Friday, March 20, 2015

Top 10 Revealed & Perform: Songs From the Movies

Welcome back. This week begins the new format of only one Idol episode a week, although the show will be it's regular spot Wednesdays starting next Wednesday 3/25. The show will continue to be 2 hours with the format of one-by-one the contestants will find out if they are safe and then perform right away. The result of who is going home will not be revealed until right at the end. The Judge's Save is in play until Top 5 and the contestant's have a chance to save themselves.

This week's theme is Songs From The Movies. In recent years the contestant's have been getting around the fact of using widely connected songs to movies. They basically find a song and then hope it's been in a movie. Last year's "movie songs" included The Beatles "Come Together" from Across the Universe,  Elton John's "Benny & The Jets" from the classic Katherine Heigl movie 27 Dresses and who could forget "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan from the most famous movie of all time Hope Floats. Let's hope that the songs the contestants choose tonight are actually tied to movies, ya know, given the theme is Songs from the Movies.

We predicted Daniel as the contestant that SHOULD be eliminated, but Quentin as the contestant that WILL be eliminated. We hope we are wrong. Let's see how it all turns out, let's get started:

Weekly Rankings
This is a segment we added a couple years ago and will continue this week with this season's Top 11. Each week before the contestants perform we will post our rankings of the contestants. The criteria is based on 1. their success on the show, 2. personality, 3. judges & audience response and 4. 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. Tyanna Jones  2. Joey Cook   3. Clark Beckham  4. Nick Fradiani  5. Rayvon Owen  6. Adanna Duru  

7. Jax  8. Qaasim Middleton  9. Quentin Alexander  10. Maddie Walker   11. Daniel Seavey

Top 10 Revealed and Performed
Nile Rodgers is helping to mentor the contestants with Scott Borchetta. He was from the band Chic. Their famous song was Le Freak along with several others, but after that group disbanded he went on to produce people like Madonna, Bob Dylan, Slash, Mick Jagger and many more. 

Adanna Duru 
(Love You I Do-Jennifer Hudson/Dreamgirls)
Nile and Scott tell us that Adanna was a little nervous in rehearsal because she felt that the song may be at the edge of her range. They want her to nail the first line of the bridge because she is being tentative. The song starts in that Jennifer Hudson low range and it takes Adanna a second to get to her own voice, but once she does it sounds pretty. I feel she was a little hesitant on some of the notes. She has been criticized for going out of control before and because of that I think she made sure it was straight down the line, so she didn't belt it out like I know she can. The last note was a prime example of that, it was supposed to be big but wasn't, like she backed away.
Judge's Comments= Keith-Hard to hear her in the beginning. Sounds great, song suited her. Jennifer-Sounded nice on the high notes, but she needs to worry about the low notes. Didn't want fake excitement, could have had more. Harry-Looks like a movie star. Everything was strong and good. But notices she looks right down barrel of the lens, but recommends she sing to the audience in house and it will translate to homes across the country.
Our Grade=B
Daniel Seavey
(Lost Stars-Adam Levine/Begin Again)
This kid is in it for the long haul, despite how bad or weak he is, he just won't go anywhere now that he is here, I need to just accept it I guess....Anyways, Daniel starts rehearsal on the piano, but Nile thinks that Daniel playing the piano might not work because he is looking down while playing, which eliminates the audience making a connection, so Daniel decides to change it to a guitar.  Adam Levine has a notoriously high voice and falsetto, and Daniel has had major issues with his falsetto. Tonight it starts pretty rough. The song is pretty, in fact it was nominated for an Oscar this past year, but Daniel can't hit the falsetto. The note he tried to hit could wake up sleeping dogs in different countries. His voice goes pitchy at several points during the song and then goes flat to recover from the high notes. It was an uneven performance, it was pretty, but so very weak.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-Such a cutie. Did an OK job, wasn't his best one, felt the emotion, but wasn't his best performance. Harry-Sounded from opening notes that rehearsal is imperative, it sounded like he was in a practice room. Keith-Loves the song and suited him, clever to not hit the falsetto in points. Thinks it was good, but needs to dig in.
Our Grade=D+

Rayvon Owen
(Staying Alive-The Bee Gees/Saturday Night Fever)
Rayvon is the opposite of Daniel, where he relies heavily on the falsetto and delivers most of the times, therefore, doing a Bee Gees song is a smart choice by Rayvon. During rehearsal Rayvon tells Nile that he wants to do the song in a Prince-like way.  The whole song was pretty much all in falsetto. It was a cool arrangement. It fit Rayvons voice and his groove really well. It wasn't all happy and light but he still didn't kill it like his voice indicates he should. Rayvon's voice is one of the best, but he is getting lost on stage.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Really admired the arrangement, cool way to reinterpret the song. Biggest question is to how he remains interesting? One way to help is to get a set of lyrics to chew on, it was fine and pleasant, but not a tremendous amount of substance. Keith-At this point that he needs to do something big. Performance wise he shouldn't loiter on stage and it looked lost. Jennifer-When he played in the back he couldn't find everything, when he came forward it was better, he captured the audience. Needs to do things that makes everyone excited.
Our Grade=C+
Nick Fradiani
(Danger Zone-Kenny Loggins/Top Gun)
Feels he has been playing it safe, the mentors feel he isn't selling the performance and is just singing. For the first time (ever?) Nick is without his guitar and is out there on his own with just the microphone. He completely reimagines this song, it is very 2015 not 1980s at all. He is a little stiff at points, but he really puts himself out there and his voice rips through some of the lyrics. This interpretation of the song could be a hit today, really cool. He makes the song really current and his last note was amazing. Really strong outing.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Getting more comfortable up there, even without the guitar, keeps moving ahead. Jennifer-He is the resident cool/hot guy, the tone was perfect, it was really well suited, still a litle in his head and should own his head. Harry-Huge Kenny Loggins fan, but that song doesn't give him anything to work with. The lyrics are really silly words. Should pick songs that make him more sexy. Wrong song choice.
Our Grade=A-
Joey Cook
(Mad World-Mark Andrew & Gary Jules/Donnie Darko)
If anyone knows their Idol history this song was famously sung by Idol alum Adam Lambert. He owned this song. I love the fact that Joey is so different than Adam and is attempting this song. The mentors and Joey mention in rehearsal that she needs to work on eye contact and not closing her eyes, so the audiences feels what she feels. She takes this song a lot less dramatic than Adam's version, but it's still haunting and beautiful. It's kind of like Lady Gaga meshed with Sia mixed with Joey and that's a great thing. I liked that she kept it simple and pretty. It really engaged the audience and was powerful. Amazing.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Enjoyed that, so beautiful. Gave "Sia" vibes. Really perfect. Harry-Stays in her lane, but able to widen that lane. Great song, great choice, allowed her to do something different and chew on some lyrics. Keith-Such an artist. See more depth of her artistry, brings something unusual, loves that she brings attention to the lyric of the song.
Our Grade=A
Tyanna Jones
(Circle of Life-Elton John/Lion King
Nile wants Tyanna to nail the melody and to glide with the modulation. Again, if anyone knows their Idol history Jennifer Hudson famously sang this song during her season. Tyanna has had a lot of fast-paced songs in the past few weeks, but this was the most slowed down than she has been, but that doesn't mean that she lacked anything in her voice. Her voice is really powerful. She is a very energetic performer and this song didn't allow her to run around and play with the audience or the band, and because of that her performance came off a little boring. She hit some crazy high notes, but overall it wasn't Tyanna's best.
Judge's Comments= Harry-Has had the ability to achieve the greatest results with seemingly the least amount of effort, until tonight where it seemed she tried really really hard. Missed the mark a little. There was some intonation issues, seemed like she was yelling the whole way through. Keith-Didn't think it was yelled the whole way through, may be the best singer left, but she had serious pitch issues. Jennifer-Very challenging song, has a powerful choice, no worries she'll do amazing next week.
Our Grade= B

Guest Performance #1= Tonight Jennifer Lopez sings her new song called "Feel The Light" from the new animated  movie Home. It obviously was taped another time because there was no way. There was some really cool graphics with her dress and the stage, it blended together. This song is the opposite of her song "Booty", so for most people, that's a good thing. I know some people don't care for JLo's voice, but she can deliever some really nice songs, this was a pretty song, and her voice was nice and tender.

Quentin Alexander
(You're The One That I Want-John Travolta & Olivia Newton John/Grease)
The mentors thought the way that he flipped the song was amazing and important.  Quentin can only do his own version of songs and this was no different. He takes this song as far removed from the original than one can do and still call it the same song. It's an amazing arrangement and reinterpretation of the song, I liked the creativity. There were some pitch problems and he went off a little, but it's very him, and I liked that it focused on the lyrics and not just the performance. 
Judge's Comments=Keith-Have heard that version before. Interesting performance because he has an amazing voice that is still being worked on. Jennifer- It was haunting, but doesn't know that the reinterpretation translated that well. Harry-Very adventurous interpretation, but if he is gonna feature his voice so prominently it has to be in pitch. It was horrible out of tun.
Our Grade=B-
Maddie Walker
(Let's Hear It For The Boy-Deniece Williams/Footloose)
Due to her health issues from last week she wasn't able to get mentored with Nile. Scott tells her to get to the high notes gradually. There are a million songs from movies, I don't know if I would have chosen this one. It's fun and light, and that's what Maddie is obviously is going for. She goes off the beat a little, but she seems more comfortable on stage and sings the song well. I didn't like how the song ended so abruptly.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-Glad she sang that song. It was good and cute and sweet. Wasn't a knockout, but she is adorable. Harry-Didn't think it was good. Doesn't know who she is? When she is singing country she has an incredible country twang, but then on other songs she doesn't. Doesn't know if she is a country singer or pop? Keith-Needs to find the song that plays to her strength. Would have killed with a ballad. 
Our Grade=C

Guest Performance #2=Kenny Loggins comes out to perform his classic "Footloose". Harry kinda said that the lyrics of Kenny's other song "Danger Zone" were weak, and now he is performing in front of him. Kenny Loggins sounds pretty good, it was a fun performance. At the end Kenny kiddingly asks Harry "is this a good song?". I am glad he said something to call back from earlier in the night.

Clark Beckham
(Sunday Morning-Maroon 5/Cheaper By The Dozen 2)
When someone thinks of this song I doubt they think of it being connected to the 'classic' Steve Martin movie "Cheaper By The Dozen 2". C'mon. Nile and Scott loved the notes that Clark was hitting in rehearsal. Clark goes out there with his guitar to show off his sensitive, vulnerable side. This might be the first song that's from the 21st century that Clark has sung and he sings it really well. I loved that it was just him and the guitar and no band. He hits some crazy, gritty notes that only he can make look so easy. The last note is completely on pitch and in tune. He stepped it up tonight.  
Judge's Comments= Harry-Put his arrangement on that song and knocked it out of the park. Keith-Such a good singer, all he needs to do is put a little bit of smile into that. Jennifer-It was beautiful, so him. 
Our Grade=A

(Grow Old With You-Adam Sandler/The Wedding Singer)
She had a shaky week last week, and actually hasn't been strong in awhile, but she has delivered a lot of great performances, so it is in her. Nile wants to make sure that the audience is glued on her because the song is kind of quirky and cute. I loved the Wedding Singer and this song, so I give Jax credit for going out of the box with this song choice. I liked some of the things she did with this song to fit her voice and style. It was a sweet performance.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Made it! Loved that song, and hearing a girl sing it. Jennifer-Played into the quirkiness of her voice. Nice choice. Did great on that one. Harry-High risk, high reward performer, it was lovely and sweet and personally and makes sure she stays in time. 
Our Grade=B+

Eliminated Unless Saved By The Judges=Qaasim Middleton. His "Save" Performance is "Come Together" By the Beatles from the movie Across the Universe. For several weeks the judge's told Qaasim to really focus on his vocals and not just focus on the performance aspect. Well, last week he focused on his vocals and it showed off a ton of flaws. Qaasim's performance skills are at a high level, probably more than anyone left in this competition but his voice is towards the lower end of the contestant's left, and that's probably why he is in this situation. This song has been done on the show many times, it was actually done during Movie Week last year. Tonight Qaasim starts the song with a little shtick with some of the lyrics. Qaasim's vocal are much stronger than last week, but that song choice last week was pretty bad for his voice. Qaasim gets super into this performance, and goes around the stage and gets into it. He gets super intense and even drops the mic. Much better than last week.

Was The Judge's Save Used? Yep. Harry calls it a tremendous performance, but they needs to talk about the save and they only get one. It's all performance and vocal lacks sometimes, but he deserves the save!

Thoughts About Judge's Save? I don't like the fact that it was used so early. I am now nervous for some of the more consistent, more overall performers like Tyanna, like Nick, like Clark(who had a rough week last week). There are no second chances and using it on Qaasim, who's vocals are still lacking despite his unbelievable stage presence is not the best thing. But there's no going back.

Best of The Night=Clark Beckham. He has been one of the more consitent vocalists on the show, but he has only shown one side of his personlaity, until now. He deleivered on all fronts and really showed a whole new side to himself. Joey Cook also was amazing, but Clark's resurgence put him over the top.

Going Home Predictions
(Next Week due to the Judge's Save 2 contestant's will go home)
Should Go Home=Daniel Seavey & Maddie Walker
Will Go Home=Maddie Walker & Quentin Alexander

Final Thoughts

*Qaasim getting the save was huge on many levels.  But here's my question/comment, I know the contestant's are close and it's nice they are so supportive, but don't they know that because Qaasim was given the 1 save of the season that any of them can screw up and that it, it's over for them? The non-eliminated contestants were going crazy for Qaasim like he won the lottery and was going to give them part of his million dollars. Qaasim won the lottery, but because he did there is nothing left for them. They are on their own. No contestant that has received the Judge's Save has ever won the show. Jessica Sanchez received the Save and got runner-up in Season 11. But that was as close as someone has come. The majority of the contestant's that received the Save went on for a couple more weeks then were eliminated again. We'll see where Qaasim lands.

*Tonight's main issue was song choice. I liked that the contestant's at least picked songs from movies and didn't pick songs that happen to be in movies. Unfortunately, some of the choices they made were not strong. There are so many classic movie songs with great lyrics that have the ability to reinterpret and put a fresh spin, but a lot of the contestants did not do that. Tonight was one of the weaker night's in the competition so far.

That's it. Next week will be Top 9 with 2 eliminations. No more Judge's Save, and no more Thursday nights. The show will begin it's new schedule of being on Wednesdays. So come on back here after the next new episode. Until then, see ya!

1 comment:

  1. How I order the top 10. I am on a boat all by myself. 1-4 of my list I don't want to win because they will end up shackled. Stardom can sink its teeth into the rest. My top 5 would've also included Katherine Winston.

    1. Tyanna Jones. No bs. Utterly genuine in her presentation and song choices. She is the only contestant that seems to be comfortable with herself and what she's doing. She is using her powerful instrument in all the right ways. Her hair is the most beautiful statement about herself when compared to the other women in the competition.

    She is my world right now but last night she was off just a little. Last week on my birthday was when she performed Wings and that will forever be my number 1 favorite AI performance.

    There's a 0.0001% bias because we are from the same place and she also favorited a tweet of mine about a song suggestion. I don't know her personally though. I love that she told her mother she loved her on stage. She has an enormous beautiful family.

    2. Joey Cook. I love her more than I will ever dislike Adam Lambert. She and Qaasim are the most daring.

    3. Clark Beckham. Fascinating and really hot. His performances are a hit or miss though... his "Georgia" performance blew my mind. I melted. He will remain in my top because of that, no matter what he does. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 though.

    4. Daniel Seavey. He is a beautiful, gifted, exquisite creature who I only hope wouldn't make it to the top 10 just so he won't have to spend the summer touring and could have a normal fun summer as a kid and continue to grow as an artist as well as finish puberty. He is not 'adorable' (I want to punch JLo when she makes this condescending remark), he possesses a mature collectedness that I wish all fifteen year old boys had. His 'cute' appeal in shallow minds comes from the same ill functioning mental faculty that attributes 'originality' to Jax. He should not be the target of so much negative criticism. I acknowledge he lacks the polish of others but I believe in his potential to become an unstoppable Jedi master.

    5. Adanna Duru. Talented but seems really desperate to win. Hit or miss. I loved "Man's World" and "Hello" tremendously. She has the best skin, hair, and teeth in this competition.

    6. Quentin Alexander. His look doesn't match his song choices. Can he top I Put a Spell On You? Last night- Wroooong song to put the mentos ice vibe on.

    7. Qaasim Middleton. Too much. I feel that you could literally reverse Harry's criticisms from his previous performance with last night's. 'Jet' > 'Come Together'. My bias is also Wings > Beatles. I don't think he should've been in the bottom but I don't think he should've gotten the save.

    8. Jax is an assemblage of all the right parts (in physical appearance, style, musicianship)... but I don't buy her act. Edgy, cute, and elegant sounds like a good formula, and even grandparents love it. "Jax Pack" needs to stop. Zombies, Adam Sandler? If this was a contest of taste we'd all lose. Everyone has a crush on her and that's how she may win. Her performances are in no way the best.

    9. Rayvon Owen. So boring. Beegees in slow motion.

    10/11. Maddie Walker. An appendix that hasn't ruptured won't get you any votes. Jk.

    Nick Fradiani. Heartthrob appeal. Bad haircut.


    Most market-worthy appeal: Adanna, Jax, Maddie. Maybe Quentin and Nick.