Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Top 42 Becomes The Top 24 Part 1

Tonight is the beginning of a 2 night smorgasbord of singing, but mainly eliminations. The first live performances start next week with 12 females and 12 males, tonight begins the quest to eliminate 18 contestants that have come crazy close, but are still so far away. A few remaining members of the Top 42 were actually at this exact point last season but were cut here. We'll discuss that and so much more as we go on. It's a combination of judgement and a review of their final solo performances. So let's get to it:

Judgement/Final Performance Review

*Jen Hirsch-I've like the journey that Jen's been on. She didn't get featured in her audition round, but she has slowly gotten more and more time on TV and her voice has held up well. Her last performance wasn't as good in my opinion. Her track record was better than her last time. So we'll see if her past can help her into the future. I did like Randy's take on Jen loosening up "we're your friends...kinda". 

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. Randy calls her "one of the best singers of the competition", I tend to agree.

*Creighton Fraker- He's been hit or miss for me. I've liked him at times, but then I didn't at others. He has been featured pretty well throughout the competition so he's been pretty memorable one way or another. I didn't completely loathe his final performance, so he's got a shot.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did. He's in and the judges believe he can touch America. We shall see.

*Lauren Gray- She's actually been one of my favorites. She had the pimp slot in one of the audition rounds, but then wasn't seen for several weeks until she cried during one of her rehearsals and then we saw her kill it during the group performance. Her disappearing for a bit does get me worried about what the judges and producers think of her. Her final performance reminds me of Amy Winehouse meets Adele, which is a big compliment. But I'm not one of the judges.

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did Not. Darn, that's too bad. I really liked her, but her disappearing act was a big giveaway that she wasn't gonna make it. Really too bad. 

*Joshua Ledet- This guy came out of nowhere. We didn't see really anything of him until really late in this process, but he was rather impressive every time we saw him. His final performance was just as consistent as his other performances were, so if the judges liked him before, it would make sense that they'd like him again.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did. His reaction was pretty priceless.

Super Quick "Did Not Make It's"=Blaire Sieber and Naomi Gilles

*Haley Johnsen-I remember her audition, but I don't remember seeing her again, maybe that's because we barely saw her again.  She was in a group that we did see, but she wasn't particularly featured.

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. I look forward to hearing her voice again. She definitely impressed me during her audition.

*Necco Starr-He came on strong late when he was in that group round, and although his final performance was very cool, and he came on really late in this competition which like we've seen already tonight, is problematic.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did Not. As I stated, he came on a little late, he's young and could easily come back next year and try again.

Super Quick "Did Not Make Its"= Clayton Farhat, River St. James and Caleb Johnson.

*Elise Testone-I like this girl a lot. I probably never put her at the forefront of any list, but every time I saw her I was impressed. Her final performance didn't disappoint, she impressed me again.

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. So good, and she's incredibly talented, a good combination.

*Reed Grimm-I want to like this guy, he has had cool moments, but overall I think he is a little too quirky. I mean this is the guy that sang the "Family Matters" theme song, so that's cool, and I give him respect for that, but he got on my nerves a little. Can't put my finger on exactly why, maybe because he reminds me of Casey Abrams, and we literally just saw Casey  last year, so I'm a little over it. But the judges have been high on him, and his voice is pretty good when he lightens up on the scatting.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did. He might have to lessen up on the caffeine and increase on the actual singing rather than scatting, so if that happens then he has a shot of doing well. He's someone that could tire an audience quickly though. 

*Erika Van Pelt-Liked the distinguished, mature sound of Erika's voice right from the start. We saw her sprinkled in here and there on TV, and every time she was real good. Unfortunetly, her final performance was weak, she didn't pick the right song and the judges were upset about that.

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. Luckily she did so well in her past performances that it made up for her weak final performance. I like her a lot, and she has a lot of potential.

*Chelsea Sorrell-I can't seem to remember anything about Chelsea. She's a country singer, so that's cool. She messed up in one of the performances but then rebounded, so that's cool. Other than that? Um..

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. Well I guess we'll learn about Chelsea now cause we don't know anything about her.

*Baylie Brown- After returning 5 years after her first go around with American Idol, Baylie has come back with a lot more in her voice and poise. She didn't make it the first time around, so you'd hope they wouldn't have strung her along all this way to just cut her again.

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. I'm very pumped about hearing Baylie is making it, I think she has an interesting return story. It's good to see, and maybe gives people who were cut this year or years prior a thought to come back and try again.

*Richie "The Cowboy" Law-This guy has had a weird story. He's been cocky, had drama, and is just pure American Idol . I have been consistent in my dislike for this guy. His voice sounds like he swallowed Kermit the Frog and Kermit is trying to fight back out.I don't think I've liked any of his performances to be frank.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did Not. The judges believe that since he is only 19 that he has a chance of getting better. He has to get a better attitude if he decides to come back, and please let Kermit out, he just wants to be free.Who doesn't?

*Heejun Han- This classic line exemplifies why I like Heejun. Ryan was talking about Heejun being nervous and asked him  "What are you sweating?" Heejun responded "Mostly water". Classic line. Very clever. I've liked his personality, and at times his voice. I think his final performance was very solid and just as good as many of his other very good performances were. His voice just doesn't match his whole personality and the way he carries himself. It's really cool.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did. He promised if he made it he would kiss and hug J.Lo, but his emotions overtook him and he started to cry rather than follow up on the kiss. I'm glad we'll be seeing him again. Usually we get a personality but the talent isn't always there, this time a contestant has a fun personality and a great voice.

*Jesssica Sanchez-I just saw her one time, during her group performance round, but she was very impressive. But her lack of on screen air time is concerning. I thought with that voice she was 26, but she's only 16, very talented. We see her entire final performance(maybe the producers realized they didn't show enough of Jessica along the way), and it was beautiful. Her voice is very exciting, it's simple and strong and all the good stuff that you would want. Honestly, this voice is all kinds of pure goodness.

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. Very excited about this. She honestly didn't get enough screentime, very glad we're gonna see and hear her again.

*Phil Phillips-He's had a roller coaster ride thus far. He had a decent audition, but then a bad initial group round, then rebounded a little, but then his final performance was not so great. I mean if you like Dave Matthews then this is your guy. I like Dave Matthews, but I don't know how much, at least maybe not enough to have a Dave Matthews knock off.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did. His roller coaster ride will at least take him to the live performance rounds.

*Colton Dixon-After not wanting to audition this year, he was 'pressured' by the judges to try out again. He made it all the way to the Top 40 last year, and he did it again. He just missed out last year. Sometimes I like Colton's voice, sometimes I don't, but I know that I never liked his hair. That just isn't a style I enjoy.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did. A really cool redemption story, he finally makes it. He like Baylie are 2 people that show that coming back isn't embarrassing, but can be incredibly rewarding.

*Brielle Von Hugel - Last year Brielle was in a group with Pia Toscano but was cut soon after that performance. Her mother this year has upstaged Brielle's storyline. I don't personally dislike her mother, but she is way too pushy, she just has to sit back and relax. Her final performance was decent, nothing spectacular.

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. We'll see if her mother's strong personality will upset America. Brielle has talent but we'll see if it can overcome the 'mother factor'.

*Adam Brock-This guy has an interesting voice and presence on the show. He has a hugely powerful voice that he once described as "Black Women" taking hold of him. It's strangely accurate. Adam's final performance was solid, but Jennifer feels that "he's a little all over the place".

Did He Make Top 24?: He...

Adam and The Other Final 9's Decision Will Continue Tomorrow...

Final Thoughts:

*I feel bad for a few of the people that quickly were cut that saw absolutely zero screentime. I mean who is River St. James and Blair Seiber? I have no idea who they are. I know they didn't make it to the Live shows but they got really far, it woulda been nice to see a little of their time on the show.

*As always the people that disappear or don't appear until super late on the shows are more likely to not make the Top 24, people that get heavily featured are obviously going. It makes sense, I get it, but it does take away some of the shock.

*The biggest shock was Lauren Gray leaving after getting a great audition spot, but given that Jessica Phillips, who got eliminated last episode, also got a great audition spot it wasn't unprecedented that she'd be cut.Lauren said she won't ever come back, I hope she rethinks that.

*It is interesting that Baylie Brown, Colton Dixon and Brielle Von Hugel all were cut once before and have come back again and are now in the Top 24. It's a testament to their talent, but also determination. Lauren Gray is only 23 years old, if she sees these three people come back, and come back strong, she shouldn't be so quick to decide that she will never come back. A little time, a little more experience can do wonders.

Ya gotta come back here tomorrow to learn the remaining fates of the remaining contestants. A lot was done tonight, but tomorrow finalizes it all. So please come on back. Tell your friends, tell your enemies, just tell em to check out Idol Be The Judge, even if they don't like American Idol just go on and tell em. Until next time, See Ya.

1 comment:

  1. Very good recap. My only comment is that the final performance stage was really...creepy. It was an island somewhere out in space with strange water from another planet surrounding it. Spooky and really odd to me.