American Idol Season 14 Top 9 Perform

1 04 2015

With Qaasim Middleton being saved last week, this week will include a double elimination. This week is 80’s week. Boy George will mentor. David Hasselhoff brings Ryan the results envelope this week. “The Hoff!” Oh no! He is going to sing. He murders “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen. There is no enunciation whatsoever and I would almost go so far as to say he was slurring the words. I know he sings and is a big phenomenon in Germany. I had to go refresh my memory and listened to some of the music. He sounds totally different on the records. So I looked up live performances and he did pretty decent on those, too. Hmmm. I’m stumped. This turned out to be a medley and I was glad when it was done.

Boy George told that Idol contestants that vulnerability is what is going to make it work because it allows you to sing from the heart. Maddie asks him what was the best advice he had ever been given and he said for them to enjoy the journey and don’t get involved in drama—leave that to him. The group medley just did not work. That harmonica player was a cutie!

The first contestant saved is—-ARGH—–Daniel Seavey. Listen people–the kid is adorable. He is probably a wonderful human being. He is immensely talented but HE IS NOT READY TO BE A WINNER OF IDOL. Scott tells Boy George the judges have been pretty critical of Daniel. Boy George tells him not to let it get into his performance. Scott tells him to breathe more. Boy George says he is more up here (and points to his upper chest). He tells Daniel to relax and trust that he can do it. Jennifer, in her speech before the singing, said he does have the musical chops, but he has to show that is ready to run with the big leagues. Daniel sings “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates. Daniel is more loose on stage, but there is something weird about his voice. He messed up the lyrics a few times. It sounded almost flat. He bent down on the stage to sing directly into the eyes of a young lady and that will get him votes. His falsetto failed him early in the song. He finished off the song in a better place. Keith said that he looks good on camera but at 15 or 16 the experience just isn’t there yet, but towards the end of the song he started coming into the song. He’s still glad he is here but he has to get more comfortable quicker. Jennifer said obviously the audience and people at home love him because they are voting for him. She loved this song for him. It sat in the right place for his voice. She felt that he sang better than he did last week. Harry asks Daniel what he likes to do and Daniel replies “make people happy.” There were big “aww’s” in the audience which Harry thinks will translate into votes. The vocal was pretty good; better than last week. He said the little moves are choreographed and planned—just throw them away and have fun.

The next name called is Quentin Alexander! I am pleased by this. He said he was shocked. I loved Quentin’s face at the 5-1/4 floppy diskette. Did you know Quentin they use those in our nuclear silos still? Doesn’t THAT make you feel all safe? Boy George loved his style sense. Boy George tells him breathing is the key to everything. Pitch is about breath. Quentin sings “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. I got goosebumps between the slow and faster parts of the song. That was awesome. He is SUCH a performer. Daniel should take some cues from him. Jennifer said his cool factor was on, like, a thousand. It was crazy. The mood, the drama. It really, really worked. It’s a home run. Harry says he digs into those lyrics every week as far as he can. The only criticism Harry offers is that 5 out of the last 6 songs were slow songs (hey Harry, Katharine McPhee sang a ballad just about every week and that got her to the top 2). He did enjoy it tonight though. Keith thought it was a killer song choice for him. Keith was thinking well what else could he did, and he just thought him owning it more and more because he has so much artistry. Just lay back the phrasing and have more authority with it.

Joining the top 9 is Joey Cook!!!! I’m super pleased by this, too. All quirky girls in the world love this woman including me. She says her look is “Madonna in Space.” Scott said that Joey was more excited than any of the other contestants to meet Boy George. Boy George wanted her to go a little bit more soft in places and if anything just contradicts everything there is about her. Joey picks “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. I want to commend her for dancing around on stage because she is usually a street performer who stays pretty stationary. I normally love what Joey does but I don’t think this was the best song choice for her. I could see Harry was thinking the same thing. Harry said it seemed like she was distracted tonight—her eyes were closed, she was looking down a lot tonight—like she was trying to make that fun, iconic song but something was holding her back in her head. Something was separating the viewer from her performance. He thought it was good but not the Joey we’ve come to know. Keith said when you’ve set the bar quite high, any moment of inconsistency was just a moment of inconsistency. What it did make him do is think about his wife and girls at home dancing around that entire performance. Jennifer said she looked adorable and that her daughter is going to want that whole outfit. In theory it was a good song for her, almost perfect, but vocally it didn’t match. For some reason she could not find the groove in it. (I think I have a possible explanation. Cyndi Lauper has such a unique voice in the quirky sense of the word. When you hear Cyndi you instantly know it is her voice. When you hear Joey, you know its Joey’s voice. But maybe two quirky people trying to do the song cancel the second quirky out). Jennifer said always find what fits here (and she points to her voice) first. It fit the image but not the voice with the song so much. Boy George came out to give her a hug and to let her know she did great. That was sweet. I think he is smitten with her as a performer. I bet he doesn’t come out for the rest of them.

The next person is Tyanna Jones! Boy George said if she can take the piano performance and transfer it to the band it will be amazing. He thinks that with her she might, in the moment, show off. Tyanna takes on Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).” She hit the note. I just loved this performance. Tyanna is BACK (although she wasn’t gone for very long). Keith said it was great. If anyone can take on a Whitney Houston song it is her. He said there were moments were she looked worried and felt that, but she sings so good she shouldn’t worry about that at all. Jennifer said she can’t get into her head like last week. She said it wasn’t bad last week; it was fine. Things happen like that and no one is perfect all the time. Harry thought it was a really cool arrangement and made it sound like it could be on the radio today. Harry said he, as an audience member, likes performers who are in the driver’s seat. She knows how good she is but she needs to fight for it every time.

At this point I’m trying to figure out who might be in the bottom 2. I think Maddie might be there. I really thought Daniel would be. The only other person I could see might be is Adanna because she sang first last week. I enjoyed her performance last week and based on that performance she should go through, but people have short memories and forget how people sang by the end of the show. This year they aren’t showing a recap to remind us who sounded like what and it actually gave us a comparison of how they sounded among the others in a short amount of time. But Rayvon could be in trouble, too.

Jax is the next person through to next week. Boy George thinks Jax has the bones of a great performer but she has the tendency to go off the rails a little bit. She sings “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi. It was wonderful. It was a little minx-like. And everyone loves when things are thrown around on stage. She took the song and made it a Jax song. Jennifer loved the 80’s punk attitude. This was the Jax they fell in love with during the auditions. She got a little lost in the middle (which Boy George was giving her advice about) but the end was the attitude it needed and she ended it very, very strong. She was loving it. Harry said her originality is what brought her to Idol, and her intrigue is what kept her here. He thought it she had played the whole song on the piano that would have been better because she was playing with a lot of sound. He liked the beginning and the end. Keith said if she is struggling during rehearsal in the song change it because if she doesn’t it will come through. What he did like is she has so much originality. He felt like it wasn’t put together right, but he loved what he did see in there and thinks she is going to go a long way.

Nick Fradiani is also through to next week. Nick! A Skip-It was even popular when I was a young girl in the 1970’s. Scott mentions to him that they are working on connecting and here they are in front of him and they are not connecting at all. I noticed when he was singing in front of them he had trouble making eye contact (now, okay, I would have a hard time singing at ALL in front of them) but maybe he needs to pick a point in the audience and sing to it and put a face to it (maybe like the person he loves). Jennifer said the same thing in her speech before he sings—sing it to someone special. Nick chose “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson to sing (it is one of my favorite songs). Bad habits are really hard to break and he’s been making that mistake I am sure for a very long time—closes his eyes when he sings—I think I remember the judges pointing that out to David Cook. It is a hard habit to break indeed. He almost looks uncomfortable when he tries to keep his eyes open. I got some goosebumps going on there. I think this was his best performance up to now. Harry thought it was the perfect song choice. He thought it was a fantastic vocal. He said that he thinks he figured Nick out. Everyone is going on and on about how handsome he is and that song is about humility and Nick is a humble kind of guy. Keith said he has a million dollar smile, too, and if he would just smile through the whole song basically (but I think Keith is wrong about that because if he did smile through the whole song, people would say it was a serious song and he should not have been smiling through it). Keith thinks, however, the smile would help him loosen up and not be so stressed out. He thinks that sometimes it looks like he is meeting his girlfriend’s dad for the first time. That made Nick laugh. Jennifer said she got caught up in it at the end because he was singing it to us. When he thinks about anything else except the song, it becomes something else. The minute he got caught up in the lyrics of the song, really started feeling the music, started to feel the swell of the arrangement, it became exactly what it was supposed to be and that is where he needs to be every single time (no pressure!).

They took a pause in the results to hear from “Push It” from Salt-n-Pepa. Harry was a riot trying to bump up against Jennifer. I think Pepa was wearing a wig. She was acting like she was worried it was going to come off during the performance. That was a great performance. They sounded great live.

There was no doubt Clark Beckham was going to make it through. Boy George thinks he has a beautiful voice. He felt like the beginning was good but when he gets to the end something doesn’t quite work for him. Clark decides to sing “Every Breath You Take” by The Police in the key of G instead of F. I got some minor goosebumps. That was a great performance. I think he definitely hit the right note. Keith thought it was beautiful. It showed a much more “heart” side of him that he hadn’t really felt. Clark took him on a journey chordally, melodically, and emotionally. Instead of making it sound like a stalker song, he brought the melancholy and pain to it he had never heard before. Jennifer loved it and got the goosies. Everything he did with it was absolutely beautiful. Harry said the bad news is that his competitors are really big performers running all over the stage; the good news is that he does not have to do any of it—just stand there and sing and he is going to be alright. Jennifer yells out “mesmerizing” at the end.

Four people are in the red chairs: Maddie, Adanna, Rayvon, and Qaasim.

Qaasim makes it through to the next round. Boy George loved his voice and he thought he was a real storyteller. Qaasim chose “Addicted to Love” by Robert Palmer. It was decent. I liked the Qaasim stamp towards the end the most. Jennifer loved it. Harry thought his weakness was his unwillingness to give up his performing part (ever), but here was his chance to stand there and be sexy (like Robert Palmer). Keith liked it. Keith thinks Qaasim doesn’t believe in his voice enough so he compensates with everything else. Next week he would like to hear something even more vulnerable because he has a big fragile heart in there.

The last person to sing tonight is Rayvon Owen which means Adanna and Maddie go home. He is singing “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears (I was just listening to that song yesterday). Scott felt like it was “too pretty.” Boy George said it was like he didn’t want to mess up but that is where the excitement is going to come (to take a risk). I like Rayvon but I am not sure I like what he did with the song with the runs and the vibrato. Harry said that he delivers a very strong vocal every time. What has been lacking has been a strong interpretation which are two separate things. He thinks this was one of his interpretive performances. He was connecting with the lyrics. Harry could do without the default falsetto every time. He would like to hear him NOT do that one time. He thought it was a pretty solid performance. Keith said it was a beautiful song that showed all the strengths in all the right places. Jennifer said not to be afraid of going outside his comfort zone. It is a good thing. The only way we grow is when we push ourselves.

April 1 starts the Fan Save!


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