‘American Idol XIV’ review: Emily Brooke, Michael Simeon, Kory Wheeler among premiere highlights

American Idol -American Idol” premiered in a fairly strange place tonight. There was almost no substantial hype at all compared to past seasons, and we really would not be shocked if the premiere ratings are down by a good margin versus season 13 last year.

With this being said, we don’t necessarily think that this means that there is a complete drought of talent tonight. There are a few really good singers in the mix tonight who did enough to warm this cynical heart. Maybe this means that there could be some potential stars this time around! Take a look below at some of the notable singers from tonight.

Riley Bria – The Keith Urban superfan who was teased in promos for the show. His voice still screams “I’m a child still” a little bit, but there is potential there. His guitar player, at least for now, is probably better than his singing.

Priscilla Barker – We’re going to watch out for Priscilla. Big personality! She reminds us a whole lot of Skylar Laine, who obviously did really well back when she was back on the show. If she can replicate this success somehow, we figure that she will be on this show a long time. Good story too, being the youngest of ten siblings.

Cameron Bedell – Cameron’s the classic Nashville story, a small-town guy who’s been trying to make it in Nashville for some time, and has been working as a server. Out of the first three performers, he was by far the strongest overall. A soulful voice, and a pretty nice personality.

Amber Kelechi Walker – We’ve heard her story before, about how she grew up in a bad neighborhood and had to sing to escape tough times. She’s very nice, but not the best singer. For now, it feels like the story was better than the voice.

Kory Wheeler – We used a Marcus Mumford – Chris Martin comparison when we heard him the first time in a preview for the premiere, and now that we’ve heard him in full, there is even more soul here. Probably our favorite of the whole night.

Michael Simeon – We didn’t expect that soulful voice to come out of this guy. It was shakier than Kory, but we like him vocally. His whole asking Jennifer Lopez to dance thing, though, was just a tiny bit annoying. Why do that?

Emily Brooke – The final three singers tonight showed a heck of a lot of promise, and while Emily is still very young, she has a ton of talent, and really seems driven. Also, she really nailed a Carrie Underwood song! No easy feat.

Overall, not a bad episode of the show tonight. There were seven pretty solid acts over the course of one hour, and not a whole lot of duds and joke acts. “American Idol” producers, thank you for that. Grade: B+.

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