Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Live Blogged AI Season 13- Top 7 Performance, 04-16-14

So, here we are, live-blogging again. Last week it was a stop-gap thing, but I actually enjoyed the instant... well, gratification isn't the right word, but I definitely liked not spending two hours after a two hour show trying to translate my handwritten notes. I'm willing to give it another shot...

We open with teary Malaya saying goodbye, and a reminder that only one will win. Ryan is once again dressed all in black, with an open collar and no tie. He calls the kids out. Lordy, Jena may be wearing bedazzled cutoffs. I just now realized that there are only two girls left.

JLo is wearing bright gold tonight... possibly a leather dress. Her hair is long and straight and yet it still manages to look like bed-head. I hope Harry is a little more calm tonight- last week he was outta control.

The Theme? Randy Jackson saying wassup about 12 times in a row. CJ cannot roll his eyes far enough. Anyway, the kids are picking songs for each other. This may be interesting. Maybe. Everyone chose a song for everyone, and each kid gets to chose their song from the list. Hmmm

Caleb loves tennis, snores loudly, and is afraid of spiders. He loves horror movies and thought about being a director at one time. Alex chose Family Tree by Kings of Leon for Caleb, who is wearing a red tee shirt and a black jacket. I am totally unfamiliar with this song- I don't know if it's originally a yelling rock song, or if Caleb is calebing it up out there. Either way, the audience is into it, and so are the judges. Well, JLo and Keith are. It's always hard to tell with HCJ.

Keith loved it, and thought it was a great choice. JLo agrees. HCJ enthuses.

Jessica has 8 tattoos and designed 7 of them, loves wolves, was rejected by an unnamed music school, an evil pony chased her, and she believes in aliens and may have been abducted. She's wearing a blue sleeveless shirt and black leather flare-leg pants and she has a couple of blue streaks in her hair tonight. Sam chose a Miranda Lambert song for her, Gunpowder and Lead. Jessica begins in a spotlight, without her guitar. She's fierce tonight and showing some emotion, which is good. The less time with the dead-eye, the better. Ooh, steam jets and wind machine. I think she's doing a good job with this.

JLo- loves Jessica's voice but thought she was *off* a bit, HCJ agrees with JLo and suggests Jessica listen to heavily rhythmic music and practice moving to it in front of a mirror, Keith also loves Jessica's voice but thinks there was a dissipation of energy. I will say that Jessica is able to listen to criticism without looking hurt.

Ryan brings Demi Lovato out. Why is Ryan bringing Demi Lovato out? Why does Demi Lovato have a half-shaved head? Why are we listening to a plug about her tour during the performance show? Why do we have to see Randy's saggy butt? So many questions.

Alex and Sam are doing a duet again, which is okay with me. I like their voices together. Passenger's Let Her Go. They sit on an actual couch and play in what looks like a basement sitting room set. This is a pleasant song, and they look like they're having a lot of fun. Alex's pants have cuffs but they're not rolled egregiously high. I enjoyed it.

HCJ liked the couch. He thought the performance was sweet, but he didn't mean it as a compliment. Keith thought it was chintzy. Demi thought there was good energy (Why do we care what she thinks? What does JLo think about not having time for her critique?)

Now Terry Bradshaw is haranguing the judges. He liked the duet with that Ricky Nelson kid and then mangled CJ's intro. Why is Terry Bradshaw there?

CJ loves Sponge Bob, loves grilling, loves taking pictures, would like to be a standup comedian, and is a neat freak. Caleb chose Gravity by John Mayer. CJ is wearing a green shirt over a white tee. Maybe the smoky stage will distract everyone from CJ's consistent off-tune-ness. This bluesy song is perfect for CJ, and if he's terribly off-key, I can't hear it tonight. There really is *something* about this voice that connects with the audience.

Keith waves at CJ's adorable little boy. Keith liked the performance. JLo likes CJ's growing confidence, and thinks he needs to look for more *moments* in his performances. HCJ thinks CJ has a gift for connecting, and thinks this was his best performance to date.

Martin Garrix... who the hell is Martin Garrix? And Rhonda Rousey, who is evidently a boxer. So much filler... so damn much filler.

Dexter loves adrenalin, wants to sky dive, loves strawberries, and listening to crickets, and his first plane ride was hairy. Dexter is wearing a frontward ball cap (!) and a gray short sleeved tee shirt. CJ chose Muckalee Creek Water, by Luke Bryan. The song is slower than Dexter's usual,  but it's all of a piece: a shouty country anthem. Smokey bar music. Somewhere, a bar will happy to hire Dex to play on Saturday nights, two drink minimum.

Keith talks about the band on stage, and struggles for other things to say. JLo liked it for him, she enjoyed the darker edge, but thinks it wasn't spectacular. HCJ wonders who did the arrangement, and then says everything but the *K* word.

Jena and Caleb are also dueting again, this time on something from The Stones. Jena really is wearing bedazzled white shorts. Or is it a skirt? Or is it maybe a sparkly diaper? Caleb swears, possibly more than any other AI Contestant ever. They're singing Gimme Shelter. Oh, Caleb is wearing a black shirt with embroidered skulls and roses. I am not a Rolling Stones worshipper so this isn't tripping my trigger, but they're doing fine. Caleb and Jena are both insanely talented.

JLo says that was A Moment (that's A Good Thing). HCJ thought it was really cool. Keith thinks they were just a bit stiff. Demi thinks they killed it. Sigh.

Alex likes gardening, likes cooking, enjoys freestyle skiing, would be a dermatologist if music bottoms out, and was a linebacker in high school football. He's wearing a blue shirt and a white jacket with an all-over pattern of fireworks or blue palm trees on it. Or maybe they're spiders. Dexter chose The A Team by Ed Sheeran. Alex is getting a sort of 3-D back stage projection of columns and archways. This is a peppier song than he usually sings. I'm on record as liking Alex a lot (if I have a favorite this year, it's him), and I think he's doing just fine with it. And, as usual, he's doing the pee dance.

JLo waits for the audience to stop cheering, which they do not do any time soon. She thinks it was a perfect song for him. HCJ agrees, and he loves Alex's quiet performances. Keith loves how Alex makes every song his own.

Sam is adventurous, is not athletic, wrote a song at the piano even though he can't play, he plays pranks on his grandparents, and skateboards. He's wearing a gray shirt with a small print, and a red knit cap. Jessica chose Sail Away by David Gray. I like the lighthouse and ocean back projection. I have no quibble with Sam's voice, but I think he's just too young and inexperienced to connect with most songs. He might have been studying his Ricky Nelson though- he's looking down and then up through his eyelashes in a fairly flirty manner. He sounded good on this song.

HCJ says Sam is a work in progress and he's making progress, but didn't think this song was well known enough for the audience. Keith also likes the progress. JLo connected more looking at the monitor than watching him with her own eyes.

Jessica, Dexter and CJ will sing a trio (I wondered how they were going to divide this out). All three are from Alabama, which they hammer home. And we're reminded about the Crazy Mother who predicted Jessica would be out early on. Ha ha Crazy Mother! Lady Antebellum's Compass is up. Jessica is wearing a blue, white and black leather dress. CJ and Dex are in tan jackets. These three sound okay together, and I honestly think Jessica performs better when she's not alone on stage.

HCJ didn't like it at all. He thought they were all off-key throughout. Keith said the same thing, comparing them to a shish kabob. Demi liked Jessica's voice, but she agrees with HCJ. Once again, why is she here?

Terry Bradshaw plays the guitar? So many inexplicable things this week.

Jena wrote her first song in the 6th grade, she peed her pants onstage once, would like to be a makeup artist, she dances ballet, and she wants a skull tattoo when she turns 18. Caleb chose Creep by Radiohead. Jena starts at the piano, wearing something other than rhinestone studded Pampers. She's still sparkly though with sequined shoulder adornments. I like Jena's hair straight, with the bangs- it looks good on her. This girl has a HUGE voice, and sometimes the big notes go wonky, but when she dials it back, she's amazing.

JLo and Keith give her Standing O's. Keith loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it. JLo: Jena can sing anything.

And now, when the judges have something to say, they're running out of time... maybe they could have cut Demi Lovato... Or Randy Jackson... or Terry Bradshaw... HCJ thought it was the best performance of the night.

So, best tonight? CJ, Alex, Jena

Worst? Randy Jackson and Demi Lovato

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