Thursday, March 06, 2014

American Idol Season 13 - Top 12 Perform

Hello and welcome back to another "why are we still watching this trainwreck?" edition of American Idol recapping!  I get the feeling that the producers had to step in and tell the judges: "Look, these guys aren't really putting on a show for America.  They aren't 'WOW'ing us.  You guys have to do something.  Light a fire under them butts!  Tell it like it is.  Less praise, more incentive."  And that's pretty much what we got 13 times.  Because, COME ON.  This was a bad night of performances.  People were mailing in ho hum deliveries left and right.  I'm starting to wonder if any of these guys can really bring a WOW to us over the course of this season.  Sure, there were people that improved and others that maybe took a step back, but I'm just not feeling it.  The judges are still entertaining me though, so that's a plus I guess!  Anyway, let's not waste any more time.  Here's how I think they did and my picks.
  1. Jena Irene: KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" - I don't know if I'm going to have much to say about these performances.  I know, I always say that.  But I'm staring at Jena's name and trying to remember if there was anything worth noting.  She sang in tune?  I guess that's a plus.  She has a unique voice, we've already discussed that.  Still not sure if I'm onboard with it.  But, I just don't think it was the best song choice to really show off her vocal talents.  But, she definitely wasn't the worst of the night. 
  2. Alex Preston: Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be" - Ugh, Alex is one of my more preferred performers this season.  But, I don't remember a time when this song was sung on Idol and it was good.  I recall Bo Bice doing in in season 4.  There's just not much to the song, again, to be showing off his skills.  As Harry said, I'm sure Alex is better in more intimate settings and he is trying new arrangements.  It's all commendable.  I just don't think this mix quite worked.  I think people will give him a break this week but he's going to need to figure something out soon or he may start falling out of favor.  
  3. Jessica Meuse: Dido's "White Flag" - Well Jessica wins the "best makeover so far" award.  She still kept the pink highlights but changed up her hair and look and it just changed her presence for the better on stage.  I always liked that Dido song too and her rendition did not sound like a carbon copy.  I don't know if it was the ambiance set by the "Motel Sign" in the background but I just got a Texas Saloon vibe where she's singing to an empty bar and singing her heart out.  I mean that in a good way.  In a night of pretty ho hum performances, I thought hers stood out.  Though, Harry and Keith started their war of Pitch Problems vs. singing with conviction.  Sure, maybe she needed a little more conviction.  That will come with time.  I thought she seemed more confident this week.  I didn't really think she had staying power, but I might be changing my mind.  We'll see. 
  4. Dexter Roberts: Montgomery Gentry's "Lucky Man" - Dexter did a good thing toning things down this week and showing off his voice and overall country-ness.  I'm sure the dedication he made to his lost friend will resonate with people too.  Montgomery Gentry's catalog rarely makes any playlists in our house, but Dexter did a solid job with his rendition.   Of course, still no "goosies" for me, even if J-Lo got them. 
  5. Emily Piriz: Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud" - Right around Emily is when Keith started getting bold and predicting who will still be around for next week.  He may have gotten TOO bold with this one.  Emily, if anything, proved tonight that she is NOT Jennifer Lopez.  I think we already knew that, but now we have a visual.  Of course, I was having too good a time remembering all of my old friends from Ricky Minor's band who I haven't seen in a few years unless I was for some odd reason watching Leno.  That guy with the crazy mustache is back and playing the congas.  That whole percussion section was jammin man!  And there was poor Emily Piriz trying to fit in with them singing a bland song and sitting in the background.  Totally agree with Harry that she needed to be commanding the stage and instead the stage and the band commanded and drowned her.  I said last week I didn't see her having much staying power and this supports that prediction.   
  6. Caleb Johnson: Rush's "Working Man" - I think we all can agree that Caleb has a powerful voice.  I already had this concern with him that he may start to sound redundant if he keeps doing the same thing each week.  Harry echoed my thoughts to America. (Thank Harry!)  This was a decent performance, but I agree with Keith that he needs to bring something NEW to his Rock edge.  I'm not sure Caleb will know what to do with that advice.  I'm not even sure I'd know what to tell him.  He'll be here for awhile.  He might even be a favorite to win the thing.  But, he can't do the same thing every week.  J-Lo seems to have insight on his future song choices and knows we're going to see another side of Caleb.  I'll reserve any further judgement then I guess. 
  7. M.K. Nobilette: Train's "Drops of Jupiter" - There's no other way to say it.  M.K. is way out of her league in this competition.  The Train anthem is a pretty big vocal powerhouse song and she didn't seem like she even tried to belt out any big notes.  The song felt like it quickly went to the usually BIG POWERFUL part of the song and I felt like she sang it the same way that she sang the rest.  Mono-tone and uneventful.  I don't really envision her being able to keep up with the competition.  Though the competition is trying their best to keep an even playing field! 
  8. C.J. Harris: John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" - I really wanted to like C.J. in this competition.  He showed so much heart in the earlier rounds and had such a cool raw sound.  But LIVE C.J. just isn't stepping up.  He mailed in a carbon copy of John Mayer's already unbearable tune.  And he showed none of that raw emotion that made us want to hear more from him in the first place.  He could be in trouble this week.   
  9. Sam Woolf: Blind Pilot's "Just One" - This one wins the award for most awkward performance to watch.  They had him sitting on the end of the stage with a bunch of smiling young girls dancing and going gaga for him as he sang.  Sam changed up his look a little bit to try and butch up his image a little bit.  But, his performances are definitely leaving more to be desired.  The one thing he had going for him was that no one knew this song so if he sang it exactly like the original record we'd never know.  The ladies love this one so he'll be back.  And if we didn't think that already, it's okay.  Keith told us too! 
  10. Malaya Watson: Tamala Mann's "Take Me to the King" - She tamed her hair that's a plus.  I still can't understand anything coming out of that mouth full of metal, but she definitely sang better this week.  I'm sure starting behind the piano put her in a more comfortable setting and then she belted out some powerful stuff at the end.  There may have been some sharpness there, but at least it was with conviction, right Keith!?  I'm still not a fan of hers, but I think she did enough to stick around and show if she has anything else in the tank.  
  11. Ben Briley: David Nail's "Turning Home" - This dude is in need of a serious makeover.  This whole "haven't showered since '2002" look he has going is pretty rough for the Idol stage.  I'm sure it doesn't matter to that long state of Tennessee though.  He is very smart to focus on his roots and keep wearing something orange every week.  He's pretty funny too with saying how his large family probably voted to keep him on the show.   The performance?  Eh.  I wasn't thrilled with it, didn't hate it either.  I'd just be repeating myself at this point.  No Wow factor.  But, he'll be fine. 
  12. Majesty Rose: Coldplay's "Fix You" - She's another one that I really want to be better than she's been.  I figured going back to Coldplay (She auditioned with a Coldplay tune) would be a good sign, not to mention she was going last.  "Fix You" is probably my favorite Coldplay song and she started it off pretty great.  But, once she went into the big part of the song, she totally lost it.  She went too big, her voice was all over the place.  I have a feeling that maybe rehearsals went better with this one and it just fell apart in the live performance.  But it's okay folks!  Keith guaranteed her return!  

Elimination Pick
Okay, I'm less confident this week with my elimination pick, but I think I'll get at least 2 of the bottom 3 right.  Here goes:

Who was great?  HA!
Okay then, good enough? Caleb, Majesty, Jessica, Dexter
Average? Jena, Alex, Sam, Malaya, Ben, C.J.
No No No! Emily, M.K.

Bottom 3: C.J., M.K., Emily Wildcard Pick: Jena

Elimination Pick: Emily Piriz - Forgettable performance + not a very big fanbase = Not a long Idol Shelf-life.  

Maybe Keith knows something we don't or maybe he'll have the ol' "foot in mouth" reaction Thursday night.  I'm sure it's pretty bold to go against people with insider scoop.  And it's looking like some of our professional Idol critics out there are pretty certain it'll be C.J. going home.  But, I'm going to stick with my gut here.  Why not?  We need some kind of excitement this season!

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!   


Cindy said...

I'm so underwhelmed by the selection on AI this year. Caleb can give me "goosies" as well as Ben and Dexter, but I don't see any of the females making it to the Idol Finale. Good call on your summary.

Mike V. said...

Thanks Cindy! Totally agree. I was really into this season until we got to the live shows. Now, I'm completely underwhelmed by the talent. There may be some potential there, but it's tough to see it right now.

Mike V. said...

2 for 2! Sorry Keith!

Leslie said...

Watched both the performance and the results last night. Underwhelmed is a good description of the whole evening, but I thought it was gonna be MK going home.

On a side note, did you hear that Adam Lambert is gonna tour with Queen? That should work just fine!

Mike V. said...

MK probably was my next guess for going home. It probably won't be long for her either.

Didn't hear about Adamn Lambert and queen. Doesn't surprise me though! They performed together in his season at the finale, and it had always been rumored that they might eventually tour together. That's cool...nothing i'd be interested in (even though I love Queen...just not a big Glambert fan lol) but cool. lol

On my side note - some shows returned last night and for some reason Idol didn't record and I didn't notice until 8:50. So, I only watched the last 10 minutes. But the big revelation to me? I felt like I didn't miss a thing. They really need to cut these shows down to 30 minutes. This is the 2nd time FOX promised it was going to happen and then didn't keep that promise!

Leslie said...

I saw Adam perform with Queen at that finale and thought he did great. He actually reminds me of Freddie Mercury...not so much in looks, but his voice and over the top performing style.

Yeah, I forwarded through most of the results show, but did catch Phillip Phillips performing his new single.

Mike V. said...

I agree that Adam is a good performer. But Freddie was Freddie and Freddie WAS Queen. I'm sure Adam will do a great job and put on a great show, but there will always be something missing...and I'm sure everyone is pretty aware of that.

Same as when people go to a Journey concert these days and they get a Steve Perry "sound-a-like" lol

Leslie said...

Oh, yeah, I agree completely.