American Idol S15 Top 6 Revealed

11 03 2016

There are just a few weeks away until the very last show of American Idol ever. Tonight they will perform a solo and then will be paired up in a duet with another contestant. Five contestants will go through based on America’s vote. The judges will hear the bottom 3 sing and then choose who will go through.

(Please note:  I write this as the show is on so I’m switching from past and present tense a lot).

Duets

La’Porsha Renae and Trent Harmon were paired up for a duet with “See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth.     She sounds a little different on this type of song. She started sounding a little nasal, but it worked itself out. I was not surprised that Trent was doing the falsetto part. What a powerhouse duo they make! I loved it. Keith said it was a great way to open the show. It was the perfect song that played to both strengths individually and equally. It was collaborative and great. Jennifer thought what a pair they made. It was magical. Harry said you couldn’t ask for a better way of opening the show.

Avalon Young and Sonika Vaid chose “Rise Up” by Andra Day. They were matched pretty equally vocally but I think Avalon brought the performance. Sonika has improved since Hollywood week. Avalon has a bit more experience in the performance arena. It was lovely. Jennifer said their voices are both so angelic and they were pushing each other to be better. She said it was such an inspirational song that she would have liked to see it come through their bodies a bit more, to let loose. Harry said if he had to categorize them Avalon is the more rhythmic singer of the two, and Sonika is the more melodic singer. The advantage though was to Avalon. Keith said it was an interesting collaboration. It was really great together.

MacKenzie Bourg and Dalton Rapattoni sang “I Want It That Way” by Backstreet Boys. I don’t think this song played to either of their strengths. It wasn’t awful, but I would have had the band played with them more than they did. It dragged without them in the beginning. There isn’t too much you really can do with this song. I’m bummed. Harry said he did not think it was a good song choice, not for them, not for tonight and not for Idol. Keith said he completely agrees. He said Dalton’s strength is not doing covers. He does best at taking apart songs and reconstructing them. MacKenzie does something similar in taking it to a singer/songwriter place. The way they did it did not benefit either of them. Jennifer feels the same way. At first she wondered how they were going to flip it, but it was so much like the original.

Teenagers Tristan McIntosh and Lee Jean were paired up. “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. This is in neither one of their wheelhouse so I’m interested in seeing this. It started off okay and then I didn’t like it. It, again, was just a cover. I think Tristan did a bit of a better job than Lee although I appreciated each of them going outside of their comfort zone. Keith said he loves that song, but you have to really find a song that is in each of your key. He thought they did as good as they could with it. Jennifer said Tristan’s voice really shined in that song and Lee tried to hang in there and give it his best. Harry said this is one of those Diane Warren songs that you can really sink your teeth into. The problem was in the arrangement. If they had to sing the song, he would have slow-rocked it. They are both talented and creative and there was nothing special, but it could have been special. It was boring and bland and it didn’t have to be.

Solos

The theme for this round is the “American Idol Songbook.” The first person through is La’Porsha Renae. Tonight she is tackling “Come Together” by The Beatles. I have a feeling there isn’t a song she couldn’t do. She was even working the judges and Harry was digging the attention when she used the lyric about “good-lookin’” on him. I was giggling. Jennifer said she is giving them full diva every time she is up there. That was a great performance.   Harry agrees and said if she can make sense out of THOSE lyrics, he actually understood what she was singing about. He never understood what the hell those lyrics meant. He said she is absolutely incredible and she has been that way since they saw her. Keith said it was a terrific song for her but at the end of the day any song is a terrific song for her.

The next person who made it to the top 6 is MacKenzie Bourg.   He picked “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. He ditched the guitar for a change. It was very lovely. It wasn’t anything that gave me goosebumps, but it was a nice change. Harry said this is all about song choice and he could not have picked a better song. He felt MacKenzie was really connected to it and that is all he cares about. Keith said it was written so long ago but he made it sound like brand new. Jennifer said there is a beautiful mix of old and new, but it is ultimately about his heart. When he sings, they feel like he is singing to someone out there (meaning the audience).

Nick Fradiani returned to the Idol stage to sing his new song “Get You Home.” It has a nice little groove.   I am not sure I would go buy the song though.  Scott Borchetta seems happy.

Trent Harmon was next to secure a spot in the top 6. He chose “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. I got goosebumps!!! Keith said people really wonder if they see contestants grow during the competition and he is a great example. The way he is moving, looking, dressing, and the way he is aware of where he performs. Jennifer said he is bad ass. She loves what he does with his voice. Harry said it really was great. He had a lot of opportunities to play around. He thinks that if he sinks into the rhythm, it would be even better.

Tristan McIntosh made it through (and she deserves it; her performance was really great last week). She chose a Martina McBride song, “A Broken Wing.” I never heard this song so I don’t know if she is changing these songs up at all. Her voice almost cracked there at the end. Jennifer said she has a perfectly suited country voice. It was the perfect song for her. She did a really good job. Harry said she is a country singer and he agrees with Jennifer. He asked her “what happens to the girl in the story?” She said she thought that she just left.   Harry said there is a lot of emotion in that and she did a good job. Keith said that is the perfect song for her. She did amazing.

The last person who has a secure spot for next week is–SHUT YOUR MOUTH–Dalton Rapattoni. He is lucky he looks good. His song last week was not good. He chose “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles. I remember when David Cook did this. He is a bit pitchy on this song, but this is 1000000% better than last week. Goosebumps by the end!!!! Thank you Dalton. Finally! I’ve been waiting for that. Harry said he bet he felt better about that (versus his duet). It was a great song choice and a great key for him and he pushed it as far as he could with that song. Keith said it was cool. He said it was a great song for him. That theatrical part of him brings out undercurrents in there he had never noticed before. There is a dark undercurrent in that song he brought out really, really well. Like a good waffle iron, he has made an impression. Jennifer said she loved it because it was so him. He does bring the theatrical performance but there are a lot of great pop stars that have that. She loved the end because he has been shying away from doing those big endings. He usually just talks the last word. She thought he was going to do it again and he didn’t and he went for this big note and he nailed it.

That leaves Sonika Vaid, Lee Jean and Avalon Young to duke it out for the final spot. Avalon Young will go first. She has been here before; I think that gives her an advantage in some ways. She is singing “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” by Michael Jackson. I remember Danny Gokey singing this one. This is a great song for audience participation. She didn’t change the song up too much but put her own little spin on the notes and enunciations into the beat. Keith said it is confusing to him that she always connects to the audience but she is always in the bottom three. There is a connection thing missing between her and the people at home. He hopes that she can make an emotional connection with everyone if she goes through because her voice and coolness thing box is checked. Jennifer said if she does go through to next week go out of her comfort zone because they have seen this already and if they [the people at home] aren’t connecting to this then maybe it is because they need to see what else she has. Harry said it is very good advice. He would suggest maybe a ballad if she goes through but they have to talk only about tonight. He thought she needed to maybe have a bit more urgency, not so laid back.

The next person to fight for that final spot is Lee Jean.   He is going to sing “Let It Be” by The Beatles. This is a very special song for me because it was the favorite song of my friend who died and every time I hear it, I get all teary eyed because I miss her so much).  I don’t think this was the right song for him. It was so sharp throughout the song. I really like him when he is doing stuff like Ed Sheeran although I do appreciate that he wanted us to see a different side of him. Even the Kings of Leon last week was good. Jennifer said he has so much going for him. She said there has to be a little bit more composure in these do-or-die moments and she felt like it was a little bit shaky. Harry said it was very emotional and he committed to the lyrics but he was very sharp which was surprising to him because he has great ears. Keith said he did a TV show in Australia at his age and he was terrified and that can affect tone and pitch, but not to worry because he has a lot of time to work on that.

Sonika Vaid has the voice, but can she make the emotional connection and give a performance (which have been her weaknesses)? She chose “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. I am already worried before she even. This really requires being in touch with that emotion (and the emotion of experience which she may not have being so young). It wasn’t too bad emotionally. Her strength is really in her ballads. I liked that she tried to change it up a bit. Harry says he thinks it is one of those high risk, high rewards types of song. He loved it. Keith said it was gorgeous. He wants her to release and let go. Jennifer said it is her favorite Whitney Houston sing ever. She did a good job with it.

Going through is: Sonika Vaid

I think the bottom 3 next week will be:   Sonika Vaid, Tristan McIntosh, and YIKES!!! I don’t know who number 3 will be.  Logic would dictate based on talent either MacKenzie or Dalton is going to be in that list because Trent and La’Porsha are the top 2, but we all remember the shocker when Chris Daughtry (who was the certain winner) was voted off.





American Idol Season 12 Charlotte Auditions

29 01 2013

AmericanIdolLogoCharlotte, North Carolina. One of the places “The Hunger Games” was filmed. It is also known as the “Queen City.” Arrows were shot between diva queens Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey. I was hoping they would get it out of the way at the top of the show and move on, but no, they had to drag it out. I do understand it happened and it has to be shown. But these are professional people. I love watching “So You Think You Can Dance” in part because the judges are not FIGHTING or being rude to each other. They can disagree with a performance but do it in a respectful manner. Nicki Minaj has some very insightful and constructive criticism for the contestants, but I’m finding myself drawn to the quiet energy of Keith Urban. I have never been a country music fan and all I know of Keith is that he is a successful country music singer from Australia who married Nicole Kidman. I actually now want to go listen to his music and find out more about him. If this is what I am going to see in Idol for the next several months, I really do not know if I can take it and for the first time since season 2, may decide not to watch. It is ironic that a Navy reservist, Brandy Hamilton, pleaded with them “Please don’t fight, it makes us sad” should be a wake-up call.

Nicki does like to talk, and, in fact, dominates the panel all the time. She is wonderful at lifting up a contestant’s spirits and finding something positive about them without crushing their spirit. But for me, she is beginning to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. She needs to be more concise with her comments. With four judges on the panel this year, I cannot imagine the live shows ever being on-time if things keep going on this way.

Scotty McCreery was on hand to pump up the crowd.  That is the American Idol finale results show that I went to see thanks to FOX VIP.

Naomi Morris. Nicki nicknames her “Omie” Nicki gives Naomi tips about her eye wear, that she needs to wear fake eyelashes and then her make-up will pop. Naomi massacred Aretha Franklin’s, “Respect.” Naomi should stick to making clothes. Perhaps she should try out for Project Runway? Marian looks like she is tired of bad singers. Randy I think was mesmerized at her boobs with the intermittent cringing of her singing.

So now that we have the bad singer out of the way, the next one should be a good one. Right? Joe Nemoyer decides that Andre Bocelli’s instruction to Chris Daughtry about singing while he was singing on the ground will improve his own singing. Nicki nicknames him “Jumanji.” He decides to sing, “Feeling Good” by Michael Buble because he is feeling….swell. How embarrassing for Joe that when the camera is getting a tight shot of his face laying down the audience was treated to…YUCK….a booger. Keith looks he feels a bit sorry for the kid. Randy thinks “never.” Mariah was a no. And Nicki just thinks she is in charge of the panel and talks and talks.

Brian Rittenberry’s wife has survived stage 4 appendix cancer. She got her hair and nails done on the chance she might get to see and/or hug Keith Urban. Brian sings, “Let It Be” by The Beatles. I like him. I got goosebumps and the wife got the hug she wanted.

Brian

Brian Rittenberry

Then there were three more yes votes, sending Jimmy Smith, Sarina-Joi Crowe, and Haley Davis through to Hollywood. Jimmy gave me goosebumps, while the other two had average voices. Na’Chelle Fullins-Lovell also made it through.

JimmySmith

Jimmy Smith

SarinaJoi

Sarina-Joi Crowe

HaleyDavis

Haley Davis

NaChelle

Na’Chelle Fullins-Lovell

 

We had too many good auditions in a row and when I saw Matthew Muse you knew it was going to be one of “those” auditions. Matthew also liked to talk about himself in the third person. Keith thought he was trying to channel Brad Paisley. Since I have never heard his music, I am going to assume that was not the case. Nicki looks like her blood sugar is dropping. “Cool dude.”

Next was the segment of the invitation. Dawgs are NOT allowed on the school bus, Randy, unless they are service dogs. You should know that. Isabelle Gonzalez was nominated by her aunt. She looks like Carly Rose Sonenclar. She sang a Sam Cooke song. It was not great. Sometimes I hear potential greatness, but sometimes she is off-key (I’ll chalk that up to nerves). I do like, however, that she has a different sound.

Isabel

Isabelle Gonzalez

Taisha Bethea sings in a rock band. But when she sang a Johnny Cash song, it did not sound like a Cash song turned into a rock song at all. The Alanis Morissette song was better. She is an average singer. It was two “yes” votes and two “no” votes. Apparently the tie-breaker in this city goes to Keith Urban, so it was a yes.

Taisha

Taisha Bethea

And then we get down to the controversial battle between Nicki and Mariah. Summer Cunningham sang “Lean on Me.” She has an average voice but nothing about her particularly stands out to me. Nicki said “yes.” Summer said she “already did the country thing” but she wanted to put more soul into it (insinuating that country music cannot be soulful). Keith Urban took offense to that. He has been pretty even with his emotions so far during his judging experiences. The comment obviously rubbed him the wrong way. Keith, Mariah and Randy said that she could be a country star, but was trying to also say nicely that her voice is not soulful R&B (like Summer thinks she is). Nicki took offense to all this because she did not think anyone should be pigeon-holed into a certain type of genre. I disagree with Nicki here. I am never going to hear a Nicki song thinking, “She could sing anything, even opera” because that is just not a reality. Summer is going through to Hollywood but how awkward was that for her. I don’t think she’ll make it to Vegas week.

Summer

Summer Cunningham

Day Two of Charlotte begins and Navy reservist Brandy Hamilton starts the day off well with an Etta James song. I got goosebumps. I really like her. As she was leaving she said, “Please don’t fight; it makes us sad.” Schooled by a warrior woman in the matters of peace.

Brandy

Brandy Hamilton

Ashley Scott (nicknamed Blondie) has a great personality. This is one of those times when the speaking voice does not match the singing voice. When she walked out with a gold ticket for Hollywood, some of her fellow contestants seemed shocked.

AshleySmith

Ashley Smith

Janelle Arthur played a young Dolly in a local theater production. She is through. And it was time for Keith Urban to fly to New York to be with Nicole Kidman as she gets an award from the New York Film Festival.

Janelle

Janelle Arthur

“The Voice of Charlotte”, Rodney Barber, sang Edward McCain’s “I’ll Be”. His voice gave me goosebumps.

My favorite of the night, however, was Candice Glover. She got cut in Vegas last year. I had heavy goosebumps here and Randy and Mariah gave her a standing ovation. Mariah said she was the best singer they had seen so far.

CandiceGlover

Candice Glover

“Frog Killer” Ja’Bria Barber sang Bonnie Raitt’s “Pride and Joy.” Is she related to Rodney Barber?  After hearing Candice Glover, this was just okay, not spectacular.

JaBria

Ja’Bria Barber

Brad Harris was rapper “Bakon” in Houston? Poor Houston.  He should just sing for pleasure.

Seretha Gunn would close the show with “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” By the look on the judges’ faces, they thought it would be a disaster. It was good. Her daughter, London, accompanied her. London nicknamed Nicki — DunDun (of course that is the same as saying London to that small of a child).

Seretha

Seretha and London Gunn

A total of 37 contestants made it through to Hollywood week. Next up: Baton Rouge, Louisiana





American Idol Season 12 Chicago Auditions

18 01 2013

AmericanIdolLogoA lot of great talent blew through the windy city during the Chicago auditions. The little skit at the beginning was cute where the person on the phone thought their friend got through but she did not. It was a nice change of pace, but I wondered how much it was staged or actors were involved. And the rivalry between the divas, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey continued to evolve, while Keith Urban felt like a scratching post. Meow. Nicki, while having some constructive comments, also left me thinking “what is she on tonight?” Nicki giving contestants nicknames is also going to get old real quick.

With her father playing piano for Vince Gill, Mackenzie Wasner, age 17, got a lot of experience on stage because Vince would let her perform. She had a beautiful voice but I felt her vocal range was limited from what I heard. There was no “wow” factor for me. I felt like I was listening to some Joan Baez.

Mackenzie

Mackenzie Wasner

It was a quick “no” from the judges for Austin Earles who massacred Mariah’s song, “Fantasy.” If you are going to Mariah, especially in front of her, you have to try at the very least not to insult her.

Coming off a birthday fundraiser for Barack Obama, Kiara Lanier came in confidently and performed “The Prayer” by Celine Dion. The best part was that Nicki Minaj was talking, talking, talking, and Kiara said, “Could I say something?” Then she turns to Mariah Carey to share she was a huge fan, and which point Nicki quickly shut up. Keith Urban said she sounded a little like Aaron Neville. I thought it was good, but it was a little bit off-key and her vibrato cracks at times (maybe nerves?).

Kiara

Kiara Lanier

Nicki was not “wowed” by Stephanie Schimel who sang “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” by The Mamas and the Papas. Once the other judges put her through, Nicki said she said “no” because she was wearing purple eye shadow like her and felt they have a rivalry going on. WHAT????????? Nicki is beginning to act like Paula.

StephanieSchmiel

Stephanie Schmiel

If you have to wear a costume to your singing audition, it is 99.99% likely you are not going to be able to sing well. Melissa Bush sang “Downtown” by Petula Clark. I hope she is a better massage therapist. Then Nicki leaves her with the comment, “You’ll always be my bush?” WHAT??????????????

Melissa

Melissa Bush

Gabe Brown brought his rock-and-roll/best-of-Jack-Black imitation and cookies! This led me to wonder if they have official taste-testers for the judges. Nicki said she would call him “Curly” because of his hair I imagine. He is a really funny guy, but I did not appreciate the loudness of his voice which made the song “Give Me Shelter” border on a screamfest. I think if he dials it down a little bit, he could represent the rock-and-roll crowd well.

Gabe

Gabe Brown

Computer animator/dancer Kevin Nabity ruined “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies and then went on to “Come Sail Away” by Styx. This is “not for you probably.” Probably? Randy Jackson was more to the point: “Let the singing go.”

KevinNabity

Kevin Nabity

Isabelle Parell, age 15, was channeling Mandy Moore’s character from the movie, A Walk To Remember. She asked for someone to sing a duet with her to “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and both Keith and Mariah were happy to help. I like her personality but I would like to see more range from her. It was a “no” from Randy without any further explanation, but she is through to Hollywood.

Isabelle

Isabelle Parell

At this point, Keith Urban had to leave for a Vegas concert, leaving Randy Jackson to referee between the ladies.

Griffin Peterson is very good-looking but he has just an average voice. Nicki has nicknamed him, “Grrr.” He sang “Washed By The Water” by Need to Breathe. Meanwhile outside, we discover where he gets his flirting genes from–his mother. Ryan fulfilled a bucket-list request for her for a kiss (on the cheek). Randy said “no” as well to him, but Mariah and Nicki found common ground for a yes.

Griffin

Griffin Peterson

I love Curtis Finch, Jr. He is a tutor at a private school in St. Louis. He sang, “God is Able” by Smokie Norful, who coincidentally Randy Jackson spoke to the night before. Testify! I got goosebumps! You know what that means. Nicki has nicknamed him “Finchy.” Curtis asked if his friend could meet Mariah because it would “change her life” and they were happy to accommodate. There was finally a nice moment between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey where Nicki complimented her and she said “thank you.”

CurtisFinch

Curtis Finch

I liked Mariah Pulice‘s audition with “Let It Be” by The Beatles. Mariah Carey said the name is now the 62nd most popular name. I checked that statistic and it is more like 98th in 2011. It was 78th in 2008 (which was the best year for the name). I also liked that Mariah Pulice shook the judges’ hands and thanked them for giving her a chance.

MariahPulice

Mariah Pulice

And at this point, the show goes into the day 2 auditions. Keith Urban is back but not between the ladies!

Although I am not a particular fan of country music, Brandy Neely, age 17, sang with a lot of power to the Hank Williams’ song, “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” She is very confident.

Brandy

Brandy Neely

I also like Josh Holiday. He sang “Back At One” by Brian McKnight. I liked his runs.

Josh

Josh Holiday

Courtney Williams is also a very nice singer and was put through with four yeses.

Courtney

Courtney Williams

Andrew Jones sang “Knock on Wood” by Amii Stewart. I have not heard that song in a long time and enjoyed it.

AndrewJones

Andrew Jones

I thought a looming disaster was about to happen with Clifton Duffin whose parents have never heard him sing before. A secret squirrel. He sang “Superstar” by Luther Vandross, his mother’s favorite song. Ryan sneaked the parents in and his mother became very tearful at hearing the beauty of her son’s singing. Mariah cried. Keith Urban said he got all teary-eyed seeing his mother cry. Theme music plays, “Secrets” by OneRepublic (I’m not joking).

Clifton

Clifton Duffin

Ieisha Cotton is a professional dancer who dances better than sings. She tried Ashanti’s “Thank You”. Mariah tells her stay with her dancing. Then Mariah claimed to be distracted by Nicki when Nicki asked her for a yes or no and Mariah said “yes.” When Ieisha comes out, she informs her family, “They said I’d be better off dancing….so hopefully I can make it on next year.” WHAT???? What part of stay with dancing means you can make it on next year. Try out for “So You Think You Can Dance” instead (but her dancing was not that great either).

Ieisha

Ieisha Cotton

What planet the judges on when they gave four yeses to return contestant Johnny Keyser I just don’t know. I did not think it was good enough anymore for the level of competition that they have in season 12. Nicki says to Mariah, “You’re dismissed.”

JohnnyKeyser

Johnny Keyser

The most unique act of both the New York and Chicago auditions was Kez Ban (pronounced Bahn) Sauerbier. She is a street performer and has recently started doing fire performance. Keith made a funny comment about “old flames” when he asked her if she was seeing anyone. She is different and I LIKE HER A LOT, especially when she sang her original song. I’ll remember her. She is in total shock that she made it through because she is quirky. Randy loves her.

Kez

Kez Ban Sauerbier

A montage is played of Les Miserables–those who did not make it through. I blame the people in their lives who never told them they did not sing well.

A lot of time was wasted on Ashley Curry, a delusional college student who attends St. Mary’s University in Minnesota studying musical theater. I guess any college will take your money and find ways to keep it. She has a twin and apparently singing is the only thing that separates the two of them. The look the twin gave Ashley in the holding room was more of, “Girl, you are going to crash and burn” even if her words are encouraging. I think the twin is the smarter one. Ashley ruined “Mamma Knows Best” by Jessie J. Randy was laughing the whole time. She asks to sing it again because she sang it in the wrong key and it is done in the SAME DAMN KEY. The judges cannot keep their laughter contained anymore. Mariah actually got up to try to contain herself and went to look out the window. Randy tells her someone should have told you before (that she cannot sing). Security walks her off as she tries to sing it a third time. Her sister says, “She’ll never stop singing (then a pause)….ever.” Mom reinforces her AGAIN, “It is for you.” Ashley blames the judges’ response on them being tired. Sweetie–I was not tired. I listened to it twice, once on one day and again on another, and you need to move on to a different career. Perhaps your acting is better. Please don’t contribute to noise pollution.

AshleyCurry

Ashley Curry

Last was a story about Lazaro Arbos. He has been stuttering since the age of 6 when he and his family lived in Cuba. When they moved here when Lazaro was age 10, the stuttering got worse. He has had a lot of therapy but has never improved. I think that he should seek out a speech therapist that specializes in stuttering. He sang, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. A few of his words were wrong, “I will leave me down” instead of “I will lay me down” but it is okay. He has to be nervous and indeed after the song he is sweating quite a bit. I was curious why people who stutter while speaking do not stutter while singing. This is what I found: “The reason for not stuttering while singing is the prolonging of the syllables.”

Lazaro

Lazaro Arbos

Forty-seven contestants in total are through from Chicago to Hollywood. Next week is Charlotte, North Carolina, the site of the breaking story about the feud between Nicki and Mariah.





XFactor Season 2 Finale Performances

20 12 2012

With the judges and the audience feeling like Emblem 3 would be the group to go through to the finale, they were stunned at the results.  A strong performance by Fifth Harmony guaranteed them a spot in the finale.

I am tired of filler stuff in these singing competitions. Doesn’t matter to me what it is or what network it is on, I don’t see the point of singing a song again that was already done. The exception for me for this would be if they were completely rearranging the music so it felt like a song with a very different vibe from the last time they sang it. Or it was something very, very early in the competition. With Fifth Harmony, it was a song that was just done last week. Granted it was their best performance ever, but I want something new. I want to be blown away–something that makes me want to pick up the phone and WANT to vote for somebody. Keep it to two songs and cut a half-hour off your show.

The evening did start with a lovely tribute to the Sandy Hook Elementary victims and their survivors with a modification of a lyric for “You Are Not Alone” by Michael Jackson.

They introduced the judges and the remaining contestants. I could not help but remember what I said last week to someone on Twitter: Demi would still have someone in the competition if she had not sent Jillian Jensen home.

ROUND 1: RESING A SONG YOU’VE ALREADY DONE AND MOST OF US TUNE OUT OR GO EAT DINNER OR GO TO THE BATHROOM

Since I have no comments about any of these because they were no different for me than the originals, I will just list the judges’ comments.

Carly Rose Sonenclar chose “Feelin’ Good” by Nina Simone. Since I have no further comments about their performance because it was exactly like the last time, I’ll just mention what the judges said. LA Reid said she had topped everything she had done. Demi said she was going to inspire so many young girls to follow their dreams. Simon said she sang it better tonight than the first time and he likes her competitive spirit. Britney said it was shocking how bright her star was.

Carly1

Carly Rose Sonenclar

Tate Stevens chose the song from the audition, “Anything Goes” by Randy Houser. Britney said when he does country down the middle he is right on. Demi said that the audience still loves him. This was the first time he turned it into a stadium performance. Simon said he agreed with Demi tonight. LA Reid said he was still lovable tonight.

Tate1

Tate Stevens

Fifth Harmony performed, “Anything Could Happen” by Elie Goulding. LA Reid said it was magical, that magic happens when they perform it. Demi said they were underdogs but they pulled through. Simon said they made him so proud. He likes sometimes being the underdog.

FH1

Fifth Harmony

MY RANKINGS: Fifth Harmony, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Tate Stevens

****************

ROUND 2: SING A DUET WITH SOMEONE FAMOUS WHO WAS AVAILABLE THIS CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS

Apparently they were short on time for anyone but the mentor to give comments which, of course, will be glowing. If they cut out that third song, they would have had time for the full panel to give critiques. I won’t list in this section what the judges said because of that reason.

Carly Rose said with Lee Ann Rimes (odd pairing since she is a country music star). They sang Lee Ann Rimes’ famous, “How Do I Live Without You.” Every time I hear this song I think of the ending of the movie, “Con Air.” It is a beautiful song, but this was not the right song for Carly. I think it was her weakest song ever. It showed all her vulnerable vocal areas that need developing.

Carly2

Carly Rose and Lee Ann Rimes

Tate sang “Pontoon” with Little Big Town. I had fun watching him with these ladies. He was eating it up. Watch out wife! God, I dislike country music but his song was better than Carly’s.

Tate2

Tate Steven and Little Big Town

The next one I could just SCREAM about. Fifth Harmony sang ANOTHER SONG THEY SANG IN THE PAST, “Give Your Heart a Break”, but this time with Demi Lovato. It was as pitchy as it was the first time they sang it. Demi sounded like she had run from her seat backstage because she was very out of breath, but the true performer she is, she pulled it off.

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Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato

MY RANKING FOR THIS ROUND: Tate Stevens, Carly Rose Sonenclar, Fifth Harmony (mostly because they sang two full songs tonight they sang in the past).

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ROUND 3: THE FIVE-MILLION-DOLLAR SONG (OR NOT)

Carly chose the very overdone “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. In fact, I heard it just yesterday on The Voice. Simon looked all teary-eyed and given the tragedy in Sandy Hook, people’s emotions for songs like this are high. I do know it is one of his favorite songs from what he said on American Idol. It started off very, very rough. She needs to work on the lower end of her vocal range. But the second verse got better. It does not hurt having a choir behind you either. It was her best performance for me tonight. Was it her best performance of the series? No. LA Reid said it was an angelic performance and she did not oversing it. Demi said she sang like a ridiculously talented angel. Simon said she looked great and it was a beautiful version of the song. Britney said that song was worth $5 million so Simon should get out his checkbook.

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Carly Rose Sonenclar

Tate chose “Tomorrow” by Chris Young. It was a lovely song. It did not blow me away. No one is giving me chills. My goosebumps are my indicator that I’ve been wowed. Britney said it was great and she always enjoys what he does. Demi said she was almost crying because it is the last time she will see him perform on that stage. (Well, not really, he’ll sing in the results show). Simon said it was a fantastic night for talent; that it was a really, really good night. LA Reid said he consistently comes out and delivers.

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Tate Stevens

Fifth Harmony sang “Let It Be” by The Beatles. This song has special meaning to me because it was friend Diane’s favorite song. She has been gone for almost a year now from this earth. It was played at her funeral. This is the first time I wanted to turn off the TV (at least when it first started). Normani did a lousy job. The others did better, but their $5 million song was “Anything Could Happen.” Again, this is another one of those emotional songs given the grief the nation is feeling. LA Reid said they’ve come so far and it was beautiful. Britney said they have blossomed as a group. Demi said they have evolved and grown. Simon said he could not be more proud. Although biased, they deserved to win.

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Fifth Harmony

MY RANKING: Carly Rose, Tate, Fifth Harmony

So where does that leave us? Fifth Harmony was my first round pick as favorite, Tate was my second round pick as favorite and Carly was my third round pick as favorite. I guess any one of them could win. But all in all when I turned off the television, I left not being blown away enough to buy any of those last songs. What I would have liked to see is an original song that no one has done ever before and hearing what THAT would have sounded like as a $5 million song. Perhaps they can think about doing that next year.