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'American Idol' Season 15 Recap/Review: Auditions End for Good with A Bit of Everything

by Carolyn Menyes   Jan 21, 2016 22:13 PM EST

And that's a wrap on the American Idol auditions - potentially forever. As the TV institution calls it a day, so too must the auditions end. No more "pants on the ground" guys, no more William Hungs, no more Carrie Underwoods and no more snarky commentary from Simon Cowell or Harry Connick Jr. This is it.

For its final auditions installment, once again, American Idol producers decided to go for the most interesting auditions (the best, the worst, the creepiest Kelly Clarkson fans). Mixing things up between San Francisco, Philadelipha and Denver (mostly) may make for confusing storylines, repeated talking heads and a sense that this isn't all quite natural, this was an engaging few hours of television.

So, as Idol comes ever closer to an end for good, who stands out the most?


05. Jessica Cabral, "A Different Kind of Me": This is the final tryouts ever (most likely, maybe?) so you know Idol was going to kick off this two-hour package with a big talent, and that's what we got with Jessica Cabral. This audition was a bit of a slow builder - she started off with a little bit of huskiness, showing off a deep soulfulness. Soon, she moved into her upper register and a loud, clear and confident vocal came through. This audition was simply beautiful, with just the right amount of a piano accompaniment this was simple and nearly flawless.

04. Manny Torres, "This Love": And here we are - the last audition of Idol (for now). Like the first singer of the night, the show decided to end on a high note - literally. Manny took on this Maroon 5 classic, and he gave his own little spin on it, with a big ol' bag of soul and a high range that could rival Adam Levine's. The girls have very much outpaced the boys in the audition process this year, but Manny possesses a sense of confidence that is pretty alluring. He could be potential top 24 material.

03. Colette Lush, "Who's Loving You": Colette Lush set herself up to be one of the odd Idol auditions. She has a bit of a zany style, with long black and white striped pants and more redhead facts than you can count. (But she really maybe only has one.) But, when she opened her mouth, pure bliss came out. She took on the Jackson 5's "Who's Loving You," which we've already heard this season (and which we would hear again later this episode) but she was loud, clear and had a tone that isn't quite like anything we've ever heard yet on this season of Idol. The judges seemed ready to deem her the winner now, and I'm not so sure about that, but she's more than good enough for now.

02. Chynna Sherrod, "One Last Time": Ariana Grande's "One Last Time" already has a pretty melody to it (listen beneath all that production), but that's something Chynna Sherrod really emphasized that in her unique arrangement of this song. She took things down an octave and finger-picked the melody on her acoustic guitar. It was a brilliant choice and helped Chynna stand out. As for her voice, she had a huskiness in her essence and a sweet soulfulness that helped carry her through. Chynna screams of a real musician and I'm excited to see her through to Hollywood.

01. Melany Huber, "Talking to the Moon": Melany Huber has a nice sob story - at just 16 years old, she was diagnose with stage 3 lymphoma. But, she didn't need one - the judges were totally uninterested in what she had to say because her talent was so pure. Her performance of this Bruno Mars track was one of the most effortlessly engaging things I've seen so far this season. Melany told a story so naturally with her voice that you couldn't help but lock your eyes and ears on her on the screen. There were just enough breaks in her voice, making this song perfectly imperfect with an emphasis on those natural raw emotions. She has a nice ability to connect and that will carry her nicely through Hollywood week.

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