Thursday, March 15, 2012

American Idol: Season 11 Top "12" Perform

Hello Idol fans!   Another year, another weird controversy.  That's right folks, Jermaine Jones has left us as quickly as he returned to us.  He has some silly warrants out that pretty much made no sense and that disqualified him.  In all honesty, the spectacle they made of it with bringing out Nigel and Ken to fire him in front of the cameras made LESS sense.  But, whatever.  If you noticed, Ryan Seacrest chose his words carefully that everyone is in "danger" of elimination.  But he never once said that someone will be booted tonight.  At the end he said something about seeing who is going to make the tour.  My guess, before even getting into the recap is that no one will be eliminated tonight and EVERYONE left will make the tour.  I think they had a top 11 go on tour before.  But one thing they cannot do is mess with the Idol schedule.  If they eliminated someone tonight, then there would have to be a week at some point where no one goes home.  I haven't heard any mentions of the Judges' save this year either but maybe that's who they'll get around sending someone home.  I don't know.  But as far as the recap goes, I'll pick a bottom 3 and a "supposed" ousted contestant.  We'll see how things go!   This will be short again.

Songs from the Year They were Born
(anyone else depressed that some were born in 1995?)

  • Joshua Ledet (1992) "When a Man Loves a Woman" - They certainly saved a 1, 2, 3 punch for the end.  Before that, I was getting incredibly bored with the show forgetting that they kicked off with 2 decent performances too.  But, by far Joshua and his "When a Man Loves a Woman" rendition was ridiculously out of the park.  I was scared Randy was going to go and say the best performance ever on Idol.  Because he pretty much says that every week.  But, it definitely ranks up there.  I think anyone that knows me, knows I'm partial to our inagural winner's best performance for the best ever idol performance.   But, as my wife pointed out last night she doesn't remember ever being brought to tears by a performance, and Joshua succeeded with that last night.  His voice is ridiculous.  And it would be impossible to count him out as a potential and deserving winner of this competition.  In my opinion, there are 5 in the running this year and 3 of them are in this top category for me this week.  Definitely the best of the night.
  • Hollie Cavanagh (1993) "The Power of Love" - I will never get used to that powerful voice coming out of her.  It's amazing. Sure, she was sharp in the beginning but she overcame it and sold that she could perform as well as Celine given the chance.  And she's what, 19?  That voice is only going to improve!  Outstanding.
  • Skylar Laine (1994) "Love Sneakin' Up on You" - Way to go Skylar for sticking to your guns with the song choice.  Totally disagreed with Jimmy and Will I Am on trying to change the song.  This girl apparently knows what she's doing, so she shouldn't compromise.  We're way past her whole Miranda Lambert Clone phase.  I'm sure it's not over, given the opportunity she'll pick a Miranda tune!  But, she's really really good. 

  • Phillip Phillips (1990) "Hard to Handle" - Okay, there was some confusion on the dates of when he actually had his surgery.  He mentioned Thursday which would have to have been last week, right?  Yet, they make it seem like he's meeting with Jimmy and Will the day of the competition.  So something didn't add up.  I wonder if they film those clips before a contestant is eliminated?  They probably do.  Because these contestants usually know what songs they're going to sing in the coming weeks.  Anyway, I think Phillip had plenty of time to recover from his surgery, but still impressive that he was there and performing.  And he did a really good job.  Not as great as the 3 above, but good enough to appease his massive fan base.  Plus, the song is a classic!
  • Jessica Sanchez (1995) "Turn the Beat Around" - I don't know what the judges were smoking.  Jessica was awesome on this song.  Much better than Diana DeGarmo ever was.  Plus, even if the voters weren't thrilled with the song selection, they'll vote for those sparkly pants!  This is a 5-way race right now, and I don't think Jessica lost any ground. 
  • Elise Testone (1983) "Let's Stay Together" - Much better than last week.  Good enough to win?  Probably not.  But, I can't help it.  I really like her vocal style.  So, I really enjoyed the performance.  I just don't think it will stand out enough in the end.
  • Colton Dixon (1991) "Broken Heart" - The best thing Colton could have done last night was make fun of himself for picking weird songs and promise to change it next week.  It made us appreciate the performance he was about to give.  And the tune really wasn't that bad!  He has a really good voice, and I hope to see him put it to good use in the weeks ahead.  With all the publicity he has gotten, he'll be fine.

  • DeAndre Brackensick (1994) "Endless Love" - A victim of a bad song selection made for him.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" would have been better.  These guys depress me.  1991-1994 had some really ground breaking music coming out and they were too young to appreciate it!  Of course, I'm sure those artists haven't provided permission to use their music on Idol, but still!   I'm not a fan of DeAndre's anyway.  The hair, the falsetto (which was very forced into the tune this week), it's just too much for me.  But, I kinda felt bad for him when they picked that song for him.  Because he can do the low notes and high notes, I really thought he was going to sing both the male and female parts during the tune switching from low to high for each.  When cracking jokes like that, it's hard for me to take his performance seriously!  But, I'm sure many of his fans did.
  • Erika Van Pelt (1985) "Heaven" - Poor Erika.  I really feel like she has some really good talent.  Truthfully, there aren't many rotten eggs in this bunch.  But, that arrangement of the Bryan Adams classic tune was just horrific.  And as a sidebar, is anyone else annoyed that these pre-performance clips are giving away the big moments of the performances and showing how they come together?   I think if the band cut out during Erika's performance or if Jessica turned around and said to everyone "Y'all ready for this" without us knowing they were coming, they would be a lot more effective.   Then again, Erikia's rhythm seemed all off when she returned from that band break and it didn't do her any justice.  She may just not be cut out for this game.  And that's a shame, because her voice is really good too.

Time to Go
  • Heejun Han (1989) "Right Here Waiting" - Oh Heejun.  I don't think you have much time left.  The only thing I could hear during his performance was a lot of breathing and a lot of off-pitch notes.  And sure enough, that's what the judges, besides J Lo, heard too.   That's another thing.  The fact that the judges were being critical last night is another reason that I think no one is going home.  They figured it was a safe night to provide constructive criticism.   But, whatever!    So, yeah, Heejun was not good last night.  Comedy will only get him so far.
  • Shannon Magrane (1995) "One Sweet Day" - Oh boy. Where to start?  Obviously, as the judges said, she couldn't have picked a more complicated song.  Mariah and Boys II Men?  Vocal powerhouses back in their day?  This song came out in their prime and it would be tough for her to come out and distance herself from that great recording.  And, well, she didn't.  It wasn't awful.  It was just kinda there.  And when she got to the big moment of the song and really tried to take her voice to another level, the voice didn't deliver.  She went sharp and it was a mess from there.  I'd say if someone was going to go home, she might be in the most trouble.
Elimination Picks
Bottom 3: Heejun, Erika, Shannon  Wildcard:  Elise

Elimination Pick: No one goes home!  Everyone makes the tour! 

But if I had to make a Pick: Shannon Magrane - She's been given too many opportunities to impress and hasn't taken advantage.  Sorry, Shannon!

So, we'll see if we're going to waste an hour of our lives tonight or not.  Of course, all won't be for nothing. Daughtry is performing y'all!   Oh who are we kidding?  Is there anyone that still watches this whole hour without fast-forwarding through stuff?  I've pretty much mastered my DVR skills to be able to watch other shows but still get through this whole elimination show and be caught up to LIVE TV for the actual elimination.   I know I all want to be me.  I don't blame you!  (Kidding!!)   Anyway, that's all I have for today.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!


Leslie said...

Hi Mike - Yes, I admit I watch this too! Since I've confessed I'm now addicted to your other blog, I guess I can post here, too. lol

I mostly agree with your comments. Heejun and Shannon will probably be in the bottom, but personally, I like Erika better than Elise. My favorite is Hollie. Joshua is definitely talented, but I'm not a fan of his style of singing...too much screaming for my taste. He is fun to watch though. Jessica is talented, but may have too much of an ego. She looked surprised that they didn't gush over her as much as last week, although I thought she did better than the judges said. I'm not a fan of Deandre at all. And, I thought it was in bad taste that they showed them letting Jermaine go, but I won't miss him either.

I think you're right that they won't send anyone home this week, but they could if they have a future week scheduled for a double elimination and still stay on track.

Mike V. said...

Leslie, welcome to the guilty pleasure blog! lol I appreciate you admitting that you watch this show too. I've tried to quit several times (including blogging) but I just can't seem to.

I like Erika and Elise about the same. I thought Elise did better last night though. But, I don't think either of them are winning material. I hear you on Joshua. I'm usually not into the whole preachy vibe. And usually that style tires on me after awhile. But his voice is ridiculously good and the way he emotes is unmatchable with this crop of kids. But yeah, Hollie is probably my favorite of the favorites to win. DeAndre...ugh..he just gets on my nerves.

As far as double eliminations are concerned, I think that's the last thing that would happen since they already had to let Jermaine go (which puts them a week behind). If anything, they will send someone home tonight and instead "NOT ELIMINATE" someone on a surprise week. But, I think just to stay on track they'll refrain from eliminating anyone else this week. We'll see!

Thanks for commenting!

Leslie said...

I guess I didn't say it right, but my point was they could choose to let someone go tonight, and then NOT do a double elimination on a future week if they had one planned which would keep them on track. But, it's probably not a concern since I agree with you that they won't let anyone go tonight.

Mike V. said...

Gotcha Leslie...i think we're saying the same thing then. :-)

Anonymous said...

It's like you were reading my mind, Mike! I've decided no one is going home too. And I've been mumbling about the mentoring showing too much. My choice for home is Heejun (but that's not going to happen lol)

Mike V. said...

So obviously, our guesses that there would be no elimination were wrong. But at least I picked the right ousted contestant! lol Her attempt at a Judges' Save may have been worse than her Weds performance. Ouch!

Anyway, I think that they will just use the Judges's Save to get out of this Jermaine predicament. Usually the week after a save, 2 contestants go home. This year, they'll probably just stick to 1. And that way, they don't lose a week.

Not sure if anyone heard, but next week's theme is BILLY JOEL! (only my favorite artist of all time) So, count on a fun recap next week as I probably will be horrified by everyone's performance. The last time they did a Billy Joel theme was in season 2. The only thing that stands out in my mind is Josh Gracin absolutely butchering Piano Man.'s gonna be a good time. Hopefully, Billy will make some kind of appearance! And if we're lucky, he'll be drunk. lol (j/k)

Leslie said...

Yep, even until the end, I kept thinking Ryan was gonna tell Shannon she didn't really have to go this week, but I agree that her "save" song didn't cut it.

Love me some Billy Joel! I like those weeks when I recognize all the songs! Should be fun and a little scary! lol

Mike V. said...

Up until the last second of the telecast I was thinking the same thing. When he pulled her out of the group of crying contestants, I thought he would say "and YOU'RE going on the tour too!" lol Oh well, the more I thought about it the more they shouldn't do it. She just wasn't cutting it.

Yeah, there's not many artists anymore that have such a successful library of music that you would recognize them all. Billy is awesome!! But yes, I'm sure people are just going to butcher songs. Or say stuff like "I've never even heard of Billy Joel before I performed this"....oh the horror! lol

Leslie said...

I got to see Billy Joel in concert on my birthday one year a long time ago. Was in the nose bleed section, but it was a GREAT birthday!

That's one thing I like about Idol, they play music from all different eras and genres. I get exposed to music I wouldn't normally hear, and so do the contestants.

Mike V. said...

Ahhh, so in Billy Joel concert-going, you're basically a newbie! lol My parents took me to my first show at 8 years old. I've been to 10 or 11 total. I used to be obsessed with his music! And I still love it a lot. Great to play on the piano, obviously. :)

Totally right about Idol spanning all different genres and eras of music. I'd say Idol played a large part (along with Carrie Underwood) in converting me to a country music fan. Though, I'd say the biggest part was my wife being from the South. lol

Leslie said...

Sounds like your parents raised you right! I wouldn't consider myself a newbie, but I've only seen him 4 times, I think. Wished I would have gone to see him when he toured with Elton John, another one of my favorites!

Yep, I'm from the south, but NOT a country music fan at all, but Carrie Underwood has a great voice! You know I'm from Dallas; where is your wife from?

Mike V. said...

Just messing with the newbie thing. Was really just pointed out how ridiculous I am! lol That's cool you saw him 4 times. I actually saw his 2nd ever concert with Elton in Philly. I believe it was July 3rd 1994 or something crazy like that. What a show. I saw the Face to Face II tour and then most recently saw him in Nashville with Elton with my fiance who eventually became my wife! lol

So to answer your question, she's from Tennessee! A little bit of a stretch from Dallas. lol Yeah, Carrie just opened the door for me to check out other acts. I actually went to a Brad Paisley concert where Carrie was the opening act. Then I became a huge Brad fan...and since then I've really branched out. Really good music...which is tough to find out on top 40 these days. Though I must say, for the first time in awhile there are some decent tunes from 20-1 on VH1's Top 20 countdown. lol

Leslie said...

I knew you were messing with me! lol I haven't seen any one artist as many times as you've seen Billy Joel! The first time Billy and Elton were in Texas many years ago, they were at Texas Stadium (long before the new fancy Cowboys Stadium) in the summer of all things. A summer concert in an open air stadium in the Texas heat is just this side of HELL! Not even Billy and Elton could get me there! lol