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“Idol” finishes up in Austin and travels to San Francisco

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Last night, American Idol returned for its 13th season!

Judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. handed out 45 Golden Tickets during the 2014 premiere episode.

How many did they hand out tonight? Read on to find out!

The judges had some unfinished business to take care in Austin. Jesse Roach was first contestant of the day! Her neighbor singed her up for the Austin audition. Her tone reminded me a lot of Loretta Lynn. Jennifer stated that Jesse could be a recording artist and the guys agreed and was the first recipient of the Golden Ticket.
Other singers including Steven Curd, Anna Melvin and Ryan Clark were able to impress the judges to receive Golden Tickets.

It is always tough when best friends audition together! Sometimes the judges would be divided on who to let in and who is going home. For example, best buddies Jamiah Malik and Quiandra Boston traveled to the Austin audition and had different auditions. Jamiah had a mature Astro vibe about him and sang-rap an original, while Quiandra pulled off the stops and gave a gospel performance. However, Quiandra received the Golden Ticket…while Jamiah had to audition for next season.

So, 19-year-old Spencer Lloyd walked into Idol with his guitar, great looks and immediately wins over Jennifer Lopez. His version of a Colton Dixon song is average at best. But the judges ignore that and send him through to Hollywood! If he gets further in the competition, I am going to start prepping my Cowell-esque putdowns!

One audition that I wished had more airtime was Marlon Lindsey. He waited to audition for the show for eight years! But he was still in the army at the time. However, now that Marlon was out of the army, he came to the Austin audition. His cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” was impeccable and will bring R&B back to the show. He received three “yeses” to Hollywood.

After a few Chamber mishaps, it was time to show American Idol history! Tristen Langley became the second member of his family to audition for the show…the person that already appeared on Idol…his mother, American Idol: Season One third place runner-up Nikki McKibbin! Langley was inspired by his mom to pursue his dream. He had a terrific voice that moved me…unfortunately, Hacksaw Harry (as J.Lo coined) did not like the fact that Langley used a choke effect for his voice and voted “No!” Jennifer and Keith outvoted him and Langley became the second member of the McKibbin family to receive an Idol Golden Ticket.

The show traveled to San Francisco in hopes to find strong singers to bring to Hollywood! Uber Keith fan Rachel Rolleri was the first contestant that the judges saw in the Great City by the Bay. Her cover of Sugarland’s “Stay” intrigued listeners and I just hope that Jennifer Nettles watched that performance. She received the first Golden Ticket in San Fran.

24-year-old Emmanuel Zidor scared the judges when he made his dramatic entrance singing Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams.” However, his cover of Whitney’s “I Believe in You and Me” gave me chills and Jennifer stated that he believed him when he sang! He received a Golden Ticket for Hollywood.

In between takes, Harry bonded with Jennifer’s kids and was in a good mood! Just in time for 15-year-old Caitlin Johnson to take the stage. Her cover of Xtina’s version of “Something’s Got A Hold of Me” was great for Jennifer and Keith but Harry was not convinced. Caitlin has one more chance to impress Hacksaw Harry in Hollywood.

Every year, family members audition for the show! Some make it…some don’t! Twin sisters Selena and Sierra Moreno came to the same situation. Selena had a strong voice and her cover of Janis’ “Try” was superb and earned a Golden Ticket. Unfortunately, Sierra came up short with her cover of Beyonce’s “1+1” and has to wait until next year to try out again.

Briana Oakley knows what Sierra is going through. She impressed the Season 12 judges last season but was cut during Hollywood Week. Briana came back stronger then ever and delivered with a wonderful cover of Sara Bareilles’s “Stay.” J.Lo stated that Briana reminded her of Jordin while Harry added that he was “proud of her.” She received the three “yeses” for Hollywood.

The final contestant of the night was 28-year-old sound healer Adam Roth. His cover of “Hallelujah” was great and he reminded me of a minstrel. J.Lo stated that Adam’s voice was very pretty but thought it was fake. Keith added that it was schizophrenic. While Jennifer and Harry were on opposite ends of the spectrum, Adam used his sound healer training to convince Keith to give him the final Golden Ticket of the evening.

Counting tonight’s episode…the judges have handed out 79 Golden Tickets this season!

Next week, the show heads to Detroit to find some talent! Will Motor City deliver? Find out next week!

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