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Archive for March, 2016

Eight go to six on this week’s rapid fire installment and I am still not liking this fast paced season — but, it’s what we have so we make the best of it. The contestants continue to need to step up their game and the twist this week is the ever-popular DUET parings. They will either be really good or…not…

Have said that, this is how I saw the performances from my comfy couch this week – duets first:

La’Porsha Renae & Trent HarmonSee You Again (Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth)

These two actually sound good together…nice blend and worked well with each other. Not familiar with the song but it worked for them. Good job.

Avalon Young & Sonika VaidRise Up (Andra Day)

Another good blending job from these two who actually appeared to enjoy singing with each other (they are roomies after all…). Pairing her with Sonika made me actually tolerate Avalon better this time around, if you can believe that. Song seemed to fit their voices well. Could have have used a little better diction from both.

MacKenzie Bourg & Dalton RapattoniI Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys)

I call this pairing “When styles collide” and it was a huge fail.  Dalton was a tad flat in places and I’ve haven’t heard him do that before. Mac was trying to make the best of it but really wasn’t. I don’t think this was a great song choice and I agree with Harry 100%!

Tristan McIntosh & Lee JeanDon’t Want to Miss a Thing (Areosmith)

The cute factor was working overtime with these two and they got a tad screechy in place but I thought it was a good song for them and they actually worked it out. You could tell Lee was trying a bit too hard because he’s been sick but Tristan was in her comfort zone most of the time.

Now, back to the solo portion of our competition as we find out who makes the Top 6:

La’Porsha Renae – Come Together (The Beatles)

When this gal stays old school with her song choices she kills it BIG TIME and she did it again this week. She was so far in the zone vocally and her stage antics were brassy and sassy! Great song choice — keep her singing the old songs and she could go all the way!

MacKenzie Bourg – You Are So Beautiful (Billy Preston/Joe Cocker)

I, for one, am glad this boy put down his guitar and concentrated on the words and emotions of this piece. It was simply and beautifully understated. Great vocals and great overall performance (and he nailed the last note, too!).

Last year’s winner Nick Fradiani drops by to plug his new single (it was ok) and then we get back to the business at hand…

Trent Harmon – Stand By Me (Ben E. King)

While he still needs to work on those facial contortions when singing he nailed the vocals on this old chestnut like a pro. Great song choice and yet another opportunity to work his falsetto in and out of the piece.

Tristan McIntosh – A Broken Wing (Martina McBride)

I really love her voice and warm country style but someone needs to pull this gal aside and teach her how NOT to lean into the scream when she goes for the dramatic effect. She does pick the right songs for her voice and even at her young age she can genuinely connect with the emotion of the piece but get her to a vocal coach who will not let her continue putting her fragile young voice in jeopardy.

Dalton Rapattoni – Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles)

Now THIS is the Dalton I like to see and hear – takes a familiar song and flips it on its head in his boy-band-gone-grunge sort of way. Really nice turn on this Beatles classic and he successfully showed off the great showman he is becoming…and the girls love him.

So when the dust settled the three on this week’s hot seat were:

Avalon Young – P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing) (Michael Jackson)

It really is her song choices and not her vocals that put me off because the songs — and I’ll be honest — are just too butch for the vocals she produces. It’s almost a study in contrasts and that’s why I don’t believe she is connecting with us at home. She does have a cool factor but I don’t find her cool at all and it looks like I’m not the only one.

Lee Jean – Let it Be (The Beatles)

When you combine not the best of song choices on top of being sick you are doomed to not have a great performance. And that’s a shame because this boy has been consistently good vocally since day one and a pleasure to watch performance-wise. They tried to let him down easy but his fate was sealed after that song.

Sonika Vaid – I Have Nothing (Whitney Houston)

This is one of those “go big or go home” numbers and the vocals on this chick were absolutely pristine. It was a tad emotionally lacking for me but she was vocally superior than the other two and it was very evident.

With that, the judges chose to rescue

Sonika Vaid – she was the logical choice vocally

which left us to bid adieu to

Avalon Young (sorry, but it was time) & Lee Jean (unfortunately)

Time to go vote!

Until next Thursday, America!

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Well imagine my surprise when I went to sit down on my comfy couch yesterday and call up AI on my TV at its usual time on Wednesday night — what the heck is a ROSEWOOD? And why didn’t I know they were going down to ONE night now? It really seems that our little show is getting the bum’s rush out the door of TV land (and FOX owes most of its success as a network to this franchise so I see this movement as total disrespect) so that means every song and vote needs to count so we can get the best contestant to win this last title.

Ryan explained at the outset that the bottom three would would duke it out for a judges’ rescue and that two would go home. Thankfully we don’t have the light up chairs this year so it’s up to our contestants to win our hearts and votes singing Grammy winning songs.

Here’s how this played out:

Dalton Rapattoni – Radioactive (Imagine Dragons)

I worry for the first contestant out of the gate because if the performance isn’t great they can get lost in the wake of the others. I didn’t think this was one of Dalton’s best vocals (particularly his bottoming out on the low notes) but he’s still got the best diction and command of the lyrics out of the bunch and that drives his interpretation. I’ll fault a bad song choice this week — and I totally agree with all three judges!

Lee Jean – Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)

This 16 year old is starting to rise above the rest and this song, while not his usual fare, opened him up to give a great vocal performance. Kid’s got chops — he needs to relax more in the groove and believe in his talent. I’d watch this one.

We take our first time out to hear the gals sing with Demi Lovado (it was nothing memorable) and then return to the competition:

Sonika Vaid – Since U Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)

I’ve never heard that song done without it being a total scream fest but vocally she worked it really well. Performance-wise it was too controlled and almost a bit laid back – she wasn’t as connected with the words as well as she should have been. Fell a little flat so she’ll need votes.

MacKenzie Bourg – I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Whitney Houston)

Interesting song choice but I wasn’t digging the arrangement a whole lot – but what do I know because the judges loved it. I usually like this vocals and style and while the vocals were solid I just didn’t like the delivery. Harry and I were more in sync on this one.

La’Porsha Renae – Halo (Beyoncé)

I prefer La’Porsha singing more of the old school songs because her voice and performance style are more suited for that. When she takes on the newer stuff she seems to uncover the weaknesses in these newer songs and they just don’t do her voice any favors. It was just “meh” for me but she killed it anyway.

And now we pause to let Harry do his thang! Man plays a mean piano…

Trent Harmon – When A Man Loves A Woman (Percy Sledge/Michael Bolton)

He’s the falsetto king this season and it definitely comes naturally to his bright tenor vocals. He IS getting better with controlling the facial contortions and this was a perfect song for him — right in his wheel house. He’ll be back next week…no doubt…

Tristan McIntosh – Go Rest High on That Mountain (Vince Gill)

That was, as they say, a “moment” and while she’s can boarder on screaming at the top of her range (something I hope a good voice teacher will smack out of her down the road) she really nailed that song both vocally and performance-wise. A perfect song choice for her but I would have wanted to know what song the slimy Scott Borchetta made her pass on — just sayin’…

Now, that puts these three ladies on the hot seat:

Avalon Young – Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey) (The Weeknd)

I thought she was so pitchy on this song and NONE of the judges called her out on it!!! Come on, folks…she was inconsistent and flat! Gee…Only positive here is that America doesn’t get what she’s selling either if she made the bottom three.

Olivia Rox – Trouble (P!nk)

I didn’t catch the fact that she was sick last week so kudos for her for doing as well as she did. And that was just a kick-a$$ performance where she pulled out all the vocal stops and STILL the judges were not impressed because they want Avalon to stay. Harrumph.

Gianna Isabella – If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys)

She gave it everything she had for a 15 year old and the judges really tried to let her down easy but they still have their sights on keeping Avalon…arrrrgh….

So…in the end, the judges chose to rescue

Avalon Young – I just don’t see what is so special about her!!! They were just not going to let her go home…UGH!!!

which left us to bid adieu to

Olivia Rox & Gianna Isabella — I would have kept Olivia, truthfully.

Well, I’m off to vote and you should do the same. Not sure it it’s another double elimination next week but I guess we’ll see what’s in store then…so…

Until next Thursday, America!

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