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


After two weeks of milquetoast forced judge chemistry and punch-bag smiling clowns praising every performance, we were hoping to get a dose of venom, excitement or at least something different with Adam Lambert in as guest judges. The results though were…mixed.

Adam was actually something of a non-presences at the judges’ table. His interaction was at a minimum with either the contestants or the other judges as he pretty much waited his turn to chime in and then delivered pretty bland critiques of each contestant. Give me something, Adam!

Yes, there was a montage of him becoming A–hole Adam as they showed him send a few tone deaf singers on their merry way with some pretty weak dismissals. I wasn’t expecting that to be the bet he could do.

We also got a redux of his original audition that made for…a moment. Not much of a moment, but a moment nonetheless.

At least the clip of his original audition reminded us that Simon used to be on the show. Bring him back!

The Three Best Auditions
J. None
This was the guy who came in with a bear who helps him cope with his asthma. Or as Harry might’ve though, that the old dirty bear may be partly the cause of his Asthma. J. None (Not sure how much I want to call him that all season) flashed a very full soul voice that was especially impressive considering his medical condition. He found a solid groove in “My Prerogative” and didn’t leave the pocket for his entire audition. He might’ve exuded a bit more charisma given the type and quality of his performance, but that can be a bit hard in a small room in front of three people.

Let’s get this kid in front of a crowd.

This was the girl with the glitter fake face tattoo that was thankfully not a real tattoo. Despite the fact that she has the same name as a character from Mortal Kombat, Jax is exploding with talent. A subtle blues voice that just absolutely nailed the version of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” from ‘Across The Universe’. With a quiet confidence, she just slayed the song and brought a stillness to the room that felt like rapt awe.

On a Mortal Kombat scale, I’d say that was just about a Flawless Victory.

Hollywood Anderson
This was the big teddy bear who clearly made up his first name specifically for his audition. He sang an original song and sounded exactly like the lead singer of Alabama Shakes except for acoustic and with possibly even more soul. He just had an originality to him that just poured out through his music in a way that seemed like it was essential for him to sing.

I’m not even sure this kid needs the show to get a break. He showcased so much raw talent that he seems certain to become a star in one way or another.

The Three Worst Auditions
This was the ex-con who came in with a violin that he claimed to be worth half-a-million dollar and Harry joked went down in value as the song went along. Amazingly, he said he only spent 20 days in jail the time he was arrested. It’s shocking, because I’m pretty sure he’s the real killer from ‘Serial’. Or the OJ trial. Or some murder out there. This guy’s definitely taken the life of somebody whose body is buried under his floorboard or is dressed up as his mother and living in his parlor.

I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard from Johnny. I mean, we’re definitely never going to hear him sing again, but don’t count out some sort of a Manson Family scenario.

This was the guy who was really really really excited that his last name is Lopez and that he, like J-Lo, is Puerto Rican despite the fact that he’s whiter than most professional golfers. He sang “The Show Must Go On” by Queen like a drunk drag queen singing from a parade float after her PA broke and she has to try to sing above the noise of the parade crowd for everyone to hear her.

Yes, I know that was a very extended analogy, but watch the clip below and tell me that it isn’t wholly accurate. I dare you.

This was the girl who they barely showed coming out of commercial and how decided that a black doily was her best dress option for her audition. We only got a few brief bars of her ridiculous airy performance of Alanis Morisette’s “Uninvited” where she used about five notes to sing each syllable, but it did elicit something that hasn’t happened for me yet on this show this season: I actually laughed at how bad she was.


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