Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Top 7(Again): Now & Then

Welcome back. It's Top 7 week again. With the save of Jessica Sanchez we remain 7 strong. Tonight should be jam packed. The contestants are at that point where they will be singing 2 songs each. So that's 14 for those non-Math people. Tonight they will be performing one Top 100 song from 2000-2012 (Now) and one Soul song from before 2000 (Then). Obviously no more saves so each contestant better be on top of their game. Jessica Sanchez obviously needs a strong night, and we'll see if that happens. So as always, let's get to it:

Performances (Now):

Hollie(Rolling In The Deep)
Singing Adele is crazy hard to do. It's been done several times this season on this show, and I've seen it done on countless other shows this year as well. You have to try to make it your own, which is hard. Haley Reinhardt did a decent job with this song last season, but even that wasn't her best. Hollie sounds really good. She looks great. This is by far one of my favorite performances of her in a really long time. Nicely done by her.
Steven=Finally came out of her shell. Took a popular song and made it un-judgeable because she did so well. Perfect.
Jennifer= So happy. Didn't think, just sang it. Waiting for this for such a long time. Really let loose.
Randy= Not perfect, but pretty close to it. Had great emotion and did a very well done job.

Colton(Bad Romance)
I always give Colton credit for being brave and singing women songs, just as often as he sings guy songs. He takes a pretty popular, well known song and makes it his own. It didn't even sound like the Lady Gaga version. I liked this version. Obviously, I think the Gaga version is pretty great, but this was very original and very cool. He's definitely one of the most creative people on the show this season.
Randy=Just at the Colton Dixon concert. So in the zone right now. Not the greatest performance, but still loved it. Loved the interpretation of Gaga. Job well done.
Jennifer=Exciting performance. Had parts that were great, and there were parts that got lost a little.
Steven=Loved the outfit, the band, and the set.

Elise(No One)
Jimmy thinks Elise is judged week to week, unlike others. She can't ever slip, or she is Bottom 3 or going home. I loved what Elise did with this song. Alicia Keyes really kills this song, but Elise changed it up just enough to make it her own. Her vocals were right on.
Jennifer=Let's go so naturally. Got the first goosies of the night. When you smile your eyes come alive. So beautiful.
Steven=Love your voice. Wish there was a better chorus. Sang her little tushie off anyways.
Randy=Has a strong voice, and sang it great, stuck with the melody. Loved that she perfectly restrained herself this time out.

Phillip(You Got It Bad)
This is an interesting song choice for Phillip, going with an Usher song. Jimmy thinks he can do a great interpretation of the song. This reminds me of when Kris Allen did that Kanye West song "Heartless" a few years back. Interestingly, Kris Allen is in the audience this week, since he is performing tomorrow night. This was much more mellow, and acoustic then he usually does. It still had Phillip's grit, but it was much smaller in terms of emotion and energy, and that's OK. I don't mind that. The judges give Phillip a standing ovation.
Steven=Fools everyone with how he takes a song a different way. Never know what we're gonna get.
Jennifer= Yes, Yes. That was so sexy. To take a song and do what he did to it was just so great. Showed great versatility.
Randy=I love that this year he is a true artist. Every time he comes up he tries to be original, and be himself. Doesn't need to listen to anyone. Just himself, and he's da bomb.

Jimmy wants Jessica to open up and connect back with the audience. This is another Alicia Keyes song. Jimmy wants Jessica to have a big moment. She has to blow the audience's mind. She looks great, and her voice is just killer. She does some things that are a little different from the original, but stays pretty much with the original version. Her runs are crazy good. There are random umbrellas floating around the stage, not sure what that's about, but it doesn't take away the fact that she did a beautiful job. I thought she did a great job
Steven=With talent like hers, you are allowed to get mad at a song, and she had the passion that knows no other.
Jennifer=The way you play with songs is just crazy. Insane. So glad we used the Save on you. Did a great job.
Randy=Your talent is so other-worldly. Doesn't think she even knows how good she is. Alicia Keyes would be proud.

Skylar(Born This Way)
This is another Lady Gaga song, but this is the country version of this song. I didn't even know there was a country version, but what Skylar did tonight was very well done. Her interpretation of Lady Gaga's version was so good. I loved her interpretation of Gaga's interpretation of her original version. It's all good.
Jennifer=A more perfect song for you doesn't exist. Amazing. Perfect.
Steven=Giving all the other girls a run for their money. A lot of people vote country/western. Really enjoyed it.
Randy=So beyond ready. Her crossover appeal is great. She is truly a country/rocker.

Joshua(I Believe)
Fantasia is Joshua's Idol and inspiration. He loves him some Fantasia and he is singing by far her most popular and Idol winning song. Jimmy wants Joshua to dig deep, and sing his butt off to avoid Bottom 3 or elimination.  This is obviously more consistent in what Joshua has been doing all year. He has a choir, he is singing a more ballad type song, and he gets really into it. I liked last week's performance when it was a faced pace song and I do hope he goes back to that again but tonight was really great as well. Joshua gets the second standing ovation of the night.
Randy=Truly one of the most gifted singers ever on this show. Pulled back a little, and restrained himself perfectly tonight.
Jennifer=Leaves it all out there on the stage, every single time. Gives America all of him. Amazing. Blessed that he is in this competition.
Steven=Another stepping stone for him to win this whole thing. Can sing the phone book. So good, almost nothing more to say than that.


Hollie(Son of A Preacher Man)
It's incredibly noticeable how comfortable Hollie appears on stage. Hollie sounded great this time around as well. Soul seems to fit Hollie well. Then she goes and hits that last note, and does a great job with that too.
Randy=Dug in for that last note. Crazy. Worked it out. Liked it even more than the first round.
Jennifer=Better than the first time and she was great then. Showing a new composure and it really suits her. 
Steven=Thinks she can push it even more. Has the voice, but needs to go over the top a little more.

Just like he did with the Gaga song earlier, he took this Earth, Wind and Fire song and made it seem like it was his own version. It sounded almost nothing like the original. I liked this interpretation. I might have liked his Gaga performance better, but it was still very good.
Steven=Love your voice, but his voice is more powerful than this song.
Jennifer=Love the song, but despite him making it his own, it didn't really fit him. Sounded really good, but not the perfect performance.
Randy=Wasn't the perfect song. Wasn't as exciting as they would have liked. Wanted him to do a Lil Wayne song[Um, don't they have to pick a "Soul" song before 2000 Randy?]

Elise(Let's Get It On)
Her voice is perfect for this song. She makes it a very sultry and sexy kind of performance. Her growl and tone were perfect. Tonight more than ever she sounded like Janis Joplin, that little small scream in there reminded me of her voice.
Jennifer=Always sounds so good. Has so much respect for her voice.  Wants even more emotion, and that these songs means something to her. She needs to show more of her heart. She needs to get more vulnerable.
Steven=I think that song showed her versatility. Needs to keep kicking it up a notch. Needs to win America's hearts.
Randy=Needs to show more emotion. Wasn't a great song choice. Shows that she's not entirely sure of what to sing.

Phillip(In The Midnight Hour)
He comes out without his guitar this time out. I liked his first performance much more than this performance, but I am so glad he was without his guitar and he moved a little on stage. I thought it was a little bit of a boring performance. You can see how much he is into his performance though.
Randy=Exactly what you need is what you have. Let's the song breathe, shows emotion every time.
Jennifer= Has the soul and the feeling. Keeps throwing in some surprise, spontaneous moments.
Steven=Brilliantly awkward. Beautiful. Loves his character.

Jessica(Try A Little Tenderness)
She did a little something different with the version of this song. She slowed it down at first, but then really got into it at the end of it. The middle to end of the song was by far the best parts. It reminded me of her performance in Vegas when she did "It Doesn't Matter Anymore", it was there that we first saw and really realized how great Jessica is. I wish we saw more of that. But it was still a very solid performance.
Steven=Good god almighty, she did it again. Love that she keeps stepping out and pushing it. Can do even more.
Jennifer=Her alter ego started to come out. Her vocal ability is always so great. Needs to keep pushing it a little further to connect.
Randy=Needs to connect more with the emotion and the lyric. Saw a little of it tonight, but needs to go even further.

Skylar(Heard It Through The Grapevine)
I liked this version as well, but her first performance was really wonderful. No complaints about this performance though. She's so into it, she picked another great song for her voice.
Randy=Has no problem connecting with the audience. There's a party every time she comes out. Loved that.
Jennifer=Love her spunkyiness. Loved the first song, this was good too. Should be really proud.
Steven=A wild horse that refuses to be tamed. Just something else.

Joshua(A Change Is Gonna Come)
This was just a perfect song choice for Joshua. He came out swinging tonight. After being in Bottom 3 last week he did far and enough to stay out of it this week. He sang this song incredibly well. The emotion he puts into this performance is at times chilling. The judges give Joshua another standing ovation.
Steven=Stretched his voice to the limits of soul. The restraint in the beginning made it pop in the end.
Jennifer=The way he sings these songs is just crazy. Please America don't send this boy home.
Randy=Perfect song choice.Took your time with the song and then burst it open in the end.

Bottom 3?

Going Home?
Elise. They really pounded on her tonight. She's been Bottom 3 tons of times, and the judge's kept going on and on about her not showing enough emotion and not connecting enough. She's in major danger to go home, despite her sounding great again.

Final Thoughts
*For a show that had 14 songs, Ryan really seemed like he was buying time, multiple times. He asked Colton's sister to come on stage with him. He asked Elise about her emotional rehearsal, in which we learn that she was emotional due to her dog being sick, which then led Elise to get pretty emotional again. Hollie got a video from the Liverpool Soccer club. Seemed like lots of stalling, but not sure for what.

*The judges were pretty hard tonight. They'll say it was constructive criticism, but it kinda felt like a pounding, especially on Elise. They did it to Jessica again too. I get what they are saying in both aspects, but to go on and on about it makes it seem like they are going too far. Jennifer Lopez just kept going, gets annoying and uncomfortable to watch after a certain point. I did love Elise talking back and saying her opinion, not just taking it.

*In Season 8 the Judge's Save was created. Matt Giruad was the first ever saved. He then lasted another week before getting eliminated. In Season 9 Michael Lynche was saved and lasted another 4 weeks. In Season 10 Casey Abrams was saved and lasted another 4 weeks. So if we go by history it doesn't seem like just because you were voted out one week that you'll necessarily be voted out the following week. So Jessica might stave off elimination this week. But as we know after watching this show all these years, anything can happen.

Well that's it. As we all know there is no more Judge's Save so whoever is lowest vote getter will get home. Come on back after tomorrow's episode. As always please vote for what you think is the best and worst performance of the night. Check that out, and until tomorrow, see ya!

1 comment:

  1. My biggest disappointment with the show, with only 7 performers left, that it still is a 2 hour chunk of my night. By now, they should have reduced to 60 or 90 minutes. Of course, it's all about advertisement dollars and exposure but I think they are reaching deep now to fill the 2 hour slot. The judges are trying to be a little more critical but it seems very random and not succinct. They ramble but then often end with "but it was great". They seem hesitant to just make a brief comment and leave it at that. It's OK to not end each comment with syrup on top to make the performer feel better. I really miss Simon.