I don't care which one of them wins as long as it's one of them!
- Melanie Amaro - There is just nothing left to say about Melanie's voice. It's amazing that she was never discovered before this. She definitely has grown with confidence over the weeks. I really enjoyed her "minor key" renedition of Mariah's "Hero" but I will say this. She had nothing to do with any "NEW SOUND" there. The musicians changed up the music but she sang Mariah's exact same melody. It didn't matter. She did it amazingly. And then "Feeling Good"...I'll admit I'm sick of hearing this song on reality shows, but I'm never sick of hearing Melanie's "SINGING" voice (I'll stress the "singing" part. More on that in a second). And when she ended with those high notes, I feared where she was going and then she hit it beautifully. Amazing vocalist and I'm still convinced Simon sending her home was all a ploy for "good" television. But then the TALKING. My wife and I just sat there after each performance talking Melanie through it, "Ok Melanie, now just sit there and smile. Don't TALK!!!" It's almost like she got some tips off-stage because that's what she did. But then, she saw a fan's sign in the audience that said "THE TRUTH". And she had to look at L.A. and ask him if he remembered when he said that about her. WHAAAT!?!?!? Melanie, why do you do this!? I know she doesn't realize that she comes off a little conceited when she does things like that. It's probably because she's so excited that she's there, that Simon brought her back, that her dreams are so close to coming true. But, whew, it does not look good on TV when she does those things. I think America has been looking past this though, and hopefully the votes will prove that.
- Josh Krajcik - Melanie and Josh are 2 distinctly different types of amazing. Where Melanie has the beautiful voice and new-found confidence, Josh has an amazing ability to express his emotions while singing with that awesomely raspy voice of his. The Beatles cover? I groaned when I heard "Come Together" once again being performed. Every musician worth his/her salt wants to cover this song. But Josh's was just different enough for me to dig it. It felt natural, it felt like Josh and another awesome performance. But with "Hallelujah" he sealed the deal. Again, another song I'm tired of hearing on these shows, but when someone like Josh gets ahold of it and does it with his piano skills...(real piano skills, not the fake ones Chris had on display. More on that too) chills, chills and more chills!! It was amazing. The fact that L.A. Reid even TRIED to criticize it just showed how ridiculous this show can be when the judges have to defend their own contestant. There is no way to say that someone didn't FEEL that performance. Paula's tears for once were justified. And I would have slapped L.A. across the face if I was one of those ladies sitting next to him. Simon's critique you could see coming a mile away with the "appearing to be negative but then turn ridiculously positive" trick, but he deserved it. So good. I really can't decide which one of these 2 I would like to win. I decided that as long as it's one of them, it doesn't matter to me. They both deserve it! Maybe I'd give the edge to Josh because he has kept his post-performance comments to a minimum and respectful! But I still think Melanie doesn't realize she's doing it.
- Chris Rene - Here's another case of I just don't know what else I can say about him. There is no doubt that he has a feel good story of having something positive happen after being involved in some bad stuff. And it's great that he has gotten this far. But, I don't think other more talented people should suffer because of that! I just don't get the appeal. I know he didn't pick Sugar Ray's "FLY" and the fans did (I really question America on that one. But I don't know what the other options were!). But man was it ridiculously silly! They all talk about how he's not a strong singer but his persona reflects in his performances. Maybe it does. But I'd rather see a great stage performer who can ALSO sing well! I still think he's a one hit wonder with his "Young Homie" jingle. And once I saw the clip that he was going to show some of his piano skills that he learned from his Dad, I wondered if he'd be doing a 3-Chord song and playing said 3 chords on the piano. In case you don't know what a 3-Chord song is, it's Alicia Keys' "No One"!! I started playing piano when I was 4, playing the melody of "We Are the World" by ear and impressing my family enough to get me started with lessons. I'm pretty sure I could play the C, F and G chords before I learned how to read. And once you know those 3 chords, you open up a world of songs that you can fake your way through. Ladies and gentelemen meet Chris Rene showcasing his "piano skills" in front of millions of people! It's embarrassing to real pianists that he considers this a real gift that he's inherited from his father and that the judges are going to praise him for bringing that gift to the world. And hey, I'm not saying that he sang badly or played the wrong chords (but his piano posture is awkward enough to make Lady Gaga looks like she is a traditional pianst!), it just wasn't worth BIG MONEY. I have this scary feeling that he could win this show, especially when Simon says stuff like, "you're the dark horse in this competition." And, I just don't think he deserves it. He has gotten this far, he has gotten recognition. His life will be better than it has been, let's stop things soon please! That being said, I hope he makes it to next week because there's someone else that really needs to go.
- Marcus Canty - He didn't pick the Boyz II Men tune, but he sure made it as cheesy as he could. And L.A. put the icing on the cake with the temptresses dressed in red dancing on heavenly clouds, and giving Marcus a silly flower to give to screaming girls (really girls rolling their eyes at how incredibly corny this was). I really hope America puts this guy out of his misery. This is painful. And it doesn't get more painful than having to endure an up tempo version of Wham's "Careless Whisper". There was a sort of irony when he sang the lyrics "I'm never gonna dance again" because once again we just saw everyone dancing around him as he jiggled his legs trying to appear like he's doing a lot more. You just can't put this guy in the same category as Melanie and Josh. It's like watching 2 different shows. And this one might have gotten honorable mention at a small town talent show. (In case you were wondering, the burping pig got 1st place)
The finale will host Melanie, Josh and Chris. Marcus shall go home tonight. I can handle Chris going home only because it should ensure a Melanie or Josh victory, but it really has to be Marcus.
That's it folks! We'll see how things go tonight. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!