Friday, 11 May 2012

It's A Man's Man's, Joshua's World

This should be some show. The two rounds are California Dreaming featuring tracks with some relationship to the East Coast city and Music I Wish I'd Written, a nice idea where the four remaining contestants attempt to do tracks that have inspired them most.

  


Phillip

Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Another CCR track - they're popular this year. the crowd really do love this guy and, obviously, the voting crowd too, despite Jimmy Iovine's reasonable comments last week.

This is a great song but the growl approach that Phillip seems to adopt every time now I am beginning to find a bit annoying and not like the Fogerty original which did work. However, a very cool-looking grirl with a saxophone topped off this performance and turned it from bland to quite enjoyable. I still can't rate this guy that highly but this won't have done him any harm so it's still for the others to beat him.

Hollie

Forever Yours, Faithfully
I think that ws the title of the Journey song. Not one I knew well but that is a super song and well-suited to both this stage of the competition and her style. It seemed a little low for her - the word faithfully at the end of several stanzas being almost lost - but she pulled through and raised her game really nicely at the end. I genuinely loved that song and wish her well but still can't be sure just what support she has. With luck she'll have captured more of Skylar's fans than Jessica will have done so the omens are good. The thing about Hollie, though, is that somehow you just can't be sure. Star quality is emerging now and she is being dressed and styled really well but Jessica and Joshua have a big start on her - a lot to make up, so much depends on what Jessica does. Much as I'd like to see both in the Finale, I feel Phillip's fan club will just launch him i there whatever he does. Joshua is a certainty so there's only room for one of the girls.

Joshua

You Raise Me Up
I was expecting this to be a remarkable performance. It seemed just right for him, anthem-like and lots of choir and church stuff. But, no, this was full of odd notes, tin in the voice and inappropriate squawks and efforts to make it come across better. I thought that was actually pretty poor. Maybe he's nervous. Maybe that squawking and chewing of the words he does is beginning to tire. If he had simply delivered the goods that would have been fine. Trying too hard. He won't have won over extra votes there.

Jessica

Steal Away
Strange jazz blues number that she seems to enjoy doing. Lots of range in there, from growling to the high notes but I didn't actually like it much. Odd notes here and there to my ears too but maybe I just didn't know the track well enough. All credit to her for not going down the predictable and commercial route but I do feel that maybe she might need to.

Hollie won that round by quite a clear margin in my book. I know I've been backing her all the way but that is genuinely the performance by the person who I feel, from those tracks, at least, most suits being an American Idol in 2012.

Phillips & Joshua

This Love
The Maron 5 number really suited them both. Excellent. As Steven said, whoever picked that (Nigel) did a brilliant job. Particularly, Joshua was relaxed and didn't chew up the words. Interesting to note that Phillip has yet to adopt any designer clothes whilst the other three are looking increasingly impressive.

Hollie & Jessica

Eternal Flame
Not bad. I preferred The Bangles. Jessica tried to 'win' on some notes and, notably, on the last note, hung on just that little bit longer, maybe trying to make up for being given just the low notes throughout which did rather give Hollie the better audience pleasers.

All four then sing-a-long with I've Been Waiting which suited none of them that well. Jessica possibly came over best that time, but not a great deal in it. Basically, all eneded up pretty even after those three joint efforts. Now, back to their individual efforts to kick one of the others out of that imminent Finale.

Phillip


Missed the title but that was the type of song that this guy should be doing as an artist. It worked, mainly as it wasn't unnatural or forced and mercifully free of the facial contortions. Best performance from him so far. That could see him through if the screaming crowd doesn't.

Hollie

I Can't Make You Love Me
Very impressive performance. Not easy for her to get the emotion across and just not the 'moment' she needed. After all the praise that Phillip got, and we know Joshua will get and that Jessica will somehow force out of the judges with a far better choice of track, those comments from the judges will have hurt. She has left herself very vulnerable which is a shame as I think she genuinely did try and she did show that she can sing so well and the notes and how she presented everything were otherwise faultless.

Joshua

It's A Man's Man's World
And every compliment he got for that was deserved indeed. That was excellent. Absolutely perfect for him, that should not only take him through very safely but that remarkable song and the way he presented it, with far less chewing at last, could well be remembered for long enough for voters to be inspired enough to vote for him and give him the title.

Jessica

I'm Telling You
Wow! That was powerful and full of all the emotion that she needed to show for a second 'moment'. A remarkable performance and, in some ways, it was better than Joshua's in so far as this was a far more difficult one and she put so much in to it. Amazing. Well done. No-one, not even Hollie's fans, would be sad to see Hollie defeated by these two.

All that remains to be seen, with Joshua and Jessica surely sure-fire certainties for the Finale, is just how strong Phillip's votes really are in comparison to Hollie's. On every 'non-idol' criteria, Phillip wins that battle. As someone with potential to make the big time and succeed as a major artist, it would be Hollie but even she loses out at this stage to the two Js.