Audio Performances at the bottom of this post.
Tonight’s American Idol looked iffy at first and blossomed into some talents that are going to give the currently selected a run for their money. The best weren’t any true surprise, but how badly some of this group performed was. Let’s start.
1. Jasmine Murray – ‘Love Song’ (Sara Bareilles) — Jasmine has a great unique voice. She was a bit nasal on this and it didn’t get us off our chairs, but it was also on key and well performed. The judges came out harsher than they should have on Jasmine, we think she did a respectable job. She has the look too. She dresses like a star!
2. Matt Giraud – ‘Viva La Vida’ (Coldplay) — Coldplay is just too unique, too “at the top” to be done right now. Coldplay has a style that takes what would be a boring song for almost anyone and make it a spectacular hit. Matt doesn’t have that quality. He sounded shaky and just not interesting singing it.
3. Jeanine Vailes – This Love’ (Maroon 5) — We love Maroon 5. The catchy tunes, the peak toned edgy voice, the surprise variations in the melody. Jeanine absolute destroyed this song. Not in the good way folks. Her only hope is to get voted in on votefortheworst.com, cuz she ain’t gonna get through on this performance.
4. Nick Mitchell – ‘And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going’ (Jennifer Holliday). That was Nick’s song but we have no idea what he actually sang. It was a comedy play and it was hysterical, well sung and fun. But he just can’t go anywhere other than a comedy club with this. He could get votes because he is consistently entertaining and makes us laugh. But that isn’t really what this about when it comes down to the real competition. It is about vocals and performing challenging songs that people will want to listen to over and over. It is time for the joke to end, but we hope to see Nick back playing to his niche, because he is funny and makes for great satire.
5. Allison Iraheta – ‘Alone’ (Heart) — There are some bands that perform vocals almost no one else can do properly. They have certain songs for which the voice is nearly impossible to recreate and also impossible to do any way other than the original and deliver it well. Heart is like that. Allison, at only 16, did the song proud. She is totally in this competition. And she clearly gave Ann Wilson a run for her money.
6. Kris Allen – ‘Man in the Mirror’ (Michael Jackson) — We give Kris credit for parts of this song because he really went for it. He pushed and controlled the song the best he could. But Michael Jackson is just not someone you do on this show and succeed unless you are David Cook, and Kris is no David Cook. Kris did a commendable job, but we think the judges were kind. He was very pitchy early one and overall, he just wasn’t good enough.
7. Megan Joy Corkrey – ‘Put Your Records On’ (Corinne Bailey Rae) — With a name like that, you had better be unique, and Megan is. Unique look, great hair, knows how to dress. And the gal has a rare talent when singing this style of song. Our only complaint is it really doesn’t show range. The tune doesn’t challenge the voice. But not all artists have to, and Megan is very pleasant to listen to.
8. Matt Brietzke – ‘The Way She Loves Me’ (Tonic) — Matt is the “Joe The Plumber” of this show. He dresses the part as well. Not a showman, dresses badly and performs with no personality. Then he chooses a song by Tonic that he sings exactly like you would expect some badly dressed guy on a Sunday night to sing at karaoke. We would be very surprised to see Matt advance. Everybody keeps telling him what a nice guy he is; that is already a bad sign.
9. Jesse Langseth – ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ (Kim Carnes) — Now, the judges sometimes are way off the mark, and we think they understated how great Jesse was on this tune. The ending wasn’t stellar for us, it was as though she rant out of gas, but the unique vocal style rings with us. Simon seems to think that Jesse isn’t memorable, but her vocal style is quite memorable and this song was her style dead on.
10. Kai Kalama – ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted’ (Jimmy Ruffin) — Kai pulled out a motown style tune that has soul. He sings so well, but like Matt, he has no pizzazz. His hair looks tacky, his unshaven look just looks unshaven, and his clothes look like they come from Good Will. Unlike Matt, he sings with a star quality, but he is lacking in his performance. The judges said it was too old fashioned. We disagree. It just was performed by a man that looks like he is a homeless person and that doesn’t know how to play to the audience. This wasn’t a matter of song choice; it was personality.
11. Mishavonna Henson – ‘Drops of Jupiter’ (Train) — We really enjoyed Mishavonna’s set. Well performed. She put an edge on the song and was able to make it a woman’s song when it is classically a male vocal. We found her voice unique, her performance consistent and on key, and quite entertaining.
12. Adam Lambert – ‘Satisfaction’ (The Rolling Stones) — It is so rare to see an artist pull out a big Rolling Stones or Beatles song, and Adam chose a rather odd one to do, or so we thought. The judges often mistakenly criticize singers for exactly the wrong things. The judges say they chose the wrong song or they chose a band song when they should be doing solos, but they are just stretching for words to explain why they didn’t like a performance like the Sunday football announcer has to fill in the blanks on his narration of the last play. Adam proves the point. He took a band song that seemed very wrong, especially at the opening of the first verse, and twisted it into a champion Idol performance. Adam could win this competition and was the killer act of this night. He has a talent we really haven’t seen much on idol. He can scream. And we mean a scream on par with Steven Tyler and Roger Daltry. A scream that that can identify a song. And he does it effortlessly. If he can get past his seeming hidden desire to be a female impersonator, he could be the next American Idol. Certainly no one else was close tonight.
So here you have our rankings from bottom to top, worst to best.
Jeanine Vailes (2/10)
Matt Brietzke (4/10)
Matt Giraud (4/10)
Nick Mitchell (4/10)
Kris Allen (6/10)
Kai Kalama (6/10)
Jasmine Murray (7/10)
Mishavonna Henson (7/10)
Jesse Langseth (8/10)
Megan Joy Corkrey (8/10)
Allison Iraheta (9/10)
Adam Lambert (10/10)
We are putting through Adam and Allison outright, but the battle for #3 is tight. Any performer we ranked 7 or 8 out of 10 could be in there and we were surprised by last week’s #3 pick. We are leaning towards Megan because she is more unique, but we give Jesse a good chance of beating her out. And Mishavonna was also good enough to pull down the votes. So #3 will be an interesting battle, but we feel, like last week, our 1 and 2 are shoe-ins.
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