Wednesday, February 29, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 24 (25) -The Guys

Well, we are finally live this week and I am stoked to see how the contestants do. After a fanfare intro from Ryan we are introduced to the top 24 contestants and the fancy new set.  Lots of gold lighting. Kind of cool.
This show we see the top 12 guys plus one, who TPTB decided to bring back. We will learn at the end of the show who the lucky guy is. Wednesday we get the top 12 girls and Thursday we learn who America has voted as the top 5 of each group. The judges also each get a wildcard, so we will then have the top 13. 

All of the contestants took a camera home to show us something about where they live. I'm not going to comment on each of these pictorials on here.

So here we go.

Reed Grimm- Poor Reed is the unlucky, normally forgettable first contestant on the first live show. Bye Bye Reed. It was nice getting to know you. I think he does a good job with his own version of "Moves Like Jagger." He's smooth and jazzy. He throws in a little drumming and scatting, and moonwalking.  The judges like it and we get the first "bleep" of Steven Tyler on the live shows.

Adam Brock- "Think" by Aretha Franklin. Oldie but a goodie. Won't go over with the young 'uns though. He is sassy and confident. Lots of signs in audience "Brock On" and Brock the Vote." Steven- "Brilliant" JLo- "Loved the big finish" and Randy- "Loved the throwback vibe."

DeAndre Brackensick- "Reasons" by Earth, Wind, and Fire. I liked him better last year. hard for me to enjoy a guys whose singing voice is normally higher than mine. The teens in the audience love him. The judges love him too. JLo and Steven love the song choice and his voice on it. Randy says he is one of the most commercial voices on the show and he is ready to go now. Ryan brings two little girls up on the stage to hug DeAndre. Flashback in my mind of Ryan bringing all of the little girls up to hug David Archuleta.

Colton Dixon- "Decode" by Paramore.  Interesting song choice. Not normal for Idol. He starts out at the piano but then gets up and takes to the stage and owns it. He ends up on top of the piano, kneeling on it. Nice job. Randy is impressed and says "the show has such variety this season, so many flavors." JLo - "when you sing, you sing with your heart." JLo and Steven- "You are a relevant artist today."

Jeremy Rosado- "Gravity" by Sarah Barrielles. Sweet and tender performance. Passion in his voice. I think he did a nice job. I like him but I'm afraid he won't be moving on with so many talented guys this year. he is sweet and humble and unassuming and known as the guy who cheers others on. Steven says "you have a big heart and should be America's Idol because of that." Jlo tells him "you have such a beautiful voice."

Aaron Marcellus- Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye"  I'm afraid we will be saying goodbye to Aaron on Thursday. He was good, but not fantastic, in my opinion. I like him, but not as much as some of the others. He has a good voice, he is a sharp dresser. He judges gave him a standing O. Randy says "the boy can sing." JLo says "I believe in you." I just don't think he will connect with the American audience as well as some of the others.

Chase Likens- "Storm Warning" by Hunter Hayes. This is a song that is all over the Country airwaves right now. Chase is ok. Not really that special. I think he they just wanted to include a "country guy." He definitely is NOT Scotty. If I were a betting person, I'd be betting on saying byebye to chase. Steven says "Well, welcome to American Idol, cowboy. You remind me of Brendon Frazier from "The Mummy."  JLo says he has movie star good looks.

Creighton Fraker- "True Colors"- Creighton is definitely just himself. He does a nice job on this song. He means every word that he sings. Judges like him.  I like him too but I'm not sure that America will like him enough to keep him around. I hope I'm wrong on this one.

Phil Phillips- "In the Air Tonight"- He is definitely singing his own version of this song. Kind of hard to follow the melody of this very familiar song. It is interesting and I like it. Something about this kid is just so likable. And my 19 yr old daughter likes him too. He is very soulful.  He is playing his guitar again tonight. I'm not so sure that he can sing comfortably without it. The audience and the judges love him. JLo tells the audience that they should know and remember his name. he is the one the whole crew has been talking about since returning to Hollywood. Praises from Steven too. Randy didn't like the changeup on the song. Wanted more of the melody. I kind of agree with Randy.  That's a first.

Eben Franckewitz- Youngest contestant this year at 15.  Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain"  might have been to big a song for him. He seems nervous at first, then goes kind of flat while venturing to the far side of the stage. He pulls it all together for a big finish but the damage might be done. All three judges note that he had some pitch problems but come back at the end. Not bad for his age.  I would say he is gone but you never know how the teens will vote.

Heejun Han- "Angels"  NO, Heejun this is not the right song. It has been retired in the eyes of all Idol fans since David Archuleta sang it in Season 7. It should never be sung on this stage again. I want to be objective here, but I can only hear David singing this song now. I don't even want to hear Robbie Williams singing it. Heejun starts out ok but never quite delivers on the song. He sounds a little flat in parts. I so wanted him to do good, but I'm afraid we will say bye bye to him.  All three judges agree that it was the wrong song to sing but they love Heejun and his voice. Heejun says he chose "Angels" because "every person has their own angels just feet away and you just need to find them."

Joshua Ledet- "You Pulled Me Through" by Jennifer Hudson- Ryan tells us that some are calling Joshua "Mantasia".  Oh My!!! What a performance. Not what I usually like on Idol, but this guy is fantastic. Judges are about to jump out of their chairs.  Standing O from the entire house for this performance. I haven't liked anything on Idol this much since David Archuleta was killing us all with his vocals. Joshua took them to church. Randy- "Can I get an Amen up in here. the doors of the church are wide open." JLo- had a Paula moment "Amazing- I just don't even know what to say- I want to punch you."  Really Jennifer? Punch him? She also said "you can be a gospel star, R & B or whatever you want." Steven- "You're the voice the worlds been waiting to hear."

And the surprise contestant returning tonight is
Jermaine Jones- he makes Ryan look like he's 8. Must be a foot and a half taller than Ryan.  Huge man. "Dance with My Father"  is a great song choice for him. he does a great job. Audience loves him and so do the judges. JLo says he has a special voice and spirit. Steven says he is so glad they brought Jermaine back. 

And there you have it.  The first live show.  Now it feels like we are going to slaughter the lot.  Thirteen down to five plus any the judges decide to save. No one is safe.

So just for fun... my votes for this show, in no particular order of importance go to:

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