American Idol – The second live show!

Were you sitting comfortably? We’ve been waiting for the next episode of [[American Idol (2009 Series)|American Idol]] to come around – fresh blood, fresh contestants, fresh put-downs from [[Simon Cowell|Monsieur Cowell]]. In this recap, we’ll have a run down of what the contestants sang, what we thought, and crucially, what the judges thought!

First up is Jasmine Murray with a version of Sarah Barielles’ Love Song which was woeful. A lovely looking girl, but sang a bit too low and lost the plot a bit. Randy: There were some good moments and some bad moments. I would have thought you’d have picked some Rihanna or something like that. Kara: You started really low, and that’s not where your regiater should be. I’m not sure honey. Paula: I want to disagree with what they’re saying, but I have to agree with what they’re saying. Simon: I’m kind of disappointed, because you’ve got the right look, the right attitude, but you just don’t have a good voice. I just don’t think you’re ready for this now.

The second singer of the evening is Matt Giraud, who will be taking on Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. I’m getting a poor man’s Justin Timberlake vibe from him. It’s the hair, definitely the hair. The vocals are …er… less than inspiring. Shit, they’re really weak. You’ve got to wonder how he got through boot camp to live shows. I’m sure it’s nerves, but it’s painful on the eyes and the ears. Kara: You blew me away in Hollywood week and tonight I’m just not blown away. That is not the kind of song you should be singing. You’re a really good singer and I’m not sure that showed the best side of you. Paula: It was a risky song to pick. You’re soulful and you’re really trying to instill that into a rock song. I don’t know if it was the right song to pick. Simon: It was verging on a horrible performance. It wasn’t just the fact that the song was so bad, but you turned from someone cool at the piano singing Ray Charles to a wannabe pop star. It’s kind of put me off you. Randy: I’m still rooting for you, because you’re one of my favourites. You got mad talents.

Our next contestant is 27 year old Jeanine Vailes singing her version of Maroon 5’s This Love. Another weak start singing a bit low. You can hear the shaking in her voice. Looks cute though, if a teeny bit skinny. Yours truly wants the standard of singing to improve. Simon: I thought it was terrible. I don’t know what’s going wrong tonight, you’re all choosing the wrong songs. Randy: I love Maroon 5, but the best part of the song was the end, because it was over. Kara: It was so overdone. Everything about it was wrong, really.

There’s renewed hope on the horizon with Nick Mitchell aka Norman Gentle, singing er…I don’t know. Sounds really like he’s making it up as he goes along. But he’s fucking hilarious. Paise Allah! Wacky and offbeat and a strangely good singer (we already knew that). Simon: I pray you do not go through to the next round. One of the most attrocious performances we’ve ever had at this stage of the competition. (Nick replies – It takes one to know one, sassy pants!) Randy: Dude, that was funny though. Kara: At least we remember him. You wear the same shirt, like Simon every week. You’re not a terrible singer. I don’t see you in the music market, but I loved you tonight. Paula: Sometimes you’re paying homage to Olivia Newton John and sometimes Jerry Lewis. I don’t know if this is the stage for you, but you’re fun, you’re memorable.

16 year old Allison Iraheta must follow the force of nature that was Norman Gentle. She’s planning on singing Alone by Heart. Power ballad time, yeah! She’s getting it right vocally, great rock voice, very faithful to the original. Love the little guitar bit before the end. Randy: You just blew it out of the box right then. Don’t matter what age you are – 16 and she blew it out of the box. Kara: You donit even know how good you are. You’re great. You have serious chops. With the right song, you could have a big hit on the radio. Paula: To be 16 and to work the microphone the way you do. Simon: You’re the best tonight by a clear mile. It’s like the competition just started right now. You were so boring upstairs with Ryan, then you started singing and turned into a completely different person.

Kris Allen is taking on another Michael Jackson song. It didn’t work for another contestant last week, but will his Man In The Mirror convince the public? It’s a slightly tame version to be honest, but he’s getting the notes right, in contrast to many of the others! He’s got a very polished look, too. Good singing. Kara: The back half of that performance was better than the front. It still doesn’t come anywhere close to what you did during Hollywood week. It was the wrong song and I do not see you doing this. Paula: I’m going to disagree completely. I think that you showed your ability completely. You nailed it, and I thought you were charming up there. Simon: I’m going to agree with Paula.What you did tonight was at least what we asked – you showed some confidence and personality. It’s very easy to forget somebody like you, but you may have put yourself back in the running. Randy: I’m going to partly agree with Simon. Every time I see you I think ‘can he do it without the guitar’. I’m proud of you for having the confidence to do that.

The next singer is Megan Joy Corkrey singing Corrine Bailey Rae (remember her?) Put Your Record On. Nice tats, by the way. Oh, I like this girl. In every sense. She’s sexy, good singer and lovely vibe about her. Paula: You picked the right song, you’re just beautiful to look at. You’re interesting, you’re relevant. You did everything right. Simon: You’re a funny little thing, aren’t you. I think you got over excited and oversang the second part of the song. I hope that American votes for you, because you do stand out. I just wish the vocals were a little bit better tonight. Randy: You’re got that Duffy, Adele and Amy Winehouse type of thing. I love the tone of your voice. Kara: You’re what we call package artist. You stand out, you’re unique, and with the right song, you could be a big hit on the radio. You could be very viable in this market.

Matt Breitzke is our next contestant, singing Tonic’s If You Could Only See…whatever that is. This big bald guy is an imposing presence on the stage, but he sings quite clearly, the voice is good, but not as strong as I expected it to be. Appearances can be irritatingly deceptive, can’t they? I’m lukewarm on this one. Simon: I really like you. I absolutely hated that song. If I’d known you were going to choose a song like that I’d have talked you out of it. I’m really sorry, because you were one of the few that I remembered. Randy: The performance was so boring, it didn’t show you to be the great Matt we saw in Hollywood. You needed something a bit more exciting for me. You need a little bit more edge, more energy there. Kara: We all like you Matt, but it didn’t show us any side of you. The thing is, you can sing too, and that’s what was most disappointing. Paula: You have a real good voice. The song did not celebrate who we fell in love with.

Jesse Langseth, single mom, is up next. She pulls the “I hate being away from my kid” line. Which never holds water, because international singing stars never get to spend much time with their sproglings on account of being really busy all the time. She’s singing Bette Davies Eyes, with some degree of nerves affecting her voice. It’s good, but there are already stronger vocal performers in the competition tonight. Randy: I thought it was OK of a performance, the song was cool. But in this round right now, everyone here should blow us out of the box. It was OK, but it wasn’t really exciting. Kara: This is definitely your best look. You took some risks tonight that you didn’t take throughout the auditions. Paula: I found you captivating, throughout the audition, throughout the Hollywood week. You’re cool, you have an indentifiable sound about you. Simon: This is actually where I disagree with Paula, because I think you’re forgettable. You’ve actually got quite a nice voice, but I don’t see why anyone’s going to jump on the bandwagon and vote for you.

Now, third from last is Kai Kalama singing that old Robson and Jerome classic What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted, which is actually an all-time favourite of Simon’s. I like this guy, he’s got a funky look and a fantastic voice, really smooth. Some nice soulful backing vocals too. Kara: I just like you, you’re a really good guy. You had some putch issues, but you went out there and you gave it your all. The song was a little old fashioned for me. Paula: We can tell that you love the throwback songs. You were quite the performer, and you’re got the chops to really do well in this business. Simon: I’ve heard so many performances like that in competitions like this over the years. There was nothing distinct, nothing really memorable about the performance. Randy: It was so safe. You’re a cool guy, but a really safe performance. Not really what I’m looking for.

Mishavonna Henson, an 18 year old is up next. She’s singing the brilliant Drops Of Jupiter. Good song choice? It’s a somewhat laid back delivery, but we’re liking it in my living room. Paula: You know I’m a fan of your voice, but it just didn’t excite me. Simon: Where we’re having a slight issue here is it sort of sums up you in that you’re quite serious. You act like a 50 year old. Randy: I think the song is cool. You feel so much older, and you’re 18. I’m not sure I like the fact of a solo singer singing band songs. Kara: I want you to loosen up a little bit. You’re a good singer too. But we’re having a question of where do you fit in the music industry?

Closing the show is Adam Lambert. From L.A. The dude with the emo hair looks confident. And he’s playing last – just as [[Danny Gokey]] did last week. What’s with the lip-licking? And the sneer? And why am I thinking of Pete Wentz right now? Still, unlike 70% of the other singers tonight, Lambert is charismatic and memorable, which his male peers have suffered from tonight. Strong performance. Paula: I don’t even have words to express how much that I think I’m not watching American Idol, like I’m watching an Adam Lambert concert. You’re in a league of your own. Simon: I’m finding this one difficult. Parts were excruciatingly bad and parts were brilliant. This is going to be one of those love it or hate it performances. Randy: I loved it! You’re one of the most current artists we’ve had on this show. (He drops in a Fall Out Boy comparison) Kara: Your vocal technique and ability is outrageous. WHo has a range like that? That’s some crazy stuff he’s singing.

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