Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Top 25: Top 12 Females Perform

After a pretty decent night of male performances it's the ladies' turn. The Top 12 females will perform any song that they want. I haven't hidden the fact that I believe the females are overall much stronger than the males. I'm excited to see which ladies really step it up tonight and if my favorites continue to be my favorites. There's little chance that the Top 13 will carry an extra girl given that there was an extra male performing yesterday, so it most likely will only be 6 females out of this Top 12, so this performance is even more critical. Should be a solid night, we'll see. So as we do, let's get to it:

Chelsea Sorrell(Cowboy Casanova)
She was by far one of the bigger surprises of the Top 12. We really didn't know anything about Chelsea, we just know that she is a country girl. That's about it.  Tonight she decides to sing this Carrie Underwood song. She sounds pretty karaoke to me. She sounds decently but nothing special, and she doesn't seem extremely comfortable on stage, she moves around and all but it seems very rehearsed. Nothing special. Plus she is going first so her being unmemorable is going to put her at a big disadvantage.
Randy=Has a huge voice, but didn't like her song choice because it didn't separate her from the original enough.
Jennifer=Is a huge fan of her, but it made her sound a little nasally. Knows it sucks to go first, but tonight didn't show her true voice.
Steven=Thought she sounded good but wants her to watch her phrasing.

Erika Van Pelt(What About Love)
I've been a fan of Erika' voice since her audition. She has a lot of maturity and depth to her voice and tonight proved no different. The band was pretty loud, but Erika's voice broke through it. This was a very smart song choice and showed off her big voice. Very solid.
Steven=Her confidence is magical. Nailed it and it's beautiful.
Jennifer=Was very comfortable up there and thinks there is even more she can go.
Randy=Showed confidence with restraint. Hears some Adele in her voice.

Jen Hirsch(One And Only)
Singing Adele is always a dangerous choice, given her intense popularity right now, but Jen tries nonetheless. Her voice is smooth and does what she wants it to, but nothing spectacular really happened. I like her tone, I like her sound, and I'm glad that she hit that big note towards the middle, I wish she took a few more chances during the whole song. Nice performance overall.
Jennifer=She let loose and went for the high note.
Steven=Despite a little trouble at the end she really has "It".
Randy=She is one of the greatest singers in the competition and she should remember how talented she is.

Brielle von Hugel(Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay)
Despite her mother being very vocal and getting a lot of screen time Brielle definitely can sing. I think she started the song a little too low that it took her time to get back out of it. When she hit the chorus and you can clearly hear her voice it was pretty. The whole performance was a little uneven. Definitely some nice parts, but maybe not enough to have an all out outstanding performance.
Steven= Well done, very nice, great.
Jennifer=She is a true performer and eats up the whole thing and knows what it takes to entertain.
Randy=Although it started low she really hit her stride towards the middle. Surprised by all the swagger.

Hallie Day(Feelin Good)
Every time I've heard Hallie she impressed me. We didn't hear a lot of her in the later rounds of Hollywood and Vegas, but she's here so that means she impressed the judges, just not the editors/producers. Her voice has a lot of energy to it when she hits those hits high notes, and she hit that last note perfectly. Nothing wrong about this performance, I may not jump up and down but really nicely done.
Jennifer=Had some really beautiful moments, had a few moments of being out of control but overall did a nice job.
Steven=Her voice is old fashioned and that's making a comeback.
Randy=Asks her what kind of performer she wants to be. Isn't sure what artist she is going to be, but her big voice confuses him on where she will go. But she sounded great tonight.

Skylar Laine(Stay With Me)
We first saw Skylar go to the hospital due to dehydration, but she's still kicking and has at least made it here. She's the second country girl of  the females. Never heard the song before but she rocked it pretty good. She looked extremely comfortable on stage and hit that last note like she's hit it a thousand times before. Really well done by her.
Randy=She's the first rockin country girl Idol has ever had. She's a mix of Reba and Kelly Clarkson and Tina Turner. She has the whole package.
Jennifer=Tina Turner went country. Is a natural born performer.
Steven=Was on fire, was a pistol and just needs to keep it up.
Baylie Brown(Amazed)
She is the final country girl. After being eliminated over 5 years ago it's been quite the journey for Baylie. Unfortunately the beginning of the song was pretty pitchy, and she never had a great flow throughout. I'm dissapointed. I had some high hopes for Baylie but it was a very generic, if not sub par outing this time around. Even her high notes didn't go anywhere. It's a shame, I do like Baylie and her story but tonight was just not good. Even the audience didn't sound that pumped up and they cheer when someone sneezes.
Steven=Didn't like the song choice and knows she sounded better in the past.
Jennifer=Is beautiful but tonight felt like she didn't have much control and she was shaky.
Randy=She never ceased control of the song and even though she looks amazing the performance just wasn't great.
Hollie Cavanugh(Reflection) 
I remember Hollie from last season when she broke down hysterically when she didn't make the Top 24, but this year she has had zero screen time. I am glad she's back and supposedly stronger. Singing a Christina Aguliera song is very difficult, she has a voice like no other, in my opinion, so comparing Hollie to the original isn't fair. Her version was a little karaoke for me. She sang it well but she didn't do anything with it. It was the original version straight up and down. I like her voice and it's very pleasant and she did hit those high notes rather well, so very solid effort. Her limited screen time and just decent performance might not do her any favors with the audience.
Steven=Hit the notes just perfectly. Wants her to let her hair down next time.
Jennifer=Her voice is strong enough to go really far, but although she didn't bring everything she still has a lot. [Because I'm childish I did laugh when J.Lo said "do do".]
Randy=Love her vocals but she didn't let go enough. The parts that were great were genius but there's more she could have done.
Haley Johnson(Sweet Dreams)
This classic Eurythmics song is so difficult because it has a lot of parts to it, it goes from really low to some crazy high notes. Haley does do a good job with the difficult range though. You can really hear her tone and intensity, but it could be perceived as too much all over the place. I enjoyed the fact that I haven't heard this song performed on this show before, so that's a big bonus.But it's a chancy song, especially for someone that hasn't had a whole ton of screen time.
Jennifer=Loves all the special things she has in her voice, loves the pop and soul of her voice. Despite her not picking the best song she is a great singer and hopes America hears.
Steven=Pulled it through and thought the money spots were right on.
Randy=It was a bit of nightmare instead of a dream. Was pitchy all over the place. Singing Annie Lennox made Haley's performance seem too all over the place.

Shannon Magrane(Go Light Your World)
Despite her having a pretty solid vocal performance I hate her song choice. She could have chosen any song, ever, and she chose this song. I don't get it. She sang it well, but this song made her sound old and irrelevant, pretty disappointing in that sense. Just vocally she was very good. I don't know what to think.
Randy=Came out swinging, has a lot of promise and is impressed every time he hears her.
Jennifer=Sings with such passion for a 16 year old. Is beautiful to watch. Gave her "gooseys".[Yuck] 
Steven=Went really low and then came back really high. She turned it up a notch.

Jessica Sanchez(Love You I Do)
We learn from Ryan's first sit down interview of the evening that Jessica has swollen vocal glands and her voice is a little hoarse.Must say I love this song, it's Jennifer Hudson's song from "Dreamgirls". There were times when Jessica went a little too low and became inaudible, but her tone and sound were there throughout the rest of the song. You can see she was thinking too much, but she pulled through and hit that last note with such beautiful intensity. So good. Loved all of it despite the shaky start, and knowing that she was hurting makes it even more special. Love Jessica Sanchez, unbelievable.
Randy=That girl can really sing. One of the best of the past 2 nights. That voice is a voice to be reckoned with.
Jennifer=Has such swagger and attitude. The whole thing is just beyond her years, the soft and the growl, all of it was just so good.
Steven=You're voice is perfect, you're pitch was perfect, she has to be paid next time she sings the National Anthem.

Elise Testone(One and Only) 
Despite the fact that she and Jen Hirsch are singing the same exact song she sounded completely different and did something so completely different with it.  She slayed the song. She has something special in her voice and think she can do a lot in this competition.
Steven=She killed it and proves why Adele is number 1.
Jennifer=Best singer of the competition possibly. She is one to watch.
Randy=A force to be reckoned with, boys, girls, whatever. Hopes America gets it because it was great.

Best Of The Night?
Jessica Sanchez

Worst of The Night?
Baylie Brown. I think Chelsea was also weak but the disappointment factor of Baylie makes her my worst of the night.


Who We Want Top 5 & Wild Card
1. Jessica Sanchez
2. Erika Van Pelt
3. Skylar Laine
4. Elise Testone
5.Jen Hirsch
Wild Card: Hallie Day
Wild Card 2(I Hope The Extra Wild Card Comes From Girls Not Guys): Hollie Cavanaugh

Who Will Be Top 5 & Wild Card
1. Jessica Sanchez
2. Brielle von Hugel
3. Shannon Magrane
4. Skylar Laine
5. Jen Hirsch
Wild Card: Hollie Cavanaugh

Final Thoughts:
*It's kinda crazy that after weeks and weeks of auditions and performances half of the men and women will be gone. I remember back in the day we used to see these contestants for awhile and they narrowed it down from Top 24 to Top 20 then to Top 16 then to Top 12. It allowed us a lot of time to see these contestants and really get to know them. Now we see them possibly only once and then that's it. I know they like those Vegas rounds and all the Hollywood drama, but reducing each of those a little and adding these middle rounds in would help the audience really connect with the contestants, because right now we barely know them. Therefore it becomes quite polarizing because those that get a lot of screen time will probably make it and those that aren't lucky enough to get a lot of screen time will probably get cut, despite their vocal ability. It's not really fair, and I wish they would rethink this format.

*Such a set up. Such a set up! After some critical panning after last night's judges love fest Ryan asks Randy what he thinks about the boys' performance compared to the girls. Randy thinks that they might have been too lenient with the boys and gave some free passes at times. Well, little too late Mr. Jackson. The votes are in and because of you and your cohorts lack of judging it's possible some less than worthy people will make Top 13 while some that needed to be singled out because they were better, are going to be sent home.They are only saying they are lenient because they got flack. J.Lo chimes in about the fact that it was first night excitement. Is it a coincidence that Randy said this only a few hours after Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe goes and tries to defend his judges by tweeting that "The American audience is not so stupid they need judges telling them who to vote for. They make up their own minds". Um, if they aren't there to judge then don't call them judges. Call them cheerleaders or something along those lines. This whole conversation between Ryan and Randy was just a calculated set up and anyone watching can see right through it.

*The judging was uneven tonight, but not because they weren't critical but because they weren't last night. The girls were every bit, if not better than the boys overall but the girls got a lot more critical feedback. I know I say a lot about the judging but it's just so frustrating and it's so easy to fix.The disparity between the two nights is amazing.

*Have they ever had 2 people sing the same song in the same night before? I don't think so.

*It's tough picking the Top 6 or 7 girls, I think that there were a few standouts, and then a whole bunch of really good-great performances. It's gonna be an interesting elimination tomorrow. 

Tomorrow is the big night. We learn which 10 contestants America picked and the 3 wild card picks from the judges. So should be an interesting night and you have to come back here right after the episode for the complete break down. So until then, see ya!

1 comment:

  1. Beginning with the Top 13, the judges need to be more critical and less complimentary to the performers. These judges are proven professionals and need to capture their credibility back. For someone of Jennifer's caliber to call an American Idol contestant as amazing or awesome isn't helping the performer or the competition.

    My top 6 girls are Erika, Skylar, Hollie, Shannon, Jessica, and Elise.

    It was a shame to see Jen, Brielle, Hallie, and Baylee not do well.