Thursday, March 14, 2013

American Idol 12: Top 10

We’re back for another week of American Idol as the contestants begin the final rounds of the competition with "Sing a Song From an American Idol Winner's Catalog" theme week (so, you know, lie and technically sing whatever you want).

True, watching current Idol contestants sing previous Idol winners song felt like watching a time paradox unfolding in front of our eyes - I couldn’t tell if a hole was going to tear in the time space continuum - it was all sorts of exciting, until I realized that these song choices were as predictable as Randy's critiques. Everyone ended up singing ballads and the show somehow became duller than Ryan Seacrest's hair.

Oh, and we were introduced once again to the influence of Jimmy Iovine who still looked like a teenager who had a spell cast on him. I kept thinking a witch stole all of his youth and turned him into a middle-aged man. Haha.

Let’s get to the rankings! We had a bit of a rollercoaster night, and while a few contestants stood out, others faltered and stumbled. 

10. Curtis Finch Jr
I Believe
Why was I not surprised by this song choice? Curtis, to me, was just going to run the Lusk/Ledet songbook dry. I don't know. This was just unbearable. I Believe was Fantasia's defining moment on American Idol and what made it work - despite the rainbows and pot of gold in it's lyrics - was the emotion she captured with it, which was too perfect for the moment at hand. So, there's NO WAY Curtis could recreate that moment. This just didn't work particularly when he went way into overdrive with his runs and whatnot towards the end of it. Oh, and "I want to touch peoples hearts!" Don’t you dare touch my heart. Don’t even think about it. 3.5/10

09. Lazaro Arbos
I admit, Lazaro has an understated beautiful tone that's quite refreshing, but this performance was pure karaoke hell. Breakaway was just not the right song for him. He struggled hitting those low notes in the first verse and his pitch fell apart during the chorus. It got better towards the end, but it was generally underwhelming. Also, Keith Urban, don't ask the kid complex questions that requires a long answer on live television. I mean, by the time he's done answering, it's already time for the nightly news. Haha. Yes, I know, I'm going to hell. 4/10

08. Devin Velez
Temporary Home
Wait, Devin said that he wants to show that he can do more than just the ballads, and yet he picks Carrie Underwood's Temporary Home? While I did appreciate that he picked a song that was recorded by a winner post American Idol, this was just way too safe and extremely blah for Devin. Yes, his vocals were mostly on point - minus that rough last note - and his smooth tone worked well for the song, but it also lacked the power to have much of an impact and I didn't feel like he was able to connect with the material like he used to. He could be in some serious trouble after this. And Devin, don't try to cross your legs on national television. It's weird. 5.5/10

07. Janelle Arthur
Not going to lie, Janelle's version of Gone was pretty dry compared to Scotty and I felt like she had a few vocal issues when she got into the end of her phrases. She also doesn't have the vocal grit and sass to pull off this number to its maximum potential, but she did bring the much needed energy to that stage and yes, thank you Janelle, for giving us the ONLY uptempo song this week and with that, I'll bump you one spot higher for that simple reason alone. 5.5/10

06. Paul Jolley
Jimmy Iovine mentioned that Paul "perpetually over sing". Hold up, have you met Curtis? While I did think that he performed this a little less theatrical than usual, which I liked, this song choice was just bland and lame. Amazed is a classic Idol staple, but no one has ever done a good job singing this song on this show. It's lifeless and it doesn't lend itself to be anywhere near memorable. That said, this has to be Paul's best vocals yet, but that's not saying much no? 6/10

05. Burnell Taylor
Flying Without Wings
Yay for more hand gestures! Haha. The song, the confidence, the face without those ugly glasses and the voice, yes, it all clicked together. Was it unique or original? No, not really. Will I want to watch it over and over again? Unlikely. But it was a very, very solid vocal and that might be all he needed to last him a couple more weeks. Jimmy Iovine was right though that Burnell needs to start mixing it up quickly and add a bit more diversity with his performances. 7/10

04. Kree Harrison
I could swear my life that it was Carrie Underwood singing the first few notes! Ha. Crying would've been a perfect choice for Kree, IF we haven't heard so many ballads already. Yes, she has a fantastic tone with an impeccable vocal control, but I don't think this will gain her new fans. The arrangement was odd, it was a little forgettable and nothing about the performance jumped out at me. Simply put, she sounded great, but possibly not her best. I guess, Nicki could add something else? "Sometimes I wake up and I eat waffles." Haha. You're hysterical, Ms. Minaj! 8/10

03. Angela Miller
I Surrender
Her performance of I Surrender was absolutely brilliant. I sat there and said to myself "Who is this powerful female vocalist?" This was a giant leap in the right direction and clearly her best vocal yet. Her voice soared to a place I didn't realize she's capable of reaching and it was fantastic to see a different side of her as opposed to the usual piano-driven performance. Angela’s strategic challenge is simple. Don’t peak too soon. We want the audience to know that you're good, but we don't want you to be too good. America tends to vote for people who show progression and consistency. And yes, this was a pretty solid moment, but it didn’t make her seem untouchable. 8.5/10

02. Amber Holcomb
A Moment Like This
Amber, to me, is a true dark horse and there is something that draws people to her and it is often easy to underestimate these hidden qualities. Now, her rendition of A Moment Like This may fell just shy of my high expectations of her, but this was still mighty excellent. I thought the song allowed Ms. Holcomb to show further her vocal strengths especially her ability to do vocals run with great precision. Her range showed up in full force and there's an effortlessness in her upper register that was just outstanding. The staging was beautiful, yet simple, and the song was made to feel less epic, musically, so that the vocals could be the focal point. I loved it. 8.5/10

01. Candice Glover
I (Who Have Nothing)
Dead in the grave! See you in heaven. Bye. HAHA. This was a sensational rendition of I (Who Have Nothing) despite having equally outstanding versions from Jordin Sparks and Haley Reinhart.Viewers of this show are often looking for a water cooler moment and I personally thought they found one tonight. This was by far the strongest performance I have seen all season and we're just starting the Finals. The vocals were powerful and impeccable and the last half was like watching a vocal masterclass. She performed the absolute hell out of this and deliver another stirring vocal that will be named one of the best of the season. This was Candice all guns blazing. 9.5/10 


Curtis Finch Jr
Devin Velez
Janelle Arthur

Who should go? 
Curtis Finch Jr

Who will go?
Curtis Finch Jr


benj said...

hi dam,

is there any chance na iupload mo dito ung studio version ng mga songs? or ang tanong kung may studio version ba sila? hope youll put it here. thanks!

DAM said...

Benj: studio versions will be uploaded today or tomorrow. :)

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