Last Wednesday when American Idol got down to the nitty-gritty, I muted Rayvon Owen after a few bars of “Burn” by Ellie Goulding.
Country Maddie Walker was nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers. I tried to listen. It wasn’t happening. I muted her.
Then there was Joey Cook who’s “Fancy” didn’t strike mine. I listened for a few moments, and her voice was good. But I didn’t care. Her look, her exaggerated posing, is fakey as a politician’s smile. Her talent, which is different, might take her somewhere if she’d get off the totally bogus self-promoting style and get comfortable in her own skin. For her singing, she got a standing ovation and an A-plus from Harry. Oh, well. She probably deserved it, though I did mute her after a few bars.
Then there was the hot on the charts singers. They left me cold. So I muted them.
Handsome Clark Beckman, age 22 from Nashville, sang “Taking it to the Streets” without getting muted. So that’s saying something. Keith wanted to be inspired; J-Lo wants his feelings to catch up with his voice. Harry liked the introspection.
Jax – my favorite – is an 18-year-old original and has a brain that is obvious. I mean, she used words like she wanted to “solidify a sound”. Who talks that way among the youth of today? But then she chose Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”. And that was a no-no. She didn’t come across as the crowd stand-out, like she wanted to tuck in safely among the others. Jax, NO. Be the colorful original you certainly are. Jennifer said she “didn’t feel it”. Harry was “lost at sea”. And Keith told her to “be Jax”, and that the song “held her back a little”.
Qaasim isn’t the greatest singer on the Idol menu. But I love him. I can’t help it. I love his look, his personality, his glow, and, like Jax, he’s intelligent. I even love those flying dreadlocks. Qaasim is an entire musical cast unto himself. Did I say I love him? I love the whole package deal. You go, Qaasim!!! Never mind that Harry said your performance didn’t match what you were trying to say, or that Keith stayed in the shallow end with his tepid remark about the guitar helping with his singing. Miss Jennifer nailed it. “You make every song a party, she said. “We’re just waiting for something special.”
Adana is still on my wait and see list after singing Bruno Mars’s “Come Dance with Me”. Though her performance didn’t blow me away, she did have a little color to her voice. A little gravel. Keith said she made a “cool Tina Turner”. Jennifer said she was “in control”. And Harry said it was one of her better performances. So they weren’t blown away either, obviously.
Sixteen-year-old Tyanna Jones was the star of the night. She’s my second favorite after Jax. Singing “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae, she gave J-Lo goosies and Harry gave her an Olympics 10. But best of all, Keith focused on her motivation. She didn’t seem to have fame and fortune stamped on her forehead, but she exuded a joy that said, “Look what I get to do. I want to do this forever.” Good for you, Keith.
Daniel Seavey was adorable, but not up to par. He needs time to grow. With his looks, he may get that time. We can only hope he’ll make the best use of it as he can without relying on his looks. But I can’t really say he’s a contender, though Harry says “Happy Tonight” was his strongest performance. Okay. That said, I’m glad I didn’t hear Daniel before Wednesday night.
Then there’s New Orleans Quentin the Clothes Hound. And he looks fabulous, dahling. And I liked his “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele. Keith called it “almost spiritual”. Jennifer said it had a “different flavor – soulful”. Harry said Quentin dug “deep into a lyric and the beat took us to another place.”
Nick sang “Wake Me Up” by Aloe Blacc, and yes, I like his voice. Is it enough to keep me awake? Do I think he might go all the way? No. Not unless he comes out with more than I’ve heard. Jennifer said he got a “little screamy” and I agreed. But then Harry said, “Crack it open for us. Scream it out.” I guess he means scream it without screeching, maybe. Keith thought his voice might have been homesick for his band, but “I think we’ll see you next week”.
Sarina Joi Crow was eliminated after singing for her life. Don’t know what happened there. I know of at least three who should never have made it into the top. Her voice wasn’t the greatest that night, but she was obviously nervous. I would like to hear her in a non-threatening singing situation. I’ll bet she has a very good voice. But where did the voting come in? That’s confusing.
Okay. I’m late getting this done, but tomorrow night is another run. It’s still early in the season, so who knows. We’ll see what shakes out. Right?