Idol Highlights, Season 19, episode 2

Season 19, episode 2

Amanda Mena – sung “Golden Slumbers”

Anthony Guzman — weird guy dressed up as Thor. But he sang “Cry Me A River.”

Hannah Everhart – 17 years old from Canton Mississippi, started with “Wayfaring Stranger” and tanked. Then took on “At Last” and did better.

Calvin Upshaw. I don’t know what the fuck he sang, but it was good.

Casey Bishop. Mötley Crüe – Live Wire then Sara Vaughan. This was a brilliant audition, in that she took a hokey metal song and recognized its roots. She sang it as blues. And she did this with this incredible insight at age 15. This was the audition of the night.

Cassandra Coleman — “The Way It Was” by the Killers and then they made her play some shit on the piano

Willie Spence “Diamonds” by Rihanna


The phrase “does superman shit” can be either a question or an answer to a question. Discuss.

I have had the band Django Django in the back of my mind since I’ve been redoubling my efforts this year to become familiar with new releases in 2021 that don’t suck. I had listened to some of the band’s previous releases and was kind of digging them, but then tonight in Spotify, I clicked on the latest release, Glowing in the Dark, and I liked it right away. This does not happen often.

This band’s press says they’re a real genre-bender, and they aren’t kidding. This opener, “Spirals,” connects the sparse emo of Robert Smith’s Cure but smacks of the Hollies’ “Stop Stop Stop” or The Byrds. If I had to draw a straight line from them to any other band I’ve enjoyed, it might be Of Montreal or Poster Children. Maybe Love & Rockets without so much of the rockets. INXS with a bit of the excess shaken off. But sometimes, this band spouts its inner Beach Boys.

So far…

  • Revolutionary Love — Ani DiFranco
  • Welfare Jazz — Viagra Boys
  • OK Human — Weezer
  • Human — Shai Maestro
  • I Told You So — Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio
  • Glowing in the Dark — Django Django

So, there’s snow again, might be 7 inches by morning. It’s enough that I wish there were a market for the stuff. If we could sell snow by the pound, we’d all be rich and the roads would be clear.

Anyway, I actually watched and, yes, enjoyed the season opener of American Idol.

The highlights…

Alex Miller, the 17-year-old country singer who ended up dueting Merle Haggard’s “Big City” with Luke Bryan.

Jason Warrior, dude who previously yelled at Meghan Trainor on some other singy talent show. He sang “What’s Goin’ On.”

Anilee List, who has Tourette’s. She sang “Blue” by Aaron Taylor.

Nia Renee, 17, who sang all the juice out of “Chain of Fools” and therefore didn’t need a stupid story.

And, Grace Kinstler, who it sounds like she lost her Pop to Covid, though they don’t say that on the TV. She double-wowed with “Midnight Train to Georgia” (in which one does not even mind that one must hear the Pips in one’s head alone) and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

The lowest lowlight: Claudia Conway, who is the daughter of George Conway and KellyAnne “Alternative Facts” Conway, auditioned. Among the other things this 11-minute segment accomplished was to help make KellyAnne seem more relatable. You know. As a weird gigantic blurry hologram on the wall. Vince Lombardi at the Super Bowl was more lifelike.

One American Idol. Two singers performing Aretha Franklin songs and doing them well. That’s not bad.