Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Piano Man Follows Jessica's Dream

Deandre gets to start the show and this week it's all Billy Joel songs. Who's Billy Joel? someone posted on Twitter a few minutes ago. He's the guy who sang We Didn't Start The Fire which I doubt if any of the Idols will try! Quite an unusual choice of collection for them all to have to perform something from.

Only The Good Die Young
Out of his comfort zone or what! Maybe what. OK, he is pretty reliable and gets the notes right but you felt that he was doing this and prancing around because someone had told him to. It all seemed most unnatural. a bit too bouncy and I'm not so sure BJ would have approved of the pop format. the audience do seem to have loved it, however, giving him a great reception. For all know, though, they were simply relieved to have got an idol on stage singing instead of whatever stuff they had to put up with before the show starts.

New York State Of Mind
What a fabulous change of image as Tommy Hifliger has clearly used his talents on transforming her really effectively. This song was ideal for her range and personality. Very well done. Not so sure the voters will be leaping up and down about it but she certainly showed Deandre what a quality, classy performance was all about. She's not going to win this competition but that performance warranted her place here in the Top 10.

She's Got A Way
Interestingly, he had to look for the title on some papers when he was asked by Jimmy Iovine what he was going to be singing. So someone just told him that he was doing this and he agrees without hearing it? Weird. You'd think they'd get some say, bearing in mind all the previous occasions when we've heard of people rejecting the songs they've been assigned in the past. Anyway, he did a reasonable job of a track he didn't know and that shows some talent. Whether he'll get bundles of support from the voters, I don't know. He's someone the judges would save anyway so he's safe whatever happens.

I wasn't convinced by this performance at all. She's been doing well so far and getting the audience on board but this didn't work. She seemed to be attacking us with it and there was a hint of desperation. As the sole representative of country music land voters I have a feeling she'll survive but she may need to up her game considerably from here on. This was not a memorable performance and, unlike the transformations created for Erika and, to a lesser extent Joshua, by the wardrobe king and team, her strange quilted dress emphasised some lumps rather than minimised their impression visually. Not a good look and where were the matching boots we were promised? They might have made all the difference. She really did look as if she was hoping she could have picked another track and the judges weren't exactly full of praise either. As I said, she would be highly vulnerable if there were another country girl in the Top 10.

Will they get her? Not a track many will know at all? Ignoring the fashion gurus, she went for a long maroon dress and not the recommended bell bottoms. She's so very talented and produced what many BJ fans will think was a classic version of this, with an amazingly skilled control of some very difficult notes at the end. This girl is very cool. Maybe too cool for Idol, that's the only problem. She seems a bit out of place here but this year the place is full of those who could be regarded as a little off beat (in a nice way) so perhaps that cancels out any negative. She gets huge compliments. If the voters do, indeed, get her then she must survive.

I'm Moving Out
Get rid of the guitar. Don't wear the grey, instructed Tommy Hifliger, reasonably enough as Phil does seem to hide behind the instrument and fade a bit into the background. So on he comes, with a guitar and wearing grey in abundance! What he did, though, was a great interpretation of BJ's words. He's quite a unique fellow with his raspy voice, defensive gestures and bendy dancing. He gets huge compliments again from the judges, especially Randy and Steve. Will America vote for this though? However good he may be, I can't fit him in to a category that'll be popular enough to win this year.

This was not a winning performance at all. She has been superb so far but this week she let herself down. As the judges so rightly said, she was thinking about what the next line or note was all the way through and you could see in her eyes that she knew it wasn't her at her best by a long way. The makeover guys had been saying that she needed to look young but they achieved the opposite effect. 16 year old Hollie could easily have passed for twenty something! The clothes were great and made her legs seem almost unnaturally long. Hopefully she'll keep the clothes but concentrate next week on choosing a track that she either actually knows or, at least, likes. That's assuming she survives, of course. On the way things have gone so far, she could be in the bottom three and may be vulnerable if the Holliepops haven't got their act together and dialled like crazy as they'll have to this week.

My Life
I'm beginning to really like this guy. Not for his singing which is pretty rubbish but he has this great dead pan attitude and really confuses all those experts and mentors. PDiddy asked whether he was an actor, a con man and even hilariously wondered out loud whether he was Asian or maybe black!! Brilliant. Tommy put him in a very smart suit which was whipped off in a moment after coming on stage and he sang a great track that actually meant something for him too. Good words. A remarkable performance. Entertaining.

Steve was wary, though, and surprisingly serious. "Heeman," he started, "Heeman..." You expected a laugh but he continued with "... the music business will kick your ass!" It was a fair comment. But try telling that to Jedward.

Everyone Has A Dream
After trying a bit too hard last week, it was good to see Jessica listening and totally taking all the good advice her mentors and judges had given. This song could have been written for her and she's learned how much difference it makes to look straight into the camera and feel what she's singing, not just sing the words but mean them. We got that this week. This was, as Randy agreed, a flawless performance, easily the best from the young ones this week and eclipsing the older ones too so far.

This was another stand out performance and, if it were not for Colton, a second week in which she achieved the performance of the night. Second place tonight, though, will see her safely through and if she continues to accept good advice as to dress and delivery then she will be there in the final for sure. All that remains is to see just how far she can take us with her over the next few weeks to make her dream come true.

Piano Man
After Jimmy's comments at the outset we expected something special. We got something special. That was another of the best ever performances on American Idol. A perfect track for this genuine artist. This was Colton's week.

So who's going home? Well, not home now, just back to the second row seats for the next few weeks. Deandre, surely, is the most vulnerable. I'm struggling to predict who'll join him, though. Heejun should, really should, but that bit of entertainment is appealing. the question is: are there enough wacky votes in America? They don't normally back the oddballs but I'll say he makes it through this week - just. Joshua wasn't at all memorable and could be the second lowest tonight. The third - either Erika or Elise would be the first choice on the basis of previous weeks' votes, neither being popular despite some pretty good performances. They both did make huge efforts this week to do well, though and the one I'll pick is surprising, even disappointing to me personally. That's Hollie. Jessica totally smashed her in competing for the youngsters votes and genuinely looked The Star tonight, with Hollie looking quite uninspiring in comparison. It's between Hollie and Skylar. Skylar was simply not on good form but I do believe she has a good solid backing that will be loyal enough to see her through to next week.

Hollie may well benefit from the knock that putting her in the bottom three might bring and will come back fighting and wow us again. Joshua won't go either - I can imagine him being saved if necessary. So I say farewell, Deandre, hair and all.