Oh. My. Word. 2 hours! This show takes so much of time commitment!
(Also, did anyone else thinks Ryan’s opening about Jermaine’s dismissal was a bit over the top?)
(And also: What was Steven Tyler wearing?! He has lots of big ol’ granny hats.)
Anyway, on with the show. The contestants will be singing songs from the year the contestants were born. Which basically means I’m going to feel old, because some contestants were born when I was in high school. Sigh.
Phillip Phillips “Hard to Handle” (1990)
• I’m not a Phillip Phillips fan, but great song choice for his voice.
• Seriously, the way he sings at the back of his throat and all in his vocal chords with no chest voice makes me crazy.
• I’ll never love him, but it was good. The performance wasn’t AMAZING and a bit understated as far as performances go, but he should definitely stay around.
(Judges loved it.)
Jessica Sanchez “Turn the Beat Around” (1995)
• So, yeah. I was in high school.
• I think this is a weird song choice, but OK. She starts with a ton of vibrato that I wasn’t crazy about.
• I like her, but she relied a little too much on the screamy, growly thing in parts of this performance.
• Otherwise, big voice and an energetic performance. And if sequined high-waisted pants were appropriate for my job, I’d totally wear them!
(Judges knocked her song choice and rhythm and called her out on her vibrato.)
Heejun Han “Right Here Waiting” (1989)
• Heejun made a smart choice, picking a song that works with the raspy softness in his voice.
• I’m not sure he should have messed with the melody and he just didn’t seem all on. Enunciation is still a bit of a problem for Heejun, but his modulation was nice and smooth.
• He may not be a polished performer and there are more rough edges in his performances than some of the others, but he is passionate.
(Judges were a little split: all said he struggled with the song and notes, but that he really felt the song.)
Elise Testone “So in Love with You” (1983)
• This is SO much better than last week. Girl is just showing off this week!
• I have a few enunciation problems with Elise. Sometimes she’s just lazy and doesn’t really open her mouth for each word and slurs them all together. That’s fine when this song goes into the jazzier feel, but not in the early verses.
• Good song choice, good performance, way to come back!
(Judges loved it.)
Deandre Brackensick “Endless Love” (1994)
• This is better than his first song choice (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight”), but he is still not my favorite.
• Some rough places when he’s jumping registers. And he flops his hair around too much. And some notes were a bit grating and his falsetto is just weird. Not his best performance.
• OK, this is going to be a little harsh: but who is voting for this kid? And how is his music current? I mean, who is going to buy an entire album of his? Not me.
(Judges didn’t love it and questioned the song choice.)
Shannon Magrane “One Sweet Day” (1995)
• How did I miss that Shannon’s dad was a pitcher FOR THE CARDINALS?
• I’m not sure this was the right song for her. The beginning wasn’t bad, but she seemed a little unsure. Her confidence seemed to grow after she got to the chorus, but some of it seemed forced, her falsetto run wasn’t very polished, but she did leave us with some nice notes on the end.
(Judges said she did a good job.)
Colton Dixon “Broken Heart” (1991)
• I have no memory of this song. At. All.
• Colton kind of has a Coldplay feel and he definitely has stage presence. His modulation/scream was great, but truly, this song was kind of bland. Basically the same lyrics over and over. It was a great performance and everything, but I want him to be amazing, and he just wasn’t. It felt like it was in a weird place for his voice for the whole song.
(Jennifer commenting on people looking pretty when they sing is SPOT ON. There are some voices I love, but hate to watch the people sing because of the facial contortions.)
Erika Van Pelt “Heaven” (1985)
• From the beginning, I’m a little weirded out by how she’s syncopated this song. And for most of the song her face doesn’t seem to match what she’s singing.
• I want to like her. But she pushes her voice too much and sometimes I’m not sure that she’s sure about the notes she’s hitting.
• Great song choice, but the performance was lackluster.
(Judges picked on her for pulling away from the melody and being too busy with it. Agree totally.)
Ryan finally announces that Jermaine Jones has been dismissed from the show because of information obtained with the help of law enforcement. Apparently he has about 4 warrants out on him and some other charges against him, and he hadn’t disclosed it.
Skylar Laine “Love’s Sneaking Up on You” (1994)
• I want to like Skylar. I really do. She seems like fun and has a little Dolly Parton personality going on. But this was just weird. She was screamy. She says “Thanking” instead of “thinking.” She’s almost over the top country.
• She can sing and that song proved it, but I didn’t love it. Even though I wanted to.
Joshua Ledet “When A Man Loves a Woman” (1992)
• I’m probably in the minority, but Joshua’s not my favorite. But this performance was good.
• I don’t like it when he screams and slides into his notes, but about the middle of this song, he decided to really sing it. I mean, intense, emotional, feel-the-passion sanging. He definitely deserved the standing ovation from the judges. All night I’ve been waiting for a monumental performance; this was finally it.
Hollie Cavanagh “The Power of Love” (1993)
• I love this little tiny girl. But I hate her dress. Enough with the prom dresses, American Idol!
• For such a tiny person, she has such a BIG voice.
• I felt like there were a few places where she was a bit unsure of her note, but she recovered well and performed the heck out of the song. The last note was a little weird, but overall, beautiful job and great performance.
(Judges picked up on the pitchiness, but also agreed that it was great.)
Heejun, Erika, and maybe Shannon
Best of the night:
Joshua and Hollie, hands down