Saturday, March 19, 2016

American Idol 15: Top 5 Revealed

So the last season of Idol is zooming along. Another contestant was sent packing on this episode.

The show started with a flashback to April 7, 2009 and Adam Lambert's rendition of "Mad World." Then we are brought back to the present as Adam appeared on stage to finish the performance out. I've never been a huge fan of Lambert. He sounded about the same today as yesterday.

On this episode the judges used their final save of the season.  To top off the pain of elimination, the contestants were saddled with songs America suggested for them to sing, but TPTB/ Scott Borchetta made the final decision on what each contestant would sing. As you will see, not all of these song choices were particularly in the singers wheelhouses.

Contestants safe by America's vote:

"Counting Stars" OneRepublic
This was so not the right song for Trent. He seemed like he was frantically rushing to catch up the entire song. It made me tired watching it.
Keith - That song and you did not come together for me.
Jennifer - That was not a Trent song, but you did all you could with it.
Harry - When you started clapping, it felt like a hoedown. Not a great song choice.

"Numb" Linkin Park
I liked the cool neon graphics on the background screen and the fact that Dalton was playing guitar for this number, but the arrangement of the song was bland. Dalton obviously didn't have a lot of say on this song because there was no place in it for him to show off what he normally does.
Jennifer - You are a crowd favorite. Unfortunately the arrangement felt like you skated through.
Harry - I thought you poured your guts into the lyrics, but the undercurrent of the band was off.
Keith - I agree with Harry. It wasn't fully Daltonized.

"Ready For Love" India.Arie
We got a fun fog machine and a string section on stage for La'Porsha. I lke her yellow and pink caftan so much better than some of the other outfits they have had her dressed in lately. As always, La'Porsha sounds awesome. There might have been a few too many runs thrown into the song for my taste this time, but she is still great.
Harry - That was everything the lyrics asked for.
Keith - I was just watching and enjoying, not judging.
Jennifer - You have the same spirit as India; Earth Mother. A complete performance.

** Something I have been missing the last few seasons are the fun Ford music videos like season 7 had. Tonight we have a different kind of Ford video: The Idols drive Fords to a yoga class.  Boring.**

** And also in the category of boring, we must watch a performance by members of the cast of Empire (because there aren't any talented ex-Idols who could come perform new music).
"Never Let It Die" by Yazz and Jussie Smollett.

"Wild World" Cat Stevens
A blast from the past, so sure. No guitar for MacKenzie this time. The arrangement has a nice beat to it at least. MacKenzie sounds pretty good. He might want to record this song sometime.
Keith - You are like cake batter - even when its not cooked it's really good.
Jennifer - You have so much likability.
Harry - Good song for you. You could record that song.

The Bottom 2: Sonika and Tristan

Independence Day - Martina McBride
Tristan is plays the piano this time. I love her, but the band isn't helping on this performance. It was ok, but not great.
Jennifer - You need to try other things, not flat line.
Harry - You're good at songs written from a place of pain, but you need to grow older, and live more.
Keith - You are so talented. That song needed more. It was in the middle, not stripped down and not full on.

"Let It Go" - Demi Lovato
This was a good song choice. And Sonika gets the wind machine on high. Idol is pulling out all the props for this show. The performance was good, but I've heard better.

The judges' save goes to: Sonika.

** The kids will be singing "God Bless America" this coming Sunday on Fox's coverage of NASCAR.**

Time for round two of the American public's chosen songs, but first we have a video package to tell us a little more about each contestant.

package: Dalton was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at age 9. When his grandmother got him guitar lessons, he found an outlet to help him cope with it better.
"The Sound Of Silence" Simon and Garfunkel
This is one of my favorite songs of all time. This was a perfect song for Dalton, especially after what we just learned about him. You could feel his pain as he sang the song. Awesome performance.
Keith - I like how you put so much emphasis on the lyrics.
Jennifer - That felt really powerful.
Harry - Every song you do is like a blank wall and you are a graffiti artist. You come and spray paint it what you want to make. This song is a beautiful piece of poetic lyrics and you thrive on that.

**I wondered why we had such a short performance form Adam Lambert. He came back to perform his new single: "Welcome To The Show" - featuring Laleh.
It was ok, I guess. Like I said before, Lambert isn't my cup of tea.**

package: As a Jr in high school, MacKenzie got really sick with a virus and developed Congestive Heart Failure. He almost died. Doctors thought he would need a heart transplant, but, as his mother said, a miracle occurred and he made a full recovery. Music was his therapy.
"Billie Jean" - Michael Jackson
The guitar is back.  This arrangement was totally redone. It was the best version of the song I have even heard, and I totally love the version The Civil Wars did.
Jennifer - You just showed everyone why you're still here.
Harry - Really Great. Terrific job.
Keith - I'm a big fan of yours.

package: Trent tells us about his favorite guitar. He and his friend Daniel chose all of the parts for the guitar and had it built, but Daniel died the day before the guitar was delivered to them. Trent couldn't bare to play the guitar. After a while Trent decided Daniel would want to play it so now when he goes on stage to perform he always thinks of Daniel.
"Simple Man" - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Trent has his hat back on and has brought back some of his old mannerisms. Nice. Southern rock ballads are really good for Trent. I like this performance a lot.
Harry - There is a southern essence about you that is very appealing. I enjoyed that performance very much.
Keith - That's my favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd song. I love how you took the soul, southern gospel aspect and twisted it all in there. Really good.
Jennifer is crying. This is why I will miss Idol so much. It's seeing the perfect song sung by the perfect singer at the time. You sang that so beautifully and I felt every single word of it.
Trent cries too.

package: She came in to the show without having ever performed in front of crowds. She is trying to overcome her shyness.
"Clarity" Zedd featuring Foxes
This was just an ok performance. Not even close to the previous number on the night. She seemed uncomfortable on the stage this time.
Keith - Good song for you, but you need to keep letting go. Be raw, be real.
Jennifer - I didn't love the song for you.
Harry - It was good, but my favorite part of today was when you were on stage with tristan, talking to Ryan. I learned more about you. I liked that better than the song.

package: Growing up she dreamt of singing on stage, and finding love. She met a guy at 18, but he turned out to be abusive. He hated her voice, hated her hair; everything that made her her. "I didn't feel human anymore." She got the courage to leave the situation when her baby was born. Now she is doing what she wants to do.
"No More Drama" Mary J Blige
Talk about a match made in heaven; that describes La'Porsha and this song. It's the story of her life. She is crying by the end and looks as though she might faint. Fortunately Ryan gets there in time.
Jennifer's crying, Keith looks like he is going to cry. Harry looks stunned.
Jennifer - It takes a lot to overcome. You're an inspiration. That was powerful.
Ryan says No more words are needed.
Keith - So inspiring.

And there you have it. The new champion had been crowned.
Oh, Wait! We still have 3 more weeks to go.
Well, I still say the champ has been chosen. Unless America's votes are really counted, and actually count, and if more little girls are voting than middle aged folks like me, La'Porsha should win this thing. (I wouldn't be heartbroken if any of the guys won, but La'Porsha is really good.)

I guess only time will tell.

One contestant will go home next week -(Sonika).

Next week Sia will be available with her song book and Steven Van Zandt will mentor classic rock hits. (I don't have a clue what Sia's songbook has in it, but Steven Van Zandt and classic rock hits are cool.)

 See you next week.

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