Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
The most important question raised tonight is whether Ben Mulroney truly feels that Tuesday nights are somehow less formal than Mondays and therefore that his super-square dark jeans and white sneakers look is justified.
Unsurprisingly, tonight's standout performances come from Sebastian, Amberly and Theo, with everyone else turning in reasonably solid work in their own right. Even, I guess, Omar.
I better just get this out of the way right off the top and attempt to tell you about Sebastian's inimitable version of Amanda Marshall's "Dark Horse." I can't objectively judge anything this guy does, because I'm permanently stuck somewhere between *flail* and *melt* when it comes to him, but I'll do my best here. The long and short of it is that it's pretty much amazing, even if I shut my inner fangirl off for a moment. He sings the first verse sitting down on the stage, and there's something about his mannerisms that's lazy and nervous and confident and intense all at the same time – and don't tell me you didn't want to be that mic stand. The judges love it, though they spend an awful lot of time talking about how he can't sing at all yet manages to use this to his advantage, and I have to disagree with the smackdown they're laying on his vocal abilities. No, he's no Oliver, but is Oliver really even an Oliver with what he pulled last night? I think Sebastian is actually a pretty strong singer – his style just leans toward the unpolished and raw. It's not about note-perfection; it's about the emotion behind what he's singing. And it's about the dead sexy eyes. I'd also like to say, from a purely aesthetic point of view, that the pants were a bad choice. Seb, hon, you should call me. I'd never let you do yourself such a disservice.
Amberly may have had the performance of the night with a sweet and near-perfect rendition of Norah Jones's "What Am I To You," all bare feet and guitar strumming and pretty lavender dress. She's super cute, and everyone totally loves her.
Theo's "Apologize" (OneRepublic) is the judges' favourite of the night, and while I like it, he has the unfortunate position of singing right after Sebastian, so I'm still reeling from that. Theo's performance lacks a great impact moment, and the key is too low for the low parts (Sass asks him if he chose it based on the falsetto part, and he confirms). There's no denying his passion and talent, though – I just wanted more from him, a moment to really suck me in. Though I did appreciate that he picked a song from this millennium that isn't by Amy Winehouse, and that he played the piano.
Speaking of songs by Amy Winehouse, Marie-Pierre has chosen "You Know I'm No Good" for tonight, like way to steal Tetiana's audition song and show her up by not singing "Baltimore" instead of "Roger Moore." It's good, and her vocals are strong, but I'm kind of bored by it. The judges liked it but thought it was a little too polished and professional and lacked some oomph, if you will. I'm quite impressed by Marie-Pierre's arm definition.
Since I already mentioned him, I should tell you about Omar's performance of "Every Breath You Take" (The Police), which I either completely don't get or simply isn't as great as the judges think it is. His singing isn't strong enough for what he's trying to do, and I'm so distracted by his runs and how he can't find the key. Don't worry, I even sound to myself like I've got a double standard on the issue, but it just works on some people and not on others. Omar bugs me through-and-through, so anything he doesn't do well is magnified tenfold. I mean, he calls Ben "homie." Unironically. He comes across to me as pretentious and overly desperate, and frankly the whole thing bores me.
Jesse, randomly and kind of awesomely, does "Rebel Yell," which in my world is by Toby Rand (don't worry if you don't know who that is; you're probably better off for it), but really is a Billy Idol song. His hair looks marginally better – less with the wings and more with the Richie Sambora – and his singing is strong. Strangely, I buy his brand of "rock" more than Gary's, I think because Jesse knows his niche is solidly in pop-rock and he's playing to his audience. I can respect that. I'm sure he'll be around for awhile, because emo-teens across the country are sure to find him cute and appreciate his style. I want to see him try a ballad next week and melt little hearts from coast to coast.
Mark Day does Heart's "Alone," and it's fine except for the wink, though not as strong vocally as I expected from him – it's not that it's pitchy, per se, but it sounds like he lost the key from time to time, which I think is an issue with his ear more than his voice.
Shaun does a kind of cool arrangement of Coldplay's "Yellow" that I find myself enjoying despite being completely torn on the issue of Shaun as a whole. I don't want to like him, but I keep finding myself sucked in by his performances.
Someone I'm not so torn on is Adam. I straight up don't like him. He talks so much, and his accent is so grating, and I'm just really tired of him already. He certainly isn't winning me over with his song choice tonight, Ray Charles' "Mess Around." The band really seems to be loving it though, and there are certainly some fun things going on musically, but it's completely irrelevant in the context of this show and anything Adam seems to stand for. It's just weird, kind of like Mookie's choice of "Twist and Shout" was weird last night – the only difference is that Mookie's cool enough that it doesn't matter. Adam, on the other hand... Well, the judges disagree with me, and Zack even implies that Adam did better with the concept than Mookie did.
To the girls now, Jessica wins the Bad Song Choice of the Night Award for Oleta Adams's "Get Here," which wasn't cool when Justin Guarini did it on Season 1 of American Idol, and isn't cool now. Granted, she sings the heck out of it, and I think I really like her dress (or maybe I really hate it; I'm too bored by the song to care enough to make a decision), but... "Get Here." Why?
Lindsay Robins blows me away with "River Deep, Mountain High" by Tina Turner. She has got a lot of power in that tiny little body, and even though there are definitely some shrieky parts when she gets up high, she totally rocks it out and has a ball on stage, which I can always get behind.
The last performance of the night comes from "Katelyn Dawn," who has yet to do anything spectacular enough to lose the quotes. Indeed, tonight she's chosen "Hallelujah," because I guess it hasn't been covered enough times or done enough on Idol shows yet. (As an example, Wikipedia lists over one hundred cover versions.) She does something funny with the melody in the chorus that may or may not be blatant thievery of some version of this song I've yet to hear (and in attempting to figure this out, I got sucked into a YouTube vortex, so thanks for that, KD). It's fine, I guess, but I'm so very, very over this song that I don't care. I wish I wasn't over it, because it's a wonderful song. Ben wants you to know Katelyn has long legs.
I think Omar, Jessica, Katherine and Lindsay Barr could be toast, but it's hard to say without any way to know yet how Canada's voting this year, or whether it's two going from each night or four from both combined. And how about you? Any predictions for Bottom 4?
Katherine? Really? But she's so good!
The internet folk seem pretty invested in the Pigott brothers, but if we're voting solely based on this week's performances, I think Oliver should probably start packing his bags. I'm with you on both Lindsay Barr and Omar, and considering I don't even remember seeing Jessica perform, I could say goodbye to her without shedding any tears. Though Adam may be toast, too, if enough people were as annoyed by him tonight as I was.
Katherine was awesome, but I've never seen singers of her ilk inspire the masses to pick up their telephones and dial. She has the regional difficulties as well, as Quebecer Idol contestants never seem to do all that well (Eva Avila being the obvious exception).
Oliver's not going anywhere. And I would LOVE for Adam to be gone. He exhausts me.
Here is a jumble of thoughts:
I had no idea "Alone" wasn't a Celine original. I LOVE Theo. I thought he did really well. I didn't think Omar did a very good job, and that is not just my general dislike of him speaking. I also find Adam extremely annoying and thought his song seemed very unlike what I thought he would be about. I also dislike Shaun about as much as I dislike Adam. I really liked Katherine (I had no idea she was so young) and I always feel bad for Quebecer Idol contestants b/c a large chunk of their province don't get to see them (I think why they usually lack that home support), so I voted for her quite a bit.
Wait, some of Quebec doesn't get the show? What? I need these details!
I don't think Celine has ever even done "Alone," has she? Also, I have a friend who totally loathed Theo's performance (see the comments on my Fbook wall). I'm somewhere in the middle on it.
Oh Celine has done it. On her most recent cd.
Here is what I think I know about Quebec. Quebec gets french CTV the way we get English CTV and so I think they only get Idol if they have a dish or cable or something (which probably most people have, but not everyone). I think they mentioned this in first season. I seem to recall a story about Ben's parents having to go to the basement to watch him on tv b/c that is where their dish is.
So Idol doesn't air on French CTV at all? That's appalling.
That is my understanding from a few years ago. I really don't know for sure. Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.