Thursday, 14 April 2016

The Final Final.

The Final. This is it. The last ever American Idol show. Either Trent or La'Porsha will be crowned the winner and neither will be heard of a great deal outside the States. We will, however, celebrate the stars that have emerged, often not the winners, over the years. I am not sure we'll hear much of any of this year's crop but, if anyone, it will be Dalton who stands the best chance of lasting fame.

The start is a terrible white suit affair and best forgotten! As should be the attempt by Trent and La'Porsha to make It Takes Two interesting.

What was quite entertaining, apart from a walk on part for the very first host, was the lengthy performance by lots of finalists from the past 15 years. I expect we were all looking out for our favourites. I wonder how many more we'll see throughout the evening.

I had to smile at Pants On The Ground or whatever the title was of the crazy track some guy who didn't get far at all but had a great appeal a few seasons ago! No real stand-outs amongst the oldies, though, to be honest, with many just trying a bit too hard to be noticed or remembered.

The producers really have got their mileage out of Kelly Clarkson, their first winner and one of the major successes of course. She recorded a sort of compilation of her big numbers which gets shown tonight.

A pile of rockers next and nearly all had finished far higher than the balladeers we saw earlier. Chris Daughtry, Caleb Johnson, Constantine, Bo Dice and Josh Durbin stood out,

Keith Urban gets the hot ticket in AI history with the lovely Carrie Underwood doing Stop Dragging My Heart Around.

Next we get the Country boys and girls. Scotty McCririck, of course, leading way there. Lauren Alaina was doing a fine job too, I was looking for the cutely amusing one who was in Season 5 and went on to become pretty famous, the delightful Kellie Pickler.

Katherine MacPhee is another spectacular singer who was runner-up in an early edition and has since done very well in an acting career. She gets a star spot as do several other talented finalists of old. Clay Aitken is looking old but still has a voice and fans. Ruben Stoddard, who beat Clay is teamed up with Amber who I think I remember from last year and expected to do far better than she did. Jessica Sanchez is very impressive and gets a good length solo spot which was well-deserved. I have to say that she was easily the most memorable of all in that segment.

Prior to the these, Harry Connick Jnr had taken the stage with a young girl. They sang Wonderful World but, oddly for Harry, it was not good. I don't know who the young girl was and wonder whether there was a particular reason for his performing with her that might excuse the very off key singing that she produced. He has always been the one seeking precision and that amazed me that he should even allow that to happen. presumably they had had a rehearsal or two so he'd have known what to expect. I shall assume that she was not someone expected to sing well and this was more a statement or sympathy thing than a singing performance.

I am quite relieved that we're not getting one song after another from the two finalists. I suppose we'll have to get something from them sooner or later as finals are usually inundated with the protagonists' efforts.

The girl was Marlie, by the way.

Jennnifer Lopez gets her spot now. She'll be good. She works very hard and runs two numbers energetically on stage in possibly the most professional performance of the evening. Full of her Latin American verve and she ends with a remarkable (but not very good) climax. The cameraman had to zoom out or focus elsewhere a few times with so many teens in America watching who aren't supposed to be aware of certain things.

The three divas, Jennifer Hudson, Latoya and Fantasia perform.

Then we get some Motown. Nice but I didn't catch any of the names. I'm wondering of one was Philip Phillips who I haven't seen so far elsewhere. Nor Kris Allen or David Cooke, other winners. No Crystal Bowersox yet, a runner-up, and where is Adam Lambert? I'm pretty sure he'll be along soon enough. I have also missed the very talented and delightful Didi Benami.

Fantasia gets a solo. Nice job. Latoya London gets Taylor Hicks, the weird winner. Joshua Ledet gets a good solo spot with A Man's World. Then it's big sing-a-long quite badly time with Candice Glover and Melinda Dolittle. God, that was awful. How did Candice win?

I have managed to avoid all social media that might give away the winner of this last Season. I have a feeling, though, that it will be Trent Harmon. I reckon he will have the broader appeal across the mass that is America. La'Porsha will feel hard done by if that happens but should still pick up a contract. She has been the one to beat throughout the Season, although coming in the Bottom Three at least once makes me wonder just how far her fans were, in fact, spread.

Before we find out it's a tribute to David Bowie. That's where Phillip Phillips comes in! With Lee Dewyze, David Cook, Kris Allena nd Nick Fradiani - all winners and the ones I had been missing as it happens. It's a bit average, though. One would have worked better.

Where's Hayley Reinhart?

Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson return to acknowledge Ryan Seacrest as being the one person who has lasted throughout the 15 Seasons. He gets a huge American Idol sign as a gift! As Randy and Paula remember old times, Simon Cowell appears and they are all genuinely surprised!

Carrie gets another slot. Performing Something In The Water, she is looking and sounding marvellous. She has a totally meaningless and quite annoying light show going on all around which we could definitely do without.

Time to make the announcement. Yes, I'd guessed right. It's Trent. He seems pretty shocked at first but actually holds himself together very well and puts on a good performance bearing in mind the circumstances. Ryan does the farewell and struggles with the words.

So that is it. Once and for all.

I have enjoyed the ride and will miss this chance to see talent across The Pond. In a week when X Factor USA's Fifth Harmony are in the Top 3 in the UK charts it will be interesting to see who makes it next.

That... was American Idol.

Monday, 11 April 2016

The penultimate show make it Boy v Girl for the Final.

Trent kicks off the first part of the Final with what would be his 'winner's single'. Falling does suit his voice almost perfectly and flows along OK. I can't get excited about it and it seems to me the sort of track that goes up the charts but drops out pretty soon afterwards. it is missing something. But it has an instant appeal that won't do Trent any harm at all.

Trent will get middle America's vote big time. Despite Dalton's pop talent and La'Porsha's much-expected win, I still see Trent with a strong chance on the public vote there.

Dalton's song is much more impressive, as is his perfprmance. he looks and sounds like someone who wants to win, to perform and entertain. Not sure of the title. May be Cross My Heart. An excellent start but, again, it isn't something I would rush to download. Far better than Trent's performance but Dalton really will need every single teen fan to keep voting to stay in this thing.

He strikes me as the one who will get the most chart success over the years to come and I am sure he'll get a contract from someone come what may. He could also make it here in the UK with the right marketing as we haven't really got anyone like him, with the energy and appeal and genuine ability to get the lyrics across.

Oops. 4Music, the channel showing the series here this year, ahve just shown a trailer for the final to be shown here tomorrow. Who will win American Idol? the voice asks, Trent or La'Porsha? And there is a picture of the two centre screen in the ad.

That obviously wasn't intended to give the game away but it looks like Dalton's run ends here. Shame.

La'Porsha does her single. Again, I can't give you a title but it was a good commercial number and suited her well. Not particularly memorable and her performance was very 'normal'.

In what seems a mad rush to the result now, Ryan announces that La'Porsha is through. Then he follows with the news we already now know that Trent is the other one. Poor Dalton is out. An incredible artist and performer says Ryan. That's true. He was my winner. I hope he moves further on now. There will, of course, be the Idol tour where he can continue to earn and impress record people.

So now it's just the two. Trent chooses the classic If You Don't Know Me By Now for his own song. He knows this one well, you can tell. It's a good performance although I could do without the wailing. He has his work cut out to match La'Porsha, whatever she chooses.

There is little doubt that La'Porsha is the 'natural' winner but I remember Kris Allen beating Adam Lambert and this has the same feel about it. He is quite like an amalgam of several winners in the past. A sort of Mr Average Idol. We really will not get to know much about him at all, I'm afraid, over here, or, for that matter, anywhere outside the States. La'Porsha, too, is unlikely to reach out of her home nation so, in that sense either will be an 'American' idol, period.

I have sort of lost interest in the competition now. The bits about previous contestants, judges and production team etc. are interesting, though. I'll watch the final, of course, and hope for something special but suspect that the best moments will be from the guests. I wonder if Simon will be back.

La'Porsha sings A House Is Not A Home. She is very well made-up and dressed by the makeover team. Good job. That dark blue shade is perfect and may well get her a bundle of votes on its own. Her performance is a bit rambling and not one of her best. That makes several recently that have been going down rather than reaching a climax. She will need something better tomorrow or Trent will steal this thing on song choice.

Round Three. Trent finishes his night with Sia's Chandelier. Something modern for a change. Tough song but he is note perfect and really does a tremendous job with that. He is certainly making a major effort to challenge La'Porsha. The crowd is very impressed too.

La'Porsha does Diamonds, the track Rihanna made famous. I am not so sure I didn't prefer her first effort at this. This one seems a bit overdone. It's odd but just as Trent is coming to the boil, this girl seems to be cooling off quite a lot. I disagree with the judges compliments on this one. It was OK. No more.

So we'll know tomorrow how this ends. You probably know already. I haven't published any videos this time because I just know that if I go looking I'll see the result! Sorry!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

It's anyone's guess now as the Top 3 are announced

I have had to avoid Twitter all week. That is the problem with following this show in the UK, trying to avoid the news! Normally I fail miserably and then have to try and write reviews as if it is all a surprise. This year, I can genuinely say that I do not know who makes the final three. I am assuming that there will one more week when the Final comes and we all know who wins so that is the week I have to go into hibernation big time.

My guess is that La'Porsha, Mackenzie and Trent are the ones that make it. My personal preference would be for Dalton to be there and win the thing. So let's see.

Three rounds. First a Home Town performance. Second their own choice. Third the Judges' choices.

Mackenzie may seem to be the weakest competitor remaining but remember Phillip Phillips? American Idol seems to favour the less obvious stars on many occasions. Adam Lambert lost out to little David, of whom little has been heard of since over here! Even here on X Factor we have had some odd winners, like Leon Jackson, never to be heard of again, and The Voice is almost famous for not making winners famous in this country! He is also very original, writes his own stuff and that I admire and respect. He could be a success with some marketing support and, judging by the early tracks we heard during auditions, he may have what it takes to move into what is currently a popular folk-rock genre. So I am saying that Mackenzie needs to be there.

His song is the classic Hallelujah. Nice choice. I am never sure about this song as a soft option, though. My preference is the original and most since have been a bit soft or commercial. This is good but I didn't really feel moved by the song as others have done before. Not at all bad, though, and it hasn't been that much done in American Idol so the public may like it and I am sure it won't harm his chances. 'Nice job', as Harry says.

Dalton, as I have said, is the one I feel should win. He has a natural talent, looks good on screen and I can imagine him capturing a huge bundle of fans and enjoying his fame, reaching across the Atlantic to UK too. he really should get the whole of the teen vote. I particularly like how he understands what is going on on stage and what he needs to do and show when performing. He is bright and I do hope he makes it, however tough that will be on one of the others. He is the star in many ways and would serve the brand well in future.

His song is Calling You. It's not one I recognise. But it is 2016, modern and coms across as a real performance that enlivens the audience. He can work with the camera too and that was great, Is it his last, though? The vote has already been taken so nothing he does now will make any difference. He was good. Jennifer says it'll be interesting to see where he goes during the night. What does she know? I am sure the judges do know and I am looking for a hint. I didn't see a sign that he's going. But it will be a close call.

Trent deserves his place here but I think he would be the one I would put in 4th place. He has been really good, he hasn't put a foot or note wrong all the way through but he hasn't been, how can I put it, very interesting. He has all the 'classic' American, all American Boy stuff going for him and that has to count for something and has launched many previous winners. So it really is anybody's game this year and he stands as good a chance as anyone of making it through.

His song I didn't recognise either but it was a classic sort of ballad that suited him well. I didn't think it suited a young audience that well but many will have appreciated his superb delivery and spot-on tuning throughout. the judges were very complimentary.

Now Trent has said that his family would only come to the show if he made the Final. Ryan surprises him big time by bringing them on stage! Quite what that means I don't know. If I were Trent I'd be assuming that theyw ere brought in to make at least this show as the numbers were looking close for him. However, this might just be a bluff by Idol producers to get us to assume he hasn't made it. And, to be honest, at this stage, if I were his dad I would have insisted on coming as it really is anyone who could be going home now.

La'Porsha seems to be a shoe-in to the Final and, in many people's books, the title too. I can see torms hat. She has been pretty amazing and is certainly one hell of a good singer and she can interpret lyrics very well with all the suffering she's had in the past. I do have a doubt, though, about where she'll fit in in the modern pop world. She'll sell well amongst the over 30s for sure but unless she can bring some new flavour of soul and Motown to the 21st Century and today's charts I just see her as an album seller who will do well but just never get that well known outside a limited area. I would still put money on her winning, though!

She performs Glory very well indeed. The judges didn't want to critique her any more as she is just so good.

Ryan announces who is through.

Trent is first to be announced. And yes! Dalton makes it!! La'Porsha too. So Mackemzie goes. He's done well, though, and should get a contract anyway. He'd better.

It seems that La'Porsha may not have won the public vote and the producers must be a bit worried about that. I think there would have been a revolt had she not made the Final. I also feel she will have to make the Top 2, come what may.

So now they can relax a bit and do the mentor's choice. Bruce Springstein's great Dancing In The Dark is ideal for Dalton. Nice choice. He starts well, slowly but then burst into a really fast and spiced up version that set the stage and audience alight. Jennifer was almost uncontrollable and we learn at the end that she was almost reasy to be dragged on stage to join Dalton. Now that would have been a moment but, of course, not quite as even-handed as the panel needs to be I suppose! That was good. Too short, ending a bit weakly, but good. It won't have lost him any of his fans and may even have brought in some new ones who were supporting Mackenzie. Now he can win this thing, especially bearing mind the vulnerability of La'Porsha's support in terms of actual votes.

La'Porsha gets Stay With Me Baby which she puts her heart and soul into. An excellent cover but I wouldn't rush to see that again. She probably won't either as we discover later that she really didn't like the lyrics of a woman begging a man to stay with her. Now there is something going on here that I am not so sure all of America will appreciate. The song is fair enough, lyrically, for a girl who does love someone that much. If La'Porsha doesn't like it never mind. The judges spot that she was 'acting'. Interesting.

Oh dear, what has the mentor guy given to Trent? It's a Justin Timberlake number I Can Drink You Away. Rubbish. Not at all a pleasant noise. He did his best but I didn't like that at all. He had a guitar but no-one actually knows why. To be fair he gets a lot of credit for how he sang and worked with the band. he is good at that.

Keith Urban ings his new single Wasted Time. He's had 20 No.1s over there apparently. Gosh!

That was pretty good, with a double guitar thing that was an electric banjo as well as a guitar.

Back to the competition. For Dalton the judges choose Everybody Wants To Rule The World. Why? That was average and, as Jennifer points out, the key was low and it didn't work. There was not the energy and Dalton had droped it because he wasn't sure about hitting the notes in a higher key. The ending was dreadful, though, and I think everyone knew that so he is very much relying upon his first two (thankfully impressive) performances. The panel really didn't do him any favours there. It's an old song, stuck in the 80s and no amount of Daltonization can drag it back here and now.

La'Porsha is next and I am sure the panel will have chosen better for her. Yes, they play very safe with Adele's Hello. No problem there at all. She does that very well and you know she'll be through. If it's at Dalton's expense then he should demand a contract anyway!

Trent gets a decent track too. it isn't one I know but suits him very well. A far better performance than the others. He ought to stand a good chance and I reckon the votes could be close all round between the three. Nice choice. Keith chose it and he is talented at putting people and tracks together.

So that's it. Voters will by now have chosen the two who get to perform in the Final itself, although there'll be two shows: the Top 3 going to 2 Show and the Final itself. I wouldn't want to call this one. I am tempted to say Trent may take this after all. I would like Dalton to win. La'Porsha is the one expected to win. You choose, America.

Now to avoid Twitter and any site that may bear the news of the shows now being shown over there.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Top 4

You know, this is as good as a Final in many ways. Five good contestants and I could imagine any one taking the title.

Favourite out there is probably La'Porsha who has put a foot wrong so far but I still wonder just how successful she would be as a long term record selling artist. She is superb as a singer but lacks something on stage and on camera that might hold her back and I am not so sure the Country lands would vote for her,

Next in my book and my own prediction to win is Dalton. He has something of Adam Lambert about him but, while he is not quite so perfect vocally, he has a great personality and a very individual and cool way to present material. He would also be popular across the planet with the right backing.

Then there's the remarkable Mackenzie. He writes very good songs and that should nean he deserves success in the future. He is popular and has a back story that many will appreciate. In the same way that Phillip Phillips sneaked in at the end so too might Mackenzie.

Sonika is the one who just made it to the last five. She is attractive and sings almost anything very well and I can see her going down well across the land. She lacks conviction - I don't think she's had much experience of life - and that shows sometimes in the interpretation of emotions in lyrics. I feel she is the least likely to make the Top 4 but she'll be pleased to make No.5 anyway.

The other candidate is good ol' Trent. I would not have put him in the last few based on early auditions but the guy has grown on me since and I have to admire his very good tuning and how he works with the songs. He has a great range, is more accurate than Dalton and has a lot of support out there. A good 'all American boy' too - he would be a popular choice for the last American Idol. Having said that, he just lacks that presence and magic that La'Porsha and Dalton possess and that's not something you can manufacture. I don't think he would export to places like UK or Europe either.

So, let's see how they do.

La'Porsha starts with a Bon Jovi number. I am not sure that suits her. She is most definitely not a cowboy and so the lyrics sounded odd, as did the tempo and general feel which was not what we're familiar with from this girl. I hope they have more than one track as that will not help her cause. Having said that, rumour has it that she is so far out there that it won't actually make any difference. Scott is already printing the CD covers. I didn't like that at all, though.

Mackenzie Bourg is next to make the Top 4. Cheap Trick's I Want You To Want Want Me is presented in his pleasant and easy-going style. I like the chap and this suits him. It didn't have a wow factor and may have been a bit over-produced with a lot going on in the background. I would have preferred him on his own or less heavily backed. A better job than La'Porsha and, as Harry said, it was 'all right'.

Keith says he hated the arrangement. After I'd written my bit! Nice to see I get some things right.

A past winner, David Cook, performs Heartbeat which I guess is a new single for him in the States. I liked him a lot in 2009 when he won but have heard almost nothing of him here in the UK since. He is jolly good and in this time of Mumfords and similar he could do well on this side of the Pond if his record people would bother trying. This particular track seems to be going nowhere until two-thirds the way through when it erupts and is quite impressive after all. It is one of those rare tracks that you want to play again almost before the first play ends. Nice. Come on SYCO or The Cook Record Company whoever you are, get him over here in 2016, OK.

Two places left. Who gets the first? I'm guessing Trent. Yes, although I don't agree with Ryan referring to Dalton and Sonika as the 'Bottom two'. I do hope that they weren't. Well, Sonika may have been but surely not Dalton? Anyway, Trent shows that he deserves his place in the Top 4 with a super version of ZZ Top's Sharp Dressed Man. I would never have expected that from him and he did really well, adding 'swampy' to the rock song. He 'muddied it up' and that worked well for him. Very smart, as Harry told him. A nice performance. The crowd loved it and that will do him proud. Unexpected and may see him through further than I might have thought. Good move. Best so far.

Dalton is the one that makes the last place. And he was in the Bottom Two with Sonika. Sad to see her go but it makes sense, looking at the talent she is competing with.

Dalton's song is God Only Knows, the great Beach Boys number. He 'Daltonizes' it, of course, slowing it right down and trying hard to pull in the audience. However, it was a bit weak. He should have attracted all his fans with that and he seemed genuinely emotional so maybe that will bring in a few much-needed votes for next week. His arrangement was good. He is a natural performer. He said he was 'a bit shook up' when Ryan questioned him afterwards and you can tell that he will be really disappointed not to make the Final. He has made the Final 4, though and that counts.

Very nice to see Katharine McPhee on stage singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow. The microphone was catching some noise as she sang which spoilt it a bit. She has done very well since with a career in film and TV series which is probably earning her far more than even winning would have brought. She is gorgeous in Scorpion.
I seem to remember that Sia was to act as a mentor in a programme and we did see a glimpse of her with Sonika. Ah, as I write this she is appearing and we see that she is working with each of the four to do one of her own songs. Sia has a remarkable skill and has written so many tracks for top acts across the world. She is good. I dislike the wigs but that's just a thing.

La'Porsha sings Elastic Heart. She does it well - pretty much as Sia would have presented it, but that is no bad thing. Nice job and I imagine she'll sail through to the Top 3.
Mackenzie chooses Titanium. Not my favourite song as so many seem to do it and usually finish up wailing annoyingly. His version is one of the better ones. I still don't think it suits him and I'm not sure he didn't decide not to risk some notes along the way. Quite good but I do feel he could have done a lot better and he needs to beat Dalton and Trent.
Dalton really should do Sia well. I can imagine him interpreting her stuff exactly as both she and he would like and he ought to be more confident too.

Sia performs what I think was Cheap Thrills. Brilliant, brilliant dancers and set design. I am tired of her face-hiding stuff now. It seems more a gimmick than a statement. She is superbly talented and really needs to forget all that. I am sure the way she actually looks will not affect anything. I think she initially didn't want to be successful just because she was a pretty Australian blonde but judged on her music instead. Interestingly, though, she has used the device of an attractive and very sexy dancer in most videos I've seen which I am sure has increased the initial impact of the early tracks. I remember being enthralled by a couple of videos and may not have noticed her otherwise. I even though she was the girl dancing for a while!
OK, back to people with faces. Trent is singing Chandelier,  which Sia says is her favourite song. Trent does an amazingly good version of this and my guess is that he seals his own Top 3 place ther and then. He really does show Mackenzie just what was required. One of the Season's 'moments' I feel. Well done, Trent. Every single note was right and that was not an easy song by any stretch of the imagination. The timbre and timing were just, as Harry said, phenomenal. Very difficult but he gave it 100/100 and, from Harry, that's one hell of a complement.
Dalton is closing the show with Bird Set Free. Another damn difficult track and not as commercial as the others have been. They won't be as well remembered, perhaps. I was genuinely moved watching this. he really did mean thse lyrics - every word and he chose so well a less than famous track. He moved the audience too and may just have knocked some of the sparkle off Trent's performance. He will be remembered.

I do hope he makes it through. So many people say they 'need this'. He genuinely does. Keith tells us how he is up against some insane talent and yet he has that conviction and inspires us all. Keith would rather hear Dalton's inspiring efforts than someone else's perfection. He doesn't say whose perfection he was thinking about, of course!

This is one hell of a competition and a great way to end the series. There will be tears.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Top 5 are revealed

Huge applause at the very start as Adam Lambert opens this week's Idol show with the song he performed way back in 2009, Mad World. This guy is so good. I remember saying at the time that he simply has to succeed and I am so glad that he has, although I still feel he needs more exposure here in the UK. Of all the finalists, he is the one above all of them, in my opinion.

Tonight, well, a few nights ago for those in the States who get it on time, six will become five.

First saved is Trent. He performs Counting Stars, a new track for this guy and which shows another side to what he can do. His pose on stage is a bit weird but there have been plenty of dodgy idols in that respect. One even won! This fellow is a good singer, notes spot-on and he is confident. I can see America liking him, but I can't position him anywhere. Keith says he was watching him but didn't feel pulled in. The songs are chosen by the audience and viewers for the acts this time. That didn't suit him that well and he gets as good a review from the panel as he can expect. I don't see him winning and he may be getting near the end of his run.

Unless something odd happens La'Porsha will be there in the Final with Dalton and Mackenzie. Sonika, Trent and Tristan will be the ones going between now and then and, to a large extent, it doesn't really matter in which order they go. Tristan is just a little young to be convincing, emotionally, although she is the best of the three for me. She will almost certainly get a contract as she looks just like a pop star manager's dream and the camera loves her.

Sonika is a little bland. It is as if she has really behaved herself very well and, whilst singing brilliantly, she also leaves us a little cool emotionally. Has she actually experienced much in the love department, I wonder? I am not being critical, just wishing that I could believe the things she sings about. Strangely, the 15 year old Tristan is more creditable in ways that simply shouldn't be.

Dalton is next up. That was another reasonable effort of a track that I didn't recognise. It wasn't his best performance but he gets credit from Harry for the effort made. Again, the panel are not so impressed by the audience requests! He is very good, though, and seems pretty popular. He would be my choice to win from what I have seen so far. I just see him as a future star doing 21st century stuff, not recycling old numbers.

La'Porsha is the one everyone seems to expect to win. I can see why as she is damn good. She sings perfectly and takes on all kinds of music and seems to inject something special into each and every performance, all of which have been excellent. This one I don't know either. It is more of a ballad, gentle style than she has done before. She soars through the notes but there is a slightly annoying vibrato and more runs than I would have liked. Having said that, she can get away with them. And she is believable. Well done. Another step to winning, for sure.

Keith says he just feels that he is no longer judging but just watching and enjoying now.

Now that's odd. The 4Music Channel here in the UK jump to the bottom two. It is Sonika and Tristan. Seems like Mackenzie survived but we don't get to see what he sings. Oh well.

Tristan sings Independence Day which is a sort of Country number and she is great. If there were a way to keep her with the nation's votes then I am sure that would bring her in and secure a 5th position for her. A very nice, and controlled, performance as she sat at the piano, looking more like 25, and singing really well. Harry says she needs to grow older and that's all that's wrong really. Keith says how beautiful she is and mentions her photogenic quality too. It is pretty clear that she is the one who'll get the 6th spot this week.

Sonika does Let It Go originally by Demi Lovato and I can see that suiting her down to the ground. This, of course, is the famous Frozen theme that we heard week after week by someone else last year. She put her heart and soul into it. She missed quite a few notes this time and I am not convinced she beat Tristan at all. She did, however 'perform' better and started to become alive a bit more. She has really got as far as she should now, though, and, of the two, this week I would save Tristan as I just feel she is better and deserves 5th. However, it will be Sonika that gets another week. It is not that important and both will be on the well-remunerated Idol Tour this year.

Sonika is saved by the panel.

I remember when this Season began it was the girls that got all the attention. There were so many really talented auditions by girls and the boys didn't get much of a look-in, apart from the few we now know well.

We do get Never Let It Die which is a new release from an Empire show across The Pond. It is all good stuff but I would have preferred to see Mackenzie's number, being more of interest to UK viewers.

Ha ha! They've got the order of the programme mixed up! We do now get Mackenzie being saved after all! How could that have happened? I guess the UK Channel get several digital files and just got them in the wrong order!

Mackenzie is given Wild World, a Cat Stevens number that is pretty light and generally unimpressive. Sod this audience thing. If the series were to continue I would go back to getting numbers chosen by the mentors there and colleagues who know what they're doing.

So second songs now from the Top 5.

Dalton is first. Sound Of Silence is, or could be, perfect for him. Fabulous. I love this song and the power that Paul Simon brings to it (not the commercial version) and this is as good. So, so good. Well presented too and he emphasises those lyrics so well. Brilliant.

Adam Lambert follows, performing Welcome To The Show, a new release over there, with Leleh on stage too. That was the première of that track. I don't know if you'll be able to see the video here but it's worth checking out.

Mackenzie is next with a magnificent version of the Michael Jackson classic Billie Jean. He must be in the Top 3. He even has a shot at winning. Think Ed Sheeran.

Another fine performance from Trent with A Simple Man. Nicely done, and this is another song that actually does suit his style very well. Quite a different style to the two guys that have gone before and I feel he is making that extra effort to stay in the game. Harry says he'd like to see a duet between him and Adam and I can see the point. They're both spot-on with the notes and Trent has a good range too. This might be one of the guy's best performances. Jennifer even gets quite emotional.

Wow. Next week Sia is going to be featured, with acts doing some of her numbers. I wonder if she will be there herself and actually get out of the silly facial disguises. For now, Sonika is on stage again and she really ought to be there for Sia next week so I hope she gets the votes she needs. Will this be enough to steal some from the three guys though?

That was good. she was dancing around and moving. She let go and, finally, we began to see a free spirit in tight leather. She deserves a contract for Pixar even if she doesn't get one from Idol. I like how she seems to have realised that she can do what she pleases. Next step is to take her parents away so she doesn't get embarrassed as you just still get the feeling they limit her self-expression.

La'Porsha gets to close the show. A powerful version, clearly heartfelt and brilliantly portrayed. I don't really know how anyone can match that. Packed with genuine emotion. Jennifer is in tears again and so is La'Porsha.

I do hope the papers don't dig up dirt on her. It's the sort of thing I can imagine happening as jealous relations or past boyfriends try to make a few dollars and spread some old muck around which could affect her votes. I feel she'll have a rough ride even if she wins. But she must be pleased with how she has really dominated this Season. Whilst I still give Dalton and Mackenzie a chance, she is almost there.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Top 6 Revealed

Here are the solo performances from this week's Top 8, now reduced to just 6 as another two depart.

These are not in any particular order and I let them stand without comment. I reckon you'll be able to judge for yourselves who is really heading for that big Final and who has reached the end of their journey. The videos do include, however, the excellent panel summaries in case you're not sure.

The Beatles, of course, feature this week as a tribute to Sir George Martin who passed away last week. I am not sure why some did not. Maybe they did a Beatles tack in their duet performances. I have not included those as they were pretty meaningless on the whole, few of the remaining acts having much chemistry with the others.

Two of these have now departed and six move on to next week when just one will leave.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Top 8 are chosen

This week the Top 10 perform and two will go at the end of the show. Gosh, how quickly will this be down to just two people in a Final!

Dalton is announced as first through 'based on your votes' as Ryan says. So that's good to start with.

He sings Radioactive and this might be one of his least interesting performances so far. He tried and did nothing wrong but I just didn't think that suited hi at all. Moderate screams and stuff from the crowd but not explosive as so often they've been. Bearing in mind two have to go home it may be just as well that he was the person receiving the most votes last week.

Keith says more or less the same thing. Nice. The other two agree, complimenting him a lot but also unsure about what he should do. Harry said this was the first time he thought 'what is this guy thinking about today?'

Next, but with Ryan adding 'in no particular order' is Lee Jean. This is another I can see winning. After Dalton's not so great showing Lee has a chance to close the gap. He does Someone Like You, a great track for him that I wouldn't have expected. Very, very good. That worked well and he even put on a bit of a performance for the audience.

Keith wasn't sure about the song choice but Jennifer and Harry were impressed and he really should sail through.

Next up we get three girls and Demi Lovato. That was a bit odd. They all did Complicated, well, a bit of it. Sonika, Olivia and La'Porsha with a line or two each as well. La'Porsha excelled as ever. Demi then went on alone to do Stone Cold which is a dramatic wail of a song that gets applause for her runs when really I didn't think they worked anything like as well as her emotionally held notes. I like Demi and am always impressed by how she pushes boundaries and is really wanting to do 'new' music.

Sonika next. Since you've been gone is supposed to show us her 'bad girl' side. Unfortunately, to get that song right you need to have had a girl / boy friend and to have some clue about what a 'bad girl' might do or want to do. Sonika hasn't had a boyfriend and is a good girl. So that didn't work. She can sing and I like the idea of putting a character in her head which worked brilliantly last week but she'll need to work on that a lot. Not a good performance and it showed a huge problem for her attempt to win this. I would say she will be lucky to survive unscathed this week.

McKenzie has done well so far, with great interpretations of other people's music and very impressive writing of his own. So this week he takes on the Whitney number I Want To Dance With Somebody. Great song. I like his version but that is such an exciting, powerful and almost desperate song in Whitney's hands that it hardly suits the more cheerful message McKenzie's tone brings. So, it was OK and quite clever but not something I'll be wanting to play again.

Keith liked it. That'll help his votes. Jennifer was impressed too. Harry said what I said. I reckon he'll survive and I can see him winning too if he returns to his best style which is without too much backing and being a bit different.

La'Porsha looks about five but is actually one of the few contestants that have lived. A very smart stage set has her standing in front of a wings graphic and that is well done. She is dressed sensibly for her figure too in a very well-designed long dress. Halo is the song and she reinterprets that brilliantly. I can't see anyone beating this lass unless she makes a real error in song choice. Jennifer says she is a hard act to follow for anyone over there waiting to perform. Harry says that 'as always' she knows how to present a song and also play the competition.

Harry Connick Jnr gets a chance to show what he can do and performs his new jazz-influenced number which I think is his new single over in the States at the time of airing. He plays well and the notes, naturally, are in the right place and in key as it is Harry, after all. Having said that, I reckoned he was a bit uninspiring and a bit behind the beat which was odd. Anyway, an OK job but I put his expertise from the chair above his singing ability this evening.

So there will be two more safe and then it's the 'bottom three'. I presume they will all get to perform as how else would the panel judge? I suppose they could work on past performances but it seems cruel that they all had to rehearse and worry for this big Live Show only to discover that they're out. So I am hoping we hear them all.

Trent stays safe too. When A Man Loves A Woman is one classic song and he is note perfect and impressive in places but, overall, that was a bit boring. He tried hard and did seem to put quite a lot of serious emotion into that. He has a new clean look which suits him. Jennifer said she saw Trent and La'Porsha at the end in the Final! I am not so sure she should have said that, which must have hit the others pretty hard. They liked him.

Now, just one more guaranteed safe act. Tristan, Gianna, Avalon or Olivia? I guess Tristan. It is. I was right. The camera loves her. She is so photogenic. She also looks completely different tonight with gently waving long hair and much paler skin even. Go Rest On The High Mountain is one smart song. Scott Barchetta is the guy running the record label that the winner will sing under. He upset Tristan who had chosen something else and that did show her youth and comparative sensitivity but he may have been right as this was superb combination of Country with a bit of religion which she delivered to perfection. Lovely.

Avalon, Olivia and Gianna are the bottom three, one of whom will be saved.

Avalon sings a number by The Weekend that is very 'Harry-like' with a clear jazz feel to it. She is truly excellent but how deep that'll go in Idol terms I am not sure. Actually, the audience give her a lot of support.

Olivia has the look and the style. She choose Trouble by Pink. Last week she was ill so that might have been partially responsible for dropping her down. She really outs on one of the best shows we've seen tonight, definitely, looking and sounding like a pop star. That was good. Lots of vocal ability and clear talent. Harry says the lack of emotion in that performance could make it difficult for them to choose. I got the impression that they will go for Avalon over Olivia but I think Olivia would be the better bet for the record company. Avalon should join Harry and make records as a duo, that would actually work very well and solve a bit of a problem for both of them.

None of this bodes well, though, for Gianna, waiting her turn there. She would need to blow both acts out of the water. Some People is a big song and she starts well. So good to hear someone starting a song well. Unfortunately the next bit starts very low and that is not easy for anyone. She tries and almost succeeds but it is way out of her comfortable range. It is almost a relief when she gets into the mid and higher sections where she is excellent. Before starting she did say how she should 'put on the make-up and jewellery and put on the act so that people will believe her'. That is very telling. She is so young and has simply no experience and cannot honestly put the right emotion into the lyrics.

Deciding has to be difficult but I would say that Gianna simply didn't make it, despite a good performance and mostly accurate notes. Olivia would be my choice as I believe she is real and can do more that the public would love and I can see her competing with the others that are through already. Avalon is possibly the most naturally musical in a way. But is she commercial enough?

Difficult choice. They choose Avalon. That's fair. I wonder what she'll do next? She is, for sure, though, someone who can deliver lyrics and in that sense I am happy to see her back. Tough for Olivia.

Ryan says that there are just five weeks left. If another two go next week it'll be down to the Top 6. Then I would hope it's just Top 5, Top 4, Finale with 3 and Final with 2. It does rather look like La'Porsha has this in the bag from most viewpoints but the American voters are not as predictable as you might think.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Top Ten Pt 2

Very quickly into the Top 10 announcements!

Tristan is the first to be added to the group.
Sonika too. Wow, only four to go.
Gianna makes it. That must be bad news for the other girls.
McKenzie makes it. Yes.
Avalon is the first surprise for me.
Just one spot left. Yes, has to be Lee.

So the show's run has ended for Jeneve, the girl from nowhere, Jenn, the quirky one, each of whom I thought might make it further. Thomas might have got a place had my guess that there would be 5 + 5 but it's 6 + 4.

We get some performances now from each of the new Top Ten. Olivia is first. Unconditionally she performs with ease, very naturally excellent. Dressed in black and pink she is a good advert for the All American Girl. However, she has depth and seems content on the stage with a big crowd.

Gianna performs next. I don't know the track. It is a meaty, bluesy, strong number that is very demanding and, whilst she throws all she has at it, that is a bit much and I feel she didn't do the song justice. That was not brilliant and she missed a few notes quite badly. Jennifer is spot on. She says she will have to be very careful about what she chooses in future. She will, I think, be one of the first to go. I think there is a vote to eliminate two next week based on tonight's performances.

Lee has been fabulous all the way through so far. He has chosen great tracks, none which have stretched him that much but that has been in his favour as he has just been great. I don't recognise his song but it's good. Quite gentle once more but, with his strumming along too, it works very well for him. I think he will sail through. So likeable too. The panel say the same, recognising that he isn't pushing himself and doing big big numbers like some of the others. He tells a story well and that may go down a lot better than some big performance and key change like some of the girls will do.

Avalon may have been the one I would not have put through. She chooses a nice new track - Stitches - which is still in today's UK Top Ten. She is good, better than Gianna this week. There wasn't a great deal of shade in this, though. To survive, she'll need someone else to dip. I can't imagine who will, looking at who is left. Kelly is on the panel tonight and is very smart, delivering very well-considered analysis. She says that Avalon has some cool quality that several others don't have and Kelly definitely will have helped her votes with that commentary.

Dalton next. My choice as a winner so far. Hey there Delilah is, once again, just right for him, full of life and giving him a chance to move around and get across to the audience. Super job. This guy is a star already. Fabulous. Electric barnyard, says Keith! He is very popular too. I can see him selling well on both sides of The Pond as we haven't got anyone doing what he does here and he has so much youth appeal that the charts would swallow him up too. This is one hell of a good way to end the Season as Dalton winning means that McKenzie doesn't. I had thought it would be a girl for sure but now I am of the mind that, whilst it might be La'Porsha who wins it will be some guys that make the most of this year.

Tristan sings Nothin' Like You. She looks so different with straight hair. She is modern and is becoming one of my favourite girls now. I think she has outperformed Gianna and Avalon this week.

McKenzie has been brilliant all through as well, as good as Ed Sheeran in many ways. A song about fire that I don't know. He is quite unique and very good. This particular track is not, in my view, one of his best and I do hope that he gets the voters voting. I guess that if someone like Phillip Phillips can win then McKenzie can.

La'Porsha has cruised through this Season so far. No-one has come close in terms of stage presence and singing the big numbers. I am not a fan and wouldn't rush to buy her records but I am sure there will be many that are and will so she is likely to be around all the way in this competition and I am pretty sure she will be the one girl that remains standing. She sings Rihanna's Diamonds and just stood and was very very impressive with not a note wrong anywhere. That was the best of the evening so far, even beating Dalton. the audience don't let the panel start giving feedback. Amazing.

Kelly just says 'You're going to win.'

Sonika has a good name for American Idol. Wow, she is doing Evanescence Wake Me Inside and she does this extremely well.  In many ways you can see that she is saying, 'Hey, I can impress as much as La'Porsha can' and that was pretty remarkable. She did well and has now convinced me that she will last longer. Her notes are exact and she is complimented highly. She looked good and worked very well with the audience, possibly matching La'Porsha, unexpectedly. She surprised me and I have to revise my opinions now! Before there was a sort of blank space where the emotion lay but it was there tonight.

Last up is Trent. Now I don't know much about this fellow. He does the Sam Smith number Like I Can Can Can. He is another who is always spot on tune and in time. An excellent job of the track indeed. I just wonder about his appeal, compared to Dalton, Lee and McKenzie. I just feel that he doesn't stand a chance against them, however hard he tries. Such a shame for him as he is very, very good but you can almost see him leaving already.

So, who will survive? La'Porsha, Dalton, Sonika, Lee and McKenzie will sail through, I think. That leaves Olivia, Avalon, Gianna and Tristan battling for the girl vote with Trent struggling against the other boys.

I feel Olivia and Tristan will survive and it will be between Avalon and Gianna as to who leaves with Trent.

Kelly sand Piece by Piece  at the end. A very emotional number and she only just managed to hold back her own emotions as you can see the lyrics held some special meaning for her at this time. Quite impressive. A very good show all the way through.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Deciding the Idol Top 10 Pt 1

Now it is beginning to look like American Idol. A big stage, lots more in the audience. We are no choosing the Top 10 from 14. Four people go straight through, decided by Keith, Jennifer and Harry, as those who they really do want to see proceed.

First selected unanimously is Dalton. Good. I am sure he'd be popular anyway and is my tip to win the Boys.
Next, Olivia makes it in. Nice. Third is Trent. That's a surprise. Maybe that's to make sure there is another guy as the girls are all so good. Last with a free pass is La'Porsha who is on track to win. Her hair has already won.

So the others have to perform. Six will make the Live Shows Top 10.

Manny is competent but I just don't see him selling records in the 2010s and 2020s. He can sing and do a stage act but I just feel he is a 70s guy and is a bit old. Nice enough but not someone whose albums I'd be rushing out to buy and if he came on the radio I suspect I wouldn't stop what I was doing. Something is missing in his relationship with the audience.

Gianna Isabella is young with a good voice and personality. She sings I Put A Spell On You and it is in a different class to Manny. That was very impressive.

Thomas Stringfellow sings One D's The Story Of My Life. Good choice for the group likely to be voting for him. It's a bit of a messy performance and he seems younger tonight but is definitely modern. He could easily take a position in One Direction if ever they needed someone. So this was OK but not as great as some of his previous efforts.

Tristan McIntosh is another youngster. She is semi Country and has a super tone to her voice. What Hurts Me Most is not a number I am familiar with but it was an interesting choice. In places she missed a note or two but she came across to the Country scene and that is no bad thing as piles of votes lie there. I felt she would otherwise be a bit vulnerable.

Avalon Young is the difficult one to judge. She is chatty and plays a relaxed song that is tremendously modern and her dress is just like she has walked in from taking the dog for a walk. Great voice but there is something I don't get. Has she got mass appeal? I really can't tell. No way can we fault her but that wasn't a performance that I'll remember for long. So far only Gianna has done that, to be honest.

There are six places. I think Gianna and Tristan may have secured two of them. Unless they makes a complete mess I would also predict Lee Jean and  will get places so that leaves two. One girl and one boy if they go 50-50. So Thomas may make it after all. The girl? Jeneve, the odd girl from the outback? Jenn with the 50s look and fascinating style? Of those two I'd give Jeni the place. Then there's Sonika. Let's see how they do.

Jenn brings Cyndi Lauper True Colors to life again. She is unique and holds your attention. I like her immensely but will America? There were odd notes that I wish she could avoid but Harry calls her lyric delivery flawless so that's OK then!

Lee Jean I had down as a potential finalist. So young but so talented. Make It Rain was brilliant. He is a superstar waiting to be ignited. Fabulous. he has to be there.

Sonika is the last doubtful one. So pretty and she sings really well but so far she has been just a little ordinary. Good, but uninspiring. And she didn't get across emotionally. I don't know the title but the song she, maybe Forever, was superb. That voice is one of the best and every note was spot on. She brought out something special there. I think she deserves a spot but who would she replace? It would have to be Gianna or maybe Jenn's after all. It may be between her and Gianna. I'd have a job deciding.

Jeneve sings Ring Of Fire. She seems a bit nervous. That didn't really work for me. She is a cool character and I can see that she would be great TV for the show. Her talent is highly musical rather than as an entertainer. I can't make my mind up but she would have to take Tristan's place and that I am not so sure is a good idea.

Last to sing is McKenzie. I have had him down as a Finalist all the way through. I don't know the song he does but it is brilliant. Very very good. Love this guy. That was a winning performance that will have Dalton wondering if he has competition. Ah, that was an original song too. My God. he has to get a contract whatever happens. We need him over here too as i am sure Brits will love this fellow too.

So here's my Top 10:

Lee Jean

I know, I have dropped both Country acts. I must be wrong but who else can be dropped?

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Top 24 Idol Duets Pt 2

By the end of this session we will know the Top 14. Five more go tonight. Joining then on stage will be some great folk from the past Seasons. I am really pleased to see Haley Reinhart, someone who ought to have won. Kelly Pickler, one the stars who only came 6th but did brilliantly afterwards, with a cool and fun personaility which has kept her in demand for presenting as well as singing. Chris Daughtry came 4th and has been a very solid and successful artist since then. A chap called Constantinos didn't do very well at all - maybe 7th at best, I think, but he somehow is still doing well!  And then there's Jordin Sparks who won. Nice group of helpers.

Amelia Eisenhauer joins Kelly for Suds In The Bucket. Should be fun! Real ol' Country style. They were superb together! Great fun to watch and listen to, even if you aren't bothered about that sort of stuff. Kelly is just one cool girl. Amelia is through to the Live Shows. Done deal.

That puts pressure on the others as still five to go.

Haley Reinhard and Kory Wheeler do Benny And The Jets which each of them have done in their own Seasons. Haley is a total natural. Kory is new to all this. Bit of a mismatch and she will dominate. I mean, just look at this girl. Beautiful. And her voice and timing is fabulous. Kory does his best but his days may be numbered. He doesn't share the stage with her. He never looks at her although she keeps looking his way to no avail. The lighting does not do Kory any favours. He looks pale, ill and sweaty. The job of the makeover team is to stop that happening. Or maybe it is the lighting team? Kory gets good reviews from the panel. We'll see.

Lee Jean is paired with Chris Daughtry. Lee is star struck. The song is Home which Chris wrote. Lee is super nervous but Chris works hard to relax him and is a great mentor. Chris dominates the song which is quite understandable I suppose and Lee doesn't get much of a look in really. For all that, I still expect to see him get through.

Oh, David Cook is there too. I hadn't realised. He's with CJ Johnson. They are a good pair. David is a winner and a great mentor too. He understands music in depth and is almost analytic but it works. CJ gets to sing first in the duet. Nice touch, David. Well done. When David does come in, though, it is rather noriceable and could this mean curtains for CJ? I don't see both Kory and CJ making it somehow.

These duets are so much better than the last ones and so far everyone is getting good reviews. Of all this was the least in the rave review listing but not bad.

Jordin is singing with Manny Perez. She may get him to stop smiling in sad songs. No Air requires emotion and if he can produce that it could even help him reach the Top 14. He has the voice. I had to smile as Jordin has lots of curls in rehearsals and then comes out with dead straight hair this evening and looking quite different!

Constantine and Jen are both pretty quirky. My Funny Valentine could work well for them but it is a risk. Jen has a superb attitude and tremendous talent. Whether it is really an 'Idol' talent I am not totally sure but she is really really good and ought to be included in the Live Shows. That actually worked very well and Constantine has become quite an accomplished performer. Harry didn't like the way it went but Keith was totally opposite and gave Jen a standing ovation. She will be through then, or he'll be disappointed.

Kelly is back with Tristan McIntosh doing a song that Kelly wrote with Taylor Swift. Tristan is becoming one of my favourites. i do hope she gets through, despite her youth and comparative lack of understanding the lyrics. Great performance by both but I am not so sure Tristan didn't outdo Kelly out there! Interesting. neither were brilliantly in tune and the band were terrible, banging away sort of in time in the background.

David is very complimentary about Olivia Rox and she gets excellent reviews. If she can find the right songs then she'll be around. Harry says that Idol is lucky to have her and so we can be sure that she's through!

Haley Reinhart is singing the classic Can't Help Falling In Love With You with Adam Lasher. Haley starts and that voice is just mesmerising. Amazing. Adam tries to match her and he does have a great husky tone but he is nt quite as believable and he looks a bit nervous. Understandably! Not a bad job and they did try so hard. Somewhat deadpan review. Maybe that's his end of run.

Dalton Rapattoni is pretty star struck by Chris Daughtry. They go very well together. Chris takes some keeping up with but Dalton manages, quite easily. he is certainly a potential winner in my book. The best of the boys and I see him in the Finale.

Jordin is singing To Love Somebody with Trent Harmon. Now that's one great song but I can't watch these two. Trent's shirt is hanging out and with short jacket he looks like a squaddie fresh off the battlefield. A complete mess. which is a shame as he can sing very well indeed. Awful hair cut and clothes. Just what are the makeover people doing this Season? Dreadful. But good singing. Harry was very complimentary which is a good sign for Trent.

Shelbie Z gets Constantine. Bohemian Rhapsody is a tough call but if she makes a reasonable stab at it it could do her no harm. It is likely to be a memorable moment. It sure was. Nice job. She handled that well. The reviews were not good, though. Surprising and a bit tough on the girl, I reckon. Even though I am not a Shelbie fan I thought she worked hard there. Does she deserve to get through? Maybe not as there have been some better efforts overall.


First safe is Lee.
Next is Olivia.
Next is Jen.
Next is Dalton.
Next is Manny. That's the first I was not sure about.
Next is Tristan.
One left. That's Trent.

Sad to see the end of the road for Amelia but the others I had predicted.

Now we know who the public can vote for. There will be four more to go next week and then the Live Shows start with  a Top Ten.

This is proving to be a great show.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Top 24 Idol solos Pt 2

As we saw last week, the solos tended to dominate the decisions as to who stayed and went for the judges. So these are important.

Shelbie Z is first on the stage. I have to admit that she is not one of my favourite characters in this competition. She brings, though, bags of talent and is a good Country singer. When she says 'Come on, now clap yer hands' you get the impression that she's noting who doesn't and they'd better watch out. She can entertain but I don't think the camera likes her as much as others.

Manny Torres hits us with a bit of religion but luckily moves on to sing pretty quickly. He is accomplished but looks scary on stage and whoever dressed him in 70s brown purple and dark blue needs their head examined. It's a boring number, more or less the same pitch all the way through. the Coldplay track is cool but that was boring. This is another good singer that the camera doesn't like much. There aren't many boys so he does stand a good chance of getting through but that's about as far as he'd go anyway.

Kory Wheeler is third up. He didn't get a great deal of limelight in the bootcamp week. Yet another ill-dressed and strangely presented performer. Nice performance, though, of the James Bay track which suited him well and that was easily the best so far. Harry wasn't moved by this. Jennifer says he looked most comfortable on stage and yet we see this pale, quite unwell and sweating fellow on the screen. Not a good look.

Amelia Eisenhauer does a remarkable job with Avicii's Wake Me Up. Perhaps she rushes it a bit but it was interesting and certainly a lot more contemporary than the others before her. She also looks good and is in a different league to the other three. She really should be there and I would hope to see her in the Live Shows. Nice personality too. I think she should be safe.

Jen Blosil does Bieber's Sorry. She is a very original girl and superbly talented. Here she is at the piano in some ancient-looking dress that my grandmother night have worn but you know what - it makes not a jot of difference. This girl is brilliant and should have very safely secured her place in the Top 14. Very good and as Harry says, a breath of fresh air but he found her out of tune and wasn't happy with that. Jennifer and Keith spoke up for her and I get the feeling that, despite the tuning, she'll be through.

CJ Johnson has also suffered at the hands of the makeover team. God, they've been bad this week. He sings a strong semi-rock, slightly earthy style of something that isn't really Country. It goes down well and is true American stuff that I can see being popular there but not ever making it across The Pond. Great performance for that crowd and he should have secured a place. Harry, once again, however, says he was out of tune! Not a winner but should be Top 14.

Lee Jean is young and does look like a kid compared to the others. He also sounds like a kid but I reckon he will get through because he is modern and has not just an amazing talent but also the ability to appeal to a whole pile of teens out there. Odd song. I didn't even recognise it as an Ed Sheeran number. No-one has chosen much successfully so far. I like this chap and the camera does too. Harry says that was one of the better voices of the night. He'll like that!

Trent Harmon is a soulful singer that looks like an unwell Olly Murs. He is quite unique and sounds great. Maybe this was the first good song choice of the night. Matched him well. What Are You Listening To? is a very nice Country number but he adds a lot to make it commercial. Jennifer says he'll be in the competition for a long time. Harry says he has one of the best voices. Looks like he'll be a surprise Top 14.

Tristan McIntosh is just 15 still but is cool. She takes on Carrie Underwood's Good Girl which has tough lyrics that you really would not expect and American 15 year old to comprehend or be able to put across. So the message did suffer a bit but she is very good indeed, putting on a tremendous performance, possibly the best of the night. The camera loves her too. Harry thought it was just 'OK'. Keith says she looks like a million bucks. True. I hope she makes it.

Adam Lasher is a great, earthy rock-soul guy. He is meatier than CJ. He looks good but the performance is all pretty much on the same level. Not at all bad and the audience seem to like that. The review isn't that great. None give him him much to hope for so he could be vulnerable to losing out here.

Dalton Rapattoni is one of my favourites this Season. Great look, great voice, great attitude. He brings out Billy Idol's Rebel Yell and that is a winning number if ever I heard one. Very short but, wow, he put a lot into that and the audience went wild. He is their favourite too. Jennifer could not contain herself. Harry was totally comprehensive and Keith says he can Daltonise things. Great!

Olivia Rox is one of those contestants taht seem a little too confident. Strangely, Confident is the title of the Demi Lovato song she performs. She is a natural on stage and, yes, she is pretty cool as well as being a good singer. She didn't match Dalton was very good and very strong. She ought to be there.

Unless something goes wrong with the Duets tomorrow, Dalton, Olivia, Tristan, Lee, Amelia and Jen should be through. That leaves just one space that I would give to Trent.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Top 24 Idol Star Duets Pt 1

Ryan Seacrest on stage at last. He's been around doing his thing comforting or congratulating people on their audition progress. Now the Top 24 get to perform in a professional environment in front of the audience. It looks a small venue but it must, of course, be scary stuff.

Last night they produced some solo performances which I have yet to see. I am hoping to do so very soon and will adjust the posting of these articles accordingly but if you're a quick follower then you'll see this before the solos. These are important times as five will be dropped this time. We're getting

Lauren Alaina and Emily Brooke are the first duo. They are quite similar. Nice pair. Emily is excellent. Very young but so talented and you'd never know she was younger than twenty something. She really did well with that and, of the two, I reckon Emily could have the best chance, despite Lauren's experience. Harry would prefer Emily less raucous and 'produced'. I agree. Hope she makes the Live Shows.

Next is Nick Fradiani with Thomas Stringfellow. Nick won last year and we haven't seen a great deal of him since over here but he is good and will help Thomas a lot. Good advice in the clips we see from Nick. Their track is Man In The Mirror. Thomas looks strangely vulnerable and very young. He survives but seems out of place. I like the fellow and still think he should make the Live Shows but he'll need to do something. What, I don't yet know! Get rid of the yellow braces at least.

Keith makes a good point about Thomas normally doing his own thing and Harry refers to his version of Creep in the previous show, more or less saying that was enough to put him through.

Third duo is Ruben Studdart, Season 2 winner, with Stephanie Ngrete. Odd mix. Quite a mismatch on stage! The song is a Carpenters' number, Yesterday. He drowns her out most of the time. She is a cool performer and very controlled but perhaps a bit too controlled fr my taste. I'd like to see her let her hair down and mess around a bit. Jennifer was complimentary, as were Harry and Keith. Although 'nice job' may not mean she's an automatic shoe-in to the Live Shows.

Caleb from the year before is back, rocking out with Sonika Vaid. She is the one who cannot possibly go through as well as Stephanie as they both cover the same ground. Well, they have been so far and even look a little similar.

Ryan reminds us that just seven out of 12 will be through. I guess another 12 will perform next week and 7 of them go through.

I like watching Sonika but she has fallen down on the connection with the public out there. She also needs to let go. She gets to start Skyfall. I like that. However Caleb's strong voice could have taken over the production, Sonika got a chance to show what she could do too. She did seem a bit in awe of the guy, though. Harry was laughing because all this is so new to her. Laughing in a nice way and he did enjoy it. Keith was kind as well and Jennifer picked her words carefully and said what I just wrote about how she should loosen up.

Scotty and Jenna Rae. They do one of Scotty's numbers. Not bad but this was the first I didn't feel meant a great deal. Her critique wasn't that great.

La Porscha is with Fantasia. An excellent match. I didn't like La Porscha's entry which seemed in a different key but there is no doubting her talent. Quite extraordinary and she easily matched her partner once they got under way. I am not a huge fan of this girl but she deserves to do well. No doubt abut it. The song was the classic Summertime but you sort of lot that along the way.

Lauren Alaina is back with Mackenzie Borg. She is cute with him and seems to have taken a genuine liking to him! Nice to watch. The song is I Hope You Dance which really Lauren takes over completely. Mackenzie is a great talent but he was wasted on that partnership. Harry reminds us that his previous performance was very very good and that should mean he still has a good chance. He has a great future.

Nick is back with Gianna Isabella. I have never been really sure of this girl. The song is Beautiful Life which was his single in the States. Not a great track, to be honest, but Gianna does it justice and I was quite happy seeing and watching her perform. Nick gives her more space than some of the other Idols have given their partners.

Ruben performs with Avalon Young. Flying Without Wings is the song. Avalon has a serious face and seems out of place now, despite being a very good singer. This time she seemed a little off key and the song was poor for her. She was just on stage with the guy, not really offering us anything new. The crowd seemed to like it. Jennifer thought it was incredible and that they were one of the only 'real' duets this evening. Avalon gets a lot of compliments so I must have missed something.

Caleb is with James VIII and they're doing Gimme Shelter. Great song, not easy. Great performance! To be fair, that was really Caleb doing lead + backing but James did a good job keeping in there. I am not sure how much further James will go but that was quite enjoyable. He can perform well too but most of the panel's comments were sort of polite in a nice way, Jennifer's particularly.

Scotty and Jeneve Rose Mitchell get on very well. The song is Gone. Jeneve is absolutely unique and certainly held on to her roots with that performance. Amazingly good. She looks like something from a 1930s musical in that enormous dress and hat. The panel recognise that she really digs into the lyrics but reckon it was quite bizarre! Chatting afterwards, Scotty says to her that he thinks she'll be around for a while yet and can't wait to see how the next few weeks develop. He had previously said how ready she was for TV etc.

Jordan Sasser and Fantasia sing I Believe. Jordan has to be the best singer in this competition. Very good and he matches Fantasia all the way. Do I see him getting far? No. It's not fair but I feel he will not last much longer, despite being so good. The panel are quite critical of his efforts - not the singing but he tried so hard to be noticed.

That's the last chance for these guys then. Seven will move forward and start to become well-known faces and names and build a career in this industry.

Tough for those who fall.

La Porscha is first declared safe. Sonika makes it. Avalon is third through. Gianna is fourth. Wow. Four girls. Fifth is Thomas. Sixth is Mackenzie. So was Scotty wrong about Jeneve?  No. he was right. She is Number 7 and so it's 5 girls and 2 boys. Shame to see Emily go.

Top 24 Solos Pt 1

12 of the Top 24 sing their own choice solo tonight and then tomorrow night duet with some Idols from the past series. 5 will leave this week and next, reducing the numbers to 14 which, presumably, will be the Live Show contestants.

Harry says that these solo rounds will be the most important, the solos being more a guide to how they can work with someone else but not as crucial as how they display themselves,

Stephanie Ngrete starts with a Jessie J number and does it justice for sure. She is a natural on stage and reminds me of Cher, especially in the black leather she has this evening. That was impressive. She has one match in Sonika Vaid and I don't see both going through. The judges seem to think she lacks connection although I thought she did a good job there.

Mackenzie Borg does Say Something which some will recall took Alex & Sierra to the top of X Factor USA. Comparisons aren't always so good and, much as I like this guy, I am not sure the song helped him as much as it might have done. He does put his own turn on songs and did a good job, just not a brilliant job. He is, though, one of the few guys with a chance of getting through.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell sings Angel Sarah McLoughlan, playing a harp too! Amazing. She is simply superb and this performance may be the one that we all look back upon when she is crowned the winner. She is extraordinary and I have a good feeling about this girl from the middle of nowhere where electricity is scarce and goodness knws what life is actually like.

Jenna Rae is also a Country singer. I am not so sure about her. She is clearly aware of the world and can sing superbly and put on a good show but it is a bit full on and lacking shade. She's fine and could be relied upon to perform well in Live Shows but she has a huge amount of competition.

James VIII sings Love Lockdown, a Kanye West song that has escaped my attention to date and, quite frankly, I feel none the worse for that. Pretty tedious stuff. James is sound and knows what he's doing but he doesn't strike me as someone who will make it through any further. Nothing wrong with the guy but I don't see him as an Idol winner. Harry isn't sure about how far he can go. Keith thinks he might be indulgent and needs to come out and kill it every time, not assume he'll go through.

Sonika sings a Taylor Swift number and puts a big gap between herself and Stephanie, dressed in a beautiful and glamorous dress and it's a standing, gentle performance that reaches out to people. I still want her to put across the lyrics better. Everyone loves her voice, though. She is very interesting and may be a surprise competitor later.

Gianna Isabella is the one whose mum was in the Live Shows some years back. Her version of I Put A Spell On You was great. She can really sing, possibly one of the strongest voices there with rock steady notes and seems to know how to appeal. I like her and think she'll do well. Win? Maybe not but she'll be there for a while.

Emily Brooke is possibly the only blonde this evening. She is not at her best, though, and the performance starts quite nervously and it takes a while before she can come across more comfortably. Harry says her talent is unquestionable but she missed the pitch and chose the wrong song. That could be sad for a previously potential star.

Avalon Young may not be as attractive as Emily but she is incredibly accurate with her notes and sings the Justin Beiber number extremely effectively. She seems very relaxed and quite mature on stage yet sings a teen song. She seems in tune with herself as much as anyone. Very reliable and I reckon she'll get through although I don't know how popular she'll be when the votes start being needed.

Jordan Sasser sings All By Myself which is a classic. He is a great singer, handling that very difficult track well. He is a true professional and it is difficult to come up with any reason he shouldn't make the Live Shows. Does he connect though? Keith didn't think he gets the emotion across and Harry didn't like the showing off. Interesting and quite sad for the guy when everyone else is being told to give it their all! He does and gets slammed for it! As I said, I can't think of a good reason for him not to make the Live Shows. But he won't.

Thomas Stringfellow must have guaranteed his place in the Live Shows with his remarkable Creep. He is excellent and puts his true self into almost every word. You can feel him sing even if he looks a bit silly in the check shirt and big hat. He is a potential Idol Runner Up. I see him in a Finale. Great reviews from Harry, Jennifer and Keith. Compelling stuff.

La Porsha Renae is the girl with the big woolly hair who looks round and either 14 or 44. Proud Mary is a classic for her and she is excellent. I can't fault this girl's singing or performance. I don't find her easy to watch but she is damn good and has to make the Live Shows, being head and shoulders above the others in terms of professionalism. Remarkable. Harry says she'll make the other competitors either want to do a lot better or quit!! I imagine she mist be the favourite but will she get the votes?

A good set of performances. Emily, Jordan and James would seem to be the obvious ones in trouble. Let's see how they manage with the duets next.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Top 24.

Stephanie Ngrete starting the show again and looking very impressive again with This Girl Is On Fire. That will get her in the Top 24 for sure. Despite her obvious stage professionalism and being one of Jennifer's favourite performances, I still have a doubt or two about how far she can go.

Shelbie Z is strong and quite aggressive, not particularly feminine either. No denying that she can sing but do I want to see her on my screen? Not really. She makes the Top 24. That's deserved. Again, how much further I don't know.

Michelle Marie has been a bit annoying and I haven't been that convinced by her performances to date. She is talented and brave but I wouldn't give her a place on the Live Shows and I feel there will be better for the Top 24 too. She doesn't get chosen. She is very good about accepting this, though, and did herself a tremendous favour with all the audience with that attitude. Well done. She'll be in another talent show before long.

Collette Lush had been a strong contender before but her latest ones have not been so good at all and that last one in front of the bigger audience didn't work at all. You feel sorry for her and the judges were quite surprised and disappointed. Harry says he was shocked. Some you think are going to win and then they fade away. She doesn't make the Top 24.

Jessica Cabral is in the same boat. Some very good auditions but she doesn't make it.

Jessica Clark and someone called Ameet we hadn't actually seen that much of get bad news. One or two others are rejected too, including one or two we might have seen more of but mostly the producers have cleverly been showing us the future stars most of the time and not so many heading for home. One girl was shown talking to her mother on what I assume was 'facetime' but the image of her mother was scary and some!

Mackenzie Bourg changes the fortunes back to success as he sails in to the Top 24, the first guy through. Can't Help Falling In Love With You worked so well for his audience!

Trent Harmon was the one who had trouble with his voice, illness-produced, which was sad. But he pushed on through. I wasn't as impressed with his Tiny Dancer but he makes the second guy spot in the Top 24.

Jenn Rae, Kory Wheeler, Adam Lasher and James VIII get through. We don't see their performances.

Jeneve does Ring Of Fire quite strangely. I don't think she has seen so many people before! Yes, she's moving on. Top 24. Will she make the Live Shows?

CJ Johnson brings strong rock performance, not heard much elsewhere. He deserves that spot.

Amelia Eisenhauer has been interesting, Very smart. Just 16. A very accomplished stage performance, singing and with the fiddle. Nice. One of the best. She is so mature looking and sounding.

Lee John is another youngster but, again, one of the leading contenders in my book. Great guy and no doubt, he's on his way and shouldn't just be Top 24 but Live Show too.

That's half we've now seen accepted.

Avalon Young is one of the very few 'current' contenders. She makes it. Not yet sold on her personality but maybe she'll grow on us.

Dalton Rapattoni is one of the stars for me. If a guy wins it could be him. He's through and must go a long way.

Manny Torrens has been pretty good all the way through. Another Top 24 member.

Then we see several pretty good people go before Thomas Stringfellow comes in. His girlfriend dumped him the night before and the emotions come through strongly in his performance. Nice. He deserves his place and will be interesting to follow.

Just at the moment the guys are beginning to look more interesting than the girls. I can imagine Dalton or Mackenzie winning, for instance, and Lee being in a final with CJ in a Live Show. Several weeks ago it was almost the reverse with few guys impressing me but several girls. There are a few still to come, though.

Sonika Vaid is one that could do well if she can make that link with the audience that is still not there. Talented and I do like her but I am not sure how much further she'll get. Definitely deserves Top 24.

Malie Delgado worked hard on stage and you'd think she would just sail through. Quite a surprise that she didn't make it. Plenty of professional competence but we didn't see that much of her.

Olivia Rox has been coughing a lot and also pushes on through. Very good, she can hold and entertain an audience. Another contestant who really deserves her place in the Top 24. Good choices by this panel all the way through.

Emily Brooke is one of my favourites. She looks lovely, sounds great and is a very cool performer you enjoy watching and listening to. I can see her making records. She'll do well. very well. Definite Top 24 and No.1 girl.

We see a few more fall by the wayside. Lee's girl Sara doesn't make it. Quite a few more fail too. Gianna Isabella has had her mum around a lot and that has been a bit annoying and she is pretty good on her own. She is Top 24 and a judges' favourite! I'm not totally convinced yet.

Just four more to go by my calculations.

Jenn Blosil is one of the unique performers in this competition. If American Idol is to go out on a high and different note then Jenn should win. She is unusual. Mature beyond her years but so talented and original. Nice. Glad to see her there in the Top 24.

Tristan McIntosh has grown on me as the auditions have progressed and her last one was one of the best. She is one of those girls who looks different each time you see her. She's through. Two more places.

Kayce and Jordan compete for the last boy's place. Jordan is impressive. Kayce is too, not quite as strong but good for all that. I think I'd pick Jordan but I'm not sure either will go much further than 24. Jordan gets it.

The last place is a girl. Lindita does a spirited performance of Bang Bang and is pretty good. La'Porsha Renae is a performer extraordinaire and does full justice to The House Of The Rising Sun. Whereas Lindita says she lost 150lbs to make the show, La'Porsha comes from a bad area and looks like she has put on 150lbs. It doesn't matter. She is the better of the two and has a classic look that will be familiar to people over ensuing weeks. You have to feel sorry for Lindita but she isn't an Idol.

So that's it. Now let's hear them sing.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Hollywood Week: Solo Round. No surprises.

Solo round makes more sense. Contestants have to choose, rehearse and perform a track in a day.

Stephanie Ngrete is first on screen. Good solid performance of Adele's Set Fire To The Rain. For all that I don't see her winning, although she will make the lower numbers.

I don't know Thomas Stringfellow's number, nor Avalon Young's. Olivia Rox does an original song so I wouldn't know that anyway! She has plenty of style and is someone I would expect to go far this year.

John Wayne Schultz does a Keith Urban number without his hat. Pity about the hat which was his lucky charm too. Obviously someone pinched it which is a bit sad as he seems a decent sort of guy. sings well, if a bit 'ordinary' Country. Hat or no hat, he hasn't much competition amongst the guys this year but then I have noticed a distinct lack of good ol' boys getting through anyway. It is not, I feel, a year that a Country guy will win.

Mackenzie Bourg avoids the scrum to choose a number (apparently only three can choose any one track) and sings his own number Roses. He is good. Not only is that a cool song that he has written on his own but it was performed really well. He is definitely someone we will see more of.

Shelbie Z knocks a Heart number into the next park but looks very odd doing the slut drop.

Karl Hooper (or similar) does a reasonable Coldplay number.

James VIII is still there and has a good voice but not a great deal of presence, other than a cool name.

Tristan McKenzie was almost knocked off the list for the song she wanted, despite being one of the first three to choose it. Seems like another girl of the top three for it decided to help her by switching. Nice. Tristan herself is excellent and I feel she may have done well anyway and perhaps made a bit too much of it all as she could have done wonderfully well with almost any song.

Sonika Vaid is another super performer and I can't imagine her and Stephanie both being selected for the live shows. They are pretty similar. Both good. Sonika just lacks a bit of experience in being on stage.

Lee Jean rocked Stitches. Brilliant. Sara Sturm is like his girlfriend but she's just sort of OK. The panel seem to like her, though, so the two may stay together for a while longer. I see Lee in the Live Shows. Not sure about Sara.

So far Lee and Mackenzie have been the ones that have impressed me most. Olivia Rox a fairly distant third but I know there are many girls (but few boys) still to see.

Jenn Blosil did a fine job of True Colors. Emily Brooke is excellent, a real star, and she looks the part too. Just a little too much like Carrie Underwood, that's all, but that can hardly be criticism. She is not happy with her performance, though, but we'll see what the judges think.

Malie Delgado comes on stage and does her version of Stitches with a very scratchy voice that has suffered from her recent illness. Mionne is also struggling with her voice. Neither are that great, though, voices regardless.

Jessica Cabral has also been ill but puts on an impressive show. I still don't find her likeable but she is good.

Joshua Wicker I don't remember at all. He wears one of those odd caps that make him look like someone out of a 50s movie. An old-style guy. Quite good but not marvellous for me.

CJ Johnson rocks out with You Can Go Your Own Way and that's something lively that's been missing. Not an Idol but nice guy.

Jeneve Rose Mitchell is the girl from middle of nowhere and she is the big discovery of the year in my book. Great. Original Country.

Dalton Rapattoni does Hopelessly Devoted To You in a completely different way to Olivia Newton-John. Nice. Cool guy and he is another definite in my book. He has to be on the Live Shows, never mind Top 24.

There are 75 waiting to know who moves on. I would guess that there are a few 'definites' amongst them and if you find yourself in a room with them then it will be a room of people who will be going through. I am guessing that the three rooms will be 24, 25 and 26 so that will also be a hint as to who gets to the last 24.
No, I was wrong as two rooms get through and that looks like a lot more than 24 still. Yes, the trailer for tomorrow's programme says that 51 will perform in front of an audience and that is when the cut to 24 comes. OK. That should be worth watching and maybe we;ll get, at last a bit more from each of the leading contestants as recently there hasn't been much by way of performance really.

I am also guessing that the 24 get cut in half to the Live Show Top 12. Then the fun starts.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Oh dear. Group Round at Hollywood.

In my last post I had hoped that they might have done away with this part of the round; the Group farce. It is just so frustrating to watch. Some seem all set and just have a great time rehearsing and getting on but others struggle even to find someone or one of their band leaves or gets grumpy and the others are left to pick up the pieces and simply, with the best will in the world, cannot be expected to compare easily with those others with the trouble-free environment.

It is almost a bit like being born on the wrong side of the tracks. Some guys just can't help what happens to them but still suffer. Unless the panel spot the problem or get advised by the various staff on duty observing developments. Yes, there needs to be some stress test and it's good to see how people get on with others and can work together to get over challenges but this is unfair a lot of the time.

So, whilst it may make good TV, I am more than glad that this is genuinely the last American Idol Group round I'll have to report on.

The best I can do as we're shown some full tracks but mostly extracts, and mixed up at that, is highlight the names of those that I spot getting compliments, mostly from Harry. All those shown make it through and were captioned by the programme. Many others go through too but, with no captions, I guess they don't get too much further whereas the captions do.

Kory, Jenna Rae, Jordan Sasser, Kelsie Watts make a great start. Good work for a day. All four make it through.

Jenn Blosil, Bri Kay, Lynnzee Fray, Sara Sturm were another good group who managed very well. All through.

Amelia Eisenhauer, Tristan McIntosh, Lee Jean. Tristan gets a special mention.

Avalon Young, Jeneve Rose Mitchell, both get big appreciation from the panel.

Chynna Shyrod, Terrian,

Trent Harmon is still there with something he calls 'Mono'. whatever that is. It's contagious so he has to perform alone. He deserves to get through for all the effort he's making. Good talent and he is easily through.

Michelle Marie, Ashley Lusk, Lindsey Carrier don't match Shelbie Z in their group. Michelle maybe had something bouncy about her but Shelbie Z was the only one that really made it. Lindsey didn't make it. I'm not sure about any of them really.

Elvie Shane and Ashley Lillinore didn't survive after poor performances. Mackenzie Bouro does well. Cameron Richard doesn't make it.

Dalton finds himself with a couple of girls in a pretty chaotic time. The 'Poh' girl left and another girl Anatalia joined them. Kassy had been with him since the start. Not bad for an hour's rehearsal and no sleep. He was still the stand-out but they all go through.

Sonika and Stephany Negete sound great in their group. The Russian Andrew is impressive but Keith didn't think they performed very well. They all get through anyway so both groups with problems survived after all.

A group with some odd looking guys and the girl with green hair is uninspiring and almost embarrassing to watch as they have no rhythm or mutual understanding by the look of things. They're out.

Marcio, Jon Lasaasen, Kylle Tommasson, Kayce Haynes do Uptown Funk. They're through too.

Joy Dove, Daniel Farmer, Lindita. Oddly, Daniel loses out and the others carry on.

Eliz Camacho, Gianna Isabella, Dana did not get on. Eliz was annoying and a pain. She didn't make it but was fair and not nasty to the other two as we'd expected might have been the case. Jennifer remarked that the 15 year old Gianna out performed the two 24 year olds.

Joe Dahman, Alesani, Olivia Thai, Jessica Paige. Only Jessica makes it through.

CJ Johnson, Jessica Baker, Zach Joseph, Jess. Zach loses out.

Thomas Muglia, Joey Hendricks, Bryson Dunn, Thomas Stringfellow. The two Thamses survive.

Manny Torres, Malie Delago and Christian Eason put on a very good performance.

Laurel Wright, Marshall and a couple of others wreck Staying Alive

La Porscha Renae, Tonie and Marlena have the same song. Marlene had trouble in rehearsals. Once again she forgets the words, despite reassuring everyone that she wouldn't. However, she sort of pressed on and they all make it after all. The girl with the hair is the one you tend to remember, though.