Wednesday, March 2, 2011

American Idol 10: Top 12 Boys

Just like any other season, the first live performance show of American Idol Season 10 was underwhelming - almost borderline mediocre. I felt like more than half of them sounded better during their auditions and possibly Hollywood week. That said, there were a couple of good surprises that's completely different from the American Idol 10: Ranking the Top 24 I posted yesterday.

Now, as for the judges, I'm not impressed at all. No, I didn't miss Simon Cowell, but I did expect both Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler to step up their constructive criticisms in order to keep it real. It's funny how Randy was the harshest judge by default, just because Steven and Jennifer were too forgiving - especially Mr. Tyler. There's no captain in this ship, and it's going to bore the crap out of me to have THREE of them saying nothing.

Good thing, the new set looked awesome! I just wish they did something with the sound mix and the bad because it sounded a bit strange to me.

Anyway, here we go!

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha. 

12. Jordan Dorsey
Thank you, Jordan Dorsey, for giving us the first trainwreck of American Idol Season 10. Haha. I have to say, this song choice was a bit dumb and the performance in itself was EPIC for all the wrong reason. Sure, I appreciate his impulse to go current, but there were moments - especially in the beginning - where everything was too painful to listen to. The lame choreography didn't help as well. I wonder, if this isn't exactly the kind of artist Jordan wants to be, then why the heck did he pick this song? Oh well. Peace out, Jordan! It was nice to see.. well, no it wasn't. 2/10

11. Brett Loewenstern
Light My Fire
This was, by far, the gayest Light My Fire rendition I've ever seen! Seriously. I mean, I appreciate him for being who he is - even if he tried to whip his hair like Willow Smith countless times - but there are just some songs that people cannot perform like that. It was just too awkward. I would've been more forgiving if the vocals were on point, but it was also rough for the most part. It just didn't go anywhere, if I'm being honest. The performance just kind of sits there, inert, inspiring no feeling whatsover. Sad. 4/10

10. Jovany Barreto
I'll Be
He sang it fine, but it lacked originality and it was pretty dull. Sure, things picked up at the last part of his performance, but more than half of it almost put me to sleep. Seriously. Plus, the fact that the band overpowered his vocals didn't help things as well. I don't know. It was pleasant, but totally uninteresting. 4.5/10

09. Robbie Rosen
This performance just didn't work for me. I was rooting for Robbie and I actually love this song, but the arrangement was ridiculously terrible!! He was shockingly pitchy, his falsetto was weak and he seemed to fall out of sync with the band. Everything just didn't fit with the background instrumentals. It was strange. Yes, there were a couple of nice spots here and there, but it required nothing more than to sing it as it is and emote. That is all. 4.5/10

08. Tim Halperin
Street Corner Symphony (Come On Over)
I admit, he was relatively engaging and his voice sounded fairly good, but I really had issues with the rest of it. He started off extremely flat, he had some poor phrasing choices in the beginning - especially when he cuts them a little short - and he was way too slow on the melody. I don't know. Tim is so much better than this performance. Ugh. 5/10

07. Paul McDonald
Maggie May
Was he drunk? Ok. Paul wasn't bad, but if I'm being honest, there was certainly nothing special about this performance. He sounded exactly like Rod Stewart - wait, isn't that the definition of karaoke? Ha! - and the arrangement didn't do him any favors either. It all just felt safe and unoriginal. Paul might be "quirky", but he's probably the quirky that I'll pass on. I honestly don't get what's so great about him. Plus, he probably had the weirdest stage moves since Taylor Hicks. Enough said. 6/10

06. Clint Jun Gamboa
His version of Superstition, though a bit overwrought, was passable. He was actually a LOT better than I expected. I thought he had some great vocal moments in there - especially his last few notes - and he surprisingly commanded the stage pretty well. I was just a bit worried by the fact that when he wasn't screaming, the band was totally drowning him out. 6/10

05. Stefano Langone
Just The Way You Are
Though not quite as dynamic vocally as Bruno Mars, I actually found this one pretty good. Yes, he pulled this performance quite nicely, which was surprising. No, it wasn't the strongest vocally as I thought he sounded sharp when he went for the higher notes, but this was arguably the most charming performance of the night. He was just so darn likable. 7/10

04. Casey Abrams
I Put A Spell On You
I love myself some Casey Abrams, but there was just too much theatrics in this performance. It came of as a bit indulgent. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was still pretty solid, I'm just not sure if he should have cut out some of the melismatic growls. Not that they weren’t well done, because they were, and there were some cool moments for sure, but it’s one of those musical decisions where less is more. Oh well. It's not always about the voice, sometimes it's about the ability to take the audience on a trip. And yes, Casey has it. 8/10

03. Scott McCreery
Letters From Home
He pretty much did what he does perfectly - country music! Frankly, I don't really like his genre - especially male country singers - but I have to give Scotty credit for doing a fantastic job. He was engaging, charismatic and his voice was just too interesting to be forgettable. He needs to stop mugging for the camera though. Haha. Now, if he can only prove that he's versatile, he's good in my book. 8/10

02. James Durbin
You Got Another Thing Comin'
God help me, I actually loved this performance! Haha. He was shockingly convincing - I had never considered him convincing in the slightest up until this point - and the over-the-top moments were at least more appropriate than his usually non-sense screaming self. It actually felt so refreshing seeing that. I still don't understand the need to sing those notes, but I'm all for it.. for now. I just hope he'll reign it in if he gets to the Finals. 8.5/10

01. Jacob Lusk
A House Is Not A Home
Color me surprised, but Jacob just made a mockery of the people who performed before him, it was as if he was like "B*tches, watch how it's done", and I wasn't even a fan. Haha,. His vocal control was awesome and this wasn't as over-the-top as his previous performances. I particularly enjoyed the fact that he had some comparatively restrained moments in the beginning and he delivered that song with a lot of style and power. I’m not sure if I was emotionally connected to it, but it made me appreciate him a lot more. A good throwback to a '60s style performance. Nice! 8.5/10



Will said...

You don't get what makes Paul McDonald great?



Will said...

And yes, the entire show was a bore. Sad. But that's how it works, right?

Leyton Rhys said...

Probably saving the big guns for the girls.

Robbie said...

They all sucked.

Jordan Dorsey was a complete idioy for picking that song, making it horrible, and then admitting that it's hot HIM.

I like that Paul McDonald is different, but there's a certain quality to his voice that don't sit with me well.

James Durbin is one big poser.

Robbie Rosen ruined a beautiful song with so many runs.

The only performance I liked was Scotty McCreery. And I dont even like him.

Aaron Vincent said...

Funny that Justin Bieber 2.0 is two spots ahead Paul McDonalds. Oh well, Justin Bieber tops the charts these days so there's a chance he might get through just by the tweens community alone. Many don't get Dave Matthews, The Smiths or Vampire Weekend -- heck, many don't even heard about them -- so I will not be surprised if many won't get Paul.

Will said...

Aaron: Me thinks many won't get Paul. His style is quite unique. Reminds me of a more awkward Jamiroquai. Too bad we're all used to the usual stiff singers.

katuray said...

my top 3 for this week:
Jacob = overwhelming
Casey = teddy bear. love, love, love ;)
Scott = believable

jordan = looks and CHARACTER makeover
brett = pang-top 13 girls?!
clint jun = jon santos
robbie = OA. in dire need of a makeover!
jovanny = if he sings shirtless a la matt morrison, he'll be unforgettable!
paul = i agree, very jamiroquai-ish
stefano = cuteness.. un lang.

Anonymous said...

Paul Macdonald is overrated, imho.


Will: Yes, I don't get what's with Paul. Sorry.


Will: Underwhelming is more of an appropriate word. Haha. :P


Leyton: I think they did. The girls were better, I think.


Robbie: "Sucked" is a harsh word. Haha.

I agree with everything you said except for James Durbin. I don't like him (for the record) but I think that kind of music is what he does for a living - although his unemployed now. Haha. But he WAS in a band playing that kind of genre. More like rock stuff.


Aaron: Who exactly is Justin Bieber 2.0? Jacee Badeaux got eliminated already! Haha.

Now, as for Paul, it's just a matter of preference. I don't get Paul, but I do get DMB or even Vampire Weekend. You don't get Justin Bieber (I don't get him), but many people "get" him. So, what's my point? Exactly what you're making. :)


Will: Paul is no way near unique. Listen to Rod Stewart and he sounds EXACTLY just like him. Maybe the same reason why he sang Rod Stewart's Maggie May?

Maybe for American Idol, he's "unique", but I'd say Scott McCreery and Casey Abrams are just as "unique" as Paul McDonald and, yes, even Brett Loewenstern. It all boils down to who you prefer. Call him "quirky" but he's not unique.

Also, if moving aimlessly on that Idol stage is what you consider "not stiff", then I agree with you. Hahaha. :P Peace!


Katuray: Interesting. But where is Tim and James? Hehe.


Anonymous: THIS! Haha. Thank you very much. :P

Will said...

I was about to make my point when you yourself clarified it. When I say Paul's style is "unique", I'm talking American Idol-wise. I'm not saying we wouldn't be able to find anyone as similar as him in the music world because we are all aware that being unique in the industry is a difficult thing to accomplish.

And, no, I didn't say Casey and Scott aren't "unique", coz they are. I was just givin' praise to Paul's style compared to those of his fellow contestants.

And can you explain what you mean by "moving aimlessly" and how it is a bad thing in performing on stage?


Will: Well, good thing you clarified that because, yes, he is just "unique" American Idol-wise, but I'd like to say he's more "quirky" than "unique". Oh well. That's irrelevant.

And I didn't say "moving aimlessly" is particularly a bad thing. It's funny, but not a bad thing. Think Taylor Hicks! You'll get what I mean. :)

Will said...

So that's it?

It'll just appear that we have come to an agreement regarding Paul? No way, man. Gimme more reasons why you hate him. Let's heat it up, start a flame war here!


katuray said...

james and tim? well, they're both at the bottom of my list.

all i see in james is a "trying hard adam lambert wannabe". and as for tim, i'm just not interested in him.. so forgettable.

what are your thoughts about the judges' comments?! hehe

and boys... chill! ;)


Will: We may agree to disagre on that! :)


katuray: interesting. i don't like James too, but he won me over. tim can be the white guy with guitar this season.

as for the judges, they're ok. too forgiving, but i don't watch the show because of the judges, so it's ok. :)

Aaron Vincent said...

Dam: Oh you know who I am referring to with the Justin Bieber 2.0. The guy is there to attract tween audience and Rickey The Paedo.

People that don't get Paul listens to the radio a bit too much. Just saying.

I just hate mainstream and kind of happy that Paul and Casey is there to contrast the exhausting type of singers.


Aaron Vincent: Which is funny, because I actually find Paul's voice pretty mainstream. He sounds so much like Rod Stewart with hints of Adam Levine. I can back you up with Casey being a contrast to mainstream, but not Paul.

I honestly think, Scotty sounds even less mainstream than Paul. Scott McCreery sounds so country he can be considered part of bluegrass already!

I don't know with that argument because I have a couple of friends who like Paul but who's very much into pop radio as well. So, I guess it's really subjective and not specific to what music/genre you listen to.

Oh, and I love mainstream, but it doesn't mean I can't appreciate indie sound. Just saying.

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