special thanks to Carie for trying to get into dress rehearsal today. appreciate the effort…
Lil Rounds has the pimp spot!
- Von Smith – “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye – VIDEO
- Taylor Vaifanua – “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys – VIDEO
- Alex Wagner-Trugman – “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” by Elton John – VIDEO
- Arianna Afsar – “The Winner Takes it All” by Abba – VIDEO
- Ju’Not Joyner – “Hey There Delilah” by The Plain White Ts – VIDEO
- Kristen McNamara – “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman – VIDEO
- Nate Marshall – “I Would Do Anything for Love” by Meatloaf – VIDEO
- Felicia Barton – “No One” by Alicia Keys – VIDEO
- Scott MacIntyre – “Mandolin Rain” by Bruce Hornsby – VIDEO
- Kendall Beard – “This One’s for the Girls” by Martina McBride – VIDEO
- Jorge Nunez – “Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me” by Elton John – VIDEO
- Lil Rounds – “Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige – VIDEO
Who will go through: Lil Rounds, Jorge Nunez and Scott MacIntyre
Who should go through: Lil Rounds, Jorge Nunez and Felicia Barton
Lil Rounds had a decent performance plus the pimp spot, she’ll have no trouble sailing straight through to the Top 12. I have no doubt Jorge Nunez’s sincere personality, heartfelt emotions and strong vocals sent women across America lunging for their phones. Scott MacIntyre sang a big song with emotion, and without ever mentioning it, the judges all manged to play up Scott’s backstory. Simon practically crowned him Idol tonight. He’s through.
Felicia Barton had one of the best vocals of the night…better than Scott MacIntyre, so if I were picking, I’d send her on to the Top 12 instead.
I’m just not feeling these semi-final rounds. So much fodder to mine to get to the nuggets of gold. And I have to say, after 36 performances, I still haven’t been wowed by anybody. There have been some great performances to be sure, from–Felicia Barton, Lil Rounds, Jesse Langseth, Allison Ireheta, Adam Lambert, Ricky Braddy and Alexis Grace, but nothing that’s knocked me over, yet.
Last year, by now, the remaining contestants had 3 performances under their belts. And it was thrilling to watch them them stumble, get back up, grow, change their game plan over the course of the semis. By the time the Top 12 rolled around, I had a sense of what each contestant brought to the table.
This year, I don’t know what to expect from the Top 12, and at this point, I don’t much care.
Tonight was like a part-ay at CBS studios! A little crazy a little bit rowdy, and once again, a few decent performances surrounded by a lotta mediocre warbling…
Von Smith – “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye – Von says he doesn’t want America to say, “Ahhh stop screaming at me!” His performance is definitely an improvement, although he’s shaky in his lower register. A very nice, modulated performance. Randy says, “This is the way to kick off a performance, very hot dude…welcome to Idol.” Kara says, “You’re coming into your own…you took that note Simon gave you.” “It’s a memorable first…I loved your performance, ” says Paula. “You remind me of Clay Aiken, ” says Simon. Kiss of death?
Taylor Vaifanua – “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys – The low parts of the song are out of her range. It picks up by the end, nice glory note, but she’s no Alicia. A very bland performance. Taylor bursts into tears after she finishes. Kara says, “I want more of your personality to come through…that performance leaves me a bit cold.” Paula wished she had sung a song she didn’t already sing. Simon says, “I genuinely couldn’t remember you…it was very generic…it was a bit bland. I think you are going to struggle tonight.” Randy says, “It was kind of boring.”
Alex Wagner-Trugman – “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” by Elton John – Oh noes. Alex is checking out the internet. His dry sense of humor may fly over some heads. This performance is very…odd. Let’s just say Alex did not practice in front of the mirror–he should have. Lots of weird inappropriate growling. He knocks over the mic stand by accident. A very strange trainwreck. “You certainly are the showman, ” says Paula, “We had fun watching him.” “The ridiculous growling halfway through was just ridiculous, ” says Simon, “You’re a little hampster trying to be a tiger… A bit stupid.” Randy says, “It definitely was crazy…you kind of screamed that song.” Kara says, “At least you do you…you can’t pay for that kind of choreography.”
Arianna Afsar – “The Winner Takes it All” by Abba – The first Abba song ever on Idol! Something is off here, she’s not singing with the band, and she’s hitting a bunch of clunkers. Too bad, because she’s got talent. Way too many bad notes mar her performance. “It was absolutely terrible in most parts, way to big for you, dreary arrangement, ” says Simon. Aw, Arianna looks so disappointed. “You tried to do more with it vocally than what was there, ” said Randy. “Tonight it was dark…depressing, ” says Kara, Be young.” Says Paula, “I think you had some bright moments…sometimes it’s better to stick with the melody, ” says Paula.
Ju’Not Joyner – “Hey There Delilah” by The Plain White Ts – This arrangement is going nowhere. I sense Ju’Not may have a good voice, but I can’t tell. He’s going for something subtle here, but his phrasing is dull. Randy says, “You switched it up….dude I loved it.” Kara said, “I loved your spin on that song…go for it on the next song.” Paula decides NOT to give Ju’Not a hard time for singing the same song from Hollywood. Simon says, “That was actually better than I thought it was going to be…it was a little bit safe.” Hm, the judges are pimping Ju’Not. It wasn’t all that.
Kristen McNamara – “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman – Kristen and Nathanial–back together again! They pile on group-mate, Nancy Wilson. Kristen’s vocals are awesome, but the arrangement is a bit Vegas. I feel like I’m at the Sands watching Edie Gorme. No denying her vocal talent, but she should have gone contemporary, especially with this song. Kara says, “You are a great singer, I could see you more doing a Kelly Clarkson song.” Paula liked when she sang Kelly Clarkson in Hollywood. Simon and Randy both wonder who she is. Randy says she did too much with a simple song.
Nate Marshall – “I Would Do Anything for Love” by Meatloaf – This song is way too big for Nate. The song is no good unless it’s sung with a big Diva vocal, and that’s not Nate. He should have pulled back and picked a song that highlighted his personality, and his vocal ability. Simon says, “It was verging on excruciating…almost uncomfortable…at least people will remember you.” Randy says, “It’s hard for me to imagine what kind of record we would make with you.” Simon says he should do a “keep fit” video, mocking his headband. Lolz. Kara says, “You need to pick a song…show us you can be serious.” Paula mentions his awesome “Disturbia” from Hollywood. “It made you relevant” said Paula. She’s making sense! Nate and the judges goof around before Ryan takes it to break…
Felicia Barton – “No One” by Alicia Keys – Despite a few bad notes, this is the best performance so far. With her strong, assured vocals, Felicia pops off the screen. She’s got it going on. I’d love to see her in the Top 12. Paula says, “You’re gift is unbelievable” Simon says, “It’s a bit copycat, I’m not as enthusiastic as Paula.” Randy says, “I thought it was hot.” Kara said, “You had attitude, you had presence…you stepped into it, girl.” Felicia feels “so blessed to be here.”
Scott MacIntyre – “Mandolin Rain” by Bruce Hornsby – Again, some bad notes, but Scott picked a good song to compliment his sweet, pleasant tenor. He’s hitting the big notes at the end–that’s what counts on Idol! Randy says, “The parts that were great, were really really great…I could feel the passion.” Kara says, “You move mountains when you step on the stage…it’s coming from your heart.” Paula says, “Whatever challenges you faced to get here…you blessed us with your gift.” Simon says, “I wasn’t crazy about the song…I have to say you’re growing on me.” and “I’m going to be amazed if you don’t sail through to the next round, young man.” Simon just anointed Scott. Oh boy. Ryan and Scott high five for real…
Kendall Beard – “This One’s for the Girls” by Martina McBride – Oh, it’s the Alligator dance! An MJ exclusive. Heh. Kendall starts off well, but then goes off the rails a bit (what’s with the off-key singing tonight?). The beginning was better than the end. Her blond good looks and country vibe will help make her memorable. Kara says, “You had some issues with the notes, but you got that personality.” “Best outfit, you look awesome, ” says Paula. “You’re adorable.” Simon says, “You probably did the right thing tonight…but it got a bit shrilly at the end…not my cup of tea, ” says Simon. Randy thought she picked the right song, but says, “It wasn’t your best vocal performance.”
Jorge Nunez – “Don’t Let the Sun go Down on Me” by Elton John – This is a little overdramatic, and I’m not digging his almost phonetic pronounciation of some words, but his vocal is really stong–he kills the glory note. Paula says, “I’m so proud of you…you worked so hard, ” says Paula. Simon said, “I think you should be who you are…you actually are a very very good song.” He doesn’t mind Jorge’s accent. Randy says, “This wasn’t the perfect vocal, but it was really really good.” Kara says, “You were born to sing…we feel it…you have that gift of touching people with your heart.” Jorge begins to cry, ensuring he’ll advance into the Top 12.
Lil Rounds – “Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige – Lil is bringing it. She’s on pitch, hitting the big notes, lots of personality. She’s so in the Top 12. And she looks fabulous–love the dress. Simon says, “Brilliant, my favorite performance…I think you have great great prospects in this competition, ” Randy says, “One of the best we found, hands down…you kept your swagger on…you know who you are.” Kara says, “You are still a powerhouse…you’ve been a steady, steady boat.” Paula says, “You are first class, we are going to see you for many more ‘lil rounds'” Ha ha Paula.