Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Final Performances: Caleb v Jena

Here are the songs performed by this year's two finalists as they battle for the American public vote.

It's all sort of OK, but nothing more. Not Caleb's fault but this is a very tedious track and isn't going to set the world light if he wins. The ending is something from the early 1970s. I even listened to this a second time in case I had missed something or perhaps it's one of those songs that grows on you. No, I didn't. It doesn't. It may well cost Caleb the title and certainly won't get many fans other than the good ol' rockers already with him anyway.

Of the two singles, Jena's is considerably better and she even sems more comfortable on stage. Maybe Caleb isn't on top of the world healthwise? She is certainly making a competition of this and if it were down to just these two songs, she'd win easily.

Of course, it isn't down to two songs and here, with the Aerosmith number Caleb really does show what he can do and does so with what seems like renewed belief and spirit. Nice job. He's got the panel on their feet and is looking like a star.

Jena reprises this excellent and very well-delivered version of the classic I Can't help Falling In Love With You. the notes were perfect and that went down very well, maintaining a balance between these two.

A late 60s track by the Beatles for Caleb sort of summarises why he's doing so well but also why he may not win in the end. You can only never really do more than just cover something like this and whilst he does that really well and the notes are sound, it doesn't really inspire.

I never tend to think of Florence & The Machine as commercial and this is a brave choice by Jena. It works, though, and is current and she adds a sexiness that Florence didn't manage in a superb staging and well-produced set.

If this were the last memory of the pair as America goes off to vote then it would be Jena that returns with the crown. However, there is a terrible sing-a-long at the end. Who's idea was that?

This is dreadful. Caleb looks and sounds as if he really doesn't want to be there doing this. Jena tries to carry the track along but all the odd notes and strange tempo brought in by the other 11 turn this into a train wreck of an ending. Neither will benefit from that in the slightest and Jena may lose a few, despite her efforts, as some notes were not at all good.

I predict a Jena win, just.