Vocal Masterclass Discussion For American Idol Season 12 Auditions: Charlotte North Carolina
So, what did you think of last week’s premiere shows for American Idol Season 12? Not too shabby, I must say.
So far, the judging panel exhibits a high degree of spark and chemistry which I hope will translate to the singers without obliterating the focus on their singing talent. Because, after all, this is a singing competition, not a judging competition.
The Voice has managed to balance this key element extremely well in Season 3 and I hope American Idol, as well as The X Factor, have been taking notes.
Their NBC competition found their groove in Season 3 and, having accomplished that, now Fox needs to take heed of what works for them, perhaps, tweaking their production elements here and there and everywhere. It’s about the singers – on stage, not behind the judges’ table.
However, not before we are exposed to the famous diva brawl between Mariah and Nikki which apparently takes place on this Wednesday’s show in Charlotte at 8:00 Eastern. Oy vey, help me.
The show also airs on Thursday at 8:00 Eastern.
I will provide live updates this week, which you will find at the end of this article.
Also, if you haven’t done so, please join my Facebook Page for the latest updates.
8:06 P.M. 28-year-old fashion designer, Naomi Harris, sings Respect with little respect for vocal technique and melodic cohesion. Enough said. Nikki nicknames her “Omi”. I don’t know why! Because she can, I guess.
Nikki is quite the lightbulb on that panel. More wattage than the other three put together. But, I worry if her mouth will get her into trouble once the live shows start.
8:15 P.M. 20-year-old Joel has a bit of a muffled sound to his speaking voice so I am interested to hear him sing. He sings Feelin’ Good lying down because he saw Andrea Bocelli sing a song in a reclined position for better effect. It worked for Andrea but not for Joel. It was a sustained muffled mess.
8:18 P.M. 27-year-old Brian Rittenberry from Georgia has endured a difficult journey watching his wife beat cancer. And he performs a powerful version of Let It Be. Very likeable but not a lot of star power. He advances to Hollywood.
8:27 P.M. 29-year-old Jimmy Smith has been influenced by judge Keith Urban.. He sings a decent version of God Bless The Broken Road.
He has a great personality and presence and should go far.
8:31 P.M. A few extremely gifted female singers are quickly featured. Loved Haley and the young lady before her whose name I missed.
8:38 P.M. Matthew Muse from Florence SC is a country artist. He sings Brad Paisley’s When I Hear Where I’m Going but his voice has no sense of direction at all. Oh boy. Another wasted moment when we could have heard a legitimate singer.
8:41P.M. 16-year-old Isabel Gonzalez was surprised by Randy Jackson’s visit while at school. She was nominated by her aunt to be on American Idol. And she does enormous justice to a Sam Cooke number. Her voice has clarity and soul. She is inherently musical. Off to Hollywood she goes! And Mariah calls her a star. Strong start for this young lady.
8:51 P.M. 21-year-old Taisha from Concord North Carolina sings in a rock band. Cool. A rocker chick! And she performs Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues followed by an Alanis Morrisette song. Very diverse young lady. She gets two yeses and two nos and, because Keith gets the deciding vote today, she squeaks off to Hollywood. I likes her.
8:55 P.M. Lots of quick flashes before we are faced with the infamous Nikki – Mariah brawl. And Summer Cunningham is caught in the middle of it. The judges seem conflicted over her. Weird. And tired. And tentative. So weird. Then Nikki starts accusing Mariah and Randy of being too hard on her. Weird. Somehow she gets to Hollywood. Nikki walks out. Why? I don’t know but it is extremely unprofessional and ratings just went up for The Voice and it hasn’t even aired yet. Cue eye roll from MCL
9:05 P.M. Charlotte Day Two has begun.
9:07 P.M. 25-year-old Brandy Alexandria Hamilton sings Etta James’ All I Could Do Was Cry. It is a pretty good vocal but she sounded nervous so her voice was unsteady but the judges loved her. Off to Hollywood she goes but not before she begs the judges not to fight anymore because it makes her sad. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
9:10 P.M. 22-year-old Ashley Smith is up next. Nikki nicknamed her Blondie. Boy she is so into marketing and branding these contestants. Ashley sings a Carrie Underwood number better than Carrie herself. I love this girl’s style – she has a natural ability and so musical. A black girl singing country is a nice change.
9:20 P.M. We are treated to some more quick collage moments and more nicknames by Nikki.
9:21 P.M. 22-year-old Janelle Arthur gives an outstanding country performance. Her voice has strong focus and sustainability. Lovely to listen to and watch. She gets her golden ticket to Hollywood.
9:29 P.M. A few quick peeks at the poor auditions before we meet 27-year-old street singer, Rodney Barber. He gives a beautiful perfomance of I’ll Be. He was a homeless person for a few years so this performance was very moving. He gets a well-deserved ticket to Hollywood.
9:33 P.M. 22-year-old Season 11 contestant, Candace Glover, is back with a vengeance. Tell me again why she was cut last year? She is so darn good it is ridiculous. The judges are absolutely head over heels in love with her and she gets a standing ovation. The best they heard all season.
9:41 P.M. Ja Bria Barber from Clover North Carolina sings Bonnie Raitt’s version of Pride And Joy and she is extremely good. Lots of great female vocalists in Charlotte.
9:46 P.M. It’s time for a joke contestant in the form of 28-year-old Brad Harris. He sings A Whole New World and it is indeed from another world. OY! No Hollywood for him. What a surprise! ( insert sarcasm – lots of it!)
9:51 P.M. Almost finished with Charlotte when we are introduced to 26-year-old Seretha and her gorgeous 3-year-old daughter who loves Nikki.. Her boyfriend, who is her daughter’s father, nearly died from a car accident. Seretha sings The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air followed by How Can I Live Without You . She is an extremely gifted singer and the judges are clearly impressed, calling her a superstar!
37 Americans receive a gold ticket in Charlotte.
Tomorrow they are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. See you here, MCL peeps!