Wednesday, February 25, 2009

AI- Top 36, Group 2 Performance

Things feel a bit off tonight, and not just because it’s Wednesday. The extra day did no favors for any of this bunch.

Ryan, wearing Polo Casual, stands in front of Group 2 and asks where else might we find a welder, a bartender, a font designer, and a comedian all in the same room. My husband and I look at each other and say, “Everywhere?”. A unicyclist, a brain surgeon, a highway line-painter and Midwestern Governor- that’s an unusual grouping. This bunch? Not so much.

After Paula’s public comment about preferring only three judges, I’m prepared for tension, but she and Kara evidently worked it out before the show. Not that I disagree with her, but it’s a wash as to whether Randy or Paula is the extraneous member of the panel.

First up is Jasmine Murray, 17, from Mississippi. She’s singing that song about the girl who refuses to write me a love song. Jasmine is a lovely girl, with a good voice. I thought she was one of tonight’s Sure Things, but this is bad. Awful. Horrible. Topped with the worst sort of Prancing Pony choreography. Even Paula can’t find anything good to say about the performance.

At first I can’t place Matt Giraud, 21 of Kalamazoo, but then I remember him- he’s the piano player who is Not Taylor. He’s singing Viva la Vida, by Coldplay (I say that like I know the song). He enters with some sort of Scooby-dooby-doo move, and it goes downhill from there. Everything about the performance is a mistake. What little melody this song provides is masked by runs and quavers and excessive Harry Connick Jr-ing.

Jeanine Vailes, 28, Washington DC, is wearing denim shortie-shorts and the tallest heels I’ve seen on this show. Both show off her stunning legs (runner’s thighs on that girl). She’s singing some Maroon 5 song that begins rough and then improves slightly, but not enough. When Paula starts out her critique with a compliment on your appearance, you know you’re in trouble. And for once, Randy made a relevant comment-the singing has to be good for the performance to work. And the singing just wasn’t good.

You know what? I’m not wasting bandwidth on Nick Mitchell. The show put him through, and the show deserves him.

I don’t believe we’ve met Allison Iraheta, 16, of LA. I am finding her raspberry hair, goth prom dress, and total lack of grace, off-putting. She’s singing Heart’s Alone,which Carrie Underwood killed. I figure it’s going to be yet another trainwreck in a very trainwrecky evening, but Allison nails the song. She has a powerful voice, and is the best of the night, so far. Now she needs to work on her stage presence. And not making those weird faces.

I don’t remember Kris Allen, 23 from Arkansas, either. He looks like Hal Whatshisface from all those VH1 I Love The Whatever shows. He says he’s going to sing Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror, which cannot be a good idea. It’s not. He bounces and crouches and prances, and though I can hear that he has a nice voice underneath it all, I don’t like this performance.

Megan Corkrey, 23, single mom, is now Megan Joy Corkrey. She’s wearing a pastel girly dress with huge fabric foofs on the bodice, and pastel girly nylons, and pastel girly shoes, all of which clash with her full-sleeve tattoo. She’s singing Corrine Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On, accenting weak vocals with dips and swivels and grins and winks and some sort of weird hip-shake that gives me the shudders. I disagree with the judges totally on Megan.

Matt Brietzke, 28, OK, is the welder from Ryan’s intro. He’s singing some song by a band called Tonic, which has very little to recommend itself by way of a melody. I remember that I liked Matt’s voice, but there is nothing in this song to show it off. Oh my, he’s disagreeing with Simon’s dislike of the song, which is not a wise move.

Jesse Langseth, 26 from Minneapolis, another single mom (a designation that has sort of lost its novelty power). She resembles Lauren Ambrose, and is wearing a rib-knit top that looks like she stuck her arm and shoulder through the neck opening by mistake. She sings Bette Davis Eyes and is okay, but needs to shut up during the critique.

I am most interested to hear Kai Kalama, 27 of CA. He was one of my audition favorites, but I’ve not heard his voice since then. I hope he still sounds good. And yep, he does. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted is a great song for his voice, though not so great for this show. I reluctantly agree with the judges, that it was slow and old-sounding. I am also a little sad about the Shirley Temple hair.

Elfin Mishavonna Henson, 18, also of California, is a return contestant, though I have no memory of her from last year. She’s wearing a strapless blue satin bubble dress over a black tank top and leggings. Oh, and there’s also a wide black belt with vertical glittery stripes, and a blue flower in her hair. A whole lotta look going on there. She’s singing Drops of Jupiter, and throwing in odd little high notes at weird intervals. It’s consistent with most of the performances tonight, in being not very good.

We finish with 27-year-old musical theater refugee, Adam Lambert, another Californian. I would have sworn he was no older than 17. I think it’s the hair- I have a hard time picturing someone nearly 30 voluntarily sporting that do. He’s singing The Stones’ Satisfaction, and it’s even worse than I expected. Adam himself is too everything- too sculpted, too chained (with a padlock hanging around his neck, for crying out loud), too booted, too eyelinered. And he can stop caressing his nether regions any time. This performance makes me want to reach for the mute.

Good grief- that was a wretchedly painful two hours. Allison Iraheta was the only stand-out, with Kai a distant second. I have no idea who is going to make it through to the Top 12 from this group, but lemee tellya, I’d rather listen to Tatiana than most of these kids.


Kathy said...

Adam gave off a very theatric Elvis vibe in my opinion. Pretty sad when Norman was the most memorable performance!

LizzieHelen said...

Alison and Mishavonna (sp?) were the best girls. Their songs showcased their voices best. I was a bit worried when Alison said she was singing a Heart song, but she did indeed nail it. The guys in general were unmemorable except for Adam. Even "Norman" didn't sing as well as he has in the past. So many promising singers, so many bad song choices---aaaarrrrgggghhh!