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ScarletDevilCCX

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  1. The episode starts with a special message from Ryan addressing the crisis and reminding us that this episode was filmed in January. So not directly addressing the fact that there aren't going to be any live episodes, but still making sure nobody thinks they're flouting the recommendations to avoid large groupings. Then we get an extended silliness opening with the judges, Mickey and Minnie, and Ryan and Bobby both buried in the sand up to their necks, the latter with a pail over his head. Well at least they acknowledge the fact that nobody in America really wants to see Bobby Bones on this show. Nick Merico did "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars, and it's...not great. He's off key and kind of airy. Well, at least Lionel taught Nick a good life lesson. Lionel gives him the news...that he's in the top 20! I'm stunned and kind of disappointed. He wasn't good last episode either. Oh, and as we go to commercial, they're advertising a brand new twist. I suspect there's going to be a lot more commercials and a lot more flashbacks to auditions and stuff, because this was supposed to be a single 3-hour episode and it's being split up into two 2-hour episodes. Bobby's talking to Makayla Brownlee about that scary incident in Hollywood. She says that she can usually tell when one of those seizures is coming on, but only by about 30 seconds. Makayla's singing "More Hearts Than Mine" by Ingrid Andress, and Bobby, being a big deal in the country music scene, says that Ingrid's a good friend of his and calls her up to introduce Makayla to her. This is also a slightly shaky performance imo. Okay maybe more than a little. She's overwhelmed afterwards. Luke is amazed at what she did with the song; I'm not familiar with it but apparently she really changed it up and it's a hot, current song. Lionel feels the adrenaline overtook her a bit too much, and Luke says that it wasn't her best performance and she's not going through. I think this is the right decision given what happened in Hollywood, but it still stings that they opened with such a weakling going through. It's going to sting all throughout the show, I'm sure, because given the level of the competition, I don't think Nick Merico was top 30. Hell, I didn't really think he was Top 40 material last week and he did nothing to change that opinion! I think they made a clear misstep having his verdict lead off the show; I'm pretty sure that just like the auditions, they show these judgments in any old order they feel like. Last year they had two of those "one stays, one goes" situations, same as in earlier seasons (where it was still obvious because they were gender-equal ensembles), but the first of them wasn't actually when we already knew 18 of the 20. I always felt like the third-to-last person got no suspense, because it was always obvious that the last two would be one stays, one goes. DeWayne Crocker Jr. and his line of female ancestors are all here. His performance was near the end of the concert, after the sun had gone down. He did the remix of "Old Town Road", Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. He's got Lionel on his feet! This seems like a surefire advancement, though there are so many good singers that a lot of seeming locks will have to go home. But he is indeed going through. And we're going to commercial. Maybe they edited together the raw footage they originally cut, and we're actually going to see all forty performances and judgments over the two nights. Okay, finally got my drink. I've been rambling so much that I was writing clear through the first two commercial breaks. Going to the bottle of Grey Goose we keep in the freezer. 16-year-old Camryn Leigh Smith is up next, and we see that she had trouble in Hollywood. So, a non-advancer, then? I don't really remember her standing out to me that much. She's doing "Break Every Chain" by Tasha Cobbs Leonard, a gospel song. I'll, uh, recuse myself on that one. I'm Jewish; Jesus is just another prophet to me, not the Messiah. This was a good performance though! Maybe the best we've seen tonight, though Dewayne was pretty damn good too. Katy says that the judges were looking more for a risk and that she retreated too far into her comfort zone and that they wanted more growth. Bullshit. The judges have never demanded growth in the ABC era. Well, she's not going through, though Katy says that the Lord has a plan for Camryn. And of course, it's right then that (on the judgments end) a thunderstorm starts. Camryn jokes that the Lord is speaking right now. Amen. Devon Alexander is up next, singing a Demi Lovato song. Badly, I'd assume. Nick Merico going through was bad enough; if Devon goes through, we have a problem. And now cut back in time to Jordan Jones performing with the sun still up; I didn't see the song title because I was still typing, because this was the first time we'd even had two singers in the same segment. He's...better than Devon and Nick, at least. And Makayla B. (I still have to specify an initial, right? Both Makaylas made top 40?) And now we get the irrepressible Geena, doing "Finesse" by Bruno Mars. She's certainly a unique one. She's the best of this trio, but the fact that they montaged them makes me think that she, too, is gone. And she is; they all are. We've seen 7 contestants and only two have gone through, and one of them was Nick. I was just mentioning that we hadn't seen any of the ones that really caught my eye in previous rounds, like Robert and Louis, and like magic, here's Louis Knight! Doing "Castle on the Hill" by Ed Sheeran, the same song they played on the audition episode after it was announced that he'd made it. This should be a knockout, but apparently his rehearsal didn't go well. The only complaint I have about this performance, however, is that the band is drowning him out! ...Actually he's not doing very well. At all. Damn it! He's been good enough in past weeks that I might give him a pass, but this isn't good. The judges agree that it wasn't his best performance and think he got too far into his own head. We go to the commercial with Katy saying "Your future, based on last night, was not there". Which is decidedly not a "no", so I'm assuming he's going through. Sure enough, he does go through. I figured as much. I've gotten good at reading judgespeak after all these years. Louis's emotional. And now for his friend/rival, Francisco Martin. Who apparently has a dark story of his own? He's singing "Falling" by Harry Styles. It's pretty. Luke is dancing like an idiot. Katy says she hardly recognizes him up there and that's a good thing; she compares him to Bruno Mars, and as much for his on-stage presence as for his singing. He's going through and will still be a favorite. We haven't seen a single girl go through yet, have we? And we still won't, because up next is Jovin Webb, singing "You Are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne. And he was the best thing! I didn't like him until just last episode, but I love him now. The judges, on the other hand, say that it wasn't his best performance, but of course he still goes through. Guys 5, Girls 0. Come on, girls! ...Wait, never mind that! Up next is Faith Becnel, who in my opinion has been awful every step of the way. They just showed her audition and I'm wondering how she ever got a golden ticket in the first place, other than looks. She's doing "Ain't Nobody" by Rufus and Chaka Khan. Luke says that last night was not a step up for her, but they still love her personality and she's in the top 20. freak! Next is Amber Fiedler, who was 8 months pregnant at her audition. She seemed to think she needed to step it up because she was struggling in Hollywood. She's doing "Good Kisser" by Lake Street Drive. Mission accomplished; she's wonderful, exactly the type of artist I'd listen to. We don't get an answer before the commercial. They reduce her to tears before even rendering the verdict. I was all ready to get mad at them for taking the "fake-out" thing too far, but...she's actually gone! They've now shown five females and the only one to make it through was the worst by far. But that's all about to change, because Just Sam is here! ...Damn, it's kind of too bad that they're canceling the season; anywhere in the country is probably safer than NYC right now. She's singing Selena's "Como La Flor". and in the pre-performance segment, Bobby tells her it's a risk to sing in a language she doesn't know. But holy crap, she pulls it off! It honestly doesn't sound like she's just singing it phonetically. That was beautiful and if there's any justice in the world, she'll be in the Top 10. No, that wasn't a typo. The judges aren't even making it suspenseful; we see Lionel basically saying that she'll make it before she's even gotten into the room, and we see another clip of her grandma back in Harlem. She reminds us that her last name is Diaz, but she doesn't know Spanish. Lionel says he couldn't be more proud of her if she was his own child. Of course she goes through. They didn't even bother trying to hide it, and we get another clip. The producers are giving her the full "THIS PERSON BELONGS IN THE FINALE" treatment. I won't argue. We get the montage of the contestants enjoying Hawaii and then it's Jonny West. He still can't believe he made it and Margie didn't, and he's doubting himself, and this is the round where Margie was cut last year. And the thing is, he's probably going to get cut here! His initial audition was really cool, very creative with the original song, but he's been far from overwhelming. He's singing "You Found Me" by the Fray, and it's a little weak at first, but it's not bad. Certainly better than some of the people who've gotten through. Maybe? Actually he's kind of all over the place, even though I don't dislike it. Katy says she gets why Margie is so obsessed with him. In the judgment room, she says she thinks he's self-sabotaging. Lionel says he needs more ego. And Jonny is in the Top 20. We get more of Margie and Jonny being adorable together. Next up is Dillon James and His Cowboy Hat, though for the pre-performance talk with Bobby he's switched to a trucker cap. This is probably the last one of tonight's episode and we've seen two damn female advancers, and one of them is atrocious. He's singing Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'", and of course it's good because he's a WGWG and that's perfect for a Bob Dylan song. He, too, will go through; I'm not even waiting until the judgment to call that. But seriously, was the Top 40 that lopsided or did they just edit it weird and put most of the girls in tomorrow's episode? The successes are 7-2 male, while the rejects are 4-2 female. Wait, make that 6-2, because Dillon's fate will have to wait until...next Sunday!? I thought it was supposed to be tomorrow! But I guess it makes sense because they didn't schedule for American Idol still being on Mondays this late. Also the twist they're talking up, but I'm guessing it's just the fact that the Top 20 will have to wait for the crisis to pass to complete their run.
  2. I'm not so sure about that. These episodes were originally supposed to be a single 3-hour episode, but when they decided to nix the live episodes, they split it into two 2-hour episodes. As to the original question, it depends on how long it takes to be safe. I've identified a few potential scenarios. The optimist's scenario: the self-quarantine works and the humid weather of summer really does hurt this thing. By the time summer officially starts in late June, we'll be back out in the world. They'll gather the Idols back to Hollywood and crown a champion in August, and be back on the road in October looking for Season 19's auditioners (minus Katy, who will be having her baby and will at best only be able to rejoin them for the live shows. Hopefully they use Idol alumni as guest judges.) The pessimist's scenario: COVID-19 wipes out the rest of 2020. Season 19 auditions are never run, so the producers will have to try to cobble up an entire season with the Season 18 Top 20. Fortuitously, if they were to follow the elimination patterns of the FOX era, they'd actually pretty much get to their episode count goal. Though the idea of single eliminations starting that early is scary. Maybe just winnow it down to 14 the same way they did last year and then go 1 at a time; it'd only be one extra finalist over S10, which likewise had the proper set of episodes with no forced save usage. The glass half-full scenario: AKA the worst of both worlds. The quarantine lifts in time for S19 auditions to run on schedule, but not in time for S18 to be run first. The producers, who continue to be under the mistaken belief that the audition shows are what viewers clamor for, will show them at a normal pace, then squeeze two seasons' worth of contestants into one season's time.
  3. I mean, are we sure there won't be auditions this year? The auditions for this season were later than ever; October and November. But if they don't have time to do auditions, I propose that they take advantage of the lack of auditions to make Season "19" (really the continuation of Season 18) the type of season Idol's long-time fans really want. Start by airing some recap episodes to remind America about these contestants, then you can either go from 20 to 14 in the same hands-off fashion that you've done throughout the ABC era or go directly into voting like in S4-7/9 and go to 16, but either way, the second week of semifinals goes to 12. Not 10, 12. And solely on America's votes, not this stupid wild card stuff. And once it gets to 12? There are 11 more performance episodes. Not 12 more with the save forced in like in S12-13, and not 5-7 like the ABC era would appear to want. We are going from 12 to 11 to 10 to 9 to 8 to 7 to 6 to 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 singers in the Finale. I bet that if they reported that they were going back to the elimination format of the first 13 seasons, they'd win back a good few fans. Maybe even enough to make them take notice. Probably not, but we can dream.
  4. That's because it isn't anymore. Tyanna and Mackenzie both survived singing it, and all they had to do was bring it to the low 50s which wasn't really that big an improvement over the 40-something performances that got the previous three contestants sent home.
  5. We're on the same page Holi. Shannon was one of my absolute favorites in auditions and the first Hollywood Week show; was so disappointed to not see her in either of the last two shows. Hoping this is another Maddie situation where the producers are intentionally hiding some weaker performances by a contestant who's going through anyway. It was pretty obvious that Room 2 would be cut, but I could've sworn that the spoilers I'd read early in the season said that Margie was going deeper this year so that was the only thing that gave me pause.
  6. Playing catchup because I didn't boot up my computer in advance and it kind of took awhile. Trying out a new brewing company, "Southern Tier". I've got a variety pack, which is good because I'm not really a fan of the "Nu Juice IPA" that I pulled for tonight. For solo round, they've brought in a "mentor" of sorts to talk to the contestants: the one and only Alejandro Aranda! Although I've noticed that they've maybe mentioned his last name once in the entire season, if even that, whereas his first name gets mentioned at least once an episode. Up first is 17-year-old Kimmy Gabriela, whose wardrobe is, as usual, trying to hide the fact that she's only 17. She's doing "I'm Here" from The Color Purple, and while I disagree with the judges' reprised proclamation that she's "top 10 material", she's certainly good enough to stick around. This was the round where Genavieve Linkowski was cut in Season 16, so she's really emotional. She does Sean Mendes's "In My Blood", and I love it, more than the proclaimed "Top 10 material", though I can't help but laugh at the fact that a female singer had to modify it to avoid the high notes in the male-sung original. 29-year-old Jovin Webb, of Gonzales, LA, has appeared to be a judges' favorite for quite some time, and I haven't quite seen it. He's doing "Parachute". And he finally won me over! Nice job. Perrin York is doing Lizzo's "Good as Hell", and hers is the "room" to watch for, because while the judges' comments seemed mildly positive, I'm almost certain that she's going home. Faith Becnel says she's been in a band since she was 10 so she was waiting for this round, but I don't think she nailed it. Jeb Vonderbruegge is doing "Rocket Man". He messed up the lyrics but he didn't let it affect him. Arthur Gunn is reprising his audition song, CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?", but with a different arrangement. But the band can't learn his arrangement in time! So he'll be doing it without the band, just him and his guitar. I like it! He's creative. It sounds much better than in the clip of his rehearsal. The judges gave a speech trying to discourage contestants from doing original songs because they're a bit of a risk. Robert Taylor's doing one, and it's amazing. The judges disagree. Amelia (no last name) also is doing one, and again, the judges aren't pleased. Not as good as Robert, but not bad. Julia Gargano was impressive with an original in her audition, but she forgets the song title when announcing it and she honestly wasn't good. That's disappointing; she seemed like a contender until now. Jimmy Levy is doing an original and he's downright awful. Lauren Mascetti also did an original for an audition and she's doing one now, "God Made A Woman". She's getting an extended pimp piece right now so obviously she's sticking around. And it's not a bad decision at all! She sounds really good. The beachfront concert at Aulani is returning this year. Sophia Wackerman and Sarah Isen were roommates even before getting to the hotel where the Idols are staying, having met in college (they were both in their a capella group, "The Scattertones"). They admit that their Hollywood duet was "the worst they'd sung together". Sophia's doing "Somewhere", and it's not good at all, but the judges give her a standing ovation. Well, I liked her in the past, so I guess I wouldn't mind if she stayed. Sarah's doing "Leave The Light On" and it's much better. And now it's Kat Luna, still sad that her boyfriend got cut last round. I think she's a bit too overwhelmed; I hear the power in her voice but I don't think she's hitting the notes. Franklin Boone was one who was especially inspired by Alejandro, as he, too, is kind of "low-energy" and Alejandro never felt pressured to change. I definitely understand the Alejandro comparison, but I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing! As we go to a commercial, we're again teased with the "someone's getting taken to the hospital" bit that they teased at the beginning of Hollywood Week. I guess we'll finally get that. Ah, it sounds like it's going to be Just Sam who might get stretchered out. Her voice has been hoarse and she's been nauseous. I'm not sure what to think here. I don't want her to get sent home because of this, but I don't want her to be a "pity keep", especially since this is a cutdown with a specific target. Luckily it's no issue! If this is what she sounds like sick, then she is absolutely a contender, or would be if the color of her skin wasn't an automatic death sentence in the ABC era. Okay, I heard a little bit of struggle as the song went on, but it was still plenty good enough to get in. She says in her post-performance interview that she feels like she may never need that box again. But apparently everyone's a tad hoarse. Marcus Tinsley is...not good. He asks for a restart. Funny, I don't think I even remember that name, though the listed profession of "Chalk Artist" is distinctive enough that I think I vaguely remember it from auditions? Sheniel Masonet is also bad, and I'd remember that name so I think this is another piece of fodder. Talin Everett even sings "I don't care if I sing on key", which is good because he didn't. He, too, is an unfamiliar name. But Nick Merico isn't, and he butchers Bryan Adams' "Heaven". Ari Saagé hits some...interesting notes. I might remember her? She looks good, but she doesn't have it. I'm pretty sure this is just a montage of not-good. Katy actually goes backstage to advise the contestants to calm down and stop trying to hit high notes that they've never done. I recognize this person...ah, it's Makayla Brownlee. She's singing Kacey Musgraves' "Rainbow". And she misses her cue? No, she's walking off stage, she's the one who's going to be stretchered out. They're asking if anyone has any candy, is she diabetic? No, actually, it's a rare condition called...well, she's got a condition that causes her to react differently to stress. She was diagnosed in seventh grade. In that case, maybe it's for the best if she doesn't stick around. Camryn Leigh Smith wants to show that she can do powerhouse songs too. Only problem is, I'm not entirely sure she can. Makayla has stabilized, but they're not sure if she can return. Devon Alexander hits some big notes, and he goes into some falsetto, but I'm not sure he's quite right. Lauren Spencer-Smith is doing Brandi Carlyle's "The Joke". She says she hadn't heard of it until yesterday but she saw it on the list and she wanted to sing it. She nails it. She's definitely a contender. The judges always call every contender "Top Ten material", and I suddenly remember that no matter what America tries to do, a few members of the Top Ten will get there without having ever been voted through by America, and furthermore, due to the way America's votes overwhelmingly favor whites, those contestants have been unanimously minorities...like Kimmy Gabriela. *sigh* I guess I can't argue with them, then. If they say she's top ten, she's top ten. She's certainly not bad. Easy to look at, too. Makayla's back, and it's a little shaky, but I like it. I wouldn't mind if she stayed after all. Dillon James, whom we are again reminded is two years sober, is doing an original, but he wasn't part of the "originals" montage so I guess he'll be good? ...I have no idea if that's good or not. It's very...stylized. Country yodels and what I think was Spanish, although if I heard correctly, the last two words were "tierra doce" which translates to "earth twelve." I probably heard that wrong. Louis Knight is up, and he's still thinking about his friend, the one who committed suicide. His parents are in the audience and his mother's quite enthusiastic; Katy takes note of her. He's singing Louis Capaldi's "Hold Me While You Wait". Naturally it's wonderful. His mother is in tears, but it's clearly not out of sadness. His father, too. They can tell that their boy has become a star. The theme of the intro to this segment is "song choice". Lionel says "stay in your lane, but make sure you represent your lane perfectly". Olivia Ximines is going to be singing "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)", the infamous "Idol Death Song" in early seasons, and she says she's not the only one. YZ and Geena, and Cyniah Elise are those. Geena's worried about YZ because he's so good, and YZ's worried about Geena but he feels that because he's doing a male version, he might stand out. Of those, I'd say Cyniah was the best, and Olivia might have had a slight edge over the other two. Makayla Phillips is singing "Cause I Love You" by Lizzo, an unexpected song choice. She wants to step out of her comfort zone, as she'd normally be doing ballads. I think the risk paid off, though it might be a bit underwhelming; doesn't show off her ability well enough. But she said she wanted to have fun with it, and she did! But the judges say that "she's not out of the race, but it's the worst song she picked." Jonny and Margie are up next. Jonny's doing another original. I think it's good. Margie says she doesn't want to be "left behind", but she feels like she's supporting Jonny; I think she'd rather go home herself than watch him go home. She's not going anywhere, though, except to Aulani again. She doesn't realize it, though; she didn't get enough of a reaction from the judges. It ended strangely, I guess? It's rooms time. I'm praying that my favorite, Shannon Gibbons, is another Maddie Poppe situation (where the producers didn't show a couple of weaker performances in Hollywood because they knew she was going through anyway and didn't want it to look undeserved), because I haven't seen her at all these past two nights! We also see Peyton and Madison again, after not seeing either of their solos tonight. Jonny says that if he had to choose, he'd say Margie deserves it over him. Of course he'd say that, too. They're so sweet. Sophia, Jonny, Francisco, Dewayne, Lauren, Cyniah, Kimmy, and Arthur are all in Room 1. Kat, Sarah, Madison, Arii, and Margie are in Room 2, along with some other names I missed because it goes too fast. And Just Sam, Shannon, and Jovin are among those in Room 3. I'm stunned; all three rooms have what seemed like sure shots! I think it's gotta be room 2 going home; Margie's really the only one in Room 2 that seemed like a sure thing. Room 1 goes through. And Room 2 is going home. Heh, I guess those spoilers were wrong. I could've sworn I'd seen a spoiler that Margie was going farther. And Room 3 does go through. Yay! Just Sam is quickly becoming a favorite, and my girl Shannon's still alive!
  7. Same as last time, Sam Adams--largely because it's in a can and I was rushing around right before showtime. The big "twist" is...instead of a full group, it's just a duet. Not really a big twist. Naturally, Margie and Jonny will be teaming up. Louis and Francisco are teaming up, because they heard before meeting that they were being set up as rivals and they hit it off. Their duet name is "3:15", which Katy correctly guesses is the time they got to bed the previous night. They're doing "Breakeven" by the script. Francisco's struggling and he can't hide it. Louis helps him cover, and the judges notice, and Katy gives him credit for "not letting his friend hang out to dry." That's how you do it! It's hard not to think of what happened in Season 8's Top 4 and how much better these judges handled it. Speaking of Season 8 flashbacks, Jordan and Franklin are using the name "White Chocolate". Franklin goes on and Jordan goes home. Lauren Mascitti and Leon...something are a duet. These names aren't on the screen long enough. Lauren sticks around and Leon goes home. Now we get Cam and Ren on "Shallow", and we get the first real mistake as Ren gets sent home. Hannah Prestridge and Grace Leer team up, old country and new country. And it's the end of the road for Hannah! I'm surprised; she got a lot of pimping. I guess it's just the sob story. Jimmy Levy and Nick Merico are "Miami Boyz", and they do well. They both go through. Isa Pena and Olivia Ximines team up on "Try". I'm not a fan, so naturally they get a standing ovation. Group week drama is still there. Madison Paige and Peyton Aldridge. Yeah this is going to be a disaster; the vocal coach says this is supposed to be a love song. At least they're making a joke out of it, calling their group "The Chicken Wings". They're singing "Don't You Want to Stay" Peyton forgets the words but he admits to it in tune. It actually turns out pretty well. Or not. They seem to think they screwed up, Peyton even admits that he cost Madison. Wow, he goes right out and asks the judges to give her another chance! And they both go through. I doubt Peyton's long for this competition though. Jordan Jones and DeWayne Crocker Jr. are "JD Smooth". Zack Dobbins and Courtney Timmons are doing Ariana Grande's "Dangerous Woman", which surprises the judges because that doesn't seem like Zack's style. He agrees. Their group is called "The Strange Ones". They started off going with "Higher Love", but it wasn't working out so Bobby Bones told them to just go with something everyone knows like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". Also, Adriana McPhee sighting! Kat's family is still tied to this show long after her run. And then while Zack's trying to learn the song, Courtney says it's time to change again. They end up on Dangerous Woman and Zack doesn't even know the lyrics yet, and we're going to commercial without having seen more than a few seconds of a couple of performances right after coming back from the previous one. We come back, it's a train wreck as expected, they both go home, and we go back to commercial. Aliana Jester and YZThaSinger are singing a song called "Heaven", I don't know which one, it's not the Bryan Adams song, and it's such a good connection that everyone seems to see sparks. They both go through. Louisianans Jovin Webb and Faith Bechnel (sp?) are teaming up on "It's A Man's Man's Man's World". Both go through. Landen Starkman and Perrin York are "Nervous", but they're not nervous at all. They, too, do "Breakeven", because there is a limited list, we even see it during Zack and Courtney's struggles. Genavieve is teaming up with Travis...something. These names aren't on screen for very long and I frequently have to check my typing! She's getting emotional, however, because she always used to do duets with her late sister. Well, they're amazing. Katy gives her a big fakeout, but both of them are going through. We get some unmemorables, one of whom goes through, and then Kat and Alex, who could barely get their hands apart to audition separately. I couldn't help but wonder if the duets were in part because of the couples they put through, but of course, they cruelly send Alex home while bringing Kat through. And now for our other power couple, Margie Mays and Jonny West. Jonny's nervous, again. Their team is called "Marjonny Ways". How cute. They do well but Katy doesn't think it was great. Just barely enough to get through. For both of them. Cyniah Elise and Makayla Phillips are teaming up on "The Prayer". Their group name is "The Diva Show." They are amazing and they both go through. I'm sorry, I'm only halfway invested in this tonight. Elyjuh Rene and Kimmy Gabriela are teaming up on "Stay". Evan Kuriga and Dillon James are "The Dudettes" and they're doing "Use Somebody" and Lauren Spencer-Smith and Makayla Brownlee are "Kansada" and they're doing, uh, my ADHD isn't fast enough to let me catch these quick snippets and type them but it was a song I knew and like! All six are going through. Robert Taylor III and Tito Rey are doing, in their own words, "a gay love song". It is very falsetto. Tito's going home. Just Sam gets the pimp spot. She and her partner are amazing and they both go through.
  8. Sam Adams New England Pale Ale, because it's not like I need them for baseball season any time soon. So I read the other topics here. Yea Idols, nay fans? Good enough for me. Also, I heard that there's a contestant with more followers than a lot of last year's finalists do even now, with a large following on TikTok (and posted to YouTube), whose audition wasn't even shown. The article speculates that they're either saving her for Hollywood because she's that amazing, or that she's going to get cut so they're hiding her to minimize backlash. Given that the ABC era has offered fewer contestants to vote on than ever, it seems unlikely that anyone we haven't seen nearly every step of the way will make it to our votes, so I suspect that, yeah, she's a nobody as far as Idol is concerned, just one with a bigger internet following. (Yes, I know there are spoiler lists for who makes it through. I'm ignoring them.) Also, there are some new rounds in Hollywood Week? Also the typical "someone needs to go to the hospital" teaser. Ah, here we go. The Genre Challenge. Contestants have to pick their genre so they know who they are. Hey, remember when Idol's theme weeks forced contestants to be adept at every genre? Except "singer-songwriter" is considered a genre now. Ah, Julia Gargano is the first to get spotlighted again. I loved her audition. She's damn good here, too. Also in the singer-songwriter group is wheelchair-bound Marna Michele. She's doing "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" and it's good but not amazing. Arthur Gunn, from Nepal by way of Wichita, is here, too, singing Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle". I like his version, but so far Julia's still the best. Lionel says Arthur reminds him of Bob Marley. Arthur and Julia go through. The Pop genre is up next. It's the biggest group, they say. Ah, we get Louis and Francisco! I loved both of them. Katy says that Louis's appearance is like when Harry Styles appeared on X Factor UK. Louis's doing a stripped down version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". I love it! Rearranging songs is a classic Idol technique, mastered in the third epoch. Oh, and we get our returners, Margie Mays and Genavieve Linkowski. Not sure if I liked that big note from Genavieve, but it can be excused. Robert Taylor III is up next, representing "the outcasts, the misfits and the misunderstood." Wow. I try to just listen to the music, but I'm liking him even before he sings! He's singing "A Natural Woman", written by Carole King and made famous by Aretha Franklin. That falsetto! Wow! To borrow a phrase from Idol's longest-running judge, Robert is in it to win it! All three of them make it through, along with two other people whose performances they didn't show. Kay Genyse is wearing roughly half a flower garden right now. She seems confident, which is good because she had some nerve problems in the studio. She's singing "Ain't Nobody", and it's a little shaky. And she's not as confident as she appeared, apparently. Next is Bilaal Avaz. I don't remember his audition. He's the son of two Pakistani immigrants and was raised in a strict Muslim household, so he couldn't listen to music when he was younger. Shannon Gibbons is up next, and she's still amazing. Luke agrees; he lets out a "Wow" while she's still singing. Lauren Spencer-Smith is up next, and she's also a Canadian Internet sensation, just like the person who I read the article about. And she survives one of the cardinal sins of Idol, trying to cover the original Idol ("Because of You"). Bilaal, Lauren, and Shannon are all still here and Kay's going home. Good choices, I think. There are two gifts a parent can give their children: roots and wings. That's apparently some sort of saying, according to Ryan. Cyniah Elise and her 30-person entourage are here for the R&B genre line, and she's got the voice to belt out R&B. Makayla Phillips is doing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", and I'm fairly certain she isn't. We're gonna love her, indeed. Luke calls her "the next Ariana dadgum Grande". Oh, and here's Just Sam, with her lucky donation box from singing on the train. This was the first time she's ever been on a plane, and she's getting emotional about how grateful she is for this opportunity, coming from the projects of Harlem. For a second I thought she was going to get broken up again on stage, but she recovered quickly and gave a stunning performance. The judges put money in her box. Travis, Sam, Elijah, Jordan, Makayla, and Cyniah all go through to the next round. Two rounds to go, Cyniah says. Sofia Schuster, 15, is impressing in the genre of...country? No, it seems to be "singer-songwriter" again. We get a brief snippet of someone else, and then we're on to Francisco Martin, who'll be singing "Hold Back the River". We get a snippet of Bobby telling him that he has to just not let the nerves get to him, because he's got to live with them. It's pretty good, though not the smash hit that he was at his audition. Next up is Jonny West...after the break. Yeah, we are still in singer-songwriter. Jonny's nervous, but it doesn't show. Dillon James is up next, and he certainly looks like he could be country. He did some made-for-TV movies when he was younger, but he also fell into drugs. He's two years sober and he's doing "Vienna". Wow. I hardly even recognized it, but it was good. The judges do a fake-out with the "step forward" bit, because the entire line is still standing. Pop is up again after the break, and with it, Margie's chance to join her boyfriend in the next round. All signs of the performer so quirky that they put her in a "one moves on, one goes home" not against a fellow woman, but against Eddie Island, are gone. Margie's playing it completely straight and it's wonderful. Nick Merico is also a previous Hollywood...ticket recipient. Yeah, right, he won a golden ticket, but didn't feel like he was ready and didn't go through. Lionel tore him down at auditions this year, said he needed an attitude adjustment. Message received. Next up is Kimmy Gabriela. Her father won a similar competition when he was her age, back in his native Puerto Rico. She's singing "Say Something", but it's a very different arrangement. It's incredible. Katy's audition proclamation of "Top Ten" might've been right on the money. (Of course, given the wild card format, if the judges want you in the top ten badly enough, there's nothing America can do to stop them. All three spotlighted contestants are still alive, along with maybe a couple others who didn't even get the courtesy of their names not getting edited out. Now it's Country time. Lauren Mascitti's here, sans sugar daddy fiancé. She's good. Hannah Prestridge is here, too. She was the recovering addict who auditioned with her husband, who she performed with under the name "Treble Soul". She's got a really strong voice; if I just had to pick one of those two, it'd be Hannah easily. But next is Grace Leer, doing "Unchained Melody", and, um, wow. Luke seems to be getting a bit loopy, but everyone's still alive, including the ones we didn't get to see. The Soul line is up. Amber Fiedler had her baby; the adoptive parents named her Nora Rose. Amber's tearing up in the interview. She's singing "Rise Up" by Andra Day. It's by the book, but that's just fine. Sophia Wackerman isn't quite ready to take on her mother's last name, "Starr", but she's singing "Let It Be", an Idol standard but apparently Paul McCartney wrote it in memory of his mother so I guess she's got a good excuse for going to that well. Katy's impressed. Jovin Webb is also in this group and he's better than he was at his audition, performing "Make It Rain". Oh, and Doug Kiker, the garbage man! I almost forgot about him. Oh, I see someone else familiar backstage. The campy guy who Katy made wax his chest. We're going to break before we see his results...oh hell, we're nearly at the end of the episode. He got a pimp spot in a Hollywood episode. Didn't he get one in his audition episode, too? *checks* Ah, no, he was the first contestant of the first audition show. The lead-off slot may be the doom spot in the live episodes, or at least it was back when voting was done in a sensible manner, but in the audition episodes it's basically a second pimp spot, especially in the first audition show. He's doing "Ain't No Mountain High Enough", too. He starts by going into a completely different song. That song sounded like it might've actually been good, but this one is...absolutely atrocious! Sophia, Jovin, and Amber all go through, but Douglas is going home. Good. I was worried for a moment that he was going to be this year's Eddie Island. Among those going home whose names we already knew is Megan Fitton and Gilberto--ah, yes, that's the campy one. Well, he was always going to be a novelty act. And we get a preview of next week. We're not sure what's next, but it ain't group rounds!
  9. On my way to work on Monday, I contemplated that this would be a fifth week of auditions and lamented that at the rate the ABC era is going, they might do away with live episodes entirely eventually. Then I got a text from my boss somewhere around lunchtime that corporate was suspending the program I'm part of indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the events of Black Thursday, I wouldn't be surprised if the live shows were cancelled this year. But that won't affect us for at least a few more weeks. I'm reprising the "orange piña colada" from last week. I missed the name of the first contestant, which is unfortunate because I feel like he's worth bringing to the, um...live shows. He's auditioning in honor of his dad, who passed away the previous January. He was a church boy, so he wasn't able to listen to other styles of music or to live his truth, being gay. So basically he's black Jeremiah. That's not a bad thing. Also, he gets a pimp piece, from which I'm able to deduce (Katy confirms it as I'm writing this sentence) that his name is Robert Taylor III. He's visibly emotional as he exits the audition room with a golden ticket. We get a teaser for them setting off on their "last round of auditions", which is of course misleading because literally every audition episode is a mash-up of footage from every audition site. Jafar Hurambi is covering the Pussycat Dolls, "When I Grow Up". They say that if his singing was as good as his dancing, there'd be something worthwhile, but there wasn't. Grace Leer, 27, from Danville, CA (now living in Nashville) is an American Juniors alum...or perhaps "survivor" is a better word. She made Top 20, so that's something. Some jokes are made at Ryan Seacrest's expense. She's singing "Crowded Table" by the Highwomen. It's very good. Mom says that it's perhaps not the best song choice to show off her voice, but that's not really important at this stage. Katy asks her to sing something "sad country", and she does Patsy Cline's "Crazy", a capella. It's tough, but she still does well there. She goes through. We get a brainiac montage. A couple of Harvard students in there. I'm not sure what the segue to our next contestant, 27-year-old Franklin Boone, was. Maybe that he's a music teacher? And in a college town, no less--I've already forgotten which one but it was one of the ACC schools in North Carolina. He's...interesting. I'm not a fan, but the judges definitely seem to like him. He gets a ticket, and after he leaves, Luke gives us our obligatory Alejandro reference. Luke Stafford, 25, has a saxophone in the audition with him. The saxophone playing is good but the singing isn't. Which is a shame because I do enjoy some jazz. "No for right now" montage. Roselyn Carter is 26, from Watts, CA. He simultaneously looks much younger than that and much older. I think I'd say that he has a baby face, but it looks worn. Watts has a lot of gang violence, so maybe that's why he looks so aged despite his youth. I like his voice. Megan Knight, 21, from Williamstown, NJ, is the next auditioner. Lionel says this is the first audition on a boat. I feel like the FOX era held one on a boat before? I could be getting confused, though. They make some tortured boat puns in passing her through. I'm not sure if that was the right choice? And then Katy makes them act out the famous scene from Titanic. ...And then we cut to the next auditioner, waiting for them to get back. Luke's the first one back in, and so we get a scene of the contestant in Lionel's seat, Luke in Katy's, Ryan in Luke's, Lionel in the contestants' spot, and Katy nowhere to be found. Hey, he needed to sit down; he looks like he could just as easily be auditioning for Kinky Boots. He does a pretty good job finishing out Lionel's "audition" with "Hello", but he's not as good on "Proud Mary". He's rushing too much after the tempo shift and he's got too much grit. Well, Gilberto is definitely unique. They feel like he'd be better suited for the theater, but he says he doesn't want to be in the theater; he's theatrical because he's used to singing on the trains where he has to be theatrical to catch people's attention. Katy says yes, Lionel says no, and Luke...puts him through to Hollywood! I'm happy. He's obviously not going to win, but he deserves the ticket. But Katy also wants him to wax his chest, and we get a scene of just that. They really missed an opportunity by not doing the 40-Year-Old-Virgin reference. Justin Oliver, 21, from Tuscaloosa, AL, is singing Bruno Mars's "Treasure". He says it's a dream come true, as apparently the American Idol house pianist co-wrote the song and frequently plays it with Bruno. Katy asks for his opinion, and he says that Justin had it from a technical standpoint but it's missing the energy. The judges agree and pass on him. He asks if he can sing one more song and Lionel says he wished they had all night long. Katy doesn't let that one go unlampshaded. A few other "nice, but just not good enough" contestants. The next contestant, 18-year-old Aliana Jester, of Tampa, FL, is accompanied into the audition room by Nova, an emotional support dog in training. Her parents split when she was little, and her father was in the Army so she didn't see him much, but then she and her mother clashed over her mother's new religion, and Aliana fell into depression, so she contacted her father and he got her out of that situation. She's what the good folks at WNTS would dub an "Epoch One contestant"--someone who would've thrived in the early seasons but is out of place in the later ones. She goes through to Hollywood, of course, but she won't win. ...There I go again, talking like we're actually going to have a competition. Unless, of course, the Top 24 or 20 or however many people they have have already been kept together since they were selected. Then maybe they can just, like, hold the shows from the Idol House or wherever, with no live audiences save for the eliminated contestants and any legal guardians who are required to be there with the younger ones. 18-year-old Jahzan is originally from Kingston, Jamaica, but she and her mother moved to New York City for a better life, for "safety". For reasons she can't discuss on television, they feared for their lives. They're still homeless, so yeah, it's got to be pretty bad for that to qualify as a better life. This will be the first time most of her classmates in school learn of her situation, because she doesn't talk about it. She's singing "Rockabye Baby" by Clean Bandit. Her mother sings backup for her. She's good. She deserves a ticket, and hearing her story, I hope she's still there as of the "live" point because homeless in NYC is no place to be right now. Oh, she's singing another song solo. "Warrior" by Demi Lovato. It's not as good as the Clean Bandit song but it's still plenty good enough. Luke hits the nail on the head: She's plenty good, but she's going to need to be coached up. She goes through. Hmm, come to think of it, the West Coast isn't much of a great place to be right now either. We cut right into Jordan Moyes, 25, of Provo, UT, who will no doubt be going to Hollywood because his voice is beautiful. He does. Demi Rae is 26 years old from San Jose, CA. She's known she wanted to audition since...I guess pretty much since the show debuted? She has it in writing from age 9. Her father was in and out of jail throughout her childhood. Honestly, she doesn't look 26, and her father, who "got clean" when she was 15, doesn't really look old enough to have a 26-year-old daughter, especially given that if he was a junkie, he should theoretically look older than he really is. I guess maybe if you take that factor out, it might work, if he was a teenager. She's singing "Mad At You" by Noah Cyrus. They're surprised she's never tried to do this professionally before, and she says that she doesn't have the confidence because she "doesn't look like other girls". Well, okay, yeah, she's evidently mixed-race, because looking at her, looking at her father, they don't look to be the same race. She goes through. We cut back to the judges making novelty-sized s'mores, and 18-year-old Nash (no last name) shows up to audition with "Should've Been a Cowboy", with a mullet but without a shirt. He doesn't make it through, but the "joke" auditions are far more tolerable than they were in the Simon Cowell era. Makayla Brownleigh, 17, is from Wilmington, KS, the wheat capital of America. In addition to singing, she enjoys snake hunting. She's starstruck. She's singing something by the Dixie Chicks, I missed the song title. It's a no from me, but a yes from the judges. Katy does give some constructive criticism, however, that seems to address the problems I had with her. Enunciation problems. I also noticed that Lipton is now the sponsor that Coke used to be. The next auditioner makes balloon animals. But can he sing? We won't find out, because this is just the intro to Katy wearing a balloon viking helmet and Luke whacking it with a balloon sword. And next is Amber Fiedler, 23, from Couer d'Alene, ID, 38 weeks pregnant at the time of the audition and...ah, that's why she's an episode-ender. Her mother was a user, so she grew up with a hard life and frequently doesn't even have $20 to her name. That's why the baby girl she's carrying during the audition is going to be adopted. She's already met the adoptive parents and believes they'll give her a better life, and it's an open adoption so the baby will know her birth mother. She's singing "Trust In Me" by Etta James. And of course since this is the end of the episode, she sings beautifully. The last auditioner of an episode is always a very strong singer with a very strong story. Oh, this must be a very late audition; they said Hollywood Week is only a week from her due date! Amber, why didn't you get to an earlier audition! ...Oh, right, because there's an audition in Idaho, and that definitely appears to be the one she was in. I guess Sun River was the last audition.
  10. This audition episode has been pretty weak. Kat and Alex are probably the only ones I've liked.
  11. The episode opens with an announcement that Katy Perry is pregnant. Yay? Birmingham, AL dental student Danny La Rota, 24, is covering Lorde's "Royals". Well, it's...not worse than the original? Maybe? Okay, maybe not. If he weren't the first auditioner of the episode I'd say no way, but I know that they always open with a yes. Hopefully he won't go far. Oh, G-d, they're showing him at his work. That's a bona fide pimp piece. Next we get a montage of Luke fans. And then it comes to a crashing halt with a guy who doesn't know any of the judges. His name is Lou Dawg and he's a surfer from Oahu. I still feel like we're getting pranked. He's good! But he really plays the dumb blonde to a tee, and that's obviously a stage name. Lionel says he was good, but he needs to "get it together" and come back. Katy says she'll roll the dice, but Luke says no as well. Next we get two Californians, 17-year-old Makayla Philips from Temecula and 22-year-old Devon Alexander from Sonora. Makayla went to auditions previously but was a couple of weeks shy of eligibility. She has a strong voice, but something just isn't resonating with me. Same for Devon; strong voice but for some reason I'm just not enjoying him. Got my drink now. #SorryNotSorry. ...Nope, that's what it's called. It's a peach IPA by the Evil Genius Beer Company and that name is entirely in character for them. Mosean Wilson, 23, is from Springfield, IL, and he brought his keyboard with him. He went to live with his grandma at age 2 because his dad was a druggie, and the dad in question died last year, when he was 21, because it was right after he had his baby, who's 3. Sadly, his performance is just as atrocious as his math. The judges are all over it, though. We've seen five contestants tonight and I think my favorite is the one they didn't put through to Hollywood. It's like the Twilight Zone here; the average level of audition is on par with a Season 6 episode, but they're not rejecting people. We come back to see a montage of the judges saying that they're rolling the dice on the contestant. We actually get to see one of them audition, but her name didn't go up on screen so she's clearly not important. She looks the end, but the voice isn't there. Also, she wouldn't connect with America as a whole; the New York accent is too strong. Okay, she's going through, and we get a full name: Faith Becnel. Next we get a couple auditioning together. Kat and "Space Cowboy", real name Alex. Or is it Sean? Ah, Alex was closer; his real name is Alejandro, to which the judges of course say "We like Alejandros here". He's 26 and she's 19. And they're going to perform "Shallow". Alejandro Guerrido Cortez and Kat Luna. Heh, her last name is Luna and he's the Space Cowboy. They're both going through. He's going to go by Alex because "Alejandro on American Idol" is already taken and even he's willing to concede that because Alejandro is the man. We've got a montage of people who brought support. Emma's good, Chase isn't, and Marcus is somewhere in the middle but I'm fine with him going through. Then there's Tavia (no last name), 29, from Compton, accompanied by her "girltarist", Terry...or Tari. Terry seems more appropriate since she's clearly actually a fifty-something British man. They've only known each other for 48 hours but they're fast friends. Tavia's awful, though, so it's clear that she only got through to the viewers because of Terry, except that doesn't make sense because the producers screen them out and Terry's only been there for two days. Sophia Wackerman is 20 and from Long Beach, CA. Her father is a drummer who used to tour with the likes of Frank Zappa and James Taylor, and her mother was a backup singer for The Moody Blues and Belinda Carlisle. But her mother died four years ago of lung cancer. Her mother was Naomi Starr, and the judges suggest that she use her mother's last name. Sophia is singing "Water" by Bishop Briggs. I seem to remember her being useless in Celebrity Duets, but her song provides Sophia with the best audition of the night so far! ...Also, I was wrong. Bishop Briggs was fine in S16's Celebrity Duets. And now we have hauntings. Jimmy Levy's grandmother and mother are both psychics and he can see ghosts. Jill Dahne, the mother, comes in and gives the judges a reading. Katy's is that she's found her soul mate. Seems interesting given what we learned at the start of the show. Jimmy does "Wicked Game", and it's good, but they ask for something else and he does "What You Love" by Tori Kelly and it's awful, and Katy says "much better." Well, they put him through, but I still don't know what they were thinking. He was atrocious on the a cappella rendition. Olivia Ximines is 16, a high school junior and a member of the dance team. The rest of the dance team comes with her. She's singing "Language" by Tori Kelly. Okay, we've got another strong one. She deserves a ticket. Katy says she's like a young Brandy. Three yeses. Megan Marna, 27, of Costa Mesa, CA, has a birth defect that has left her wheelchair-bound and used to walk with leg braces. She's singing "A Million Reasons" by Lady Gaga. It's not outstanding, but it's good enough to get a ticket in my mind. They've got constructive criticism for her, they feel like she needs to connect more with the song. Furthermore, she quickly proved that she is teachable. Zack Dobbins is 18, from Clay, WV. His truck is named Loretta, she's a '93 F-150 (so roughly a decade older than her driver). He says that even if he got famous, he'd still want a single-wide trailer on a flat piece of land and the same truck. He's singing "Misuse", or possibly "Miss Use", a song that he wrote. Luke quickly stops him to help tune his guitar. His voice is a little too gritty, but it works with the tune--and he plays the guitar well. He could definitely have success in country. He admits that he doesn't know much about music except that he likes to perform it. They're definitely putting him through. They're playing "Country Roads" in the background. Coming in on the end. Ren Patrick is 26 from Cypress, TX. She was in a toxic relationship for 8-1/2 years. Oh, she had a chance meeting with Katy 7 years ago where she advised Ren to dump him. Well, that particular backstory has had a good track record on Idol, and she could carry it on. She's good, and they did good with the episode-ender again.
  12. So I'm not the only one who thought that her fiance looked like he was old enough to be her father.
  13. Our first contestant is 17-year-old Kimi Gabriela of Lakeland, FL. She's of Dominican and Venezuelan descent, but has never been to either country. She's...raw. I think I'd give her a ticket, but I sincerely hope that they don't put her all the way through to America's votes this year because she's not ready yet. Katy asks if she speaks Spanish, and she says she does. The judges aren't hearing what I'm hearing, though; Luke even comes right out and says "you don't miss notes", and Katy gives the "top ten material" line. We're back from commercial right away. I couldn't even pour my drink. We're in Los Angeles. Amelia, no last name, is 23 and from Phoenix, and she's singing "Yesterday". She goes through. Erin Kirby from Jasper, GA is 16 and has pink hair and is also going through. Jordan James is 26 and from Scottsdale, AZ, and he goes through too even though I'm not sure he deserves to, but he proposes to his girlfriend right there in the audition room after being told he's going through so whatever. Cut over to the Savannah auditions and Luke recognizes someone who's going to be playing guitar for the next auditioner. At first I thought the guy looked older, which would be backed up by him apparently being established, but the auditioner calls him her fiancé so maybe he's...no, this Shawn Camp guy definitely looks older. Anyway, Lauren Mascitti is a 27-year-old registered nurse from Nashville, TN, and she's singing an original song. And she's...very Nashville. Given how the ABC era has tended to skew old, she might do well, because this isn't modern country. This is classic country. Okay, got my drink. Pineapple-orange-coconut juice with Malibu Rum, for a twist on a Piña Colada. And now we're back with Bobby Bones and Ryan Harmon, 24, of Russelville, AR. He's a character. Katy is befuddled by the Southernisms. He, too, recognizes Shawn Camp. He's singing an original called "I Knew This Would Happen". Possibly the best of the night so far? We got a "yes" montage, I can't help but think those are supposed to be fodder but Amelia seemed good. But yeah, this guy's better than either of our previous featured auditioners. Luke thinks he should've followed his dream and moved to Nashville. But he's not quite sure if Ryan's Idol material. This sounds like a no! It is. I'm not feeling the judges tonight. 22-year-old Courtney Timmons, a security guard from Harris Neck, GA missed the deadline for sign-ups, but Ryan brought her directly through. She's singing "Rise Up" by Andra Day. I think Ryan did well here. She's good. The judges agree. She's going to Hollywood. Lauren Spencer-Smith is 16 and from Vancouver Island, BC. So is this show just open to Canadians now? We had one in the first episode, too. She's singing "What About Us" by Pink and it's amazing and the judges are amazed. The next auditioner is 23-year-old worship leader Dewayne Crocker Jr., from Pensacola, FL, and he's bringing along his 78-year-old great-grandmother to meet Lionel Richie. Yep, the math adds up; that's a Floridian. He's singing Bobby Darin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy", but rearranged into a soul number. He brings it. He's got some good falsetto, too. I love it. We need contestants like that. I still don't know the schedule for this season; I'm assuming it's the same overabbreviated one we've had the first two years on ABC, but this is exactly the type of contestant that would've fit right in in Season 8 or 9. Great-grandma says that she walked down the aisle to Lionel's "Lady", and she saw him at the California Club. That goes way back, he says. We come back to a guy with some killer piano skills on the Billy Joel, but his vocals are lacking. The next contestant is Dillon James, age 26, with a full-chest tattoo of Jesus Christ, which is partially showing through an open shirt. Oh, he went through some rough times with drugs and alcohol. At one point, he went to bed on the edge of a parking structure with the idea that "if I fall off, I fall off, at least I won't have to think about it because I'll be asleep." He's singing "To Make You Feel My Love". Oh dear. Wrong season to be auditioning with that one. He's certainly not bad, but you never want to be inviting comparisons to the highest-rated performance of the previous season. Luke says he's got a Chris Isaak sound to him. Katy says she finds him "mysterious" and compares him to "a country Post Malone". He goes through. Good choice. Geena (no last name), 27, is from Los Angeles. I'm not sure what I think of her. She's not traditional. Is this an original? I think it is. I was in the other room when she was introducing herself. She won't make it far if we still have the current quick-dying format; she's too quirky. Yeah, it is an original. She goes through. The next contestant is Jarred Lettow. He's originally from Des Moines, though he's now living in California. He yodels, and yes, his name is pronounced exactly like the actor Jared Leto. Unfortunately, he's not a good singer. And now we've got the failure montage. Katy gets out a megaphone and tells the contestants still waiting that it's a talent emergency. Shannon Gibbons, 20, from Bellport, NY, fronts a band. She's been watching Idol her whole life. She's also had mental health issues for most of her life--she says she had suicidal thoughts as early as age four. Music helped her get her mind off of it. She's singing "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James. Yes. Absolutely yes. Sign me up. This next guy is a model and an influencer. I think he said he was 29 already? That was too old to be at the audition last time I checked, but then again he doesn't look 29 so maybe I misheard him. His name is Isaiah Grass and he was born in North Carolina, raised in South Carolina, and has been living in Chicago for 7 years. He's doing an acoustic version of a-ha's "Take On Me". Nope, he really is 29. He's good! I like him! Katy thinks he's too musical theater. He interjects and asks to do another song. "House of the Rising Sun". I'm not a fan of that one. Lionel even says that the second song absolutely kiboshed it. Okay, so I guess it all worked out. Lionel's no has a "for now" attached to it, though, which is strange. Grabbing a second drink. Green tea with apple and honey, by Wild Leaf. Nice and relaxing. Wait, is that who I think it is? Genavieve Linkowski! ...Wait, she was S16? I thought she was last year! ...Oh, now she's got a sob story, too. Her sister Corinne died in a car accident last March. She's singing "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?" It is, of course, amazing. Second chance contestants are frequently early favorites, and she deserves it. I seem to remember liking her when she first auditioned. A worthy episode-ender.
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