Thursday, April 19, 2012

Top 7: Let's Try This Again

Last week the judges used their save, so we have top 7 part 2 this week. Our theme "Now and Then" better known as "current" and "old school" tunes. The old school choices are soul this time.

Before we get started... twitter rankings.
Colton- 202,400
Jessica- 185,800 (I have realized that a chunk of these fans are in the Philippines and can't vote on Idol)
Phillip- 176,300
Skylar- 76,600
Hollie- 61,300
Joshua- 55,800
Elise- 54,400
Jessica and Phillip have changed places in the standings. All of the others remain in the same position.

And the show starts. First we have to live through "the save" again. Poor girls had to lie down after that intense mess.  The montage ends with TPTB telling us It is a new beginning for all the contestants tonight.

Nice---Kris Allen is in the audience. This week's Idol alum performer?  We can only hope.

Ryan looks sad and subdued tonight. His good friend, Dick Clark, passed away earlier in the day. Ryan gives a short tribute for him.

Ryan tells us that this show will have the most music ever in a two hour show. We get two songs from each , one current and one from back in the day.  Jimmy is the lone mentor this week.

Hollie- "Rollin' in the Deep" - Adele.
Jimmy says she is looser in rehearsal but when she hits the stage, she gets robotic. Stay focused.
This is the perfect song for Hollie.  She is awesome. She nails it. I love the guys playing the toms on either side of her on the stage too. Perfect!!!
ST- "You finally came out of your shell. It was perfect. I can't judge it."
JLo- You just forgot about everything and sang it. I'm so happy for you.
Randy- I'm not gonna say it was perfect, but what I loved, for the first time ever, I felt you. You had emotion. Very well done.

Colton- "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga.
His sister, Schyler, is brought up to chat. She had been the one auditioning this year. Judges made Colton.
Colton says he's been missing the rock element, that's why he chose this song. "I'm not changing who I am in any way, I'm just taking on a new monster." Jimmy tells him to look into the camera. He has the female vote that backs him like a stone wall.
Colton is backed by an all girl band clad in all white. Colton looks like he raided Johnny Depp's closet.  I like his song choice. (Normally I don't like Gaga.) He does a good job. Might be a little off on the lowest notes but nails the upper. Lots of energy.
Randy- You are so in the zone right now. don't know if it was your best performance, but I still loved it. Job well done.
JLo- Exciting performance. There were parts I loved and parts where it was so low that you lost us a little , but it really didn't matter.  Good job.
ST- "I don't know what I loved more, your outfit, the band, or this set on Idol."

Elise- "No One" - Alicia Keys
Jimmy, "Elise has a vacation home in the bottom 3, she seems to be there all the time." "Other contestants are riding the wave because they have fans pushing for them, but you're an Etch-a-Sketch, a clean slate each week." (OK, Jimmy wins the weird comments of the week award. Steven is slacking.)
Elise is wearing a weird orange dress; a short dress with a long sheath thing over it, and the wind machine at full force. I don't like her voice and especially the growls on this song. Needs a more tender sound for this song.
JLo- You naturally let loose. When you smile, your eyes light up. We need more of that.
ST- I love your voice but I wish you sang a different song with a better chorus for your voice.
Randy- We love you. Great lesson on restraint for you. Good job.
Ryan- "You had an emotional rehearsal."
Elise- "I was feeling sick earlier and learned my dog is really sick and my not make it."  She almost cries.

Phillip- "You Got It Bad" - Usher
Jimmy, "I was nervous about the song, but this is a new voice for him. Great interpretation of the song. He may pick up new fans tonight."
Phillip is playing his guitar but is backed by a simple band of Upright bass, sax, acoustic and bongo. I love it. I've never heard the song before. Phillip owns it now. Standing O and Jennifer is screaming.
ST- "With you, we never know what we're gonna get. I feel like a chump up here. You fool us all the way down the line. It was great tonight."
JLo- "That was so sexy!! That was great."
Randy- I smile every week that I see you. I feel that this year we have a true artist on the stage. Every time he comes up here he tries to be original. You know who you are, and You are the bomb.
Ryan "Did Jennifer make you blush a little?"
Phillip- "She always makes me blush."

Jessica- Fallin' - Alicia Keys
Jimmy- Jessica doesn't deserve to be in the bottom 3 if she sang "Yankee Doodle Dandy." She needs to open up and connect with the audience. She must feel the music because technically she is fine. She must be on "blow your mind" mode tonight.
Jessica has a different looks tonight. She looks very young wearing her hair down and dressed in a white jumpsuit. She sounds really good, but just looks cocky.
ST- With talent like yours, you have the right to get mad in a song. You released your passion.
JLo- Looking at you standing there before you started, I told Randy your just a little baby. You did a great job tonight.
Randy- Your talent is so otherworldly on this show. Brilliant.

Skylar- Born This Way- Lady Gaga
I didn't know there is a country version of this song that Gaga wrote.
Jimmy says he loves the song and Skylar really understands this song. Jimmy suggests starting the song with the bridge. Skylar loves the idea. Jimmy says "The country folk are coming really strong for Skylar."
Nice start. Mandolin, fiddle and harmonica on this song. Great country sound. Growls in her voice fits this song perfectly. She has lots of attitude in her voice. Awesome job!!!
JLo- "Oh my gosh! I love that version. A more perfect song for you, does not exist."
ST- I'm so glad you were born that way. There are a lot of people out there with a drawl who love you to death. I really enjoyed it."
Randy- The crossover appeal. You are a rockin' country girl. You put your own spin on it. You are so ready. Amazing!

Joshua- "I Believe"- Fantasia
"She is a huge inspiration in my life and one of the reasons I auditioned for Idol."
I like Joshua's voice much better on this than Fantasia's. (Oh no, the gospel choir forgot their robes. JK)
Oops, I spoke too soon about the voice. Now he is screaming at me. Don't scream Joshua!!! He gets a Standing O from the judges. (I don't think he deserves that.)
Randy- Glad you picked a song you believe in. I can't believe you were in the bottom 3 last week. Hope America shows up for you tonight. I believe you're one of the most gifted singers ever on this show. You restrained yourself tonight, the mark of true growth. (Too much praise again Randy. America doesn't like that.)
JLo- Sweet cutie, every time you give America all of you. It's amazing to watch. I feel blessed.
ST- This is a stepping stone to winning this whole thing. You could sing the phone book, you are so good at it

OK, we are half way done. Oh my!!!

Ryan tells Hollie she has a personal video message. It's the "football club" from her home town of Liverpool, England wishing her good luck. She is floored.

Tonight's second round is a tribute to "Soul Train" and Don Cornellius. Ironic this would be on the night Dick Clark passes.

Hollie- "Son of a Preacher Man" -Dusty Springfield
Good, but maybe not as good as the first song.
Randy- You dug in for that last note. I was worried about this song, but you worked it out. I liked this better than the first song.
JLo- "I agree. It was better than the first. You're showing a new composure."
ST- "I see it too. I think you can push it even more."
Ryan- "Why do you have this new composure this week?
Hollie- I watched and saw what they were saying. I just need to sing and forget about everything else.

Colton- "September" - Earth, Wind ,and Fire
Ryan calls Colton "the man with the signature stare."
Colton is at the piano this time. I like the beginning. As it goes along, it seems like the tempo is a bit too rushed. Both my kids asked why the song was so short. It did seem rushed or cut down too much. It was ok but something was missing.
ST- I love your voice, but this is the part of the competition where you need to find just the right song for your voice. I think your voice is more powerful than that song.
JLo- I love that song and you did such a different arrangement. That's the Colton we love, but I'm not sure this was the perfect song for you.
Randy- It wasn't the perfect song. You sounded good but not as exciting as we would like.
(ME- He certainly knows how to look into the camera and bat those lashes at the audience. I don't think he could loose the "girls votes" even if he tried.)

Elise- "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye
(When I read on FB that one of the songs this week would be this song, I prayed it would be Elise singing it. Not because I thought she would do a good job, but because I didn't want one of the kids singing it.)
This is not a good song for her either. Just seems to be singing it, not feeling it. I don't like the growls or screams in this song.
JLo- You always sound good. What I see is that you don't like to show your emotions. Maybe this is why America hasn't connected to you. They want to see your heart and soul, to know that you feel things. Your vocal talent is there but you need to be vulnerable when you sing.
ST- You showed your versatility and struck a note with every man across America (maybe that's the problem, men aren't the majority of the audience) and you broke a few hearts. Now you have to find the songs to win America's hearts.
Randy- You've got to show the emotions. That song really wasn't right for your voice. And that says to me that you're not really sure what's right for your voice. You over sang that song. It needs to breathe, it's sexy.
Elise- That's what's hard for me, finding the balance. If I had 6 minutes like in a club, I could take the time to put in everything, but not in 1 1/2 minutes.

Phillip- "In The Midnight Hour"- Wilson Pickett
No guitar this time. He slowly moves around on the stage. he sounds awesome. he looks beyond happy and very comfortable on the stage tonight. This was a great song for him. Cute sign in the audience: "Phillip Phanatic"
Randy- Phillip Phillips is in the house. Exactly what you need is what you have. Be who you are.
JLo- You make me want to get up there and dance with you. it's the feeling, the soul. It's spontaneous, from the soul.
ST- Brilliant, Beautiful. I love your character.

Kris Allen will perform his new single "Vision of Love" on the results show.

Jessica- "Try a Little Tenderness" - Otis Redding
Weird start. She sounds like she's singing in "baby talk" I do not like this song for her at all. She is screaming at me.
ST- "Good God all mighty., Bless my soul, you've done it again." It's all about stepping out and winning these people's hearts.
JLo- Your alter ego, BB Chez, came out a little here. America needs to connect to your heart. Just the voice won't do it.
Randy- Where you should grow is in the emotions, the feeling. Nice one.

Skylar- "Heard it Through the Grapevine"- Marvin Gaye
Country-fied, fiddle and electric guitar. She's wearing her boots for this song and doing some serious stomping.
Randy- There's something very interesting I've seen tonight. You and Phillip have no problem connecting. You just come out and do what you do. Every time you're on the stage, it's a party.  Skylar has a brand, America.
JLo- "I'm watching the little girls up front here when you come out and they get into you. They get it and you."
ST- "You're like a wild horse that refuses to be tamed. You're something else."
Ryan- "You're singing like you have plans for May 23, our finale.
Skylar- "Oh I hope so."

Joshua- A Change is Gonna Come"- Sam Cooke
(When I saw this choice on the list, I knew it was Joshua)
Lots of strings to accompany him tonight. Are those pics of a Louisiana swamp behind him? This song has been overdone on Idol. Emotion is good but the growling makes him loose annunciation. Glad they left the choir out this time. Standing O (No, I don't think so.)
ST- Joshua, you have stretched your voice to the limits of soul. You were restrained at the beginning and then popped.
JLo- "Please America! Don't send this boy home!!! (The kiss of death.)
Randy- This song was perfect for you. Stellar!

Randy says "we don't want any of them to leave."
Ryan reminds us that there are NO MORE SAVES. One of them will leave.

So, this is getting tricky now, but I think the bottom three will be: Elise, Jessica, and (?), I don't know.
I don't think Colton had his best night but I don't think most of the girls vote for the voice. It just might be Joshua in the bottom three again. I really think Elise has overstayed her welcome. She has talent but not Idol winner power. Of course, that never stopped Lee Dewyze, so what do I know.

I can't wait for the results show.

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