Posts Tagged With: american idol songbook

American Idol – Top 06 – American Idol Songbook

It’s so hard deciding if this episode was the Top 8 or the Top 6, but there were 8 performers so that’s what I’ll go with.

This was an interesting night because I’d just gone back the day before and listened to a lot of the “most performed song” performances so they were nice and fresh in my mind. Turned out that my cutoff of 6 performances was a little off (there was definitely one contestant that chose a song only sung twice). But I guess expanding the songbook at least makes for a more interesting evening. And interesting it was. It really showed off to me, how talented a lot of these contestants are. It also had me really arguing back and forth at myself as to who should be saved. Should it be Sonika or Avalon? It was definitely the hardest “who to keep” I’ve seen all season. Besides times where they obviously chose the wrong people to keep (yes I’m looking at you Tristan and Gianna).

The night opened with duets and with the way they went (best to worst) I was a little worried the night would go like that. But I was pleasantly surprised. But I also thought the duets would be commonly performed songs. Then the first three performances were songs never performed on Idol. Were they great performances? Well, one of them was, yes I’m looking at you Trent and La’Porsha! And the Sonika/Avalon pairing wasn’t bad either. The other two well…

brit kinda bad

But really I’m ready and willing to download “See You Again” when it’s available on itunes. I didn’t realize how well their voices compliment each other. And while I wasn’t a fan of Trents performance of Stand By Me, this really reminded me that it’s not his time to go home yet.

I did think it was interesting that the only people to sing a duet of a song that’s been done (now, more than any other song on American Idol), were Lee and Tristan. If anyone didn’t need to be compared to better performers, it’s them. But guess what, we did. And guess what? They were probably the worst of the 9 total performances. That doesn’t even include Lauren Alaina who had it as her audition song. Well, one of them. I do hope that the ability for comparison makes people realize who should go home (I guess at least America was half right).

So let’s talk about these performances. We’ll just go in order. I think that’ll be easiest.

La’Porsha Renae – Come Together by The Beatles 

I think, if anything, this song in Idol history, is really synonymous with pretty great performances! The only bad one was Sam Woolf (ok and Qaasim – I had really wished Quentin would sing that song). I think for the most part, the only people who pick this song, are people who know they are going to kill it, and they all did (mostly). So if I had to compare La’Porsha with the previous 6 performances, I’d place her solidly in the middle, leaning toward glass half full. It’s astonishing because when compared to her fellow contestants, she’s leading the pack, but when you compare her with those who sang the song before her, she’s stuck in the middle for me. Carly Simpson just sang it SO well. She’s my favorite by leaps and bounds. That said, I felt like La’Porsha did kind of channel her growl that made the performance what it was.

Other Performances: Carly Smithson (Season 7, Top 12), Kris Allen (Season 8, Top 04), Crystal Bowersox (Season 9, Top 9), Candice Glover (Season 12, Top 09), Sam Woolf (Season 13, Top 11) and Qaasim Middleton (Season 14, Top 11)

MacKenzie Bourg – You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker

I think MacKenzie made a pretty smart song choice. He’s not really like anyone else who’s sung it before. It was definitely Taylor Hicks best performance (I dare say it’s worth a re-watch), but I didn’t love this song with Jessica or Danny sang it. And either way, MacKenzie doesn’t compare to any of them musically. Had someone like Sonika done it, she’d be immediately compared to Jessica – and could probably hold her own – but comparing MacKenzie to any of these three, is almost like comparing apples to oranges.

Other Performances: Taylor Hicks (Season 5, Top 03), Danny Gokey (Season 8, Top 03) and Jessica Sanchez (Season 11, Top 05)

Trent Harmon – Stand By Me by Ben E. King

Trent did really well, but he took a huge risk. The 4 other guys who covered this song had really great performances. Phillip had a great soulfulness, Archie’s voice just stands out as clearly the best of the group, and weirdly, I thought Gokey brought almost a country twang to it. He wasn’t country though, was he? Either way, Trents, for me, fits somewhere higher Phillip but lower than Archie. He did have a lilting quality to his performance that I enjoyed. I do agree with JLo though that I didn’t like his look as much tonight.  Bring back all the scarves (unless they’re covered in mono still).

Other Performances: Bo Bice (Season 4, Top 05), David Archuleta (Season 7, Top 04), Danny Gokey (Season 8, Top 08) and Phillip Phillips (Season 11, Finale). – Also I’m starting to wonder if this night could’ve just been called “Things Danny Gokey sang”.

Tristan McIntosh – A Broken Wing by Martina McBride 

I’m not gonna lie, when I heard the song choice I was like – has this even been done before? But when she started it I remembered Jordin Sparks singing it in the Finale. And I guess she sang it in the Top 07 as well. And then I saw Jessica Sierra sang it and she still rings out in my mind as a “gone too soon” contestant! This is another time where comparisons hurt the performer. Listening to Jordin and Jessica sing this, and Diana too, to some extent, it just makes you realize how much farther Tristan has to go in her vocal coaching. She’s not to the caliber of the other ladies. Especially Jordin. I’m honestly shocked she made it through tonight. But I’m going to try not to dwell on it…

nothing turns out right

Other Performances: Diana DeGarmo (Season 3, Top 11), Jessica Sierra (Season 4, Semis), and Jodin Sparks (Season 6, Top 07 and Finale).

I was fine with Tristan being picked because I thought, maybe it’ll be Dalton and Lee in the bottom and that will be fine. Surely it wouldn’t be Avalon AGAIN!

shirley

but then it happened…

Dalton Rapattoni – Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles

I was also starting to wonder if no one would sing a Stevie Wonder song… most performed artist, after all! But alas, we were stuck with Dalton singing a classic (probably one of my favorite) Beatles songs. I did not even have to look this up to know that David Cook crushed Dalton as far as this song is concerned (I also didn’t need to look it up because Dalton kind of sucked except at the end there). I was never sure if I liked David Cook but this performance made me think I might. I didn’t really start liking him until he sang Always Be My Baby by Mariah Carey. That was a really great performance! I also have to say that re-listening to Michael Lynche’s performance, that was really great too! Better than Dalton for sure. Also I could only find Paul Jolley’s studio performance of this, not his real version, which makes me think it might’ve been terrible. It was the week he was voted off, after all. Long story short is that but for Paul, Dalton was probably the worst performance of the previous performances of this song. And don’t even get me started on the judges reactions. I mean…

Me watching Tyler

Me watching Tyler

Other Performances: David Cook (Season 7, Top 12), Michael Lynche (Season 9, Top 09) and Paul Jolley (Season 12, Top 09).

And then we were left with the poor terrified bottom 3. Well, 2 of the 3 were definitely scared. I think Avalon was just like – screw it, I got this.

Avalon Young – P.Y.T. by Michael Jackson 

My bigger beef with Avalons song was that only 2 other people have sang it. Is that really an Idol classic? I don’t think so. That said, I think she did great. This was probably the first performance where I thought that the performer was better than any of their predecessors. Which is why I think she probably should’ve been saved, but I’ll get to my arguments for saving Sonika too. I was really torn with that elimination. But here’s my pitch for saving Avalon – more interesting song choices, excellent performance under pressure, overall great attitude, would probably be my friend. And did  I mention how good her performance was?

Other Performances: Danny Gokey (Season 8, Top 13) and Justin Guarini (Season 1, Top 04). Justin’s unfortunately was either recorded before people were putting videos on the internet, or it was forgettable enough that no one remembered to put it on the internet.

Lee Jean(ValJean) – Let it Be by The Beatles

This was Daltons performance all over again. Just hearing what he’d be singing reminded me of Brooke White’s version of Let it Be and how stellar it was. Did she cry in it? I would probably put it in the Top 25 greatest performance on Idol. What that means is that it unfortunately focused in on the connection that Lee just didn’t have to the song. I feel bad for the kid. He did look really defeated while performing, I’m sure the nerves were really bad, but this just wasn’t good. I did feel so bad for him when he spoke before the judgment, because he was just adorable. I just think he needs a few more years. I really think he could have a great career and hopefully this is just his jumping off point. Also it should be noted he was way better than Burnell’s version of the song, if it’s any consolation.

Other Performances: Brooke White (Season 7, Top 12), Katie Stevens (Season 9, Top 09) and Burnell Taylor (Season 12, Top 09).

Sonika Vaid – I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston

Sonika picked probably one of the hardest songs in Idol lore. It’s been performed (very well) by many of the greats. Was she better than those ladies? No. But did she hold her own? Abso-freaking-lutely. Arguments for keeping her: Holding her own against the likes of JHud, Jessica Sanchez, Trenyce, Vonzell, Katherine… she challenged herself and really showed she should be on the show. I think picking a song that’s been done a lot and doing it well, says a LOT about the quality of a singer.

Other Performances: Trenyce (Season 2, Top 11), Leah LaBelle (Season 3, Semis), Jennifer Hudson (Season 3, Top 08), Vonzell Solomon (Season 4, Top 10), Katherine McPhee (Season 5, Top 06), Lakisha Jones (Season 6, Semis), Shannon Magrane (Season 11, Top 13) and Jessica Sanchez (Season 11, Finale).

And with that, we are left with a Top 6, which I assume will go down to 4 next week and then one at a time after that? I wish it would go one at a time from here on out but I don’t know if they’ll give me that much in this shortened season. Time will tell!

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Categories: American Idol, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Idol – Thoughts on the Theme – Most Performed Songs

Well if you ever thought that the American Idol Producers had completely fucked up a theme night, and that there was no possible way they could pick a worse theme (see “Favorite Performance”), well you’ve lucked out because tonight, tonight is by far, the WORST theme idea in the history of theme ideas. Folks tonight, welcome to American Idols tribute to itself:

Most Performed Songs on American Idol

anigif_enhanced-buzz-6230-1360291332-0

The most performed songs on Idol aren’t even really good songs. I have this spreadsheet of every song performed on American Idol, from the semifinals forward, for every season. I know the facts. Not only that, but performing a song that’s been performed upwards of 6 times (which I’m assuming is the cut-off number), you’re going to be compared to all those other performances. Will they be better? There’s a chance. But there’s also a really good chance that one of these performances was legendary and should’ve been retired post-performance, but instead, contestants still try to reach the unreachable. But anyway… I do like numbers and statistics, so lets look at the most performed songs (by my numbers) and see what we think folks will be singing. I’ll also note when one of those songs has been done already – because they have, unfortunately. I mean, it wouldn’t be a most performed song otherwise, would it?

Topping my charts with 8 performances were 3 jams. Can you guess?

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing
Performed by:
top06 - idontwannamiss

Best performance – For my taste, I think I’d pick Allison Iraheta. I feel like Josh Gracins was also good but I couldn’t find a video of it and I don’t remember it well enough.

When a Man Loves a Woman
Performed by:

top06 - whenaman

Best performance: Clark Beckham. I think I mentioned it… 

And the only song I’m not sick of hearing over and over again:

I Have Nothing
Performed by:

top06 - ihavenothing

Best Peformance: Probably Jessica Sanchez? Jennifer Hudson? Vonzell? Katherine? I think I’d say anyone except Shannon and Leah. I even went back and listened again and they’re the only less than remarkable performances. I also learned from Katherine McPhee’s performance that David Foster actually wrote the song. What up Former Mr. Yolanda.

It should also be noted that of those 8 performances of When a Man Loves a Woman – 2 were bottom 2 performances and 2 were eliminating performances. But hopefully we won’t hear this song because Trent already performed it last week! And oddly enough, I could see it sending him home (if he wasn’t a white 20something male). “I Have Nothing” also had one of each (but does it really count as an elimination song if it’s in the finale? No.), and “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” didn’t have any “bottom 3” material… though some of them should’ve been.

There are also 6 songs that were performed 7 times, 12 preformed 6 times and 29 performed 5 times. I think personally, let songs become “5 timers” and once they hit that mark, don’t allow contestants the opportunity to sing them again. I mean, I realize it doesn’t matter now, but that would’ve been my rule, if it were an option. And according to one blog/website, Simon actually had a list of banned songs, which the writer agreed, was far shorter than what the list should’ve been. Then he included his list of songs that should be banned and for the record, this is basically the same list I’d make. Maybe one or two possible adjustments but this is pretty solid. Michael Slezak also has a list of 20 songs he’d ban and I’m 100% on board with it. We could probably use this list as the song list for tonight, if you ask me.

But anyway, if you want to see the full list of Most Performed Songs, check out the bottom of this blog. I will say this category also had me wondering – who do you think is the most performed artist? Well, lucky for you, I have that information for you.

excited-baby
I know. Calm down. It’s a lot to take in.

 So, I do have to say there’s a bit of a caveat as to the Top Performed singers/bands. See, it all goes back to theme nights. See, of the Top 11 (there’s a reason I looked through 11), all but 2 had a theme night dedicated to them. And the other two are Motown artists, and we all know that Motown has been a theme 5 times. Also, it should be noted that the Top 3 performers all had at least 2 dedicated theme nights. So without further adieu, the most performed person on Idol is:

top06 - steviewonder

Not bad right? I don’t know who I thought it would be but I didn’t think it would be Stevie. The guy did have 2 theme nights though. Not to mention how many other themes he fits into – Motown, Soul, any decade specific theme from the 60’s forward. Probably a lot of the Billboard themes too. It doesn’t hurt that the guy has a boat load of hits. His songs have been done on the Idol stage a staggering 62 times! Isn’t that crazy? As for the other Top 11?

top06 - most performed artists

The Beatles (also 2 theme nights) – 53 times
Elton (also 2 theme nights) – 36 times
Whitney Houston (1 theme night) – 34 times
Elvis (2 theme nights), Marvin Gay (no theme nights) and Michael Jackson (1 theme night) – 26 times
Queen (1 theme night) – 25 times
Bill Joel (2 theme nights) – 23 times
Aretha Franklin (no theme nights) – 22 times
Kelly Clarkson (1 theme night) – 20 times

Now you see why I had to go out to 11. Had to fit my girl Kelly in. And she’s the only Idol on here so I felt it was worthy. If I’d had to go out to like, 20th place, I wouldn’t have bothered.

and finally, for those who wanted that song list, here you go! Have fun guessing what over-performed song will be performed tonight!

top06 - mostperformed

Categories: American Idol, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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