Having missed last week's dramatic announcements of the top 31, I was unaware of this week's schedule change but miraculously seated myself on my broken down couch at 7:10 just in time to see the end of what appeared to be a showcase of Randy in his new role as mentor. He seemed to be just as inspirational as a mentor as he was as a judge but maybe they couldn't reach an amicable deal with him on remaining contract obligations? At least they brought in real people, Daughtry and Lambert, to do the actual mentoring as opposed to saying *give it your all*. Although some of the contestants' conversations with Randy were revealing.
So, I'm gathering that the top 15 women, after rush week, have been pared down to the ten ladies we will hear tonight. It also appears they have changed the voting rules allowing only a total of 150 votes using each method. They also changed the phone number after 12 years and even after 10 contestants, I'm not sure I have it down right.
A few general comments. What is it with these girls having stage names when they haven't been on a stage before? Majesty Rose, Jena Irene, and Bria Anai (Johnson). Shades of Lauren Alaina (who lost her real last name, Suddeth, somewhere on the road from Georgia to Hollywood with the assistance of her stage mom) and that is not one I prefer anyone to emulate. So, these contestants are coming on with one strike from me already.
Since I normally love the women/girls performances more than the boys, I was hoping for some emotional inspiration tonight. Sadly, it was sorely lacking with one or two minor exceptions. I'm going to go first with the ones I hope make the top 10/13 in no particular order.
Briana Oakley's was the first performance that moved me one little bit. She says she is somewhat of a perfectionist and the coaches said she needed to loosen up. She sang Warrior and I thought it was very good. The judges were not so impressed. I think the judges were crazy on this one. I loved her voice, I loved the high notes that Harry cautioned her against relying on so heavily (not all of them were huge high notes, some were subdued) and while I really wasn't very familiar with the song, I felt something from her. I'm afraid she is going to be lost in the shuffle though because she didn't get raves from the judges and because of the order in which she sang.
I waited a long time for them to call Jessica Muese's name and I watched her in the intervals and she was having a hard time being happy. I think she sensed doom as all the pretty young thing's names were called before her. But I loved her country song and twang and wanted the song to go on for awhile. I'm hoping country fans will vote her through and maybe her semi-emotional response at the end will get her some votes. She is interesting to me. I think she is an original.
I did not really remember MK Nobilette until she started singing and then I did. As she said last week, she is obviously gay and has obviously gay mothers. She moves me. I like that she is not over the top and I know she moved the audience. I'm thinking she ought to be a shoe-in for the top 10 but if she isn't, she will be a wild card. And rightfully so. And it doesn't hurt that she is really truly a beauty. I would have killed for that skin when I was her age.
I loved Malaya the tuba player in her auditions because she is just so dorky. Doesn't hurt that way back in the day when my grade school talked about having a band and giving band lessons I wanted to play the tuba myself. I never got the tuba and as I recall the whole band idea fizzled out from either lack of interest or lack of funds. Her rendition of Ray Charles' Hard Times was over the top but to me, it was over the top in a good genuine way as opposed to some other over the top performances I will get to shortly.
To me the rest of the performers were just also ran and fodder but sadly, I think some of them will impress the voters enough to be in the top 5.
Majesty Rose seems like a sweet girl. JLo clearly loves her (it helps she is not too pretty...JLo does not like any challengers to her fairest in the land image). I was not familiar with the song and it was just sort of so so to me. At least she didn't do a bunch of excessive showy runs and she does not strike me as a diva wanna bee so I'm ok with her.
Christen O'Connor is obviously a good person because she is a nurse but to me she is just another pretty girl with a pretty voice and awesome hair extensions. Her cover of Turn the Tables by Adele got more praise from the the judges than I thought it deserved. This song SHOULD have made me cry. It did not. I don't dislike her but I will be disappointed if she makes it past this round instead of one of my favorites.
Jena Irene got decent reviews from the judges but I thought her performance of Paint It Black was a HOT MESS! She sang it too fast it seemed to me and she had no friggin idea what the song was about other than *darkness*. If Mick Jagger had a grave he would be turning in it and I know Siobahn Magnus from Season 9 was cringing. I really do NOT get the judges fascination with her and while JLo thought she was sultry, I just thought her demeanor was trashy. Plus, she looked like she needed a shower.
Bria Anai (Johnson) has been on my hit list since her audition with her horrible stage mother. Bria is in love with herself and her talent and already thinks she can go toe to toe with Rihanna and Beyonce. When Randy asked her what she hoped to get out of the extensive musical and performance coaching they were offering her during rush week, her response was that she wanted to work on her styling..or more truthfully...she wanted the show's stylists to tell her how perfect her style is...sparkly lips and all. She also stated she wanted this experience to *confirm the artist that I am*. I would like to confirm her one-way ticket back home. But she confirmed her own brattiness when she got a sour displeased look on her face at Harry's criticism of her shouting over the top performance. (She thought it was a home run standing ovation worthy work of genius). If she lasts very long I will be calling her Borea. If that sounds a bit like diarrhea, well that is simply a coincidence. I have no idea what she sang because I was hating every note.
The producers chose to follow Borea with her nemesis Marielle who got the Lauren Alaina treatment at the auditions (you ARE the next American Idol). I was shocked with Harry and Keith did not go gaga over her Gaga/Miley inspired performance of Katy Perry's Roar. Or maybe it was a Katy Perry inspired performance. Either way it was derivative right down to the bare midriff, red high heels that broke (or she fell over) and semi-twerking. Keith was right to call it Karaoke. She may be in trouble, particularly after Borea's histrionics which usually impress the voters and I think they will divide the diva wanna bees' fan base.
And what was with Emily Piriz? I didn't see her Hollywood performance that the judges loved so much. But what a stupid stupid girl she was to sing the song that Harry said was too old for her and try to sex it up and rock it up. Clearly it is not who she is if she had to practice it in front of a mirror and Keith pointed that out. And it is a stupid stupid song to begin with. I bet it even sounded stupid when Grace Potter (whoever she is) sang it. She is going down I think.
As for Neco and Ben and the vote off....I didn't really care except Ben still needs to take that stupid hat off so we can see his face.
I'm obsessing over the word stupid tonight I guess...must be my 4 year old self surfacing.