Thursday, March 27, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 9

It’s the "I'm With The Band" week - or as they say, sing anything random - at American Idol as the Top 9 took on an array of songs and managed to deliver a relatively solid night where almost all of the contestants were in fine form - ALMOST. Oh, and they had a weird group number at the top of the show, and I somehow wish they focused more on their solo performances.

As for the judges, they were still really good! Again, they managed to stay eerily relevant as they gave a mixture of adequate to great advice and then still show some palpable chemistry between the panel. Good stuff.

On to the rankings!

09. Dexter Roberts
See, this was something Dexter really didn't need to do this week, especially after hitting Bottom 2 last week. The idea that every week he needs to throw in a quirky karaoke hit to have fun with the audience has to stop. It's a good strategy early on, but he's just not creating much of an impact on the competition. Yes, his vocals were fine, but it's fairly mediocre, and on a night where there was absolutely  no train wrecks, Dexter might be in some serious trouble. 5

08. CJ Harris
If It Hadn't Been For Love
This was an adequate performance - A LOT better than the mess that was last week - but like Dexter, there was nothing I could really jump out of my chair and get excited about. It was basic, and his voice sounded muddled and complacent. And while I'd argue that he felt the song and there were little nice moment throughout the number, this wasn't a winning performance. 5.5

07. Alex Preston
Don't Speak
His vocals were good and some of the liberties he took with the melody were really interesting, but the arrangement left me confused with a mixed feeling about the performance. I don't know. It felt artistic and creative and I particularly liked the vocal hesitations, but somehow the song failed to build up to a huge climax, which really hampered the emotional effect of the number. Plus, it all felt very dependable and safe no? 6.5

06. Sam Woolf
Hey There Delilah
With Sam's gorgeous tone and impeccable pitch, I do think he can sing almost anything. His almost stripped down version of Hey There Delilah was, in fact, beautiful with him hitting all his notes precisely and phrasing that just oozed with natural ability. That being said, this felt very calculated and I want him to sing from a place outside of his comfort zone. Don't forget to push yourself, Sam! 7

05. Majesty Rose
Shake It Off
Majesty's such a solid singer with great artistry, but she seems incapable of having a breakout moment right after the travesty that was Let It Go. This performance wasn't a total home run for her - there were a few punches that didn't work and her vocals were slightly uneven - but the look, the feel, and the sound all clicked. I found her verses particularly to be quite outstanding and if the rest of the song was that on point, then I would have been blown away. 7

04. Jessica Meuse
Though not particularly outstanding, Jessica's take on Rhiannon was pretty good. I had reservations prior to this performance due to the simple fact that she has the same timbre of voice as Stevie Nicks, but there's power to her delivery that I haven't seen in a while, there was a good use of dynamics, and she seemed connected with the material. I thought this brought her out of that weird funk that's been swallowing her up the past two weeks. If she can hone her ability to connect to a song more, she'd be unstoppable because she seems to have a great grasp on what she needs to accomplish and sets her goals accordingly. 7

03. Malaya Watson
The Long and Winding Road
Whoa. Who knew she'd be this consistent after Runaway Baby? Look, The Long and Winding Road has been done plenty of times on this show - strangely by the youngest contestants of their seasons - but never quite like this. Malaya gave the tune a subtle, blues-infused take that really made the song fresh and new. The vocals were honest and simple, but there's a maturity to the delivery that was pretty riveting. 7

02. Caleb Johnson
Dazed & Confused
This was a strong song choice, and this theme - no matter how vague - felt custom made for Caleb it isn't even funny. But yes, he owned the stage like a pro! His voice has the power to really lift a verse and he makes each one a different experience. The intensity and passion was palpable and the audience clearly ate it up, his timing especially for a hard song to sing was impressive, and it's almost transfixing. At this point, Caleb is like a snowball rolling down a hill and the other contestants are just harmless twigs in his way. 8

01. Jena Irene
Bring Me To Life
This was a rather predictable song choice for Jena, but that didn't make it any less impressive. Aided by her soulful and rich tone, her version of Bring Me To Life reigned supreme over most of the performances. She looked comfortable engaging with the band and the audience, her transitions were spot on, her vocals were great, and there's a dark quality to her voice that matched the tune perfectly. She really is managing to maintain the momentum week after week. Good job! 8.5


Who should go? 
Dexter Roberts

Who will go?
CJ Harris


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...