Wednesday, March 11, 2009
First week of the finals featured music by the former king of pop and present king of freaky, Michael Jackson.
Vanessa Olivarez Division (Really Bad)
Anoop Desai- (Beat It) At least he finally picked a song that had lyrics and wasn't sung completely by the background vocalists. He didn't come anywhere close to doing this well. It was too soft, not nearly gritty enough for 'Beat It.' I would liked to have seen someone rock it out and do the Fall Out Boy version, but Anoop wasn't going to be that person. I believe he should be going home this week.
Kris Allen- (Remember the Time) The guitar seemed completely unnecessary right from the beginning. It was like he was waiting for the finals to use his guitar and forced it into a song that wasn't right for a guitar. He missed a couple notes and was yelling at times. The terrible judges said it was great to see him with a guitar but Simon agreed with the kid and said the guitar didn't fit the song. Exactly.
Jorge Nunez- (Never Can Say Goodbye) This Jackson Five song was obviously done at a really high tone by Michael as a kid. And Jorge not being able to go high was a downfall. He hit some strong notes at the end but the first half was way too boring for me. Also his accent made it sound weird to me.
Ricky Smith Division (Fine, but not going to gain votes)
Alexis Grace- (Dirty Diana) While not terrible (she actually can sing well), she is starting to feel a little pretentious to me. She just tried too hard and was oversinging a bit. It felt a lot like her semifinal performance that most people liked obviously, but I didn't.
Michael Sarver- (You Are Not Alone) MJ did this one as an adult, but did it completely in falsetto. I loved this song back in middle school so I really feel Sarver didn't do it justice. He showed he has strong vocals, it just didn't fit with this song. I might have liked the performance if I didn't know the song.
Lil Rounds- (The Way You Make Me Feel) Although the three stooges loved this performance, as they would have no matter what she did, it was pretty bland for me. It picked up towards the end with some changes into the false, but all in all nothing to email home about.
Scott MacIntyre- (Keep the Faith) I liked him a lot better than in the semi-final. Maybe the judges actually knew what they were talking about, because he actually did seem much more comfortable behind the piano. I didn't really know the song which can help you if you're not that great because no one can do it like Michael. The only thing is that his piano playing didn't really add anything to the performance.
Jasmine Murray- (I'll Be There) I feel the best of this group. She pulled out some runs that I hadn't heard in this song and showed some powerful vocals throughout. I only wish she had thrown in some ad libs like "look over shoulders honey."
Trenyce Division (Hangin' around near the top)
Megan Joy Corkrey- (Rockin' Robin) It might have been a little strange but I really enjoyed it. Unlike Jorge and Sarver, her lower voice fit this song. Maybe it's different when a chick sings in place of the high voiced Michael. Megan Joy has a very Sara Bareilles sound to her voice and it fit well to the 'Rockin Robin.' She goes in between her regular and falsetto at time very well. Although it's not really a powerful sound, it was better than Lil or Alexis trying to be powerful and failing.
Allison Iraheta- (Give In To Me) I thought I might have known the song, but it didn't sound like it because she was giving it such a different feel. She has such a rock star voice. With all of her raspyness I think it sounded great. The downfall for me is that she sounds the same throughout, no big runs or changes.
Matt Giraud- (Human Nature) This guy is the only one who tried to go at the falsetto and take it down. He went into it for about half the song and killed it. The first part of the song, in his lower register, were good and raspy. Unlike Scott, his piano skills added something to the performance. You can tell he really gets into it while tickling the ivories.
Ruben Studdard Division (Contenders)
Danny Gokey- (PYT) All in all a great performance. A very strong vocal performance, with quick changes from raspy lower register to falsetto. He seemed to really get the audience, and me, into the song. It was a fast song and that doesn't usually give the contestant a chance to show off his chops, but Gokey proved he's got what it takes to get to the finals.
Adam Lambert- (Black or White) Problem with Danny is that he's not Adam. Still the favorite to win this thing. In both performances he has gone all out, changed the song up, performed the heck out of it, and showed amazing vocal talents. His stage presence is unbelievable. Adam is extremely weird, but completely fantastic.