Thursday, April 16, 2015

American Idol: Season 14 - Top 7 Perform, 6 Move On

Hello Idol fans, and those that keep reluctantly watching even though it's painful to do so!  It's been a season of highs and lows and this one was a good one!  Everyone sounded pretty darn good.  And of course, weird stuff happened.  Or should I say some stuff happened that was "WHACK!"??  You can never quite predict what might take over a show on live television.  Of course, with a 2 hour program, sometimes there's enough time to course correct over the remainder of the show.  Was it enough?  We'll discuss briefly.  The elimination was sorta shocking, but by the time it actually happened it seemed inevitable.  I think this whole green chair/red chair takes a bit of the elimination suspense away, especially when everyone sang 2 songs.  Oh well, let's discuss!

Recap

  1. Tyanna - "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", "Proud Mary" - Tyanna was sounding really good tonight on both songs.  Everyone felt she was sort of reserved on the first tune because she was stuck on a platform behind a mic stand.  But, she did her rendition of Tina on Proud Mary and it was pretty darn impressive for a 16 year old.  It would've been impressive for a 28 year old which makes it even that much more impressive.  I agree with Keith.  She's on track to be pretty amazing one day.   
  2. Clark - "Superstitious", "Moon River" - I still think he's the one to beat.  Superstitious was his better of the 2 performances.  That guitar riff at the beginning with harmonizing scatting was pretty cool.  But then he rocked it out with the band and sounded great.  I usually don't comment on look, but there was a clear difference from last week to this week.  More volume in that hair!  "Moon River" was a good performance too.  It was nice to show 2 different sides AND instruments to show his versatility.  I'm sure the different chords would've sounded cool, but I really doubt many people were observing that like Harry did.  Maybe it would be a subtle thing that would make the performance stand out even more.  In any case, he's safe.  But, his competition might have gotten a little stiffer. 
  3. Jax - "Piece of My Heart", "Beat It" - Jax was another one that showed 2 sides with her 2 performances.  So many contestants have taken on Janis Joplin on this show.  But, Jax was able to add her own spin on the tired tune.  Good vocal, strong emotion on display.  "Beat It" was all out craziness.  Her vocals weren't on display, but her performance skills were.  She worked the stage, she went crazy and she was still in tune.  All in all, a good night for Jax! 
  4. Nick - "American Girl", "Only the Good Die Young" - Oh Nick.  What to say?  I'll at least say this.  This was definitely his best night.  He felt more comfortable with the band on stage with him, that's for sure.  He played the ultimate Party/Bar Band anthem with Tom Petty's "American Girl".  He definitely rocked it out and the band sounded great.  But, did he really stand out beyond that?  Did I think, "Wow, I've never heard the song sung quite like this!"?  No, it was a good performance of an exact rendition of Petty.  Which, there's nothing wrong with that.  It would've been a huge hit at a bar.  And maybe if he had a concert full of his own hits and sang 1 cover, it would've been fine.  My point is, I didn't see anything IDOL WINNING worthy.  But it was good.  Now...he did the unthinkable and took on my favorite artist of all time.  And he went and tried to change up "Only the Good Die Young".   The funny thing is, Billy Joel originally wrote the song as a reggae.  What Nick did, well it was "adventurous" I guess.  My initial comment before listening to Harry's critique was, "I Feel like he's trying too hard."  It seemed like he was trying to be as inventive as his fellow contestants by changing up a tune and he tried to take people to Church with it.  I get the idea, and I give him cool points for singing Billy Joel.  But, the arrangement did not work for me.  Totally agreed with Harry when he implied that he abandoned the whole concept of the song.  Self Involved was a good comment too.   He changed it up without really thinking about the implications beyond that it "sounded cool and different".  I'm sure Simon would've said it was "Indulgent".   Anyway, he's fine for now.  I'm still not a fan, but give him credit for trying!
  5. Quentin - "Are You Gonna Go My Way", "The Sound of Silence" - WHACK!  Wow dude, what a way to shoot yourself in the foot.  Maybe he thought he was going to be in the bottom 2 like I did this week?  But his whole attempt at being the "Cool silent type" totally backfired on him when he start talking about his one true love Joey being in the bottom 2 (and yes I know he's not "technically" in love with her because she's engaged and he's going to marry them.  WHAAAAT???? Let's take a minute to scratch our heads about that one!).  He later tried to cover that he was sad about Rayvon being there too.  I mean I get it, he was just saying he was sad and the show is hitting home.  And he was thankful for moving on.   But his behavior or the appearance of his behavior didn't add up.  Then Harry, of course, couldn't leave it alone and had to say something.  I think we all thought it looked like Quentin was walking over to him and was going to hit him.  He's a weird dude.  And weird is good for music, but I don't think America will respond well to it...half apology or not.  Regardless, we're at the point in the competition where his elimination is a threat anyway.  His performances were good, but I agree he did get overtaken by the Kravitz tune.  The band sounded REALLY great.  And I would let Ricky Minor walk away with the Idol crown if he was eligible.  Quentin sang it fine, but he brought nothing different to the table from Lenny's version.  So basically, he would've done all right at a Karaoke night with his boy Nick.  "Sound of Silence" pretty much lulled the world to sleep and we had the "WHACK MOMENT" in the back of our heads when listening.   He might be fine next week, but chances are he's going to be battling 3 time Twitter Save champ next week. 
  6. Joey - "My Funny Valentine", "Somebody to Love" - I guess there's not much point in critiquing Joey.  She was a good contestant who I thought was better each week.  Maybe "Valentine" was a sidestep in that improvement.  It felt a little off, but she had just learned she was in the bottom 2 and had to defend her not-so-secret-anymore love with Quentin.   "Somebody to Love" was more her speed.  She went for a bluegrass feel. It was fun and she sounded great.  But, it wasn't enough by 2%!  
  7. Rayvon "Long Train Runnin", "Always On My Mind" - The man just can't be stopped!  He probably would've been gone by now in a previous Idol season.  But, he's a fighter and the Twitterverse just can't help themselves of wanting more Rayvon!  He sounded pretty good on both tunes.  But, "Always On My Mind" was absolutely his best performance to date.  I just think he's on a different tier than the rest of the competition.  So, I think his luck will run out soon.   I've been wrong before.  
Eliminations

We've already alluded to it.  Joey Cook has gone home.  Farewell oh quirky one and good luck in your future endeavors!  

I had picked Rayvon and Quentin as my bottom 2.  Guess what?  Here's my bottom 2 picks for this week.

BOTTOM 2: Rayvon, Quentin

Elimination Pick: Quentin - It really could be either of them.  But, I'm going to give the edge to Rayvon because somehow he keeps winning the twitter save and Quentin kind of lost some appeal this week.  I could absolutely see it going the other way. But, on a night where everyone sounded great, I think it has to be this 2 in the bottom.   We shall see! 

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

4 comments:

Joy R. said...

Great comments and recap of last night! I will say that I didn't like all the song selections, which sometimes makes or breaks a performance for me. I agree about the whole "whack" comment, I think Quentin shot himself in the foot with that comment, I certainly didn't want to vote for him after that. What a stupid move! I think he will pay the price for that! Again, great recap! I think you should aim to blog about The Voice next season! You would be great with your commentary on that! (I know, yet another show and blog, but you would be great with your comments).

Mike V. said...

Thanks Joy!

It's not just the blogging time, it's dedicating the time to watch The Voice. And they still do 2 seasons a year and air multiple times a week. No thanks!!

If anything, I'm blogging less these days and looking for less opportunities to blog.

But I'm glad you appreciate my efforts here! :)

Unknown said...

Sorry, my commentary is a little late, busy with getting my grades all together and such...high school...

> I actually thought, and this might surprise you, but I thought Nick was the best of the night. This is the first time I actually felt like I was looking at someone with a chance to win. Both of his renditions were solid. I liked that he invoked a new meaning to his Billy Joel performance, and his rendition of American Girl was the most comfortable I've ever seen him. He's moved to 4th place on my list.

> I am officially over Jax. She started out as one of my early favorites, but she's just disappointed me so much. While I liked both of the songs she did, and I LOVED the punk arrangement given to Beat It, her vocals just didn't cut the cake for me. She has the weakest vocals of everyone left. The judges always remark on how Quentin has pitch issues, but I heard all kinds of sour notes in both Jax's performances. Worst of the night.

> Okay, as for the whole Quentin/Harry issue... I thought both were wrong. But Harry was totally out of line. He did not need to extend the awkward moment any further, especially since he couldn't even comprehend what Quentin was saying, despite how obvious it was. Joey and Quentin have been best friends since the beginning, and it's obvious through performance demonstrations that Quentin is just a really sensitive guy. All my votes were towards Quentin this week. I also didn't really think Harry had much business calling him disrespectful when you take into account what he said to Clark later; "you're the only real musician left." WOW. Anyway, taking that all away, I enjoyed Quentin last night. I loved his rendition of "Are You Gonna Go My Way," that's probably my favorite Lenny Kravitz tune and he really showed some fire. It was awesome. "Sound of Silence" was definitely a little pitchy. I preferred his first. But nevertheless, he was stellar in his captivation. I love the way he performs. He's so unique. Hopefully America can get behind him and vote him through.

> Wow, Rayvon just never leaves. That man has nine lives. However, I've come to notice that he only performs so well when he's under pressure. Always On My Mind was so beautiful. Honestly probably the best of the night. I couldn't even remember his first performance. Joey has been a little off lately, and while I detest her being eliminated, it didn't surprise me too much. Somebody to Love was a lot of fun and I loved it, though it didn't quite match up to Rayvon sadly. My Funny Valentine seems to be a sacred tune, and she just didn't do it justice. Melinda owns that song, I'm afraid. However if it weren't for the dumb Twitter save, Joey would definitely still be in this.

> Tyanna did pretty well last night. I didn't expect to like her very much since she was resorting to the more uptempo again after her beautiful ballad last week. But she did really well, particularly on Proud Mary. She definitely has one of the best voices in the competition. I don't think she's out any time soon.

> Clark. What's there to say that hasn't already been said? He's clearly the best vocalist and is on pace to win. However, while I think everyone else took a step forward this week, I really felt like Clark downgraded a little bit. The band seemed to drown him out on Superstition and Moon River was actually a little all over the place. He'll be okay, but now isn't the time to lose his momentum.

Unknown said...

Power Rankings as of now:

1. Clark Beckham
2. Tyanna Jones
3. Quentin Alexander
4. Nick Fradiani
5. JAX
6. Rayvon Owen

Very close though. If we were to vote based on performances, the bottom 2 SHOULD be Rayvon and Jax. But it'll likely be Rayvon and Quentin. If Nick can keep his momentum going and do another winner next week, he could potentially take a final three spot. I still think Clark has it all, and Tyanna's a dark horse. Jax has the fanbase, but she needs to stay consistent. I believe that if Quentin performs a show-stopper next week he can really pull ahead of the pack, along with maybe showing some more humbleness. Rayvon... just needs to rely on Twitter I guess. That's the only reason he's still in this. Well, not true actually. He's definitely getting better with showing emotion and stage presence. He needs to keep that up though. He's looking to be the Syesha/Reinhart of this year, and he's definitely growing on me. Regardless, all in all, this is probably one of the best top groups we've had across many seasons.