Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Top 9 Revealed and Perform: Songs From the 80s

Welcome back. Last week Qaasim Middleton was the lowest vote getter but was saved by the Judges. We'll see if Qassim's gain is potentially a front-runner's loss, because there is no more Saves for the rest of the season. So if someone is eliminated they are gone. Maybe this will put a new drive into some of the contestants to not only perform well every week but to really try to win the whole thing.

The use of the Save last week also means that this week 2 contestants will be sent home. We made our Predictions last week and think that Daniel and Maddie SHOULD be Sent Home, but Maddie and Quentin WILL be Sent Home. Tonight the contestants that don't receive the lowest votes will perform songs from "The 80s" with Boy George (yes, I said Boy George) as the Mentor of the week along with Scott Borchetta. We also have included our Power Rankings and indicated if we think the contestant has risen or fallen week to week. So with all that, let's get started:

Weekly Power Rankings:
As a reminder, the criteria is based on 1. their success on the show, 2. personality, 3. judges & audience response and 4. belief that they could win.

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

Top 11 Weekly Rankings Redux
1. Joey Cook (Up 1 From Last Week)
2. Tyanna Jones (Down 1 From Last Week)
3. Clark Beckham (Same As Last Week)
4. Nick Fradiani (Same As Last Week)
5. Adanna Duru (Up 1 From Last Week)
6. Jax (Up 1 From Last Week)
7. Quentin Alexander (Up 2 From Last Week)
8. Rayvon Owen (Down 3 From Last Week)
9. Qaasim Middleton (Down 1 From Last Week)
10. Maddie Walker (Same As Last Week)
11. Daniel Seavey (Same As Last Week)

Guest Performance #1: 80s Medley with David Hasselhoff 
Yep. To pay "tribute" to the 80s is the one and only David Hasselhoff. It's such a crazy few minutes. Not sure why he was the one deemed the representative of the 80s but there it is, I know he is still singing and performing overseas and is huge over there, but here in America his performance was pretty bad and corny. In only a few minutes he sang parts of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Walking On Sunshine", "Never Gonna Give You Up", "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me", "Let's Dance", and "I Love Rock n Roll".  Not sure how David Hasselhoff starting the show is gonna bring in the new young viewers, but there ya go.

Top 11 Perform= They do one of Culture Club's biggest songs with Boy George, they sing "Karma Chameleon". It's not a terrible rendition, very 80s, so they got that going. But if they didn't perform this I wouldn't have minded.

Top 9 Revealed and Perform

Daniel Seavey
(You Make My Dreams-Hall & Oates)
This kid had a brutal week last week and still is the first one saved this week, yeesh. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this kid is here to stay. He is a sweet kid, but compared to people that have been eliminated and will most definitely be gone after tonight, he doesn't really belong up there. Boy George tells Daniel to look past the criticism and don't let it get to his performance, he also thinks that Daniel has a strong voice and has got the "chops". Tonight his first note goes a stray, but he does okay to rebound, but those high notes are bad or he backs off of them. People are voting for Daniel no matter how he has sounded, or the criticism he has received, so it almost doesn't matter what he does. He didn't do anything different than any other time, it's a bit of a mess. But I am sure he will be here next week.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Loves that song. Looks good on camera. Towards end of song he got into it, but still needs to get more comfortable quicker. Jennifer-Audience loves him, loves this song for him, sat in the right spot, sang better than last week. Harry-He is an entertainer, vocal was better than last week, but needs to take the choreography away, everything is so planned, everything was moving by numbers. Just act natural.
Our Grade=D+

Quentin Alexander
(In The Air Tonight-Phil Collins)
Boy George loves how Quentin dresses.  Quentin says he needs to continue to work on his pitch. Boy George tells him to control his breath and just ease up. I love this song and Quentin mentions that it is one of his favorite songs. The song is very mesmerizing and intense and that's who and what Quentin is. He is right on the pitch this week. He was easy to listen to. I can't even explain what Quentin is wearing, but his vocals were on this week, you can see he really practiced this week to get them down, and I think it worked.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-That performance made his cool factor go up to 1,000. The mood, the drama, everything worked. He is who he is. A home run. Harry-Digs as deeply into lyrics as much as anyone. Last 5 out of  6 songs were pretty slow. Nice to see something more up-tempo in the next couple weeks. Keith-A killer song choice, the weight and majesty of it suited him. The higher octave blew him away. Needs even more authority and a little work on the phrasing because it's all in him.
Our Grade=A-

Joey Cook
(Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-Cyndi Lauper)
Boy George wants to hear more dynamics because her song in rehearsal becomes too linear and contradicts everything about her. Her voice makes every song different and unique to her, because she is unique and different. I don't know if I liked some of the choices she made in this rendition. It sounded a little clunky at times. Towards the end it gets a little reggae-sounding and she sounded good, I almost wish it stayed funky like that the whole time. It was really all over the place tonight. After such a fantastic week last week it was disappointing, she's still a top contender on the show, but tonight she dropped.
Judge's Comments= Harry-Seemed distracted tonight. Looked down a lot. Felt like she was trying, but something was holding her back. Has been able to capture people's attention but tonight didn't do that. Keith-Good, but her bar is set so high that it was a little inconsistent. Guarantees that his wife and children are dancing at home. Jennifer- Looks adorable. In theory it was a perfect song choice, but vocally didn't match, couldn't find the groove. Fit the image, but didn't find the vocals. 
Our Grade=B-

Tyanna Jones
(I Wanna Dance With Somebody-Whitney Houston)
Boy George tells Tyanna that taking on a Whitney Houston song is like going in the ring with Tyson. Is afraid that Tyanna will "show-off" too much. The song comes out a little electronica, so not just a carbon copy of the original. Tyanna is much more in her wheelhouse this week than last time out. She puts her own spin on some of the phrasing and high notes, which she hits pretty flawlessly. It was a great rebound from last week.
Judge's Comments= Keith-Now that she is at this point she needs to loosen up and ease into it, got a little worried at times. Jennifer-Can't get in her head. Can't be perfect all the time. Do what she is born to do. Harry-Cool arrangement, made song into what can be heard today. Feels like she is in the driver's seat and was strong. Doesn't want her to be complacent, fight for it every time.
Our Grade=A-

(You Give Love A Bad Name-Bon Jovi)
Scott's biggest concern is that Jax executes. Boy George loves the drama of her performance, has the bones of a great performer, but can lose it and not get there at points, needs to not think it, just feel it. Jax performs the song on the piano to start and it's pretty amazing for about a verse, then the band comes in and makes the song super angry and intense. I like the stops of the band and Jax playing at points and just her lyrics. It is a very dramatic performance, very cool and creative. Never heard that song played like that and I really enjoyed most of it. I love when she is at the piano, more piano and less band would work too, but she is so good, another strong outing.  
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-Giving us all that 80s punk attitude and loves it. Loves how she started it. In the middle when it got into the guitar she got lost, but she ended it really strong. Harry-Originality is what brought her here, and intrigue is what keeps her here. Wonders if it would have been stronger with her just on the piano, because she was swimming in a lot of sound, but liked the beginning and end. Keith-Tells her if in rehearsal she ever feels dwarfed by everything don't hesitate to change it. Loves that she is so original, conceptually and visually, tonight it just wasn't put together right, but still so great.
Our Grade=B+

Nick Fradiani 
(Man In The Mirror-Michael Jackson)
Scott wants Nick to connect more. Boy George wants Nick to get into his hotness and masculinity and confidence. This was a very tender yet strong performance that showcased Nick's voice real well. Nick has an amazing voice but it gets lost sometimes. I think there were a few choices that could have been better tonight, maybe hold the higher notes a little longer, get a little more intense at certain moments, especially the climax of the song, but overall it was pretty good. There's always things to nitpick, but it was solid.  
Judge's Comments=Harry-Perfect song choice, fantastic vocal. Figured out that he is just sweet and is a kind soul and doesn't want to be the "hot" guy. Keith- Has a million dollar smile. Thinks that smiling would help him loosen up. Jennifer-Got caught up at the end, when he thinks about anything else it becomes something else, no connection, but when he got caught up in the lyrics and the swell it became what it was supposed to be.
Our Grade= B

Guest Performance #2: Salt-n-Pepa
Singing their classic "Push It", Salt-n-Pepa do what they know how to do, sing this song. If you don't know this song it has lyrics "Push It", "Push It Real Good" and then it repeats a lot. This song is part of a current Geico commercial that you might have seen. So good for them for taking this song and bringing it anywhere and everywhere.

Clark Beckham
(Every Breath You Take-The Police)
Boy George thinks Clark has a beautiful voice,  feels that when he gets to the high part it doesn't work, so he wants the song to be dropped a key. But during rehearsal Clark decides to stick with his original decision and ultimately not listen to Boy George. Clark is on the piano and sings without the band completly. His voice is so pure and easy, but the performance gets a little sleepy at points. When the song goes to the bridge of the song it becomes a bit more dynamic. He took this version to another place and made it his own and did it gently and with care, sort of how I wash my clothes. But seriously, it was a great job by him. 
Judge's Comments= Keith-Showed a much more heart side of him, beautiful, took him on a journey, brought out the melancholy and pain of the song. Jennifer-Loved it. Got the goosies. Everything he did was beautiful, showcased his voice. Harry-Bad news is that the remaining group has big performers that run around the stage but good news is that he doesn't have to do that.
Our Grade=B+

Qaasim Middleton
(Addicted To Love-Robert Palmer)
Boy George wants Qaasim to put more belly into some of the lines, I am thinking this means weight and strength. George loves his voice and thinks Qaasim is a great storyteller. Qaasim does bring another element to the show that no one else does, his performance skills. For the duration of the song Qaasim wasn't moving around at all, he was just singing and standing basically in the middle of the stage. In the taped package he said he wants to focus on his vocals and he did. It was a stronger vocal than a couple weeks ago. I think given his strength is performance he should do more of that and try to improve his vocals as he goes deeper in the competition, because right now his vocals aren't gonna be as strong as Joey or Clark or Quentin, it's not gonna happen, so he should focus on what works and while that is going on tinker with what doesn't.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Liked seeing him all reserved. Great storyteller. A really good vocalist. Harry-Strength is ability to perform, but weakness is his unwillingness to forgo some of that. He stood there, was sexy and still good. Keith-Liked his voice in rehearsal, but doesn't seem he believes in his voice as much, he wants him to be more vulnerable. 
Our Grade=B

Bottom 3
1. Maddie
2. Ravyon
3. Adanna


Rayvon Owen
(Everybody Wants To Rule The World-Tears For Fears)
Boy George thinks that Rayvon is singing too pretty. Knows he can sing in his sleep and is technically good, but needs to have more moments, looks like he doesn't want to mess up and it's coming out wrong. Scott wants Rayvon to break out of his shell. Boy George couldn't tell if Rayvon was just placating him and will just do what he always does. Like always Rayvon has a very smooth voice, but the performance was lacking. He adds a little more intensity to his vocals and a lot less falsetto than last week. It seems that Rayvon really is going for it this week. It was good, but not spectacular.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Every single time he sings he does a strong vocal, the interpretation isn't as strong, but tonight was better and connected more, could do without the falsetto sometimes, but pretty solid performance. Keith-Beautiful song for him, showed strengths in all right places. Needs to ease in. Jennifer-Don't be afraid to go out of his comfort zone, but only when we grow is when we push ourselves and wants him to have an open-mind.
Our Grade=B-

Adanna and Maddie. I am dissapointed that Adanna is gone, she was growing every week and getting to be a stronger performer and vocalist. Maddie never found her groove and it was just a matter of time.

Best of the Night
Quentin. I think his performance was a combination of a perfect song choice mixed with a perfect performance. He worked hard to ensure his vocal was much better than last week and he did. I think Tyanna and Jax also improved week to week, but Quentin was one of the most memorable performances of the week. 

Going Home Predictions
Should Go Home=Daniel Seavey
Will Go Home=Rayvon Owen

Final Thoughts

*Tonight I saw a lot of the contestants try to push themselves and get into their performances even more than they have prior. I think Jax, Quentin, Clark and Tyanna really showed that they want to win. They each have their own style but are growing every week and taking in the advice and constructive criticism.

*With more eliminations means more guest performances and silly bits. I really don't miss the Idol results show because it only takes about 4 seconds to say if someone is safe or not, and Idol was stretching that show to an hour for many seasons. They were putting so much filler and nonsense in that show that you almost forgot what you were there for. These 1-episode a week shows are much more compact. And although it's tough to be the last one saved and then perform for your life, it's better than being eliminated. So no big complaints about the 1-episode a week format thus far.

*The eliminated contestants just vanished. As soon as Ryan said they weren't safe they were rushed off the stage, which is fine, but what's the point of the red chairs if they don't sit in it? The whole ending aspect of these 2-hour/1 episode-a-week show has been so strange, I don't think the producers have it down yet. I know they are short on time and the focus should be on the performers continuing on, but a moment from the judge's to say something to them wouldn't hurt. They are just shewed away like they were never part of the show. Not cool American Idol, not cool at all.

*Did anyone else notice, or was frustrated like me that the camera panned to the person saved a half second before Ryan announced it and the chair turned green? So we (the home audience) knew who was safe even without him saying it. So basically they are taking away the big part of Ryan's job. I don't get the necessity of the green chairs, but if they are there then don't show us the saved person until we hear and see who is safe. Jeez.

That's it. Next week the Top 8 will perform Kelly Clarkson songs.It'll be interesting how the 5 guys remaining will do with the theme, could be interesting. So until next week, see ya!

1 comment:

  1. The show is losing audience because every season there is a performer or two that keeps staying alive much, much longer than they should. If fact, these are the people who the judges decide to place in the top 24 for some crazy reason and it's coming back each season to haunt Fox. This season, the obvious target is Daniel with a mix of Joey sprinkled in. I don't get it when all reviews show Daniel as the obvious amateur of the bunch. The more painful fact is that the judges (and mentors now) are extra nice to him because he is so young and cute. Well, I have a news flash...young and cute is not what American Idol is for except for the young girls voting. This is why the integrity and ratings continue to drop. I'm just going to get more upset as good talent continues to leave the show for the sake of a cute boy with some talent but not national TV level talent. Oh well - I feel better now that I could vent on your blog. On a different topic, my top 4 are (in so specific order) Tyanna, Clark, Nick, and Jax.