Tuesday, April 17, 2018

American Idol Top 24 Group B Part 2

Tonight, I am going to watch a recording of the Monday evening broadcast and liveblog it as I go.

1. Caleb Lee Hutchinson- "Meant To Be"

I am struck by how similar his name is to former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. That would have been an interesting All Star Duet. Instead, Caleb was paired with Bebe Rexha of all people and they did what I assume was a Florida Georgia Line song.

This may not have been quite his kind of country music, and he had to do this without his guitar. I thought he started off a bit shaky, but improved a bit on the chorus when he sang along with Bebe. He fits the old school country niche well, but it cannot be said that he has shown any evidence of a big voice or wide range.

2. Ada Vox- "Defying Gravity"

Rachel Berry dueting on a Broadway showtune with a drag queen is like the most "Glee" thing ever . I am sure it happened on that former Fox show. How come Fox though never seemed to have the cast from Glee actually sing on results night?

Anyway, Lea Michelle and Ada tried to out-diva each other on this song and it was impressive, as far as those things go. Ada's voice is powerful. Why was she dressed as Ada instead of Adam during the rehearsal with Lea though? Was that necessary as to not confuse the audience? It was more noticeable because Ada seemed to be slacking when it came to the makeup and hair in that clip.

3. Maddie Poppe- "Bubbly"

The  most interesting part of this boring collaboration is that Colbie Callait finally made it to the Idol stage. Part of her bio was that she had auditioned years ago and did not even make it to Hollywood, but went on to become a big star, though I do not get the appeal of this song at all.

You can just tell that Maddie's nerves had her defeated. She has a nice tone to her voice, but was so tentative on this, it just left no impact. In order to try to salvage the moment, it felt like Colbie was holding back as well. I suppose the judges will treat it like it was great though.

4. Ron Bultongez- "Someone To You"

Who the hell is Banners? If it's any consolation to Ron, I do not think Banners sounded very good on his own song either. It seemed pretty clear that Ron would have preferred not to sing this song and would have rather played his guitar "Noelle." While I think he has an interesting voice, the vocals were really lacking on this between his enunciation issues, the fact that he probably forgot a lot of the words, and the way he was just jumping around on stage trying to infuse energy into the performance because he did not know what else to do. Much like Maddie, I think he will be better off setting his sights on smaller venues in the future.

5. Amelia Hammer Harris- "Me, Myself & I"

And Bebe Rexha on a duet... Bebe says she is another one who never made it past the American Idol auditions. I have to say, I thought Amelia handled this very well. The song seemed to fit her voice and I enjoyed her portion more than the celebrity whom I believe is the artist of this song. AHH's talent is apparent, although as I mentioned last night, she might be a bit too old and too tall to be a fan favorite in this. Also, since she wants to pay homage to the semi-famous father who was briefly in her lift, she should just go by Amelia Hammer. Was M.C. Hammer available to duet?

6. Shannon O'Hara- "Burning House"

Cam is another musician I have never heard of, but she sounded like a pretty good country singer and looks like Beth S. from the second season of "The Real World" 25 years ago, but anyways, this was about Shannon.

In some ways, this kind of duet might have cost Shannon some moments that she could have shined on, and she seemed tentative at first (like some others tonight), but as it went on, she gained in power and had some really strong vocal moments.

7. Alyssa Raghu- "Yellow"

So, apparently Banners' father was the producer of this Coldplay song. I have never liked this song and I really did not like this duet. Their voices did not blend together very well, even though she has so much talent at just 15 years old. Her solo last night was a lot better. There just was not much she could do to get into it, after sounding really good on the first line. The song just held her back and the discomfort of the situation got more apparent the longer the duet went. Even the judges seemed to have some concerned looks on their faces.

8. Marcio Donaldson- "What's Going On"

Toni Braxton bailed on him for this duet. She got sick or something and this lost opportunity for her career might be enormous. Marco was very scared about what would happen, because it's not like there are other singers just hanging around Hollywood looking to get on tv. Oh look, Allen Stone is back from "last week." It is like I can envision that he had just been hanging out in a tent in the lobby of the theater the whole time.

As for Marcio, he once again showed his old school bona fides, but unlike the technical perfection of last night, he might have riffed into a few misplays here. It was still pretty good though and the shot notice collaboration with Allen Stone worked well.

9. Jurnee- "Run To You"

I do not know this song, but it is definitely not the same one as the Whitney Houston number that Mara did for her solo.

This was extremely good and Jurnee, who showed potential on her solo, stepped it up for this.  She really did  manage to stand toe to toe with Lea Michelle, who was certainly not holding back herself. It would be hard for me to find anything technically wrong with how Jurnee sang it.

10. Garrett Jacobs- "Lucky"

I thought he had a rough time with his solo last night and the duet tonight was maybe only moderately better. These particular Colbie Callait songs have choruses that just do not allow a singer to show off much. Garrett sounded ok at parts in his solo but then seemed to struggle to blend his voice with Colbie. I would have no idea what kind of artist he is trying to be. I would have assumed he was going to be more country pop.

11. Mara Justine- "Fight Song"

This prime time tv performance, which was filmed a few weeks ago apparently, might take some pressure off Rachel Platten, who has been in the news today for totally bombing an attempt at singing the "Star Spangled Banner" yesterday at a womens' soccer match.

Hopefully, for Mara, this song will bring better luck than it did for the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. Once again, she proved she is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the competition. It might not have been a perfect vocal (and a lot of people completely hate this song) but she delivered a very connected rendition with Rachel literally urging her on.

12. Effie Passero- "Diane"

Her original duet partner, Jessie J. might have caught whatever illness also sidelined Toni Braxton, so instead, Effie sang with Cam. I do not think this is the song she would have done with Jessie J.

While this particular country song, which I do not know, sounded a bit better suited for Cam, Effie still sang it really well. She clearly can sing all types of music and is very talented. People are just going to wish she dressed better.


12. Ron Bultongez
11. Garrett Jacobs
10. Maddie Poppe
 9. Alyssa Raghu
 8. Caleb Lee Hutchinson
 7. Marcio Donaldson
 6. Ada Vox
 5. Shannon O'Hara
 4. Amelia Hammer Harris
 3. Effie Passero
 2. Mara Justine
 1. Jurney

Cumulative with tie-breakers:

12. Garrett Jacobs
11. Maddie Poppe
10.  Ron Bultongez
 9.  Caleb Lee Hutchinson
 8.  Alyssa Raghu

 7.  Amelia Hammer Harris
 6.  Ada Vox
 5.  Marcio Donaldson
 4.  Jurnee
 3.  Shannon O'Hara
 2.  Effie Passero
 1.  Mara Justine

Considering who went through last week in regards to 4 guys, and 3 girls, my rankings would have things at 8-6 in favor of the girls, (even counting Ada as a dude), and I think they might want more of a 7-7 split and also want one more white guy. I think they will advance Caleb instead of Amelia.

Who should be eliminated: Garrett Jacobs, Maddie Poppe, Ron Bultongez, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Alyssa Raghu

Who I predict the "judges" will eliminate: Garrett Jacobs, Maddie Poppe, Ron Bultongez, Alyssa Raghu, Amelia Hammer Harris

and after the commercial break-

Who was eliminated:  Ron Bultongez, Alyssa Raghu, Amelia Hammer Harris, Shannon O'Hara, Effie Passero

Once again, I am let down by these judges or producers or whomever. It's like they are seeking out controversy. I predicted Caleb would make it over Amelia, but have no reasonable explanation for Garrett and Maddie, whom I thought were the two weakest in this group, making it over Shannon and Effie, whom I had ranked #3, and #2. I guess they just did not have the "image."

So, the Finals start next week. Some are very deserving, such as Mara, Cade, and Gabby, while others are really lucky to still be alive, such as Garrett, Maddie, and Catie. I believe America might have a way to remedy this though.

Finally, I think Trevor, Shannon, and Effie should join some sort of trio.


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