’s “Angel” wasn’t awful if you’re singing alone in the shower or your car, but he’s definitely no American Idol contender. And the judges agree. Derek will not be moving on to Hollywood.

So that was a tough act to follow but country boy-wannabe Isaac Cole thinks he’s got what it takes. And he’s not bad. At 15, he’s got a pretty mature voice and quite the country twang. He’d definitely be a favorite of mine, but the judges seemed to like him, especially J-Lo. So after some advice to drop the twang and mature a little he got a pass to Hollywood.

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About right now the judges are struggling to find someone to get excited about. Enter Sara Strum. And she delivers just what the judges were looking for. She’s sweet, cute, confident and has an incredibly amount of soul for someone so young. Her audition was definitely what the judges and this episode needed. She got three easy yeses and a golden ticket to Hollywood.