Thursday, February 27, 2014

Top 13 Results

Welcome back. Last night was a mixed bag. There were some pretty good performances, there were some not-so-bad performances, and then there were some pretty mediocre performances. We predicted that the Bottom 3 is Malaya, Jena and Kristen with Kristen being the first eliminated. There were more than 3 people that could be Bottom 3, but those are the ones we chose. Also, the judge's save is back, so the judge's can save the person that has the least amount of votes. With that variable, and the 30 different ways to vote, it'll be interesting to hear and see what happens.

Back in October 2013 we were told that the American Idol results shows would be 30 minutes long. I was a big fan of this, given that it takes about a minute to deliver all the news that Ryan Seacrest stretches into an hour. Well, we are at the first results show and it's a one-hour episode. It seems that until the new FOX show "Surviving Jack" a 30-minute comedy premieres we will get these longer results show. Tentatively, "Surving Jack" will begin on March 27th, so that means we will most likely get these one hour shows until then.

So lots of filler to get to tonight, we'll try to streamline it as best we can. So let's get to it:

Top 13 Perform
We see the Top 13 perform "Counting Stars" by One Republic and "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. They are kinda walking around backstage and eventually make their way to the stage. I can't tell if it's lip synched, or some are and some aren't. They have those inner ear monitors in so you would think they ar really singing, but it's a little polished in some points, and messy at others. Kinda lame.

Results Part 1
Malaya, Jena, Ben and Alex come to the stage.  We hear from Randy Jackson about each. Randy thinks that Malaya didn't calm down enough and the song got the best of her. He says of Jena that she did a nice job with the message she was trying to get across. Of Ben he thought it was way too fast in rehearsal, and still was a little too fast. He thinks Alex did a great job with how subtle he was and working with the band.


Safe =JENA

Bottom 3=MALAYA

Performance #1
Tonight brings us our current American Idol winner Candice Glover. She sings 2 new songs "Cried" and "Same Kind of Man" from her new album. Her voice is just ridiculous. I always thought she deserved the crown last year, but her voice is up there in the Top 5 American Idol winners, pure voice. It just does things you don't think it could, and then does it better than imagined. "Cried" is such a powerhouse, beautiful voice. "Same Kind of Man" is a little more uptempo, but still mellow and powerful, just a soulful, cool song. As much as I am glad that she is doing well, I miss hearing her voice and watching her perform every week on the show. She always put it all out there, and so far, this season, a lot of these contestants just aren't doing that.

Results Part 2
MK, Sam, Majesty and Dexter joining Ryan on stage. Randy thinks that MK needs to move around on stage, she is starting to blossom but still can do more. He loves Sam, even though he is shy. He is so good and talented but needs his performance to match his vocal power. Loves Majesty but wants her to really enunciate her words, on the night she was fantastic. Randy wanted Dexter to hold the note at the end, but during the performance he didn't take all the advice, wasn't his best performance but should be enough to let him stick around.




Bottom 3=MK

Performance #2
Country singer Jake Bugg sings his song "Me and You".  His voice is like a country Bob Dylan, if that makes sense. I like how different his voice is. It's pretty cool. He is originally from England, so that might contribute to him not being the standard country singer. Pretty cool.

Results Part 3
CJ, Kristen, Caleb, Jessica and Emily are next. Randy tells CJ that he needs to be consistent so he is great every week. He thinks that Kristen needs to get the emotion across. He thinks she did a pretty good job but not sure if she got all of her message across. Randy thinks that Caleb continues to show who he is, the in house rocker, he is electric. He thinks that Jessica commanded everyone's attention, she was so effortless. He thinks that Emily did a beautiful job, but it still lacked the edge.





Bottom 3=KRISTEN

Bottom 3
1. Malaya
2. MK
3. Kristen

1st To SAFETY?
Safe= MK

2nd To SAFETY?

Contestant In Jeopardy? Kristen

Do The Judges Use Their Save? No. Kristen goes home.  We picked her to go home, she easily had the worst, or close to the worst performance of the evening, plus she was a wildcard pick, so the fans already weren't 100% on board. Not a big thing that she went home.

Our Predictions
Bottom 3 Predictions=2 out of 3
Going Home Prediction=1 out of 1

Final Thoughts

*I am glad the Judge's Save is back. Harry explained that the decision must be unanimous, so that will hopefully help certain mistakes from happening. Hopefully.

*I'm pretty surprised at MK being in the Bottom 3. I didn't think she was that bad last night, but who knows what influences people into voting, or not voting. I agree that Kristen and Malaya were the Bottom 2, and I definitely think it was Kristen's time to go. She just didn't bring it, and she needed to after being the last pick for this Top 13.

*I can't wait for the 30 minute shows. Although I am glad we saw Candice Glover, it's still way too long of a show for a 1 minute announcement.

*Was this the first time that the previous American Idol winner's song wasn't the "Goodbye Song" for the eliminated contestants? They played Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" during Kristen's montage. It's Kristen singing it, but still. Given that Candice was actually there tonight, I think a song like "Cried" would have been a solid choice.

*Every week after the results recap we post our favorite performance from the night before. Last night our favorite performance was Jessica Meuse singing "The Crow & The Butterfly".

That's it. Please come back here next Wednesday for Top 12 week. We are on our way. The right person went home this week, so not a bad start. Thanks for reading our blog, and keep coming back. Until next time, see ya.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Top 13 Perform: This Is Me Week

Welcome back. We are finally at the Top 13. It seems like it took forever to get here, but here we are. It's an interesting group. We have a few country singers, a few powerhouse singers, a number of singer/songwriters and a whole bunch of people that play guitar. It's an interesting mix for sure. Tonight will be the first time we get to see how the guys and girls perform at the same time, it'll be a good barometer of how the rest of the season will unfold.

Tonight's theme is "This Is Me", it's supposed to tell us who they are as a performer, as a person and maybe the direction they are trying to go. So without further ado let's get to it:

Top 13 Weekly Rankings
This is a segment we added last year to the Top 10 and will continue this week with this season's Top 13. Each week before the contestants perform we will post our rankings of the contestants. The criteria is based on their success on the show, personality, judges & audience response and belief that they could win. Each week we will do a new weekly ranking and let you know if they have risen, fallen or stayed flat in the rankings. 

This week is based on last week's performances and previous reactions and performances. So with that:

 1. Sam Woolf               2. Majesty Rose       3. MK Nobilette     4. Caleb Johnson      5. Dexter Roberts       6. Malaya Watson             
 7. Alex Preston       8. Jena Irene   9. Ben Briley    10. Jessica Meuse  11. CJ Harris  12. Emily Piriz    13. Kristen O'Connor

Top 13 Performances

 Dexter Roberts
(Aw Naw-Chris Young)
He says that he is fun and this song is fun. He decides to sing a more up-tempo song and decides to play electric guitar. It's not bad. I like that he seems to have a great personality, and wants to stand out, like the judges told him last week. I guess I didn't really connect to his performance that much. It was good, but not outstanding. But not a bad way to start off the show. C+
Keith-Such a likeable guy. He needs to figure out how to make the performance less cover and more him.
Jennifer-The song . He needs to make every song his. So we know he is. Didn't hit the sweet spot of his voice.
Harry-The fact that he sang out of tune may contribute to the ear monitors he use. He needs to use his personality more and have a good time. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. He did a nice job, but he didn't make it his own.

 Malaya Watson
(Runaway Baby-Bruno Mars)
This is a very fast paced, fun song. It doesn't put a ton of focus on her voice, but more on her personality and performance skills. I love that aspect, but because the song is super fast, it's tough to get a good feel of her voice. At times it was a little sloppy and went out of tune. She got through it, and if it was a marathon she definitely crossed the line, but didn't come close to first. C+
Jennifer-Performance is A+. This song has a lot of soul, but not her best vocal performance. At the end went off the rails. She is still a contender.
Harry-A contender. She reminds him of a passionate performer. She needs to sing in tune more. She seemed more nervous.
Keith-Her energy is so contagious, but now she needs to be more on top of the song, rather than around it.
Do The Judges & I Agree? We do. She is a fun performer, but her vocals got away from her.

 Kristen O'Connor
(Beautiful Disaster-Kelly Clarkson)
I didn't really like this song choice as soon as she said it. I love a ton of Kelly Clarkson songs, but not really this one. If this song is what she wants to be in the future she is gonna be in trouble. There were a few notes that hit, but a lot of it was all over the place. She never seemed completely in control. C-
Harry-A really strong pop singer. Not sure she felt or really took on the song in the proper way. Sang out of tune.
Keith-Good song choice because she has a great range and showed that range and also showed control and dynamics.
Jennifer-Needs to stop thinking so much. Needs to stop thinking about what might happen and needs to just show that she knows and belongs here.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Kinda. Harry and I agree more than the other 2. She could be a good pop singer but she sang kind of out of tune the whole way.Not a good showcase for her, especially since she wasn't initially picked by America and got here by being a wildcard.

 Ben Briley
(Folsom Prison Blues-Johnny Cash)
I think this is a really good song choice. Ben seems like a fun guy, and this song being so fast really seems to suit him well. Opposed to Dexter, Ben really made this song fit his personality rather than have his personality adhere to the song. He made it his own. I love the fact that he showed passion and sang in tune the whole time. Best performance of the night so far. B
Keith-Loved that he chose a Johnny Cash song. The tempo was a little quick. He has such a good voice that he hopes that he doesn't sacrifice the performance for entertainment value.
Jennifer-Loved the tempo. Made the song his own. Enjoyed the performance. 
Harry-Didn't think it was kitsch at all. Best performance of the night so far. Admired that he picked a song that harkens back to the olden days. 
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. Best performance thus far and made the song his own. A real nice job.

 CJ Harris
(Radio-Darius Rucker)
Right off the bat you got to see CJ smile, and we haven't seen that in awhile. He always seemed too intense and focused to enjoy himself, tonight he seemed to enjoy himself. I really liked the song choice. He showed a ton of personality and sang in tune, and made sure we knew that he wasn't just a wildcard pick. B
Jennifer-A lot of fun. Really concentrated on his performance. Felt his energy.
Harry-Wished he sang something that pushed his voice even more. OK song choice, would like to hear something different.
Keith-Thought it was a good song choice.  There's a side to him we never saw and we saw it tonight and hopefully in the future.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Definitely. He showed his personality and he did a fine job.

MK Nobilette
(Satisfaction-Allen Stone)
She wanted to change it up and not just do another ballad, and I really agree, this was a great choice. This was more of a groovy, soft-rock, soul, cool performance. She has such a lovely tone when she goes for the falsetto. The song really was something different for her, but not by a ton. It was still in her lane, and she chose a really great song for. She showed a bit more personality and is opening up more. B+
Harry-Loves watching her grow week to week. Wants her to get more into the performance, and that will come as she gets more comfortable.
Keith-Loved her whole look. Loves watching her growth from audition to now is amazing. It's not all there, but her voice never fails her.
Jennifer-Didn't know that song and loves it, and loves how she delivered it. Showed another side of her. Really can start playing up there because her voice is so good.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. Her voice is really great and the performance side will come with time. The voice is the hard part, as long as she has that she can learn the rest.

Majesty Rose
(Tightrope-Janelle Monae)
I loved the song choice from her first line. It's a ton of words, really quickly, and she nails it. Her personality is great, her voice is incredibly dynamic and she works the stage with the audience. I think she has the whole package and delivered it tonight. A-
Keith-That was a killer song choice.  Perfect for her vocal range and personality. 
Jennifer-Love her own style, her own individuality, there's no one like her. That was a perfect performance and how she moves. Has a natural ability to work the stage.
Harry-Favorite thing about her is that she is mysterious in that she can sing anything and go anywhere with her voice.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Absolutely. I love her personality, she has chosen great songs, and she makes everything so effortless.

Jena Irene
(The Scientist-Coldplay)
She learned this song on the piano when she was 9.  The band and her just don't match from the get go. It was off for a while. She was trying to catch up to the song, and make it her own. When she was able to get comfortable she sounded amazingly. It just took a little bit, and was a little jarring to the ear at first. She really has a huge voice and showed it off. It was messy, but she tried to get control of it but I don't think she fully got there. B-
Jennifer-Such a unique voice and she uses it so well. That was a tough song, but she pulled it out. Worried at the beginning but get better as it went along.
Harry-Felt every word that hse says. She makes interesting choices on preexisting melodies. She makes great choices as a singer. 
Keith-Pitchy in the beginning but really took charge of it. She owned the song by leaning into it.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Absoluetly. It was a tough start but she battled and got through it pretty well.

 Alex Preston 
(A Beautiful Mess-Jason Mraz)
I think some of his friends in the 'friends' section were Alex and Sierra, the most recent winners of X Factor. Just saying. Anyways, I thought this song choice was a good one for him. We've only heard Alex a couple of times and this seems like a really good fit for him. B
Harry-Brave to do a softer sounding song. Needs to make sure he sings in tune. Felt it was so inward that didn't feel the connection.
Keith-The performance pulled the audience in. Got interested because the performance was inward.
Jennifer-Very caught up in the mood. Caught up in emotion. Nice change from what everyone else is doing.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Mostly. Keith and Jennifer got his vibe a little more than Harry did. I felt what they said and didn't feel like Alex was pushing away his audience.

Jessica Meuse
(The Crow & The Butterfly-Shinedown)
Her voice tonight kinda reminded me of Carly Smithson from American Idol Season 7 . I loved the song choice. It was a little rock, it was a little country, it was like the Osmonds. But for real, it was a good song and perfect for her voice. I loved the grit in her voice, and the tenderness at the same time. A-
Keith-Very bold but cool song choice. Haven't seen that side of her in awhile. Has an edge and rasp in her voice that is appealing.
Jennifer-The sound and power of her voice gives goosebumps. Best vocal of the night. Would love her to relax a little more so the ease of her voice match.
Harry-Great to hear her sing in this kind of way. Love that she can sound and go in different directions with her voice.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. They loved the song choice, and love how at ease her voice sounded.

Emily Piriz
(Glitter In The Air-Pink)
I love how simple this performance was and her voice was. It just was easy and pure and good. No big frills, the audience was pretty much quiet and focused on her, until she hit the big note towards the end. The last line was kind of a mess, but the rest was pretty good. B+
Jennifer-A tough song to take on, but she did it beautifully. The pitch was beautiful. Gushing with how good it was.
Harry-It was really great. That's a great tune. Not an easy song but she sang the melody and emotion well. Proud of her.
Keith-Beautiful vocal performance, top to bottom. Beautiful song, and all hopes is she needs to connect and give a little more edge and balance.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. That was a surprisingly lovely performance. I wasn't expecting a ton from Emily and she really delivered.

Sam Woolf
(Unwell-Matchbox 20)
I know Sam is getting a big following from teen females because he is a cute guy, can play guitar and blushes. But, he actually can sing, and tonight he proved that. He did seem a little unsure and nervous. He was a bit off at times throughout the performance. He held his own, but not his best performance I have seen of his. B- 
Harry-Wished his vocal matched the sentiment of the tune. Just thought it was nice.
Keith-Thought the tempo was too slow, wanted more energy. Is a captivating performer.
Jennifer-Adorable, and his voice is amazing, but he needs to get loose and have fun up there.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. He seemed a little lost at points, but his vocal is right there.

Caleb Johnson
(Pressure In Time-Rival Suns)
This song is from a new kind of band that Caleb wants to emulate. I love that Caleb is true rock. It's old school but he makes it current. He can really sing. In the audience during this performance was Season 5 Idol champ Taylor Hicks. Hicks had a soul voice, and Caleb has soul but it's much more if Daughtry and Hicks had a baby, then you'd have Caleb. Tonight's performance was pretty amazing. He put it all out there. Jennifer and Keith give him a standing ovation. Not sure if it was standing ovation worthy, but it was still really really good. A-
Keith-Great song, he has some serious pipes. Needs to put a twist on being retro. 
Jennifer-Ready for the rock star life. He has the goods to back it up. 
Harry-Great to hear rock and roll on Idol. He killed it.
Do The Judges & I Agree? For sure. He can really sing, like really really.

Bottom 3/Who's Going Home Predictions
1. Kristen O'Connor
2.  Malaya Watson
3. Jena Irene

Going Home?
Kristen O'Connor. The song she sang was called "Beautiful Disaster" and I think that's what happened to her tonight. Sure it wasn't a complete disaster, but compared to the rest of the contestants, and given she wasn't even initally selected by America to move on, I think Kristen's days are numbered, in fact I think her number is up tomorrow on this show.

Final Thoughts
-I think that there were some amazing performances, but then there were a few clunkers. I thought MK, Caleb, Majesty, Jessica and surprisingly Emily were fantastic. But there were a lot of middle of the road kind of performances from people like Ben, Malaya, Sam and CJ. I think Kristen is going based on last week and this week, but Jena had a rough start and so did Ben. I didn't like Ben's performance at all. It'll be interesting how the voting goes.

-Speaking of voting, there are a ton of ways to vote this year. You can vote by calling, by texting, going on Facebook, by going to Google Search and searching American Idol or even by ordering Dominos online. Well, not really the last one but the others.  I don't know if this will spread out the votes too thinly, or focus it in more.Guess we will see tomorrow.

-The little talk that Ryan has with the contestants right before they perform is great, it gives us insight into why they are gonna sing what they are gonna sing. But, the little blurb from Randy is ridiculous. First off his volume is way too low, with the audience screaming and Ryan finishing his introduction of the contestant you don't even know what Randy is saying. If they want a comment from him then it should be louder or away from the live audience, because right now it's worthless. What he is saying probably won't change the world, but if you're gonna have him sitting there all night ya might as well utilize him properly.

That's it. What did you think of this Top 13? Not too bad. No one was brutal, no one was embarrassing but it was a mix of everything. Come back tomorrow for the results show and see if our predictions were on the money or way off base. So until tomorrow, see ya!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Top 13 Revealed

Welcome baack. Tonight is the night we will learn which 5 men and which 5 ladies will be selected by America to be part of the Top 13. We will also learn which 5 performers (not selected by America) will be selected to sing for their lives for the judges. From there the judges will select 3 of those 5 performers to round out the Top 13.

Over the course of the past 2 nights we selected 5 males and 5 females we would like to be put through. To review they are:
Top 5 Females                    Top 5 Males
Majesty Rose York              Sam Woolf
Briana Oakley                     CJ Harris
Jena Irene                            Caleb Johnson
Kristen O'Conner              Alex Preston
MK Nobilette                      Dexter Roberts

Tonight those not selected by America could get a shot at performing again for the judges. Of the 10 other contestants not selected we predict:
Top 5 to Perform for Judges as Wildcard
George Lovett
Malcolm Allen
Jessica Meuse
Emily Piriz
Ben Briley

Let's see how it all shakes out:

Top 13 Revealed

First Contestant Selected: Malaya Watson
Our Take: Not that excited about it. She was given the best spot of the night, as the last singer to perform, but she is very young, we'll see how it all goes.

Second Contestant Selected: Ben Briley
Our Take: It's not a shock that he makes it in. He was given a great opportunity to connect to the audience by being one of the two contestants the judges left the power up to America. The audience already chose him over Neco Starr, Ben did a good enough job last night, so it's not a shock that he makes it.

Third Contestant Selected: Emily Piriz
Our Take: A little surprised. She didn't have a lot of camera time in the first number of weeks, but she had a nice performance the other night and deserves a spot.

Fourth Contestant Selected: Alex Preston
Our Take: He had a great night last night, he can play guitar, has a nice enough voice, and deserves to be one of the Top 5 males making it.

Fifth Contestant Selected: Jessica Meuse
Our Take: I am glad that America put Jessica in. She had a rough edit a couple weeks ago in Hollywood, so the fact that she can overcome that and get to this place, just based on her talent is a positive sign.

Sixth Contestant Selected: Dexter Roberts
Our Take: He is a good ole boy. He is a solid enough performer, let's hope he takes the judge's advice and decides to stand out rather than just be like everything and everyone else out there.

Seventh Contestant Selected: Caleb Johnson
Our Take: He provided one of the better vocals of the night last night. He has been consistently good and deserves a place in the Top 13.

Eighth Contestant Selected: Majesty Rose
Our Take: She's by far one of, if not, the strongest contestants out there. Her voice is so good, she seems really sweet and all she needs to work on is her wardrobe. Other than that, no complaints about her so far.

Ninth Contestant Selected: MK Nobilette
Our Take: A great choice by America. She is a great performer, and deserves to be there. I am so glad that America heard her voice and didn't go political with it.

Tenth Contestant Selected: Sam Woolf
Our Take: Easily one of the easier picks by America. He is a great singer, a great performer and deserves to be there.

Wildcard Performances

First Wildcard Performer: CJ Harris
I am glad that he got another shot. He deserves to be there, I am glad the judges recognized his talent. His voice is so good, and I'm still shocked he wasn't initially picked by America. He goes with "Bring It On Home To Me" by Sam Cooke. He was just as solid as he's always been.
Harry-Either the band, him, or both screwed up that song for him. It was a bad start.  It was average. Didn't feel any of the magic. Looked like he was thrown off because the band possibly messed up.
Jennifer-Felt the specialness of his voice.
Harry-Voice is so good. But didn't seem emotionally connected to the song. When he is present he is there, but when he loses it it's gone.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Not really. I felt his emotion. I can see what Harry is talking about. This might be a tough one for CJ, depending on the other contestants.

Second Wildcard Performer: Jena Irene
I am thrilled that she gets a chance to prove herself.  I thought she delivered a really great performance the other night. Tonight she is singing her original song that she plays piano for. It was just her and that piano and that made us really focus on her vocal and her performance, and she delivered.
Keith-That was a really good use of the moment. Showed that raw vulnerability. Stayed right in the moment.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Absolutely, although we didn't hear from Harry and Jennifer it's a good sign that Keith was so happy and impressed by her performance.

Third Wildcard Performer: Spencer Lloyd
I don't like this pick. I get that his a cute guy, and he has sung well before, but I've seen him a couple times and he hasn't done much to make me think he is a contender. I would have preferred Malcolm or George to get another shot. He goes with his original song that he sung in Hollywood. He is trying to be like John Mayer with his guitar and all that. I don't really buy it. It's not horrible, but it's not that great.
Jennifer-Wanted to give him a chance because he did well in the beginning. Not what he wanted America to see. Did a good job. But not that great.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yup.He wasn't very good at all. Jennifer tried not to say it was bad, but it was pretty bad.

Fourth Wildcard Performer: Bria Anai
I don't really get their love for Bria, I've seen her several times and it didn't do much for me. She decides to sing "It's A Man's Man's Man's World". She gets very dramatic and it goes off pitch at times but her emotion is there. If the judges like her before, they probably like her based off of this performanc a well. It's just as good, or not good, as she's ever been.
Harry- Trying to figure out what he liked and didn't like about. Sang for her life, but it was all over the place. Passionate, but overshot the mark.
Do The Judges & I Agree? 100%. Harry was so right. She was dramatic and all that but her voice just didn't work here.

Fifth Wildcard Perfomer: Kristen O'Conner
I respect their decision. She did a really nice job last night. I think the microphone or band was a little off here. She sings "Unconditionally". It sounded messy at home, but it might sound different in the studio. But if I were voting I wouldn't vote for her based on that. She battled, I'll give her that.
Keith-A really good performance of that song.  If the song had been a little higher it would have been so much easier for her.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Actually yes. Keith thought she sounded a little off, and I thought she sounded a bit off. The key and all that were a bit off for her which made it sound like she was having a tough time.

Our Top 3 Wild Card Predictions (Based on Tonight's Performances)
1. Jena Irene
2. CJ Harris
3. Kristen O'Conner

Judge's ACTUAL Wild Card Selections To Enter Top 13
1. Jena Irene
2. Kristen O'Conner
3. CJ Harris

5 Not Selected By America or Judges
1. Emmanuel Zidore
2. Briana Oakley
3. Malcolm Allen
4. Marielle Sellers
5. George Lovett

Final Thoughts
-I wish I can go back and have Maurice perform over Emmanuel, or Kenzie or Jillian perform over Bria or Marielle, but that's what we got. Out of the Top 20 that got to perform I am not upset at this Top 13. Sure I would have loved to see Briana, George or Malcolm get a second chance over Bria or Spencer, but they can't get everything right. That's just the show. The judges did a pretty good job tonight. They chose the best 3 that actually got to perform. I think the Top 13 is very diverse and can provide some interesting and hopefully great moments in the next several weeks.

-Loved the pace of this show. So much happened tonight. We got America's results, got Wildcard performers selections, got many eliminations, got Wildcard Performance Results. It was an intense, high energy episode and I loved every second of it. I know this isn't the typical, but it was really refreshing to just get to results and answers rather than be toyed around for 95% of the show only to get a little entertainment in the last 5%. Hopefully this will continue.

-The judges did a fine job with the wild card selections. Sure both Spencer and Bria had a tough time, thus making it easy for them to pick CJ, Jena and Kristen, but things that are apparent sometimes go the other way on this show, so it's refreshing to actually get the right result. 

That's it. It's been a crazy week. 18 people were eliminated this week, 13 get to perform starting next Wednesday. Come on back here after next week's first live show featuring the Top 13. There are a lot of great performers, let's hope for some great performances. So until next week, see ya!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Top 10 Males Perform/Boot Camp Part 2

Welcome back. Last night's first live round got off to a pretty shaky start. 5 females were eliminated without any just cause and many of the 10 selected to perform had a rough time. The boot camp element of the show came off just like a regular mentor session, but with Idol name brands like Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry.

More of the same will occur tonight. The Top 15 males, including Ben Briley who was selected to continue over Neco Starr last night, will be sitting in a holding room(Ryan wants us to call it a "Chamber") until one by one the judges call their name to perform. 5 guys will never perform and will probably only get to wave goodbye. That's gotta be tough.But anyhoo...

Let's see how it all unfolds:

Top 10 Males Perform
1. Caleb Johnson-Stay With Me(Faces)
Daughtry doesn't want him to close his eyes and wants him to connect to the audience. Caleb wants to work on developing a "subtle over-the-topness". He has a huge voice, and he knows how to work the stage. This is a great song choice for him, especially given that he is the first guy to go, it really gets the crowd going. It wasn't a flawless performance, he shouted a little at times, but dude can sing and that last couple notes were amazing. I bet he would put on a great concert. Great way to start off the show. A-
Keith-That was killer. The soul and cool thing in his voice is just natural, can't learn that.
Jennifer-Amazing way to start the show. That was the real deal. So ready right now. Everything has it's time, and it's his time.
Harry-Gonna be tough for the guys following. An amazing way to start the show.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Absolutely. He started off the show as well as you could.

2. CJ Harris-Shelter(Ray Lamontagne)
Daughtry couldn't follow his guitar pattern, and wants him to sing sans guitar. The dude is a guitar teacher so it's probably a shot to his career that Daughtry dissed his guitar playing. Despite Daughtry's advice, CJ decides to perform with his guitar. I can completely see what Daughtry is saying,  CJ's voice is so soulful and pure that the guitar doesn't do anything for him. It's probably more of a comfort thing than having anything to do with really playing. At one point CJ stops playing and just sings and his voice really shines. He has such a great distinctive voice. B+
Jennifer-Makes everyone smile. It's a beautiful thing that his voice can take everyone anywhere.
Harry-Wants him to watch out being a little sharp, his performance overrides that, but sometimes it can be heard.Felt like he was gonna shelter him.
Keith-When you are connected it doesn't matter if it's a little sharp. It's such an original package that he offers.  
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yep. He did a great job, he is so good that they are nitpicking things that aren't that big of a deal right now.

                                                                     3. Emmanuel Zidor-The Best Of My Love(The Emotions)
I'm kinda shocked at this pick. Up until this point he might be entertaining but a singer he is not. We see Emmanuel working with the movement coach and vocal coach during the workshop and he had a real rough time. I guess the judges think the show is lacking a 'character', and that is sure what he is. Now I'm not saying his voice is a train wreck, because it isn't, but it's not strong enough to be a Top 10 male. He really gets into the song and working the audience, but his voice strains at times. A mixed bag kind of performance. C-
Harry-So much fun. Has a happy, infectious performance. Wants him to stay in his lane. The performance started to get out of control. Wants him to not forget to sing.
Keith- Adrenaline kicks in. He went a little too physical. He needs to reign everything back in.
Jennifer-Belongs on the stage performing. Wasn't the best song for him. He is a powerhouse singer and wasn't with that particular song, but knows he can be in the future.(Jennifer allows him to sing a little bit of another song).
Do The Judges & I Agree? We do. His performance overshadowed his ability to sing. This is how it's been the whole time. I think if this was a non-singing show then maybe he'd do really well. But his voice is seriously lacking. I don't like the fact that Jennifer allowed him to sing a few seconds of another song. He gets one shot, that's it. Doesn't seem fair.

4. Sam Woolf-Babylon(David Gray)
During the workshop he has a tough time with connecting with people and he needs to loosen up. You can tell he is nervous when he starts but once he got to the middle of the song you can see him get comfortable. When his voice hits a certain note and gets into a groove it really is quite good. I think Sam has a ton of potential, plus he is a cute kid that the teenage girls will love. B+
Keith-The people like him. His voice is just money. Really great song choice. Performance will get better along the way.
Jennifer-Such a sweet quality to him. Not surprising everyone's in love with him. His heart and soul come through. Perfect pitch. Great representation of who he is.
Harry-A really good performance and great song choice. As he goes on he hopes that Sam can get more confident as the competition goes on because he is terrific.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. Sam is someone that can really grow in this competition if he sticks around. He is young, but he has a ton of potential.

5. George Lovett-Grenade(Bruno Mars)
When Jennifer was describing George before his name was announced you can see based on her clues that he knew that it was gonna be him, he started putting his ear bud in his ear and was just waiting to ensure he was right. If he was wrong it would have been a bit embarrassing. It was pretty funny. The movement coach and Adam Lambert wants George to build the dynamic of his performance to go from small to really huge. I love George's voice. I'm upset that we didn't get to see a ton of George before this performance because we missed out. I think he can still work on his stage presence, it was a little herky jerky. That last note that he hit was just all in and amazing, but some of the other parts of his performance were a little too much. C+
Jennifer-That was really good. Felt his energy. Wants him to control his runs a little more. It was every other phrase and it's tough to follow every word he is saying. He's one of the best singers.
Harry-Got too emotionally invested and sung himself off the microphone. So passionate that it spun out of control. That's why his voice cracked and that's why it didn't have a lot of dynamic. He's sung better in the past.
Keith-Song choice is crucial. His range is such that finding the right song will allow him to play to his strength because that song didn't do anything for him
Do The Judges & I Agree? Kinda. Because they have heard George sing more than we, the audience have it's hard to say that he has sounded better in the past. I think George has a really strong voice but his performance and what he did to the song at times was distracting.

6. Dexter Roberts-This Ole Boy(Craig Morgan)
He's been a consistent country singer the whole time. If people love country they will love this guy, if they hate country then they are gonna skip him altogether. I think people will eat up his smile and nice personality. He is just as consistent as he always is.  He was very solid, nothing too exciting, but he did a nice job. B
Harry-A solid performer, a likeable performer. A typical modern-day performance. Wonders what will set him apart from other country performers out of Idol.
Keith- A good voice, the real deal. Easy to watch and fun. But there are a thousand guys just like him, and he needs to figure out what's different than everyone else.
Jennifer-Such an easy cool way. Didn't see any nerves about him. His whole performance was enjoyable. Hopefully he will have time to figure out what sets him apart.
Do The Judges & I Agree? We do. They also think he is a solid enough performer, but there are others out there that are just like him. He played it really safe.

7. Alex Preston-Volcano(Damien Rice)
The movement coach recognizes that Alex is a shy guy and hates eye contact. Daughtry reassures Alex that even he still gets nervous. This song was done famously a couple years ago by Phillip Phillips. This is the first time that I can really hear guitar playing by one of the contestants and he does a great job with it.I can see what the movement coach was talking about. He doesn't like to really focus his eyes on anyone or anything, he is a little fidgety, but his voice combined with his guitar playing is really good. B+ 
Keith-Best song choice of the night. One that he could have written, stayed in the groove. Really good performance.
Jennifer-Had such a groove to it. He is in his own lane. An interesting artist. He should stay in his lane.
Harry-Can tell that music is his religion. He ended the song in a really interesting way.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Yup. He could have written that song and no one would have thought twice about it. The song fit him really well, and I think he did a great job with it.

8. Malcolm Allen-Comin' From Where I'm From(Anthony Hamilton)
Adam Lambert wants Malcolm to really commit to his performance and put it out there 150%.  The song starts off a little low and doesn't do anything to help him. I don't love this song choice for him. I thought it was kinda pedestrian. He has a ton of passion and you can feel that he feels every word, and it's a very believable performance, but I didn't like his vocal all that much tonight. I've seen him do better in the past. C+ 
Jennifer-Such a great voice. Those words hit the audience, but wanted his performance to hit more. Could have gone further given the lyrics that he had. She didn't feel it like she should have.
Harry-Good run singer, but the danger is he kept doing the same run over and over so it sounds sharp. He didn't focus on singing in tune tonight. He was emotional but not in tune.
Keith-How he performed the song with the band, and instead he should have stripped it down and focused more on his performance. He can make that choice.
Do The Judges and I Agree? We do. He has sung so much better the other times I have seen him. But this was the wrong song for him and his performance suffered because of it. It's all about song choice for Malcolm. If America doesn't put him through, and the judges selected him to perform for the Wildcard I think he can do well and maybe get selected by the judges...if he picks the right song.

9. Ben Briley-Soulshine(The Allman Brothers)
After being selected by America to move on against Neco Starr it's no surprise that he was picked as one of the Top 10 males. He decides to play electric guitar for this performance and it's pretty good. He decides to do a little riff with the electric guitar and stop singing for a few seconds, and then returns to the microphone without playing. Harry Connick Jr called him "Gumbo" in the past, and that's what he is. He does a little bit of everything and comes out good enough. B
Harry-Did a great job. Is really interesting and is a powerful singer. Loves his tie.
Keith-Great voice and that's his strong voice is better than his guitar playing.
Jennifer-He comes alive when he comes on stage. Even better now than during rehearsal.
Do The Judges & I Agree? Pretty much. They like his voice a bit more than I do. I think he is a likeable guy with a nice voice. Not really jumping up and down about it.

10. Spencer Lloyd-Love Don't Die (The Fray)
Randy Jackson wants Spencer to stick with his guitar but the movement coach and Adam want him to go without his guitar. During the performance he goes without his guitar.His voice is lacking at times. He gets the crowd going, and has an ease around the stage, but his vocals didn't match his enthusiasm or how much the crowd seemed to love him. He is a good looking guy, but he shouldn't make it to Top 5 because of that. C 
Keith-Song choice is important, and doesn't think that was his best vocal performance. 
Jennifer-A good voice, moved the crowd.
Harry-His strong suit is singing a song like "Say Something". This was not good.
Do The Judges & I Agree? We do. I'm afraid that this guy is gonna make it based on his looks rather than his vocals. I don't care if he makes it if he had both, but just based on looks and being hot or being cute isn't a good enough reason to stay there. He's lucky the judges were running out of time with their comments because they could have slayed him.

5 Eliminated Men
1. Ethan Harris
2. Maurice Townsend
3. Jordan Brisbane
4. Briston Maroney
5. Casey Thrasher

Top 13 Prediction
1. Caleb Johnson
2. CJ Harris
3. Sam Woolf
4. Alex Preston
5.  Dexter Roberts

Final Thoughts
-I think the Top 4 guys were obvious tonight. I think Sam, CJ, Caleb and Alex did amazingly. That 5th spot was hard to pick. I think they were either not that good (Emmanuel, Spencer), underperformed (Malcolm, George) or were just middle of the line(Ben, Dexter). It'll be interesting how it all shakes out tomorrow night.

-The guys seemed far less nervous than the girls did, and I liked the picks of the judges much more than how they did with their females picks. I don't think that Emmanuel should have been there over Maurice, but that's my only gripe of the picks. I'm glad young guys like Jordan and Ethan, and Briston didn't make it, because they weren't ready.  I think they chose Emmanuel because he's entertaining not because he has a good voice. Given that this show is more about the voice than the act that goes a long with it I think it's a poor choice by them. 

-The inclusion of instruments doesn't make a ton of sense to me, thus far. The only person that even remotely had a great job with it was Alex Preston and to a lesser extent Ben Briley. The band overshadowed almost every single contestant with their guitars. This includes the ladies last night as well. If you want to be acoustic then be acoustic, if you want to be electric be electric, but the fact that the guitars are just accessories is kinda silly. I remember performances in years past that had the contestants have everything focused solely on them and their guitar with little-to-no band or back up singers. Maybe at this point the contestants aren't ready to tell the mentors and coaches to scale back, but that's something that hopefully will be addressed in the future.

-I like that Randy Jackson told Spencer to perform with his guitar, but then the movement coach and Adam Lambert told him not to, and then Spencer didn't listen to Randy. Some mentor Randy is. This should be a fun season.

That's all folks. 10 males performed, 5 eliminated, and all in 1 night. Tomorrow we will learn which 5 males and 5 females were slected by America to make the live shows next week and also find out who the judges pick to round out the Top 13. A lot to get to, so come on back here tomorrow night. Until then, see ya!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top 10 Females Perform/Boot Camp Part 1

Welcome back. Well we are finally at the live aspect of the American Idol season. As much as I have enjoyed a lot of this season you can never really tell how the judges really are gonna do, or for that matter, how well the contestants do when it's pre-taped and edited. As we posted last week the Top 30 that we were told would be performing tonight and tomorrow will in fact be a Top 20. Only the Top 10 Females will perform tonight, with the Top 10 Males performing tomorrow. On Thursday night we will learn which 5 males and which 5 males voted by America will make it to the Top 10 and the final 3 spots will be chosen by the judges to round out the Top 13.

Tonight we will find out which females won't get to sing for America due to the judge's decision after taking in how the contestants have done thus far and after watching the contestants through their Idol boot camp with Randy Jackson, Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert.All 15 women are prepared to sing but only 10 names will be called.

We will also find out which of Ben Briley or Neco Starr makes it to the Top 15 for the guys. A lot to get to tonight. So let's get started:

Explanation of The Rush Week Workshop
-Along with Randy Jackson the contestants also get help from Vocal Coaches, Stylists,  Musical Advisors, Movement Advisors, Spiritual Advisors and Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert.

Top 10 Females Perform 
1. Majesty Rose-Happy (Pharrell)
We learn from the workshop clips that she grew up with the church but her genre isn't gospel. Adam Lambert loves the song choice for Majesty but thinks in rehearsal she sometimes goes a little too fast. She decides to play guitar. It doesn't do anything for her. Her voice sounds amazing on it. The guitar is really only their as an accessory. I love how easy she makes things. A-
Jennifer-That's how you're supposed to come out here. Ready for show time. Voice sounds amazing. Made the whole place get on its feet.
Harry-Continued how great she has been the whole way. Fortunate that she set this tone for the competition.
Keith-Has a breezy thing about picking the right song. There were moments of her vocal range that we'll see later.  
Do The Judges and I Agree? Definitely. Hopefully she really set the tone for the night.

2. Kristen O'Conner-Turning Tables(Adele)
She wants to leave it all out on the table by singing Adele. Daughtry advises Kristen on how to perform better on stage and gives her a way to make her voice more captivating. It's weird we haven't seen a ton of Kristen a long the way. The snippets we had seen were pretty darn good. Tonight she made some interesting choices with the song, she went restraint when you think she's gonna go big, and went big when you didn't think she would. I felt like she was a little unsure of herself at times, but ultimately it came out well. B 
Harry-Delivered a powerful performance. Takes a lot of nerves to come out so well.
Keith-Has a killer range. Noticed that she had a lot of nerves and it disrupted the song until she got into the zone.
Jennifer-Has one of the most special tones of voice. Can hear her recording songs tomorrow. The beginning with the timing was off, but half way through she locked in and people took notice.
Do The Judges and I Agree? Exactly. She did a great job, but her nerves got the best of her at times.

3. Briana Oakley-Warrior(Demi Lovato)
Randy remembers her from last year and thinks she was amazing then. Briana thinks she needs to let go of her need for perfection. The vocal and movement coaches thinks she needs to come out her shell, but she's intense at the same time. The tone of her voice is exceptional.She's very sure of her voice and where it can go. The song is very wordy, and doesn't allow her to really groove and get into it fully. The lyrics are amazing, and the chorus and high energy part of the song was good, but there were moments that just kinda laid there. A mix of really good to just alright. B-
Keith-The hard part is that it takes a bit to settle in. She has clarity to her tone. The last quarter of the song she found her zone. She didn't commit fully throughout the whole song until the end.
Jennifer-Looked a little scared in the beginning. There's no doubt that she's like a young Whitney Houston with a big voice. The performance quality and connection to what she is singing needs to come together.
Harry-Cautions her to not always go to the big note. She did a fine job, but she just doesn't need to always go big, it is a trap.
Do The Judges and I Agree? Pretty much. I didn't see her not connect, but I did see that she never fully found her way, despite having a great voice.

4. Jena Irene-Paint it Black(Rolling Stones)
I feel her name was something like Jena Ascuitto this whole time and now it's something very different. Her choice. Maybe her last name being hard to pronounce coupled with her first name being difficult to pronounce correctly was too much. Her first name is spelled like it should be pronounced Jen-na but it's actually pronounced like Gina, so Randy along with the judges have had a tough time saying it right. Daughtry thinks that when she locks into the performance she hypnotizes the audience, when she breaks away she loses them. Jena sounds amazing. I love her voice so much, it's very strong. It goes big when it needs to, and has restraint as well. She hits the high note at the end and it's pretty amazing as well. A-
Jennifer-Had a nice sultry quality to it. Differentiates herself from the others. One of my favorites. Kind of a bad ass.
Harry-He is trying to see the connection between the song and why she chose it.
Keith-There's a poise that is calm and confident. Just has a cool balance of everything. 
Do The Judges and I Agree? We do. Although, I was confused about Harry and him not understanding why she picked this particular song. Sometimes a song is a song. Sure it's a little dark, and it's older than her years, but that shouldn't mean everything.

5. Bria Anai-Wrong Side of A Love Song(Melanie Fiona)
I haven't loved Bria along the way but will say she's had a couple nice moments. I still probably wouldn't have picked her in my Top 10 females. She has more notable stood out because she has the sparkly lip stick than her great talent. I don't really know the song she is going with. She's a very dramatic performer, and really gets into it. Her voice is good, not great, but her performance and energy is top notch. The voice hit a few pockets of strain and she sometimes did too much with it. I think the poor song choice didn't help her. C- 
Harry-There's a difference between being passionate and shouting and she was shouting. Sometimes you have to be big and loud but this was way too much. The specificity of what she was singing got lost.
Keith-She's good but she overshot the wrong way of how good she can be. But she still has the lips.
Jennifer-Has star written all over her. There are first night jitters, so it's understandable. Had more control in the beginning of the song and by the end she got out of control.
Do The Judges and I Agree? Actually yes. They also think she did way too much. I am surprised they didn't mention the poor song choice.

6. Marrialle Sellers-Roar(Katy Perry)
After being prominently featured throughout some of edited portion of this season it's not surprising that she is one of the 10 . Adam Lambert wants Marrialle to slow it down, and not be so rushed. The performance is very karaoke to me, the voice just doesn't do anything. In the rehearsal, with Adam, she had her guitar and I thought this performance was gonna be kind of acoustic, which would have been cool, but she instead goes the full out version, and it's pretty unsuccessful. The high notes were flat, the low notes were too low, and the middle was shaky at best. Really poor performance.She ends the song with holding her broken high heel next to her face. D
Keith-Her voice is much better than what we have seen tonight. Not a good tempo for her, it all came out too karaoke. She's much better than this.
Jennifer-Would have loved to see her play it on her guitar. Wanted to see her real pure and simple voice, not a good showcase of who she is. The crowd really got into her head.
Harry-Didn't sing in tune, didn't sing in the pocket. Was impressed first time we saw her. The big production number made her not seem like the superstar she has been before.
Do The Judges and I Agree? 100%. They actually said the same thing I did, that she should have done the song with her guitar and the song got away from her. The fact that the judges picked her and she showed up doing this is unfortunate.

7. Jessica Meuse-Drink A Beer(Luke Bryan)
Daughtry questions her guitar playing, and thinks her voice is so much better than how she plays. He wishes that she would step away from it and not use it as a crutch. She ends up playing her guitar. With the band, her playing was overshadowed, so it didn't matter much. Her voice is really quite good, but again, I didn't like the song choice. There were some moments of her not singing, and that's because the song didn't allow it, not because she messed up. This is her once chance, and when she can pick almost any song out there it's tough to understand her choice. So good voice, not a great song choice. C+
Jennifer-Can feel she was nervous. There is a softness that is easy to connect to, despite her rough exterior. Her country tone is really appealing.
Harry-Brings something completely different and exciting. Has to watch going sharp and didn't really feel like she settled into the song. There was a wall between her and the audience.
Keith-Loves the song, but didn't like that she smiled when the lyrics don't match. Can tell a story with her voice.
Do The Judges and I Agree? Pretty much. She is better than that performance. I would like to see her again and see how she does in future rounds.

8. Emily Piriz- Paris Ooh La La (Grace Potter & The Nocturnals)
She knows that in a past audition Harry hated that one of the contestants sang this song, yet she thinks she'll be able to convey emotion rather than story. Adam Lambert wants her to be more aggressive and bring more dynamics to her performance. Gotta say Adam gave her great direction for where she wanted to go. She doesn't seem as nervous as some of the past contestants and she really gets into the song and settles in. I think she really does well. B
Harry-Still doesn't understand why she chose the song. Asks her to repeat the first line of the song which is "you got me down on the floor, so what'd you bring me down her for", and asks her if this is the kind of song she wants to be singing as an 18 year old. Emily wants to be singing that kind of song.
Keith-Gets that she wants to be a rock chick, but he wants her to just be, not pretend to tap into something she isn't. Loves when she bares her soul, rather than hide behind that kind of song.
Jennifer-Love what she did in Hollywood with a ballad, and did this song as well. Had the most relaxed performance up there. Really loved it.
Do The Judges and I Agree? Kinda. I get that Harry and Keith don't want her to be something she's not, but I also don't want her to be stuck in a box. She should be able to pull out a ballad one time and be a rocker chick, if she wants also. I get what Harry is saying given her age, and given the lyrics of the song, but it's not that extreme and he almost made it that way.

9. MK Nobilette-All of Me(John Legend)
Randy Jackson tells MK to "give her best performance". So if he didn't tell her to do that she would have just sat crisscross on the floor playing jacks. Anyways, despite Randy's non-advice, her voice is so beautiful, her tone, her dynamics are just right where they should be. I liked how she didn't have to do too much to make an impact. It's tough doing a John Legend song because of how amazing he is, but she does a really great job. I remember Jennifer saying in past rounds that her voice is like a "quiet storm" and that's really what it was tonight. Let's just hope that everyone in America votes the way they should, not based on anything but this performance, because based on tonight she should make it to the Top 13. A-
Keith-That was such a perfect song choice. There's such simplicity. There's transparency in her humanness. It's so effortless. Really beautiful performance.
Jennifer-She gave a true sentiment, true feeling, it didn't have to be big, it just was.
Harry-Elegant, articulate singer. For the first time she wasn't defeated, she belongs here.
Do The Judges and I Agree? Definitely. She sounded beautiful. Really impressed.

10. Malaya Watson-Hard Times(Ray Charles)
This was a tough pick for me. I thought that Jillian, Kenzie and Austin have sounded better than Malaya at times, but we didn't see a ton of them, at least not as much as we saw Malaya. I gotta say she has passion and knows how to perform, especially for a 15 year old. The song allows her to do some crazy stuff with the melody and harmony. I love her energy and her enthusiasm. It was crazy at moments which ended up hurting her vocal, but not too bad. B
Jennifer-One of the big powerhouse singers in the competition. Every time she gets up there it's epic. The nerves got to her at times, but she's amazing.
Harry-Can't wait until she settles into a song because it's understandable that she was under pressure.
Keith-Makes braces and glasses cool because of her confidence. It was a little over the top because of the night, but America should vote her through because of what she do in the future.
Do The Judges and I Agree? Yep. She was definitely over the top, but still had a nice vocal.

5 Females Eliminated(Without Explanation)
Kenzie Hall
Jillian Jensen
Andrina Brogden
Austin Wolfe
Brandy Neely

Top 5 Predictions for Top 13
Briana(based on past performances, not tonight)

America Decides Between Ben and Neco?
Who Makes Top 15 Men? Ben Briley
Who Goes Home? Neco Starr

Final Thoughts
-I'm disappointed with some of these picks. I think Bria and Marialle were very poor choices in what we have seen of them in some of the past edited rounds. Sure they could have been better than what we saw, but then why didn't they show us that. We didn't see a ton of Jillian or Kenzie or Austin, and that should have been our first clue that they weren't making it, but the little we did see of them was really good. I don't know. It's tough, I was disappointed with Briana tonight, she was one of my favorites and I think she could be in some trouble. Let's hope that if she doesn't get picked by America that the judges rescue her in the Wild Card portion.

-I would have liked to know what went into the decision between the judges not picking some of these girls. I know we saw bits and pieces of the girls that got to perform, but we didn't get to see anything from the girls that didn't perform tonight, so we don't know why they didn't make it. If we had seen everyone then maybe we can understand some of the judge's picks, because based on what we saw of people like Bria and Marrialle it doesn't compare to what we have seen in the past of people like Jillian or Kenzie. I'm let down. I think a whole night should have been us seeing the Top 30 during the workshop, working with the coaches, working with the mentors. Then we would be able to understand what happened and why. If you're gonna bring back Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry and make a big deal about this workshop then show us more than a minute of it and show us how the final decisions came to be made.

-The live commercials are back. They show continues to stay live despite the commercials being on 85% of the screen. I guess this is a way for people to not fast forward through commercials. Not a ton happens between breaks. It's all behind the scenes stuff. We see the back of the judge's heads, no sounds, at times the producers come down to talk to the judges, Randy Jackson comes down, Ryan is walking around looking at notes. This is a pretty brilliant idea for the marketing people. If it grabs even 25% of the audience from fast-forwarding through the commercials then it's worth it. It doesn't cost them a thing.

-That new Idol stage is crazy big. It's brand new, the credits are brand new, where the judges sit is brand new. It's larger, but also is closer, so it's a bit odd. I don't get that caught up in it, I'm sure it's fun for the contestants, but I remember watching in the early seasons when there were about 50 people in the audience during the earlier rounds. In that way we got to see them start in a super small setting and then bridge to a larger setting. Now they go big right off the bat. This might contribute to the first night nerves of the contestants. If they can kinda ween into the big audience it might help, but I guess there can be something said for throwing them out there and seeing who has what it takes.

That's it. Were you as disappointed in some of these contestants tonight? Were you happy with how a few of these contestants withstood the pressure? Come back tomorrow night when the Top 10 men will sing for America. So until then have a great night, and until tomorrow see ya!