Jennifer Lopez, other ‘American Idol’ judges blown away by Carlos Santana’s …

24 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Idol’ 2015 recap: Carlos Santana’s nephew among best in New Orleans.

Lasher also chatted about being diabetic, and went on to impress them — and everyone else watching — with his vocals on his original song, These Shoes, and was given a golden ticket to Hollywood. It was a homecoming night for Harry Connick Jr. in New Orleans, and the affable American Idol judge admitted to being a little nervous about whether or not the hometown crowd would bring the talent.The 2015 “Idol” audition express pulled into New Orleans Thursday night, and although the show was only an hour (half the time of the last two Thursdays), there was plenty of capable voices to enjoy in the Big Easy. Some observers wonder whether steps taken by Fox this season to shore up the aging singing show can forestall the end — or will “Idol” take the network down with it?

Connick promised that New Orleans was brimming with “potential superstars,” but for a minute it felt like New Orleans had discovered a new crop of William Hungs, beginning with yet another ludicrous version of a Michael Jackson song and a montage of bad singers. This month the season opener drew 11 million viewers to beat the broadcast competition; Fox has now won its opening two nights of “American Idol” every season since 2003 (season 2).

Inexplicably, the panel sent perky Texas drill team teenager Tiffany Stringer to Hollywood after sort of singing Cher Lloyd’s “Want You Back.” Stringer’s “yes” was questionable, considering the panel later summarily rejected 28-year old torch song singer Sarah Quintana, who had great vocals and was aided by Connick on piano. Mikey, who went to the same high school as Harry, was the whole package, with a very interesting tone and a killer original song to back him up. “Really beautiful,” J-Lo said. For at least a decade “Idol” was considered the “Death Star” in network television, the ratings force that emerged every January to obliterate everything in its path. The May-December motif of their interaction was accentuated by the schoolgirl blouse-and-tie outfit she was wearing as well as by association to her current movie, “The Boy Next Door.” Although Ryan Seacrest mentioned Lasher’s relationship to Santana in introducing the California native to the audience (Lasher called his uncle “a Jedi with the guitar”), it wasn’t clear whether the judges knew about the connection.

Even the old bit about potential contestants getting confused exiting the room resurfaced (in a cute touch, Jennifer Lopez made her very own exit sign, but initially put it on the wrong door). The pancreas is the organ that produces insulin, which helps the body regulate blood sugar levels – all of which seemed to be beyond Urban who quipped, “That sounds like the ultimate punk band name.” Connick and Urban were still chuckling and making comments while Lasher picked out the song’s intro, but when he strummed into the verses, all other sound died away. Connick was especially charming, giving viewers a tour of the Ninth Ward and the homes he and Branford Marsalis constructed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When they finally stopped him, Connick called him “Jimmy” – but if Lasher’s performance is any indication, people won’t have a hard time remembering his name for long.

A decade ago, when “Idol” was unstoppable, the idea of inflated airings multiple nights a week, two hours twice a week, could barely satisfy fans’ hunger. Now, with other singing and performance shows vying for attention and the novelty gone, cutting the filler and rounding out the audition process is the plan. The producers hope getting to know the contestants, via interviews with judges after the Hollywood round, will help viewers connect. (Do we really want to know more about the wanna-be singers — or hear them talking?) Later, elimination rounds will be spread throughout the show to sustain energy. But the judges wanted him to push himself to match his outspoken clothing. “I want to see you sing weird,” Harry said. “You can push further,” J-Lo said.

The auditions continue, the Hollywood rounds are up next; late February may be the optimal time to start watching, when the musical mob is narrowed to finalists. The next move is a play out of the old-school broadcasters’ book: There’s talk of a crossover between “American Idol” and “Empire,” the hot new Fox series about a hip-hop music mogul and his family.

Harry said the fellow Louisianan had “such great style, elegance and great spirit.” Major kudos to the teen for walking into his audition and playing an original song for the judges.

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