Night #2 of American Idol auditions, and the prospects in Kansas City were definitely stronger than in Phoenix. These folks have a lot to live up to, since last year’s winner, David Cook, is from the Kansas City area, and they didn’t disappoint. I have three stars next to names on my list, where last night, I didn’t have any. One person who didn’t get a star was Von Smith, who I was impressed with several years ago when I saw a video of him hitting the money note on “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”. Check it out below:
I raved about that performance for a long time, but tonight’s performance was just horrible. So affected, so overwrought, so overreaching. So what. The great performances came from those folks that didn’t look like they should be singing on TV, but who had pure talent. Take Matt Breitzke, who made Michael Sarver from last night’s show look like Justin Timberlake. And yet, there was something in his voice and his delivery of “Ain’t No Sunshine” that made me root for him. Jessica Furney looks like a poor cousin of Kelly Clarkson, but her version of Janis Joplin’s “Cry Baby” was brilliant. Anoop Desai sang “Thank You” as well as Sarver did last night, and Danny Gokey blew me away with “Heard It Through the Grapevine”.
For my money, Gokey’s got the most potential. He reminds me a lot of Elliott Yamin, and that’s a huge compliment in my book. While Yamin only came in third his season, he sure put Katherine McPhee and Taylor Hicks to shame in relation to sales. In my mind, the best performance ever on American Idol came from Elliott singing “A Song For You”.