‘American Idol’ Was The Fire Wilmore Audition Staged? — Recap of season 21
The scripting was heavy like american idol entered the fifth week of auditions for Season 21 on Sunday, an episode that ended on a cliffhanger that felt a little too produced for my liking.
Fire Wilmore, a 22-year-old single mom from Oklahoma, was the final contestant of the night, and the show played her up large Time. We have her full backstory on how she was placed in federal custody because of her own mother’s drug problems. We heard how much she wants to get out of exotic dancing and give her daughter a brighter future. We even watched Fire teach her 4-year-old charmer how wishing wells work. It was gearing up to be a standard inspiration at the end of the episode idol Moment.
Then came the audition itself. Despite Luke Bryan’s mesmerized gaze through Fire’s rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Talking to the Moon,” the judges weren’t entirely thrilled. Katy Perry urged her to embrace her full voice rather than slip into falsetto, a note she understood very well, but Perry remained the only judge willing to give her a “yes.”
OK, now we’ve reached the bizarre part of the evening. Perry comforted the disappointed contestant, telling her, “Somehow, somehow, you’re going to find what you’re looking for.” As if on cue, her precocious daughter announced, “I think I’ve found this!” and took one of the Golden Tickets from the Wand, causing a deranged Fire to reply, “Put it back. Just put it back.”
Was it heartbreaking? Secure. It also earned Fire a rare second chance to audition again in Nashville. But was it authentic? That will be a no from me. idol has long mastered the art of emotional manipulation, but it’s hard to invest real emotion in such a clearly staged situation.
Sincerely, The Grinch.
Other auditions from Week 5 worth discussing…
Mary Faith, 21 | “One of the most interesting voices this season” came from this South Carolina hairstylist whose impressive audition earned her the opening slot at a Noah Thompson and HunterGirl concert. She initially gave the judges a gentle rendition of Vince Gills’ “Whenever You Come Around,” but Perry urged her to let go with Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” It didn’t blow my mind, but little moments here and there proved she has what it takes – she just has to bring it with her. Click here to view them.
Nailyah serenity, 22 | After a brief astrological therapy session, this North Carolina retail consultant stunned the judges with a contemporary interpretation of Barbra Streisand’s “My Man.” I was apprehensive when it started out with great lounge energy, but her personal style quickly shone through, ending strong with a surprisingly powerful belt. Click here to view them.
Kayleigh Clark, 17 | This glittery pink Mississippi chicken farmer began with a simple, pleasant rendition of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance.” Hungry for a wow moment, the judges asked her for another song, resulting in a more impressive — but still boring, if I’m honest — version of Hillsong Worship’s “I Surrender.” They’re convinced she’s top 10 material, but I’m not convinced yet.
Tori Green, 20 | I wish we had known more about this Californian singer whose rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty” enchanted the judges. (Well, not on Bryan, but apparently he has his newfound reputation for being the tough judge.)
PJAE, 23 | Newly confident after losing 150 pounds, this Oklahoma branding designer got all the validation he needed in life from his golden ticket, earned by doing a good-enough rendition of Madison Ryann Ward’s “Mirror.” had. I wasn’t quite as impressed as the jury seemed, but there were definitely impressive moments. That beautiful little riff it ended on almost tickled my soul. Click here to view them.
Warren Peay, 23 | The phrase “so-and-so got us into church” is thrown around a lot, but I really felt like I was in a church service listening to this humble South Carolina mechanic blast Zach Williams “To the Table.” Perhaps that’s because he’s also a literal worship leader at his hometown Baptist church. Who is to say that? But boy, when he got away with that growl, even Perry had to raise his hand in praise. Click here to view them.
Two other yes’s that we haven’t seen for very long were Carina DeAngelo, 25a meatball connoisseur (best title ever?) from Hawaii, and Johnny Knox, 26a medical salesman from Alabama.
Paige Anna, 16 | Is there anything more on the nose than playing a song Frozen because a candidate happens to work at a snow cone shop? Of course not. But isn’t that why we love this series? Anyway, after giving the judges a brain freeze, this confident singer showed off a voice well beyond her years in a stunning performance of Pink’s “What About Us.” Click here to view them.
Ophra Kablan, 20 | One of the episode’s most interesting performers, this South Carolina ball of energy took over the stage as she delivered a strong, funny, and powerful rendition of Aretha Franklin’s Baby I Love You. She was a breath of fresh air in a sea of good-but-same, and I look forward to seeing more of her. Click here to view them.
Kamron Lawson, 21 | A-ha’s “Take on Me” is probably the last song I ever expected to hear american idol, but that didn’t stop this extremely personable West Virginia cashier from killing it. His little run on “in a day or twooooo” transcended me to another plane of existence. Come on, that reach! It wasn’t a perfect audition, especially when he choked on his second song (Richie’s “Truly”), but you just can’t cheer for this guy. Click here to view them.
Owen Eckhardt, 19 | Perry sees a little Elvis in this easy-going vet student. His rendition of Zach Bryan’s “Something in the Orange” was undoubtedly good – but exciting? I think, to be honest, I was more excited to see Perry and Richie’s puppies show up than anything else at this audition.
Your thoughts on the last round of idol auditions? Are you also skeptical about this forced cliffhanger? Whatever’s on your mind, leave a comment below.
https://tvline.com/2023/03/19/american-idol-fire-wilmore-audition-staged-season-21-recap/ ‘American Idol’ Was The Fire Wilmore Audition Staged? — Recap of season 21