We start off the evening with Ryan Seacrest doing his usual welcome and intro to the judges. He does say that this is a big week for American Idol and some important event will be happening. This sure leads to a lot of speculation. I know I will be watching to find out what it is.
Blake Lewis - "All Mixed Up" by 311 - One thing you have to say about this young man is he demonstrates he could easily fit into today's music scene. I think the difficulty factor of blending singing, hip-hop and reggae into this performance should make him a shoo-in for the top 6 guys. I did hear an off note here and there but felt entertained by his performance.
Sanjaya Malakar - "Waiting On The World To Change" by John Mayer - I was completely thrown off by his confession that he loves to hula. This boy is very sweet and does sing in tune but overall his performance is quite boring. I have yet to feel any spark from him and tonight was no exception.
Sundance Head - "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam - One of the main things I have always liked about Sundance is his raw-edged voice. I love when he makes those growls. While this performance was not up to par with Pearl Jam, I did like it, even with the off-key notes here and there. I hope to see him back next week.
Chris Richardson - "Tonight I Wanna Cry" by Keith Urban - This guy is cute and I have noticed he does attempt different types of songs. I honestly believe Ace Young from last season did this with more passion and delivery. However, Chris does have a nice tone to his voice. But when he tried to deliver the country twang it did not come off very well. I will have to agree with Simon on the nasally sound.
Jared Cotter - "If You Really Loved Me" by Stevie Wonder - I almost groan when I hear someone is going to do any Mr. Wonder song because I am usually disappointed. Jared also disappointed me with his rendition of this song. He is handsome but when he makes those faces while singing I get side-tracked from the actual singing. I heard many pitchy notes but did enjoy the small portion of the speaking part. I worry for him this week.
Brandon Rogers - "I Just Want To Celebrate" by Rare Earth (also Sly Stone did this song). I adored Brandon during his first audition and, when he started this song, I thought we were finally seeing that magic again. But, sadly, he faltered at the end of the song. What I get most from him is lack of confidence when he performs. This is sad because he is a good singer. I feel his chances may have been exhausted this week.
Phil Stacey - "I Need You" by LeAnn Rimes - I was totally taken off-guard when I heard he was going to sing this song. It was definitely an odd choice when this week is so crucial. Again, he has a rough start in the lower register. This could be a real problem. However, once he gets going, he does show us he has a lot of range, especially in the big notes. I do think song choice is his biggest enemy because he has a good voice. Good luck on making it next week.
Chris Sligh - "We All Want to Be Loved" by DC Talk - I am going to disagree with Paula and Simon big time here. I thought this was the best song of the night. Chris has great range and, even though this song is not popular, he did an excellent job...definitely a shoo-in next week. Way to go, Chris!
The judges keep saying song choice, song choice, and I truly wish the guys would listen. So many of them are picking songs that don't fit their voices, which is one reason I am looking forward to the theme weeks. I wish the guys lots of luck and hope they start to give us the "wow" performances they need to advance in the competition.