Overall, Ladies night was pretty lacking in confident performances...here's hoping the boys don't follow suit.
Todrick Hall - Since U Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson.) I just can't make up my mind. Part of me is impressed that, well, he went there. I mean, that arrangement was a hot mess, but I adore that he took a song from their acclaimed first Idol winner, stood front and center and attempted to turn it on it's head.
If only, at the end of the song, he had held out the mic, dropped it to the floor, turned to the camera and said, "Yeah. THAT just happened!" And then walk off?
That would have been a great way to start the season.
Like I said before, if you aren't willing to take a song from other genre and put your stamp on it, I don't have time for you. At the same time, THIS is what separates the wheat from the chaff. This is why musicians vie for talented producers to work with them. It takes ability and talent to turn a song on it's ear. Ability and talent that Todrick has yet to prove he possesses.
And as much of a hot mess as it was, points that this was his "version" of the song...not like when David Cook kinda let it slide and took credit for lots of stuff that he stole from covers done by other bands.
Aaron Kelly - Here Comes Goodbye (Rascal Flatts.) Hey, I've got nothing against pop country...wait...that's a lie. If we're going to listen to country, Give me George Jones or Give me Death. So, I can admit that this song choice is doing nothing for me, personally. When you add the facts that 1) he sings most of it flat and 2) a teen is singing a song that just doesn't play when a TEEN is singing it? Bah. No workie for me.
He hit the big note at the end, sorta, so you know...there's potential, I suppose. But, there's nothing sparking me with this kid. Note on my paper: Bored. No confidence. Augh.
Jermaine Sellers - Get Here (Oleta Adams.) When the first word out of the judges mouth is how they love your look and the song and how the love it when you put blue and yellow together you get green?....basically they are avoiding telling you how much you stank up the joint.
Hello? You're trying to score a job as the latest Top 40 artist, remember? No offense to Oleta Adams, but that song is about as current as Vanilla Ice's starring role in "Cool as Ice."
Although the single greatest moment was when Jermaine is complaining that the show portrayed him as a diva during Hollywood week and when asked if he made up with the pianist, Michael, with the word diva still hanging in the air, he says, "Who is Michael?" You can't write shit that good. Timing. It's Everything.
Tim Urban - Apologize (One Republic.) Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, "The AI Teen Dream for 2010." This is the look my 14 yr old nephew aspires to attain on a daily basis. It's like the 2010 version of Leif Garrett. So laid back with his tousled hair and pseudo-esque Member's Only jacket.
And then he opens his mouth. It starts off a little too Six Flags "Puttin' on the Hitz!"....and then he reaches for that first falsetto. This song is like 80% about the falsetto and he couldn't reach it with a 10 ft. pole and a step ladder. Guf. Horrible song choice. Horrid.
Maybe it's early enough in the voting that his cute boy power will have the tweeners rally round and save him. God knows we need to save that jacket.
Joe Munoz - You & I Both (Jason Mraz.) If you told me to recite all the performances, this is the guy I would forget. I mean, I'm going over my notes and I literally had to go online and was like, "Who the hell is Joe Munoz?"
The thing is, he's probably a better singer tonally than most of the guys. He never went off key or dropped out on a note, and the song was a good fit for his voice. But there was nothing about him that stood out for me. I literally forgot all about him and the fact that he sang this song.
He's kind of like the opposite of Todrick. Todrick came out and threw down a hot mess of a song, but it was memorable in it's own way. I literally HAD TO LOOK THIS GUY UP not even 24 hours later.
I also found it interesting, just as last night, the 4th singer is the first to hear, "you've been the best so far." Out of four. You're the best out of 4. So far. It's really the crappiest compliment to dole out or receive.
Tyler Grady - American Woman (The Guess Who.) Or rather, The Guess Who segued into Kravitz. Note on my paper: He's about as much of a rocker as my big toe. The kids in "School of Rock" had more grit than this dude.
Truly, it's like he saw the cover of some Doors album and decided to embrace that look. It's not a bad look, per se. Style definitely impacts your aesthetic, but, I don't think this guy has any idea of who he is musically beyond, "You kind of look like a dude from the 70's. You should go with that."
**Okay, I have to admit, I really did get bored around this point in the evening. The night before had very little "wow" factor and tonight wasn't improving upon that theme.**
Lee Dewyze - Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol.) While I'm not a huge fan of this song, I thought it was a good song choice for Lee. Fit his voice and his attitude and, let's face it, is a much more of a current trend than Get Here or American Woman (even the Kravitz version is a decade old at this point.)
I think he pushed the vocal just a bit more than he should have and doing so, he went awry on more than a few notes. Still, even with the off notes, I still like his raspy quality. A little subdued on the delivery, but overall, one of the best of the night.
Gah. I hate when the judges are like, "I wanted to hear [insert song/band.] You should totally sing [the band that I WANT you to sing.]" This is not a critique. This is a request. You have to talk about what's on the stage, not what you wished for was on the stage. SHUDDAP, Judges.
John Park - God Bless The Child (Billie Holiday.) Dear John, If you're unaware, it's the year of our Lord 2010....Dude. Catch up.
It's not even the song choice. I love standards. Love them. I love a good crooner. Me likey lots of different genres. But the delivery of this song is gah...not good. You're a 7th level triller dude. Lighten up on the vocal gymnastics.
The band makes it worse by using chimes. CHIMES, people, CHIMES. It's like I just walked onto the lounge of The Love Boat. Honestly? I would roll my eyes at Issac and walk out.
It's not even like a standard classic delivery (like Holiday) or a blues delivery (like Etta James) or even a (somewhat) more modern take (like Blood, Sweat & Tears.) It's just a cheesy rendition.
He starts too low in his register. While he has a nice tone to his voice, it's BORING. And it's not the song that's boring. It's him. He's not really connected to what he's singing. He's not feeling it and I'm not feeling it. Worse, he's boring me. Love the song. Bored by this performance. Bah.
This is one thing those catty bitches on Project Runway have 100% right. Do anything, create something that slaps me in the face...but never, ever, ever Bore Me.
Michael Lynche - This Love (Matchbox 20.) Really? Your first big break in front of millions and you're throwing down MB20? REALLY. Crap it. You've got a good voice, more personality than half the other guys put together, the world revolves around new parents - you've got it all going for you...and you come to the fight with MB20 in your pocket.
I like you Mike. You're fun. You seem like a sweet guy and I'd love to buy you a beer. I love the fact that you are such a giant of a man, when you hold your guitar, it looks like a ukulele. You are personality plus and the audience loves you...so you're safe as houses. Sigh.
I don't know, I liked it, but I didn't love it and I just want him to wow me.
WILL SOMEONE, ANYONE WOW ME PLEASE. Purty please?
Alex Lambert - Wonderful World (James Morrison.) I think I've heard this song before, but I'm having a hard time recognizing it. Or maybe it's one of those songs that sounds like 30% of what's on the radio anyway and that's my consternation.
I don't think this song choice did him or his emo-mullet any favors. He doesn't have a bad voice, but something about the arrangement make it sound like he's off key in parts. And what was up with the delivery of "Me" at the end of each line. It was all, "Meee. [breath] eeee." Wasn't sure if it was an intentional choice or if he just couldn't hold the note, but it did it more than once and it was extremely off-putting.
I agreed with Simon...I was glad when it was over.
He is the weakest link. He is...the unripe banana. Goodbye!
Casey James - Heaven (Bryan Adams.) Okay. Let's just put it out there. He is a pretty, pretty man and the camera loves him. Even with his obvious nerves, you can see him push through and give a nice, measured performance.
He didn't knock the tar out of it, but he came off as one of the most comfortable on stage and he picked a song that suited his voice and cemented his standing as cougar bait.
Also...I wish I had his hair. He is pretty. Prettier than me. Sigh.
I must be running out of steam. Because this is when the Judges really laid into the bits about Kara digging Casey and blah blah, shirtless, blah blah, pretty, blah blah. WHO CARES. I'm too tired to yell at the stupid judges for their played out bits. Bah.
I just hope they got it out of their system, because I really won't be able to take it week after week. And Casey's gonna be around for a while.
Andrew Garcia - Sugar, We're Going Down (fall out boy.) Hmmm. He's one of the few folks I caught a glimpse of before hand. He did this sah-weet version of Paula Abdul's Straight Up, which was smart and fun and told you who his is as an artist.
I'm really hoping he's gonna knock it out of the park...especially since they put him in as the clean-up batter for the night. Say what you will about this song, but I defy you to deny a lyric of "I'll be your number one with a bullet, a loaded God complex, cock it and pull it."
He puts a little spin on it with the acoustic flavor and I like it (don't love it as much as Straight Up), but it does the job is is 72% more interesting than 90% of what we've watched tonight.
Bottom Two Ladies: Lacey Brown & Janell Wheeler
Bottom Two Men: Joe Munoz & Jermaine Sellers
Going Home: Lacey Brown/Joe Whatshisface
Who should go home? Tim Urban, but the tweeners will save him. Haeley too...but I think she'll get the "Sanjaya" vote and they'll keep the weirdness around for another week.