The American Idol Season 14 judges have headed west (young man!) to track down the next superstar to graduate from the grandfather of all reality singing competitions.
Will San Francisco be the winning city on this stop? Not judging by the audition prescreening...
15 year old Katherine Skinner is up first and she's...odd. She has a psychic. And it's her cat. I repeat. Her cat is psychic. (She might be delusional. Jury is out.) Her audition song is "Shake It Out" by Florence & the Machine and I don't hate her. Her shtick? Yes. Her voice? Not at all.
Florence & the Machine is her wheelhouse.
She tells the judges that her psychic cat told her to show up and Jennifer says "you're talented, but you cray." Harry's excited by the way she's trying to develop her individuality. Keith calls her "bold and fearless." She gets a ticket to Hollywood.
Erika David sings Alicia Keys' "No One." Chandler Leighton goes old school with "New York State of Mind" (and no pants?). She has a good style. And Ryan Pinkston has a great timbre to his voice. Perfect little vibrato. Creighton and Ryan both get easy tickets to Hollywood. The judges are split on Erika. Harry says yes. Keith says no. Jennifer says she has work to do but sends her down the road to Hollywood, too.
Andrew Bloom is 17 and looks like Tim Tebow, at least to the judges. He brings in his guitar to sing "Too Close" by Alex Clare. He has an odd phrasing that's...well, odd. The judges like him. Keith says it's a good sign that they all started singing but there's stuff he needs to work on vocally. Jennifer said it all feels right with him. Harry likes his spirit and cautions him to watch out on his blues licks. They send him through.
Then Harry races his Olympic track star buddy and gets walked. Better luck next time, HCJ.
Wearing an amazing red lipstick Kellyeann Rogers sings a little number for the judges and gets three yes votes with no critique at all. Then she gets laughed at when she can't find the door to get out of the room. J.Lo is probably about to make another sign.
No one can figure out how to get out of the audition room even when someone is opening the door for them. This is the future of our country, people. Just FYI. People who can't figure out how to get out of a room.
Reno Anoi'a is "100% Samoan." His mother is one of 22 siblings and he's one of 6 and at one point 40+ family members all lived in the same house. He probably wants to go to Hollywood just so he can stay in some sweet hotel with only one other person and have a bed to himself. He plays the ukelele and sings "I Don't Want To Talk About It" by Rod Stewart. His voice is so sweet. Jennifer says he doesn't need the runs he puts into his songs because his voice is pure enough without them. Harry says he has a great voice but wants to know if Reno can do more than sing. He's praying and Keith tells him to be in the moment and have a little faith.
They send Reno to Hollywood.
Samuel Prince enters the room and he's from Puerto Rico. He bows down to Jennifer Lopez as she's the Queen of Puerto Rico. Before he can audition, he enlists the three of them in a little telenovela improv. It's...ridiculous. Jennifer stage-slaps him. That's perfect. They let him sing about 3 bars and then "Henry" tells him the vocals aren't strong enough. Jennifer says he has a theatrical quality, but the voice isn't enough. Keith says he sounded like an actor acting like a singer and it wasn't true. He gets sent back to Puerto Rico.
Rayvon Owen traveled to California from Richmond, Virginia to audition for Idol. He's rocking the Heisenberg hat, but his is purple. And he probably isn't a meth-making kingpin. He chooses Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" for his audition and blows it out of the water. This guy can SING. Jennifer gets goosies. Keith loves his song choice and his voice. Harry gives him credit for being able to convey his message while keeping his feet planted in one spot. They send him through to the next round and his mother goes bananas.
Ezequiel and Jeremiah Cardenas are identical twins from California. They're best friends and very, very competitive. They've never auditioned for anything before and when the first one starts singing, the guitar is out of tune and so is the singer. Harry calls them on it and then they send the twins home.
Maddy Hudson, from Pleasanton, California, also has great lipstick. She says music is the only way she's ever fit in and that's what she loves about singing. At 16 years old, she's a street performer with a seasoned voice. There's a really cool rasp to her tone that makes her sound older than she is. Jennifer gets goosies. Keith says he heard and felt every bit of her performance. Harry says she has everything it takes to be a star and Maddy laughs and says "you're so nice!"
This girl is fantastic. Can't wait to see her again!
But she's not the only amazing talent to be seen in San Francisco. We'll pick up with day two of the auditions in the City by the Bay tomorrow night at 8!