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American Idol: Season 15 Premiere, 1/6/16

January 7th, 2016 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

When Simon Crowell left American Idol, people said the show would suffer because he couldn’t be replaced.  He could have been–but it would have to be someone with the same passion, the same heart.  That’s what’s missing with the current panel of judges. Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick, Jr. are approaching their job as a way to get TV face time. They lack Crowell’s passion–and a judge with that sense of purpose is what the show’s been missing these past few seasons. No wonder the phenomenon is coming to its phenomenal end.

The featured auditions in the season 15 premiere jumped back and forth between Denver and Atlanta, with fourteen featured contestants (that’s only seven per hour), a montage of returning contestants, and twelve Golden Tickets to Hollywood issued.  In that field there may have been one, or two, people who Simon Crowell (or Randy Jackson) would have let through. So who were they?

1.  Michelle Marie is a young white girl with long dark hair and a ballet dress.  She flats her way through “Blue,” the Le Ann Rimes song. Didn’t anybody ever tell this girl that at the very least she should get some voice lessons?  However, all three judges act like they’re hearing something else and enthusiastically offer up three “Yes” votes.

2.  Joshia Siska is a farm boy from Georgia who loves Johnny Cash, sings like him, too, on “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” Harry (not country Keith) likes him so much he joins in. The judges give him three “Yes” votes. He’s the one singer all evening I’d give an unqualified “Yes” to.

3.  Lindita from Eastern Europe tries to sing “This is a Man’s World.” She’s as terrible as the first girl–but she drags out this big loud long note that all the judges mistake for singing ability. They all gush and give three “Yes” votes.

4? Billy Bob Evett, a farm boy from Florida, has pitch problems but so did the two women the judges just fawned all over. The judges unanimously reject him.

4.  Lejan, a black teenager in a backwards ball cap, sings “I See Fire.” He’s very young, very inexperienced, has pitch problems–but J-Lo thinks he’s cute. When she thinks a teenage guy is cute, she votes for him. Since Keith votes for him, too, it doesn’t matter what Harry thinks. All three judges, however, tell him how they can fix his pitch problems. Funny, they didn’t tell Billy Bob Evett that.

5.  Geneva Mitchell is a 15-year-old cowgirl. She tries to sing and tries to play cello but it’s obvious she never properly learned either one. Keith gives her a horrified look–then votes “Yes.” So do J-Lo and Harry.

6.  Sonica Vaid, 20, is an Asian Indian girl from Martha’s Vinyard. I don’t find her voice appealing but the judges all take turns gushing over her.  “You could win!” gushes Harry (if voters lose their marbles, say I). She gets three “Yes” votes.

7.  Harry wants to play cop-and-robber, or something, with a brunette policewoman who doesn’t look old enough to have any kind of job. He wants her to lock him up in handcuffs before she sings a Patsy Cline song in a tiny little voice. Of course he has to vote for her–otherwise she won’t unlock the handcuffs, right? Harry thinks she’s “pretty good!”  Keith thinks she has a pure country voice and J-Lo thinks she has a really good voice. She’s through to Hollywood but I suspect that, unless Harry wants to play more games, that’s the last face time she’ll get. Her name? Reanna or something, I think.

8? (Yeah, I guess.) We’ve seen a couple of other people that the judges told “No,” even though they weren’t any worse than the ones that were put through. Now we see a collage in which the featured contestant is Shevonne, back for her sixth audition. She gets a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.

9.  Second-best audition of the night is Joshua Wicker, a WGWG (white guy with guitar) who’s got a dramatic delivery. Keith likes the performance, says, “You sing it like you wrote it.” J-Lo thinks his voice has “pretty colors.” That means it doesn’t matter what Harry thinks, although he votes “Yes,” along with J-Lo and Keith.

10. and 11. (one “Yes” and one “No”)  Jordan and Alex Sasser, husband and wife (with their baby) audition together. She has a prettier voice than either of the female contestants that opened the show, but the judges don’t like her. They do like her husband, who also has a pretty voice (and pretty blond hair in a man-bun). He gets three “Yes” votes.

13.  (12th successful audition)  A blonde overweight country girl named Shelby Z tries to sing Carrie Underwood’s “Last Night.” She proves she’s no Carrie Underwood. J-Lo raves about her spirit and character, Keith thinks she’s sweet, and Harry swoons, “I love you.” (But what about the girl with the handcuffs, Harry?) I guess the judges’ explanations for why they vote her though are as good as any.

Finally the show wastes air time with Kanye West coming in to rap–probably his new single or something.  The least he could have done was pull a Kanye and tell J-Lo how Beyoncé deserved to be on the judges’ panel, or something.

There are two more hours of auditions tonight. We haven’t seen softies J-Lo and Keith outvote harsh Harry yet.  Maybe tonight?


Tags: American Idol