Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Top 48 Showcase: House of Blues Part 1

In the beginning of Hollywood Week we posted our Top 30 coming out of American Idol auditions. Of the Top 30 that we designated as the standouts 16 remain. They are:

From Nashville=Michael Simeon, Sarina Joi-Crowe and Savion Wright
From Kansas City=Ellen Peterson
From New York=Jax, Adam Ezeglian, Katherine Winston and Hollywood Anderson(who disappointed us in Hollywood)
From Minneapolis=Hannah Mrozak, Mark Andrew
From New Orleans=Jelly Joseph, Ricky Hendricks and Erica Washington
From San Francisco=Maddie Hudson, Adanna Duru, and Tyanna Jones

From Hollywood week several contestants not in our Top 30 really shined and created moments that bested their initial auditions. We'll try to keep track of our remaining 16 Audition standouts and see how they do, along with checking out some of the talent that really stepped it up that is left in this competition. Of the 48 contestants left 26 are female and 22 are male.

Tonight the contestants will be singing at the House of Blues. This is a brand new round before we get to live voting rounds. This is the last chance the judges will get to see the contestants before they hit larger stages and larger crowds. Hopefully it will give them a clear view of which contestants have what it takes to be an actual superstar and which contestants can just sing pretty well. Some contestants will learn if they made the Top 24, some will learn they will be eliminated all in tonight's episode.

Tonight's episode is sort of non-linear. It shows us the contestants at the House of Blues performing, then it shows us them sitting at "The Final Judgement" awaiting their eliminations and it goes back and forth between the two scenes.We'll try to guide you through it a little more straight forwardly. So let's get started:

Top 48 Perform & Results Part 1

Michael Simeon=He looks nervous, but his voice is still very strong. His voice is very gentle and non-threatening. He sings "Classic" by MKTO which features a little rap in it, and he handles it pretty well, it shouldn't be something he does all the time, but once and awhile is OK. He has done really well so far this season.  
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Really enjoyed his voice and performance.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Loren Lott=She sings Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". It's an ambitious song to sing, to say the very least. There were a few problems in there, but given that it could have went horribly wrong from the get-go she did a nice job.  
Judge's Comments=Harry-Connection wasn't there, which makes them nervous, but not too nervous.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Adam Ezegelian= He decides to sing "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and it's super rock. His voice fits the House of Blues for sure. He is pure rock. He is the Caleb Johnson (last year's winner if you don't recall) of this season. He has done enough to get by.  
Judge's Comments=Harry-This show is entertainment and he has done it well, but is there more?
Judge's Results= In Top 24

Cody Fry=He is usually a self-proclaimed slow-sleepy kind of singer and he decided to depart that and go for Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and that was a gamble. I think he strayed a bit too far.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer=Always did well, but didn't do enough out of the Top 48.
Judge's Results= Eliminated

Lovey James=We didn't see a lot of Lovey during the Hollywood Week performances but she has a really nice voice. Tonight she sings "Wings" by Little Mix. It seems to be right in her wheelhouse. It wasn't outstanding and she sounded out of breath at times. It was a pleasant performance just not completely perfect. The last note went a little awry but she has done well other times.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Out of all the times, Top 48 was most she was alive. Consistency is paramount. 
Judge's Results= In Top 24

Eliminated Montage=Hector Montenegro, J. None, Reno Anoa'i, Zack Kaltenbach, Hannah Mrozak

Adanna Duru= She had a tough Hollywood week but impressed before that. She sings " It's A Man's, Man's Man's World" and slays it pretty well. She put a ton of emotion and energy into this performance. You can tell she was trying to redeem herself.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Judging is hard because it's tough cutting people, you aren't one of those people. 
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Maddie Walker= She has sounded pretty great all along, but hasn't stood out as much as others. Also her makeup makes her look about 26 instead of 16. Not saying that's bad, but I wish she looked a little more youthful. Either way she sings Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and although I personally hate that song she sounds good on it. I am glad she proved that although she is a country girl she doesn't just have to choose country songs. That's a good call.
Judge's Comments=Doesn't want to drag this out....
Judge's Results= Eliminated (though the judge's contemplate rethinking their decision)

Rachel Hallack=Haven't seen much of her but she sings "Gunpowder and Lead" by Miranda Lambert and she sounds very solid. Not overly exciting but still not too bad.
Judge's Results=To Be Continued...

Sing Off=The judge's re-think their decision and have decided to do a "Sing-Off" between Rachel Hallack and Maddie Walker. They basically said that they felt it was always close call between Maddie and Rachel and as soon as they eliminated Maddie they rethought their decision. That sucks for Rachel because now they have to do a few seconds of an acapella song on the spot in front of the judges. Maddie sings her song and it's very pretty, it's a little off-key, but she had literally no time to prep her voice. Rachel was a little more shook up, but as soon as she started singing it sounded so good. They both were quite good. The judge's think they are apples and oranges but are evenly matched in different attributes.
Results= Maddie Makes Top 24, Rachel is Eliminated
Our Sing Off Comments= So that was messed up. I know the judges said it was tough, but it was tough before they saw Maddie, when they made their decision after the House of Blues performance. To bring Maddie up, tell her she was eliminated, then to bring Rachel up and tell her she would have made it if they didn't feel a twinge or something came over them when they eliminated Maddie, and then to make them do a Sing-Off, that really didn't make either of them stand out over the other, and then pick Maddie over Rachel was so messed up. It just was. Let's move on.

Clark Beckham=Harry didn't think he was ready in his initial audition, but since then he has completely owned the stage. At the House of Blues he decides to sing Ray Charles' "Georgia on my Mind". He plays the piano and adds these little embellishes and screams and runs to the song that allows him to own the song. He is fantastic, his voice, his looks, the whole package is very promising.
Judge's Comments=Harry=Impartial as can be, but something happens. Lives from performance to performance and he will be able to live to the next performance.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Daniel Seavey=This kid keeps flirting with Jennifer Lopez and it bothers me, it's like a school-kid flirting with his teacher. He sings Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" and does a decent job. He has been consistent in that he does the same thing each time, and gets good feedback from the judges. I haven't been a big fan, I think he can be good, but isn't all the way there yet. But American Idol has spent a lot of time featuring Daniel so I wouldn't be suprised if he makes it.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Impressed from beginning, so young, it's a tough process, great singers out there, you're one of them. 
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Tyanna Jones= At the House of Blues she sings "Love on Top" by Beyonce'. It's tough to sing Beyonce, it just is, so in direct comparison to her Tyanna doesn't get there, but if we remove the Beyonce' factor then Tyanna sounded really nice. When the key changed to a little higher she went off a little, but the rest of the song was quite good.
Judge's Comments=Watching her was telling about who she is as a performer, she came to life.
Judge's Results= In Top 24

Rayvon Owen=His voice is so pretty and he makes it seem easy. He sings "Lay Me Down" by Sam Smith. He sounds amazing. He adds beautiful embellishes and runs. Really pleasant to the ear. He has done well for most of the season thus far, and this is no difference.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-Some people do good in the audition, some do better in front of the audience. Really great.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Shannon Berthiaume=She had never performed in front of an audience before the House of Blues and although we only see a few seconds of "Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin she sounds good. I didn't like her initial audition, but since then she has gotten better and better.
Judge's Comments=Keith-You're the next round.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Jax=There hasn't been a time that Jax has disappointed thus far in American Idol. She sings Lady Gaga's "You & I". Her voice is just so darn good, she comes off the piano and does an intentional dramatic pause. She claims she did it to confuse the audience. It was a risk, but it's tough to see if it actually worked on the audience because we only saw a few seconds of her performance. I didn't mind the dramatic effect, but it has to land in a certain way. Jax has been a standout since the beginning of the season, she should sail easily to live rounds.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Not her best performance, it was dangerous to do the pause, there was some greeness there. Keith-All 3 judges thinks she is terrific.
Judge's Results=In Top 24

Hollywood Anderson=To Be Continued....We will learn how he did at The House of Blues and his fate in this competition tomorrow....

Final Thoughts

*The Top 24 is taking shape. 12 contestants (5guys, 7 girls) have made it thus far. That means the remaining 12 spots will be filled tomorrow by 7 guys and  5 girls. The Top 24 will have an even amount of guys and girls, so even if there are more girls that are better than a particular guy, once they hit the 12 girls threshold that's it. I always hated that we can't just get the best Top 10, or Top 13 or in this case Top 24. If it happens to be even then great, if it happens that one gender is better than the other than so be it. The best shouldn't be discerned by gender. This has been my biggest gripe almost every season of this show, and I am sure we will continue to talk about it throughout the competition.

*There were some standouts tonight. Clark Beckam is as Randy Jackson would say "In It, To Win It". He has the looks, voice and personality. Jax might have not been her best, but her worst is still better than the majority of people left. Tyanna Jones did a really great job, as did Michael and Adam. The Top 24 is rounding into a really nice group of contestants. I still don't get Daniel Seavey. He is an enigma for me.

*I know we spoke earlier about our hatred of the "spontaneous" Sing-Off that happened between Rachel and Maddie. I know some people don't believe in conspiracy theories, but I can't imagine that the Sing-Off happened without producers input before Maddie entered that room. I think it was done for dramatic purposes and because they did that they completely upset and caused some emotional havoc onto Rachel Hallack. I just can't believe that it was all just a spontaneous decision by the judges. I have seen every episode of Idol for 14 years, nothing is that spontaneous on this show.

*I like that we saw the contestants at House of Blues, and see them performing for the judges before their final decision on a different kind of stage. It is a nice added feature to the whole competition. I would've like to see even more from this particular round. I am sure it was great for the judge's to see and hear the crowd's reaction and see the interaction between performer and crowd, but we only saw a few seconds of each performance. It was tough to gauge how well they did. In essence it was just as if we saw them in their solo rounds in Hollywood week, but for the judge's this was a great added feature.

That's it. Come back tomorrow to learn the fate of the remaining contestants and which of them round out the Top 24. More House of Blues performances and eliminations will all happen tomorrow on the next episode. So come back after that, and until then see ya!

No comments:

Post a Comment