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!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Top 25: Top 13 Men Perform

After several weeks of sometimes torturous auditions, countless eliminations, and a few great performances, we are finally at the Live Rounds. As we all know by now the Top 24 this year is a Top 25 because another male will be re-entering the competition. It comes down to Johnny Keyser, Jermaine Jones, David Leathers Jr and Richie Law. My pick is David, but I think that they are bringing back Johnny after he was cut earlier than the other guys for a reason, so I think he's the one to return. 

Although I believe the females are stronger than the males this year there are a few really great males, so it should be interesting to see who shines and who does not.

If you are new to this blog the format for live rounds is that we'll give our opinion, give the judges opinion and then give our grade of the performance. There are also a few new features that we have added, so check em out. So without any further delay, let's get to it:

Loose Ends:
Ryan announces a few things tonight so let's clear them up first.

*5 males and 5 females will be selected by the audience, and then the judges will pick 1 wild card each rounding out the Top 13 on Thursday.

*The male returning to the competition is Jermaine Jones. We'll discuss later when he performs what we think of his return.


Reed Grimm(Moves Like Jagger)
He makes the song more bluesy and tries to make it his own. There is a certain curse word in the song, and apparently Reed decided to sing that word, because he was censored. Great start. Reed decides to bring his drum work into the performance which is a good attempt, but it makes the performance a bit chaotic.If you like Reed and his antics then this is right up there with what we have seen thus far of him. 
Randy= Very musical guy, very nice choice.  
Jennifer=Great way to show America who they are dealing with. Jazzy and musical. Good start. 
Steven=Love the Jazz. Loved Him. 
Our Grade=B

Adam Brock(Think)
Since he has said he has a black woman trapped inside of him, it makes sense that he sings this Aretha Franklin song. He has a nice performance, nothing spectacular, he doesn't hit that high note in the middle of the song like I wish he did. His voice is different than the other males in the competition, so that gives him a big advantage. The end of his song was better than the other parts of the song.
Steven=Loving it, sets a great precedence for the rest of the night. Calls him "White Chocolate".
Jennifer=Loved his big finish and he definitely delivered. 
Randy=Love the throwback vibe, he's a 70s guy. Job Well Done.

Deandre Brackensick(Reasons) 
The guy with the Milli Vanilli Hair, and the voice reminiscent of Prince. It's an interesting combination. I do not like the song that he chose at all. He relies way too much on the falsetto, I wish it was more balanced and he went to his middle range of his voice because that part of his voice is great. When he had that balance in the group round a couple weeks ago it was better overall. Sometimes less is more, and I think that would've been better for him.
Steven=Knew this would happen to him, all the success is much deserved.
Jennifer=Loves every note, and is so happy that he came back to this competition.
Randy=One of the most commercial guys. His voice is ready now. Lovin you. 

Colton Dixon(Decode)
It's an interesting ride for Colton after not making the Top 24 last year and not even wanting to audition this year. But he's here and he deserves to be here. He said in his package he would get away from the piano, but then starts the performance behind the piano. He does get up eventually. He sings a relatively lesser known song from Paramore. I don't love the song choice, it's rock and all that which I like, but I thought the music drowned him out at times. A little too much for the first live performance. Maybe a tad bit self indulgent.
Randy=Glad he returned because we need an Indi/Alt Rocker. He provides a lot of flavor.
Jennifer=Loves that he sings from the heart and he's a relevant artist.
Steven=Showed his true talent and wants him to keep being relevant.

Jeremy Rosado(Gravity)
He seems like a nice/decent guy, and his voice is equally as nice. He has a very tender sounding voice. It's not chaotic or crazy, just very pleasant and smooth. This performance was really well done, simple and quite effective.
Steven=Couldn't have picked a better song. Loves his big heart and sang his butt off tonight.
Jennifer=Thinks he is blessed with a voice from God that connects with people. Just a beautiful voice.
Randy=America needs to know about Jeremy. Was impressed with the tender and booming parts of his voice.

Aaron Marcellus(Never Can Say Goodbye)
Despite not getting a whole ton of screen time through the previous rounds, I've always liked Aaron.  Tonight's performance didn't disappoint. He lights up the stage. He does a lot with every moment he was out there. All 3 judges give him a standing ovation.
Randy=That run at the end was craaazy. He's an old school veteran up there. Beautiful vocals.
Jennifer=Always believed in him and knows he can sing anything.
Steven=Is the total package and has set the bar high so now he has to beat that next time.

Chase Likens(Storm Warning) 
He also did not get a lot of face time during the past rounds, but he is the sole male country singer this year, therefore it distinguishes him from everyone else. I did not enjoy tonight's performance at all. Nothing spectacular, to say the least. His voice dropped at points and then came back up, making it very uneven. It was a very generic performance and it felt like it just kept going, in a bad way.
Steven=Movie star good looks and a nice voice. Welcomes him to American Idol.
Jennifer=Sounded great, and showed America who he was.
Randy=Good range and great looks like he and Steven. 

Creighton Fraker(True Colors) 
He's had several decent performances, but then some off ones as well. Tonight was about the same as his track record suggests. He had some not so great moments, and then sounded really good. I don't know what America will think of him. Definitely not his strongest, but not his worst. Relatively solid though. We'll see what happens.
Jennifer=Thought it was so beautiful and doesn't know how America will choose who should stay or go.
Steven=Thought it was stupendous and put the song over the top.
Randy=He can definitely sing and definitely has the voice.

Phillip Phillips(In The Air Tonight) 
Am I immature cause I laugh every time I hear his name? Probably, but we move on. Tonight he definitely changed up this Phil Collins classic. Not sure if I liked the complete change that he did to the song. He definitely yelled through a few parts, but was still pretty decent.
Jennifer=The judges were talking about him as a contender after auditions, and they are talking about him again.
Steven=Has a crazy kind of voice(in a good way). Made this version of the song beautiful.
Randy=Wasn't jumping up and down over the change of melody but loved his voice and his uniqueness and pulls for him.

Eben Franckewitz(Set Fire To The Rain) 
I'm not gonna lie, I haven't been Eben's biggest fan, and in fact pulled for David to make the Top 24 over Eben, but he's here and we must go with it. His voice is weak, and because he chose an Adele song to sing tonight it sounds even weaker. There's no flow to the song, there's no dynamic element to it all. Really terrible job, I'm not even being biased because I haven't liked him thus far, it just was really bad.
Randy=It wasn't all perfect but the end was really good and nailed it like a pro. Calls it very nice.
Jennifer=Didn't like the middle, but the end really was the best of the song.
Steven=Thinks he has a good voice, but was pitchy in some spots.

Heejun Han(Angel) 
Easily the best personality of the season. His quirky personality doesn't match his strong, professional sounding voice. I've definitely have liked his past performances better than tonight's, but when he hit that chorus he sounded much better. Heejun has had a lot of screen time and is memorable, so that might send him to the Top 13, despite him having a less than stellar night.
Jennifer=Thinks his voice is smooth, but doesn't think the song showed off all that he can do.
Steven=He sure can sing, but doesn't think it was the right song for him, but still loves his voice.
Randy=He is mad talented but didn't really do it tonight all the way.

Joshua Ledet(You Pulled Me Through) 
He wants to be called "Man-Tasia", ala Fantastia, American Idol Season 3 winner. He had a steallar performance tonight and if he keeps doing what he's doing then being referred to as the male Fantasia would not be a far stretch. I'm sad that we only learned of this guy a few weeks ago. But he's made the most of it, especially tonight. Standing ovation by all 3 judges. Deservedly so.
Randy=He went to church and back. He just killed it.
Jennifer=Wants to punch him, can do anything he wants with that voice. Privilege to hear that voice.
Steven=The voice the world's been waiting to hear. Cannot believe where Joshua went and came back again.

Jermaine Jones(Dance With My Father)
 Definitely was not expecting this guy. Would have thought David Leathers or Johnny Keyser were going to get picked. Jermaine always had a very deep, soulful voice, but compared to the other guys that are in this competition he is just mediocre. Don't think he was that great before to come back now . Standing ovation by all 3 judges, but not really deservedly so. The judges are pretty much just patting themselves on the tush for bringing him back. They can't really say that he just did alright or it would seem they wasted their pick to bring him back.
Randy=Loves his different voice, proves how unique he is.
Jennifer=Has a special voice and great talent.
Steven=So pleased that he came back, has a beautiful voice.

Since America gets to pick only 5 males to go to the Top 13 along with the 5 females, here are our predicitions:

Who We Want Top 5:
1. Aaron
2. Jeremy
3. Joshua
4. Heejun
5. Phillip
Wild Card Pick=Adam

Who Will Make Top 5:
1. Aaron
2. Jeremy
3. Deandre
4. Phillip
5. Joshua
Wild Card Pick=Reed

Best Of The Night?:
Aaron Marcellus
. Close second is Joshua Ledet

Worst Of The Night?:
Eben Franckewitz. 

Final Thoughts:
*I liked when Ryan encouraged Steven to make fun of the fact that J.Lo might have had a nipple slip during her Oscar appearance. That was funny not gonna lie. If they weren't judging I'd actually like these guys. But unfortunately they aren't judges, they are cheerleaders. If this is how they are now, then I can't even think of how bad they are going to be at the "judging" when we get down to the really great. Not everyone is really great right now. Their job is to help us distinguish who can win, from those that are just pretty good.

*J.Lo's facial expressions tonight were crazy. The camera panned to her several times during each performance and she was just going nuts with them. If the show is supposed to be about the contestants then maybe they should pan to them a little more and less on Jennifer.

*Did not like the re-entry of Jermaine Jones. I don't think that he deserved a place in the Top 12, and don't think that making it a Top 13 to suit him was necessary. I've seen plenty of females this year and contestants in prior years be so much better, but they didn't change the format to fit them. This was completely a ratings stunt. X Factor did this with their eventual winner Melanie Amaro and American Idol wanted to do the same. Unfortunately, Jermaine Jones' elimination was nowhere near as shocking as Melanie's was and his return to the show is nowhere near warranted like hers was. I wish Idol would just admit that this was a ploy, but they never will. It is what it is, and I'll still watch the show, not sure what that says about me, but we'll carry on nonetheless.

Well if you are reading this now, then ya gotta come back tomorrow to read about what happened when the females perform, and come back on Thursday to find out the Top 13. Until then, see ya!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Top 42 Becomes Top 24 Part 2

Well this is it. The final 10 decisions will be made tonight and we will learn which contestants will make the Top 24. For those that didn't read last night's blog we know that the fate of 8 girls and 6 guys.

The girls include: Jen Hirsch, Haley Johnson, Elise Testone, Erika Van Pelt, Jessica Sanchez, Chelsea Sorrell, Baylie Brown, and Brielle von Hugel. 

The guys include: Creighton Fraker, Joshua Ledet, Reed Grimm, Heejun Han, Phil Philips and Colton Dixon

We were left on a cliffhanger, not knowing the fate of Adam Brock. So let's find out who makes it and who gets so close but is still so far away.Plus we get to see the weird dungeon looking place where they are holding these results, so that's always fun. So without any further time wasted, let's get to it:

Judgement/Final Performance Review:

*Adam Brock-Picking up from last night, we had said that Adam had a decent final performance and an overall solid run thus far on the show.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did. He starts crying before the results are known and once he is told he is moving on he cries even more. Seems like a good guy.

*Jeremy Rosado-We saw him multiple times and I liked him more and more each time I saw him. His voice is very strong and he does a lot without doing too much, which is always a good thing. He impresses the judges tons during his final performance, the judges give him a standing ovation. If anyone can go into this pressure cooker results from the judges with confidence, it's this guy.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did. No doubter after seeing his final performance and the judges' reactions.

Shannon Magrane-I liked Shannon right from the get-go, she doesn't have as much experience as others, but given her age that's not a shocker. She has done pretty consistently well throughout, and has gotten a lot of decent TV screen time. "Hot, humid and happening, just like your daughter", I mean Steven Tyler said that to Shannon's father at the audition, that's pretty classic and memorable. Her final performance seemed to impress the judges as well. J.Lo gets what she calls "gooseys", which in regular people's terms is "goosebumps".

Did She Make Top 24?:  She Did. We shall see if Shannon goes the way of fellow young female teens like Katie Stevens and Thia Megia who had some success but ended kinda badly, or Lauren Alaina who made it all the way to the Top 2 . We'll see.

*Scott Dangerfield-Who is this guy? I'm not even being sarcastic here, this guy has had zero screentime, we learn he was actually a contestant last season but had to leave abruptly but came back this time around. Odd that they gave him screentime now.

Did He Make Top 24?: He Did Not. Absolutely not a surprise. I mean C'mon!

*Skylar Laine-So we saw Skylar early and then we saw her having to go to the hospital when she was in Hollywood due to dehydration.  She was pretty decent then, and her final performance was relatively solid. Chelsea Sorrell and Baylie Brown are also countryish girls so it's a lot of country this year, thus far.

Did She Make Top 24?: She Did. She wants to jump in the pool that surrounds the dungeon, but she is a country girl and doesn't want to disappoint her "Mama".

Who Else Makes Top 24 /Didn't Get Screen-Time Montage: 

Hallie Day

Chase Likens

Aaron Marcellus

*Deandre Brakensick-After getting cut at this exact spot last year Deandre decided to give it another go, like many other contestants this season. He got very little screen time this season other than the group performance that he was a part of with Jessica Sanchez and the cut way too early Candace Glover. He relies heavily on the falsetto and his hairdo.

Did He Make It?: He Did. Like fellow returning contestants Colton Dixon, Baylie Brown and Aaron Marcellus, Deandre gets to the Top 24.

*Jermaine Jones-I don't know about this guy, he has a voice, but he was also my pick as wanting to take away his Golden Ticket after he received one after his audition. His voice is interesting, but I don't know what kind of range he can have other than what he has been doing, which has just be alright.

Did He Make It?: He Did Not. Based on the fact that I counted the number of guys who have made it thus far, 11, and the fact that they said the final spot would be decided at the end between David and Eben, I knew he was done for, despite an emotional display that he put on.I still like Jermaine's mom, she's real cool.

 *Shelby Tweten/Hollie Cavanagh/Ariel Sprague-We haven't seen much of these girls. The most memorable voice for me was Ariel Sprague, but Hollie was featured prominently in her final performance and did a really great job.

Who Made Top 24?: 

Hollie Cavanagh. Yet another returning contestant.

*Eben Franckewitzand David Leathers Jr-I've always enjoyed David and have not understood the Eben love, so obviously David has been my favorite of the two. I think out of the two David has more potential with his voice, I think Eben has a voice, but nothing that really blows my mind.Also not gonna lie, typing out Eben's last name is a pain. I always have to pause the screen to catch how it is spelled.

Who Made Top 24?:

Eben Franckewitz. Well the Eben era continues. He mystifies me, maybe soon he'll actually surprise me and make me figure out why he gets all the Eben love he gets.

*The "judges" aka The Producers, decided that they want to add a guy and make it a Male Top 13. This tells me 2 things, One, they think the boys are weaker than the girls, and Two, American Idol is desperate to keep their cliffhanger bit going. They've had one every week, with either the people going to the hospital, or falling off stages, or having their fate be left in the balance.

*The 4 boys that could potentially enter the Top 13 males are 1. Richie "The Cowboy" Law, 2. David Leathers Jr, 3. Jermaine Jones, 4. Johnny Keyser. It is interesting that Johnny didn't even make the Top 42, so he has had one performance less than the other 3 yet is in the same category. Very interesting. My pick for being in Top 13 is David. He was the down to the end with Eben. So that signals to me that they considered him high on their list but he fell a slot short. I don't see it being Richie, and Jermaine is a long shot, but he did get a lot of screen time tonight so ya never know.

My Top 3 Males and Top 3 Female Picks Going Into Top 24:
Males=1. Jeremy Rosado 2. Aaron Marcellus 3. Heejun Han

Females=1.Jessica Sanchez, 2. Elise Testone, 3. Erika Van Pelt

Final Thoughts:
* I think the females are incredibly much stronger than the boys. Where it was tough for me to narrow down 3 really outstanding males, it was equally as challenging to pick only 3 great females. I think there are a number of strong females this season. Could this year finally break the 4 year string of white, male American Idol winners ? We'll see in a couple months I guess. It's a good sign that there are this many quality females.

*I'm not saying it was their intention, or maybe I am, but, on X Factor the eventual winner Melanie Amaro was cut prior to being chosen for the live rounds, but then Simon aka the producers, decided to bring her back, stating that they made a mistake. It's quite interesting to see that American Idol has this similar kind of situation going on. Very coincidental.

*I always enjoy the random dancing that we see the Top 24 do at the end. They do it every single year and it's just fun for me.

Well, that's it. Please come back next here Tuesday, that's Tuesday, February 28th for the Male Top 13 recap. We will then have the Female Top 12 on Wednesday and the Resutlts on Thursday. Now it should be getting good, come back soon, until then, See ya!

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.