Another day, another night of ‘American Idol’ auditions! The Jan. 14 episode auditions, taking place in Denver and Little Rock, featured some of the best vocals from the youngest contestants. Plus, a contestant from a past season returned to honor his late mother.
The final season of American Idol is already shaping up to be its best yet. During the Denver and Little Rock auditions on the Jan. 14 episode, so many young, fresh faces wowed the judges with their talent. One 17-year-old totally serenaded Jennifer Lopez! However, it was a former contestant from season 10 who gave a lasting impression, giving himself one last shot at American Idol glory to honor his late mother after she lost her battle with breast cancer.
Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest, Harry Connick Jr. and JLo headed to Denver for the auditions! First up was Amber Lynn, 28, who sang a soulful rendition of Alan Stone’s “Unaware” for the judges, with her friend James playing the guitar. Man, could she belt it out. Harry called James out for rushing the song, but the judges really loved Amber Lynn.
James VII, 23, performed a bluesy rendition of John Legend’s “Sun Comes Up.” Harry thought he was interesting, but he wasn’t quite sure about him. Both of them got golden tickets. Looks like their ride home won’t be super awkward. Whew!
Professional auctioneer Emily, 25, was up next. Her performance of Jo Dee Messina’s “Bring On The Rain” was good, but it didn’t go above and beyond. Harry, Jennifer and Keith agreed she needed some work. Cue the first rejection of the night.
Musician CJ, 28, came in after Emily. Right off the bat, CJ admitted that it had been a struggle being a professional musician, but he was ready to take the next step. Well, he stepped up and played Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams Come True.” He serenaded the judges and put his own spin on the song. The judges liked what they saw and gave him a yes to Hollywood!
Over in Little Rock, small town boy Ethan, 15, went super country with his rendition of “Stormy Monday” by the Allman Brothers. He was pretty good, but you could feel his youth. Harry gave him some brutal honesty and said he was bit too young. But Jennifer and Keith came to his rescue so that he could go to Hollywood!
Up next was Mary, 23, from Tennessee. She’s a horse trainer who’s got personality for days. Things got a little weird when she made a mule joke, but it made for a fun night. She gave off some Carrie Underwood vibes when she sang Tammy Wynette’s “Til I Can Make It on My Own.” Her performance lacked some emotion, and Keith thought it was “clinical,” but no one could deny that she had a voice.
Back in Denver, Xavier, 26, the in-game host for the Denver Nuggets, got the judges to play a little bit of basketball. Even JLo made an incredible shot. He took the country route with Garth Brooks’ “Friends In Low Places.” It was a fun performance, but it was a little stiff.
At the Little Rock auditions, Terrian, 18, wowed the judges with both her story of staying strong amidst adversity and her voice. She took on Pharrell’s “Happy” with ease. She was poised and had so much soul for someone so young. Needless to say, she got a ticket! The singing nomad Blue, 23, wasn’t so lucky, even though she came up with a song off the top of her head.
The most adorable singer to audition was Thomas Stringfellow, 17. He performed “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran and completely serenaded Jennifer. He even flirted with her during the song! He had a very interesting and cool vibe that the judges loved.
The guy with the biggest personality of the night was Tank. He was a dance teacher, who had developed his own “tankercise.” He performed a dance to “Get Right” for Jennifer, and it was epic. He proved he had a big voice with his rendition of Luther Vandross’ “Superstar,” and the judges liked what they saw.
Prepare for the waterworks now. John Wayne Schulz, 27, whom you’ll remember from season 10, returned. If you’ll recall, it came down to him and Scotty McCreery before the live shows, and you know what happened next. John getting cut was kind of a blessing in disguise. His dear mother only had a few more months to live due to her breast cancer battle. He returned to the show to honor his mother’s memory and reach his goals. The judges loved his performance of “The Dance” by Garth Brooks, with Harry calling it “perfect.” Team John Wayne!
The youngsters really gave the older singers a run for their money. The judges couldn’t believe Jordyn was only 15 years old! She slayed a Jackson 5 song, and the judges dubbed her a “phenomenon.” She’s one to look out for. Rhea, also 15, got the judges’ attention with her breathy and downright pretty voice.
American Idol is known for tugging at the heartstrings with their contestants. Jake, 22, a plumber’s apprentice, gave his heart and more during his audition. Despite his performance just being “good” and not great, he got through to Hollywood. Keith was just so touched by Jake’s ambition!
Lovely island girl Ashley, 20, killed her performance of “Black Velvet.” Her voice was pretty amazing, and she was so damn cool. The judges, except JLo, were fascinated by her mysteriousness, and her guitar skills were on point. Andrew, 20, from Moscow, took on an Adele song and got the golden ticket!
The last performer of the night was Elvie, 27. After a dark past with drugs, he was ready to be the man he was always meant to be. He sang “House of Rising Sun” and hit it out of the park. Like, anyone getting some Chris Daughtry vibes? JLo said his voice was “spectacular,” so it’s not a surprise the judges let him through to the next round.
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of tonight’s American Idol? Let us know! Get the latest on your favorite singing celebs HERE!