I’m going to be straight up honest–I want Kelly Clarkson’s contestants to do well, because I want her to sing as much as possible during the run of this show. Kelly, unfortunately, picked two true amateurs. Jordan and Jason don’t have the experience that someone like the current front runner, J.Rome has. The latter sang with a prestigious gospel choir as a child, toured with an army group when he was in the military and was a cast member of the Michael Jackson “Thriller” musical in London. It’s no wonder he’s such a polished performer.
I’m happy that after the first week, the gloves are off and the judges are actually critiquing. Last week, a contestant would wind up near the bottom after fairly decent critiques from the panel. The contradiction was confusing. This week, the critiques match the scores, and I’m enjoying them more. But the performances are more satisfying too, now that we have the contestant back stories out of the way. There was a lot of singing tonight, and I liked that.
The only reason one of Kelly’s contestants didn’t hit the very bottom this week was courtesy of Olivia Chisholm’s uncomfortable, uncertain performance. With a different song, she could turn it around next week. Unless Kelly’s kids find some confidence FAST, one of them is going home next week.
So far, the judges seem to be scoring according to that night’s performance. Meaning if a person has an off night, they could be sent packing. That will probably change as the competition progresses. At this point, even if J. Rome were to poop in the middle of the stage, it probably would not send him home. We’ll see how much cumulative good will figures into the judges’ scores.
You just can’t go wrong with a show that features four talented singers performing every week. Sure, the superstars often overwhelm their charges…but I sort of don’t care? This is one singing competition where it really isn’t all about the contestants for me, and I’m OK with that.
Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke compete with their duet partners! Kelly’s contestants sit at the bottom of the score card. Will they climb up from the bottom of the pack?
The show opens with Kelly Clarkson and Robin Thicke singing Michael Jackson’s “State of Shock”. Holy crap THIS IS SO HOT OMG. I will have video of that up ASAP.
First, a recap of last week.
Host Quddus chats with Kelly about her two contestants landing in the bottom last week. She says she’s working on her confidence this week. The theme is “Greatest Duets of All Time”.
Bridgette Carrington and John Legend – “I Knew You Were Waiting” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael – She came in 6th last week. Thought the verses were a little low for her last week. He chooses “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” and he thinks it’s in a better song key for her. A big improvement, vocally after last week. The song hits right in her sweet spot. But I felt more chemistry with John last week. Jennifer: I loved it, I thought it was fantastic. You raised the bar on your on performance. Kelly: All those runs you were doing? Whatever! Y’all nailed it. Robin: You look like a bag of skittles, and I love skittles! You have such a beautiful chemistry with John. You came alive at the end of the song.
Scoring: Bridget Carrington is at the top of the chart…for now.
Jordan Meredith and Kelly Clarkson – Misery by Pink – Kelly gives her two contestants a pep talk. She says both have less experience than the other contestants. She doesn’t agree with the result–both landing in the bottom–but there are things they can work on. Kelly notes Jordan’s ability to express emotion through her voice, and convinces her that she can hit the high notes. Jordan begins as a solo, and I have to say, she’s obviously a Kelly fan. The two blend beautiful together. Jordan has a very gritty, soulful voice, but she’s a Kelly clone, and obviously lacks confidence. There were some tricky high notes at the end of the song that she missed. Jennifer: I’m so happy to hear this song choice. I love the soul that you have and the grit. You really raised your performance. Robin: She picked the perfect song. Didn’t’ quite finish as strong as you started, but I know what you’re all about. John. You have a powerful voice up there. There was some pitchiness. Sometimes it looks like you’re using Kelly as a crutch, be powerful on your own.
Scoring: 1. Bridget Carrington 2. Jordan Meredith
John Glosson and Jennifer Nettles – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – Jennifer felt John was the top voice of the night. The voting was not accurate. She believes the judges are playing some kind of strategy. Jennifer warns John that John Legend is a total Marvin Gaye fan and will be upset if they mess too much with the melody. Hm. Not as impressive as last week. I think John’s sweet spot is gospel and ballads. The chemistry John and Jennifer had last week is missing. Kelly: I kinda looks a little hokey. Vocally, your performance, you were having such a ball. I think you’re going to go far in this competition. Robin: I think it was the wrong song. I think that your voice was so beautiful. You began to copy some of Jennifer’s moves. You jumped out of your comfort zone physically. John: You have a phenomenal voice. The energy of the song–it felt a little Broadway to me.
Score: 1. Bridget Carrington 2. John Glosson 3. Jordan Meredith
Olivia Chisholm and Robin Thicke – “Where Is The Love” by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway – Robin wants to capitalize on their sexual chemistry. Olivia is nervous, because she’s never heard the song before. She’s having trouble memorizing the lyrics. Robin is annoyed she’s still using the lyric sheet. The performance is SUPER PITCHY. Yikes. Olivia is obviously not comfortable with the song. She’s concentrating hard on the lyrics. NO CHEMISTRY. Awful. She is, however, very beautiful. John: I love your presence on stage. It was lovely. Jennifer: There were a couple of things pitchy–the songs last week showcased your voice in a better way. Kelly: It’s like “Where is the Love” a thousand times! I think it’s funny. Your voice–that’s a really cool texture. I didn’t love the song. I love your voice.
Score: 1. Bridget Carrington 2. John Glosson 3. Jordan Meredith 4. Olivia Chisholm
Johnny Gray dropped out of the competition. John Legend held a quick open call. He brought in groups of 5 and had them sing. He narrowed it down to two people. Mario and Meleana. They have to learn the duet song. Sing it with John the next day, and then the partner he picks will duet with John on TV the next day. Meleana sings “Endless Love” with John. She had trouble learning the song, but by the end of the rehearsal, he felt confident about her. Mario sings “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” with John. John thinks Mario has a lovely tenor. He chooses…
Meleana Brown and John Legend – “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie – Wow. These two sound fantastic together! Meleana is very confident and has a beautiful, unique, powerful tone. It’s amazing how she got it together in only 48 hours. She’s a pro. John also sounded fantastic. His raspy tone shone through. Robin: He makes a sandwich analogy. Let’s just say he liked it. Kelly: You did a great job. You’ve got a lot of soul–don’t try to be perfect. The technical singers are good, but they aren’t the great ones. Jennifer: There’s something super classy about what you’re doing. I heard some uniqueness in your voice. I thought it was fabulous.
Score: 1. Meleana Brown 2. Bridget Carrington 3. John Glosson 4. Jordan Meredith 5. Olivia Chisholm
Jason Farol and Kelly Clarkson – “Whenever You Call” by Mariah Carey and Brian McKnight – Kelly is working hard to build up his confidence. He knows the song, but he needs to command the stage. Jason has a fantastic voice. When he stepped out in his solo, he really shined. Very soulful, smooth tone, with the ability to hit power notes. Bonus: Jason is totally adorable. John: It was good. It seems like you are looking to her for approval. You aren’t owning it yourself. You have to open up to the audience. Robin: Big difference from last week As soon as you stepped away from Kelly, you exploded. Just keep believin it. Jennifer: I can see the confidence. I think there were a couple of things accuracy, but when you hit the big notes, it’s great. There’ s a little bit of nerves in the upper body. Kelly says he doesn’t know how sexy he is.
Score: 1. Meleana Brown 2. Bridget Carrington 3. John Glosson 4. Jordan Meredith 5. John Farol 6. Olivia Chisholm
J. Rome and Jennifer Nettles – “You’re the One That I Want” John Travolta and Olivia Newton John – Wow. Really Jennifer? You’re giving this R&B singer a song from a corny musical? REALLY. J. Rome has some reservations too. The performance–well, that definitely could have been worse. J. brings the swagger, including pelvic thrusts–that goes a long way to keep the cheese at bay. But it’s a nothing song. It doesn’t highlight his impressive vocal ability. Kelly: I thought you had a little Bruno Mars. You were cool. It didn’t have a huge range. It’s not as challenging as the last song. John: You are such a natural on stage. Song choice? I don’t think it showed that off. But it was incredible. Robin: You get a 10 for your presence and 10 for your pelvic thrusting. You have a great chance to win this whole thing.
Score: 1. Meleana Brown 1. J. Rome (Tie) 2. Bridget Carrington 3. John Glosson 4. Jordan Meredith 5. John Farol 6. Olivia Chisholm
Alexis Foster and Robin Thicke – “You’re All I Need To Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell – Robin loves her voice, but feels she needs to work on her stage presence. Once she’s onstage–she still looks uncomfortable. She moves around a little, but it doesn’t feel organic. She was under pitch on some of the bigger notes. I wasn’t impressed with Alexis last week, either. LOL of the night. Quddus asks her how she got her swagger, and she answers: “Onne word: Let go.” Erm. Jennifer: I thought you really added to that. I loved the interplay. It was a wonderful performance. John: You got to hold the mic to your mouth. I didn’t hear some of it. Kelly: I thought it was really disconnected. It didn’t feel like a duet. Until the very end.
Final Score: 1. Meleana Brown 1. J. Rome (Tie) 3. Bridget Carrington 4. John Glosson 5. Jordan Meredith 6. Alexis Foster 7. John Farol 8. Olivia Chisholm
No elimination until the end of next week’s show. I’m pretty sure Quddus said there would be an elimination this week? But I’m thinking they are holding off because of the addition of a new contestant. Also, there will be a sing off to determine who goes home.