Our writer and Idol expert, Andrew Rogers is back this season covering the popular FOX reality show, “American Idol“. The pressure is on and the stakes are high as the musical competition searches for a real superstar in its fourteenth year. With weekly recaps discussing the contestants’ performances and choices, Rogers looks ahead at what’s in-store each week in his exclusive Idol recap series.
After tonight, only 3 more audition episodes remain and I’m intrigued to see what talent will get added to the mix from the previous audition stops. Will someone in the next few days take over as my favorite going into the live rounds? Hopefully, because I love a little competition. Speaking of which, let’s talk about who might be in the running for that title:
Shannon Berthiaume (17) singing “House of the Rising Sun” (The Animals) – Shannon has a beautiful, intricate voice for her age and although she got a little carried away with the power of it at times, I definitely feel like she has the potential to be a dark horse in this competition just based on the quality of her talent.
Vanessa Andrea (25) singing “Some Kind of Wonderful” (Grand Funk Railroad) – Vanessa’s story about her military husband was touching, but more than that was the fact that her personality was endearing and the song she auditioned with really did her voice justice. It had a bit of a Brooke White circa Season 7 vibe to it and that could be a really good thing for her.
Zach Johnson (20) singing “Don’t Close Your Eyes” (Keith Whitley) – I was so shocked with the heavily affected country-type voice came out of Zach, but even more so when the judges called him on it and forced him to sing in his own voice. In both instances, he showed talent and that was enough for me to side with the judges on putting him through.
Jacob Tolliver (20) singing “Great Balls of Fire” (Jerry Lee Lewis) and “Stay With Me” (Sam Smith) – Jacob, as a Jerry Lee Lewis impersonator, was really interesting. He played that piano so hard I thought it was going to burst in to flames, but more than that was the fact that he was entertaining. That said, his non-Jerry voice wasn’t as interesting, especially not in that Sam Smith song. Combine that with his potentially smug personality and he might not go far, but I felt obligated to at least mention him here.
Mark Andrew (29) singing “Soulshine” (Allman Brothers Band) and “I Wanna Be Like You” (The Jungle Book) – Mark Andrew seemed to be the opposite of most of the contestants we saw tonight. He was understated, but cool. I agreed with the judges that his rendition of Soulshine just seemed to up his alley to really show anything more than strict vocal talent, but his second song showed creativity, an element of surprise and, again, some unique vocal chops. Mark might just be one of my favorites so far.
We also saw some interesting talent in Hannah Mrozak (16) who sang “Something’s Got A Hold on Me” (Etta James) and did a good job with it. It was a solid song choice for her and let her voice spread it’s wings such that I couldn’t be mad that she got a ticket, despite the fact that she might get eaten alive in Hollywood. We also saw a brief clip of Aaron Blissell (17) donning his acoustic guitar, but I wasn’t sold that his voice, which seemed to lack breathe support, would hold up against the competition.
All that is to say it was a good hours worth of talent, but I want to know what you think. Sound off in the comments below and tell me who your favorites auditions were.