April 24, 2012

Guest Post: American Idol Recap - Top 8

American Idol - Top 8 Recap from Guest Blogger Daniel:

Skylar Laine soared to the top of the pack with an Epic rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

We are really at the heart of the American Idol season: the Top 8. The theme for Top 8 week was songs from the 80’s, and the mentors were Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal (who?) from ‘No Doubt’. Also, in addition to the solo performances, all the contestants could be performing duets with another contestant. I will grade the solo performances first and then the duets. Without further ado lets get recapping.

DeAndre Brackensick                       I Like It
Wow, Jimmy was pretty harsh on DeAndre predicting he would be in the bottom three. Anyway, the performance was really good. He did a good job of not over using his falsetto and he just performed very creatively, starting out in the audience and then walking through the aisles to the stage giving high fives to everyone he passed. The whole performance just had a great energy to it. Also, Ryan does a pretty good DeAndre impression. A-

Elise Testone                         I Wanna Know What Love Is *Worst Performance Of The Night*
Thank God she didn’t sing Hallelujah. She just doesn’t have the voice for that song. Anyway how did THIS give Gwen Stefani “goosies”? During the chorus, her voice was kind of overpowered by the back up singers and the verses just sounded sloppy. She had a few good moments, but generally Elise missed the mark with this one. B-

Phillip Phillips                                    That’s All
Phil did a really nice job here. I agree with Randy that Tony Kanal made a great call telling Phillip to stop playing for that last chorus to give it a sense of intimacy. It was also really cool that he was playing with his brother-in-law and he seemed to be having a lot of fun. It may have had something to do with his brother-in-law playing with him, but he seemed more comfortable on stage then he usually is. A

Joshua Ledet                          If You Don’t Know Me By Know
It looks like Joshua sent a lot of his crawfish to his family! That’s nice, but don’t they live in Louisiana? Don’t they have plenty? Anyway, Joshua took on another song that was sung perfectly by Stefano Langone last season. The other song was “When A Man Loves A Woman”, which he nailed. This one was very good too, just not as good as Stefano’s last season, or the original, or most of Joshua’s previous performances. Reading that back I realize I made it seem like it was bad, which it wasn’t. It just wasn’t as good as it could have been. The judges are crowning him and Jessica though and it's kind of annoying me that they are raving about those two while giving Colton almost unenthusiastic praise. I don’t think Colton has gotten a standing O all season and he is by far the best in the competition. I will get back to this later. Bottom line though , Joshua was really good. A-

Jessica Sanchez                      How Will I Know
This was a fantastic performance. As usual, she sang great, but this week she walked the stage with a new swagger. Considering the song, it was a cool little move to start the performance surrounded by boys. I don’t really like her calling herself “BB Chez” though. People that young should not give themselves alter ego names. That aside though, Jessica cleared a major hurtle with this performance. She sang an up-tempo song really well. Her only other previous attempt at a up-tempo song was “Turn The Beat Around” which was something of a mess. Bottom line, this was a big week for Jessica, but in my personal rankings she still trails Colton, Skylar and Phillip. Anyway…A

Hollie Cavanagh                    Flash Dance
In five weeks of live performances, this is the first time Hollie is singing an up-tempo song, unless you count the duet she did with DeAndre. While that was great, this was a train wreck. She was pitchy for the entire song and she seemed to be trying too hard. Below, I will talk about how, after seeing her duet, I thought she was “back” after two bad performances. I also said, as did the judges, that she is better when she just relaxes and sings, because she has a beautiful voice and she just needs to show that to everyone. However , she did not relax. In fact, she seemed tense and verging on desperate. You could see her thinking too much but in the duet she was just singing and it was amazing. I’m not sure if she will make it, but if she does, then I hope she pulls it together because she has a gorgeous voice and it would be a pity for someone as talented as her not to live up to her full potential. D

Colton Dixon                          Time After Time
When I heard what Colton was singing I was a bit concerned. However, he Colton-ized it and he nailed it. I will repeat that to let it sink in. Colton nailed a Cindi Lauper song. His vocals were superb and you could really feel his passion. And the drum thing in the middle was perfect. Still, no standing O from the judges? To quote Gob Bluth “C’mon!”. Seriously though, if you don’t give a standing O for Colton’s “Piano Man” though, then you are impossible to impress and it would appear that they fall in that category even though they haven’t said a bad word about Colton the whole season They just wont give him the props he deserves. I’m starting to get really frustrated about this. Why will the judges almost never name Colton as one of the best at the end of the show when he clearly is? Why won’t the judges appreciate him? This is a kid with incredible talent, who really loves music and who is ready to be a star and if they don’t want him to win, that’s they’re loss. It’s times like this I really miss Simon, who would have seen through all this nonsense and judged honestly. I’m starting to think that Colton might be too good for American Idol and that it might be good if he doesn’t win so he can sign with a producer that appreciates him. I repeat, its not that he’s not good, it’s that the producers don’t want him to win. This has been the most producer-manipulated season of American Idol ever, and I’m at the end of my rope. Oh, the performance? Right. A+

Skylar Laine                           Wind Beneath My Wings *Best Performance Of The Night*
It has been a fantastic night of performances but this one takes the cake. Skylar not only nailed a classic but she showed another side of her. She dropped every note during the verses perfectly and hearing her belt the “Did I ever tell you you’re my hero” part was, quite frankly, heavenly. It was such a great performance I’m not sure how to describe it any further. All I’ll say is, I saw in her something that, before this point, I’ve only seen in Colton (that's right, not Joshua or Jessica). That is an American Idol Winner caliber performance. Skylar looked gorgeous and sung her heart out. A+

Colton Dixon and Skylar Laine performed the top duet of the night with “Island In The Stream”

Skylar/Colton                                    Islands In The Stream
This was fantastic. Of course, Skylar nailed it cause it was right up her ally, but what really surprised me is how well Colton sung this country classic. They had great chemistry on stage too. Too bad they’re not dating cause they’re good together. This was positively flawless. Possibly the best performance of the season. I do not think we will be seeing a better duet tonight. Also Colton doesn’t look bad with blonde hair. A+

Hollie/DeAndre                     I’m So Excited
This was great from beginning to end. DeAndre had an exciting entrance there. They both sounded great and I wasn’t sure how Hollie would sing an up-tempo song, especially considering that she has been slumping for the past couple weeks, but she was great. When she sang her first solo at the end of the 1st verse, I thought that she had come out of her slump (I hadn’t seen her solo performance yet). I agree with the judges that Hollie let go here and that’s what she needs to do. Either way, with this performance Hollie reminded us all what a beautiful, powerful voice she has. DeAndre sang really well too doing some awesome little ad-libs and bringing the same energy he brought to his solo to this performance. They both looked like they were having the time of their lives. This was incredible, but not as incredible as Colton and Skylar were. A+

Elise/Phillip                                       Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
This is a hard performance to judge. The vocals were ok I guess. That said, there were a lot of really strange things about this performance. For one, what was with the fan backdrop? It was distracting and strange to have two fans spinning in the background while they were singing. The other main problem was that they had no on-stage chemistry. They looked very awkward around each other. They actually looked a lot more comfortable when they spread out on stage than they did when they were next to each other. OK vocals+all that weird stuff=B

Jessica/Joshua                                               I Knew You Were Waiting For Me
For the duets, the two power voices got paired up. They’re not just the two power voices actually, they are the two contestants that the producers are really trying to get into the finals. I like them both, but the producers are clearly rooting for them and it’s annoying me. I know it’s not their faults, but still. They are getting the praise that should be going to Colton. Anyway, this was good but a bit over the top. It wasn’t incredible though, and watching the judges predict a possible final between those two and gush over what was really just a solid performance made me sick. A-

No comments:

Post a Comment