Thursday, March 1, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 13 Boys

Ok. As far as first live performances go, this was relatively good. I don't think it was as good as last year, but much better than most others. There were no legitimate train wrecks - or maybe one? - throughout the episode, but I was somehow a bit underwhelmed by the performances. I just hope last night was a case of stage fright for most. If not, I'm scared for next week. Haha.

As for the judges, they were pretty much useless. But what's new? They were laying it on too thick and they were so insipid when they could be giving good advice to the contestants so that they can improve and know WHERE to improve. They didn't help anyone except for their bank accounts! Ugh. As for you Randy Jackson, stop with Season One-One! I know you can't count all the way to 11, but seriously?

Good thing, the new stage looked fantastic and sharper than last year!!

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.  

13. Eben Franckewitz
Set Fire To The Rain
Yikes! Eben should've waited a couple of years because he's out of his depth. He was off beat, mostly off pitch, his phrasing was stiff, and it was just a mess. It actually baffled me why he even went to that uncomfortable lower register when clearly his strength lies in his upper register. Gah! He should not have been singing Adele in the first place! Now, excuse me, I have to listen to the real thing. 3/10

12. Jermaine Jones
Dance With My Father
This whole twist felt like it's April Fools Day, but it wasn't! Seriously. Why would they bring this guy back? Sure, Jermaine is very talented and he knows what to do with his voice, but he will never make it on the radio. So despite the fact that it's pretty refreshing to see a baritone on the show, I just don't get it. I'm afraid there's a good chance that he'll make the final cut just because of this obvious "manipulation". Blech. 4/10

11. Adam Brock
He reminded me so much of Danny Gokey prior to this performance, but he doesn't even come close to him when it comes to soul. This was pure vanilla!! I don't know. Vocally, there was nothing wrong with this, but the performance was just awfully karaoke. He didn't even try to take chances with the riffing and whatnot. He has the potential to do good, but he unfortunately picked an overdone song and managed to sound so bland. Oh, and you should stop with the White Chocolate and "big black woman inside me" blather. Just sing! 4.5/10

10. Reed Grimm
Moves Like Jagger
As expected, Reed totally reworked the song and I'm not sure if jazzing up Moves Like Jagger worked in his favor. I mean, he removed everything that was good from that song and I didn't think he kept enough of the original melody to actually make it still recognizable. His version was cheesy, his vocals were uneven - though he started quite nicely - and the scatting was superfluous. Oh, and the whole performance seemed like a lounge act gone wrong. I would give him points for boldness, but that's about it. 5/10

09. Chase Likens
Storm Warning
This guy is obviously a fodder - mostly due to the lack of screen time prior to the semi-finals - but his performance, while undeniably generic and exposed his vocal limitations, was actually decent. He has the look and I'm pretty sure he has that country voting block all by himself. Now, if he only took command of the dynamics of his vocals and had the groove to make the song work for him, his performance would've made a bigger impression. 5/10

08. DeAndre Brackensick
With this kind of semifinals format, where DeAndre only has one chance to show what he can do, this should have been the time to showcase all that he's capable of. Sadly, he's way better than this performance. I felt like he relied too much on his falsetto, which was shockingly weak last night. I know that the song is supposed to include a lot of this register, but he needs to pick songs where he uses his falsetto sparingly. Had he toned it down a bit, he could have really brought the house down especially towards the end - I found the second part stronger than the beginning. Such a shame because he has a LOT of potential. Missed opportunity, I guess? 5.5/10

07. Creighton Fraker
True Colors
I know that his voice is probably annoying for some - that includes me - but I thought that this performance was much better than I expected. He still has that annoying nasal tone, a couple of forced growls sounded awkward and his vocals were occasionally wobbly, but he made some interesting choices with the melody and, at least he wasn't boring. I wonder though how could Creighton claim that he's unique and then just sit there and sing True Colors? Haha. 6/10

06. Aaron Marcellus
Never Can Say Goodbye
Despite the fact that he messed up with his final glory note, Aaron did a solid job with this rather dated song. His tone worked well with the song, he was mostly on pitch and the liberties he took with the melody weren't overwrought. The problem I had with this performance though was that he never commanded dynamics on the song. I somehow wanted him to show more musicality and prove he can be interesting, but he just went for something pretty generic. Strategic miss. 6/10

05. Colton Dixon
Ok. For the record, I'm not really into the whole emo/joyless/humorless rock thing he does, but I honestly thought that Colton had one of the better executed performances last night. True, his voice was a little inconsistent with limited range and thin voice, but his ability to work a bit of that big stage somehow distracted from his mediocre vocals. Plus, he seemed like he was expressing the song with some sincerity. Bottomline: Colton + Twilight = Top 13! 6/10

04. Jeremy Rosado
I would be the first one to admit that Jeremy's performance was completely unremarkable. That said, his vocals were arguably one of the most consistent in terms of pitch. He has a lovely tone and his take on this Sara Bareilles ditty was soulful, rich and something that came across as authentic. He needs to work on his phrasing as he cuts them prematurely because of his weak breath support, but that's something he could work on in the future. 6.5/10

03. Heejun Han
I actually liked this performance - at least he made me pay attention. Haha.  To be honest, Heejun had some technical issues - his lower register was too weak to even support and project the lower end of the song - but he has one of the nicest tone of all the guy - it's quite beautiful and silky - and he has good pitch. Plus, he's so freakin' adorable. The judges were on crack - as usual - as they suddenly gave the only one real criticism to Heejun when the others were far less inferior. Nonetheless, I don't see Heejun getting cut. 7/10

02. Phillip Phillips
In The Air Tonight
No disrespect to the person I ranked first, but Phillip's performance just proved that he will be the biggest threat to a girl winning this season, and yes, I’m terrified of him. While a little overwrought, his version of the song was a little short of genius. He made it work for his gravelly tone, he perfectly showcased a little of his range and there's a good amount of intensity in his delivery. Out of everyone, he seemed to have the tools to maybe someday make something really good out of a song. Again, this simple fact makes me a little scared of him. Haha. 7.5/10

01. Joshua Ledet
You Pulled Me Through
I remember how I ranked Jacob Lusk at the top of my list at the same point last year only to hate him with a passion as the season progressed. Somehow, I'm hoping that Joshua has a bit more of musical sense than Jacob Lusk and this performance actually showed some promise. Sure, the song choice wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying that he was in a different league than everybody else. His voice was strong, spot on vocal inflections, he had the best dynamics, and possibly the most solid interpretation. The vocal gymnastics at some point were a little too much, but it's just a minor nitpick - as of now. To me, he's the only one who sounded Finals ready. 8/10

Who will make the top 5 guys?
Joshua Ledet

Phillip Phillips
Heejun Han
Jermaine Jones
Colton Dixon

Who should make the top 5 guys?
Joshua Ledet

Phillip Phillips
Heejun Han
Jeremy Rosado
Colton Dixon


Danni said...

I agree with your top 5, minus Josh and plus Chase. I really enjoyed Chase's performance, and I am more of a rocker so that's saying something. Some of them I found to be really boring though... like DeAndre, I just didn't get it. I did like Josh though and won't mind if he makes it, so long as Colton and Phillip do too. I liked Reed too, but yeah the way he made that song... most people wouldn't get it. I did. But most people... Haha. The guys did great last night, can't wait for the ladies. I hope there are some I actually want to vote for!

Hoshizaoldyeck said...

I really hope that Reed could make it though, instead of Jermaine/Jeremy, and I think you are a little bit harsh on them.. LOL..^^

Anonymous said...

Such a mediocre night, I hope the girls won't disappoint me. Couldnt agree more with the choices, I don't really like Colton but he deserves the spot in top13. My favourite is always Phillip Phillips, but Joshua Ledet seriously shocked me. And he chose to sing J.Hudson's, yay! I really hoping that "Gentle Giant" doesnt make it to top13, I want either these; Reed, Creighton or Jeremy Rosado.

- K

Anonymous said...

My top 5 would be Phillip Phillips, Reed Grimm, Deandre, Colton, and maybe Heejun. Although I don't think Heejun would provide musical variety to the competition. You just know what he'll be singing next week.

gamercado said...

Colton over Reed??? Seriously????

Anonymous said...

I really liked Reed and if he makes it to the top 6 guys I'll be STOKED but seriously Colton's performance gave me chills. I have no clue why, but I could feel the passion in his voice. He really wants it.

Anonymous said...

i agree with your ranking.. Well except for josh.. I don't want another jacob lusk vibe in the top 13.. Maybe aaron but not josh! ;p

Anonymous said...

All are gay? Can not be

Anonymous said...

such a horrible bunch of contestant! it's like season 9 all over again! one word to describe them - Forgettable

Anonymous said...

Wow. You really are good with these predictions. :)) I'm a Fan. :DD

Anonymous said...

you are so good on predicting ha? You already! ;p

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