Tonight was really weird. I was super psyched for the break-up songs from my love of angsty heartbreak. It really is the best tool to write a good song! And yet, tonight, it was the Make-Up Songs for me. I think that’s only because the contestants knew it would be the last song the world would hear for the night, so of course they had to be the best. Had they done break-ups last, I would’ve got that angst filled torture I love so much.
The only bad thing about everyone having a great final song, was that you had to go back and look at the first 2 (Break-Ups and Dedications) to really pick the stand out performances of the night. I didn’t think anyone had 3 good songs (although if we’re comparing to last week, Caleb was like a shining star coming out from the ashes). I think tonight I’m just going to talk about my favorites from the first two rounds, and then really dive into the third round. How’s that sound to everyone? Good? Ok, we’ll see how it goes. Let’s get moving!
Break- Up Songs
To be fair, I think the bigger reason I hated this round was that A) Nobody chose a song I wanted to hear (how are you not gonna cover Adele or TSwizzle in a category about break-ups?) and B) Alex wasn’t nearly angsty enough. What happened to the Alex from Say Something? Man, I wanted to cry by the end of that. THAT was angst! That said, Alex Preston was still my favorite this week. Too Close was a pretty great performance and was different enough that I didn’t even recognize the song at first (it wasn’t so much that it was that different, so much as I only know the chorus of that song). Either way, I knew that he’d be my favorite because his break-up style is my break-up style. He throws himself into his emotion. Great things probably come from his heartbreak (his story was even about all the great songs he wrote post-break ups). The other contestants don’t handle break ups like Alex and I do:
Caleb – Broken up with? Maybe I’ll stalk you for a few weeks and if you still don’t want to get back together, I’ll just move on from you to whatever other girl is willing to worship the ground I walk on (and seriously, You Give Love a Bad Name? I mean, I knew something along those lines was coming, but it was just entirely too cliché for me. I wanted another Adele song, or just anything slower and more heartfelt than what he did.
Jessica – Jessica doesn’t seem to be the type to really harp on a bad break up. She seems like she’s going to grab the bull by the horns and get on with herself. Her song showed that. I’m not going to let a miserable relationship hold ME back! The problem is – if you sing Since U Been Gone, in the House that Clarkson built, you really have to SHINE! You have to be PERFECT. And Jess, you aren’t Kelly Clarkson. I’m sorry girl. Someone maybe should’ve advised you….
Jena – This little lady seems like the type that is probably super sadsies locked in her room not wanting to talk to her mom and having her dinner slid under the door (however you do that). But on the outside/at school – she’s puts out more of a Jessica-like “I’m Over YOU!” vibe. Even though she isn’t really feelin’ it. Heartbreaker was definitely my second favorite performance. She at least had the feeling that I think Jessica lacked in her performance.
I wish I’d known this was a category. It was a perfect in between category for make-ups and break-ups. Reminds me of calling the radio station to dedicate love songs to my bf in middle school and high school and HOPING to hear it on the radio!
This was by FAR my least favorite category. I dare say I didn’t like anyone but if truth be told, I did enjoy Travelin’ Band and I’m Yours*. I still thought Caleb Johnson’s was a touch predictable, but when you do predictable really well, you forget about your anger at the song choice #amiright. Now as for Alex Preston, I’m Yours was a super ironic pick, for me. Hence the asterisk. When Alex said it was a dedication to his girlfriend I just thought – since when is Sam Woolf, Alex’ girlfriend?
I mean, a Jason Mraz song? Really Alex? I think he either chose it because he missed Sam being on the show, his jammin’ buddy, or now that Sam was finally off the show without a 3rd attempt to bring him back, Alex finally had the ability to say “Hey Sam, this is how you do a Mraz song, buddy!”. What do you guys think? Either way, I thought this was Alex’ best performance of the night. It was fun, it was him, and he was good enough that rather than write any complaints, I just kept talking to my pals about how much I hate his rolled pants and how he must only be doing it at this point as some kind of warped good luck charm? As for the other two…
Jena – Honey, you haven’t bad a bad song in a while. I thought Gaga would be a really great choice for you. I’ve wanted you to sing Gaga for a minute… but this wasn’t the right Gaga song. I think Born This Way would’ve been so much better. Bad Romance was just…
Jessica – Dear. This was the point in the night where I really decided that Jess was definitely going to be on Bus 1 after tonight. She just couldn’t continue to perform songs that were done so much better by the actual performers. It’s a bad look (and sound). I get that she wanted to play a song for the haters, but Pink is just such a presence and Jess didn’t take on that persona in her version. It was far more vacant than Pink has ever/will ever be. This was just a 2/2 in the bad song choice department for Jess. I was just happy she didn’t go 3/3.
Make Up Songs
I know, I’m as shocked as anyone that this was my favorite category. I mean, I was having trouble even deciding what a “make-up” song even is. I mean, I literally have a playlist on my computer at home, of “break-up” songs that’s 4 hours long! I couldn’t even find 1 song that really felt like a make up song, in my current music. And after hearing the song choices by the contestants, it was pretty much just 4 love songs. I was ok with it though, because I thought it was a stupid concept. Anyway, I want to definitely talk about all of these songs because as far as I’m concerned, this is really where the show started. One would’ve thought it was the finale the way the contestants brought it tonight!
Alex – Yellow (Coldplay) – While Alex was my 4th place of this round, it was just the 4th best. It’s funny that he chose Coldplay because as you know, we are a house divided about Alex, and we are also a house divided on Coldplay, so it was fitting he’d choose a Coldplay song to sing! This was a lovely song. He sang it well, but I do worry that with the strength of this last performance by Jessica and the fact that he basically voted Sam off last week, this could be his swan song. I don’t think it will be, but it could be, and I wouldn’t be miserable about it.
Caleb – Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney) – This performance was my 3rd favorite of the round. This tone was actually more of what I was looking for when Caleb was singing the break up songs (hence me liking it more, I believe). He showed what he can really do with his voice, which was lovely. It was gentle when it needed to be (something I was really wondering if Caleb could do – especially after he botched the Aerosmith tune last week). I think it finally showed some restraint. I also think it was his most a-typical pick. While I didn’t know what to pick, this wouldn’t have crossed my mind (I don’t think Paul McCartney in any way makes me think of Caleb). In that regard, I thought this was stellar.
Jessica – You and I (Lady Gaga) – There is no second place here. This is just a tied for first moment. My friend Jess called this song for Jessica and if this is what she gets when she calls a song, I hope she starts calling a lot more. I thought Jess kind of knew this might be the last big performance she’d get and she knew she’d have to make the most of it. But wow.
I mean, tell me she didn’t? This performance was EVERYTHING. If nothing else, I hope she sings this song on the tour because it was everything it needed to be.
Jena – Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley) – FIRST. FIRST. OK, TIED FOR FIRST! Again, this was what I was looking for in the break-up songs, but it still gave me what I was so missing in the first round! Why they didn’t end with this show was beyond me! When I saw the piano I knew I was in good hands. And oh was I ever. I just melted with Jena on this performance. Sweet, striped down perfection.
And now we see who moves on, tonight! All I can say is that I’m super happy that the show stayed under 2 hours because I was worried there for a minute!