We’re halfway there! The Jan. 23 episode of ‘American Idol’ puts us in the fourth round — and the home stretch — of the nationwide auditions of ‘Idol’ hopefuls. See our top five performances of the night and tell us if you’re happy for Neco Starr and his second chance!
The performances we’ve seen from the auditions this season have been truly outstanding, and it’s so refreshing to see them judged by a panel with all of the chemistry and none of the conflict of recent seasons. The Jan. 23 hour-long episode was jam-packed with talent, including a group of auditions who had made it through on previous seasons but were sent home early! See below for our top five performances of the night and to see if you recognize anybody from previous seasons! (I’ll give you a hint: one of them is Neco Starr. And he was amazing.)
‘American Idol’: Top 5 Auditions From January 23
1. Majesty Rose, 21, opened the episode with Coldplay‘s “Violet Hill,” accompanied by guitar. Harry Connick Jr. told her that her sweet, simple performance was “refreshing,” and Jennifer said it was “effortless.” (Fun fact: Majesty is a preschool teacher! That may be the perfect job for somebody wearing a flower crown and also named Majesty Rose.)
2. Jesse Cline, 19, a gas station attendant from Kentucky drove all through the night to get to his audition — and his efforts didn’t go to waste! Singing Needtobreathe‘s “Washed By The Water,” the judges were effusive about his performance. Unanimously, they told him that his talent was immediately visible and they sent him through to Hollywood — Jennifer Lopez, in particular, seemed especially blown away. Jesse doesn’t have the look of a typical American Idol, but nor did Clay Aiken when he started his Idol journey! (We don’t talk about the fact that Ruben Studdard actually won that season…)
3. You can bet that when the viewers are treated to an Idol hopeful’s backstory that they’re going to be put through — not only did we see Kristen O’Connor, 24, at her workplace as a nurse, but we also saw her practicing her performance in #TheChamber before her actual audition. (We saw a lot of that tonight, actually.) Kristen performed a beautiful rendition of Billie Holiday‘s “Good Morning Heartache” and the judges sent her through after nearly no deliberation.
4. Singing Bruno Mars’ “If I Was Your Man,” Jordan Brisbane, 15, really surprised the judges with his powerful voice. We’ve been seeing a lot of talented teenagers this season, and Jordan was no exception! Keith Urban, Harry, and Jennifer put him through and we look forward to seeing how he’ll fare in Hollywood. (Though we have to wonder — will they be keeping up with their homework?)
5. Neco Starr, 22, was in Season 11’s Top 42 but got cut before he could move on further. With a stunning cover of Adele‘s “Someone Like You,” the judges gave Neco another shot at the grand prize and put him through to Hollywood. It’s always nice to see somebody given a second chance — especially when they so clearly deserve it — but we do hope that he was able to perfect that special something that will move him further forward in the competition for Season 13!
Honorable non-performance mention: #TheChamber. Stop trying to make #TheChamber happen, Idol producers. It’s not going to happen. Also, remember Ryan Starr? Is Neco stepping on her Season 1 Idol game?
So, HollywoodLifers, who was your top pick of the night? Do you think that #TheChamber adds anything to the season, or is it more reminiscent of some sort of dystopic punishment for wayward youth? Be sure to vote for your favorite and sound off below!
— Amanda Michelle Steiner