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American Idol recap: New Orleans Auditions

The judges head to Harry’s hometown to find more contestants.

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American Idol Recap
Michael Becker/Fox

American Idol

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest
Reality TV

Ah, New Orleans, the land of Harry Connick Jr. Tonight better be good, Idol. I hope that, for the occasion, you readers all have some kind of libation in your hand while you’re watching this hour of Southern charm. It seems only appropriate.

Seriously, I know Harry’s a ham, but how much do we love him?

Harry gives us a nice speech about how NoLA (yep, it saves time, I’m doing it) is full of superstars, and I gotta tell you guys, I recently returned from a trip to this city, and the music—as I was promised—blew me away. In the bars, in the streets, literally everywhere. We’re in good shape tonight. Where Harry is prince, nothing can go wrong. New Orleans, please make Harry proud.

The first gentleman we see doesn’t look quite like the embodiment of NoLA swagger, but you know, we’ll see what happens. He’s got on a suit, which is counterintuitive, but he’s also got on that fleur-de-lis tie, so to a point, he knows what’s up, right? (This man’s second cousin also used to babysit Harry, supposedly, which should be a charming anecdote but feels kind of creepy.)

OH YOU GUYS. This is a prank audition, right? What are they doing? This is the kind of garbage we used to see incessantly when Paula and Simon were at the table. But we don’t get this anymore, and that’s good. This man was horrible. He’s obviously a plant that just wanted to get on TV. Thanks to the Idol producers, he got his wish, and we, as viewers, were punished for it.

I guess NoLa sucks, initially? That’s a bummer. Though, let’s remember how easy it is to pull together a bunch of terrible audition clips, and let’s NOT BE FOOLED. New Orleans, I’m with you! Just give us something.

Enter a fab gal named Jelly Joseph. Best name ever. Miss Jelly performs a killer version of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” and it’s both original and wonderful and her name is still Jelly Joseph so SHE WINS. All of the judges love it. She’s baller, you guys. See you soon, Jelly.

Spunky Tiffany (of course) Stringer, at the age of 16, throws some Cher Lloyd at us with “Want You Back,” and it’s a really brutal song to hear a cappella, but the judges seem into it, enough. Harry’s not biting, Keith was entertained—“at least,” he says—and J.Lo is a sucker so this tiny cheerleader-type is through. She’s got spirit, yes she does. Her energy makes me want to take a nap.

Precious baby and America-loving guitar player Greyson Turner (15!) sings an original song named “Chasing Shadows.” (Quick aside: Men should never wear flip-flops, can we all agree on that, please? Thanks.) Anyway, I’m digging this teen’s song like crazy, and he is way more intense than I remember 15-year-olds being, but in a great way. This little guy might be our Sam Woolf of season 14. (Remember Sam Woolf? God, loved him.) He just might not have such crippling stage fright, which is excellent.

NEXT: Short suits and Garth Brooks.