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This is…American Idol. For reals yo.
So tonight kinda threw me for a loop. I am used to mediocre singing with even worse judging. For what ever reason the contestants decided to actually show up tonight and give this shit a go.
Colour me impressed. Last week these kids sang as if they were in a high school talent show competing for a Subway gift card. This week they are actually behaving as if something important is on the line. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the AWESOME Stevie Nicks is in the house as a mentor. Let’s get to this.
(As requested the letter grade will not be issued until tomorrow night when Jimmy and I critique the contestants.)
The judges come on stage and once again JLo is wearing some sort of jumpsuit. Whomever thought that that would be a good idea should be fired now. Jumpsuits are only good when one is hurling oneself from an airplane. All other times they should be avoided like the plague. Although in the name of fairness, JLo could have been preparing herself for hurling herself from her judges chair due to craptasticness.
Ryanne introduces us to the Top 9 and then uses the line, “May the odds be ever in your favor.” Really Ryanne? Have you read that series? That line is not one of encouragement. It is a socio political statement given to kids before they die. These kids aren’t facing death. They are facing public humiliation, and while it feels like death, that is nowhere CLOSE to actual dying. Don’t do that shit again. Dumbass.
We get a quick blub of Tommy Hilfiger showing the kids around a “boutique” that houses clothing that us masses can purchase. Yay us. No real mentorship in the form of helping the kids dress though. Thank goodness. I don’t think I could take another week of Tommy and his hurt feelings. YOU WILL DRESS AS I SAY….lol.
And into the nitty gritty we go.
Colton Dixon – Everything by Lifehouse
Colton is a little flat tonight but I do give him credit for no screeching. He did try to emote and give feeling. Over all he did a decent job, but I am still missing that je ne c’est quoi from him.
Steven – It was like a dream come true. Sang it like it should be sung. (You dream weird)
Jennifer – So emotional. I was moved. Amazing. (You have low standards)
Randy – Wow. I believe you. Contender for the title. (I agree this kid has a shot)
Skylar Laine – Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert
Skylar is shouting again. Singing a note OUT and shouting are two different things. She shouts. And it feels a little frantic. If she could just tone it down and sing she could be amazing. Remember, I love this kid’s personality but she needs to reign it in.
Jennifer – Love the energy. (She could power the northern seaboard. Not a compliment)
Steven – It was like she was singing to an old friend. (an old and hard of hearing friend)
Randy – Remember that you are telling a story. (Telling not yelling)
Tonight Idol is trying something fun and new. OK new. In order to make the show into a full two hours they are now also adding in a trio performance. Dammit. I don’t like group songs as it is. Now they are adding in the most hated of all groups…the trio. Jimmy Iovine if you are listening…make it stop.
The first trio is Colton, Elise, and Phillip. They are doing a mashup of Stevie Nicks – Fleetwood Mack songs. Eek. Not a good time to blow.
Well damn. These kids actually did a good job. They each sang a part that did their specific voice style justice. Yay kids!
After a quick commercial break we come back to Heejun. Heejun has decided that he needs to show us the serious side of himself and quit acting like a fucktard. Now, I like socially retarded Heejun. He is funny. But I will say bitch needs to tone that shit down. We’ll see how he does…
Heejun Han – A Song For You by Donny Hathaway
Well now. His breathy-ness works for this song. AND THERE IS THE HEEJUN THAT I LOVE. He has a great voice that he hides behind his hijinx! Now if he can just find that sweet spot of mixing the two. But, on a sad note, there is no way my boy will win this. Someone needs to grab him now and make a Beastie Boy with soul outta him.
*Standing O from the judges*
Steven – You made it come alive in the way only you can. (I still thought something was missing)
Jennifer – You didn’t make it this far by mistake. (It will be a mistake if he makes it further)
Randy – Not perfect but a buttery tone. Heejun came back. (too late. sadface)
Hollie Cavanaugh – Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood
Ug. This song makes me cry every time I hear it. Deep breath, lets go. Oh. No. It feels like she is just singing the words. Like she has never felt actual soul wrenching loss. Which is a plus for her but bad for the song. She has a good voice if only she could connect.
Randy – Did a good job. Pitchy at moments. (Honestly? I didn’t hear pitch. I heard emotionless)
Jennifer- I disagree. One of your best. (I disagree. One of your worst)
Steven – Not gonna mess with Jesus or Carrie. Wish you picked a different song. (how on this earth did Steven Tyler become the voice of reason. Am I that drunk?)
DeAndre Brackensick – Sometimes I Cry by Eric Benet
Oh dear Rob. Here we go again with the vibrato thing. This kid can do an awesome falsetto but it only accentuates his vibrato. My ears tried to crawl back into my head listening to this. It could have been very Prince-like but blech. This one me no likey.
Standing O from the judges. REALLY!?!?!
Steven – What your voice was made to do. (don’t you dare give him the confidence to keep caterwauling like this)
Jennifer – Something you don’t hear everyday. (I hear it every time my cat is in heat)
Randy – Old school throwback. (Let’s throw it back and see if Old School will keep it)
Jessica Sanchez – Sweet Dreams (aka Beautiful Nightmare) by Beyonce
I hate the original song but I love how Jessica slowed it down. She even has more control over her vibrato tonight. Now if we can just get her to kill it with the vocal gymnastics this kid could actually be amazing. Good job overall kid. Oh and I will cut a bitch for that dress she was wearing.
Jennifer – Beyonce will want that song for her show. (Ya she will…it’s her song)
Steven – Not quite at your limit but a delicious performance. (Ummmm quoi?)
Randy – One of the best singers in many a year. (You have been listening to trash then)
Next we get another trio. We get DeAndre, Heejun, and Joshua doing a Michael Jackson mash-up. Oh. No. This looks and feels like a high school talent show entry that three guys threw together at the last minute. I can hear Heejun’s lower register throughout and it just doesn’t fit. Bad idea indeed.
Phillip Phillips – Still Rainin’ by Johnny Lang
I love him. It’s official. There has never been a contestant like Phillip on AI ever. He sings songs that he knows fit him and he sings them SO well. But, I have a feeling that if he doesn’t smarten up and start picking songs people recognize, he will be taking his unique self back to the pawn shop.
Standing O by the judges.
Jennifer – When you sing you want us to experience it with you. (and we do)
Steven – Every song you sing you own. (well not technically but he does sing them well)
Randy – Yo. I love you. I love the artist that you are. (Me three)
Joshua Ledet – Without You by Mariah Carey
For this one I am going to let my notes speak…This kid is too churchy for pop. Tone it down. Can I get an amen? Why does his jacket hate me? Kill it with fire plox. Aaaaaand here come the vocal gymnastics. Hate that! Just sing the damned song. Vibrato out of control tonight.
Standing O by the judges – REALLY!?!?! Pity O perhaps? I have been known to give those too.
Randy – Flawless (Say Whaaaa? were we listening to the same guy?)
Steven – Thanks for pulling your heart out. (reign your heart back in if that’s how it makes you sing)
Jennifer – Your voice is a Godsend. (God just didn’t mean to use it for singing – foghorn maybe?)
And the last trio of the evening is Hollie, Skylar, and Jessica. They are doing a mashup of Madonna songs.
This sucks. Bad. These girls should collectively decide to never sing Madonna again. Bad Producers. I am blaming you for this car wreck. I need a Q-Tip to clean that mess outta my ears.
Elise Testone – Whole Lotta Love by Led Zepplin
Before I tell you how she did I want to mention something. The reason I rag on ballads is because any old Joe can sing a ballad with the slow change ups with some practice. Real talent can sing a fast song and still make the notes. I call ballads “Reality Show Crutches”. People lean on them too much.
Now about Elise – Bitch just rocked the fuck outta that song! HELL YES! Go Elise! That was fantasmical and if she made an album of this kind of stuff I would buy it. This people, is actual talent.
Standing O from the judges.
Steven – Robert Plant would be proud. (yeah he would)
Jennifer – That was some real rock star stuff. (Sure was)
Randy – That is one of the hardest songs in the world to sing. Amazing job. (yes and yes)
SO. That was it for tonight. What did you think? Are the judges hearing impaired? Should it be a sing off to the death as Ryanne suggested? Does anyone else think the judges should have to listen to the competitors in a back room on a tv so that they can hear it like we do? Who do you think is going home tomorrow?
Love and Pool-boys,
Follow a bitch on twitter @PearlBDragon