Wednesday, March 19, 2014

American Idol Top 10

This week is busy. So much politics. So much sports. It is March and this is truly madness. So, my time is limited for blogging about American Idol. I am about to watch the show but am going to keep the comments briefer than they have ever been before. That's only fitting I suppose considering how low the ratings are for Idol this season.

It's Billboard Top Ten songs from the past few years:

1. MK Nobilette- "Perfect"

So, far from perfect. She had a bit of a comeback last week and stayed out of the Bottom Three, but I am already assuming that will not be the case. She seemed disconnected the entire time, and her voice wavered from being shaky to somewhat decent. Then, she totally lost her place in the song and it was one of the most obvious timing trainwrecks that I can remember in Idol history. She just seemed like she was going through the motions this week, perhaps like I will be doing with this write-up.

Singing into a mirror to start a performance has already been done on "The Voice" and by a far more talented lesbian singer.

The studio audience seems so blase tonight as well

2.  Dexter Roberts- "Cruise"

They have him styled like he is in some sort of 2003 Boyband.

I do not know this song. He sounded pleasant enough in his typical country way for the first verse and then as the song kicked in more and the speed of the lyrics increased, I thought he was running out of gas and sounded out of tune. At least he did not basically give up on the performance like the previous contestant did.

3. Jena Irene- "Clarity"

What the hell? I had her ranked first last week and when they showed her practicing in the studio she sounded good. I expected to like this but this was pretty cringeworthy. She was way, way off pitch for portions of the song. Maybe she would have fared better just doing a more simple acoustic version of it, such as on the piano, where she has been very successful before. Did we really need to hear "Everybody get those glow sticks up in the air?" She is talented but seems to be trying to do way too many different things from week to week and her voice is either hit or miss. I suppose some people may have liked this EDM moment on Idol, but they were possibly trippin' on Molly.

How could Harry Connick Jr. have not hated this? How can they not be calling her out for this? I just do not get this. The show may just be trying to fix it so MK goes and is put out of her misery. She certainly looks miserable sitting on the couches.

4.  Alex Preston- "Story of My Life"

This is the first ever One Direction song done on Idol. Alex looks like he could be British I suppose. He probably hates this song and everything about 1D but he is content with "selling out" for the votes.

This is another tough one for me. I thought he sounded off sounding decent and I thought this would easily be the best of a below subpar night thus far, but it was still a bit too weird and quirky for me. Towards the end of the song, I thought Alex sounded bad and I think he recognized that he hit a bum note or something as well and it kind of threw him. He is probably a better live singer than the lads of One Direction, but this sounded like a cheap imitation of the record by the time it was over, and I am not even a fan of the song.

Somebody tonight has to be really good and make this worthwhile.... So, far, (like was the case two or three weeks ago) everyone has been bad to start off the show and it's Dexter by default for sucking the least.

JLo tells Alex he reminds her of Buddy Holly. I can make a case for tonight being the Day the Music Died.

MK is still really pissed off in the lounge. She is totally trying to be Justin Bieber during his recent legal deposition.

5. Malaya Watson- "When I Was Your Man"

Considering the gender pronouns, Malaya says she is singing this Bruno Mars hit from the perspective of a narrator. Candice Glover also did this song last season to great acclaim.

Malaya is the youngest singer in the Finals, and is extremely raw and unpolished vocally in many ways, but at least there is real talent there. She got about as much out of this song as she could have. It was certainly not perfect but I was impressed by her vocal range, control, and emotional engagement. At least she came out "hungry" to have a powerful performance. I do not think that could be said for anybody else who sang before her tonight.

6. Caleb Johnson- "The Edge of Glory"

I really liked this. He showed off his vocal power and gave a strong rock performance on a song that was sort of stripped down. I almost felt like he could have gotten even crazier with it. This was very good, but he came across more like the second coming (or serving?) of Meat Loaf than ever before. Mr. Loaf endorsed Mitt Romney I believe, so I guess I cannot be mad at Caleb for that comparison.

Caleb's number shtick for the week is him standing in front of the White House with the number 13. I guess that's fitting.

7. C.J. Harris- "Invisible"

He seemed to be really lost in this song, and while that could be a good thing, I think it hurt his vocals. Usually, I like the grittiness in his voice, but he seemed sharper than usual pitch-wise and the song just did not go anywhere. It was just sort of weird and boring.

8. Jessica Meuse- "Pumped Up Kicks"

This is a catchy but morbid song. I wonder if people may have qualms voting for it if they realize what it is about.

For the most part, I thought Jessica sang this well, although I heard background singer Allison Iraheta outshine her on a chorus perhaps. Jessica has a nice voice, but it's a bit quirky as well. I think she will always be better playing to smaller more intimate crowds. I do not think she would have a lot of star power on a huge stage with thousands of people watching live.

9. Majesty Rose- "Wake Me Up!"

There were some nice moments in this, especially at the end, but I think it was another incidence of Majesty failing to live up to expectations. A few weeks ago, she seemed completely confident and in control on stage, but I think the pressure of this competition, especially after a near elimination last week, may be getting to her. She seemed hesitant and shaky for parts of this song and it came across as amateurish. She seemed to be looking into space for much of the performance instead of at the audience, or most importantly at the camera. She really has a lot of talent but the pressure is going to only increase the longer she sticks around.

10. Sam Woolf- "We Are Young"

At age 17, Sam may be a bit too "young" for a song about bars closing but it is certainly a popular one over the past couple of years and I thought he had a good comeback performance.

This is not really the kind of a song where a singer can really show crazy vocal skills, so it was a bit restrained, but all things considered, he got back to sounding very much in tune and very "current." I would probably rather watch Caleb sing rock music in a Broadway setting, which is what he may be destined for, but I can very much envision Sam having songs on the radio one day.

After being in the Bottom Three last week, his fans will certainly be motivated to prevent that from happening again and I do not think he will be in that place anytime soon.


10. Jena Irene
9. MK Nobilette
8. C.J. Harris
7. Alex Preston
6. Dexter Roberts
5. Majesty Rose
4. Jessica Meuse
3. Sam Woolf
2. Malaya Watson
1. Caleb Johnson

In every week so far, my Bottom Three has been in line with how America votes. That trend may or may not continue, but I am going to predict that country will put MK out of her obvious American Idol misery.