Thursday, March 13, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 11

Tonight was Songs From The Movies or as some contestants figured, Songs Kris Allen covered. Haha. While there were a couple of great performances tonight, I'm still baffled at how underwhelming this season is becoming. I don't think they're the best batch EVER, but they need to be consistent to even make a good impression as a group.

But, I digress. Some of them need to regroup and rethink of their strategy. I'm looking at you, Majesty. It's not enough to keep turning in decent performances. One needs to show momentum on the program, otherwise people wouldn't feel encouraged to vote. My ranking this week wasn't completely about "who sang the best", but who made the best strategic choices and who took the biggest step forward down the road to becoming the next American Idol.

So, without further ado, on with the ranking!

11. Majesty Rose
Let It Go
It's sad to think about how powerful Majesty once was in this competition, but now she's on a freefall. Look, she has lots of musicality and I really dig her style, but this song choice was fairly moronic. Let It Go was a ridiculously strange number to add to her faltering repertoire especially when she clearly doesn't have the range to pull it off. This wasn't her at all and the bloodbath the judges gave her was completely undeserved. I'd say, this is a contestant who wasn’t put here because of her voice, but because of her artistry! Now, there’s nothing left but a shell of a young lady who just can’t sing that well. The clock is ticking and it wouldn’t shock me to see her gone tomorrow. 3

10. MK Nobilette
To Make You Feel My Love
The good news? To Make You Feel My Love was the perfect song choice for MK. The bad news? It felt like she was singing it on a float in Disneyland. She has a tendency to walk around the stage like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo and I find it almost impossible to get invested in her as a contestant. We want to root for the competitor because they inspire us, but MK tends to make me shrug and push her away. Not good. 5

09. Ben Briley
Bennie and the Jets
I'm starting to really find myself bored with Ben's sappy cheese-infused vocal stylings. It's just become too much. Add to that the weak falsetto towards the end and awkward phrasing and we received yet again another uneven performance. Then again, he's yet to land in the Bottom 3, so maybe he's doing just fine no? 5.5

08. Dexter Roberts
Sweet Home Alabama
This, once again landed Dexter in the middle of the pack. He seems to have only two gears: brilliant and mediocre. Sure, that’s better than dropping stinker after stinker onto the Idol stage every week, but this song was so completely uneventful that I was tempted to take a nap. I knew exactly how this performance would go because I’ve seen him do this type of song several times already. Good vocals, nothing special. Next. 6

07. Sam Woolf
Come Together
At least, he looked like he was seriously trying no? I admit, watching Sam try to sell this song was a tad uncomfortable - like he was being forced to sing it to stop someone from killing his dog - but I can't deny the fact that vocally, this was spot on and confident. It showed that he's very much in command of his instrument as his pitch was just outstanding, and that it was overall a good enough effort from Sam. Was it something I'd remember next week? Not at all. But like I said, at least he's trying to be better. 6.5

06. Jessica Meuse
Sound of Silence
A very gorgeous Jessica took the stage to sing Sound of Silence. The first half was absolutely beautiful with vocal inflections that sounded lovely and some interesting phrasing. Unfortunately, at some point in the middle, something happened. The band came in and ruined her performance. Everything became real rough around the edges and the pitch started to falter. Why can't they just have something more intimate and not include the band? Same thing happened to Majesty last week right? 6.5

05. Malaya Watson
I Am Changing
When I first heard that Malaya had decided to sing this song, well, I was a bit confused. I didn't think she had a strong enough pipes to really carry the power of the song. But I was so relieved when she managed to pull it all off. This was again another control vocal performance with enough power and soul to make the whole thing work. A fairly strong showing from Ms. Watson. 7.5

04. CJ Harris
Can't You See
The vocals were strong and consistent, disregarding a few slip ups here and ther, the performance was well-crafted, and his powerful scratchy rasp matched the song perfectly. Can't You See allowed him to shocase his country almost bluesy tone to a better degree, and still left room for some nuance. This was, by far, his best performance of the season. I get this feeling that CJ is quietly slipping through under the radar and waiting for the perfect theme week to make his move. He’s a wily one, and I wouldn’t discount him yet. 7.5

03. Alex Preston
Falling Slowly
This wasn't as good as Kris Allen's version a couple of years back, but Alex turned in possibly one of his most consistent vocal performances of the season. Falling Slowly was a note-to-note achievement for him and the liberties he took with the melody especially that cascading notes towards the end was quite spectacular. It's raw, haunting and beautiful. Oh, and that little bit of flair thrown on top of his delivery was pretty interesting to watch. 8

02. Caleb Johnson
Caleb delivered a very old-school American Idol performance that relied purely on impressive vocals and very little artistry. Now, after saying that, his vocals were very impressive! He is becoming this contestant who clearly just wants to go on stage, let loose, and rock out. But while Skyfall lacked some of the star power of some of his previous performances, this was still an incredibly solid one. Also, his placement this evening was pretty spot on that it really let some clarity shine through in his upper register. Bravo. 8.5

01. Jena Irene
This was every bit as haunting as Alex Preston's Falling Slowly and every bit as vocally impressive as Caleb's Skyfall. Yes, this was very good. See, I don't care if this season isn’t up to everyone’s standards because it just takes one contestant to prove how important this program is to America. Jena is a force to be reckoned with after this performance and Decode is probably one of her finest moments. It was a savvy performance, and she has now clearly locked down a particular style. 8.5


Who should go? 
Majesty Rose

Who will go?
MK Nobilette


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