Wednesday, May 7, 2014
AI Season 13 Top 4 Performance 05-07-14
So, what sort of ridiculous thing will they throw at us this week in a misguided attempt to generate drama and ratings?
It just occurred to me that those vote cards were artfully arranged so that the two no votes were read last, so was even more contrived than it seemed.
Whoa, Ryan has stubble! I would maybe have bet against him being able to grow facial hair. He also is not wearing a tie, and his shirt looks sloppily buttoned. It's a harbinger of the impending apocalypse.
JLo is all in pink Barbie clothes tonight, with her hair up in a messy bun, and her shoes tied with ankle bows. The guys look like themselves. The kids are singing three songs apiece, all about love, or something like that.
Caleb rehashes an old failed romance. His breakup song is You Give Love a Bad Name. He's wearing a tan denim jacket over a white tee with a faded skull print. As usual, Caleb is singing Calebly, but he sings right to Keith, which is amusing. I love seeing Allison Iraheta with the backup singers. Caleb has iron pipes, I'll give him that.
Keith says it was a great way to kick off the show. JLo agrees with Keith. HCJ thinks it was great, and suggests finding more signature ad-libs.
On a show with a history of stupid ideas, asking audience members to stand next to the TV and take a selfie of themselves with the idol kids ranks right up there. Or right down there. It's stupid, is what I'm trying to say.
Jessica is singing Since U Been Gone. She's happy to get rid of bad boyfriends. Her hair streaks are back to fuchsia. Her short skirt is bedazzled, and she's wearing a black blouse. Man, I think she's off totally, but her eyes aren't quite blank. The judges are hard on her when she's good, and this isn't. They're going to put her through the mangler.
JLo starts out asking Jessica how she feels, which is not a good sign. She says the attitude was there but it was the wrong song choice. HCJ is glad Jessica has two more songs and he tries to tell Jessica how to connect, but I think it's too late for that. Keith moved around during the performance to help Jessica connect. Again- too little, too late.
Jessica takes criticism better than anyone in the history of this show. It has to be very hard to hear so very little encouragement from the judges week after week.
Alex had a heartbreak. Imagine that. He's singing Too Close, just him and an acoustic guitar. His white tee has a faded rose on it. He might actually be wearing socks. Hey! I know this song! Alex is doing very very well with this. You never ever hear Alex off-key or off beat (except when he wants to be off-beat). This was great!
HCJ explains why the audience loves Alex- that he's a real artist. Keith wants Alex to artfully mangle the song a bit more. JLo uses a lot of syllables to say that Alex is too consistently good and she's afraid voters will take it for granted.
Jena is wearing pewter high water pants and a red leather blouse with a white leather Peter Pan collar (well, it's not rounded, so a pointy Peter Pan collar). It's a pretty cute outfit. She got her heart broken at age 14, as we all do at age 14. Ooh, Jena should kill Heartbreaker. And damn, she's doing it. This kid is good. And that note at the end!!!!!!!
Keith thought Jena held back just a bit. JLo agrees with the wildly approving audience. HCJ says the vocal was 10 out of 10, and he agrees with Keith. Jena says she was worried about falling off her shoes- they all say to take the shoes off. And then JLo demos how it's done WITH shoes on...
Caleb is dedicating Traveling Band to his homeboys. This time, he's wearing a black on black shirt and a black leather jacket. And he can sing CCR too. I am not exactly surprised. So, will people pay to listen to Caleb shout for 90 minutes? I'm not sure they will. He's good, really good, but it's all the same. Every single time.
JLo isn't tired of the same old same old. HCJ compliments the house band. Keith refers to Randy, who shouts from the distance without a microphone.
Jessica has a bedazzled jacket this time, and an odd tiered black shirt over print pants and knee-length boots. She's singing something by Pink as a major FU to everyone who didn't like her. This time she's finally showing life and attitude. This may be Jessica's best performance. She's rockin' it.
HCJ still didn't love it. Keith either. Man, what in the world do they want from her? JLo too? You know, I generally discount conspiracy theories, but I'm starting to believe that the judges really do have it in for Jessica.
Jena is in black and white hounds tooth and a red/pink satin jacket with a black sequin applique. She's dedicating Bad Romance to her fans, which seems odd to me, but then again, I don't know the lyrics, so maybe it makes perfect sense. I think she's doing fine, but the judges are sitting fairly still, so maybe not.
Keith looks for something good to say, but he has to dig pretty deeply. JLo didn't even smile during the performance, and wasn't happy with the changes. HCJ asked specific questions about the changes and Jena's answer made sense (the original didn't sound good).
Commercial note: I loved The Fault in our Stars, but under no circumstances am I going to see the movie. I do not have enough strength for that.
Alex, in a black and white striped shirt and blue and gray wind breaker, is singing I'm Yours for his girlfriend, who is in the audience. He's playing a teeny little guitar, but I don't think it's a ukulele. Or maybe it's a biggish uke. Anyway, he's doing an excellent job with this song. You know, it just occurred to me that Alex could win this whole thing- Caleb and Jena might cancel each other out.
JLo loves Alex and the audience loves Alex, but she still wants a surprise. HCJ gets all technical about musicality. Keith babbles.
Caleb's first kiss was interrupted by the girl's father. He's singing Maybe I'm Amazed, and I suspect this one will be different from his other two performances tonight (or any of his performances ever). He's wearing his gray Civil War jacket over a black shirt with white streaks. And he's actually doing okay with this- some shouty but it's the right amount of shoutiness. Sir Paul shouts it too.
Keith and JLo stand. Lordy, for a minute I thought Carole Bayer Sager was Joan Collins. HCJ says the song was phenomenal. Keith agrees completely. JLo thinks it was Caleb's best performance. I can't disagree with any of them.
Jessica's first love was at age 8. They chased each other and held hands and ate food. It was perfect. She's singing Lady Gaga's You and I for a specific unnamed person. She's wearing a black halter top with a white satin shawl collar. And I think Jessica is doing fine with this, and she's showing a lot more emotion than usual. I hope whoever she's singing for is smiling.
Keith thought it was the perfect song! JLo agrees! HCJ praises and praises! Will wonders never cease?
They better hurry it up- two more songs to go.
Jena and her BFF used to sneak out at age 13 to visit a pair of brothers. She's singing I Can't Help Falling in Love With You. Jena, in pink, black and white, sits at the piano and sings beautifully and quietly. Her changes are lovely. JLo has Goosies on top of Goosies.
Keith and JLo stand again. Oh, Jena is wearing shorts. Baggy ugly shorts. Boxer shorts shorts. JLo is incoherent and amazed and moved. HCJ is nearly speechless too. Keith says Jena is a musical platypus. And it is likely that the weird glitch in the middle of the song was caused by JLo saying a very very naughty word... an amazed word and an appreciative one, but one that is forbidden by the FCC nonetheless.
So far, the #3 songs have been absolutely great. I hope Alex continues the streak.
Alex fell in love at age 5. He's singing Yellow, by Coldplay. Or maybe Hello. I don't know the title. Maybe I know the song- sometimes that happens. We'll see. He's wearing a blue jacket over a tee shirt. He's hitting some lovely falsetto notes. And doing a little yodeling. Nope, I don't know this song, so I have no idea if he's changing it up or not, but the audience seems to be enjoying it. There's a break in his voice that I like a lot.
HCJ loves it. Keith thought the song fit Alex's poetic vulnerability perfectly. JLo thought it was great.
So of the first two sets of songs, Alex #1, Jena #1, Jessica #2 were great. And all four did a marvelous job with their #3 performances, with Jena's possibly being the best. I have no idea who is going home tomorrow, but given the last month or so, it'll probably be Jessica.
So, I have a school music concert tomorrow night. I'll record the episode and recap it when I get home.