American Idol, Season 14, Episodes 5&6: Unfeeling Minnesota & Whole Lotta Harry (Will)

It’s been a tough week at work so our Idol viewing and write-ups will be condensed to a single post each. Part of the impetus for the combined recap is the lack of inspiration we felt during and following the Minneapolis episode.

We started off with yet another shy kid who has never sung in front of other people before. I really don’t get this. You sing in the shower and think the logical next step is to try your hand at being the next Kelly Clarkson on national TV? This is the second person in two weeks we’ve been shown who has this same story. I feel like there should be some middle ground like maybe playing a few rounds of Guitar Hero with your friends. Or perhaps before you sing a ballad in front of Keith Urban, maybe you want to grab a pitcher of Red Dog at Flannery’s Pub and belt out some Chumbawumba for Tuesday night Kareoke? Anyway – Shannon – or Shy Kid #2- is IN and I anticipate being annoyed with her next time we meet in Hollywood.

Then we see a guy with a gold mic, a close singing professional organizer, and an Air Force wife who gets a lot of air time. Ho-hum. Big takeaway for me is that I like Keith Urban. Keith holds to his word with a country singing contestant and pulls the lucky guy onstage at one of his concerts. Solid. However, I am also slightly confused by what it means to sing country. Harry critiques aforementioned contestant for singing with a country accent, which HCJ deems affected. Keith is sitting two seats down and as far as I can tell speaks with an Aussie accent but sounds more Mobile then Melbourne when he is singing. I don’t get it. I also don’t get why many of the American heroes on Homeland are played by Brits but none of the handmaidens on Downton Abbey are actresses from Detroit.

We see a good ole’ pretty blonde girl who fishes and hunts, a Jerry Lee Lewis understudy, and a compelling 16 year old, Hannah, who sings some Etta James. They are all through and then we finally hit 8:53PM and know it’s time for a special story. This time the story is that this guy is 28. That’s it? While I am not going to shed a tear that this is Mark Andrew’s last year to try out for Idol, I do think he’s a pretty cool dude and am interested to see him sing more…

New Orleans is next and so the following hour is filled with montages of Harry in the Big Easy and clips of him gushing about the city and his hopes for the talent there.

There’s some New Orleans related hashtags going on and I’ll admit that there are 2 things I absolutely cannot get straight. Clockwise and counterclockwise is one of them. The other is WhoDat and WhoDey and which one is Cincinnati and which one is New Orleans and why do I even care?

On to the talent..

  • Jelly Joseph – you’re in. Great name which sounds like a rookie lineman who gets hazed on Hard Knocks.
  • Tiffany – 16 year old cheerleader. She’s dorky and energetic and while I should be annoyed with her, I am not. Perhaps it’s because I know someone else will be very soon in Hollywood. Group week will see someone in her team crying.
  • Quentin Alexander: first a ‘Treme profile showcasing the 9th ward and then this hip guy with a funky tone gets a Golden Ticket. To me – he gave off a Lenny Kravitz cool vibe but Harry compares his edginess to Terence Trent D’arby. Now I love Wishing Well as much as the next guy but I don’t think I would classify it as musically groundbreaking. Is it possible I know more about music than Harry? Kinda hoping he drops a Pebo Brison reference next episode.
  • Montage time. Again, it’s 3 girls and I don’t care for any of them but they all advance. Extra yawns for the blonde girl who says there needs to be more country girls on the radio. No – there absolutely does not need to be.
  • Ricky Dale Hendricks is a local boy, plays guitar and has a face that the menopausal Facebook friends of Idol will go gaga for. McReery 2.0?

I can’t even go into the rest of them but there were three interesting guys that stood out for me. I liked 15 year old Grayson who slayed it with a great original. I was also impressed by Mikey Dunn, who had a unique tone and graduated from Harry’s alma matter.  Finally, Adam Lasher closed us out and seemed poised to make a long run in Season14. He is related to Santana so I am not quite sure why he needs to try out for Idol, but clearly has stage presence and polish and might be this year’s David Cook.

We finish with local crawfish and beignets and a trailer for the SF auditions which, based on the trends, will roll credits over Keith Urban sticking his head in a sourdough breadbowl next Thursday night.

I’m ready for Hollywood at this point…


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