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American Idol: The San Francisco Treat

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Since I spend a good portion of my week in San Francisco, you can imagine that I was excited to see how the American Idol auditions went in the city by the bay.

In case you had forgotten, Idol reminded us that Adam Lambert had initially auditioned in San Francisco. Aw, remember the days when Idol would find ridiculous amounts of talent? (Psst…seasons seven and eight, I miss you!)

It’s not that the singers shown weren’t talented, it’s just that they don’t seem as quality as prior contestants. I personally was looking to be wowed by the contestants and that definitely didn’t happen during the San Francisco auditions.

What I appreciated about this particular episode of auditions was that more good auditions were shown overall. And of course there were enough sob stories to fill the hour-long episode, but being that this was the last night of auditions, I was expecting them.

I really didn’t have any personal favorites from this set of auditions. However, there were a couple singers that I am looking forward to hearing from during the “Hollywood Week” round.

AMERICAN IDOL: San Francisco: Emily Anne Reed from San Francisco, CA performs in front of the judges on Wednesday, Feb. 9 on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.Matthew Ness from Huntington Beach, CA had some amazing big notes during his audition. Steven Tyler called the 25-year-old, “a diamond in the rough.”

Stefano Langone, the 21-year-old from Kent, WA sang Marvin Gaye’s, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.” He has a Bruno Mars quality to his voice. Very smooth vocal.

Emily Anne Reid from Arlington, VA had the most interesting voice of the episode. The 26-year-old’s vocals are old-fashioned and really just pleasant to listen to. What I like is that she seems to know what her voice can do. She should be one to look out for in during the “Hollywood Week” round. I actually want to see how she fares during the group auditions. I do worry for her, albeit she’s talented, but Jennifer Lopez mentioned they had had singer-songwriters on in the past, you could tell that is not entirely what the judges are looking for this season. 

James Durbin from Santa Cruz, CA was the last contestant shown from the San Francisco auditions. The 21-year-old’s voice is insane. The obvious vocal comparison would be to Adam Lambert. Durbin has quite the range. I don’t feel like he has as much vocal control as Lambert does.

Along with his audition, Durbin also asked for Steven Tyler’s permission to sing, “Dream On.” Talk about being ballsy. After the Danny Gokey “Dream On” disaster during season eight’s Top Four night, I wouldn’t think that would be the Aerosmith song a contestant would necessarily want to touch with a 10-foot pole, or be a song that Tyler would ever want another Idol contestant to go near again. Durbin pulls the song off quite nicely, and you could tell that it was kind of a treat for Tyler to have one of his songs sang to him.

I am so happy that the auditions are over, and that we are getting into the nitty gritty of “Hollywood Week.”

Alright Idol fans, who was your favorite from San Francisco?

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of people from across the entertainment spectrum, including singer-songwriter/Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, Andrew Dost from the Grammy Award-winning band fun., singer-songwriter Christina Perri, and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance.