Thursday, March 29, 2012

American Idol: Season 11 Top 9 Perform

Okay, so that was one actually decent night of Idol performances!  But, it should be little surprise why.  The Idol producers pretty much said to this group, "Okay, you know that song you've been singing your whole life by the artist you idolize?  You can sing that this week."  Of course they're all going to sound their best.  They sang their favorite songs!  Obviously, this top 12 is here for a reason, so you let them have free reign on the song they want to sing, and they're going to sound their best.  You'd hope at least.  Obviously, there are still 1 or 2 artists that I can live without, and 1 artist that I still find absolutely predictable even if she is good!  But we'll get there.   In any case, I'm sure whoever is booted tonight will most likely be a surprise to the judges and maybe America.  So, there's a solid chance that tonight will be "SAVE" night.  I know who I'd pick to go home though, there's absolutely no question.  Let's not waste any time and get to the recap!

  • Phillip Phillips - Johnny Lang's "Still Rainin" - Well, I've been trying to be "AGAINST" Phillips, but he keeps impressing me every week.  Yeah, he still has the classic Dave "hunched shoulder" guitar pose and a little bit of his voice, but there is something uniquely Phillip Phillips about him too.  And he just looks like a rock star up there when he performs.  Like he's been doing it for years.  I don't believe praise like we heard from Stevie Nicks last night comes lightly.  She said Phillips is so good he would have been in Fleetwood Mac back in the day.  Not sure if I buy that though since when he was part of the FM Trio Medley, it sounded like his mic was off, but whatever!  But, in any case, this was yet another solid performance.  I still would prefer someone else winning the thing this year, but he has a very strong shot. 
  • Joshua Ledet - Harry Nilsson/Mariah carey's "Without You" - I'm confused why they couldn't just give Harry Nilsson the credit on this one.  I know Jimmy Iovine did, but it's not like Joshua's rendition sounded like Mariah's version so why say it?  I know I know, Joshua is young and probably thought it WAS a Mariah song.  In any case, it doesn't matter what version he thought he was singing because he sang Joshua Ledet's version.  Whew, I can't get enough of this guy's crazy voice.  He took us to church once again and when he hits those raspy angelic screams near the end of the song....that's where it's at folks!  Dude's got mad skills.  Though, I still don't know if he has the appeal to have longevity in this Idol campaign.  We'll see!
  • Elise Testone - Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" - I've been saying it since her Adele performance.  There's something about Elise that I really really like.  Her voice just has an amazing tone and she can do amazing things with it.  But, I never saw her coming out and rocking the stage like she did last night.  She even got the PIMP SPOT for the 2nd time!  I think this performance and how she proved she could probably go toe to toe with Robert Plant seriously made her a contender for the crown.  Just a couple weeks ago we thought she was a goner, but then she start tweaking her performances to win us over.  A 1 2 punch of "Vienna" and "Whole Lotta Love" makes her one to be reckoned with.  It could be a Haley story from last year.  Of course, I couldn't stand that girl, but she still has legions of fans out there.  I don't know if Elise will win, but right now I'm rooting for her!

Really Good
  • Colton Dixon - Lifehouse's "Everything" - I was a little distracted by all the crying and how he kept mentioning that this was his favorite "worship song".  Maybe that's a southern thing as my wife explained.  But, to me it was just bizarre!  I think he'll have enough staying power from his amazing rendition of "Piano Man" last week.  But this one was just good for me.  Nothing spectactular that stood out.  But he'll be fine.
  • Skylar Laine - Miranda (of course) Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead' - Has anyone been keeping track of my fun little game I've been playing in my Skylar recaps?  You know, how I think she is just looking at anything Miranda Lambert has done in her past and trying to use that in her idol performances?  (You know like how no one has given credit to her "Stay With Me" performance to Miranda even though she pretty much performed the same exact version?  And Randy, stop referring to REBA!!!!)  So anyway, once we knew it was "Sing your Idol's song" week this week, I automatically said, "Skylar will do Miranda Lambert!!"   And she did not disappoint.  For me, she even dug a further whole by going on and on and on and on and on and on and on about how she obsesses over Miranda.  Too bad she didn't audition for THE VOICE, she probably could have met her through Blake Shelton!  Anyway, I don't want to take away from Skylar's talents.  She can sing and she sings well.  She is a perfect Miranda Lambert clone.  I'd just like to see her try to be a little more original instead of mimicking her every move.  Oh and she also messed up the lyrics to the final chorus, but of course, no one noticed. 
  • Hollie Cavanagh - Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel" - Powerful singer takes on a more Powerful Idol winner's first real single.  Risky, Hollie, very risky!  Obviously, Hollie was good but it's hard to stand in Carrie's shadow.  Carrie's voice is RIDICULOUSLY good, so anyone else pales in comparison.  Of course, Hollie hasn't shied away from doing big vocals on the show either with her "Power of Love" a few weeks back.  I think Hollie will be fine this week, but it just seems like she needs to grow a little more before being the serious contender I thought she'd be. 
  • Jessica Sanchez - Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams" - I really had to flip a coin on putting Jessica in the "Really good" vs. "Amazing" category.  She was definitely the best of this grouping of 4.  And, it was an interestingly slow and good rendition of Beyonce's upbeat tune.  (lots of slow tunes this week though)  Jessica's voice is amazing and I still think she's a contender for the crown.  One question though, what was with all of the doors on stage?  That was kinda bizarre.  And of course, the walking through and shutting it at the end of her song?  What did that accomplish?   Just weird.  But great vocal!

Better than they've been, but does that mean good?
  • Heejun Han - Elliot Yamin's errr I mean Donnie Hathaway's "A Song For You" - I was happy to see Heejun take this week more seriously than he did last week.  It seems like everyone does this song on Idol these days, but I always remember Elliot standing out with it in season 5.  Still, I was actually pretty impressed with Heejun.  I just don't know if it's because he was so much better than last week (and the previous weeks) or if he's actually really good.  I don't think he can win this competition, but what this performance proved to me is that there is a reason he made the top 12.  He actually CAN sing.  So, that was nice to see.  And there's a chance I might be sad if he got the boot.  But, they shouldn't use a judge's save on him if it happens.

Seriously, GET OFF MY STAGE!
  • DeAndre Brackensick - Who cares?  I mean "Eric Benet's "Sometimes I Cry" - I could not even listen to this performance.  I think only dogs could actually hear the performance.  Falsetto is back?  Yeah, I don't think so, Big D (or Big Hair D).  I'm sure it was good for the 1% (if that) that appreciates what he is doing, but I cannot handle it anymore.  And I don't think I'm in a minority.  So, I really have nothing else to say about it!  

The Trio Performances - They were okay but pretty much an excuse to keep the show at 2 hours because the shows that FOX wanted to air after Idol flopped.  No one impressed enough with the Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson and Madonna performances to affect the voting.  But, I do have 2 questions, who STARTS a Madonna medley with "Like a Prayer"??  That is a classic ENDING song for a Madonna Medley.  And who ends a Madonna medley with Lady Gaga's "Born this Way"?  (ahh that joke never gets old.  And I'm not even going to explain it because that would ruin it!)


Bottom 3:  Heejun, DeAndre, Hollie (Wildcard: Colton)

Elimination Pick: DeAndre Braidedhair (see what I did there?) - Please!!!! If it's not DeAndre or Heejun, I think the SAVE will be used.  Better to do it this week when there were lots of Standing Ovations and get it out of the way.

And that's all I have! Please share your own thoughts below.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!


Leslie said...

I’m slow to post today, but I’m with you on most of your comments. Please let it be DeAndre who goes home this week! I just don’t get what people like about this guy. I don’t like his sound, his hair, his personality or lack thereof! Yes, Heejun did better this week, but in a song entitled “A Song For You”, it bugged me that, at least twice, he said a song “to” you. I’m dating myself, but I remember that song from The Carpenters, so I still hear Karen’s voice on that one, just like I remember the original “Without You”. I liked Joshua better this week since he didn’t scream as much this time, and that’s a great song. I agree that Phillip has a way about him that is just appealing to watch. He really gets in to every performance. Hollie is still one of my favorites talent-wise, so I hope she’s not in the bottom 3. I like her more than Jessica. Elise had her best performance last night, and for once, it really looked like she was enjoying herself.

Mike V. said...

Well, no surprise that Heejun got the boot! I always thought the lyrics were "singing this song TO YOU" even though the song was "FOR YOU"....but I'm sure I'm wrong. lol

I wasn't surprised to see Hollie in that bottom 3, and Jimmy pretty much said what I was thinking about her too. She needs to put more emotion into her performances. She's technically there though.

I was a bit surprised to see Skylar there, but someone had to end up there. I just wish it was DeAndre and all of his lovely locks. Of course Eric Benet had to show up and give props to the guy. Not that I really consider Eric to be much more than Halle's ex. lol

I hope we don't have a sanjaya on our hands with DeAndre, but I guess it could happen. Someone out there likes him. ugh.

Sounds like 80s week is next week. Potentially exciting! lol

Mike V. said...

Did a quick lyrics search and confirmed my own suspicions that I was wrong. :-) lol

Leslie said...

Ugh is right on DeAndre! I was hoping Eric Benet was there to ease the pain of him leaving, but no such luck! If it couldn't be DeAndre, Heejun was the next best choice. Another Sanjaya! Say it isn't so! :)