The ladies perform

The singers, the songs…

Zoanette Johnson, “What’s Love Got to do with it”, Tina Turner

Well…. if it’s just about singing, she wasn’t very good. With her, though, it’s not really about the singing. It’s about the spontaneity and her energy. I wouldn’t say she was at her own personal level ten, but her five is like the rest of them at ten anyway, so…. Honestly, I have no idea whatsoever if there will be enough voters in her corner or not. It helps her some that they don’t vote “no”, since she’s so polarizing. She doesn’t need half, just a little more than ten percent. Given the competition, it won’t be easy.

Breanna Steer, “Flaws and All”, Beyonce

Does it really matter anymore whether or not she’s a great singer? She chose the perfect song yet again, a song that didn’t expose her weaknesses, a song that accentuated her strengths. She dressed to kill, and now we are all dead. She created a mood, giving her performance sort of a “Sade” feel, only her “Sade” is built like Jessica Rabbit and has Disney cartoon character eyes. If any of these kids can pull off a Haley Reinhart and grow into a monster right in front of us, Breanna’s my pick. All she has to do is learn how to sing a little better before they run out of fodder to dump.

Aubrey Cleland, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, Fergie

She probably has to hope that, by picking a song everyone knows, someone will remember she was on the show by the end of the night. She sang it really well… massively better than Katie Steven did it a few years ago, which is a pretty solid indicator that the overall quality of the singers is improving. Since she’s been in the Idol system for three years, it shows that an Idol developmental league would have positive results as well. I still see her as Idol fodder, not because she isn’t a good singer, but because she’s been buried behind others who will suck up her potential voting bloc.

Janelle Arthur, “If I can Dream”, Elvis Presley

At times I could close my eyes and hear Tammy Wynette; at other times I could close my eyes and hear Sondra Locke making my ears bleed singing in a Clint Eastwood movie. I mean seriously Clint… We aren’t sleeping with her, why do we have to listen to her? Janelle could be fine, but if Kree blows it up she could be in some trouble. She was good, but not so good that she can feel safe.

Tenna Torres, “Lost”, Faith Hill

She could probably make good records; live, her weaknesses get exposed. In the studio, she can have those little imperfections and the tinny sound of her upper register fixed in the mix. She has a full arsenal of vocal tricks… but she doesn’t have the heater.

Angela Miller, “Never Gone”, Colt Dixon

Give it up for Colt, this song went to number one on the… what’s it called… Christian Rock chart? I think that’s it. Color me impressed, he was on the show just last year. Angela is about as close to a dead cinch lock the show’s had since Adam Lambert. Every week I’m more impressed, and every week I like her more. Originally I thought she was sort of plastic, kind of a Kathy Lee Gifford clone. Boy was I wrong; this kid’s got soul, and passion in her music. Seeya next week, Angie.

Amber Holcomb, “I Believe in You and Me”, Whitney Houston

Now that I look, she even looks like a young Whitney, from back when she was just getting started. As impressive as she sounds now, keep in mind that she is years from really knowing what she’s doing. Whitney was born into music much like Michael Jackson was, as was Mariah. She was taught how to sing by her mother Cissy and her aunts Dionne Warwick and Aretha Frankin. Amber has some catching up to do when it comes to knowing when to just hold the dammed note instead of riffing, finding the emotional center of a song instead of just singing scales and runs, and in general having more of a commitment to what she’s singing. At this point she’s just a wild racehorse of a talent, in need of extensive focused finish work; but man, what a voice…

Kree Harrison, “Stronger”, Faith Hill

I’m not sure I remember that happening before, though I’m sure it has; when Kree hit her big note, they had to turn her mic down something like halfway to keep her from breaking the windows, then they forgot to turn it back up when she was back to normal volume. It gave the rest of her song sort of an anticlimactic feel. After last week I was worried a little that there was something wrong with her voice, since she didn’t sound like herself. She did tonight, on the first verse in particular. She has such a soaring, buttery sweet tone in her middle range; it’s not hard to see why the judges love her voice so much. Someone is going to have to start dressing her, though. This is Idol, not a demo session in a remodeled garage behind a gas station.

Adriana Latonio, “Stand Up for Love”, Destiny’s Child

Her last note was great, and most of the song sounded fine. She hit a few sour notes here and there, but not so bad as to call it a bad performance. Nobody has been bad tonight, really. I think her chances rest mostly on a push from her demographic group, and I doubt that it will be enough. She sings good, in a group that sings great.

Candice Glover, “Ordinary People”, John Legend

She’ll be back next week, the competition hasn’t started for her yet. For half the song I was just relaxing, being entertained, thinking that she could have a career like Dionne Warwick or someone like that, sort of pop/soul, that kind of thing…. then she started going for her upper runs. And she missed the first one. Then she missed another one. Then she missed a third one. After that she got it back and she was terrific again to the end, but….. I stopped thinking about Dionne Warwick – and I started thinking about Lil Rounds. Candice has been pimped so relentlessly, so pampered, so worshipped… what’s going to happen when she starts getting roasted for missing her runs, not sticking all her landings? Lil, when she got her first negative feedback, folded like a lawn chair. I have to believe Candice is a stronger person, better prepared for adversity (heroin addicts with daddy issues are better prepared for adversity than Lil Rounds was), so she might be ok. Still…. gotta nail those runs.

Safe to in Danger: 

Locks

  • Angela Miller
  • Candice Glover
  • Amber Holcomb

Nervous but hopeful

  • Kree Harrison
  • Janelle Arthur
  • Aubrey Cleland
  • Breanna Steer

Don’t forget your goodbye fruit basket

  • Tenna Torres
  • Adriana Latonio
  • Zoanette Johnson

My picks are the top three, Kree, and either Janelle or Breanna. I prefer Breanna personally, but you already knew that. Apparently (I don’t watch ’em, they give me hives) the judges pimped hard for Aubrey and Janelle, so we’ll see how that works out.

I don’t know if they are doing wild cards this year or not. So far they have been acting like they won’t be. If they do wild cards, expect to hear Zoanette get another chance (assuming she doesn’t get voted in). Guys tomorrow night; seeya then.