Auditions 2023: Five from Round 4

Let’s muse about Round 4. I found some good ones this week, including a really good one.

The Really Good One

Warren Peay (To the Table Zach Williams). Warren has been called “The Christian Chris Stapleton”. That gritty, soulful voice comes from some heavenly realm no matter what his religion is. This is my new new new new favorite audition of the season so far. Lionel has him in the Top Ten and I agree that potential is there. There is one more left of the three Platinum tickets and I cannot believe that this guy didn’t get one[1].

Good Ones

Mariah Faith (I Can’t Make You Love Me Bonnie Raitt). A recurring theme this season is unique, interesting voices with raw, underdeveloped talent. Add Mariah to that list. After a so-so performance on her first song, she settled in on a second that she likely had prepped for, even though Katy made it look spontaneous.

My Crack Research Staff (me) got curious about that Nashville show that Idol arranged for Mariah to open for Noah Thompson and Huntergirl, last year’s Idol winner and runner-up (should have been the other way around). It was last November (when Idol auditions were in Nashville) at a downtown Nashville venue that supports 1,600 people. Is that the Evil Genius Producers (EGPs) signaling that she is going to be a contender this season? Last year, the judges came to Luke’s bar to personally deliver a Platinum ticket to Huntergirl. Mariah’s treatment by the EGPs seems to be important and something to keep an eye on.

Nailyah Serenity (My Man Streisand). She’s got a 60s jazz/pop vibe going on – I agree with Lionel on the Nina Simone reference – but the question is can she advance on Idol with this vibe? Yes, young jazz singer Samara Joy won this year’s Best New Artist Grammy but without insulting Idol voters[2], history indicates they are not looking at music the same way as the 21,000 Grammy Recording Academy members[3].

Pjae (Mirror Madison Ryan Ward) – Another unique, interesting voice with raw, underdeveloped talent.

Oprah Ziniah (Baby I Love You Aretha). I obviously get concerned when Idolists choose Aretha but Oprah brought some chuch upinta Idol. I also get concerned that R&B/gospel-type artists don’t do well on Idol but I call them as I hear them and I liked what I heard.

That’s it. That’s the list. As always, these evaluations are not my predictions of future results and are constantly subject to re-evaluation under the light of my withering musings.

See you next week. I hope you get to listen to some good music. 

[1] The two Platinum getters so far are the Billy Joel-ish Tyson Venagas and 15-year-old Kaylin Hedges.

[2] Of course I’m insulting them LOL.

[3] I’ve insulted them, too. Pretty much every year like I insult Idol voters.

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