Thursday, April 3, 2014

American Idol 13: Top 8

It’s Audition Songs week on American Idol and the verdict is in.. What! A! Night!This episode was terrible for me! How am I supposed to make fun of one of the most impressive episodes this season. After watching this episode, I just stared at my monitor and asked myself, "What the hell do I do now?" Haha. Sure, I came up with a ranking, but even the person at the bottom of my list turned in a better than average performance. What got into these kids?

Oh, and we got to hear for the first time EVER original songs on the show and the results were more than surprising.  Also, I have a funny feeling that we may see a surprise entry in the bottom three tomorrow. Luckily, we still have the save. I believe you could make an argument for 6 out of the 8 to be saved no?

On to the rankings!

08. CJ Harris
Despite the improvement in terms of his pitch from previous performances, this still ended up being the only truly underwhelming performance of the evening. In my opinion, the rest of my rankings were fairly close because I truly believed many of them did a great job. Yes, CJ still seemed really connected with the material and there's so much passion in his delivery, but when he began to lose his pitch and started singing sharp again, his performance sounded a bit all over the place. I could see that there was a conscious effort to keep his intonation in check, but it was still present. 6.5

07. Caleb Johnson
Chain of Fool
Caleb sang a very interesting version of Chain of Fool and managed to stay true to himself while at the same time succeeding with the song choice. He turned in another highly stylized performance that certainly allowed him to deliver some nice vocal tricks, but Harry was right, he needs to change things up or he'd be in serious trouble of becoming predictable and boring. Look, David Cook and Adam Lambert didn't go far with just wailing every week. They showed a great deal of dynamics throughout the season, and that what Caleb needs to do. 7.5

06. Malaya Watson
Ain't No Way
I must applaud Malaya on choosing such a difficult technical number and pulling it off. Vocally, there were a few rough moments during the verses and some of her runs were a little overwrought, but there were moments of beauty in her voice tonight and she sold the performance with grit and passion. Again, this was yet another step to the right direction for Malaya as she hoist herself out of the hole she  and I'm genuinely happy to see her growth arc. 7.5

05. Sam Woolf
Lego House
A stunning rendition of Lego House, which managed to combine Sam's ridiculously fantastic tone and pitch and slight intimacy into one number. It allowed him to let loose with some vocal melodies and the placement of each notes were crystal clear. He still has this plastered "deer in the headlights" look that was stealing some of the fire away from his performance, but I somehow think that Sam's definitely finding his confidence. 7.5

04. Dexter Roberts
One Mississippi
There were no big risks taken on Dexter's rendition of One Mississippi, but it was a pretty strong performance. It's got a nice country vibe and it really allowed for the audience to sigh and say "Aww". Haha. But seriously, this was exactly what Dexter needed to do this week. He needed to sit down and deliver an intimate and honest vocal performance and he should feel proud of what he delivered. Oh, and the harmonies Allison Iraheta provided during this performance was sublime - yes, I just want to put it out there. Haha. 7.5

03. Jena Irene
Rolling In The Deep
Wow. I love the song and I have heard it sung on American Idol - and other singing reality competition - a few times, but no one has ever captured the haunting feeling of the song like Jena Irene. The connection to the lyrics, the phrasing, the interpretation, the arrangement, and the vocals were ALL spot on. This allowed her to connect on a visceral level and I liked that it started off slow and passionate, and then heated to a full boil. I was completely and utterly and pleasantly taken aback. 8.5

02. Alex Preston
Gorgeous! When Alex stood there and sung those awesome lyrics and fantastic melody, I couldn't help but be excited for him. The song he wrote was a beautiful match to his haunting tone and the way he was caressing each work and phrase tenderly was riveting to watch. He allowed himself the vulnerability to back off a note or two, allow a few vocal cracks, and create an honesty that so many of these American Idol performances often lack. This was Alex at his finest. 9

01. Jessica Meuse
Blue Eyed Lie
Pure. Fierce. Very. Cool. Stuff. This was an absolutely beautiful song written by Jessica and there's a confidence to her delivery that I haven't seen from her before. She's obviously in her element and it showed. The opening verse with sparse instrumentation was a good touch, and when the band kicked in, there's an urgency to the melody that was terrific. Oh, and that soulful wailing at the middle and impassioned pleas was flawless. Just like Alex, this was Jessica at her finest. 9


Who should go? 
CJ Harris

Who will go?
CJ Harris


Anonymous said...

He needs to go. Being a wildcard I thought he's overstaying a bit.

Anonymous said...

Only Jessica Meuse is worthy to be a contender among the Alabama kids. CJ and Dexter must go.

Anonymous said...

and I couldn't agree more! I just don't get it why so many people voted for him to stay in the competition (along with, ugh, oh god, Dexter). yeah, and I'm still bragging about Majesty's elimination last week. uber fail

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