American Idol season 13 premiered with a contestant, Marrialle Sellers, auditioning singing “Grenade.” She accompanied herself on a guitar. She sounded pretty great, and Harry ConnicK, Jr., Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez all voted to send her to Hollywood. The auditions begin tonight, in Austin, Texas. It’s sure to be a wild & crazy episode, filled with auditions that are good, bad, and…crazy.
Then, Troy Durden auditioned on American Idol — and twerked, if you could call it that. He sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Wish Upon a Star” acapella. Keith asked Troy to twerk while singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and he did — he actually had a decent voice, so all three judges voted to send him to Hollywood.
Sam Woolf, 13, sang and accompanied himself on the guitar, singing “Lego House,” by Ed Sheeran. He was fantastic. Keith said he really liked his voice, and he never had heard “Lego House” sang that quickly. The judges again all said “Yes” and said he was on his way to Hollywood.
After the first break of the evening, American Idol was back, with Ryan Seacrest introducing the three judges. He called J-Lo “the ultimate Triple Threat.” Ryan mentioned how Keith had won three Grammy awards, and Harry Connick, Jr. had won two.
American Idol continued the auditions in Boston. We were treated to a series of pretty good singers auditioning, and the judges telling the contestants “Yes” and sending them out the door with Golden Tickets to Hollywood. The field will eventually have to be whittled down, but there were some very good singers…then, Keith finally told one female singer she needed to work on her voice, and Harry agreed. Both Harry and Keith told her “No” but J-Lo said “Yes” and told the guys that they were making a mistake.
We finally heard the judges turn down some of the contestants, and Harry even told one that she could really use “pitch correcting software.” Harsh….
Stephanie Hanvey, 16, then sang “Price Tag” by Jessie J. Her heroine was Jennifer, she said. She sang acapella, and was awesome, though Keith said she her singing “needed some work” and Harry said “your voice needs some time to develop.” J-Lo said that her voice “was emotionally lacking.” They were about to vote, when — you guessed it — American Idol went to the second commercial break of the night.
The judges all tell her they want to see more, despite their misgivings, and they tell her “yes” and give Stephanie a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.
The next person to sing, Morgan DePlitch, 15, also gushed over J-Lo, telling her that she’s her favorite singer. She sings an acapella rendition of “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Harry tells her he’d like to hear her sing more age-appropriate songs. Keith said that he wasn’t bothered by the song choice at all. The three judges all tell her “Yes.”
James Earl, 22, said he flips burgers. He seemed like a wild and crazy, happening guy. He tells the judges he wants to be like Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross. Harry tells him “You are perhaps the coolest guy I’ve ever met in a long time.” James sings a song he wrote — while Harry tells him “I truthfully think you’re really cool,” they turn him down.
Time for more commercials, a necessary evil….
American Idol came back from break with Harry telling a singer, Jacqueline Verna, after she sings “I Love You, I Do” from Dreamgirls that he didn’t like her “pentatonics.” Then, J-Lo asked him what he meant, and he launched into a long, though accurate, explanation, before J-Lo finally stopped him and the auditions went on.
Austin Percario, 17, talked about his mom, who he called a stage mom. They asked him to bring his mom in, which he did; then, he sang “Titanium.” /would the judges turn him down in front of his mom? No, of course not — J-Lo said: “I can see you doing this.” Keith told him “it was a really interesting mix.” Harry really liked him, also — they gave him three “yeses.” Austin was excited to be going to Hollywood without his mom.
Then, a contestant, Kaitlyn Jackson, 15, sang a song she wrote, “Another Angel,” after telling an emotional story about her grandfather, who had a heart attack, and passed away the day after she finished writing the song, not getting to hear it sung by her. It was a touching, emotional song, and the judges gave her three “yeses.”
Keith London, 21, sang “Roar” by Katy Perry. He began a bit roughly, but then started to play his guitar as he sang, and he did much better — a pretty cool version of the song.
J-Lo: “I like the song, but now I like it even a bit more.”
Harry: “I thought it was okay.” J-Lo and Keith gave him “yeses,” while Harry told him “no.” That’s good enough for him to get a Golden Ticket to Hollywood, though.
The next guy on American Idol, Sam Atherton, said he wanted to blow the guys away. He insulted Harry, calling him an “Einstein.” He sang “Love Doesn’t Last Forever,” a song which he wrote. Harry told him that “that song lasted forever.”
Both Keith and Harry voted “no” and J-Lo said “that guy’s pissed at you two.”
Ryan then showed a brief video of a contestant singing, and said that “This is a new twist to American Idol.” He asked if the at-home audience thought that the judges gave her a Golden Ticket to Hollywood, or sent her home. The answer would be revealed, right after more commercials.
Ryan speaks with Shanon Wilson, a very big dude, who says that he played football in high school. Ryan said that he did, too, and then he awkwardly stumbled and fell over chairs trying to catch an invisible pass.
Wilson has a pretty unique, cool voice, with a lot of range to it, and he sings much of the song in falsetto — the three judges voted to send him on to Hollywood.
Then, a cheerleader, Stephanie Petronelli, sang Grace Potter’s song, “Paris.” She has been featured on some commercials for this season — the judges send her to Hollywood, despite Harry telling her that he worries about her voice and her abdomen. J-Lo said that “she had more soul that I expected.” Keith said the same thing, but a mixture of both J-Lo and Harry’s opinions. He tells her “yes,” as does J-Lo, but Harry gives her a “no.” Still, two votes are enough to send her on to Hollywood.
Then, Durann Cree sings Carrie Underwood’s song, “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun.” Harry asked her if she’s ready to bring it each and every week. She says yes. J-Lo votes to send her on, but both Harry and Keith vote no.
Then, we see a couple more contestants being told “no,” and a few being told “yes.”
Ryan mentioned The Chamber for the second time tonight. Each contestant will wait inside until a light turns green, and they can go onstage to audition.
Savion Wright, who has ADHD, performs next. He sings an original piece, called “Both Sides of Me.” He knocks it dead, NAILS it! Harry tells him that the other competitors “will be very intimidated by him.” The each give him “Yeses.” He’s so happy and emotional, he begins to cry.
Ryan says there will be more auditions on American Idol after the next commercial break.
Malcolm Allan sings “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. Jennifer Lopez calls him a “natural” and tells him his voice “is somehting special.” She gives him a “triple yes.” Each of the three give him “yeses.”
Another contestant, Rolando Guerrero then gushes over J-Lo, and starts to cry. J-Lo motions him over, and gives her a big hug. The judges turn him down, however.
Then, we see many of the contestants in a waiting room, wondering who Harry Connick. Jr., was, and tweeting about him. Harry tells Munfarid Zaidi if he blows the first song, he’ll hold him “like a baby” while he sings the second one.He sings the Adele song, “Crazy For You.” Harry goes over to pick him up, and tells him that he “can put your head on my shoulder.” The judges give him a Golden Ticket!
Wrapping up American Idol, Ryan says a total of 46 Golden Tickets were given away the first day of auditions — the parts we got to see — in Austin and Boston.
The 13th season premiere of American Idol lived up to its hype, IMHO, being as wild & crazy as fans had hoped it would be. The judges appeared to get along very well together, for the most part. They sent a lot of contestants to Hollywood, and it will be painful to have to cut many of them in later episodes, but this marked a great beginning to the rest of the season. What did you all think? Please leave your opinions below, and tune in with me tomorrow evening to watch the second night of American Idol, the please come back here to read my recap/review of the episode!
Written by: Douglas Cobb