Thursday, 8 March 2012

Hollie's Hit Brilliant. Then Along Came Jessica...

One little girl from Liverpool in a simple black dress should have stolen the show tonight. Hollie Kavenagh is going to be hard to beat and that may be why the producers have kept her hidden for so long. I mean, the others needed a chance to gain some support, after all. But then along came Jessica...

This is really the first of the Live Shows that count, with the voters deciding which two (one girl, one boy rather than the two with the lowest votes) are vulnerable and the judges will choose who goes.

Joshua
One of the fornt-runners. This is a perfect week for him with a natural Steive Wonder voice and rhythm. He was maybe trying just a bit too hard, and doing that all the way through, when providing some shade or sense of meaning to the track would have been a better idea. Having said that, I seldom get any real meaning or shade in any of Stevie Wonder's stuff anyway and, if anything, I would rather have listened to Joshua than the writer.

Randy called it a 'flawless' performance and was pretty much correct there. An excellent start which will see this guy guaranteed a place next week.

Elise
This girl is professional but I'm not sure the earthy timbre in her voice suited the Whitney track she was given (apparently at short notice). She put a lot into this and did look good on stage but this was a nervous performance in places and it didn't really work and few will remember this or dive for the YouTube video afterwards. This was not her style and the judges were fair in their lack of enthusiasm about the song. Elise is a nice girl who could be vulnerable tonight in the very tough girls' category.

Jermaine
An unusual Stevie Wonder track, but one that suited his low, low voice really well. the big, big guy did well and this was a great start for the guy who only just made it to these Live Shows. I even saw a bit of star quality but whether it was Idol quality I am not at all sure. It wouldn't be my sort of album he'd release nor, I feel, one that many teenagers would buy either. Nice chap, great voice and the audience liked him but that may not be enough. Listening again, there were some distinctly bad notes that I didn't hear first time around and that may be bad news, depending on who he's up against tomorrow.

Erica
She started almost as low as Jermaine. Extremely well dressed and made-up - very necessary after the combined blue and dress disasters from her own wardrobe. She is a large girl but the long red dress was perfect for her. although the Whitnet song was not her genre either, I was impressed by her style and she was absolutely spot-on with the notes and had a charming smile. The audience reaction was good, too, and this could keep her in the competition a while longer.

Colton
Lately was a good choice. He held back a lot and sung it pretty straight. That was a good move which should keep him around easily. He has bags of appeal to the younger set and showed another side to his talent which can only extend that appeal. Randy took his time but eventually said 'Well done'! Quite right too.

Shannon
Another better known Whitney song that should have suited the tall girl but it wasn't without quite a few mistakes. She seemed to be trying to figure out what she'd be singing next rather than sharing emotions with us and it was all forgettable stuff. She is usually very confident and has plenty of skills to handle events like this but it may have simply not been as natural ground for her as I'd thought. The judges were all critical but sympathetic and this week sees her unexpectedly vulnerable.

Deandre
Showing the girls how to own the stage and with far more style than the last few put together, this was a pretty meaningless track that you'd need a degree in Stevie Wonder lyrics to understand or make any sense of. For all that, he'll be safely through as he just knows how to perform and hit the right notes every time.

Skylar
She took the Whitney words and put them into a country song and that worked nicely for her. She is a super singer and performs in a way that makes you feel she means what she sings. One of the best so far and she'll be through. Well done!

Heejun
Someone doing Stevie their own way is a good thing, like Skylar before him. I hadn't expected Heejun to be the one to break the mould and impress me but I have to admit that he did. This actually suited him well and he has a lot to thank Jimmy and the producers for. His range is small and he needs to stay soft like this and within his limits. people do seem to have taken to him, though, and he may well stick around because of that.

Hollie
You could see that Jimmy thinks she's The One. He could well be right. This was a beautiful performance. absolutely faultless, straight, as Whitney would have done it in her better years. Excellent. Jennifer made an interesting comment about reckoning that there could be two girls in the final, Hollie being one of them for sure.

Jeremy
This guy has a super tone in his voice and you can't help but like him and wishing him well. But, the difficult Stevie Wonder track that he chose wasn't easy and he got a bit lost along the way. He may very well survive as I can see that so many people back him because he is seen as an underdog but he's no pretender to the Idol throne.

Jessica
She chose the Big One. Brave. Only a superb performance would be good enough as there are no half measures with I Will Only Love You. It was. and some. Amazing. Just as I thought Hollie had it in the bag Jessica floors everyone with this and that may well go down as one of the best AI performances of the series, maybe all time, and that's saying something.

The make-up team did a super job, too. The hair, the dress, the lot. We know she can also do the modern numbers and appeal to the youngsters. So, if she can keep her nerve, she is a potential finalist, presumably the other one that Jennifer meant.

Phillip
Following that was never going to be easy. Very Superstitious was a welcome bit of life after an evening of good and bad ballads, apart from Joshua at the start. Phillip rocked it with a guitar and this noisy end to the show was a nice job and a good reaction from the audience who probably appreciated being reminded that we are in 2012. Good job. As Randy said, they need Phillip in the competition and I hope he stays.