Okay, before we get to the recap of last night’s performances on “American Idol,” can I just say, WHAT ARE THESE CONTESTANTS THINKING? It seems like they are choosing the wrong songs with regularity, not understanding the urgency of giving it their best shot while they have the opportunity. It just makes me crazy and I think it makes the judges crazy as well. Last night the performances were less than stellar. In fact, many of them were flat-out awful. But it wasn’t always that maybe the judges mis-calculated and sent the wrong singers through to this round. It was mostly about poor song choice. With that, here were the good, the in-between and the bad from last night, with a prediction for tonight’s results show.
Alison Iraheta is only 16 and as Simon Cowell correctly pointed out, she looked out of her element when Ryan Seacrest was interviewing her, and then when she took the stage she was a completely different person. This girl has unbelievable vocal ability at such a young age, and last night she sang Heart’s “Alone.” Randy said she “blew it out of the box,” Kara said Alison doesn’t know how good she is, Paula said she was the best so far (she went fifth), and Simon said she was the best so far by a mile. Alison would not have advanced last week, but with the way last night’s semi-finalists performed, she has a great shot now.
Kris Allen is a 23 year old dude from Arkansas, so you wouldn’t expect him to sing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” would you? I was scared, but dude pulled it off nicely. It was rough at the start but he really nailed it as a whole and could be a dark horse. Kara said she thought it was the wrong song, Paula disagreed and so did Simon, saying Kris showed confidence, and Randy said he did a nice job without his guitar, as he had done before in Hollywood.
Adam Lambert closed things out with a wild version of The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” This guy is a pretty boy who has a theater background, and his voice is just monstrous. But the performance last night was a bit over the top and if he can rein things in a bit, he could go really far. Paula said she loved it and was practically drooling, Simon said parts were excruciatingly bad and parts were brilliant, Randy loved it too but said parts were overdone, and Kara said Adam’s vocal ability is great.
Nick Mitchell (a.k.a. Norman Gentle) sang some song I’d never heard of, but it doesn’t matter what he sings. This guy is all about the show, and he turned in maybe the weirdest performance the show has ever seen, almost making love to the “American Idol” logo. If Nick would ditch the Norman routine for once, he might actually have a decent career, because he can sing. But he doesn’t know how to shut off the theatrics. Simon said it was “atrocious” and that he is praying Nick doesn’t make it through, Randy said he was entertaining, Kara said Nick was memorable, and Paula said he was different and fun. Whatever, if he makes it to the finals it’s because America’s jokers voted him in.
Megan Joy Corkrey is a 23 year old mom with tattoos all up and down her right arm, and she sang Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” and did a decent job, albeit with some weird stage moves. Paula said it was the right song and Megan is hip, Simon said she oversang parts of it, Randy said Megan was interesting, and Kara said she was very unique and could be a breakout artist depending on how things shake out in this competition.
Matt Breitzke is that big, burly welder dude and sang Tonic’s “If You Could Only See” as if he were a singer in a classic rock cover band. Seriously. It wasn’t horrible, but was just so bland. Simon said he likes Matt but hated that performance, telling him he chose the wrong song and would have advised him against it if he had the chance. Matt disagreed, but I think America will prove Simon right. Randy said it was a boring performance and not what Matt is capable of, Kara said he didn’t show enough, and Paula agreed with Kara.
Jessie Langseth is a 26 year old mom of an 8 year old girl, and she has a real natural beauty about her, but is quirky as well. Jessie sang Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes” and it wasn’t bad but wasn’t awesome either. Randy said it was just okay and didn’t blow him away, Kara said Jessie took some risks and had some good moments, Paula said she was “captivating,” and Simon said he thought she was forgettable.
Kai Kalama sang the ’60’s classic “What’s Become of the Broken-Hearted” and he has a nice voice but it was such a mediocre performance and song choice. Kara said there were some pitch issues but that Kai gave a good effort, Paula also said he was pitchy, Simon said it was old-fashioned and corny, and Randy said he thought it was much too safe of a song choice. I have to agree with both Simon and Randy.
Mishavonna Henson is a 17 year old girl who auditioned last year and didn’t make it, but did so this time. She sang Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” and even as she announced the song I wanted to scream. A young girl singing a male rock band song? Just so weird. Paula said she didn’t like the song choice but that Mishavonna sang it well, Simon said she seemed serious but that something was “off,” Randy said Mishavonna came across as much older than 17, and Kara said she didn’t loosen up enough.
Jasmine Murray had so much promise and kicked things off last night with Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song,” and it was, sadly, all over the place pitch-wise. Was this really the same Jasmine Murray we expected to land in the Top 12 with ease? Randy said it was both good and bad but definitely pitchy, Kara said it was all over the place and not her best, Paula agreed with Kara, and Simon said he was disappointed and that maybe Jasmine isn’t ready for this yet.
Matt Giraud went next and this is the soulful singer who is a dueling piano player by day. Matt sang Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and it was so totally the wrong song choice for him. Kara said Matt blew us all away in Hollywood but not with that performance, Paula said it was a risky song choice, Simon said it was verging on horrible, and Randy said we all know Matt has talent but that he agreed with the other three judges.
Jeannine Vailes, who many of us I’m sure never saw in the opening auditions or in Hollywood, sang Maroon 5’s “This Love,” and it was positively the worst performance of the night. I mean, it was downright painful to watch. Paula said Jeannine has great legs but made no reference to the performance and for good reason, Simon said it was terrible and the wrong song choice, Randy also said it was the wrong song, and Kara said it was way overdone. Jeannine begged America for a second chance, and in fact many of the contestants last night did this. But it begs the question, WHY DIDN’T YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR CHANCE NOW????
Anyway, some mediocre showings last night may be good for a trip to the finals, because some were just so bad that it made everyone else look better. I think Adam is a slam dunk to make it through, and I like Alison and Kris to take the other two spots, with possibly Megan or Jessie or even Nick grabbing the third spot. For that matter, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Megan was the top female and Alison didn’t make it. It should be interesting to see how this one shakes out, and we’ll see you tomorrow with the recap!