Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Top 7 perform

It is getting interesting now. After this week there will be just six remaining. At last, too, we have a 'moment'. Two actually.

Competitors' Picks is the strange theme where each one picks a song for their competitors. Luckily each gets to choose from six and Randy Jackson should ensure fairness. Otherwise the opportunities for sabotage are all too evident! So unless all six really really dislike one of the others all should be well.

Family Tree by Kings Of Leon was Alex's choice for Caleb. Alex does know his music so should have chosen well for the big rock man. It's missing a hook. Caleb performs well enough but it's not one of his best. A good effort but maybe Alex was looking a little too deep and this might be one of those tracks that grows on you after a few times. Here, though, tonight, Caleb has just the one. Hope the voters get it.

Anyone who comes from a town called Slapout gets remembered. Sam chooses something called Gunpowder and Lead for Jessica. I think it's by Miranda Lambert. It's one of those hard hitting Country numbers that might have been written at the same time as Blown Away. Similar vein, but not as good, nowhere near as good. Jessica, though, is very good on stage, working well with the band and seems totally at home. Nice job, That should pull in a good number of votes from the Country states which will keep her in.

Unlike what the panel says to Caleb, Jennifer and Harry, in particular, spend a long time giving advice to Jessica. It's not so much that they don't like her but really want her to win but need her to take notice and improve to do so. She takes it all well but must have been a bit upset to have several minutes of advice still coming trough in front of everyone at this stage.

Demi Lovato appears on stage - no adverts for X Factor USA, though!

Sam & Alex have a duet. Passengers' Let Her Go is another great track that I think we can credit Alex for choosing. That suited both of them very well and should do them no harm whatsoever. Their fans will have enjoyed that.

Caleb chooses Gravity for CJ. Again, this ought to be good. Yes, that's what CJ needed. Really suited him. Not a stand-out track by any means on its own but that will have helped him considerably. He may well stay in and make the Top 6 now and should be thankful to Caleb for that.

CJ chooses a bluesy Country Mutterly Creek Water (I think). Now CJ knows Dexter well so I expect him to know what he's doing. This was OK but whilst it will keep his Country fans happy enough I am not so sure it will bring the votes flooding in. Harry wanted him to make it his own song and, if this year's American Idol is going to be more than a karaoke act then they have to more than sing other people's stuff well.

Caleb and Jena have a duet. The Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter. Great. Not at all easy. It's not really a track to fit into 2 minutes but they produced a first class effort and as Jennifer points out immediately that could be a 'moment'! Good performance and Caleb was, for once, actually outsung by Jena. For her, a really much needed uplift and she looks a lot better too. They work well together. I got the impression that Caleb was staying back just a little to help highlight Jena. Just a brilliant choice and Sir Mick can count on her if he needs someone on stage with him for that number. I'd back her to last the full 10 minute version too!

Alex has an Ed Sheeran number chosen by Dexter. The A Team is a pleasant number. It's another sugary version - well structured and very friendly. Huge audience response. They liked that. As the panel each point out, that was a perfect track for him and Harry has it as his favourite performance so far. That'll delight Alex, who may get another week with that job.

Jessica chooses Sail Away for Sam, a David Gray number. A very impressive vocal performance indeed, but I am not so sure he 'connected' as well as he might, something that the panel have been going on about for week after week.

Jessica, CJ and Dexter are singing together. They have a similar background and get on pretty well, understaning where each other fits in. Doing Lady Antebellum's Compass. A simple enough track and they get through it OK. Nothing spectacular though.

Jena winds up the show. Caleb has chosen Creep for her and that could be amazing. These two have taken over the show tonight, big time. Fantastic interpretation and some brilliant notes in there. Finally something to remember someone by - twice in one show. Her odds to win this thing have just dropped remarkably. Thank you, Caleb.