After a quick look at the new set (looking good!) it was down to business with the boys.
First up was Reed Grimm singing Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5. I’m, not sure he has the moves but he certainly had the voice. “Great choice!” said Randy. He compared him to Casey Abrams from last season. Jennifer thought it was “jazzy, musical and a good way to start the show.” Steven loved it and thought a whole new generation would be watching. (Because of Reed? I don’t get that.) But with a seductive look in his eyes and his own spin on the song, he stood out.
Up next was Adam Brock singing Think by Aretha Franklin. He avoided death by a diva’s song in fine style. Steven called it “beautiful and brilliant!” and Jennifer agreed that he delivered, especially at the end. Randy pointed out the Pittsburgh pride (He was wearing a Steelers towel) andR said it was a job well done. Before this performance I struggled to imagine anyone but Aretha doing this song justice. Now it’s Aretha and Adam.
Deandre Brakensick followed with Reason by Earth, Wind and Fire. Jennifer loved everything about it and she said she was glad he made the cut this time. Steven also praised his song choice. Randy says he has it all. He thoroughly deserved his standing ovation and well done Deandre for interacting so well with the audience on the first live show. Nice range, too!
Colton Dixon sang Decode by Paramore next. I admit I don’t know the song so I came to it fresh and I, like the judges, liked that Colton brought a new indie rock vibe. Jennifer said she felt his heart when he performed and she was excited for America to see what a relevant artist he is. The guy certainly has passion.
Jeremy Rosado was up next with Gravity by Sara Bareilles. All I can say is “wow!” I wonder why Steven could only think to mention Jeremy’s “big heart” rather tan that amazing singing, but he did say Jeremy “should be America’s idol.” On the first live show. Squeeee! Jennifer is sure we are going to see and hear more of him and it would be a crime if we don’t. Randy said his voice was “pure velvet” and that Jeremy and America need each other.
So Aaron Marcellus had a tough act to follow and he did a good job of that with Never Can Say Goodbye by Jackson 5. I think I’m just tired of the song, rather than Aaron. Randy raved about the “crazy” ending and Jennifer said “boy can sing, end of story.” According to Steven, Aaron is “the whole package.” He has a great range and he certainly has soul. I am really looking forward to Aaron singing a more contemporary song.
Chase Likens blew me away with his version of Storm Warning by Hunter Hayes. Steven loved him too and maybe Jennifer did too as she said “he showed America who he is tonight.” Think it’s a bit early to say that, as we don’t know what kind of style Chase will really go for, but if he goes for this, I’m buying his album! That’s all I’m saying. Oh, and I better let you know that Randy was also impressed, saying “he has skills, range, he is good looking, he is ready!” Loving the Garth Brooks and James Dean morphing!
Creighton Fraker had the unfortunate job of competing a little with his backing singers on True Colors by Cyndi Lauper. And I know I am going to contradict my earlier comments here by saying I love this old song. Jennifer thought it was “beautiful” but I just wonder if the judges were setting Creighton up for early rejection. Did they think he didn’t match up to the earlier singers, because while Steven said “he took the song and took it over the top,” Randy for the first time mentioned “it is going to be crazy when it comes to choosing, but this guy can sing!”
Phillip Phillips sang live next for America’s votes. We went back to some amazing memories for me with In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins and for the first time I saw what Jennifer saw: “he is one of the most special talents they have found this season.” Steven complimented Phillip’s “crazy kind of voice” and brought me back a little toward thinking what I usually think about Phillip and I was in agreement with Randy in that “the reharm did not make me jump up and down.” He loved everything else though. This was smooth and sexy and I liked the guitar. Nice touch.
Eben Frankenwitz split the judges and me a little with his take on Set Fire To The Rain by Adele. Randy said he was “mad young, mad cool and while it wasn’t all perfect he collected himself and got it together.” Jennifer made even more of how Eben “seemed to get lost in the middle” but she was impressed with how he held on. But Steven had nothing but praise for Eben’s “true, straight, beautiful voice.” I love Steven, don’t you? For once I seemed to be listening to the same singer as him. I thought Eben’s performance was stunning.
Heejun Han for some bizarre reason I cannot fathom sang Angels by Robbie Williams. And condemned it to karaoke hell. Jennifer still loves Heejun with his “voice as smooth as silk” but said this song did not show it off as much. It certainly didn’t. But then let’s face it, it didn’t really show off Robbie Williams’ voice, either! Steven and Randy agreed this was not the right song for Heejun. I think Heejun could be in trouble here.
Joshua Ledet stunned the judges with You Pulled Me Through by Jennifer Hudson. Randy loved him and said this is what singing is about. Jennifer raved about how amazing he was. “This is the voice America is waiting to hear,” Steven said. Well, he was rather gorgeous.
And the “surprise” thirteenth act was Jermaine Jones! After talking to Randy, he performs Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross. This song always makes me cry. It’s just beautiful, and I was left wondering how in the world Jermaine didn’t make it through anyway. On this performance, he’d be a good tip for Idol campion, I think. Jennifer remarked upon his “special voice and a special spirit” and Steven said how it was “a beautiful thing and he is glad he is back.” So am I, now, but can we please rein in the backing singers? If they want to go for American Idol they can try out next year. Until then, please let the contestants shine through!
What did you think to last night’s American Idol performances? I thought there were some incredible performances: as strong as any season opener we’ve ever had. I can’t wait to hear the girls sing tonight!