Wednesday, March 26, 2014

American Idol Season 13 - Top 9 Perform

Hello American Idol fans!  Well this was "supposed" to be rock night aka "Let's let Caleb slide this week" night.  But, it really didn't feel like it until the final 2 performances.  Lots of critiques about stage presence and feeling the music tonight.  Most of it was very warranted.  I think it's starting to be clear who has a chance to win this thing this year.  But, it might be questionable who may be sent home.  Let's see what we can come up with!

  1. Alex Preston - No Doubt's "Don't Speak" - I like Alex, don't get me wrong.  But, his performances are starting to get a little repetitive. Sure, you should get kudos for mixing things up a bit.  He took a popular Pop-Rock ballad and turned it into a Jason Mrazzy Jazzy tune.  If I closed my eyes, I swear I would've thought it was Jason Mraz.  Alex is very talented, but I don't know if this was a step in the right direction.  I'm pretty sure he won't get booted, and if he did I'm sure they'd use the save.  (Even if Harry says they haven't thought about this ahead of time)
  2. Majesty York - Florence and the Machine's "Shake it Out"- There were hits and misses in this one for Majesty.  She definitely showed some personality in her performance, but there definitely was a range of crazy off pitch notes in the performance that kind of took me out of the moment.  Of course, with the judges focusing on moving around the stage, it made me very aware that most of the contestants tonight were standing center stage for the majority of their performance.  And, I kind of feel like that's been happening most of the season too.  Majesty has been a bottom 3 dweller multiple times.  I don't know if this one was enough to keep her out again, but we'll see. 
  3. Dexter Roberts - Little Big Town's "Boondocks" - Harry hit the nail on the head.  He's been going for the crowd pleasing anthems every week lately and he doesn't really have the swagger or stage presence to pull it off or distance himself from the original.  Sure, at a karaoke bar, you want to sing the crowd pleasers because it gets the crowd into it.  The voters are mostly sober and sitting on a couch multi-tasking with their electronic devices.  This was just white noise to me.  
  4. Malaya Watson - "The Long and Winding Road" - Malaya has definitely impressed me more and more each week.  She tones down the goofy when she performs now and she definitely has a lovely voice.  Wasn't a very "rocking" performance, but that's not really her thing anyway.  I think she'll be okay this week. 
  5. Sam Woolf - Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah" - J Lo definitely gave the best musical advice to Sam asking if he was singing that song to anyone in particular.  It was so bland of a performance just like everything else he has done.  There was nothing to feel.  Tonally he hit all of the notes, but it all just fell flat.  I have more advice for the Woolfman.  Who is picking your attire, dude?  What self-respecting teenager or grown man would be caught living or dead in their great great grandmother's curtains on stage?  Then the whole pants tucked into the high top sneaker boots?  I'm not sure if this week's shirt was worse or last week's coyote cactus sunset in the desert shirt was.  In any case, Keith or Harry need to take that man shopping.  I'd stay away from Ricky Minor's wardrobe from this week too.  He reminded me of Joey Tribbiani trying to be 19.  
  6. Jessica Meuse - Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon"- Definitely liked Jessica's performance and love her voice.  The comparisons may have been too close for comfort with Stevie Nicks on this one though.  It was almost a carbon copy.  And she really just learned this song?  That actually surprised me because it sounded like she had been singing it for years as part of her set.  I still think she has some longevity left in this competition.  She's one of the ones that still keeps my interest every week.  
  7. C.J. Harris - The Steel Drivers' "If it Hadn't Been for Love" - I'm at the point with C.J. now where I think, "Which CJ are we going to get tonight?"  Well, in my opinion, I thought we got the good one.  Sure, maybe he was "ACTING LIKE HE WAS FEELING" and not "REALLY FEELING" (cue Keith bringing the feels up from his insides), but it was 10 times more than anyone else was doing previously.  Plus, I don't think I've ever heard the song he did and I was enjoying it.  Anytime they get Mustache Man on the Box Drum, I'm totally in for the performance.  He definitely still needs to grow as a singer, but he still can entertain me.  A huge improvement from last week. 
  8. Caleb Johnson - Jake Holmes/Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" - Well, we already said it.  This was a "gimme" week for Caleb.  Then again, I don't think there is any doubt that this guy will be around for the finale.  He is THE best singer and performer of the bunch this year.  The only thing he has going against him is that Rock music is unfortunately dead in the industry right now.  I know, I'm sad about it too.   I actually looked at the "Rock" iTunes charts the other day.  #1 was Daughtry's new song and then the rest of the top 10 singles were filled with catalog hits like Journey's "Don't Stop Believin" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody".  Yes, timeless classics but SERIOUSLY?!?!?  Those are the Top Rock hits of today?  Ouch.    Anyway, what's there to say that hasn't been said about Caleb's performance?  It was in its own zone of awesome.  The guy was born for the stage and Ricky and the crew truly brought the awesome too.  Great great performance!  Though, I have another AI Gripe.  Can we start a pool to figure out the over/under on how much additional screen time is built into J Lo's contract so that she can be shown DURING performances too?  I mean, it's getting to the point of ridiculousness how often they cut to her.  How are we even supposed to be able to tell if these contestants are really giving an emotional performance when J-Lo will dance around and give the constipation face to any performance!?  Oh I get it.  Pretty people need screen time.  But, it can get a little distracting to the performance!   
  9. Jena Irene - Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" -  Jena certainly had a tough act to follow, but Keith said it best.  She has found her own little niche of Goth Rock that is working for her every week.  Ever since her Paramore tune, she's been actually someone I look forward to performing and she may have the best chance at going up against Caleb in the finale at this point.  If Jessica can get her act together just a little more, she's still in contention too.  Pretty funny how I thought the girls were going to get picked off one by one this year, but the tides are changing!  Of course it was a step down from Caleb's powerhouse performance, but she held her own out there.    

Elimination Pick
Ugh, it's time I guess.  There are so many to choose from for elimination this week.  I guess I have to think this through.  Here we go: 

Definitely will not be eliminated - Jena, Caleb
Shouldn't be eliminated, but all bets are off - Jessica, CJ, Malaya, Alex
Getting by because the girls scream for him every week - Sam
Was decent this week, but maybe not good enough after frequenting the bottom 3 - Majesty
I'm way past having any interest - Dexter

Bottom 3 - Dexter, CJ, Sam Wildcard: Majesty  

Elimination Pick: Dexter Roberts - I'm not too confident on this one because he has the country vote in his corner.  But, he's really just not that good.  Decent, but not an American Idol.   

I don't know if America will be as forgiving with CJ as I was this week.  Sam is probably a bold pick for the bottom 3, but at some point people have to get tired of it, right?  I did think the screaming girls were a "little" (I stress that word) softer tonight!   We shall see!   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!   

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