“American Idol” seems be skewing younger in Season 10, no? The judges sent through six youngsters on Jan. 20, including one 15-year-old. Maybe they are going after the “Glee” demographic?
There were tears, sad stories, flowers, proud parents (not one stage mom so far!) and even an adoring twin as the younger generation took over the night. We compiled a list of the six youngins’ sent through to Hollywood. Get ready to feel super old and untalented!
Travis Orlando, 16
Easily one of last night’s favorites (he was the a trending topic on Twitter), Orlando was also one of our personal favorites, totally winning us over with his renditions of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” Wearing geek chic glasses a red t-shirt that says “It’s gonna be fantastic,” the 16-year-old Bronx native discussed the troubles his family has faced. “Stayed in a shelter for two or three years and at that time, my dad was sick.” While his family isn’t homeless anymore, Orlando says they are still living “paycheck-to-paycheck.” Our hearts, and Ryan Seacrest’s, melted when Travis’ twin brother Timmy ran up and hugged him after he got sent through to Hollywood. Don’t worry Travis, we’re yours!
Victoria Huggins, 16 3/4-years-old
Meet the real-life version of “Glee’s” Rachel Berry, ya’ll! For some reason, everything about this girl felt forced and contrived. “It’s not normal for a 16 year-old to want something very badly,” she says. Um, half of the contestants are 16-years-old. Huggins had been counting down the days until she reached 16 so she could audition and we’re just picturing her reaction when she found out they lowered the age requirement to 15. “I feel like this is a speech at a pageant” may be Randy Jackson’s most accurate assessment… ever. OK, so her “yo, yo dawg!” was kind of cute. We’ll give her a chance.
Brielle Von Hugel, 16
Oh, how we loved Brielle. She is really close with her father (“She’s my whole life”), who was diagnosed with throat cancer the day before her Sweet 16. Her father saying this would be the best weekend of their lives because “I beat cancer and she’s gonna go to Hollywood” had us tearing up and praying that Brielle had a great voice. Luckily, she performed a beautiful rendition of “Endless Love” that truly showed off her vocals. Her telling the judges “it was an honor meeting you” as she was leaving charmed us just as much as her voice.
Melinda Ademi, 16
A war refugee from Kosovo, it was chilling listening to Melinda and her parents talk about their life during the war as footage of bombs going off played. Luckily, her father entered the green card lottery and won. “If I was back in Kosovo, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to sing or tell anyone my story, “she says. “I’m glad I’m here.” Ademi performed a rousing rendition of Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” earned her all three judges’ approval and the golden ticket to Hollywood.
Robbie Rosen, 16
Rosen had the honor of being the season’s first sob story. The 16-year-old spent months in a wheelchair when he was 5. Luckily, he transferred to a walker and then was able to walk again. Dying to be on the “Idol” stage since he was 7, he told the judges, “It’s amazing feeling to actually be here.” Rosen took us by surprise with his controlled and beautiful performance of the Beatles’ “Yesterday.” Randy Jackson called him “a breath of fresh air” and Jennifer Lopez really liked him, saying “that was beautiful,” and sent him through to Hollywood without even putting it up to a vote.
Kenzie Palmer, 15
The only 15-year-old to make it through, Palmer showed off her impressive vocal range with Carrie Underwood’s “We’re Young and Beautiful.” Palmer didn’t have enough “pizazz” or movement for Tyler and Jackson, but she was still sent through based on her voice and Lopez’s recommendation. Also, Palmer squeaking out “I love you, Jennifer!” as she was leaving was kind of adorable.
Who was your favorite “Idol” youngster from the New Jersey auditions?