Audio Performances at the Bottom of this post.
There are some weeks where things just aren’t that cut and dry. The first two weeks, we were left with a clear top 2 that we knew were going to the finals. The standouts were just that. This week, we are not sure.
We are also confused because the judges were often off the mark tonight, but let’s get started and let the chips fall where they may.
1. Von Smith – “You’re All I Need to Get By”, Marvin Gaye — We give Von credit on this song. He has been a shouter and he is doing his best to control it. He did a commendable job. The judges liked the performance and so did we. He hit every note, he wasn’t pitchy and he got us listening. Problem, his look is atrocious. Red sneakers and orange reddish T-Shirt under a suit jacket and hair that makes him look like he was at the fun house in a carnival.
2. Taylor Vaifanua, ” If I Ain’t Got You”, Alicia Keys — We like Taylor’s voice, we like Taylor’s look and we like this song, so what is the problem. We had trouble staying awake through the performance. Taylor sang it well, but the performance did nothing at all for us. The judges seemed to pretty much agree.
3. Alex Wagner-Trugman – “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”, Elton John — Lousy. His only hope is votefortheworst.com.
4. Arianna Afsar – “The Winner Takes It All”, Abba — This was a no-go from note one. Arianna could not find her voice, and despite being “cute as a button” was unable to pull off this song. She should be doing teen pop and instead chose a song we would picture being on at the local retirement home. Dull, off key, nonsense.
5. Ju’not Joyner – “Delilah”, Plain White T’s — This is a song we love and believe has the potential of becoming a classic that lasts for years. The judges perplexed us with their call on Joyner; they praised him. They were listening to their IPOD, not Joyner. He butchered this song. He should be ashamed about what he did to the song and the judges either were tone deaf for this one song or had some vested interest in promoting it.
6. Kristen McNamara – “Gimme One Reason”, Tracy Chapman — Kristen performed this with passion and was on pitch on every note. She gave it a fun twist and had us listening. Overall a commendable performance. Lousy outfit.
7. Nathaniel Marshall – “I Would Do Anything For Love”, Meatloaf — Better than Alex. Not by much.
8. Felicia Barton – “No One”, Alicia Keys — Felicia nailed this performance. She was dressed in a killer outfit with a Demi Moore look. Simon thought she looked like Alicia. She sang this with the best of them on this show and we feel it was the best female performance of the night, but the judges did not agree.
9. Scott MacIntyre – “Mandolin Rain”, Bruce Hornsby — Scott may have some talent instrumentally, but he isn’t that great vocally and that is what this is about. The judges gave a patronizing round of sympathy praise, and it was pathetic. Scott could get through on America’s sympathy, but it would be a shame to eliminate a true talent in favor of one that is just not in the same league. He was pitchy throughout and butchered most of the song.
10. Kendall Beard – “This One’s For The Girls”, Martina McBride — This is a fun and energetic country tune and it defines Kendall’s style. It wasn’t very original, but it was a commendable copy of the original. It may differentiate her among the country fans in America which makes her a tough call because they love their country (see Kelly Pickler and Carrie Underwood).
11. Jorge Nunez – “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”, Elton John — Two Elton tunes in one night but this one was done right. Jorge nailed it and his voice was the best male vocal of the night. We are just not sure his vocal can get past his look, which is just not that of a star. We hate to say that matters, but it does.
12. Lil Rounds – “Be Without You”, Mary J. Blige — We don’t get Lil Rounds nickname. While she is round, she ain’t little. And her performance wasn’t either. Strong vocals, and we heard the judges screaming their praise. Going last and getting praise from the judges makes her a shoe in, but we thought Felicia Barton was better tonight, but it was close.
So, the top 3 are ridiculously tough for us to call. We don’t agree with the judges, and we think appearance will have a bunch to do with the selection. But we can easily pick those that are at the bottom.
12. Alex Wagner-Trugman (2/10)
11. Arianna Afsar (2/10)
10. Nathaniel Marshall (3/10)
9. Ju’not Joyner (4/10)
8. Scott MacIntyre (5/10)
7. Taylor Vaifanua (6/10)
6. Kendall Beard (7/10)
5. Kristen McNamara (7/10)
4. Von Smith (7/10)
3. Jorge Nunez (8/10)
2. Lil Rounds (8/10)
1. Felicia Barton (8/10)
That leaves our top three as Felicia Barton, Lil Rounds and Jorge Nunez. The judges had other ideas, but did agree with us somewhat. They were way off on Ju’not and Scott.
We also have our reservations because, as you can see, there is a tight cluster of top performers. If there were more country fans, Kendall could burst to the front. Or Von Smith may do better than we think. It is a tight race, but we can’t do the sympathy vote for Scott like the judges did; he just was not up to snuff for this competition, and if me makes it, even his keyboard won’t save him.
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