Saturday, 25 February 2012

Twenty Five, Not Six Times Four

With a strange twist at the end of tonight's programme my headline for the last post wasn't strictly accurate! You'll see what I mean at the end of this article and maybe can figure out what's going on better than I can can. Part two was a straight continuation of last night's ending where you knew Adam Brock was getting through but the producers had said "Hey, here's a great idea: that guy Adam looks a mess and is wailing a lot about how He Must Sing and all that so let's leave the audience watching him plead overnight...'

Once that long drawn out affair had ended we moved on swiftly to the equally un-Idol-looking Jeremy Rosado who sings well, really well. In fact, one of the best guys, vocally. He's a nice guy too that had been supporting teens Eben and David Leathers a lot throughout the dreaded Hollywood stage and he deserves his place on the big stage Live Shows. These guys are all so different that anything can happen and it's no easy predicting who will fall at the first few stages. Jeremy is also just a teen still at 19, although he looks nearer 30 at the moment. No doubt the makeover team will transform him soon.

Shannon MacGuire is only 16 but you'd find that hard to believe listening to her and watching this great singer and performer. I'm not totally convinced of her talent, though, and she's in a tough group of initially similar and very impressive girls. It'll be a close call as to how she gets on from here and copes with the competition. another year she might have sailed through to the Top 10 but this year much is down to that makeover team and where she positions herself.

Skylar Laine could be one of the strongest country girls and definitely is the one who comes across as the most passionate. She has a great personality too and is so natural. Once again, though, she has one particular very tough competitor in Baylie Brown - and there'll only be room for one as the shows progress which is going to make for fascinating viewing.

I don't know what it is about Hallie Day but we get virtually nothing about this girl, just a glimpse of an earlier performance. She's brilliant, looks good and I can only imagine that the producers have reckoned that she's going to around for a long time so don't think we need to see much of her now.

The same goes for Chase Likens, the very good-looking country crooner boy, apparently through without so much as a note for our benefit. He is also pretty much unopposed with the demise of Richie Law, the other guys not, well, not so far, venturing on his territory so the whole of Texas will be behind him.

Aaron Marcellus is the younger version of X Factor USA's Leroy - very decent, likeable guy who teaches music, hits the notes right and will be totally reliable on Live Shows. I'm really not sure where he fits in to this Idol thing, though, and suspect he may exit somewhere in the middle and not be noticed that much with so much else going on around him.

DeAndre Brackensick we finally met properly in Hollywood where he was quite amazing in his group and, again, he shows off his super range, spot-on notes and unique style that could well blow several of his competitors away. He's Adam Lambert in curls - a superb singer and simply has to be in the Live Shows.

We're now down to the very last few and, with just one place remaining for the Top 12 girls they bring on Shelby, Ariel and Hollie Cavenagh together. Hollie is another that we have seen so very, very little of but is very, very talented. She is one of the best this Season. As she gets through and the other two don't she can't do the ecstatic jumping up and down thing much or really celebrate as much as she's obviously like to while they're being comforted and this is all a bit odd. At least now she'll be guaranteed a fair amount of TV time and my feeling is that she'll be around for a long time in what could well turn out to be the Hollie, Hallie and Haley Show.

The last of the boys to make the Top 12 is a choice between two teens Eben Franckewitz and David Leathers. They come on together and we get that awful moment when Eben gets through and David doesn't and Eben tries to restrain from going over the top but can resist a bit of celebration and David looks gutted. Understandably. It's the right choice although Eben will need to develop pretty rapidily to bring a personality to the show that can compete with the likes of Reed, Heejun and others. His singing is almost perfect and he could do the choir boy stuff better than any of the others. Recent weeks have shown that he may be able to perform too in a way that you wouldn't expect from the clean-looking kid and this could bring out the girls' votes big time if he can carry on developing some appeal in the Live Shows. He's the one guy that the makeover team can leave alone as he looks cute enough already.

So, just as we thought that was it - and the list matched the Rumours - the producers pulled a surprise move that I hadn't seen coming on any of the spoiler sites so, presumably, they've been caught out too! In an obviously hurried addition to the broadcast we get four contestants' images on screen with the message that one of these will also be performing in the first Live Show, making it a Top 13 Boys now. the choice is between Jermaine Jones, a low, low voiced crooner who got smacked around by, and sang Righteous Brothers with, Richie Law, who is also on the list. That'll please Heejun. About as much as it would Chase. Then we have diddy David Leathers, last seen looking very glum in the preceding paragraph, who is an X Factor USA Astro minus the rap and attitude. Completing the foursome is Johnny Keyser, someone who impressed me all the way through and always seemed to be totally reliable, especially in the Hollywood round when he performed well  and came across as an all-round good guy. Who will they choose? Johnny would be my choice on talent but he's not that different to some of the guys there already. Richie could be needed as they're low on country guys but he really didn't sing that well. David seems too young and nervy which leaves big ol' slow guy Jermaine as the likely and probably unlucky Number 13.