The Comet’s very own Idolholic, an industry insider who chooses to remain anonymous, is on the front lines of “American Idol” and reports on this season’s top contenders!
As the Top 40 contestants take their anxious walk to judgment and we learn who has won the chance to sing for America’s vote, The Idolholic sees some patterns emerging. Perhaps you can call it “The Adele Effect.” Is it just me or do many of the singers who have moved on seem to be particularly soulful types with powerful pipes that may not look like they are from central casting? They bring a conviction, honesty and rich vocal quality. Does this call to mind the style of the current queen of the recorded music business?
I really hope they don’t all end up blending together like the years the singer/songwriter types dominated the competition and caused some viewer malaise with their sameness. If they each hold their own, it could be an exciting and energizing season. What I can say is that with few a exceptions (Lauren Gray and Neco Starr), I am really happy with the judges’ selections since they mostly mirror the “ones to watch” The Idolholic has been following all along.
1. Jen Hirsh: An earthy, gutsy, full-voiced performer who exudes confidence and commitment.
2. Creighton Fraker: A true artist in the making with “mad vocals” (as Randy would say) but an awful stage name.
3. Joshua Ledet: A strong R&B singer with Gospel-infused delivery and showmanship who has risen above his initial lack of self-confidence.
4. Haley Johnson: A captivating blonde who somehow eluded The Idolholic’s radar up to this point, but who certainly deserves a spot among the semi-finalists.
5. Elise Testone: Who despite some poor fashion sense has managed to be one of the most consistent contestants through both individual and group showcases, but another bad name that is destined to be confused with testosterone.
6. Reed Grimm: A grown up child performer who brings to mind the offbeat persona and the incredible musical talent of last season’s Casey Abrams.
7. Erika VanPelt: A bit more Kelly Clarkson than Adele, she has been a bit inconsistent but when she’s on, she’s been exceptional.
8. & 9. Baylie Brown and Chelsea Sorrell: May have to vie for the Lauren Alaina spot among this year’s Top 12. It will be a fight to the finish because they’re both very good—and very telegenic—Country vocalists.
10. Heejun Han: Is clearly among my top favorites right now. It’s that unexpected passion that comes through when he takes center stage. He has such a modest, sweet and engaging way about him. Please don’t let the pressure get to him!
11. Jessica Sanchez: Wow how did I miss her? She should reprise her amazing rendition of “The Prayer” when it counts.
12. Phil Phillips: The only guitar player in the group thus far who definitely has an original sound that will have to transcend the various genres he’ll be called on to tackle.
13. Colton Dixon: Is the example of the law of unintended consequences. He came back after being cut last year to encourage his sister Skylar...but not to audition. You know how the story ends. He makes it…she doesn’t.
14. Brielle Van Hugel: Can you say “Jersey sure!” She’s a vivacious young lady with a boisterous voice and stage mother to boot.