Wednesday, February 27, 2013

AI Season 12- Vegas Girls Elimination #2

Good grief, can Ryan's pompadour get any higher? His hair has pretty well reached Buster Poindexter levels. At least his lavender shirt, purple tie and matching pocket square are nice. Once again, he warns us of Sudden Death, but I'm almost certain that no one is going to die on stage tonight.

Randy appears to have more hair than usual too. Or it's thicker. Or it's a lot darker. Whatever the difference is, it outweighs the red framed glasses and the gray plaid blazer with sparkly threads. Nicki has her hair in a side part with visible roots. I can't tell if it's a wig or not, but if it is, it's a better one than she's worn over the last few months. She's wearing a rather pretty black and white hibiscus print dress. Tonight I notice that she has really beautiful skin. I really like Mariah's hair- it's softer and fluffier and curlier than usual. She's wearing a black and white strapless dress, and my notes say: BOOBS!

Tonight's 10 girls rise from the depths, and for a change, I think we've seen all of them before.

#1. Melinda Ademi, 19, from Yonkers, is a Season 10 veteran. Her family, as we're reminded, is from Kosovo. She's wearing a black and white leopard print top, black leather shorts, purple tights, and boots. Her performance style is squatty/marchy/prancy and her song has lots of "no no no no" in it (that's not an opinion, those are the lyrics). She has a nice enough tone, but she's also totally forgettable. I'd say that this is Goodbye Melinda.
Keith-loved her performance
Nicki- compared her unfavorably to Mini-Miley last week
Randy- there weren't enough *moments*
Mariah- gently prepares Melinda for the worst

#2. Candice, 23, from South Carolina, also a returning contestant. She has side-swept hair, a white bedazzled jacket over a black top and pants, and red heels. She sings Natural Woman, and omigod, I'd buy this one. Right now. This is one of the best performances of the season. It's controlled and restrained up until it's not restrained at all. I have absolutely no criticism of this performance.
Keith- Standing O
Nicki- confused as to why Candice didn't make it last year
Randy- likes her confidence but wants her to cut loose more (Sorry Randy- I disagree).
Mariah- makes a special point to compliment the smart arrangement

#3. Juliana is only 15, and a high school sophomore. She's wearing a short, summery, white dress which we can barely see behind the massive guitar she's playing. Juliana has an interesting voice- pretty in a little-girl way, but she's also very breathy. There were some iffy notes but for the most part, this is fine.
Keith- mentions the cello-sized guitar and some pitch problems.
Nicki- says Juliana already has a signature sound but wonders if the timidity will play out in the rest of the field
Randy- applauds her for staying true to herself
Mariah- says Juliana is angelic

#4. Jett is 25, and from Seattle. She gave up an academic scholarship to the UW for music. She sits at a grand piano, wearing a sparkly black off-one-shoulder loose tunic top, and very red lipstick. She starts out low and slow, though she builds intensity. Sort of. Her voice is okay but kind of thin. This is a tepid performance.
Keith- compliments the musicianship and the arrangement, but not the singing
Nicki- underwhelmed
Randy- ditto
Mariah- not sure where Jett was going with the song, and not sure it matters

#5. Christabel is 29, from San Antonio. She's a worship leader with three children. And speaking of Buster Poindexter, her's is shaved on all sides and very tall on top. She's wearing a rather grandmotherly white cardigan with lace and an all-over design of black bows, a black shirt, a flared red skirt, huge red beads, black leggings, saucer-sized hoop earrings, and booties. Oh and there's a sequined bow at her waist, which might actually be a belt buckle. She's singing an Alicia Keys song very Alicia Keysish, with lots of head waggle and prancing.
Keith- loved her croaky-cool voice
Nicki- begins with ummmmm, then says she liked the song choice but thought the rasp was out of control
Randy- Standing O. Seriously.
Mariah- wants more gospel

#6. Aubrey is tall, very very tall. She has about 12' of leg, and she's wearing tight, very short dress with a sort of steam-punky sequined design of gears and such. She's singing an angsty song but she smiles throughout. I'm not impressed.
Keith- likes her poise and fire but doesn't mention the singing
Nicki- is obsessed. Praises everything from her voice to her attitude to her confidence to her beauty (at which point the camera pans slowly up from Aubrey's ankles. Given those legs, it's a long pan)
Mariah- thinks Aubrey is limitless

#7. Rachel, from Arkansas, is the smiliest contestant this show has ever had. She's wearing a black top with cut-in shoulders, and black pants. She sings in a lower register than you might expect, and I like her, so I feel like Miss Bingley when I say that she smiles too much.
Keith- gives the band a shout-out. He likes this new side of Rachel, but thinks maybe the song was too big for her
Nicki- loves the new-found confidence
Randy- likes that she sang an uptempo song
Mariah- maybe kind of liked her earlier performances better

#8. Breanna Steer, is 18. She has sort of streaky, sort of blonde hair, and is a hurricane survivor. I can't decide whether she's wearing a very form-fitting jumpsuit, or if it's a black top tucked into very high-waisted black pants, but either way, it's unflattering. She sings a fierce number with a Latin flair. Her voice has a nice tone.
Keith- unfamiliar with the song (note: this is unusual. Keith usually knows every song), but he liked it
Nicki- would give Breanna a record deal right now
Randy- loved it
Mariah: ditto

#9.  Janelle Arthur is our only blonde tonight. She's a three-time contestant. Tonight she's wearing a fringey, orange western shirt, blue jeans and brown boots. She has a nice country voice and the arrangement has a lovely key change. Janelle is pulling out all the stops.
Keith- says it wasn't the best song for her
Nicki- heard a disconnect between Janelle and the music, and that she tried too hard
Randy- (direct quote) Yeah, I mean, but I mean, and I mean... not the right song
Mariah: again ditto

#10. Zoanette, 20, comes to us directly from Crazytown. Her yellow curly hair floats around her head like it's in some sort of non-gravity chamber. She's wearing a black leather jacket over a very tight black tube top, with a leopard print mullet skirt and leggings. This is... well... dramatic. After last week's decidedly batshit performance, I am surprised to hear a rich and deep and HUGE voice coming from Zoanette. She's halfway through the song before I realize that she's singing Circle of Life. I'm pretty sure that the last time we heard that song on this show, JHud was singing it. Zoanette isn't entirely in control of her big voice, or much of anything else, I think, and her slow-deep vibrato is more of a rumble than anything else. But, she's compelling (and suddenly I get a vision of her singing Evelline from The Wiz- don't nobody better be bringing her no bad news).
Keith/Nicki/Randy: Standing O
Keith- loves her unpredictability
Nicki- moved nearly to tears
Randy- Zoanette showed everyone why she's still in the competition
Mariah- proud of her spirit, which is too big to be constrained

So, all 10 have performed and there are fully twenty minutes left. Methinks we'll be having some filler.

My guesses as to tonight's Lucky 5: Candice, Juliana, Breanna, Aubrey, and maybe Zoanette (for the drama, if nothing else).

Jimmy Iovine is in the audience, ready to cast a tie-breaking vote, but as the judges rise from the depths, we learn that he wasn't needed.

Randy takes a good long time to tell Zoanette that she's in (yougotcher filler right there).
Mariah gently tells Melinda no. Ah more filler- hugs for everyone. One at a time, down the entire row. Long hugs.
Keith tells Juliana no (hugs all around).
Nicki gives Aubrey the nod (hugs)
Randy says no to Christabel (huggies).
Mariah tells Candice yes (of course) (more hugs).
Pure logistics tell Jett that she's going home, which she knows before Keith tells her officially (still more hugs)
By the same token, Breanna knows she's in before Nicki confirms it. (even more hugs)

That leaves Rachel and Lauren, a fairly even choice. They're both country, and they're both competent singers (though neither is Carrie Underwood. Or even Lauren Alaina). I wonder if the judges tossed a coin.

However they decided, Randy sends Rachel home. Massive hugs.

So I was 4 of 5 tonight- not bad.

Tomorrow night- the last 10 guys. Woohoo!

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