Saturday, February 28, 2015

American Idol 14: Top 12 Girls

It's the second day of Semifinals round for American Idol Season 14 as we now welcome the guys to the not-so-shiny-than-usual stage. I was hoping they prepared as the boys were, for the most part, solid, but after Shi Scott note-vomit all over the place, I was terrified. Sorry. It's been 24 hours and I'm still struggling to believe it happened. Haha.

Not sure if this installment was a great improvement from the voice, but there's a good amount of talented girls that took the stage and sang with confidence and swagger.

On with the show!

12. Shi Scott
Yikes. Shi delivered what could be a pitch-tragic version of Umbrella that was literally painful at certain points. There were random notes just spewing from her in a steady stream of terrible that some of it sounded like she was just shouting the words. And what was she thinking with that dress? American Idol is a very conservative show and she should have done her research. No one should expect votes to come in with a see-through dress like that. Seriously. 3

11. Shannon Berthiaume
Who Knew
There's potential for a very interesting growth arc this season for Shannon - especially with that authentic raw sound to her voice - but she made a huge mistake tackling something from P!nk. Some of her lower placement were spotty, her diction was almost non-existent, and the number felt trite and empty. Yes, she's not as polished as some of her competitors, but she needs to step up. Stat. That is if she survives the first cut. 4

10. Lovey James
Love Runs Out
I seriously had high hopes for Lovey - she's a beautiful, spunky, girl who performs like a star and is just made to be on television - but this was certainly not her strongest. The verses were pitched too low and with her lower register never supported during those verses, the entire number sounded messy. There's a youthful energy to her though that's quite infectious, but was it enough? 5

09. Loren Lott
Note To God
This was a bit tricky. She started off sounding like her voice belonged to a little girl playing make-believe pop star with her phrasing a little suspect and her transitions odd, but somehow, the performance improved overtime. Not sure if it was the over-the-top dramatics, but Loren is just simply a committed performer with a good, but not great, instrument, and for her, song choice is key. 5

08. Katherine Winston
Safe & Sound
Poor Katherine. I wasn't expecting her to fail miserably, but her cover of Safe & Sound was just that, safe and sound with a touch of pitch problems here and there. I don't know. There's a haunting quality to her voice that's riveting and I particularly enjoyed that great cry in her voice, but she did not look even slightly comfortable on stage. Her delivery was lifeless, her vocals were uneven as she sacrificed technique for vulnerability and subtlety, and it was just an overall disappointing number from somehow I was expecting to pull off some great stuff. 5.5

07. Maddie Walker
Love Gets Me Everytime
Maddie's performance of this Shania Twain song was remarkably average. Her vocals weren't terrible - her grasp on pitch was probably one of the more consistent - but I somehow didn't buy her having the appropriate attitude and playfulness to carry a song of this magnitude. She did try, yes, but even with that, I can't ignore how sleepy the whole performance made me feel. 6

06. Adanna Duru
Rather Be
Adanna's take on Rather Be was a bipolar mess. She started out nuanced and controlled backed with a lovely tone, interesting phrasing choices, and smart arrangement, everything seemed like she got it all right. Then, she hit the last few bars and things got shouty and incredibly manic. It's a shame as I really found the quiet moments to be quite excellent. 6

05. Alexis Gomez
Gunpowder and Lead
Gunpowder and Lead was a terrific song, but it was also done to death on these shows and the fact that she picked this as her first song felt lazy to me. She did sound solid though and she managed to command the stage with ease especially the breakdown at the middle, but then again, this was still just a superior karaoke rendition of the song. Nothing else. 6.5

04. Jax
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
Despite my internal mistrust for people with one name and the fact that she's sounding more and more like a more affected Ellie Goulding, I can't deny that her version of Bang Bang was solid. I enjoyed the more controlled vocals and her exquisite phrasing during the opening verse, but the grit and edge she showcased when she hit the half part of the number was also quite special. I've never bougt into the hype of Jax, but this was pretty good. 7.5

03. Joey Cook
Somebody To Love
This, to me, was an outstanding way to start off your journey on American Idol and the more I go back and listen to it and watch her interaction with the song the more impressed I become. No, her vocals weren't as strong as say, Sarina or Tyanna, and she's as quirky as one can get on this show, but Joey is a different type of contestant squarely riding her own lane. She's memorable and possibly the most refreshing one in the bunch. 7.5

02. Tyanna Jones
Lips Are Movin'
Tyanna Jones, once again, looked like she belonged on that stage. Seriously. The happy energy, the confidence, the connection with the audience; it all boiled down to another very good performance. She drives every song she touches rather than let the song drive her. I'm now more eager to watch a softer side of her soon as the past performances have been fun and upbeat, but mainly fluff. She's obviously one of the better female contestants this season so it's time to make a move and do something bold and unexpected. 7.5

01. Sarina Joi-Crowe
Mama Knows Best
One of the only competitors of the night to enter that arena ready to do battle. Mama Know Best was another strong vocal moment for Sarina and I'm always impressed by her ability to toe the line between doing to much and doing too little. I have no more words. Simply fantastic. 8.5

Shi Scott
Shannon Berthiaume
Lovey James
Loren Lott

Shi Scott
Shannon Berthiaume
Katherine Winston
Alexis Gomez


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