Wednesday, February 17, 2016

American Idol Top 24 Group 2 Part 1

I am going to watch the DVR recording of tonight's show and attempt to do this as quickly as possible. At least it is only an hour tonight.

1. Shelbie Z.- "Work Hard, Play Harder"

I remember when she was on The Voice a few years back. Mackenzie Bourg from the last group is also an alum of that show, but neither got extremely far. Shelbie is a strong vocalist and entertainer, in her country genre. She definitely has an idea who her target audience is, which are gals in the Heartland who might identify with her.

2. Manny Torres- "Adventure of a Lifetime"

He has gotten a lot of screen time thus far this season and may have some appeal to both Latino and Evangelical audiences (with the GOP Presidential primary in mind and all) and while I think he is talented, I did not really like this performance. It felt indulgent and it is obvious that Manny really thinks highly of himself and thinks he is a star. I guess that is all part of the American Idol process, but it's a thin line that he is walking and it might turn some people off. It sounded kind of shaky vocally to me.

3. Kory Wheeler- "Let It Go"

Weird spelling of his first name. I do not know any of these songs. That might make it harder to enjoy the performances. This was thankfully not the song from "Frozen" at least though. Kory played piano and tried to appeal to the hipsters out there, but I really did not dig it that much. It felt like sort of like a small-town coffee shop performance and not really the best way to make a first impression on millions of viewers.

4. Amelia Eisenhauer- "Wake Me Up"

Eh. I really do not know what to think about this. Eisenhower would be a good name for an American Idol, but her family spells it a bit differently. I will give her points for some creativity in trying to do this heavily played recent song in a somewhat different way but it sounded sort of shaky vocally in parts. I think she is capable of better.

5. Jenn Blosil- "Sorry"

Before I watch the critiques, I have a feeling the judges will have loved this, but I kind of hated it. I would rather listen to the Biebs sing this than this weird semi-acapella piano version. I know that being a quirky singer with a very affected voice is her thing, but this just was way too out of left field for me. It's not too late for me to say I am sorry Jenn.

6. CJ Johnson- "I'll Be"

Well, he really went back a few years into the American Idol past with this old chestnut of a song. Maybe that was a smart strategy for him as somewhat older viewers might like it (they are not voting this week though),  but it was almost like he was singing something he could have done in his sleep. I This was not the best version of the song I have ever heard, but he did a credible job with it and showed off a bit on the always anticipated "saaaaaaaaid" line. He will probably be playing guitar on his duet. I bet he is paired up with either Daughtry or David Cook.

7. Lee Jean- "Runaway"

I wonder how many of his fellow South Carolinians are going to be watching the GOP Presidential Town Halls on CNN tonight and tomorrow night. He does not have to rely on their votes this week though. At 16, Lee might still be maturing as a vocalist, but I can tell that he has a ton of talent and a lot of potential. This might not have been a perfect vocal for him, but I thought he did very well and I think he might go pretty far in this competition. Despite being African-American, his style of music is very white people to say the last. I would assume that the young white girls who might heavily vote on this show would like him even if he is not white himself.

8. Trent Harmon- "What Are You Listening To"

These really are some odd song choices tonight. I assume Trent is over his battle with Mono, but his noise seemed to be running a bit during this performance. I sort of liked this but I sort of found it weird at the same time. At least he is kind of different though. His style is very hard to classify thus far, although I imagine they will try to market him on the show as a country singer. Some of his vibrato felt a bit over the top, but he has a really strong tone to his voice I suppose.

9. Tristan McIntosh- "Good Girl"

My parents told me a few weeks ago that they had already picked her as one of the frontrunners. They probably liked this performance as well. I thought it was maybe just ok. I think everyone tonight is picking the wrong song, with the possible exception of CJ. Tristan is much like Lee, in that there is a ton of potential there, but at just 15, she needs more experience. It is interesting that she seems to be trying to go the country route instead of pop.

10. Adam Lasher- "Black and Gold"

What are these songs? The gold shoes were sort of a nice touch though. Technically, he probably sang better tonight than anyone else did. It is clear he has a lot of performing experience and has been doing this for a long time. He looks too old to be an Idol contestant sort of. The judges were not that into it. I have a feeling the final two performers are going to get a ton of hype.

11. Dalton Rapattoni- "Rebel Yell"

I am surprised he uses his actual last name instead of a stage name. It sounds like a pasta. From what I understand, he was once in a boyband that Perez Hilton put together. He might have been happy to get out of that situation. Honestly, I wanted to dislike this and in a way I did, but the fact is that he can actually sing, and compared to some of the vocals tonight, you have to score him pretty high for that. He is going to try to switch songs up like this all season. His whole emo or scene look or whatever it is the kids call it seems like it is very 2009 though. There is no doubt he has one of the better voices of the season, but I think musical theater is definitely where he belongs.

12. Olivia Rox- "Confident"

Now, that sounds like a stage name. Since they gave her the pimp spot, the Producers may have her as their Chosen One to win. The odds will still favor a guy though. Olivia grew up in the music business and is certainly talented and fitting for the song she sang is clearly confident as a performer. The vibrato just sounded like it was too much. She had some good moments but it felt inconsistent. I am certain she will get all sorts of praise though.

Gotta say. I did not really love anything tonight. It was mostly due perhaps to song choices. I hope tomorrow is more exciting. I have a feeling that with the duets, it will be.

From worst to best:

12. Jenn Blosil
11. Manny Torres
10. Kory Wheeler
9. Amelia Eisenhauer
8. Tristan McIntosh
7. CJ Johnson
6. Olivia Rox
5. Lee Jean
4. Shelbie Z.
3. Trent Harmon
2. Adam Lasher
1. Dalton Rapattoni


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