American Idol

McKenna Breinholt, Jack Blocker, Blake Proehl shine on American Idol

McKenna Breinholt auditions for American Idol Season 22, right before meeting her birth family. (ABC Photo)

McKenna Breinholt auditions for American Idol Season 22, right before meeting her birth family. (ABC Photo)


American Idol’s two-hour season premiere Sunday night certainly raised hopes for a very special Season 22.

A show that used to showcase joke auditions on a regular basis kept the focus on talent.

And, wow, Sunday’s show showcased lots of that. I’ve selected my favorite three auditions, but they were by no means the only ones that impressed.

By the way, folks, if you liked what you heard on the show, know that McKenna Breinholt, Jack Blocker, Odell Bunton, Micaela McCall, Blake Proehl and Mackenzie Sol already have music out that you can stream right now.

You can learn more about that plus lots of tidbits Idol didn’t share by following the links attached to the artists’ names below.

Now, Sunday night’s recap, led by my Top 3.

My Top 3

McKenna Breinholt, 25, of Gilbert, Ariz., “There Was Jesus” by Dolly Parton and Zach Williams: Slipping behind a piano, McKenna showed off a wonderful, distinct raspy tone. She sounded especially great singing softly. Katy complimented her on a signature, interesting voice. Lionel said he loves the sound of her voice. Her story was the most touching of the night; her vocal my absolute favorite.

Jack Blocker, 25, Dallas, Texas, “I Was Wrong” (an original): He’s the first contestant to audition with an original, and it’s an impressive song, enhanced by an impressive vocal. Like his original sound. Hey, folks, this is a song he’s already released. Lionel praised his artistry. Luke compared him to Paul Simon. Somehow, Katy and Lionel cast “no” votes. What the hell???? Luke protested, the crew agreed with Luke. And Jack was summoned back into the room and given three well-deserved “yes” votes.

Blake Proehl, 24, Charlotte, N.C., “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young: Blake displayed a really nice, clear tone as he sang to his grandma. I can see him doing very well on Idol. Katy says he’ll be Top 10. Luke liked his vulnerability. Lionel called him a “natural.” And Blake breezed to Hollywood with three yeses.

Other golden ticket recipients (in no particular order)

Ajii, 27, Brooklyn, N.Y., “Lose Control” by Teddy Swims: An intake employee at a nursing home, Ajii immediately impressed the judges with his deep, slightly raspy and emotion filled tone. Lionel called his audition a “beautiful, wonderful sight and sound to hear.” Luke loved his humility and predicted he has a “big chance of going pretty far” on the show.

Micaela McCall, 28, Santa Barbara, Calif., “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder: Dang, it took her until 28 to try out for American Idol. Talked about an impressive vocal. Maybe a tad theatrical for the setting. But the judges gave her a standing ovation. Katy said she’d never heard the song performed that way.

Odell Bunton Jr., 28, Dallas, Texas, “Bring it Home to Me” by Sam Cooke: Another impressive vocalist with tons of vocal firepower. His church background shined through. The father of five got a standing ovation from the judges. Katy called him the best soul singer they’ve heard to date. Luke called him “incredible.” Lionel called his audition “really great.” And Odell is the first platinum ticket recipient of Season 22.

Mackenzie Sol, 23, Las Vegas, Nevada, “Bring It On Home” by Sam Cooke: He’s the first contestant we meet on Season 22. With a touch of British accent, he has a unique sound and a nice range to go with a unique hair style. Lionel said he enjoyed his whole demeanor. Katy called him a character with soul and a potential Top 10 contestant.

Meggie Iyer, 18, Carmel, Indiana, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt: Meggie sounded a little nervous at the opening, but has a nice soulful voice. Judging from her social media, she doesn’t have nearly as much performing experience as many of the other golden ticket recipients. Lionel called her vocal choices “amazing.” Katy said she’s the total package.

Kennedy Reid, 23, New Albany, Indiana, “River Deep, Mountain High” by Tina Tuner: She’s a singing mortician with a big voice and wore something called coffin nails to her audition. Katy kept urging Kennedy to raise the volume, then gave her a standing ovation at the end of the audition. Katy complimented her on a great voice. And Kennedy advanced to Hollywood on a 2-1 vote with Luke as the dissenter.

Triston Harper, 15, McIntosh, Alabama, “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell: This young man showed off a powerful country voice with a heavy touch of twang. Lionel loved the purity of his story-telling voice. Katy loved his authenticity and the talent he showed at age 15.

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *