The auditions are well underway on the final season of ‘American Idol’! The judges hit Philadelphia during the Jan. 13 episode, and the talent in the City of Brotherly Love was incredible. Read our full recap to find out what went down!
It’s only fitting that the talent is better than ever on the 15th and final season of American Idol! Judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban were totally blown away by the singers that auditioned in Philadelphia, and we fell in love with them, too, during the Jan. 13 episode. Of course, there were also some disappointments — and one SUPER emotional story. Find out what went down here!
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The night’s first singer, Gianna Isabella, 15, came to the show to follow in her mom, Brenda Starr’s, footsteps as a singer. Brenda actually knew J.Lo from her past career in the industry, but even without the connection, it was clear the judges were totally in awe when Gianna sang “House of the Rising Sun.” And they proved it by giving the 15-year-old a golden ticket to Hollywood — yay!
Those of you who caught Clay Aiken’s Twitter tirade against Idol during the premiere episode may be surprised to know that he was a special guest during the Philadelphia auditions. Of course, this was filmed months ago, well before his rant, but he definitely seemed to have no ill-will toward the show as he gave a roomful of thousands of contestants a pep talk before they headed in to sing in front of the judges. Don’t bite the hand that fed you, Clay!
One of those lucky singers who got some personal one-on-one time with Clay was Derek Huffman, 21, who rolled into the audition room with a small boombox — a first, according to Jennifer — and belted out a pretty monotone version of Shaggy’s “Angel.” EEEK…definitely a sweet, fun-loving guy, but not exactly Idol material, right? Unfortunately, Derek may be memorable, he just didn’t have enough to get any of the judges’ votes.
Isaac Cole, 15, came in next to turn things around, though. He brought a country vibe to Philly with a rendition of “Crazy” by Lee Brice that sounded well beyond his years. Harry came some constructive criticism, urging Isaac now to force a twang while singing, and Keith commented that he felt the teenager might not be “ready” yet, but he convinced them to say yes — and it was unanimous! YAY! Stream episodes of Idol and more for FREE right here.
After we saw a montage of the judges turning away a bunch of hopefuls (cue tears, punching walls and throwing mic packs), it was clear Jen, Harry and Keith were getting frustrated. So 17-year-old Sara Sturm was a breath of fresh air when she came in to sing Meghan Trainor’s “Lips Are Movin’, and all three superstars wasted no time giving her that golden ticket. So well deserved!
Up next, Ellis Banks, totally got the judges attention by wearing nothing but bejewled underwear, a “Jesus hairpiece” and robe for his audition. His singing was just as entertaining as his eclectic ensemble, but it wasn’t exactly up to par with what the judges were looking for. Hey, he seemed to have fun, at least! Jenn Blosil, a much more soft-spoken contestant, was next to perform, and J.Lo, Harry and Keith were clearly mesmerized when she sang Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.” It was unanimous yes for Jenn — congrats!
Lady killer Harrison Cohen, along with his guitar, was next to audition, and even though the judges didn’t make their decision immediately, they still agreed to let him have a chance. Harrison’s going to Hollywood! The night’s final contestant, John Arthur Greene, had quite an emotional story to tell, remembering his late brother, who died during what was supposed to be an innocent game of cops and robbers when they were kids. He actually sang Keith’s song “Somebody Like You,” and Harry wasn’t quite ready to give him a yes. Luckily, he only needed two votes, and J.Lo and Keith gave him the go-ahead, especially after getting choked up once they heard his tragic story of loss. Bring on Hollywood!
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of tonight’s episode of American Idol? Do you have any favorites in the competition so far?