You know last night, I was really angry. The things I was angry about started with the format. I really thought there was a show change to announce the people going through at the beginning of the show, and then have them perform. It made sense. Then nobody is super nervous while performing. I think we all realized the effects of making someone sing when they’re super nervous that they may be cut. Last year the save performances were some of the worst. Sure you’d love people to step up to the challenge and have the best performance of their lives, but these are very young teenagers. Can we really expect that? Why force them into what will be (to date) the most stressful day of their lives, to see if they have what it takes to still perform. I feel like that just breeds mental breakdowns, even in the strongest of candidates.
I tried to see the bright side – that at least we’d get to see 10 performances tonight, but I don’t think it’s worth it if it’s not going to be the best performance they can give. And if they’re in the bottom 3, odds are they won’t be.
Other things that made me mad that I won’t spend too much time on included but were not limited to: having Demi Lovato sing (sorry but can’t we just have former Idols perform? Are you really saving them all for the finale? Or was Demi the only one with enough balls to come on and perform after Kelly Clarkson?), having Harry Connick Jr sing (who sounded like a Jimmy Buffett record on slo-mo) when we shouldn’t be focusing on THE JUDGES! No one watches the show because they love Harry Connick Jr. music. Or JLo. Or Keith for that matter. They watch it for the talent COMPETING!?!?!?! and finally, the American Idol voters.
America is really screwing it up. I mean, if they screw it up this badly in March, what are they going to do in November…
The good thing is that the final save was left to the judges and they in fact, did the right thing. I had a hard time admitting it because I do like Olivia as a performer, but Avalon was the right save in this scenario. We still have a lot of entertaining acts left, so it doesn’t sting as much. And Avalon by far, had the best performance of the people fighting to be saved. So let’s talk about my favorites of the night, starting with my Top 3…
Avalon Young – Earned It by The Week(e)nd
Avalons performance was my favorite for a lot of reasons. For one, the pressure she was under could’ve easily cracked her. I liked the seated performance, her voice has a quality that just impresses the hell out of me, and not that it had anything to do with the performance, I really liked her pre-show attitude. Sure I worry when she says she’ll never step out of her comfort zone (I’m ok with that when it comes to clothes and make-up, but you’ll never grow if you don’t do it musically).
La’Porsha Renae – Halo by Beyoncé
I felt like La’Porshas outfit really showed me where she was going with her performance. When I saw her and her new hair (why can’t I find on the internet what she named it! Shameful, internet!), I felt like this was going to be something good. And it was really good. It’s hard to not think she’s the one to beat, so I’m not even going to question it. La’Porsha – the crown is yours to lose, girl.
MacKenzie Bourg – I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston
I really liked this performance a LOT, but then I heard Harry say he wished that Mac had done the song acoustic and I was like… oh yeah, I want that version!
I’m not going to take away the goodness that was this performance, only that maybe, when everything is said and done, you could do an acoustic version? I also have to say I didn’t agree with Harry that MacKenzie likes to do things “differently, like Dalton”. Um, no he doesn’t. Have we seen him do that yet? Oh wait, he did the medley of judges songs for his audition. See, I totally forgot about that part of you MacKenzie because you haven’t don that since your audition. But I guess that was you doing it tonight. Well done, sir.
Honorable Top 03 Mention (aka 4th):
Sonika Vaid – Since You’ve Been Gone by The One and Only Kelly Clarkson
I know I did a top 4 last week, but we’re down to 8 contestants so I just felt like a top 3 was enough. And Sonika definitely didn’t deserve to be Top 3 today in my eyes. But what almost made me put her there (performance aside) was stupid Harry Connick Jr. You’re not going to keep telling her how good she is? You fall over for half the contestants (maybe not you personally, Harry but your judges table) and you aren’t going to continue telling Sonika that?
Folks, welcome the Hailey Reinhart of Season 15!
I don’t think this was Sonika’s best performance, especially after her performance last week, but I’m still seeing improvement and I still think she can come out of that shell and give us more. I think this just wasn’t the right song this week. The One and Only is too fresh in our minds.
And then there were the people I was fine with saving, but now might be in my bottom 2:
Dalton Rapattoni – Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Was it just me or was this Daltons worst performance to date? It felt very “Dalton” to me… but not in a good way. I guess I just don’t think the punk-effect should be given to this song? Or maybe he just didn’t do it in a way that appealed to me but the song felt very slow and the performance felt like it lasted minutes longer than anyone elses. This was just the complete definition of lackluster to me.
Trent Harmon – When A Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge
You know, its hard not to compare apples to apples when you perform a song on Idol that’s been done many times before. And it’s been done a LOT. So I figured I should do that. In fact, I actually ranked the performances (see below) and decided Trent was roughly 4th. I don’t think it was a good song choice for him and truthfully the performance made it clear he should not be getting my vote this week.
- Clark Beckham (season 14) – I loved Clark and his performance.
- Michael Lynche (season 9) – This was straight up fantastic and basically tied with Clark’s. I only put Clark first because it was a touch better, and because it was the first one I thought of while watching Trent.
- Joshua Ledet (season 12) – While I hated Joshua, this was one of his best performances. I can’t wake that away from him. But the screaming at the end kept me from putting him in first. He also was better at facial contortions than Trent. And that’s saying a lot.
- Trent Harmon (current season)
- Stefano Lagone (season 10) – He literally only got this position because I liked the falsetto he had in the opening lyric. I hated the rest.
- Justin Waddell/Christina Christian/Gedeon McKinney – Literally do not remember these people at all. But 2 are from season 1 and the last was from season 5 which was 10 years ago, so I don’t feel bad. The internet just told me that they also sang the song.
And finally, we have the 2 that I wish hadn’t made it through but their performance made me think, woah, maybe I should re-think this? But probably not… but maybe… but I’ll regret it:
Lee JeanValJean – Use Somebody By Kings of Leon
I still am not sure this young boy has what it takes, but I think he’s the most modifiable. That’s a word right? I think he (so far) has been pretty good at taking advice and he is growing, but I don’t think he’ll grow fast enough to become
a real boy a contestant in the Top 4.
Tristan McIntosh – Go Rest High on that Mountain by Vince Gill
This was a great song and I didn’t know it. So I was happy to hear a new song that was good. And it was a good performance, I think. The problem mostly, was that she shouldn’t have made it through AT ALL based on her performance last week and it really hurt me that she got through over Olivia because it just was not deserving. The same goes for Lee JeanValJean. Neither of them deserved a pass. But Tristan deserved a pass even less. Sorry girl, but the crying to Scott nonsense, the crying in other episodes nonsense… I’m sorry but you’re 15 and you’re clearly not ready. I mean, I’m a crier. I get it. But I wouldn’t put myself into a situation like that if I knew I couldn’t handle it. She should probably take a page out of Shi Scott’s book. I think that was her name?
As for Olivia…