I want to start off by saying let us forget the previous season of American Idol and just focus on the now.
Jennifer Lopez is back, as is Keith Urban, and new judge Harry Connick Jr. is going to fit right in at the judging table.
The 13th season of the long running hit FOX show kicked off tonight, and it’s safe to say that last season may not be remembered at all.
Jennifer, Keith, and Harry got comfortable, while Ryan Seacrest took the reigns once again. Randy Jackson has now officially been moved into the mentor position of the show, taking over for Jimmy Lovine.
A different aspect added this year is the tiny room called “The Chamber”. It’s the last room where the contestants will wait in until they got to see the judges. It’s to give the contestants a minute to reflect and compose themselves. Once the green light went on, it was time to sing.
The two night premiere kicked off with auditions starting out in Boston and Austin, and we were treated to many memorable moments throughout the first night.
One of the first auditions of the night was by a young 17 year old by the name of Sam Woolf. After delivering a very unique take on Ed Sheeran’s “Lego House”, it was already evident he would be going to Hollywood. The camaraderie between the judges was already shining through, and they unanimously put Sam through.
After a few more auditions, it appeared that newest judge Harry Connick Jr. would be the new voice of reason, as he was very honest with the contestants, but also very funny. There were a few auditions when the judges seemed to have a difference of opinion, but unlike last season, no insults or threats were hurled.
It was time for the first awkward and hilarious audition of the night, however.
22 year old James Earl claimed that his biggest inspirations were Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross, and maybe he was being too serious. He sang in lower register (a la Luther) and higher falsetto (Michael) all over the place, and when he spoke to the judges, he was pretty incoherent. He did pass off a good joke though:
Why did the dog want to go into the water?
He didn’t want to be a hot dog.
Unfortunately, his joke couldn’t take him any further and the judges unanimously said no.
One of the other standout auditions included 17 year old Austin Percario, who belted out “Titanium” with his mother watching from the sidelines.
The young man had quite a distinct sound to his voice (including a pop falsetto and a raspy lower register), which the judges picked up on, and after joking with his mother, all three judges voted to put Austin through to Hollywood week.
Ready for some tears now?
15 year old Kaitlyn Jackson took the spotlight next as she sang a song she had written in a tribute to her grandfather. The heartbreaking lyrics, paired with her beautiful voice, made it a no brainer for the judges and she was put through to the next round. It also left yours truly in tears.
After the tears, some much needed laughter was required and it came in the form of Malcolm Allen. The young man came in wanting to know how to play the acoustic guitar, and began strumming air guitar for the judges. The laughter was over though when he belted out Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and blew the panel away. He was given the golden ticket and on his way to Hollywood!
The show was wrapping up for the first night when the last audition came in and already made quite the impression when he knew Harry Connick Jr. A running joke throughout the night was that many contestants didn’t know who Harry was.
Enter Munfarid Zaidi who was promised by Connick that if he impressed them in his first number, Harry would cradle him in his arms for his second performance…
And you better believe it happened.
Zaidi was quickly given a golden ticket and that was a wrap for the first night!
What did you guys think of the season premiere? Were you impressed with the auditions?
Make sure you check back to PopWrapped tomorrow night as well for my continuing recap of the brand new season of American Idol!
The auditions will wind down…and front runners will start to materialize…and then we’ll really start to have some fun!