Thursday, February 26, 2015

Top 24: Top 12 Women Perform

Welcome back. After a super-fast paced episode of the Top 12 men performing last night, the ladies perform tonight. The Top 12 women will perform just like the guys did in a taped performance. The voting is live but everything else was pre-taped last week.  The results of last night's and tonight's episode will be revealed prior to the Top 16 performances. There is a lot of singing to get to in only an hour. I am excited to see which ladies will step it up, and which ladies' journey will end after this performance. A lot riding on tonight, so without further ado, let's get started:

Top 12 Women Perform

Lovey James (Love Runs Out-OneRepublic)- The song starts off a little too low for her. When she starts to get louder and her voice opens up a little she sounds nice. She does go out of tune in several instances, but the parts that are good are really nice. It was an uneven performance.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Off to a great start. Harry-Risky to start off so low, nice strong job. Keith-Got better and better as the song went on.
Our Grade=C

Adanna Duru(Rather Be-Clean Bandit)- I liked that she took a really current song and changed the tempo to slow it down and showcase her voice. It was a little pitchy in a few spots, went sharp and flat at a couple moments, but when she goes for some runs it's real nice. The band then steps in towards the middle-end and she goes hard and has a moment out there, she puts it out there. When it was good it was real good,  just needs to do that the whole time.
Judge's Comments=Keith-So much capability. Jennifer-Going for blood, went for it. Needs to stay in control whole time. Harry-Went for it but then got out of control, first half of song was really strong. 
Our Grade=B
Alexis Gomez (Gunpowder & Lead)-She starts the song a little low also and it takes a few seconds to get her voice in the groove. She calls herself a mix of Mexican, hippy and country.  While her last performance combined all three, this performance leaned all on country. She sounded pleasant, though not entirely exciting. In tune the whole way, but not so memorable.
Judge's Comments= Harry-So lovely and talented. cautions her about having a twang, imitates the record. Keith-Not comfortable playing the guitar get rid of it. Jennifer-Love it, love you. Plays around with things she does because she is latina and loves country. Encourages her to mix things up.
Our Grade=C

Joey Cook (Somebody Like You-Keith Urban) We haven't seen Joey play her accordion since her audition, so she decides to bring it out tonight. She completely takes Keith Urban's song and turns it into whatever she usually does. In her super-retro, kooky kind of way. It's really imaginative and creative. It was a chancy performance but she delivered. Keith gives her a standing ovation.
Judge's Comments= Jennifer-All best things about her. Taking one of Keith's song and making it her own showcased who she is. Harry-If Keith and him ever had a kid that's what it would sound like. Keith-Made song her own. Perfect.
Our Grade=A-

Katherine Winston(Safe & Sound-Taylor Swift)- In a real cool way Katherine is a mix of Kree Harrison's voice(Season 12) and Crystal Bowersox's looks(Season 8).  She did a lovely job on this song. Katherine hasn't had a ton of screen-time thus far on Idol, but her voice warrants her to have plenty. She is right on the money throughout the whole thing. It wasn't the most entertaining and energized performance, but her voice is pure and beautiful.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Beautiful song, gorgeous tone, feel as she is singing. Jennifer-Blessed because it's captivating. Magical quality to her voice. Harry-Phenomenal vocalist, questions the song choice with what's going on tonight.
Our Grade=B

Shannon Berthiaume (Who Knew-Pink)-She slowed down this Pink song a lot to be a more subdued version. The song does go into the traditional pace at one point and it showcases some flaws in her voice and on stage persona. She gets a little off course. Pink is a tough artist to sing because she makes it so easy to hit certain notes and runs, but it's not easy and Shannon proved that. It was pretty boring also, so that's a bad combination.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Seemed most guys had lot of polish on stage. She iss so green and it's great,  but novelty is gonna wear off, Needs to get more energetic. Keith-Not a good song choice. Needs to pick songs that play to her strengths. Jennifer-A phenomenal singer but needs to believe that.
Our Grade=C-

Loren Lott (Note to God-Charice)- There were a lot of key changes in the beginning of the song that didn't sound great. By the middle of the song Loren got to showcase her big powerhouse voice. I don't know if I like the song choice for her, but it did accomplish her goal of putting her big voice out there. She was energized and went for it. Did what she could with a bad song choice. The last note was pretty fierce.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Very brave performance. First night singing for America. Great job. Harry-Powerful. Keith-Giving everyone a run for their money.
Our Grade= B

Shi Scott (Umbrella-Rihanna)- I don't know if I liked what she did to the song. She made it try to fit her voice, which I give her credit for, but it didn't actually enhance her voice at most points. It felt like she was screaming at me during the louder parts of the song, when the band got loud she felt it was time to scream and push herself, but I don't think it landed quite right. I was pretty bored with the arrangement. SHE did not do a good job. Sorry, I had to make a "She versus Shi" pun.
Judge's Comments=Keith-It was brave and gutsy, bold performance about it, but didn't really get me with song choice. Jennifer-America didn't get best of her. Poor song choice. Harry-Talented, good news that everyone loves the song, but not the right song for her.
Our Grade=D+

Maddie Walker (Love Gets Me Every Time-Shania Twain)- I think Maddie's voice is right in the country zone. But she still looks about 10 years older than she actually is (16). Maybe a little less makeup would do the trick, I don't know. The song wasn't that great for Maddie. It allowed her to get in a groove but there were a few different key changes and tempo changes that took her out of the moment several times. Parts were good, most were not.
Judge's Comments= Harry-Voice sounds a lot older than she is, thick sounding voice for her age, good solid performance. Keith-That's not a great Shania song to showcase her voice. Compelling sound. Jennifer-Not right song to wow America. Good luck.
Our Grade= C

Sarina Joi-Crowe (Mamma Knows Best-Jessie J) This is the fourth time she has tried out for the show and has gotten better year after year. This might be her time. This was a performance that was even all the way. It was energized, it had attitude in the right places and was in the right key and zone the whole time Sarina went for the runs like they were nothing. Perfect. Finally a female kills it tonight.  
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Rivaled Jessie J on that song. Pretty impressive. Harry-Looked great, sounded great, great arrangement. Keith-Perfect balance of loose and tight, chill and right on point.
Our Grade=A

Jax (Bang Bang(My Baby Shot Me Down)-Nancy Sinatra )- Her voice is captivating right off the bat, very haunting and intense. She begins the song by just sitting there on a stool with a guy playing the guitar. Then as the middle of the song hits the band kicks in and Jax gets off the stool and she rocks out a little. We haven't seen a lot of her rocking out, this was great to see. Really outstanding job. Can't wait to see more of her.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Loved it, love her artistry and originality. Jennifer-Lucky to have her in this competition. Harry-Fun thing will be to watch her as she progresses in the competition.
Our Grade= A

Tyanna Jones (Lips Are Movin-Meghan Trainor)-Her hair is blue, or more TV screen is broken, let's hope for the former. Tyanna is so comfortable on stage and her voice just makes it sound like she isn't even trying. I wasn't in love with the song choice, but the way she delivered it was great. Really delightful performance.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Ridiculously talented. Incredible. Keith-Move forward don't be afraid to tell band to sing in higher key. Jennifer-So beautiful about her, that voice is from GOD himself. Crazy.
Our Grade=A-

Top 3 of the Night=  Sarina Joi Crowe, Jax and Tyanna Jones

Going Home Predictions= 1. Shi Scott 2. Alexis Gomez  3. Shannon Berthiaume 4. Lovey James

Final Thoughts

*Tonight's episode was far from as strong as the men were last night. It was tough to narrow down the best 3 of last night because there were probably about 6 guys that stood out, tonight it was easier because only Sarina-Joi, Jax and Tyanna really brought the house down. There were way too many performances that started too low and out of key, there were too many performances that lacked energy and way too many performances that had really poor song choices. A really uneven night. Thankfully Jax, Sarina-Joi and Tyanna saved the episode.

*On a positive note, Sarina-Joi, Jax and Tyanna with a mix of Loren, Joey and Katherine were pretty great. I think so far the guys have a better chance of winning this whole thing, but if the few girls that have been outstanding stay outstanding then they can go a long way.

*So prior to the Top 8 Men Singing Next Wednesday and Top 8 Women Singing Next Thursday we will learn which 4 guys and 4 girls respectively will be eliminated. Hopefully with 8 less people singing in next week's show we will get to hear a little more judge's feedback and learn a little more about these contestants. Because the past 2 days were so fast paced and it was all singing and singing there was no good opportunity or time to get into who these people are. So I hope things slow down a little next time.

That's it. Hopefully you enjoyed the past couple days of the show and this recap. Come on back here next time for Top 16 week. So until then, see ya!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 24: Top 12 Men Perform

Welcome back. Tonight begins the 2-night performance episodes on the Top 24. The Top 12 Men will perform tonight, and the Top 12 Women will perform tomorrow. The episode was taped last Thursday at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. Live performances will not begin yet but Live voting does. Though we won't learn the results of the men and women until next week prior to the beginning of Top 16 week.

We have been tracking our favorite contestants from the auditions. We started out with a Top 30 after auditions, that number was reduced to 16 by the House of Blues performances last week and now we are left with only 10. They are:

From Nashville=Michael Simeon, Sarina Joi-Crowe and Savion Wright
From New York=Jax, Adam Ezeglian and Katherine Winston
From Minneapolis= Mark Andrew
From San Francisco=Adanna Duru, Rayvon Owen and Tyanna Jones

We have begun to pick out several other favorites that weren't on our initial Top auditions list that have made the Top 24. Tonight hopefully will give us a great chance to see and listen to all of these contestants a little more than we have the past couple weeks when we have only got to see little snippets. There is a lot of singing, and we will try to streamline the whole process for you. So, let's get started:

Top 12 Men Perform

Adam Ezegelian( I Wanna Rock-Twisted Sister)- He is dressed as if he was going on job interview at a bank but then goes into this super rock song. He has a pure rock voice. He puts it all out there, he plays with the band a little, the audience, and gets really into the groove. He starts the show off really well.
Judge's Comments-Jennifer-Is every man. Crazy, very contagious. Harry-Embodies what rock and roll is about. Can really sing. Keith-Loves those kind of heart-aching ballads. 
Our Grade= B+
Michael Simeon (How Am I Supposed To Live Without You-Michael Bolton)- Not sure if I like this old school song choice, but it is a pretty song and he has a pretty voice. It starts off kind of sleepy. He hits some really nice notes in there, but overall it was kind of boring.
Judge's Comments-Harry-tough act to follow, needs him to sing in tune. Good job though Jennifer-like the feeling of the whole thing. Keith-Loved that, and performance, stayed in the moment and control.
Our Grade= C+

Savion Wright (Hey, Soul Sister-Train) - He makes the song a little more funky than the original. He plays the whole thing kind of cool. It allowed his voice to really groove. His voice is really good and I liked to see him so comfortable on stage. The way he sang the song didn't allow any big moments, but he sang well and was solid throughout the whole thing.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Started unfocused but as got on it got more focused. Jennifer-loves his style, keep eye on camera not just in house audience. Keith-Not liking the song choice, he has more strengths than that.
Our Grade=B

Mark Andrew (The Weight-The Band)-He is one of the "elder" contestants at age 29, you can tell how comfortable he is with his voice. He knows where to push and pull it. I like the way his voice sounds. This was a cool song choice, very eclectic. He has a big smile as he sings, you can tell he enjoys himself up there.
Judge's Comments-Keith-Perfect song choice, even without the band. Harry-Perfect song choice, keep singing like that he will be in zone no one else will be. Jennifer-Has a great vibe right now, great chance at this.
Our Grade=A-

Trevor Douglas(Best I Ever Had-Gavin DeGraw)- He is a super fast performer. He just goes for it all, but sometimes he sings so quick that I miss a lyric or two and can't understand what he is saying. He goes to play with the audience and ends up going out of tune. When the song slows down a little you can hear some flaws in his voice. It's like he ran out of breath at points. He is a fun performer, but his voice just loses steam. It wasn't a full performance. Parts were good, some weren't.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Song got on top of him, energy is palpable. Jennifer-This was an OK day, didn't see him at his best vocally. Harry-Strong performance but not vocable.
Our Grade=C-

Clark Beckham (When A Man Loves A Woman-Percy Sledge)- Clark doesn't pick very current songs, but his voice makes him sound current, and that's a talent. His first note hits hard and he continues to make great choices with his voice. He is sans guitar, or piano and it's just pure voice. He puts his whole heart into the performance but makes it look like it's nothing. The high note he throws in there and the way the band stopped on his demand was pretty impressive. Keith gives him a standing ovation.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Goosies all day. Harry-Extremely talented. Fun to see the nitty gritty of things as he goes further. Keith-It was killer.
Our Grade=A

Rayvon Owen (So Jealous-Nick Jonas) Clark's song choice and Ravyon's song choice were created nearly 50 years apart. Amazing. Anyways, Rayvon picked a song that really allowed his falsetto to shine. He can do almost anything he wants to with his voice. He sounds better than he did last week. He stays in tune the whole time, and again those falsettos really enhanced everything.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Elegant, talented that harkens back to Motown singers. Strong and good song choice. Jennifer-America is watching and voting. Don't forget about them. Would've liked a little more attitude with the song. Harry-Good thing to show off the falsetto.
Our Grade=B+

Daniel Seavey(I'm Yours-Jason Mraz)- He comes out playing a little mandolin thing. His voice has still not fully cracked so his voice is a little uneven. I liked the way he hit certain runs. He looks down a few times to the audience standing there, so you missed some of the connection to the home crowd. It was a nice performance, nothing outstanding, but nothing overly offensive. Just good.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Loved the way he looks, the mandolin, good song, interesting hear his voice tackle that song. Jennifer-Needs to make sure he is consistent throughout the whole song. Harry-Competition starts tonight and there is great talent up there. Great job.
Our Grade=B-
Riley Bria (Homeboy-Eric Church) He is the only country guy left in this competition. So that's a big advantage for those that love country and will vote only that way.  I am not too familiar with this song. His voice sounds a little flat tonight. It doesn't really go anywhere. It is consistent, but it just never gets to a great point that I was excited to hear. A little underwhelming . Riley can play his guitar though,
Judge's Comments- Jennifer- Sweet with that little bit of edge. Belongs here. Harry-Can't help but notice that he is a little like Keith. Keith-Great song choice, can't wait to hear more. 
Our Grade=C+

Quentin Alexander (I Put A Spell On You-Screamin' Jay Hawkins)-His style is one that can barely be described, but it's him and it's unique. The song itself and performance is super intense. His voice is amazing. He hits every note almost differently. It's so unique and creative. I liked the intensity and powerfulness of the performance. Really cool.
Judge's Comments=Harry-Different presentation across the board, hopes America gives him a chance to stay in this. Makes brave choices. Jennifer-Performing, drama, dynamics, vocals, way he looks. Perfect. Harry-Hasn't made a record yet and it was a Grammy performance.
Our Grade=A-

Nick Fradiani (Thinking Out Loud-Ed Sheeran)-He is another "elder" contestant at 29. He, like Mark Andrew, knows his voice so well that he can do whatever he wants to it.  He isn't intense like Quentin or high energy like Trevor but he is a great blend of a beautiful voice, very knowledgeable about his talent and a nice performer. Overall just a wonderful job.
Judge's Comments=Keith-Perfect song choice. Jennifer-Don't want anyone to go home. Did a great performance. One of the best. Harry-Really strong.
Our Grade=A-

Qaasim Middleton(Uptown Funk-Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars)- I love the current song choice, but his voice sounded a little thin to start. He is a true performer. He dances, works the audience and stays in tune for the most part. His performance definitely enhances his voice. His voice might not be as strong as others but he has that little extra something special on stage that others do not.
Judge's Comments=Jennifer-Make me want to dance and sing with him. Crazy every time. Harry-Leave it on the stage, give everything you have and he did exactly that. Keith-Stands out, has charisma, killed it.
Our Grade=B+

Our Top 3 Best of Night= Quentin, Clark and Nick

Going Home Predictions = Daniel, Trevor, Michael, Riley

Final Thoughts

*Although the show was taped last week we got to see full performances from each of the guys and there was not one performance that was utterly terrible. Sure there were a few underwhelming performances or voice inadequacies, but overall it was a solid night of performances.

*The 3 that stood out based on their voice, their performance or a combination of both were Quentin, Clark and Nick. I think Daniel, Riley, Trevor and Michael might be in trouble. None of them were terrible, but they were either inconsistent or lacked having a really great performance and moment.

That's it. Come on back here tomorrow for a full recap on the Top 12 women as they perform. Hopefully it will be just as solid as tonight's episode. So until then, see ya!