American Idol Top Guys

Okay, let me just say it is so great to be able to watch the vocal performances of a two hour tv show in 20 minutes the next morning on the internet. And I didn’t have to miss the Canada-Russia hockey game last night.

On to the issue at hand, the top 12 guys sang last night on American Idol. Let me start with my main issue.

Casey James. He’s from TX. When they asked him who his favorite male artist was, he said Doyle Bramhall II. So he had a headstart on everyone for me. But I really hope they let the whole Kara thing go. All anybody noticed last night was what he looked like. It felt like the whole show played on that topic. I hope they let him dress normal and sing a normal song. I mean I think the love song, playing on the whole idea will definitely get him through the first few weeks. But I was afraid that’s all there was until he hit the bridge. Then I heard a singer I might like to hear from some more. So here’s supporting the home state boy. Looking forward to what’s coming.

Alex Lambert’s performance was so uncomfortable. I didn’t notice till it was over that I really liked his voice. He’s got an incredible talent. He just needs to go sing a ton of shows for a couple of years and grow into it. I hope they will work with him. It would be really great to see him blossom through the show. He’s got the voice, and I look forward to hearing him take on something not tailormade for his voice. I think it might be really cool.

Okay, I don’t know how long Michael Lynche will be around, but he just makes you happy. He’s fun. And he’s got a great voice. He was stronger pitchwise than anyone else. I thought taking on the Maroon 5 song was great.

Jermaine Sellers was definitely one of the best voices of the night, when he stayed in a lower to mid register. When he went really high, he was one of the worst. I hope he can find a way to stay in his powerhouse. His R&B will add some interesting arrangements to the nights, I hope.

I enjoyed Joe Munoz, and think he’s one of the better singers. I thought he did a great job with Jason Mraz song. He took it from intimate at the first to fun in the middle. It connected him with the audience. Hope he sticks around for a while.

I like John Park’s voice. I hope he gets to stay. Singing jazz right off the bat may not connect him to a whole lot of people. But I enjoyed it. Of course, I’m not Simon, who looked a little frustrated in the one shot you could see him in.

Andrew Garcia has some potential. All anyone talked about was what he did to get here. Apparently he covered Straight Up by Paula Abdul. Interesting choice. But today he did an acoustic version of Fall Out Boy. It didn’t quite work. But I appreciated taking the chance. I think he might bring some interesting things the next few weeks. It’s kind of like Casey though, they just shove the story down your throat. I’m glad he’s a dad. It’s cool to hear about that, but he’s a musician too. Looking forward to more of that.

How to end? Todrick Hall was one of the few really confident stage-owning guys. Will look forward to next week to see if he can sing. Aaron Kelly is a good young country singer. I think he will grow into it. Don’t know if he’s there right now. I think they can help him pick a better key, even if they just move it a half step to get it into his powerhouse range.

So what did you guys think? Look forward to hearing from some of you.

Todd

American Idol Top 12 Girls

Okay, I know I am usually pretty serious and focused on here. We’ve tried to show the less serious side through restaurants, playlists, and books. But many of those have been serious too. So we’re going to go somewhere completely off the map. I’m sure I’ll hack off someone who thought I was the “only one” still devoted to serious things and outside of pop culture. But that’s not true. And admittedly, I love music. I love new singers. So American Idol is an ideal entertainment. I’ve never watched a whole season but I love the idea. And now with the ability to watch individual performances on the web, I don’t have to be sitting at home in front of the TV for 2 hours 3 nights a week. Now if you hate American Idol, then delete the blog and go back to whatever you were doing. But if you’re interested, if you want to weigh in with your opinion, or are just bored, let’s see where we’re starting with the Top 24 this week.

Last night we had the top 12 girls go first. So, let’s see if we can get these 12 girls down to 6. I’ll admit from the start, I only got them down to 8 this week. And it’s just one week. Anyone can still turn it around next week. Look at me. GMA tore me up at every one of the seminars/competitions I went to. Eventually they decided I was okay though. After Grace Like Rain hit. So there’s always room for improvement.

It seems to be the year of the quirky indie girl. They seem to be the ones who stand out to me. Or maybe it’s just that I like quirky indie girl singers. So let’s start with one of those, with these in no particular order.

Didi Benami sang “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson. She has really great control of what makes her voice unique. If she can just pull a few notes up, she’s killer. I’ll be interested to see how she and the rest of the vibey girls do as they start changing genres and fitting into themes. Quirky or moody only works a couple of times. But she did great this week.

Siobhan Magnus is the other girl in the lead in this category of unique voices. She took on Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.” I read that this morning and went, “She did what?” I couldn’t imagine it. But she pulled it off. Actually she crushed it. It was great. She has great control of her voice. I hope she relaxes as the show goes on. She overenunciates a little and would love to see her as her nerves calm a tad. I look forward to where she chooses to go next week.

Katelyn Epperly is the best of the young ones, in my estimation. She has already learned a ton about what she is capable of, and turned in a great performance in a style most young people aren’t familiar with. And she can sing. She has the voice to take it into an extra gear if the song needs it, whereas I don’t know if some of the more songwriter style singers will have that.

Lilly Scott covered a really unusual Beatles tune, “Fixing a Hole”. She had this song down pat. They talked about her busking, which is playing on the side of the street for money. You can see some of that professionalism in her performance here. She was really comfortable and knocked it out note perfect in this first week. However, she fits into a category for me with the next girl, Katie Stevens, in that I didn’t finish this week thinking she’s going to do better next week.

Katie Stevens was dead on this week. She had great control of this tune. I’m always a little uncomfortable when a 17 year old takes on a really sensual song, but that doesn’t take away from the job she did. I think she has a great voice and did awesome. But I didn’t feel like she has an extra gear to go to, to take it up a notch when the competition gets tougher. Maybe she does and she’ll prove me wrong.

Now, Paige Miles has an extra gear. Or four. This girl can sing. I don’t know if she’ll have the vibe, look, and everything they’re looking for, but I’d agree with Simon, she has the best voice of the girls. And I loved that she did “All Right Now” by Free. Totally unexpected, but she knocked it out. So you’d think that she may have some stuff she’s more comfortable with for later weeks. I’ll be interested to see how far she can go, and what she sings for those weeks.

I already told you I couldn’t get it down to 6 this week. Here’s why.

Lacey Brown sang an old Fleetwood Mac tune, “Landslide”. She is a very interesting singer that could really blossom over the next few weeks. I hope she gets the chance to do so. She wasn’t the best this week, but she was still good. She has that quirky unique vibe that can pull off Fleetwood Mac, but in the song, you could hear she can really sing too. That’s a really interesting combination that I hope we get to hear more of. I hope she can do some interesting arrangements to bring that out.

And Crystal Bowersox. She has to be in here because she sang perfect. She’s got a cool vibe, and she really played the main guitar part. She’s down here because the song was really safe. You didn’t really get to see what she’s capable of. I’m hoping she gets to stick around long enough to show us more of what she can do, because I really enjoyed her.

Obviously, there were four more girls, that in my world have to step it up a notch next week. But it’s definitely possible. Because at least two of them can really sing. Haeley will continue to be polarizing, because you just like her. But her singing is not yet up to the rest. But she’s great. So till next time…

Let me hear what your thoughts are, unless you don’t want to. And in that case, don’t.

Todd