Thursday, March 20, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 10 Performances

Theme for the week: Songs from the Top 10 years 2011 thru now.


So, I had some problems this morning and didn't get a chance to write this post. I did get a chance to watch the show, so I will add the details in tomorrow.

Just so you know; if you didn't watch the top 10 perform, you didn't miss a thing. Alex was good. Jena was ok. Jessica was ok. Sam was ok. The rest were blah and/or awful. Sorry, but that's what I think.

Songs:
MK - "Perfect" - Pink
Dexter - "Cruisin'" Florida Georgia Line
Jena - "Clarity" - Zedd featuring Foxes
Alex - "The Story of My Life" - One Direction
Malaya - "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
Caleb - "Edge of Glory" - Lady Gaga
CJ - "Invisible" - Hunter Hayes
Jessica - "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
Majesty - "Wake Me Up" - Avicii
Sam - "We Are Young" - fun


Top 4 - Alex, Jessica, Sam, Jena

Bottom 3 - MK, CJ, Dexter

Maybe it's finally time for MK to depart the contest.  Guess we will see in a few hours.

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So here's the blow by blow of the performances:

MK - "Perfect" - Pink
The stylists got a hold of MK this week and put red streaks in her bleached very blonde hair. She is also wearing a girly looking t-shirt.
She starts the song singing into a mirror. Then the performance is boring. Oops, she messed up the lyrics by coming in at the wrong time and throwing everything off. Second half of the song is a big mess.
Keith - There was a moment when you didn't come in at the right point.  You need to look like you own the stage.
Jennifer - I loved the beginning where you were singing into the mirror. When you got thrown off, you lost it.
Harry - I did not think that was a strong performance. You have a beautiful voice. You could make a great record in the studio, but I'm worried about the live performance.

Dexter - "Cruisin'" - Flordia Gerogia Line
Randy tells Dexter to work on his diction.
The song has a simple beginning which is very nice. The band and audience join in but Dexter doesn't really change the dynamics of the song. It's kind of flat and boring now. One problem I have with Dexter's performance, his voice and the voices of the backup singers don't blend well.
Jennifer - The good thing about top 10 songs, the audience knows them so get them more involved.
Harry - I don't think that was a good performance because you didn't do anything different. The performance was without joy and you seemed to be meandering around the stage.
Keith - I think it was a good song choice. I really liked what you did at the beginning. It was a nice change. It would have been better to perform the whole song like that.

Jena - "Clarity" - Zedd featuring Foxes
EDM - electronic dance music - on Idol. That's different.
The stylists got it rightthis week with Jena. She looks her age - 17.
Harry - I was wondering how you would do that song. Singing the melody that Foxes sing, Now I'm beginning to see who you are.
** Time for a debate between Harry and Keith about a comment Harry made about "not too much melody in that song."
Keith - I love that tune. That was the best performance of the night, so far. You looked comfortable yo there.
Jennifer - You sounded so great. I wish the performance was longer.

Alex - "The Story of My Life" - One Direction
1st One Direction song sung on Idol. Alex is worried about what the Directioners will thing.
Very simple and nice start with acoustic Alex. Alex and his guitar are awesome. It is odd and funny how he marches in place when he sings upbeat songs. He actually looks so much more comfortable up on stage this week.
Keith - That was great. It was like you merged American Authors with One Direction and did your own Alex thing with it and made it your own.
Jennifer - I loved it. I thought you vocal was beautiful and I was so in the song with you. You owned the stage. You remind me a little of Buddy Holly with that vibe. You evoke greatness.
Harry - To me, you just hit the bulls-eye on the artistry target. You have been so consistent in artistry and I'm beginning to get who you are. Nice job.
**Ryan brings out a laptop to check what the Directioners are saying on twitter. They liked the performance and there is a tweet from Niall talking about how difficult the song is solo.

Malaya - "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
The old Malaya is back. The stylists got rid of the flat iron this week. Nice.
It's odd to hear a girl sing about being a man, but she has some nice vocals. her dynamics were great this week.
Jennifer - I was ready to hate on you with that song but it didn't effect me at all. Beautiful.
Harry - I like how sincere you were in interpreting the lyrics. I do want you to ask for help on how to do runs that work with the chords the band is playing.
Keith - Well done for sticking with the original lyrics. I'm hearing more control in your voice.

Caleb - "Edge of Glory" - Lady Gaga
This week's twitter question is for Caleb. What's the best way to get away from the stress of the competition? Caleb says they all play pranks on each other. Then he says something about Alex being allergic to peanuts so they put those in his socks and underwear. (I would hope he is just kidding. That wouldn't be funny at all.)
The tempo of this song has been slowed down too much. More of a rock ballad but Caleb doesn't give it the right dynamics for that type of song. Bad choice.
Harry - I liked the halftime groove and putting your own spin on it, but  I've seen you do better. A for originality though.
Keith - You have a killer tone. It was an interesting choice. I didn't dig the halftime feel. It was inconsistent with the weight of the song. I thought your voice was too big for the song.
Jennifer - I'm kind of between the two. I liked the halftime, but it was lacking feeling for me.
**Keith and Harry switch seating and imitate each other. Harry sounds strangely close to Keith's accent and tone, while Keith uses all of Harry's complex musical terminology in one sentence. They should go on the road as a comedy team.

CJ - "Invisible" - Hunter Hayes
I'm not so sure about this choice for CJ. Hunter's voice is much different, higher, than CJ's.
Strings open the song and then CJ's first note is sharp. Ouch. He stays sharp and sings too softly the entire song. He's got passion but needs to do something about singing in tune.
Keith - I really like you a lot, but tonight was a little shaky staying in tune. Work on staying in tune.
Jennifer - We are all rooting for you. No doubt your heart was in it. You killed it in rehearsals, but not here.
Harry - I specifically don't go to rehearsals because I don't care what you do in rehearsal. I want to see what you do when the red light is on, and what you did tonight was off. You must get your pitch working for you.

Jessica - "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
Starts out Jess and her guitar. Very nice. This is a weird song, but she is performing it well. Only joined by a very minimal band
Jennifer - I was very happy with that performance. It felt really good to me. Right in your wheelhouse.
Harry - I felt that the smile on your face amde me wonder how you were interpreting the lyrics. Many time you have a one dimensional performance. You seem to be in a box and I'm waiting for you to get out of the box.
Keith - I thought it was good. You made it your own. It had this 60's country pop thing to it, without the lyrics.
**We have a slightly heated discussion between the judges as to he meaning of the lyrics and how the song should be sung. I think Jennifer was right when she said it is supposed to the a dichotomy between the happy tune and the serious lyrics.

Majesty - "Wake Me Up" - Avicci
Majesty looks kind of scared up there with her guitar. Just a small, intimate band on stage with her. This is a rocky start. Hard to hear her and scared. It takes a while before I recognize the song. Not to good.
Harry - I really liked what you did with that song. (Really?) I think you are really smart. Nice job. ( Did he hear the same song I did?)
Keith - I disagree with Harry. I like you a lot, but the reason that song works with Avicii and Aloe Balcc singing is the fusion of dance and folk. To me, straight folk was just too much one thing and it didn't work for me. I didn't care for the arrangement.
Jennifer - Tonight I saw something in you I've never seen before, a little fear, in the beginning. You can't let it effect you on stage. Half way through you got comfortable.

Sam - "We Are Young" - fun. featuring Janelle Monae
I don't feel that the lyrics are suitable for his age, but I guess I'm just old fashioned.
His voice is fine. He is more comfortable playing the guitar tonight than last week when he was just standing there.  He does a decent job, but I don't like the song choice.
Keith - I want more time to speak to you, but I'll have that next week.
Jennifer - I loved it. You sounded beautiful.
Harry - Self-assertion. Come out of the stage and own it. You still seemed timid.






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