Wednesday, May 14, 2014

AI Season 13 Top 3 Performance 05-14-14

Just two weeks left. I can hardly wait.

This is American Idol's 500th episode. Too bad it's circling the drain. We get clips of Kelly, Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, David Cook, William Hung, Phil Phillips, Steven Tyler, Nicki Minaj, and this year's crew of clowns. I did love this show so. I'm not sure what happened- if we all just got tired, or if the show ran out of ideas. Either way, I don't know if I can deal with another season.

But Ryan comes out, shaved this week. He's pumped that the end is next week, but not as pumped as I am. Next week, the episodes are on Tuesday and Wednesday. The kids come out and Jena is wearing poofy-hipped capris. No other contestant sartorial choice matters. Caleb has issues with his vocal cords and evidently is okay to sing, but not to talk. That's fine- less chance of him insulting his loyal fans that way.

JLo is sparkly in a silver boob-highlighting tightness with an uneven hem. Maybe that trumps Jena's pants. Maybe. Her hair is pulled back in multiple tight ponytails.

The kids went home last week, just in case anyone forgot that. Caleb will be visiting Biltmore! Woot!
Everyone is happy to visit home, and home is happy to cheer them on.

Seriously? DJ's playing a techno song called Selfie? DJ's who call themselves Chain Smoker? Remember what I said about circling the drain? Yougotcher evidence right here.

Carrie sends her good wishes. Carrie is a nice girl.

Randy (in a purple and pink jacket) chose Never Tear Us Apart, by INXS, for Caleb. Caleb did not previously know this song. Me neither. He starts out sitting on an ornately carved throne. There's no evidence of voice damage in the performance, except maybe that it's a little restrained. The restraint is good- he sounds good, and I like this less-shouty version of Caleb.

Keith congratulates Randy on the song choice, and likes Caleb's soul/blues voice. JLo says that Caleb on his worst night sounds better than most on their best night. HCJ also approved of the song choice, and expresses concern over Caleb's vocal health.

Phil Phillips wishes the show well.

Randy chose Pompei, by Bastille for Alex, who is wearing a print top that looks like it came from the old lady's section at Penny's, and a black jacket. There's fog on the stage and a drum quartet behind Alex. This is a bit poppier than Alex's usual fare. It's not a great song, not a lot of melody, but I assume he's doing okay, and now he's playing a kettle drum and singing at the same time. This is nowhere near my favorite Alex performance, but I blame Randy Jackson for that.

JLo sees what Alex is doing, and she approves. HCJ is glad that the song forced Alex to stretch out of his comfort zone a bit. Keith (with a picture of Nicole on his table) agrees with HCJ, and he liked the singing-and-drumming-at-the-same-time stuff.

Kris Allen baked us a cupcake.

Randy chose Titanium by someone, and Jena is happy. In addition to inexplicable pants, she's also wearing a spangly studded black leather jacket. I do like her in bangs. She starts up on a tall platform. At first, I think the safety belt is part of her inexplicable pants. Her eye makeup is really nice- smoky eye perfectly done. After a bit of a struggle, Jena got the safety belt unhooked so she could descend to interact with the audience. In motion, the pants are even more confusing. HCJ again congratulates Randy for the song choice. Keith said a lot of syllables. JLo thought it was a little stiff and shaky. The Hub thinks it was because Jena was nervous about being up on that platform.

David Cook needs to be a judge. Or at least a mentor.

Next up, The Judges' Choices, which are traditionally train wrecks. On the other hand, Randy Jackson's picks are also generally terrible, and those were well received, so you never know.

Caleb is wearing a black tee shirt with a sort of diamond pattern with a skull (Caleb and skulls is like Fringe and needles- always together). His dog bit the producer on his home visit. The judges delivered their song choice a few days ago, en masse. They handed him an envelope which he opened in Asheville. He'll be singing Demons, by Imagine Dragons. He's all alone on stage, no backing band, no smoke, no guitar. Once again, I like Caleb's restrained voice. We hear more of his tone this way, and I like it.

Keith is proud of how Caleb is working through his vocal limits tonight. JLo liked the emotion of the song. HCJ asks Caleb a question which he has to answer. With his voice. The damaged voice that isn't supposed to be used except to sing. Sigh.

Candace Glover (with her first name misspelled, I think) has not fallen off the face of the earth.

The judges chose Rhianna's Stay for Alex. Hmmm. Now, he's wearing an chartreuse jacket and matching pants over a wildly printed orange and black blouse.. I think it helps that I don't know this song, because I think it's really really pretty, and none of my brain is taken up in comparing this performance to the original. JLo is goosie-ing all over the place. I would buy this- it's really gorgeous.

Standing O's from Keith and JLo.

JLo knew that he would sing the heck out of that song. HCJ says it was really beautiful and strong. Keith loves Alex's artistic choices.

Lee DeWyze still exists. Who knew.

I'm glad they showed some of Jessica's homecoming. Ah, the rest of the kids are there too! I liked most of them, and I remember some. Malaya has not settled down. They must be really afraid no one will watch next week- Ryan announced some of the celebrity guests (Darius Rucker, John Legend, Phil Phillips). I think that was a first.

Jena will be singing Heart Attack, by Demi Lovato. Why is Demi Lovato taken seriously by anyone?
Jena is wearing better pants this time- they're still white (on second view, I see that they're very faded denim) but at least this pair fits. Her top seems to be constructed of many many narrow strips of fabric held together by studs and rings. This song does absolutely nothing for me, and I don't think it's much of a showcase for Jena either. But she sure can shout.

HCJ likes that Jena finds a way to change up even melodically challenged tunes. Keith doesn't say much, but he takes awhile to do it. JLo prefers this performance to the previous one.

Ryan says Demi Lovato will sing with all of the girls next week. Sigh.

Fantasia loves the show.

Each of the kids' towns chose from two previously performed songs for them to sing tonight. Asheville chose Dazed and Confused for Caleb, which is a pretty good choice. I wonder if his voice will hold up. Well, if the opener is any indication, Caleb saved it all for the a capella first verse. I fear that Caleb is doing permanent damage to his voice. JLo is having criminal congress with this song. Keith is up and gyrating as well, but not quite in the same way. Caleb finishes by destroying his mike stand, and JLo goes purely crazy.

The audience goes crazy too, Keith has to shout over them. JLo contemplates throwing her panties. HCJ says it was awesome and absolutely fantastic.

Scotty McCreery still sneers. I hope he has recovered from the home invasion robbery that happened last month.

Alex's home town chose One Direction's The Story of My Life. Alex is wearing a tee and a vest. One of Alex's many talents is taking sappy songs and making them interesting, or at least less sappy. I'm not sure anything anyone does will top Caleb's last performance. On the other hand, Alex doesn't have to top Caleb, he just has to beat Jena. Whether he can do it or not, remains to be seen.

JLo expresses the difficulty in choosing only two of three really talented singers who do not resemble each other in the least. HCJ says it was good. Keith preferred Stay to this one, but says it was strong.

Jordin Sparks is still really really pretty.

Jena's fellow high school students chose Creep, by Radiohead. Jena is at the piano, which is always a good choice for her. She's wearing a very fancily festooned dress- it looks like the fabric is scratchy and vaguely covered  with cobwebs in addition to chains and pearls and sequins and sparkles. Her hair has a bit of poof to it. She's doing well with this, which is no surprise to anyone. Well, maybe not that note. But the rest was fine.

HCJ really really likes Jena singing at the piano. Keith is amazed at Jena's progress since her original audition. JLo says it was brilliant.

The three kids are all so different, and I imagine Alex will suffer in comparison, not because he's any less talented, but because he's far less flashy. In truth, I'm not sure that Alex would be served by winning, so if he goes home tomorrow, that's okay (not that he'll be going anywhere, what with all of the production work for next week's extravaganza).

So my best for tonight: Alex #2, Caleb #3, and Jena #3.

All three are good, all three deserve to win. I suspect that Jena and Caleb will move on to the finale.

9 of the 12 previous Idol Winners had segments tonight. Missing were Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, and... I know this is going to shock you... Taylor Hicks. I wonder if any of them will show up tomorrow night.

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