American Idol Top 15 Girls: Circle everyone’s fat, because it’s Rush Week!
There’s no point in getting hysterical over last night’s results. Those hysterics are better for instant reaction and a day later, are as useful as Randy’s Boot Camp (boom, roasted).
Failure is probably the best word to describe the new format, mainly because Idol is continuing the trend of not including people and not telling fans of the singers and the show why they weren’t allowed to perform. Is anyone else dying to know why Jillian Jensen didn’t get a shot (cough, X-Factor, cough)? Or why straight-out-of-a-Gap-ad-or-whatever-clothes-teens-wear-nowadays-ad Kenzie Hall didn’t perform? After the dismal performance from Marrialle Sellars – which floored me, btw; thought the song choice was great, but I was shocked she did it so poorly. She was growing on me but shouldn’t get voted in; however, she’ll be a wild card lock for sure – how could the judges have not seen that coming?
To pick a final 15 and not give five a chance to sing was tough. It’d be a little easier to handle if they said “Jena was better than Emily and Emily was just better than Jillian during boot camp and we only had room for two piano players, so Jillian got canned.” See, closure.
This is a competition show and we need to know why, in the non-voting portion of the show, singers are getting through as opposed to others. Put a weekly ranking on the website. I would have loved to see how they ranked the girls, because the 10 best performers did not perform last night.
Nothing you can do about it now. The show hasn’t really explained much, so I’m curious if the five eliminated contestants are eligible for one of the three wild card spots or if they’re gone gone (I’ll hope one of my twitter followers will fill me in).
But enough about what we didn’t get from last night’s show.
Here’s what I don’t think the contestants get: if you’re in a do-or-die situation, you have to bring your A selection. Whatever song they sang last night should be the same song they would sing in the Final Three. And none of those were worthy of that. You save the safe performances after you size up your competition and realize you don’t need to take a crazy risk to get to the next week. The Top 13 is about survival; getting from the Top 10 Girls to the Top 5 Girls is about competition and that edge just wasn’t there. Perhaps we can blame the spiritual advisers. Friggin’ hippies.
Let’s get into what we did get from the Top 10 Girls.
1) Majesty Rose
Song: “Happy,” Pharrell
Going first was probably not the best thing that could have happened to Majesty. She’s doesn’t have that outgoing personality or a booming pop voice, at least from what we’ve seen, and leading off the show with a song that didn’t have a chance to show off her musical talents (most of Pharrell’s songs/beats are computer generated noise that rarely translates to acoustic instruments). I don’t see her as a bubblegum pop princess; to me she’s more of a Colbie Calliat. Her voice is soft, her look is intriguing and seeing her parade around stage made me wonder if she was pandering to the audience or if that’s who she is. I’m rooting for her to get through, but with a such a safe performance and leading off the show, the odds are stacked against her.
2) Kristin O’Conner
Song: “Turning Tables,” Adele
The pretty white soloist was obviously getting chosen. She’s always on the show, but this wasn’t a forced selection. Adele isn’t exactly my music, but KO – and I love the coincidence that the hot white soloist’s initials are knockout, because she is one – executed it well. It helped it wasn’t one of the songstresses monster hits (and by monster I mean “Something a guy who doesn’t listen to the radio would know”) and she managed to sound good doing it. And don’t take my word for it – take Daughtry, who when he’s not looking like Tom Hanks at the end of Philadelphia, said KO’s voice gave him chills, which is guy code for he wanted to bang. I don’t like the pretty white soloists because they inevitably end up doing Celine and Adele and straight up covers and that’s not why I like Idol. My opinion doesn’t hide the fact that KO was good and she deserves a spot in the Top 5.
3) Briana Oakley
Song: “The Warrior,” Demi Lovato
This was another no-doubt choice, but not because of talent – she’s in because the judges are enthralled by her. My problem with her choice came to light once all the Top 10 choices were out; there’s no denying Briana, Bria Anai (who should go by Briana I just to start a feud), and Malaya have a similar sound. Based on what we’ve seen even before last night, you’re ranking them Bria, Malaya and Briana, which means Briana has no shot of winning, so why even bother including her? On the off chance she upsets one of the other two? I hated the song choice – she would have been better singing “The Warrior” by Scandal – and it drives me crazy that she looks more like Tia or Tamara and not like Irene Cara, as the Urbanator suggested. Her performance wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good.
Gina Geena Jena Asciutto
Song: “Paint it Black,” The Rolling Stones
It was surprising to see Jena get into the Top 10 because she doesn’t really have a genre, doesn’t really have a look (or at least look like one of the JBAS) and isn’t super marketable. Girl can sing and she knows music (You can usually tell who does and who doesn’t based on who picks crap-ass factory-made pop songs and who finds things that are listenable and versatile enough to survive played in all sorts of arrangements). Her version of the Stones’ classic was OK. She got off to a rocky start but picked it up at the end, but I think she’s in trouble because Connick was being a straight dickhead asking her what it meant. Hey Harry, who cares. People don’t listen to the words or care what they mean. Doesn’t he even know who Max Martin is? (PS He’s the dude who writes every No. 1 hit on the planet). The lyrics mean next to nothing on this show, so if Harry could keep his mouth shut about lyrics and meaning, that would be awesome. Jena should get in, but I see her getting left out and picking up a wild card spot.
5) Bria Anai Johnson
Song: “Wrong Side of Love,” Melanie Fiona
If that was a bad performance, you might as well send Bria right to the final four. Allegedly, she was a little “shouty,” but it sounded all right on this end. If there’s a song I haven’t heard and I like the way the contestant sings it, that usually bodes well. I’m amazed at how I’ve turned on Bria; when I first saw her I thought she was going to be a joke. Just another mediocre voice with a mom who’s never told her that she wasn’t anything but Whitney-esque. Plus the lipstick? She was a diva disaster waiting to happen. I’m still not sold that her mom’s not a little cray cray – Bria has tweeted me otherwise – but she can do no wrong in my eyes. She’s not your typical diva and while I’m not a fan of the lipstick – you know it’s out of control when “Bria’s Lips” have a twitter feed – kid’s got it. She should be in.
6) Marrialle Sellars
Song: “Roar,” Katy Perry
I was on the Marrialle bandwagon. She picked a song I definitely don’t like except when I like it all the time. Lord Lambert – the greatest contestant in Idol history solely because he knew how to play the game better than anyone – gave her great advice. I was convinced she was getting an undeserved bad rap because of the double-showing during auditions. She was good and she was going to content. And then Black Miley sang. And it was bad. The Idol audience cheered when Harry told her how it was great she was having fun considering how bad she performed, making me wonder if the collective IQ in the building was higher or lower than Seacrest’s shoe size. Connick said it best – “Singing in tune. That’s big. You have to sing in tune.” She better not get voted in, but she’s clearly a producers’ fave, so I expect her to get a wild card spot.
7) Jesse Meuse
Song: “Drink a Beer,” Luke Bryan
This might have been the first strategic song of the night. If you sing country, people will vote for you. And with a limited number of country performers – zero – this was a chance for Jess to build a fan base. It just wasn’t the right song. I see her more as a rock star than a country performer (but let’s be honest – if she wants to be rich, just do pop country) and she would have been better off doing a Gretchen Wilson jam than Luke Bryan’s song that, as DRI fave Lyndsey Parker pointed out, is about his dead family. Country isn’t my thing and the performance didn’t do it for me at all. It was safe and would get her through from the Final 11 to the Final 10, but it wasn’t good enough to get through. That said, she’s the lone country girl singer, so she’s 100 percent in the Top 5.
8) Emily Piriz
Song: “Ooh La La,” Grace Potter
This was the second strategic song of the night. Here was Miss Piriz’s train of though: “I’m 18 now. It’s not gross for dudes to ogle me. RAMP UP THE SEX.” And she nailed it. Her performance was a perfect blend of sexy and powerful. It fit her voice and, assumedly, the type of singer she wants to be – aka The hot pop star who makes so much money smaller piles of money rotate around her bigger pile of money like Jupiter’s moons. Connick, clearly realizing that at 18 all fathers wish they didn’t have daughter’s anymore (15 ½ more years to go for this guy!) because they can talk about things like sex, had a shitfit about the meaning of the song. I really wish Emily would have pretended to write a letter and simply replied “Dear Harry, GFY, Love, Emily.” That performance gets her in. And I’ll keep the ogling to a minimum so I don’t creep her out. She is a member of the DRI Army after all and I hope she just sings the dirtiest of dirtiest songs all season.
9) MK Nobilette
Song: “All of Me,” John Legend
What a performance. Best of the night. There was no way they weren’t going to have her perform last night; if they didn’t, Ellen would be on her high horse about gay rights and so would every other L, G, B and T, so they had to put her on. That wasn’t why she was on. MK-47 has probably been the most intriguing performer during the audition process. You judge the book on its cover. Then you hear her. Then you want more. Then she does something different. Then you want more. Then she does something different. Then you want more. Then she did what she did last night. Now I want more. Will she get in? Tough to say. America is either going to be totally bigoted and not vote for her, or people will vote for her to say (picture an old cranky lady voice) “I can’t be a bigot. I voted for that lesbian girl on American Idol.” If she’s not voted in, she should get the wild card, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that because she almost made me cry last night.
(PS If she’s Top 13, I’m just going to throw my predictions away as soon as I make them. I could see her being a Final 3 or 4, but I could see her get the boot in Week 1).
10) Malaya Watson
Song: “Hard Times,” Ray Charles
You had me at “old funk.” If she’s going to belt out classics with the potential to sing funk tracks – my third favorite genre behind Yacht Rock and New Jack Swing – she’ll end up my favorite contestant. I haven’t been the biggest Malaya fan. She came off as one of those who acts goofy just because they don’t want to be mainstream. Turns out she’s legit goofy. She’s a music nerd and it’s awesome. Her glasses are ridiculous, her braces are distracting, her hair is a mess and she has a badonk that would make Kanye dump Kim. Put it all together and she’s the most fun contestant on the show. God have mercy on America if she doesn’t get voted in.
11) Jillian Jensen
She got screwed.
12) Kenzie Hall
Also got screwed
13) Andrina Brogden
I thought she was a perfect contestant. She was clearly No. 4 behind Bria, Malaya and Briana.
14) Brandy Neelly
Wrong year to be a country singer
15) Austin Wolfe
Wrong year to be a pretty white girl who can play an instrument. Randy hates those people.
The show was what it was. Wish they would have cut out the boot camp junk and let all 15 sing, but whatever.
I’ll be live tweeting the show tonight – click THIS to get to my twitter feed – and we’ll have an instant recap on HERE following the guys’ performances.
-DRI (dropped the Captain moniker; never fit anyway)