Alright, we’re at the Top 10 “X Factor” fans. Do you think Lakoda Rayne can survive so Paula Abdul has something to do? Or maybe we don’t want them to and then Paula can just drink and be mouthy towards Simon for the next eight weeks. That’d be OK too.
Oh, and this is Rock Week. Hmmm.
1. LeRoy Bell, “We’ve Got Tonight,” Bob Seger
Great song. Great. So pumped about this. Vocally, it’s gorgeous. It’s like if Seger met Motown. I don’t get what L.A. says about him being boring. This is wonderful to listen to and then when the song really kicks up, it gets more exciting. LeRoy isn’t a run-around-the-stage singer. I went to a Billy Joel concert once and he barely moved and it was still great. Not all performers have to be crazy all the time, which is something L.A. has definitely made his boys do. I liked it (LeRoy). Do I think he’s going to win the whole thing? No. But do I think he should go home? No.
Simon says “zero.” Well, geez. I don’t think he’s a zero. He says LeRoy should’ve been a shark on Rock Week. I disagree with that – what have we seen up to now that tells us LeRoy is a “rocker.” Yes, he does the same thing every week. But he does it well and it’s his lane, so stop trying to force him. Look how well Rachel Crow’s teenybopper B.S. went over, Simon. Stop trying to make the singers something they are not.
Also, this Steve Jones problem needs to go away. He has no idea how to be a host. His stage presence is abrasive, he has no charisma. Is this what Seacrest was like in “Idol” Season 1? I honestly don’t know, I came in on Season 2.
You know what else needs to stop? The judges introducing the contestants. What a mess. It might be funny if it weren’t so sad.
2. Rachel Crow, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” Rolling Stones
Huh. Interesting song choice. I mean, not super appropriate for a 13-year-old, if you have any concept of the Stones and Mick Jagger. But that aside, it’s the Stones as done by Disney. It’s like Rachel lost her soulful edge this week and slipped back into teenybopper territory. The ridiculous red and yellow theme with the outfits, lights and stage is not helping matters. I don’t think she should go home, but for me, this is a huge step back from last week.
The judges go bonkers, though. Standing O. Huh. Please let me know in the comments if I’m on crack or what.
Hilariously, L.A. is asking some rhetorical questions in his critique and one of them is, “Can you sell tickets?” and Rachel bubbles, “I can!” and I sort of imagine she thinks he means for like a school raffle fundraiser. And then he chastises her, “No, let me answer.” Because he’s kind of a word-that-I-can’t-write-here.
Also – Rachel’s effusive “thank yous” to the judges are so friggin’ cute. Don’t you just want to give her a lifesaver, read her some Harry Potter and tuck her in? Totally.
3. Chris Rene, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”/”No Woman No Cry,” Bob Marley
I’m not sure I count Bob Marley as “rock.” But whatever. This is … not my favorite Chris Rene performance. He sounds out of breath and slightly behind the music for the rapping parts. The singing parts also sound a little thin. Hmm. To me, it’s a very karaoke performance. Like a sort-of talented amateur after a few drinks could get up and do this.
I agree with Nicole in that she liked it OK, but it wasn’t her favorite. Of course, we can barely hear her over the rude crowd who won’t stop booing. Simon’s with me in that it wasn’t rock. And Paula prefaces her compliment with, “It doesn’t matter if you’re the best vocalist.” Well, it kind of does, Paula. That’s sort of the point.
(Though, yes, that has ceased to be the point on “American Idol” since like Season 4.)
4. Stacy Francis, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” Meat Loaf
This is a bit of a cheat, I think. This is a Celine Dion song. This is barely a Meat Loaf song. But anyway, this is pretty awful. Her pitch is off on most of the song and the bridge sounds like she’s gone deaf. Just because you can scream loudly does not mean that is singing. L.A. strangely compliments it, but Paula is honest and says it was the worst she’s heard yet and her pitch was under. Yes. Paula is right. Simon gives a crappy compliment about her hair and then says this was a horrible choice. It really was. This was terrible.
As Jones gives out her voting number, Stacy Francis’ dead-eyed stare makes me turn to stone through the TV. Yikes.
5. Melanie Amaro, “Everybody Hurts,” REM
At least this is a rock band, I guess. Anyway, I don’t know why I even write a critique for Melanie. This is beautiful. It sounds like her own song, she changes enough to make it her own without losing the original’s feel. Gorgeous. L.A. takes a crack at the “not rock,” but he’s just getting back at Simon for criticizing the Bob Marley. Because the judges on this show are worse than the “Idol” judges and I didn’t think that was humanly possible.
Paula says Melanie took them to church. I love Paula this season.
6. Josh Krajcik, “The Pretender,” The Foo Fighters
So, this is the first time I’ve really seen Josh as a performer. The blown-out Constantine Maroulis hair aside, he sounds awesome as a band frontman and he seems to really have some life on stage. The crazy background is giving me epilepsy, but that’s not his fault. This was terrific for rock week. The first REAL rock song (Rachel’s does not count, not sung by her anyway).
He get a standing O, so I feel good about my critique (I’ve felt very crazy tonight so far). Yes. Well done, burrito man.
7. Astro, “I’ll Be Missing You,” Puff Daddy
So, are the judges going to squabble about how this isn’t rock either? Rock and rap are not the same. Anyway, this is really good. It’s a very grown-up performance, I’m so glad to see Astro has outgrown his weird “X Factor” shout-outs and what not. It’s like he’s growing up in front of our very eyes. That was very nice. Simon also cites his maturity. Absolutely.
8. Lakoda Rayne, “Your Love”/”Go Your Own Way,” The Outfield, Fleetwood Mac
Have to be up front – these happen to be two of my all-time favorite songs. So I’m not sure I can be impartial. But here we go.
OK, they once again start with the brunette, Hayley, whose voice I do not think is the strongest of the group. It gets better when they harmonize and Paige’s solo is decent. The shouting of “tonight tonight tonight” on the chorus – oof, not a fan of that.
When the “Own Way” starts, the singing gets better (though the male dancers on the boxes are really unnecessary and distracting). Hayley actually does well on her solo on this song. But then we get to the a capella clappy part and I don’t love that. Once it gets back on track, then the ending kinda rocks.
I’m pretty torn on that one. It was kind of a mess, but I don’t think they were as bad as Stacy Francis. L.A. asks some more rhetorical questions that he answers himself like he’s an SNL character. Is that annoying? Yes. Is that a good judging method? No.
I agree with Simon that it was kind of a mess. I also disagree with Nicole that this was “country rock.” Since when are Fleetwood Mac or The Outfield country? No. Oh, and also – these girls are NOT the new Dixie Chicks. Sorry.
9. Drew Ryniewicz, “With or Without You,” U2
OK, L.A. Reid needs to shut his fool mouth about Drew (and LeRoy) doing the same thing over and over. You know who also does that? Astro. Shut up, L.A.
I am just head over heels for thi
s girl’s voice, y’all. I didn’t type a single word while she sang, that’s how entranced I was. The little breaks in her voice are so lovely, the lower register stuff was awesome. I want to download this. I was kind of waiting for her to kick it up for a bit, but if I’m being honest – that’s not her sound and that was me trying to force it to be the U2 version, I think.
L.A. is nice to her – pushing for more, but thinks she can go the distance. Nicole echoes my sentiments about wanting to hear it bust out, but I just don’t think that’s Drew’s niche.
10. Marcus Canty, “Piece of My Heart,” Janis Joplin
I am really, really surprised by this song choice. And then I am equally surprised at how he kinda rocks it. Marcus Canty is a total sleeper contestant. I feel like a Top 4 of Melanie, Drew, Josh and Marcus would not upset me. AND THEN HE SLIDES THROUGH THE DANCERS’ LEGS. Oh my god, y’all. Ha, that was awesome. OK, not the best performance of the night, but certainly not the worst. It was solid.
Who’s going home? I think Chris Rene and Stacy Francis were pretty weak, but they have Sad Stories and the pretty girls from Lakoda Rayne do not. I’m not sure Lakoda did enough to stay, though if it comes down to them and another contestant, do you think the judges will keep them to give Paula something to do?