Friday, January 24, 2014


Based on portrayal in auditions:
Out of 85
Singing (out of 10)
Presence (out of 10)
Marketability (out of 10)
Song Choice (out of 10)
Relatability to Frau (out of 25)
Pimpage (out of 20)

So far:
1) Sam Woolf--69
2) Casey Thrasher/Marrialle Sellars--63
4) Alex Preston/Majesty York--62
6) Jessica Meuse--61
7) Brandy Neelly--60
8) Briston Maroney--59
9) Dexter Roberts--58
10) Ethan Harris--56
11) Austin Wolfe/Jordan Brisbane--55
13) CJ Harris--54
14) Kenzie Hall--53
15) Ben Briley/ Maurice Townsend--50
17) Bria Anai--49
18) Caleb Johnson--48
19) Briana Oakley--47
20) Spencer Lloyd--46
21) Malcolm Allen--45
22) Jena Asciutto--42
23) Malaya Watson--39
24) Emmanuel Zidor--36
25) Jillian Jensen/ Kristen O'Connor--35
27) MK Nobilette--32
28) Emily Piriz--31
29) Neco Starr-27

Sam Woolf
Total Points: 69
Singing: 9. Has really understated dynamics with his choices, and for his genre it's perfect. You don't necessarily need a huge range, but for his age, he knew how to navigate through a wordy song. Pitch was great.
Presence: 5. Understated presence actually with his voice, but this is to take the difference with his actual stage presence, which might be very poor, especially with the lack of confidence. But that's the compensation for the awwshucks we see below.
Song Choice: 10. Super current and perfect for him
Marketability: 10. I guess getting the Bieber/Sheeran/folk movement is really, really going to work. Seeing how Phillip navigated in that environment Sam should also breeze by this
Relatability to Frau: 25. Awwshucks. Awwshucks. Awwwshucks. That lack of direct eye contact strumming musicality aspect for folksy rock is absolute the bulls eye for frau votes, an he has it, combined with possible hordes of tween votes.
Pimpage: 10. Full Audition

Casey Thrasher
Total Points: 63
Singing: 5. His voice is just OK. We have heard it all before. Eh. He tries to go for high notes but it comes out very weaksauce.
Presence: 7. He just works the emotional angle. But nothing loud feeling like CJ Harris or vibe-based like Dexter. Organic, but whatever
Marketability: 3. If Tate Stevens' country balladry weepers didn't work, what makes this guy think it will work? He seems way more in it for the break than for actually bringing anything new to the table. Gokey's story didn't work long term for music, Thrasher's won't either. The up-tempo vibe is what sells
Song Choice: 8. Sort of current, not done before, fits his vibe
Relatability to Frau: 25. Playing the dad with babies card. I actually think his "I need this" desperation borders on Danny Gokey-esque, so there could be some self-sabotage on that front--something to monitor. I don't sense the awshucksness, but Jeff Gutt also played the single dad card and went super far.
Pimpage: 15. Pimp spot

Marrialle Sellars
Total Points: 63
Singing: 6. Good tone, didn't show excessive range
Presence: 9. Has a great presence when she sings, even through the guitar, both in voice and in the way she stares
Song Choice: 8. Current, decent.
Marketability: 10. She pretty much looks and acts the part, that Rihanna look and Miley personality and her super young age is a large chunk of the battle. Singing pop and possibly R&B also works.
Relatability to Frau: 10. I guess there's a wide eyed personality to her, and she's personable for sure in that Hannah Montana Miley vein. A few points off for some glares she gives off when she sings, and a certain confidence, and really, the pop girl aspect. But her sob story about her dad was featured heavily, which is the bulk of the points here.
Pimpage: 20. She completely broke the scale here. A bunch of previews, shown in two separate shows plus the pimp spot in one of them.

Alex Preston
Total Points: 62
Singing: 8. Good-ish dynamics for his genre, but more about the vibe and songwriting ability than anything else. Still, decent chops for what he represents, for sure.
Presence: 6. Voice cuts through decently, but he'll largely be constrained to a guitar. Self-assured voice which helps.
Marketability: 10. He actually doesn't sound too unlike many of the guys in the alternative charts, and he has some of that Passenger folk vibe right now. Folk and alternative crossover is absolutely in right now, and has notable songwriting, with decent but not great hooks. Still, has an ear for that, and that's why he's ranked this high.
Song Choice: 10. Original which showcased himself well.
Relatability to Frau: 15. He's a WGWG who loves the folksy sound that has created past winners, but I don't sense the awwshucks vibe here. He seems very self-assured and frankly at another level with respect to the audience, which will get him far on merit but in terms of the brownie points he might be lacking, which could hurt him compared to some of the others. East Coast vibe, clearly a transplant.
Pimpage: 13. Full audition plus preview.

Majesty York
Total Points: 62
Singing: 10. Awesome because of the disconnect, but also because she knows how to modulate and not overdo, letting a softer tone speak for itself. Brings a far different tone to the song too
Presence: 9. Great modulation into a captivating soft voice and then opened up well. As Connick said, quiet and elegant. A point off because of the actual stage presence, but her voice really speaks for it
Song Choice: 10. Mostly because of the disconnect and the twist-up, she earns major points, and this is one of Coldplay's best songs, even if they're about several years dated now. But still, can't ignore the twist-up.
Marketability: 8. She's like a very polished, skilled Haeley Vaughn in get-up, and her desire to sing softer folk type stuff here helps a lot. She might be able to carve a place here, depending on how it shakes out. Points because Idol never goes in the switch up direction much
Relatability to Frau: 15. Personable, and humble. Playing guitar will help. I can see a path here, actually.
Pimpage: 10. Audition

Jessica Meuse
Total Points: 61
Singing: 10. We just haven't heard this sort of voice on Idol before, so there's a ton of points, and she knew how to use it within her song, even with a cool hooky sound in the middle
Presence: 9. Great vibe
Song Choice: 10. Original song that sounded good on her
Marketability: 9. Great look and has the voice and vibe to match; in the throes of Paramore, she could be able to carve a niche
Relatability to Frau: 10. She gets points because she really has that legitimate musician vibe, but her pre-snippet showed a very independent, outlaw vibe, although that really helped out Crystal Bowersox, and she comes off more legit than some of the older contestants like Erika Van Pelt and Elise Testone. Her rocker style isn't an immediate vote grabber, and the red-tinged rawker independence as well, but Crystal's dreadlocks didn't stop her.
Pimpage: 13. She had a middle-placed audition but her preview was also shown.

Brandy Neelly
Total Points: 60
Singing: 8. Good vocal dynamics with great modulation. A bit nasally and somewhat forced, but still
Presence: 7. Good vocal presence for sure
Song Choice: 8. Good song choice, current, gender switchup
Marketability: 7. She's in the Dolly Parton country belting vein, kind of like how Janelle Arthur did it. She is five years younger than Arthur, and seems to play the part even with the girl lockout in country radio most of the time.
Relatability to Frau: 20. She's got the Lauren Alaina perks down pat, including the very old fashioned bob now and the perky personality. Southern charm vibe. Female country types that are young tend to do well when they follow this pattern.
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Briston Maroney
Total Points: 59
Singing: 6. Actually has a cool defined voice but it feels like it is stretching its limits, albeit affected. He might lack range
Presence: 6. Has a really good up-tempo vibe and his rasp cuts through, but might easily seem awkward without the guitar.
Marketability: 7. Eh, I'm going to take some differences here. Young, folksy works, and there can be a specific marketing path involving teens and the genre that could work. Or, he's just too green. Not sure we see super young folksy types out there for this reason
Song Choice: 5. Old song choice, but not done on Idol before at least
Relatability to Frau: 25. Self assured type, but still has that combination of folksy vibe, guitar, and is absolute teenbait and fraubait due to that combination. He'll still get votes
Pimpage:  10. Full audition

Dexter Roberts
Total Points: 58
Singing: 7. Good sound that's actually great for the current marketplace, up-tempo twang. Bluegrass country style.
Presence: 7. Up-tempo driven guitar. Don't think he has actual stage presence, but he's as close as it gets to swagger anthems as Idol will get, so hence the extra point.
Marketability: 8. Most of the bro country types are perceived as cute guys for the frau, and they really get after the swagger. Roberts has a sound in that direction, but actual swagger?...not sure, and doubt it. Also, he isn't perceived as a cute guy either. That being said, he presents a different direction on Idol due to his style of country, and that's what sells.
Song Choice: 6. It's a decent song in the right direction as Casey James did have up-tempo guitar jams, but he's unknown on radio right now and he could have went more direct with F-G Line and others
Relatability to Frau: 20. He's a stereotype down from plaid, baseball cap, ducks, twang...and plays guitar. That being said, he doesn't look like a type that will get mass votes, and while he's awwshucks, his bro country aspect might not completely resonate with this sort of audience.
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Ethan Harris
Total Points: 56
Singing: 7. Peaceful voice but it's hard to get a specific vibe, and didn't show much dynamics.
Presence: 6. Decent-ish based on what we saw
Song Choice: 4. Eh, I'm not sure if this represents him, and it's been covered several times on Idol.
Marketability: 6. Might kind of look and act the part, but there might be a musical disconnect and the whole vibe feels very AC-ish. The bulk of the points is due to the "looks" and "acts" part here
Relatability to Frau: 20. Wide-eyed stanning of Keith Urban might get votes, but he has that AC guitar-strumming aspect in combination with the boyish voice, looks and hair will get a ton of frau votes. Lack of rock or country aspect is what loses the extra five.
Pimpage: 13. Also had the preview in addition to the full audition.

Austin Wolfe
Total Points: 55
Singing: 9. That's a very good, mature voice especially for her age. Very understated lower register and pretty good upper register, with rasp. Clearly she's been at it.
Presence: 8. Good vocal presence, but lacks the extra oomph which we can attribute to age at this time.
Marketability: 9. She's super young, looks marketable, and sings in a style for pop that might have a fighting chance, with the proper connections.
Song Choice: 9. Very current song, which always helps, and the gender switch is creative, even if it's overdone by females in youtube covers.
Relatability to Frau: 10. I wanted to go 15 here, actually, because precocious teen girls who can sing have shown a tendency to really rack up the votes, and she's nice an innocuous enough. But she sings in a genre that might not necessarily get those votes, and your Jacquie Lees and Rachel Crows sang belting songs that really got the frau votes.
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Jordan Brisbane
Total Points: 55
Singing: 8. He paused several times to gather himself, so there wasn't a continuous flow, but very good confident voice especially for his age. Connick was right a few people will do runs better than him
Presence: 8. Very good vocal presence
Song Choice: 7. Current, R&B choice, even if that song is overdone
Marketability: 7. Very young, actually looks the part, has the personality for it, but his style isn't really hat's going on right now.
Relatability to Frau: 15. Pre-package showed him to be a very bubbly kid, and frau will take to that. Like-able personality. Connick was right that people will take to him
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

CJ Harris
Total Points: 54
Singing: 7. Decent, but it feels like it is vibe and emotion-driven above anything else. Maximized there
Presence: 7. Very emotional pouring, especially with the high notes, but it gets shrilly and sometimes it feels screamy. Good vibe, and acts the part looking scrunchy for the emotion.
Marketability: 3. I really like what he represents, because we rarely see that, but the reality is besides Rucker, who else does this? And Rucker grinded hard for decades to ply his trade. Swagger anthems are represented by the super young, and CJ's in his early 20s and doesn't appear to have any of that unfortunately.
Song Choice: 7. It's a 20-year old song, but never been done before, and the BG doing country twist on guitar is interesting, so I'll give him a few points there.
Relatability to Frau: 20. The five points off are because he's not a WG, but otherwise he has everything else made: he's a man on a mission, family based, looks very emotional, hardened, crying, sings emotion, etc.
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Kenzie Hall
Total Points: 53
Singing: 8. Very self-assured type Colbie Caillat with a rasp. Switches keys a ton but maintained her composure well throughout, showing great poise there. Versatile within range. Not a wide range but for a songwriter that's what you need.
Presence: 7. Colbie's more of the quiet type, and she actually showcases herself well, but that's the limitations due to the Colbie aspect.
Marketability: 8. She looks good, super young, has a clear identity. That said, it's about five-six years out of date with the Colbie sound, especially for CHR and even for HAC. This showed a great songwriting twist, but even Ellie Goulding transformed herself from folksy guitar strummer to electronic pop type. Wonder if Kenzie has to do something similar to have a fighting chance. Her clear identity here gets the extra point
Song Choice: 7. John Mayer songs are current, but that's not a well known song, even if it fit her voice.
Relatability to Frau: 10. Very friendly and personable, which is why I went to 10, but singer/songwriters with cutesy looks in the past have really struggled, but to her credit she might win some off merit.
Pimpage: 13. Full audition plus preview

Ben Briley
Total Points: 50
Singing: 6. A-ok. He didn't really stretch himself here, but decent sound, even if we've heard a lot of this
Presence: 2. I really didn't see much of it, if any, from here.
Song Choice: 5. Good choice for him, and unique to Idol, but there's a reason Amos Lee stayed indie.
Marketability: 2. I didn't sense any hook-grabbing aspect to him, or songwriter-y sensibilities here, so no real Passenger-potential, so I'll give him a low score here.
Relatability to Frau: 25. Southern sensibilities, being a guy with a guitar really earns pretty much all the points you need. His wife story also works. Hard working vibe.
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Maurice Townsend
Total Points: 50
Singing: 8. Good tone and very polished within that range, but didn't display an excellent range.
Presence: 5. A-OK based on what we saw, but nothing special.
Song Choice: 8. John Legend songs will always get a ton of points from me here. Good work
Marketability: 4. I guess he's sort of like Aloe Blacc "The Man" KG style as the upside, but nothing major. But a cool vibe here that's understated
Relatability to Frau: 15. The family card is a huge one, and he's personable and very friendly. He got a very "Rough Water" treatment pre-package. Bringing kids to audition are absolutely huge for points
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Bria Anai
Total Points: 49
Singing: 8. Makes good choices and displayed a wide arrange of lower and upper type runs. On the Idol stage, we have kind of heard this before though
Presence: 9. Has a natural confidence in her voice and presence.
Marketability: 8. Looks the part, acts the part of the R&B/pop diva type, and extra points because Idol hasn't had one of these types for a while. But it's about five-ten years out date in today's environment
Song Choice: 4. A current song, but it's by the overdone Adele, and she's a niche brand in today's market; also this song never really made it big in CHR.
Relatability to Frau: 5. Bright purple lips and pop type Beyonce get-up is a major turnoff, but has the wide-eyed charisma that earns back a few points as a precocious kid belter. Her dance moves at the end don't really help here either. But her trade-off isn't conducive to getting votes.
Pimpage: 15. Received the pimp spot, likely for the OMG15 aspect.

Caleb Johnson
Total Points: 48
Singing: 9. His rocker voice and rocker tinged mannerisms are typically only filled by one slot every season, what with James Durbin and Colton Dixon, so there's extra points for potentially filling that role
Presence: 8. Yeah, big presence with his voice, and he looks willing to use the entire stage although his look somewhat belies that
Song Choice: 10. Because it's an original song. That always works.
Marketability: 6. I think fronting a band is the best bet, but his harder rock is a few years out of date. But he has the vibe down, and I think that should count for something.
Relatability to Frau: 10. There's a sort of confidence especially when he goes into the emoting--it sounds good, but perhaps forced to the point where he loses points with the frau. Hipster attitude does not exactly help here. He'll get more if he wields a guitar, but somehow, I don't think it's heading in this direction. But rock-tinged guy always helps
Pimpage: 5. Snippet.

Briana Oakley
Total Points: 47
Singing: 9. Great voice, control and dynamic combination especially for her age.
Presence: 7. Very big vocal presence, but I question about her actual stage presence, but we'll see.
Song Choice: 5. Current, but this Sara Bareilles joint never was that hot on the radio. Is she just this sort of pop singer? I'm not necessarily seeing it?
Marketability: 6. I guess, due to the age, but I'm not detecting the swag for CHR; maybe AC, but even then, that's questionable. It's really hard to tell at this stage for her.
Relatability to Frau: 10. There's a very self-assured air about her, not in the super friendly/personable vein of a Rachel Crow or a Jordin Sparks, or in the awwshucks aspect of a Jacquie Lee or Carly Rose. But still, she represents that ilk, and it typically gets the votes. Just a peg down on a hunch.
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Spencer Lloyd
Total Points: 46
Singing: 3. Decent sound but quite thin, barely taking any risks, even fewer than Colton did. It's hard to gauge anything here.
Presence: 2. Didn't detect much presence, let the guitar speak more than he did, between voice and actual stage presence
Song Choice: 5. Points for current, but it did nothing for him, and Colton's very niche even if very successful for his genre.
Marketability: 6. In the same way as Ethan Harris, looks the part, but can't get past the very niche aspect of his sound and his very generic vocals.
Relatability to Frau: 20. Thai aspect and the lack of rock/country is what takes this down five points, but should be major teenbait at the least, like some dude in the CW. But also sang a Colton Dixon song, revealing religious roots, and played a guitar, like he researched up on the best way to get Idol votes. As if Ace Young did research.
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Malcolm Allen
Total Points: 45
Singing: 10. Really effortless style of singing that shows that you don't have to belt out songs interchangeably to make an impact. Shows great modulations
Presence: 9. Geek look takes off a point, but great confidence, including scatting, beatboxing, combining that with a very natural R&B voice. Kind of reminds of a R&B Blake Lewis here, as they also questioned how serious he was.
Song Choice: 5. Fits him, it's a good song, albeit done a ton of times
Marketability: 8. For Idol this really works, because after years of gospel belting, improved Burnell Taylors are the way to go, and he reminds of that. Straight up R&B isn't in the in though
Relatability to Frau: 0. He didn't really get any sort of frau-sympathetic portrayal, and in fact showed an above the fray, hipster attitude, which is refreshing to see in Idol but awful for actually generating votes.
Pimpage: 13. Full audition, plus preview.

Jena Asciutto
Total Points: 42
Singing: 8. Very big voice in the rocker vein, but Connick does have a point with a bit of the speech aspect, but still, it gives her a unique edge with the rocker aspect.
Presence: 8. Good presence with her voice
Song Choice: 5. Overdone song choice, even for the rock edge.
Marketability: 9. Youth+the Paramore comparisons will generate something, for sure.Good look and vibe especially for her age.
Relatability to Frau: 2. Her story is a whatever with the frau, and girls from bands have a sort of independence that doesn't resonate with them. Quiet unassuming personality at first, but still.
Pimpage: 10. Audition.

Malaya Watson
Total Points: 39
Singing: 9. Very good emoting voice especially for her age, and there's something that cuts above interchangeable-good here
Presence: 3. I don't detect a ton here
Song Choice: 4. Old fashioned song, even though it fits her well.
Marketability: 3. It's hard to envision it right now, between the song choice and lack of makeover
Relatability to Frau: 10. There's a sort of confidence about her in her pre-snippet that doesn't exactly jibe with audience votes, but she at least has a personality and she appears likeable there, combined with the makeover potential. A bit street to prevent the 15. Not Rachel Crow-precocious so we're lacking a few points, but she's a step up Danie Geimer. She might get a few chances for that reason.
Pimpage: 10. Full audition

Emmanuel Zidor
Total Points: 36
Singing: 7. Good tone based on what we saw
Presence: 8. Personality exudes he is singing
Song Choice: 4. Just very old school, like Malaya and MK in song choice
Marketability: 2. It's really, really hard to see it?
Relatability to Frau: 5. Did have that backstory that his music teacher said he would never become an Idol, so he might get sympathy votes for that, actually. But hard to go beyond this. Happy go lucky personality could be a turn off for them
Pimpage: 10. Full audition.

Jillian Jensen
Total Points: 35
Singing: 6. Her voice isn't all that great, as was the case in XF, it's more about the vibe
Presence: 5. Just kind of OK based on what we can see
Song Choice: 7. Current, and probably hits her singer/songwriter pop twisting of AC type songs
Marketability: 5. Eh. Female singer/songwriter isn't in right now, and she might be finding her footing on the musical side
Relatability to Frau: 7. She has a legion of possible XF fans given her major sob story there, but it wasn't really displayed in Idol. This is taking the difference given Jillian already has a major fanbase and has planty aspects already, but for what she represents she's more for the teens.
Pimpage: 5. Snippet

Kristen O'Connor
Total Points: 35
Singing: 8. Very polished and has good dynamics, but it comes off a bit practiced and a bit interchangeable with some of the big-voiced girls Idol alays lends itself to.
Presence: 3. A-ok.
Song Choice: 7. Original? Points for that, but it was whatever in terms of showcasing her.
Marketability: 7. Really looks the part, but unfortunately, Idol's clean-cut pop types are the inverse of what really sells for pop girls in the real world. For those reasons, it's tough to envision it for her
Relatability to Frau: 5. Comes off as personable, low key and hard working, all key qualities. But she's a pretty girl who sings pop, and she didn't play any other cards here to gain a few more points.
Pimpage: 5. Snippet

MK Nobilette
Total Points: 32
Singing: 8. Actually very personable voice with some risks in a few high notes
Presence: 8. Vocal has a lot of presence
Song Choice: 4. In the Malaya Watson vein, the Gladys Knight song is old fashioned but did fit her well
Marketability: 5. Tegan & Sara? It's hard to see here, but it could be interesting given the unique approach here
Relatability to Frau: 2. Eh. She didn't reveal anything besides saying she's not like other singers, but frau don't typically vote for singers of her vein, although her emotion gives her a few points here, but she doesn't have the life experience of a Beverly McClellan to notch this up a little further.
Pimpage: 5. Snippet

Emily Piriz
Total Points: 31
Singing: 7. Good-ish, but some parts were spoken at times, which took away from it at times
Presence: 6. Good-ish, but the moves felt a bit amateurish and try-hard.
Song Choice: 7. Probably good for her, and it's current, but Jessie J has really fallen hard in today's current market.
Marketability: 4. She hasn't crossed past generic pop type for me yet, in get-up, singing choices and other variables.
Relatability to Frau: 2. She's wide-eyed, but perhaps too confident for the frau, especially with the pop-tinged aspects.
Pimpage:  5. Snippet.

Neco Starr
Total Points: 27
Singing: 6. Overbaked, but there's a voice in there. Even Connick realized it
Presence: 6. Very confident get-up, but has a major tendency to get overdramatic, something that hasn't changed after two years unfortunately. A bit theatrical
Marketability: 8. Yeah, looks the part again, of those Usher clones. Points because Idol never ever goes in this direction, preferring church instead, but it's about a decade out of date if he thinks R&B has a role in the charts today
Song Choice: 2. Current, but Adele, and for someone who's going down R&B, this does nothing for him. Really doesn't  appear to know hat songs he should be singing
Relatability to Frau: 0. Usher meets Iman Shumpert look doesn't help matters, as is confident disposition in pre-package
Pimpage: 5. Snippet

Thursday, January 9, 2014


We learned Idol's semis are going to be separated by different age brackets.