Tonight, the Top 15 Guys will take the stage…or not! Five will be eliminated before they even get to sing! We’ll be live blogging all the action right here.
I’m not surprised the guys had better performances than the girls. The boys are older, more experienced and confident all around. A gaggle of teenage girls taking the Idol stage to sing—which was basically what happened last night–was a recipe for disaster.
It looks like the boys have a clear advantage, which is NOT something I believed before this week. So much female talent, so much of it gone awry. I hope whichever girls make the Top 13 can step it up next week.
Randy Jackson had a much lower profile tonight, sitting in the audience rather than taking the stage. I have to agree with many who have said he’s pretty much the same old Randy during these session, sharing the same old meaningless platitudes with the contestants.
Idol alums, Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert and the staff had more pointed, helpful advice for the contestants. I had to laugh when Randy told Spencer to keep his guitar and Adam told him to lose it. Whose advice did Spencer heed? The guy who’d been through the process already, Adam Lambert. Poor Randy Jackson, he gets no respect. Nevertheless, guys, just have to accept the fact that THE DAWG is not going away. Not ever.
Eliminated tonight were, Ethan Harris, Jordan Brisbane, Casey Thrasher, Briston Maroney, and Maurice Townsend
I was down with all of these eliminations, except Maurice, who has a stunning voice. He could have easily taken the place of Emmanuel, or even George (who laid an egg tonight).
There were strong performances from surprising quarters, like rocker, Caleb Johnson (whom I previously wrote off as a try-hard and wannabe), Ben Briley (I mistakenly took for fodder) and Alex Preston. OK, Alex didn’t surprise me. I’ve been on Team Alex for awhile. But I think he’s finally on America’s radar, which is a good thing.
I’m still digging the country soul of CJ Harris. Sam Woolf was a bit of a letdown. He’s best when singing pretty melodies that are full of emotion. Malcolm Allen didn’t impress the judges tonight, but I think he could get right back on his feet if he gets a next time, which I hope he does. Spencer Lloyd: Still think he’s a light weight pretty boy. But I better get used to him. I think he’s going to be around for awhile.
After a lengthy recap of last night’s
Hunger Games show, we finally get down to business. Here come the superstar judges, who found THE VERY BEST TALENT THE US HAS TO OFFER. Harry, Jlo and Keith enter. Tonight, Jennifer is Palazzo Pink!
They went right down to the wire in Jlos dressing room deciding, says Keith. Welp. We all know that’s not true :/. Harry thinks the guys have learned about how to “stay in their lane” from the difficulty the girls had handling their nerves last night. Will the dudes manage to keep it together?
Next, we meet the top 15 via a super colorful graphic! Remember when Ryan would drag the contestants on stage for the cold open? Good times.
Randy Jackson is sitting with the girls tonight. We’ll see more clips from the Idol boot camp, but not as much as last night, because we’re going straight to the performances!
Caleb Johnson – “Stay With Me” by The Faces – He wants to bring Rock n Roll to Idol. Because that’s never happened before. Chris tells him not to let “intense face” distract the audience. Hm. Chris should know (remembering his intense face from S5). This is an oldie but a goodie, for sure. The song is a good choice for his raspy voice. I feel transported back to the 70s. But is that a good thing? I’m not sure. Nostalgia will probably get him some votes. “The soul and the cool thing in your voice, you’re just born with that,” says Keith. “That was some real Rock Star-Ish,” says Jlo. She remembers him from before “It’s your time,” she says. “It’s a really strong way to start the show,” says Harry. – 1-855-4-IDOL-01 – Text 1 to 83676
Hey. It’s the only show that produces platinum selling superstars, says Ryan. Maybe we’ll find another one this year. Hm.
CJ Harris – “Shelter” by Ray Lamontagne – CJ has always been about country soul, he explains to Randy. Adam is on hand as CJ chooses his wardrobe. Good choice! After learning that CJ is a self-taught musician, Chris suggests that he ditch the guitar, because it’s distracting. And he…does not. I love love love CJ’s gritty rasp. He lives and breathes every song he performs. He’s an absolute natural talent. He wails on a high note in a voice that’s hardly perfect, but it’s world weary and lived in. I believe every syllable this boy sings. Standing ovation! “You make me smile,” says Jlo, “It’s a beautiful thing. I hope we get to see you for the rest of the competition.” Harry warns him about sharp singing. But he felt it “I felt like you were going to shelter me.” Keith compares him to Dobie Gray and Jonny Lang. He doesn’t care about a sharp note if the music speaks to him. CJ just had a root canal! Holy crap! – 1-855-4-IDOL-02 – Text 2 to 83676
Emmanuel Zidor – “The Best of My Love” by the Emotions – The vocal coaches are pressing him on some of his wanky high notes. They must have gotten to him, because this performance is toned down compared to his others. But still many pitch problems. He’s an iffy singer, and I don’t understand why they put him though, except as entertaining fodder. Harry notes that the performance went out of control. “Don’t forget to sing,” he says. Keith says watch the adrenaline! Because it’s affecting his pitch. “I zidor you” says Jlo. Oy. She didn’t like the song choice. She wanted a bigger song. She asks him to sing “I’m Going Down” and he does. It’s still not great. He adds this annoying little trill to everything he sings. “You do belong here,” she reminds the audience. (No, he doesn’t). Vonzell Solomon, who sang the song season 4, is one of his favorites. He was paying homage to her. – 1-855-4-IDOL-03 – Text 3 to 83676
Randy is proud of the boys. Their bringing it!
Sam Woolf – “Babylon” by David Grey – He just got accepted to music school. Congrats, Sam. Keith says the judges were 100% unanimous in their enthusiasm for Sam. Randy and Michael Orland work on his stage presence. Look at the audience, open up, they say. The performance is a little bland and tentative. I’m not sure this was the right song choice. The song doesn’t really go anywhere, emotionally. Still, his pitch is good, and his tone sweet and pure. He does a couple of sweet adlibs at the end. He has nothing to worry about. His fresh-faced appeal is going to carry him through. Keith calls his voice “money.” He expects him to get better and better. Jlo loves his sweet quality. Harry hopes he gains more confidence as the competition goes on. – 1-855-4-IDOL-04 – Text 4 to 83676
Ryan is back in the lounge with the contestants who have performed. The guys are just chillin! But back in the chamber….there are 11 guys and only 6 spots!
George Lovett – “Grenade” by Bruno Mars – Jlo says he came into his own during Hollywood. He’s a huge fan of Season 11 alum, Joshua Ledet. Randy tells George to find something unique in the song. Thank you Captain Obvious! Adam helped him build the dynamics in the performance “You’re a great singer,” says Adam. He’s the first guy who seems really nervous. I’m not really digging his trembly delivery. Is that nerves or his style? Either way. No. There are pitch problems here. He’s giving it all he’s got, though. Jlo really felt his energy, but suggests he control the runs. Oh. For once I agree with Jlo. It was too much. Harry felt his passion spun the song out of control. Correct. “I’ve heard you sing better,” says Harry. BOOOOOO. Says the crowd. Keith believes song choice for him will be crucial. Tonight, he picked the wrong song, says Keith. Harry complains again that he got the boo, when all 3 said the same thing. They just take you more seriously Harry! – 1-855-4-IDOL-05 – Text 5 to 83676
Now, Ryan is backstage with the nervous contestants, waiting to have their names called.
Dexter Roberts – ‘This Old Boy” by Craig Morgan – Harry name checks the Backstreet Cowboys, the Holllywood Group Dexter was a part of, and then totally flubs a joke, I’m sure he rehearsed. Heh. Chris says song choice is all about “making it you.” His friends describe his cover performances as “Dexterfied.” Dexter has a pure sound and an authentic country vibe. He’s not nervous at all up on stage. Dude has bro country written all over him. Find that boy a rapper! Harry wonders what will set him apart out in the real world? That’s a good question. As pleasant as he is to listen to, he’s kind of generic. Keith says he’s like a 1000 guys singing in honky tonks right now. He has to figure out who he is. Jennifer doesn’t care, “You did your thing,” she says. Oh. It’s his first ever performance without a hat. – 1-855-4-IDOL-06 – Text 6 to 83676
Alex Preston – Volcano by Damien Rice – Ha. When Keith said the next performer was a really good guitar player, all of the guys turned around to look at Alex! He tells Randy that he plays 10 or 12 instruments. Oh. He’s playing “Volcano” which has been covered by a certain Idol winner. Hm. Chris commiserates with Alex’s awkward nerves and shares that he still gets nervous when he has to do TV! This is a good performance and I refuse to compare him to anyone! *coughphillipcough*. Alex is an accomplished musician and should never put away his guitar. He may be awkward, but on stage, he comes into his own. Alex has flown under the radar, so far. I hope he America notices him. Keith thought it was the best song choice of the night. Jlo loved the groove. She thinks hes interesting, and in his own lane. If he stays there, he could really go far. Harry likes his devotion to music. And loves that he “ended it on a 9.” Harry asks Alex to demonstrate for Ryan. It’s not a common note to end on, he explains. Geek talk! – 1-855-4-IDOL-07 – Text 7 to 83676
Malcolm Allen – “Her Heart” by Anthony Hamilton – To work on his stage presence, Randy suggests Malcolm talk to Adam. “If you believe it, they believe it,” Adam says. Oh. This is a tough song to sing. He lets the tempo get away from him in spots, but as the performance progresses, he finds his zone. Malcolm is one of my favorites. He’s an awesome meld of the retro and the new. I think he’s got great potential as a contemporary singer. Jlo wanted his performance to “hit” her more. She thinks he could have gone further. I don’t think I agree. Harry thinks his runs are monotonous, and he’s singing sharp. BOOO says the audience. . Keith thinks it should have been stripped down. He would have felt it more. I liked this performance more than the judges did. – 1-855-4-IDOL-08 – Text 8 to 83676
Ben Briley – “Soulshine” by The Allman Brothers – Ben’s great grandmother was one of the first women on the Opry. His mother was the Taylor Swift of the 70s. Is that a compliment? The vocal coach advises him to find someone in the audience to sing to. “He’s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy,” says Chris. Oh. So Ben can play the guitar too! And very well. This is the best so far from Ben. Lot’s of soul and grit in this performance. He’s going to amass a fan base if he keeps this up. Harry thinks he did a great job and admires his gigantic orange tie. The entire Royal Family is living in there, Harry quips. Keith loves his “shredded” solo. Jlo says he came alive on stage tonight. – 1-855-4-IDOL-09 – Text 9 to 83676
Backstage, Ryan thanks the remaining guys for being part of the show. It’s pretty obvious Spencer Lloyd will close the show. And he is!
Spencer Lloyd – Love Don’t Die by the Fray – OMG look at him running the hallway gauntlet like a star. He’s not sure whether he’ll use a guitar or not. Randy tells him to use it. “Ride the horse that brought you here.” But the vocal coach and Adam told him to lose it. HA. Adam says he looks like a star when he works the mic. Who does he listen to? He loses the guitar! The band sounds great! But Spencer’s voice? Total weak sauce. This song is swallowing him up. Not doing it for me! NOT a rock star. His voice Keith didn’t think it was his best vocal. “When you’re up there, you a star,” says jlo. “THIS WAS NOT GOOD.” says Harry. He should stick to ballads at the piano. Ugh. Ryan hands him a sign from some fan girls. Spencer is going to be the thing that never goes away, isn’t he… – 1-855-4-IDOL-10 – Text 10 to 83676
They’ve got some time at the end of the show, Ryan asks the judges to give the eliminated a pep talk. Keith notes that Adam and Chris didn’t win. But at least they got to sing on the show! Harry promises that their moment will come. Hm. It probably won’t for most of them.