Ok so I was out for most of Wednesday (presentation early in the morning, lunch with my presentation mates, lecture and then dinner with my secondary school friends before having to trudge up 24 floors worth of stairs because all three lifts servicing my block broke down) so I didn’t get to do this before the results came out. So, since the results are out, I’ll just combine everything into one long entry.
This week: Billboard #1 hits!
Again with the weird-ass intro and the whole thing between Ryan and Simon was just totally creepy and awkward. And I can’t believe they got Miley to be the mentor. I mean, I actually like some of her songs but, seriously? Her as a MENTOR? She’s not exactly known for her singing yeah.
Lee Dewyze – The Letter – Ok so he did a big band version of this song, which is totally weird. Still, it definitely was unexpected and, probably thanks to his raspy voice (which retains its rock-ish vibe no matter), he put his own twist on it. His singing was pretty solid too (despite a few slightly wonky notes at the end) and he had so much more confidence than usual. Still, the song (and its arrangement) is probably not going to be very memorable. As a performance, it sounded like it’s supposed to be something he had to choose to fit in with some weird theme, which totally wasn’t the case. A step back, for me. And whoa at Ellen’s super double-entendre comment. B
Paige Miles – Against All Odds – Seriously. Out of all the Billboard chart-toppers ever, she had to choose the most boring, overdone ballad ever. And wow, did she screw it up. I can’t believe it was so pitchy from the start to the end. It’s like she literally botched every other note. I mean, I’ve always thought the claims of her having the best voice this season totally overrated but even then, this was really bad. Terrible. And the boring poopy arrangement didn’t help neither. I don’t think it’s as bad as Tim’s ‘Apologize’ but it’s really close. But totally lol at the random “Kara’s a bitch!” from the audience. D
Tim Urban – Crazy Little Thing Called Love – And speaking of Tim, here he is (at least we get the two most meh ones out of the way early). I thought he actually sounded surprisingly good during the meet with Miley. The problem with this choice is that it’s one of those songs that will always come off sounding karaoke-ish in a competition like this, unless you do something radically different with it, which he didn’t. His vocals were actually pretty good for his standard but this was so boring and so forgettable (even on what is retrospectively a really boring night). Still, anything coming off Paige’s performance would look awesome by comparison. B-
Aaron Kelly – I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing – Wow he totally one-upped Paige with his two diseases. And is anyone surprised that he’s a Miley fan? Anyway, I totally thought he would do a boring, countrified Rascal Flatts cover of this song (like Josh Gracin did in season 2)…and he did. It wasn’t as snoozey as Gracin’s one but it was still pretty unspectacular. The arrangement was zzz and his vocals (although it could be attributed to his various illnesses, I think his singing is pretty overrated even normally anyway) weren’t all that exciting neither. Still, one of the better performances so far. B
Crystal Bowersox – Me and Bobby McGee – Whoa I can’t believe she asked Miley to sign her guitar. Anyway, it was totally expected but this was the best performance of the night so far by a mile. While she’s not really my style of a performer, I have to admit that she’s totally the most (as everyone says) authentic performer there. She makes it look totally effortless and natural and her vocals are always pretty spot-on and raw and gritty but powerful. Again, not my type and there’re a few others whom I personally like more, but she’s probably has the most raw talent by far and is the most deserving of the title so far. And I totally did not notice the carpet until it was mentioned hhah. A-
Michael Lynch – When A Man Loves A Woman – Yeah, seriously, what is with the cheesy song choices?! The Big Mike + Miley makeout session was weird, to say the least. Probably the best vocal of the night by far out of everyone but I just find the song very hard to get excited about. It’s probably a song much better suited to a smaller, more intimate audience than to a big belt-out and I do like the song but it’s just not a very memorable performance for the show. B
Andrew Garcia – Heard It Through The Grapevine – When Miley-friggin’-Cyrus gives you the “eh? Seriously?” stare, you know you’re in trouble. And so continues Andrew’s slide towards oblivion. This was such a cheesy choice, the dance moves were weird and the whole lesbo-Elvis look is quite weird. Plus, Andrew should never just do straight-up (pardon the pun) renditions of songs because, while his delivery is usually attitude-y and gritty, his vocals are just not purely powerful enough. And the more he does this, the more I (and everyone else) think that ‘Straight Up’ was more a fluke than a case of him peaking too early. C+
Katie Stevens – Big Girls Don’t Cry – I thought she actually made the best and most contemporary choice (and how sad is it when friggin’ Fergie is the best choice?). Pitch problems all over the place (she makes Lee sound totally pitch-perfect) and she totally just made it into a semi-boring ballad (although I think that’s just cause her voice and singing style is just limited to that Diana Degarmo, powering-through delivery way with no subtlety) but it’s actually one of the better songs of the night, with the right amount of sass. And most interesting choice so far. B-
Casey James – Power of Love – Wouldn’t it have been awesome if he did the Celine ‘Power of Love’ instead? This didn’t turn out to be as cheesy as I expected (I mean it’s from Back to the Future!) but still really boring. His vocals were decent and he was in the right comfort level for the performance but, again, it’s really non-memorable and I do agree pretty much with Simon’s comment about the 80s cover band thing. Another wasted opportunity. C+
Didi Benami – You’re No Good – I do agree a bit with the taking-over of Lacey’s niche but I think she did it way better. True, there’s this whole slightly out-dated 50s noir, femme fatale in a seedy nightclub, Jessica Rabbit vibe but I thought her vocals were pretty strong and she put the right amount of sass and angst and grrrr into it. Not all that great (and agree with Kara’s comment about her playing a role) but still one of the better ones on a bad night. B
Siobhan Magnus – Superstition – Whoa at her look. Love it. Totally need to hear her rawkin’ out to Miley hahaha. I actually like her vocals the most of all her performances tonight. Normally she just powers the heck out of it to its limits but this time she didn’t sound so controlled and focus (which is, oddly, a good thing for her). The end result was that she sounded much more effortless and confidence and like she was just throwing her voice around with abandon (instead of bulldozing everyone with a very focused punch). Even her signature screech (which I agree isn’t all that necessary in every performance) had a slightly more gritty, rock-ish edge to it. Not her best performance-wise but definitely one of the best of the night. B+
Overall, I thought this performance show was really, really bad. I mean, seriously, what was with the song choices?! It’s way less limiting than the Rolling Stones’ catalogue but they did so much better last week. They could have really chosen awesome songs to show off their talents but instead almost of them seemed to have colluded to choose the most boring, cheesiest possible set of songs within limits.
I’m really hoping that this week was just an off-week and that last week wasn’t just a fluke good-week (especially considering all the lacklustre weeks before that).
And I think it just highlights how mediocre this batch of contestants is that Aaron, who would not have cut it in most of the previous few seasons, is considered one of the best vocally. Even the good ones (most of whom didn’t do all that great this week) aren’t actually as good as the greats from previous seasons, even at this stage of the competition.
Still, I’m hoping that some will continue to grow and get better and have some awesome performances because so far, there has not been a single WHOAWHOAWHOA performance yet, just a few pretty decent ones at most.
Results (in point form):
-Wow the group songs this season have really sucked. Why aren’t they doing live medleys anymore? I loved those. And most of them are terrible lip-synchers, sound totally thin, weak and sterilised in the recordings and some even sound auto-tuned.
-Miley actually sounded really good! Her singing was pretty solid (with a few decently big notes tossed in), her voice was gritty and raw and she was all emotive and dramatic and caught up in the whole thing. Quite pleasantly surprised.
-Demi Lovato totally looks like Kara but younger. And wow she can actually sing live hahha. Probably could make top 10 this season considering the low talent level. And Joe Jonas is totally just a better version of Tim Urban.
-And the actual result? Totally not surprised. In fact what I’m surprised about is how she managed to last so long. Won’t be missed (or even remembered), this one. Still, I’m hoping Tim will really tank one week and just go out haha.
Next week, RnB! Since I’m the only one in the whole world who seems to hate the genre, guess I’m the only one who won’t be looking forward to it. Zzz.