Oh, the Controversy!

Whew! There are a lot of these performances, so I’m going to try and keep things nice and concise. It has been pointed out to me that being concise is not my STRONGEST attribute, so I may not achieve this goal. But then again, you’re always free to skim. That’s what the pictures are for!

A few quick thoughts before we start:

  • Why do the judges insist on acting like children? Do they think it endears them to us? Do they think they’re really funny? Or are they trying to reach a wider demographic…like ages 0-5?
  • I saw a sign in the audience from a Joshua Ledet fan that said “Punch Josh, J.Lo!” Seeing as my favorite saying is that I want to punch people in the face, this really resonated with me.
  • I don’t know if it was the hat that SteTy was wearing, or the normal kid that I saw in the picture from his childhood but I was struck with how funny looking he is.
  • Best baby photo goes to Ryan. For reals.

Phillip Phillips – “Hard to Handle” by The Black Crows (1990)

Phillip, Phillip, Phillip. Where do I even start? Turns out the young lad had to have surgery late last week for kidney stones and was in a ton of pain during his session with Jimmy and Will.i.am. That didn’t seem to make one iota of difference in his performance or his practice.  He puts all those America’s Next Top Model contestants who whine about their makeovers to shame! But then again, who doesn’t?

I stand my statement from last week. He totally inhabits ever song he sings and this week it was such a charming performance.

It pretty much ROCKED. THE. HOUSE. AND. MY. FACE. OFF.

Jessica Sanchez – “Turn the Beat Around” Gloria Estefan (1995)

Okay, Idol producers. You’ve been at this a long time, so what on earth possessed you to have the best two contestants perform first? I’m just wondering how many people just stopped watching after the first two performances. Unlike me…I’ve got a recap to write, so no skipping for me!

Quote of the Night: “You’re a swaggernaut. That’s like out of space swag, child.” – Will.i.Am

Those pants really were the bomb-diggity. I preferred them on Jessica as opposed to…say, Steven Tyler who also admired them later. But potato potahto.

I love the vocal turns that Jessica inserted into the song tonight. And she’s so comfortable on stage, it’s almost like being at a concert (or IMAX presentation of a concert you could never attend).

Because the song was so fast and she was moving around so much, the pitch dipped a bit in a few spots, but she sang the (cover your eyes, Mom and Dad) crap out of that song! I can’t believe the judges criticism. They crazy!

So, I went back and watched it again. Yep, they are still crazy.

Heejun Han – “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx (1989)

I’ve figured out what I don’t like about Heejun’s voice. I loved his voice in Hollywood week and even the Vegas rounds. But now it just sounds muffled and scratchy. I’m not sure if it’s a vocal strength issue or a projection problem? Or if this is just the way it’s going to be. But me no likey.

I’m glad he finally commented about his accent being a problem when he sings. I’m equally glad that Jimmy is helping him fix it. It’ll make him stronger.

Here’s the deal. I know that I wanted him in the top 13. I still think he is HIGH-larious and fun to watch. But now I’m actually starting to cringe during his performances. There were a few pitch problems but he also just sounded OLD–like an 80’s power ballad singer. He didn’t really update the song, he just went back to the original…and took himself with it.

I think Heejun might be taking a stool in the bottom three tonight.

Elise Testone – “Let’s Stay Together” by Tina Turner (1983)

Apparently, President Obama sang this song in one of his recent addresses and American Idol felt it necessary to show us a “duet” between Elise and our Commander-in-Chief. I’m not really sure what that was supposed to do, but…

I still love Elise’s voice, and I thought her performance was miles better than last week. She had a smile, a killer dress, and a little of her swag back. The problem is I didn’t care that much. It wasn’t a super exciting performance–unless you count the fact that I noticed that she sings with the microphone at the corner of her mouth and then had warm and fuzzy thoughts of Scotty from last season. And I don’t really count that.

The good news is that SteTy’s Aunt Sonia loves her voice. So there’s that.

DeAndre Brackensick – “Endless Love” by Mariah Carey (1994)

Oh no, he is NOT singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”! With that mane of hair?! Too. Many. Jokes. Can. Not. Continue.

Oh, good. I guess I can continue. I think Jimmy Iovine is the best thing that ever happened to DeAndre. I don’t get what the drama is about changing songs.

PSA for all Idol contestants: Please, oh please do not consider any manner of Disney song for your performances! It just takes you to a place you don’t want to go and forces awkward comparisons with cartoons that can sing better. No one wants that.

I think the song sounded too old for him. Which is ironic, since it’s exactly how old he is. I have to agree with the Dawg on this one. It was boring. And Randy proceeded to call Jimmy OUT about changing DeAndre’s song to this particular selection. I’m sure Jimmy will rebut tomorrow. (P.S: J. Lo, please stop talking!)

Shannon Magrane – “One Sweet Day” by Boys II Men and Mariah Carey (1995)

I really loved Shannon’s arrangement of this song and where she took it musically. It was updated, but true to the original, which is much harder than it sounds.

But, Shannon lost steam when she exited the intro. The song needed to swell a bit and then build from there. I think she pushes too hard and she’s thinks about it too much. But she ended strong. I hope she’ll stay out of the bottom 3, but I also don’t think this was a great performance from start to finish. I just see glimmers and I think she can do so much more. I hope she gets the chance.

So, I”m thinking that “Sang the I don’t know what out of that song” is the new “In it to win it” ala Randy Jackson. It’s better, no?

Best. host. ever.—> “Well Shannon, thank you…for wearing flats tonight.” – Ryan Seacrest

Colton Dixon – “Broken Heart” by White Lion (1991)

Wow, Colton got a chance to go to dinner with Daughtry where he received some sage and sound advice:

Be yourself and choose songs that people know. Which Colton has decided to put into effect. Next week.

Dear Colton’s parents: Seriously. Are you kidding me? It’s a miracle his legs weren’t broken whilst playing sports!

[Side note]: I love how Will.i.Am says his crazy whatever-comment-he-makes and Jimmy stares expressionless at the camera. This is a good partnership, people.

As far as Colton’s performance goes, I liked the song and it suited him…somewhat. I think the thing that suited him was that it was an unknown song with a cool vibe. I didn’t mind that I hadn’t heard it before. He’s not really a real rocker. He’s got rock in his sound, but this song required more from him vocally and performance-wise to really take it to that place. So, I guess I’m saying that I agree with SteTy. It wasn’t the right song for his passion.

But can we talk for just a second about those background vocals…or was it an ensemble? They were TOO MUCH and it was the WRONG SOUND for the song. Plus, they came out of NOWHERE. I couldn’t see them on stage??  No, seriously. Where did those vocals come from?

Erika Van Pelt – “Heaven” by Bryan Adams (1985)

First of all, only Will.i.am could make Jimmy Iovine chair dance. And it was awesome.

Okay, Erika Van Pelt. My friend Jen nailed it when I talked with her last week – she has a man voice. On the upside, her outfit is much better this week.

If I’m being fair, she sang the song well. I think I liked this performance best of what she’s done so far, mostly because she switched up the line at the end. But she’s not one of my top favorites.

I just don’t feel like she’s that unique…except I heart her pink hair. And I think she’s a lovely individual, really. I’m sorry I can’t get more enthusiastic than that.

Jermaine Jones…

The “controversy” that Ryan teased at the top of the show finally comes to pass.

My Dad actually emailed me this morning and told me that he was out of the competition! I’m a terrible person, but I was so relieved. I hope he gets his life figured out, but strictly as one of my least favorite vocalists, I can’t say that I’ll miss him. I did think it’s interesting that they taped the conversation with the producers and Jermaine for public consumption. That’s never happened before!

The reason they kicked him off the show boils down to this: Jermaine has four active warrants out for his arrest. I think that kind of speaks for itself.

Skylar Laine – “Love Sneaking Up On You” by Bonnie Rait (1994)

“Ghountry is ghetto country.” – Will.i.am to Skylar.she.is

Skylar had the best outfit of the night, fo’ sho’. She looked gorgeous and appropriate to her song choice.

I didn’t love the song, but I wasn’t really the target audience. I think Skylar sounded great, but that she really could have done much better if she had taken the song up a half-step. The verses were just too low and then the background vocalists overpowered her.

But, Skylar still is super sparkly, so I don’t have a lot of concern for her being in the bottom this week. If we learned nothing else from last season, we definitely learned that country music has a wide following. Ahem.

Joshua Ledet – “When a Man Loves a Woman” Michael Bolton (1992)

I just love that someone gave Joshua a ginormous tub of crawfish. That was amazing. I don’t get it, of course, because I would have reacted like one of the young tweens that they pulled up on stage for Joshua’s “cooking demonstration” (trying to break into The Cooking channels’ demographic??). You know. Squealing and jumping far far away from the teensy weird-looking critters. But I have a brother-in-law from Louisiana, so I get that it’s a thing.

Will.i.am and Joshua bonded over the fact that they both say “yes ma’am” to their moms when they call. Will.i.am claimed that’s how he got a chipped tooth. Love it.

I never thought I’d say this, but where are all the Jacob Lusk fans? They should be voting for this guy ’cause he is totally leaps and bounds better than Jacob, but still in the same genre. Snap, snap, guys! Get to it.

The performance was really amazing. Every time I thought it couldn’t get higher, he’d modulate up one more step. He just squeezed every ounce of that song out on the stage! And did a fabulous job at it. Most passionate song of the night goes to Joshua. Fo’ shizzle.

Hollie Cavanagh – “The Power of Love” by Celine Dion (1993)

She’s so tiny and cute! And I want her dress! And I like that she made more changes to the song this week!

Okay, sorry. Whenever I talk about Hollie my voice just naturally gets all high and squeal-y and enthusiastic.

Her voice is a power to be reckoned with. But I stick to my statement from last week. She still needs to find her identity in this competition. This performance, she sounded like Celine – there weren’t enough differences to really make her version specific to her. And, she was a little raw on the last note. I’m not sure if it was out of tune, but it sure wasn’t as pretty as it should have been.

Still, I love Holly. I still want to put her in my pocket. I just hope that Jimmy can start earning his paycheck and do a little more with her.


And there we go! Ryan assures us that there WILL be an elimination this week, despite Jermaine’s involuntary departure. I didn’t vote this week, so I really get no say but I’d be shocked if Joshua ended up in the bottom for a second week. He really is much better than most the contestants and has no place on those stools.

But I digress. Until tomorrow.

Haddock out!


One thought on “Oh, the Controversy!

  1. Jennifer says:

    I missed it this week due to the CO to CA 17 hr. straight drive. Thnx for the shout out and for the update. You are so detailed that I can hear it all through your writing. Miss u

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