Thursday, January 17, 2013

American Idol 12: New York Auditions

.. and just like that! I'm back for a new season and it’s time to once again dive down the proverbial rabbit hole in America's quest to find a new recording superstar capable of taking the music industry by storm - or should I say, a young white male who plays the guitar? Haha.

But before we go over the same type of material as I do every year, let me make a statement about the elephant in the room: the new judges! The departure of two useless cheerleaders for two seasons - Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler - left several spots to be cast for this season and Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj came out on top.

So, what did I think of the new team?

In general, they were relatively awesome. I'm not sure how much of that was brought by brilliant editing - remember Steven Tyler when he debuted back in Season 10? - but I will be cautiously optimistic about this panel. I mean, Keith Urban was fabulous as a judge. He was sincere, he gave solid constructive commentaries, and I found his dry humor pretty charming. Nicki Minaj, on the other hand, was fantastic! Some people question her musical talent, but Randy Jackson isn't even a singer to begin with - same with Simon Cowell. Heck, Jennifer Lopez and Paula Abdul weren't better vocalists than The Minajesty. For me, Nicki was particularly insightful, sassy, and tough when she needed to be.

As for THE Mariah Carey, I thought she was fine. She had a softer approach, sensible and doled out some honesty, but it felt like she was bored and didn't seem invested in the proceedings. I could be wrong and I'll give her a few more episodes to form a concrete judgement, but she was very distant and almost coming off as too big for the job. Randy Jackson was, well, Randy Jackson - nothing really to write about him.

Enough of the judges though. So, how did the contestants do?

Let’s go!

Tenna Torres
You've Got A Friend
Her vocals were fine, her transitions were nice and I found her vocal control pretty impressive, but her upper register sounded annoyingly screechy. Plus, her tone sort of grates. Haha. 6

Christina "Isabelle"
Did I miss something? Why were there quotation marks in her surname? Haha. While I do think that she has a strong bluesy voice and good phrasing, there's something bland about her. Let's see if she'd be less stiff during the Hollywood week because the potential is there. 7

Shira Gavrielov
Shira, to me, had a refreshing presence. She has a lovely tone, interesting phrasing and surprisingly has a certain power that I didn't really expect. I like her. 7

Frankie Ford
Sweet Dreams
Interesting song choice. Nice tone. Decent presence. Forgettable. 6.5

Sarah Restuccio
Mama's Song/Superbass
Her rendition of Carrie Underwood's Mama's Song was decent, but when she busted out Superbass out of nowhere, I immediately became a fan. Sarah has an oddly appealing swag and I actually like that side of her voice. 7.5

Angela Miller
Mama Knows Best
Possibly one of the best auditions in this episode. Nice tone, strong vocals and I appreciated the fact that her runs were nicely placed. She's definitely in my radar after this. Looking forward to her. 8

Gunpreet Singh Sarin
Sunday Morning
Eh. Gunpreet was interesting and definitely has potential, but he's way too raw for this competition and a bit lightweight in terms of vocal talent. I don't know. Why do I get this feeling that he'll eventually turn into a joke contestant a la Heejun Han? 6

Ashlee Feliciano
Put Your Records On
Get ready guys, here comes the sob stories that we all love! Haha. You know she didn't need it because Ashlee was actually kind of terrific. Quite sick with her song choice, but her vocals were mighty fine and she's very endearing. 7.5


dizzygirl said...

hmmm.. i thought this episode was underwhelming. i dont know.. it's always been the format but this time, i found it super boring.

first, their song choices were blaaah.. unlike in the voice where they sing new stuff and they get to change it up and be entertaining and stuff. i guess i kinda got used to that..

then vocally, contestants were so-so.. musically, they were just singers. none of them were artists.

wont remember anyone except for turbanator and superbass girl.

i know it's just 1 episode. they're bound to find someone great along the way. i just wish they put more talent on this ep just to give people something to be excited about aside from the judges.

DAM said...

The auditions round of American Idol has been like this eversince. It's a tired process - it's on its 12th season already. But, I wouldn't take anything from the show just because I don't expect anyone to blew me away at this stage.

I considered Haley Reinhart annoying when I saw her auditions and David Cook seemed more of a fodder. Plues, we never got to see auditions of Elliott Yamin, Pia Toscano and Jessica Sanchez previously. Not sure if it's Idol's fault for not showing the right people, but then, first episodes are usually about introducing the judges more than anything - considering they have a new set judges.

I take the audition round as it is. :)

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