Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top 16: Top 8 Men Perform

Welcome back. Last week the Top 12 Men and Top 12 Women performed for the live voting audience. The results of the Men's performance will be revealed tonight, while the results for the Women will be revealed tomorrow. Also in tonight's telecast we get to see Guest Mentor Aretha Franklin. She stopped by to help the contestants out during this past week and also perform a little. She's pretty amazing. The theme for this week is Motown, which makes sense given the show is again taking place in Detroit.  The show, like last week, was actually pre-taped and is not live, but voting will be for the home audience.

From last week's performance we chose as Our Bottom 4 aka Going Home= Daniel, Trevor, Michael, Riley

There is a lot to get to, let's get started:

Top 8 Performances & Results

Daniel Seavey (How Sweet It Is(To Be Loved By You)-Marvin Gaye) The fact that he got through to this round is concerning because last week was pretty bad. So that tells me that the young girls voting for him are already pretty strong. The girls in the audience tonight are so loud. He sounds like he does every week, it's not the worst ever but it's just alright. The last note he sings is very off the mark. Goes astray. I give him credit for putting it out there but it just wasn't as good as a Top 16 person should be.But he was about the same as last week, so he probably will be safe next week.
Judge's Comments=Keith-You made it, hanging with the big dogs. Just needs to keep up with the confidence and being comfortable. Get into it.Jennifer-So talented. Nice to see him more relaxed. Song was a little low for him. Gonna be a favorite around here. Harry-Extremely talented and gifted, but he needs the band to push him along. It was sweet but it didn't groove hard enough.
                                           Our Grade=C-

Mark Andrew(Papa Was A Rolling Stone-The Temptations) I think the sound of Mark's voice, more than his song choice last week got him through. This song is a classic and he made it more into an uptempo song with a groove. I think the song swallowed him at moments, as if he was missing the beat at points and the band overtook him. When he was on Mark's voice was nice, but I never really felt it.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Not sure that song in that way was moving me. A classic and something about wasn't connecting. Harry-A unique voice, like the arrangement, felt like a jam band performance, doesn't know if that's a good call. Harry-Love that America voted for him
Our Grade=C
Rayvon Owen(My Girl-The Temptations) This was a great job by America. His voice is one of the best in the competition. This was another Temptations song but it was more true to the original. It allowed Rayvon to put his voice onto a classic and sometimes simplicity is key. Also, when he hits the falsetto it's just so pretty. His voice is so good, he can do whatever he wants to it, hit runs, falsettos, high notes, low notes. Pretty fantastic.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Everything was strong, great song choice, nice to see someone that has a nice presence.. Looks forward to seeing more personality than just sweet. Harry-Needs a little more weight, because he is such a happy guy. Jennifer-Made the song his own when he hit the falsetto. 
Our Grade=A-

Adam Ezegelian (I Want You Back-Jackson 5) He is a pure rock kind of guy, so no matter if he slows down the song, it still comes out rock. That's just his voice and that's okay. That hair is crazy, but other than that this was a cool twist on the song. He makes the song his own, and really gets into the song. He puts a lot of grit into the lyrics. I am not going nuts for it, but it was nice.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Perfect song for him. Loves that he is here. Jennifer-Arrangements are interesting. Did a real good job on it. Band was amazing. Harry-Dangerous part about him is that voice, has strong notes. Nailed every note.
Our Grade=B-

Clark Beckham(The Tracks of My Tears-Smokey Robinson) This kind of music is right in Clark's wheelhouse. He has picked a lot of old-school songs. This performance is no different than any Clark has delivered so far, he is consistent, has a beautiful voice and stays in tune the whole way through. He always puts his own grit and raspiness on certain notes. It's really quite a different style and spin than what other guys do. Then at the end of the song he goes into a gospel kind of finale. It was cool and different from what he usually does. I liked it. I am not jumping up and down, but his voice is so good.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Loves him, has one of the best voices here. Needs to let loose and feel even more. Harry-Really talented. Lacked a beginning, middle, end. Had everything an Idol performance needs, but it just stopped in the middle. Keith-Has such a good voice, needed just the guitar without the band. Has the ability to break hearts.
                                           Our Grade=B

Nick Fradiani (Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)-Stevie Wonder) He decided to start the song without the band and it didn't sound great, just generic, but then the band got into the classic style of the song and Nick seemed to get more comfortable. Nick's voice is just pure goodness. He just jams out on his guitar and sings well, it wasn't a spectacular masterpiece but it was as solid as you can get.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Great arrangements, had a nice breakdown section. Encourages him to smile more to win over more people. Keith-That song didn't look comfortable with the guitar. Sang real good, wanted to see him move more. Jennifer-Good song, did it well. 
Our Grade=B

Qaasim Middleton (I Wish-Stevie Wonder) This guy is a performer above everything else. He is lucky this is a TV show and not a radio show because his voice isn't the greatest on his own, but he moves so well on stage, and plays with the audience and the lyrics. Sometimes when he moves too much his voice goes a little thin. But he spins and dances and moves on stage like no other.
Judge's Comments=Keith-So good. Watching him in front of audience is what it's all about. Explodes, where he lives and breathes. Jennifer-So damn funky. So crazy. Owns the stage. Needs to show how good he sings too.  Harry-Didn't hear him lose the vocal, did every run on the money. Looking for what he just did.
Our Grade=B+

Quentin Alexander (Master Blaster(Jammin')-Stevie Wonder) As the last person to move on, this was a huge performance by Quentin. Last week was a very dramatic and intense performance, this one was much more groovy and cool. This was a great song choice because it allowed us to see a different side of Quentin. He plays with the band a little more, moves around on stage and really gets into the song. I like Quentin a lot because he is tough describe and is no one like anyone else left on this show. Very cool guy.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-So glad he is here. So smooth and perfect. Harry-Favorite part is how he settled into the groove. Little reservation because he is freaked out he was last to move on. Keith-Knows who he is, knows how to sing, look. It was a bullseye. 
                                            Our Grade=A-
Top 24 Results
Going Home=Savion Wright, Riley Bria, Michael Simeon, Trevor Douglas
Our Reactions=We had picked Riley, Trevor and Michael to be eliminated but didn't predict that Savion would also go. He got one week further than last year on this show, so that's something. I think if he switched spots with Daniel that would have been a perfect elimination tonight, but it usually doesn't happen that way. Riley, Michael and Trevor each got pretty far, but this was the best point to end their journey.

Our Top 3 Of Top 16=Quentin, Rayvon and Qaasim
Top 16 Going Home Predictions= Daniel Seavey, Mark Andrew and (edited to add) Adam Ezagelian

Final Thoughts

*This episode was a little weaker compared to last week. I felt that a few contestants under-performed a little, and some contestants just did the same thing again. There were still a solid 4 or 5 guys but there wasn't as many standout moments like last week.

*These one-hour episodes are so fast. It feels like everything is at warped speed. I can't believe that it was actually slowed down compared to last week when there were 12 people performing. It will be nice when we get down to a solid 6 performances. It might make the show seem less hectic and give us a chance to really settle in and absorb the performances because like last week, tonight felt like everything was so rushed.

*Out of the 8 songs performed, 2 were from The Temptations and 3 were from Stevie Wonder. Given how vast the Motown catalog was and how many unbelievable artists came from Motown I was disappointed we didn't get a ton of different artists.

* We finally got to hear a few moments from in-house mentor Scott Borchetta . He has been working with the contestants for many weeks at this point.  We aren't able to hear or see much from him because the shows are only one-hour most weeks and it's on less during the week. Last year with having the results shows and two-hour shows we saw a good amount of backstage stuff. This year a lot is gonna be focused on the on-stage performance itself. He says the development of these guys is to go from Singer to artist. Sees a lot of artist. Lot of online buzz. Is excited about this whole group.

*I thought Aretha Franklin was going to mentor these contestants, but all we saw was her sing a song "I Will Survive" in the beginning of the episode. It's possible because the show is only an hour that she did mentor them but we didn't see it, but I feel they could have found 30 seconds if she had done so.

That's it. Come on back here tomorrow as the Top 8 ladies perform and we learn the results from last week' performances. It will be just as high energy and packed as tonight but we'll keep you as informed as we can. So until then, see ya!

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