American Idol – Stevie and Whitney

Alright, now we’re getting down to the serious business of American Idol! Thirteen contestants sing, one goes home tomorrow night.

But, truth be told, once the show was over tonight we switched over to one of our local PBS stations (I say “one of ” because we have access to four of them.  That’s a lot of Celtic Women) who were playing a recent B-52’s concert.  The first couple of songs I watched were more fun than the entire two hours of Idol.  So this got me thinking…B-52’s night on American Idol!  It would be awesome!  Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson could sit with Jimmy Iovine and coach the contestants.  “Phillip, you are going to be more believable if you actually get down on the floor during the break in Rock Lobster.”  “Hollie, I’m not seeing you actually dance that mess around.  Get connected to the lyrics, girl!”

But tonight we got a split theme.  The girls sang Whitney Houston songs, which is kind of surprising because she was always one of those artists that contestants were warned to stay away from.  The boys pulled from the Stevie Wonder catalog, which is surprising because…well, it’s not at all surprising.  I think A.I. does Stevie Wonder week about twice a season.

Because of the split theme, Ryan jumped out of Jermaine Jones’ pocket at the start of the show to explain that it would be boys vs. girls this week, with the bottom vote getter from each gender being brought before the judges so they can announce which one the producers don’t want on the show anymore.

I actually really like this format!  Not necessarily the boys vs. girls thing, but I like the idea that you bring the bottom two vote getters before the judges to let them decide who goes home.  This way, you avoid letting go of a genuinely talented contestant too early because they have a bad week.  Then, once you get to the top five, the judges pull out and it’s all based on votes.  This is a great idea!  Can we implement this for the rest of the season starting right now?  I know Jimmy is on my side.

Okay, enough blather.  Time to get into tonight’s performances.  I will rank the performances from one to thirteen based on how I thought they did TONIGHT.  Not my overall sense of them, just tonight’s performance.  Then I’ll tell you who I think should go home.  So, here we go!

1.  Phillip Phillips “Superstition”   No, this wasn’t the best vocal of the night.  But it WAS the best overall performance of the night.  This guy is the whole package.  Yes and yes.  Steven Tyler tried to summarize Phillips’ greatness by dramatically delivering the assessment “You just are.”  It was met with the same silence you are giving right now.

2.  Jessica Sanchez “I Will Always Love You”   THIS was the best vocal of the night.  Oh my God.  I will say that the first half of the song was much better than the second half, but whatever.  Then, when the song was over, Jessica jumped into Jermaine Jones’ other pocket.

3.  Joshua Ledet “I Wish”   Solid.  Perfect song choice for Man-tasia.  He kind of reminds me vocally of Terence Trent D’Arby, and I mean that in a great way.  He’ll totally own TTD week.  Steven Tyler stunned everyone by commenting “that was beautiful.”

4.  Skylar Laine “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?”   I seriously had no expectations for this girl before last week and she has wowed me two weeks in a row.  She made me actually like a song I feel nothing for, and did it in a country-style.  J-Lo got goosies, which I’m strangely not tired of yet.

5.  Colton Dixon “Lately”   My son Evan has made Colton his favorite.  I really like this guy.  He started a little slow tonight, but the performance kept getting better and better.  Steven Tyler also thought Colton was “beautiful”, but Randy Jackson was “keepin’ it real”.  They came to blows during the commercial.

6.  Hollie Cavanagh “All the Man I Need”   It was about this time that Natalie caved in to the flood of high school flashbacks induced by all of the Whitney Houston songs.  This was so good, even Randy thought the dude nailed it.  I think Hollie and Jessica could share one of Jermaine’s pockets.

7.  Erika Van Pelt “I Believe in You and Me”   Ohhhh, I really like this girl’s voice.  J-Lo and I both got goosies.  Or maybe I just got goosed.  Not sure.  But I would love to hear Erika sing an Alison Moyet song.  Just imagine her belting out “Don’t Go”.  That’s the stuff.

8.  Heejun Han “All in Love is Fair”   This cat is HILLARIOUS!  Yeah, the song sounded pretty good.  I just want him to stick around for a while because he makes me laugh audibly each week.

9.  Elise Testone “I’m Your Baby Tonight”   She is still one of my favorites, but this was not a good night for Elise.  Though, I will say the second half of her song was MUCH better.  You can blame Jimmy and Mary J Blige for switching her song, but she was planning to sing “Greatest Love of All” and that didn’t seem to be going well either.  I think this was just deep out of her wheel house.  Scoot past this and regroup next week, Elise.

10.  Deandre Brackensick “Master Blaster”   He’s fun to watch, but I thought this was a pretty weak vocal.  But it’s a great song and he brought good energy.  Randy and J-Lo didn’t want it to stop, but I think they will keep it real when they watch the playback.

11.  Jeremy Rosado “Ribbon In The Sky”   Jer-bear turned in a perfectly adequate, smooth jazz version of this song.  J-Lo predictably swooned, Steven Tyler made something up, but Randy kept it real by calling for more swag.  I think that means it could’ve been better.

12.  Jermaine Jones “Knocks Me Off My Feet”    This was mostly forgettable for me.  I do like Jermaine’s voice, but it is so unique that he has to pick the absolute right song.  Everyone else seemed to really like this, including my wife.  I just didn’t get anything out of it.  Maybe he was distracted by all the people in his pockets.

13.  Shannon Magrane “I Have Nothing”   If I had to pick a fave Whitney song, this would be it.  And I thought it was a wayyyyy better song choice for Shannon than last week.  BUT – this was not good.  It was easily the low point of the evening and she absolutely deserves to be the low vote getter for the girls.

WHO MIGHT BE GOING HOME?  I don’t have a sense of how America is voting yet.  But Shannon got voted into the top ten last week, and that surprised me a little.  She is 15, which automatically gets her bonus votes from the teen demographic who judges on cuteness and age over talent.  My fear is that Elise Testone could end up in front of the judges as a result teens voting for Magrane.  If that happens, I imagine that Jermaine or Jeremy could be facing elimination, as that would even out the boy/girl ratio.

WHO DO I THINK SHOULD GO HOME?  After last night, I think Shannon should go.

Alright, there ya go!  Let me know what you thought.  I’ll be back later tonight for a quick results wrap up!


~ by themattmorrisshow on March 8, 2012.

8 Responses to “American Idol – Stevie and Whitney”

  1. First I was surprised when they had the girls sing Whitney for the same reason you said and figured it would be a real tough nite for the ladies. And I like Stevie wonder but they use his stuff too much in my opinion. Sorry I’m bored with it.
    Jessica did a fantastic job!!! I loved her. She really did make me cry and I have NEVER heard anyone sing that song almost as good as Whitney herself!! It’s my favorite Whitney song!
    Holly as well really came in on top for me I thought her vocals were fabulous as well.
    Have to say I thought the ladies did well over all.
    But I hope none of them make the same mistake of ballad after ballad . I want to see a
    variety in song choice and that they can pull it off.
    I did like most of the other girls they are all
    So different from one another.
    Didn’t think Elise did very well but really love her voice and hope she gets to say.
    Shannon was not good last night. She is at the bottom for the girls for me.
    And the guys well I’m with your son, I liked Colten , Heejun is funny but his voice is well unexpected.And I’ll agree with buttery smooth yet every once in awhile I hear a miss on annouciation of words. Thought he did great.
    I like Phil too . I think most of the guys did pretty well , but those 3 are my top picks.
    Jermaine is so deep he has a great voice just don’t think he fits and isn’t really my cup of tea.
    I have to say I agree with you that my bottom two would be Shannon and Jeremy . Not sure why Jeremy was pulled back . He has a good voice but I think he needs more work to mature.

    • Thanks Kimm! Yeah, I think Jeremy and Jermaine are the two guys who are here now who I would have replaced in the top 13. Jer-bear is likeable with a decent voice, but totally uninteresting as a performer. And Jermaine is unique talent, but almost too unique for this format. And he, like Jer-bear, doesn’t bring much performance-wise.

  2. Jessica hit it OUT OF THE PARK.
    I’m not a fan of your Elise…I think she should go home.
    I like Shannon.
    Heejun is great…his voice is smooth but his humor…gets me each week.
    I agree with J Lo….a girl is gonna win this….and if Jessica keeps it up…she’s the next American Idol. she really did sound like Whitney!

    • Jessica is a force, for sure. And it two weeks she has already demonstrated an ability to do be fun and upbeat, and also slay one of the most difficult ballads in pop-music. I still prefer Phillip Phillips slightly better betters, but I worry that I may grow bored of him. We’ll see what he brings in coming weeks!

      Elise is funny…I genuinely think she is a little overwhelmed by this whole experience right now. I hope she loosens up and just goes with it, because I still believe she can be a serious contender is she does.

  3. Matt, you are so good at this! I was sitting here laughing outloud while I read it. I agree that Jessica was fantastic last night. I also thought Hollie was almost as good as Jessica. Phillip is just so much fun to watch. And I also like Skylar. The guys overall didn’t impress me much last night except for Joshua.
    All I know is I will look forward to your blog every week because in some ways it is more fun than the show! Love you!

  4. Thanks Phyllis. I agree that the girls were, over-all, better than the guys last night. I think the absence of Reed Grimm, though I found him to be a little annoying, has dramatically weakened the talent depth for the boys. But Idol voters are a fickle bunch. We’ll see what happens!

  5. Here’s the blog I keep telling you about. Hers is entertaining, but yours is way more fun to read. 🙂

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