American Idol S12 Top 8 Perform

28 03 2013

Music of Motown. Smokey Robinson is guest mentor.

Candice Glover–Smokey cried at her performance last week. This week she chose “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. Preach girl! She is always spot on. She laid down the gauntlet! I believe she is untouchable. Keith said tonight was her best performance (for her). Nicki said she stayed in it emotionally completely. Randy said she was crazy good. Mariah said she wants to hear more of that jazzy sound.

Group song–Kree and Janelle–country version of “Like a Prayer” by Madonna. I preferred Kree over Janelle. This song was not a good choice for Janelle’s voice. Nicki said that Kree looked like she flew in to sing with an Idol contestant. OUCH. Randy said Janelle’s pitch was off night and Kree outshined her. Mariah said it was a sisterhood moment. Then I walked out of the room to ask my husband a question and Mariah was still talking when I got back in. Keith said it worked really well. He felt they could have walked around more but he was glad they had each other’s back in that lyric-slip moment.

Lazaro Arbos — “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder. I think Jimmy was going easy on him this week because he has gotten such flack the past few weeks about his mentoring of Lazaro. Lazaro has enunciation issues but this is the best he has done since the auditions. Randy thinks it was better than last week. Mariah said she hears Randy about the pitch problems. His confidence was back. Keith thought Smokey’s advice was fantastic. This week was better than last week. Nicki feels he was back this week. Nicki said he gave her everything she needed and wanted. She said when he stopped listening to Jimmy, he did a great job.

Janelle Arthur “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes. I was bored. Mariah said it was her at her finest. Keith thought it was fearless. He thought it was beautiful. Nicki thinks she shines when she has her guitar. She seems to be smiling a lot more (but is smiling during this song appropriate?). Nicki does not think that her voice is where it normally is. Randy thought it was one of her best performances.

Devin Velez–“Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Flawless to me. I like this but Adam Lambert’s is still my favorite Idol cover of the song. Keith says he has to stop thinking about things so much and relax but he has style. Nicki said he looks like a ripe banana and that is a good thing. Amazing job. YES sir. (He was wearing a red jacket, but I think she meant she wanted to eat him all up figuratively speaking). Randy thinks Devin is back tonight. Best performance from him in weeks. Mariah loved it.

Group number:  Amber, Candice and Angie–I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” by The Supremes & The Temptations. Fantastic and they get a standing ovation except for Mariah. Mariah said it was A-plus amazing.

Burnell Taylor“My Cherie Amour”–Stevie Wonder. He had a nice voice but there’s nothing about it or his performances that stand out. He always sounds like he is right under the note and I think he mispronounced the word “amour.” Nicki thinks he is artsy. Randy loves his choices. Mariah loves him looking debonair. He gave it a modern twist. Keith said where is Ron Burgundy when you need him (and what the hell does that mean, but I love that Keith loves Anchorman). Keith likes him too.

Angie Miller“Shop Around”–The Miracles. She needs to work on her stage presence when she is not behind the piano. I felt there were opportunities to interact with the good-looking guitar players that would have made that performance stand out more for me, but I think because of her faith and her age, she is reluctant to do that. Nicki said she tried to show a different side of Angie and she does not need to do that. Randy thought it was pitchy.

Amber Holcomb–“Lately“–Stevie Wonder. I loved it. My second favorite performance of the night. Mariah: She is a tour de force. Mariah was bleeped! That’s funny. Keith agrees. It was the right song. She felt it (the song). It was beautiful tonight. Nicki said it was out of this world. When God created those vocal cords….. Randy said it was the best vocal of the night.

Group number:  Devin, Burnell and Lazaro–“I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops (which ironically is at this moment playing on Shark Tales on my son’s DVD). This performance was TERRIBLE. Their voices do not complement each other. Nicki hated it. She told them to get off the stage. I LOVE HER HONESTY.

Kree Harrison— “Don’t Play That Song” Aretha Franklin. Her voice is really growing on me. Randy says she was one of the best in the competition. She is here to stay. Mariah commends her for doing the song. She loves her and she is here to stay. Keith loves her. Nicki says she is a queen.

My top 3: Candice Glover, Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison.

My bottom 3: Burnell Taylor, Lazaro Arbos, Janelle Arthur

The XFactor Season 2 Top 16 Perform

1 11 2012

XFactor: Top 16 Perform

The judges took center stage, with Demi Lovato sporting a new brown color and straight bang, and Simon Cowell sporting fangs, fitting for a Halloween show. Is he just playing around or is it his signal to the other judges that he is out for blood?

Co-hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian Odom did a great job. Mario is a veteran show host, but I know nothing about Khloe other than hearing her name in the news a lot. It seemed to work. Mario thought on his feet when Jason Brock said to him, “Can I pinch your butt?” He said, “Hey this is a PG-13 show.” Khloe pressed the judges with some hard questions that would hopefully give the contestants more information to take away from the experience to learn. Tonight’s theme was “Made in America” but I really did not understand it at all. I spotted Brian Friedman (from So You Think You Can Dance) doing some of the choreography.

Demi Lovato‘s Young Adults

Contestant: Paige Thomas
Twitter @PaigeAva
Song: “What is Love” by Haddaway

My thoughts: Paige was sporting a freshly shaved head and a wild costume that resembled a shiny version of something that gets stuck between my dog’s paws all the time. She had a hard time keeping breath control while singing and dancing, which is incredibly difficult to do. Otherwise her notes were on key and she was entertaining.

The judges: L.A. Reid did not like the song choice, but thinks she is a star. Simon and Britney also loved it.

Paige Thomas’ headpiece

Contestant: Jennel Garcia
Twitter: @JennelGarcia
Song: “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue

My thoughts: Since Jillian Jensen did not make it into the top 16, Jennel was my second favorite. Maybe my expectations were too high. She looked beautiful and loved her makeover. The stage was just too big for her small frame. She needs to work on her performance as well. Her vocal was just okay, not stunning.

The judges: LA Reid said it was a 10. Britney said she rocked it out and she loved it. Simon said she just defined the theme, “Made in America” but also thought Demi was trying to clone her in her image. Demi was so proud of her.

Jennel Garcia

Contestant: CeCe Frey
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “Because the Night” by Patti Smith

My thoughts: I like that the spots are gone. I was okay with her blonde hair. The make-up and the way she performed, she reminded me too much of a Lady Gaga wannabe. Perhaps a combination of nerves and dancing, she was pitchy and notes I know she could have belted out if she was just standing still, she could not do.

The judges: LA Reid said vocally it was not great. Britney said she loved her performance but vocals were weak at times. Simon Cowell said he likes her because she is fearless and interesting, but it was not the best vocal. Demi even said she knows she can do better vocally.

CeCe Frey

Contestant: Willie Jones
Twitter: @ThatKiddWill
Song: “Here for the Party” by Gretchen Wilson

My thoughts: Willie is a nice guy. It was okay. His outfit did not say “country music.” It looked more like Las Vegas lounge singer of the early 1970’s.

The judges: LA Reid thought it was an “adequate performance.” Britney said he was a true star. Simon thought it was silly and cheap. Demi was proud.

Willie Jones

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Britney Spears‘ Teens

Contestant: Arin Ray
Twitter: @ArinRaySings
Song: “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes

My thoughts: The stage swallowed him up even with the dancers surrounding him, or maybe he seemed amateurish because the dancers were better? It could be that the dancers hurt him.

The judges: L.A. Reid thought he was slightly off with the tune. Demi thought he was a little stiff. Simon (agrees with me) thinks the dancers were a bad idea. Britney, of course, loved it.

Arin Ray

Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “Hey Soul Sister” by Train

My thoughts: Her vocals were extremely pitchy and they were very rough. It was a bad song choice for her voice. I was expecting better from her because she has a lot of talent.

The judges: LA Reid said it was robotic, mechanical. Demi said the song choice was great but Diamond was a little reserved. Simon said she had some tuning issues, but she had massive improvement since they last saw her.

Diamond White

Contestant: Beatrice Miller
Twitter: @BeatriceMiller
Song: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz

My thoughts: Most of the song was in her lower range and her lower range is horrid. She is also just singing because there is no way at her tender age that she could know the depth of love of which Jason Mraz writes. It was a bad vocal (extremely flat or sharp). She looked petrified.

The judges: LA Reid said he believes her and he loves her. Demi was impressed. Simon said the style was right but there were tuning issues/nerves. Britney said she was a true star.

Beatrice Miller

Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida

My thoughts: She needs to stop touching her hair with her left hand, but other than that distraction I thought she did a great job. Her lower register needs work. She sings the words, but does not feel the words.

The judges: LA Reid thought she has a beautiful voice but did not feel like she was having fun. Demi thought she has one of the best voices but she was not having fun. Simon said he didn’t feel like she was connecting to the song. Britney thought it was amazing, a great, great job.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

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L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s

Contestant: David Correy
Twitter: @DavidCorrey
Song: “My Love is Your Love” by Whitney Houston

My thoughts: I’m being hypercritical here, but I thought his pants were too saggy in the crotch. He is also doing that shaking of the right hand again when he is trying to put emphasis on his vocals. It is distracting. But when I close my eyes and just listen to him, I thoroughly enjoy his voice.

The judges: Britney loved it. Demi thought it was pretty good. Simon thought his performance was manic. L.A. Reid said it was really good.

David Correy

Contestant: Vino Alan
Twitter: @VinoAlan
Song: “Gotta Be Somebody” by Nickelback

My thoughts: His lower range was horrid. LA Reid picked a bad song for his voice. It was pitchy. This is not the Vino who wowed me in the auditions. And what’s up with his pants?

The judges: Britney said it was really good but she was a little bored. (Okay). Demi was rooting for him, but the beginning was shaky. Simon said the song arrangement for him was wrong. He is a soul singer not a rock singer.

Vino Alan

Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “Tough” by Craig Morgan

My thoughts: I don’t like country music, but if I had to choose this type of song over a twang-like-thang that Sister C delivers, I prefer this because it soothes me versus my hair standing up on the back of my neck. I can relate to him. He emotes and connects. He has had a lifetime of experience to draw upon during his songs.

The judges: Britney said it was amazing. Demi said she was bored at the beginning but he stood on his own and gave her chills. Simon Cowell thought he was a good, honest man, a definite keeper. LA Reid thought it was really good.

Tate Stevens

Contestant: Jason Brock
Twitter: @JasonBroccoli
Song: “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez

My thoughts: Were there any other lyrics in this song than “dance again?” I was entertained, but would Jason be accepted as a mainstream pop star? Probably not. I do see a wonderful career for him on Broadway.

The judges: Britney said it was entertaining. Demi felt it was not the right song choice and he needed more sass. Simon likes him but everything about this performance was wrong. LA Reid enjoyed him and called Simon a hater.

Jason Brock

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Simon Cowell‘s Groups

Contestant: Sister C (Cirby, Carli and Celbi)
Twitter: @OfficialSisterC
Song: “Hell on Heels” by Pistol Annies

My thoughts: Simon Cowell hates country music week on Idol, so to have a country music group is odd. When Simon tells them that they are not connecting with the audience, one of them says that they think it is because they don’t have a “sob story”, that they have been blessed. Actually they come across to me as those girls in high school who are stuck up. I don’t like their vibe. I hate the “twang.” I hate most of country music. But judging strictly on their performance, I feel no warmth from them, like they are just singing the words and not feeling them. And then I thought about it–because they have been blessed in their life (and that is always a wonderful thing), most singers have to channel from their road of pain, grief, love, all the extremes of life, living in a car in order to make a living — whatever. That is their missing element (even despite my dislike of the twang and dislike in general of country music. And what was Simon thinking having them sing their audition song again?

The judges: L.A. Reid said it was good but did not like that it was a repeat of their audition song. Britney liked it. Demi said they seemed stiff and they were lacking performance. Simon, of course, thought it was a fantastic performance.

Sister C

Contestant: Lyric145
Twitter: @Lyric145
Song: Mash up of “Boom Shake the Room” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and “Gangnam Style” by Psy

My thoughts: I was entertained. Lyric Da Queen is the star of this group. I loved the energy and was grooving in my chair to the rhythm.

The judges: LA Reid thought the soul was taken out of them. Britney was genuinely entertained. Demi had so much fun. Simon Cowell thought they were sensational.


Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, now 1432, which means “I Love You Too”
Twitter: @1432
Song:  “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift

My thoughts: They need some work in being a group but they sounded good for only being together a short time. I don’t like Taylor Swift songs, so I tuned it out.

The judges: LA Reid said it sounded like karaoke. Britney said their energy drew us in. Demi said 1 person in the group shined and when pressed by Khloe to name names, she said Camila. Simon thought it was fantastic.

1432, formerly known as LYLAS

Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “One Day” by Matisyahu

My thoughts: I never particularly cared for these guys during the audition process. They looked like they were not taking things seriously. I thoroughly enjoyed this performance. Their vocals were great. Their command of the stage was great. I would say they are keepers.

The judges: LA Reid said he hated to say it but Simon got it right this time. Britney thought it was great. Demi has a crush on them and she was swooning. Simon said they were future superstars.


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My picks for going home

From Simon’s group, time to say goodbye to Sister C. In Britney’s group, it is going to depend on her strategy, but I would say Arin Ray or Beatrice Miller is in danger. In LA Reid’s group, I think Vino is in danger (and he should not be because it was a bad song choice). In Demi’s group, I think Willie might be in danger, but I would have picked Jennel because I do not think she did as well as the judges heard in that theater. It pains me to say that since she is my second favorite contestant.

Who are your picks to leave tonight?