Monday, January 30, 2012

American Idol 2012 - Pittsburgh Auditions

This is the first year American Idol has ever been to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so let’s see what these folks can do!


First up was Heejun Han, age 22 from NY. He seemed very nervous and from the clips they were showing, it seemed like he was going to be a joke. However, he sang “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton, and this boy’s got SOUL…and the voice of an angel. He seemed surprised that they liked him. I love it when someone doesn’t know how awesome they are!

Prediction: Definitely Top 12 material, because he’s got a very distinctive tone, and he’s humble and sweet and goofy.

Reed Grimm, age 26 from WI surprised the judges by singing the theme song to Family Matters. He started out with some great scatting and went into a fun rendition of the song. He’s a great performer and the judges liked him a lot.  Prediction: I’m hoping he makes it to the Top 12. I would love to see him on the big stage. I think he will if he keeps his performance value and doesn’t get lost in the crowd.

Aaron Marcellus, age 27 from NJ was an excellent singer, and he seemed like a personable guy. Prediction: They just showed a very short clip, so not really enough to predict on, but he does have the voice to make it pretty far.

Next was Chase Likens, age 20 from WV. Chase sang country very well, and he was a nice-looking fellow with beautiful eyes. Very marketable.  Prediction: Again, this was a very short clip, but the judges liked him, so he may be the token male country singer this year.

Samantha Novacek, age 19 from PA came in with her sister. Were they doing a duet? Uhhhh, not exactly. Samantha was singing and her sister was “planking Samantha to Hollywood.” Sam got through, but her sister is going to have to plank her ass back home. 

Prediction: Good voice, but just not special enough without the planking gimmick.

Then we were introduced to self-proclaimed starving artist, Creighton Fraker, age 28 from NY. He couldn’t decide what to sing, so he just wrote a song on the 9-hour bus ride to Pitt. He won them over with his voice and a tiny bit of ego stroking because the song he wrote was about the 3 judges. Dude was very good, though I personally like men with deeper voices. And tell me he doesn’t look a bit like George Michaels!

Prediction: He will either make it very far, or he’ll get caught soliciting prostitutes in the men’s bathroom at Applebees.

Eben Franckewitz from OH is only 15 years old. He’s just super nice and his family is super supportive and coming to American Idol was just super awesome! Everything was just super groovy! Lordy mercy, I thought I was watching the Brady Bunch will all of that positivity and love floating around.  Prediction: Eben does have a great voice, but he’s going to get eaten alive in Hollywood.

Next was Travis Orlando, Age 17 from NY. Travis tried out last year too, and is hoping for better results this time. After last year, his mom left them for a boyfriend, they got evicted from their apartment and moved into a shelter, and now his dad‘s on dialysis. Then Travis dropped out of high school. He got through to Hollywood, but not one word about him dropping out of school. I definitely think they should have put him through, but with the stipulation that he use the tutors that Idol provides to finish his education.  Prediction: I’m thinking he will get to the very end in Hollywood, and then will probably make it through, because Idol loves the drama.

And that was just Day 1 of Pittsburgh. I was disappointed that there wasn’t a lot of stupidity and nonsense, but we’ve still got Day 2.  Come on!  Let’s bring out the crazy, Pitt!


First up on Day 2 was Erika Van Pelt, age 25 of RI. She is a mobile DJ and a wedding singer, and really sang her booty off! This girl can do absolutely amazing things with her voice!!!

Prediction: I would go so far as to describe Erika’s voice as incomparable. She will make the Top 12, and if she gets a makeover and scraps her unflattering hairdo, she will go far!

Next was 19-year-old coal miner Shane Bruce from WV. Good voice, but not much depth. He didn’t get through, but he’s got potential.  Prediction: He will come back next year and make it through to Hollywood, but not make the live show.

The final auditioner of Day 2 was Hallie Day, age 24 from MA. Hallie dropped out of high school at age 15 and moved to NY and joined a girl group. They didn’t become superstars, so she ended up coming back home, where she tried to commit suicide by taking pills.  Luckily, Hallie now has the support of a good husband, and he encourages her music. She sang “I Will Survive” with some moments of brilliance, but I hope she tones it down a smidge in the future, because it came out slightly screechy in parts to me. Of course they put her through. Prediction: She will survive all the way to the Top 12!
You ever notice how much reality shows love former addicts and high school dropouts? For instance, Chris Rene from the X Factor didn’t have half the talent of some of the contestants, and yet he made it to the Top 3. Do you think he would have made it that far if he hadn’t told his story of addiction and recovery? I know it gives hope to some people going through recovery, but I have to wonder if it also sends the message to kids that it's okay to make horrible decisions, because you can still be a STAR one day, when that rarely happens.  Rather, the outcome is much more often jail or death.  Something to think about…..

1 comment:

  1. Great job. I'm so glad I don't have to watch and can just read your take. You are my hero.