Friday, 26 April 2013

The one where nothing really happens at all.

The judges enter and I wonder whether Mariah is wearing a dress that will enable her to stand up from time to time. You would have thought that, as one of the richest stars in the world, she would have a wardrobe that suits the role which might actually occasionally require her to stand up.

Ryan Seacrest reminds us once again that there is a shocking development. "It will turn the contest up-side down", apparently. What - are they bringing everyone back again? Does Charlie stand a chance after all? No. I have no idea but doubt if it will be quite as dramatic as he makes out.

The group sing-a-long is an Adele track Girl On Fire which is good. Candice really is not at her best and Amber struggles to decide which note she should start on. Having said that, she did find it reasonably quickly but we probably didn't notice as her legs were once more on display and I swear they're getting longer.

Ryan does the summary of last night's performances. Amber first, with Jimmy's criticism of MacArthur Park  once ringing out and Ryan refers to finding out her 'fate' later. Sounds like she may be going.

Kree doesn't fare a great deal better in Jimmy's summary.

Stefano returns to the Idol stage after a couple of years' away (Season 10). Nice guy and working hard to break through. I can't remember exactly when he left but he must have managed an 8th or 7th position which is still a credible finish for anyone and should encourage all those who have had to leave so far. Winning this thing really isn't that big a deal. You get all the admiration for a while, and plenty of publicity and a guaranteed contract. However, the good ones will also get contracts and some record companies can do a better job promoting their people than the winner's! If someone's got star quality and their agents do their job well, some great songs get written and plugged then we'll know about them for sure. Stefano tends to come and go. I can't see him breaking into the UK market with that material but wish him good luck anyway and you can tell he's having a good time anyway.

Candice gets the same scrutiny and we get to see Jimmy getting excited, Her song was by this guy called Drake and she gets a recorded message from him. And then he appears and that's another few moments taken care of. Nice touch, Arranged by Nicky Minaj.

Next Lee Dewyze, winner of Season 9 in 2010, next with his single from a new album. He is an example of someone who hasn't exactly been prominent since winning. Indeed, I doubt whether many outside the States will know who is is. It's a decent performance and he can write good stuff. I still don't think we'll get to hear or see a great deal more about him, though. And he won the damn show!

Eventually they'll get round to Angie Miller, who everyone, I predict, will say how wonderful she was and how, of course, she is 'safe' and through to the Finale, Final or whatever. i still wonder whether they'll not put all of them through.

OK. Ad break over. Angie's on. She gets great reviews. Here's why:

Two pairs on the stage. Amber and Candice, Angie and Kree. Amber and Candice are the bottom two and Kree and Angie go through.

Ryan starts: The person leaving tonight is... no-one! The votes will continue through to next week and a fresh total calculated so that's good news for Angie and Kree who start off with the highest count. So, pretty much as I'd expected, the 4 continue. And I think that's fair, too. No-one deserves to go home. My guess is that the judges simply made it clear that whoever was declared bottom would be saved.

So that's that. A rather uninspiring show that isn't one people will be rushing to view again on YouTube.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The one where Angie Miller stakes her claim to the title.

So far the results have been pretty much as predicted but this week is more difficult. If Kree hadn't been in the bottom two then I would have put Amber in 4th place with American voters (2nd in mine, incidentally) but now, who knows?

Amber starts with The Power of Love. Nice track. More Jennifer Rush than Celine Dion, Ryan. This is very 70s, though. She looks like a Three Degree and this is not one of her best performances, being rather bland and without character. Keith seems to think it was a perfect song choice. Eh? Keith normally talks sense but I think he was doing some promotional stuff there. Nicky and Randy go pretty much in the same direction, Mariah too but not quite as crazily. Mariah is back in dresses that make her look gigantic again.

I have seen good reports about tonight's show on Twitter. 'One hit wonders' later, with some interesting and surprising choices.

Jimmy noticed some voice strain in Amber's performance but seemed to think she'd be hard to beat too! Oh well, looks like I'm very much in the minority there then!

Candice picks a track I didn't recognise. As always, she is note perfect and delivers a first class performance although, similarly to Amber, this is not memorable or stunning. More like a B side or album track. She is also looking very wide tonight. Nicky is spot on with the old-fashioned comment but then so too was Amber.

Kree is back on top form with a bluesy-Country Hurts So Bad. Well, I thought she was because I had this down as another track entirely that has the line hurts so bad in it which would have suited her really well. This was OK but, apart from looking great, and certainly appealing to her fans, I'm sure, not anything outstanding either. An intriguing night. Have they all relaxed and stopped competing? Angie currently has an open door...

The judges weren't ecstatic either. I think I detected the 30 second editing being used as Nicky (quite rightly) suggested that Kree take little notice of those who were blowing smoke up somewhere! Jimmy agrees with the judges - with some quite strong criticism this time.

Angie looks like the 80s Susie Quattro! That's My Home or Don't Lose Who You Are? I'm not sure what the title was of the Jessie J track but this suited her brilliantly. She sat at the piano again and you can't help but admire her efforts. That was easily the best of the four - by a long, long way! The straight hair works for her.
Very impressive stuff. They still mention her diction which, this time, I thought was genuine and not as if she was in the West End or Broadway. This was Angie's moment. Ryan even brings her grandma on the stage.

Jimmy has her 'neck and neck' with Amber,

Next come some duets which we can probably ignore. Rumour Has It is a great track for these two to sing to each other! Quite a good production with some massive drums. Kree led quite a lot of the way but that doesn't mean Amber wasn't any good by any means. However, as Keith asked - it would be great if they'd cut loose a bit!

Angie and Candice is quite a mixture. Doing Stay from Rihanna's songbook. These two were competing as if this was the deciding track for the whole competition! They were both damn good! Angie certainly was not drowned by Candice either and they came out even, working together and performing excellently and very credibly. In fact I'd put Angie slightly ahead and, if she's getting some of the Kree vote too that could be quite - no, very - significant. This could be the week that Angie stakes her claim to this Season's title.

Amber plays the Donna Summer card with MacArthur Park. She looks right and pretty much sounds right. A bit dated again but there could be a market for this. I'm not so sure it was that impressive but she gets great reviews. Nicky makes a great point when she says that of all the four girls, Amber is the one that people would want to get to know. Randy says he'd sign her right now. She's giving confidence, says Mariah. To be honest, I think she's playing it well.

Jimmy disagrees big time! Interesting. Not with her chances but with the song being that great.

Candice sings Bee Gees. That's a good idea - she ought to match well with their range. She could have chosen better than Tears On My Pillow or whatever that one's called. A song from the Streisand-Gibb Guilty album would have taken the place by storm. Never mind. She should get through - but she hasn't excelled tonight apart from the duet.

Keith makes a good point - every song so far is quite old! So true. Apart from the Jessie J track.

They get Jimmy up on the stage and it all gets a bit confusing but, basically, he's making a fair point - the judges do seem to get a bit carried away!

It's beginning to emerge who is supporting who. Mariah is a Candice supporter. Nicky backs Amber. Randy has switched from Candice to Angie this week. Keith backs Kree.

A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Kree knows how to appeal to my vote for sure with this 1967 number from Procol Harum. Cut ridiculously short, the lyrics made even less sense than they did in the 60s. A reasonable job. She can sing and may have puled some votes back. Keith says she hasn't pulled people in with the 'middle ground' tracks and needs to do something special next week. Nicky actually says 'if you leave tomorrow...'

Angie closes the show. What will she choose? So far she's had an excellent night and hasn't got much to beat to survive - but she has to keep those new found fans with a second cool and memorable performance.

Cry Me A River is even older! But nicely done - that's Angie in her zone and produced an elegant (nice word from Mariah) performance. Nicky says that tonight was her night. Randy agrees, hands down! Very true.

Ryan says there'll be a surprise twist in the competition tomorrow? What on Earth is that about? It seems a little late for twists - maybe no-one's going home and all four will be in the Final. Or Finale. I can never figure out which is which for Americans.

Friday, 19 April 2013

The one where we hear more from Seasons 2 and 3 artists than 12

So this is the one where a girl finally gets sent home. All the expectations are that it will be Janelle or, possibly, Amber. I would prefer both to stay and would put Kree in 5th place but I know that is very unlikely to happen as she is predicted to win this.

An annoying sing-a-long but at least it's in tune. Well, just, as this not the sort of stuff any of them should be doing. Like Phillip Phillips doing a Cliff Richard number. It's a medley of Donna Summers tracks so ends with She Works Hard For The Money which only Amber and Kree seemed comfortable with, the others looking as if they were hoping their parents weren't paying too much attention to the lyrics.

Ryan pulls Angie out. My guess is that she's 'safe', i.e. top three. No comment. He pulls Candice out. She has to be safe. No question about that. 'Really smart', says Jimmy, about Candice, more cautious about Angie. Paula appears looking as attractive as ever and memories of her on the panel flood back. It's strange to recall that she was there with Simon Cowell when Carrie Underwood soared to victory. And, of course, the first X Factor USA days when she was managing the groups and lost them a bit too quickly.

It looks as though they'll drag the votes out - there's an hour to fill and they dig out Clay Aitken, Season 2's runner-up, who warbles through Bridge Over Troubled Water and looks even stranger than he did 10 years ago. Any of the five girls would have embarrassed him had they had a go at that.

Janelle gets the summary. She gets a note of support from Dolly Parton.

Amber gets her summary. Jimmy thinks she was so brave to approach both the near impossible Mariah Barbra tracks and shouldn't be left in the bottom two as she seems to have been so often. I'm surprised she hasn't appealed too and would have now had her as the front runner.

Kree is last to get reviewed. This is really quite a repeat of last night and feels like they really are stretching out this show tonight. Jimmy was not so impressed but it may not make any difference,

Going back in time to the third Season, Fantasia returns to promote her new single. First, though, Latoya London who came 4th or 5th, I think, gets a pile of time for no particular reason. Fantasia put on a tremendous show and showed everyone how she'd deserved that win all those years ago, setting a standard for this year's girls to meet. To Win Again is one fine song and that helps.

First safe is Candice. And Angie. And Amber. Excellent! Kree is 4th and Janelle is fifth to go.

She sings You Keep Me Hanging On as a 'save me' song and it's a lovely rendition. It would be nice if the judges kept her in - they've nothing to lose really - but I don't see that happening. So she goes and now there are just four. The loss of support for Kree is interesting. It is getting more unpredictable now.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The one where 5 girls gave us 10 excellent tracks for a Divas album

So one thing is sure - the performances will be good. These are five talented girls. Whilst I don't see any setting the UK charts alight, one will be a worthy winner so the next few weeks should be easy going and without injustice or incident.

Ryan eventually quietens the crowd for long enough to recognise the Boston tragedy this week. To that, I guess he'll need to add Texas tomorrow. Bad times.

Candice's song from the year she was born is Paula Adbul's Straight Up. She brings quite a unique jazzy feel to this. She's good. This is just album track material but well presented for all that. In many ways she's done more with this than Paula ever did. Masterful start. Thanks to Janelle, interestingly, who suggested that track for her.

Janelle chooses a Vince Hill track - a good ol' Country number. Probably not the Vince Hill that I know (Edelweiss)  but a pleasant enough little track I suppose. She gets a lot of good reviews and it was nice to see her being complimented and smiling.

Kree performs a rather deeper track She Says She Talks To Angels and I can imagine that she'll get a lot of credit for this. It's a lot more modern and marketable than Janelle's number. Straight off the stage, every note in place and a very professional job indeed. She is still the favourite to win and this won't change that.

Angie does the lovely I'll Stand By You by The Pretenders. Quite a dramatic performance. Sitting at the piano, I felt she might have taken longer to build as there didn't seem to be any vulnerability which the song needs. Another good track. Another very good performance. Dedicating it to her home town, Boston, as she did, will have made an impact.

Amber goes last. She's the one I am most looking forward to hearing at this stage. You kind of know now what the others will do but it's difficult to pigeon-hole this girl. Oh boy, she's doing Without You. Mariah made that her own after Nilsson. That's a difficult song. Fabulous! She deserved all the praise she got for that. Really good and she looked good while she sings too.

It's Divas night and Candice hits two targets - Mariah and Whitney Houston - with her track. When You Believe is a bit of a drag, however nicely it's sung. You tend to pay more attention to the gorgeous purple colour produced by the lighting people. Randy worships this girl, as does Mariah. Nicky is full of praise too and, despite Kree having that favourite spot, Candice is looking like a winner too. That was impressive, not something I'd buy but an awful lot of people would.

Janelle has a Dolly Parton song. Dumb Blonde. I haven't heard this. It's fun and she gave it a strong performance and enjoyed what she was doing. Not my choice of track to keep her in the competition, though. Looks like she can choose for other contestants better than she can for herself.

Kree.  Celine Dion. Yup. That makes a lot of sense. Another very accurate and pleasant performance. No mistakes, beautifully interpreted but just a little boring. It suited her well. Another good album track.

Angie is doing Halo, a great song by Beyonce. What a great track and a superb performance. To me that was the best of the night and established her back in the running, so far with Kree and Candice getting reined in a little. That was excellent, exactly what was needed and this girl was spot-on and far more exciting than anyone else has been.

Amber has a Barbra Streisand track. That may steal the night back again for her (she was just leading in Round 1) and she is on determined form too, with perfect dress choices. This was a wonderfully emotive and clever interpretation of a track that must have been so difficult to do, let alone do that well. Stunning stuff.

I guess it will be Janelle finishing 5th tomorrow. Just slightly behind the others. I give the night to Angie and Amber.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Videos of the Top 5 this week.

Here are examples of the girls' talents this week, in no particular order. You know - I don't think it matters now who wins. There is something special about each one. Definitely a year to remember. American Idol seems not to produce winners nowadays who set a new style or race up international charts but there have been notable runners-up, 3rd, 4th and 5th place artists who have made a wider impression, as I hope some of these will do in years to come.

For now, we can just sit back and enjoy the ride for the next few weeks, knowing that the performances will be rehearsed, in tune and genuinely entertaining, albeit in a middle-of-the-road kind of way perhaps from time time to time.

Friday, 12 April 2013

The one where justice is done - at last.

Tonight six become five. There is an outside chance that the lowest in the poll is one of the judges' favourites and gets saved so six could theoretically remain six but I reckon someone's going.

After all the praise and compliments heaped on Candice, and to a lesser but still significant extent, on Amber, Kree and Angie, it simply has to be between Janelle and the hapless Lazaro tonight and hopefully performances from Kelly Clarkson and Scotty will keep our minds off what could be a very wrong outcome.

First, it's sing-a-long time. The girls are all so damn good that this is easy and genuinely reasonable to listen to. Until Lazaro starts, that is. Oh dear, this is all so cringe-worthy. Candice and Amber to the rescue. They don't blend so well at the start but later they do start working well together and put on an excellent show. Janelle I still find has a remarkably clear voice that grabs your attention and I have yet to see why Kree has gained such an advantage over her. I can only guess that there is a difference between studio acoustics experienced by the judges and the recorded show that I see. Or perhaps there is some Janelle back history that they know and we don't!

Jimmy summarises Kree, Angie and Lazaro's performances. He places Lazaro 10th. Out of 6!

Scotty McCreery returns with some good ol' Country number that was probably a big hit but passed most of us by on this side of the Pond.

In some bizarre move meant to make us wonder who goes where tonight, Ryan had placed Angie, Lazaro and Kree, last week's Top 3 (yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds now) in separate spots across the stage. Presumably representing middle two, bottom two and top two respectively. Next we'll get Amber, Janelle and Candice placed similarly. Whether the Top 2 or 3 are identified, I think we can assume that, however the producers spin this out, it's between Janelle and Lazaro. Heavens, surely not Janelle and Amber? Whichever way it's all presented, I still fear for Janelle and I am not sure the judges will save her either. They really should - in view of this being the last time they can use it and so future evictions would be purely by the public and thus not actually giving them anything much to be criticised for.

I wrote all this in what seemed an interminably long ad break between Scotty and Kelly. I wonder of the girls are still spread out over the stage?

Yes. They are.

Hmmm, she joins Angie. That wasn't where I expected her to go. Now, Candice is not going anywhere so whoever she's place with is safe too. So who's the lucky person? Kree. OK, some sense. that would put Amber with Lazaro. Worrying. Jimmy says he doesn't understand why America doesn't get her? Is he giving something away there?

I was right about the splits - just got the mix wrong. Let's assume Kree and Candice are #1 and #2. Amber #3 and Lazaro #4 is all too possible with #5 Angie and #6 Janelle. But Jimmy's comment may mean #5 Lazaro and #6 Amber with Janelle finding some welcome extra support after all. They'll save Amber if that's the case.

Kelly has some great people writing her songs these days. She actually sounds so much more modern and 'today' than this year's contestants! And Scotty, and last year's winner for that matter. We see Mariah standing up for possibly the first time ever as she chats with Ryan and Kelly. Everyone seems to have forgotten the two girls who are working out that they may have been stuffed by Lazaro sympathy votes. I said last week there'd be a riot. No, there won't. It'll just be embarrassingly quiet.  A bit of outrage. Someone will say She wouldn't have won anyway. 

Kree and Candice, 1 and 2
Now the big news
Lazaro and Amber are the bottom 2!
Angie and Janelle 3 and 4

Yes!!!! Amber is, indeed, safe. Lazaro has to sing. I don't care what he does, he's gone. He had a good run but bye bye and at last a proper outcome.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The one where Candice gets the biggest praise ever

This week starts with some sentimental tosh about Brunel's departure. I think what everyone really wants to know is what the stats look like that have kept Lazaro on the show and may even see him sending one of the girls home this week - Janelle, on recent voting, which would evidence this show's voting having become as bonkers as X Factor UK's.

Songs from Bacharach and David are the first section's theme. Let's hope they drop the silly duets and things.

Angie kicks off with Anyone Who Had A Heart. So much better than the Cilla Black version we had to put up with here in the UK. She seemed to be straining on the top notes and it was still a bit clinical at the start. Keith Urban talked sensibly about wanting to feel some passion in her performance and in that respect he's dead right. She is good but everyone is saying the same thing and, although they say she'll be around until the final, I wonder whether that's going to be the case?

Amber is increasingly looking like a winner to me - the most natural performer who seems to have been doing this for years and looks fabulous too. I Say A Little Prayer was OK but not as impressive as I'd expected. In a way I'd apply the same criticism to her as they did to Angie as I didn't see much emotion in this. Nevertheless, I want to see her in the final. Nicky went over the top with her praise, however. Randy followed with a couple of 'Yows' and everything building up to 'In it to win it' which Mariah Carey actually voiced. They were impressed all right. I hope she gets the voters' support in the same way.

Angie must have been wondering just what she needs to do! Lazaro is next. He may only have to get through the track without falling over to get through to the Top 5. That's wrong but, as the only recipient of the girlie votes, he has a distinct advantage which only some major boob will lose.

Telling America he shoots ducks and owns a quad bike may have been one boob. His song is Close To You. Now that's a simple enough track and not particularly demanding so he made it through. There were some horrible wobbles and he is totally out of his league now but we'll just have to see how things go. Randy doesn't really know what to say. He likes the person, as I am sure we all do. But he is very honest and real and says it as he should. Mariah follows and reminds us that she has been criticised for her support for him over the weeks. This time she pulls him apart over what she says is quite a big deal - something about a key change that he didn't make. She was even more critical than Randy. This is interesting. They want him to go. Keith says the same. Nice guy but... They're probably hoping that he'll resign rather than let someone else go. Nicky makes an excellent point and tells Ryan to move on!

Difficult times for everyone - you can almost feel how embarrassed people are. I didn't actually think he made big enough mistakes to warrant all that and there is the possibility that all that will do is enhance his sympathy vote. I do hope that Kree, Candice, and Janelle in particular, put in super performances that also bring in enough votes as this week will be close I feel.

Kree says that all people in Texas do is go to rodeos! That won't do her Country vote any harm, though. Her track is What The World Needs Now Is Love and sings it very well as she always does. Pretty effortless and I'm not so sure she shouldn't get the same Angie criticism but she doesn't. For me it was just a bit bland. Mariah goes on almost as long - she is certainly making up for lost time in earlier editions this Season. Compliments all round, basically. She remains the favourite. Randy lays it on the line, almost pleading to America to vote for the singer - someone who can sing!

Janelle has a cool personality. I love her relaxed, friendly and so natural presence on stage. Her track is I'll Never Fall In Love Again. She looks lovely. Some notes were not perfect but she's highly likeable and the camera loves her. I just wish the judges would be more enthusiastic about her. If any girl is going this week, it's Janelle which would be sad.

Candice does Don't Make Me Over - a nice song, very professionally and accurately delivered. Again, I didn't get the emotion but that was a powerful and excellent delivery by yet another first class act. It is going to be really difficult to choose between these five girls. Whatever the judges say, or voters decide, I see them all with decent careers. Amber in the commercial market. Candice as the professional with big album sales. Kree as the Country artist that may win but I'm not convinced we'll hear that much more about. Janelle as the Country artist that, like Kellie Pickler, has that extra personality that will keep her on our screens longer than the others. Angie, possibly, as the big name in future if she succeeds in writing more wonderful tracks and, perhaps, gets some useful Broadway-type or even film support too.

For their second performances they choose songs they wish they'd written.

Angie's choice is not a track I recognise but it is a good choice for her. I Am Yours I think, Powerful and so well sung. I got her emotion too as she stayed at the piano and big support from Randy this time. That might see her through fine. Nicky laid it well on the line - most impressively - pointing out that Amber, Kree and Candice were walking away with the prize when she was away from the piano but, when she plays and sings, that;s when she wins. Fascinating. I don't know if Mariah got a look in! I really do not want to call it this week.

Assuming Lazaro isn't sent home, it can only be a surprise whoever goes. It will also probably be for all the wrong reasons. The Big Country vote will save Kree. I feel Janelle should survive too and believe Angie has a pretty loyal following. Between Candice and Amber, Candice is the least likely to have a big fan club but I am not sure how far Amber has actually reached out to people who vote. So, if pushed to make a prediction at this point, I would say Amber. I really do hope America sees sense and sends Lazaro home, though.

Back to the second songs. Amber does a Beyonce track  Love On Top. It was a strange start and I was wondering where she was going but she sort of recovered and actually turned it round completely and seemed to enjoy herself whatever anyone might have thought. Totally natural. And those legs are good. She gets an 'In it to win it' from Randy and lots of love from the others.

Lazaro sings Angels. This is such a popular song that I can imagine his fans will love him for doing it. Oh dear. It was not very good, helped along to a large extent by the backing and backing singers. The judges really don't want to say anything. If only he could get sent home. If not then this show could start t get embarrassing. I can just about imagine the judges and audience letting Janelle go but anyone else? No, that would cause a riot. In my view, they should riot if Janelle goes too.

Kree's choice. I think she has a free pass though so it doesn't matter too much what she does. As it is, this is a classy Help Me Make It Through The Night which will go down as one of the great Idol Season 12 tracks.

Janelle sings Garth Brooks. She has to follow the judges saying how Kree was better than her. The Dance. That was beautiful. I do hope she doesn't go. That was the first time that I had heard the song - so too Mariah, which was quite surprising. She thought it was beautiful too. Keith reckons that it would have been great if she had just performed with a guitar and nothing else - and that's probably right although I will still say that the camera loves her so much more than it does Kree - which the judges don't see until later. He also tells us that someone else actually wrote it - Garth just sang it. Nice work, Keith. Nicky still thinks that she is 5th amongst the girls.

Candice to close the show. She chooses a number by The Cure. Now that I hadn't expected. Nor had they, I suspect, as quite a hefty performance cheque should be heading their way. Love Song is an interesting selection for sure. Wow, that was excellent, the song of the night. I didn't recognise that at all but that delivery was good enough to go out as an Adele-trouncing single tomorrow. A very impressive audience response too. Randy announces that as one of the best ever performances in all 12 years. That's saying something.

Friday, 5 April 2013

The one with bad news for Burnell

A sing along version of Somebody To Love was a reasonable enough start, Candice getting the chance to show off and the two guys, as usual, almost unnoticed in the whole thing.

Top three - the judges pick Kree, Amber and Angie. The voters chose Kree, Angie and Lazaro!! Good grief!! What is happening? This is like a repeat of X Factor when Old Baloney kept getting through.

That has to be bad news for Burnell.

Carrie Underwood brings some class to the show. This Is Not Where It Ends is not the most commercial track she's sung but a pleasure to watch and listen to. She is such a great reminder of what this show can produce. Truly inspirational.

Candice stays safe. Amber too. So it's between Janelle and Burnell. Ryan asks for the judges' reaction and Nicky does her best but there's not really a great deal she can say. It had better be Burnell who is going home. Janelle certainly deserves to stay.

Burnell is bottom. He has a go at the song to be saved but I can't see that happening. It doesn't.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The one with Amber in those jeans and the heels

Down to 7. That's 5 girls, Lazaro and Burnell. I can only assume that next week it'll be 6, 5 girls and Lazaro and then, finally, it will be a straight competition between the girls for the top spot.

So let's see how they get on tonight. It's rock night. I would be good to see some of them actually waking up and getting a bit excited perhaps.

Burnell starts with You Give Love A Bad Name. Hmmm. Seemed to me that he was just singing the words. No real rock feel to that at all. Accurate enough representation - and credit for that to the guy - but it was pretty bland. Just not his style and you could see he was acting a part!

Keith found it hilarious and noted how uncomfortable he looked. Unless one of the girls really drops the ball this evening that performance may well be Burnell's last. He really hasn't shone since the Live Shows started.

A duet between Angie and Lazaro, murdering Queen's Crazy Thing Called Love. Angie simply blew Lazaro off the stage and supported him all the way through from what I heard. This was not a good duet.

Kree has chosen a good track - Janis Joplin's Piece of My Heart. I remember Crystal Bowersox doing this or something similar some years ago and I have to say that Crystal was far more convincing. Kree was accurate and quite a smart presentation, but not as well acted as it could have been. Again, she was just singing the words, admittedly a lot better than Burnell's effort, but still not convincing. She should be perfectly safe, though, and is on track to win this from the comments and reviews tonight.

I don't know when The Letter became a rock track but it seems that Candice and Burnell will be doing it their way as the next duet. Strangely, this is a track that you could just sing and get away with as that's all The Box Tops did. It had some atmosphere which made it appeal so it shouldn't be difficult for these two to do reasonably well. The production was completely different - very bluesy and jazzed up at the same time. Burnell seemed like he was singing with his mum. Candice was doing her thing well enough and he just sang along. It was all neither one thing nor the other. Totally forgettable.

Janelle takes on a Billy Joel number. From the very start, this was excellent - she turned the track into something she could handle and this was the first performance of the night that I felt was even vaguely genuine. Nice job. I know everyone is putting Kree and Candice out front but I like her and see her in the final. Great reviews from all the judges.

Now Lazaro pulls the show back off track again and the producers must be so regretting pushing him forward and assuming the sympathy vote would bring the audience in. I think they're dropping off because Lazaro is simply not up to this. He has shown no signs of improvement at all. It's all very embarrassing and, of course, no-one wants to say the obvious. However, he seemed to have rehearsed this one well and managed Queen's We Are The Champions pretty well. That may well see off Burnell as there were no bad notes and generally he did a good job, entertainment-wise.

Amber, Janelle and Kree complete the secondary performances as a trio. Amber is on amazing heels and with some sexy clothes that made Kree look positively ancient! Nice enough job of another Billy Joel number, Janelle leading quite well and certainly maintaining a balance with Kree vocally. Amber didn't seem to suit the song so well but actually performed just as well so no harm done. Janelle has had a good night as she came across as the helpful and considerate one and was praising Amber and also the first to answer questions but not in a pushy way.

I Can't No Satisfaction is more like the sort of rock we want to see. Candice belts this out in pretty confident style but it seemed to be missing something. Well done, in tune and all good enough, just not inspiring. We gather that she has a broken toe so that explains why she didn't move around so much and may have appeared a little stiffer than usual. I still just rate that OK.

So what will Amber and Angie bring to the stage? Amber is first. What About Love is a good choice for her and she performs well. Another girl who can be trusted to deliver all the right notes and she is seriously good-looking on stage too. I think the judges will have seen more of the technical compliments than the average voter so whether they'll put her top of the list I don't know. I often feel she's the most vulnerable of the girls and yet also, possibly, the one with the best chance of future long-term stardom.

Angie closes the show. She needs something a bit special to make up for last week's shambles. I think she's smart enough to recognise that and also to take advice. Taking on Evanescence is a tough call. If anyone can do this, though, it's this girl and she does Wake Me Up Inside proud - just a little sexless, that's all. But then none of the acts really have any sex appeal - even Amber only scratches the surface - so in terms of voter appeal she should be safe.