AMERICAN IDOL Season 14 Premiere Recap: We Rank the Best and Worst Auditions!

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‘American Idol’ is back for its fourteenth season, and I’m very happy to be back with my ‘American Idol’ column now on theTV Addict! This will be a great new home for my brand of nonsense.

This season, ‘American Idol’ is supposed to be all about positivity. So much positivity in fact, that we already know who the Top 24 are. Well, at least what a few of them sound like and how they look in silhouette.

The show’s goal appears this season is for the audience to build relationships with these contestants in hopes that the show can launch its first pop star since Phillip Phillips and (probably) help stave off cancellation.

So it’s going to be a bunch of sunshine and gumdrops this season as the show becomes a chorus of Paula Abduls rooting on all contestants to victory in hopes the audience will feel those same good vibes.

Luckily, the cynics out there still have me. There will be no such positivity from this column as I will continue to bring my same Cowell-esque snark to covering ‘American Idol’. Let’s begin again, shall we?

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The Three Best Auditions

Riley
This was the kid who looked Keith Urban’s pint-sized doppelganger and had actually played with Keith Urban at an awards show once and, in fact, played a Keith Urban song. In other words, he may be a bizarre reincarnation a la that creepy kid in ‘Birth’ which, of course, starred Nicole Kidman. Coincidence? It can’t be.

Harry made a great point when he said that it seemed like Riley wasn’t trying. He was just so effortless as he strummed through his country tune. Yes, he smacked of annoying young kid singer songwriter you wanted to punch when you were in high school. But, with Riley, maybe you would have apologized afterwards.

Emily
This is the girl who thought that Ryan Seacrest was speaking to her directly through her television to tell her to come to audition. She could have been Son of Sam, but instead she was just a bolt of talent. Her singing was solid, but what was really impressive was her folk guitar playing as she reworked a Carrie Underwood song into something that could have been played at Woodstock.

This audition also must be noted because it gave us the faux pas of the season by which all others will be measured: Harry Connick saying, “I like seeing someone who looks fifteen.”

Did nobody catch that?

Cameron
This is the guy in the hoodie who looked like a Starbucks Barista who actually manages to get your name right. He sang a Ray LaMontagne song and turned it from a gravel pit tune into a some smooth fun R&B soul. I swear, if Ray LaMontagne sounded like Cameron I might actually want to listen to him – a big beam of sunshine in contrast to the driving rain that is the actual song. The only thing bad I can say about Cameron is that he referred to Hollywood as “Hollywizzle” in his post performance interview. That’s not a good look for anybody.

The Three Worst Auditions

Unidentified Guy in the Blue Shirt
Look. If a guy’s got the cajones to come into his ‘Idol’ audition and sing “Use Your Love” by The Outfield and not be able to sing a single note, he deserves more than just a spot in part of the montage. He actually could probably needs a four-part ‘Idol’ special dedicated to him. I want to know at what point he decided upon ‘Use Your Love’. If he ever considered the Katy Perry version of ‘Use Your Love’. If he’d seen the Josh Hutcherson SNL sketch devoted to ‘Use Your Love’ and if he could please come over to my house and discuss how kick-ass the song ‘Use Your Love’ is. This guy was a superstar in the making and he got the shaft in ‘Idol’s’ newfound devotion to positivity.

Kyle
This is the big shock of red hair with a human underneath it who looked like the Fraggle version of Napoleon dynamite. He sang Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit” or, as he said it, by The Goo Goo Dolls who famously sang it in a Gap Commercial and then decided to make a single out of it. So yeah, it’s their song. What am I thinking?

Not understanding the origins of his song, though, was the least of his crimes. His real fault was the fact that he performed the tune as though he was in sort of heavy metal race as he played his acoustic guitar with the fury of a doom guitarist ripping through some power chords. It would have been funny if it weren’t so disturbingly creepy.

Sadly, the judges cut him off before he could start to sing another song.

Michael
This was the kid who looked like a modern day Opie and wore some weird shirt about being World War Champs – not sure how that made it past the plain T-Shirt Police.

He sang “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith with a load of forced tone that was so inauthentic you could almost see him practicing the snarl in mirror as he forced his way through his audition. Then the kid has the gaul to slow dance with J-Lo as Keith and Harry provided the soundtrack.

The only good thing to come from this audition was J-Lo saying that slow dancing with the kid was, “The most fun she’d had in months.” Then going on to say she was a great wife, but, “Just picked the wrong f—king guys.” Umm…Call for help, J-Lo?

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