Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Top 3 Revealed & Perform: Judge's Pick, Mentor's Pick, Contestant's Choice Songs

Welcome back. We are almost at the end of Season 14 of American Idol. Next Tuesday (5/12) will be the reveal of the Top 2 and the beginning of the finale and the next American Idol champion will be crowned one week from tonight (5/13). Tonight the Top 3 will be revealed and one contestant will be so close, yet so far away. We predicted Rayvon to go home, but feel that after at least 2 weeks of very sub-par performances Clark should be the one going home. We have chosen Rayvon to go home every week since Daniel Seavey left, so it's possible that we can be wrong, but the track record of Clark, Jax and Nick is quite better than that of Rayvon. But ya never know.

The Top 4 got their Hometown visits this week, so I am sure we will be seeing some snippets from that, always emotional visit. This is the first time that the contestants will sing 3 songs each. One will be Judge's Choice, One will be mentor Scott Borchetta's choice, and One will be Contestant's Choice to tribute to their Hometown. All 4 contestant's will sing tonight, even though one is going home no matter what. So even if they are outstanding it won't matter a lick. But either way a lot to get to, so let's get started:

Top 4 Weekly Power Rankings
1. Jax (Up 1 From Last Week)
2. Nick Fradiani (Up 1 From Last Week)\
3. Clark Beckham (Down 2 From Last Week)
4. Rayvon Owen (Down 1 From Last Week)

Contestant's Perform-Round 1: Scott Borchetta's Choice

Rayvon Owen
(Want To Want Me-Jason DeRulo)
Scott wanted to pick a real current song for Rayvon, and this song is as current as you can get, it's currently on the charts, it came out only a few weeks ago. This song has a lot of opportunity for Rayvon to use his falsetto, actually he uses it for the majority of the song. I like seeing Rayvon sing a current song and one that is uptempo, he has had some nice moments, but other times he has been really over-dramatic, this was a nice song for him. Showed a different, fun side to him. 
Judge's Comments=Keith-Great song choice because of his falsetto. Jennifer-Great choice, perfect for his tone. Harry-Best he has done on an uptempo song, despite being a ballad singer primarily.
Our Grade=B+

Clark Beckham
(Beautiful Day-U2)
Scott wanted Clark to challenge himself with this song, and singing a U2 song is different for Clark. It starts off a little too low, this song pushes Clark right outside of his safe box of slower songs, with his guitar. It's much more front-man, and it's not Clark. I am glad it's different, but it didn't fit. He sang it well in spots, there were a lot of big notes and he really pumped himself up for them. I don't know, I felt a little disappointed at times.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-Another great pick. Suited to his voice. Letting loose is gonna be key for him. Harry-Pretty good. The band was exceptional and made it really good, but he needs to be great throughout not just the chorus. Keith-Got a reckless abandonment by the 3/4 mark but there were other points that didn't rise to that point.
Our Grade=C+

Nick Fradiani
(Because The Night-Bruce Springsteen)
Scott wants to see an epic performance out of Nick. I really dug this song choice for Nick. Nick is the ultimate front man. I know a lot of people are comparing Nick to Chris Daughtry, Rob Thomas and even David Cook, but that's not bad company to have your name thrown around with. Nick was crazy into the song, he really jammed out and stepped it up.
Judge's Comments= Harry-There's an underlying serious to this competition, everyone is fighting. Sees more and more of him. It was strong. Keith-His tone makes him exciting. Looks forward to hearing him every week. Jennifer-Can't stress more the importance of connecting to the lyrics. Sang it great, did a great job.
Our Grade=B+

(My Generation-The Who)
Scott wants Jax to nail it with her strengths. This is very Jax, Scott did a great job on his song choices.She really rocked out, and her voice was on point. She went around the stage, interacted with the audience, rocked out with the band and the drummer. It's a song from 1965, but she made it sound current and hip. Obviously any sickness she had last week is gone because her voice rocked out really hard. Really outstanding.
Judge's Comments= Keith-That was friggin awesome. It exploded when the key change went up. Jennifer-It was a perfect song, the audience, everyone. Killed that. Harry-Absolutely made the most of her opportunity. Best performance she has ever done. 
Our Grade=A

Contestant's Perform-Round 2: Hometown Dedication

(Back Home-Andy Grammer)
Nick's Hometown is Guilford, Connecticut. Everyone's video package is gonna be filled with a ton of emotion and hometown pride. I really enjoyed this song choice by Nick. It was current, he sounded really amazing and looked really comfortable. It's not the most well known song out there, so it sounded like it could be his own, and that's what was great about it. It was fun and cool. Nicely done.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-That was another song. Each week we have seen him getting better and better. Really great performance. Harry-Sometimes a critique isn't warranted and this was the case this time. Very strong again. Keith-Awesome to see him here and his family.
Our Grade=A-

(Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay-Otis Redding)
Nick's Hometown is White House, Tennessee. This is Clark's kind of song, more than the other one. It's him, sitting behind the piano, no band, just singing straight. He does his vocal tricks and growls and grunts that he is known for at this point. It's not gonna be on the top of the Pop Charts, but it was sung really well. His last note was really great, it was a cool run right at the end that showcased his talents off. The predictable song choice makes the grade go down a little, but it's still better than his first performance.
Judge's Comments= Harry-First time he got to know Clark, it was nice to see. Nice performance. Keith-Still missing some struggle, some humanity, it's so good there is no veneer on it. Jennifer-This song is who he is. Sounded beautiful, felt his heart on it.
Our Grade=B

(As-Stevie Wonder)
Rayvon's Hometown is Richmond, Virginia. I love this song so much. It's just a classic, though many/most of Stevie Wonder songs are. This song really gets Rayvon into a groove. He really is jamming tonight, this song featured very little falsetto, just a ton of really on point runs. He is really fighting for every note and lyric and trying to get to that finale next week.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Great song choice for him. Effortless. Jennifer-Silky vocals can't ever count him out. Harry-Been wanting to see him move. Looked great up there. To see him sing and marry that with the joy is beautiful thing. 
Our Grade=A-

(My Immortal-Evanescence)
Jax's Hometown is East Brunswick, New Jersey. This is a perfect song choice for Jax. Evanescence's lead singer Amy Lee has a killer voice but on this particular song she is more subtle yet powerful and I think that's what Jax was going for, but she was even more soft and delicate on it, and didn't go for the huge notes like the original.  I think her first performance was pretty perfect, so this didn't land quite as much, but it was very emotional and poignant at parts. It was just her on the piano, singing to her hometown, really sweet.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Loved that even though the song gets big, she did it really soft. There's a humility and confidence she has which is integral for a superstar. She could have gone big, but she went opposite and that's the humility she had. She's amazing. Harry-Jennifer was so eloquent, because everything she said was right on. Keith-Also defers to Jennifer's comments.
Our Grade=A-

Contestant's Perform-Round 3: Judge's Picks

(Earned It-Weeknd)
The judge's chose this song to make him do something modern. Clark hits some really beautiful and out of character falsettos on this song. It was sexy and cool right in his wheelhouse. Clark does do old-school soul really well, but this fit him and was current, so that's a perfect combination. Some of those big notes were so perfect. Really enjoyed this more than his other 2 performances combined.
Judges' Comments= Harry-One thing to make it better, to find what he did in the end of the song and bring it to beginning. Needs to make it intense all way through.  Keith-Felt so many different things this time. Jennifer-That was a great version. Towards the end it got electric, but sees that it would be great to bring that to the beginning as well.
Our Grade=A-

(You Are So Beautiful-Joe Cocker)
Rayvon's biggest strength is when he connects to the lyrics and is powerful, it doesn't necessarily have to be a ballad, but he is really good at them and this song didn't disappoint. There were a couple sleepy points, but when he reached for some of the lyrics and really pushed it was fantastic. Not his best of the night, but really sweet and pretty.
Judge's Comments= Keith-Beautiful arrangement. Jennifer-Wanted him to sing to his Mom. There aren't so many lyrics, and it needed a little more variation and that comes with more connection. Harry-Felt that he was singing it emotionally.Liked the arrangement and how he switched it up.
Our Grade=B+

(Misery Buisness-Paramore)
The judge's wanted to give Jax a challenge with this one. I liked thatn she could have went with the original arrangement but didn't. This one was still hard, at least her voice was, but the arrangement was really scaled back and made it more with guitar lead, rather than big and loud. I think that was a smart thing to do. She made it her own, yet kept the integrity of the song. It mixed together to sound different, and that hasn't always worked for Jax in the past, but I liked that she did her own thing. Not as great as her first two performances, but still solid.  
Judge's Comments=Keith-It was an unusual arrangement. She sang phenomenal. The arrangement didn't go together. Jennifer-Wanted her to go hard, and not pull it back too far, that's why they chose that song. Harry-This one wasn't as great as the others. Relied on the guitar player more than being a lead singer. Needs to command the song. 
Our Grade=B

(I'll Be-Edwin McCain)
Keith said he doesn't know if people will know this song, I feel like everyone knows this song, right? I don't know. This song didn't really challenge Nick, it was just laid up on a tee for him. It was sung really well, but it was his usual thing again. I thought they would have went a little off the beaten path, but they stayed right in Nick's lane and laid it up for him.Again, it was well done, just not overly different than anything else. Keith gives him a standing ovation.  
Judge's Comments=Harry-Aside from great vocal, sounded like he sang the underbelly of the lyrics. Keith-That song is perfect, it would be a hit for him. Jennifer-Sat in it perfectly. It was amazing. Like 5 weeks ago he realized he could win this, and he can. 
Our Grade=B+

Going Home?
Rayvon. This dude had one of, if not the best run someone can do when being in the Bottom consistently week after week. I admire that he saw that things weren't working and decided to change and do better, and be better. He was strong tonight and leaves on a positive note.

Best of the Night= Jax. I think 2 out of her 3 songs were phenomenal. Her last performance wasn't that great, but I think because her other 2 were incredibly strong she overtook the night. Nick was really solid on 2 out of his 3 as well, but Jax has the slight edge.

Going Home Predictions 
Clark. He had another sub-par night. His last performance was his best, and if people vote just based on that performance then he might be okay, but his first performance was really rough, and his second one was really predictable. Jax and Nick deserve a spot in the finale. 

Final Thoughts
*It's unbelievable that we are down to the Final 3. If we look at overall season performances and critiques the Top 3 people are here. If we were to look at the past few weeks only then Rayvon should be here and Clark should be gone. But that's not what people have been voting on, obviously.

*Next week the Top 2 will be revealed at the very top of the hour. So it will be a pure 2 person finale, with three songs each. There are 2 men(Nick and Clark) and 1 female (Jax) left, so let's take a quick look at what Idol history tells us:
-In 13 past finales there have been 8 finales with 1 man and 1 woman.
-There have been 3 finales with 2 guys
-2 finales with 2 females.
-In the 8 finales with a male and a female the male has won 5 times.
-The last time a female has been up against a male and won is Season 6 (Jordin Sparks over Blake Lewis).

*History is on the side of Jax and one of the guys making it to the finale and not 2 men making it. BUT, history is not so kind to her winning, the odds are on the side of whichever guy is next to her. There's your Idol history lesson for the day.

Next week the show will be on Tuesday, and the champion will be crowned on Wednesday. So come on back on Tuesday 5/12 right after the show. So until next time, see ya!

1 comment:

  1. It was the right choice for Rayvon to go home. I still have a bad taste in my mouth with him beating Tyanna last week and getting another chance so many weeks in a row. I'm sure the other contestants bumped off time and again with the fan save probably feel the same way. This is petty but I was getting so tired of his hats - would have liked to see some hatless performances.

    It appears to me the judges are pushing for a Nick/Jax finale with all of the criticism they give only Clark even after his good/great performances lately.

    Not too fond of keeping the show at 2 hours even with only 4 left. Also, don't like them all performing 3 songs only to have 1 leave at the end of the show. Finally, word on the street is that Jax will be safe for the final two and it's a toss-up between Clark and Nick. We shall see but I'm happy that it will be a male/female finale!