Tuesday, February 24

AI8 - Semifinals, Group 2 (2/25/09)

No families in the Red Room tonight. And we jump right in...

Jasmine Murry (17, MS) "Love Song" (Sara Bareilles) - Why is she singing a bouncy pop song like a belting diva? Sigh... song choice, song choice, song choice! Now if she'd done something by Fergie... seriously, does she remind anyone else of a cross between Paris Bennett & Fergie? ;-) Anyway, she was one of the most promising females this year & just totally threw her chances away with SONG CHOICE! She did have great stage presence. Randy said it was pitchy & too embellished; Simon said he's disappointed, her voice wasn't that good & she's not ready.

Matt Giraud (23, MI) "Viva La Vida" - Ok, again, people! Have you never ever watched the show before? SONG CHOICE! He said this is the style of music he wants to do & that he was trying to put a "soulful twist on a white boy rock song," but it just. didn't. work. Judges totally agreed. He's gone.

Jeanine Vailes (28, DC) "This Love" - The only female semifinalist we haven't heard yet. Great, long legs... but not great singing. She has a good voice but had some off notes & embellished too much (why do they keep doing that on fast pop songs?). Simon said it was terrible, she picked the wrong song & seemed to struggle through it. (She'd said she picked it because she was comfortable w/it.) Randy agreed & called it pitchy. Kara said it was overdone; Jeanine replied that she knew she needed to "come out strong" since she hadn't gotten any previous screentime and admitted she probably overcompensated. Cannon fodder.

Nick Mitchell / Norman/Normund Gentle (27, CT) "And I Am Telling You" - Well, we've already heard him sing this, but perhaps he's most comfortable w/it & figures if it got him this far... but the vocal wasn't nearly as good this time and the surprise factor was gone. Still had his hilarious moments; like when he sang to the Idol sign and called out "Doogie" in the audience. ;-) Simon said it was atrocious & Nick said the vocal had been much better in rehearsal, he knew something went wrong in the live performance. Randy said it was funny & one of the most entertaining performances (ever on Idol). It was fun, but I think his time has come to an end.

Allison Iraheta (16, CA) "Alone" - YES! Girl. can. SANG. Needs to tone down the gestures but still has decent stage presence & confidence. Judges loved her; Paula & Simon both said she's by far the best so far tonight).

Kris Allen (23, AR) "Man in the Mirror" - really? Sigh. I mean, it wasn't terrible, but unless you're going to do something wackily brilliant like David Cook's "Billie Jean," please step away from the Michael Jackson. We did get a short clip of him doing Michael Buble's "Everything" on guitar in Hollywood, which was nice. Kris is just so adorable and really does have a good voice & can dance and such, but this just wasn't good enough for this stage of the competition. Kara said the front was rough but the end was decent; still prefers the soulfulness she saw in Hollywood. Paula disagreed & thought he "nailed it;" Simon agreed! Simon & Randy both complimented his confidence (something they'd told him to work on).

Megan Corkrey (23, UT) "Put Your Records On" - Goodness, she's strange! Vocals were ok, sometimes very good but other times weak and occasionally annoying. Then there's the wigging, swinging and gesturing she did... that Ryan thought was cool? Um, no. (And Ryan, don't dance, there's a reason you're on radio, lol.) However... the judges absolutlely *loved* her!! I don't get it. Paula said she did everything right & that she's interesting and relevant; Kara called her a "package artist." Simon did think she oversang the 2nd half. I hope she doesn't get through over someone more deserving just because of extra screentime.

Matt Breitzke (28, OK) "If You Could Only See" - When he started I really thought this fit his voice perfectly, and it was good on the softer parts. But not in the louder, more rock-ish parts. I think he's pretty much cannon fodder at this point. Simon said he likes Matt but hated the performance, it was boring & a bad song choice. Kara agreed, saying it really didn't show us anything of what he can do.

Jesse Langseth (26, MN) "Bette Davis Eyes" - LOVE!!!!!!!!! I've loved her voice ever since we first saw her (well, I guess we've only seen her during group round and The Chair sing-off) and I absolutely love this song and she. was. awesome. So professional, polished, knows what she can do well and plays to her strengths... the only possible weakness was that she had her eyes closed too much instead of trying to connect w/the audience & camera. But as a musician loving a song (she said she loves the story & thinks it's "one of the greatest songs ever written"), I can understand just getting lost in the performance itself. She also commented that she liked Simon's comment after the singoff that she couldn't have won w/that performance, because it excited her to fight back & do better! Which IMO she definitely did. The judges seemed underwhelmed though; Randy said it was just ok, nothing exciting. Kara said she looked better than before & took some risks but hit some wrong notes (really?). Paula liked her, complimenting her unique phrasing & identifiable sound. Simon, however, said it was too 'cool' and forgettable. So I voted, a lot. :-)

Kai Kalama (27, CA) "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?" - Well, if they keep singing standards instead of something current, they often get voted off (unless you're Melinda, but not many are that talented). He really is good (and attractive, and can dance) and I would have loved to have heard him do something more recent; I'm afraid this did him in. Kara agreed plus said there were pitch issues. Simon agreed it was old-fashioned, nothing original, and even "corny"; Randy said it was too safe. At least his mom could come out for what will probably be his only live performance.

Mishovanna Henson (18, CA) "Drops of Jupiter" - Again, not a great song choice. She sang most of it well and you can tell she has a good voice, but I don't think it was enough, especially w/Allison & Jesse in this group (and Megan whom the judges inexplicably love). Paula said what I did; Simon said it (she) was too serious/old seeming and that it was technically good but left him cold. Kara said she seemed too "put together" (wanted her to loosen up more) and that she's not sure where she fits musically.

And Adam Lambert (27, CA) gets the pimp spot and chooses "I Can't Get No Satisfaction." Sigh. I hate the Stones & really don't like this song. And then my stupid tape cuts off right in the middle of Adam's performance! Yikes. So I saw the first third or so and the last couple phrases. I love how he started it out slowly, and I agree w/Kara that it showed his range well (the lower stuff is very nice!). Oh, in his preview clip he said he appreciated Kara's advice and would try to connect more w/songs personally & internally rather than on the theater level that he's so used to. Anyway, the crowd seemed to love it and Paula gave him a standing ovation. She said that he's in a league of his own and it was more like a concert than part of a competition. Simon said parts were "excruciatingly bad" (toward the beginning) but other parts were "brilliant." Randy said he's one of the most current artists they've ever had on the show, comparing him to a mix of Steven Tyler, Fall Out Boy, Robert Pattinson (played Edward in the Twilight movie) and My Chemical Romance. ...Yes, I voted, though not as much as for Jesse because I think he's got a lot of fans (and possibly cemented more after admitting he's a Twilight fan himself!).

My predictions: Adam and Allison for the top gender spots. The 3rd will probably be Megan though I really hope it's Jesse instead!!

Tell me what you think!

2 comments:

L said...

This whole season just feels "off" to me. I guess I'm not loving the changes.
It seems strange to hear back-up singers and the band, but not see them. I don't like this at all, and I'll bet the kids don't either.
I thought last night was a little better than Week 1, but still lackluster. The only bright spots for me were Normund and Adam.
Normund made me laugh, and I thought his performance was entertaining....but AI is not the place for him. Maybe the judges will think twice before they put anyone like that through again.
I love everything about Adam...I love how he's over the top and works a stage and growls and sneers and...well, you get the idea. (He's purty, too!)
AI is setting up a "good boy" (Gokey) vs. "bad boy" (Adam) scenerio for sure. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
*waves goodbye to Pez*

Lu

PezKat said...

I'm so glad you're chatting here Lu! And extra glad since you're a fellow Adam fan!! Gah, I was so upset when my tape stopped (I was watching Lost and taping Idol, though I usually tape Idol anyway so I can rewatch performances). At least it wasn't a song I loved.

At first I was excited about the format switch, but now I remember what we loved about the other style - the less pimped got more than one chance to impress the audience, we saw everyone in the finals every week of the semifinals (which was usually a good thing, though I don't mind having a break from Danny G) so we got to know them better, etc.

I like your idea about Good Boy vs Bad Boy! (And who doesn't love the Bad Boys, lol?) Last year the David vs. David rivalry, and of course Ruben/Clay... seems the 2-guy finals have been a bit more competitive & controversial than others over the years. Fine by me, but then I'm usually wanting about 8 guys in the top 12 every year anyway!!