3/31 American Idol Top 9, Playing That Funky Music

[Listen to the audio performances at the end of this post]

1. Anoop Desai – “Caught Up” – Usher — Anoop is no Usher. He can sing, and belted out the song well, but he does not have enough soul to pull off the performance of a song like this. He did not connect with us and we were glad when it was over. (5/10)

2. Megan Joy Corkrey- “Turn Your Lights Down Low” – Lauryn Hill & Bob Marley — Megan is neither Lauryn Hill nor Bob Marley, but we really thought she could pull this one out. She didn’t. Megan was off key and has lost her quirky character act that we like. There was nothing to remember, nothing to grab hold of and mostly nothing to vote for. (3/10)

3. Danny Gokey – “What Hurts The Most” – Rascal Flatts — Danny made this song into what could easily be a radio smash hit. Awesome emotion, powerful vocals and better than Rascall Flatt’s version. Super performance. (9/10)

4. Allison Iraheta – “Don’t Speak” – No Doubt — Allison left us with plenty of “doubt” on this performance. She started well, but as she got to the end she was singing too low and it didn’t suit the song. It was pitchy and didn’t showcase her great rocker style. We were very disappointed after last week. The judges criticized her outfit, and missed the fact that she sang the song poorly. (6/10)

5. Scott MacIntyre – “Just The Way You Are” – Billy Joel — Standard Scott. Off key, pitchy throughout, relatively boring. Scott tried to be too close to Billy Joel, and he isn’t that good. The judges gave him the usual patronizing sympathy praise, but honestly, this was poor, but it was an improvement over last week. (5/10)

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6. Matt Giraud – “You Found Me” – The Fray — Matt is hit or miss in this competition. He has some weeks where we are wowed and others where we think he is mediocre at best. Last week he was in the bottom three after a stellar performance. This week, he gave a weak performance of a great song. It had none of the punch of the original and was just painful to watch. (5/10)

7. Lil Rounds – “I Surrender” – Celine Dion — Lil should surrender the outfit she chose for tonight. The dress didn’t fit and made every part of her anatomy stick out in strange ways. The vocal was pitchy and boring. She was shouting much of the song and we found her extremely forgettable. (6/10)

8. Adam Lambert – “Play That Funky Music (White Boy)” – Wild Cherry – Adam belted this out, made it his style and screamed powerfully throughout. Great performance, one of many on his way to the finals. (8/10)

9. Kris Allen – “Ain’t No Sunshine (When She’s Gone)” — Bill Withers — Kris surprised us by playing a piano tonight. He also surprised us with his best vocal of the season, and he was excellent last week. He is getting more creative and taking more risks as he moves forward and that is what makes him a stand out now when he wasn’t before. (9/10)

So, we have Megan going home again. Our bottom three are Anoop, Megan and Matt. Any one could go and we wouldn’t miss any of them. We didn’t like Lil or Scott either. It almost seemed like they were all trying to be bad this week.

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3/25 American Idol Top 10 Performance Night Review, Motown Fun

Sometimes, there are people you meet that are so full of themselves, they forget how they affect others. They focus on themselves rather than how they impact other people, and are so sure they are right, no one can convince them how wrong they really are.

The American Idol judges are responsible for the elimination of Alexis Grace with “over the top” and amateurish criticisms of her performances over the last two weeks while ignoring poorly performed flat acts that repeated themselves tonight. There is no excuse for the judges irresponsible, lazy and incompetent behavior. If there was a way to eliminate them, tonight would have been it. Alexis should be brought back, and Simon, Paula and Randy left to America’s votes to to see if they deserve to be sent home.

The weak statement consistently made by the judges is that the performer chose the wrong song. Rubbish. If the performer does the song right, it can be great no matter what song it is. A case in point can be seen with Megan below, and Adam later. It has nothing to do with the choice of song. It has to do with the performance of that song. Unless it is totally obscure, the artist can bring it. If the artist can’t bring every song, they shouldn’t be America’s choice. It really is that simple.

Now to the performances. [Listen to the audio performances at the bottom of this page and Full studio recording]

1. Matt Giraud – “Let’s Get It On” -Marvin Gaye — Matt did a nice job. He was not exceptional. He does not hit the notes like Marvin Gaye and he ditched his piano which differentiates him. He isn’t going home, and the judges have found a soft spot for him. He did well for a first position performer. We liked the performance, but we ain’t buying the CD. (7/10)

2. Kris Allen – “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” – Marvin Gaye (James Taylor) — Now, we think Kris nailed this tune. He played off both artists, bringing the acoustic style of James Taylor with his guitar and a bit of soulful Motown as well. It was a great job, a smooth vocal, on key and timely. If we had to vote the top performer of the night right here, Kris outscored Matt. The judges were positive but vague. There was no reason to be vague. Kris nailed it. (8/10)

3. Scott MacIntyre – “You Can’t Hurry Love” – Supremes (Diana Ross) (Phil Collins) — Scott is tone deaf. He has to honestly not be able to hear himself sing. He is so horribly off key, and this is a song requiring the singer be on top of every note. It hurt to listen to him. He was sharp and flat throughout. The piano was the only thing in tune. The judges were kind. The only points he get is for a creative piano. (5/10)

4. Megan Joy Corkrey- “For Once In My Life” – Stevie Wonder — For once in Megan’s life, she brought us no joy. Awful performance. She didn’t exploit her style well at all, and that is how she works around her weak vocals. When it came down to performing this song, she didn’t style it well like she has in past weeks and tried to just perform it straight up…and failed…miserably. If she hit on one more flat note, we likely would have had to retune our television. (3/10)

5. Anoop Desai – “Ooh Baby baby” — Smokey Robinson — Anoop can hit the notes. He hit them repeatedly in this tune. He has a deep lung vocal that is strong and on key. He is everything we would like to hear, and yet we don’t want to hear it. It was wrong. It was sad to watch. It wasn’t Motown. But he was still way better than Scott and Megan. (6/10)

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6. Michael Server – “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” – The Temptations – Michael was on key and dressed like a slob in a sport jacket. His movements had no soul, which is what Motown is all about, and he tried to make this a down home fun country song, but that isn’t what Motown is about. He got the fun part right, but he brought no soul to the table. He missed the point of the style of music he was performing, but he was OK. (6/10)

7. Lil Rounds – “Heat Wave” – Diana Ross – Lil had a major opportunity this week to demonstrate that she was a possible winner in this competition or a fading memory. Motown should be her style. She should have shown us there are no others that can do this like her. She fell flat on her rounds. The entire song was shouted. It was entirely off key, and even the choruses were missed. If Megan wasn’t worse, we would send Lil home. (3/10)

8. Adam Lambert – “The Tracks Of My Tears” – Smokey Robinson – Adam performed this throughout as a falsetto heart throb song. He dressed like a young Elvis and looked like a man for a change, which was kind of a shock for us, and we expect it was a shock for many that have seen him in prior weeks. He almost looked macho. Looks aside, the judges loved this, but in reality, Adam was off key. He was pitchy throughout on his falsetto and it wasn’t there for us. That said, not one other person in the competition could sing an entire song like this in falsetto. Adam’s range is phenomenal. He just needed a pitch pipe tonight. (7/10)

9. Danny Gokey – “Get Ready” – The Temptations – Now here is an example of where the judges can hurt a performer. Danny could have done an average job on this song and survived. But once again he brought it. Danny was on key, had timely vocals, and was incredibly fun in his performance. He didn’t miss a beat, he got us tapping our feet, and anyone that heard this on the radio would stop tuning the dial and listen while singing along. That is what Motown was all about, fun AND soul. Danny was the first to get it. The judges completely missed the point and Simon and Randy criticized an excellent performance without giving a thought to how poorly they are doing their jobs. Danny isn’t going home, and maybe the judges are trying to bring the best out in him by criticizing the best performance of the night thus far, but that backfired on Alexis and sent her home. When you pay people millions to do their job, you expect results. The judges get a 1/10 on this performance. Danny? (8/10)

10. Allison Iraheta – “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” – The Temptations – If you listen to Motown, and you are into it as a fan, this is a classic that you already love. It has its own style and roll and draws you in like a truly excellent pop tune should. So, how can you perform this song when the original was so great and succeed? We are not sure, but Allison taught us. Even the self-indulgent rubbish judges had to agree. Allison took this tune and hit every note and took us down a path with the song that made us believe she was what Lil Rounds should have been. Allison won this night hands down. She keeps it up, she could just win this competition. (9/10)

Based on our scoring: Megan Joy Corkrey is the weakest link. She should go home.

Now for our rating of the judges…

Simon Cowell – Self Indulgent Rubbish That Thinks So Much Of Himself That He Forgets He Is Judging Talent Of Which He Has None. (1/10)
Paula Abdul– Acts like she is on drugs or drunk half the time and can’t dress. Patronizing 90% of the time. (2/10)
Randy Jackson – Incredibly inconsistent. One week, right on, and other weeks, missing horribly. Could be caused by ear wax. Needs to expand his vocabulary some more other than, “yo dawg, that was dope, listen man, dude that was amazing, check it out, I liked it, it was just awright for me, you know what I’m saying??”  (3/10)
Kara DioGuardi – Better than the other three, because she is fresh. She misses sometimes, but she knows how to judge talent. Time for a judging lesson (8/10)

Next…

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Full Studio Recording


Audio performances

3/17 American Idol Top 11 Performance Night Recap: Country And Black Nail Polish Don’t Mix

There were some surprises tonight, and out of it all, not one performer in the entire show was bad. There was no single individual we could point at and say they were gone. There were our least favorites, and a surprise weak performer this week, but overall, a strong showing for everyone.

The theme was country and the group showed that talent can being out the diversity in any music style. Each performance was enjoyable, but someone has to go home… let’s see. [Listen to all the songs at the bottom of this article. Idol performance plus Full Studio recording]

Michael Sarver – “Ain’t Going Down ‘Til The Sun Comes Up” – Garth Brooks. This song is a tongue twister and Michael did well at remembering each word and hitting the verses with perfect timing. The performance did lack in a few areas though. It wasn’t unique. It did nothing to challenge Michael’s voice which he showed was powerful last week. And, while fun, it was not memorable, which is troublesome for anyone that is cursed with singing in the first spot.

Allison Iraheta – “Blame It On Your Heart” – Patty Loveless – Allison belted out his country tune with rock power. It was not her style and it was not her best performance but it was stellar overall for any 16 year old. We think she has a chance to get into the final five. She has to bring a more memorable song to get votes next time though.

Kris Allen – “To Make You Feel My Love” – Garth Brooks — Kris found his niche for us. He is a ballad singer. We do not think any ballad singer can win this competition, but those that are good at it often do hang around. Kris did a great job with the song, melding strong emotion with a powerful vocal. He won’t go home this week. But was he best?

Lil Rounds – “Independence Day” – Martina McBride – This was clearly Lil’s worst week so far. She belted out the song well, but the style wasn’t there. She did look killer though with the most professional look of any of the performers. That wasn’t enough to get her top spot, but we can’t see America sending her home.

Adam Lambert – “Ring of Fire” – Johnny Cash — If you recall, Daughty did a Johnny Cash song and rocked it by making it his own. Adam did the same, but twisted this one a bit too far. He took Johnny Cash and made it sound like it was being sung by Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame. The vocals were strong, the edge as edgy as it gets, but it just didn’t fit because the twist was so extreme. Maybe it was the black fingernail polish? Yuck. We didn’t like it much, but it still should keep Adam in the competition.

Scott MacIntyre – “Wild Angels” – Martina McBride – Scott is an excellent pianist, but we don’t care much for his vocal style. He has a pitch problem and while he had a fun performance tonight with a good finish, we don’t see him winning this. He will likely survive this week, but he isn’t a favorite.

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Alexis Grace – “Jolene” – Dolly Parton — We truly love Alexis, and we believe when she is on, she could be number one in this competition. It was hard to pinpoint this week, but we didn’t like the performance. Instead of the edgy, almost threatening style Alexis could have used on this tune, she chose a whiny begging performance that did not suit her. The song is all about a fight for her man, and it seemed Alexis wasn’t fighting all that hard.

Danny Gokey – “Jesus, Take The Wheel” – Carrie Underwood — Danny built up and hit this tune with style. Once again, this could be a hit on the radio right now. It wasn’t the best performance of the night, but it proves that consistency is what it is all about. Danny doesn’t have to be number one every week. But he will likely always be, at his worst, in the top three. When the judges are confronted by an artist like Danny, they have to search for bad things to say, because otherwise they sound like broken records. Danny was fantastic, but he wasn’t the best this week.

Anoop Desai – “Always On My MInd” – Willie Nelson – Anoop took the criticisms and the near elimination to belt out a spectacular performance this week. He had the advantage of being the underdog and played it beautifully. The judges all raved, and we were sold.

Megan Joy Corkrey – “(I Go Out) Walkin’ After Midnight” – Patsy Cline — Megan brought along her unique style and brought us into her world this week after driving is away with Rockin’ Robin last. She has such character and presence without being “over the top”. She doesn’t over perform and she finds that balance that keeps her “Always On Our Minds”.

Matt Giraud – “So Small” – Carrie Underwood — Matt had a finale to do, and if you don’t win when you get to go last, you lose. He won. He brought on the performance, he played the piano wonderfully, and ended on a fresh throaty falsetto. Nicely done to win our choice for performer of the night.

Our choices in order from first to last.

Matt Giraud (9/10)

top11_randytravisAnoop Desai (8/10)

Danny Gokey (8/10)

Allison Iraheta (7/10)

Adam Lambert (7/10)

Kris Allen (7/10)

Megan Joy Corkrey (7/10)

Lil Rounds (6/10)

Scott MacIntyre (6/10)

Alexis Grace (6/10)

Michael Sarver (6/10)

We realize this makes it a four way tie for elimination, but we don’t believe it was that close. There just is so much you can do with a 1-10 scale. We have to send home Michael this week. Alexis had a very bad week and could be at risk, but we think America will want to see her again. Scott, we just don’t see him getting much farther, so we wouldn’t miss him. Lil is way better and we think the audience and judges know it so she won’t go.

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3/10 American Idol Top 13 Performs, Who Made The In Crowd?

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Tonight it was easy to pick the bottom of the pack, but the peak performers were so great that we have to really start to wonder who could actually pull this off.

In general, the judges were on the mark. At times, their comments were rather stupid, mostly Randy, but even Simon totally missed the mark on a couple of artists.

The performers started off careful, because the choice had to be a Michael Jackson song. And not too many people have the guts to sing a Michael Jackson song that was a huge hit.

It can break you talent wise because it is so very hard to make original. And if you sing it exactly like him, you sound like Sunday Night at the Juke Box.

But let’s have at it and pick our losers from the final 13. [Listen to all the songs from tonight (Audio MP3) at the bottom of this post.]

1. Lil Rounds – “The Way You Make Me Feel”– The round girl picked up a big hit and did it with style. We loved it, she was sexy but her outfit, well, let’s just say it belonged at her high school prom not on this stage. We are not going to rank the people, we will just say whether they are in or not. Lil is IN!!

2.. Scott MacIntyre – “Keep The Faith” – Scott did an obscure Jackson song, and he was OK. But OK isn’t good enough. His piano was great, but this isn’t an instrumental competition. His song is flattish with that tone deaf sound and it is hard for us to believe we would ever want to listen to him on the radio. OUT.

dannygokeypyt3. Danny Gokey – “PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” – Danny is amazing. He has a voice that could take anything and make it great and he made this tune unique and powerful. He took a completely obscure song and made it a hit. His biggest problem was he went too early, so we forgot how great he was by the time other great performances showed up towards the end. We loved it. IN

4. Michael Sarver – “You Are Not Alone” – We were impressed with Michael tonight. We did not think he deserved to be here, but tonight he won us over with a strong vocal. Our problem is he is boring in his movements, his face looks completely awkward when he pushes, and in general, he could be eliminated and not a soul would miss him. But for this week… IN.

5. Jasmine Murray – “I’ll Be There” – Jasmine clocked in with the worst performance of the night. We honestly could not get through a second listen to judge it. It was painfully off key. She has the vocal chords, but can’t find the pitch, which makes it gut wrenching to listen to. She is gone, no question. OUT.

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6. Kris Allen – “Remember the Time” – Fun performance from a cute guy. Not much else to say. Not the best, not the worst. IN.

7. Allison Iraheta – “Give In To Me” – We have seen rockers come and go on this show and we remember some of them, but we will remember Allison. She is a true rocker at only age 16. She hit this song and made even a true rocker like a Michael Jackson tune. Great performance. IN

8. Anoop Desai – “Beat It” – We think the judges were particularly hard on Anoop. He did this with some style and had fun with it. Problem is that he is out of his league now. There are other performers that are vastly better than he is. We are on the fence with him, but our initial call is… OUT.

9. Jorge Nunez – “Never Can Say Goodbye” – Well, Jorge started way off key and we were trying to figure him out, but then he hit his stride and was great the rest of the way. The judges were harsh on him, and called him old fashioned, but we think he was respectable. IN.

10. Megan Joy Corkrey – “Rockin’ Robin” – The performance was very cute, but it made us uncomfortable. It was not Megan at all, and it did not do her any favors. Her characteristic moves and notes did not fit the song and her performance was off the mark. Nothing stood out, so her only chance to stay in would be even worse performances. OUT.

adamlambert_idol11. Adam Lambert – “Black Or White” – OK, Now Adam kicked everyone else out of the house. He was powerful, his screams incredible as usual, and his vocal range unchallenged. We are big Danny fans and have to say we think Adam won the night over Danny on this occasion. It is a bit possible he took himself a bit too seriously in his performance, but that is a stretch at saying something negative. IN.

12. Matt Giraud – “Human Nature” – Now, we were very disappointed with Matt in past performances, but behind the piano he shows he could be a star. He had to follow the best performance of the night and we were ready to write him off. His falsetto was superb. He proved that we were way off the mark and put us on the Matt. IN

13. Alexis Grace – “Dirty Diana” – Simon and Randy were so far off the mark on their calls on this tune, we had to wonder if they had a motive. Alexis killed this tune and gave Adam a run for the money. She looked spectacular, like a born star and was the best outfit of the night by far, which not one judge mentioned. She truly Graced the stage and Simon and Randy should get hearing aids. IN

So where does that leave us, it leaves us with two that have to leave and we would send home four, so this should be easy. The worst performances were…

Scott MacIntyre, Jasmine Murray, Megan Joy Corkrey and Anoop Desai

If we had to choose who to send home out of these four? Jasmine is first to go, Then it is pretty much a toss up. We would like to see Megan again when she is more in her element. We don’t like Scott and think he is off key but may get the sympathy vote. And we think Anoop picked a horrible song because he wasn’t good enough to pull off that big a hit, so he could be a goner.

We can’t choose who to send home, but we expect no surprises this week from the IN crowd.

Photos and videos later! 🙂

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3/3 American Idol Last 12 Performances, Anybody’s Guess

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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.

kristenmmcnamara_performs2. 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.

feliciabarton_noone8. 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.

jorgenunezperfomsSo, 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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2/25 American Idol Top 12 Group Two Performs. The Scream is Back!

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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.

jasmine_murray1. 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.

megan_corkrey7. 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.

adamlambert_top12Jeanine 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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