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American Idol: Season 15, Philly Auditions, 1/13/16

January 14th, 2016 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

Did I catch a continuity fail?  I’m sure I heard Ryan Seacrest announcing last week that this episode would be in New York, but the whole show was in Philadelphia. Last night Harry Connick, Jr. told one contestant they’re looking for a powerhouse, a “bookend” to Season One’s Kelly Clarkson. I can tell you right now, I haven’t seen that powerhouse yet. We saw only six successful auditions, perhaps three of whom can make the next rounds interesting, but we haven’t heard a breakout moment yet–and last season the potential breakouts all got cut early:

1.  A dark and curly-haired girl whose mother is a famous actress–or something–proves she cannot sing “House of the Rising Sun.” The judges fawn all over her, however, and they fawn all over her mother (who isn’t a contestant), too. They give the Golden Ticket to Hollywood to her mother, which makes as much sense as the rest of this clip.

2.  Issac Cole, a Pennsylvania country boy with an Irish-red Justin Bieber haircut, puts on a Southern twang. (J-Lo calls it the blues.) His singing is more mature than his looks, and he shows range. The judges offer mixed comments but give him three “Yes” votes.

3.  Sarah Strum from Virginia sings “Lips Are Moving” with more personality than technical ability. The judges heap praise on her and give her three “Yes” votes.

4.  When a half-joke is the most memorable audition of the evening, the field is weak, to put it politely. Jenn Blossil, with bleached curly hair and an cartoon baby-doll Brooklyn voice, turns “Radioactive” into a campy cocktail piano piece. The judges will remember her all the way to Hollywood week, when they may wonder what they were thinking when they put her through.

5.  “WGWG” for “white guy with a guitar,” I dislike that acronym. It brings race and sex into a conversation that should be about singing ability. However, it does make for a handy catchphrase when classifying contestants by type. Harrison Cohen is one of three young white guys with guitars getting airtime tonight. (He’s the one with the conservative haircut.) He sings his own composition, showing his voice to be more of a rock/dance type than a folksinger type. J-Lo thinks she hears Latin undertones. This is where Harry questions if Cohen’s the “powerhouse” they’re looking for. (Given some of the people they’ve accepted, I doubt they’re looking all that seriously for one.) He gets three “Yes” votes.

6. Third WGWG of the night is John Arthur Greene. (The first was Issac Cole, #2 above.) He has a tragic backstory about how he shot his brother years ago. He does Broadway shows but his background–and his voice–are more Southern gothic. His voice is off somehow, and that’s enough to make Harry vote “No,” but softies Keith and J-Lo think there’s enough to give him another chance, and they vote “Yes.” It may be the season’s first divided vote between the softies and Harsh Harry.

And that’s it!  Wednesday shows are only an hour this season–it’s the Thursday shows that are two hours long. There’ll be more auditions tonight.


Tags: American Idol