Thursday, March 20, 2014

American Idol Season 13 - Top 10 Perform

Hello fellow Idol enthusiasts and welcome back!  We had a mixed bag of performances last night on the "they can really make this 90 minutes now" rendition of American Idol.  The theme was "Modern Hits" so at least we were in familiar territory for most of the songs sung.  Anyway, I don't have any particular gripes to get into right now so let's just dive into the recap!

  1. M.K. Nobilette: Pink's "Perfect" - Gotta love those song titles that give you a nice tag-line for a review, right?  This performance was far from 'perfect' (cue groans).  I just keep going back to the fact that M.K. is not ready for Primetime.  She sang through the lyrics, mostly hit the melody but the song was too big for her.  I feel like we keep saying the same thing every week.  She's been a frequent bottom 3er and had a little redemption last week.  There's a solid chance she'll be returning to the stool. 
  2. Dexter Roberts: Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" - I have early expressed my very large distaste for the song that launched a thousand similarly awful songs in country music.  It makes me cringe even more that it was last summer's "song of the summer" for pop music too.  I mean, seriously, the "Cruise" remix featuring Nelly?  cringe cringe cringe.  Anyway, it made me realize Dexter isn't above going for cheap applause by singing a grammatically incorrect song that everyone loves singing along to and J-Lo loves bouncing around in her seat to.  Worse than that, it made me miss (can I say Giant Tools in my family blog?) the actual singers of Florida Georgia Line?  At least they get their "gangsta country thug" on and reflect the "awww yeaah the chicks dig this one" notion in their cocky expressions while they sing.  Instead, we just got a bland cover of an awful song.  This is several songs in a row for Dexter that just show me he is a capable guitar player and karaoke singer.  He's not meant for the big stage.   
  3. Jena Irene: Zedd featuring Foxes' "Clarity"- Jena is certainly starting to show the type of music she likes and the type of artist she probably wants to be.  (i.e. something that sells in today's market)  She sang the tune very well and benefitted very much by following MK and Dexter's pretty lousy performances.  So, even if some do not know the song, they'll remember "Okay, this one can actually sing well!"  She'll be fine.  
  4. Alex Preston: One Direction's "Story of My Life" - Of course, Alex benefitted from following all 3 of the singers.  Granted, as long as he did a semi-decent job covering a One Direction song, he was going to get tons of votes from the Directioners (thank you Ryan Seacrest for educating us with that term and letting us know what's on your personal playlist).  But, regardless of your thoughts on studio (or British X-Factor) generated Boy Bands, it's tough not to admit this song has a very nice melody.  And Alex took huge advantage of that fact.  He did his own folksy arrangement and just sang a beautiful rendition of the tune.  Absolutely, the best performance of the night and probably Alex's best showcase yet of how talented he is as a musician and a singer.   
  5. Malaya Watson: Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" - Anyone else get Deja Vu on this one?  Idol 12 winner Candace Glover sang the same song to very similar judging remarks about the lyrics.  Of course Candace was a powerhouse singer and she nailed the tune making us forget the lyrics.  That said, Malaya did a pretty stand-up job too!  She certainly has changed my mind on her belonging there the past couple of weeks.  Of course, she has also toned down her goofy side which is a welcome change.  But yeah, she brought lots of emotion to the lyrics and you can almost forget that she was singing from a man's perspective (even though she explained how she's interpreting the lyrics in her pre-performance clip).  She'll be fine this week as well. 
  6. Caleb Johnson: Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory"- Ok, we have to hand it to Caleb for taking risks these past couple weeks.  Last week he did a song originally sung by a female.  This week he did the same thing.  Granted, Gaga and Adele are 2 different animals to tackle.  But, I have to side with the judges on this one.  Obviously, he his a very capable singer.  He is the most powerful vocalist of the group.  BUT, this is one of his less impressive performances.  I don't think there's anything to worry about.  It was still far better than some of those earlier performances along with sone of the subsequent performances.  If this was enough for voters to give up on him, the judges will save him no doubt.  But, he'll be fine. 
  7. C.J. Harris: Hunter Hayes' "Invisible" - I think we've all been drinking the Kook-Aid with CJ performances to this point.  The judges would say, "It doesn't matter that you're singing out of tune because it works for you!" and we'd agree because they were powerful performances.  Okay, fine.  But, at some point you have to start complaining about singing out of tune.  Last night was the night that I think it hit us all.  Say it with me, "OUUUUCH!!!!"  My ears!!!  There was barely a melody in that song.  I've heard several of Hunter Hayes' little ditties, but I'm not very familiar with this one.  So, I could barely try to guess at what notes he was trying to hit in the song.  I like that Harry tried explaining to CJ what being out of tune is, but will it be too late?  I don't think this is a problem you can fix overnight.  This was baaaaaad. 
  8. Jessica Meuse: Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks"- I will admit, I never really paid attention to the lyrics of this song.  Of course, once it's brought up in the pre-clip that the upbeat song has "creepy" lyrics, of COURSE I'm going to pay attention!  I don't know if I agree with Harry's commentary that Jessica's expressions were wrong for the performance.  I thought she was playing into the whole vibe of the song being misleading.  It worked for me and she's a really good singer.  Granted, I didn't feel it on the level that I felt the Alex or Malaya performance as far as emotions go.  So, maybe that was Harry's point.  There's still an element missing from Jessica and he wants to see it all come together.  She is a very good singer, so yes eventually she'll lose to the contestants with the complete package if she doesn't step up her game.  But for this week, she's fine! 
  9. Majesty Rose: Avicii's "Wake Me Up"- I think she could've sang the alphabet repeatedly and have been better than last week.  I would be used to it, my 2 year old son gets on those non-stop alphabet singing kicks and it entertains me every time!  All this to say she was soooooo much better this week.  This was the first time I remembered the Majesty from the auditions.  I agree/disagree with Keith's comments.  Yes, the original version of the song works because it's folk mixed with house music.  I get it, but if Majesty did anything resembling a club tune she would get swallowed up by the stage.  If she was going to do this song, she did the right thing.  Her voice and musical abilities were front and center and it was a good reminder why she is here.  Sure, she has an uphill battle to even be considered a frontrunner, but she should be very safe this week.   
  10. Sam Woolf: fun. featuring Janelle Monae's "We Are Young" - Should we even bother critiquing this guy?  The ladies love him.  Wait, have I said that before?  I have no idea how he ended up in the anchor slot.  It would seem they're not saving the "best performances" for the end this year.  Sure, it's a "fun" song (see what I did there?), and it gets the audience going, but forget Jessica if we're going to talk about a contestant that can't express emotion while singing we're talking about one Sam Woolf!  I think he's going to last much longer than he should due to his popularity with the ladies/tweenies.  But, even if he didn't have that built-in fanbase, he was far from the worst performance last night. 

Elimination Pick

There are definitely a couple good contenders for elimination this week, but of course I can only pick one!  Here goes:

Awesome: Alex
Not as Awesome but still very good: Malaya, Jena
Good Enough: Jessica, Caleb, Majesty, Sam
Ummm: M.K., Dexter
If I were the opposite of awesome I'd be:  C.J.

Bottom 3: CJ, MK, Dexter
Elimination Pick: M.K. Nobilette - CJ was definitely the worst of the night, but M.K. has more frequently been visiting those stools.  CJ may benefit from his memorable pre-LIVE performances and his comeback performance last week.  M.K. really doesn't have one of those moments.  And finally,  we seem to be alternating boy/girl every week.  It just seems like an M.K. eliminating kind of week!

That's all I have for this week.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!  

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