Martina McBride and COUNTRY WEEK!!!
That's right - kick off those shoes, throw 'em on the floor - drop down the sawdust and LINE DANCE until the cows come home baby!!! WOO HOO - er...YEE HAW!!!
Alrighty then - those who know me well know that I was raised on Bluegrass and Classical - and Country is part of my background - so I am picky picky picky! Ain't so easy when ya have to sing them silly little ditty's, eh?
PHIL is up FIRST!!! He is singing Keith Urban's "Where The Black Top Ends" - and his KNEES are BENT!!! Soft and moving with the tune - so - in all honesty - I cannot review him without some bias this week - because there is a lot more to it than just "oh, look, an AI contestant," so I will do my best. He started off VERY well - pitch was great - still looked a bit nervous - but not NEARLY as much as he has looked in the past - and when he got in the crowd, it seemed to give him comfort to see people and he had FUN! He danced - not too much...you know how Simon gets about dancing...he really worked the end of the song. I was scared knowing how much vocal fatigue these guys are undergoing - but he worked it out and REALLY did a SUPER JOB! I am SO PROUD OF YOU PHIL!!!!!!!!
Jordin is up next singing a song that really NEVER should be performed ever again after Martina McBride - I am freaked out - "A Broken Wing" - WOW, such a hard song!!!! She starts off a little nervous - the vibrato is tight - and she gets ahead of the beat a little - but pulls it back - she has a few spots where she is 'around' the pitch. I think she is psyching her self up about the power notes, but she has them cleanly and she uses a great mix voice to get them out. Then that last power belt starts sharp - but she worked it out by adding her vibrato openly to it and pulling it back closer to pitch, which takes a good ear. Overall, it was a nice job - and she looked gorgeous!
WHAT is Sanjaya wearing on his head - WHY would you wear a DO-Rag for THIS?!?!?!?! I'm utterly confused. He is singing Bonnie Raitt's "Let's Give Them Something To Talk About." He really does not get what the song is about...bummer. He messes up the vibe - the blues of the song is really lost and he is just not hitting the intonation correctly - the pitch is a mess and he really missed that key change. I DO like the fact that he projected more during this song, but his projection seemed to have knocked his ability to hit the notes on pitch out the window. His jaw was too tight and the chewing of the notes really messed up the control for him. It was not a good performance - sad - I thought he could find a better song to fit him.
LaKisha is going to sing "Jesus Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood, which is not an easy song either. She is really going out of her comfort zone with this song - and out of her control in her voice - this showed off a lot of areas which need work. She started the song sharp and she was nasal - the "A"'s were nasal and "Y"'s were squished - which made the diction much in need of an overhaul. I am surprised she switched to head voice in some parts - but then when I heard her try the belt in full belt - it was screamy, loud and off pitch - so I think she needs to learn how to bring the head voice down into chest more - and create a stronger mix voice. I was thrown off by this in her performance. I expected the belts to be killer and they fell short. The ending was the best part. She did look quite pretty, though.
Chris is going to sing "Mayberry" by Rascal Flatts - a song with some serious vibe and rhythm to it - you may not think so until you try to sing it. He started off flat - then his highs were much better. After we had the shot of the banjo, the song actually became painful in parts. He was too nasal. Then he would go flat, then sharp, and then he would just fall off hold notes and go overtly flat - like he didn't have enough breath support and no control - it was weird. I was thinking this might be ok when he hit the first set of high notes, but it just didn't work in the end.
Melinda is doing Julie Reeves' "Trouble Is A Woman." She has great diction - great control - great support - great intonation - great phrasing - just a darn tootin' fantastic performance! I LOVE the hair extensions - she looks great! She had a 'tude that really worked in the song - just thought she was really fab!
Blake - Tim McGraw's "When The Stars Go Blue." The blank stare bothers me - I am confused - I had to look away from the TV - which led me to really notice how BAD the vocals were this week. He started off that first high note softer and then went all crazy with it - the crescendo didn't work as he did not have the control for it and the pitch went off. Then he went into head voice with the chorus and, WOW, was that flat. It got a little better right after that - and the last chorus was all over the place - part on, part off. I am just confused - he didn't connect - it was weird. And I don't like argyle sweater vests, either - on anyone! Sorry!
SO - for a few people - that was REALLY a GREAT NIGHT!