Kansas City -home to current American idol winner, David Cook. This second show focuses on the auditions that take place in the state of Missouri. Think we can find another Cookie? Ummm – I don’t think so. David Cook is pretty special – both as a person and as a musician. However, the judges are going to attempt to discover some more Kansas City star power in some of the singers auditioning for this year’s show.
And, I have received a “heads up” that Michael Castro, brother of Top 4 Season 7 finalist Jason Castro, will be making a long-anticipated appearance on this leg of the tour. And, to make things even more interesting, Jason decides to support his bro’ and come along for the ride. More on this later.
As in yesterday’s Arizona auditions, this article will be written in real time and published immediately after the end of the 2-hour show. Therefore, unlike the full-length Vocal Masterclass articles for the Top 12, my first impressions from the Kansas City Auditions will be abbreviated. I will leave it up to you to fill in the blanks and add your comments.
The show opens with an appearance by Jason Castro. Wheee! It is good to see him again and, for a minute, I am transported to the magic that was American Idol Season 7.
Chelsea is our first delusional singer of the day. God Bless her sweet heart. Her problem is that she is a complete nervous wreck and, if there is a voice in that sweet young body, it has yet to be unleashed. She needs to find a way to manage her nerves or else the party is indeed over.
Ashley Anderson is a 20-year-old singer with a lovely mellow voice and she is not afraid to sing with a variety of nuances. I’m not sure how far she will go in this competition, but it was definitely a very good audition for the television judges. She performed “Footsteps In The Sand” expressively well and left a strong impression on all four judges. On me? Too early to tell.
Casey Carlson is an extremely attractive 20-year-old singer who has a very sweet voice and demeanor. And, as Kara DioGuardi says, “I see a package here” and just like that she is off to Hollywood. She didn’t exactly nail her song – a few nerves got in the way of a steady pitch-centered performance – but she did “keep it together” for the audition. I concur with Kara – she shows great, great promise.
Brian is a classical singer who tries to sing Aretha Franklin’s “Think”. And I emphasize the word “tries”! What a mess! And now he wants to sing Josh Groban and it is truly frightening. Oh my – why don’t these singers hear and see what we hear and see.
This is followed by lots of crying and screaming and yelling by a variety of “singers”. It’s just a show people! You haven’t been sentenced to death! Lighten up!.
Von Smith is 20-year-old who sings a dramatic version of “Over The Rainbow”. To me, it is an “over the top” performance. I would love to see what this guy could do with an upbeat song. He is different, but the question is: “Is it a good kind of different?” He seems gimmicky to me. So, the judges put him through, but he better cut back on the screaming or he won’t have a voice come Hollywood week.
Michael Castro is up next, along with his superstar brother, Jason. They make a cute couple, don’t they? Then Michael sings a Gavin DeGraw number and he has quite the set of chops. He is a bit nasal, at times, but he can really, really sing. He is more rugged in appearance than gentle Jason, but that is a very good thing. It will stifle the comparisons between brothers, as both have a distinct vocal style.
Matt is 27-years-old and is following his dream to be discovered as a singer. And he sings “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. He has a decent voice, but he has mucho vocal problems. And he is off to Hollywood because of his heart and ambition, according to Simon. We shall see what happens. He is going to need to read a ton of Vocal Masterclass articles in order to get his voice on track. That’s why I get paid the big bucks! HA!
Jessica is an 18-year-old singer who absolutely nails a Janis Joplin song. A great powerful voice combined with a genuine persona! She will demonstrate great promise and resilience over the course of this season. This gal is a fighter! Plus, she is good to her grandmother and that touched a soft spot in my heart. There is nothing greater than watching a young person ineract with a senior citizen in such a loving and caring manner.
Asia and India are sisters and they couldn’t look and sound more dissimilar. But they are a hoot to watch. Asia can’t sing at all and India can sing. So, it’s no surprise when little India moves forward to Hollywood. But, Asia is a really supportive sister -what a sweetheart. You can’t buy love people and this segement is evidence of that.
Jamar– screams his way to Hollywood singing “California Dreamin” . What more can I say? It was a screamfest, but the judges loved it. Whatevuh!
Danny is a 22-year-old music teacher who just lost his wife after a lengthy illness. He performs a very good version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”. Full of rhythmic soul and a voice that truly impresses. The best heard by the judges to date! Now those are great credentials to carry with him as he makes his way to Hollywood.
Anoop is a 21-year-old vocal major who performs a great “Boys To Men” number. Another soulful performance, but he needs to expand his performing skills. But, all that in time,right?
At this point in the show, I have just about had it! Two hours is way too long and it’s all getting old very quickly. And, truth be told, I haven’t found one singer that I have fallen head over heels in love with! Although I have heard Michael Castro’s songs over on hi MySpace site and he is very good. Those Castro boys are extremely talented indeed.
Andrew brings his own cheerleaders and they are as annoying as whatever! He belts out “My Girl” by The Temptations while the ladies in red provide background distraction. He is a great singer, but why he felt the need to bring these babes is beyond me. The judges found him too theatrical. I didn’t, but it was a huge mistake to bring the gals, dude. I cannot stand gimmick auditions.
Asa is a 28-year-old band director who sings a very good version of Michael Jackson’s “The Way you Make Me Feel”. He has a great tone to his voice – very passionate and full of natural head tone which I love!
Oy vey, when will this show end so I can watch my Frasier and Seinfeld re-runs? Is it just me or is this evening’s episode a boring mess. I want out of Kansas City. Maybe if I click my heels I will be transported to the land of Oz.
Michael is determined to prove that he can sing and can become a star. He is related to Hank Williams Jr.. Well, that’s impressive. However, his singing is not and, to add fuel to the fire, he sings an original composition. Oh dear, this is not good and it really tugs at my heatrtstrings. Hopefully, he can find his true path in life! Chin up, buddy
Dennis sings “With You” by Chris Brown and I love him. Simon does not? Hmmm. It looks like he could be a tad annoying, but I think the kid can perform. Who knows how far he will go? It’s a crap shoot at this point, but he is off to Hollywood.
The show ended with a strong performance by Lil Rounds. And, the judges are in love with her. She has a superb voice and a neat throwback sound in her singing style. I don’t see a whole lot of star power yet, but, the fashion police will take care of that if she finds a spot in the Top 12.
So that is it for Kansas City. I loved all the clips of David Cook and it was great to see his parents. Such wonderful memories from such a wonderful season.
Now, to you the readers, this is your forum as well. What say you? The Masterclass doors are now open.