Thursday, May 3, 2012

Top 5 Perform: 60s & British Pop Music

Welcome back. We are less than a month away from learning who will be the next American Idol. There are 5 really diverse, pretty great contestants left. Tonight the contestants will be singing three songs, one from anyone one from the 1960s and one song from anything British Pop. Jimmy Iovine gets help mentoring from Little Steven from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. The 5 contestants will also be performing one song in either a duo or a trio. Instead of having them sing 3 songs a night wouldn't just a regular 1 hour show suffice instead of extending it into 2 hours? Either way, should be jam packed, so as always, let's get to it:

Round 1 Solo Performances
Hollie Cavanagh(River Deep Mountain High)
Little Steven tells Hollie to just do her thing and not entertain anyone else but herself. Hollie comes out with her background singers and a whole bunch of musicians following her around. I remember this was the song that Pia Toscano sang right before she was kicked off last year. If she keeps singing the way that she just sang then Hollie might not be going anywhere too fast. She sounded great. She just let it all loose. She looked like she had fun, her voice really soared tonight. She owned the stage, no doubt about it.
Steven=The first time she really stepped out and used her blues. She has it in her.
Jennifer=It was nice to see her surrounded by the big production behind her. Really can feel her attack that song. A whole different Hollie out there. Great energy.
Randy=Loved it. Keep singing like no one is watching. Wore out that second verse like nobody's business.

Phillip Phillips(The Letter)
Little Steven loved the way that Phillip switches things up. This song just fits Phillip's voice like a glove.It was very gritty and allowed Phillip to use his little growl. It was more of a big band and rock performance. I loved the middle of the song, when it slowed down a little and focused on his voice. He did a lot to make that song his own, really well done. He did just enough to stay in line with his style but he did do a little something a little different to change it up from his usual thing.
Randy=Came out and made it his own, maybe didn't have as much melody, but it made it new and fresh.
Jennifer=Lacked a little melody, but he is so compelling to watch. A really dynamic performer.
Steven=Missed the melody, but kinda gets away with it because he is so different.

Skylar Laine(Fortunate Son)
Little Steven & Jimmie didn't like Skylar's initial choice of "Knock on Wood". They made her switch to this Creedance Clearwater Revival song. I don't know what that choice would have sounded like, but this choice sounded pretty good on her. She was able to rock out and have fun. She put a lot of soul and rock into it. She was able to put her foot down and stomp around like she did. She really controlled the stage. This was pure country rock and it was so good and exactly in Skylar's lane.
Jennifer=Gives so much energy. Attacks every single song and makes everyone go crazy. Each week she gets even more comfortable and is even more fearless.
Steven=Everything was just fabulous tonight.
Randy=CCR would be really proud of her. This girl is born to do what she should be doing. So comfortable and in her element.

Duet Performance
Phillip & Joshua(You've Lost That Loving Feeling)
This was a perfect duet song for them. Would never think to put their voices together, but it really worked. Joshua seemed a little out of it, but his voice was just as strong as always. Steven believes it was a match made in heaven. Jennifer thinks that Joshua just needs to let it go. Randy thinks it finally came alive once they let it go.

Solo Performance #2
Jessica Sanchez(Proud Mary)
Little Steven and Jimmy wanted to originally change Jessica's mind and have her not sing this song, but once they heard her sing it they changed their minds. Jimmy thinks this song will give Jessica everything, she just needs to nail it. She goes full on Tina Turner. She gets her groove going, and she does a little choreography with her back up singers/dancers. She looked like finally just let it all go. She backed her beautiful voice up with a dynamic performance. And that last note was crazy good.
Jennifer=You're so grown up there, forgets she was 16. Little bit of Tina, Beyonce and Janis Joplin. Loved seeing her move around tonight.
Steven=Started really slow and brought it up right, and then took the rest of the song to crazy good. Magic.
Randy=Was just Okay. Took off one of the biggest dragons of the night. The voice saved the performance, but it pales in comparison to the original.

Joshua Ledet(Ain't Too Proud To Beg)
It's so strange, in on air interviews and with mentors Joshua is so shy and almost insecure, but when he is on stage he has so much personality, and all you hear from the contestants is that Joshua is a goofball in the house as well. This song showed his personality again. He hits notes like no other. He really put everything he had into the performance, and it really paid off.
Steven=Easily one of the top 2 singers in Idol of all time. So on fire right now. Taken back every time.
Jennifer=Like a throwback from another era. Enjoys watching him every time he gets up there.
Randy=He has the power to go all the way. Plus the way he is dressed is fly.

Judges Give Round 1 To?=Joshua, Skylar and Hollie 

Round 2 Solo Performances 1

Hollie(Bleeding Love)
Jimmy and Little Steven think that Hollie killed it in rehearsal and just needs to connect out on stage. This was a risky move for Hollie. Her first performance was so dynamic and this was much more restrained. Her voice was just as strong as it has been. Although her first performance was probably better, this one was really well done as well.
Steven=Loved it, loved it. Nailed it. The way she delivered it was so good. Did what she does so well.
Jennifer=Had a beautiful intimate quality. Thinks she almost surprised herself tonight because of how good it sounded.
Steven=Has been the dark-horse all season, but tonight was just unbelievable. Peaking at the right time.

Phillip(Time Of The Season)
The last time this song was featured was back in Season 6 when Blake Lewis sang it, and his beatbox version is far different from this version. Phillip actually stayed in line with the original melody and didn't do much to change it up. Those high notes were not so good, but he hit everything else pretty well. When he hit those high notes he made some strange faces like he was straining a bit to get there. If he didn't want to stick with the high notes he probably shoulda changed it, because they definitely hindered his performance a bit. It was a little distracting.
Randy=A very relaxed and subdued performance. Likes that he really can sing the melody. Nice performance, not jumping up and down.
Jennifer=Very mellow. The verses sounded his style. Did a good job with it.
Steven=Glad he chose that song because it was a great song. Sang it well.

Trio Performance
Hollie, Jessica & Skylar([You're Love Keeps Lifting Me] Higher and Higher)
The song easily fit Hollie and Jessica better, but Skylar did pretty well herself. I know the boys were great and all, but these 3 girls are so good, and they sounded really well together. Steven thought it was great, even though the arrangement was weird. Jennifer thinks the song suited them all well. Randy thinks all 3 sounded great despite the odd arrangement.

Solo Performances 2

Skylar(You Don't Have To Say You Love Me)
This performance was very different then her boot stomping first performance. Much more restrained and a lot more focus was placed on the vocal than the performance.  I'm much more of a fan of country rocker Skylar, but this performance was quite beautiful. It showed another side of her.
Randy=Definitely peaking at a right time. Transfixed on everything she does. I believe everything she does.
Jennifer=Can tell she really wants to win, and with performances like that she will. Everything for her is so natural.
Steven=Just more proof that it works when she worked it. Perfect song choice. Brought the song into the 21st century.

Jessica(You Are So Beautiful)
Jimmy wants to ensure that the arrangement really kills it. Needs to really enhance the arrangement. Just like Sklyar did, this was a complete different performance from her first performance of the night. Her vocal is just killer and she hit some really beautiful notes. It was very emotional, very powerful, yet restrained in many ways as well. Some of her runs were really well done. Jessica gets a little emotional right at the end of the song.
Steven=Once again she proved how beautiful her voice is to America. She's gonna be Number 1.
Jennifer=Captivated the whole audience. So beautiful, took her time with it. Did some beautiful things up there.
Randy=Top of the leader board for sure. The wisdom and talent she has at such a young age is crazy. She is such a pro. If she can continue to tap into what she did tonight she is off to the races.

Joshua Ledet(To Love Somebody)
Initially Joshua came in singing Tom Jones' "Without Love" but  Little Steven and Jimmy got him to change to this Bee Gees song. He never heard it before, but it didn't show because he slayed this song like he slayed the other. He just hits every note like he wrote the note and has performed the song for years. The judges give him another deserved standing ovation.
Randy=The way that he took a song that he never heard with that much passion just proves that his experience and voice is way beyond his years. One of the best singers ever on this show. Just incredible.
Jennifer=There are so few people that can do what he just did. One of the best singers in the past 50 years. He's up there with the greatest soul singers ever. 
Steven=Such a great artist. He took this song and did some beautiful things with it. He is just so good.

Since we are down to 5 they might not do Bottom 3 but just in case:
Bottom 3/2
3. Phillip
2. Jessica
1. Hollie

Going Home?
Hollie. At this point who knows what will happen. Hollie had another great night, but she had a great night last week and was in Bottom 2, so ya never know.

Final Thoughts

*Figuring out who should be in the finale is so difficult with talent like this. I've watched this show for 11 years and this is one of the best batch of contestants ever. Any of the Top 5 have a legitimate shot to win. Now it comes down to fanbases.

*Why can't Jessica close a show? Why don't the judges give standing ovation to ladies? Those questions popped in my brain tonight. Jessica has yet to end a show. She has yet to get the coveted "pimp slot". I know they don't want to end a show on a completely slower note, but Joshua's performance wasn't incredibly fast. Plus despite the fact that the judges loved Jessica and Hollie and Skylar's performances none received a standing ovation. Wonder what that's about.

*If Joshua wants to win this thing he needs to learn to interview a little better. I remember back in Season 1 Kelly Clarkson was kinda awkward in her interviews, I believe she said the phrase "cool beans" a lot. So being awkward in interviews doesn't mean you can't win, but with dynamic and fun personalities like Sklyar and Phillip, Joshua looks very tame and shy. That might hurt him some a little down the road.

So that's it. Come back here right after tomorrow night's show for another fun filled Idol recap. We will then learn who our Final 4 contestants are. Should be interesting. Until next time, see ya!

1 comment:

  1. You are too soft, buddy. And you give P2 B-grades? Ridick!