American Idol Season 14 Top 8 Girls Perform

11 03 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nWe get right into the mix with the announcement and performance of the first girl making it through to the top 8–Tyanna Jones. She chooses “Rockin’ Robin” by Michael Jackson to get the Motown-tribute night started. It was lovely. I think her nerves were better tonight. She was better hitting those notes. It was a fun song to start the evening. Keith thought it was a great way to kick it off. He thought it was the perfect song to play to her vocal strengths. Jennifer felt like she was in a time warp to when Motown was all the rage. Harry thought it was subtle and strong. His biggest question is what can’t she sing?

The next contestant who moves onto the top 8 is Loren Lott. She also sings a Michael Jackson song, “I Wanna Be Where You Are.” When she isn’t hitting the power notes, it was terrible (she is hitting those notes off). There is only one performance that impressed me—when she sang “Skyfall.” I think it is the tonality of her voice that bothers me. It’s just a personal preference. It is very much like her speaking voice. Jennifer said she really enjoyed that; it made her smile. She thought it was a strong vocal and strong performance. Harry feels she may have nudged the bar up a little bit. Keith thought she was really good.

Maddie Walker advances. This probably doesn’t surprise me. There is a country-block voting out there. ANOTHER Michael Jackson song (well a Jackson 5 song). Do the ladies know that there is more to Motown than just Michael Jackson? She chooses “I’ll Be There.” I don’t like it. I decided to close my eyes and just listen to it because I thought maybe I was reacting to her performance of it versus the vocal on it (because she looks terrified). It sounded a bit better that way. I know she is only 17 and needs some performance experience under her belt. The end part of the vocal about 30 seconds before the song ended was very rough. Harry said if there was any doubt she should be in this competition that has been erased. Harry points out two technical things to her. Sometimes when she holds those notes out she is dead-on but other times she goes sharp. He also teaches her about dynamic so it isn’t just loud all the time. Keith thought it was a good song choice to make it her own (Really? It sounded like Mariah Carey’s version.) He thought she looked nervous. He said if she thinks about the song she is singing, and the lyric, and forget about the execution of the vocal, those nerves will go away. Jennifer said the song takes a lot of control even if it has that innocence about it, but she did a really good job even with the nerves.

Ryan pulls out another card with another name. It’s Joey Cook!! Yay!! Finally–NOT a Michael Jackson song. It’s “Shop Around” by The Miracles. She sheds the accordion. That was a smart move. It almost has a scat kind of sound to it. I like that she made the song her own. Keith always looks forward to seeing and hearing what she does. Jennifer said she is so unique and that it’s so beautiful that someone has all that emotion and not be afraid to show it and to channel it into a performance. Harry loves her artistry, too. He feels she is very unique. His only concern is that she is so stylized that he wonders if people will grow tired of that hyperstylization. Maybe not, maybe so.

Sarina-Joi Crowe makes it (was there any doubt about THAT)? She chooses a song from The Miracles as well: “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me.” Goosebumps!!!! Major goosebumps. That was fabulous. Jennifer said she really, really sings. It is fulfilling to her. She believes in her and thinks she is the best singer here. She is super special and super gifted. Harry thinks she is terrific. She has a world-class smile. He liked the performance with the guitar but his comment to take away was intonation and pitch. I think Harry needed to give that speech to a few others and not this particular contestant. He felt the whole song was consistently flat (when I heard it back again later, I heard it then). Keith said the tone of her voice is beautiful. She also didn’t get distracted by the audience cheering where a lot of people would.

Adanna Duru makes it through. Again—what do people see in this girl? She chooses a Lionel Richie classic “Hello.” I expect Harry to criticize her for singing a ballad like he did Katherine Winston last week. Although if I have to choose between her vocal tonight and Loren Lott’s vocal, I prefer this one, until her voice cracked on that final note. And she has to stop doing those Bollywood hand gestures. They drive me nuts. Harry gives her an A-plus on singing those lyrics. On the flip side, intonation is imperative. The whole thing was out of tune. Keith said he was into the lyric. Jennifer said that she is so capable of taking the audience there emotionally but she has to choose the exact right thing to sit in her voice. Song choice has to be important.

Only two spots left. The next to last spot goes to Jax!!!! THANK GOD! She sings “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. She did her own thing with the verses but returned to the standard melody for the chorus and it gave it the real Jax vibe. Goosebumps part deux. Keith what he loves about her is her artistry. It is so original. Jennifer said she is already one of the favorites in this competition. She said making the song your own is good, but taking it so far away from the original iconic song is not. This song just didn’t work in that way. Harry said incredible voice, unbelievable charisma but he agrees with Jennifer 100%. It is a great song and he thinks the arrangement was dull. She cannot go for dull right now. I didn’t realize it until Ryan pointed it out but she was wearing the dress that broke the internet. When I see it on Jax, it is blue and black, but when I saw it on the internet it was gold and muted white.

The last person who makes it through is Alexis Gomez. She sings “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” by The Four Tops. She is singing a song I hear in my house at least 20 times a day because it is on Shark Tales, the DVD my son watches all the time. It was terrible. Jennifer said it was really out of key and it actually bothered her (which is rare for her apparently). She apologies and says it is integral. Harry says there is no doubt she deserves to be there. There were many things he did not like about that performance but she has to figure out a way to control herself emotionally. Every week will be like that. She needs to settle down and do her thing. Keith said it wasn’t a good song choice but they can figure it out from here.

My votes will go to Tyanna, Jax, Sarina-Joi Crowe and Joey Cook.


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