Thursday, April 5, 2012

Amercian Idol 11: Top 8 Perform Songs from the 80's

Just a quick twitter/ facebook ranking update before I start the recap.
Colton is still in the lead with 140,000+ twitter followers, followed by Phillip with 124,000+ and Jessica with 96,000+. Joshua is in last place with only 34,000 followers and Elise has 36,000. The rest of the kids are in the 40,000s. Facebook is also totally lopsided with Colton securing 83,000+ likes and Jessica with 74,000+ likes. The rest range from Elise with 19,000+ likes to Phillip with 35,000 likes.


Well, another week and another typical Idol theme, songs from the 80's. There are a few good choices out there, but a lot of really terrible ones too.  I just hope Jimmy encourages the kids to pick the good songs. This week's guest mentors, Gwen Stefani and her bassist from No Doubt, Tony Kanal.

This week the kids will sing duets as well as their solos. Ryan is asking the kids what they are missing most.

DeAndre- misses driving because he had just gotten his license before joining Idol.
"I Like It" by Debarge
Gwen tells him that he looks worried when he sings and must conquer it.
Here's the way to start the night, DeAndre is seated in the audience and his mic doesn't kick on until after the first note. Now he has to walk through the whole audience giving high 5's along the way. That's not awkward. Much better when he hits the stage. Nice mix of normal voice and falsetto.
JLo- I like it a lot. All very natural. Great start to the show.
ST- Totally captivating. That was exceptional.
Randy- You used more natural voice not all falsetto. It was perfect. (Well, I wouldn't get all carried away there Randy. It definitely wasn't perfect.)

Elise- She misses her band back home.
"I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner.
She originally wanted to sing "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen.
She sounds off to me, but she looks pretty. Way too much backup singers on the chorus. The pocket watches swinging in the background are distracting to me. OH, NO! It's the Idol gospel choir backing up the backups. Eleven backups is way too much for this song.
ST- I love your voice but I don't think that was the right song for you.
JLo- It wasn't totally right every single moment.
Randy- Technically you never quite hit the pitch the whole song.
(Wait, did I just agree with Randy?)

Our first duet- Colton and Skylar sing "Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.
Oh, Colton lightened his hair. I like it. this is a nice duet on a classic country song. Skylar's twang is perfect for this and Colton blends in perfectly.  Sweet song. The judges like it too.

Phillip- misses jamming with his brother-in-law, Ben.
"That's All" by Genesis.
Tony tells Phillip not to play the guitar during the bridge. This will make it more intimate.
Phillip looks a little uncomfortable at first but then he hits his stride and jams. His brother-in-law is accompanying him tonight. Awesome!! This isn't a bad performance. Genesis was never my favorite but Phillip is doing ok.
ST- I love your individuality. Keep it up.
JLo- The beginning you weren't in your comfort zone but you found it and it ended great.
Randy- Tony's suggestion was right. Another great performance.
(Looks like Jennifer was the only one paying attention the whole time.)

Our second duet- Hollie and DeAndre sing "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters.  They sound good together. Hollie looks more comfortable singing with DeAndre. The judges agree.

Joshua- Misses his family. He is the baby of the family.
"If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Simply Red.
Jimmy suggests dropping the band at the key change. Jimmy says he'll be out front selling "Holy Ghost" t-shirts when Joshua sings this and making a fortune.
The Idol gospel choir starts us off. Joshua looks and sounds comfortable with this song. Wow!Awesome! Standing O from the judges.
JLo- You were so comfortable. Spectacular.
ST- How can someone sing like that? it was not over the top, but it was soooo over the top.
Randy- that was so mature. Ryan, Joshua's gotta have it.

Jessica- missing singing in her room to boxes.?
"How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston (Do we really need to have one of her songs every week? Wasn't it enough to have all the girls plod through her songs that first week?)
Gwen- Your voice is there, now work on your body movements. Jessica tells us this week we will see her alter ego, BB Chez.?
She is wearing a weird shirt tonight. Looks like a school crossing guard uniform gone bad. She sounds good but this song does nothing for me. No connection.
JLo- You're such a natural performer. You're such a little girl and a woman at the same time.
ST- Everything you do is great. (Really, three weeks ago you told her to stick with ballads. That the upbeat song didn't fit her voice.)
Randy- I worked on that song. I can't believe the maturity in you. Ryan, she's got to have it too.

Naima from Season 10 is in the audience tonight. I wonder if she has an album to promote tomorrow night?

Next duet, Phillip and Elise sing "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty.  They sound god on this song. Her voice matches his grit. Judges like it.

Hollie- misses her family, friends and her puppy, Shankly.
"What a Feeling" from Flashdance. 
Jimmy admits he was dumb for not liking this song when it was originally presented to him. Gwen tells Hollie this song is about confidence and needs an edge. Tony tells her to prepare, prepare, prepare and then go on the stage and freefall.
We get a slow start when there is a delay getting the keyboard setup and working. That should mess with her mind. Hollie looks beautiful in a blue fringe dress that matches her eyes. I don't like her strolling through the audience. Seems uncomfortable for her. This wasn't her best, but not too bad.
ST- You're always great at the end. Your pitch was all over the place. (I didn't think it was that bad.)
JLo- It didn't feel like the pop song it is. You need to let go more. (This is true)
Randy- You have the talent. You're thinking , not just living it.

Last duet, Joshua and Jessica sing "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" by Aretha Franklin and George Michael.  Let's add in the gospel choir for good measure. I don't know this song at all. they sound fine together but this song isn't doing anything for me. Judges give it a standing O and basically proclaim these two the season finalists. And of course, Randy worked on this song with Aretha and George.

Colton- misses working at the family face painting business. They are busy this time of year. AWWWW
"Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper.
Gwen wasn't sure of the choice until he sang for her. Jimmy says Colton picked the right song this week.
I really like Colton's new hair color.
This is a good song choice for Colton. He is working well with the band on the stage too. He looks very comfortable up there.he knows how to work the camera also.
ST- You have one of those voices where that song could be a single right now. So good.
JLo- You were in sync with the band no matter where you were on the stage. I really liked it.
Randy- What you, Phil and Joshua did tonight was take the song and make it your own. You are so current.
Colton tells us he borrowed the arrangement from the band, Quiet Drive.

Skylar- misses friends, family, home cooking, her four-wheelers, and guns but "I'm happy to be here. I can always drive but I only have one time here."
"Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler.
First thought was to sing Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" but everyone changed minds when they heard her sing "Wind." Gwen tells her "Your voice is like ice cream."
Skylar looks so beautiful in her long flowing hot pink gown. Really nice touch to country-fy the song with the steel guitar. The song starts softly and builds. She soars at the key change. Standing O from everyone. Jennifer is crying.
Randy- Wow, Skylar, Wow!!! i think this is your best performance on this show to date.
JLo- You just told America, don't count me out. You can sing with the best.
ST- That was the best song you could have picked for your voice and the end of the night. And the beginning of a great career. So fine.
Skylar says "I wanted to show my full range tonight."

My ranking for the night:  Skylar, Colton, Joshua, Phillip, DeAndre, Jessica, Hollie, Elise.

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