So here are the top ten that made the cut, and one by one I will give you my reactions to their performances, written down before I’ve heard how Keith, JLo or Harry have said their peace.
Caleb: “Stay With Me” - Meatloaf has been resurrected, and he’s in better voice and less sweaty. I was so thankful for that breakdown, because without it the uptempo jam was starting to get a bit stale. We were at his concert tonight. Fun!
Early side note - so far I am really unimpressed with the calling of cameras for the last two nights. What is going on? The timing seems way off, too many low light cuts to ppl in the audience, and then when judges are calling out for cuts, they aren’t happening. The moves away from the vocalists seem to be at inopportune times. Crazy.
C.J.: “Shelter” - I see what what Chris Daughtry was saying about the guitar, his rhythm choices didn’t immediately match the groove of the song and it wasn’t until the bass and drums and keys kicked in that I could feel it in the pocket. To be honest, this didn’t work for me. Not that he was bad, but just that this version of rasp did not get to me emotionally, though I can certainly see how it might have for others.
Emmanuel: “The Best of My Love” - Not unlike CJ, but for totally different reasons, this kind of performance is an acquired taste. He ran out of gas after the breakdown and was a bit flat on the long notes. But he owned the stage, not that anyone expected him not to do so. The short jacket and the constant cuts of him from the rear were not helpful. Not for me.
more side notes:
Great quote from Harry: “You’re a great singer - so don’t forget to sing.”
I didn’t like Jennifer giving Emmanuel a second song to audition with. But I’m glad that there’s enough freedom in the environment to let something like that happen.
Sam: “Babylon” - This was a great pick for who he is and what he conveys as a potential artist, though I think strategically it might not be a good pick in the category of “memorable performance.” But with his One Direction John Mayer vibe going on, he should be okay.
George: “Grenade” - That one suffered from a bit of a “one note crunch” syndrome - there was too much time spent in that one area where this song lived, and it was too much like he was squeezing out the last bit of orange juice from the rind, and it was painful. Needs levels.
Dexter: “This Old Boy” - He just sings so easy and good, this guy might even make me like country more than Scotty McCreary did. He’s another one that I will really enjoy seeing how he fares in different genres through the competition.
Honorary “you did your thing” shouted twice by JLo, the ghost of Randy Jackson is trying to get back on that judges panel….
Alex: “Volcano” - In general I do like him a lot, but also in general this song choice did not feature the best parts of his quirkiness - I hope he gets past this round, because he is such an interesting individual.
After hearing the judges rave about Alex, the only thing I can figure is that whatever he was selling in the room was well received but didn’t break through the cameras to get to us. If that remains a trend that could be dangerous for him in voting…
Malcolm: “Coming From Where I’m From” - I can tell that he’s good, but I’m distracted a bit by the repetitive gesture of his off-mic hand. And then I think he really lost the key in the middle. This song choice did nothing for me personally, and he kinda meandered about the stage, seemed purposeless, lacked storytelling.
JLo: “I shoulda got goosies on that” - now it sounds like she’s channeling Paula…
Ben: “Soulshine” - As Ben steps into his guitar solo, now I hear the ghost of Simon Cowell saying that this “is a singing competition” - at least the solo was short… I thought he was completely fine and passable in this genre. He didn’t exactly get through to me, but I know he will to many.
Spencer: “Love Don’t Die” - Zoolander has arrived! he is ridiculously good looking, but since his occupation listed is “worship leader”, I guess I am required by law not to mock him too much… I love this song, and he did well, though he just needed a place to go “up and above” after the bridge. But I loved the energy and I think he’s so totally hot right now. Spencer.
So… who were your favorites?