“American Idol,” 2/17

18 Feb

The first 12 of “American Idol”‘s Top 36 contestants performed last night. The theme was Billboard chart toppers.

Here’s a look at who sang what and what the judges said…

First up was Jackie Tohn, who sang Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation.”
It seemed to be equal parts Katy Perry and Janis Joplin…but her outfit was definitely more Perry. So, OK performance, scary outfit.
Randy said: He wasn’t blown away, but she’s definitely a good entertainer.
Kara said: She can work a stage and has a big personality; her vocals weren’t great.
Paula said: She’s always loved Jackie – her vocals were not perfect, but “perfect is sometimes boring.”
Simon said: She played the clown; “you didn’t do yourself any favors.”

Ricky Braddy, who we haven’t seen much of so far, sang Leon Russell’s “A Song For You.” I liked it last night..can’t remember much about it today though. Not a good sign.
Randy said: “That was unbelievable.”
Kara said: It was amazing and effortless.
Paula said: She’s glad America gets to finally meet Ricky.
Simon said: It was very good but he has no star quality.

Alexis Grace sang “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” by Aretha Franklin. I really like Alexis, but I just didn’t think she really nailed this song. I guess I just love the original too much.
Randy said: She worked it out.
Kara said: It’s a pleasure to watch her come out of her shell.
Paula said: She has soul, passion and confidence.
Simon said: Best of the night so far and she may be a dark horse in the competition. He also likened her to Kelly Clarkson. “You’re one to watch.”

Brent Keith sang Jason Aldean’s “Hick Town.” It was so drab I wanted to fast forward through it.
Randy said: He liked it and he’d make a great country artist.
Kara said: It was a safe song choice.
Paula said: It was safe but she can see him as a country artist.
Simon said: “Forgettable” and “you’ve blown a massive opportunity.”

Stevie Wright tackled Taylor Swift’s “You Belong with Me.” It was awful.
Randy said: It was really safe and had she originally auditioned with that, she would not have made it through.
Kara said: The song had nothing to do with her and she has an identity crisis.
Paula said: It wasn’t the right song.
Simon said: “Terrible.” The song was OK but she was out of tune; she has “zero chance of making it through.”

Anoop Desai has been getting a lot of buzz…but last night he sang Monica’s “Angel of Mine.” Let me repeat: Anoop sang “Angel of Mine.” And my head bashes against the wall. I didn’t think it was possible for a guy to sound “peageanty,” but he did. I like Anoop but I hated his performance.
Randy said: It was an “interesting” song choice.
Kara said: It’s a really hard song to sing but he has a lot of potential.
Paula said: America has already connected with him; he has a Brian McKnight feel to his voice.
Simon said: First he asked Anoop why he sang that song (Anoop said it was the first R&B song he remembers hearing), and then he said the song was too grown up for him. “We’ve heard you better, but you’ve got massive likeability.”

Casey Carlson sang The Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.” Her awful facial expressions were so distracting – but not distracting enough, because her performance was, again, must I use “awful”?
Randy said: Not good; karaoke.
Kara said: “Everything about that was wrong” (which led Randy to sing that phrase to the tune of “Every Little Thing She Does…” low blow, Randy!). Warned her to stay clear of The Police.
Paula said: Her phrasing was weird and it just didn’t work.
Simon said: Her singing was atrocious and she couldn’t have picked a worse song. She threw away the opportunity.

Michael Sarver sang Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want To Be.” I like Michael Sarver. I like that Gavin DeGraw song. I didn’t like them together.
Randy said: It was pitchy and he likes him better as a soul singer.
Kara said: Song was a great crowd pleaser but the performance wasn’t his best.
Paula said: He did a “real good job” but he switches the mic between his hands too much.
Simon said: “If you get through it’s because people like you” and he said he hopes America gives him another shot.

Anne Marie Boskovich sang Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman.” Though getting a lot of buzz, Anne Marie has never wowed me; her lackluster performance last night didn’t help, either.
Randy said: Not the right song choice for her.
Kara said: It was old-fashioned.
Paula said: She didn’t play it safe with the song choice, but at the same time the song required soulfulness.
Simon said: He compared her to a hotel singer and said her voice wasn’t good enough for the song. “You ruined your chance.”

Stephen Fowler sang Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You.” Again – I like Stephen and I like “Rock with You.” The two should not be mixed, however. I wanted to fast forward through that one, too.
Randy said: He never expected Stephen to choose that song; his vocals were pitchy.
Kara said: He gave a better performace during Hollywood Week when he forgot his lyrics.
Stephen interjects here, and says he’s not comfortable performing without a piano.
Paula said: “Singing that song is like the kiss of death – it belongs to Michael Jackson.”
Simon said: It was pointless and he made a huge mistake.

Tatiana Del Toro sang “Saving All My Love for You” by Whitney Houston. It baffles me how the judges were “shocked” that she could sing. Aren’t they the ones that put here in the Top 36 to begin with?? Their comments really bothered me.
Randy: She had “moments” in which she could really sing.
Kara: Again, she had “moments,” but they have no idea who she’ll be as an artist.
Paula said: It was both pitchy and beautiful.
Simon said: She’s a drama queen who’s “desperate to be famous,” but the performance wasn’t bad.

Danny Gokey sang Mariah Carey’s “Hero.” Out of all the songs he could have chosen, why did he sing this? I’m still blown away by his choice to sing “I Hope You Dance” during Hollywood Week. It’s like he’s trying to “Kumbaya” his way into the heart of America. The man can sing, that’s for sure, but I wish he’d pick something other than inspirational tunes.
Randy said: “Blazing hot.”
Kara: “Incredible.”
Paula said: “Stellar.”
Simon said: Good but not fantastic.

There you have it. What did you think about last night’s 12? Who did you vote for?

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