American Idol Season 14 The Winner Is….

20 05 2015

And the winner is….

Just in case people have not heard who won this second to last season of American Idol, I will put the info at the end and discuss tonight’s hits and misses with musical guests. In some cases we were reminded that the voting for some contestants to leave was indeed the right thing to do.

Nick and Clark joined Fallout Boy to sing “Centuries.” In terms of performance, Nick was jamming right along with Patrick Stump while Clark still hasn’t been able to just let himself get completely out of control. He looked happy but he needs to get some rocking-it-out lessons.

Tyanna Jones joined three of the Jackson brothers to sing a medley of songs including “I Want You Back,” “ABC,” “The Love You Save,” and “(Dance and Shout) Shake Your Body Down to the Ground“. It was a fun opening and got people energized, but I would have liked to see her sing with Janelle Monae who is appearing later in the show. “Tightrope” was one of Tyanna’s better songs she covered over the course of Idol, but I could see the allure of singing with the Jackson brothers.

The top six ladies joined Nile Rodgers and Chic to do another medley including “We Are Family” and “Le Freak,” then their new record “I’ll Be There” and back to the classic “Good Times” and ending with “Rapper’s Delight.”

Ricky Martin took the stage to do a medley of his songs starting with “Mr. Put It Down.” He was joined by Nick, Clark, Qaasim, Quentin and Rayvon for “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” “She Bangs,” and “The Cup of Life.” I just love Ricky Martin. I have adored him since his days on General Hospital. I wonder why Daniel wasn’t performing with them?

Adanna performed with Janelle Monae. Janelle sang with “Yoga” featuring Jidenna. Adanna seems to fit right in and maybe this is a good niche for her. Maybe working with Janelle has shown her how to control that exuberant energy she has although she didn’t do much singing.

Prince Royce was joined by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull to sing “Back It Up.” That was incredible.

Echosmith performed “Cool Kids” with Joey Cook. I think this was a good match up. I have missed Joey.

Ryan polls the judges to see who they think will win. Jennifer quietly says Clark. Harry is noncommittal. Keith thinks Nick has a slight advantage. Keith Urban performed his hit “Even the Stars Fall 4 U.” If anyone could make me like a country song, it is Keith Urban. There is no doubt he wrote and performed that for Nicole Kidman who was in the audience. I may just go buy that song.

I thought Jamie Foxx was an odd choice but after hearing him sing “In Love By Now” with Rayvon, I thought it was a perfect match. I didn’t realize Jamie sang so well. It was a beautiful pairing.

Ford gave a car (Festive) not only to Nick and Clark but also to their mentors (Focus). Nick chose fellow bandmate lead guitarist Nick Abraham. Clark’s mentor Pastor Jim Phillips was his choice.

New Kids on the Block were looking for a new band member and they chose Daniel Seavey. Their medley included “Please Don’t Go Girl” and “You’ve Got It (The Right Stuff).” It was the worst one of the night. I know Donnie Wahlberg later tweeted that it was about having fun and that is fine. It made Daniel happy I am sure as well as his family, friends and fans. Even with the lyrics on two big screens it was obvious that when Donnie put then microphone out to the audience for them to the sing “the right stuff” no one sang back. Ryan puts them on the spot and asks if Daniel could go on the tour with them.

Quentin Alexander teamed up with Vance Joy for his song “Riptide.” Quentin needs to learn about singing a duet. You don’t mouth the words that the other person is singing. Grooving like you did was good; mouthing the words was distracting. And Quentin, I adore you so it is hard for me to say something critical. Otherwise the song was lovely.

Scott shared with Nick and Clark what will happen to the winner. One of them will go back to Nashville where their boots are going to hit the ground. They are going to hit reset and go to visit radio and retail. They will go to the CMA Music Festival with him to perform. One of them will be a presenter at the CMT Awards. And that just scratches the surface. They will start recording their first album. He said both of their songs were top 15 (which was inaccurate because when I checked at that precise moment, Nick’s song was at 21 and Clark’s song was at 42).

Chris Brown and Pitbull performed their new single “Fun” with Qaasim.  That indeed was fun!!!

Steven Tyler performed his new song “Love Is Your Name.” Jax came up from the audience to sing “Piece of My Heart” and like the superstar she is she held her own with him. That gave me goosebumps and the Idol judges were with them all the way, even when they finished the performance on the judges’ table. Jax thanked the fans and the judges to thunderous applause.

Clark joined Michael McDonald to sing “Takin’ It to the Streets.” They played side-by-side pianos. Where has THIS Clark been?? I haven’t seen him so passionate and animated in weeks. THIS is a winning performance. He needed to have captured this many episodes ago.

Andy Grammer and Nick sang “Back Home” and moved into “Honey, I’m Good.” It was enjoyable. I preferred Clark’s performance with Michael McDonald.

The judges played together on stage, Jennifer on vocals, Keith on guitar, and Harry on keyboards. Jennifer started off with “Diamonds” and moved to “Locked Out of Heaven” with Keith and Jennifer on vocals.

And the winner is….. NICK! And he looks a bit stunned. Congratulations!





American Idol Season 14 Top 4 Revealed

5 05 2015

Tonight the “fan save” is no longer in play. The contestants have to sing a song from the judges’ hometowns–Nashville, New York, or New Orleans. The second song is what best captures the contestant’s soul. Russell Crowe delivers the results for the night (odd choice).

Clark Beckham gets the first spot in the top 4 which secures one of the hometown visits for him. He chose “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder. That was really excellent. I like that he let go. It was good to see that he listened to the advice that the judges were giving other contestants last week about finding the moments to make it more special, like including the audience. Keith said it was a great opening to the show. He felt like Clark could have actually stayed at the piano once he went over there. Jennifer said it sounded really good, too. She thinks when he has his instruments it has a different groove that being away from that does–that it isn’t quite there yet. Harry said it was a solid performance. He needs to find the pocket and sing in that even more so when he is not playing an instrument. Jennifer added that he needs to manipulate the adrenaline to his favor.

Jax has a spot for the hometown visit. She sings “Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down” by Alicia Keys. She could not go wrong with a song that means so much to her. It ended a bit oddly though. I thought she was pausing for a final note or something. Jennifer said she tripped her up at the end there–was she done or not done? Jennifer thinks Jax finally believes that she can win the competition. Jennifer isn’t sure if it was the best song choice but she does see her potential to take the whole thing. Harry really dug the performance. He asked her if she was a bit hoarse tonight and she sort of said yes but downplayed it. He liked that she just sang through it. Keith loved the song for her. Even though she may not be at 100% her talent powers through.

Nick Fradiani gets the next spot. I have always thought his voice sounded like Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty and he finally decided to do one of their songs “Bright Lights.” he has really grown since the auditions. I would buy his CD. He really let loose tonight as well. I liked this performance the best so far tonight. Harry thought it was the most comfortable performance by far that he has done. He thought he sang the heck out of it. Keith said he keeps going up and up every time he performs. He is getting stronger and better. Jennifer said he was peaking at the right time. It was Nick at his best.

Harry Connick Jr performed “City Beneath The Sea.”

Will Tyanna be through to the hometown visits or Rayvon? This is tough for me. I always thought Tyanna was going to make it to the top 3. Rayvon is a bit more seasoned but he has had ups and downs especially with not being able to make a real emotional connection as of late, but the last two weeks he has really done better with that. It is Rayvon. But they say goodbye to Tyanna and for the first time this season, Harry stands up to applaud her. They surprise her by giving her a package of her time at Idol, the first one this season. Like a pro, she takes the stage to sing “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyonce. What a fantastic way to finish the show.

Rayvon tackled a country tune “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. I got goosebumps–little ones but they were forming. Keith said he would have preferred less of the dramatics and more of the heart. Jennifer said the connection has to be there before the acting and the acting will feel real because it won’t be acting. Harry said that singers tend to overdramatize a lyric. He felt he was 100% on point with the delivery of the lyric. Harry thought he sang the pants off of it.

Round 2 is about the song of the contestant’s soul (or the gravy song). Jay DeMarcus from Rascal Flatts and Martina McBride were the mentors for this area. Martina takes the stage to sing her version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” It was pretty. And only Keith stood up to applaud.

Clark has been one of Scott’s favorite to win since the beginning but he gave a reality check to Clark. Jay said there is no doubt he can sing the crap out of the song, but where is his soul of the man delivering the song. (This has been a frequent criticism of the judges to Clark as well). Scott said they have argued about this–if he loses this competition it is because he is doing the wrong things. Clark came back saying that if this (the song) makes him lose the competition then he doesn’t want to win it. Scott said, “Fair enough.” Jay then said the only thing he would encourage him to do then in his position is to listen to the folks that he has been blessed enough to have put around you. Clark turns red. Scott adds “This isn’t American Musician. Okay? It isn’t. You keep throwing all these chords–all this stuff. You are on the fast track to a Holiday Inn with this kind of music. I don’t know what I have to do to make you understand.” Clark says at the end of the day he has to take what works for him and what he thinks as an artist is the best. Scott says, “Well…live by the sword my friend.” Jay said he respects his resolve. He doesn’t think it is going to work out for him, but he respects his resolve. This is not good. If Clark was good enough on his own not to need help, he would have already been on the charts. I think if I was Scott, I would see TROUBLE ahead if he won’t take the advice on songs in this competition. What would it be like for him to win? All I could see is a future of head butting. And a record company investing millions of dollars in someone is not going to tolerate that. I can tell you that the judges, seeing this, is not going to make them happy going into the song. He sings “Your Man” by Josh Turner. Oh no! It’s the Scotty song! Scott and Jay were right. He is singing the song really well. I think he thinks that squinting his eyes translates into showing his soul. But for me I liked that the song sounded different from the original or even Scotty McCreery’s version, but the emotion fell flat. I want the Clark back from the auditions. Jennifer thought he sang it well. Is this his gravy song? She thinks to his earlier songs and how they blew them away and this didn’t do that. Harry says it boils down to extremely hyperspecific song choice. The song was kind of tepid. Keith said he needs hit singles right now because he has the voice. Clark says he has no regrets singing that song. He talks about those minor chords being sexy and Harry chimes in that if he thinks it is sexy, sing it sexy. Clark felt he needed to clarify what he said in the package that he just believes this is what he is meant to play. Jennifer added that as an entertainer it is also his responsibility of creating an amazing moment for his audience. Keith said don’t confuse people liking him with the music that he is playing. If he gets it right they will love all of it.

Jax was mentored by Martina McBride. Martina had no noted for her. She loved it. She sings “Human” by Christina Perri. Finally some goosebumps. Serious goosebumps. That was awesome! Harry said “I think they liked it.” He said this was a perfect example of the technical versus the emotional. There were pitch issues all over the place but he felt what she was doing. She completely let herself go. Ultimately that trumps everything. Keith said it was such a perfect song because right now she is fragile-only human. He could see it. It was perfect tonight; she killed it. Jennifer said she loved it too. She loves that she connects to different people in the audience. That is what music should feel like. It was really great. Harry joked that he was worried they lost her in the clouds and that he was going to dive in to get her.

Steven Tyler wants to sing with Jax at the finale and she is ecstatic.

Rayvon had a great mentoring session with Jay and Scott. Scott tells him that was the best performance all season that they have had with a mentoring session. Rayvon dedicated “Believe” by Justin Bieber to his mother. I got goosebumps. Major goosebumps!! And tears. He made me cry. Keith said he sang phenomenally just then but the most incredible thing was watching his mom–she was at church–whew my boy! It was beautiful. Jennifer said that is what she is talking about–see the difference between what you did before and now. He said yes. She said that he has to do that every single time. She was crying, everybody was crying. Harry said there were about 15 people who wrote that song and each would have been very happy to have heard him sing that. Ryan invites mom up to the stage to give her son a hug.

Last up is Nick Fradiani and he takes on Rascal Flatts song “What Hurts The Most” and Jay picked up a guitar and joined in. Scott approved of his song choice. Jay tells Nick he has to go for the jugular–this is no time to back off. Jay suggests he just sing at the microphone versus being “that band guy.” he looked really awkward about singing without an instrument and I think he was trying to sing as if he did have an instrument. It was a bit distracting and didn’t allow me to fully get into the song with him. I still think he did a better job than Clark. Jennifer said she was going to go out on a limb and say he was the star of the night. Harry said he could hear him singing that on his CD. He thought it sounded great and he thought he killed it. Keith thinks his fans are going to show their support by making that climb the ITunes chart.

For me, tonight it was Rayvon, then Jax, then Nick, then Clark. In my opinion, Clark is in trouble.





American Idol Season 14 Top 6 Perform, 1 Goes Home

23 04 2015

Tonight is Arena Anthems night on Idol. The top 5 are only going to be on the tour? That’s new. The final fan save happens tonight.

The first person who has a spot on the tour is Jax. She sings “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet. I liked the energy. The vocals weren’t perfect but they were Jax. Keith said “Wow! That’s the way to open a show.” Keith said it was great at the end (took her awhile to let loose). Jennifer thought it was a great way to open the show. Harry said in the last few weeks he has gotten a glimpse of what it would be like with her touring. He said if it was like this performance, he would have a helluva time at the show. This was strong.

The next person performing is Nick Fradiani. He sings “Harder To Breathe” by Maroon 5. I was expecting not to like it, but it was actually very good. You have to understand my deep affection for Adam Levine. For me no one else can do better than the original, but Nick came very close. Jennifer said he gets more and more comfortable each time she watches. She gave him some advice about audience participation and that they were ready. In the end it is a party for them and you are leading it. Perfect song, he sounded great–just a missed opportunity. Harry thought that was pretty scary for the other people in the competition because he is one of these guys who is doing what they had hoped–he is getting better every week. It was a great song for him and it was terrific. Keith thought it was a really great song choice. He wants him to consider performance and centering.

Clark Beckham is also through. He chooses “Yesterday” by The Beatles. It started off rough but he found his groove halfway through. He didn’t make an emotional connection. He looked terrified. It is odd that Nick was the person in the beginning that was closed off, and Clark was better at it. Maybe following Nick did something to Clark’s psyche. The ending had pitch problems. Really bad pitch problems. I don’t think I have ever heard that from Clark before. Harry said he liked that he didn’t use any high notes gratuitously; they matched up perfectly with the lyrics. Harry thought it was terrific. Keith thought it was beautiful. He shouldn’t feel like he has to be so contained. Jennifer agrees with both of them.

Tyanna is next to make it through which means Quentin and Rayvon go up together for the fan save. She chose “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. That was a good choice for someone as young as she is. That was fun! There were a lot of pitch issues, however, in her lower range. I love her new hairdo! Keith said it was fun and he doesn’t recall seeing that side before. Jennifer said she felt that she was more comfortable than she has been in a long time. She liked this song choice and felt she did a really great job with it. Harry said it was so smart to choose that song. He thought she killed it.

Quentin Alexander is up first for the fan save. He sings “Light My Fire” by The Doors. I enjoyed that a lot. It was the lighter side of Quentin. Jennifer said they all thought it was great but she is always wanting some vocal POW. Harry said he liked that he sang it conservatively on that and he thought it was a great arrangement. It sounded cool. Keith said he swims in his own stream. Quentin is definitely not plankton. (What? Plankton?)

Rayvon is performing for his now fourth fan-save match. He sings Sam Smith’s “I Know I’m Not the Only One.” The vocal was great. I almost feel like he pulled back again on the emotional connection. The emotion showed in his face but it didn’t reach me. Harry said he gave a fantastic vocal performance. His favorite part was when he had to take a quick breath to go back up on the note. Keith said that if no one had heard that song before and he would have cut it that would have been a hit. If he keeps singing like that he might be the only one left. Jennifer said if he keeps picking songs like that and singing like that he just might make his way to the top.

For his second song Nick sings “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart. He already looks like he is applying the advice to pick a spot in the audience like Keith told him. I like that! It was still great but the first song was stronger. Keith thought it was a really good song. Jennifer said it was a really good song choice. Harry asked him if he could sustain a 2-hour concert and he said yes he can, he has, and Harry said he could see that.

Tyanna is back up for her next song “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. She sang it well, but I did not feel she was singing the song from a place of experience. She has never known a love that deeply before–she is just too young. I like what she did with the ending. Jennifer said she liked this for her. It was a different side that people need to see. It was a good job. She is not sure if it was a favorite from her but she likes to see her in this light. Harry thought she sang it very well. He wants to ask her what kind of music she would record on her first album because he thinks everyone would like to know. She answered basically a mix of everything. Keith thought her answer was a sign of a great artist because it hasn’t been created yet.

Clark does his own thing with Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend.” I have nothing to compare this to because I don’t listen to the Biebs unless I am forced to by someone else. I enjoyed it as a Clark song. Harry said this was not the song to do what he was doing with it on. It was okay but in order to make it sexy he needed to stretch it out. Keith said it is getting it out of the head, then to the heart, and then the rest of the body. It wasn’t raw and dangerous like the Biebs is. Jennifer said for him for this she wasn’t sure it was the right song choice.

Jax sings “White Flag” by Dido. I was approaching goosebumps but it fell just shy of them even though I thought it was superbly done. Keith said his attention was held for the entire song. Jennifer said to Harry earlier she needed a gravitas moment, not knowing what she was singing next, and absolutely had achieved that. The song was so beautiful for her. Harry said it was phenomenal.

Quentin sings his second song for the save. He sings “Shake It Out” by Florence and The Machine. This was great. This is so tough. I love Rayvon and Quentin equally for entirely different reasons. Jennifer said he took her advice from the last song and applied it in this song. Harry said it was really good. He wants to know if he sang out of tune (like everyone does from time to time) would they let him autotune it out? Quentin said he would not. If he makes a mistake he wants people to hear that. Harry said that is something else they have in common. Keith said he would be very clear on what kind of record he would want to make. If he gets to do that, take the reins because he has great artist instincts.

Rayvon sings the second song. He takes on the mega hit “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac. His lower register is tough. The falsetto note gave me goosebumps! I didn’t think he was going there. Then I wasn’t sure he was going to make it and I am so glad he did. Harry has a question: “Would he be guided or does he already know what kind of record he would make?” Rayvon thinks it would be a collaborative effort (perfect answer). Keith said it was a really high note. Jennifer said it was a great way to finish the show and to fight.

Can we keep them both? Can they both go on tour?

Rayvon gets the Twitter vote to be saved and he advances to the next round. I love that Quentin is so genuinely happy for him. I hope that Scott Borchetta will give Quentin a recording contract.





American Idol Season 14 Top 7 Perform, 1 Goes Home

22 04 2015

Tonight they are singing from a set list of “American Classics.” Tyanna Jones is the first one through tonight. There are no official mentors other than Scott Borchetta. She chose “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” by Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers. She sang it very well but there was no stand-out moment. I love the way she is dressed tonight. Keith said it was an interesting song choice but not the greatest song to show off her vocal skills. Keith is looking for less perfect and more edge. Jennifer said, yes, something we can feel. She feels like she is beginning to get back into her groove (that she had at her auditions) when she wasn’t thinking so much. Harry said that Frankie Lymon was 13 years old when he wrote that song. The similarities between the two are their rhythmic ease. Tyanna agreed with that critique (I love that!). She said she felt confined.

Clark Beckham is also safe. He is singing “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder. It was an interesting opening. His look is evolving and I love his hair this evening. I enjoyed the twist on it. It was fantastic. I think he connected more with the audience and he was having fun. People respond to that. Jennifer said he looks good and glad he took some of her advice. She said it was funky. The band and him sounded amazing. Harry said it was as good as he could have done that song. Keith said he liked that they recommended to him to ditch the guitar and he was like, ‘no’ and he plays it again. It was great. Keith said the scatting was good. He wants him to drop the guitar about 6 inches and he will notice he moves differently.

Jax is through. She is singing what I think will be a great song for her, “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin. She moved a little bit more on the stage tonight and I think that was great. Harry really liked it. Keith said she sings really well with the band. Jennifer thought it was a strong performance. She took a song like Janis Joplin and was able to make it her own.

Nick Fradiani is up next. Scott asks him if he thinks he can win and he says yes he can. His song is “American Girl” by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. He was trying to keep his eyes open again and I love it. I think last week’s mentoring really did make a difference for him. That was awesome. So far this was my favorite of the night. That was fantastic! I think he found a great formula. Keith said it was such a good song for him. He really loved it. Jennifer was rocking out the entire song. She thinks he has a radio-ready voice. It’s familiar yet his own. Seeing him take all their advice and grow is awesome. Harry said for him to go back to the hotel room and remember that feeling of exactly what he did because that is exactly what he needs to do. Tonight was the person they all felt he should have been throughout the competition. Harry said “great job.”

The next person safe is Quentin Alexander which means Rayvon is yet again in the position of needing a fan save and now, heavy sigh, Joey Cook. Quentin thinks he has been mellow and now is the time to let Pandora’s Box out and rock out. Scott asks him, “Who is the one to beat?” Quentin responds himself. If he can’t get over his fears and personal obstacles, I can’t get anywhere. Scott likes his answer. I’ve often thought he reminded me of Lenny Kravitz and he sings one of Lenny’s songs, “Are You Gonna Go My Way.” The judges were rocking out. I love ROCKER QUENTIN! He rocks out with Ricky Minor which always endears me to a contestant (love for the band). This is my new favorite of the night. Jennifer said the whole entire thing really worked. It was the perfect song for him. The pitch thing is all over the place sometimes but the performance made up for it. Harry says he is going to be as honest as he can. He loves his artistry and individuality but that some people can be more captivated by the band than the performance as he himself was. Harry gets booed. Harry said he did nothing different than Lenny did with the song. He said he has to push them (the band); they can’t push him. Keith felt he held his own. Quentin is sad about who is left to battle it out (Rayvon and Joey). He said it sucked. Harry didn’t like his attitude and called him out on it that it was highly disrespectful to Idol and if he didn’t like it he could go home. I respect Quentin coming back out and explaining that he is just upset that two people he cares are left. He was not disrespecting the competition. He shakes Harry’s hand.

Joey Cook takes the stage to sing for the fan save. She sings “My Funny Valentine” by Frank Sinatra. She watched her crab hands again and she tried to keep her eyes open more. As much as I love Rayvon, Joey is so unique and I adore it. This song got her back to her roots. Harry said it is hard being a judge sometimes because you can’t mentor. He’d love to have a discussion about 15 different things with her but he can’t on what could improve that very good performance. He thinks she is very smart and that she did a damn good job considering how iconic that song is. Keith said she goes to a place that may not be her comfort zone but that he loves that about her artistically and should be commended. Jennifer thought it would be a perfect fit for her. It didn’t move her the way she thought it was and she is sorry.

Rayvon is up to get that fan save. He sings The Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Runnin.” He’s got choreography! That’s different. I like what he is wearing tonight. Wow this is tough. I love this, too. Keith said it was good. He just wants to feel something a little bit more and that is something he has to figure out how to do. Jennifer said, “Way to step it up.” He’s fighting. Harry likes that about him, too. He thinks for him it is specifically about song choice. He said that when he gets the perfect song, he will shut the room down.

Round 2 begins with Clark Beckham. He sings “Moon River” by Frank Sinatra. He looks nervous for some odd reason. It was dreamy in the camera but it didn’t move me. I love Clark, too. Jennifer said it was really good. She felt like she was in a movie (smooth and creamy). Harry said he is an incredibly talented young man but what would separate him would for him to learn more chords—try challenging and different chords. He said Clark could hear it; don’t play all those major 7 chords all the time. Keith said it was warm and fuzzy like an epidural. It was great.

Tyanna comes up on stage for round 2 and sings “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I have to remind myself she is only 16. WOW. This was FABULOUS. And she is working the audience. Her falsetto gave me goosebumps. That is hard to do without cracking. Harry that was as close to perfect as you can get. Keith said she is like this at 16? Her improvement is going to be astronomical. Jennifer said they got to hear her vocals. She got to stretch and play in there and that is where she lives. She should do that every time.

Nick returns to the stage and shares some lovely sentiments about his dad. Nick takes on “Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel. He sings it as a slow song and puts his own spin on it. I liked it. Nick keeps getting better and better. I think he might be in the final 4. Keith said it was amazing done like that and played to all of his strengths. Jennifer said he was waiting for him to get up and then she was happy. Harry applauds him for trying to completely different. He felt he wasn’t singing it to the guy or girl that only the good die young, but that he was singing it internally. He was an adventurous interpretation but the arrangement didn’t work for him.

Quentin performs next and had lovely things to say about his mom and when she discovered he could sing. Quentin sings “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. It may sound like a simple song but with his pitch problems this could really expose him. The pitch issues did remain and I don’t think this was the right song for him. Jennifer said it was dramatically and moody. “Always put your heart out there first.” It was a nice performance. Harry reminds him about pitch and tells him to ask Ricky about how to sing in tune. Keith likes how he conceptualizes this performances.

Jax woke me up by singing “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. It felt like she was trying to rush the lyrics. Harry said the two things he liked was the static electricity in her hair. Harry was waiting to see her running around like an idiot and have fun because they all do just that (the judges?) and it was really fun. Keith said he likes there are two songs tonight. Jennifer said she made it look cool.

Joey and Rayvon will perform another song before the Twitter Fan Save becomes real.

Scott asks Rayvon “how does it go deeper?” Scott tells Rayvon to come out from a different perspective. Rayvon sings “Always on My Mind” by Willie Nelson. Yep this is going to be tough. I think he connected to the song emotionally which is what the judges (and I) have been wanting. Keith said it was the right song and he sang it beautifully. Jennifer said it was like they had been telling him and she felt it everywhere. Harry thinks he is a ballad singer. When he sings as lovely as he just did with his heart like he did, it stacks him up there with everyone else. He pities the people who have to vote on Twitter tonight.

Joey performs “Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane. Jennifer this particular performance was so good for her. I think her downfall started when they picked apart her visual presentation—crabby hands and closing her eyes. She let all that go and we got the old Joey back. You could see it in her eyes for a split second—I’m not going to do crabby hands—and screw this—all at once. I loved this. How difficult this is going to be but I’m more partial to Joey. Jennifer said she did a really good job. Harry thought it was a solid vocal performance but it is her inventiveness and her presentation that impresses him. Keith said he got a sense, through the two songs, what he could see at a show at two different ends of the spectrum.

With 52% of the Twitter vote, the contestant who is going through to next week is Rayvon.

I have a funny feeling that Quentin will be in the bottom 2 next week because of the attitude he gave on stage.  Although he may have had those personal feelings about seeing one of his friends going home, America does not like to see that.  He should have saved those for a time off camera.  His second song was also not that strong.





American Idol Season 14 Top 8 Perform, 1 Goes Home

13 04 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nThe fan save is back again this week. However, this is new to Idol and their title descriptions of the episodes need to change. All 8 ARE performing, which will leave us with 7 going forward (they have Top 7 Perform). Florida Georgia Line and Jason Derulo were the mentors for the Idol contestants during the past week and are the bearers of the Idol results tonight. This week is “Billboard Hits.”

The first saved contestant is Jax. She is singing “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga. It sounds from her rehearsal she is trying to put a Joey Cook twist to the song, but when she got into the song, it did sound like Jax and not Joey. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t the best I’ve heard her do but it certainly wasn’t the worst. I still love her. Keith said it was an interesting arrangement. He loves her artistry. She does that consistently from week to week (make it her own). Jennifer is all for that, too, BUT she thinks there is a line where it gets dangerous. She tells Jax she wants to be an artist who wants to be on the audience today. She said she knows she is a favorite and she gets a lot of votes, but she doesn’t want her to go so far left that people can’t relate. She could not relate to that at all musically. She warns her to be careful. Harry says she has magic in her voice. He doesn’t have a problem taking an arrangement completely to the left. What he does have a problem with is not owning it once you get there. What she did on stage did not match it. There is more to changing a song in tempo and groove; she has to change it up here (and he points to his brain). As good as the vocal was, he did not feel like she inhabited it emotionally.

The next person is Nick Fradiani. Florida Georgia Line told him to maybe practice in front of a mirror and see what it looks like. He says he IS comfortable on stage so he isn’t sure why the judges keep saying this. Personally if he says it isn’t this, then I’m thinking these are just bad habits he has picked up over the years performing with a band. He sings, “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. Well, the beginning of the song his facial expressions were not like they have been so I am thinking standing in front of mirror HELPED him. His eyes were open more; his facial expressions were better. I like what he did to the song. He did actually look more relaxed on stage tonight whether he wants to admit it or not. Or maybe more confident. Jennifer said it was so good–that is changing a song and making it your own in the best way. It was amazing to her. Harry said he doesn’t entirely agree. There were things he did like. He liked the energy but he likes him singing songs that have grittier lyrics because he has this intensity about him. Keith thought it was a killer song for him only because the spirit of the song was more than the sum of the parts. It played to all his strengths vocally; he looked comfortable. Harry gets up on stage after some prompting and he chases Keith around. That was a riot. And Nick tells Harry that he did not think that was his best performance and Harry agreed.

Jason Derulo performed “Want to Want Me.” He is going to be a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance” along with Paula Abdul this upcoming season (Mary Murphy’s contract was not picked up–I’m so sad about this).

Joining the contestants next week is Quentin Alexander. He chose “Latch” by Disclosure with Sam Smith. Jason Derulo helped him achieve something Quentin didn’t know he could actually do. Quentin took the pointers about his wardrobe last week and he was still stylish but he toned it down. It looked like a real star up there. I like he took a risk with the falsetto but he still has some pitch issues but not terribly so. I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Harry thinks he looks unbelievable. This was lighter and away. He still said there are pitch and technical issues but it was a good song for him. Keith thought it was a great song choice. It was a great performance. Jennifer said in the beginnings the drums were overpowering, but he was an artist with a capital “A.” She loved it and thought it was a great choice for him.

Florida Georgia Line performed next with “Sippin’ on Fire.”

The next contestant through is Joey Cook! Oh YAY!!! She is singing “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus without changing the arrangement. Scott told her to open her eyes and Jason called her out on her crab hands. I love her purple hair. She hid her crabby hands in her dress, or she opened her hands instead of closing them. I adore her. I loved when she had her eyes open. She had her eyes closed a lot still though. I think it put up a wall though for her performance (Jason reminded her a little is a good thing, a lot is not).  I loved it, but just thought I’d mention it. Keith said she looked relieved. The verses were so good but he would have liked seeing her really going for it during the chorus. But the overall performance? He really liked it. Jennifer agreed with Keith. She thinks, however, she does stand apart in quality. Harry said what is cool, too, is even when she does an arrangement that is similar it is different. Harry thought Jason gave her some great advice. It was an okay vocal—maybe if it were a half step or a whole step higher it would have forced her to sing those choruses with more grit. When it came to the second chorus, Jason was right—something needed to happen. She needed to either step off that platform and take it somewhere else physically or emotionally, or as corny as it might sound, modulate the key. He got a little bored towards the end.

Clark Beckham makes it through to next week. He is singing “Make It Rain” by Ed Sheeran. Jason told him to sing not as a spiritual person praying, but as a preacher. Clark connected to that. Goosebumps! I liked that he was keeping his eyes open more, too and connecting and looking out at the audience. I still think he could have let loose a little bit more and gone crazy. Jennifer thought it was so amazing and effortless. She wants the style and image to match and find a swag. Harry said he has an amazing instrument. What would have made that even better to be in the pocket—don’t rush the rhythmic pocket. I agree with Harry now as he is saying it. That is exactly how it would have made it more soulful and added another layer of letting loose and really feeling the song. Keith said what was cool was in the end he killed it.

Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson sing Iggy’s song “Trouble” together. It was terrific.

The next person making it through to next week is Tyanna Jones which means Rayvon Owen and Qaasim Middleton will sing to be saved by the people on Twitter. Tyanna chose “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko. That was so understated and beautiful. She did a terrific job. Harry admired her keeping her emotions in check. She did an amazing job and it was extremely touching. It was a fantastic emotional performance. Keith said she had her poise and it was beautiful. Jennifer said everything came together in the right way and congratulated her.

First up for the fan save is Rayvon Owen. He is going to sing “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele. Ugh. I’m not a fan of the song choice. He did better this week, but it wasn’t the best song of the night. He did let loose a bit during the performance and I liked that. Keith said it was crazy and thought he was singing for his life. Jennifer applauds the gravy but she didn’t think it was the best song for him. Harry asked him what was his gravy? What makes him tick? Rayvon wants to inspire people and give glory to God for his gift. He wants to convey emotion and honesty.

Qaasim Middleton chose “Hey Ya” by Outkast. It starts off off-pitch. I love his performance ability. There is so much joy there. But the vocal technical issues were too obvious. Jennifer said you always wow the people with his performance. Harry says American Idol is lucky to have him. His performance was good but it was sure entertaining to watch. Keith said it was a great song for him to sing because he knows how to hide any technical flaws in the bigger package.

Twitter decides to save Rayvon.

Qaasim should not worry. Jennifer Hudson finished in 7th place and look where she is today.





American Idol Season 14 Top 9 Perform (Fan Save)

1 04 2015

1385015_10154925704030601_1985407597453397698_nTonight the new fan save is in play. The bottom 2 will be announced and then fans can take to Twitter to save their favorite. It’s very similar to what The Voice was doing. Kelly Clarkson returns to the Idol fold to mentor and the contestants will be singing a song from her repertoire.

Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard delivered the Idol results tonight.

Nick Fradiani makes it through to the top 8. Kelly said this particular song, “Catch My Breath”, stretches the vocal range and is one of the toughest she has to sing. She also hopes that he “opens his dang eyes.” It was funny to see him close his eyes at first and then he caught himself. His lower range is a rough. I don’t think this was his best vocal, but his performance is opening up and that is a good thing. Now the two have to meet like they did last week. Keith thought the song was suited to his voice, particularly the beginning. Jennifer said it is good that he is aware of what they’ve been telling him. She suggests he sit down a bit more with their movement coach to get a groove for himself that he doesn’t have to think about. She thought it was a great way to start the show and it was a really good vocal. Harry said it wasn’t his favorite vocal but he liked that he sang this song. See–Harry liked the performance better, too.

The next person through is Jax! Jax picks “Beautiful Disaster” to sing. Kelly had no notes for Jax, that she was an artist. Major, major goosebumps! They continued all the way to the end of the song. That was phenomenal. Jennifer said that was very pretty, the pure version of Jax. She maybe wanted the arrangement to go a little bit more, but for the most part it was so beautiful. Harry said it was fantastic and he really, really loved it. Keith said he now holds a higher level of standard knowing what she is capable of. He still finds a little bit of inconsistency but some of that comes from the performance stuff she has to do and he can see all that going on in her mind.

Tyanna Jones makes it through next and she stays on stage to perform after the group number. Tyanna chose “Mr. Know It All” and wants to channel the anger she feels over being bullied in her past. Goosebumps!!! She nailed it. Harry was joking around about how he felt like she was singing to the judges and she’s right, he doesn’t know a thing about her. He said he thought there were some pitch issues, but sometimes it is hard to tell in their space, but it didn’t matter because she was singing from the heart. Keith said there was a really dark center to that song and it wasn’t just about empowerment but because she didn’t know that feeling of rejection from having had a boyfriend yet, that piece might have been missing a bit for him. Jennifer agreed but she did remind everyone what a great singer she was.

Candice Glover was in the audience. She looks fabulous. She in the studio doing album number 2.

Joey Cook made it through! I was scared for her. Joey picked “Miss Independent” to sing tonight. Joey put the Joey twist on it and Kelly loved it and predicted she will be one of the best performances of the night. Do you know what I love about this year? That the American public wants QUIRKY and DIFFERENT and to get out of that cookie-cutter model. I just loved this. Keith was on his feet. Keith adores her. Keith said she doesn’t just change a song, she completely rebuilds it. She makes him hear a lyric in a way he has never heard before. She has so much artistic weight and she does it some effortlessly. Jennifer agrees with Keith and with Kelly—that is one of the best performances of the night. It is individual and unique. She is in her own lane. Harry says she gets an A-plus from him for bravery and going sort of left of center of the arrangement. He just wishes she didn’t treat the jazz portion of the song as such a novelty, that she would have not presented it as such a film noire movie. Joey got engaged over the weekend! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Kelly performed “Heartbeat Song.” She sounds fabulous.

Quentin Alexander is through. He took away great lessons from Kelly that there was beauty in being quiet. Quentin chose “Dark Side” to perform. Goosebumps all the way through. I adored this. Jennifer liked it. She thought it was perfect for him. He killed it. Keith said he has a great poise on stage. Keith was on his feet. He said that there is also beauty in truth and that is how he performs. It is really beautiful. Harry said he needs to spend as much time on the creative as he does on the skill stuff. He is a great lyric interpreter. He doesn’t want him to be the guy who walks into a room and says how great he looks or how he sounds. There were notes, if he were producing the song, where he would say “you have to do that again.” (Harry is being a little bit too harsh—he never says that about Daniel). Kelly wrote him a note, “I want to make sweet love to those amazing eyes.”

Qaasim Middleton is surprised to see his name called (really?) He wants to sing “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).” He strips it down to an acoustic version. The chorus got a bit rough. The falsetto was good sometimes though. I like when people change the arrangements (most of the time). Harry said if you are going to do runs you have to sing them right. Just sing the tune but if you are going to sing the runs practice. It was okay but it wasn’t his best. Keith said the challenge was the transition in the chorus. Those falsetto notes are unforgiving. It really affected the performance for him which was a shame because he liked how it started and he liked the potential of it. Jennifer said it was what they were asking for—to sit there and sing and give us that moment—it just needs to be practiced so much.

Kelly returned to perform her audition song from season 1 “At Last.”

The next person saved is Clark Beckham. THANK GOD! I got nervous. I’ll be voting for Rayvon for the save and not Daniel. Clark chose “The Trouble With Love Is.” He shares the same problem that Nick has. He thinks closing his eyes conveys emotion. Goosebumps!!! Jennifer is up on her feet. She was singing along with him. That was the best vocal of the night indeed. Keith said his bar is way up here. He said to make sure he is leading with the feeling; if it does, everything else will follow. Jennifer said that is exactly what he did especially at the end. She was goosies from head to toe. He has movie-star good looks. Harry said he took a Kelly Clarkson song and directly followed a Kelly Clarkson song and he NAILED IT.

The fan save works like this: Both will sing and we will decide which one goes through on Twitter. First up is Daniel Seavey. He chose “Breakaway.” It sounds horrible. Maybe laryngitis is playing into it and maybe not. He looks like he is about to break down into tears, too. Jennifer said he did an okay job with it. Harry said just keep practicing. Keith said just do just that. It almost sounds like they are saying goodbye to him already. Rayvon Owen decided on “Since U Been Gone” but to sing it like a ballad. This is lovely. Rayvon deserves this. Why do I think I’ve heard him sing this song before? Harry said he has incredible chops but where is his gravy? Harry is booed. Keith said that was one of the best performances from him. Jennifer said he did a very beautiful job. Keep digging and keep pushing.

The fan save goes to: RAYVON!!!





American Idol Season 14 Top 9 Perform

1 04 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 1 starts the Fan Save!