My thoughts on the boys’ first performances in American Idol 2012.
Let’s just say I wasn’t very impressed.
1. Reed Grimm – Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera)
He’s the one who decided ringing his Mom was more important than listening to his vocal coach an hour before his performance.
HATED HATED HATED what he did to the song, turning it into a horrid, jazzy borefest. Those moves were certainly those of a pensioner, but not Mick Jagger. The vocals were adequate, but far from anything extraordinary.
2. Adam Brock – Think (Aretha Franklin)
He’s the one who describes himself as “white chocolate”. I guess you are what you eat.
He coped surprisingly well with the vocals, as those are some enormous heels to fill. But his performance wasn’t as much diva sass as it was constipated flamingo. I’m sure he felt fierce, but it was more of a tut. Loved that his blatant attempts at a crowd-pleasing shout-out for his hometown hung out there with absolutely no response.
3. Deandre Brackensick – Reasons (Earth, Wind and Fire)
He’s the guy with the long blonde curls.
When it comes to falsetto, less is more and this was definitely a case of more is less. But he has the talent, a distinctive look, and the beginnings of some serious stage presence. There’s some work to do, but I’m predicting some big things.
4. Colton Dixon – Decode (Paramore)
He’s the guy who unwittingly upstaged his sister’s audition, making it through when she didn’t.
Bit of a nothing song, but he performed like it was the grand final. Piano, stage presence, ad libs, good vocal range. Another one to watch. Even if he does remind me of Aiden Grimshaw.
5. Jeremy Rosado – Gravity (Sara Bareilles)
He’s the one who… Actually I don’t remember him, and don’t see any reason why I should have. He’s a bit like a grown-up Manny from Modern Family.
Never has such a moving, beautiful song been performed so blandly. He just about hit the notes, but it was easily the worst so far. He seemed far too pleased with himself to sell the story, but somehow the judges loved it (as they have EVERY performance so far). I’m starting to miss Simon Cowell.
6. Aaron Marcellus – Never Can Say Goodbye (The Jackson 5)
He’s the black guy with the trilby and glasses.
The perfect example of less is more, keeping the melisma and falsetto to a minimum, as and when required. The laid-back jazzy vibe is not my thing, and his performance didn’t exactly grab me, but I can’t deny those vocals were pretty spectacular, prompting the first standing ovation from the judges.
7. Chase Liken – Storm Warning (Hunter Hayes)
He’s the Country boy who manages to look both fresh-faced and about ten years older than he is. Reminds me a bit of Goran Visnjic, though Steven Tyler suggested Brendan Fraser.
I guess it did what country does. Blandly competent, but his voice lacks that distinctive country twang Scotty had last year. Very… meh. I’ve literally forgotten it already.
8. Creighton Fraker – True Colors (Cyndi Lauper)
He’s the wacky one. [Rolls eyes]. I’m always too distracted by his unintentionally stupid hair.
He has the vocals, no question. But he completely missed the emotion because he was too pleased with himself. That song can be devastating when done right, and I felt nothing. Other than the desire to punch his smug, self-satisfied face. Yuck. But good. I guess.
9. Phillip Phillips – In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins)
He’s the other country one; looks a bit like Chris Martin.
The arrangement made the song unrecognisable, which may be a good thing, depending on your point of view. There’s “making a song your own” and then there’s playing a 45 at 33 (ask your dad.) Disappointing, but there’s a distinctive growl in his voice that has some potential. If he does a dirge like this again, he can go.
Wow, Ryan discovers Phillip’s dad is proud. There’s a shocker that was not a complete waste of anybody’s time.
10. Eben Franckewitz – Set Fire To The Rain (Adele)
He’s the white teenager that looks 8. (As opposed to the black teenager that looks 8. He didn’t make it.)
A powerhouse of a song, but Eben delivered a performance with all the power of a damp match. Great song, bad song choice. The low key was around the limit of his range, but it turns out he wasn’t saving his voice for the big bits either. The judges clearly thought it was crap, but didn’t want to say so.
11. Heejun Han – Angels (Robbie Williams)
He’s the Asian guy.
Given that Americans pretty much only know the horrid Jessica Simpson version, he did well. He lacked the gravitas Robbie gives the song, but it still sounded very good. There’s something about Heejun’s bitter demeanour and deadpan expression that I simply adore.
12. Joshua Ledet – You Pulled Me Through (Jennifer Hudson)
He’s the one who looks like a cross between Will Smith and Pob.
Probably the best vocals so far, there’s the slightest hint of Al Green in his voice. He was verging on overdoing it, but it worked.
13. Jermaine Jones – Dance With My Father (Luther Vandross)
He’s the tall one with the short dreads and insanely deep voice. He didn’t get through, but has been called back as the wildcard.
I wasn’t a fan in his auditions, but he may well win me over. I love that he opted for telling the song’s story over showboating his vocals.
RESULTS – Please see the following post,