Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hollywood Round: Final Judgement Part 2

Welcome back. Tonight we will find out which contestants will round out the Top 30. Last night there were a few head scratchers, a couple of odd eliminations and a few no doubt about it picks. We'll see if tonight brings the same. After last night there are 7 spots for females left and 6 spots for males. So let's get to it:

Hollywood Final Round and Top 30 Reveal

Last night we were left with finding out which of Casey Thrasher or CJ Harris makes it to the Top 30. This is what we wrote last night:

Casey Thrasher and CJ Harris- The judges bring the two of them up together. I was never that impressed with Casey although the judges have been along the way and CJ has been hit or miss. The judges make them sing acapella to battle it out. CJ's acapella version is really good and Casey has to do a lot to make up for it, and I don't think he does.
Who Makes Top 30? Casey and CJ (So they made them both sing for no reason)
Who Goes Home? Neither

Marielle Sellers-She got the odd occurrence of being featured on two different audition episodes, and featured prominently in both of them. People have compared her to Miley Cyrus, probably due to her hair choice, and she ends up singing "Wrecking Ball" as her final performance. She sounds kinda hoarse though parts of it and we find out she was kinda sick. She's definitely sounded better in the past. Given we saw a lot of her in the audition rounds it's not a stretch that she could make it to live rounds.
Does She Make Top 30? Yes

Jena Ascuitto-I've really enjoyed her performances the number of times we have gotten to see her. We didn't see her audition, but we have caught her a good amount recently. Her final performance was amazing.
Does She Make Top 30? Yes

Caleb Johnson- Every time we have seen him perform the judges have really enjoyed him.Caleb only got to this exact spot when he got eliminated back in Season 11.  In his last performance for the judges you can really tell he is comfortable on stage and wants this so much. He decides to sing "Radioactive" and sounds amazing. He is able to sing older songs that show off his classic side but he can also sing some current songs as well. Harry doesn't like that he dresses like he could be in School of Rock, like he is always trying to put on an act.
Does He Make Top 30? Yes

David Oliver Willis-He made it past this point last year, but his last song didn't work out for him so well. We didn't get a great idea of how he did, because they only showed a few bits and pieces.
Does He Make Top 30? No

Majesty Rose York-I love her voice, easily one of my favorites up until this point. She's just so effortless. Unfortunately, her final performance of "Stars" did not work out for her and she forgot some of her words. Her track record has been great though, so she has a lot going for her.
Does She Make Top 30? Yes

Briston Maroney-His voice is great if you like Lorde, because he kinda sounds like the male version of her voice, but not as good. It's not the typical voice, kinda weird, different. But maybe some people will like it. He is a cute kid, but his voice isn't there yet, he's only 15.
Does He Make Top 30? Yes

Brandy Neely and Briana Oakley-They both ended up singing really well in their final performances and have been strong along the way. They both are returning contestants from previous seasons so their confidence and strength may also come from just knowing what's to come.
Who Makes Top 30? Brandy and Briana
Who Goes Home? Neither

Savion Wright-I've liked him along the way, that is until he started to play his ukelele as he walked into the judge's room. That was kind of annoying. But I actually still do like his voice and his story is pretty powerful with his brother just recently dying and the fact that he waited 7 or 8 years to audition because he wasn't ready yet. He's creative and his voice knows exactly where to go, he never pushes it too far. The judges commend Savion for singing original songs along the way.
Does He Make Top 30? No (shocker)

Sandie Lee and Austin Wolfe-We see them both perform extremely well during the final performances. I think Austin edged out Sandie a little bit, but not by a lot. Either way they will
Who Makes Top 30? Austin Wolfe
Who Goes Home? Sandie Lee

Ben Briley and Neco Starr-Ben decides to go a little nuts in his final performance of "Stars", he goes nuts by doing way too much with it, and didn't really need to. Neco was one of the survivors of the Hollywood or Home round and was battling being sick when singing "Halo" in his last performance. I think he oversang, but that could be because he was overcompensating.
AMERICA WILL DECIDE....America will vote for either Ben or Neco to make it into the next round and we won't find out until next Wednesday when the males perform.

Also Making Top 30
Ethan Harris-He looks kinda like Donny Osmond circa 1966. His voice isn't that strong. I don't know how he is gonna fare in this competition. 
Kenzie Hall-It's been hit or miss with Kenzie. She has been spectacular at points but then forgettable at others. We'll see what happens as we move along.

Also Not Making Top 30 
Sarina Joi Crowe
Nalani Quintello

Top 30 Review
Top 14 Males
Alex Preston
Dexter Roberts
Emmanuel Zidor
George Lovett
Jordan Brisbane
Malcolm Allen
Maurice Townsend
Sam Woolf
Spencer Lloyd

Casey Thrasher
CJ Harris
Caleb Johnson
Briston Maroney
Ethan Harris

Top 15 Females
Andrina Brogden
Bria Anai
Emily Piriz
Jessica Meuse
Jillian Jensen
Kristen O’Connor
M.K. Nobilette
Malaya Watson

Austin Wolfe
Brandy Neely
Briana Oakley
Majesty Rose York
Jena Ascuitto
Marielle Sellers
Kenzie Hall

2 Left Hanging
Neco Starr
Ben Briley

Final Thoughts

*Let's talk about Savion Wright for a second. I think he has been amazing along the way. They keep Briston Maroney and Emmanuel Zidore and Jordan Brisbane but eliminate Savion Wright? I don't get it. I also don't get why they decided to have Casey Thrasher and CJ Harris sing again, despite taking both of them. The only reason they did that was for dramatic purposes, that has to be the only reason.

*All of this talk about the male contestants leads to the major fact that the males are overall very weak compared to the females. Compared to last year the guys this year are stronger for sure, but I think that's not a really fair comparison because they were so weak last year. The females have some powerhouses that are already standouts.

*Next week's schedule is as follows: On Tuesday the Top 15 females will begin the live rounds. They are then followed on Wednesday where the Top 15 males will sing for their lives. On Thursday we will find out which Top 5 males and Top 5 females selected by America will move on. We will also found out which 3 contestants will be selected as wildcards by the judges. They will comprise the Top 13 that will perform the following week. Sprinkled in there is also the training and guidance from new in-house mentor Randy Jackson and guest mentors former Idol standouts Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry. Not bad guidance from 2 of those 3, I'll let you decide which one I think the contestants could do without...dawg.

So that's it. Another week is in the books. Next week begins the live rounds and we'll finally learn if it's good editing that makes Harry Connick Jr as appealing and funny as it seems or if he is just appealing and funny. I think it's the latter. So don't forget to come back next Tuesday for our first recap after a live round. So until then, see ya!

[UPDATE as of 2/14/14]

Last night, and the past number of weeks we were informed that we would be seeing a Top 30 next week. In fact they have been broadcasting about it on and on and on. Well, after all of that, we were told just today that the judges are eliminating 5 males and 5 females before we get to see them sing another note. That's right, the Top 30 will in fact be a Top 20. The judges will be cutting the contestants during and after "Rush Week", which is when Randy Jackson, Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert will be preparing them for the live shows.

Now I'm not saying doing this is a bad thing, and I did think that seeing 15 contestants in one night was a lot, but why not just get the number of contestants down to Top 20 during the Final Judgement portion of the show. Why make the contestants think they are home free when in fact they are not. It doesn't make sense, other than it is pretty dramatic and emotional for all those contestants. I guess we'll see how it goes. We'll be back next week after the first episode to decipher what is going on.

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