On Wednesday night’s premiere episode of the last season of American Idol ever, the vibe was generally light: J.Lo looked like the alien queen of continually indeterminable age she is, Harry Connick Jr. was not to be confused with Michael Bublé, and Kanye West showed up because oh righttt Ryan Seacrest produces Keeping Up With the Kardashians! But for people who will never be that famous, stuff got tense.
Meet Jordan and Alex Sasser, worship leaders from Raleigh, North Carolina in their twenties, who, along with their baby daughter Westlund, traveled to Atlanta to BOTH audition for American Idol. (Westlund sat this round out. Yuck yuck yuck stop it Kate!)
“I’m the better singer sooo don’t tell him I said that, because he really thinks he is,” Alex squealed before her audition. “We’ve never had an opportunity to really be competitive. So now we’re like, oh, it’s on! You’re going down.”
The judges were, sadly, not wowed by Alex’s rendition of a Bruno Mars song, complete with ukelele accompaniment, calling it “light” and saying it wasn’t “compelling” enough. “There’s too much goodness in here right now,” said Harry. “I have to say, as gorgeous as your family is, it’s highly distracting.” Immediately after his wife was rejected, however, Jordan wasted no time in stepping right up and making it to HOLLYWOOD, BABY with a—yes—Celine Dion cover.
While the appearance of her family members off to the side distracted from Alex’s performance, the same set-up only seemed to benefit Jordan; J.Lo said she got “teary” looking over at Alex and the baby during Jordan’s song. (Though all the judges seemed overwhelmed by the couple’s positivity aka that Good Influence of God. “It’s so funny, the light, and the sort of buoyancy of everything, You both have it,” said Keith. “We’re like brooding artists, it makes us uncomfortable,” added Harry.)
You know who else was teary? Alex, who had tense words with Jordan once he had been praised and she rejected that did not look like they would end once the cameras stopped rolling. “I’ve never been good enough,” she said to him, prompting a “Wait, what?!” that made it clear these two would be having this fight for some time. Guys, always remember that fame is fleeting but love is forever.
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