Thursday, March 17, 2011

American Idol 10: Top 12

I didn't get the memo. Was the theme, sing as bad as possible? I don't get it. Maybe, it's just me, but I was pretty underwhelmed by most of the performances tonight. Considering that this theme has had a good track record on the show - it spawned performances like David Cook's Billie Jean and Adam Lambert's Mad World.

I had such high hopes for this season and seeing crap like this does not bode well. To be perfectly honest, I really thought that every single one of them were way worse than they have been so far - except for maybe a couple of people. But seriously, with all the off key singing and boring song choices, anyone reminiscing about last year? Scary, I know.

On a lighter note, the judges sounded a little more critical this time. Yes, Steven Tyler didn't bring anything new aside from his hysterical made-up words - I can live with that - but it was nice to see Jennifer Lopez stepping up his game. I mean, she may not be the best singer in the world, but she brought some pretty incredible constructive criticisms on this episode. Good job!

Anyway, let's go with the rankings, shall we?

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

12. Jacob Lusk
I'm sorry, but did I just watch and listen to the same performance as the judges? This was flat out dreadful, it's not even funny. Seriously. Just like his performance last week, the moment he changed keys, he went off pitch and stayed there like, FOREVER! Ugh. I didn't like the song with his tone of voice, and that vibrato needs to be reigned in. It's like every time Jacob sings, I feel myself wanting to look around to find whoever is strangling a cat in my house. But then, I realized what kind of cat meows like a walrus when it’s being strangled? Haha. Thank God, the memory of Allison Iraheta's version still lingers in my mind. 3.5/10

11. Paul McDonald
I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
I still don't get it!! Sorry. I've hated what he's done so far and this performance didn't change my mind one bit. Sure, I was getting it on the verses, but the chorus just didn’t fit his voice AT ALL. He sounded cartoon-ish and there's this childish thinness to it that I’m not digging. I guess, Paul needs to focus more on the raw rasp tone and less on the frontal nasal tone. But seriously, why can't he just sit down and sing a stripped down version of something? The hell I care if it's even Rebecca Black's Friday. HAHA. I swear, if Paul wins this thing he will make Lee DeWyze sound like freakin' rock god! You know what I mean. 4/10

10. Naima Adedapo
What's Love Got To Do With It
Really, Naima? This song? I admit, the arrangement was pretty neat, but her vocal wasn't nearly as good. She has got tons of style, but I have yet to hear her NOT this pitchy. I don't know. She sounded like it was too low of a key for her and that last note was janky. I'm now beginning to think that Naima is just not that strong of a singer. This wasn't good enough to keep her out of the Bottom 3 this week, I think. 4.5/10

09. Karen Rodriguez
Love Will Lead You Back
Prepare for 50% English, 50% Spanish and 100% Boring. Wait, in hindsight, that piece of bread - or whatever that was - on her head made her look more interesting. Haha. Fine. I'll stop. Karen, arguably, has a beautiful, polished voice, but she's always SO boring. What's up with that? She just doesn't seem very current to me. Yes, she sounded better than last week, but that's not saying much. Oh, and Karen, you're a walking contradiction! You said you want to be known as more than a Spanish singer, yet you switched the song to Spanish just at the last minute. Haha. As for you Steven Tyler, "Your ethnic what-it-is-ness" was hysterical. Thank you very much. 5/10

08. Thia Megia
Colors Of The Wind
Could Thia be any more predictable? I just want to be entertained and singing this Pocahontas song isn't going to entertain me. Seriously. It was boring and the song choice was just pure cheese. Good thing, she sang it beautifully - and shamed the first two with her perfect pitch, except for a couple of bum notes - but still.. She needs to sing something current and upbeat or people will get tired of her singing those atrocious ballads. Case in point, Ramiele Malubay. 5.5/10

07. Casey Abrams
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Kudos to Casey for - at the very least - trying to keep it interesting from week to week. Yes, in my book, he's one cool dude! But as much as his risky performance interesting, I somewhat didn't get it. It was pretty solid until he got to the chorus where everything became too shouty and he then he went off with his pitch a little. Plus, his tone was all wrong for the song. I don't know. He should've done an acoustic version of the song just like what Tori Amos did - he sure would've knocked everyone out of the competition. Sad. 5.5/10

06. Haley Reinhart
I'm Yours Baby Tonight
Haley, to me, is kind of like the forgotten Idol. She doesn't really have an identity, making her terribly forgettable. That said, I'm starting to think that she's pretty versatile and she knows her own voice more than some of the other contestants. I'm surprisingly warming up to her. True, the whole performance was a bit uneven with an undeniably shaky start, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. Oh, and I also take back what I said last week. Yes, it was odd for her to pick LeAnn Rimes, but the Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys songs are a fairly clear direction as to what she wants to do, much more than Naima Adedapo singing Porgy and Bess, Rihanna and Tina Turner. Just saying. 5.5/10

05. Scotty McCreery
Can I Trust You With My Heart?
Vocally, this was a step up for Scotty. Of course, his natural deep country voice was still front and center, but his upper register was surprisingly strong. I also kind of liked his performance this week. It wasn't as stiff as before and he was just too charming. So, like or hate Scotty's country style, he's possibly one of the most marketable Idols this year. Now, if he could just show a bit more range - in performance style, not notes - even if he stays in his genre, then I think he'll be leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. As of now though, I'm starting to struggle telling his performances apart. 6/10

04. James Durbin
I'll Be There For You
Good lord, James looked so much like Adam Lambert's scruffy little brother. Haha. Ok. James, I thought, did a very passable job with this song. No, I don’t think this was the best choice as far as giving him a vehicle to really shine, but he was good compared to the others. He performed the bridge really well, although he should've supported the verses as well. A couple of off notes at the beginning, and it sounded like he had trouble getting enough breath to support his notes. Plus, his enunciation needs a bit of work. Now, while I think that this was, arguably, his weakest performance to date, I don't think he's going anywhere. 6.5/10

03. Pia Toscano
Where Do Broken Hearts Go?
I don't care for the song choice, I hated the arrangement - it's too dated for my taste - but I seriously rather have this mess than another ballad. Plus, Pia can do no wrong with her vocals. She has lungs of steel. Haha. I thought she sounded effortless, especially with those impressive high notes, and it's just SO nice to finally have a strong female pop singer on the show again. She needs to move around on stage and spice it up some more though. If you watched Carrie's season though, like Pia she barely moved and she mostly just stood there holding the microphone and things have turned out alright for her. Right? Right! 7/10

02. Lauren Alaina
I'm The Only One
Pia looked like she stepped out of Aladdin. Thia looked like she stepped out of Pocahontas. I was really hoping that Lauren will come out dressed as a Mermaid. Haha. It's silly, I know. But her incredibly annoying personality aside, I thought she redeemed herself with this performance. No, it wasn't perfect as she started on the wrong key, but Lauren actually pulled it all together. She has an amazing tone and this song highlighted that. For me though, Lauren is a nightmarish combination of everything I hated about Diana DeGarmo and Carrie Underwood. Enough said. 7/10

01. Stefano Langone
If You Don't Know Me By Now
So, Stefano totally killed it tonight? Not entirely. I mean, he generally sounded good until the end where he ran out of breath. Was this the best performance of the night? Maybe, just because the bar was set pretty low. Ok, I'm not going to rain on his parade because I honestly think that he's improving every week. His phrasing was absolutely gorgeous and he showed a lot more soul than I thought. Could have done with less random oohs and ahhs, but it was good overall. 8/10


jayviedistor said...

oooh! i'm excited na to catch this tonight! especially with what you said about Stefano's performance! I like that song pa naman eeeeeh!

omg! at talagang Colors of the Wind ang kinanta ni Thia! grade 4 na ako nun! talagang pinapamukha nyang matanda na tayo Dam! hahaha :D

Danni said...

I agree, Stefano blew the rest of them out of the water with Lauren right behind him. But I think the bottom three will be: Naima, Haley & Karen. Definitely. Probably with Karen going home. The switching from English to Spanish is really annoying and I'm sure the rest of America is with me on that one. We shall see, huh?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Paul is definitely not going anywhere this week. Probably not even bottom 3. Yes, he didn't choose the best song but idk I think people love his tone. I'm sick of everyone having the same voice so even if he's not too great of a performer, I don't even care.. his voice makes up for it.

Will said...

Stefano? Interesting. Can't wait for later.

Will said...

Just finished watching the show and, oh dear, it felt like I wasn't watching American Idol. The judges' feedback on Jacob's performance was forced and prolly rigged. I think that by saving him for last, Idol is simply trying to protect the black performer in order to avoid the usual racist controversies.

Anonymous said...

- Not a fan of Paul's performance.
- I'm still rooting for James, ever since last week. :)
- Pia's vocal was good, but I don't like the arrangement of her song.
- I like Scotty's performance.
- Karen's performance made me sleep. I mean, literally. I closed my eyes and when I woke up, it was Casey's turn. HAHA!
- Not a fan of Casey's performance. I think it's too screechy (like Jennifer said).
- I don't understand why the judges love Jacob. I think he butchered another song. Damn, twice in a row. *shudders*

Etan Musni said...

Sharing my thoughts:
1. Naima is lost!
2. Paul attracts the audience with his smile and weird performing habits but not with his vocals.
3. Thia (I agree with you) is becoming like Ramiele Malubay. Predictable and boring. One more ballad and its a bye-bye.
4. James gave his weakest performance to date. But glad he didn't became just another Adam Lambert over the top vocals.
5. Stefano nailed it. I just don't like the end part!
6. Karen.. Please! Send her home.
7. Haley ( i don't like her).. but I think this one is better than her version of Blue.
8. Pia.. The song should be heartfelt.. It became disco-like. But nice voice.
9. Casey.. I miss his version of "A little help from my friends". This performance is not like that..
10. Scotty.. I think he tried getting out the country by adding up a pop flavor with his performance. Nice though!
11. Lauren.. (I agree! Annoying personality...) She's sick but she's good. What more if she's not sick?!!
12. Jacob! GO HOME!! C'mon Alone is owned by Carrie Underwood and Allison Iraheta. And He sounded so dreadfully pitchy. And too shouty that he even can't get it like David Cook and Adam Lambert.

The judges were too good to criticize the idols.

Etan Musni said...

By the way.. I think Naima will go home. She was a wildcard saved by the judges (meaning she didn't got good votes from the people) and she's not bringing her A game..


Hoping Jacob will go home. Hehe


Jayvie: Haha. You're hysterical.


Danni: Paul is a polarizing contestant. You either love him or hate him. But, I don't know. I just don't get him.


Will: Yes, Stefano! Haha


Will: I don't think it has to do with avoiding racist controversies, but I feel that it's just that the judges can hear him that much with all the screaming. HAHA


Anonymous: Good notes! :)


Etan Musni: I like that I'm not the only one who didn't like Jacob's performance. Thanks for your notes. :)


Etan Musni: Naima's elimination is a possibiltity.

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