Thursday, March 13, 2014

American Idol Season 13 - Top 11 Perform

Hello Idol fans!  Welcome back.  Well, that was a relief, right!?  It would seem like most of the contestants got the message from last week and decided that they needed to step up their games.  What a drastic improvement of performances this week!  Was I blown away by everyone?  No, but overall the night just was much much better and makes me feel a little bit better about still giving up some of my sleeping hours to writing a quick recap!  With that in mind, I'm going to skip past any more of this preamble and get right down to business.  Bring on MOVIE NIGHT!

  1. Sam Woolf: The Beatles' "Come Together" - I think we have to face it.  Sam Woolf just isn't cool.  He tries to be, and the ladies love him.  But he's not cool and he can't pull off cool.  He tried to strut his stuff a little bit and come out of his shell, but it still just came off a little hokey.  But the ladies love him.  He sang really well, and articulated his notes and lyrics well, and the ladies love him.  Did I mention the ladies love him?  He's safe, but with the voting cap now in place, hopefully he won't come anywhere near winning this thing. 
  2. Jessica Meuse: Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" - I mentioned last week I saw her as a dark horse in this competition, and this week's performance did nothing to change my mind.  She mentioned that she loves performing this song and it showed.  She felt very comfortable with the arrangement and sang it beautifully.  Yes, the band threw her off.  It's easy to blame the band on this one, but there's no telling if Jessica was accidentally playing at a different tempo than they had rehearsed it due to adrenaline or whatever.  Anyway, they were able to course correct and she still was awesome. 
  3. C.J. Harris: The Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See" - This is the CJ I've been waiting to see/hear!  He sang his heart out, it was in and out of tune, but like the judges say it didn't matter!  You could feel the lyrics he was singing and he was playing some nifty little chords on his new guitar for added benefit.  Considering he stayed out of the bottom 3 with a subpar performance, his votes will only be enhanced this week! 
  4. Dexter Roberts: Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" - Seriously?  Of all songs?  Yeah, I get it.  You're from Alabama, so you'll get your home state votes.  But, who on Earth is not sick of this song yet?  And to top it off, you go and mail in a carbon copy performance?  Oh no, I heard him change up one note in every phrase.  He went up instead of down.  Yeah, REAL creative there Dexy!  It wasn't awful, but it was very very safe.  I think he might get a scare this week, but we'll see how it plays out. 
  5. Ben Briley: Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" - Well, he couldn't wear his Tennessee colors since he was all dressed up and trying to be professional.  No fear, he got his grandfather or father or whoever to sport the orange in the crowd.  He'll get those votes regardless!  But the performance?  Eh.  It was decent.  Decent piano, but I agree with Harry.  If you're going to play the song, you gotta PLAY the song.  He played the chords with finesse and he totally flubbed the "you gotta have electric music" line.  It sounded like he always knew the choruses to the song, but when he actually had to learn the lyrics to the verses he just made up how it's supposed to go.  And then the vamping "benny" stuff at the end?  Nails on a chalkboard.  I say every week, I'm not a fan of his voice and he was way out of his comfort zone with those falsetto notes.  And when you're not naturally a falsetto singer, it's not impressive when you hit those notes.  It's just irking.  I probably am making it sound worse than he was.  He wasn't awful.  But the bad parts did stick out to me.  I really don't know how much America cares about sticking to your genre or whatever they've been trying to sell recently.  Before, Idol praised the artists that could slip into any genre and sell it.  Now that being said, did Ben sell it?  I might buy it at 50% off. 
  6. Majesty Rose: Idina Menzel's "Let it Go" - The minute they announced she was doing the Oscar winning Frozen anthem, I said outloud "Oh Majesty, why are you doing this to yourself?".  Do you really expect to top Miss Adele Dazeem?  Idina's performance of that song in the movie was so powerful and memorable, that even the actual single that was released by Demi Lovato didn't get any airplay.  From what I've seen of Majesty, she is NOT that kind of singer to belt out those big notes and it really really showed.  And it showed in the worst way possible.  I'm guessing it sounded better live because it's the only reason Harry would ever have said what he said in praise of her performance.  It was all over the place.  MAYBE, she'll get votes from the tons of kids that love that movie and that song.  MAYBE.  But, if they're voting for what they heard vs. the song that they love, they will not vote or their parents will tell them not to vote!  I really am disappointed in Majesty's run on the live shows.  She seemed to have so much more talent than this.  And I'm sure that talent exists.  I think she's getting swallowed up by the stage and the song choices.  Oh well, we'll see what happens.      
  7. Caleb Johnson: Adele's "Skyfall" - Well we thought we had Caleb nailed to the type of songs he would sing.  I did not expect him to sing an Adele tune, but man he nailed it!  Amazing vocal performance.  The guy has crazy control over that instrument of his and he just went. to. TOWN on this song!  I got a bit of a Chris Cornell vibe out of him on this performance, which is funny because Chris did the Casino Royale bond song.  Anyway, this guy is going to be in on the show for awhile if not until the end. 
  8. M.K. Nobilette: Bob Dylan/Garth Brooks/Billy Joel/Adele's "To Make You Feel My Love" - Great song sung by all of the greats and written by the great songwriter Mr. Bob Dylan.  Though, I still maintain that the only reason Garth sang the tune is because Billy sang it first for his Greatest Hits Vol. III album!  Anyway, I figured that the judges would love M.K.'s performance because it fell more into her quiet song wheelhouse of hers.  It definitely was better than last week's performance but I don't think I'm really on board with what she's doing out there.  There are moments of potential greatness, but there's far too much inexperience and needed improvement for me to think she has a shot at winning.  She's also been in the bottom 3 twice now, I think.  Might be a 3rd tomorrow.      
  9. Alex Preston: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s "Falling Slowly" - Great song, great performance.  I'm glad Alex bounced back from last week with this one.  Obviously, we know he's a talented musician, but he's got the unique and very good voice to back it up.  He's back on his game!  But, he has some competition now! 
  10. Jena Irene: Paramore's "Decode" - Jena bounced back in a big way this week.  I remember last week's performance being "okay" and that averageness is what landed her in the bottom 3.  This week she was on her piano and rocking to some Paramore.  And, it actually was pretty awesome!  She captivated the audience, she sang some crazy crazy notes in there and it was just an all around powerhouse performance.  If she can keep up that intensity, she might be another one to contend with.  
  11. Malaya Watson: Jennifer Hudson's "I Am Changing" - I'm just glad she didn't do "I am Telling You" from Dreamgirls.  Talk about oversung songs on the Idol stage!  I figured Malaya was almost out the door on this competition, but once I figured out she was going last, I assumed she had some tricks left up her wacky tuba playing sleeves!  I'll give it to her.  She was very good tonight!  She showed great range and power, and I almost forgot how weird she is!  She's safe this week! 

Elimination Pick

Hard to believe I'm 2 for 2 this year so far with my picks!  I'm sure I'll do something to mess it up this week.  There were lots of good performances this week, but also plenty of average ones to choose from as well.  But there was only one AWFUL performance.  And, I just don't know how the voters can excuse that!  Here we go.

Best of the night: Caleb, Jena, Alex, Malaya, CJ
Could've been better, but still really good: Jessica
Average: Ben, MK, Dexter, Sam
No No No Noooooo!:  Majesty

Bottom 3: Dexter, MK, Majesty  Wildcard: Ben

Elimination Pick: Majesty Rose - She may have talent, she may be successful, but the dreams of winning American Idol?  It might be time to "let it go".

It almost seems too obvious this week.  And, one must consider the Disney Phenomenon angle that could keep her afloat.  But, I can't in good conscience pick someone else when her performance was THAT bad.  And, I have a feeling Harry may reevaluate his initial critique Thursday night.  Bottom 3 is tough this week.  It really could be any of those people that weren't part of my "Best" category.  We shall see!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


Cindy said...

I'm blown away by your blog -- it's like you're reading my mind! I sat dumbfounded as the judges were praising Majesty, did they hear the same thing I heard? "Adele Dazeem" (poor JT, he'll never live that down.) does it much better, even when her orchestra is kazoos, blocks and triangles. Once again, good calls.

Mike V. said...

Thanks Cindy! LOL On the Jimmy Fallon reference. Love all of his song renditions with The Roots.

After reading Michael Slezak (formerly of EW and now he suspects that they thought Majesty was a favorite to win the whole thing, so they strategically were going easy on her. I dunno though, Harry usually wouldn't bend. I think he was just mishearing things! He'll redeem himself if he mentions it tonight. Simon used to do that for both when he was wrong in a good or bad way. I remember him saying he was too harsh on David Cook on Finale night.

Anyway, thanks for the praise on the blog! I appreciate it and you taking the time to read!

Mike V. said...

Well, I'm not shocked that Ben went home. And it's not like America didn't recognize that Majesty had a bad performance either. Scott being in the bottom 3 was also promising for the long haul.