So far this season, we had the show reveal its Top 24 way before the auditions and now we have our first Idol alum guest judge!
Standout Season Eight finalist Adam Lambert joined Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. at the judges’ table, as American Idol headed to the Bronx…the “Booty” singer’s hometown!
Did the Bronx bring out the huge voices and personalities that the city was known for? Did Adam and Jennifer have a glam war? Read on to find out!!!
The contestants were ecstatic to learn that Adam was going to be joining Harry and Jennifer on the panel! Up first, Sal Valentinetti harnessed the ghost of Frank Sinatra for his impressive audition. We have not had a true crooner on the show since Elliott Yamin and Sal’s golden voice gave me chills! While Harry said: “No!” (Perhaps it was the fact that he lost a $100 bet to Sal about the true origins of “Fly Me To The Moon”), Adam stated that: “people were going to love him” and voted “Yes” with Jennifer.
While other contestants brought in family and friends support to the auditions, J. None brought his lucky bear, Mr. Crispy, into the audition room. I was worried that it was going to be a train wreck, but his soulful take of Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” made me smile. Despite Harry’s best antics with the bear, Adam stated that he loved J. None’s vocal pockets.
18-year-old Jax delivered a passionate cover of The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” She has an elegant voice that would remind me of a mix between Melanie Martinez and Emily West. The longtime viewer received strong, positive feedback from both Jennifer and Adam and received three “Yeses” and a Golden Ticket!
Another lifelong viewer, 20-year-old Najah Lewis, performed underground in the New York City subway and made $100 to $300 per stop. However, she wanted to take her act to the big leagues. Her cover of Maroon 5’s “Payphone” featured a Shakira-esque vocal that impressed the judges. In fact, Adam described her style that it was “inventive musically.” She received a Golden Ticket and a trip to Hollywood!
As the day went on, Adam channeled his inner Simon and began to dismiss hopefuls left and right. However, 19-year-old Eric Lopez began to turn the tables on the Queen frontman. While he sang a “disjointed” version of “The Show Must Go On,” Adam saw a little of himself in Eric and joined Harry in giving him a Golden Ticket. But, he advised Eric to figure out material that will fit him better in Hollywood.
18-year-old Jazz student Qaasim Middleton has a stage mom…the very first black Miss Mississippi! While the mother left the antics in the holding room, Qaasim unpacked his artistry with a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke.” While it was smooth, I felt that he had breath issues. Meanwhile, Jennifer thought that he look very comfortable with his audition and Adam loved his falsetto scats. He received a Golden Ticket to Hollywood!
20-year-old toy artist Adam Ezegelian had a great sense of humor and an astonishing voice! His cover of “Born To Be Wild” was amazing, but I agree with the judges was a little over the top. Luckily, Adam L asked him to sing another track and his cover of “I’m Yours” brilliantly showcased his softer side! I have a strong feeling that he is the last silhouetted singer with the “Feeling Good” finale.
Music producer Travis Finlay delivered a strong cover of Rihanna’s “Stay” and he killed his audition! While there were some unnecessary runs, I liked the light in his eyes and the conviction in his voice that he is going to succeed in the music industry. Jennifer stated that he “was a star” and Adam added, “He would do great on this show.” He received three Golden Tickets for his efforts!
Idol ended its New York City run with Hollywood Anderson. The busker has one goal…grab a Golden Ticket! He took a huge risk and performed an original song, “My Best Friend,” for his audition. Hollywood had a booming voice and an incredible charisma about him. Jennifer wanted to cut the track and Harry added that Hollywood’s audition stated he had the best audition of the New York stop! He received the final Golden Ticket of the night! He broke down in Jennifer’s arms when he received the ticket.