Posted: 8:03 pm Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

‘American Idol’ recap: Detroit auditions, season 13 

By Rodney Ho

Amazingly, the Atlanta episodes don’t even start until tomorrow and we’ve had FOUR people from Georgia featured on the show going to Hollywood. First, one in Austin, then San Franciso then two more in Detroit tonight.

Katherine Lee from Delta gets some love from Harry Connick Jr. on "Idol" tonight.

Katherine Lee from Delta gets some love from Harry Connick Jr. on “Idol” tonight.

And even better, Harry Connick Jr. gives Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines a big plug by asking a woman whose dad works at Delta if she had ever met “Deltalina,” the red-headed flight attendant who has told millions of travelers not to smoke with her wagging finger.

Based on the spoilers, at least five of the singers on the show tonight make it to the final 31. And 40 total folks made it out of Detroit, including several who journeyed from the South.

Here’s a recap of the hour:

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Detroit Auditions: Contestant Melanie Porras from Kennesaw, GA auditions in front of the judges on AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Wednesday, Jan. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 FOX BROADCASTING.

AMERICAN IDOL XIII: Detroit Auditions: Contestant Melanie Porras from Kennesaw, GA auditions in front of the judges on AMERICAN IDOL XIII airing Wednesday, Jan. 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. Copyright 2014 FOX BROADCASTING.

They open with “the Chamber” again. Stop it! Stop it now!

First up: Keri Lynn Roche, a waitress who has a bit of Crystal Bowersox in her with a bit more soul. It’s up my alley and she’s IN.

Next: Julian Miller, an 18-year-old shoe salesman, has youthful verve and confidence. IN easily.

In montage form: Paris Primeau (a quirky red-headed torch singer),  Olivia Diamond (R&B) are all IN. Samantha Furtwengler (country) is out.

Tuba player Malaya Watson possesses a clean R&B voice with some weight and emotion behind. Very impressive for a 15 year old. “I don’t need to hear anything else,” J. Lo said. “God gave you something so pure, real and special. I can’t wait to see you go through the transformation you’re about to go through.” Very easy IN.

Guitar player Bryan Watt traveled all the way from Thomasville, GA to Detroit to sing Carrie Underwood’s sad “So Small.” “Confident, patient, easy performance,” Harry Connick Jr. said. He compared him to a superhero. “Nice slinky groove,” Keith Urban said, noting he could add even more ache. IN.

Khristian Davis goes for a very raspy, low-key Whitney Houston. But she’s not good enough and frequently off key. “Inconsistent dynamically,” Keith said. OUT

Jena Ascuito warbles through Adele. Karaoke quality. No more Adele! Not good enough. But the judges inexplicably like her. IN.

The Singing Manicurist and the jokey person with the eyebrow makeup are in and out in less than 60 seconds, thank goodness.

Bryan Watts from Thomasville, GA auditions in Detroit and makes it to Hollywood.

Bryan Watt from Thomasville, GA auditions in Detroit and makes it to Hollywood.

Melanie Porras, 19, from Kennesaw started with “Fever,” which J. Lo clearly has heard too many times, too. Very predictable in a bluesy style. Her Bon Jovi was a bit more interesting.  Someone below said she reminds them of Haley Reinhart. Bingo!  J. Lo thinks she could be doing records. “You already have the seeds,” HCJ said. “You’re on the way.” IN.

Harry Connick Jr., bored and waiting for J. Lo, “tries out” in front of Keith Urban and does some improv, ultimately botching the National Anthem, causing the crew to laugh (‘They’re laughing near you,” Keith cracked) and then getting Keith to sign his ankle.

Then Liam Newberry, a fan of HCJ, does a decent Sinatra-esque “The Way You Look Tonight” but lacks swag. “It was a tiny bit too straight down the middle,” J. Lo said. OUT.

Jade Lathan has an unusual voice and brings it out with an Amy Winehouse cover. “I don’t want to patronize you but you’re really adorable,” HCJ said. “You just look fresh and sweet and nice. You did some things I didn’t expect.” IN.

Sarah Scherb, a pretty girl with a pretty voice whose dad works at Delta in sales. Harry Connick Jr. asks if she has met “Deltalina,” the famous woman on pre-flight videos who wiggles her finger to tell folks not to smoke. She said her dad has met Deltalina. HCJ is tickled. J. Lo looks confused until he says, “It’s for people who fly commercial!” You can hear the crew laughing as he adds, “Occasionally, when I’m not on Greyhound, I fly coach on Delta!” Oh, by the way, she’s IN.

Sydney Arterbridge, who looks a lot like Melinda Doolittle, dares attack the 1970s classic Minnie Ripperton “Lovin’ You” with the “la la la’s.” She almost but doesn’t quite get the high notes but otherwise, she’s quite good. IN.

Last up: a 26-year-old father of four and minister of music, Maurice Townsend, isn’t terribly commercial looking but he can sing and makes it IN.

David Oliver Willis, who made it to the Vegas rounds last year, does a quality cover of Alex Clare‘s “Too Close.” No doubt where he’s going, though HCJ warned him about not being too reliant on the guitar. He’s IN though HCJ doubts he can win.

Rakita and Karlita Gulledge are the second set of twins we’ve seen this season. They duet Beyonce‘s “Listen.” They oversing it with plenty of offkey moments. Horrid all the way around. OUT.

They then feature Blake Soles for the sole purpose to see HCJ dog Keith Urban.

Brandy Neelly, a previous contestant who J. Lo recalls, covers Hunter Hayes and is okay. It feels too mannered to me. But Keith applauds her. “I love your voice,” he says. IN.

Ethan Harris loves Keith Urban, has him sign a drawing he did of him, then does a cover of “You’ll Think of Me.” It’s not nearly as good as Keith’s. HCJ called him “Ronnie Osmond,” the lost Osmond. The judges are charmed. I’m not.  IN.

Then HCJ, clearly the comic relief, does a “confessional,” where he claims to be a bad judge cribbing off J. Lo’s notes, showing too much bro-love to Keith and stealing Ryan Seacrest’s hair products.

Montage time! Leah Guerrero has a cool look and a decent sound. Zach Day, a “tram driver,” is fun. Symphony Howlett has the coolest name ever and over does the runs and what HCJ dubs her habit of creating “annoying” breaks in her voice. They are all IN but all with caveats. And we know that montage people are people we seldom see much again.

Ayla Stackhouse is a Motown lover does an extensive audition showing a lot of energy and skill. “There’s some star potential there,” HCJ said. Duh. IN.

Eric Gordon, a lab technician from Kansas, does not look like a star but he certainly uses a lot of hair gel. He has a decent voice but I don’t see a star here. IN.

Xavier Cavillo, Mr. Duck Dynasty with the beard, doesn’t impress with an aggressive but ultimately so-so CCR cover. He begs for another shot but doesn’t get it.  Tony Delbarrio looks like “Weird Al” and is off all the way around.  OUT and OUT.

Ryan Nisbett lost a ton of weight after going gluten-free. He has a serious pompadour and admits looking like a hipster.  He is ill but pulls off a really cool Sarah McLachlan “Angel.” I am as pulled in as the judges. I really hope we see a lot more of him in Hollywood. IN.

Now we see the lady we heard a bit of in the opening seconds of last week’s first episode: Marrialle Sellars, 17, from Indianapolis. “I have something to prove myself and make my dad proud,” she says. She gets back story treatment that has been relatively sparse to date. Her dad died when she was young. She blends rock and soul in her mix and yes, more rasp. (Rasp is big this year.) She’s IN. Is there any doubt she’s going to make the top 31? She reminds me a little bit of Nadia Turner from season four.

Here are some teasers Idol handed out before the show began:

The awful twins:

Marrialle Sellars:

Thomasville’s own Bryan Watt.

210 comments
MercedesS
MercedesS

Morning!

Just finished watching recording from last night . Believe I got my old-time Idol back! The judging trio is great - Keith and Harry elevate J-Lo to their plane, somehow. Haven't read comments yet. My reaction:

Liked:

Malaya Watson, the tuba player.

Bryan Watt, clean-cut guy, looks a bit like the singer in the Killers

Jade Latham, happy girl with flowers in her hair

David Oliver, who was cut last year, I think by the evil judge who tried to flirt with him and got mad when his wife showed up in audience.

Brandy Neely

Eric Gordon

Ryan Nisbett (favorite)

Marialle Sellars

Worst of the night, as fake as her name - Khristian D'avis, who WAS given a golden ticket; seems it's Rodney's wishful thinking that made him write OUT. Harry called her on her fakeness.

Sad: Liam Newberry being told he wasn't sexy eough.  I think the turquoise pants did him in.

Maurice Townsend IN because of cute family.

Ethan Harris, cute but a brayer, picked for tweener's sake.

G_
G_

Can't minimalize the importance / impact of the WGWG.........or simply the use of the guitar from contestants.  I think it's unpresidented with the amount of diverse people that are perfoming with a guitar this season. 

G_
G_

For me, it's always about the talent, whether the judges are good/bad or somewhere in between.  The judges don't make or break my enjoyment of the talent.  Hopefully, there won't be much discussion on the judges this season, because it appears everyone got what they wanted. 

Rickster_
Rickster_

Anyone else not miss Randy in the least?

Oh, and good morning, folks.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Justin(I can do anything I want because I'm famous)Bieber has been arrested for drag racing and suspected DUI

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

I am amazed by what I am seeing on Idol.  The atmosphere on the show is so completely different than last year.  Light, airy, fun yet sincerely concerned about the talent and even making excellent critiques while being friendly and helpful.  These judges are polar opposites of last year when the biggest concerns were who was the most important diva and would anyone leave with a gunshot wound.

JTesla
JTesla

Decent night, lots of talent. Harry continues to impress.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

Hope you all enjoyed the night. ATL tomorrow!

GeoffCoe
GeoffCoe

'Night, all, and thanks, everyone!! 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

As always, it is such a pleasure to hang out here with you guys!  Thanks to Rodney.

SheilaE.
SheilaE.

I didn't care for her voice but she is memorable and that's important too I guess

Agirlnamedsue
Agirlnamedsue

Good night everyone. Time for American Horror Story!

GeoffCoe
GeoffCoe

Yes, I liked it.  Weird to say, but there was some restraint in the way she sang, like she had lots more to give but knew she didn't need to overextend.  Promising

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

She's a performer, not just a singer

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Marielle has a good look...I hope she can sing...I assume she can since they're spending time with her.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

I love Greg Kinnear...I hope this show is good.

SheilaE.
SheilaE.

I think pompadour guy might could really bring some fun to the show ...like Adam Lambert did hopefully

GeoffCoe
GeoffCoe

Well the star-maker stylists are going to have fun with this guy, but he's got chops!

jeniferhopez
jeniferhopez

How bout going moustache and pompadour free?

SheilaE.
SheilaE.

Kind of a skinny decaprio

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Oy..Johnny Depp if he wasn't so cute

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Even JLo seems to have up'd her game. 

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

The more time these three judges spend together, the more relaxed they get...yet they still pay close attention to the singers and...mostly....take them seriously.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@G_ 

This is the first time they have allowed instruments in the preliminary auditions.  I think that has a lot to do with why we are seeing so many guitars.



JTesla
JTesla

It's a television show, and the judges are part of that. What makes or breaks your enjoyment is not going to influnece what makes or breaks my enjoyment.

It's not all about you.

DanJohn
DanJohn

@G_ Like you I enjoy the talent but I will admit AI was hard to watch last year. The friction between the judges made it uncomfortable to watch and the lack of talent from the male contestants showed the fix was in. The guys were horrible! Honestly without changes I was going to stop watching AI and focus on XF and The Voice. Personally I prefer The Voice but I will admit so far Idol is closing the gap.


I also understand that although we may not want to admit it the stars of the show are the judges/mentors. That's part of the appeal of The Voice. There seems to be a respect...genuine friendship between the mentors. Whether that's real or contrived it does draw us to them and the show. That's what Simon and X-Factor fail to understand. Outside of Kelly Rowland the mentors especially Demi and Paulina were not good. For the record I LOVE Kelly!


As for guitars? After last year I'm more than okay with it. Maybe we'll get a Jimi Hendrix or Joan Jett out of the mix. Either way I love music and it's all that's on for now.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@G_ 

I would hope it would be alright with you if we talked about anything we wanted.

The discussion of the judges so far is mostly a. because yes, we FINALLY got what we wanted and b. the atmosphere is so TOTALLY different from last year's panel.

I would also hope that you are mostly appreciating the talent as the focus seems to be on fair to good singers rather than the clown acts and sob stories we've been forced to watch in the past.

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC I wish a judge would lock the punk kid up and make him pick up trash along the highway. The kid needs a firm hand if not he is going to kill himself or someone else.

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC I like the egging bit the best, but this should not come as a surprise to anyone. He is following the teen star manual to the letter.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@GeoffCoe 

I've tried to do that with my hair but it just isn't happening!

DanJohn
DanJohn

@DeirdreC I agree but they're still 100% better than last years egotistical judges!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@DanJohn @DeirdreC 

Dan, I think a lot of them believe they have to be LOUD.  Sometimes you can hear the voice underneath it.  Inexperience kills a lot of these kids....and lack of subtlety.


GeoffCoe
GeoffCoe

@DanJohn @DeirdreC Yeh, true, DanJohn, but he really put his own spin on it, and that makes a difference when it gets down to the top 12.  I predict he's a finalist

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@DanJohn @DeirdreC 

Frankly, I think they're better..so far...than any group of judges that Idol has had.  We'll see how they handle the live shows.

GeoffCoe
GeoffCoe

@DeirdreC @DanJohn I don't have the techno skills, patience, or time to do it, but I think it would be interesting to take a contestant who gets to, say, the top 4, and really put together a "game tape" of each of their performances to see how they've taken the coaching and grown.  

GeoffCoe
GeoffCoe

@DanJohn @GeoffCoe @DeirdreC True dat.  Though I have to say, the problem last year was that there were a dozen guys better than the guys who got put through, but the judges sent 'em home!

DanJohn
DanJohn

@GeoffCoe@DanJohn@DeirdreC He could make it to the top 12. I've already heard at least a dozen guys who are better than what we were forced to listen to last year.