Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Top 24 Part 3: Remaining 12 out of 24 Solo Performances

Welcome back. Last week was very interesting. We saw 12 contestants perform their solo songs and then perform the very next day in a duet with a past Idol alum. It came with mixed results. The most weighted aspect of the judge's decision comes from the solo round but with the judge's voting and not the home audience it is what it is. 5 of those 12 contestants were eliminated. Tonight and tomorrow the same pattern will occur. We will see how they do, or if they struggle like some did last week. So let's get right to it:

Solo Rounds
Shelbie Z
(Work Hard, Play Harder-Gretchen Wilson)
Shelbie owns the stage, that's just her personality and persona. She is very comfortable up there. I think her main strength is working the stage, working the audience, her voice is probably behind that. It isn't bad, everybody has a different strength, the stage is hers.
Judge's Comments-Keith-Look like she should be up on stage. Chose a key that held her down. Sacrificed the song for the big note at end. Jennifer-Lot of energy. Knows she has amazing vocals. Harry-Sound great. Very comfortable.

Manny Torres
(Adventure of A Lifetime-Coldplay)
He is an entertainer but his voice was lacking a little here. I don't think he ever found the real groove on this song. Chris Martin of Coldplay is just so chill and makes it easy, Manny is super chill, so I get the choice to sing this, but I wasn't over-thrilled here.
Judge's Comments-Jennifer-Could have connected more with audience, but did own stage. Harry-Felt a little piece meal, sometimes was smiling, sometimes wasn't. All about the lyrics. Keith-Doesn't think this was a good song choice for him.

Kory Wheeler 
(Let It Go-James Bay)
Kory has a very nice voice, strong at points, subtle at others. I liked this performance, it was easy, good vocals, solid job. Not outstanding or memorable, but good.
Judge's Comments=Harry-It was pretty good, not great. Not particularly special, not moving. Jennifer-Looked more comfortable on stage than ever. So beginning of what he will turn into. Keith-Good mix of vulnerability and confidence. 

Amelia Eisenhauer
(Wake Me Up-Avicci)
I don't know if I liked the beginning of the song when she slowed it down and changed the tone and melody. When she got to the second part of the song and the band came in, I felt like she was catching up to it. I never felt comfortable with this performance, and I don't know if she was either.
Judge's Comments-Keith-Liked that she is trying things. Jennifer-Not sure it was the best song, but is a special girl. Harry-Need to find songs that are quirkier, because she is a little quirkier.

 Jenn Blosil 
(Sorry-Justin Bieber)
I give her credit for switching things up here, this is one of the most popular songs out there right now. When she hit the chorus of the song it sounded great, the beginning was a little shaky, but she found her groove mid way through. She has an outstanding voice. This competition needs her.
Judge's Comments- Harry-Deserving of all the fans she has. Breath of fresh air. Extremely out of tune. Not very good. Keith-Commend her originality. Jennifer-Loves what she does, but shaky in the beginning. Got into it. 

CJ Johnson
(I'll Be-Edwin McCain)
CJ's voice is one of the best male voices left in this competition. This song has been sung a ton of time in the history of Idol, but when it's sung well you can forget about the other times, CJ did a nice job with this. He tried to go a little more subdued than his usual go all out vocal. I liked to see this side of him. It wasn't his best, but still very good.
Judges Comments=Keith-Perfect song, range, key. Jennifer-Great song, great vocal, great performance, sang right to her and the audience. Harry-Sang the song really well. Needs to sing it in tune.

Lee Jean
(Runaway-Ed Sheeran)
He has a very fresh voice, really sweet but some groove in there too. It wasn't spectacular, but there was nothing wrong with that at all.
Judge's Comments-Keith-Voice is so real. Believes his story. Doesn't like the song choice. Jennifer-Sounded great, has rhythm, it all works, but songs are not big hits that everyone can sing along to. Harry-Thinks that should practice playing and singing at same time. Better performance of the night. 

Trent Harmon
(What Are You Listening To-Chris Stapelton)
His voice reminds me of Tom Petty, distinct, powerful, yet a good story-teller. He has a great connection to lyrics, to the audience and to the camera. Really beautiful job by him.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Really loves him. Feels like when he sings it really gets to her heart. Tone of voice, feeling that he sings with. Gonna be in the competition for a long time. Harry-Gifted vocalist here. Keith-Tremendous song choice. Nobody knows it but the lyrics are great and he sang it really well. 

Tristan McIntosh
(Good Girl-Carrie Underwood)
This is yet another side to Tristan. We have seen her try to be Alicia Keys, a rocker, and now she is a country singer? I don't know. I just don't know how to identify Tristan at this point and this is at least the 4th or 5th time we have seen her. Her voice is solid, but not sure about this song choice.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-End picked up stage. Beginning made it seem like she was thinking too much. Harry-Super talented, singing loud was good, bad news was everyone is giving okay performance. It was fine. Keith-So much talent, looks like a million bucks. Not a great song choice.

Adam Lasher
(Black and Gold-Sam Sparro)
I have never heard of this song, or the artist, but it fits Adam's voice...pretty well. He looks a little nervous on stage. I have heard him sing better and look better on stage. It was okay, not really memorable or anything.
Judge's Comments=Harry-That was a shuffle. Needs a certain intensity and didn't set the right groove. Wishy washy. Keith-Baffled why he chose that song. Needs to figure out what sets him apart. Jennifer-Could have been better. Song choice was so important. Couldn't get into the melody of it. 

 Dalton Rapattoni
(Rebel Yell-Billy Idol) 
This is definitely one of the most creative contestants left in this competition. He chose a good song, made it his own, but kept the intensity and main aspects of the original song. It was creative, it was really good, especially with tonight being a very off night for others.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Made her feel something. Pretty as can be. Great performance. Harry-Absolutely phenomenal performance great interpretation of that song. Tremendous. Keith-Never disappoints, always gonna make it his own. Got his own genre.

Olivia Rox
(Confident-Demi Lovato)
Her voice is so strong. She can be a threat in this competition. I loved this performance right from the first note. It just hit the right tone, right feeling, and not to add a pun, but she was really confident. She owned the stage, hit all the right notes, sang strong and powerful and just great.
Judge's Comments= Harry-Very strong. Only nitpick is to make the rhythm powerful. Keith-Show just started now. Her tone is just an amazing gift. Jennifer-Really loved it too. Voice is so strong.

In Danger To Go Home
All the contestants will get another chance to sing with a past Idol contestant, but they will have to really step it up.  If not they could be one of the five that will be eliminated tomorrow.
1.Amelia Eisenhauer
2.Adam Lasher
3. Kory Wheeler
4.Tristan McIntosh
5. Manny Torres

Final Thoughts
*Tonight was super rough. The song choices were disappointing, the performances were lackluster at points and the quality of talent wasn't high. There were only a couple really good performances and they came at the end of the show by Dalton and Olivia. The majority of the others were middle of the line or below the line.

*I usually don't agree with the judges as much as I did tonight. The song choices need to connect more with the audience. There were at least 3 or 4 songs that I have never heard of, and at least 2 or 3 others that I have heard of but only briefly. It's one thing to sing a song that is obscure at a gig when you are mixing that with more popular songs, but when you only sing one song it has to be perfect, tonight was very far from it.

That's it. Come on back here tomorrow to see the Idol alum pair up with some of these contestants. We will also see the elimination of 5 more contestants. A lot to get to. So until then, see ya!

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