Okay, so I know everyone seems to be excited about Billy Joel Week. And, I’m not a huuuge fan, but he’s got a great collection of songs and some I very much enjoy. And yet…is he even remotely relevant to these kids? To us–to me–in today’s music anyway? Not so much. (Is he even making music anymore? How long has it been? I mean, Steven Tyler, Bruce, a lot of folks from his–my–era are still relevant because they’re still making music. Billy? Again…really?) So, I was really disappointed with this theme and I’m not sure the kids will really bring the depth to this that Billy did. Guess we’re gonna find out!
Tommy Hilfiger is styling the kids this week. They do look better, so there is that.
Diddy is the guest mentor this week, sitting in with Jimmy Iovine, and given how many performers and artists he’s groomed in his career, I expected him to be really good. He does have some quality content to his guidance, but, overall, I wasn’t as wowed by him as I’ve been by the previous two mentors.
DeAndre – Only the Good Die Young. Yay, we start with a song I know and enjoy. He sings fine, keeps it light and fun, if not particularly inspired. (No falsetto for the first time ever….which wasn’t necessarily a good thing.) But he doesn’t have the depth to remotely interpret this song believably. That and his first up position tonight might put him in danger. Judges were kinder than I thought they would be.
Erika Van Pelt does New York State of Mind. Being slightly older than the other contestants, and having a more bluesy voice, she might do better with this than the others. Will it lift her from the bottom and bring her votes? We’ll see. The bigger thing was Tommy’s makeover for her. Wow! What a huge change!! For the way better. She looks like a completely different person. Her clothes are incredibly flattering as well. She sings it beautifully, even though it’s not as recognizable a song, so might lose a little with audience that way. But there wasn’t anything more she could have done. If this doesn’t get her out of the bottom, she’s done. Judges loved it.
Joshua Ledet sings She’s Got a Way in black tie. Sharp. He doesn’t know the song, so he’ll take it and move it into his wheelhouse, more gospel. (Why didn’t he do River of Dreams with full gospel choir? He could have killed that! I wonder if that’s the group song….) He starts seated, which….hmm. I don’t know that that helps him. Get up, Joshua. And…he does. Unfortunately, it’s still really kind of boring, even though he gives it “the treatment” and he does get the choir and get into it by the end. But it was largely unrecognizable, making these songs sound even more dated than I expected them, too…and I actually know them. I can’t imagine the youngsters out there are really connecting to this at all. Which means they’ll just vote on who they think is cute. Sigh. The judges get it just right. Mostly because they completely agree with me.
Skylar sings Shameless, but mostly I’m just wanting Tommy to fix her up. Like…a lot. Again with the starting off sitting. When she gets up….I’m not sure the swoops of fabric around her hips does her any favors, but she’s way more polished anyway. Hair/makeup nice improvement. Now…either I don’t know this song at all, or she’s countried it up to the point that I don’t (not in a bad way.) But….I just feel kind of lost and left out of it. It’s boring. I like the nights when I identify more- WAY more – with the music being sung, that I can follow along because I know it and feel it. And if I don’t know it, then get me involved. This? Is SO not that night. Billy Joel’s raw emotion is what sells his music and these kids aren’t Billy like that. It’s just…a big miss for me. They sing this stuff perfunctorily, so It’s like speed bump night. Just get over it. Crowd loves her, judges like her talent well enough, but more despite the song rather than because of it.
Me? I start to nod off…..
Elise Testone sings Vienna. Sigh. Bottom 3 for two weeks and she picks one of Billy’s songs that he’s probably even forgotten. It’s not going to matter what kind of transformation Tommy gives her (and she needs one even more than Erika), or how hugely she kills it on stage. I will go so far as to say automatic bottom 3, before she even sings, just on choice alone. ::shakes head….:: She doesn’t follow Tommy’s advice and looks like she always does (why not just go straight home now?) However! Of all the singers tonight, accompanied by piano and accordion, she gets the closest of anyone to imbuing the song with the same kind of emotion that Billy does. She gets a standing O from the judges, the crowd goes wild. So…it’s truly unfortunate that she’s going to go home this week. But she will.
Phil Squared is up, singing Movin’ Out. Yay, finally a song I know! What’s up the wads of paper stuck in his ears as he talks to Ryan up front? ?? Then it’s off to Tommy, who seriously wants him to stop dressing like he buys his clothes at the pawn shop he used to work in. I’m thinking it will be a task to get anything with color on this guy. And Diddy almost has a complete emotional break trying to get an upbeat performance out of Phillip. (Um, has he watched this guy? It’d be like asking Neil Young to boogie. Not happening.) Phil will feeeel this song when he’s on stage, for sure, but…. Ah, I’ll just wait. So…I’m glad he keeps the guitar this time. (Though it was an epic fail for Tommy as Phil does nothing to improve his look. Sorry, Tommy. I was so hopeful.) He does a really Phil job on the song, completely rearranges it (figures, the one song I could get involved with….) and, I get that, for him, it’s brilliant and everyone will lose their mind over it. And if you dig him you should. It was smart and brave and it worked. I just…for me…it wasn’t my thing. Of course, other than the major exception last week, he usually isn’t my thing. So, just ignore me. (Hey! I heard that!) He’ll get a landslide of votes this week, and I think he totally earned them. (Just because I don’t care for it, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the artistry of it.) Comparatively, he and Elise have done the most with the challenge tonight. (And Steven tossing him his glittery scarf was hilarious. I’d vote just for that.)
Diddy gets better as the night goes on.
Hollie gets Honesty, which she will kill even if she just imbues it more with her power than his rawness…but I’m still goggling at how she suddenly has this, well..this rack. I mean, she’s tiny and the girls, they were up and present in that top. Agreed all around that last week’s dress was hideous, but this might have careened in the other direction. I do love the svelte white suit though, and the glam hair. Sharp! And sure, she belts it out, though her S’s are all kind of sh’d up. Not sure what that’s about. Still, she stays right in her wheelhouse. Exciting? Eh, not really. But she does everything she can with it. The end was oddly weird, but I doubt she’s in trouble. Now, put those boobs away before you poke an eye out! Judges were accurately critical.
Happy Hailey is back to sing tomorrow night!
HeeJun is up next singing My Life. Well, that could be interesting. Diddy doesn’t get his dry humor–at all–which makes it even more hilarious. And then Tommy doesn’t get it either. Like, to the point that, I think by the time they were done, Tommy wanted to disavow himself from whatever the hell HeeJun might wear. Amusing here at at home, but, for HeeJun’s sake, I….just don’t know what’s gonna happen. Okay, so I thought the fake open was fantastic and totally HeeJun. I loved that he went for the uptempo and just had fun, as well as chose a song to kind of bravado his way through last week’s critiques in a funny way. However–and it’s a big one–his voice wasn’t there for this kind of song, which ends up making it seem more like he’s mocking it, and the judges comments, than getting into it and making his rebel statement with a grin. Which was his intent. I’m afraid the judges will crush him…but the fans appreciated the effort. You can’t say he didn’t take a risk and go for it! He gets my vote just for not being boring. THANK YOU!
So, wow, it’s clear even before the first word that Steven is pissed. Which is hilarious since he’s the rebel rocker who should totally appreciate something like this. JLo and Randy temper it a little, and keep it real. Which will likely pump the votes. All in all…what the hell else was he supposed to do? Another ballad? Not after last week. I think this was perfect choice, just wish the voice had matched the effort.
Next up, Jessica Sanchez who gets Everybody Has a Dream (zzzzz) and is really the only one who doesn’t need Tommy, but who will most appreciate him. So, she’ll just do the same thing Hollie did. Even if she does the less is more Diddy thing, it’s not going to matter. No matter how believable she makes it, it’s still going to be ballad zzzzzz. I just want this week to be over, so we can at least listen to her powerhouse through something we want to otherwise hear. She gets a standing O, but….you know…been there, sang that. And she did, and she does, and she will. Hope she doesn’t get Pia’d at some point…but I think it’s possible.
We end the night with Colton, who also already knows his style, which….I won’t comment on, but skinny pants and white skunk streak and what else matters? So, Tommy could sit this one out, too. He takes on Piano Man and takes on the piano. I hope he nails it because this is about as close to a perfect match as possible. Nice way to close out the show. The key he opens in is kind of rough, but I know he goes there so he can build into the rest of the song. He does a great job with it. I’m not a weekly Colton fan, but like Phil last week, Colton got me this week. Would I download it? No. But he did a great job with it and it was a relief to end the show with a SONG I ACTUALLY KNOW. And singing it in a recognizable way. You get votes just for that.
So, these kids are talented to the point that no theme week will throw them. However, I would like to not just appreciate their talent, but be truly entertained by the songs they get to sing. So please, Nigel, for the love of all that’s Billboard, PLEASE go to a better place next week.
Moments tonight…Colton, Elise & Phil. Phil & Colton will stay. Elise will be in the bottom with Erika, again. They’re beyond rescuing, I believe, from the voters who have already latched on to the cutie patootie boys and powerhouse girls. Who will join them? Possibly DeAndre, but just as possibly Joshua. I doubt it will be Hollie, Skylar, or Jessica…or HeeJun. So….we’ll see! DeAndre might have a better lock on the tweens, which is where Joshua, when he performs early and doesn’t have that huge, memorable moment, will be vulnerable. So I lean toward him this week. Going home, though? I’m pretty sure it will be Elise.
Will I nail it three weeks running? I dunno. It will get trickier and trickier when Elise and Erika are gone. Will HeeJun and DeAndre go after that as you’d imagine? Or will it be Joshua? WIll Jessica or Hollie get Pia’d? I think we’ll see some very interesting ups and downs in the Bottom 3 in coming weeks!
What did you think? And did you enter this week’s contest? Check out Tuesday’s blog post for the details! Winners announced tomorrow! For all the latest dish, chat, and Harem Hunks, head up to the top of the page and join me on Facebook & Twitter! Then come back here and DISH!!