The theme is “home” - singers have picked a song that reminds them of home. Daughtry? Phillip Phillips? Motley Crue? I guess we’ll see...
Jena: “Suddenly I See” - Love this video background! This is solid, and is heartfelt, but ⅔ of the way through and I haven’t heard anything dynamic yet. The mix seemed tepid - just never really got out past her into the audience or through the camera.
Alex: “I Don’t Wanna Be” - This is a great song. I love how he holds his electric, very old school. He fell into a pretty good groove, but very different than the original track. I love almost everything about this guy, except that I think he has a bit of a blank canvas face issue. Some rockers/musicians can get away with that, I’m not sure he is one of them.
Jessica: “White Flag” - I need a little bit more enunciation from her. She’s almost too familiar with the song. By the time she got to the breakdown chorus though, she found it. I just think that song meant more to her than it was a catchy song that grabs all of us.
With regards to Jessica, Keith and Harry were both right. She needs to both sing in tune and with conviction. I actually think that she is trying to recapture a vibe that exists in a bar setting, where the simplicity of a thin voice with a nice melody can stop people from talking, turn their heads as they order another round. And you can underplay that vibe and come off as very credible. But this kind of performance is such a different vibe - it’s a giant spotlight, we’re already looking right at you. You can’t subtly move into that. You have to kill it.
Dexter: “Lucky Man” - Now that is how you sing with conviction. Lovely. I also really like how he sets the stage and introduces the song. He starts on his own terms, and he took his time and owned that moment.
When Harry said “you shouldn’t have sang about the Bengals,” I thought he said “The Bangles”, and was trying to remember the Manic Monday reference in the song… doh.
Emily: “Let’s Get Loud” - Okay producer, we get it, JLo knows the words to her own song… My only problem with this choice was that it isn’t a vocal song, really - it just sits in that one place, those few notes over and over again. It’s a dance tune, and it was just fine. She was a little thin on the last few notes.
Caleb: “Working Man” - I think this has to be a first, I can’t think of another competitor who has performed Rush. Maybe this will get Tony Germann to start watching? What Dexter does for authentic country, Caleb does for authentic rock and roll. That rocked and in many ways I find myself rocked to the point at which my socks seem to have left their positions where they once were on my feet.
MK: “Drops of Jupiter” - I didn’t quite know what to say about this - again, I guess that I can see the appeal, though I just don’t think she pushes through the things she’s thinking - it’s all in her head, it doesn’t get out past her mic to the audience or through the camera.
CJ: “Waiting on the World to Change” - interesting to pick a non-country song… Well that acoustic guitar playing is completely unnecessary… He pushes in ways that don’t seem to be connected to urgency. It just sounds like an effect, like an overlay. Makes me wonder if he really does have a pure, clean voice inside there. Not sure that we’ll have enough weeks with him to find out.
Sam: “Just One” - So I’m really angry with AI producers for placing him in the midst of smiling girls. It’s like they’re egging him on. He did a great job with a song that no one knows, and I liked it a lot. He is a real musician and a competent artist. I enjoyed that.
Malaya: “Take Me to the King” - Um. Wow. That was amazing. Worship just happened.
Ben: “Turning Home” - I liked it all right, but I think that I am running out of energy to watch. I must need to go to bed. He doesn’t have the personality to hold the story of country music.
Majesty: “Fix You” - I love this song. Please stop the audience from clapping to this, they are ruining the vibe. When she looks at the camera, she gets through. She has something that some of the others do not in terms of a spark - but that high note did not land correctly. It was too bad, because it was really working until then.