Thursday, 15 March 2012

Joshua wins the Hospital Radio round - songs from the year they were born

Choosing songs from the year they were born never struck me as a particularly cool idea. I mean, there must be thousands so they may just as well choose any song and there's probably someone who did it that year. Oh well, some executive had the idea so that's what we get. Better than force feeding the remaining Idol contestants something out of their comfort zone, I suppose, although some of the choices made weren't great for all that.

Phillip starts off with Hard To Handle which seemed a lot more ancient than 1990 vintage. Not the best of tracks and he took it on a bit of a cruise which I mean as a compliment. He is very relaxed and just sings and performs well every time. This was good but boring.

Jessica does 1995 and chooses Turn The Beat Around from Gloria Estefan's collection. An interesting choice which didn't seem that bright first time round but, in the recap at the end of the show I got it and think she did far better than on first hearing. She seemed to be trying hard to impress which was hardly necessary following her amazing performance last week. All credit to her, though, for not sitting back and going with the flow. 'She's ready for prime time' says Jennifer, thinking she was off mic. 'Nice pants', said Steven.

Heejun did Right Here Waiting which is about as good as it gets for him in terms of suitable tracks. Unfortunately, there were far too many bum notes and they showed in this song. It may sound easy to sing but it isn't. He is one really popular guy and has super one-liners and responses that may well see him with his own show - as long as he's not expected to sing. That popularity may just keep him around but he'll need to keep out of the bottom two and that could be a tall order tonight.

Elise's track was Let's Stay Together. Hers was a nice version and suited her well. She ended with a jazz-like run of a kind that hinted at where her true talents actually lie. She is back and will survive tonight. Randy picked up on the run at the end too.

Deandre brought us Endless Love from 1994. If the only version you've ever heard is that duet - you know the Lionel Richie and Diana Ross one - then that's still the one you'll remember as this was no improvement or much different. Whilst this guy could sing both parts easily and normally can be relied upon to hit all the right notes in the right places, slowing things down led to quite a lot of mistakes and this was a disappointing and decidedly forgettable performance. Wrong song. Wrong moves. Wrong notes. He needs someone a lot worse tonight or will be in trouble.

Shannon tried to do Mariah Carey. She made a good start and had well-designed clothes that brought her immense height back in perspective. She seemed to know what she was up against after Jessica and no doubt with Hollie to come and tried to add something but tried too hard. She's best just doing the song and not trying so hard. She is more an anthem singer at sports events and, whilst she may survive tonight, just, she won't be around a great deal longer.

Colton brought us something from 1991 called Broken Heart that no-one had ever heard of. He ditched the usual band and made it into a rock performance in his own style. Johnny Iovine reckoned he would 'slam-dunk it like Vladimir' which may just go down as one of the best quotes from the Season (after some of Heejun's one-liners and Steven's stream of references to pretty girls.) Colton is good, very good. You sort of worry still that he'll go wrong but so far so very good. The first memorable act tonight and that'll see him nicely through.

Erica did a Bryan Adams number from 1985. Well suited to her voice and rock edge that she excels in. This was OK but not 'exceuted' as Will.I.Am had insisted it needed to be. So it was neither one thing nor the other but, looking ten times better than in her own fat blue or yellow dresses of earlier shows, she beat Shannon tonight.

We then see the producers interview Jermaine. It appears that he has 4 outstanding warrants (which doesn't say a great deal for their police) and that's simply against the rules. So he gets disqualified or, as one of them puts it quaintly: 'We'll have to let you go.' I think the reason they treat him so gently is that, had he performed as he did in the clip we see from rehearsals, he would have been the act everyone remembered and certainly wouldn't have been going home for another week. It sounded like an amazing show-stopper.

Skylar does 1994 with a country rock number I didn't recognise at all. She stayed well in her element which seemed safe and sound but with such a forgettable song she didn't do herself any favours. She doesn't make mistakes, though, and is a naturally talented girl with a lively and infectious personality which always comes across on screen. She deserves to stay as I see her doing a great song - eventually.

When A Man Loves A Woman has to be one cool song for him to do. Just right. The performance of the night so far. Percy Sledge was the star for me with this track but he said he was doing the Michael Bolton version. Quite frankly that was pretty rubbish and Joshua almost out-Percied the Sledge tonight! remarkable and outstanding performance that should reconfirm his place in the final three. He also gets the only Standing Ovation from the judges.

Hollie takes us back to 1993, apparently Celine Dion, but it was Jennifer Rush whose song it really was: The Power Of Love. She has been totally reliable and really quite impressive so far and last week Jessica stole what should have been her night. This week Joshua has done it to her, but only just as this was a truly powerful and so accurate a performance from the little girl. Looking prettier each week with help from the excellent make-up team who just need to add some spray tan and perhaps add some body to her hair to finish things off nicely. This is one of The anthems. It's a bit slow which can mean it's risky as it'll show up bum notes but there simply weren't any. Excellent.