Thursday, April 04, 2013

American Idol: Season 12 Top 7 Perform

Hello Idol fans.  Welcome to "Rock" week.  Are we really at a time in the age of music where we have to retrospectively look at Rock Music as a whole?  That's pretty depressing, isn't it?  But, it definitely is nowhere to be seen in the pop landscape.  The sad thing is, some of the contestants didn't even know some of these songs.  Not, Burnell though.  He "been done heard" that before!  UGH.   What is wrong with these kids today!?!  Anyway, the night overall was another snoozer for me.  Nothing was over the top impressive.  I think the problem I'm starting to realize is that these kids just aren't as talented as last year's crop.  But, last year was probably the most talented season ever with season 5 coming in a close 2nd (granted, the most talented CONTESTANTS ever came out of Season 1 and Season 4, but that doesn't surprise anyone that I think that).  So, they are gushing over performances this year that never would have cut it last year.  My opinion at least.  But, we have to change our scale and expectations to deal with the current crew.  So, let's do just that!

 The Competition Performances

  1. Burnell Taylor - Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" -  Ahh, my morning alarm wake up song.  If that doesn't wake you up, I don't know what will!  Well, Burnell's performance certainly would not have woken me up!  The thing that plagued most of the contestants last night was that they were not in "ROCK MODE".  They were not feeling the music.  They had their choreographed moves to get from point A to B to C on the stage, and they walked through those motions.  They sang their notes.  Burnell added the obligatory rasp to the song but with no feeling behind it.  I've made it no secret that I'm not a fan of his voice anyway.  But this performance was a snoozer.  The clips before each performance gave him a bit of a personality, but there was no personality in the song to be seen! 
  2. Kree Harrison - Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" - When I heard this is what she was doing, I sighed.  Ever since Nicki McKibbin in season 1, this song has been sung by SOMEONE in virtually any season of any music reality competition.  Though, Kree's voice is a force to be reckoned with and she did a really good job on it.  She took some liberties with the music adding "bit of my heart" in a couple places that were supposed to be "piece of my heart", but that's easily confused since "bit" is a lyric at points.  Plus, she may have taken the liberties on purpose and it worked.  Kree's voice, especially on the powerful notes, really reminds me of Martina McBride which is a huge compliment I would think.  She's not going anywhere. 
  3. Janelle Arthur - Billy Joel's "You May Be Right" - Funny, when you think Billy Joel (my personal American Idol), you don't think "Rock" music.  So, when I heard Janelle was doing a Billy song, I guessed it would be something off of the Glass Houses album (his "Rock" album).  I also guessed it would be "You May Be Right" or "It's Still Rock N' Roll to Me".  Funnily enough, she sang both of them!   So, major props to Janelle for having good taste in music.  But (There's always a but with her), it just didn't work for me.  Janelle definitely seems like a nice down-home country girl and she will get the votes from pretty much everywhere, but there's something "fake" to her performances that I can't quite pinpoint.  Well, I sorta can because I mentioned it Burnell's review above.  She was DEFINITELY going through the motions at some point.  And it sounded like a cruise ship country performance to me.  Or something out of a pageant.  Outside of that, she sang it well.  I do want to like Janelle.  But, I couldn't help thinking that Skylar could have done a much better job with it last year.  You gotta give her credit for her song choices and changing up songs to work for her.  She's done that 2 weeks in a row and it's helping her stand out.  Maybe, eventually, I'll get on board with her voice because the show certainly is making her the "dark horse" of the competition.  We'll see. 
  4. Lazaro Arbos - "We Are the Champions" - Sure, it's a Rock song, but it's walking a fine line to not call this a ballad!  I'm already 100% out on Lazaro, but for Lazaro standards, this performance was better than usual.  The judges seemed to mention that too.  We can only hope that this was a reverse psychology thing with the audience to think that he might be safe this week.  You know, so maybe the sympathy voters wouldn't get activated by feeling bad for the guy.  We shall see. 
  5. Candice Glover - "The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" - Easily the best performance of the night for me.  She was the only one that truly got her "ROCK" on.  She mingled with the band, she banged her head, she moved as if the music was flowing through her, and she SANG girlfriend!  If we were basing the entire competition on last night, she should be the one that should win the competition hands down.  I still think she and Kree are the frontrunners, but we'll see how things go. 
  6. Amber Holcomb: Heart's "What About Love" - You could at least tell that she knew the song, even if she heard it on a commercial.  She did sing the song well, but it just felt empty again to me.  Like she liked the song, but didn't feel the song.  PLUS, this is TOTALLY a ballad.  How did she get away with that?!  But, the judges loved her, so who am I to argue with them?  (besides the fact that I argue with them every week?)
  7. Angie Miller: Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" - Definitely a good song choice for her since it allowed her to get her piano in.  I'm sure she was actually playing the piano, but it was hysterical that when she stepped away from the piano, the piano notes kept playing and sounded exactly the same.  I'm sure someone in the band took over behind the scenes.  But, they could have easily had a piano out there with the hammers and strings ripped out of it and no one would have been the wiser!  She technically sang this song note for note well, but Angie is still Angie.  For me, she wasn't feeling the song.  I think I had Keith backing me up on this one too.  The lighting, the wind machine and what not were meant to give us the illusion that this was a performance for the ages, but for me Angie's vocal performance didn't match up to all of the special effects.  She's still beloved by America though, so she'll be safe. 
The Duo/Group Performances
  1. Angie and Lazaro - Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love - It was a train wreck before we heard one note. 
  2. Candice and Burnell - The Box Tops' "The Letter" - Best of the group performances.  Good harmonies.  Didn't stand out too much though. 
  3. Janelle, Amber, Kree - Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock & Roll to Me" - Amber looked ridiculous. It figures Nicki would love it.  Nicki annoyed me more than anything saying that the song sucked.  You better check yourself Nicki!  She said it about "Satisfaction" too.  These are classic rock songs woman.   You think your "Starship" song even rivals them?  Check your ego at the door and get out off my TV.  The performance was average.  But shouldn't hurt them. 

The Elimination Pick

We could be in for a surprise elimination week where the Judges will be forced to use their save.  But, if we're talking logistically, it should be one of 2 people.  Will we really see an Idol season where only 5 girls are remaining at one point?  That's what SHOULD happen.  We'll see what does. 

Best: Candice
Great: Kree
Good: Janelle, Amber, Angie
Better than usual but still subpar: Lazaro
Awful: Burnell

Bottom 3: Burnell, Lazaro, Amber 

Elimination Pick: Lazaro - It's just time.  This seems like a perfect week for it to happen.  

But, I would not be shocked if it was Burnell.   Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if it was Amber either.  She was good, but her performance could easily be forgotten at the same time.  She's been in the bottom 3 before.  I will say this.  If it's ANYONE besides Burnell or Lazaro, the save will be used. 

So, there we have it America.  I'd love to hear your comments as well.  I'm sure I'll comment on the results in the comments below.  We're getting treated to Carrie Underwood tonight!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


Leslie said...

We're on the same page again. My short notes were:

Burnell - That was just wrong!
Kree - Great voice
Janelle - Likable, but...
Lazarro - I don't think so!
Candice - Great performance
Amber - I felt like she was straining her voice.
Angie - Huh? Wind and a pedestal?

Leslie said...

Lazaro in the top 3???? What is going on? At least Burnell went home which was the next best thing.

Mike V. said...'s a disgrace. He's further than Sanjaya went now. I guess the bottom 2 scare last week activated the sympathy voters. Naturally, vote for the worst is taking credit for it.

We really could have had a top 5 girls which would have been a good time, but Lazarro is going to ruin it.

Burnell leaving definitely was the next best thing so that's good. Also a plus that a guy definitely shouldn't win this year. And if one does...that LITERALLY will be the end of the show. lol

Kelly Clarkson will be performing next week on the show, promoting her new single off the greatest hits album. Carrie was good this week and also incredibly grateful to the show (as always) which is always nice to see. Casey James got the 30 second listen and then fast forwarded. But, I definitely sat through the train wreck of "Someone to Love" by the idols. They barely sang the song.....and you could tell some of them didn't know the words. Maybe Lazarro is screwing them all up. lol

Well, there's always hope he'll be gone next week. We'll see what happens!

Mike V. said...

Just read a comment on EW that I had to share. They observed that Lazaro knew the words to Burnell's Save Me song as he was singing along with him.....but he usually can't remember his own lyrics. That's fantastic. lol