Music by Rufus & Chaka Khan, “Tell Me Something Good”
So, the finalists of American Idol are all chosen, and it was left to the judges to decide the fate of those that were chosen for the wild card competition. We question many comments by the judges and feel they were off the mark tonight.
Our calls for each performance are below (Listen to the audio performances at the end of this post):
1. Jesse Langseth, Rufus & Chaka Khan, “Tell Me Something Good” — Jesse got down deep on this song, bringing out a very sexy and soulful set. We got into it and loved this performance. Her only flaw was
having to go first, which is hard on any performer. She pulled off a great performance with a professional feel.
2. Matt Giraud, Jackson Five, “Who’s Loving You” — After last week, Matt had nowhere to go but up. His performance last week should have been his death nell. Matt brought it this week with some very nice solid riffs and got us smiling a bit, so we give him credit for bringing back what he is good at. Sad to say that when the real competition hits, he won’t be able to pick and choose only the blues.
3. Megan Joy Corkrey, KT Tunstall, “Black Horse And The Cherry Trees” — You know, we like Megan and wanted her through to the final 12 on her last performance. This week was cute and fun because the song is cute and fun. She looked great, but she was flat and the song shows no range. She was also incredibly off key many times throughout the song. We like this song, but she didn’t do it well. She looked great doing it though and was entertaining.
4. Von Smith, Elton John, “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” — There has been way too much Elton John in this show this year. And we think Von could have picked something less cliche. He once again dressed shabbily and still looks like he is standing in a carnival fun house above the air blower. The beginning of the song is slow and requires strong pitch control. Von doesn’t have it. He was off key most of the first half of the song. He brought it home, but not enough for us to consider him.
5. Jasmine Murray, Christina Aguillera, “Reflection” — Jasmine tried to stretch her voice on this song and came up flat, literally. She was off key through the entire song and when she hit notes requiring strength in her vocals, they hurt our ears because she was just shouting. We did not like her performance.
6. Ricky Braddy, Stevie Wonder, “Superstition” — Now, this is a hard song to sing, not so much because we think Stevie is the end-all be-all, but because it is so well known.An If you don’t nail it and if you are off key, people will pick it up immediately. Ricky sang it great. He hit every note with ease and performed it wonderfully. Our only criticism is Ricky’s look. He looks like a scarecrow in heat. But he can belt out a tune.
7. Tatiana Del Toro, Whitney Houston, “Saving All My Love FOr You” — This was like deja vu all over again. Tatiana has done this tune three times in the competition and it is getting old. She did fine, her voice is quite powerful, and she is enjoyable to listen too, but she overstayed her welcome with this tune.
8. Anoop Desai, Bobby Brown, “My Prerogative” — Anoop has been a favorite of ours, so we were expecting him to excel. He did not. The song is a repeat, of a prior performance. He was flat nearly throughout the song and it is a silly song for a geek to sing. We did not like Anoop this week.
Our Scores for the performers are based on how they performed, not on the judges choices. THey are based on reality not practiced and already wrote decisions by the judges. We will list the group in reverse order of our overall score. We know the results already, but the judges were well off the mark on most of the talent this week.
1. Jasmine Murray (5/10)
2. Tatiana Del Toro (6/10)
3. Anoop Desai (6/10)
4. Von Smith (6/10)
5. Ricky Braddy (7/10)
6. Megan Joe Corkrey (7/10)
7. Matt Giraud (7/10)
8. Jesse Langseth (8/10)
The judges robbed two great talents tonight and, for some reason unknown to us, placed two people through that just aren’t very good and did not deserve to be in the final 12. We have no idea what they were thinking. Our top 4 clearly outperformed the others, and would have brought more talent to the final 12 than the judges’ selections.
Our opinion? The judges had already judged. It was over before the fat lady sang, and probably before she knew what she was going to sing. We think that is a a shame.
The performer we feel the worst about is Jesse Langseth. She put in an excellent performance and was better than most in this show by a country mile. She was, quite honestly, robbed. The judges comments after her set were off the market and just plain not relevant.
Similarly, Ricky was unjustly eliminated, and we get the impression there were other factors than talent in this decision by the judges.
The judges tried a surprise twist by putting through four instead of three because they couldn’t make up their minds.
Their choices were Jasmine Murray, Anoop Desai, Megan Joe Corkrey, and Matt Giraud. That rounds out your final 13 for only 12 stools. Jasmine will go quickly. Anoop needs to go back to prior performances to determine what made him worth listening to; tonight he was not good and incredibly lucky. But Matt and Megan deserve to be here and we look forward to hearing them again.
We hope the judges will judge the remainder of the competition based on talent instead of whatever commercial factors they are considering when devising their very scripted and obviously rehearsed judging…
We are getting good at this which means we are on the same wavelength with America when it comes to voting- almost! Our choices are again correct, two out of three! We think that America got it wrong by letting through one hopeful- Scott MacIntyre into the finals, where there were at least a couple left who were more talented vocally. Ryan Seacrest paired him up with Kendall Beard on the elimination announcement and it would have been right to pick Kendall at that point. This is what we said of Scott MacIntyre’s performance last night:
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.
He sang again tonight and we stand by our own critique. In fact we couldn’t bear hearing him sing the same song that we skipped half of the performance. The commercials that followed were better. Sympathy votes win again!
Joining Scott MacIntyre for the last three spots in the finals are Lil Rounds and Jorge Nunez.
We seriously believe Felicia Barton deserves that last spot! What’s heartbreaking is the judges didn’t even include Felicia on the Wild Card! In retrospect of the semi final rounds, Michael Sarver, Kris Allen along with Scott MacIntyre shouldn’t be on the finals at all. They can not compete with the best among the finalists and we’re betting they will be cut early on, unless America plays weird by eliminating the best ones first!
Wildcard hopefuls competing for a place in the the Top 12 are: Von Smith, Jasmine Murray, Ricky Braddy, Megan Corkrey, Tatiana Del Toro, Matt Giraud, Jesse Langseth, and Anoop Desai. They will perform Thrusday, March 5th before the judges and three will be named finalists.
Audio Performances at the bottom of this post.
We were surprised again. But only mildly. The two performers we picked to stroll into the finals did and were clearly the best of the twelve that performed last night. Kris Allen was helped by the judges comments last night, because the gals we chose were better. But America can be swayed when the competition gets too close, and Kris pulled it out. We are hoping that Megan and Mishavonna get another chance, because they are great and we feel bad that Kris displaced them. Still, Kris did an encore that was better tonight. He still started way off key, but he didn’t take as long to bring his voice to the right pitch. Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta were the clear winners. They have the real shot at winning it all. Kris is fun, but not in the same league. So, once again, we pick numbers one and two easily and could not judge the #3 vote when it comes to the final cut.
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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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