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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Idol Hopefuls Sing Songs of their Idols and It’s All a Bit Karaoke

Last week on American Idol the remaining nine contestants sang songs from their own musical idols. Big shoes to fill! Among the judges and online recaps, the general consensus seems to be that the Top Nine did fine. Mentored by Stevie Nicks, the contestants seem to have lived up to expectations.

Not! How can so many folks think the night was an overall success, when in reality, everything was pretty much karaoke?

The Average
Elise Testone chose “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. No one got the choice, but then she performed, and we all nodded our heads and said, “well, I guess she actually does an OK Zeppelin impression.” Elise had fun with the song and busted out just about every dance move in her arsenal for this performance. Unfortunately, it all came off a bit dated and spastic. Also, she wore Miranda Lambert's pants. Don't tell Skylar. Also, don't tell Miranda Lambert that her pants look like something Steven Tyler would wear.

Heejun Han rebounded from the awful awfulness that was Billy Joel night and showed off his wonderful tone with Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You.” Heejun did a great job being professional and serious. Unfortunately, he was too serious. He lost all his charm, and while he sang well, his performance was nothing special.

On to Jessica Sanchez. The judges don’t want her to take risks. They only want her singing ballads, so she did a hypnotic and slow cover of Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams.” She did a great job—as did the set designers, so much fog and doorways! But was the cover too slow? Can Jessica really only sing ballads? The girl has got to find one perky song to cover. Everyone has an up-tempo track on their album.

When Stevie Nicks first heard Phillip Phillips in rehearsal, she said: “I think he’s going to be very famous.” Way to give Phil an unneeded confidence boost. He already turned his nose up at Tommy Hilfiger and Puff Daddy for goodness sake! Phil sang “Still Rainin’” by Jonny Lang. Why on earth did he not pick a Dave Matthews Band song. That would’ve been the best. Dave Matthews sound-a-like sings Dave Matthews. Ha!

So Phil did the Johnny Lang song and it was safe. He rocked out on his electric guitar and everyone cheered. The end.

The Bad
Gospel aficionado Joshua Ledet sang Mariah Carey’s “Without You.” Jimmy Lovine called the song one of the top five most difficult pop songs to sing. Joshua Ledet didn’t let that scare him, though, and he went out and gave a somewhat pitchy rendition. Who's voting for Joshua really? Can he just keep doing the gospel thing with every song? Branch out, Joshua. Also, show us some personality beyond loving crawfish.

Don’t get mad at us, emo teen girl. We like Colton Dixon. We do. We just don’t like him singing “Everything” by Lifehouse. You could tell Colton loved singing this song, but it was just too safe. There were no surprises, no changes. Just Colton looking like he’s going to burst into tears as he wails into the mic. Hold it together, Colton. Sure, you’re a front runner, but Lifehouse doesn’t match your musical style or image. You seem more like a Dashboard Confessional kind of guy.

The Gotta-Go
So, Skylar Laine, we hear you absolutely LOVE Miranda Lambert. Can you show us how much by yelling “Gunpowder and Lead” while dancing like you’re at a honky tonk? Ok, now while dancing, get out of breath and start panting some of the lyrics. Now, act really excited like you’ve been performing this in your bedroom since you were toddler and it has always been your dream to do this song on Idol. Perfect. Thanks.

All right, DeAndre Brackensick! Bring that falsetto back! Wait, wait. Don’t do it through the whole song. And why choose such a sad number? “Sometimes I Cry” is a beautiful tune, sure, but it’s sad and just doesn’t suit you.

Someone also has to pick a former Idol winner as their idol. For this round, it's  Hollie Cavanagh and she likes Carrie Underwood. Hollie should’ve taken a risk and done one of Carrie’s more up-tempo, edgy songs. Instead, she sang “Jesus take the Wheel,” which has been done numerous times. Hollie sounded like any girl who loves country. And that’s the problem. It was forgettable. No wow factor. Hollie needs a moment in the worst way or she’s outta here.

Lucky for Hollie, American didn’t like Heejun’s seriousness and sent him packing. Before Heejun got the boot Nicki Minaj performed this year’s “Super Bass,” a new club jam called “Starships.” In case you didn’t notice, Nicki Minaj is terrible at lip synching.

And then there were eight. Tomorrow they’re breaking out the leg warms, hairspray, and neon for 80s night. Fingers crossed for a karaoke-free evening  and for someone to sing “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” from The Breakfast Club.

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