American Idol S15 Top 8 Revealed

8 03 2016

The songs performed tonight will honor The Grammy’s. The first one through is Dalton Rapattoni. He chose “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. I don’t think this is a wise choice. It is rarely done well to the point I have ever thought “This is so outstanding.” While Dalton is one of my favorites, this was not his best performance and I am worried for him next week. He is also going first and by the end of the show people forget those who are put on stage first. Keith loves how hungry and passionate he is but this was not a great song for him. Jennifer said that he understands the art of the show. She doesn’t want him to get inside his own head. Harry said that he wasn’t as present as he has always been every other week. Very good performance but the electricity wasn’t there.

Lee Jean is also through. His song choice for tonight is “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. I’m glad he broke out of his Ed Sheeran rut. I liked this upbeat song for him. He is a very talented young man. Jennifer liked the song choice, too. She still thinks there is more voice in him that he doesn’t know about. She wants him to let go a little bit more. There were some moments lacking in power. Harry thought it was pretty smart. Keith said he didn’t think it was a good song for him, but it could have been if he would have done something with it that suited his voice. But he loves that he is trying something different.

Demi Lovato teamed up with the Idols to perform “Confident.” She went on to perform “Stone Cold” without the Idols. That was another powerful performance from a guest.

Sonika Vaid secured a spot for this round. “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. She was very pitchy during the verses. She needs to stop the self-worship with the hair touching. She’ll learn how to fine-tune that as she gets more experience. The performance was pretty good. Harry said that it sounded like she was digging her own voice versus trying to sing those words. Keith said he wanted more attitude. He wanted more fire and angry girlfriend. Jennifer said she needs to get lost in the character that she puts in her head. She then has to let go and not think about things so much.

MacKenzie Bourg goes on to the next round. He performed “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston. I really like the arrangement of the song. Of all the songs done so far tonight, this was my favorite, but then towards the end it was dragging. Keith liked it. Jennifer said that some switch-ups don’t work, but that one did. She wants him to play with his voice a bit more. Harry said it was an amazing song choice. It was fine. It was nice and pleasant, but it is a competition and to get their votes you have to do something special. He would have found a more inventive way of doing it.

There was no doubt La’Porsha Renae was making it through.   Tonight she is taking on Beyonce’s “Halo.” I love the wings that were behind her. It looked like they were coming out of her back. Goosebumps!!!! Oh my!!! The biggest goosebump experience I have had all season. Jennifer says she loves watching her every week coming into her own. She is a hard act to follow. She is the one to beat. She is so talented and so blessed. She is becoming a star in front of their eyes. Harry said every time she sings he has to look at the song from a different perspective. She is also a master at arcing a song especially in a competition. It was incredible as always. Keith said she is a phenomenal singer.

Harry Connick, Jr. came on stage to sing his current single “I Do Like We Do” by Harry Connick, Jr., featuring Butch Walker (of The Floyds). I’m not so sure about this song. I’m a big fan of Harry’s, but this sounded too much like country music, and I’m not a fan of country music. He has a new show coming to TV called “Harry.” It will be a syndicated daytime show coming out in September.

The next safe person this week is Trent Harmon. Scott Borchetta is working with him on his vocal expressions.   Tonight Trent is singing “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Michael Bolton. I think he is the male version of La’Porsha this year. That was great! I can understand why Dalton feels anxious. Harry loves his voice particularly on high, sustained notes. Keith said it was a really good song for him. Jennifer said the faces are him, the bravado is him, and she had a flash of him and La’Porsha at the finale.

The final person who is safe based on the voting is Tristan McIntosh. Song choice was an issue for her last week. This week she chose “Clarity” by Zedd. She went into rehearsal feeling confident and Scott Borchetta said he didn’t like it (that wasn’t elevating her performance). She changed the song to “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill. This sounded much better than what I was hearing in the package on the song “Clarity.” That was lovely. I think she needs to stay in her genre. Jennifer and Keith were standing. Keith said it was a terrific song and she did a great job. Jennifer said that is the Tristan that America fell in love with it and she did an amazing job. Harry asked if she had someone in mind when she was singing that song and she mentioned her grandfather.

The judges now get to decide whether Olivia Rox, Gianna Isabella, or Avalon Young will be going to go through to the next round. Only one will be chosen. Keith said they need to deliver it. They have to make people at home feel something.   Avalon sang first. She picked “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” by The Weeknd. It sounded a little sharp throughout the song unless that is exactly how she wanted it to sound. She had the swag she was talking about throughout the song, but the sharp pitch was distracting to me. The audience loved it, however. Jennifer said when she is in her comfort zone there is no one like her in this competition. Harry said she needed a performance that was fantastic and that was the performance. Keith said what is good is that she knows what she can do and what she is comfortable with.

Olivia Rox chose “Trouble” by P!NK. I loved it but the squinting was distracting in her performance. She looked like she wasn’t feeling well still and I felt really bad for her. That has to be horrible to have to perform when you are feeling so ill. Her voice cracked on that last note. Harry said she gave it 100%. However, she is competing with someone who chose a song that has much more to chew on (Avalon’s song). Song choice is absolutely everything because her talent is absolutely undeniable. Keith said her vocal range is insane. Jennifer said it is not easy. Everything about that performance said she wanted to be there, but if she was talking about being “trouble” the audience needed to feel that she was trouble (as Harry was trying to say). That is the key. The songs have to be believable regardless of how beautiful it may have sounded.

Gianna Isabella chose “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. She said she is going to try to imagine what her mom and dad feel being in love. In my opinion that isn’t going to work. Unless you have personally experienced that feeling, you can’t fake it. After she started singing the song, she was okay in the upper range but when she went into the lower range, it was rough vocally. She didn’t get the emotion in there. Now in comparing the three side-by-side, I can see where Avalon is the person who did the emoting whereas the other two just had good vocal performances. Keith said her voice is gorgeous, he was a little hungry wanting more emotion from that. Her pitch is beautiful. Jennifer said she has a truly blessed voice. Harry said everyone stepped up. He thinks she is so adorable and she has an incredible vocal gift.

The person going through is Avalon Young.

Next week I think the bottom 3 will be: Dalton (I know!!!! ARGH!), Lee and Sonika.

The XFactor Season 2 Top 8 Perform

29 11 2012

Last week was the perfect reason why this contest should not allow 13-year-old children. The pressure is too much. Even a confident Rachel Crowe from last year broke down into hysteria when she was no longer in the competition. CeCe Frey and Beatrice Miller had to sing for their lives, neither doing very well at all. Simon had the unfortunate position of deciding Beatrice needed to go home on Thanksgiving Day. America was not surprised Arin Ray was in the bottom, but he sure did. From first place to 8th place: Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens, Vino Alan, Emblem3, Diamond White, Paige Thomas (who looked very surprised she was NOT going home), Fifth Harmony and CeCe Frey.

Demi Lovato’s Young Adults

Contestant: Paige Thomas
Twitter @PaigeAva
Song: “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley

My thoughts: I loved her look. I loved the song. The dancing was odd. First it was just herself on stage dancing and then at the end other dancers joined in. It felt disjointed. This was her best performance since the live shows began. And I’m happy to say I understand every single word she sang.

The judges: L.A. Reid thought it was her best performance yet. Britney said the risk worked. Simon said for the first time she looked and acted like a legitimate pop star. Demi was so proud of her.

Paige Thomas

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Contestant: CeCe Frey (pronounced “fry” like “French fry” and not “fray”)
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “Lady Marmalade” by Patti LaBelle

My thoughts: This was CeCe’s best performance since the live shows began. I think it is too late though. I suspect she will be in the bottom 3.

The judges: LA Reid said he enjoyed the circus. Britney said she stepped it up a notch; really good. Simon said it was too much and compared her performance to too much chocolate cake. He said she should pack her suitcase. Demi was so proud.

CeCe Frey

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Britney Spears’ Teens

Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

My thoughts: I am glad she did something upbeat; however, it was terrible vocally. Most of the song was off pitch. However, she is adorable and that definitely wins her points.

The judges: LA Reid said she had never had a moment like that. Demi was blown away. Simon said she was fearless and incredible. He believed the lyric. Britney said it was beautiful.

Diamond White

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Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “Rollling in the Deep” by Adele

My thoughts: It was great. I was expecting something worse because very rarely can someone sing Adele, or in the case of Amanda Brown on The Voice, make it their own. For Carly, this was average. Her average is someone else’s awesome. No goosebumps for me this week.

The judges: LA Reid said she was insanely talented and loveable, but it was not her best performance. However, her second best is better than everyone else’s best. Demi felt proud of her even though she is not mentoring her. Simon said the first half was good, the second half was sensational. Britney said she took it to the next level. (PLEASE NOTE THAT PHRASE RANKS UP THERE FOR ME AS “HOW DO YOU FEEL?” WHEN SOMEONE IS GOING HOME). Stop it.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

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L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s

Contestant: Vino Alan
Twitter: @VinoAlan
Song: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by Righteous Brothers

My thoughts: He lost that loving feeling with this song. It was switched by LA Reid with only 1 day. It was a weird arrangement. Vino had a rough start and all the notes in the lower register were rough. I did not excite me at all. Usually I like Vino’s stuff. LA Reid made a bad decision.

The judges: Britney said it is the same thing from him each week–something needed to be freshened up. Demi agreed with Britney; she was not totally entertained. Simon that was not a good song choice and was actually uncomfortable. LA Reid said there were moments where there were timing issues.

Vino Alan

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Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban

My thoughts: Much better this week. I am not familiar with this song and I hate country music, but this was upbeat and entertaining. There were a few off-key notes, especially in the higher range.

The judges: Britney said he was brilliant. Demi wants to marry a guy like him (a man who loves his wife the way he does). Simon said don’t dance but the good news is he was back with passion. LA Reid was proud.

Tate Stevens

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Simon Cowell’s Groups

Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, then 1432, which meant “I Love You Too” , and now “Fifth Harmony”
Song: “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson

My thoughts: I cried when they showed the clip of the grandfather passing away. I understand how TV works and how exploitive it can be. It could sway votes and Simon needs every card in his favor right now. But I feel badly that she could not grieve in private. The genuine affection the girls have for each other is endearing. After hearing the judges’ comments, LA Reid makes a good point that there was no 5-part harmony going–just 5 young ladies singing the melody.

The judges: LA Reid said he heard unison and not harmony. Britney thought the song sounded great for a group. Demi said the energy got sucked out of the performance because it was weird they were just standing there for an upbeat song. Simon thought it was great.

Fifth Harmony

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Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “I’m A Believer” by The Monkees

My thoughts: They sounded MUCH better this week. It was my favorite song of the night. The harmonies were spot-on. Note to Drew: I know you are pumped up about your performance on stage, but stop stripping off your shirt. It is getting old. We know you have awesome biceps.

The judges: LA Reid said he would sign them. Britney said she did not like the song. Demi said she did not know what Simon was doing with them and got them to say stuff on stage that wasn’t cool (like they had original stuff, they play instruments, etc., as if Simon was not letting them do something). Simon said this turned them into real pop stars. One of his favorite performances.

Emblem 3

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My picks for going home

The bottom three will be CeCe Frey, Vino Alan, and Diamond White. But who leaves immediately and which two will have to sing for their lives, I am not sure.

Who are your picks to leave tonight?