Idol Chatter

America’s Top Ten

I was a little surprised with the performances and song choices [see Tim and Siobhan].  You would think that at this point, some of these contestants would figure out a way to step up the game, but that just hasn’t happen for some.  On the other hand, there are a few contestants that get it, and continue to prove why they are the front runners.  Here’s a look at the performances. Continue reading

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Idol Chatter

Katie Stevens: Her performance resembles her whole existence on the show: meh.  The judges think that she’s in search of herself.  I think she’s just young and taking a million suggestions from the judges isn’t helping things either.  Grade: C

Siobhan Magnus: Pretty ballsy with the a capella beginning.  I think this song is right in her wheelhouse.  Pretty good performance.  Save one screechy note, it was pretty “dope.”  Grade: B

Lacey Brown: Not really familiar with the song but I think this was her best performance of the season.  Randy agrees.  Grade: B

Katelyn Epperly: What a nightmare.  She’s still the most talented of all the girls.  But what the F-ck is goin’ on with the song?  Not a great vocal song, and she wasn’t really into it.  I think this girl is lost.  Grade: D+

Didi Benami: I give her props for the Fleetwood Mac (“Rhiannon”) cover.  Not a terrible arrangement, just nothing special.  Grade: B

Paige Miles: I praise her ambition but the execution was pretty shaky.  Right after the key change she was a bit off track with the pianist and she never found her way.  Naturally, the judges offer no quarter.  Its really quite a shame as she may be the best natural singer in the competition.  Grade: C-

Crystal Bowersox: Like last week Bowersox, puts in the best performance of the night, and perhaps the whole season thus far.  Performing Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason,” she hits it out of the park and she knows it.  Bravo.  Grade: A

Lilly Scott: Although I think she has real talent and charisma, I don’t share the same level of adoration as the judges (Simon notwithstanding).  The performance starts off a bit tame but she really hits her stride towards the end of the piece.  I still think she will stumble once the field gets widdled down and she’s forced to get outside her comfort zone.  Grade: B+

It looks like the girls are beginning to figure this thing out.  Overall, the performances (save a few odd regressions) were much better.  Right now, my top three of the girls are as follows:

1.  Crytal Bowersox

2.  Lilly Scott

3.  Siobhan Magnus

If the competition were based solely on potential, the order may differ a bit.  However, based upon their performances, these three have clearly separated themselves from the pack.  I’m less sanguine about the guys.

Idol Chatter: Girls Night

Crystal Bowersox, 24, Elliston, OH: Her voice sounds great tonight.  Maybe it was just the song last week.  Here, the voice is front and center, no distracting, gratuitous harmonica solos.  Still not diggin’ the presentation but the voice is for real.  Behold, tonight’s pace setter.  Looks like Kara and I are on the same page with the song choice.  Grade: A-

Haeley Vaughn, 16, Fort Collins, CO: The best part of the whole segment was when Simon spoke.  “It was a complete and utter mess.”  Ditto.  Grade: C

Lacey Brown, 24, Amarillo, TX: After murdering “Landslide” last week, “Mmmbop” would have been a vast improvement.  Not bad.  Better.  But again, that’s not saying much.  She’s just not that good.   Grade: C

Katie Stevens, 17, Middlebury, CT: Much better this time around.  Actually showed some stage presence time around.  Performance = good, singing = meh.  Grade: C+

Didi Benami, 23, Knoxville, TN: Not the best choice for her, given her range.  She needs to do more of the organic granola stuff as I don’t think she has the chops for soul music.  Randy agreed.  Grade: C

Michelle Delamor, 22, Miami, FL: A “Creed” song, really?  She’s definitely got the pipes.  But there is zero charisma on stage.  And the arrangement was dreadful.  I don’t really get Kara.  “You believed in it.”  So the f- what.    Grade C+

Lilly Scott, 20, Denver, CO: Her singing is pretty good.  She showed more range than what I thought she had.  Thank GOD for Simon.  He was the only one that brought up the obvious and inescapable fact that Crystal was actually better, despite not being as ambitious.  Grade: B

Katelyn Epperly, 19, West Des Moines, IA: For once, someone actually played an instrument that played a clear role in the performance.  I think she’s dynamite.  If it wasn’t for one note, I would have given a nudge higher.  She actually has talent.  I agree with Kara 100%.  I think Simon has a point too with the cheesy looks on stage.  Grade: B+

Paige Miles, 24, Naples Florida: One of the few from this year that has a naturally beautiful voice.  Quite effortless.  She may have the best voice in the competition.  Her only problem is that she doesn’t jump out of the screen, even if she’s got great eyes to match that booming voice.  Judges were sour on her, but I liked it.  She’s a great talent but I see the judges playing her like they used to play Melinda Doolittle.  Grade: A-

Siobhan Magnus, 19, Cape Cod, MA: Look, the kid’s got a great voice but there are limits.  I mean singing Aretha Franklin is a tall task.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think it held up that well, energy and big notes notwithstanding.  The judges were enraptured with her performance.  Again, Simon and I are on the same page.  Grade: B-

Aside from the ascot, I see absolutely no value in having Ellen DeGeneres on the show.  On balance, the girls improved dramatically.  So far I’ve got Crystal Bowersox as the sentimental favorite, with Lily as the dark horse.  Overall, the favorites have to be Crystal, Kately, Siobhan, and Didi on the women’s side.

As side commentary, I hate the inconsistency of the the judges’ comments.  On one hand its perfectly fine to take on big songs (see Siobhan’s cover of “Think”) even if you miss notes, but not for others.  They’ll kill some of the contestants for missing notes but no others.  I thought Siobhan was pretty rough in a few spots and only Simon called her on it……just seems strange.