Wednesday, April 23, 2014

AI Season 13 Top 6 Performance 04-23-14

Alrighty now- ready to live blog!

Alex the troubadour. Jena the wild card. Hmmm. I must have missed the other four because Ryan in pewter starts the show.

Someone in the audience I should recognize, but I don't. A bunch of doofii in hipster scarves. The usual bunch. It's Country and Rock night. I think the kids will sing two songs apiece.

They all come out, mostly dressed badly, as usual. JLo is wearing a short, shiny, purple weather balloon, with a shiny copper top. Her hair is swept up and off her forehead. Keith is his usual tee, and Harry is wearing a blue Henley.

Jena (Irene), The Wildcard: old clips of her singing and of the critiques. The judges seem to have liked her throughout. She's singing Barracuda, in black and white hounds tooth skinny pants and a sparkly gold loose top, and straight hair with bangs. Well, the kid is up to the song, and that's no small compliment.

Keith enthuses loudly. JLo asks questions with no real answer, and recommends pushing herself. HCJ says the song was a perfect match for her skills.

Ryan is surrounded by a boy band in dire need of shampoo.

Sam Woolf gets no signifying nickname? He's singing It's Time, by Imagine Dragons. I can't tell if this is the rock or the country song. Sam is loosening up on stage, which is good. I still can't tell if this is supposed to be rock or country. Oh, Sam is wearing a blazer with rucked up sleeves over a tee shirt and jeans.

JLo got GOOSIES. HCJ thinks Sam is sweet, humble, and kind, and blossoming. Keith liked the whole performance, and especially liked two of the notes.

And Sam has passed his 18th birthday- so he's legal now...

CJ is from Jasper, AL. So only Alex and Jena get nicknames? So weird. In the clips of old critiques, there were none from HCJ continually reminding him to sing in tune. CJ is singing American Woman in a shiny silver jacket and patched jeans and a shirt with a cowl collar. Man, he's way off tonight- I'm not sure a single note is in tune. I don't love the arrangement, which is percussion heavy. Wow, that was bad.

HCJ asks CJ how he feels about the performance, which is not usually a good thing. HCJ liked the energy but thinks CJ might sorta wanna try to sing on key sometime. Keith wants CJ to learn to fake the emotion if he can't feel it himself. JLo loves how he looks, and thought it was shaky at first.

Alex, the Troubadour, is wearing white pants, a shirt with possibly an asymmetric zipper, and a jacket that looks like it's made from a garbage bag. Alex likes Jeff Buckley and Jason Mraz. He's singing Animal by Neon Trees. I'm pretty sure this is not a country song. I do like Alex's voice. He's doing more stomping tonight, so it looks less like he has to go to the bathroom. Oh, he's playing a red guitar. I think I'm hearing a wonky note here and there, which is a first for Alex. But overall, he's doing fine with this upbeat song.

Keith sang backup throughout, and would like Alex to release a bit more. JLo wanted a bit more from Alex. HCJ says Alex is very consistent and good and probably gets a pass for the minor quibbles.

Caleb is The Resident Rocker, though he didn't get that title in Caps. I'm bestowing it on him. He's singing Sting Me by someone.(Added after checking: The Black Crows). This is a Caleb Song sung calebly- proficient and exactly like every other performance he's given. Eventually he's going to get dinged for doing the same thing every single week.

But not this week, since JLo just gave him a Standing O. HCJ thinks it was a perfect song choice and an incredible performance. They're all mentioning a glitch that I somehow missed- Caleb slipping and sliding and yet performing perfectly as well. They loved it.

Jessica will either be a successful musician, or a broke one, which is too many words for a title. She's singing Somebody to Love, and Jessica is Grace Slicking it up all over the place. She's wearing a black leather jacket and matching skirt. This may be her best performance yet.

HCJ thinks Jessica did exactly what she needed to do. Keith agrees with HCJ. He also says his favorite word again (release). JLo tries to explain what Keith means but isn't entirely successful.

Oh, all six of these songs were rock. Now they'll all do something country. That's going to be easier for some than others.

Dammit, we're back to showing results mid-show. I hate this.

Sam is up first, in a blue jacket over a red shirt, tan pants, and a knit cap. He's singing You're Still the One, which is not the song by Orleans that I was expecting. This is the Shania Twain song. Sam is just singing and not playing this time, so we can really hear his voice, which is strong on this one. He could use a bit more control over the vibrato, but otherwise, this is pretty darn good.

Keith loves this song, and thinks Sam should relax a bit more. JLo loves how cute Sam is, and Sam is too young and inexperienced to understand that baby ducks are cute, but not men. HCJ thinks Sam needs to work on dynamics a bit.

Aaawwwww- Grumpy Cat.

Caleb is wearing a ruffled shirt, or perhaps a shirt that just looks like it's ruffled, and a black vest. He's singing Undo It, by Carrie Underwood. Oh, the shirt has a ribcage, not ruffles.... Well, he's rocking up a country song, which may or may not be cheating. On the other hand, Carrie herself does a bit of shouting on her songs too, so it's probably okay.

Caleb is 23 today- he only looks 38 or so. JLo didn't think this one was magic. HCJ expounded on the nature of magic moments too. Keith can't wait to hear Caleb's country song (I believe that was Aussie Sarcasm).

Alex is singing Willie's Always on My Mind. He's wearing a tan tux jacket. He's playing beautifully and I love his voice on this. There was one small riff that felt out of place, but this is quiet and lovely, and I might just buy it from iTunes.

HCJ feels lucky to have heard that performance. Keith recognizes Alex's signature bits, and would have liked a bit more of the original song in the performance. JLo thinks it was the perfect balance of Alex and the song.

Jena is wearing white and spangles this time around. Jena is also singing Carrie Underwood (So Small). Many have tackled La Underwood and many have fallen, but not Jena. She's killing it, to the tune of JLo checking out her GOOSIES. This girl could win it all.

Keith says Jena is such a good singer, getting better and better and better. JLo got lost in the vocal. HCJ didn't love it as much, saying it was mostly an imitation of Carrie.

CJ in an exuberantly paisley orange blazer, is singing something from the Zac Brown band. This is much more in CJ's wheelhouse, but still, he's off. This was better than his first performance, but it wasn't good.

JLo liked it better than the first song, but expected more. HCJ says it wasn't his best performance, and CJ needs to choose his songs better. That is, if he doesn't go home this week. Keith says the same thing.

Jessica is wearing a black tunic top under a black jacket with elbow-length sleeves. And high heel boots. She's singing Jolene, a song I do not particularly admire. Jessica has a great voice but she can't emote. At all. This is a song about some sad-sack woman begging another woman not to seduce her husband (instead of giving the man an ultimatum- or the boot), and Jessica's face is acres of blank. If I was just listening, it would be fine, but I'm also watching.

HCJ- thought it was good. Keith hated the arrangement. JLo thought the vocal was strong while Keith and HCJ jokingly argue over her.

Not reporting instant vote totals. Nope, they can't make me.

My top rankings tonight: Jena #2, Jessica #1, Alex #2

My bottom ranking: CJ #1, CJ #2

But I'm worried about Alex and Jessica. CJ seems to be bullet proof.

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