Thursday, March 27, 2014

Top 9 Results

Welcome back. I've never been so happy to hear that Christopher Meloni is back on TV. The reason I say this is because his new show "Surviving Jack" is on right after the end of this Idol Results show, meaning tonight marks the first 30 minute Results show of the season. It hasn't been a 30 minute results show in years, and it's been sorely missed. There's only so much filler you can do without it being just ridiculous. I am pleased with this kind of format change.

Last night we predicted, CJ, Dexter and Sam as the Bottom 3 with Dexter going home, if the Judge's Save is not used. It's very possible that the Judge's Save will be utilized tonight. Last season the Save was not utilized, and that's because the right people went home at the right time. The Save should only be used on the people the judge's believe could do very well and possibly win the whole thing. Right now with the competition being so wide open the Save could prove to be extra valuable. We'll see I guess. So let's get onto this shorter Idol Results show.

Randy Jackson's Take
His 3 Top Favorites=Caleb, Malaya and Jena
Comments=The cream is starting to rise to the top. 3 were amazing, the other 6 need to catch up. 

Results #1
For some reason Ryan is not announcing who is safe. All the contestants are seated and the big video screen tells us who is Safe.

Safe=Jena Irene

Safe=Malaya Watson

Performance #1
Janelle Monae performs.  The song she is singing comes from the movie coming out Rio 2, "What Is Love?".  A few weeks ago Majesty sang one of her songs and it was amazing. This particular song was huge and very "Rio" like, which doesn't make a ton of sense, but the song was crazy, so that's really all ya gotta know.

Results #2
Safe=Alex Preston

Safe=Jessica Meuse

Safe=Caleb Johnson

Safe=Dexter Roberts

Bottom 3
1. Majesty Rose
2. Sam Woolf
3. CJ Harris



In Danger of Going Home=Majesty

Was The Judge's Save Used? No. Majesty is Going Home. People just didn't connect to Majesty. She went from being the front-runner in the beginning of the season, or at least Top 13, to being in Bottom 3 or 2 several weeks in a row, to ultimately going home. I like Majesty a lot, but she really spread herself to thinly over genres of music and people just couldn't connect. I am sure there is no definitive reason for her (most likely) early exit, but it is what it is. I think Dexter or CJ deserved to go home before Majesty, but with her being one of the lower vote getters week after week it was only a matter of time.

Our Season Prediction Totals

Bottom 3= 2 of 3 Tonight. 9 out of 15 Total

Going Home= 0 of 1 Tonight. 2 of 5 Total

Final Thoughts

*Dexter not being in the Bottom 3 after being the same old same old predictable Dexter is absurd. Majesty should have stayed at least a couple of weeks more over Dexter. If I wanted to watch someone sing karaoke I would go to our local bar. CJ just keeps getting told he is out of tune week after week, and then doesn't try to fix it. Sam never connects to his lyrics. These 3 guys have a lot of flaws, more than I think Majesty had, but if the people didn't connect then they didn't connect to her. It's a shame.

*Ya gotta love that within the first 6 minutes of the beginning of the show you knew some results. The manner in which they gave out the results was just silly. I don't know why Ryan couldn't just announce who is Safe and who is Bottom 3 like he does all the time. If you are the host, who has been doing this for 13 years, you would think he can handle it. I am sure he can. They really wanted us to see the big video screen, maybe it costs a lot and they feel they don't utilize it enough. I know they wanna save time but Ryan saying the names or the screen showing us who is Safe takes about the same amount of time.

*Our favorite performance last night was Jena Irene's "Bring Me To Life". She was amazing, and if you didn't already check it out please do.

That's it. Another week done. Another contestant gone, and the Save is still in play. The front runners and middle of the road people are getting further and further apart. Stay tuned for (hopefully) some exciting performances coming up. So until next time, see ya!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Top 9 Perform-I'm With The Band Week

Welcome Back. Tonight's theme is "I'm With The Band", where the contestants are playing with the band on the stage. It's another weak theme, very wide open for a variety of songs to be chosen. I do hope that this week we have contestants that take more chances and play it a little less safe. Those who come out of their shell and dare to do something different could be rewarded well, while those playing it safe might pay the price. We'll see.

Last week's episodes of American Idol were some of it's lowest rated episodes ever, I'm not sure if that's just the trend, the contestants, the judges, the show's format or a combination of any of those. This show is still one of FOX's most watched programs so I have no fear that it will be back next season, but its long term future might be a lot less optimistic. Anyways, let's get to tonight's show:

I'dol Be The Judge's Weekly Rankings
This week didn't provide as much movement from last week, but it shifted our number one position and with MK's elimination it bumped Dexter into the weakest spot of all the contestants. Jena has really made her way up the ladder since Top 13 began when she was picked as a Wildcard. We'll see if Majesty continues to tumble or takes back control of her early front-running position. 

1. Alex Preston-Up 1 From Last Week
2. Caleb Johnson-Down 1 From Last Week
3. Jessica Meuse-Same As Last Week
4. Jena Irene-Up 1 From Last Week
5. Sam Woolf-Down 1 From Last Week
6. Malaya Watson-Up 1 From Last Week
7. Majesty Rose-Same As Last Week (Officially Bottom 3)
8. CJ Harris-Up 1 From Last Week
9. Dexter Roberts-Down 3 From Last Week (Officially Bottom 2)

Top 9 Group Performance
Before any of the singers individually take the stage the Top 9 sings altogether Coldplay's "Clocks".  It's weird to see group performances so early on. Then we see them sing Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction". Then another 3 singers sing Fallout Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark". Most of these performances were a mess. Jena, Caleb, even CJ did well. Malaya, Majesty and Sam seemed lost out there. Then

Top 9 Individual Performances

Alex Preston
(Don't Speak-No Doubt)
He starts it off just him and his guitar and then band gently comes in. He switches up the classic song to make it his own.  He keeps the song pretty melllow and not as loud as the original can be at points. I really enjoy the way he decided to change the song up. It keeps it really cool and current. Every week he seems more comfortable on stage. The last note when he did a little run was unexpected and nice to the ears. He is very consistent, doesn't change from week to week, but his songs do. B
Keith=Love that he makes every song him. Wants him to keep giving a little more edge. He did the chill version, but if he makes it more edgy it will grab the attention more.
Jennifer=That was the soft version of the song. It sucked the energy out of the song. Voice was undeniable and the beautiful part of the performance.
Harry=Can see he is designing the playbook of his life. Admires that he has his feet firmly planted in the competition. Would love to see him physically move around. Is such a center stage guy that putting so many center stage performances in a row loses something. Being unpredictable can be a good thing. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Sorta. I admire Alex for switching things up, but I can see where the judges are coming from in that as unpredictable his songs are, he is as predictable with his performances. He is so good at one thing, it might be time to take a few more risks performance wise.

Majesty Rose
(Shake It Out-Florence + The Machine)
This was a great song choice for Majesty. Her voice always kind of reminded me of Florence Welch. Majesty looks great and is also playing the tambourine at the same, a multi-tasker. I think this performance was very reminiscent of Majesty of the first couple weeks of the competition, she was very confident and into the performance. She pushed when she had to and pulled back when she wanted to. She changed the song a bit to make it her own. All around one of her best performances in awhile. B
Jennifer=That's the Majesty we all love and missed. Looked so comfortable. Vocally it was all over, but performance wise it was a 10. In control of the whole stage, audience and band. Felt so good.
Harry=So talented. Waiting for her to connect, she is so close to breaking through in this competition. Stylistically she is so diverse so there is nothing anyone can latch onto. Fantastic singer. Dug the arrangement. So close to owning the stage.
Keith=That was a great song choice. Has an incredible range. Has everything she needs, but sometimes the adrenaline gets dispersed and gets a bit out of control. She needs to center herself and just bring us in. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? We do. This is her best performance in awhile, she is still a bit all over the place, but this was very good.

Dexter Roberts
(Boondocks-Little Big Town)
I wish that with one day Dexter would take an unpredictable song and just switch it up. I think Dexter sounded really solid, like he always does. I think he seemed really confident on stage, but he didn't do anything amazing with the song, just sang it really well. Solid, but memorable? Not sure. C+
Harry=Picks anthem like songs and needs to be better than the original to make it great . He sounds generic. He has to find a way to make these songs his own. Every time he picks an anthem song he needs to be so big to pull it off, and didn't hear it tonight.
Keith=It's hard for him to show who he is. Did a real nice job with the song. Hopes to see another side of himself. We've seen this.
Jennifer=Resident modern country guy. Can do something else that makes us take a second listen. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yea. He sang well again, but has still yet to make his song his own. Ryan asked Dexter if he can change it up and Dexter responded "I Can". Well if you can then do it.

Malaya Watson
(The Long & Winding Road-The Beatles)
I respect a 16-year old singing a Beatles song that's not as overplayed as many Beatles songs are done on this show. Given that she is playing with the band it's a little curious that she chose this song, there are a ton of Beatles songs that involve the band more.  I still love the control that Malaya is bringing these past weeks, but I think she played it a bit safe with this song. She innately makes the song different because she doesn't sound like The Beatles, but other than a few spots I wasn't a huge fan of the song choice. B-
Keith=Beautiful. Really chose a song that showed her voice. When she hits that right place her personality really comes out. That performance showed her spirit.
Jennifer= Has so much control that her voice really stands out. Hears hints of a young Michael Jackson. 
Harry=The award for the most consistently improving goes to her. Listened to the critiques and has grown week after week.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Sorta. I think that she did a nice job with the song, but I feel like she has gone from off the rails to safe, and with her voice if she finds a happy medium she'll be in good shape.

Sam Woolf
(Hey There Delilah-Plain White T's)
This song is already kind of folksy and hip, but he made it even more folksy and mellow. This song doesn't allow Sam to go crazy with the vocals, he stays in the pocket the whole time. It makes it consistent, but also a little boring and sleepy at times. It was sweet, it was something a bit different, but overall I've seen Sam do better. B-
Jennifer=That song was perfectly suited for him. Needs to connect a little more to take the performance to the next level.
Harry=Liked the stripped down performance. He is a sweet, shy nice guy. Sees him as a bare bones, stripped down performance. Didn't feel a whole lot of connection to the lyrics.
Keith=Loves the tone of his voice. Needs to soften the edges a bit more. Needs to be looser and more confident with his voice.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. This is probably the kind of song and performance that represents what Sam wants to do in the future, but he still has some work to do to make a better connection.

Jessica Meuse
(Rhiannon-Fleetwood Mac)
Everyone has been comparing Jessica to Stevie Nicks since we first heard her, and she has finally given the audience what they wanted to hear, a Fleetwood Mac song. I love how Jessica is without her comfort blanket a.k.a her guitar. Jessica seemed really at ease on stage, much more comfortable than the past several weeks. I really dig her voice, and I think this song really suited her voice in so many ways.  A really enjoyable, easy performance. I think she can do more, and that's exciting because she is so good already at this point, plus she seems pretty cool. B
Harry=Most get annoyed by the Stevie Nicks comparison, it's tough with this song, because she is so identifiable and big . Felt like we saw a different side of her. It was very focused. Proud of her.
Keith=Looks great. She needs to be as comfortable without her instrument as she is with it. It's not a performance song. She needs to move around, or keep that in mind when choosing songs.
Jennifer=Confidence is growing. Can see her connecting with the audience, a relaxed quality to what she was doing. Because Stevie Nicks is a big personality, if being compared she needs to do more than just the voice to make everyone feel something. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. Taking on a Stevie Nicks song means that comparisons will be drawn immediately, given that their voices are similar in a lot of ways. So Jessica did a really great job, but she can do more, and can give more to the performance.

 CJ Harris
(If It Hadn't Been For Love-The SteelDrivers)
I have never heard the song, nor the artist before they announced CJ was singing it. CJ seemed really at ease and cool with this song. It's a pretty simple melody. There were still times when I think that CJ was shouting lines instead of just being louder and bringing energy. I love the bluesiness of his voice. It distinguishes himself from all others, but he still goes off a little and it wasn't perfect.C+
Keith=Clever song choice. Allowed him to tap into the soul side of things. Doesn't want him to confuse the sound of expressing with the feeling of expressing. It's easy to make our voice like it is something, but if you feel it then it makes a big difference.
Jennifer= Good song choice. Never get tired of hearing his voice. Sounded good in the beginning, but in the middle it was so off and then by the end it was back. He needs to be more consistent. 
Harry=Needs to keep the connection, lyrics and song form all in the air like a juggler. Has to do a lot of things seamlessly. Can hear that his pitch is off again. He has the ability to change it. Was a good performance but can do better next week.
Do The Judegs & I Agree? We do. They like him, and his voice, but sometimes he just shouts to shout, and doesn't fully feel the lyrics and portray them 100%.

Caleb Johnson
(Dazed & Confused-Led Zeppelin)
This week's theme really was right in Caleb's wheelhouse. He was in a rock band in the past, he wants to be the lead singer of a rock band in the future, and he has all the talents to do that. The band really got rocking with this song and so did Caleb. This was a perfect song choice for Caleb. Keith and Jennifer give Caleb a standing ovation. Caleb owned this song and performance. A
Jennifer=That was a sexy performance. He has the ability to be sexy as a lead singer of a rock band. Was the front man all the way.
Harry=Took such a lofty song and couldn't have sung it better.
Keith=Such a good performance and he is such a great leading man. The whole performance was like an air bag deploying in slow motion.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. He killed that and proved why he will be a great lead singer for a rock band.

Jena Irene
(Bring Me To Life-Evanescene)
I'm a little disappointed that the bangs are still in full force for Jena, but given that she is so good I'll forgive her. As soon as I heard this song choice I thought it was perfect. Her voice is just as identifiable as Evanescene's Amy Lee's. I loved how cool Jena was during this performance. Her voice just does whatever she wants it to. It can be really soft and beautiful and then rock heavy or electronica. Then she does these crazy runs that are amazing. Jena picked a perfect song for her voice and everything else good followed. A-
Harry- She just followed a great performance with another great performance. Her voice can be heard on the radio. Really really strong.
Keith=Delivers every performance. Looked, sounded great. No one is doing what she is doing.
Jennifer=Sound phenomenal. The minute we hear her voice it's soothing. Wanted her to be more messy, wants her to not think about her hair or anything. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. Her voice is so good, it's so identifiable and can fit any kind of genre naturally. So good.

Bottom 3 Predictions
1. Dexter Roberts
2. CJ Harris
3. Sam Woolf

Going Home Predictions (If Not Saved By The Judges)
Dexter. He does the same thing week after week. After being Bottom 2 last week I don't think he did enough this week to save himself from going home.

Final Thoughts

*I think a few people stepped up tonight, and some continued to stay the same or worse. Obviously Caleb was in his element and killed it, but Jena was amazing as well, she just does whatever she wants to with her voice and does it naturally. Jessica and Majesty also did a really nice job. Dexter and CJ continued to distance themselves from the others. Week after week the judges tell Dexter to change things up and tell CJ to stay in tune but neither do, although both say they can. I don't get it. Malaya, Sam and Alex were decent enough, but nothing too outstanding.

*Loved the judges tonight. Jennifer, Keith and Harry were really on point. They gave focused, real honest critiques. They are really fair with all the contestants and don't apparently favor one over the other. They just tell it how it is. I love that a lot.  Keith gave some outstanding advice to CJ, Jennifer gave great feedback to Malaya and Harry sprinkled in great tidbits to a lot of these contestants.

*Unless Dexter is the one with the lowest votes I think the Save is being used this week. I think the judges are antsy about the Save and were close to using it last week on MK, I think almost all the contestants left can have the Save be used on them, even if Dexter got it I wouldn't be shocked.

That's it. Not a bad night. I think there were some solid performances, and then there were a few clunkers, overall not too bad. Come back on here tomorrow to see who the next person to go home is, or if the judge's save will be used. So until then, see ya!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top 10 Results

Welcome back. Last night we discussed that the Top 10 was divided into 3 groups, the Contenders, Pretenders and those that go back and forth between the two. We chose the Bottom 3 MK, CJ and Dexter as Pretenders and chose MK as the one going home. We have another 1 hour show to recap so let's get to it:

Results Part 1
Malaya, Jessica and Dexter head to the stage
Randy Jackson's Take= He thinks Malaya made the right choice in not playing the piano and it gave her a chance to give a tender, emotional performance. Randy thinks that Dexter was a little lost on stage, he needed to do a lot more work to get the performance to be amazing. He thinks Jessica did a great job, lyrics aside.



Bottom 3=Dexter

First Performance of The Night
Last week Harry Connick Jr performed, and this week his fellow judge Jennifer Lopez is performing her new single "I Luh Ya Papi", and that is spelled and pronounced just like that. If it was spelled "Love" instead of "Luh" it still would have been an idiotic song name. Helping her out with some backup and a fake skit is Season 8 and current Idol back up singer, Alison Iraheta, Season 10 shocking elimination contestant, Pia Toscano, and Season 11 runner up and one of my favorites, Jessica Sanchez. They are kind of backing her up in the beginning and then just watch JLo and her backup dancers perform the song. It's an addicting chorus, but it's so ridiculous of a song and name that it's tough to take seriously.

Results Part 2
Caleb, Majesty and Alex head to the stage.
Randy's Take=Randy thinks Caleb's performance was lackluster and it was just an OK performance this week. He thinks the performance that Majesty gave will bring her back to the front. Randy thinks that Alex was amazing and pulled it all off, it was a great vocal and night for him.



Bottom 3=Majesty

Second Performance of the Night
Another unknown artist performs and they are a favorite of Harry Connick Jr, they are called Royal Teeth singing "Wild". Um, they are not my kind of music talent. The melody and band part was cool, but I didn't like the lead singer's voice, and the other singer was a little too whiny for my taste. You really have to have a certain taste for this band, it's not a voice and band that anyone would enjoy. They were actually kind of annoying. Good luck to them in their future, but unless they switch both of their main singers I probably won't listen to them again.

Results Part 3
Sam, Jena, CJ and MK head to the stage.
Randy's Take= Randy thinks that Sam gave a great performance and he thinks he is growing every week. He thinks that Jena showed her artistry, she's had two great performances in a row. He thinks that MK did a great job the first part of the song but not so much on the second performance. Randy thinks that CJ was sharp all the way and it all fell apart.

Safe= CJ

Safe= Jena


Bottom 3=MK

Bottom 3
1. Dexter
2. Majesty
3. MK

1st To Safety=Majesty

2nd To Safety=Dexter

In Danger of Going Home? MK

Was The Judge's Save Used? No. MK Is Going Home. It seemed that both Keith and Jennifer tried very hard to save MK, but Harry disagreed. I have liked MK a lot, we even put her in our Top 3 going into Top 13 week, but she never fully lived up to those expecations and I agree with Harry in not saving MK. She has a great voice, but her lack of comfort on the stage, and her inability to change up the songs and make it her own led to this ultimate elimination.

Our Season Prediction Totals

Bottom 3= 2 out of 3 Tonight. 7 out of 12 Total

Going Home = 1 out of 1 Tonight. 2 out of 4 Total

Final Thoughts

*MK's elimination was far from shocking, she had been in the Bottom 3 or 2 every week since Top 13 began, other than last week. It was a little shocking that both Keith and Jennifer really wanted to save her so much, given that there are some people that have done far better than her that could use the Save if necessary. I would love for CJ to have been in the Bottom 3 tonight over Majesty, but I guess she just couldn't come fully back from being close to being eliminated last week. I think Dexter being Bottom 2 was exactly where he should be. He needs to step it up or he'll be gone soon.

*Next week's theme is "I'm With the Band", which essentially means they have to pretend that they are the lead singer of a band, which is essentially what most of them have been doing this entire time. I'm tired of these loose, generic themes. Why bother calling them theme weeks if it's just "sing whatever you want week"? There really isn't any creativity going on. A ton of these contestants mention that they have sung the song that they chose before. I am not saying we need to have "Disco" week, or even "Motown Week", but those would at least make the contestants think of how to fit their style and personality to match the theme, instead of just spoon feeding them easy choices week after week.Plenty of the most notable performances in American Idol past came from theme weeks, David Cook of Season 7 was a specialist at it, same with Adam Lambert, Kris Allen and many others. It's too bad we can't see a bit more creativity from these contestants.

*As always we post our favorite performance from the night prior, and last night's best performance, hands down, was Alex Preston's version of One Direction's "Story of My Life". So take a look if you didn't catch it before.

That's it. I think it was a correct elimination tonight. There are still a few contestants that need to step it up or they will be gone soon. So until next time, have a great week, see ya!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Top 10 Perform: Songs From 2010-Now

Welcome back. Hope you had a great week. This week the American Idol Top 10 are tackling Songs from 2010-Now, so very current songs. It'll be interesting to hear how some of these contestants do with more modern tracks. It's not a real groundbreaking theme given that all of these contestants have at least one point sung a current song this season, but the Idol producers had a goal of widening the theme weeks this year, and not being so narrow, and that's definitely what they are doing. So let's see how it goes:

I'dol Be The Judge's Weekly Rankings
This week provided a ton of movement on the rankings. Our Top 2 from last week, Sam and Majesty, were both part of the official Bottom 3, and Majesty just barely got to safety. So both of them have the most significant drops, while Jena shoots up the leader board with her best performance to date last week. CJ and MK had a solid week last week, but they still have a lot to prove and need to follow up with a good performance this week to establish some consistency.

1. Caleb Johnson-Up 2 From Last Week
2. Alex Preston-Up 3 From Last Week
3. Jessica Meuse-Up 1 From Last Week
4. Sam Woolf-Down 2 From Last Week (Officially Bottom 3)
5. Jena Irene-Up 3 From Last Week
6. Dexter Roberts-Same As Last Week
7. Majesty Rose-Down 6 Spots From Last Week (Officially Bottom 2)
8. Malaya Watson-Up 1 From Last Week
9. CJ Harris-Up 1 From Last Week
10. MK Nobilette-Up 1 From Last Week

Top 10 Perform

MK Nobilette 
(F*kin Perfect-Pink)
I love this song, one of my favorites, and MK does a pretty nice job to a point. She seems more loose on stage, she plays with the staging  and the audience a bit. Then there was one point when she loses touch with the band, and tries to catch up and never fully does. I love when she went for some of the higher notes, she really pushed herself, and I like seeing and hearing her do that. But because of the mess up it really wrecked the good job she had done with the first part of the song. C
Keith=In the middle of the song you didn't come back with the band, but she regained herself, and she still needs to loosen up and owning and take control of the stage.
Jennifer=When first started she had much more feeling and emotion, doing it throughout will really help. She got thrown and she didn't regain herself.
Harry=Not one of her stronger performances. Didn't see the feeling convey. Has a beautiful voice, she can make a good record, but doesn't know what kind of show she can put on without sounding like the original and straying too far?
Do The Judges & I Agree? Kinda. I think she pushed herself to some higher places, but unfortunately she did mess up and it kinda crumbled after that.

Dexter Roberts
(Cruise-Florida Georgia Line)
I am not too familiar with this song, so I don't know if Dexter is singing the straight version or tried to change things up. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and I think he changed it up a little, at least earlier on. He definitely seems like he owned the song more. But as soon as he got to the chorus the energy and originality was thrown out the window. He still hasn't completely found his way. This was good, but not great. C 
Jennifer=That was good, really good. Keep the crowd with him so the energy goes up and his energy and performance goes up.
Harry=Don't think that was a good performance. Took a popular song and didn't change it up at all. He looks like generic. Seemed like he was meandering.
Keith=Think it was a good song choice, he is being consistent. Loved the beginning when he changed things up. Talented, but lost some artistry by the end.  
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. This was an okay performance, especially the beginning, but Dexter just keeps going back to the generic side of things. He hasn't fully shown he can be a complete artist yet.

Jena Irene
Jena loves electronic and wants to bring it to Idol. On the personal grooming side, I hate Jena's hair tonight, and her bangs, I like her flowy hair. On the musical side her voice is just ridiculous. It cuts through the band getting loud and the crowd going crazy. Her voice can do anything she wants it to. She doesn't sing a straight karaoke, she changes it up, puts some runs in there and is really into this performance. All she needs to do is fix her hair and I would have loved the whole thing. B+
Harry=It's such a popular tune, and can really see her being in the wheelhouse of melody and electronica. Really strong singer, not a whole lot to the tune and she made it exciting.
Keith=Love that tune. Best performance of the night, easily. She came out looking comfortable, never looked desperate. Changed the melody at times, and she has such a strong signature sound.
Jennifer=Sounded so great. Perfect. Needs to hold the middle of the stage, if she is sideways then sometimes she looks unsure. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. She did a really great job. She is really getting good and has a lot of momentum going.

 Alex Preston
(Story Of My Life-One Direction)
He changed this song from the original pop version to more acoustic, just him and the guitar. No matter what you think of One Direction this is a pretty good song and Alex made a good song really great. He makes the song more folksy and subtle. I can see Alex playing this song at his concert. He took a lot of chances on some of the notes and did a few different vocal tricks to change it up and make it his own. A-
Keith= Makes the most out of theme song. Merged American Authors with One Direction. Really good at making it his own.
Jennifer=In the song the entire time. Owned the stage. Was very comfortable. Reminds her of Buddy Holly, evoke greatness.
Harry=Hit the bulls-eye on the artistry target. So consistent with his artistic choices, really leading the pack in that. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Definitely. Best of the night so far. He is getting better and better.

 Malaya Watson
(When I Was Your Man-Bruno Mars)
I love the subtlety and sweetness of her voice during this performance. I know she can go big, and she does often, but the sweetness and softness to her voice really brings you in this time. The band kicks in at one point in the song, but she still is able to maintain her control. In the past she loses herself too much but she really was able to stay with the song throughout the whole thing. One of my favorite songs of hers, no question.  B+
Jennifer=Liked that she didn't change the pronoun. Had so much feeling, love and emotion. 
Harry=Completely present in every single word. Needs to work with the music people to change the cord while doing runs, because sometimes she doesn't quite catch up to it.
Keith= Well done for keeping the song as it is. Heard more control, in the past she would have gone one way, but tonight she really held it together.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yep.She had restraint and power. In the past she sometimes went way too much and full throttle and beyond, tonight she held it together and stayed the course. Really good job.

Caleb Johnson
(Edge of Glory)
I love that Caleb decided to go with performing another female singer's song. Singing a song from someone of the opposite gender automatically makes you sound different from the original. I love how the song started with the piano and then the drums start coming in quietly and then all of a sudden they are just going. This was a really creative way to present this song. He completely made this song his own. Not saying it was his best, but still very good.  B+
Harry=Loved that he chose Lady Gaga. He put his own spin on it. Saw him do better performances, but give him an A, A+ for originality.
Keith= Has a killer tone and sound. Delivers every week on that. An interesting song choice, not a big fan of it. Didn't dig the half-time sound to it, felt like it was lumbering. His voice is too big for the sound of the song.
Jennifer=Sound great, liked the half-time of it, but lacked some of the feeling. Didn't believe the performance. Just seemed like he was showing off.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Not completely. I liked it a bit more than they did. They weren't feeling his emotion as much.

CJ Harris
(Invisible-Hunter Hayes)
This was a more elaborate performance by CJ. He had strings, he wasn't wearing a hat, it was a big deal. I never heard this song before, not gonna lie, but I believed every word that CJ was singing at me. You can feel his emotion. It wasn't a flawless performance, he still yells a bit too much rather than just singing louder, it fell flat a bit at times, his voice cracked a little, but as a whole the performance felt real. Definitely a mix of good and not so great. C+
Keith= Rooting for him. Nailed the song in rehearsal but he didn't stay in tune and was shaky. Has believability but needs to work harder on staying in control of his pitch.
Jennifer=He is a quiet killer. His heart is in it. This wasn't what it should have been. Hopes that his tone and heart reached through to America so he is here next week.
Harry= Felt the lyrics. But was out of tune. Knows he can hear it, but he has a tendency to sing sharp. He can fix his flaws, but needs to get the pitch in check.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yup. You could really feel CJ's emotion, and you can tell he really wants to do well, but the singing fell by the wayside at times, and given this is a singing show you really need to get a hold of that.

Jessica Meuse
(Pumped Up Kicks-Foster The People)
Jessica really stripped this song down to it's bones. She goes with her guitar being the lead sound, with very limited and softer band accompaniment. The band is definitely a presence but her voice pierces through. She seemed way more comfortable tonight,  there was a moment at the song that the band dropped out and she just did this cool run, her voice sounded so great. After last week's tough outing with the band, she and the band did a great job to rebound. B+
Jennifer= Really happy with that performance. This week was right in her wheelhouse. Felt really good.
Harry=Had a complacent smile on her face. Wasn't sure how she interpreted the lyrics. Doesn't know where the cry is, where the laugh is, where the joy is, where the pain is. Sometimes she has a one-dimensional kind of performance. Can't wait til she gets out of the box and emotes. 
Keith= Thought it was good. Took it and made it her own. Had a weird 60s country pop feel to it. Very trippy.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Not really, at least not with Harry. I agreed with Jennifer this time. I got what Jessica was putting out there, I understand that the lyrics are actually kind of crazy and creepy and maybe Jessica shouldn't have smiled, but it's not like she mosh pitting and jumping all around the stage, she kept it restrained and in her wheelhouse.

Majesty Rose
(Wake Me Up-Avicii)
After last week's almost ouster, Majesty decides to go back to her roots of performing with the guitar and low key/cool vibe. I kind of figured she was gonna scale it back significantly after last week's train wreck. Her voice is just so good that it doesn't need huge theatrics. She changes the song to fit her personality and style and I am happy that it worked out for awhile. I think there is a certain middle ground between last week's craziness and this week's coffee house version, and hopefully Majesty will have more weeks to figure that out. Not saying this wasn't good, but at times it was a little sleepy. There were points that really got it going, but it wasn't her best, but a huge step up from last week. B
Harry=She had a featured vocal. Very smart and complex. She challenges the audience with a new interpretation of the song. 
Keith= Like the way she sings, the sound of her voice. Keeping it in a strict folk place makes it just not work, because it keeps it one place.
Jennifer=Had a little fear in the beginning, thinks last week really affected her.Half way through she sounded herself, but doesn't want to see the fear part ever again.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yep. It was a much better performance than last week, but she almost went too extreme to something different. There is a middle ground that Majesty needs to find, and gain some confidence at the same time.

Sam Woolf
(We Are Young-Fun.)
After picking the wrong song and doing the wrong thing last week Sam decides to perform with his guitar.  His eyes looked very unsure at times, like he felt lost. I like that he changed some of the melody but still stayed pretty true to the original. I really felt like I heard his voice, crystal clear. B-
Keith=Good feeling that he'll be back next week.
Jennifer=Loved it, thought it was so much better than last week. Sounded really beautifully.
Harry=Has to own it, still is timid. He needs to come out and be aggressive.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much, I think. The show ran out of time and the judges couldn't get a ton of comments into Sam. He might have gotten a bit more critical feedback from Keith and Harry if they had more time.

Bottom 3
1. Dexter Roberts
2. MK Nobilette
3.CJ Harris

Going Home
MK Nobilette. I predicted her going home the last few weeks, but I think the shaky performance, coupled with the fact that she was the first performer, and she still was Bottom 3 and Bottom 2 only a couple weeks ago will send MK home.

Final Thoughts

*The pack is starting to divide into the contenders and pretenders. MK, Dexter and CJ are doing what they think will get them votes and doing what they think they should do, while people like Jena, Alex, Jessica and Caleb are just being themselves and reaping the rewards of being so good. Those who don't need to try so hard deliver more and sound so much better than those that look like they are being forced into being a certain way or acting a certain way. It's natural or it's not. Malaya, Majesty and Sam teeter back and forth between the two worlds of contenders and pretenders. I don't know where to fully classify them.

*I really love that the producers decided to show us a few seconds on why the contestants chose the song, instead of doing a silly little video package before they perform. It helps give context to what we are gonna hear, and insight into why we are hearing it.  It was a necessary video package, opposed to 80% of the silly stuff they usually make us watch.

* I hate that Keith and Jennifer watch rehearsals. I know they go there so they are fully prepared and can get a jump start on their comments, but like with CJ, Caleb and a few others, their rehearsals were better than their actual performance so it makes their real performance look bad in comparison. Harry does not go to rehearsals and as he said "he doesn't care what [they] do before". I completely agree. It's like reading the last page of a book. If you know how it's gonna end then you can't fully enjoy the whole thing. If you know how they are gonna walk around the stage, and sound and look then it's tough to be organic and be fully excited. I like when the judges give their true and first reactions, not reactions that have had time to develop and change. Usually your first thought and your first impulse is the right one.

That's It. Not a bad week at all. I think there was some really great performances, a few decent ones and then some head scratchers. Tomorrow is the results and we'll see which contestant's journey ends. So until tomorrow, see ya!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Top 11 Results

Welcome back. Last night was far better than last week's pretty terrible performances. I still think that some of the contestants have the potential to do better, and I also feel that some contestants are getting praised a little too much when they haven't delivered. That said, last night we chose Ben, MK and Dexter as our Bottom 3, with MK going home. I think that Ben had a tough night and could go home, but I'm not sure if MK did enough to rebound from being in the Bottom 3 then Bottom 2 the following week. The judge's save is still in play so if any of the front runners get in trouble we might see the save used. So with all that said, let's get to it:

Results Part 1
First up to the stage is CJ, Dexter and Caleb.
[Randy gives his input this week]
Randy's Take=He thinks CJ had his best performance and is safe. He thinks that Dexter needed to have a moment to make it his own and he didn't.He thinks Caleb should sing more melody and delivered and would give him a 10, 10, 10.




First Performance of the Night
Harry Connick Jr is performing tonight. He is doing a medley of two of his songs "One Fine Thing" and "Come By Me". Given that it was movie night I would have loved to hear Harry Connick Jr's take on "It Had To Be You" from the movie When Harry Met Sally. That's a pretty iconic song from a classic movie. But, because he is business savvy he went with songs from his albums in the hopes of people buying his record. He is a smart dude.  His new song "One Fine Thing" was pretty old school, and the last song "Come By Me" was very big band. Very good. Obviously if you don't like that type of music you probably won't like it, but he is just a very good performer and unique. I like that.

Results Part 2
MK, Ben, Majesty and Malaya join Ryan on the stage.
Randy's Take= He thinks MK delivered a standout performance tonight. He thinks change is good, but Ben's change confused people. Randy thinks Majesty performance's was OK, but not stellar. He thinks Malaya is blossoming on the show and is fearless.


Ben=Bottom 3
Majesty=Bottom 3

Second Performance of the Night
Mali Music is a dude, if you didn't watch the performance and are only going by name. He is singing his song "Beautiful". Jennifer Lopez is a big supporter of his. She likes that he raps, sings well and has soul. It's a pretty catchy song. Not bad at all.

Results Part 3
Sam, Jessica, Alex and Jena  are next to take the stage.
Randy's Take=Sam thinks that Sam needs to keep breaking out of his shell and thinks he is getting more comfortable. Randy thinks that Jessica didn't stand out tonight and will hurt her in the voting. He thinks Alex is everything an artist should really be. Randy thinks that Jena delievered on the piano and was so powerful and he feels like a proud parent.




Sam=Bottom 3

Bottom 3
1. Ben
2. Majesty
3. Sam



In Danger of Going Home? Ben Briley.

Was the Save Used? No. Ben is Going Home. He was not saved by the judges. The judges actually barely spoke during his performance. I feel like that as soon as he landed in the Bottom 3 they figured that if he was lowest vote getter they weren't going to save him. He made a costly error in changing way too much. It's one thing to go from A to C, but to go from A to V is way too much. He had the weakest performance last night and although he seems like a fun, likeable guy, he deserved to go home.

Our Season Prediction Totals 

Bottom 3= 1 out of 3 Tonight. 5 out of 9 Season Total

Going Home=0 out of 1 Tonight. 1 out of 3 Season Total

Final Thoughts

*Those were some interesting results. Supposed front runners Sam and Majesty really took a tumble. I would never have guessed they would have landed in the Bottom 3, especially this early. I am pleased that the viewers and voters are not just letting Sam get away with being the "cute guy" like they have done in the past with a ton of men that got by every week because they were cute, not because they can sing. I am also surprised to see Majesty Bottom 2. She did have a rough night, but her worst is still pretty good. I hope she really rebounds from this.  It was Ben's time to go. I thought MK was in danger given the past number of weeks in the Bottom 3 or 2, but I am pleased the voters did the right thing. Ben seems like a nice guy, but he really screwed up being so different than what has gotten him this far. It was the wrong move and it ultimately cost him.

*Loved that they had Munfarid come back and Harry cradled him in his arms again, like he did during the auditions. That was pretty funny. I was wondering where Munfarid went.

*I like that when they were doing the results they included Randy Jackson's thoughts on the performance, it's kinda like what they did with Jimmy Iovine over the years. Only thing is that he commented that some of the contestants didn't do well because they didn't choose the right song, or create the right vibe, but those are things that are done before the live show. It's not like they were necessarily bad on the night of the performance, most of these things could have been remedied in rehearsal and when creating their performance. I don't know if he isn't working with them, the contestants aren't listening to him or both. But if the  contestants aren't listening to mentors and producers it's definitely not a good thing. They are young and should be learning from people at this point, they don't know what they are doing, even though some people have more experience than others. Everyone behind the scenes knew that Dexter, for example, was doing a karaoke version of Sweet Home Alabama, but no one stopped him or led him a different way. That proves that something behind the scenes is going wrong.

*Our favorite performance of the week was Jena Irene. She killed it last night, and let's hope that performance propels her for awhile.

That's It. Another week in the books. It was a much improved show this week. Some interesting results, good and bad came about. Let's hope the good continues and the bad continues to lessen and lessen. I can't wait until 30 minute results show. 1 hour format is way way too long. We'll be back here next week for another Idol week, hopefully you will too. So until next time, see ya!