Thursday, April 05, 2012

American Idol: Season 11 Top 8 Perform

Gotta love a good 80's theme on Idol or outside of Idol, right? Not a bad night of music on Idol, especially when comparing it to the awfulness of The Voice's live shows this week. As annoyed as I get with this show, I have to say that the talent on Idol seems to be improving on a yearly basis. Now, that doesn't necessarily guarantee a star to be born, but I'm just amazed at some of these kids' voices. And they're so young! What is in the water that these kids are drinking today? Is it possible that growing up with American Idol has gotten stage parents grooming their kids earlier in life to be ready for the vocal acrobatics required for the Idol stage? It's insane. Even an annoyance like Deandre has a ridiculous voice. I can't stand his style but he's 17! You're not supposed to sing like that at 17! (and yes, you shouldn't sing like that ever). Joshua and Jessica are teenagers and they are ridiculously gifted. Anyway, I don't want to hype them up too much, but that's what was going through my mind last night as I was watching the show. Don't worry, I have plenty of nitpicks as always! Let's get into it.

Pretty Darn Good
  • Joshua Ledet - "If You Don't Know Me By Now" - This guy is insane with the notes he can sing.  I know some people don't like the screaming.  And usually I don't (see: Adam Lambert), but the way Joshua hits those notes and the timing of it, it's just musical bliss.  My only complaint about Joshua is that it would seem he is trying to do the same type of song every week.  A slow R&B balladish song, start it off simple and build up to an amazing vocal moment.  He nails it most of the time, but I'd like to see what else he has in his arsenal.
  • Jessica Sanchez - "How Will I Know?" - We already had a Whitney night, but on 80s night Jessica seemed to be the only one that embraced the TRUE FEELING of the 80s with her song choice and arrangement.  She sang the song straight up.  And when you have a voice like hers, you can do exactly that.  16?  Seriously?  Even the facial expressions along with the voice are there.  How do 16 year olds get so polished?  One piece of advice from the Mrs: She needs new teeth, STAT.  
  • Skylar Laine - "Wind Beneath My Wings" - She was going last, so obviously whatever she was doing was going to be great. But, when I heard she was going to do the Bette Midler sappy ballad, I wasn't too optimistic.  But, she nailed it and proved that she is a vocal powerhouse to be dealt with.  And on a night that she was dressed and looked just like Reba, Randy makes no comment about it.  I can't believe I was actually disappointed about it!

  • Phillip Phillips - "That's All" - Dave Matthews does Genesis.  Okay, now that that's out of the was cool that he was able to bring his brother-in-law on stage with him.  I wasn't as thrilled as the judges with this performance.  It's cool to see him rock it out every week but I thought the pitch was a bit flat throughout the performance.  Andthose high notes were rough.  But, it's Phillip and I think his off-tune performances are a bit expected to since it kind of goes with his "raw/dirty" style.  I don't think there's any fear of him going home tonight.
  • Colton Dixon - "Time After Time" - One of my favorite 80s songs.  I thought it was weird how the judges kept giving Colton props for flipping the song to be a man's song when tons of people have covered the tune.  The one that comes to mind for me is Matchbox 20.  You have to give Colton serious props for giving Quiet Drive credit for the rendition he used.  Something, Skylar should have done when she stole Miranda's cover of "Stay With Me"!  (I might get over this one day.  Really!)  The performance was decent.  Nothing spectacular about it, but it was good. 
  • Elise Testone - "I Want to Know What Love Is" - Elise is probably my favorite contestant this year, but this was a definite misfire.  After seeing what she pulled off last week, I don't want to see her taking on sappy 80s ballads, especially one so boring. She was given some bad advice to go with the song from Jimmy and 50% of No Doubt.  And those choruses that Gwen Stefani kept saying were going to be amazing, they just weren't.   I didn't hear the pitchiness that Randy did, I just heard the boringness of the song.  She might be in danger tonight, but if she is, I have faith the judges will save her.
  • Hollie Cavanagh - "Flashdance...What a Feeling" - Still the same deal with Hollie. She's trying to come out of her shell and "EMOTE".  The problem is, you can see her thinking about it the whole performance.  Yes, she worked the stage but it seemed so obviously chroeographed.   Walk to right side, shake your hips and sing, walk to left side, shake your hips and sing, walk in front of judges point your hand to crowd, go behind judges, shake your hips and do a little twirl, go back to center stage do some more hip shaking and go for big note....oh and don't forget which repeat of the chorus you're on or you'll end the song on the wrong lyrics!!  OOPS!!!  Am I the only one that noticed that?   Hollie is technically an awesome singer, but she is thinking way too much out there, as J Lo said.  Of course, J Lo also offered very long and confusing advice with her whole "Remember all the constructive criticism but forget about it!"  I know what she meant, but I'm sure it went right over Hollie's head.   She could be in serious danger this week.  When I think of young contestants on Idol , this is usually the type that come to mind.  They sing some amazing songs, but the further they get into the competition they just don't have the experience to keep going.  So, it's probably only a matter of time before she's out.

Okay you were better but please get off the stage!!
  • DeAndre Brackensick - "I Like it" - Well what do you know?  Deandre can sing like a man!  Some of his performance was actually tolerable until he goes into his hop skippy "woo ooh ooh hooooooo's".   I have no tolerance for people that shove a falsetto voice down our throats.  He will not last until the end.  He mustn't.  But, I think he'll survive this week, even though he did go first.  And yes, this could be just my reverse psychology trying to make something here!  

  • Colton/Skylar - "Islands in the Stream" - Pretty darn impressive harmonies and very cute.  Not one of us thought they were dating until Ryan asked.  Had to love Skylar's defensiveness in denying the rumors.  
  • Hollie/DeAndre - "I'm So Excited" - Eh
  • Jessica/Joshua - "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me" - This was the moment when this blog's opening paragraph started entering my thoughts.  Absolutely insane that these 2 young-ens could convincingly pull this song off and make it seem like they've been singing together for years.  Very good.

Bottom 3: DeAndre, Elise, Hollie  Wildcard: Colton?

Eliminatation Pick: Hollie Cavanagh - By process of elimination, I really think it's going to be her this week.  But, it could be one of those surprise weeks where someone we don't even expect will be there.  And, of course this would mean SAVE.   If it's Elise, it would also mean save.  Basically, anyone other than DeAndre or Hollie at this point would probably be a save.   So we'll see!  Talented girl, but probably still wasn't ready for the Idol stage.

And that's it folks!  Agree/Disagree with my thoughts?  Throw your thoughts into the comments section below!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I'll see you next week!


Leslie said...

Agree with you mostly...again. :) I’m one who doesn’t like Joshua’s screaming, so I really liked the first part of the song when he was “holding back”. It’s such a pretty song, and Joshua is also likeable. Jessica is talented, but there’s something about her that doesn’t appeal to me. Not sure what it is exactly. Skylar did one of my favorite songs (sappy, but beautiful), but since I’m not into country at all, I had a hard time with the added twang, but she did a good job. Agree that Phillip didn’t do as well last night, and I keep worrying about that vein that pops out on his forehead! lol I think you’re right that Hollie just isn’t ready for the performance aspect. Her working the stage did seem too mechanical. I like her voice though and wish she felt more comfortable as a performer. Once again, DeAndre, what more can I say? Can he please go away this week? Unfortunately, I agree that it will probably be Hollie and maybe Elise. I'm afraid DeAndre will hang around another week. So sad!

I'm finding that I don't have a clear favorite which is unusual for this stage of the game. I like some things about several of the contestants, but one doesn't stand out for me each week.

Mike V. said...

DeAndre - definitely getting to Sanjaya levels. lol Just looked on vote for the worst (.com) and he's their pick. lol

It is interesting this year that it really depends on the week who the best is. I enjoy Elise most weeks, and I know I said she's my favorite...but the talent is pretty darn good this year so it's hard to say who will win this thing. Even isn't showing a clear favorite each week. I thought for sure Phillip would be getting the "scotty/kris/lee" vote of the past few years. (I don't count David Cook as he actually should have won that year lol)

Leslie said...

You had the bottom 3 right, but thankfully, it was DeAndre this time! Definitely the right choice even if it was a little late in my opinion.

Mike V. said...

Oh most definitely. I did mention I was going for some reverse psychology by NOT picking him. :-) lol Loved that Jimmy told the judges how bad he was. That was fantastic. I think Elise will step up her game next week and the week after and so on. She has the goods, but she has to bring it every week. Now she knows what doesn't work. we'll see!

Leslie said...

Yes you did! We need to remember that for next time. lol I FF through the comments and fluff stuff to get to the finish, so I missed that. I did hear J Lo say she was the only vote to save him.

Unknown said...

I think that both phillip and colton should be a level above the pretty darn good category. I also don't think deandre was that bad... I LOVED his style. Oh well

Mike V. said...

Normally I'd agree with you on Phillip and Colton but I thought they were a little off last week. I felt vindicated when Jimmy agreed with me. Lol

I know deandre can sing and there is probably a a taste for his style out there. But I'll never be sold on him!