Thursday, February 20, 2014

American Idol 13: Rush Week - Top 15 Guys

I was really disappointed with the Top 15 Girls results. I hope the judges made better choices with the guys. I'm sure I'll be disappointed at some point, since there are too many country artists remaining in the mix at this point.

Harry describes the Rush Week performances like "being strapped to the front of a Mack Truck going 80 MPH down the highway." They need to stay in their lane.

1) - Keith calls - Caleb Johnson
"Stay With Me" by The Faces
Randy interview - Caleb needs to work on stage presence and keeping his eyes open to communicate with the audience.
Chris Daughtry tells him to watch his facial expressions, because it can distract the audience.
Adam Lambert helps him perfect his subtle over-the-topness.
Performance - This guy is definitely a rocker. He does a good job. Keith and Jennifer sing along.
Keith - that was killer dude.
Jennifer - Amazing!
Harry - It will be tough for the guys following you.

2) - Jennifer calls - CJ Harris
Randy interview - Early music influences were Country Soul. CJ doesn't have formal vocal or guitar training.
Daughtry tells CJ the guitar was distracting to him and he should ditch the guitar.
"Shelter" Ray Lamontagne
Performance - He keeps the guitar. This is a passionate performance. I like it.
Jennifer - You make me smile.
Harry - Always watch intonation. You have a tendency to sing sharp.
Keith -  Your voice is a great mix of Dobie Gray and Jonny Lang.

3) - Harry calls - Emanuel Zidor
Randy interview -  His family supports his dream.
"The Best of My Love" by The Emotions
He really struggles with the song during the coaching time.
Performance - He loses his pitch halfway through the performance. He looks like a rooster strutting across the stage. This was not an appealing performance.
Harry - Happy infectious energy, but you went out of control.
Keith - Adrenaline kicked in and you lost the performance.
Jennifer - Emmanuel, I zidor you.

4) - Keith calls - Sam Woolf
Ryan tells us Sam was just accepted into the Berklee College of Music.
Randy interview - Sam's first performance was for his 6th grade talent show and he sang Hey Jude a cappella.
"Babylon" by David Gray
Coaches - Michael Orland and Randy tells I'm he has to fix looking down. It makes him look insecure.Sam says he is ready to put in the work.
Performance - Performing with his guitar. Sam has an awesome voice. It looks like he fixed the eye contact problem. This is the best performance so far during Rush Week.
Keith - The people like you Sam. (All the girls scream and he blushes.) Your voice is money. Your tone is great.
Jennifer - There is such a sweet quality to you. You have perfect pitch. Great performance.
Harry - Really good performance. Good song choice.

5) - Jennifer calls - George Lovett
Randy interview - "Grenade" by Bruno Mars
Randy asks if he is afraid to sing this since so many have sung it. George must find something unique to do to ring out his star quality.
Adam tries to help him make his performance unique.
Performance -  This is unique all right. I wouldn't recognize this song if I didn't know what he is singing. Totally off from the music. Cracking notes too.
Jennifer - I felt your energy. You need to control the runs.
Harry - It is possible to become too invested in the lyrics that you sing yourself off the microphone. You lost it.
Keith - Song choice is critical.

6) - Harry calls - Dexter Roberts
Dexter is anxious to see the hair stylist.
Randy interview -  How did you get into music?  Got his first guitar at 5 yrs old, then learned drums, then piano.
"This Ol' Boy" by Craig Morgan
Daughtry says the song choice is about making the song yours. Dexter says his friends say  his songs are Dexterfied".
Performance - On stage with his guitar. This is pure country. He is really good.
Harry - Nice job. Solid Performance. think about how to make yourself stand out from other country singers.
Keith - You are the real deal.
Jennifer - You have an easy, cool vibe. You did your thing.

7) - Keith calls - Alex Preston
Alex is really shy and was a band geek.
Randy interview - When did you know you had to do music?  He learned violin at 4 1/2 or 5 and then he learned piano. Now he plays 11 or 12 instruments.
"Volcano" by Damien Rice
Coaches help him with his eye contact.
Daughtry tells Alex he still gets nervous on stage, especially the Idol stage.
Performance - Alex has a very different voice. This is a really good song for him. Guitar is awesome too.
Keith - this is the best song choice of the night. You could have written that song.
Jennifer -  You are in your own lane; so different.
Harry - Music is like a religion to you. Harry compliments the unique ending to the song.

8) - Jennifer calls - Malcolm Allen
Randy interview - Malcolm started singing at church but started sining at clubs at 17. He feels he needs to work on stage presence
"Coming From Where I'm From" by Anthony Hamilton
Adam tells him to commit himself to everything 150%.
Performance - I can't understand what he is saying. I think he's off from the music. Just a jumble to me.
Jennifer - You have a great voice, but I wanted your performance to hit me more. Bring heart and soul to your performance.
Harry - When you sing the same runs, the same 5 notes, you sing sharp. Sing in tune.
Keith - You have to make artistic choices. A stripped down version would have been better.

9) - Harry calls - Ben Briley
Ryan tells us Ben is the son of a preacher man and comes from a really large family.
Randy interview - Ben tells Randy this is "Dawg Training". Ben's great grandmother was on of the first women on the Grand Ol' Opry. His mother also sings and plays guitar and he calls her the Taylor Swift of the '70s in Nashville.
"Soul Shine" by The Allman Brothers
Performance - He has an electric guitar. Very nice Southern Rock. Powerful sound. Only negative for me: He needs to lose the backwards baseball cap.
Harry - You did a great job.
Keith - Your voice is strong. Possibly the first guitar shred by a contestant on Idol. (I'm not sure of that. That honor might belong to Casey James.)

10) - Keith calls - Spencer Lloyd
Randy interview - He wants to move away from the security of an instrument. Randy says to keep the guitar; it felt natural.
"Love Don't Die" The Fray
Adam says no guitar because he looks more rock and roll star.
Performance - No guitar. I think he should have kept the guitar. Idol fans love guys with guitars. His pitch seems to wander some. No matter what, the girls love him.
Keith - The song choice is important. Not his best vocals.
Jennifer - The crowd loved him and he is a star.
Harry - This was not good. Stick to what you know.
Ryan brings Spencer a poster signed by a bunch of girls from the audience.

Well, there you have it. We are suing good bye to some real talent; Casey Thrasher, Maurice Townsend, Jordan Brisbane, Briston Maroney, and Ethan Harris. Some good choices and a couple of what-were-they-thinking choices. Really, who would pick George over Maurice or Malcolm over Casey. Or Emmanuel over anyone else in the competition.

Since we now have the Top 20 I will venture to guess how America has voted.

Top 5 girls:  Emily, Kristen, Malaya, Bria, Jena

Top 5 Guys: Alex, Sam, Spencer, Ben, and Dexter   (In true Idol style, they all play guitar)

Judges will have to save Marrialle, Emmanuel, and MK.

If America is really paying attention, Alex or Sam should win it all (with Spencer hanging in for a long time) and totally return Idol to the WGWG dynasty. None of these girls will be able to compete with these guys.

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