Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Top 9 Perform: Songs From Their Idols

Welcome back. Hope everyone had a great week. Well we are down to the Final 9. This week the Top 9 perform songs from their own personal Idols. This is a pretty wide open category, unlike the first few weeks which kind of pigeonholed the contestants. This week's mentor is Stevie Nicks. Should be interesting to hear her thoughts on some of these contestants. Last week was a down week for Joshua, Hollie and Skylar so we'll see if they can rebound and if Deandre and Heejun can survive another week after some pretty bad performances. All those questions will be answered soon enough, so let's get to it:

Solo Performances #1:
Colton Dixon(Everything-Lifehouse)
Stevie Nicks tells Colton to never cut his hair off and he agrees.This guy really knows his voice and genre at this point. This song sounded like he wrote it for himself. There were a few pitchy moments, but he sang it just as consistently as he has been since the competition began. He gets pretty emotional by the end of the song, it all really hits him I guess.
Steven=A dream come true for an Idol judge. Sing a song like it should be sung. Perfect pitch and star quality.
Jennifer=So emotional and moved by the performance. Just hearing the song, nothing crazy. Done beautifully and controlled.
Randy=Has complete believability. Feels his heart and passion. Doesn't hide anything, he puts it all out there.

Skylar Laine(Gun Powder and Lead-Miranda Lambert)
Stevie Nicks really helps Skylar with the melodies, even singing with her at one point. I haven't seen Skylar as enthusiastic and having as much fun since the Top 24. She always sounds pretty good, but tonight she had attitude and drive and seems like she was having fun. It was a much more dynamic performance than the last few weeks for sure.
Jennifer=Unbridled energy. Perfect song choice. Won over the crowd for sure.
Steven=Over the top. Sounded like she was singing to an old friend. Beautiful.
Randy=Loved it. Great performer with great range. Powerhouse singer.

Trio Performance #1

Colton, Elise & Phillip
They are paying tribute to Fleetwood Mac. Colton starts off singing "Landslide" with the other 2 being a bit more than background singers. Elise then goes and starts singing "Edge of Seventeen". Phillip then goes and sings "Don't Stop". I guess it was cool. Their voices were really cool. Not sure if I understand these performances, other than filling time, but they did a great job with what they did.

Solo Performances #2

Heejun Han(A Song For You-Donny Hathaway)
So last week Heejun went nuts and ran around the stage, took off his clothes. This week he just stands at a mic and sings his ballad. Although I'd prefer this Heejun over last week's, he is starting to be confusing. I don't really know who he wants to be. His voice is much more in tune, but in all honesty this performance was a little too boring for me. He has to find a better middle ground between last week and this if he wants to stay in this competition for awhile. He might have saved himself another week with this performance. The judges give him a standing ovation.
Steven=Turned it around.Made the song alive like no one else can. Keep it up.
Jennifer=He's here because he can sing this way. Most beautiful bravado. When you let go and connect you move people.
Randy=Wasn't perfect, but has that beautiful tone that finally came out. Welcome back.

Hollie Cavanagh(Jesus Take The Wheel-Carrie Underwood)
Stevie Nicks wants her heart to come out of her. Stevie Nicks actually starts to get emotional and tears up during Hollie's rehearsal. I enjoyed this performance. I can see this kind of song and tone be in Hollie's future. She also gets pretty emotional at the end of the song.
Randy=Did a really good job. Wasn't perfect in her lower range. Impressed, pretty good job.
Jennifer=One of her best performances. Connected to the song and put all the emotion into it.
Steven=Felt the emotion but didn't like the song choice that much. Just okay.

Deandre Brackensick(Sometimes I Cry-Eric Benet)
Stevie Nicks tells Deandre to slow the song down so it'll sit better for his voice and allow a better connection. This is definitely more in Deandre's wheelhouse than Billy Joel was last week. He is able to use his falsetto all over the place. Not sure if people will connect to this performance. It was solid, not gonna say it wasn't. But it could be perceived as kinda boring in some places. Much better than last week. The judges give him a standing ovation, and I'm not sure if I agree with this one. It was good, but not standing ovation good.
Steven=100% passion. That was what your voice is made to do. Gave Prince a run for his money.
Jennifer=One of the most special voices in the competition. People vote for Deandre! Need to hear this voice some more.
Randy=Happy to see him comeback to his R&B roots. He is back!

Jessica Sanchez(Sweet Dreams(Beautiful Nightmare)-Beyonce)
Stevie Nicks loves that Jessica slowed the song down to more of a ballad than a fast tempo song. And after listening to this, I totally agree. I don't know if I understand the stage with all of the doors, I'm sure it's a metaphor, but it went over my head. Either way, I loved that the slowed down aspect of the song, and relatively soft instruments, allowed us to really focus on her voice. This is also dangerous, because you could hear a few pitchy moments, but she overpowered that and made the song her own. Really wonderful job.
Jennifer=Really great rendition of the song. Loved that she left us wanting more. Beyonce should do this version in her next concert.
Steven=Great performance, beautiful dress, a star no matter what. Did it again tonight. Really knows her notes.
Randy=Stars are born. Even at her young age she just innately has this wonderful talent. Loved the resolve into changing the song into a ballad. Unbelievable. She's in it to win it.

Trio Performance #2

Joshua, Deandre and Heejun
They are singing a medley of Michael Jackson songs. They start off singing "Lady in My Life" and then go into "Rock With You" and finish it up with "P.Y.T(Pretty Young Thing)". They made it more of a group performance than 3 individual performances, so more cohesive than the first group. I guess. Since these performances really don't mean anything, I don't really think it matters who was better or worse.

Solo Performances #3

 Phillip Phillips(Still Rainin-Johnny Lang)
Stevie Nicks tells Phillip that he thinks that he would have been asked to join Fleetwood Mac if he was around back in the day. If you like Phillip then this was the performance for you because he did his thing. It's getting hard to decipher a difference from week to week. I can't tell if he's improving or staying the same. But he seemed pretty pumped for this performance. The judges give Phillip a standing ovation. What is going on?
Jennifer=Let's the music speak for itself. Makes everything other than the song go away. Amazing performance.
Steven=Every song he owns. Thinks there is even more to come out.
Randy=Happy to hear him sing this song. Love every-time he comes out and his individuality.

Joshua Ledet(Without You-Mariah Carey)
Jimmy and Stevie thinks that this is one of the most challenging songs ever. Stevie wants the performance to look effortless because if it doesn't look right or sound right then he is a goner. He definitely seems more into the performance this week than the lackluster performance he gave last week. The beginning was a little boring not gonna lie, but when it hit that chorus he just blew it out the box. He also gets emotional and a standing ovation from the judges.
Randy=Mariah would be proud. Love you, the voice. Flawless. Was emotional and helped there be a connection.
Steven=Pushed himself beyond the limits. Got caught all up on it.
Jennifer=A Phenom. Angel from Heaven. That voice is God sent,

Trio Performance #3

Hollie, Skylar and Jessica

The three girls are singing songs from Madonna. Jessica starts off by singing "Like a Prayer" and Hollie and Skylar join in. They then transition into "Borderline" and finish up with "Express Yourself". I liked this girl group. All 3 of them are powerhouses so it was a cool combination of voices.

Solo Performances #3 

Elise Testone(Whole Lotta Love-Led Zepplin)
Stevie Nicks tells Elise not to change a thing. Then Stevie Nicks end up singing "Dreams" with Elise. That's pretty freakin' cool. Stevie Nicks says she felt a kindred spirit with Elise. The first thing I am going to say about this performance was that Elise looks great. She carries that microphone around like she is playing with her band at a gig. Didn't think her voice could go as hard rock as this, but it does and it's awesome. It just is. She plays on the stage and seems so comfortable. Last week was her break out week and this week she is building on that momentum. She kills it. And that end part was so fierce. When the audience thought she was done but she had so much more to go. Killed it. Standing Ovation NUMBER 5! This one was so deserved.
Steven=Wasn't sure she could pull it off but did. 
Jennifer=Elise made her get up for another standing ovation. Real rock star stuff. Crazy.
Elise=One of the hardest songs to sing, and that was an amazing job.


Bottom 3

Going Home(If Not Saved)
Deandre. It's a tough one because they didn't give him any bad critique. I am just thinking about his relatlblity factor and if people thought it was boring.

Final Thoughts

 *Solid night tonight. No crazy bad performances, but several really great ones. Elise, Jessica, Joshua, to name a few.

*Other than being a time filler, what was the point of the trio performances? Honestly, I know FOX is short on 30 minute TV shows, but these performances shows really should only be 90 minutes not 2 hours, and the Results shows should be 30 minutes not 60 minutes. I guess I kinda liked the trio performances, but just don't understand what I'm supposed to do with it. Is it supposed to sway me to vote for someone more? Or not vote for someone? Whatever I guess.

*Um, 5 standing ovations? Really? I get the Joshua Ledet and Elise Testone standing ovation, but by standing up 5 times it definitely loses its value. The standing ovation should be used only on rare occasion when that performance is beyond unbelievable. They should stand only when the performance was unique and special. Standing up 5 times proves that the person wasn't unique. The specialness and value of the standing ovation is gone.

*Me thinks the Judge's Save will be used this week. Just a hunch. But there were a ton of really good performances and the "weaker" performers and performances weren't that bad. Last week's Bottom 3 participants, Deandre and Heejun, both got relatively undeserved standing ovations from the judges, proving that the judges are back on their side. So I feel that if either of them is the one to go home that they will be saved. If they were voted home last week I don't think they would have saved them, this week is different. I think any of the other contestants would get the Judge's Save anyway. So that's my guess. Judge's Save is getting used tomorrow.

Well that's it. Come back tomorrow after the show to check out our thoughts and feedback on the show and the newly eliminated contestant or if the Judge's Save was used. As always please vote for your favorite and least favorite performance of the week. Until next time, see ya!

1 comment:

  1. Last night was much better than most. The reason? Let the performers sing the songs they love and know the best. The theme nights like Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, etc typically place most of the performers in a box and unfortunately the lid should stay closed when they sing. Last night, everything sounded much better because they picked their own idols. I wish AI would let them do these types of theme nights most of the time. I want to see the performers sing what they are best at so that we can judge them that way. By the way, I need to play back a couple of the performances because they didn't seem quite as worthy as the praise and standing ovations as they sounded. Finally, I'm glad the judges seem more engaged this season and are offering more substance in their judging.