Tonight, the premiere of American Idol 17 arrived on ABC, and soon gave us some mighty-good reminders of what it is that we like about this show. We enjoy just how raw some of these contestants are — they’re not people we’ve heard of before and we like listening to organic stories of people who have struggled, and are fighting tooth and nail in pursuit of what they love. Some of these performances were genuinely moving, and we say that as one of the biggest singing-show cynics out there.
Below, you can see our take on five of the most-memorable auditions of the night — we’ve also got a video below discussing these further! If you enjoy this, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for some additional updates.
Nick Townsend – He was the last audition of the night, and he definitely had a voice that was extremely soothing. “Let It Go” is such a wonderful song — there’s such a sense of peace to it — and it was a total pleasure to be able to listen to Nick’s rendition of it. We know that he will be defined by a backstory of losing two of his brothers to suicide, but there is something more here. There is something deeper.
After night one, Nick may be the viewer favorite of most of the country.
Myra Tran – She’s originally from Vietnam and is in a choir in high school. Like the judges said, though, she is the choir — there is so much in here that was impressive from top to bottom, including the big notes and the emotion. She pulled every little drop out of the Jennifer Hudson song “One Night Only” and we couldn’t be more impressed with it from start to finish.
Walker Burroughs – We really enjoy his voice a lot! He sounds a lot like Ian Axel and Chad King from A Great Big World and he can do a lot around a piano to. He’s quirky — he’s not your typical popstar and that’s going to help him significantly depending on how long he lasts this season. If he makes it to the live rounds, we think that there is a thirst for fresh-faced talent out there.
Kai the Singer – The first performance was perfect, but when she got to the piano and started doing “My Girl,” that was the stuff of magic. It was so emotional, so endearing, and she just had a lot of really nice runs. Getting Katy Perry to tear up at the end of the performance is also a pretty good way to be remembered, but it was natural and totally unforced. She just related big-time to some of what Kai went through going up in the church and not having any money.
Laci Kaye Booth – She did a really soulful version of “Mama Tried” that showed that she’s got some natural rasp and all sorts of cool flavors going on. She’s got a ton of experience performing and a connection to music through her father — she’s probably more polished and prepared than many of the other singers this season and we do think that this helps to set her apart.
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Who did you enjoy the most from Sunday night’s new American Idol 17 premiere? Be sure to share some of your thoughts now in the comments. (Photo: ABC.)