We are just one week away from the season 11 live shows, and the drama was ramped up with the setting of what appeared to be a pool of green plasma with the judges lounging by it, ready to throw in the unsuccessful acts.
Some people we lost early on in the show were Lauren Gray, River St. James and the annoying cowboy guy (Richie Law.) Heejun Han will be pleased!
It took 2 hours but we got 14 of our top 24, six guys and eight girls. So the people definitely singing for your votes next week are…..
Creighton Fraker – Cue weird backstory. Apparently, he is the adoptive son of a preacher who never really felt comfortable singing church music. He felt he was a rocker, and when he traced his birth father, whoooaaa – he was the lead singer of a heavy metal band from the ‘80s called Flotsam and Jetsam.
Creighton sang New York State of Mind surrounded by a molten lava moat to symbolize his birthright rock and roll spirit. Nice croakiness at the end. Emotional!
Joshua Ledet – another son of a preacher man. “Some days I look down, afraid I will fall,” he sang during Up To The Mountain. Yep, I woud be scared of falling in the plasma pools too. I love his shocked delight on getting through.
Reed Grimm – He cemented his place as the season 11 weirdo with his scat and drum-playing on It Don’t Mean a Thing. Randy gave him some straight talking, asking for him to showcase his vocals, not just his personality, so will he? Ryan Seacrest seemed excited that Reed got through; is Reed his favorite?
Heejun Han – We found out a lot about Heejun Han: he suffers from depression and works with special needs kids. Oh and he is sweating “mostly water.” Coming from Queens, Heejun could certainly put some feeling in to New York State of Mind.
Steven was very honest with him, telling him “You’re a better star than you are a singer, so we’re gonna put you through, pal,” so basically he is being selected for his personality and not his voice? Is that fair on Heejun? Is that fair on us?
Phil Phillips Jr. – he had struggled with forgetting some words during Hollywood Week, but his final solo of “Nice and Slow” was…well, that! Honestly I could not stop focusing on how often he lifted his left leg while singing — tic check! Seriously, that’s going to drive me crazy, which is a shame, since there’s really nothing wrong with his voice.
Colton Dixon – now being hailed an “Idol veteran,” was next through. The judges are really pushing that angle, which is annoying since he tried out once, failed, and is back for a second crack of the whip. And this time he brought his pet skunk to live in his hair. Oh and can we drop the sister act: he failed too. She’s gone. Colton’s through to the live finals.
Jen Hirsh – Of course Jen Hirsch got through after singing Baby I Love You. But more importantly, what did you think to Randy Jackson’s ominous attempt at getting her to calm down: “Relax. We’re your friends, kind of.” Seriously, never give counseling, Randy.
Haley Johnson – We didn’t get to see her solo, which was kind of annoying. But anyway, she must have been good because she got through. I just hopes she ditches the jingle-jangle jewelry before the live shows.
Elise Testone – She was growly and good on This Is a Man’s World. The judges LOVED her explanation of the feeling she gets when she sings – “After I’m done, for you, I feel like I’m going to explode,” she said, which sounds pretty
Erika Van Pelt – She didn’t do so well on Adele’s Don’t You Remember. Jennifer was subtitled as she muttered “I don’t like this for her,” and I didn’t either. It was more like karaoke. “We had a lot of people who didn’t do as amazing as we thought they were gonna do; unfortunately you were one of those people,” Jennifer said. But she got through.
Chelsea Sorrell – is a country singer who has been hidden away from us so far. She messed up big time on her solo, I Told You So but Steven Tyler let her start over.
“You know what, baby? Hold on, you sing so good,” he said.
It was left to him to flirt with her and tell her she was through.
Baylie Brown – she sang “Here Comes Goodbye” for her final solo and the start of this performance sounded way too breathless and shaky for me, but I like her. She is more of an American Idol veteran than Colton, having waited five years to return. Plus she didn’t do what he did and pretend she wasn’t there to audition anyway.
Jessica Sanchez – “My mom is unemployed because of my music career,” she said as stage school mom seems to take her daughter to one audition after another. Jessica has perfect pitch but her ever-present vibrato can grate a little. The producers are pushng her, showing us her entire solo on The Prayer and her whole group number, but she may turn out to be like Thia Megia, where her lack of personality showed through at the live stages.
Brielle Von Hugel – She “has the moxie of a star,” said Ryan Seacrest of this other stage school kid with the obnoxious mother. I so wanted to like Brielle on Killing Me Softly but I wanted to be put out of my misery. But Steven was hugely encouraging. “Big bites. You’re just eating this contest,” he told her.
With that, it was time for a snack as Steven had definitely made me hungry. But what do you think of the 14 Yeses? Anyone else disappointed that Lauren Gray and Neco Starr (what a fabulous name!) failed to get through?
Tune in tonight for the American Idol 2012 Top 24 Full Reveal.