Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Top 8 Perform-Original Audition Week

Welcome back. This week the contestants are singing the song that they originally auditioned with in front of the judges. We saw a lot of these contestants' first auditions but it's been a couple months and we saw a ton of contestants that are no longer here. It could be interesting to see how and if they have grown from that audition to now. We are also getting our first duets of the season. They don't really get factored into anything because there are no phone numbers given out and no judge's comments. So it's basically just a time filler/waster. But it's part of Idol. Anyways let's get to tonight:

I'dol Be The Judge's Power Rankings
This week's rankings provide more stability and consistency than any big movement one way or another. CJ has slid into the Bottom spot with Majesty being eliminated last week,  Dexter still hasn't impressed us and remains towards the bottom of our list, Caleb, Alex and Jena are delivering good to great performances week after week.

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

Top 8 Performances #1

Jessica Meuse 
(Blue Eyed Lie-Jessica Meuse)
We see a few minutes of her original audition in which she stood out with her original. During the original audition the judges really loved the way she sounded and the way she moved. Tonight she is singing her original again and this time we get her with the band and a little more grit and passion. I really like this song a lot, it's very cool and something that could be on the radio already. She obviously seemed really comfortable out there, which is an easy thing to do when you are singing your own song, no fear of forgetting the lyrics. I really think it was very cool and a great way to start off the night. B+
Keith=Great start to the night. Has great veracity, but she needs to keep working on having the energy to move around a bit. Her feet just don't move at all. Everything isn't all there yet.
Jennifer= Got the real sense of who she is and comfortable with singing. It was really perfect, can hear her album already. Did a really great job.
Harry=It reminded of seeing Cher in the 70s, standing on that cylinder with a cool presentation. If her intensity is there she doesn't need to move. There was a small dead space of air at one point, but overall it was a strong beginning to the show.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yep. Jessica did a great job to start the show. She was very comfortable and sounded great. Sure she could move around a little, but like Harry said, her voice is so good she almost doesn't need to.

CJ Harris
(Soul Shine-The Allman Brothers Band)
During his first audition he got a bit of a mixed review, they thought he had some hiccups that could get fixed, but had such a passion to sing. Over the past number of weeks CJ has sung consistently out of tune, and that is something that Jennifer had mentioned in his audition. Tonight CJ rebounded a bit from last week's mess, but I still feel at some points he is still shouting at me instead of just singing properly. That's a comment I have said consistently about him. So overall better than last week, but he still needs to tweak some things. B
Jennifer=It was better than his first audition. Something inside touches her heart. Amazing voice.
Harry=Special enough to be here. Can tell that he is working on some of the problems, including intonation and pitch. It was infinitely better. Really nice job.
Keith= Reigned it in so much better than when he auditioned.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Sorta. They definitely see that he has improved, but they think it was a bit better than I think. He needs to keep working at it. We'll see how the rest of the contestants do tonight.

Duet #1

Alex and Jena
(Just Give Me A Reason-Pink Featuring Nate Reuss)
It was okay. I think that Jena was a little sharp, and Alex was a little dull. But it was alright.

Performances #2

Sam Woolf
(Lego House-Ed Sheeran)
During Sam's original audition Keith loved how quick Sam sang the song and thought his pitch was amazing. Tonight Sam decided to sing the song a bit slower and more mellow than during his original performance. His eyes still looked scared and a bit uncomfortable at times. I think he sounded nice, but when the camera is really zooming in on his eyes it takes you out of his performance a bit, it's a little distracting. It's weird we didn't get to hear the judge's comments before the commercial break. B
Harry=He is missing the connection. He is shy and sweet, but he is not connecting. 
Keith=Getting better every week. Getting looser with the in between the lines. Not perfect, but is soulful, it doesn't need to be perfect.
Jennifer=Saw the magic back in the audition and now. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Sorta. I don't know if they liked it or not. I think they were trying to say he lacked a connection and wasn't perfect, but they went around that.

Duets #2
Jessica and Caleb
(Stop Draggin My Heart Around-Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty)
Anytime Jessica sings Stevie Nicks it will be good because her voice is Stevie Nicks like. This is a great pairing and they did a nice job. 

Performances #3

Malaya Watson
(Ain't No Way-Aretha Franklin)
Her original audition showed promise and youth. The judges back then couldn't wait to see how she transforms over the course of the season, and she has done a great job of learning about her weaknesses and fixing them.Tonight she really owned the stage and the song. It was so controlled and lovely. The girl that sang the song during audition rounds has really grown into a great singer and it's so cool to see. I remember a few weeks ago she was so out of control and in the wrong lane, now she is right on the money. Easily one of my favorite performances of hers. Really quite good. Keith gives her a standing ovation. A-
Keith='Malaya on fire". Seeing her growth from week to week. So in control. Fantastic.
Jennifer=Blossoming into a star before our eyes. Gained so much control and poise. Gonna be a huge star, could run away with this competition.
Harry=Doing everything right. She's presenting and entertaining and performing right. Needs to learn all the notes in her runs so she is perfectly in sync. Keep working hard and doing what she's doing.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. That was really quite good, best she has sounded thus far.

Dexter Roberts
(One Mississippi-Brett Eldredge) 
This song really showed a more vulnerable and softer side of Dexter. I don't know this song so I don't know if he changed it up at all. But again, he sings every song well, it's just is it that exciting? Not so sure. Dexter has had a tough number of weeks, and tonight was definitely the best he has done in awhile. B
Jennifer=Got to hear so many wonderful nuisances in his voice. Did everything he was asked to do.
Harry=Sang the crap out of that song. Great to hear him sing. He needed this week. Sang the song beautifully. Did a fantastic job.
Keith=That's a great song. Can work on paying less attention to the sound of his voice and think about the lyric and communicating that lyric.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. Dexter did a great job, best I've heard him since Top 13 began.

Duet #3
Malaya & Sam
(Lucky-Jason Mraz & Colbie Calliat)
This was a super sweet performance. They are both young and were really sweet with one another on stage. You can see how young they are when they are together. This song didn't do much to benefit Malaya but might have benefited Sam a little.

Performances #4

Jena Irene
(Rolling In The Deep-Adele)
The judges loved how much Jena didn't sound like the original at her audition. Jena's first note just came piercing right through the screen. Jena just took that song and flipped it on it's head. This sounded nothing like the original and that's a beautiful thing, especially given that this particular song is one of the most famous songs in the last 5 years. This was such a cool version of this song and she sang beautifully. Keith gives Jena a very deserved standing ovation.  A
Harry=Did a great job. Made it tough for the audience to pick.
Keith=Took that song and made it her own and never let it go. Thought it was incredible to stick with her own original throughout.
Jennifer=Come out there every week and blow everyone away. It's easier said then done. Needs to destroy everyone's performances. Thinks she can do that.
Do The Judges & I Agree?  Sorta. They weren't as enthusiastic as I was. They were very happy with it and like Jena a lot, but I thought that performance was amazing and gutsy and cool.

Duet #4
Dexter and CJ
(Alright-Darius Rucker)
This was a pretty predictable song choice and performance. If you like country then you'll probably like this performance.

Performances #5

 Caleb Johnson
(Chain of Fools-Aretha Franklin)
During his audition the judges loved how cool and confident he was. I love that Caleb chose this song and made it rock. It sounds nothing like the original but still has some of the original's flavor in there. I love how easy Caleb makes every performance. A-
Keith=Delivers every week. He is a blues warrior, soul conqueror, a Rock and Roll Viking.
Jennifer=Waiting all his life to do this and creates the moments. Kills the audience every single time.
Harry=Knows that he is a big and loud and a solid performance. Stakes are so firmly planted in the competition that he would love to sing something less loud and sing something soft. Maybe try something else next week.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. He is a great performer and could definitely change things up next week.

Alex Preston
(Fairytales-Alex Preston)
This is another original song but this time it was created by Alex. In the original audition Harry and Keith loved how great of a musician Alex was. I think out of the 2 originals tonight, Jessica Meuse's and this one, I liked Jessica's a bit more, but this song is very Alex. It allowed him to do some really cool vocal maneuvers and he was so on pitch and in control of every moment. I like how this really was an extension of his original audition. He has grown as an artist, but is still so good and in his zone. B+
Jennifer=Stayed true to himself since the beginning. Grown and gotten more comfortable.
Harry=Enjoyed it. Loved the arrangement. Shaken that vibratto out.
Keith=Really great job. Got the entire crowd singing with him.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. Alex is very comfortable with himself and how he sings, and performs. He is easily the most confident performer out there.

Bottom 3 & Going Home Predictions

Bottom 3
1. CJ
2. Dexter
3. Sam

Going Home (If Not Saved By The Judges)

CJ. But, I don't think anyone is going home. I think no matter it be one of the Bottom 3 predicted or any other contestant, the judge's save will be utilized. 

Final Thoughts

*Based on tonight's performances, and lack of anyone being really brutal and getting harsh criticism by the judges, I think the Judge's Save will be utilized tomorrow. No matter if it's CJ, Dexter, Sam or anyone else, that save is being used tomorrow. After tonight it probably might be deserved. CJ and Dexter, both who have struggled mightily in this competition really stepped it up, and everyone else remained really good or great. Could CJ or Dexter leave and I'd be okay with it? Sure. But based solely on tonight, mixed with the fact that judges are antsy to use the save after not using it last season, I think it is getting used. Decent night tonight overall.

*I don't like the commercial break between the performances and the judge's feedback. That happened at a few instances and it was kind of annoying. It loses some of the steam from the performance. I know this is because there are fewer contestants so to spread out the 2 hours they need to do that, but then the show should be a 90 minute episode.

*Sadly the Super Vote Update reveal is back and again the last performer who sang gets less votes  than anyone else. Super shocked. Actually not at all. They show us how the 21 and older group votes and those under 21. Isn't it crazy that people in their 40s and 50s vote differently than those in their teens or younger? Again, not crazy at all. It was 1 minute between Alex getting off stage and learning the results. So silly. I know people can vote at any point, but the majority of people obviously vote after they hear the contestants sing, and don't just blindly vote because they like the person. I am not a fan of this new voting at any point idea. No one should get by week to week just because they are fun to look at or were good the week prior. Every spot should be earned every week.

That's it. Tonight was probably the most solid night of the competition. The bottom of the pack stepped it up and those in the front pretty much stayed there. Come back here tomorrow after the next all new episode of Idol. Until then, see ya!

1 comment:

  1. Last night's performance was the first time this season that all performed well and that it's difficult to determine who will get the least votes. I think it will be someone we don't expect (a surprise) and the judges will use their save. I must say that when I heard they were singing the songs from their auditions, I thought it would be a boring show and it was the opposite. Now, my annoying item to comment on is the performers' comments on their own performance after the commercial break. It would be nice to have some calmness in watching/hearing what they say instead of the side-by-side screen of them talking while hearing them perform. Very distracting. It has become apparent that the show feels this season that viewers need excessive stimulation and aren't satisfied with watching one thing at a time. The stage set is filled with crazy video in the background, Facebook showers, constant screen shots of CJs girlfriend, etc.