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.