American Idol 2011: We like James Durbin less, but adore The Minors

Hollywood week: the groups round. James Durbin is already beginning to grate on my nerves. Technically, I should like his rock-style falsetto, but I hate his attitude.

This is a guy who tailed a bunch of teenagers around because he was annoyed that their mothers were giving them “unfair advantage”. At various points during the evening we saw him grumbling about these kids who were due to perform the same song as his group.

Both groups were due to sing Queen’s Somebody To Love. Classic song. Already covered on Glee. Quite hard to sing.

Durbin’s group went first – watched by the beady eyes of four ‘stage moms’. What struck me about this group’s performance was that Durbin was clearly trying to outsing and outperform the others. He placed himself at the center and made himself the visual and audio core of the track. He overplayed his vocal histrionics and came across as a bit of a twat, in my humble opinion.

What I find with reality TV contestants is that if they love themselves too much, no-one else will. James Durbin falls in that category. So did Tiffany Rios.

Nevertheless, there’s no denying Durbin’s vocal talent, so he and fellow group member Caleb Johnson got through. Though not before Ryan Seacrest pulled some pained expressions from the sidelines at the group’s harmonies and Jennifer Lopez remarked:

It was a strong song because you guys have got some strong voices in the group. So it was a good song for that. But the harmonies were almost painful. I mean really guys, it was like a bad Glee audition or something. It was not good. I’m sorry. There was a couple of you that stood out and obviously a couple that are going home.

Following this, The Minors take to the stage with their mothers promising BIG THINGS! And damn, do these kids deliver. Each one has a unique tone to their voice, but they still manage to pull together some smooth harmonies and deliver that Glee-cast quality of vocal Lopez was looking for. It’s nothing short of excellent, causing Steven Tyler to rave:

I gotta tell you, this is what I joined forces with American Idol to hear. That was as good as it gets. Freeie Mercury is up there smiling down on you guys. I was bathing in those vocals. Your background harmonies were delicious.

Here’s The Minors’ audition video. Trust me, you don’t want to hear the other one. 

Fast facts

  • Name: James Durbin
  • From: Santa Cruz, CA
  • Age: 21
  • Occupation: Unemployed
  • Name: Emma Henry
  • From: Littleton, CO
  • Age: 16
  • Occupation: Student
  • Name: Danny Pate
  • From: Auburndale, FL
  • Age: 23
  • Occupation: Citrus Farm
  • Name: Caleb Johnson
  • From: Asheville, NC
  • Age: 19
  • Occupation: Banquet Server
  • Name: John Jordan
  • From: St. Cloud, FL
  • Age: 20
  • Occupation: Waiter/entertainer
  • Name: Keonna Evans
  • From: Los Angeles, CA
  • Age: 16
  • Occupation: Student
  • Name: Jalen Harris
  • From: Memphis, TN
  • Age: 15
  • Occupation: Student
  • Name: Sarina-Joi Crowe
  • From: Columbia, TN
  • Age: 15
  • Occupation: Student
  • Name: Felix Ramsey
  • From: Milwaukee, WI
  • Age: 15
  • Occupation: Student
  • Name: Deandre Brackensick
  • From: San Jose, CA
  • Age: 16
  • Occupation: Student

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