Idol’s 2nd round of semifinal competition heated up last night as the remaining 12 ladies took the stage to showcase their talent. Thankfully, they were better than the Men. However, there were still a few duds in the bunch.
1. Ta-Tynisa Wilson sang Only Girl In The World (Rihanna): Hands down executed the worst vocal performance of the evening. Honestly, I am not sure she sang a single note on pitch. And that’s a tough accomplishment. That’s like betting nil in Spades and actually puling it off. She made me cringe. I assume nerves got the better of her. It was a wasted effort.
2. Naima Adedapo sang Summertime (from Porgy and Bess): Naima is true performer. She worked the stage and the audience over as she delivered a finger snapping, jazz-flavored rendition of Summertime. Her talent is undeniable. There’s something special about her.
3. Kendra Chantelle sang Impossible (Christina Aguilera): Made more of impression on me with her wardrobe than she did with her vocals. She has incredible range I discovered but I completely disagreed with the song selection. I started tuning her out shortly into the performance. Nice voice. I liked to hear her use it differently. The blue-eyed soul approach underwhelmed.
4. Rachel Zevita sang Criminal (Fiona Apple): Rachel graced the stage looking very reminiscent of burlusque artist Dita Von Teese. I had high expectations when her performance began. Those hopes were dashed pretty quickly. Rachel made a poor song choice. The performance was forgettable and the vocals were subpar.
5. Karen Rodridguez sang Hero (Mariah Carey): Karen offered a bilingual rendition of Mariah’s mega-smash anthem Hero. I think most singers know to stay away from signature songs of Mariah, Whitney, Aretha and several other notable legends unless you can somehow match their deliver or one up them. Karen obviously didn’t get the memo. I thought I was watching the talent portion of a pageant contest. There is nothing special about her voice. When you don’t have a stirring voice, the last thing you want to do is a sing song originaly popularized by a diva. NEXT!!!
6. Lauren Turner sang Seven Day Fool (Etta James): Lauren’s delivered a quirky, off-beat performance. Singing seems to come easy for her; performing, on the other hand, does not. She moved about the stage in herky jerky fashion wearing that hideous ensemble. It was an eye sore. She definitely needs to be molded. She was utterly forgettable by mid-point of the song.
7. Ashton Jones sang Love Over Me (Monica): Ashton has a voice. She is a true singer. That said, the song selection was wrong simply because Monica’s Love Over Me is not a well enough known song to really move a crowd. It’s obvious Ashton is a performer. She worked the stage with ease. If she wants to move on in this competition she’ll have to mindful of her song selection.
8. Julie Zorrino sang Breakaway (Kelly Clarkson): Julie undertook past Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s hit Breakaway. Julie’s rendition was underwhelming. There was passion, no emotion. She’s a pretty woman with no direction. She needs to figure out who she is as a vocalists.
9. Hailey Reinhart sang Fallin (Alicia “off”Keys): Oh dear! I can’t even to begin to make much sense of Hailey’s performance of Fallin’. Sometimes things that are terrible make me laugh. Other times, they make me cringe. In this case, I cringed…repeatedly. It was awful. Honestly, no one but Alicia “Off” Keys should ever sing this crappy song. I guess I was supposed to impressed with her kind of smoky, bluesy (dare I say. apologies to all blues singers) vocal stylings. Well, I was not. Those runs were terrible and the growling was so amateur. Growling out phrases doesn’t make me think you are really feeling it. Lastly, what in the hell was she wearing?
10. Thia Megia sang Out Here On My Own (Irene Cara): Thia’s heart was really into the song so I give her credit for that. But she needs work. According to the judges and the live audience she was amazing. BULLSHIT! Her singing was pitchy. Definitely wasn’t a fan of she presented. Boo!
11. Lauren Alaina sang Turn Up Your Radio (Reba McEntire): Lauren came out like gang busters. From first to last note, she was determined to make an impression. She looked very comfortable on stage; great showmanship; effortless vocals. I enjoyed the texture of her voice.
12. Pia Toscano sang I’ll Stand By You (The Pretenders): Pia delivered a near flawless performance. She probably wins the award for best female performer of the evening. Though I wasn’t nearly as moved as the live audience and judges, it was apparent Pia had a voice. I got the feeling there is much, much more to her voice than what she presented.
Definitely interested in seeing who gets knocked out of competition. My top 5 choices are: Naima, Pia, Lauren, Ashton and Kendra.
Soon as I heard that Simon Cowell would no longer be apart of Idol I feared his replacement would be some bleeding heart type who was unable or unwilling to give honest feedback to the Idol contestants. Last night’s edition of Idol confirmed my fears as I watched Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson fawn over several Idol performances that were lackluster to downright shitty. Of the remaining 12 male contestants vying to make the Idol top 10 only 3 guys seemed ready for the big stage and bright lights. I expected much better than what I witnessed. It was bothersome watching the Idol judges praise mediocrity. Grr!
Let’s discuss last night’s performers:
1. Clint Jun Gamboa sang Superstition (Steve Wonder): It was a pretty energetic rendition that sort of drove me crazy. Midway through his performance I was ready to change channels and give up on Idol before the contest had even gotten started. Clint joyfully skipped back forth across the stage singing his little heart out. I wasn’t crazy about his offering but after my nerves relaxed I realized the kid has a voice.
2. Jovany Barreto sang I’ll Be (Edwin McCain): Snoozefest! Could this guy be anymore boring? I hardly remember him.
3. Jordan Dorsey sang OMG (Usher): What was he thinking? I can’t even begin to describe what ungodly and unnatural thing Jordan did to Usher’s song. Whatever it was, it was an abomination that needed to be condemned to hell.
4. Tim Halperin sang Rob Thomas’ Streetcorner Symphony (Come On Over): Tim delivered an awkward and lackluster performance. I couldn’t wait for it to end. Watching him move about the stage and sing a tad bit out of tune was uncomfortable.
5. Brett Loewenstern sang Light My Fire (The Door): Brett wins the award for silliest performance of the evening. Offbeat movement + hair tossing (ad nauseum) + terrible song selection = waste of fucking time. Send this kid back to wherever he came from. Painful
6. James Durbin sang You’ve Got Another Thing Comin‘ (Judas Priest): The rocker dude. Meh! The vocals were clean but the performance was lacking. He picked a terrible song for his voice.
7. Robbie Rosen sang Angels (Sarah MacLachlan): Robbie butchered MacLachlan’s beautiful song, vocally wandering aimlessly around the song’s melody switching in and out of his chest and falsetto voice. It was an ill-advised song choice. The silly grin he had on the face the entire time aggravated me. He really thought he was killing it. NOT!
8. Scott McCreery sang Letters From Home (John Michael Montgomery): Thankfully, Scott had the foresight to sing a song that fit his voice and style. It was a strong performance. Am I the only one who thinks Scott resembles the Mad Magazine character just without the freckles and gap teeth?
9. Stefano Langone sang Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars): Ugh! Stefano was pretty weak and not because he can’t sing. His rendition of Just The Way You Are was emotionally flat. The vocals were cookie cutter and unspectacular. He was missing the true connection with the material he was singing.
10. Paul McDonald sang Maggie Mae (Rod Stewart): Paul is definitely a stylist. I wouldn’t label him a strong vocalist at all. However, if he can hone his thing he could sell a few albums. That said, I found his quirky and offbeat performance underwhelming. 30 seconds into it, I was ready for him to get off the stage. I don’t see him winning it all.
11. Jacob Lusk sang A House Is Not A Home (Luther Vandross): Jacob probably delivered the most flawless vocal performance of the evening. However, I was very disturbed by Jacob’s many facades. The fake humility and expressions of gratitude as he listened to the Judges’ critics; the exaggerated finger wagging to the heavens and reverence to God; the Freddie Jackson like strut downstage when the song began; and the Whitney Houston-esque quivering jaw/lips to punctuate his vibrato to close out his performance. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in the longest time. The man has issues.
12. Casey Abrams sang I Put A Spell On You (Screamin Jay Hawkins): I have no words for the bullshit Casey called a singing performance. The song choice was idiotic and his menacing, growling delivery of it was asinine.
Overall, the performances were shit. Only 2 or 3 of the vocalists sang songs that fit their voices and really showcased their talent. Hopefully, the Ladies will be a hundred times better this evening.