Didn’t I say I wasn’t doing these writeups this year? Once more, into the breach!
But, first, the tease: After eight years, I’m breaking one of my cardinal rules of AI. Stay tuned for which rule. . .
Von Smith – Good song choice, awkward to watch, rough start. But, please, if I want someone to mug and scream at me, I already have Adam Lambert.
Taylor Vaifanua – Boring, bad song choice, trying too hard too early. Karaoke. Her “journey” has come to an end.
Alex Wagner-Trugman – Overdoes the Joe Cocker thing. Off beat too much. Self-indulgent.
Arianna Afsar – She doesn’t have the falsetto she thinks she does. Bad song choice, and she knew she blew it as soon as she was done.
Ju’not Joyner – I liked it. It should be boring and too reserved, but I liked the reinterpretation of a good modern song. He didn’t overdo it, which is what too many would do in that position.
Man, Paula’s watch is seriously blinged out.
Kristen McNamara – Karaoke, but a very strong and clear voice. I didn’t ‘feel’ it, but she’s got some pipes.
Nathaniel Marshall made me break my cardinal rule of Idol: Any contestant who does a Jim Steinman song automatically gets my vote. I’m sure Steinman is spinning in his coffin right now. (He’s not dead; he’s just seriously weird.) But, yeah, he butchered a song sung by Meat Loaf while wearing a 1982 costume for a 1992 song. He didn’t do justice to the song. He doesn’t have the range or the strength of Meat Loaf’s voice. Without that, the song falls apart.
Or, to quote Simon: “verging on excruciating.”
Felicia Barton – Good song choice, good voice. A little too close to the original (what little I can remember of it.) Her third “no one”s faltered a bit. But she’s the right contestant to bring back.
Scott MacIntyre – Not a good song for Idol, but he did just enough with it to make it work. He needs to be in front of the keyboard to really shine. I can’t wait for that. (Now, how will they choreograph around him on the group dance number tomorrow?)
Kendall Beard – Has a nice voice, but is a cookie cutter country singer who sang a song that’s bigger than her. And is she the second contestant of the night to offer that her mother helped dress her for the show?
Jorge Nunez – Sings the second Elton John song of the night. I don’t know what Paula was listening to, but the accent is still there, though well hidden. (Typical issue with a non-American English speaker trying to adopt an American dialect: he holds onto the “R” sound too hard and long.) He’s got a great voice, though, that comes naturally to him. His posture is a little cramped, but I can’t fault his singing ability, in whatever voice he uses.
Lil Rounds – She’s got a much better voice than this song. But she’s going through.
It just dawned on me: Nathaniel is wearing MacGyver’s second season hair-do, isn’t he? UGH
I think Lil Rounds and Scott MacIntyre will go through. Who gets the popular vote after that? I’ll guess Felicia Barton, though Jorge has good odds. Whichever of those two don’t make it in votes will make it to the Wild Card round on Thursday.