American Idol’s top 12 is loaded with talent but they aren’t very good at exhibiting it. They are constantly underperforming. I’m still waiting for someone to step up and knock my socks off.
Last week I never got around to reviewing the results show but the results weren’t overly disappointing. Kristen O was pretty bad. Of the bottom three, she was the only one who is attractive so her visual appeal is all the show is missing. Malaya was worse but given that she was also in the bottom three, I’d like to think her time here is limited.
This week’s theme is “home” but it’s not home week which is the top three but Ryan’s definition of what that meant left a lot of wiggle room for the contestants to choose their songs.
Jena got the first spot and sang Suddenly I See which had little to do with home other than that she heard the song there and it reminds her of it. Considering she’s from the Detroit area, you’d think she have chosen something more home grown but that perhaps would have taken the “home” theme too literally. Unfortunately she was awful. It’s not a great song to begin with. The lyrics don’t make a whole lot of sense. It’s pop fluff and nothing more. Her rendition didn’t do anything better than KT did with it. Keith didn’t like the song choice. Harry didn’t think she had enough energy.
Tonight I Don’t Want To Be meant home to an electrified Alex Preston. It wasn’t a great song but he did it really well. JLo didn’t like the arrangement or his performance of it. Harry wasn’t thrilled with it either but admired him for trying something out of his musical comfort zone. Keith felt Alex wasn’t comfortable with the song.
The madeover/made under Jessica Meuse did Dido’s White Flag, a song she said she has performed for years. If that’s the kind of singing she did back home in Alabama, it’s no surprise she wasn’t getting out of there until American Idol came along. She was out of tune for most of the song but even if she was in tune it was an awful song for her. Harry said she was so sharp people noticed and were so bothered they didn’t give her the obligatory applause when she hit her glory note. Keith noticed the pitch problem but thought her bigger problem was her lack of commitment to the song’s meaning. Jennifer didn’t have much to add but just added to what the others said. Jessica shouldn’t have let the Idol stylists mess with her look so much. They didn’t make her look better. They just made her look plainer. Changing her look threw her off. She just wasn’t herself in any way on stage anymore. Idol stylists have a long tradition of sucking.
Dexter Roberts sang Lucky Man but not Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s hit. His problem is and has been enunciation. His southern drawl doesn’t let up when he sings. Unlike Jessica, he was connected with the lyrics, at least those I could understand. Keith loved the song choice and even liked the split second when he seemed to forget the lyrics. JLo and Harry liked him, too.
Emily Piriz got a message from her boyfriend deployed in the Middle East. Nothing like giving her heart a tug right before going on stage. She chose a JLo song, Let’s Get Loud. She’s Cuban so doing a Latin song makes sense kind of like an Alabaman doing a country song. JLo was visibly overjoyed by the performance. She bought it but she’s biased. Harry said it was a powerful song but she didn’t match the power. Keith was more impressed.
Caleb rocked with Rush’s first single, Working Man. He really got into it. The crowd really got into it. Harry wants him to bring more to his performance. He wants him to be more unpredictable. JLo loved it. Keith advised him to do something I can’t remember.
Midway through the show, Ryan revealed some vote totals but only of the first six singers. I’m still not onboard with being able to vote before the show ends.
MK revealed she was adopted by two moms who split up when she was four and now she has two stepmoms and two moms. Her Drops of Jupiter wasn’t very good. Idol stylists did a number on her as well. Even though her makeup was light, it looked like a mask for her. She looked really uncomfortable up there which Harry noticed. He said she looks like she doesn’t want to be on the stage. Bottom three again for her.
CJ sang Waiting On The World To Change as a response to the racism he finds in his otherwise idyllic hometown of Jasper, Alabama. Unlike previous weeks, he didn’t mess with and lose the melody. He was a tiny bit off pitch but compared to who came earlier in the show, he was spot on. Harry said he was sharp but he didn’t mind too much. Keith said he needs to figure out how to make the song his own and just sing a cover. Unfortunately when he does make it his own, he loses the melody. He doesn’t have the musical aptitude to do as much as he needs to. Britney Spears doesn’t have much musical aptitude either from what I read but she has good people around her. He needs good people around him.
Blind Pilot’s Just One got some national exposure courtesy of Sam Woolf. Sitting down on the stage and surrounded by the adoring eyes of teen girls, he performed competently but not movingly. Harry said he lacks emotional dynamics and he’s right. Keith loves the tone but says he needs to listen to Harry. JLo said he needs to push more.
Malaya went to church and to the keyboard with Take Me To The King. She screamed instead of sang, something she’s done before and she was off key again but she was singing about God and Americans like that. Jesus saves on Idol.
Turning Home was Ben Briley’s on the nose home week song. He’s got a nice stage persona but his voice is nothing special. The applause after he sang was good but not tumultuous. Harry said it felt shouted. It was OK but not great for him. Keith wasn’t exactly thrilled either. I’d rather eat deviled eggs than hear him again. Then again, eating deviled eggs is better than listening to any Idol singer this season.
Majesty Rose ended the show with Coldplay’s Fix You. She started off great but her glory note drove her performance into the ground. Deep into the ground. Harry liked the beginning when it was quiet. JLo said she blew it when she tried to go big. They were rushed for time so their comments were brief.
Ryan revealed real time results which showed Majesty in last place of the second hour’s singers but as he said, she just went so the others had a headstart getting the votes.
JLo said the singers need to deliver the wow. And she wisely said that that doesn’t mean they have to sing loud. Louder is not better even if it does get applause.
On the plus side, the song selection was incredible tonight and this season. We are not hearing any of the same songs we’ve heard to death over the last 12 seasons. That’s great and long overdue. The bad thing tonight was nobody made me want to hear them again.
The bottom three were or should be MK, Jena and Malaya.