Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Top 8 Perform on American Idol Pt 1

It's Eighties Week. Key tracks we all recognise, big numbers and, probably, some unfortunate song choices too along the way, with so many ballads and American Idol-type tracks to choose from.

DeAndre
I Like It
Well no, I don't much - I'm getting tired of the falsetto so it was some relief to hear him being a bit more natural and not forcing things so much for a while. Soom enough, though, he was back up there in 70s Bee Gee land but without that special quality Barry and his brothers exhibited.

This was certainly his best performance, though, and much more in his comfort zone than we've seen in the last few weeks. He's no Idol winner this Season but neither an obvious candidate to go home in 8th position either.

Elise
I Want To Know What Love Is
Quite a number this. Everyone knows it and she did a good job, bringing a touch of her own style too on the way. Somehow, though, it didn't quite give her that magic moment that we all expected, never quite going anywhere. The judges weren't impressed but then they've been hard on her since the start, apart from last week. Her previous experience helps a lot as she has presence on the stage and knows how to peform and that is a major thing in her favour. I've often thought of her as that dark horse that might cause trouble for Colton, Jessica or even Hollie should their stars fade. Tonight she fell back a bit too and, recalling the poor votes for previous excellent performances, she may have reason to worry.

Colton & Skylar
Islands in The Stream
Very average. I expected Skylar to steal all our votes with tghis which should have suited her perfectly. Colton, who should have been uncomfortable, actually matched her for most of the time. There was also an absence of chemistry between them, something that this song so deserves. Towards the end Skylar did seem to warm up and start to give it what we'd expected from the start but it still wasn't that memorable.

Phillip
It's A Shame, That's All
Uninspiring. He put a lot into it but it came across as a bit desperate and poorly produced, messy. He sings with enthusiasm and likes what he does, clearly enjoys himself but he needs to add some polish if it is really going to work for him. Sometimes I feel as if he is well out of his depth and we've yet to have that special performance from him in this Season.

Hollie & DeAndre
I'm So Excited
Nice mixture with these two emulating The Pointer Sisters well. Hollie was spot-on with the tone and matched the song well - in black leather trousers she looked so much better too. Good performance for both of them.

Joshua
If You Don't know Me By Now
My goodness, the size of his family! But back to the song. This suited him well and the first half was excellent but then he started his tinny shouting and running and playing around with notes and it became painful. It wasn't worth the adulation that the judges gave. He's good, in parts, but really needs to control those extra bits he feels obliged to put in every number.

Jessica
How Will I Know
From the start she had it. A great performance again. That was brilliant and she was clearly enjoying that and totally natural. She looked great in another chic outfit too. She has to be there at the end.

Phillip & Elise
Stop Dragging My Heart around
Now that's better - both far more in their element. A bit noisy in places, this track needs more shade than they gave it, tending to be competing with each other and the band at times but not at all bad.

Hollie
What A Feeling
This is a super song and after a nervous start when she seemed to be thinking before she did anything she did get into it well. She was technically accurate but that kinda spoilt it. It's a track about success against the odds and, much as I have supported this girl, it maybe wasn't a good choice for her. She did move around and she did put some effort in to add the right tone but it didn't have that crucial passion that the song is so well known for. In a way, because of the huge association with the dancer in the film that it comes from it may even have been better if she'd delivered it more gently and still. The judges were very harsh indeed and that could mean bad news for this talented girl tonight. They really could have, at least, said something good about the parts she did do well.

Joshua & Jessica
I'm Right Here Waiting
This was an excellent duet and both performed brilliantly. It can be a tough job matching Joshua when he winds up and starts playing with the notes but Jessica rose to the occasion and was not to be beaten. In a sense, that is the sort of thing you'd expect to see in a final. All credit to both of them.

Colton
Time After Time
A superb version of the Cyndi Lauper clasic. Whilst putting his own style into this expertly he also kepttrue to the emotions and rhythm of the song that are so important. It worked really well and could have been the best performance of the night.

Skylar
The Wind Beneath My Wings
She did what Hollie should have done by presenting an anthem-like song and slowing it right down, showing how she can do passion and not just the country fun rock. Towards the end she let go but stayed in control, hitting all the important notes that counted well. A good job that should see her safely through this week

Hollie, DeAndre and Phillip should be the ones in trouble this week, the other five being virtually untouchable after their superb performances. Of the three, if the judges are to be believed then it will be farewell to Hollie. I hope not as she has so much more to give but I have a feeling she won't get the chance and will be this year's No.8.