Thursday, February 18, 2016

Top 24 Part 4: Duets w/Idol Alums & Results

Welcome back. To be honest, last night was lackluster, and in many ways kind of nerve racking for the sake of the show. There weren't many standout performances. The song choices were off, the performances were sometimes self-indulgent or underwhelming, it was a tough night. Last week the majority of the judge's decisions were made based off the solo rounds, it's very possible that this time the decisions will be based off of the duets with past Idol Alums and some past performances in Hollywood and during Top 51 week.

I am incredibly excited about tonight's alums. David Cook is one of my favorite winners. Hailey Reinhardt is one of my favorite non-winners. Jordin Sparks, Chris Daughtry, Constantine Maroulis and Kellie Pickler were all contestants I rooted for either all the way until they won(in Jordan's case) or they were eliminated. So I am excited to hear them again on the Idol stage. So with all that being said, let's get started:

Duets with Idol Alums

Amelia Eisenhauer & Kellie Pickler(Season 5) 
(Suds in the Bucket by Sara Evans)
Kellie's personality was always bigger than her voice, at least on the Idol stage. I think her voice has matured greatly since Season 5, which was ten years ago...craziness. Amelia and Kellie's voice matched very well, almost so much that you couldn't hear one over the other. Amelia does have her fiddle to rely on, instead of having a solo vocal performance, she goes with her fiddle. I liked tonight's performance more than last night. Still wasn't overly impressive, but it sure was interesting.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Loves to see someone up and coming with someone with so much experience. Amelia came out fighting, absolutely terrific. Keith-Such a great song, spirit was great. Stepped up in a big way. Jennifer-Felt right at home with Kellie. It was a really good job.

Kory Wheeler & Haley Reinhardt(Season 10)
(Bennie & The Jets by Elton John)
Haley is one of my favorite Idol contestants of all time. She was just fun, her voice was amazing, I thought she was like an underdog that rose all the way to Top 3 in her season, and I think she should have at least been in the finale with Scotty McCreery. But it was the season of the country star and she was not. Haley and Kory singing this song is great. Her growls are still there, love it so much. Kory is a little like a lost puppy. She just dominates the song and flow that he just tries to keep up. It was a little mismatched in my opinion. Still a nice job, and better than last night.
Judge's Comments=Keith-So good. Good song. Mashed up really well. Jennifer-Did really well with her. That song blew everyone away when Haley did that song. Harry-Haley sings in the pocket and it helped really ground Kory tonight.

Lee Jean & Chris Daughtry (Season 5)
Lee Jean just was astonished and speechless when he met Chris. Daughtry wants Lee to not be nervous. Daughtry should have won his season or been in the finale but was eliminated way too early, as everyone knows. His post-Idol career just boomed and he has done amazingly. Lee Jean tried his best to go hard, but Daughtry is singing his song, so it's tough to keep up. Lee just doesn't have that strong voice, it's gentle and cute. It was alright, again better than last night, but still a little unsure about him.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Did a great job. Speechless. Harry-Really strong. Has a lot of fun on stage. Captivating. Very controlled, and passionate. Keith-Brought this storyteller quality to this song. Cool to hear that song from someone that came from American Idol.

CJ Johnson & David Cook(Season 7 Winner)
(The World I Know-Collective Soul)
David Cook was one of my favorite winnners. He is probably right behind Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood for me. His creativity and voice just blew me away. I think this is a great pairing.  I don't know if I love this song choice. David sang so many memorable songs on the show that could have matched CJ's voice a little more. I am curious to know if CJ chose this song, if David chose or most likely, the producers. CJ still has one of the strongest male vocals left in the competition, but it wasn't my favorite of him.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Cliche to say their voices blended well together. This was a great opportunity to see who can hang with people who have done it. Obvious to see he does a lot of gigs. Keith-Held his own. Stayed in his own lane. It's not much of a song to do something with. Good as anyone could. Jennifer-The song felt a little mellow compared to the others. Wish it was a bring the audience up kind of song.

Manny Torres & Jordin Sparks(Season 6 Winner)
(No Air by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown)
This was easily one of Jordin's most famous post-Idol songs. This is also a real duet, so it makes it easier than when you take a non-duet song and splitting it up. Jordin is giving Manny a tough time, telling him to work on owning and feeling his lyrics. Manny was trying his best to be himself and not Chris Brown, but it was a little lackluster. He tried hard to match up. At points I believed this duet and enjoyed it, but it was uneven.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Watching her sing next to her was funny with her heels on. It's like him with his wife. Great together. Powerhouse duet time. Terrific. Jennifer-Couldn't have been more perfect. Really really good. Harry-Jordin was spectacular. He has a lot of charisma. Great vocal performance.

Jenn Blosil & Constantine Maroulis(Season 4)
(My Funny Valentine-Frank Sinatra)
Constantine was great on his season, he was really the first rocker on the show, him and Bo Bice really were the firsts. Constantine was known for his flirting and looking into the camera during his time on the show, so he tries to tell Jenn how to do this. Gotta say Jenn started off kind of off tune and pitchy. Right after Constantine began to sing, and they started to sing together it blended really well, and she got into the groove. I don't really know about this one. I like her, but it was a little off at times.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-It was the embodiment of perfect duet, two that are different and coming together. They were in their own world. Harry-Constantine is terrific. This song doesn't need energy, but it turned into a shouting match, which wasn't appropriate for this song. Keith-Freakin loved it. Jenn got more consistent with her delivery. Jenn dominated the whole thing. Strong, cool, fantastic.

Tristan McIntosh & Kellie Pickler
(Best Days of Your Life-Kellie Pickler)
Singing your duet's partners own song is tough. Because no matter what happens, it is their song and know it inside out, and all you can do is try to catch up. Tristan is singing her second country song in two night, but she isn't a country singer. I don't get it. Tristan sounded out of tune at points. There were some nice runs in there. It was uneven, that's really all I can say.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Pretty good. Pretty darn good. Encourages her to not rush, not to sing out of the pocket. Needs to be aware of the stage. Wanders sometimes. Keith-Felt like the song was tricky to sing the harmony below Kellie. It was a little shaky, pitch wise. Jennifer-Has eye on her as one of the special ones, but thinks she looks pretty inexperienced. Doesn't know if she will find her groove. 

Olivia Rox & David Cook
(Light On-David Cook)
This was one of David's big songs in his post-Idol career. I think this was a great Idol pairing. Their voices make sense to be paired up. David admits this is a tough song to sing because it has a crazy amount of range. This was a tough song, there are some serious low notes and then super high notes. She keeps up with him, so that's really impressive, also this it's his song, so that's even a few more extra bonus points. I also loved the falsetto at the end. She did a really nice job.
Judge's Comments=Keith-High praise when David says he keeps up with him. Jennifer-Voice is phenomenal, if she can find her groove she is gonna be around for a long time. Harry-Did a fantastic job. Idol is lucky to have her. 

Haley Reinhardt and Adam Lasher
(Can't Help Falling In Love-Elvis Presley)
Haley has done this song in her own way in her post-Idol career. This song has been done many times and in many ways, so hearing Haley sing it is amazing. Adam does a nice job. His voice is really rich and velvety. He looked a little uncomfortable at times. He was best when he was looking right into her eyes, than when looking at the audience. This was done really sweetly and tenderly. Very nice, very pretty.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-It was very strong. The song is so beautiful, hard to go wrong. Stayed his course and supported it, and came off well. Harry-Haley is gifted. It was lovely, it was captivating. Doesn't have to sing so on the beat, can be even more creativity. Keith-When next to someone so effortless, it highlighted the fact that he didn't loosen up. She was in the moment, and he was stiff. 

Dalton Rapattoni and Chris Daughtry
(Higher Ground-Stevie Wonder)
Chris wants Dalton to slow down and make the right changes to the song.  Dalton is very much about taking a song we all know and flipping it on his head. This was similar to the version that Chris sang on his song. Dalton did a really good job. It was entertaining, it was fun, he stuck with Chris really well. I enjoyed it.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Terrific. Every performance has been great. Solid, but was lucky the band was behind him. Did what he was supposed to do. Keith-Really cool. The two come out it differently. Incredible. Jennifer-Loving him. It was dynamic. Dark horse that is coming to the surface at the right time.

Trent Harmon & Jordin Sparks
(To Love Somebody-Bee Gees)
Jordin destroyed this song during her season. Jordin thinks Trent is so good she doesn't wanna sing next to him. Trent really is so good and he held up well with Jordin. He jammed and grooved, some of his facial expressions are a little crazy, but hopefully that can be fixed because his voice is that good to stay in this competition for a long time.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Great song. Changed things up stylistically, so much more to him. Jennifer-Surprises us once and awhile. Great tone. The two of them together was great. Harry-Loves this song. He should make this song as a single, or duet with Jordin. Really good job.

Shelbie Z and Constantine Maroulis
(Bohemian Rhapsody-Queen)
This is a huuuuge song, and that's an understatement. It's one of the most famous, theatrical, powerful song of all time. Constantine held his own during his season, but Shelbie hasn't proved yet that she could pull this big of a song off yet. She has done Heart songs a couple times, but there is a difference between Queen and anyone else. Shelbie does a nice job in the beginning with Constantine, but when it got to the fast-paced middle section of the song it goes off the rails a little. She sang out of tune and although she has attitude and great stage presence, the vocals went astray.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Lost Shelbie in that. Doesn't understand her doing that song, way too theatrical. Harry-Tough song to do as a duet. Doesn't get her prescriptive. Unbelievable lyrics and melody and didn't seem she had a point of view. Keith-Love this song, it didn't pull him in. 

Going Home Predictions(Based on Last Night & Tonight)
1.Tristan McIntosh
2. Kory Wheeler 
3. Adam Lasher
4. Amelia Eisenhauer
5. Shelbie Z

Actually Eliminated
1. Kory Wheeler
2. Adam Lasher
3. Amelia Eisenhauer
4. Shelbie Z
5. CJ Johnson 

Top 14 Moving On (From Last Week & This Week)
1. LaPorsha Renae
2. Geneve Mitchell
3. Mackenzie Bourg
4. Sonika Vaid
5. Avalon Young
6.Gianna Isabella
7.Thomas Stringfellow
8. Lee Jean
9. Olivia Rox
10. Jenn Blosil
11. Dalton Rapattoni
12. Manny Torres
13. Tristan McIntosh
14. Trent Harmon

Final Thoughts

*I can't wait until the audience gets to vote and the shows are live. Up until this point everything has been edited and pointed towards these 14 people. If you were to look back at all of the screen time, all of the notable performances, the Top 14 really had the majority of the time. Only Emily Brooke had the amount of screen time as the Top 14 and didn't make it. I picked 12 out of 14 correct, not just based on their performances in the two days, but just from watching Season 15. If you have watched American Idol long enough you could have picked up on this too, I am sure many of you did.

*These Idol Alums, this week, and last, were not just alumni or great duet partners, but great mentors. I know some people think this duet portion came too early this season, but I think this was a great time for these contestants to learn something from the past contestants that have done this before.

*Next week we will finally see the Top 14 sing together on one show. Don't get too comfortable though. As soon as we get the Top 10 assembled, the following week there will be a double elimination, then another double elimination. So there is gonna be a lot of people gone in a very short amount of time. In less than one month we will already be down to a Top 6. This season and show itself is gonna be gone so soon. It's craziness.

That's it. Come on back next Wednesday for more Idol recaps and opinions. Hope you have a great week. Until next time, see ya!

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