Posted: 7:18 pm Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

‘American Idol’ Atlanta auditions recap 

By Rodney Ho

Kristen O'Connor at "Idol" auditions at the W Hotel in late October, 2013. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Nurse tech Kristen O’Connor at “Idol” auditions at the Midtown W Hotel in late October, 2013. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Atlanta is in the house! And we see plenty of talent in the space of an hour.

We get a lot of Connie Seacrest first, including her videotaping Ryan waking up in his childhood house.

In the end, 44 people make it through in Atlanta, including four from the state of Georgia itself. Bria from Lithonia, Nica from Milledgeville and Nico from Atlanta are all in.

Plus, we saw eight people who will eventually make it to the final 31.

Up first:

- Majesty Rose brings some great singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman-esque music. “Refreshing,” Harry Connick Jr. said. “Subtle and elegant.” “Effortless,” J. Lo said. IN!

- Jesse Cline, a gas station attendant, looks like a shlub but sounds fine with plenty of soul. Likable, too. HCJ said he’s believable. IN.

Alyson Ragona plays a ukele and sings Queen. But they aired her only so HCJ could make a David Bowie/cat joke. OUT

Chris Medina brought his dog along. When I was there and took this photo, I did not see the dog. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Chris Medina brought his dog along. When I was there and took this photo, I did not see the dog. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Chris Medina brings Bobby, the dog. His singing starts weak, gets better. “He’s got the goods,” J. Lo said. “I believe you. I believe I have a wet spot on my pants,” HCJ said. IN.

Emily Purlz and Kristen O’Connor get a semi-montage. Purlz has more personality, O’Connor a better voice. Both get in.

Ben Briley from Gallatin, Tenn. goes for my wife’s favorite act Amos Lee. He’s not bad. Very ordinary looking. IN.

Nica Nashae from Milledgeville, GA sings really loud. The judges liked her. IN.

Jordan Brisbane from Savannah tries Bruno Mars. He has potential but he does like the runs a bit much. “Be very careful when you sing runs. There are people who do it better than you,” HCJ said. But he said, “you’re a pretty good singer. And in ten years, you’ll be a much better singer.” Keith: “Raw talent.” IN.

Now I know why they were shooting Ben Briley while I was waiting for the judges to show up last October. He made it to Hollywood! CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Now I know why they were shooting Ben Briley while I was waiting for the judges to show up last October. He made it to Hollywood! CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Sam Burchfield, a UGA student, has a bright personality and a quirky vocal style. “It was very original,” J. Lo said. “I really love your voice,” Keith said. “You sing with this weird impediment. I didn’t buy it.” He got two yesses and is IN.

Jessica Meuse from Slapout, Ala. has a Stevie Nicks vibe but I don’t think she sounds like her. She is a rocker, though with an edgy look. I’m a fan. “You seem low maintenance. It was easy,” HCJ said. Easy IN.

Bad singers: Travis-Hunter Brown with the ukele. Then two more with no names attached. OUT.T

Lauren Ogburn tries to be edgy country and she does a decent Reba cover. “Goosies,” J Lo said. “Authentic,” Keith. “Overaccessorized,” HCJ. IN.

Two former season 11 Hollywood participatns: R&B/pop singer Neco Starr of Atlanta and rocker Caleb Johnson. HCJ didn’t quite “get it” with Starr but he said yes anyway (Keith said no and J. Lo said yes.). Caleb got yesses across the board. Both IN.

Bria Anai Johnson from Lithonia sings Adele. I really like her voice. She has sparkly lips, too, which HCJ thought might be a distraction but not in this case. She seems destined to go far in Hollywood. IN

These were four contestants awaiting their fate right before I left that day. Second to left is Ben Briley. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

These were four contestants awaiting their fate right before I left that day. Second to left is Ben Briley. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Video of two of the Atlanta folks:

Kristen O’Connor:


Kristen Oconnor & Emily Piriz – Auditions… by IdolxMuzic

Nica Nashae:


Nica Nashae – Natural Woman – American Idol 13 by IdolxMuzic

And here’s the woman Jess Meuse we all think will make the live shows for sure:


Jessica Meuse – Blue Eyed Lie – American Idol 13 by IdolxMuzic

169 comments
MercedesS
MercedesS

Afternoon!

I guess another panic trip to the store is in order.

This winter is getting old.

Isn't this the time for bulbs to start poking through the dirt? Hyacinths?

Rickster_
Rickster_

Wasn't Chris Medina the guy a few seasons ago who had the girlfriend with the Traumatic Brain Injury?

Man... he sure has changed his looks!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Snow tomorrow.  "What a delightful winter we've had",  she said, sarcastically.


DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!


I didn't watch the Grammy's last night but I have viewed some of the videos.  In particular, the McCartney/Starr performance.  The song was fine, seeing their wives in the audience and watching Yoko dance alongside one of John's sons was special but when Paul and Ringo joined hands to take a bow, it brought tears to my eyes.

MercedesS
MercedesS

And goodnight - after being spoiled by the gorgeous/fun dresses at the Golden Globes and the SAG awards, just wondering why the  Grammy people seen so far on the red carpet don't look at themselves in the mirror before they leave the house?

MercedesS
MercedesS

Morning! Even though it's the weekend and people have other things to do than check in here. Finally saw my recorded Atlanta Idol and pretty much agree with Rodney's words above.

FarTrain
FarTrain

AI can at least stand tall in the earnings category.  Just saw this on Ram Country.  Info per Forbes:

FORBES LIST OF TOP EARNING AI's for 2013-

1. Carrie Underwood  $31M

2. Kelly Clarkson   $7M

3. (tie) Phillip Phillips/Adam Lambert  $5M

4. Daughtry  $4M

5. Scotty McCreery  $3M

6. Tyler Hicks  $2.5M

7. (tie) Fantasia Barrino/Kellie Pickler  $1.5M

8. (tie) Katharine McPhee/Jennifer Hudson  $1M


The two that surprise me most?  Tyler Hicks(higher than I thought) and Jennifer Hudson(lower).

Rickster_
Rickster_

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Rickster_
Rickster_

With the way the judges panel has been so far, Randy's going to have to step up his game considerably.

He can't just rely on meaningless catch phrases like he has in the past.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Apparently Idol won the ratings for both Wed. and Thurs. nights.  Big Bang Theory aired a rerun so winning that time slot will be extremely difficult when BBT is first run.  


So, if it is winning the ratings during the nights that it airs so far, doesn't that say something?  Maybe that network tv as a whole is no longer the juggernaut that it used to be.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

So many changes are happening so fast in entertainment.  Cable channels are being watched almost as much as network channels.  DVRs have become a way of life for most of us.  My kid in Dallas has TimeWarner cable and is thinking of just going off cable all together and living on Netflix, Hulu and internet viewing.  It really is a lot cheaper, especially if you don't care whether or not you see a show first run or a few days later.


It would be interesting to know if Idol's ratings drop coincides with other shows' ratings.  Last year Idol had a significant drop but still beat The Voice in total viewership.  The Voice started out strong during its last season but ended up with much lower ratings as the season progressed.  


Even the most talked about shows aren't necessarily ratings blockbusters.

MercedesS
MercedesS

There are just too many good shows on non-network TV. Even I can't keep up!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Ratings are certainly disappointing.  Did it at least win the night Wed or Thurs.?  That also tells us something about the state of network tv in general.

Rickster_
Rickster_

All I know is that this is (IMO) the best judge's panel in the history of Idol

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

Unfortunately, ratings keep falling for "Idol." Last night: 12.1 million early (12.3 million likely when all is said and done) with a 3.3 18-49. That's down from 13.2 million and a 3.8 last Thursday.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Hey, I just noticed the avatars on "like". Like!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Not everyone is going to like Harry.  He's direct.  He's snarky.  He's sometimes too funny.  He borders on being an attention-addict.(I called it something else but the blog wouldn't post it)  But Harry has given Idol an energy that it hasn't had in a long, LONG time.

Yes, he's better than Simon because he doesn't automatically discount a singer based on his/her appearance.  Yes he's better than Simon because he tries(and mostly succeeds) at kindly telling a delusional teen that he/she is not a singer.  Yes, he's better than Simon because he genuinely seems to like this job!

MercedesS
MercedesS

That should be People magazine.

MercedesS
MercedesS

Morning!

Still haven't had a chance to look at last night's perfs.

Meanwhile, there's a column loving HCJ in people this week by Michelle Taubner:

"Idol's BEST Judge? Smart and self-aware, the singing competition's newest panelist, Harry Connick, Jr., might best Simon for the top spot.


"As American idol celebrates its 13th birthday (mazel!), a moment of remembrance: For the first time in the FOX show's history, Randy 'In it to win it" Jackson is not on the judges' panel - and for me,  for you, that's a good thing.  Of course, the erstwhile Dawg is not  the only Idol arbiter to have banked a giant paycheck without earning it.  From the benignly dazed (Paula, Mariah) to the itchily uncomfortable (Kara, Nicki) to the flat-out lost (Ellen!), the show's 11 panelists through the years have mostly flickered like flameless candles: faintly illuminating wattage. But at long last, the sing-off may have found its Chosen Judge in musician-actor Harry Connick Jr. Shrewd, funny and gloriously articulate about, y'know, MUSIC, the onetime child prodigy pulls off a feat none of his predecessors - including Simon Cowell - ever could: He elevates everyone around him,  Friendly and authoritative, he's 'Glee's' Mr. Shue with a serious musical pedigree, whether schooling fellow judge Jennifer Lopez on the pentatonic scale or calling out Lopez and budding bromance partner Keith Urban for delivering knee-jerk praise.  Of course plenty of judges have begun promisingly, only to disintegrate when the show goes live (still love you, Steven Tyler) , but I'm hopeful about Harry's chances.  To paraphrase Ryan Seacrest: America, THIS is our 'American Idol' judge."

Rickster_
Rickster_

Morning, everyone.

Was watching last night, and got a big suprise when they got to the audition for Sam Burchfield. In the video they showed of him with some friends at the Phillip Phillps concert, the guy over his right shoulder that rolled his eyes and said "Phillip PHILlips!" was one of my nephews!!

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Moving on.   I also liked the young kid from Savannah.  He came on whispering and then sang with a really clear voice.  He did a good job but he is way too young and, imo, not ready for primetime.  I wish they hadn't picked him to go to Hollywood yet.  Who knows, maybe he can hold his own.

notevensurprised
notevensurprised

that's one way to empty out the projects have AI hold auditions, baby mommas and other welfare leeches, moochers, and parasitic broodmares will stand in line all day for a chance to audtition on AI but will not stand in line to fill out an application for a chance to get a job.....how pitifull

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Morning!

My favorite last night was Jessica Meuse.  If she remains strong, I see a top 10 finish for her.  However, sometimes someone who is really strong in auditions falls flat on their face in Hollywood.  Looking forward to seeing what this girl will do.

I also liked Majesty, Sam and Ben.

Hollywood will be interesting this season.

GeoffCoe
GeoffCoe

Yes I did...didn't realize it was only an hour, but I have astutely noticed a new program is showing now and it's after 9 PM.  Can't put one over on me!  Thanx RoHo

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

Did you enjoy the hour? Seven people from the spoiler list were heard tonight...

Pitchy
Pitchy

Do you guys know how many tweenbies will not vote because of her?  I can't think of the right word..tweenies?  Senior moment.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Been a pleasure, good people!

Pitchy
Pitchy

What, she's 15??? Sparkly lips?  I understand the sparkliness, but she doesn't look 15.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

Bria has a great voice but the lipstick has to go!

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

I am a fan of Bria from Lithonia!

Pitchy
Pitchy

Let me be blunt, that girl can BLOW!

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

We really need a rocker. Not sure if Caleb is IT but he isn't bad.

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC I ended up watching most of the Grammy's last night, something I rarely do. I'm not an awards show person. However, most of the music was so good that it compelled me to keep watching. The respect shown to John and Ringo was fitting. However, Ringo singing, yep that's Ringo.


One thing I could have done without was Animatronic Madonna. The young girl she stood next to at the end of the song was far younger, sounded far better, looked healthier, and even though she was probably in her twenties had more wrinkles on her face, which made Animatronic Madonna look all the more cartoonish.  

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@FarTrain 

First, it's Taylor Hicks, not Tyler. And yep, I was surprised, too.  But he has that gig in Las Vegas which I guess has been earning him a lot of money.

Second, Rodney posted a link to this list last week and we had a pretty long talk about it.

But thanks, anyway.

G_
G_

@DeirdreC The Voice is still a fairly successful show despite ratings.  The Voice won a People's Choice Award this year for "Favorite Competition TV Show".  I think that's a rather impressive feather in the cap. 

JTesla
JTesla

@DeirdreC I know several people who now live without cable. In addition to Netflix and Hulu, Amazon has gotten in on the act, and there are other resources online for watching TV without really watching TV.

JTesla
JTesla

At some point, those who have been predicting Idol's demise for the last 5 years will be correct. *Golf clap* for predicting the inevitable.

RodneyHo
RodneyHo moderator

@DeirdreCSimon seemed to enjoy himself the first few seasons but clearly by season six or seven, his mind was beginning to wander elsewhere. Simon's snarkiness was fresh and different the first few seasons but even he got tired of himself to a degree by the time David Cook and Kris Allen came along. (And he was truly checked out season 9!)

Woodpappy
Woodpappy

@DeirdreC  Jessica was really good IMO.  Majesty should be in the hunt as well.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@jeniferhopez 

Thank goodness it wasn't pepto again or I was gonna spit wine all over my laptop!

GeoffCoe
GeoffCoe

@RodneyHoIs he the  beefy guy (I got behind on posts) that reminded me of Meat Loaf?  Meh, he's OK

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@JTesla @DeirdreC 

First, it was nice to see someone else is alive this morning.

I usually find the whole show cartoonish which has a lot to do with why I didn't watch it.  Another reason being hubby hates award shows so I try to only subject him to a few each year.  There are so many places now that show videos of the performances that I can pick and choose who I want to see.

DeirdreC
DeirdreC

@RodneyHo @DeirdreC 

I remember loving Simon for his honesty, especially when compared to Paula and Randy.  And I agree that he enjoyed himself the first couple of seasons.  Maybe that isn't really a valid point in favor of Harry since he's barely begun his first season.  I just sense an enthusiasm from him that I don't recall ever seeing in Simon. The part Simon seemed to love the best was teasing Paula.