Welcome back. Last night the Top 8 Men were revealed and performed Motown classics, while 4 men (Savion Wright, Riley Bria, Trevor Douglas and Michael Simeon) were eliminated. Tonight the same format will befall the ladies. Last week the men were a little stronger than the ladies, but last night the men were a little weaker than the week prior, so we will see if the Top 8 females can step it up this time around. Next week there will be a Top 12 with the public voting in only 5 ladies and 5 men, while the judge's select 2 more contestants to round out the 12. So with so few spots left open for the women, they really need to deliever better than last time with their take on Motown classics.
From last week's performances we chose as Our Bottom 4 aka Going Home: Shi Scott, Alexis Gomez, Shannon Berthiaume, Lovey James
Last night was super fast-paced and packed, so let's get right to it:
Top 8 Women Perform
Tyanna Jones (Rockin' Robin-Michael Jackson) I am happy America voted Tyanna in, she was one of only a few ladies that performed really well last week. Tyanna chose a really great song for her voice. She kept close to the original but put her own modern twist on the song. It was a fun song and performance. The last note was a great way to end, really strong.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Perfect song choice. Key was perfect, all vocal strengths. Jennifer-Gives throw-back vibes. Awesome. Harry-It was subtle, strong only questions what she can't sing.
Loren Scott (I Wanna Be Where You Are-Michael Jackson) I think Loren did a nice job last week, this performance was a little all over the place. It was a little pitchy at points, then a little low at other moments, so much so that the band overtook her. Given how many songs Michael Jackson had and the Jackson 5 this was a weird choice. I like how into the song she was, and how comfortable she is on stage. It was all a little uneven for me. Luckily her voice is quite good, so that can carry her, even despite an off night.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Really enjoyed that, made her smile. Strong vocal, and performance. Has something. Innate talent. Harry-There's a high bar set and she nudged the bar up even higher. Keith-This Motown catalogue is great for everybody. Really good.
Our Grade= B
Maddie Walker (I'll Be There-Jackson 5) This is the third Michael Jackson or Jackson 5 song in a row. I think this was a good song choice, but she looked a little nervous on stage, her eyes just seemed scared. When she closed her eyes it made her sound better. There wasn't a lot of country inflection in this song, I thought she was more a country girl, but it was sweet and cute, so that's good.
Judge's Comments= Harry-No doubt she should be here. When holds those long notes she is dead on but sometimes she goes sharp. Doesn't want everything to be too loud in the middle. Keith-Good song choice and make it her own. Looked a bit nervous, needs to think about lyric than execution. Jennifer-So much innocence to the song. Did a really nice job even with the nerves.
Joey Cook (Shop Around-The Miracles) She is such different contestant then anyone left on the show, so I am glad she stuck around. She has proven that she will take any song and make it her own. This sounded nothing like the original but it was still really enjoyable. It's bluesey and quirky and old-school but kind of modern at the same time. She goes for the big note at the end then backs off of it. She's a kooky kind of performer.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Sees she is freaking out on stage. Makes the song her own. Jennifer-So unique, enjoyable to see someone put so much emotion and is uninhabited. Special qualities to bear her heart and soul. Harry-Loves the artistry. Only concern is that she is so stylized that will people tire of it, it'll be interesting to see how the public reacts.
Sarina-Joi Crowe(You've Really Got A Hold on Me-The Miracles) Her voice is so beautiful. Last week she did a more fast-paced, cool performance, this one was slowed down, just her and the guitar player. Her voice does everything you want it to. It gets gritty, it hits the high notes and stays in tune throughout the whole thing. I love this song choice for her and the way she really put her own spin on it. A really wonderful performance.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-You sing, you really sing. So happy she is up there. Fulfilling that she is up there. Believes she is the best singer here. Super gifted. Harry-Terrific. World class smiles. Smart to do it just doing it with guitar player. Needs to stay in tune throughout. Keith-Sang notes that made people cheer and didn't pull away from that. Stayed right where she should.
Our Grade= A-
Adanna Duru (Hello-Lionel Richie) I don't believe this song has been tackled since David Cook's unbelievable rendition in Sesason 7. I love that Adanna chose something other than Jackson 5 or The Miracles. This song makes you very vulnerable because there are some tricky notes. The thing that I didn't like is that she held back on the famous line "but let me start by saying, I love you". She does a sort of spoken word with the "I love you" part, it's not singing. It kind of disrupts the song a little, I don't know if that was planned or something happened. Then she repeats "I love you" and begins to sing it over and over again and change the song up. Not sure I enjoyed the change.
Judge's Comments= Harry-A+ on singing the lyrics though on flipside singing in tune did not work. It was out of tune. Keith-Got really caught up in the moment. Wants more of that. Jennifer-Does many things well, liked it, but didn't love it. Has capability to be great, but song choice needs to be better for her.
Jax(Ain't No Mountain High Enough-Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) If you didn't listen to more than the first few bars of Jax's interpretation of this song you would have thought it was "Fever" in that super jazzy way. But alas it was Ain't No Mountain High Enough sorta. Jax is incredibly artistic and creative. She somehow kept true to the song, in that you were still able to identify the song, but it was nothing you had ever heard before. If people are looking for the original, they won't find it but if you're looking for something different then you found it. Not my favorite of Jax, but she deserves a spot in the Top 12 based on past performances.
Judge's Comments= Keith-Loves that she is so original and is artistic. So happy she is here. Jennifer-One of the favorites in the competition. Needs to be careful to not take it away from the original. Doesn't want her to change it too much that you can't tell what the song is. Harry-Has incredible charisma, but needs to sing songs that brings her through, great song but that was a dull arrangement.
Alexis Gomez (I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)-The Four Tops) Last week really wasn't that strong for Alexis but good for her for making it to the 16. Last week Harry told her not to put a coutnry inflection in her voice because that's not her natural voice. Well, she put it back in there, but America voted her through so she probably figured why not? This performance had a little too many runs and went flat at points. I was a little bored, not gonna lie. The song just didn't do much for me. She sang it out of tune. I can't help but think that Katherine Winston would have done a better job at this point, but it is what it is.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-All about feeling and owning the stage, but she was really out of key, it bothered her. Harry- Deserves to be here, but needs to control herself emotionally, because every week will be like this. Keith-Glad she is here, song choice is key, not a good song choice for her.
Top 24 Results
Going Home=Katherine Winston, Shi Scott, Shannon Berthiaume and Lovey James
Our Reactions= By far Katherine's voice far outshines Alexis Gomez, who stayed, but unfortunately Katherine was sort of dull and not at all energized to be on that stage. Shi, Shannon and Lovey each had really off night's last week so they didn't deserve to move on. Alexis having a bad night tonight cements the fact that she probably should have gone home this week, but the votes are the votes. Not a huge deal.
Our Top 24 Predictions Results= Men=3/4 and Women=3/4
Our Top 3 of Women's Top 16= Sarina-Joi, Tyanna and Joey Cook
Top 16 Going Home Predictions= Alexis Gomez, Adanna Duru, Maddie Walker
*Tonight there was a mix of really good and middle of the road kind of performances. Other than Alexis Gomez no one was really that bad, but it was hard to pick out more than Sarina-Joi and Tyanna for having the best night. Joey was pretty good, so was Jax and Loren, but all of them had a few issues or needs to figure a few things out. It was really an uneven night.
*So last night we had 3 Stevie Wonder and 2 The Tempatations songs, tonight there were 3 Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 songs and 2 The Miracles songs. Not sure where The Supremes were, or solo Diana Ross, where was Gladys Nights and the Pips, Martha and the Vandallas and on and on. There are even more recent Motown artists like Boyz II Men or 98 Degrees or Brian McKnight. I wonder how limited the song list was for these contestants because with such a vast Motown catalog you would've thought there would be plenty of different artists showcased.
*Next week, as mentioned in the beginning of the post, the Top 12 will be revealed. Only 5 men and 5 women will be selected by the voting public to move straight into the Top 12, while the judge's choose the final 2 spots. So that means that next week is sort of a judge's save. This was the week to have an off night because the judge's can still put you through even if the audience doesn't.
*We finally got to see a few minutes of Aretha Franklin speaking with the Top 24. She tells them to prepare to meet the challenge. Be physically fit, stay away from wrong kind of people.Pay attention to the business side. Need to come up with something quick if they ever mess up on stage. 50 years ago she and others met the challenge and they will too. Tells them to kick butt.
That's it. Next week will be the last week of two shows of American Idol until we get to the finale. The show will be returning to Los Angeles next week, we will see if it is live or pre-taped. Either way should be another interesting week of shows, come on back right after them. So until next time, see ya!