Thursday, March 21, 2013

American Idol 12: Top 9 Performances

I'm moving a little slow today. Sorry. 

The Top 9 sing the Beatles Songbook.  This could be good or a disaster.

First, Carley Rae Jepsen is doing a plug for her version of the "Coke Perfect Harmony" song she is writing and singing on the finale this season. Something to look forward to...NOT.

Ryan gives us the results of last Thursday's sing-off between Aubrey and Charlie for the 11th spot of the Idol Tour. Aubrey will be joining the gang this summer. Charlie seems to take the news well.

Finally time for some singing.

Kree- "With A Little Help From My Friends"
In the intro, Kree tells Jimmy she has a cold. It seems to be all cleared up by performance time. This girl can really sing. Nice job. She hits all the notes.
Keith loves that no matter what the song, she is always Kree.
Nicki adores that she always puts her own "Kree-dom" on it.
Randy says it was "the Bomb."
Mariah says she was "Fan-freaking-tastic."

Burnell- "Let It Be"
Burnell tells Jimmy he has never heard this song before. What???  Not bad, but he needs to watch the slurring of the words together. This is a song that you need to hear ever word.
Nicki thinks he didn't just sing the song but caressed it like a new-born baby.
Randy is happy that even though he didn't know the song, he was able to make it his own.
Mariah is really proud of him.
Keith thinks he has the most instantly recognizable tone in the competition and is glad America responds to it.

Amber- "She's Leaving Home"
Jimmy thinks she'll murder this song. (That sounds so dumb.) Not bad, but I think the key should have been a little higher. She isn't as comfortable on the low notes. Shaky start, but got better.
Randy asks if she had heard this song before. No, she had not. he says it was a shaky start, but she ended well.
Mariah didn't know this song either. She tells Amber that she performed it in a fearless way.
Keith says that is his absolute favorite Beatles song of all time. "That song is 46 years old and you made it sound fresh.
Nicki says he vocal is unmatched but she was in her brain, thinking about how to sing it too much.

Lazaro- In My Life"
Jimmy says this is a very risky and ambitious song, the rhythm might get him.  He starts this way too low. Wrong key for Lazaro. sounds better at the key modulation/change. Syncopation sounds fine.
Mariah thinks the key was too low for him but that he was very brave to sing this song.
Keith stresses the importance of choosing the right key for the song.
Nicki says Lazaro has lost his confidence and he seems nervous. (I wonder why?)
Randy says it was his worst performance of the competition.
Ryan asks Lazaro what's happening and he explains that he had a different song chosen but had to change the day before. (So TPTB decided to throw Lazaro under the tour bus, did they.)

Candice- "Come Together"
A little background info- Candice is the oldest of 7 kids.  Jimmy tells Candice not to worry what the lyrics mean, just know that we all come together in the song.  Wow, definite rock edge to this performance. Nice job. She is spot on with the vocals.
Keith loved seeing the rock-chick side of her tonight. Absolutely killer.
Nicki loved the vocals, but wants to see more attitude in her face.
Randy says her voice is crazy and he was very happy she did an uptempo song.
Mariah says the only things she missed was a more jazzy side to the song.

Paul- "Eleanor Rigby"
Jimmy says it is fun watching Paul develop as an artist and that he is starting to understand how to sing.
I think the start is a little too high for Paul. He looks very serious singing this. Really nice sweet power note in the middle.
Nicki didn't like the performance saying it was safe, bland, and forgettable.
Randy says he connected when he hit the sweet notes but otherwise seemed disconnected.
Mariah says he needs to show emotion on the soft notes as well as the power notes.
Keith was not a fan of the falsetto note at the end. He thinks Paul has a great pop/rock sound to his voice.
Ryan asks if Paul was looking to put a country twist on the song. "When I chose the song, I looked at the lyrics first this time. I wanted to connect with those. Not easy to make the Beatles country."

Angie- "Yesterday"
(Now this is on of my favorite Beatles songs along with Let It Be.)
The backstory tells us that Angie graduated high school last year and was voted "Most likely to be the next American Idol." Jimmy says she has a tendency to oversing...Really? he wants her to sing from her heart not her head. Angie has a new hair style. The waves are gone.
Nice job on the song. A little change up in the later part to make it her own. Really nice. Awesome!
Randy says that was a stellar performance. "You have a rock-edge. Don't be afraid to show it."
Mariah says that was a very respectful version of the song, yet she showed her voice.
Keith says he could tell that she was thinking about what Jimmy said at times, but she was always still Angie.
Nicki thinks that performance was unbelievably amazing.

Devin- "The Long and Winding Road"
We learn that Devin attends a military high school in Chicago. "I have to keep looking at myself as a nobody because the moment you think you're Mariah Carey, everything goes down. You're not Mariah Carey." He is very wise.
Uh-Oh. He is singing a song David Archuleta last sang and it is very difficult for me to listen to this without comparing the two. Jimmy says it is brave to do this song, but will be great, if he gets it right. He is pretty good. Maybe a few too many runs, but definitely the best guy of the night.
Mariah says he never ceases to amaze her. It would be a travesty if he didn't go through.
Keith loves his voice but he was missing a little emotional connection to the song.
Nicki says Keith is asleep because she thought there was a lot of connection and likes that he doesn't try too hard. (Nicki also gets bleeped by the censors and the rest of the panel is not amused.)
Randy thinks Devin is back tonight. He brought back his swagger, but doesn't need to do runs all the time.

Janelle- "I Will"
She is getting great support form her small Tennessee hometown. Jimmy says the song is very subtle and she needs to watch her breathing in it. I don't know this song but I like it. Nice job. No oversinging. Sounds like a lot of subtle vocal gymnastics.
Keith loved the song choice. She knows who she is.
Nicki thinks she looks like a beautiful swan goddess instead of a marshmallow. The performance made her more obsessed with Janelle. It was the perfect key for her voice.
Randy thinks Janelle is back. This was one of the best performances of the night.
Mariah says this was a very elegant performance.

Ryan asks Randy for the top performances. "The girls were great and Burnell."

So, there you have it. Some really good performances and some not so hot. I find it odd that these kids want to be professional singers and yet several are not familiar with the Beatles music. It's not their age, because my kids both fall in this same age category and they know the Beatles well.

My picks for the top performances: Angie, Janelle, Kree, Candice, Devin
Worst performance: Lazaro although he probably has enough support to keep him in the competition.
I think either Paul or Amber will have the lowest votes. If it's Amber, the judges will save her.

We will see what happens tonight.

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