Thursday, April 24, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 6 Performances

To begin tonight's show we have a video entitled Meet The Idols in which each of the kids are given a title.
Caleb - The Hard Rocker
Sam - The Heart Throb
Jessica - The Rebel
CJ - The Roots Rocker
Alex - The Troubadour
Jena - The Wildcard
I'm not quite sure I agree with all of these titles, especially CJ's and Jessica's.

This week's theme: A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock N Roll.

The band is on the stage this week.

First up, the rock songs.
Jena - "Barracuda" - Heart
She sounds just ok. Oops, maybe not fading out on the Barracuda line. She is really hard to hear on the softer parts. I can't tell if the band is too loud , she is too soft, or she is chopping off the words. The judges better not say she was perfect.
Keith - Great way to start the show. I want you to cut loose more.
Jennifer - (She continues on the loosen up and let go theme.) Push yourself more. Every little thing can help you win.
Harry - Your strong voice is a perfect match for that song. (He also follows up on the loosen up and let go theme.) You need to think about what you can do to relax before you come out.

Sam - "It's Time" - Imagine Dragons
Sam has his guitar and is standing on a platform in front of the band. I guess that's one way to avoid the not moving around critique. I wouldn't really call this a true rock song the way Sam is performing it. The beginning sounded off, like he was struggling to find his way, but it got better towards the end.
Jennifer - I got goosies on that one. I believed you when you sang that song.
Harry - That's a great song for you. You're blossoming.
Keith - Good performance. At two points in the song you made a different strong connection. Learn to tap into that place.
Ryan calls us that Sam just celebrated his 18th birthday.

CJ - "American Woman" - The Guess Who
With his trusty guitar in hand. CJ's gritty voice works for this song. Not too bad a performance. CJ seems like a nice guy, but his singing has not developed as much as some of the others.
Harry - I thought it was a good performance. Good song choice. Watch your intonation.
Keith - That song is all about attitude. If you're not that person, pull from somewhere else in your life for the attitude.
Jennifer - I love the look. You look the part of a rocker. The beginning was a little shaky, but it came together.

Alex - "Animal" - Neon Trees
Viewer question - His biggest musical influences? Jeff Buckley and Jason Mraz
Alex is playing his electric guitar this time. He is just so awkward on the stage. He is so hard to watch, but he sounds ok. The ending seemed to be off from the band.
Keith - I wanted you to release a little bit more.
Jennifer - There was a little bit something missing.
Harry - You're really consistent, but it's not right to say you get a pass tonight. It sounded like you couldn't get your breath. It wasn't your best , but I liked that is was up tempo.

Caleb - "Sting Me" - The Black Crowes
He actually looks like MeatLoaf more tonight than ever before. Scary. This is definitely his genre and his show to win or lose tonight.  Looks like something weird happened, but the cameras were on the drummer at the time, so we only caught a small glimpse. Nice high rock scream at the end.
The judges are laughing and cheering. Hope they tell us what happened.
Jennifer - That was some real Rock and Roll. the lost mic made it real. (OK, so I guess Caleb lost the mic when the drummer was doing his short solo, but recovered it in time to continue song.)
Harry - When you take a perfect song choice and couple that with an incredible performance, its virtually impossible to beat.
Keith - We've all had that moment in a show where something goes wrong and it should be a mess, but it turns out to be one of the best moments of the night.The recovery of that was killer. You slide into the microphone, pick it up and don't miss a beat of the song. "Despite the big crack in the performance, you just spackled right over it."

Jessica - "Somebody To Love" - Jefferson Airplane
Performing with her guitar. This is a great song for her voice. She looks serious after last week's bottom 2. She does a really good job.
Harry - Really strong. You stood there and you delivered a really strong vocal. You understood what I said last week.
Keith - I agree, you were vocally strong. You need to connect a little more with your eyes.
Jennifer - We want the energy of your body to match the energy coming from your mouth. Powerful, beautiful vocal.

Half way point and the Realtime vote recap is back.
In order of votes: Jena, Caleb, Sam, CJ, Jessica, Alex

Time for the Country songs.
Sam - "You're Still The One" - Shania Twain
No guitar this time. He is actually looking around at the audience more since he can't look down at the guitar. Sam actually walks over to the pit of screaming girls. LOL  He still looks like he is in pain singing this song.
Keith - Good song for you lyrically. You still need to relax more.
Jennifer - You're so cute its crazy. Good song for you. You sang it well.
Harry - You have found the people. Now don't sing so perfectly. It was so rhythmically perfect, but at the same time had no dynamics.

Ryan has Grumpy Cat on stage with him. Odd, to say the least.

Caleb - "Undo It" - Carrie Underwood
Caleb is smart. He found a country song that sounds like rock and roll. Good job.
Ryan tells us that Caleb is 23 today.
Jennifer - Its hard to top your last performance. This was good.
Harry - The magic happened the first song. This was still an extremely strong performance.
Keith - I thought it was great. I can't wait to hear what country song you do later. ( LOL Keith.)

Alex - "Always On My Mind" - Willie Nelson
(For anyone who doesn't know me, Willie Nelson is my favorite male country singer of all time and has been since I was in high school. Alex better not butcher this song up too much. Willie is an American institution and country fans will not take too kindly to any injury to this classic song.)
Alex is playing his acoustic guitar now. He has some nice talent on the guitar. Not sure I like what he is doing to the song vocally. Something is way off when the band comes in. Is the keyboard playing in a different key?
Harry - I feel lucky to have heard you sing that tonight. (Is something wrong with Harry? That was not a good performance.)
Keith - You have a strong style that when you play everyone knows its you. I love that song because it is so heartbreaking. I would have liked to hear more heartbreak.
Jennifer - It's hard to hit the bulls eye every time. You did it beautifully.

Jena - "So Small" - Carrie Underwood
Her diction is not clear to me on this. Sounds like she is chopping the words. I don't like it. It no longer sounds country.
Keith - You are such a good singer. You are like everything Idol is about.
Jennifer - Sometimes when I'm watching the vocals take over and the band gores away. That's what happened. Goosies.
Harry - When Carrie sings this, the song has so many ornaments, its hard to hear the melody. I disagree with Jen and Keith. The ornaments you chose to sing didn't match what was going on beneath you. it didn't work for me, but I don't think it will matter.

CJ - "Whatever It Is" - Zac Brown Band
With his guitar. NOT!!!!  Please stop him. This is not working, AT ALL.
Jennifer - this was more your style, but it didn't hit the mark.
Harry - Not your best performance. If you stay, make sure you chose better songs.
Keith - You need to chose better songs. This was not right for you. When Zac sings this there are harmonies and the whole band works.

Jessica - "Jolene" - Dolly Parton
With guitar. This song works with her voice. A few changes. A dramatic halftime of just Jessica. Nice job.
Harry - You stood there and delivered the song. I felt you thought about the lyrics. Nice job.
Keith - A strong vocal. Honestly, I hated the arrangement because I love the way Dolly does it.
Jennifer - Your vocal was really strong. I could see the lyrics in your voice.

Ryan gives us the Realtime vote results so far for Tennessee:
Caleb, Jena, Jessica, Sam, CJ, Alex  (Oops. I told you, don't mess with a Willie song.)

I say for me:
Top 2: Caleb and Jessica
Bottom 2: Alex and CJ

It's time for CJ to head home, but it very well could be a surprise "boot" of Alex heading out. (Get the country pun - boot.) LOL

And for the closing credits, Randy comes on stage holding Grumpy Cat. I'd be grumpy too if someone was holding me like that.

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