Friday, April 27, 2012

American Idol 11: Top 6

It's official! This is the most competitive American Idol season I have ever seen! Seriously. Still no clear front-runner at this stage of the competition and it's ridiculous! Haha. 

But, I get it now. As a group, Season 11 have probably one of the most talented Top 13 in the history of American Idol. But I realized, as a group, they aren't the most interesting in terms of personality. Contrast to the last year's group, who certainly have several annoying personalities among them and aren't as talented, they were fun to watch and pretty entertaining. This batch, not so much, but I digress.

As for the episode, I must say that Queen was not a good theme for these Idol hopefuls. Not all styles of music suite all musicians and tonight proved that. I mean, their songs are really hard to compress and depend heavily on having very intense, over-the-top arrangements and then suddenly turns them into something that lasts a minute and a half. Tall order no?

And as for you Mr. Randy Jackson, your advise to vote for all of the contestants was pretty dumb!! Two weeks ago, you were telling people to vote for the BEST. Now, people have to split votes among their favorites? Haha. So useless!

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. 


06. Joshua Ledet
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
I get it, judges! You love Joshua and I think he's a great vocalist, but this performance didn't deserve a standing ovation!! Yes, I thought his phrasing was good and he managed to make the shortened song into something coherent, but his vocals were a little strident and it was, arguably, pretty average. His energy was quite entertaining, but then again, the song was just so karaoke. Sue me. 6.5/10

05. Hollie Cavanagh
Save Me
Had she nailed this performance, the Hollie redemption arc a la Haley Reinhart would've been on full swing. Seriously. I love myself some good comeback stories and her Idol journey had been nothing short of that. I thought her performance started off fairly strong emphasizing her lovely voice, but towards the end she hit a clunker at the last high note. This was a pretty nice effort from Hollie if a bit generic. 7/10

04. Phillip Phillips
Fat Bottomed Girls
Bucky Covington's version back in Season 5 had an energy that pulled me into the performance. Phillip, on the other hand, started interestingly solid despite the fact that it's all very karaoke, and then he pushed his vocals too much that he sounded strained, Phillip, yet again, lost me. Plus, the back up singers were drowning out his voice in the chorus. Not sure if it was the song choice or just the fact that the song has very little range for him to do anything with it. 7/10

03. Jessica Sanchez
Bohemian Rhapsody
For all the talk of how Jessica is the Chosen One, she has yet to get the pimp spot. What did she do to deserve this? Haha. Vocally, her rendition of this Queen classic was absolutely stellar as she hit all the notes. I thought she had some subtle emotional moments in there and her take on the song was pretty interesting. The problem I had though was the actually song choice itself. Bohemian Rhapsody, to me, doesn't work in a truncated, abbreviated version and that's where I thought she showed a complete lack of connection. Good thing, the freaky floating Jessica heads were kind of awesome no? Haha. 8/10

02. Skylar Laine
The Show Must Go On
You know what baffled me? If Skylar was the best of the night as the judges kept claiming after Round 1, why didn't she get the standing ovation they gave to Joshua? Haha. To be honest, this wasn't her best vocal performance on the show - she sounded shrill and shouty on some parts - but I did think that Skylar performed it quite well considering the challenge that this song presented. Her vocal range was spectacular, and while it lacked a certain edge to it, this was still pretty solid. 8/10

01. Elise Testone
All I Want
Funky. Ballsy. Bluesy. There was no doubt that Elise won the Queen round. She really rocked it out, she sounded authentic, her voice was pretty stellar and everything just fell into place. This was obviously very much in her wheelhouse, so I expected nothing less from her and she delivered. Enough said. 9/10


06. Phillip Phillips
The Stone
Why did I find the fiddler player more interesting than the charming Phillip Phillips? Haha. To me, this was an entertaining mess. His vocals were too rough around the edges, he mumbled his way throughout the whole song and he, yet again, went back to his usual self. I seriously wanted to scream every time the judges use the word "artist" on Phillip. Really? Can't. Even. 6/10

05. Skylar Laine
Tattoos On This Town
I find it weird that Skylar does better on the non-country songs no? Haha. Yes, the song choice may have easily pleased her core fan base, which is undeniably country, but the whole thing just fell flat. It was like the performance went on and on and then ended nowhere. I don't know. It was a pleasure watching her perform, but things just didn't work for her this time. Sorry. 7/10

04. Elise Testone
Bold As Love
While this song choice allowed Elise to actually have fun, I thought the whole performance was way too indulgent. It felt like too much technical stuff was happening and even her vocals were a little complicated than usual. Sure, she sounded good, but I really had some problems connecting with the performance. This might be too much of a niche song to appeal to the wider American Idol audience, but I give her props for taking the risk. Did it pay off? Not sure, but we'll see. 7.5/10

03. Joshua Ledet
Ready For Love
Incredible vocal restraint. Lovely interpretation. Effortless vocals. This, to me, was Joshua's one of the more interesting performances and possibly one of my favorites. When Joshua sings with some sense of vocal control - softly and quite subdued - he's just brilliant. No shouting or screaming or any over-the-top runs in this performance. He interpreted the song beautifully and it was just wonderful. 9/10

02. Hollie Cavanagh
The Climb
Interestingly, this was the same song she did last season as her audition piece - she was a sobbing mess! - and yes, Hollie has come a long way! While I wasn't really a big fan of the song, this Miley Cyrus ditty was probably a clever song choice for Hollie. Cheesy as the song may seem, but this has that ability to strike a chord with the audience if competently sung. I thought she sounded confident, her vocals were impeccable and she was less stiff on stage. Two weeks in a row, Hollie delivered and has improved by leaps and bounds! Good job. 9/10

01. Jessica Sanchez
Dance With My Father
GORGEOUS! Jessica's version of Dance With My Father was the best cover of the song EVER. She pitched the emotion just right and added some RnB flourishes and inflections that distinguished her from the original. I felt the emotion pouring out of her and, as usual, her vocals were lovely, restrained, nuanced and absolutely sublime. Oh, and Jennifer Lopez, was this really the best version you've heard? Then stand up!! 9.5/10


Who should go? 
Phillip Phillips

Who will go?
Skylar Laine


dizzygirl said...

i fckin hate the standing ovation now. makes no sense at all!!
during simon's time, SOs are given about 2-5 times per season. now they give it to the same person twice in one night--TWICE! fck that!
i want joshua to go now to stop this madness. it's super annoying.

and i sooo thought that too about skylar and jessica not getting an SO.

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