Sing For Your Life

Tonight Idol decided the fates of 32 of the final 71 contestants. I am writing this after seeing the entire show, so I know the results as I type this. I wrote reviews for 25 contestants before I saw any of the results, and I’ll post them “as is”; with no editing other than maybe spelling and grammar; and no further comments:

Angela Martin- Sounded good, not perfect but I liked her dynamics and stage presence.

Jermaine Purafoy- Jazzy version of “Brick House”

Casey James- Subtle, maybe not energetic enough, but I love his voice.

Jermaine Sellers- Sounded good, but talked back to the judges and the band.

Siobhan Magnus- This is the girl with the red headband on group night. She was really, really good. Her tone was strong, and how can you not like her jump up to her glory note? She nailed it.

Chrystal Bowersox- Guitar and harp combo, very well done though not perfect.

The next three singers all sang “I’m Yours” (Jason Mraz):

Alex Lambert- Played the mandolin, sounded ok but not incredible. Stylish and the most in keeping with the original

Michael Lynch- Came out with a guitar and a cool hat. I really like the thickness of his voice and his happy, comfortable style and stage presence.

Todrick Hall- He was incredible, and I would be pretty shocked if they rejected him after that performance. The kid is experienced, savvy and he has command of his voice through some very difficult vocal chops.

Thaddeus Johnson- Funny in the audition, stuck the ending of his song like a pro. He’s big huge bear of a kid (he’s just 16), with a huge, huge voice but an irritating, irritating mother.

Charity Vance- She sounded good, still with the fairly weak voice but she worked it very, very well.

Tasha Layton- They showed her day one performance, and she had the guitar with her which is always a huge help. I like that subtle scratch in her voice, and she doesn’t overdo it. She sounds like someone familiar, but I can’t put my finger on it yet.

Mary Powers- She sounded good; not contender good but she might have a shot at the semis. She might be the first out if she makes it. I am guessing that the judges know this, and that they will send her home short of the semis.

Lloyd Thomas- I didn’t like his performance. He doesn’t have enough range, and nowhere nearly enough voice. It’s too bad, I really like him, but this is a singing competition, not a nice guy competition.

Hope Johnson- Not good enough, I’m afraid. She did a safe melody and she didn’t do anything unique. She was a little bit short of that command that she will need to get past this phase of the competition. I like her, and I will root for her to get back in a year or two and give it a better go. Her voice needs some growing up, even if she is mature herself.

Shelby Dressel- Good voice and she sang well, but truthfully her performance was more karaoke than concert quality.

Aaron Kelly- He forgot his words, which probably doomed him. He’s plenty good enough to advance, but the kid is only 16 years old and the judges might just tell him to come back with another year of development next season; and be a true contender. It would be a good idea.

Ashley Rodriguez- Total pro on stage, she is in or I go buy a hat and eat it.

Lee Dewyze- He has been Otis Redding, David Clayton-Thomas and Cat Stevens already. Tonight he was Scott Stapp or Eddie Vedder; take your pick. None of them are imitations, he IS that guy. I don’t know anything about him, they haven’t talked to him. All I can go on is the voice, the voice, the voice. He is full of power, range, control, command and his voice fits the template for a wide variety of styles. If he is as creative as he is versatile, he might be the dark horse to win it all.

Joe Munoz- Another guy singing “Man in the Mirror”. Karaoke singer. I like his voice, but I don’t hear “musician” in it.

Haeley Vaughn- Jason Mraz again. She looked like she was dressed against her will and that she wanted someone to kill her. She was out of tune, behind the flow of the song and just out of her element. I smell some serious nerves getting to her. Hell, the kid is 16. I love her talent and her work ethic. If she doesn’t make it, she can try out next season or (if it was up to me) wait until she is out of high school and has a couple of years of college under her belt. If she can wait until then she might be a contender for the title. I am very high on her, but not until she grows up and gets more experience. It’s too much, too soon for her.

Janelle Wheeler- She said that she was losing her voice, but she sounded fine to me. She isn’t as dependent on her voice as most are, since she is such an outstanding overall musician. I am guessing that she is fine, and on to the next round. It’s so weird. A week ago I didn’t even give her a punchers’ chance, and now I am assuming that she is fine despite a less than stellar performance.

Tori Kelly- she sounded ok, pretty short version. She was a lot better than her audition, which was the last time that I saw her. She is supposedly 16, but she looks and acts more like 25.

Lilly Scott- She was terrific again, and I don’t see how she misses. She stands out for her command of several vocal chops, even if she doesn’t have the strongest voice. She has superior overall musical skills, more than anyone that made it from the female side last season.

Andrew Garcia- He really sounds a lot like the lead singer of Maroon 5. If he doesn’t make the semis it would be a huge, huge shock.

Room one advanced, which was no surprise. Andrew Garcia was in the room.

Room two was eliminated. In this room were Charity Vance (spoiler was wrong as usual, but they got it right. She is not good enough yet, her voice needs to grow up), Christian Spear, Mary Powers, Lloyd Thomas, Hope Johnson, Brian Walker (the cop), Liz Rooney (strawberry streak).

Room three advanced, which was no surprise either since two of the three would advance. Besides, Ashley Rodriguez was in there and she isn’t going anywhere.Shelby was in there, which is cool, but I still don’t expect her to make it all the way. John Park and Janelle Wheeler, on the other hand, should be fine and into the semifinals.

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Final Judgement:

Ok, it’s that time. Every contestant that made the final 46 will go up in front of the judges and either be told that they made the final 24 – or that they just missed. For the ones that make it through it will be a huge, huge celebration. For the ones that came juuuuussssst this close, it will be heartbreaking. I want to say that, for a good portion of the rejections, this is only the beginning. I’ll include room two in this as well as a decent number of the earlier Hollywood Week rejections, such as Leah Laurenti, Kelsey Madsen and Mallory Haley. Hope Johnson, Charity Vance, Christian Spear and many others will have the opportunity to come back a year older, and a year more experienced. Just to make it toHollywoodmeans being one of the top 181 in a pool of over 100,000 contestants. Only 71 made it this far, and now it’s down to 46. Every one of these contestants should be very, very proud. For the rejects, I say welcome to the real world and good to have ya. The woodshed is out back, just past the Wailing Wall. Let’s get to work.

We got a few in tonight:

Michael LyncheIN; we’ll see if the spoiler is true. It was reported that he was disqualified. If it’s true, what a punch in the gut that will be.

Didi Benami- IN, baby…….!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katlyn EpperlyIN. I am pleased for her, even though I didn’t expect her to make it. She has too much vibrato but she is very strong otherwise; and a very beautiful girl. I’d give long odds for her making the final 12, but she gets her chance. That IS the American dream, isn’t it?

Shelby DresselOUT. Sooner or later someone had to be rejected, and she was a huge long-shot as it was. Simon was on her side, calling her ouster “the wrong decision”. That’s how close it is.Shelby had Simon on her side, and the judges all told her to come back next year and try again. I didn’t realize just how close she was to making it. Her choice of song (Carry on Wayward Son) wasn’t the best choice for her, but I figured that she was done anyway; but she came SO CLOSE that the song choice might haunt her. I really like her, as you can probably tell. Who wouldn’t? See ya in the woodshed, sistah…..

Casey James- IN. I wrote that before they told him either way. Yep, he’s in, and a major, major contender to win it all. Kara is totally in lust with him, there is no way to hide it.

Aaron KellyIN. My man, you have GOT to remember your words.

Lee DewyzeIN. I don’t really get the hesitance about him, he’s incredible. The speed dialers should embrace him and push him right through to the final 12.

Todrick HallIN. They showed some footage in the teasers that indicated that he didn’t make it, which was weird. Todrick is a strong contender, and he can win it all. I have to mention that his experience with Fantasia wasn’t as a singer, but as a dancer. He is a professional dancer (he was the guy who did the backflip on group night), but an amateur singer. I will be looking forward to his performances every time, from now on. He isn’t Adam, but he does share some similarities in his experiences. He is unique, and he has the gene for coming up with stuff that we aren’t expecting. He will be fun, and always worth the effort.

Jessica FurneyOUT. She slimmed down a bunch from last season, but her voice is just a little bit short. She tries hard, so we will see her again. She needs to quit with the arguing and move on, if she wants to have a shot next year.