Most of the time, the audition standouts on ‘American Idol’ come in the form of belting covers of a well known hit. On the Jan. 29 episode, though, the evening’s best shined with an original!
We’ve finally arrived at the very last night of this season’s American Idol auditions. The evening was a mixed bag with some incredible covers and even more incredible originals. Lady GaGa, Frank Sinatra, and even Carole King were sung with skill, but no one wowed more than those who sang their self-penned songs.
‘American Idol’: Original Songs In San Francisco
Well, by “nitty gritty,” I mean #IdolBooty. A contestant literally sang “Idol Booty” over and over again while the hashtag flashed across the screen until finally–finally!– the judges dismissed him. SF, here we go.
Adanna Duru, 17, set a very professional precedent, walking in and calmly stating her name, age, profession and hometown. It was a little pageant-y, and honestly, I wasn’t immediately feeling her. But then, she started to sing. Specifically, she sang Lady Gaga‘s “You and I.” As soon as she inserted the personalized “my cool California guy” lyric, I was officially a fan. “Good job baby,” said JLo, echoing all our feelings.
Christopher Michael, 26, listed his profession as “unemployed,” and after his audition, I can kinda see why. He strummed his guitar so hard, I was scared he was going to bruise it. Passion? Perhaps. Talent? Absolutely not. Bye Christopher.
Next, Hunter Larson, 20, checked off the “quirky” box, happily lifting her top to show her Willy Wonka tattoo. She sang Frank Sinatra‘s “That’s Life,” and I went from being irritated by her contrived dorkiness to instantly charmed. Wow, it must be nice to be a singer.
Tara Honda, 22, made the bold move to sing Carole King, and it was lovely. She certainly deserved her golden ticket, but to be honest, she was very unremarkable and I’ve basically already forgotten about her.
The next contestant, though, I will remember. Daniel Seavey was 15 years old, but he looked like he was a ripe seven. He took to the piano to sing “Hallelujah,” and, despite how excessively the song has been performed on the show, Daniel’s unique voice (possibly due to puberty) gave me chills. He then sang a second song, “Straight Up,” accompanying himself on the guitar. Harry thought he needed to mature and gave him a no. Luckily for Daniel, Keith and JLo saw potential. Maybe Daniel will grow some armpit hair between now and Hollywood Week.
Rocky Peter, 27, began his audition with his powerful story. He grew up in poverty in Nigeria, where, he said he and his sibling would be “crying because we were so hungry.” I usually veer from comments such as the following, but, his smile and spirit truly illuminated the room. He sang an original song which was a calming burst of happiness. It might just be me, but the judges let him go on for a while, presumably because it was just so nice to listen to him croon. All three judges gave him a yes and, frankly, if they hadn’t I might have protested (or at least written an angry Tweet).
Please Get Down From The ‘Chandelier’
After the Rocky high note, we got a montage of the countless contestants who unintelligibly sang Sia‘s “Chandelier,” and guess what? It was horrible. Come on, Idol, let’s stick to the talent please (although Harry screaching the song on his knees was pretty enjoyable).
Jaq Mackenzie, 15, attends a performing arts high school in Los Angeles, and that may have informed her demeanor (her demeanor being “I am 15 but know that I am cooler than you”). She sang an original, and the whole thing was just so…affected. She had the look, but her vocals were pretty weak. She got three yesses, though, and she was going to Hollywood. For it’s worth, it was a big ol’ no from yours truly– oh wait, it’s worth nothing. Moving on.
Finally, our very last auditioner of the season, Tyanna Jones, 16, came ready to end the season on a high note. She, like Rocky, shared her moving past with us, including a childhood of sleeping on the floor and showering in churches. With a story like that and her electric blue afro, I would’ve been on board regardless. She sang Little Mix‘s “Wings” and, also like Rocky, the judges let her go on for what seemed like forever, simply because it was so pleasant. She–and her yellow bowtie, we hope!– is going to Hollywood!
And with that, we’ve really arrived at the end of this season’s auditions. We made it guys!
What did you all think of tonight’s episode? Who are you most excited to see out west?
— Casey Mink