Thursday, April 16, 2015

Top 6 Revealed and Perform: American Classic Songs

Welcome back.This week marks the first time this season that the contestants will sing two songs. The theme this week is American Classic songs. The home audience tweeted out suggested songs for each contestant and then from a select list the contestants picked out the ones they wanted to sing.

With Qaasim's elimination last week we are left with only 7 contestants and no one other than Rayvon has been in the Bottom 2 since the Twitter-Save was introduced. Luckily for him, for the second straight week Rayvon was reprieved through the Twitter-Save. We chose him and Jax as our Bottom 2 and believe that Rayvon will be eliminated this time around. But anything can happen. Let's get started:

Top 7 Weekly Rankings
1. Clark Beckham (Same As Last Week)
2. Tyanna Jones( Up 2 From Last Week)
3. Joey Cook (Down 1 From Last Week)
4. Jax (Down 1 From Last Week)
5. Quentin Alexander (Up 1 From Last Week)
6. Nick Fradiani (Down 1 From Last Week)
7. Rayvon Owen (Same As Last Week) Officially Bottom 2 Last Week

Top 6 Perform & Bottom 2 Revealed Round 1

Tyanna Jones
(Why Do Fools Fall in Love-Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers)
Scott is the only mentor this week. He tells Tyanna to be present at every important meeting or engagement with people because he has seen her with industry people and she doesn't seem engaged all the time.This song was selected by the audience that saw her really do a great job with Rockin Robin, which is of similar energy and style. I think if we compare that performance to this one it lacked energy. Her voice was on point, but it was kind of boring in terms of everything else. Not overly impressed with this one.
Judge's Comments= Keith-Interesting song choice. Good song, not great one for her. Asks her give more edge, get in the moment and get traction on. Jennifer-That was a taste of fun Tyanna, but needs to get back to the place of not thinking. Harry-Finds similarity to Frankie Lymon that had the ability to sing and groove and be easy. Would have loved to see her move around. Suggests she did more movement, even subtle ones.
Our Grade= B-

Clark Beckham
(Superstition-Stevie Wonder)
Scott encourages Clark to keep doing what he is doing. Clark wants to find his full potential.  The beginning of this performance was cool, he just jammed on his electric guitar on his own and did some "doo wops" and scatted a little. Clark's eyes are wide open for this performance and he seems like he wants to connect more with the audience. I think this song was a good choice for Clark and he did a lot with it to make it his own. He really put out a good effort with this one.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer- Lookin good, starting to look like a star. Funky, sounded amazing, all coming together. Harry-Knows he was frustrated last week with the guitar but killed it this week. No critique. Keith- Harmony scatting, guitar solo was cool. Wants him to move more even with the guitar in hand.  
Our Grade=A-

(Piece of My Heart-Janis Joplin)
Scott encourages Jax to be herself, even if she is polarizing. This is a really great song choice. She stays with the original melody, unlike what she did last week with her song. She brings a lot of emotion, vocal control and stage presence to this performance. If Jax continues to do these kinds of performances and stays more consistent she can be a real contender, because this was a very easy, comfortable looking performance. Really nice job this time around.  
Judge's Comments= Harry-This was somewhere in between the original and another version. Impressive. Sings in the beat and is aware of the rhythm, strong. Keith-Sings really well with the band. Jennifer-Strong performance. Feels like this was her element. This was no small task and she did her thing on it.
Our Grade=A-

Nick Fradiani
(American Girl-Tom Petty)
Scott thinks that last week was the most energetic, and he has a nice arc going. This was another strong pick by America for Nick. I wish he stayed on the mic a little more, he was stylistically doing a thing where he was on and off the mic and it lost me for a second here and there, but overall it was fun, energetic and he really did a solid job out there. 
Judge's Comments= Keith-Such a good song for him. Engaged the whole time. Jennifer- Loved it. Has a radio ready voice, it's familiar but his own. Watching him grow is so awesome. Harry-Whatever just happened for him needs to be remembered. This is precisely the right thing for him. That's all everyone thinks he should be.
Our Grade=B+

Quentin Alexander
(Are You Gonna Go My Way-Lenny Kravitz)
Scott agrees that Quentin needs to rock out and identifies that in himself. Quentin definitely rocks out on this song. This is unlike what Quentin has done in many of his past performances. He rocks out, is very energetic and moves around the stage. In the past he does that super sultry, intense stuff, but this was a nice change. It wasn't spectacularly original or different, but he sang the hell out of the song and really rocked out. I'm impressed at the different facets Quentin has. His pitch still is not great,and it not being original made it not as good as past performances, but it was still a nice job by him.  
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-The whole thing worked. Perfect song, the outfit. The pitch thing is all over the place. Harry-Loves his artistry, but sometimes people can be captivated by the band more than his performance. Nothing different than the original. It was good, but the band really was pushing him around. Keith-Held his own. Liked that he laid back while the band took over. 
Our Grade=B+

I hate hate hate awkward moments, but because I do this blog I need to record what happened right after Quentin's performance. Right after Quentin performed and got his critiques Ryan noticed that Quentin didn't look right. He asks him what's wrong. Quentin tells him that "[the bottom 2/his BFF Joey] is whack" Basically that they are great and it's messed up they are there. Ryan reminds him that the Twitter save is available for his friend. Then Harry jumps in and says that if he thinks it's whack then he could go home, because it's highly disrespectful that he is talking about the hand that's feeding him [American Idol]. Hold up, Harry thought Quentin was saying that Idol was whack, but in fact he was just talking about the Bottom 2.

THEN, Quentin pops back onto the stage, really close to Harry, maybe a foot apart, maybe closer. He then says that he isn't disrespecting American Idol, he is upset that 2 people that he is super close to are in the Bottom 2 and 1 will  go home. Harry reminds him that this is a competition. Quentin and Harry shake hands, but Quentin is just super angry as he walks off the stage. WOW. Harry took what Quentin said wrong, but I do agree that Quentin shouldn't have been that upset and said anything, even if Ryan was trying to get something out of him.  This is a competition show, if it wasn't Joey or Ravyon who would Quentin have chosen? Someone that isn't his friend? That's not how things work. It was weird, awkward and I didn't really need to see it to enjoy the episode.

Bottom 2 Perform
Joey Cook
Rayvon Owen

Joey Cook
(My Funny Valentine-Frank Sinatra)
Scott wants her to continue to be an artist and be who she is. It's a little surprising that Joey is in the Bottom 2. I mean, she was ranked pretty high for us. But the general audience's tastes and opinions don't always match ours. She has had some fantastic performances, last week was okay, but this again proves that any off week can put you in jeopardy, what you did 3 or 4 weeks prior doesn't necessarily make a difference. Tonight Joey gets a real standard from the American audience. It didn't knock me out, but she put a lot of emotion in it, and it was all in tune and on point.Not sure if this was a great song choice for her, but she did her thing.  
Judge's Comments=Harry-Was a very good performance. Is smart. Really thought about the lyrics. Sang it appropriately. Did a damn good job. Keith-Sometimes reach is beyond her grasp, but goes for it anyways. Doesn't know if that was perfectly well suited, but it should be commended. Jennifer-Such a unique voice. Thought the song would work for her, but it didn't move her. Not sure why, but didn't feel it. 
Our Grade=B

Rayvon Owen
(Long Train Runnin-Doobie Brothers)
Scott applauds him for still sticking around week after week and fighting.  Tonight's song allowed Rayvon to groove and smile again. The last couple weeks he was in the Bottom 2 and he was really intense, this one he moved with the backup singers and have some energy. I don't think this song did him any favors for the majority. I liked the ending when he slowed it down and made it his own. It was good, not great.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Performance wise it was killer, but didn't feel enough. Needs a little edge. Jennifer-Keeps fighting with those vocals. Stepped it up. Harry-Must be hard to be in Bottom and keeps fighting. Thinks he needs a better song. When he gets the perfect song, he'll shut the room down. 
Our Grade=B

Round 2
Clark Beckham
(Moon River-Frank Sinatra)
This is a very old song, it just has to be said. I mean you won't hear this version on your local radio station, but it's super sweet and delicate. Clark plays the piano and has very light band accompaniment.  It's sweet, he sings everything in tune, it didn't have me jumping up and down, but it was lovely.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Loved that. Really well done. Harry-Incredibly talented, but instead of sounding like a cocktail sound, but needs to make the song current, use the chords, he is talented. Keith-It was warm and fuzzy. 
Our Grade=B+

Tyanna Jones
(Proud Mary-Creedance Clearwater Revival)
She stands on a little platform in the middle of the stage, and her presence for the first part of the song is great. This song allows her to have the first part of the song super slow and lovely, but then it kicks up and Tyanna moves and gets a lot of energy. That's where she really shines. She looked comfortable, sounded great and hit some crazy notes. This was a great job by her, the song fit her strengths really well.
Judge's Comments=Harry-That was as close to perfect as you can get. Moved, understood how to move the stage, started slow. Keith-That's as good as she is now at only 16. Jennifer-Really good. Got to stretch her vocals. Should always do that, keep picking songs that do that.
Our Grade=A-

Nick Fradiani
(Only The Good Die Young-Billy Joel)
Nick completely flips the song on its head.  He takes the song and makes it more of a ballad. I obviously love the original Billy Joel version, but I like that Nick was being creative and tried something different. He sang the song really well, not sure if I loved the arrangement, but for what it was it was real good.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Loved the arrangement. 10 out of 10. Jennifer-Loved it the whole wait through. Waited til he got up and then loved it. Harry-Applauds him for trying something different. The arrangement threw him off. It was a little self-involved.
Our Grade=B

Quentin Alexander
(The Sound of Silence-Simon & Garfunkel)
This is more typical Quentin, it was slow and more intense. He stares into the camera and into our TV's like he sees us, it's crazy. This is a real classic song. The beginning is quite beautiful, when the band kicks in he goes off tune a little, or his pitch, or the key or something goes astray. I am no musician, but it was off. When it was good it was real good, but there were some off elements to his performance that were distracting.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-Dramatic and moody. There's a lot of pressure out there, but he needs to control his emotions. Needs to put his heart out there first, over the emotions. Harry-Likes how he is tremendous at interpreting lyrics. When he holds notes it's a beautiful thing to hear. Needs to focus on pitch, but it's part of being a singer, needs to stay in tune. Keith-Is in him to be a great artist. The way he interprets songs is commendable.
Our Grade=B-

(Beat It-Michael Jackson)
This song was chosen by America.  As everyone knows, it is a very fast song and has a lot of aggression and rock to it. After being criticized for straying too far from the original last week, Jax again stays pretty close to the original. She sang it well, but it wasn't spectacular. Loved her energy and the fact that it was as fast, as the other one was so mellow. Gave a nice balance for her night.
Judge's Comments= Harry-Favorite part was the static electricity in her hair. Wanted to see her run around the stage and act like an idiot. Loved that. It was really fun. Keith-Loved she showed 2 sides of her. Jennifer-Made running around like an idiot look cool.
Our Grade=B

Bottom 2-Twitter Save Songs

Rayvon Owen
(Always On My Mind-Willie Nelson) 
Rayvon has been in this spot for the third consective week, and he has delievered each time. He takes this song and makes it full on ballad. Rayvon always has a beautiful voice and delievers great emotion. Obviously, he has not been connecting to the audience fully, given his place in the Bottom week to week, but there is no denying that this was a spectacular vocal. He couldn't do much better.
Judge's Comments= Keith- Right song, sang it beautifully. Jennifer-Felt something, goosies everywhere. Harry-Is a ballad singer, and when he sings a song as much heart behind it, he stacks up there with the best in the competition.
Our Grade=B+

Joey Cook
(Somebody To Love-Jefferson Airplane)
Joey takes the song and makes it super quirky in her own quirky way. It was as if all you needed was a jar and some spoons and maybe a banjo, whatever it was it all worked. This was a much stronger performance than the earlier one. She was much more comfortable and in her groove. She hit some great notes and made the song completly her own. Joey and Rayvon couldn't be any more different. It's really however the audience feels on a given night. Tough call.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer- Gave the colors of all Joey Cook is. Made it her own. Just perfect. Harry-Hard to groove to or dance to, but she still impressed with her arrangement and presentation. Keith-Shows two extreme edges of who she is tonight. Saw what she did before, and with this and it's nice to see.
Our Grade=A-

Twitter Save Results/Who's Going Home?

Saved?=Rayvon. He is the luckiest guy on the show so far.

Going Home=Joey Cook. Joey had a really good run, but she was maybe too quirky for the general audience. I enjoyed her artistry and creativity. She probably went home a little too earlier, but with the Twitter-Save this kind of thing was bound to happen.

Best of the Night? N/A  Tonight every single contestant had one good performance, and one not that great performance. No contestant really stood out to be the best of the night. It was evenly good, and evenly not so great.

Bottom 2/Going Home Predictions
1. Quentin
2. Rayvon (Should & Will Go Home)

Final Thoughts
*So, Rayvon is safe to sing at least one more time. This is the third consective week that someone facing Rayvon went home. So that means one of two things. 1. That Rayvon isn't the worst every week, but is second worst and his fans come out to support him when they see him in trouble, OR,  2. (and this is more likely) Rayvon knows how to fight at the right moment despite being Bottom  or second worst every week. He sang the right song at the right time. If he sang his first song as his last performance he would have went home. Sometimes it's all about timing and thus far he has it. Joey being eliminated was unfortunate. She was easily one of the more interesting and artistic contestants left in the competition, it's a shame we won't hear more creative performances from her.

*Tonight was a very strange night. No one was bad, no one was extra good. Each contestant got to sing twice, and that was either lucky for them or unfortunate for them. No contestant was able to have back to back great performances, either their first song was great and second one not as good, or the first one was off and they redeemed themselves. I think having to sing two songs was a lot for some of these contestants, we will see how they do for the rest of the season.

*There have been some awkward, weird moments on Idol, but it's been awhile. The moment between Harry and Quentin was so odd. Quentin shouldn't have said what he said, but Harry was actually wrong in interpreting what Quentin was saying. So the whole thing was just weird. That's really the word for it.

That's it. 6 people remain, 4 guys and 2 ladies. Joey's elimination proves that anyone could go home at any point if they have a slightly off week. We'll see what happens next week. So until then, see ya!


  1. I usually agree with your comments but this week I disagree on a couple things.

    1) Joey stayed in the competition longer than she should have (similar to Daniel) and was rightly voted off. Her artistry was difficult to watch at times and her voice was off in recent performances if one watches them back a couple of times. I did like her more recent look the last 2 weeks.

    2) It appeared Harry's interpretation of the awkward moment was more spot on but then Quentin backtracked on the meaning of his anger. This showed a bad side of him (I thought) and could be the trigger that sends him home next week. It's hard to predict how the audience will react but my guess is that Rayvon/Quentin will be bottom 2 and Quentin will go home. Rayvon has been singing really good lately and might make it 4 saves in a row.

    Overall, in my opinion, the top 4 stand out (Tyanna, Jax, Clark, and Nick). Each offers a different element that is unique to the others. Each is deserving to win and if they all 4 remain as the top 4 after the next two weeks, this would be the best top 4 we've seen in several seasons. In this scenario, I would be happy for any of these to win and disappointed to see the other 3 not win.

    Finally, the mentor's stare into the camera after making his comments while talking with Ryan is kinda weird.

    1. I agree that the Top 4, at this point are Tyanna, Jax, Clark and Nick. But I think Joey brought something weird and different. As I said in the post, she is a very polarizing character, more so than Jax. It was really a preference thing and I think Rayvon's voice would appeal to more people at a certain point against her, and that's why I think he stayed over her. Joey obviously had fans, after not being in the Bottom at all this season, but if some of her fans didn't come out, and we had just random fans of other contestants having to Twitter vote between someone like Rayvon who is at least vocally closer to their favorite, than Joey who is the opposite of anyone else on the show then it makes sense that she went home.

      I really didn't like Quentin saying what he did about anything being "whack". He was specifically talking about Joey possibly going home, who we later learned he is officiating her marriage. As I wrote in the blog, if he didn't like the Bottom 2 being Joey and Rayvon who would he choose? Him saying that something is whack is making it seem that he prefer someone else there. So that would have been better TV to say something about that, rather than being cryptic about what he wants for a Bottom 2. Harry took what he said wrong, I think that's clear, but Quentin should remember where he is and to not act like a moody brat because his friend is going home. And I agree, Quentin easily could be in Bottom 2 next week, firstly because there isn't that many people left on the show, and also because of his unnecessary actions.