Friday, April 24, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 5

It’s American Idol 14’s Top 5/6 night and the theme is "Arena Anthems" though, let’s face it, it should really have been called "Sing Anything You Want And We'll Just Call It Whatever".

The remaining contestants returned this week and somehow phoned it at least one song each and a couple of people stepped it up, but did so in a big way. Shockingly though, there were some huge missteps I wasn't expecting and some contestants still making beginner's mistakes.

Anyway, let's get on with the rankings!

10. Rayvon Owen
Go Your Own Way
This was a complete and utter train wreck! What happened Rayvon? The pace of the song was rushed, his notes were all over the place, and he was annoyingly cutting his phrases the entire song. Oh, and that last note was too ear-splitting it's not even funny. I hated this performance. 3

09. Tyanna Jones
Party In The USA
I'll give Tyanna little credit for bringing the fun and youth the whole proceedings, but it was a pretty big let down from what I was expecting to be a continued march to frontrunner status. Tonight, she turned in a throwaway performance and her vocals started to get lazy as she hit a few clunkers and loose seams. Did she drop some lyrics as well? She needs a big one every week and it's a shame that she's going to be in big danger next week after this performance. 4

08. Clark Beckham
Possibly Clark's worst performance to date. Yesterday was a bit of a mess. I could tell that he was trying so hard to connect to the song and yet he doesn't seem to find any traction. So while he had some good moments vocally - he did nail some of those dynamic cues - the verses sounded tentative, flat, and hesitant. Plus, the connection was sorely lacking. He actually looked like a wind-up doll during the performance. Strange. 5

07. Nick Fradiani
Harder To Breathe
To be perfectly honest, Harder To Breathe was poised to be such a slam dunk for Nick, and then the band decided to come in like a drunk family relative and ruin the party. I don't know what really happened, but that somehow threw him off and made him lost his focus as the song just melted away. He couldn't recover from that one error. His rhythm sounded off for the most part, he hit a couple of wonky notes during the verses and everything just went uncomfortable. There were some nice flourishes here and there, but that's about it. 5.5

06. Tyanna Jones
She clearly had no idea how to interpret this song because she's, like, twelve years old. Ha. Tyanna needs to stop falling into these American Idol traps. This was not the best song choice for her. Sure, she was on key, on tempo, and the interesting vocal choices were front and center, but the first half was tepid and the second half was good. There. That's as simple as it gets. 5.5

05. Nick Fradiani
Maggie May
It was energetic. It was frenetic and glorious and yadda yadda yadda. It was pure Nick Fradiani. Sadly, I've seen it at least four times before from him. It was good, but frankly, without much substance. He needs to hunker down and find some depth to these self-indulgent performances. I know it's his thing. I get it. But there should be more to it than this, right? 7

04. Jax
Are You Gonna Be My Girl?
Say what you want about Jax and her stubbornness with bold song choices, but at least, she wasn't anywhere near predictable. She was confident, entertaining, and managed to really deliver a fun number. Vocally, it wasn't something my jaw would drop over, but this was a nice little step forward for the young blonde. 7

03. Rayvon Owen
I'm Not The Only One
This Sam Smith hit was a strong song choice for Rayvon's silky and buttery tone, and he actually sang it very well, but I'm starting to wonder if his train has slowed to a halt. There were moments where his voice started to crack, which may or may not be a good thing, and he seemed a little unsure of himself. I don't know if it was part of the whole interpretation given the song choice, but there's an apparent frustration in this performance and that gave an unexpected dimension to the number. 7.5

02. Clark Beckham
Not sure what the judges were on because Boyfriend, though not perfect, was perfectly orchestrated. It was cool, current, and gave Clark the opportunity to bust out some interesting phrasing choices. He kept the pace of the song strong, he didn't rush to the end, which helped enhance the vocals, and the groove was actually pretty good. This was exactly what he needed to do at this point in the competition. 8

01. Jax
White Flag
Clean. Simple. Honest. This was one of Jax's finest moments on the show and this was all about showing us that she's a star. I've heard this song sung a few times already, but no one has ever captured the pure and haunting feeling like Jax. The connection to the lyrics, the phrasing, the interpretation were all spot on. I was completely and utterly and pleasantly taken aback. Perfect point in the competition to catch fire. Maybe Clark got some competition now? 9


Quentin Alexander
Light My Fire
The beginning was a bit muddled and uneven, but the last half was actually pretty good. It was just nice to see him having fun and letting loose, and the smile in his face was kind of refreshing to watch. It wasn't intense like his previous performances. 6.5

Quentin Alexander
Shake It Out
While the first verse was riddled with flat notes, the second half took off and helped remind me how capable Quentin is as a vocalist if he isn't up in his head. His vocals really soared towards the end and I didn't expect him to be able to hold that note in tune. This was a triumphant last performance from Quentin and he'll be missed. 7.5

Tyanna Jones

Tyanna Jones


Anonymous said...

You do realize that Rayvon has been in the bottom for 5 weeks straight. Why do you think Tyanna will go home now? The twitter save is done which basically means, Rayvon WILL still end up getting no votes

Anonymous said...

Yep. I couldn't agree more Anon 10:02. It just sucks that Rayvon gets the lowest votes week by week, then saved nonetheless

DAM said...

Well, I guess I'm right after all. We're not even sure Rayvon gets the lowest vote every week. For all we know, he's been usually the second lowest and scrapes by every week. I'm not the biggest fan of Rayvon, but Tyanna had an off night and she doesn't seem to have the biggest fanbase based on her iTunes sales.

Anonymous said...

Okay DAM, yeah you nailed it with Tyanna going home... though I'm still on the fence if Clark would suffer the same fate next week...

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