Thursday, February 26, 2015

American Idol Season 14 Top 12 Females

Taped... from Detroit, it's American Idol..

And will be live blogging a recording of the recording, once again. I really should be grateful these episodes are only an hour.

1. Lovey James- "Love Runs Out"

First of all, the title of the song alone might be risky considering her stage name and all, but she probably will not be run out of the competition quite yet. It was a reasonably credible pop performance for a young girl, seemingly on par with various stars of Radio Disney that I have not heard of. Lovey certainly seems to have been at this show business thing for most of her young life and seemed quite comfortable on stage tonight.

2. Adanna Duru- "Rather Be"

I was trying not to pay attention to whatever the situation was with her hair and/or wig. Vocally, I thought the performance was sort of a mixed bag. It started off too low for her and it seemed like she was having a hard time being heard over the band. Then, she put it in overdrive and really wailed towards the end. That might have a bit of an impact with viewers, but it seemed a bit disjointed and unnecessary to me.

Is the band's drummer wearing a Chicago Bears hat? In Detroit, no less?

3. Alexis Gomez- "Gunpowder and Lead"

I find her sort of annoying. At least she was wearing shoes on stage tonight. Yeah, she comes across like more of some Bohemian hippie chick than some sort of Latin/County hybrid performer. This song has been done a few times on Idol now,and while I do not think she sounded horrible, it felt sort of amateurish. Maybe she was smiling too much about wanting to shoot some guy. Towards the beginning, some of the notes sounded wonky too.

4. Joey Cook- "Somebody Like You"

Speaking of annoying... no, this was not an Adele song, but apparently a Keith Urban country number done in Joey's own unique style, which made the whole performance feel like some sort of avant garde joke that fell flat. She as even giggling instead of singing for parts of it. Was that part of the act? I could not really take anything positive away from her vocals. She could have at least done something "indy" and it might have felt more authentic. Like I said about one of the guys last night, she is more of a cartoon character than an actual singer. I wonder though what the late Illinois GOP luminary Judy Baar Topinka would have thought about the accordion being played by a vocalist on the Idol stage.

5. Katherine Winston- "Safe & Sound"

Her name sounds like it belongs to an old lady rather than an 18 year old. This was another song I did not know, and Katherine's performance was another one that was just ok. She has a nice vocal tone, but seemed a little nervous and the song really did not go anywhere or allow her to show off much of a range. At least she did not annoy me anywhere near as much as the last two performers.

6. Shannon Berthiaume- "Who Knew"

I have to admit, I was a bit excited as she started performing this song. It has never been done on Idol before and it can be quite powerful. That being said, I think this may have been a major misfire for Shannon, who through the audition rounds, came across to me as someone with a lot of talent and potential. It would probably be cliche to say that she was not going to sing this as powerfully as Pink has, but she really managed to butcher it. To me, it sounded like it had all sorts of pitch and enunciation issues, and that she was unable to connect to the lyrics. What a shame, because Shannon is probably far more talented than she showed tonight.

7. Loren Lott- "Note to God"

My parents have seemed to adopt her as their favorite in the auditions for some reason. She is very talented, but like some other singers on AI before, she comes across to me as primarily an actress, as that is what she does. Tonight, she indeed did come across as a young, thin Jennifer Holliday, complete with the ugly face thing as she was hitting the big notes. I cannot say Loren has all that talent, but at least she went for it tonight, and parts of it were pretty powerful. I do not know this song, but it sounded very Gospelly, and I think that might have been a smart move in trying to get the votes of some older watchers, including African-Americans. I hope and believe at least one person will wind up singing better tonight though,because I would feel weird if the future Broadway hopeful Loren takes the night by default.

8. Shi Scott- "Umbrella"

This was just so weird. Shi (pronounced "she" thus rendering pronouns redundant) came across as a delusional diva to me when I watched her audition episode, but I have to say that she did prove that maybe she really could sing in the Hollywood stuff that would later air. I do not know what to make of this performance. She sounded like Bruce Springsteen trying to sing Rihanna and her outfit might not possibly have been appropriate for the hour on network tv. This is the kind of performance that maybe somebody needs to watch a few times to appreciate what she did with the song, but I really do not want to have to watch it again. It sounded grating to me.

9. Maddie Walker- "Love Gets Me Everytime"

Maddie Walker is from Iowa and Scott Walker is leading in the polls in Iowa. It is very early in both competitions and both probably have a bit of a learning curve in their various endeavors. It was some tv b.s., how they had cut her last week on the show, and then changed their mind and declared her the winner in a sing-off over some older girl, who was probably better anyway. Maybe they think that Maddie's youth will make for better television visuals, but vocally, this performance was pretty vapid and High School talent show like. I found the deliberative "woo's" and "uh-huhs' to be annoying. I have a hunch the only really good performance tonight is going to the the final one and I think I know who it is going to be.

10. Sarina- Joi Crowe- "Mamma Knows Best"

Ok, maybe this was a good one. Well, at least compared to most everything else on that stage the past two nights. This is SJC's fourth time attempting to become the American Idol, and she finally made it through to America's vote. That is similar to the paths taken by the last two winners, Candice Glover and Caleb Johnson. I have to say that I was fairly impressed by her voice and performance ability. I doubt she had gotten much buzz out there among fans headed into tonight, but people may now take some notice.

11. Jax- "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" 

What kind of song was this? Nancy Sinatra? Another very weird one for me to "judge" and comment upon. There is so much about "Jax" that I also find annoying and off-putting, but I do think she probably has some talent. I am sure that some people will believe she was able to shine through this evening, but to me, it seemed like she went too far out of her way to be "different." Vocally, she sounded hoarse, but maybe she always sounds like that. I think she would be a frontrunner for all 14 seasons in "Idol Contestants Most Likely to Fail a Drug Test."

12. Tyanna Jones- "Lips Are Movin"

The 16 year old from Florida may not look like a traditional pop star, but I really do think she has a great voice, and that has been evident every time Idol has shown her leading up to tonight. This may not have been a perfect vocal for her, but she just sounds like a pro, and there is something about the way she sings and comes across in interviews that makes her easy to root for. I think she has what it takes to go pretty far.


12. Joey Cook
11. Shannon Berthiaume
10. Maddie Walker
9. Shi Scott

8. Alexis Gomez
7. Jax
6. Adanna Duru
5. Katherine Winston
4. Lovey James
3. Loren Lott
2. Sarina-Joi Crowe
1. Tyanna Jones

I have to say, that it is remarkable how strong I think the African-American contestants are this year. No, that does not mean I will be voting for any black Democrats or even Dr. Benjamin Carson anytime soon, but they have easily been the most impressive over the past two nights in my rankings and my quick 20 votes via Google will be going to Tyanna tonight, just like how I voted for Qaasim last night.

If eight are going through though, I will say the only "wrong" decision by America will be that Maddie Walker will outdo Katherine Winston. Adanna might not totally be safe though, especially if there are people out who want to see more of Joey or Shi than I do.


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