From tonight’s auditions, I’ve got a solid handful of Idol hopefuls from Nashville that is worth watching, and none of them are a former Miss America (Betty Maxwell nee Cantrell, 2016). Here they are.
Mike Parker. I liked the Chris Stapleton meets gospel singer vibe of his voice on Deana Carter’s Strawberry Wine. I agree with the judges that he should lean harder on the country and less on the gospel. Katy Perry has him slotted for Top 24 already. He easily has that level of talent (not a prediction).
Kenedi Anderson. If you want to turn someone into a pop star, Kenedi is the raw material a record label would like to work with. Pop star Katy called her “younger, skinnier . . . prettier” in comparing Kenedi to herself. That package has some musical talent, too – I loved the way Kenedi twisted up Lady Gaga’s Applause into a very different song. There will be better singers – there were several tonight – but Kenedi embodies that age-old question of whether Idol is a singing contest or a search for a pop star. Idol says they are the latter, so someone like Kenedi needs to be taken seriously for now.
Allegra Miles. She wowed me and the judges with her original song Tainted.
Christian Guardino. Strong Elliott Yamin vibe singing A Song for You. Any comparison to Elliott is a strong compliment.
Lady K. The Evil Genius Producers saved her sad story for the Glory Spot, and she delivered with a moving version of Katy’s Wide Awake that got Katy to say, “You reinvented the song.”
See you next week.
 Third place in a VERY competitive Season Five.