We’re on to week three of auditions on ‘American Idol’ and the quest to find the next big superstar has taken us to Minneapolis. In an episode of unusually unimpressive talent, a few contestants still managed to make a splash.
On the Jan. 21 episode of American Idol, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. were all back together again after Keith’s absence last week, and their always palpable chemistry made up for a somewhat lackluster episode. The talent was slimmer than expected, but not all hope was lost. Check out some of the high (and low) notes!
‘American Idol’ Shows Some ‘Raw Talent’
American Idol is all about the youngsters this season! Or at least, Minneapolis auditions made it look that way.
The episode kicked off with Shannon Berthiaume, 17, who had never sang in front of people before. Doesn’t sound too promising, right? Well Shannon’s voice begged to differ. The judges actually liked how unrehearsed she was and Keith said it was some of the most “raw talent” he’d seen so far. Future auditioners take note, less is more!
The next contestant was a little less talented, but boy was he, um, spirited. First off, he brought his own microphone– and it was literally gold (no, it was not hooked up to anything). Kemil Casey, 19, certainly brought something new to Michael Jackson‘s “Human Nature,” but, JLo inadvertently laughed at him. In her defense, he was wearing flip-flops. ‘Twas a resounding no– but keep doing you, Kemil!
Things continued to travel downhill pretty quickly. We saw a montage of three young women, who all got yeses but were all so unremarkable, I’ve already forgotten everything about them. Well, best of luck, ladies!
Moving on, Airforce wife and mother of three, Vanessa Andrea, 25, was particularly excited to meet Keith because he was her first concert ever (also, in a bit of a TMI, Keith is Vanessa’s “celebrity hall pass”– if you don’t know what that term means, I recommend you Google it). Vanessa and her stellar guitar skills wowed the judges and when she got her yes, Keith got on the phone with her deployed husband, who told him himself that his wife was going to Hollywood. Tears.
Identity Crisis In Minneapolis
Zach Johnson, 20, took the country route with a Garth Brooks song, and his deep, soulful voice definitely defied his admittedly goofy demeanor. Although the judges enjoyed his voice, they felt that he might have been emulating his influences too intensely rather than originating his own identity. So to prove himself, Zach sang another song– this time as himself. He still wasn’t perfect, but his innocence and willingness to work hard made Zach a contestant that I will actually remember. Cut to: golden ticket central.
The judges also felt that Cindy Jo Scholer, 26, struggled with her identity and her vocal personality. Though she had a lot of undeniable talent, Harry said that the “petal was really to the metal,” and not in the good way. Still, they decided with a little existential soul-searching, she could reach her potential, and she got a golden ticket.
Next, a young man whose name was not even given, dressed in a full bear suit walked in. It’s safe to say he was not dressing for the job he wanted to have.
Hannah Morzak, 16, put things back on course, singing some Etta James— a bold move, but the teenager had a shockingly secure grip on the big-voiced diva. “Fantastic” and “amazing” are the words the judges used. No questions asked, Hannah got a golden ticket.
A myriad of “nos” followed and, even in its 14th season, it never gets less heartbreaking to see hopefuls’ dreams slashed right in front of them.
Not all hope was lost, though. Final contestant of the night was first time dad and construction worker, Mark Andrew, 29, who even had the judges pounding and patting on the table. His voice and tone were one of the most unique of the night and the judges dug him.
And we end Minnesota auditions on a high–albeit, pretty unremarkable– note.
What did you guys think of tonight’s Idol? Did you also think Minneapolis lacked in the spectacular, or am I wrong and we totally found the next winner tonight?
— Casey Mink