Friday, March 04, 2016

American Idol Top 8

I did not have time yesterday to live blog while I watched the recording of American Idol, but even as I was starting to fall asleep, I managed to rank the performances and am going to try to see what I remember.

First, we learned that the format would involve the Bottom Three vote getters singing at the end of the show and then the judges were going to save just one, bringing the group down to eight. Looking back at last week, in which I thought everyone did quite well, I thought the Bottom Three would be Avalon Young, Tristan McIntosh, and Gianna Isabella, despite the fact that in my rankings, I had Gianna up at number 4 and Lee Jean at 9. My sense was that it would be an all female Bottom Three though at this stage, per recent Idol history.

Now, the performances. The first seven had received enough votes to be safe until next week.

1. Dalton Rapattoni- "Radioactive"

From what I remember, he gave an entertaining performance in the minute and a half he was given, and it did not sound terrible, but I do not really see him as a legit rock singer.  There is definitely more theatrics and musical theater to his style. Something seemed to be missing.

2. Lee Jean- "Use Somebody"

I give Lee credit for attempting a song like this which might be somewhat out of his usual chill comfort zone. He played electric guitar while he sang on stage alone, which must not be easy. I thought it was decent and continue to believe that at the age of 16, he has a lot of potential, but I could hear some shakiness, perhaps because of nerves in his voice, and it was just some minor details that kept him from having a stronger performance.

Then, when they came back from commercial break, something weird, pre-taped, and probably unnecessary was shown, The Top 10 performed with Demi Lovato on her song "Confident" and it was pretty bad. The four guys did not sing a word, but they all played electric guitar, or at least pretended to. I guess we are led to believe they are all guitar players though. The six girls sang along with Demi and it was bad all around. Not all of them had solos though, so based on past precedent, I did not rank the vocals. Olivia Rox sounded bad though on her line, even though she did this song already this season. Tristan McIntosh did as well. La'Porsha Renae and Sonika Vaid sounded a bit better on their one line and Avalon Young and Gianna Isabella did not get a line. So, that's enough about that "performance."

3. Sonika Vaid- "Since U Been Gone"

Last week, Kelly Clarkson judged while Sonika had a real moment. This week, for the second time, she covered a song associated with Clarkson. She said she would bring a new confidence to the performance, but it seemed like she took a step back. It was a credible vocal, but she seemed less than committed to the kind of power the song should entail and it was not at the level of her previous live performances.

4. MacKenzie Bourg- " I Want to Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)"

He is definitely playing the Idol game well. Who would have believed he would have attempted a well-known Whitney Houston hit. MacKenzie brought his own interpretation to the song though and while it might not have been perfect, I found it impressive. Perhaps though, I was just trying to forget the living nightmare of watching my beloved Republican Party shattering before my eyes. Interesting, MacKenzie did not do the song as an acoustic guitar ballad, but instead some sort of midtempo guitar performance of some other musical style that I could not put my finger on. He also played the sick grandma card, which could get him some voters.

5. La'Porsha Renae- "Halo"

There is not much to say. She is really good. If she were on a season like Candice Glover was, when all the males chosen were purposely substandard, she would be a heavy favorite to win. I liked her version of this song and she showed incredibly technique and switched it up a bit from the usual Beyoncé version. I found myself wishing she was going to do the original part though.

6. Trent Harmon- "When A Man Loves a Woman"

This song has been done on Idol a bunch of times. I was starting to get pretty tired by the time Trent started to sing but I remember thinking that he did a very good job, especially towards the end. He has all sorts of vocal tricks and made an old song sound interesting. I think it will probably be popular with older Idol viewers. This is two weeks in a row where La'Porsha had a great performance, and then the next person came up and maybe outdid her.

7. Tristan McIntosh- "Go Rest High On That Mountain"

Mark me down as somewhat surprised that Tristan survived the Bottom Three. I think she was lucky to do so since she has seemed not quite ready on all of her live performances thus far. This was a good deal better though. I do not know the song, but maybe she is a country singer after all. Perhaps the piano playing helped her, but she seemed really connected and sounded good.

The Bottom Three now sing for the Save

8. Avalon Young- "Earned It (The Weekend)"

She continued her unbroken trend of only singing songs by male artists. She is all about wearing makeup now though. I always feel a bit mixed by her performances. At parts I think she sounds very interesting and at parts it seemed tedious. This was another example, although all things considered I think she did very well and the judges seem to have her as one of their favorites. Bad news for the two younger girls who are to follow.

9. Olivia Rox- "Trouble"

It is hard to believe that Olivia is in jeopardy this "early" in the season. A couple of weeks ago, I had her pegged as the "Chosen One." Idol voters just must not have been into her. Perhaps because she is from Southern California where the show has always been somewhat blasé or maybe because she has a dad who is some sort of a rock star, though I do not think he is anyone too famous.

I was fighting fatigue, but from what I remember, I thought she did very well on this Pink song. I think that despite her youth, her talent, while not always consistent is pretty apparent.

10. Gianna Isabella- "If I Don't Have You"

She was the second teenage female with a parent in the music industry to not get enough votes to survive. I actually thought she sounded good last week but she did not get good reviews from others. From what I remember, it seemed like Gianna was resigned to her fate at this time, since two singers were going home but she did the best she could and proved her talent as well.

This was a really good Top 10. I wish we had more weeks to have gotten to know them all a bit more on the stage. Two had to leave though in this final season of Idol.


10. Lee Jean
9.  Dalton Rapattoni
8.  Sonika Vaid
7. MacKenzie Bourg
6.  Gianna Isabella
5.  Avalon Young
4.  Tristan McIntosh
3.  Olivia Rox
2.  La'Porsha Renae
1.  Trent Harmon

Based on tonight and based on the season thus far, I would have saved Olivia, and for all we know she had the third least number of votes. Going first last week probably did her no favors with the voters on what was a strong show. It seemed fairly clear that the judges would find a way to save Avalon though and that is indeed what happened.

So, goodbye to both Gianna and Olivia. I hope they learned from the experience and find success in the future. I have more important things to worry about these days though.

I do not know what the elimination format will be for next week. Even last night, everyone was pretty good and I sort of hate to have to put Lee at the bottom and wanted to find a way to justify putting Dalton there. It was close, but I just could not do it.

Nonetheless, there seems to be a distinct edge for males on Idol once again this season. Can Avalon survive her trip to the Bottom Three and get more votes? I think she and Lee are going to be in Bottom Three, and Tristan or perhaps Sonika will join them. This is really tough to predict. If the person with the least amount of votes has to leave, I guess I will have to go with Lee.


At 7:32 AM, Blogger Steve Boudreaux said...

You're thinking Sonika ends up in the Bottom 3 next week ?


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