Wednesday, March 20, 2013
AI Season 12-Top 9 Performance
So, it's Beatles Week, during which the kids traditionally take beloved songs they've never heard before, and mangle them beyond recognition.
Jimmy Iovine waxes poetic on the beauty of the music. We have only 9 singers and a full two hour show, so I suspect we'll have plenty of time for waxing tonight.
Keith is wearing a tee shirt with a mustang silhouette on it. I don't know if he's celebrating the car or the horse. Nicki is in a yellow spring peep dress (*peep* the candy, not *peepholes*), very long straight blonde hair with black roots, and nude lipstick. As they walk out, she totters on her very high heels, and Keith had to help her to her chair. Randy is in a black jacket with what looks like a huge pocket watch without works or face pinned to the breast, over a red tee shirt. Mariah is in a gold and black halter-top prom dress. Her face looks thinner this week, and her hair is very straight. She's wearing huge gold hoop earrings which are heavy enough to stretch her earlobes out. They look uncomfortable.
Ryan is in a black suit with a dark tie and a pink pocket square. His shirt is white with all-over cris-cross lines. it's not plaid exactly, but it's not stripes either. He looks dapper.
We get a 5 minute Coke commercial starring several versions of Carly Rae Jepson (who dresses like she's 15 when she's actually 27 or 28) who is this year's Audience Designer Singer for the finale- voters get to decide her new song's lyrics, the background music, Carly's clothes, and maybe even whether or not she'll be sacrificed right there on live TV. Call her, why dontcha?
Ryan reminds us that someone, somewhere, somehow voted to choose which also-ran will get to join the others for the concert tour. He calls out Aubrey (in a robin's egg blue halter dress with awkward bodice gathers) and Charlie (brown sparkly shirt), and then wastes no time saying that Aubrey got the nod. Charlie takes the news well. I have to say that I'm surprised- I thought maybe Charlie had a bigger fan base, and his performance last week should have sealed the deal. But the voters (whoever they are) opted for one more generically pretty girl with a nice-but-not-special voice, over the performer who is actually interesting. Oh well, I won't be going to the concert anyway, so it's not like I'll see either one in person.
We're going to be featuring little clips with the kids and their families, right on schedule for that kind of Background Info Dump.
#1. Kree looks a lot like her late mother. We get several reminders in case we forgot that Kree's parents have died.
JI: Kree is a natural,, and this should be great.
Kree is in all black, with just a little sparkle. Her hair is long and glossy and her makeup is just right. She's singing With A Little Help From My Friends. She's a tad shaky at the beginning, but by the mid-point, she has fully warmed to the task. I don't love this arrangement- it's draggy in spots, but Kree did an excellent job.
K: favorite Beatles' song of all time, everything cool about country
R: the bomb
#2. Burnell lost weight and looks like an entirely different person. This is not necessarily an improvement. Burnell looks healthy, but he also no longer looks like a grown man. He now looks like a teenager. A dorky teenager.
JI: establishes that Burnell had never heard Let It Be before this week.
He's wearing a leather jacket comprised of assorted brown strips, some with buckles, some without, some buckled, some hanging open. Buckles and straps and strips everywhere, even on the sleeves. For a kid who'd never heard the song before, he's doing okay with it. There's no real connection as though, and as always, Burnell's feet are glued to the floor while his hands are in constant motion.
K: favorite Beatles' song of all time, recognizable tone and spirituality
N: likes the jacket and the caressed song
R: establishes again that Burnell has only a passing familiarity with The Beatles
M: worried, but Burnell pulled it off
#3. Amber's dad has a farm. Amber's dad stands and speaks with absolutely no expression on his face or in his voice. Amber has a very large blended family.
JI: cautions Amber about the last note, but thinks she'll murder the song.
Amber is wearing a pretty batik patterned sheath. Her hair is sleek and tied in back, and she's wearing rust lipstick. She's singing She's Leaving Home. It's a very unusual arrangement, but it's working. This is really pretty, and Amber hits that last worrisome note.
R: comments on Amber's modern family, says she started slow but did well, establishes that Amber had never heard the song before this week
M: didn't know the song either (Me: sigh)
K: favorite Beatles' song of all time, Amber made a 46 year old song sound new
N: harps on the lipstick color
#4. Lazaro's family is loud. And Cuban. And proud.
JI: says Lazaro's song choice is ambitious and risky.
He's wearing a bright yellow jacket, very very tight jeans, and red shoes. His pompadour is even taller than usual. Lazaro is singing In My Life, and... whoa... he's holding his microphone way too close to his mouth. He looks panicky and he's barely hitting any of the notes. His breath control is terrible, and this performance is not even good karaoke.
M: praises Lazaro's perseverance, which is never a good thing
K: wrong key
N: feels like Lazaro's confidence is shot
R: worst performance, out of tune throughout
In the after-critique-interview, Ryan allows Lazaro to try to explain that his song, which he had never heard before, was chosen just a day or so ago. Lazaro wipes tears away and Ryan finishes his words for him. It's all very hard to watch.
After the commercial, Ryan gives the judges a chance to backpedal, but mostly they stick to their guns. As hard as they are to hear, musical critiques are sort of the point of this silly show. And dammit, they have a Beatles night almost every season, so it would behoove the kids to search out some of the music before hand, and you know, listen to a little of it. It's not like The Beatles are unknown or anything.
#5. Candice grew up on a small island, and she has lots of sibs.
JI: tells Candice that the lyrics to Come Together don't make sense to anyone, and he tells us that Candice will kill the song.
Candice is wearing black on black patterned pants, a black tee, and a black leather vest with a white back. She still has the raspberry streaks in her hair. I kind of wish she'd chosen a different song (Here, There, and Everywhere, maybe) but she is rocking the ever lovin' shit out of this one. I will say it again: Candice is the only performer in the bunch.
K: loved this, loved the vibe, favorite Beatles' song of all time
N: insane vocal... but... wants MORE attitude
R: ca-razy, happy for the uptempo choice
M: sings like a prize fighter, has an amazing range
#6. I keep forgetting that Paul Jolley is still in this. Paul Jolley comes from a small town, and he grew up on a farm.
JI: enjoying watching Paul develop and thinks he's catching on, slowly.
Paul Jolley is wearing a dark eggplant jacket over a black and white print shirt. The black print sparkles. He's singing Eleanor Rigby, and whattya know? This is good. Not just Paul's best performance to date, but actually good.
N: likes the look but bluntly did not like the performance, called it safe, bland, and forgettable
M: great song but...needs more emotion
K: didn't like the last falsetto note.
Me: whatever the judges heard (and hated), bypassed me entirely
#7. Angie was voted the Next American Idol in her high school. Color me surprised. She has a really sweet brother. Her mom picks up a very cute picture of Angie as a chubby toddler and calls her *fatty*. Any good feelings I might have had about Angie's mom just disappeared. Not that I did have any good feelings about her, but if I had, they'd be gone now.
JI: cautions against over performing
Even when Angie's hair is straight, it's still very big hair, and her mouth never closes entirely. She's wearing black leather skinny pants and a black leather vest with lattice front panels. She sings Yesterday, and whoa- this is pageant with a Capital P. It's worse than pageant, it's off key. Angie started too high, and her voice sounds thin and shrill. It's oversung and overblown from beginning to end.
M: respectful and simple
K: effort visible
N: bleep bleep bleep, started high
Me: man, whatever they heard this time (and loved), bypassed me entirely
#8. I didn't catch whether Devin is in ROTC or if he's actually attending a military school. Either way, he likes the order and precision of the military life. He has adorable younger siblings.
JI: says it's okay to alter a Beatles song if you do it right
Devin is wearing a black jacket over a plum tee, and leopard print shoes. He still has Tintin hair, and I wish he'd let it go back to his natural color- I don't think that strawberry blonde suits him at all. He's singing Long and Winding Road. It's Boy Band , and Devin is adding too many runs, but it's actually an okay arrangement for yet another kid who isn't connecting to the lyrics at all.
M: Devin never ceases to amaze
K: missing emotional connection
N: more bleeps- I think she made a joke about the pianist that came out *penis*- whatever it was, it tickled her
R: Devin is back!
#9. Janelle is also from a small town and has proud parents.
JI: says this subtle song needs perfect breath control
Janelle is wearing a long, white dress with a belt and an Egyptian-style yoke. Her hair is loosely braided, and she's wearing good makeup. She's putting a country spin on I Will, and it works. It's very sweet and pretty. I think this is Janelle's best performance.
K: favorite Beatles' song of all time (and then laughs at his own running joke), pure and true
N: calls Janelle a Swan Goddess (Me: Janelle responds by saying that she's a *Marshmaller*)
For some reason, I have nothing written for Randy's and Mariah's comments, but I seem to remember that they liked the performance too.
So, Tonight's Top 3: Candice, Paul Jolley, Janelle
Everyone else was fine/good except:
Tonight's 2 Worst: Angie and Lazaro
I would predict Lazaro hitting the road tomorrow night (he certainly deserves to go), but I think he has a pretty strong fan base, so I'm not taking bets (after all, he came in 4th last week, after a lackluster performance). It really could be any of them.