American Idol Season 13 Top 12 Results Show

6 03 2014

Seventy million votes came in last night. You know I think Jennifer Lopez can wear just about anything but that thing she was wearing tonight did not fit right. Phillip Phillips returns to the Idol stage tonight. Randy Jackson is going to introduce us to Kodaline from Ireland.

At the postshow dinner, the contestants talk about when is it okay to be sharp and when it isn’t because they are confused. I can understand that they are getting mixed messages.

Emily, Sam, Jessica and Ben are in the first group to hear the results. Emily is in the bottom 3. The rest are safe.

Phillip Phillips sang “Raging Fire” and as he did I was thinking something is really wrong with the Idol sound.  His intonation (smile Harry) was all over the place.

Majesty, Dexter, Jena, and Alex are up next. Dexter, Majesty and Alex are safe. Jena is in the bottom 3. That just is not right. None of them deserved that spot.

Kodaline played next. They have an interesting sound.

Last to learn their fate are Malaya, MK, CJ, and Caleb. Caleb is safe (OF COURSE HE IS). CJ is also safe. MK and Malaya were in the bottom three last week. One is safe and the other is in the bottom three again. Malaya is safe and MK is not.

The person leaving us tonight is:    EMILY PIRIZ


MK, you need to really bring it next week. We want you to succeed. And (no surprise) the save is not used.

American Idol Season 13 Top 12 Perform

6 03 2014

LogoTonight’s theme was “home.” The contestants were to do a song that defines that and what it means to them. Does it mean their town, their family members, or something else? What does “home” represent to them?

Was I the only person who was hoping the ladies would grab Ryan Seacrest and put him in the mosh pit with them?

Jena Irene

Song: “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall: Symbolizes her family and how she was raised.

My thoughts: I liked it. I really like the uniqueness of her voice. I also like that she makes it a little different so it does not sound like the original.
The judges: Keith: Likes her stage presence, that she was coming to life. He was not mad about that specific song for her, but liked the way she started to move around. Jennifer said she is on the precipice of really blossoming on the stage. She loves how she can make the song her own. It is the mark of an artist. Harry said he liked the switch in the melody. He wanted to see more energy from her especially at her age.

Alex Preston

Song: “I Don’t Wanna Be” by Gavin DeGraw

My thoughts: I adore his grandmother. I’m such a fan of Alex. He had a few little breath issues. And it was a bit pitchy for him. But I still loved it because he tried to change the song for himself.

The judges: Jennifer said he looks like he belongs on stage. It wasn’t his best vocal performance. The arrangement did not quite fit the song. It overtook his vocal and performance. She advised him to be careful with that balance. Harry said he is so used to hearing him at an intimate context (yet last week he didn’t like the intimate performance). It sounded similarly to what Jen said. He didn’t think it was a home run but admires him for trying to do something different this time. Keith thought the word instability came to mind for the performance. The song was around him instead of him being “in” the song. Another giveaway is the loss of breath at the end of phrasing.

Jessica Meuse

Song: “White Flag” by Dido

My thoughts: If this song has been in her set for years, it should have sounded better. I prefer when she sings from a dark place. This was not a good song choice for her.

The judges: Harry said she normally is so in tune. She was so off here. She really wasn’t present in the performance. Harry gets booed. Keith loves her musicality. With pitch and that (what Harry was saying), he does not always agree. Jennifer said she is with both of them. She feels like she is comfortable but it is not coming off that way to the audience. It was so sharp through the whole thing. But if she would have been singing with so much more conviction, it wouldn’t have mattered.

Dexter Roberts

Song: “Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry

My thoughts: It was nice. I’m sorry that I’m not a big country music fan. I like him and the puppies are adorable.

The judges: Keith said it was the perfect song. He took liberties with the phrasing. He showed his vulnerable side. Jennifer said she feels like they are being a little hard on everybody tonight. She liked that he surprised her. Harry wants to be completely honest. It was unquestionably the best performance of the night (so far). It was a great performance.

Emily Piriz

Song: “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez

My thoughts: I have mixed emotions about the Marine boyfriend video. On one hand, they could just be celebrating and being grateful for his service. On the other hand, people feel obligated to vote for her just because of that and sometimes it pays off and sometimes people hate being manipulated and refuse to vote because of that. As far as her performance, the band guy looked uncomfortable when she was singing and dancing next to him. It was in tune but it did not have enough oomph to get me up and want to dance or sing along with her which is the purpose of the song.

The judges: Jennifer said she did a really good job. She loved it but she is biased. Harry said he thought it took a lot of courage but she has to match the intensity of the locomotive train. She has to drive the train and the production was too big for her tonight. Harry gets booed again. Keith loved it. Harry says back to Keith that he wants her to improve. Keith said to be more confident.

Caleb Johnson

Song: “Working Man” by Rush

My thoughts: My favorite so far tonight. He could honestly go on tour right now.

The judges: Harry: He is the most consistent performer on the show. Always consistent, but he knows how he feels before he goes on to sing. What can he bring to rock and roll to make it modern? How can he not be predictable? Keith said he is one of the best singers he has heard in a long, long time. It was a bold thing. Keith talks about rock and roll and the need for a band. His challenge to Caleb was how does he get that thing going on without the band around him. Jennifer said it is what she has been waiting for all night. Great job tonight.

MK Nobilette

Song: “Drops of Jupiter” by Train

My thoughts: Once again, they put her name up as MK Nobillette. She looks terrified. I don’t know if that is what caused her to lose breath control and be off key. The message that came across to me was she feels defeated and feels like what is the point (because she was in the bottom 3 last week).

The judges: Keith said she needs to connect with how she looks with how she sings. If she isn’t going to not use the guitar, throw it behind her and grab the microphone. Jennifer said she needs to keep pushing herself. She will get there. It was a sweet performance. Harry gets the feeling that she does not want to be there. He advises her to work on the things that are hard, that make her uncomfortable and she will improve.

CJ Harris

Song: “Waiting on the World To Change” by John Mayer

My thoughts: He is still sharp over the note. I’m starting to think it might be a bad habit that is just hard to change. But I loved the emotion and connection he had with the song that we could feel as well.

The judges: Jennifer said he looks great tonight. She loved the performance of that song. Harry said he sang consistently sharp, but it was alright because he had conviction. Keith said all that is missing now is to make the song more of his own and not just do a straight cover. Where is his artistic take on it?

Sam Woolf

Song: “Just One” by Blind Pilot

My thoughts: It was a sweet performance. I think putting him in a more intimate context was better than what he did last week where he was lost on stage. But I worry about this. Will he be able to play in a big venue or is this more coffeehouse?

The judges: Harry: Emotional dynamics–there has to be a change–there is just one beat with him emotionally. He needs to try something else. Keith: He understands what Harry is saying. The tone of his voice is like “butta.” If he made an album of original songs, he would buy that record. Jennifer said he has to push outside his comfort zone.

Malaya Watson

Song: “Take Me to the King” by Tamela Mann

My thoughts: It was a better song and performance from last week. More mature. There was a lot of heart in that. But there were still moments that were really rough.

The judges: Keith stood up. Keith said it was a beautiful song baby. (First baby tonight). Encompassed vulnerability and range. Great job. Jennifer had goosies. She was all there for the story. And she had tears in her eyes because she is so proud of her. Harry said this felt very focused and it was risky. There were a few little problems but the message was there.

Ben Briley

Song: “Turning Home” by David Nail

My thoughts: I have no opinion about this.

The judges: Jennifer said the feeling was there. Harry did not connect with it and he felt it was shouted. Harry has a record number of boos in one evening. Keith lost the story and emotion from him. He wants him to worry less about the technicality.

Majesty Rose York

Song: “Fix You” by Coldplay

My thoughts: The emotion was there, but the song was off key in parts it needed to be in key. I liked it in the beginning but when she tried to go big, that is when her voice failed her. She reminds me more of a Tracy Chapman type of singer.

The judges: Harry enjoyed the beginning. Jennifer said she tried to do something but it didn’t work. Keith said they would see her next week.

So in summary, tonight’s Idol was VERY disappointing. The only person who nailed it tonight was Caleb. MK is in serious trouble. She has a lovely voice but her lack of confidence in herself will ultimately be her downfall. Jessica might be in trouble as well. Picking a song is so crucial. And having a theme and having to pick a song that reminds you of home but may not be a good song for your voice all have to be considered.

American Idol Season 13 Top 13 Results

28 02 2014

LogoIt was not too much of a surprise to me that Malaya Watson was in the bottom three for the evening, but I was SHOCKED that MK Nobilette was. Malaya was rattled that she was there. I remember during the top 13 picks that she kept saying to her fellow contestants that because they were in the “top 10” they were going on tour, they were going on tour. Someone needs to clarify for her that the people going on tour are the top 10 after the public votes, and the top 10 from 13 is left. Those are the people going on tour. Rounding out the bottom three was Kristen O’Connor. I didn’t dislike her performance, although I had heard better, but it made sense. Although Dexter and CJ were in my bottom 2 (along with Malaya for the number 3 spot), Dexter and CJ are immensely likable. Part of winning American Idol is to connect with the audience. The audience is tremendously forgiving if their favorites have off nights where their vocals are not spot on.

The “singing for your life” thing should be trashed. We all know the judges have their favorites and we all know that they are not going to use the save this early in the competition. It is just cruel. The judges can make their decision about who should get to stay should American people vote one of their favorites off, but I just cannot watch someone have to sing a song when their hearts are in their throats. You know what else needs to be trashed? The group number.

I failed to mention in my Top 13 Performs blog that American Idol needs to adjust the performance show so that we can actually hear what Randy Jackson has to say about the contestants. You could not hear it at all over all the applause in the audience and my closed captioning couldn’t even get it. That should tell you something.

Candice Glover was on fire and I adored her new song. Jason Bugg was interesting. I had never heard his music before.

We say goodbye to Kristen, but she should be tremendously proud of how far she came in the competition.


American Idol Season 13 Top 13 Perform

27 02 2014

Tonight’s theme is “This is me.” The contestants have to choose one song that defines them as an artist and as a person. The sequence with the contestants on how the voting works this season was cute. There is a new voting platform on Google.

Dexter Roberts

5 in 20: Scared of spiders, fell off a horse, did something with a butter knife (?), first kiss was on a slide, broke his finger during football.

Song: “Aw Naw” by Chris Young

My thoughts: That was rough for me. It was out of tune (sharp). He looked great though.

The judges: Keith said he was a likable guy. He thought it was an excellent cover version of the song but now Dexter needs to figure out how to make it a Dexter Roberts performance. Jennifer said something similar. Harry wonders if the ear monitors are causing him to sing out of tune. There was a pitch issue. Jennifer added that it was not the sweet spot for his voice so much.

Malaya Watson

5 in 20: Afraid of dogs, plays a lot of instruments, wears glasses because she can’t see and she loves everybody.

Song: “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars

My thoughts: Nice upbeat song. I don’t think it was the right song for her. It did not showcase her voice well. I felt like I was watching a high school talent show. I really like her though. I hope she will do better next week.

The judges: Jennifer loves her energy. Her performance was A-plus. The song had soul. It, however, was not her best vocal performance but says she is a contender. Harry agrees. He said intonation is huge. He mentions that she appeared nervous. Keith said what can you do from here forward? It’s about growing and learning. Her energy is contagious. She needs to figure out how to get on top of the song and not floating around it.

Kristen O’Connor

5 in 20: Her best friends are quadruplets. She loves swing dancing. She is bad at all sports.

Song: “Beautiful Disaster” by Kelly Clarkson

My thoughts: I like Kristen but it was off key. I don’t think this was the right song for her. Everyone is having pitch issues tonight. I felt like she was just singing. I didn’t feel any emotional connection from her to the song she was singing (and because of that, I did not feel anything).

The judges: Harry thought that she was a really strong pop singer but she is singing out of tune. Keith thought it was a good song choice for her. She was able to show the range and show control and dynamics in a short space of time. Jennifer said to stop thinking (after seeing 3 contestants now). Start thinking about what you know versus what they are afraid of what may happen.

Ben Briley

5 in 20: He can name every capital. He loves Tennessee football. His favorite animal is a kangaroo. He is good at throwing rocks at hitting poles. He wants to sky dive. He has a super power. And then states none of this is true.

Song: “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash

My thoughts: Finally a better performance this evening. Who knew I would like it too (because I don’t like country music). So that is how much I did love it.

The judges: Keith said it was particularly brisk. He told him not to sacrifice his artistry in the midst of entertaining. Jennifer liked the fast tempo. She said it was a good example of taking a song that represents you and changing it up to make it yours. She loved it. Harry said he did not think it was kitsch (as Keith mentioned) at all. He liked the up-tempo. He felt it was the best performance of the night so far.

CJ Harris

5 in 20: Doesn’t like climbing high things, hates icy roads in the wintertime, does not like to deer hunt that much, hates people with bad attitudes and no personality, and is very religious.

Song: “Radio” by Darius Rucker

My thoughts: I love CJ but this was the worst performance heard tonight so far. He was always above the note.

The judges: Jennifer thought it was a lot of fun. She acknowledges there were pitch issues going on for everyone. Harry said CJ has this “cry” in his voice that he loves to hear but this song may have been among other ones during a concert. It was just an okay song choice. Harry is then booed. Keith disagrees. He thinks it was a good song choice and it was good to hear a different side to him tonight.

MK Nobilette

(Okay, the web site says it is Nobilette but the name was Nobillette on the TV screen–look!)


5 in 20: She is a mediocre snowboarder, played soccer her whole life, loves single ladies (and adds “the song”), wishes she was a dancer, loves dogs.

Song: “Satisfaction” by Allen Stone

My thoughts: It was average. She looked scared. The stage kind of swallowed her up. A few times it seemed out of tune (not on purpose), especially in the end part when she is singing “Satisfaction” a lot. I do like her new look and style. She looks wonderful in pink.

The judges: Harry loves watching her grow. He gives her some pointers about her performance. Keith said he loved the way she looks. He said there were patches of good and patches of “deer in the headlights” but it will come. Jennifer loved how she delivered it. She was awesome.

Majesty Rose York

5 in 20: Born in a leap year. She is left-handed, does the longboard, does ballet and likes to make her hair bigger.

Song: “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae

My thoughts: The beginning verses were rough. Too bad. I am a really big fan of hers and I would put her in the middle of the pack.

The judges: Keith said it was a killer song choice. Janelle is a great place for her to tap into. She is just becoming more confident in what she is doing. Jennifer loves her individuality. She said the song was perfect for her and that she is blessed. Harry said his favorite thing about her is the mystery and how it will unravel. He thought it was terrific.

Jena Irene

5 in 20: Her hair is actually brown. She is best friends with her brother. Her favorite movie is “The Wizard of Oz.” Her eyes are sometimes green and sometimes blue. She is really short.

Song: “The Scientist” by Coldplay

My thoughts: It started off rough but she found her groove in there. I liked it. This is my second favorite female performance of the night.

The judges: Jennifer said she has such a unique voice, filled with dynamics and nuances–a powerhouse singer, too. It was a tough song but she pulled it off. Jennifer loved it. Harry said he felt the emotion of the song and that she makes interesting choices on a pre-existing melody, that her melodic choices drive the lyrics. Keith said it was pitchy in the beginning but once she leaned into it, she owned the song.

Alex Preston

5 in 20: He loves extreme sports. He likes to write poetry. He is a hopeless romantic, loves coffee, and has never been…..(cut off).

Song: “A Beautiful Mess” by Jason Mraz

My thoughts: I had goosebumps. I loved it. My favorite performance of the night so far. He is so unique. A couple of notes were off, but not horribly. It was such an intimate performance.

The judges: Harry said he was brave to do that but cautioned him to try to sing it in tune. He felt it was too inward and that he did not feel what Alex was singing about. Harry is booed again. Keith said he had the complete opposite reaction. It pulled him in. He wanted to know what Alex “had never been” but Alex does not even remember. Jennifer agrees with Keith that she got caught up in the emotion and mood of it. Jennifer did a nice job. She felt it was a nice change from what everyone else is doing.

Jessica Meuse

5 in 20: She uses a lot of hand sanitizer and is obsessed by the supernatural. She likes ponies and has way too many animals. She failed band in school.

Song: “The Crow and the Butterfly” by Shinedown

My thoughts: I LOVED IT! I had goosebumps. Rocker girl after my own heart. It was my favorite female performance of the night.

The judges: Keith said it was a bold but cool song choice. It reminded him of the first time seeing her from the audition cities. There was a dark, haunting quality to it and that is what she has as an artist. The edgy rasp is appealing. Jennifer said that the sound and power of her voice gave her goosies everywhere. It was her favorite vocal performance of the night so far. It was perfect. She would love to see Jessica’s body relax a little bit. It was dope. Harry was distracted by the graphic butterflies. He thought it was strong and that it was cool to hear her sing slightly differently. She did a nice, nice job.

Emily Piriz

5 in 20: Went to chef camp when she was younger. Her eyes change colors depending on environment and clothing. She does a cool whistle.

Song: “Glitter In The Air” by P!nk

My thoughts: She was wearing way too much makeup (not her fault). I did not care for it. I felt like she was singing it and never made an emotional connection to the song. She was hitting the high note (which always brings out the applause) but her lower register was rough. I really don’t know what the judges heard because they had a very different take on it.

The judges: Jennifer said it is a tough song to take on but she did it beautifully. She thought it had a lot of emotion and her pitch was beautiful. Harry said it was great and she sang the melody well and conveyed the emotions well. Keith said it was one of his favorites of the night. He wants more yin-yang though. There was too much yin.

Sam Woolf

5 in 20: He is afraid of spiders. He wears size 10 shoes. He stepped on a sea urchin once and broke his ankle once falling down the stairs. His middle name is Joseph.

Song: “Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty

My thoughts: It was okay. It seemed to drag a bit. I almost had the feeling that he wanted to sing it faster but the music was lagging behind. He’s in the middle of the pack for me, too.

The judges: Harry said he wished his vocal mirrored the lyrics (that it wasn’t so clean and tight). It was nice but not great. Kevin said the tempo was slow. Sam had a great way of holding the center of his performance. Jennifer said he was a quiet storm. He needs to come alive. Sometimes he is a deer in the headlights.

Caleb Johnson

5 in 20: Unfortunately they caught him brushing his teeth. Did he say he once kissed a cow? The second one was something about a pancake? His favorite band is Rush. He was on the cross country team in high school. He loves biscuits and gravy.

Song: “Pressure and Time” by Rival Sons

My thoughts: GOOSEBUMPS!! (And hey look Taylor Hicks is in the house). Is Idol ready for a rock star winner? My favorite performance of tonight. This looked truly professional.  I felt like I was attending his concert.

The judges: Keith and Jennifer were on their feet. Keith said he has some serious pipes and it was a cool song. He said he needs to figure out now how to put on that twist–retro with a twist. Jennifer said he was so ready for the rock-star life. Harry said it was great to hear rock-and-roll on Idol. If something happened to Rival Sons like what happened with Journey, he could be it.

My top picks for tonight

Guys: Caleb and Alex; girls: Jessica and Jena

On the bottom for me

CJ Harris, Dexter Jones, Malaya Watson

Thursday Night

Candice Glover sings!!  And Jake Bugg.

American Idol Season 13 Top 13 Picked

23 02 2014

LogoAfter watching both groups perform, I believe the stronger singers this year are the boys.  Ryan Seacrest wasted no time Thursday evening announcing the top 10 performers that were going through to next week’s show. In no particular order, the following names were called:

Malaya Watson is first through. She has SUCH a personality.

Ben Briley (ditch the plaid dude).

Emily Piriz. This surprised me. She has a good voice, but I didn’t like her song choice.

Alex Preston. YAY!!!!

Jessica Meuse

Dexter Roberts

Caleb Johnson (YAY). Note to Caleb: Do NOT maul Ryan Seacrest.

Majesty Rose (YAY!)

And they finally took a commercial break.

MK Nobilette

Sam Woolf (awesome!)

Wild Card

Jennifer Lopez explains. Of the 10 left, they are going to choose 5 to sing tonight so that from that they can pick 3 of them.

CJ Harris. It was good. Singing for his life? Not really. Harry said both the band and CJ screwed that up. It was not a strong start; it was average. He did not feel any of the magic. Jennifer said the specialness of his voice and soul still came through for her. Keith said he has to stay emotionally connected to the song the entire way through; he was drifting in and out emotionally.

Jena Irene. Playing keyboard. I hope she gets picked. I had goosebumps. Keith said it was a really good use of that moment.

Spencer Lloyd. I think he should have chosen the “Say Something” song (as they pointed out to him just the night before). Jennifer thinks he picked the wrong song to sing again.

Bria Anai. She was awesome. I know she will get a spot. Harry said she sang for her life but it was all over the place. She was clearly not expecting that comment.

Kristen O’Connor. She was ahead of the band. It was not her best.

Wild Cards Picked

Jena Irene

Kristen O’Connor

CJ Harris

American Idol Season 13 Rush Week Boys’ Night

21 02 2014

LogoThe judges had a difficult time deciding on the 10 contestants that would be given the opportunity to perform for America’s votes this evening. They finally finished in the dressing room before the show started.

First Pick

Caleb Johnson (from Asheville–did I mention my sister lives there? Yes I have!) He sings, “Stay With Me” by Faces. The thing he needs to work on is closing his eyes while he is singing. Chris Daughtry says that he does not want Caleb’s intense face to distract them and to smile.” Caleb sings again, this time smiling. Chris adds, “Okay, halfway.” Adam Lambert hears that he wants to be “subtle over-the-topness” and laughs. I think Caleb looks great, sounds fabulous and he definitely improved with his eye-closing issues. He had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. He was in command! Keith said it was “killer dude.” He has soul, a cool thing in his voice that a person is just born with. There are some things you can’t learn. It was the perfect song and a great way to start the show. Jennifer said it was amazing, a real rockstarish, the real deal. “It’s your time.” Harry said it will be tough for the guys following him. It was a strong way to start the show and congratulations.

Second Pick

CJ Harris. He defines himself as country soul. His guitar and voice were self-taught. Chris Daughtry said he was having a hard time following the guitar pattern, that it distracted from his amazing vocals and to ditch it. It would free him up to sell the song. He sang, “Shelter” by Ray LaMontagne. CJ ditches Chris’ suggestion to ditch the guitar. I’m not a guitar expert so I can’t comment on his guitar skills. I thought he slayed the song. He did a fantastic job and I like his new look, too. Jennifer said he makes her smile. She said he makes her feel so many things which is a beautiful thing. Harry said he was a great talent. He advised him to watch his intonation. Harry thought he had a tendency to sing really sharp. He felt like he was singing to him and that he was going to shelter him. Keith said it was a great mix of Dobie Gray and Jonny Lang blended in to this package that was so original.

Third Pick

Emmanuel Zidor. He tells Randy Jackson that he has been “humming since the womb and singing since 5.” He wants to sing “Best of My Love” by The Emotions. The rehearsal clips looked rough. I was entertained by his performance and I love his positivity but he has a lot of work to do. I would put him in the middle of my pack. I am also glad he did not try for the falsetto that bombed in rehearsals. Harry said it was so much fun. It reminded him of the performers in New Orleans–happy, infectious energy. He recommended the same advice he gave to everyone else: “Stay in your lane.” Keith said, “I agree with Harry.” Harry said, “That’s my girl right there.” And things got awkward. I wonder if they are trying to capture the Adam Levine/Blake Shelton bromance vibe? Keith advised him to watch his adrenaline level because he was singing above the note; rein it in. Jennifer said, “I Zi-dore you. You belong on a stage.” She said it was not the best song for him. Then she asks him to sing a little bit of “I’m Going Down” and he does. That’s cheating a bit, Jennifer.

Fourth Pick

Sam Woolf. He was just accepted to Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA). He sings, “Babylon” by David Gray. Michael Orland, the vocal coach, says that he is doing a lot of eye closing and looking down which can look like insecurity. I think he is nervous but he listened to the advice and I like when the contestants do that. I could hear his voice on the radio right now. I would even consider buying his record. He did a tremendous job. My favorite so far of the night. He has really won me over during the last two performances. Keith said, “The people like you Sam.” His voice is money. His tone is great. It was a good song for him. His performance will get better and better. Jennifer said he has a sweet quality. She hopes he can gain small degrees of confidence as the show goes on.

Fifth Pick

George Lovett. He chooses “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. Adam helped him with some stage movement. He was very nervous. I did not like this song as a ballad. It sounded like he was dragging a bit behind the band. His voice cracked a few times. His pitch was rough at times. Jennifer said it was really good but he needs to control the runs; there were just too many. Harry said it was easy to come so invested that you can sing yourself right off the microphone. His passion spun out of control. Harry has heard him sing better (and Harry gets boo #2 for the Idol season). Keith said song choice is crucial and that this song did not play to his strengths.

Sixth Pick

Dexter Roberts sings “This Ole Boy” by Craig Morgan. I like his makeover. I have no reference to compare this to, but I did find it enjoyable. Harry said there were good things about what he did. Keith said he was the real deal, a fully fledged country boy from Alabama. He was fun and easy to watch. He agreed with Harry about him needing to find out what separates him from all the country voices that sound just like him. Jennifer said it was easy in a cool way. She remarked that if he was nervous she did not see it. For American Idol, he did his thing.

Seventh Pick

Alex Preston. YAY!!! He plays 11-12 instruments? Whoa. He sang, “Volcano” by Damien Rice. His challenge is also making eye contact. I could tell during his performance that he was really trying to apply the lessons he learned during the workshop. I LOVE IT. It was better than the original. My new favorite performance of the night. He has such a unique sound among the boys. Keith said it was the best song choice of the night and a good performance. Jennifer said it had such a groove that was different than anything else. He is in his own lane. If he stays there, he could go very far. Harry said music is a religion to Alex. He said his favorite part was that he ended on the “9” and that Alex knew what he meant. Ryan asked for Harry to explain and he did with Alex’s assistance.

Eighth Pick

Malcolm Allen singing “Comin’ From Where I’m From” by Anthony Hamilton. I have never heard that song before. I think he still needs a lot of work on his stage presence. The stage swallows him up. He sings well, but there are some really talented guys in the mix this year. Jennifer said he has a great voice. She wanted his physical performance to hit her more. She said she should have gotten goosies on that–to hear the pain that is in that song. She needs him to bring his heart and soul to it next time. Harry said he is a good run singer, but the danger is singing in the exact same run over and over and over; it was the same five notes and he needs to sing it in tune which elicits boo number three for Harry. Keith said–oops he ran out of time to talk. He felt like he was at the Grammy’s. He told Malcolm he needed to make artistic choices and gave him a suggestion on how that could have worked.

Ninth Pick

Ben Briley (aka “Gumbo”) I LOVE his makeover. He is singing “Soulshine” by The Allman Brothers Band. He also tends to close his eyes while he is singing. I really liked it. My judgment of him getting through over Neco Starr might have been premature and incorrect. I really truly enjoyed that. Harry said Ben seemed to like it and thought he (that he thought Ben thought) nailed it. It was a great job and was interesting. Keith said he has a great voice which was better than his guitar playing. Keith thought it was the first shredder solo on Idol. Jennifer commented that some people come alive when they are on stage versus in the rehearsal which is a sign of a true performer.

Tenth Pick

Spencer Lloyd to the delight of all the teenage girls in the room. He sings, “Love Don’t Die” by The Fray. He asked for advice about whether to use the guitar or not with the performance. Randy said for him to sing with it. Adam Lambert and vocal coach Melissa Garcia said without the guitar. The song started off rough with a lot of notes out of key. Midway through though I felt he found a groove. Being a worship leader, I know he can get a crowd going and this crowd was going, going, gone. Keith said that song choice is important and this was not his best vocal performance tonight. Jennifer said he moved the crowd and that when he is up there, he is a star. Harry said the song, “Say Something” was his strong suit; this was not. He reminds Spencer to stick to what he knows. This was not good (and Harry was booed again). He told Spencer that singing ballads is good.

American Idol Rush Week Girls’ Night

19 02 2014

I’m very upset. I don’t understand some of the judges picks. But let’s start with what we have before I go on a rant.

I like the new stage and the new feel. Jennifer Lopez looked stunning tonight. Harry and Keith are also looking great. Only 10 people will sing based on who impressed the judges saw during dress rehearsal and 5 will be going home. This year Randy Jackson will be the mentor and conduct workshops. He wants to see the contestants learn from their experiences the prior week. The workshops bring together vocal coaches, musical director Rickey Minor, stylists, movement coaches, and….spiritual advisors (?????) Billy and Julie Mauldin. Well, okay, but what if we have atheists among the group? Also coming to share wisdom with the contestants are Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry.

First pick

Majesty Rose York: Adam Lambert happens to be her favorite American Idol. She sings “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Adam thinks it is the perfect song; it fits her personality and style. I thought the guitar is more like a crutch for her right now as I watched her performance. I think she would have done better without it. Her clapping was out of time with the audience (or vice versa) and it was distracting. She ditched the guitar finally towards the end of the song. The vocals were great though. Jennifer thought her voice was amazing. The whole place was on their feet and it was a very good start. Harry said she did a fantastic job. Keith said she has this breezy thing about her and had good vocal range.

Second pick

Kristen O’Connor sings “Turning Tables” by Adele. Chris Daughtry said he got chills on her first note. He offered her some great practical advice regarding stage presence. As I listened, I heard weird breaks in her phrasing and that she ran out of breath (it seemed). But there was nice control in her voice towards the end. Harry thought it was a really powerful performance. Keith said she has killer range but the breathing issues were likely from nerves. However, she got control of it halfway through. Jennifer felt she had the most special tone to her voice. She could hear her recording records tomorrow. The timing was off with the band but about halfway through she locked in and got it together.

Third pick

Briana Oakley. “Warrior” by Demi Lovato. Vocal coach Antonio Sol said that in her movement she was either not feeling it or seeing it coming through from within herself. I think she is still having connection problems. I used to be a big fan of her voice, but there are times where there are issues but then she shows a good stretch for a little while. It was inconsistent. The part I had issues with made me want to close up my ears. Keith loved the clarity in her tone and compared it to Irene Cara. The last quarter of the song she found the voice. He reminded her that she cannot be smiling when she is talking about being a warrior. Jennifer said she looked scared. She had the sound of a young Whitney Houston. The thing that has to come together is the performance quality and the connection to what she is singing. Harry said the high notes are not triple axels. She did a fine job but to be wary of it (the high notes) just because they get applause.

Fourth pick

Jena Irene (that’s GINA, not JENNA). She wants to sing “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones. Chris Daughtry said she has to work on her confidence. There were moments where she was questioning everything she was doing. Oh poor Randy. He pronounced her name incorrectly. She is a rocker girl!!! I loved it. She had a very powerful voice. It seems she took Chris’ advice. I think she almost sounds like Ann Wilson from “Heart.” At this point, this is my favorite of the night. Jennifer said it was sultry and one of her favorites. Harry asked her in one sentence what the song was about and she replied, “Darkness.” Keith said she was one of his favorites since the audition cities. He likes how she holds the microphone stand.

Fifth Pick

Bria Anai. She hopes to get some styling advice. Adam said there was a lot of arm pumping going on. She sang Melanie Fiona’s “Wrong Side of a Love Song.” I had goosebumps. The last note was rough in her lower range but otherwise I thought it was fantastic. Harry, however, thought it sounded like she was shouting, but otherwise was fantastic. Keith said to try not to overshoot the runway, but she still has the lips (a reference to her signature style). Jennifer said she had “star” written all over her. She needs to work on staying in control.

Sixth Pick

Marrialle Sellars: Let my rant begin. WHAT do the judges find SOOOO fascinating about this girl? I have yet to see any performance that I have liked. More talented singers have been sent home because she took this spot. She decides to sing “Roar” by Katy Perry and I do not even like what I hear in rehearsals. Adam tells her to slow it down (too frantic). He told her she has the goods but she needs to learn how to take her time. I do not see it. I don’t know how she keeps getting picked over and over. I did not think she deserved the spot in the top 15. I really dislike this song. It is totally off key and amateurish. It is my least favorite vocal so far of the night. Keith said her voice and ability to perform are much better than what they saw tonight. It was not the right song to shine on. It was not the best tempo. “It was karaoke baby.” (The first “baby” of the evening I believe). Jennifer wished she would have brought her guitar out. This was not the best showcase of who she is. She let the crowd get away from her a little bit and it affected her performance. Harry said her intonation needs working on (the ability to stay in tune). She must start singing in the pocket. He wished she would have brought her guitar and wished she showed more of the “superstar” that he knows she is. (REALLY????? SUPERSTAR????? WHEN HAS SHE EVER DEMONSTRATED SUPERSTAR ON ANY OF THE PERFORMANCES WE’VE SEEN????)

Seventh Pick

Jessica Meuse wants to sing “Drink A Beer” by Luke Bryan. Chris Daughtry felt her voice was better than her guitar playing and wanted her to step away from it and challenge herself. However, she opts for the guitar. For me, sometimes she sounds like Stevie Nicks. She is in the middle for me in terms of where I like her. However, it was very nice to hear something soft instead of going big. Jennifer said she was nervous; however, the soft and the heart she connects to. She loves her country tone. Harry said she brings something different to the table that is fresh and exciting. Technically she needs to watch for intonation, too. She goes sharp (per Harry maybe nerves). He wanted to feel what she was singing about, but again it may be nerves. He felt there was a wall between them. Keith said he was going to root for someone from Slapout, Alabama. There was, however, a disconnection between lyrics and the facial expressions.

Eighth Pick

Emily Piriz. She decides to sing “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter. This shows me that she does not learn from others’ mistakes. Randy calls her out on it too reminding her that he is not sure the judges are going to like that song. Adam says she has to start the song more aggressively. The chorus is the punch line. The song will only work if she sings it like a rock star. She sang it well but I felt weird watching it on stage but I am not sure exactly why. Perhaps it is because it is not a song for the Idol audience. Harry asked her to say the first two lines of the song (which she does) and he says he understands she is not interested in the storyline (based on what she said during the interview). He asks her now that she is 18 does she really want to be singing that kind of song? Keith said to Harry, “It’s a touchy subject, Harry.” Harry responds, “Literally!” Keith said one of the things is this–about standing in front of the mirror for hours to bring out the rock chick. He gets that but a real artistry is through expression. It is not about standing in front of the mirror and pretending to be anyone or tapping into anything. Jennifer said she did very well. She liked it and that it was the most relaxed performance thus far. She loves her and hopes she is in the top 5. Ryan said to Emily that “Harry is in Daddy mode there.”

Ninth Pick

MK Nobilette. Her challenge is to stay connected to the song. She chooses “All of Me” by John Legend. Her lower range is rough. I liked her voice about 75% of the time. She had the emotional connection to the song so took those words and her challenge to hear. Keith said it was the perfect song choice. Jennifer said it was making people feel something. It was true sentiment and she loved it so much. Harry said she was an elegant, articulate singer. The defeatist attitude he saw during Hollywood week was gone. She belonged here.

Tenth Pick

Malaya Watson. Adam loves her runway style and Chris says her voice is stupid (good). I had goosebumps. She sang “Hard Times” by Ray Charles. It was the best performance of the night. She has such a personality for such a young woman. Jennifer says the second “baby” of the night. Jennifer said she is one of those powerhouse singers and is amazing. Harry wants to eat a donut (it was so sweet). He looks forward to watching her settle.

Neco or Ben?

Ben. I’m shocked.

Rest of My Rant

Final part of my rant. How can these judges put through Marrialle Sellars time after time after time and not see the talent in Jillian Jensen is so much more? I just don’t get it. It is the same thing I felt about Savion Wright being cut. I will say a prayer that she is one of the judges’ wild card picks. The comeback kid!!!!