I honestly don’t know what I was thinking when I volunteered to recap American Juniors for July 9th. I’ve never seen a single episode, and I haven’t been in the American Juniors Forum, other than to reed about the misbehaving parents from the tryout days.
Usually I recap The Amazing Race. The participants are all adults and I have no problem making fun of them. It’s what I enjoy doing.
This was very difficult for me to recap as I refuse to make fun off or be mean to anyone under the age of 18. Although a couple of the girls look like they could be close, I am assuming they were young too.
If you just want to know what I think of Ryan, what each contestant sang, and what the panelists, Deborah Gibson, Brian McKnight and Gladys Knight had to say, then you’ve come to the right place.
The show opens with Ryan, wearing what looks to be pants he borrowed from a worker in the Sears Automotive Department, in a “they’ll always look clean” institutional gray. He is also wearing a red T-Shirt with the words “I Vacation To Tan”… something like that. I’m not sure I care Ryan, I just wish you were “tanning” now.
We meet Taylor briefly, and then the rest of the hopefuls are introduced. The walk out like little professionals and I wonder if this is really good for them, then I realize that it is none of my business. I’m here for an hour that’s all.
We learn (or perhaps I learn and everyone else already knew) that the songs the kids will sing tonight are from 1970. We get a brief history lesson in which Ryan (think back to all the interesting clothing the boy has worn) takes time to make fun of the styles of the day… bell bottoms (I saw some recently), Platform shoes (they were all over the place this year) Colorful polyester pants (I am pretty sure Ryan has a few pairs of them) and Afro’s (yes, seen them lately too… even on white folks)
Tori is up first singing Love The One You’re With. She sounds really good to me, and I realize that if I had to watch, I am glad that I’m watching now when presumably only talented kids will be left to hear. She’s really a cute little girl and I have a feeling she’ll make the group. Debbie says: She has great energy and confidence. That she sounded a tad sharp a couple times, but never looks nervous. Brian says: There must be something in the water because both Tori and her sister….WOW. She’s incredible and solid. Gladys says: She commands the audience, she’s a natural. Great voice, Wonderful.
The second performer of the evening is Daniell singing Close To You. She sounds good but the song brings back memories of my high school chorus teacher making me sing soprano on this song when I’m a natural alto. It was awful and I cringe when I think of the song. Luckily Daniell has a good voice for the song. She’s a beautiful young lady and has gorgeous eyes. I think she’ll make the band. Debbie says: Like Karen Carpenter (the original singer of the song) Daniell has a clear beautiful voice. Debbie loves her. Brian says: Amazing. Perfect voice. Incredible. Gladys says: loves to hear her sing her voice caresses the spirit.
Singing Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes must have been hard for young Morgan. He did a great job with a song I feel confidant in saying he had never heard of let alone heard, a week ago. He has a nice voice and I think he’ll make the band. Debbie says: He has a solid voice and is very consistant. He is 12 going on 42. Brian says: He likes how Morgan acted like it was his favorite song ever and lit up while singing it. Gladys says: “isn’t he the trunk baby”…(I will assume that readers of this recap know what the heck she is talking about, as I certainly don’t)… He acts like he’s been around show business a long time and he’s really good.
Chauncy comes out singing Hey There Lonely Girl and I have a hard time believing the voice I hear is coming from someone who looks very young to me. He is yet another good singer and the audience seems very responsive to him. I think he’ll make the band. Debbie says: Loved it, he seems to have taken advice from last week and owned it. Perfect song. at this point in my notes I wrote “Ryan is stupid”, but since I took notes at 1am I can’t remember now why I wrote that, but I’m sure Ryan said or did something stupid Brian says: Chauncy brought it and made it his song. Gladys says: He’s the mpost improved of them all. Great voice and seemed relaxed. Loves to hear him sing. Wonderful.
Singing a Barbra Streisand song can’t be easy. Stony Ann (I think) was apparently on the charts for 12 weeks in 1970. I’ve never heard it and would wager that a week ago Chantel hadn’t either. She’s a gorgeous girl with a nice voice and I think she’ll make the band. Debbie says: She’s not a fan of the song but that Chantel did the best she could with it. She’s heard her sing better and knows she has a more powerful voice. Brian says: They were incredible vocals, great look, wonderful. Gladys says: Definitely sees her in the group, but hopes audience doesn’t judge her from just tonight, as she (Gladys) has heard her sing better.
Hmmm, she chose to sing ABC, which sounds like it would be a simple song… heck when you hear it you think it is simple, but there are a lot of lyrics to learn here. I wasn’t thrilled with the performance, but thought her voice sounded good, especially when she was singing the “oooooohhhhhhhhh” part. The audience seemed to really like her and I think she’ll make the band. Debbie says: She’s impressed that Jordan learned the song. She has improved a lot. Brian says: memorizing that song is hard. Jordan did great and it is obvious that she’s a star. Gladys says: She has energy galore, the voice might get lost in a group, but she’s very good.
We’ve Only Just Begun was Katelyn’s song choice and she did a good job with it. I hope she is the oldest, as she certainly looks it. I wouldn’t want to hear that this beauty is only 11 or something. To me this is a boring song, so the fact that I didn’t fall asleep says something. I think she’ll make the band. Debbie says: She’s done better in the past. Seems to have had trouble switching between “belting it out” and the high parts. Brian says: She could be a model an actor or a singer. The song had 3 key changes making it a very hard song but she sang it well. Gladys says: The clarity in her voice is good for a group.
A J Melendez
AJ comes out and the girls go crazy. We get a shot of dad grinning from ear to ear. I find it creepy and wonder how the facial expression might change if AJ were a girl and the guys were all over her. I have a feeling Dad wouldn’t be smiling so big in that case. AJ sings Where There Is Love, I’ll Be There. He is a cutie and does a good job with the song. He’s got great eyes, and I think he will make the band. Debbie says: He worked the Audience, He worked the chicks, he worked the shirt that Ryan will want back after the show. Well done. Brian says: He’s got style and the girls love him. Not that he needs help but “you can get chicks with this job” Gladys says: The group needs a chick magnet and he’d be it.
Along with Katelyn, Lucy almost looks to old to be in the band that this show seems to be creating. I think it’s sad that I think of her as too old, when she’s obviously young enough to be on the show. I just think she’d look odd standing next to Taylor. Lucy sings Make It Easy On Yourself . She is truly another beautiful girl and does a great job with what I consider to be another boring song. I think she’ll make the band. Debbie says: She’s a phenomenal singer who has poise, control and depth in her voice. Amazing. Brian says: Dynamic. Amazing. Then either Aspiring or inspiring, I’m not quite sure.Gladys says: When she opened her mouth she “sent” it out. Groups need someone to belt it out and that’s Lucy.
Ryan is back to recap all singers, give out the voting numbers again, and remind us all that only 4 of the remaining 9 faces will make it. I tend to hope their voices and body’s make it too, but maybe that’s just me.
We have to wait 8 days to find out who gets the second spot in the band. Be sure to tune in on Wednesday the 16 for the results.