**sidenote to those who are playing the game, there was an issue with last weeks post and my ability to post it but I’ll post the results from this and last week, tomorrow morning! Sorry about that but moving back into a house is a little time consuming!
Ok so going into tonight, I thought this was supposed to be like, rock band songs, I dare say epic rock songs… and I thought the only reason the first few people weren’t rocking out, was because they all knew that Caleb was going to KILL IT, and so they just decided to go different and hope for the best (I see it on Top Chef a lot – where contestants know they can’t pull off the tast, so they just cook something really good and hope that it generically fits into the category.
Maybe that was the case but by Malaya, I realized, it was more than likely just the most vague category ever – Songs Performed by Bands. I mean really? We couldn’t narrow it down any further than that?
Once I got over the theme being as generic as humanly possible, I did think the night overall was a victory. I can’t say that there was a terrible performance at any point last night. I was disappointed with some performers, but no one had a bad performance. To me, the worst performance was that opening Fallout Boy compilation number (and Caleb’s jacket. I also hated that part of the performance). I really liked the band being more of a fixture on the set instead of background. It was fun to see the contestants performing as they would in future shows, like when they’re on tour. It’s something they should probably get used to after all.
As expected, Caleb and Je(gi)na were the clear winners. Their performances literally SOARED above everyone elses, and I dare say Jena’s performances was one of my favorites of the season, to date. Caleb Johnson‘s version of Dazed and Confused and Jena Irene‘s version of Bring Me To Life were exactly what I was expecting from both of them. They are both such complete stage performers and they both do rock impeccably well. I mean, if I were Caleb I’d demand a band behind me for all performances, personally. And as far as Jena, I only hope that she sticks more closely to rock than electronica. I just think she has so much more of a home there, and a bigger fanbase at that. I’m pretty sure Angie performed Bring Me to Life, and for what it’s worth I’d just like to say that Jena slaughtered Angie’s version by comparison! And seriously, where can I get that skull shirt because I want it like, yesterday.
Now, while I was clearly happy with the performances by the above-mentioned performers, I think I was more happy with some of the up and comers of the competition who really stood out tonight after a bit of wavering in episodes passed (where I wondered if I should be questioning who my favorites were – yes Majesty, I’m looking at you). There was 1 performer that I believe is completely still holding his own (hey Alex!) and 3 performers I think really showed what they were made of tonight (Malaya, Majesty and Jessica). So let’s talk about those 4.
Ok so Alex Preston. Where do I begin with dear Alex. At first I was angry with his performance. I mean, in what way is Don’t Speak an epic rock song? I don’t know that I’d consider Don’t Speak an epic rock song (although I would consider the album it’s on to be epic in it’s own right). I mean, it’s in the rock genre (though leaning towards the pop-variety), and it was a big hit. But if this was a venn diagram, they’d be in different circles. I had to push that thought aside (ala my Top Chef theory), because I did think this was a fun and interesting version of the song. I do get that Alex said he still hoped they respected the artistry, and I have to believe they would/did. I did. And he got my votes all over again.
Now Jessica, man, I was just really on the fence with her performance. My friend Jessi and I (my real friend, I’m not calling Ms. Meuse my pal) have a love/hate relationship with this song. She loves it. I’m ambivalent and she hates that I don’t love it like she does. So, I’ll just say that for the song that Jessica Meuse sang, I thought she did very well, and I really think Fleetwood Mac is totally in her wheelhouse, which I thought was pretty obvious by the performance (minus that horrendous outfit).
Anyway, I did really think Jessica’s performance was very well done and I hope it keeps her out of the bottom three tonight! It was only a matter of time before she did something by Fleetwood Mac and I’m glad it was this song, for the sake of my dear friend. haha. I’ll just say that while I know Fleetwood Mac is most definitely a rock band, they’re more hippy rock, and I kind of would have liked to see Jessica do something a little bit harder like she did earlier this season (but she did do it earlier this season so I guess props to her for mixing it up some more).
The other two ladies, Majesty Rose singing Shake It Out and Malaya Watson singing The Long and Winding Road were performances that I thought showed both exponential growth in the competition, and their ability to really know their songs, on stage. With Majesty, . I mean to be honest, if I were to describe Majesty’s performance in gif form, it would be this…
I mean seriously, Jen was right – vocally, it was kind of a mess. I did think it was much better at the beginning than it was at the end. That said, performance wise it was just thrilling to watch. She has the smile and audacity of a performer and I love that about her. She wins me over with performance, but her voice is getting there! And if anyone won favorite outfit of the night, it was most certainly Majesty (not that it factors into my decision-making).
Malaya was kind of the opposite. Performance was a touch boring. Just a touch. But she is just getting better and better every week. She’s clearly heeding the judges’ advice and that’s something I love about her. She’s a learner, and she’s clearly strong willed and motivated to do better each and every week! Was it just me or was this the best she’s sounded all season? Besides her audition song, I really think this was her best “eyes shut” performance – as in, with my eyes shut, did I like the voice…
Seriously though, can I just be Malaya’s friend? She embodies so much of the goofy energy I feel I too embodied at her age (and really, it hasn’t changed much in 15 years).
And now we move onto my 3 least favorites of the night. I can’t even say their performances were straight up bad… but they were definitely, without question my least favorites. So in no particular order (ok they’re in the order I believe they fell in…)
Sam Woolf – Hey There Delilah (Plain White T’s)
Was it just me or was the idea of a band with Sam and Alex fronting it, amazing? They look like they could jam well together! I feel like that could be so much fun. More fun than Sam Woolf performing on his own that’s for sure. I mean, this song is great, but it’s not rock, and it wasn’t ever epic. I was definitely over the song (and his shirt) well before the song was over. I mean his voice is so good, it’s just so boring. But he’s got his Grammy, and lights… I mean, yes, this is exactly the right music for him but I mean, what’s new a different and unique about him? He seems so disconnected, and I might’ve been mad when he couldn’t just understand that it helps to convey actual emotion… But then to cover he says he was thinking about his Grammy? I mean… ughhhhhh….
Dexter Roberts – Boondocks (Little Big Town)
Oh sweet, stupid Dexter. Ok look, I can’t say anyone else had done an “epic” rock song, but this was not a rock song. This is a country song, and THEN a rock song. All the judges were speaking to me. Harry was right. Generic Generic Generic. I’m always interested in Keith’s opinion too, especially when it comes to Dexter because he brings the country perspective. And to some extent, I agree with him that if someone hadn’t sung it first and he was, he’d be big. I get that. But maybe that’s country. I dunno. Then there was Jen whose insight I also agreed with, don’t give us an anthem every week. Excellent point. Even Ryan was speaking what Dexter needed to hear – “Can you go outside your wheelhouse” – Dexter claims he can but I mean, put your money where your mouth is buddy.
CJ Harris – If Hadn’t Been for Love
This was a fun song/performance. He was still giving me that “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” vibe, but I wouldn’t say it like it was a bad thing. I would say that Harry criticizing his pitch for the third week in a row was… shall we say…
I forgot to take a picture of who I voted for but it was basically those top 6 performances. Maybe 5. I don’t remember if I actually voted for Majesty or not (hopefully the rest of the world remembered).