“American Idol” wraps up Season 13 auditions in Omaha

The American Idol 2014 crew

Keith, J.Lo, Harry and Ryan talk to the press after the final Season 13 audition in Omaha. (Photo property of FOX, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

So far this season, new judge Harry Connick, Jr. and Idol veterans Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban have traveled the country looking for the next superstar!

Their adventures have taken them to Boston, Atlanta, Detroit and Salt Lake City! Tonight, they head to Omaha to find standouts that will compete against the 193 singers that they already assembled from the previous cities.

Which artists will increase the Midwest’s presence in the Hollywood Rounds? Read on to find out…

The first contestant to kick off the night was 21-years-old Dwight Edwards. He had a connection to one of the judges. His mother is Jolie of Jolie and the Wanted.  She toured with Keith at the beginning of his career.  His cover of “A Change Is Gonna Come” was average compared to what fans have seen previously (Adam Lambert & Joshua Ledet).  J.Lo stated that Dwight looked and sounded good…but he was inconsistent at times. However, Keith stated that he had raw talent.  The judges gave him a Golden Ticket…he could be cannon fodder!

Unfortunately, after that…Omaha had a dry spell. However, both Madison Walker and Alyssa Siebken were able to turn things around with their auditions! Madison did an in-tune karaoke version (according to Keith) of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” and was able to show some good vocal runs.  Meanwhile, Alyssa Siebken performed an interesting acoustic take on Waka Flocka Flame’s “No Hands” that received two yeses from Jennifer and Keith and a “No” from Harry.  Both girls received Golden Tickets to Hollywood.

For the first time this season, there was a singer that polarized the judges! Burlington, Vermont native Tyler Gurwicz performed Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” that had passion but…it was hard for both Harry and Keith to place him in the competition.  Harry asked him for one final song to perform and he performed “I’m Afraid to Die” and changed Harry’s mind to receive a Golden Ticket.

One of the most hysterical auditions of the season was 20-year-old C.J. Jones.  He had Harry Connick, Jr. stand beside him while he sang Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” He rekindled blue-eyed soul with his pitch-perfect vocals while Harry channeled former judge Paula Abdul and did dance moves while C.J. sang. Keith stated that his voice was pleasant to hear and Jennifer loved him.  He received another Golden Ticket to Hollywood Week.

Hoping to get one of the final Golden Tickets was Paula Hunt.  The Air Force Heartland of America band member sings for our troops and wanted to audition for Idol in honor of her mother, who lost her singing voice to MS. Her cover of Etta James’ “All I Could Do Was Cry” was very heartbreaking and I believe that she will inherit the legacy that Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson and Melinda Doolittle left behind.  She received a unanimous “Yes” to the Hollywood Rounds.

The final singer to face the judges at the Auditions’ stage was 25-year-old Tessa Kate. Her number one goal…have a career in the music industry! The Branson, Missouri performer covered Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues.” She had a very soft quality about her and I think that Idol needs her to counteract several loud singers that were sent through to Hollywood.  I also agreed with Harry’s remarks because she has a timeless sound!  I cannot wait to see what she does in Hollywood!

Next week, 212 contenders will face Hollywood Week head on! But will they be prepared for the twists that await them?

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