American Idol kicked off season 11 with a more subdued than normal panel and, to our dismay, seemed to spend less time on the awful, tone deaf singers we just love to chat about. Don’t worry, AI might have skimmed over the wacky bunch, but we didn’t.
Did you seriously think we weren’t going to dish the deets on the best and worst of season 11 so far? It’s American Idol — it would be a crime not to.
After two nights of auditions, we’ve seen Steven Tyler don a funny hat, Jennifer Lopez looking gorgeous and Randy Jackson being, well, Randy Jackson, but in terms of the contestants, it’s kind of slim pickings.
There’s not too many that rival William Hung in the cringe department or exude rock perfection like James Durbin, yet here they are — our picks for the worst and best — so far.
Let’s talk about the worst first — it’s much more fun — and makes us giggle. Remember, we’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing with you.
First up, Jessica Whitely (pictured). We thought she might have a moderate level of talent, but then she opened her mouth and we realized how wrong we were.
The first clue she was awful? When she sang it sounded like a cat being tortured! Sadly she was not given a golden ticket to Hollywood.
Because we’re the giving type, here’s Jessica’s audition — don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Then there was the other Savannah, Georgia contestant, Mawuena Kodjo. This is the type of singer that you hear crickets chirping in the background when they’re done.
The West Africa native who now lives in Nashville was dreadfully horrible. This country singer wannabe got Steven Tyler’s attention, but not for the right reasons: “You’ve got the confidence, man, but you ain’t got the song,” Tyler not-so-gently told him.
Check out Mawuena Kodjo and tell us what you think…
Now let’s check out the singers that made our ears do a happy dance!
The first night of auditions had some good singers. Nashville country singer Lauren Mink gave a stellar performance of “Country Strong” that was just as good, if not better, than Gwyneth Paltrow’s.
Then there was David Leathers Jr. Oh, David, you are a cute little guy. We can see why friends call him “Mr. Steal Your Girl.” The little dude was all over the older ladies.
We have to hand it to him — the kid had the chops to back up the swagger! Finally someone who is cocky and good — so refreshing…
There were some surprises the second night, like Heejun Han, who channeled Michael Bolton, and 15-year-old Eben Franckewitz, who looked like Justin Bieber, but nothing like Hallie Day.
She had the tragic story of hitting rock bottom after joining a girl group at 13 then turning to pills before finding her husband and turning her life around.
She gave a crazy-cool performance of “I Will Survive” that made Steven Tyler ask for more. Jennifer Lopez went as far as to say she could win it all. Unfortunately, her audition video wasn’t immediately available.
You know whose video was available? Phillip Phillips — our first-night standout.
We featured his audition video of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” but we have to show you his full audition video that includes him playing his guitar to “Thriller.” Yeah, he’s good…
There you have it, folks. Our good and bad picks for the first two nights of American Idol season 11.
Head over to our comments section and tell us if we got it right. We know you have an opinion, so why not use it?