(NEW YORK) — Wednesday night’s episode of American Idol offered more auditions, this time from Salt Lake City, Utah. Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. were there to hand out golden tickets to some contestants and dash the dreams of others.
Here are the highlights from the two-hour episode:
Austin Wolfe, a 16-year-old female student, sang the Imagine Dragons hit “Radioactive.” Harry said Austin reminded him of Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams. All three judges said “yes” at the same time.
Samantha Calmes delivered an original song that can be best described as poetry set to music. Harry then asked her to try another tune. Samantha complied by performing the theme to the TV show The Jeffersons a cappella. Harry was more impressed by her song choices than by her vocals. Keith compared Samantha’s style on the first song to that of Macklemore. Samantha is headed to Hollywood.
D.J. Bradley played an acoustic version of Adele’s “Hometown Glory.” Keith didn’t think it was riveting enough, but J-Lo chimed in that “there’s a blossom to be had” with D.J. D.J. advanced.
Paisley Van Patten, who once struggled with alcoholism, tackled Faith Hill’s “When the Lights Go Down.” Keith liked the subdued manner in which she sang it. J-Lo praised her for the control in her vocals. Paisley won the judges over even more with a Cher impression. We’ll see her again.
Tiquila Wilson belted out Adele’s “Someone Like You.” When Harry asked her whether she thought her musical aspirations would conflict with her dedication to her religious community, she said she was motivated and doesn’t care what others think of her. She received a “yes” from all three judges.
Emily Rattler, 17, strummed the Amy Winehouse version of “Valerie” on her guitar. Jennifer declared her to be the real thing. Harry said when he listened to Emily he knew it would be a good year for the show. Emily moved on in the competition.
Dexter Roberts performed “Drive,” by former American Idol contestant Casey James. Keith could hear the country and bluegrass influence. Dexter will be back.
Briston Maroney, 15, applied his surprisingly gruff voice to The Rolling Stones classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The panel worried he might lose his voice with his singing style, but they put him through anyway.
Kimberly Tosti gave the judges a very loud rendition of the Heart song “Barracuda.” Harry charitably said she was better suited for opera. Kimberly was rejected.
Carmen Delgina is the daughter of Wonder Mike, one of the members of the influential rap group The Sugarhill Gang. The 24-year-old put an R&B spin on the 1980s hit “Tainted Love,” by Soft Cell. She advanced, though the judges had concerns about her confidence and the strength of her vocals. Afterward, Carmen introduced the judges to her dad.
Kassandra Castaneda began her audition in awkward fashion by giving Jennifer her uncle’s phone number. Her uncle really wanted a call or text message from J-Lo, but she politely declined. Kassandra made it to Hollywood after singing Adele’s “Chasing Pavements.”
Casey Thrasher was reunited with Keith after he once met him outside the CMA Awards. Casey covered “Believe,” by Brooks and Dunn. Keith sensed the hunger and desire in Casey. So did Harry, who respected Casey’s drive in wanting to provide for his two children. Casey got a golden ticket.
American Idol has handed out 193 golden tickets to date. The auditions wind down in Omaha, Nebraska, Thursday night on Fox. The fun begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
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