April 19, 2012

Guest Post: American Idol Recap - Top 10

Here's a recap of American Idol - Top 10 from Guest Blogger Daniel...

Colton Dixon’s “Piano Man” was not only a flawless vocal but an amazing visual as well

Idol is back and they are doing Billy Joel night. I actually knew almost all the songs that were sung. Wait! Did Steven Tyler just say “If you can't sing Billy Joel you can't sing at all”?!? Never mind. Also this week each contestant worked with Tommy Hilfiger to develop a “style.” I think this is kind of unnecessary and don’t like the idea much but it should be interesting. Oh and guest mentor Diddy. Let’s recap!

DeAndre Brackensick                       Only The Good Die Young
I already don’t really like the fashion advice thing. Anyway, DeAndre takes on one of my favorite Billy Joel songs in only the good die young. His meeting with Jimmy and Diddy was kind of awkward, with Diddy telling him the song was about being desperate for you know… their parents don’t want them to do. First off how cool was that silhouette thing he did at the beginning of the song! Anyway I really liked this. DeAndre performed with lots of energy and charisma and sang very nice vocals and the best thing about his performance was how much fun he was having. He was clearly having the time of his life up there. I loved it. I also agreed with Jennifer that he showed a gravel in his voice at times that I hadn’t heard before. DeAndre continues his hot streak. A-

Erika Van Pelt                                    New York State Of Mind *Worst Performance Of The Night*
Oh God! So many things I hated. First, as a proud New Yorker, I was appalled to see a New Englander singing what she called “an anthem for New Yorkers.” And in response to that little thing she said in the video about Red Sox nation not being happy about this, Yankee nation isn’t happy either. She also had a total makeover thanks to Tommy Hilfiger, which turned out to be almost as horrifying as the idea of a Red Sox ran singing a New York anthem. Almost. Her new short cut and black hair made her look like a female Adam Lambert. I didn’t even recognize her at first. Anyway, the vocals were poor. She constantly over sang and the parts where she didn’t over sing we terribly flat. I cant imagine at this stage in the competition we will see something worse then that tonight. D+

Joshua Ledet                          She’s Got A Way
This was really out of Joshua’s comfort zone but I thought it was ok. While the vocals weren’t perfect and the chorus coming in for a love song like this made no sense, Joshua did do some things well. While the vocals weren’t perfect they were still pretty good, especially the big note at the end. He also showed more stage presence than he has shown the entire contest, with the backwards chair and the slow walking through the smoke. Also, good for you Joshua for still wearing black despite what Tommy said. B

Skylar Laine                           Shameless
Skylar has such a tremendous voice she showed her strong voice in this performance. As usual she brought her signature spunk and passion to the song. Steven is right that she really excelled when singing the chorus. While it was good, there was nothing especially outstanding about it but I still really enjoyed it. B+

Elise Testone                         Vienna
Elise did a fine job with this song but she used WAY too many tricks in this performance. Sometimes she should just sing straight. Some of her little tricks, especially that one she used at the end, seemed forced and unnecessary. The judges drastically overstated the quality of her performance though, because I think they think she is on the edge and they like her and want her to stay. Anyway, this was good but not as great. B+

Phillip Phillips                                    Movin’ Out
First thoughts. Him talking to Ryan was super awkward. Oh about his performance. He was really good. I will say this though. Jimmy and Diddy told him not to play the guitar, he played the guitar. Tommy told him not to wear grey and he wore grey. He should be careful. I don’t think he’s arrogant, but he might be coming off that way. On other hand though, he stayed very true to himself, which is really great. The bottom line... Who cares? He gave a fantastic performance. When he hit those choruses especially I felt like he was a star. Overall, fantastic. A

Hollie Cavanaugh                  Honesty
Hollie has been one of those people that has been cruising through the contest thus far and this performance was her first hiccup. She was just off. Her pitch was off for almost the whole song and at points she seemed to be screaming. By far her worst showing thus far. C+

Heejun Han                            My Life
Poor Heejun. He has been grilled almost every week. He has yet to receive unanimous positive comments from the judges and he is in the top 9! I may think he stole a spot from Eben or Reed but I was really rooting for him this week. Oh right and before I get to the performance he had me laughing out loud during his meeting with Tommy when he answered the question "Who are your fashion icons?" with “Jessica Sanchez, Madonna, and Michael Bolton.” When Tommy said “I think Heejun was testing me” I thought, “If Heejun leaves, even though he’s not the best singer, the show will really be missing out because he is so funny." So, his performance. I liked that beginning where he “brought his own style” starting out in a tux, stopping the piano player telling him to speed the song up cause he wanted to dance and then tearing it open to reveal a t-shirt. Anyway I actually thought his vocals were pretty ok. Sure at times his accent was a bit strong and he was a bit pitchy, but he really did a good job. He performed with swag and flair. He also seemed to have a lot of fun. I love that song but I think that because of the situation it came off as sort of an FU to the judges. Like he was saying to them “I don’t care what you say anymore cause its my life…Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone.” He certainly didn’t deserve the smack down that Steven gave him. Anyway, this is probably the toughest grade I’ve ever given. I feel like I could give him anything from a D to an A but in the end I’ll say… B

Jessica Sanchez                      Everybody Has A Dream
Jessica can really sing so she should make sure she doesn’t over sing. That’s just what Diddy told her and in the actual performance, I don’t think she over sang at all. Good call Diddy. Where was that advice for Erika Van Pelt? The very first verse wasn’t perfect but by the time she got to the chorus, she nailed it. The second chorus was absolutely perfect. Jessica hit yet another homerun here. A

Colton Dixon                          Piano Man *Best Performance Of The Night*
On a normal night what Jessica’s performance would be the top performance of the night. But this is not a normal night. I agree with Diddy that when Colton heard it was Billy Joel week he must have been totally psyched. Watching him at the piano surrounded by spotlights seemed somewhat surreal. The visual was just amazing and, of course, he nailed it, in every way. I loved how for most of the song it was just him and the piano and then during that last chorus the band came in. I was watching with my grandparents who have watched most seasons but haven’t watched this one, and the moment the performance ended my grandfather said “He’s gonna be the idol.” Also glad he didn’t change his hair (looking at you Erika). Anyway, absolutely incredible performance. A+

Just a quick note, with Hollie, Skylar, and Joshua all not getting A’s, as of now Colton is the only person who has gotten A’s every single week.

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