American Idol: Top 13 Performs

8 03 2012

The Top 13 sang for the first performance show of the season.

Well, the first REAL one. The first one that opens the phone lines to a democratic voting system to let ‘America’ decide the best and the worst. (or at least, most popular and least popular)

I had a hard time with this one, not gonna lie. I think it was the ‘theme’ and the execution. The theme was Stevie Wonder for the guys and Whitney Houston for the girls. The ‘Celebrity mentor’ was Mary J Blige.

I’ve told you how I feel about them forcing these girls to sing Whitney Houstons songbook. Its very specific, it’s iconic, it’s so closely associated with HEr and HER god-given abilities. She has been the ‘untouchable’ artist every year, in every singing competition. ‘Dont Sing Whitney’. This year, people who shouldnt be singing Whitney, are being faced with quite a challenge. The ONLY reason they are doing this, is because they wanted to be the first show to do a Tribute. They couldnt let X Factor steal that from them.

And don’t get me started on Mary J Blige… who so conveniently crops up on these shows minutes before her new record or new tour starts. Every time. But they couldnt have invited Selena Gomez for this occasion right? Don’t worry, she’ll get her shot. I’m sure her people are working on it.

Let’s get to the singing, shall we?

Joshua – had NO problem channeling Stevie Wonder and knocking another song out of the park. His voice is undenyable, his charisma is infectious and confident, he can SANG. This was a perfect theme for him, right in his wheelhouse.

Elise Testone – attempts the first Whitney song. And I’m thinking, this could be a long night. ‘Im your Baby tonight’? Really? IT sounded like a girl completely unfamiliar with this style of music. She was lost, so she ended up just getting through it and hoping there would be worse to come… she wasnt far off.

Colton – sang ‘Lately’ with a moody, rock ballad vibe. It’s a tough gig trying to get through this competition as an ‘alt’ musician. This was probably brutally hard to pull off, but there are likely rougher waters ahead for this guy. I love what he brings to this competition, I’ll always be wondering what he’s going to pull off! I wouldve liked to see him at the piano again.

Shannon Magrane – The leggy blonde Volleyball player. That’s how I remember her. I SHOULD be remembering her for her voice, but I dont. She has power, but she is another victim of snging a song WAY too BIG for her. ‘I Have Nothing’ requires Whitneys pipes. But that’s not her fault, it’s the producers in my opinion… she wouldnt have attempted that song had she not been forced to pick a Whitney song.

Deandre- Funniest moment of the night, was the response he had to seeing himself crying on the bigscreen “Lawd have Mercy!” Classic reaction. I was worried about teh kind of artists Deadnre is making himeself, and last night he continued to confuse me… but he was still highly entertaining. That falsetto is going to get him places, and that hair? Lawd!

Skylar – The country singer – a little bit Lambert, a little bit Clarkson and a little bit Reba. She did what was expected with this theme – she took a Whitney song, ‘Where do Broken hearts Go’ and made it a Skylar song. I dont know that I LOVED it as a Skylar song (the nasally country sound aint always my cup o’ tea) but she showed herself as the artist she will become. Love it or Hate it… she was certainly NOT the worst of the night,

Jermaine – I was not a fan of his the minute he sang Luther Vandrose. Who is your audience? I dont have much to say about him because I found myself drifting and getting a snack, and checking my email… during his performance. It was – fine (?!) I’m not excited by him.

Erika Van Pelt – I feel like we still havent seen Erika. She has moments, and she had some monets last night. But I need her to unleash and show us a performance worthy of winning this show. Beacuse, I feel liek she could be a contender if she chose the right songs and had the eye of the tiger. There’s no time to hold back. But I really hope we see her again next week. Again, I think this might be the result of an unfair theme…

Heejun – is an enigma. He is dryly humorous, totally charming and yet,  confusing. He’s a real character, and I like that! However, I often feel like he’s still riding this competition like it’s a week at band camp. Then he opens his mouth, and it’s pure and hauntingly beautiful. He had another really outstanding performance last night, I hope he can break the mold next week… do something hip and cool.

Jeremy Rosado – got his second chance, and unfortunately didnt deliver. He has a nice voice, but his song last night was dull, dull, dull. NO excitement, no big notes, no ‘moments’. Even J-Lo didnt cry and ‘face melt’ as he was singing…what does that tell ya? He was that bad…even his biggest fan was unenthused.

Hollie – The small blonde with the big voice. This girl actually had the chops to belt out a tough Whitney song with some impressive gravtas. Was it just me, or did most of these singers sound bette rin their rehearsals than on stage? I found that with a few, and in particular Hollie (and Shannon who bombed). It was actually one of the best of the night for the girls… but that’s not REALLY saying much.

Jessica – You knew it was coming right? As soon as they said “Whitney” you knew someone was taking on…’THE’ song. ‘I will always Love you’ will go down as THE Whitney song, and the song only a handful of epople will EVER be able to sing. One of those people, apparently, is Jessica Sanchez. Holy smokes. Youtube this one if you didnt see it.

Philip – is in his own category. It’s hard to critique him. He’s so unique, and so ‘into it’…that you just know he’s all about the music and landng the ultimate ‘gig’. I’m so glad they are taking a chance with this guy and letting him do his thing in this competition. He proved last night that the format wont get in the way of his style.

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