'American Idol' Swings From the Chandelier in San Francisco
Auditions came to an end in San Francisco, but Harry Connick Jr. saved his best for last.
It's been a long month of auditions, but Thursday night's episode of American Idol crossed the finish line in San Francisco — and not a moment too soon.
With viewers having already seen the New York auditions, which drew a deep pool of singers earning golden tickets, audiences are itching to get to the Hollywood rounds.
But not yet. First, there were more awful singers left on the stadium floor by the season seven alum and judge for a day, Carly Smithson. Poor Carly had to suffer through many octaves of awful, including one girl who auditioned in a leotard. Question: Why did they let through borderline sociopathic growler Christopher Michael, who nearly murdered his guitar and inspired Harry Connick Jr. to throw his chair? A befuddled Keith Urban can only muster that he loved "the passion" before all three judges showed him the door.
There were several bonuses for viewers looking for light moments courtesy of Connick, who did his own bad audition, serenading Jennifer Lopez and Urban with Sia's "Chandelier" as he fell to his knees. Urban, in hysterics, praised "Harry ascending." Someone get Sia on the phone for the finale, stat.
Lopez also had a funny line when Jaq MacKenzie said she was "15 and a half." The 40-ish singer joked that people stop saying that when they are older and said she was "40 and a half."
Good singers were plentiful: 17-year old Adanna Duru impressed with Lady Gaga's "You and I" (Connick cautioned about knowing lyrics, however); 20-year old Hunter Larson owned her Willie Wonka tattoo with pride and nailed Frank Sinatra's "That's Life"; and Tara Honda, who not only has the best audition name ever, sang Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move" so convincingly she should get a shot to play a role in "Beautiful" on Broadway.
So with the golden tickets running dry, which ones truly made audiences take notice?
Daniel Seavey: He's 15 and auditioned with "Hallelujah," famously done by Idol alum Jason Castro to great effect. Seavey needs more seasoning, but shows promise when at the piano. He also slipped in a cover of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," but Andrew Garcia-style for good measure. He may be young, but he knows his Idol. Urban sees something in the kid. Hollywood will be a chance to see if he's right.
Rocky Peter: He's from Nigeria and had a great story about living in poverty and begging for food. He took a risk with an original song — "Wrong Places" — and went sharp vocally, but his phrasing in the falsetto was too good to ignore.
Tyanna Jones: She's 16 and the middle child in a poor but proud family. She wears a bow tie, already displaying her own individual style. When she sang "Wings" by Little Mix, she connected with the judges as well as the cameras. Connick praised her as very talented. She should do well in Hollywood.