Thursday, May 07, 2015

American Idol: Top 4 Perform, 3 Move On

Hello fellow Idol watchers!  We are nearing the end of yet another season.  This has been a difficult one for me to stay invested in for more reasons than one.  But, I'm going to power through to the end!  Let's dive right into a very quick recap that will set up next week's final 2 episodes (airing Tuesday from 9-10 Eastern Time and the Finale on Wednesday from 8-10 Eastern Time).



Recap
Rayvon 
  1. Scott's Pick "I Want You To Want Me" by Jason Derulo
  2. Hometown Pick "As" by Stevie Wonder
  3. Judges' Pick "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker
There's not much to discuss here.  Rayvon had quite a run with his twitter saves and judge save.  I picked him to go home last week because the math indicated that would probably happen even the show seemed to indicate Clark would go.  Rayvon was way past his relevance on the show and his performances last night pretty much showed that.  All sung technically good but I lost interest in every one of the performances. 

Clark
  1. Scott's Pick "Beautiful Day" by U2
  2. Hometown Pick "(Sittin' On the) Dock of the Bay" by Otis Reading
  3. Judges' Pick "Earned It" By The Weekend
Yay!  Clark survived.  Now that we're getting down to the nitty gritty I can be a little more nit picky with Clark.  By far he is the most talented of the remaining contestants.  My wife said it best though, he's a bit awkward on stage.  All of the songs were sung great.  His piano skills were on display in "Dock of the Bay".   The judges and Scott tried to make him a little more modern.  I don't know if it was intentional, but on "Beautiful Day" it sounded like he just learned the song with the way he was singing some of the lyrics.  It sounded like he was trying to shoehorn a lot of Bono's lyrics in after the place where they were supposed to go.  Maybe that goes back to Harry always telling him to find the pocket to sit in.  If you can feel that rhythm of the song, and you know the lyrics well you know how to put those lyrics where they sound good.  It was just a little awkward.  But that voice, sometimes it outweighs these nitpicks.  Most of the time I should say.   And the last song, he definitely found the zone by the end as the judges all commented on it.  He was feeling it, he was emoting, he was getting the crowd excited with his excitement.  He even had my wife and I saying, "He's baaaaaaack!"   Will it be enough to move him to the finale?   Let's hope so.      I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, but there was another awkward singer that won American Idol back in the day with an amazing voice and very little stage presence.  Her name was Carrie Underwood.  Granted, most of us knew from day 1 that she was going to win that year.  

By the way, his hometown clips brought back some fun memories in our house.  My wife and I got married not too far from all of the clips on Broadway in Nashville, TN.  Lots of familiar sites.  Great town if you ever get the chance to visit! 

Nick
  1. Scott's Pick "Because the Night" by Bruce Springsteen
  2. Hometown Pick "Back Home" by Andy Grammar
  3. Judges' Pick "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain
Nick is still in the competition.  Nick has a chance to win.  2 things I didn't think I'd be saying at this point in the show.  Somehow he has persevered and has maintained a strong fanbase.  I don't think I'll surprise you by saying I still don't get it.  That said, I thought this was his best night of the competition.  I still can't stand to look at him when he performs.  Even Harry mentioned his face shaking (though he mentioned it in a positive way).   I feel like he may have taken my feedback from last week though because I didn't see any back and forward thrusting to the mic.  Who knew Nick was a closet AI Addicts blog reader?  I will still complain about this though.  The judges have forgiven him for producing carbon copies of the songs he's performing because "that's just what he does".   To me though, none of them ever live up to the originals so it's just glorified karaoke with a guitar.  He's still getting great songs to sing and singing them the way people know them and the fans dig that up.  But, I'd want to put my money on people doing something a little original.  Bringing something unique to the stage.  That's just me.  I wish him all the best and we'll see what happens.   
  
Jax

  1. Scott's Pick "My Generation" by The Who
  2. Hometown Pick "My Immortal" by Evanescence
  3. Judges' Pick "Misery Business" by Paramore
Jax only needed to perform one song and I guaranteed her a spot in the finale.  At this point, I think she's the full package.  She has great stage presence, is showcasing her unique voice on every performance and is taking big risks.  Her 1st 2 songs were FANTASTIC last night.   I know what she was doing with her UK Flag during The Who song, but it was kind of odd considering we're watching "AMERICAN" Idol!  But there is no denying she worked that stage, brought her unique flair to it and sung the (Randy Tribute) "I don't know what" out of it.  But, for me, probably her best performance of the season was "My Immortal".   Wow, toning that big song down and showcasing a beautiful beautiful piano arrangement to accompany her beautiful (J-Lo shout out) and vulnerable voice.  It was awesome.   "Misery Business" was a mixed bag.  Keith summed it up perfectly.  She sounded awesome on it, but the arrangement was all kinds of weird.  If this was a fair world, Jax would probably win this competition.   She's probably been the most consistent all season. But, we've been down this road before.  It feels like a year ago this time where we had Caleb vs. Jena Irene (who was picking and performing very similar songs to Jax). I went ahead and picked Jena to win it, but Caleb took the crown anyway.  Granted Caleb is different than Jax or Nick.  But BOTH of them can sport a guitar.   And if there's anything that we know about post season 6 Idol, never go against a decent looking guy with a guitar in the finale!  We'll see how it goes down!

Eliminations

Farewell to Rayvon Owen.  Nothing else to say that I didn't say above already!

Elimination Pick for this week: Nick Fradiani 

I can't in good conscience pick him over Jax or Clark.   We've been calling for that finale for a few weeks now, and it still seems destined to happen.  But, Nick could certainly play spoiler and it seems like he has enough fans to make that happen.  We'll just wait and see.  

That's all I have for this week.  Since we're back to a traditional week of Idol next week, I'll just be recapping the performance night on Tuesday.  If there's anything to say about the final, I'll just add it to the comments of that post.  And I'll probably once again declare that this is the last year I'm doing this, but we all know better!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!

8 comments:

Unknown said...

Ay Mike. Been a while. I've been fading out of commentary about this season ever since Quentin's ouster. With you on Nick, I really don't want to see him win this season over Clark or Jax. He just doesn't measure up. This has become one of the potentially greatest seasons...to one of the weakest overall. Huge disappointment. Rayvon's run was hella memorable though just because of his fighting spirit. Whatever. The top 7 was very strong, but the elimination order is all kinds of wrong.

Mike V. said...

Hi Zach, I think I disagree that this could have been potentially one of the greatest seasons. But, it certainly went from promising to disappointing as many seasons often have.

But it's definitely a relief to know that the show will be put out of its misery finally next year! I've been getting ready to retire from recapping several times...but knowing last year is the last may have me looking forward to recapping one final time!

Unknown said...

Haha. Maybe I'll audition if they're holding it in Austin next year. I got a lot of my artistic ideas in mind as well. It'd be kind of cool to get to know the process right before it ends.

Do you have any particular favorites from this season overall? I'd say my ideal top 3 would have been Clark, Jax, and Quentin, in that order. Nick and Joey would have battled for 4th or 5th place (also would have been a better a top 5), with Rayvon 6th and Tyanna 7th. 8th would have gone to Sarina-Joi, Adanna 9th, Qaasim 10th, Maddie 11th, and Seavey 12th.

Unknown said...

Also would let the top 10 be the tour... ahem. >.>

Mike V. said...

Clark has been my favorite. And I think Jax definitely deserves to be in that final due to her consistency. Obviously, I have not liked Nick from the beginning. I almost forgot about some of those names at the bottom of your list! lol

Idol came to Philly for auditions the last year I was eligible....and of course I was out of town when it happened! I doubt I would've gone anyway, but I do have some talents (piano/vocals). :)

Unknown said...

I believe Idol is rigged. Max should have won. The two jerks that were picked suck. They shouldn't be there. It should be Jax and one of the other contestants, that was just as good as her. Therefore, American Idol sucks.

Unknown said...

I made a typo, instead of Max, I meant Jax.

Mike V. said...

I hear you Clifton. I thought Jax was a shoo-in for the final 2. I'm just baffled by Nick. And now he had a decent night (granted singing 2 songs that even I can sing well at karaoke or play on the piano...) But he got the crowd into it.

I disagree with you on Clark. I think he's immensely talented, but that new single did him no favors.

Tough call for the recap!

I'll say this...I'm glad there's only one more season. Nice final victory lap of nostalgia and we can all say our goodbyes with Idol.

Stay tuned for the finale recap (probably tomorrow)