American Idol 2013 Premiere Coverage: Chicago Auditions (VIDEO)
The American Idol 2013 premiere last night may have suffered a bit in the ratings, falling by almost 20 percent in viewership from Season 11, but the show still delivered plenty of amazing talent. Of course, with all the distracting eye-rolling and catfighting going on between new American Idol judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey, it’s hard to even remember the actual auditions.
Practically overnight, it seems Nicki Minaj has apparently become one of the most disliked judges in Idol’s history. Well, it at least seems that way according to all the comments we’ve been seeing from our readers here and on our American Idol Facebook page. In the ongoing feud between Nicki and Mariah, it feels like the fans are strongly on Mariah’s side. Plus, Nicki’s judging style just doesn’t seem to be going over well with the viewers.
As for the other new American Idol judge Keith Urban, he seems to be getting more attention for his old Playgirl photos than anything he’s done so far during the auditions. Perhaps fans should start petitioning the show to make Keith go shirtless on the judging panel. That would probably give them a nice ratings spike!
Thankfully we have a full list of all the American Idol 2013 auditions from night one of the season 12 premiere if you missed any of the good stuff and want to watch them again. Plus, we also have a detailed recap of the show if you need to catch up before part two of the American Idol 2013 premiere kicks off at 8 p.m. ET tonight.
For this episode, the judges will be moving on from NYC to the windy city of Chicago, Illinois. We’ve already seen some truly fabulous performances from Chicago in the American Idol spoilers going around, so it looks like a great night ahead.
Ready to watch the American Idol 2013 premiere part two drama unfold? We’ll be live blogging all the chills, thrills and snarky commentary for you right here as soon as the show starts, so stay tuned. Be sure to refresh for the latest updates!
And here we go!
American Idol 2013 Audition: Mackenzie Wasner
Moving on, thankfully, it is time for the actual auditions to begin. First up is 17-year-old Mackenzie Wasner with Vince Gill's "Whenever You Come Around. She's gorgeous, she has a decent voice and she has those sparkly eyes that make the judges get all happy. Her dad is in Vince Gill's touring band. Mariah Carey says the audition sounds like "listening to your first single." It's a country kind of year being foreshadowed here... She has four yes votes in a heartbeat and she's through to Hollywood.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Austin Earle
Up next is mohawk-sporting Austin Earle, who just isn't really interesting other than having a mohawk and he fails to get through to Hollywood.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Kiara Lanier
Kiara Lanier had the honor of singing in front of President Barack Obama himself, so you'd think conquering these judges should be a cake walk... and it is! She kills it with a performance of "The Prayer" by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. Four enthusiastic yes votes from the judges gives her a golden ticket. "When you can only hear wows, you know that that was pretty freaking pretty," Nicki Minaj says. 'Nough said.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Stephanie Schimel
Continuing the good vibes tonight (and excellent performances by the ladies), we have Stephanie Schimel with "Dream a Little Dream of Me." The judges are a bit mixed on this performance. Nicki Minaj just doesn't think she's star material, but Stephanie doesn't hold it against her. She lands three yes votes though and is through to the next round.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Melissa Bush
Oh wow, this poor girl needs a fashion intervention stat! The cruelest part is the 'from behind' shot that gives way, way too much detail on Melissa Bush's anatomy through those tights/pants/whatever those things are. Sadly, this massage therapist's vocals on "Downtown" by Petula Clark are about as unpleasant as her clothes and she is sent packing. There goes the mojo for an all awesome girls night... At least Randy Jackson got a "Get Down DAWG!" T-shirt from Melissa out of it to remember her by. (Although I think I'd rather forget...)
American Idol 2013 Audition: Gabe Brown
Gabe Brown was found in a rather non-traditional American Idol way. Producers sent out a bus to various small towns looking for talent and discovered Gabe in Iowa City. He is a rocker with a big voice that nearly sends Keith Urban reeling through window behind him. Mariah Carey isn't so into the whole screaming thing, but he ends up getting through to Hollywood anyway. He may not make it very far, but he'll be a fun one to watch!
American Idol 2013 Audition: Kevin Nabity
Kevin Nabity seems confused about what the heck he is even doing standing in front of the American Idol judges. He says he doesn't want to come across as "cocky," which immediately makes him sound exactly that. His voice is like a droning auctioneer and you have to wonder what the heck he is thinking auditioning for Idol. Thankfully, he is quickly shoved out the door by the judges. "I feel like I'm at a bad auction, and Kevin just tried to sell me an old motorbike I don't want," Randy Jackson says.
We take a break from the good auditions for a montage of sadness as contestants are rejected by the judges one by one. Crying, despair and crushed dreams make for a seriously pitiful collection. Thankfully it's a short run and we're back to the positive American Idol auditions again.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Isabelle Parell
Look! It's another country singer girl! Do I smell a theme here? Is American Idol hoping to find the next Carrie Underwood this year? Isabelle, 15, sings a "Baby It's Cold Outside" and even gets a little boost from Keith Urban joining in. Randy isn't in love, but it doesn't mattre. Isabelle is through to the next round.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Griffin Peterson
Keith Urban has to interrupt his Idol duties for a concert, so the panel is down to just three judges for Griffin Peterson. He's seriously kind of hot and Nicki Minaj appears to be in lust. Randy is kind of whatever, but Griffin's good looks (and decent voice) earn him a trip to Hollywood Week.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Curtis Finch, Jr.
Curtis Finch, Jr. is bringing the judges to church tonight! He's got soul, he's got the whole sweet, loveable thing going for him. His voice is fabulous. Seriously, he's amazing. You know the judges are all over this and he has his ticket to ride on in the competition.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Mariah Pulice
Mariah Pulice makes Mariah Carey cry when she recounts her terrible history battling anorexia. "When I got really, really, really sick, I stopped singing," she says. "Anorexia engulfed everything in my life." American Idol loves the sob stories and the judges just can't resist her. "You touched me," Mariah Carey says. "I know what it's like to have to sing through tears. It's really difficult." Thankfully she also has a sweet voice and picks a great song with "Let It Be" by the Beatles, so she makes it to Hollywood. The moment that really makes you choke up is getting to see her family watch her make it through. Anyone need a tissue?
American Idol 2013 Audition: Brandy Neely
Day two of the Chicago auditions are here and Brandy Neely is nearly ready to fall to her knees and worship Keith Urban. She's that crazy over meeting him! We first saw her in auditions for Season 10, but she wasn't as good then. She gives a lovely rendition of "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams and the judges can't stand how much they adore her this time around. She is totally going through.
Now we have a trio of great performances with Josh Holiday, Courtney Williams and Andrew Jones. All three are given the pass through to the next round.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Clifton Duffin
Clifton Duffin is a dancer who views Mariah Carey with abject adoration. He performs "Superstar" by Luther Vandross (originally by The Carpenters), which is a favorite of his mother's. His parents are watching and are just blown away by his talent. They've never actually heard him sing before because he's been keeping his voice a secret! Keith Urban says he is a "diamond in the rough" and it's a unanimous yes from the judges.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Ieisha Cotton
Unfortunately for Ieisha, her singing is not nearly as enjoyable as her dancing. Her performance of "Thank You" by Ashanti is terrible. Randy rightfully tells her she should keep her mouth shut and keep with the dangin instead. A resounding no from the judges sends her heading home.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Johnny Keyser
Johnny Keyser gives us "Try a Little Tenderness" and it is one of the best of the night. Now, Johnny failed to make it to the finals last year when he auditioned, so Randy Jackson cautions him to make sure he's worked hard so he doesn't "crash and burn" this time too.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Kez Ban
Fire dancer and all around street performer Kez Ban shares some of the accidents she has had with flames, which prompts Keith Urban to ask if she has any "old flames." Keith, I'm just ashamed of you for that terrible pun! Amazingly enough after her rather bizarre intro, she does a rather good rendition of "I've Got No String" from Pinnochio. Then she performs a seriously good original song that has the judges very intrigued. They put her through to Hollywood! She tells Ryan Seacrest she's kind of in shock and she thought she was she was "too bizarre" for Idol.
Sigh. It's another tear-jerking montage of failed auditions... except this time the rejected hopefuls are losing it big time! There are middle fingers flying everywhere, diva breakdowns, screaming and attitude all over the place. All set to a Le Miserables theme. Very cute, American Idol.
American Idol 2013 Audition: Ashley Curry
Let's put that behind us and move on to the next audition with Ashley Curry, who is studying musical theater. She gives the judges "Mama Knows" by Jessie J. I have high hopes for this one based on the intro... until she starts singing. This girl is studying musical theater? Has no one told her she really should possibly be thinking about a different career? Or maybe at least firing her teachers and getting new ones? Apparently not as she claims she just sang in the wrong key. She tries it again and is, if anything, worse. “And here I was going to change my mind," Randy says, "and say no again.” Ashley says the judges "must have gotten tired or something" and her mom even chimes in that Ashley "has a golden ticket in her heart." Wow. No Hollywood for Ashley!
American Idol 2013 Audition: Lazaro Arbos
The last audition of the night goes to 21-year-old Lazaro Arbos, who suffers from a terrible stutter. He can barely get out his name and the title of his song for the American Idol judges. He talks about going through speech therapy but it never helped and how he was bullied by his schoolmates. Those who stutter, however, can often sing as a way to communicate. In Lazaro's case, not only is his voice crystal clear, it's beautiful as well. He receives an absolute yes from all four judges!
That's all for our live blog coverage of the American Idol 2013 Chicago auditions. Join us here again next week and be sure to bookmark our American Idol news page for all the latest gossip, spoilers, recaps and more!