It’s down to Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, and Joshua Ledet! Who’s the next American Idol?
Backstage with ‘American Idol’s’ James Durbin
Hours before the Top 11 from American Idol season 10 took the stage at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, I had the opportunity to talk with a certain Idol contestant that was extremely excited and happy to be back in his neck of the woods.
Santa Cruz native, James Durbin and I sat down backstage for a pre-show chat, where he discussed getting the crowd up and on their feet during the tour, writing and recording for his album, and the episode of Idol that neither of us will be forgetting anytime soon.
So how does it feel to be performing in the Bay Area?
It feels great. We did Oakland last night, and that was insane. I’m really excited for tonight.
It has to be a cool feeling to have tried out for the show in San Francisco, and have this full circle kind of moment.
This place, HP Pavilion, I came to my very first sporting event here. It was the Sharks versus the Avalanche. I was five-years-old, packed arena, and out of every single person, my one seat, I won a CD player. And then a hockey puck got hit over [the barrier] and landed right next to me. Unfortunately the Sharks lost, but two out of three things ain’t bad.
I’ve been here so many times. I’ve seen countless wrestling shows here. I once waited for three hours and climbed on top of that cement wall to catch a glimpse of Chris Jericho. Now I have him on speed dial. We were just texting and he’s in Europe with his band touring. We went and saw Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Poison, and Motley Crue, and hang out all the time. It’s so crazy, it’s a full swing.
Very cool. Have you been able to get back to Santa Cruz while you’re here, or does everyone kind of have to come to you?
Everyone’s had to come here. I’m dying to go to Socrates and get a sandwich, but unfortunately not, which really sucks. It’s a twenty minute cab ride. I could grab lunch and come back.
So, how has the tour been going so far with the handful of shows you’ve done so far?
This will only be our sixth show out of forty-seven. It already feels like it’s been awhile, but it’s only been a blink. But, it’s gone really good; every show’s been great. Everyone’s been really receptive, everyone’s there to have a good time. Sometimes they need to be reminded that they’re supposed to have a good time. A lot of people have been sitting down.
You know, I’ve gone to a handful of Idol tours, and sometimes people treat the live show like they’re at home watching y’all on TV, instead of embracing the vibe of being at a concert.
I know some people get agitated if people are standing up, Sit down! We’re trying to watch the show! It’s a concert; you’re supposed to stand up! We enjoy it when you stand. That’s why when I come out for my set, I come out through the crowd. I want people to stand up! Stand up! Try and find me!
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Idol Wired >> The San Francisco Treat
Since I spend a good portion of my week in San Francisco, you can imagine that I was excited to see how the American Idol auditions went in the city by the bay.
In case you had forgotten, Idol reminded us that Adam Lambert had initially auditioned in San Francisco. Aw, remember the days when Idol would find ridiculous amounts of talent? (Psst…seasons seven and eight, I miss you!)
It’s not that the singers shown weren’t talented, it’s just that they don’t seem as quality as prior contestants. I personally was looking to be wowed by the contestants and that definitely didn’t happen during the San Francisco auditions.
What I appreciated about this particular episode of auditions was that more good auditions were shown overall. And of course there were enough sob stories to fill the hour-long episode, but being that this was the last night of auditions, I was expecting them.
I really didn’t have any personal favorites from this set of auditions. However, there were a couple singers that I am looking forward to hearing from during the “Hollywood Week” round.
Matthew Ness from Huntington Beach, CA had some amazing big notes during his audition. Steven Tyler called the 25-year-old, “a diamond in the rough.”
Stefano Langone, the 21-year-old from Kent, WA sang Marvin Gaye’s, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” He has a Bruno Mars quality to his voice. Very smooth vocal.
Continue reading Idol Wired >> The San Francisco Treat
Idol Wired: New Judges: So Far, So Good!
American Idol has returned! I have to say, I’ve been quite hesitant about season 10. I am not someone who is fond of change, so with Simon Cowell leaving last season and Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez coming on board this go ’round, I have been very skeptical about how well season 10 could go.
Good news, I think Idol has a fighting chance at being pretty entertaining this year. I’m really happy the judges seem to be taking this season seriously for the most part.
To be honest, I haven’t watched the audition rounds prior to “Hollywood Week” since around season five. I really don’t like the bad auditions. I feel like the show wastes a lot of time on them, but tonight’s premiere seemed to have a good balance between good and bad auditions.
I definitely feel like Steven Tyler is going to be the fan favorite. The man is crazy and it will make for good TV. The censors at FOX are going to have a field day with him when the show goes live in a couple months.
Jennifer Lopez was disappointing at first, because it felt like all you had to do was cry in front of her and she’d let you through to the next round.
I think she’s definitely going to be the nurturer on the judging panel like Paula Abdul was. I think Lopez has a lot of empathy for the contestants, but she is going to have to learn how to utilize the word “no.”
Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Randy Jackson is over the moon about being in Simon’s old spot on the panel? You know he just couldn’t wait until it was his turn to give the final word.
I think Jackson is really trying harder to put his foot down, but with Lopez wanting to let everyone through, he’s kind of just letting her walk all over him. Part of me wonders if he was just doing that because it was their first day of auditions. Another part of me wonders if he’s going to be a pushover all season, because the star power on the panel wants to have all the say.
As far as contestants go, there were only a couple that really stuck out to me right away.
Fifteen-year-old Kenzie Palmer sang Carrie Underwood’s “Young and Beautiful.” In my opinion, I thought she had a strong audition. She’s got a fantastic voice and has a good chance to do well in the competition.
The other contestant that stood out to me was 16-year-old Robbie Rosen. He sang The Beatles’ “Yesterday.” It was a clean vocal. He’s got a good voice for pop music. Steven Tyler said that Rosen was “the best of New Jersey.”
Overall, I felt pretty underwhelmed by most of the talent. I think once “Hollywood Week” rolls around, that’s where we’ll start seeing the talent.
One thing the premiere was not light on was sob stories. There was the contestant whose father had cancer and the girl from Kosovo. The episode wrapped with the kid who had been living in a shelter with his family.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for learning more about the contestants, but I would rather hear them sing first before I learn their back stories. I think once a contestant has made it past “Hollywood Week” and is going to be around for a while, that’s when I want to hear their interests and whatever stories they have to share. I feel like the beginning rounds should be influenced by talent only.
So Idol fans, what did you think about the season 10 premiere of American Idol? How are you feeling about the judges? And what contestant stood out to you during the New York/New Jersey auditions?
Originally posted at BlogCritics.