Thursday, April 24, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 6

It's Country and Rock week as the Top 6 took on an array of classics - or something to that effect - and managed to deliver yet another night where almost all of the contestants were in fine form. I genuinely didn't expect much from them, but it was actually a relatively strong night. As usual, there were lights flashing, cheering fans, and, as of recently, the obligatory close up shot of Jennifer Lopez's stank face. Haha. But yeah, that happened.

Anyway, Let us take a look at what the top 6 had in store for us tonight and who ended up on top and who might be leaving us this week!

On to the rankings!


06. Alex Preston
So why exactly did the judges give him a free pass this week despite delivering a pretty mediocre version of Neon Trees' Animal? I admit, I did like the idea that Alex did something more fun for a change, but after he sang, I just sat on  my chair and stared. I looked around to see if someone was playing a trick on me because this was overly underwhelming. The performance was a little manic, his breath support was poorly maintained, and it was just incredibly lackluster. He could've done something a lot better than this. 6

05. CJ Harris
American Woman
Weird. There's something about this performance that worked for me. I'm obviously not a big CJ fan as his vocals are unfortunately sharp most of the time, but the melody, the production, and the sheer quality of his tone somehow masked that flaw during this number. No, it still wasn't that great, but at least, this was a lot more entertaining and he somehow pulled it off. Oh yes, I'm grading him now on a curve. Fair? Maybe not, but I digress. 6.5

04. Jessica Meuse
Somebody To Love
Her verses weren't as solid as usual, but when she hit the chorus, the groove was there and her vocals soared. I particularly enjoyed the nice rasp she added to her vocals, which gave the whole number more character and edge. There's intensity to her delivery that's pretty compelling to watch, so I didn't understand, for the love of God, what Keith was saying about "a little more release" from Jessica. 7.5

03. Sam Woolf
It's Time
It was great to hear Sam do something with a more driving beat and he sang it with such conviction and fantastic intonation that I have to applaud him. This kid wants to go down swinging and he plans on landing a few punches before his body hits the floor. Sure, this week was pretty much out of his wheelhouse, but he still managed to deliver something different. 7.5

02. Jena Irene
This was again a very well done performance. There were a few moments where her breath support wavered and she mumbled some of her words, but when her vocals soared, we were left looking at a phoenix rising from the ashes. Jena didn't deviate much from the original, but for some weird reason, this didn't sound karaoke at all. Barracuda just gave her a great opportunity to strut around and belt out some brilliant notes. 8

01. Caleb Johnson
Sting Me
Who knew he had this kind of range? That last note was a huge risk for Caleb because if you don’t have the pipes to hit that note, the judges will fillet you like you were the secret ingredient on Iron Chef, but he actually nailed it. True, we've seen him do something like this before and we know he's a very dependable vocalist, but there's something about this number that seemed effortless and yet maintained the power. Plus, his stage presence was just outstanding. 9 


06. CJ Harris
Whatever It Is
That's right! He returned to his roots, and by roots, I don’t mean Country music, but singing spectacularly off-key. After watching this ridiculous train wreck, I can't help but be annoyed. We're already at Top 6, and yet his notes were all over the place and it was an awful key. Just awful. Sure, CJ has a unique tone, but so were disco goldfish shoes. That doesn't mean I want to spend money on them. 4

05. Sam Woolf
You're Still The One
This was a decent showing from Sam. He sang You're Still The One and managed to pull out a couple of nice liberties to the melody towards the end, but the way he performed it was a little too tentative for my liking. It was weird to see him walk around with his usual blank stare and sing perfectly. I get what Harry was saying. He's now coming off as a robot, if that makes sense. 6

04. Jena Irene
So Small
I didn't like the arrangement. I thought it started in a weird place, the great melody of So Small got lost with the way she phrased the song, and somehow her vocals weren't as spot on as I expected. Not sure what happened, but Jena somehow got into the pressure with this one. This wasn't terrible, by any means, but for her standards, this was a bit underwhelming. 6.5

03. Caleb Johnson
Undo It
I figured out my big problem with Caleb. He has reached his ceiling and we all know it. So, performing something as generic and similar to Sting Me as this would seem lazy, no? Don't get me wrong, this was still pretty solid with his usual fantastic showmanship and nice vocals - although some of the lower notes were falling off the table - and I thought this was another strong outing for Caleb. 7

02. Alex Preston
Always On My Mind
This was an astounding example of how great a ballad can sound when it's prepared with thought. This was technically beautiful and emotionally powerful as he managed to locked in the soul of this number. It's haunting and lovely. Nothing more to say. 8.5 

01. Jessica Meuse
Jolene had to have been one of Jessica's best performances in the competition and to be able to just stand on that stage and sing with fierce intensity was pretty impressive. She sounded incredible and accessible, the arrangement was terrific, and there's a palpable connection between Jessica and the song that it's exciting to watch. Bravo, Jessica! 9


Who should go? 
CJ Harris

Who will go?
CJ Harris


Anonymous said...

Love both of Jessica's performances tonight! It was pretty good night, saw few good moments there. Alex botched his first round but came strong in his second round. Jena was awesome as always, and I didn't realise she botched her Carrie's performance. Sam finally was getting better, so does Jessica. I'd rather put Jessica's over Sam's though in Rock round though.

- K

Anonymous said...

I love the voice quality of Caleb, Sam and Jessica. Hopefully AI will do a concert here in Manila again coz Malaya's in the top 10.

Anonymous said...

Caleb is definitely winning this show but rockers usually get the shock boot. Hopefully he won't end up like Chris Daughtry and the people of North Carolina do their best this time to save him up to the finale. Well, they supported Scotty in S10 so they can do it again. He can be the male version of Candice who auditioned thrice then win. Hehe. I just don't know if he can sell well after Idol though. Well, if he can release an album during the fall maybe he can have a good debut week.

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