Rating American Idol Top 12 performances

Tonight American Idol Top 12 contestants sang songs from the year they were born. I’m rating those performances.

1. Naima Adedapo, What’s Love Got To Do With It by Tina Turner:  As the judges rightly said, it was pitchy and all over the place vocally. In a signing competition, that’s a big deal, and not in Naima’s favor.

2. Paul McDonald, That’s Why They Call It The Blues by Elton John:  Another terrible overrated performance. You could have just as well put a goat on the stage – would have been the same vocally.

3. Thia Megia, Colors Of the Wind by Vanessa Williams:  Thia does have a great sound to her voice, but seriously, enough with the ballads already; it is getting boring.

4. James Durbin, I’ll Be There For You by Bon Jovi:  I’ve loved pretty much everything James has done so far, and this week wasn’t an exception. Maybe a little less running around the stage would be nice so that he could concentrate on the vocals a little more. But I love how he makes every song his own and that he is the only rocker there, yet he does not sound karaoke, like last season’s Casey often did.

5. Haley Reinhart, Whatever You Want From Me by Whitney Houston:  It’s tough to sing Whitney Houston, and sure enough, Haley sounded pitchy. However, I still like Haley and disagree with Randy’s constant complaining about the wide range of her musical tastes.

6. Stefano Langone, If You Don’t Know Me By Now by Simply Red:  Very nice! It was so natural and pleasant to watch/listen to, and I always love the passion in Stefano’s voice. Special kudos for avoiding the inherent danger of this song to sound sleepy. And he looks just like Joey from Friends.

7. Pia Toscano, Where Do Broken Hearts Go by Whitney Houston:  Pia has a great voice and it was wise of her to do something different from her usual ballads, but she sounded somewhat insecure in low notes, and the rhythm of the song at times made it hard to hear her.

8. Scotty McCreery, Can I Trust You With My Heart by Travis Tritt:  Another boring country song, but at least Scotty finally pushed it a little bit vocally.

9. Karen Rodriquez, Love Will Lead You Back by Taylor Dayne:  I felt Karen’s passion, and I thought vocals were pretty good. Hopefully Karen doesn’t get stuck in the ballad land forever and expands her repertoire.

10. Casey Abrams, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana:  I can’t even say how happy I am that Casey did Nirvana, right in line with my wishes, breaking all the Idol stereotypes. Maybe he could have toned down the arrangement a little bit so that his voice would have shined more, but it still sounded authentic and very grunge-like yet unique.

11. Lauren Alaina, I’m the Only One by Melissa Etheridge:  Way better than last week’s performance, but still, it lacked the “wow-power”, and I thought the arrangement was sort of noisy.

12. Jacob Lusk, Alone by Heart:  Another great performance from Jacob. I love the emotion in his voice, and the vocals were great too.

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About Allantoin

A Fierce Russian's Perspective is a blog about the world as seen by a Russian immigrant (yours truly).
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One Response to Rating American Idol Top 12 performances

  1. Allantoin says:

    …And a few words on judging.

    Steven Tyler is really becoming useless as a judge. His response to everyone and everything is “That was beautiful”, as if he wasn’t even listening. (Really, all he could say about Naima’s tone-deaf performance last night was something about the tone of her voice? Come on.) He is entertaining (remember how the producers had to bleep him out for at least five seconds after James Durbin’s performance last night?), but that becomes less and less appropriate when he completely misses the (poor) quality of performances he praises. MTV and Entertainment Weekly lovingly call him “Grandma Tyler”, which has some truth to it (even the way he looks aside) as he does sound like a sweet granny who praises her grandkids no matter what.

    Jennifer Lopez was good last night; it felt like she improved as a judge compared to the week before (and she even attended the rehearsal, based on the comment she made about Scotty McCreery holding the note longer “at the rehearsal”). J.Lo gives constructive musical advice, even though some of it, as MTV rightly noted, sounds like an acknowledgement that her own singing career was a farce. (Lopez to Karen Rodriquez: “If you don’t feel comfortable with certain notes, don’t go there. As a professional, you don’ have to.” Yeah, right.)

    In the absence of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson sometimes takes his place this season, delivering bad-but-true news to contestants after Tyler and Lopez overpraise their less-than-perfect performances. However, there are two things I will not let him get away with. First, he (along with the other two delusional judges) refuses to admit that Paul McDonald is a joke whose performances in the final round have been terrible (I’m tempted to say Paul can’t sing at all, but I actually think he might have been able to sound good if he picked different songs – something acoustic or original with just the piano or just the guitar). And second, Randy’s campaign against Haley Reinhart is getting weird – why the hell is he so annoyed when Haley does the same things he praises other (male) contestants for? With contestants this season who sound the same, boring or pitchy every week, Randy’s constant picking on Haley, who is actually quite good, unique and interesting, is just irritating.

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