Thursday, February 20, 2014

American Idol Season 13: Rush Week Top 10 Guys Perform

Welcome back American Idol fanatics!  What a difference a day makes.  It seems to be very clear that the guys are in a much better position this season to reclaim the Idol crown.  Most of my favorites from the earlier rounds were in this crew and for the most part they continue to be favorites for me.  I promised to be quicker about this, so let's dive right in!
Performance Recap and Picks
  1. Caleb Johnson: Faces' "Stay With Me" - Caleb is our resident rocker this season and he's got the goods to back that up.  Like a seasoned vet up there he brings the big voice and the stage presence and is just a delight to watch as he rocks the stage.  After his first lyrical phrasing, I said "instantly better than anything we heard last night."  The boys came out strong with a 1, 2 punch from Caleb and...
  2. C.J. Harris: Ray LaMontagne's "Shelter" - I've been a fan of this guy since his audition.  He has that unexplainable quality about him as he sings that you can just feel coming out of every note he sings.  He feels his music, he has a raw musical gift in the way he delivers those notes.  As the judges mentioned, it wasn't perfect but it didn't need to be.  It was pure C.J. and it was awesome to watch.  I thought we might go 10 for 10 on great performances, but then I forgot who they inevitably were going to include in this group. 
  3. Emmanuel Zidor: The Emotions' "Best of My Love" - Remember when I spoke about that certain segment of contestants that I could count on 4 hands?  We can start that 5th hand now.  Not that there's anything wrong with that!  I'm not judging.  But come on.  This performance was ridiculous.  Yes, J-Lo.  Emannuel belongs on a stage, but not THIS stage.  Maybe some Vegas stage off the main strip.  I just can't take this stuff seriously when they promote it by keeping people like Emmanuel on the show.  I'm all for people being who they want to be, but unless I'm mistaken, I don't think this is what America is looking for in their American Idols.  I'm not saying Emmanuel isn't a good singer.  He certainly can carry a tune.  But the flair and pizazz and jazz hands that came with the performance is just way over the top.  And, I agree with the judges that he went so over the top that he lost himself in all of the nonsense.  Entertaining?  Sure.  Entertainment I'm going to pay extra money for in music purchases and concert tickets?  Give me a break.    
  4. Sam Woolf: David Gray's "Babylon" - Sam was one of my early favorites to be in the finals after his audition.  Really powerful voice, and some decent guitar skills to back it up.  I love David Gray's music and "Babylon" is a great tune.  But, I questioned it as his song choice tonight.  The judges praised him for it, but it was pretty much a straight up carbon copy performance of David Gray.  I think Sam has proven he is a lot more than that.  But, he still was really good even if he mailed this one in.  And you can tell the crowd loves him.  He should be okay.  When you have people like Emmanuel and the next guy, things are looking pretty safe for Sam! 
  5. George Lovett: Bruno Mars' "Grenade" - George who?  I don't even remember seeing this guy before!  The judges seemed so confident in his consistency and from his rehearsal for this performance, that I was expecting to be blown away.  He told Randy he was going to deliver a rendition of "Grenade" that no one has ever heard before.  Well, okay, he delivered on that promise!  Dreadful.  Awful.  Horrific.  I don't know if he was intentionally staying out of rhythm with the band but that didn't work.  And, then all of the over singing and out of tune runs and awful facial expressions just had me throwing tomatoes at the television.  
  6. Dexter Roberts: Craig Morgan's "This Ole Boy"- Dexter is easily the favorite to win the country vote this year.  Totally fits the bill with his southern demeanor and accent.   And it helps that his vocals here pretty solid too.  Sure, there may be a lot of country singers that sound just like him but not on 2014's Country Radio.  Has anyone been listening to that crap lately?  I don't even know how to explain what they're going for anymore but most songs are starting to sound the same.  It's been labeled as "Bro Country" and it's pretty much just Rock with a hint of twang (And lots of trucks, beer and girls with painted on jeans type lyrics).  Everything started going downhill right around the time Florida Georgia Line started making it big with that awful "Cruise" song (and the even worse video that accompanies it.  Don't even get me started on the remix featuring Nelly).  Anyway, it would be nice for a home grown country boy to gain some popularity and get country music back on the right track!   
  7. Alex Preston: Damien Rice's "Volcano" - Alex has been my early pick for a candidate that has the goods to go all the way to the finale.  He is just a pure musical talent and we learned more about that tonight with his multi-instrument background.  We've only seen the guitar so far, I think and he's pretty amazing on that.  Of course, this is a singing competition and he's got some very unique and very impressive vocal abilities.  I guess the only knock you could give him tonight is that he picked a song that was already made popular on Idol by a similar talent in Phillip Phillips.  I'm pretty certain Alex will be sticking around for awhile.  
  8. Malcolm Allen: Anthony Hamilton's "Comin' From Where I'm From" - Tough call with this one.  He definitely has the vocal goods, but I wasn't too thrilled with the song choice.  That's the music he likes though, and there is an audience for it.  I'm just not it.  But, will it be enough to connect with the masses?  I guess we'll see! 
  9. Ben Briley: The Allman Brothers Band's "Soulshine" - We had to know that Ben would be getting a spot in the 10 after winning that vote.  He's definitely a candidate for a makeover if he makes it into the finals.  He definitely can sing, and he had a nice, albeit unnecessary, solo on the electric guitar.  One thing is for sure, he'll be getting some large support from that large rectangular state of Tennessee by sporting his Orange Tie and a Vols hat.  Trust me, that entire state loves their VOLS!  Will it be enough to keep him in the competition?  We'll have to see! 
  10. Spencer Lloyd: The Fray's "Love Don't Die" - I thought there were some other people left in that waiting room that may have been a better choice than Spencer, but anyone that can tell pretty from not-as-pretty knew this guy was getting a spot in that top 10.  Did you hear the girls?  Did you see the only truly made Fan Poster being handed to him at the end?  (How embarrassing were those small pieces of paper that the parents have been holding with their kid's name on it?)  People have sung songs by The Fray on this show before and they haven't worked.  This song may be The Fray's worst single to date (in my personal opinion) and it just doesn't give a contestant much to work with.  Sure, it got J-Lo doing that weird sit-down dance she does when she's rocking.  And yes, the crowd was into it, but I think that was more about who was singing the song vs. the quality of the vocal or the song that was being sung.  All that said, I don't see a Top 13 without pretty boy Spencer in the group.   I'll also say that he did impress me in Hollywood with his piano playing and vocals on "Say Something".   
So, that's it.  We know that 5 girls and 5 guys are getting in with America's votes and then each Judge will send someone in.  I guess that's where things can get tricky.  It could get personal and the judges could put someone like Marrialle in who had easily the worst performance of the girls and guys.   Well, let's just try to figure out the Top 10 first and then we'll go from there. 


Should definitely be in: Caleb Johnson, C.J. Harris, Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts
Odds are good: Spencer Lloyd, Sam Woolf
Questionable: Ben Briley, Malcolm Allen
No Way: Emmanuel Zidor, George Lovett

Girls (revised from last night)

Should definitely be in: Majesty Rose, Briana Oakley, Malaya Watson, MK Nobilette,
Decent Possibilities: Jessica Meuse, Jena Asciutto
Long Shots: Kristen O'Connor, Marrialle Sellers, Bria Annai, Emily Priz

I'm guessing they'll definitely go with 1 wildcard for the girls and 2 for the guys.  If there is any contestant that had an awful night and they keep around, it'll probably be Marrialle Sellers, but I think they should just keep her out.  So, just for kicks and based on my assumptions and ed

  1. Caleb Johnson
  2. C.J. Harris
  3. Alex Preston
  4. Dexter Roberts
  5. Majesty Rose
  6. Briana Oakley
  7. Malaya Watson
  8. MK Nobilette
  9. Jena Asciutto
  10. Jessica Meuse
  11. Spencer Lloyd
  12. Sam Woolf
  13. Ben Briley
I know, not much different than what I already deduced above.

No comments: