New York and San Juan Auditions are featured in this last episode of the preliminaries and not a moment too soon. I just find this leg of the American Idol journey so tedious – necessary, yes – but tedious.
And I am sure that many very talented singers were deprived of airtime, but, then that’s the name of the game, I guess. The producers and judges have already claimed their favorites for this season and, for the most part, those people were given the majority of airtime over the last three weeks.
However, it’s not over yet! Let’s see what New York and San Juan have to offer on this last episode before the grueling Hollywood rounds over the next two weeks.
This article will be written in real time and published immediately after the end of the 1-hour show. Therefore, unlike the full-length Vocal Masterclass articles for the Top 12, my first impressions from the New York and San Juan will be abbreviated. I will leave it up to you to fill in the blanks and add your comments.
As the show opens with the theme song that we have all become addicted to, I wonder if we will see our Season 8 American Idol in this episode. You think? Either they saved the best for last or this episode is last for all the wrong reasons. Plus, it airs on a night not associated with American Idol. Both of my daughters had no idea that this show was on tonight. Have we all become trained rats – ready to tune into Fox only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays?
Ooooo – West Side Story music. My favorite. And Ryan announces that they have indeed saved the best talent for last, so there you go!
First stop – New York – the island of dreams. Ain’t that the truth! So many careers have been launched in this city.
Adeola is our first performer and she is a beauty. She is singing “And I Am Telling You” and she is telling us that she is not ready for this show or any other singing competiition for that matter. Now comes the begging and crying and Simon says he will phone her boss so that she can get her day job back.
Oh my – Simon is actually phoning her boss. Too much! Now this should be interesting – Simon is asking her boss to give her her job back and the boss agrees. It is Simon asking, after all.
Now we are in Puerto Rico -that was one fast trip! And along comes 20-year-old Jorge and can he SING! What a great, great voice. I totally have goosebumps from his Latino performance of “My Way. He then he seques into “What A Wonderful World”. He has pronunciation issues, but the voice. The Voice! Off he goes to Hollywood and he is indeed memorable. Most memorable! I won’t forget this guy anytime soon.
After commercial break, we are still in San Juan and that warm weather is looking mighty inviting. We are forced to sit through a bio about Jessica who then sings Celine’s “Surrender” and it is really, really loud and crazy. I laughed when Simon indicates that he “surrenders” – exactly my thoughts! Oy – more begging. Please make this stop – the crying, the pleading!
We are back in New York where we meet a nudist freak by the name of Melinda who wants to uplift humanity with her voice. She performs a rather good version of “Feeling Good” and she has a wonderful ease when she sings. (lack of undergarments will do the trick wink wink!)
The judges seem to like her. Actually, I think she has hypnotized them with her laissez-faire attitude. Oh well, she is off to Hollywood and now watch those ratings soar next week during the Hollywood rounds.
After commercial break, Ryan welcomes us back to the “big apple” before we meet Jackie Tohn singing a Jason Mraz number. She has a really raspy voice, but it is truly distinctive, There is a lovely pure tone underneath that whiskey timbre. She is really good – the nuanced tone of her voice is great and she is a strong and confident rhythmic presence. I love her!
Ryan brings us back to the Carribean and I have to say I love the flip-flopping from New York to San Juan. Smart, creative editing producers! High five! I think this is what was missing in the other episodes – the element of surprise. Either that or I am just thrilled that this is the last preliminary audition episode. Take your pick!
After commercial break and lots of nonsense from some contestants, we meet Joel Contreras and he seems really “out there”. Why, you ask? He comes in as a human Ipod and this is too, too much. Just sing, buddy. You have a pretty good voice, but you are a goofball. Buh-bye.
Back in New York, we meet Norman Gentle and he is going to sing “And I Am Telling You”. Truly, if I never hear this song again, I will have a great reason to get up in the morning and sing “Hallelujah” Then, after a rendition of “Amazing Grace – first serious, then comical – he is given the golden ticket to momentary startdom. I have to admit that this dude is quite entertaining, but I can’t even imagine that he will make Top 36.
Ashley, Kenny and Kendall are given a few seconds of “on air” time and all three are truly amazing! These three singers manage to “grab” me more than those who were given 60 plus seconds of airtime, so let’s see what happens with these three young talents.
After commercial break, we meet a sweet 16-year-old singer named Monique, who comes into her Puerto Rico audition with her young brother. He is so cute. Monique sings “You Can’t Hurry Love” followed by a song which is not familiar to me. Hmmm – I liked her. Simon and Paula put her through, after Randy and Kara advise her to build up her confidence and become more current. I’m rooting for her, but am not too hopeful.
Alexis (she was around for the Season 7 episode as well) is back again. She is singing Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” and she doesn’t have one – a prayer I mean. What a disaster – why is this show ending with her schtick?
Patricia is our last “real” contestant and she performs a pretty hysterical version of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”. The judges give her another chance and she then redeems herself with a gorgeous Spanish ballad. Beautifully done! Wow – Paula says “no” in her decision to give her a gold ticket. I think she deserves a shot at Hollywood and she does get that chance. The majority of the judges advance her. Let’s see what happens next week.
So, that is it everybody. Over the next two weeks, it is down to the nitty gritty elimination rounds called Hollywood Week. I love my Hollywood week – so much drama and nonsense! Gotta love this show!
Now, to you the readers, this is your forum as well. What say you? The Masterclass doors are now open.