American Idol’s top four. Or; Songs I wish I’d written in California, or something like that.

Many of you have already watched tonight’s elimination show. I have not. It’s about to go down right now. So, for the sake of posterity, here is how I saw last night’s top four performance show, untainted by tonight’s results.

First thing’s first – we lost Skylar last week. While I can’t say that I am surprised to see her go, I am disappointed. I would have rather seen one of our other two remaining girls head home. Skylar may not be as technically gifted as Jessica and Hollie, but she brings WAY more charisma and stage presence. She is a more complete package RIGHT NOW than either of those two.

BUT – the show must go on, and go on it did this week! Our top four (yes, they belong to all of us now) all performed well and, in some cases, made loud claims to the title! But only one can win, and it appears more and more like it will be Joshua. Let me rephrase – it IS Joshua. I don’t even care if he fails to make it to the finals. He IS this year’s American Idol. You can argue for someone else if you want, but you are wrong. This is his season. And last night he declared it to be absolutely so with his performances. And then he bought a creamsicle from Randy.

Alright, back to last night’s show! There were two themes. One was “Artists from, or songs about, California”, which actually could have just been the former since none of the songs were the latter. Round two’s theme was “Song’s you wish you had written”, which Ryan kept wanting to change to “songs you were inspired by” for some reason. Which theme is it, Ryan? Quit writing fake-proposal comedy bits with your girlfriend and make a decision here! And speaking of uncomfortable bits on last night’s show, what was with the Rock of Ages Director chumming it up with the final four at the Idol Mansion? Did anyone else hear the crashing of derailed train metal during this segment? And speaking of train-wrecks, what was with Jessica and Hollie swinging in syncopation at the start of their vocally horrific duet? Natalie calmly stated “I think this is the lamest thing I’ve ever seen on American Idol”. Yes, my dear. I believe you are correct.

Okay.  Let’s rank each round, starting with the California round:

  1.  Joshua Ledet – “You Raise Me Up”   So good.  Dude is on another plain.  And Stephen actually thought he was a plane, which I didn’t work very hard to try to understand.  They even pulled out the A.I. choir for this one, as Joshua actually WAS lifted up.  This sounded great.
  2. Phillip Phillips – “Have You Ever Seen The Rain”  Strong vocals tonight from Phillip.  He was pulling from somewhere deeper than I’ve heard him go before.  This was rough and gravelly, and I liked it a lot.  BUT – I still think he is stronger when he has guitar in hand.  Still, good to see Phillip pushing himself again.
  3. Jessica Sanchez – “Steal Away”   This Etta James song felt way to mature for Jessica.  I didn’t buy her singing it, which made it uninteresting.  Technically?  Sure, she’s solid.  But I still don’t connect to any emotion from Jessica and can’t shake a general dislike for her.
  4. Hollie Cavanagh – “Faithfully”   The judges went coo-coo for Cocoa-puffs on this one.  I had a completely different reaction and thought this was easily the worst performance of the night (save for the throw-away group sing).  It seems clear that Hollie chose this song so she could dazzle on the final notes, which she kind of did.  But everything leading up to that sounded too low and out of her register.  And I felt she was not at all connected to the emotion of this song.  Bad song choice for Jessica.

And now round two, in which I thought everyone was great and it almost makes no difference which order I put them in.  Except for…

  1.  Joshua Ledet –“ It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”   Oh.  My.  GOD.  Seriously, why are we even letting America vote anymore?  All that can happen is that they might screw things up and vote Joshua out.  I mean, you know Skyler’s votes are going to get split between Jessica and Hollie and completely get in the way of what’s right.  Can’t we just end the show early and declare Joshua the winner?
  2. Jessica Sanchez – “And I Am Telling You”   Wow.  This was awesome.  Look, I admit I don’t like Jessica because she is void of any emotional connection to the songs she sings, but she delivered this with everything she had inside of her.  She was emotionally exhausted by the end.  Amazing performance.
  3. Phillip Phillips – “Volcano”   I can’t believe I am ranking this third, it was so good.  This is why I like Phillip – he’s an artist, not just a vocalist.  This was Phillip the artist doing his thing with excellence.  It was haunting and engaging and beautiful.
  4. Hollie Cavanagh – “I Can’t Make You Love Me”   Wow.  Are the judges watching a completely different show when Hollie performs?  They practically cried tears of joy over her mediocre performance of “Faithfully”, then had no kind words for her on this one, which she absolutely owned!  This was a beautiful and deeply connected performance.  My only criticism is that she and the arrangement tried to go to big toward the end, and this is a song that delivers it’s power by staying small.  Still, this was a great song choice for Hollie and she delivered it beautifully, despite what the judges were told to say.

So, despite my defense of Hollie’s second performance last night, I believe it is her turn to go.  Honestly, she should have left us about three or four weeks ago.  But, I like how she has shown improvement during her prolonged stay and actually seems to be developing into a marketable talent for someone.  But probably not Jimmy.  And speaking of Jimmy, I need to go watch the results show and see if he and I still see things eye to eye.  Be back in a bit.

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~ by themattmorrisshow on May 10, 2012.

3 Responses to “American Idol’s top four. Or; Songs I wish I’d written in California, or something like that.”

  1. As far as Skylar being out, well I liked her too
    She had presence on stage. I think those last
    song choices for her took her out. Especially the CCR song!! I mean it was about war and not being privileged to get out of going. It didn’t fit and actually kinda pissed me off they suggested it for her! I think we will be seeing her again one day.
    My favorite of the evening was Phil’s version of “volcano!”
    I even liked it better than the original that I had to look for on you tube because I had never heard it before.
    His version was hauntingly sexy. I could listen
    To it over and over. He should do more songs like this!!!
    I thought each contestant had 1 really good
    Performance tonight.
    Phil’s volcano was the best.
    Yes Joshua sang the pants off “its a mans world” but he is just not my favorite. I have to say out of
    The entire season there are only a few songs
    That Joshua has done that I really liked .
    Just cause he can sing the phone book doesn’t
    mean he should! And I agree with jimmy on his comment about his first song.
    Jessica killed “And I’m telling you” felt
    All her emotion in that .
    I liked Holly on “faithfully” but think I agree with
    Jimmy to some extent on” I can’t make you love me”
    She just tried to get to big with it and I am a Bonnie Raitt fan and this song has sooo much more emotion than I got from Holly on this.

    • I agree that Hollie oversang “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, or at least the end of it. This song is not meant to swell into into a dramatic key change cresendo. It needs to stay small and intimate. But in the first part of the song when she was singing it smaller, I thought she was great.

      I can totally understand Joshua not being your cup of tea stylistically, but the kid is freakishly talented and, to me, has risen above Phillip, who I tagged as my favorite for the entire first half of the season. I lean more toward a Phillip style of artist than a Joshua, as far as my personal genre preferences go. But Joshua has transcended genre to me. Ultimately, I think both of these guys could have legitimate careers, and I think Jimmy is excited to make it happen for them.

  2. Nice post . Cheers for, commenting on my blog dude. I will email you soon! I didnt realise that!

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