American Idol 2014, top 6 recap – Paging Donnie and Marie…

Photo from Americanidol.net

Photo from Americanidol.net

Top Six. It actually feels like there is an end in sight to this thing. That’s a good feeling.

And, speaking of good feelings, we have finally bid adieu to Dexter The Dud, who America saw fit to eliminate last week. If you are one of the tens of readers who have been following along with me, you know how little this bothers me. Frankly, America, what took so long?

Tonight’s theme is A-Little-Bit-Country-And-A-Little-Bit-Rock-And-Roll, which I think means that they all have to duet with Donnie and Marie Osmond (google it, young ones). Actually, it just means that they are singing two songs. You can figure the rest out.

Let’s do this! In order of performance, starting with the rock and roll portion of the show…

JENA IRENE “Barracuda” by Heart – Thank god it was 70’s Heart. 80’s Heart is so bad and usually the Heart-era of choice for Idol contestants. But 70’s Heart is pretty solid. And so was this performance. Jena sounds fantastic. I wish she would have pushed her performance into the energy of the song a little more (and the judges seem to agree), but I’m nit-picking. This was pretty awesome. And my wife and I both thought she had cool pants.

Hey, look! Ryan is taking a selfie with the hot group, R5! I’ve never heard of them.

SAM WOOLF “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons – This is about exactly what I expected from Sam – kind of an improvement from earlier in the season, but still not close to being worthy of winning this competition. Still, he has learned to use his face more effectively, and he seems more comfortable surrounded by the band, which is all nice. BUT…J-Lo got  goosies? Really? I thought the judges went a little bit overboard in their praise, here.

C.J. HARRIS “American Woman” by The Guess Who – This was a vocal wheelhouse song for C.J. He sang and performed it well. My problem is, I’m so tired this of this song that I just kind of wanted it to be done. But that’s just me. As opposed to Sam, I thought the judges were a little too hard on C.J. He was better than they gave him credit for.

ALEX PRESTON “Animal” by Neon Trees – Kinda pitchy, dawg. This was the most rockin’ that Alex has ever been. It kinda worked, and I could see how, with his own band that he was comfortable with, he could pull this off great. The problem was more with his vocals, tonight. Again, the judges seemed to critique hard, which would be okay if not for the glowing Sam review still ringing in my ear.

CALEB JOHNSON “Sting Me” by The Black Crows – Ryan described this song as “the ’92 smash”. This was not a smash. But, as usual, Caleb smashed it. He was in full Meatloaf form tonight and totally fun to watch. BUT…I am weary of Caleb’s totally ordinary song choices. The crowd loves him, the judges love him, he keeps feeling the adulation and praise, but I find his song choices to be completely uninteresting. It doesn’t seem to be impacting him, yet. But I just wonder…

JESSICA MEUSE “Somebody To Love” by Jefferson Airplane – More of the same. Solid vocal, but she looks like she is thinking about something completely different from the song she’s singing. For someone as seasoned as she supposedly is, I just don’t get that. Honestly, she looks bored. Keith echoed exactly what my wife had just said about her eyes being void of emotion. Maybe she doesn’t have a soul? Something to think about.

And now, it’s time to get a little bit country. In order of performance…

SAM WOOLF “Still The One” by Shania Twainn – Apparently, Sam is auditioning for a high school musical. And the high school girls loved it. I didn’t. My wife hated more that I did. She called it the worst song of the season. Harry looked like he was in pain. The judges were really kind in their attempt to tell him he was terrible. Which he was.

CALEB JOHNSON “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood – This was a far more interesting song by Caleb. The song had more structure and movement. He took a country song and just made it sound like his own. Clearly, his earlier number was more powerful, but this was more interesting.

ALEX PRESTON “Always On My Mind” by Willie Nelson -I can’t stop smiling. What a beautiful song choice. And Alex put his troubadour spin into full effect. Amazing artistry. That was my favorite song of the night, so far. I completely disagree with Keith – Alex communicated the heartbreak.

JEAN IRENE “So Small” by Carrie Underwood – I’m beginning to think the Jena can sing anything. Nothing about this felt like country to me, which I really liked. She made it a pop-song. She made it her song. And she continues to make this her competition. The difference between Jena and Caleb is the her songs are really interesting, while Caleb just belts out what sounds like the same one-note rocker all the time.

C.J. HARRIS “Whatever It Is” by The Zac Brown Band – Funny thing about C.J. He is kind of grouped under the country umbrella, genre-wise. But whenever he sings a pure country song, they end up being his weakest performances. No exception, tonight. This was mediocre, at best. Forgettable.

JESSICA MEUSE “Jolene” by Dolly Parton – She was a little less dead behind the eyes this time. I could actually see some emotion in her eyes. Contrary to Keith’s opinion, I liked the rock & roll arrangement.

So, as we wrap up tonight’s show, I have come to realize that my wife is really excited by Grumpy Cat.

grumpy cat

 

I’ll need to process that a little. In the meantime, here’s how I rank tonight’s performers, based on some kind of combination of both of their performances:

  1. JENA IRENE
  2. CALEB JOHNSON
  3. ALEX PRESTON
  4. JESSICA MEUSE
  5. C.J. HARRIS
  6. SAM WOOLF

What troubles me is that the judges were way to kind, and even over-praising of Sam. If influenced, America will likely save him for it. If so, that likely means that C.J. is going home tomorrow night. Too bad, because I still think he is way more interesting than either Sam or Jessica. But, he is no better than fourth place this year, with the power-three of Jena/Caleb/Alex continuing to set themselves apart from the rest of the competition.

That’s all for tonight! Let me know what you thought and I’ll be back next week for the top five.

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~ by themattmorrisshow on April 23, 2014.

One Response to “American Idol 2014, top 6 recap – Paging Donnie and Marie…”

  1. […] American Idol 2014, top 6 recap – Paging Donnie and Marie… | The … […]

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