I was trying to figure out all week why Nikki Sixx appeared on Idol, and nothing in his brief opening appearance beside his connection to the iconic Sunset Strip provided an answer. It didn’t take too long after that appearance for Nikki to ‘splain hisself on Twitter. Gotta promote that tour!
Why do I still watch American Idol (not that you asked)? This ten-year-old photo of a T-shirt that Ryan Seacrest posted on Twitter explains it. In any season, there is a chance I’ll see a future popular music star. And in some good seasons, I’ll find several.
In this picture are:
- Scotty McCreery (top center), who has had three #1 Country albums;
- Lauren Alaina (far right), who was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry this year;
- Jacob Lusk (left of Lauren), whose current group Gabriels has received rave reviews from Elton John;
- Casey Abrams (bottom center), who has had a #1 and a #2 jazz album.
And do why I put up with too many bad auditions, judges’ “hilarity,” and other stuff the producers use to fill a two-hour block of time (not that you asked)? It’s because of that t-shirt. I want to be able to look back and remember those auditions that launched those accomplishments.
Easily the most impressive audition of the night – and one of the most amazing ever – came from Douglas Mills, a high school student sent to LA to audition by Houston’s ABC affiliate. Wow. This young man has an incredible voice, and he is an impressive singer, too. That said, Idol is looking for a pop singer, which this young man is not based on if this audition is any indication. But Lionel summed it up perfectly: “You know what you don’t need? Charts. Pop charts, R&B charts. You’re off the charts!” However long he lasts in the competition, I hope his audition is his springboard to a career in the music business, and by the business, I mean the industry.
Unfortunately, another reason I watch the auditions closely is to see if I can spot The Good-looking Country Singer Who Is Likely to Win. A few years ago, it was Laine Hardy, and I called it right from his audition. Last year, it was Chayce Beckham. Mind you, the talent of The Good-looking Country Singer Who Is Likely to Win is irrelevant to their chances of winning. I am concerned about Dan Marshall, who had the naivete (he’s only been performing for a few months) to perform Garth Brooks’ The Dance, which is holy ground for country fans in general, and the legions of Garth fans, in particular. Dan seems like a humble, likable guy. But he’s far from a country star. And yet, I am already afraid.
Besides Douglas Mills, another superb audition was the old-school Otis Redding soul of Kevin Gullage, who sang Otis Redding‘s That’s How Strong My Love Is.
Others I noted were Zaréh Turner, whose mother Nadia finished 8th on Idol back in Season 4; Iowa piano teacher Sam Moss, who sang an original song; return Idolist Jacob Moran; pregnant Hayley Miles, who did a nice version of Adele’s One and Only after a weak performance of Miley Cyrus’ The Climb; and Elli Rowe, whose Nashville audition was shown. I’m on the fence about whether any of them have Top 24 potential.
The final audition round is tomorrow. See you then.
 Carrie Underwood’s season.
 A song where many Idolists’ careers go to die.