It’s been a crazy week of teaching classes and work overload so I’ve been away from the blog, (which was killing me because Once Upon a Time, Amazing Race, AND Good Wife were killer this past Sunday! ) But I’m back and ready for some American Idol action!
And boy, did this week deliver…and not all the action was on the stage. Some of it was taking place down at the po-lice station. (Go back and read my last Idol round up and see what I had to say about Mr. Jermaine. Mmm hmm. Just sayin!)
So, our theme is the infamous Song from the Year you were Born. And how is it even possible that there are contestants on this show that were born in the mid 90’s and are out of diapers? Because, I haven’t aged a bit and the 90’s were like, last week. Dang.
We get Wil.i.am as the mentor and he was great last season, so solid follow up to Mary J from last week.
First up, we get PhilSquared and find out that his kidney stone problems sound like one in a possible list of things he’d dealt with in life since being a preemie who almost didn’t make it. So, doesn’t it just figure, that, fresh out of surgery–seriously–he comes out and rocks Hard to Handle and, for the first time, I really like him. I mean, I really like him. Not that I wish the guy another minute of pain in his life, but dude….sing like that some more, k?
Then it’s Jessica Sanchez (front loading the night with the Big Vote Getters, I see….) She’s adorable from birth, because, duh. And I keep forgetting she’s only 16. How is that possible? With that voice? Again, it must be said: Dang. Singing Turn the Beat Around from 1995. (No, really. ’95.) Wil.i.am is losing his mind listening to her, so I guess we’re in for a treat. I like this song, so should be fun. And it is! It’s also funny, because she is such a strong power ballad singer, but she e-nun-ci-ates so clearly, that it cracked me up that she was rocking it out all over the place, and yet being so deliberate with every single syllable (which, with the speed of this song, is pretty much insane.) The “love to hear it” pointy-to-the-ear thing got old though. Otherwise, she power balladed this pop tune hard core. I agree with Steven, it’s not really her deal, she doesn’t have that kind of a pop voice, but it was entertaining! It was good to see them give her constructive criticism, because she’s madd skill’d, but everyone can grow.
Aw, how sweet are Hee Jun’s parents? Seriously adorability. I love them THIS MUCH! Cutest thing ever. (And I love how Hee Jun is with the mentors. He gives total respect, is such a fanboy, but then messes with them, too. Cracks me up.) I hope I like his singing this week, because I enjoy the heck out of him. He sings Richard Marx’s Waiting For You. It strains his voice, and it was a bit breathier than I like, a bit sharp here and there…so…will be interesting to see how he fares. I think he’s still safe. He hit the big notes and closed it really well. Love his bows. And his parents are the cuteness. Come on, America! Give the kid another week.
Elise, singing Let’s Stay Together, got great feedback from Wil.i.am and most excellent duet snippage with our President. Ha! I do like the vibe she goes for and the switch up, and she has the voice for it, does a great job with it…and yet the whole time I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working for me. I think it all sounded really affected and try-too-hard-y. I don’t know. All the elements were there, but I wasn’t buying what she was selling. A shame, because it could have turned things around for her. And maybe it will with America, just not with me. However…. HUGE step up from last week!
How hilariously adorable is Deandre with his cute little 76 Trombone outfit? TOO adorable, that’s how much. Singing Endless Love after Wil.i.am makes him give up his Elton/Disney song, he doesn’t look too enthused, but… All I know is he’s fine to look at, and he sounds real pretty. So…I’m good. I thought it was interesting that he came out and started, sounded pitch perfect and gorgeous, but he was just kind of making his way through it…until he hit that first light falsetto and the girls audibly swooned…and then he perked right up and was totally into it after that. So…I’m still good, and well done you, my winsome forest creature!
Shannon sings Mariah’s One Sweet Day. Alternately kills it and doesn’t. Judges like it. Not so much for me. I thought Deandre sang better, and not just because I like looking at him more than I like looking at Shannon, but she gets the madd props. I dunno. Better than last week, but I still think she’s in trouble.
Colton sings Broken Heart by White Lion. Yeah, you’ve never heard of it, or them, either. He puts on a good performance. But Daughtry is right. Pick a song the audience knows. Next week, he will. He’ll be back for sure.
So, we’re past halfway for the night, and though they’re doing a decent job, overall, no bombs or anything, they’re all too talented for that…but the evening lacks an exciting punch performance. So far…
Erika’s up next. My hopes for the big bang, they do not soar. She’s singing Ryan Adams’ Heaven. Sigh. It’s good for her, but my god, I could more time in my life without hearing that song ever again. So, there’s that. Cool entry with the steps behind her on the screen. She does a really good job…but it’s kind of like Shannon, it doesn’t have that “it” thing that’s going to keep her here in a field of equally talented singers who do happen to have “it.” Whatever “it” is….
I do agree with JLo that the kids are styled better this week!
Then we get the Jermaine Story and find out he’s got a few criminal charges hanging over his head… Four of them, actually. They handled it quasi-kindly. I mean, they were all gentle in how they handled telling him….all while the camera’s were rolling, of course, which they then shared with the world. So…a regrettable situation, dude, but hey, we’re also going to milk this puppy for all the mileage we can get out of it. (Rather than just announce he’s gone and move on.) Not remotely surprising, but…just unfortunate all the way around. I realize by not telling them he opened himself up to this, and, of course, they could have been far, far worse in dealing with him, but still…just distasteful. I hope Jermaine uses this to get his act together, but the global humiliation is going to be a part of the getting through it that might make that a bit more challenging.
Skylar is next up with Love Sneaking Up on You by Bonnie Raitt, which should be a good fit. Jimmy and Wil try–again–to sway her to a different song, as they have so often tonight, but she sticks with. I’m glad she did. I think the mentors this week weren’t as spot on with advice this week as Mary J was last week. Skylar does a good job and she gives great performance, so it’s an uptick for the night, overall, if not a big game changer.
Now, it’s Joshua’s turn. I think everyone was surprised at his bottom finish last week, so he gets the penultimate spot this week. Good thing! What he’s wearing, I have NO idea, but okay. He’s singing When a Man Loves a Woman, via Michael Bolton. And? THAT is how you bring it. Finally, A Big Moment. I’m sure sitting there live it had to be crazy. He definitely brought it. Hard.
Hollie Cavanaugh sings Celine. She kind of springboards right into the meat of it, so it doesn’t build to the Big Moment, but kind of starts with it and then stays there. Definitely handled the song all over the place, but after Joshua’s more emotional performance, it was a nice finish to the night.
All in all…a really tricky week, I think. Nothing went horribly awry but it was a lot of just….um-okay kinda performances.
Top 3, for me? PhilSquared (I know!), Joshua, and Colton.
Jessica, Hollie, Skylar, Hee Jun & Deandre I think will all be safe.
So, that leaves our Bottom 3…I think we’re going to see Shannon, Erika, and despite a good performance, Elise this week.
Will I nail it two weeks in a row? Hard call with this crew. But it does keep it interesting!
What did you think? Who stays? Who goes? It’s time to DISH!