First off, a big thanks to Jason for covering for me last night. I haven’t read his post yet (don’t want spoilers!), but I can tell from his intro that we have some differences of opinion that should make it fun. (Jason, if you like Tatiana, please never set me up on a blind date.) I look forward to reading it after I’ve watched the episode.
So here, a day late but hopefully not a dollar short, is my blogging on last night’s episode. This means my results post will be a bit late, but I will post it tonight. (Update: Up now.)
I wasn’t crazy about Alexis Grace going through last week, but she is very attractive. Which had a lot to do with it of course.
Paula looks like she had a rough night last night…
There is simply no one in this group that I am terribly excited about, and several of them I don’t like at all. That said, I’m sorry to see that Jasmine Murray has spot number one, AKA The Death Spot. She’s one of the least irritating of the bunch.
Jasmine Murray: “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles.
She’s struggling with the low end and started shaky, and the background singers are drowning her out on the chorus. She’s confident and has a real stage presence that make it easy to overlook a weak moment or two, but there were more than one or two. Probably not good enough. As Randy would say, “She’s 17.” I think she might have benefited from being a year or two older.
The judges are a bit more harsh than me, but Simon agrees with me on the age thing so the mind-meld I had with him last week seems to be continuing.
Matt Giraud: “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. His facial expressions are all “I’m so sincere,” which make them hilarious. Except for a brief falsetto, he hits most of his notes but there aren’t all that many notes to hit. The crowd seems to really like it but I can’t say that I share their enthusiasm. If it wasn’t for some of the things I saw last week, I’d probably call this flat-out bad, but the bar was lowered pretty far last week so it’s about average for this stage of the competition so far.
Everyone’s slamming his song choice and performance, but then pressuring the voters to vote for him anyway (well, except for Simon). That’s just not right. Not that it’s ever stopped them before.
Jeanine Vailes: They’ve given Jeanine almost no exposure prior to now and the third slot, which means she’s almost certainly toast even if her vocal is a superb mix of Etta and Aretha at their very best. Somehow I doubt that’s going to be an issue, but still…
“This Love” by Maroon Five. It opens well enough, with a sultry, smoky lounge sound, but falls completely apart once she hits the chorus. A good ending is not enough to save her. Dead meat. Jeanine, we hardly knew you.
Wow. Ryan actually said something funny for once.
Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentle: Please, God, let this farce be over. Is this an original?
This is like one of those SNL skits that goes on for way too long. Are there actually people out there who think this is funny? Would even they pay for a full concert of this crap?
Oh, hell. Now he’s doing some “Talk to the hand!” “Oh, no you didn’t!” stuff to Simon.
I hate him. Hate him. Hate him.
Simon does love to get his gay-bashing in, doesn’t he?
Allison Iraheta: Here’s someone else who’s been given almost no previous exposure. After an incomprehensible back-and-forth with Ryan and some lame film clips, she’s finally singing.
“Alone” by Heart. This song is a big guilty pleasure of mine.
A very nice vocal, although I could do without the little changes she’s making–the song doesn’t need them. She’ll be accused of “shouting” the chorus, but that was easily the best of the night. Impressive.
And no accusations of shouting! All very positive, as it should be.
Kris Allen: I don’t think we’ve ever seen this guy before, either.
“Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. This strikes me as a terrible idea.
I was right. This was a terrible idea. He finally hits one or two notes right when he gets to the chorus, where he decides to start flubbing the lyrics instead. It was a catastrophe, and judges are going to rake him over the coals.
Why does Paula think he nailed this? Why does Simon like it? It was horrible!
Randy, too? Kara is the only one who hasn’t taken complete leave of her senses.
Sometimes, I really don’t understand this show.
Megan Corkrey: “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae, which is apparently these year’s song of the moment. I didn’t like her in auditions and I don’t like her now. She’s not quite on the beat, and I don’t think that was an artistic decision.
Of course, Paula is raving about her. Simon is pushing her to advance. Have the judges gone deaf?
I’ll repeat what I wrote the first time I heard her:
She definitely fails the three-hundred pound test–if she weighed three hundred pounds it would have been have been “No,” “No,” “No,” “No.”
I stand by that.
Matt Breitzke: If he gets through, he will be competing with Michael Sarver for the blue collar vote.
“If You Could Only See” by Tonic. I really hate this song–overwrought, corny, yuk.
He sings it just like the original, so it’s not bad for what it is and, sadly, one of a bad night’s best performances, at least if you overlook the arm gestures–he looks like he’s swimming.
Randy is complaining that the performance is boring. He hit his notes, though, which is more than you can say for any of the other guys tonight. One would think that would be good enough on a lousy night like tonight.
Jesse Langseth: “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes. Interesting!
This is one of those songs that has to get by on pure, powerful vocals.
And you know what? I think she almost pulls it off! I’m real curious as to what the judges will say about this.
Randy complains with some justification about the limited range in the song. Kara and Paula are somewhat more positive. I sure wish Jesse would stop talking, though–she’s burning that goodwill she developed with me pretty quickly here.
Simon doesn’t think she was memorable. By tonight’s standards, I disagree.
Kai Kalama: This guy has been a little boring so far. “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.” He says it’s by someone named Jimmy Ruffin, but I know the Paul Young version. I love this song.
He’s in tune for the most part, but this is simultaneously both overdone and a bit boring. I’m not sure how you achieve that simultaneously.
Kara says the song is “old fashioned.” Come on, Kara! It’s a good song, and that song sounds a lot like things that are popular these days.
Simon is talking weddings and hotels. Take a shot.
But they’re right that the performance was underwhelming.
I really wanted better male performances tonight to assure the destruction of Nick/Norman.
Mishavonna Henson: “Drops of Jupiter” by Train. Oh, boy, I don’t know if this is a good idea for a female.
This is better than I thought it would be, although the arrangement is too slow, and it does sound very strange to hear a female singer. The vocal is for the most part excellent.
Here comes Simon with his “too old,” not being “young.”
Kara wants her to loosen up. I suppose I can see that, but in these early rounds, I’m more concerned with a good vocal, and she’s one of the few to deliver one tonight.
Adam Lambert: Fandon the Fun Marshall says he looks like a Yahoo icon, and he’s right.
“Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stone. Camp-fest starts…now.
Called that one! “Satisfaction”–the glam version. I think he’s going to get on my nerves after awhile, but he’s definitely bringing the goods tonight. Powerful vocal, visually arresting performance, and, for once, a decent arrangement.
Since he’s got the added bonus of the last slot, I bet he’s through and he should be. It was certainly a memorable moment on a night that didn’t have many.
Kara uses the word “dramatic,” which is American Idol‘s euphemism for “gay.”
Once again, a pretty weak bunch on the whole. I’ll post my predictions on the entry for the results show.