American Idol 2014 Top 9 Perform

“I’m With the Band”

They have the band on stage tonight. Keith thinks it’ll bring up their comfort level.

Fall Out Boy do a little mentoring with the top nine.

They’re doing the group song tonight.  Interesting. Medley of rock songs. Is tonight rock night, then? Only Caleb and Jessica do rock.

Jessica looks good with black hair.

Yes. Tonight is rock night.

Alex is first – “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt  At least he sounds nothing like Allison. And he does sound really good. Definitely making this his. Nice. I really do like this.

KU: it’s definitely you, but KU wants to hear an edge. Alex IS chill, not edgy. JLo thinks of Gwen Stefani when she hears the song. Which was  a problem, but his voice is undeniable. HCJr: you can afford to take chances now, but maybe move out of center stage. Engage the audience more. KU: be more unpredictable.

Ryan takes off a shoe to display his ankles (like Alex) and Harry steals it. And then returns it.

Majesty is singing “Shake it Out” by Florence and the Machine. Majesty isn’t rocking. I’m not sure about this at all.

JLO: that’s the Majesty that she loves. Vocally it was all over the place, but performancewise it was a ten. HCJr: so talented. Has been waiting for her to connect. So close to breaking through. KU: great song choice. But you need to control your energy.

Now, Dexter – Boondocks by Little  Big Town. This is good. It fits his style, but it’s not what he usually sings. He’s good with the band, too. It’s a big song and he’s doing it right.

HCJr: He needs to bring his own stamp to these giant anthem like songs. Wants to hear smaller songs from him. KU: Harry needs a gummi bear. Gives him a huge one. JLO takes a bite. Which she then takes out. It’s like plastic sugar. Thinks that song as he just sung it would have been a hit on country radio. Wants to see another side of him. JLo: you’re our resident modern country guy. Do something to make us take a second listen.

Malaya “Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles. Oof. But she got better. She’s a bit shouty. Hmm. I don’t know. Intersting, anyway. But she’s so cute.

KU: That was beautiful. Could feel her voice. JLo: your voice stands out. Sweetness of a young Michael Jackson. HCJr: most consistently improving. Forget stardom – work on harmonies. Work on your craft. With your voice, ears and attitudes. You will be great.

Love Harry’s advice.

Sam is singing “Delilah” by Plain White Shirts  He’s surrounded by lights. This is not a rock song by any means. It sounds like all the other songs he sings.

Jlo: are you singing to anyone? (HE’s SIXTEEN.) HCjr: who’s idea was the arrangement? Very smart. Be self-assertive. This stripped down arrangement is good for you. But didn’t feel a connection to the lyrics.

Jessica is singing Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac. It’s perfect for her. HCJr: this was my favorite performance that you’ve done. Felt focused. KU:  You need to pull people in. You need to be comfortable without an instrument. JLo: your confidence is growing. You’re connecting more. We need to feel something.

CJ is next. “If it Hadn’t Been for Love” by the Steeldrivers.  He’s got that wonderful raspy note going for him. This is really great. I’m loving this.

KU: clever choice. It allowed you to tap into the soulful side of what you do. Be careful about “sounding like expression” instead of “expressing it.” I think he was, though. JLo: good choice. It went off in the middle. You need to be consistent. OMG, they just booed Jlo. HCJr: performing is a juggling act – so many things going on. Wants to pound the craft point. Work on your pitch because you have the ear.

Caleb is doing “Dazed and Confused” by Led Zepplin. STarts out great. Has JLo banging her head. This is Caleb’s night. He has to be amazing. He’s singing. He could be shouting, he’s singing. YES. AMAZING.

Jlo: that was a very sexy performance. Takes it to another level. You have what it takes to be a front man. Shouts out to the band. HCJr: compliments the band, too. Which Caleb agrees. You coudn’t have done it better. At the very end, something was going on. Caleb was trying a call and response. Tough to follow that. KU: The band sounded killer because you led it.

Jena – “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence Okay, she’s killing it. Omg, She’s IN the song.  She has the audience, the band. OMG. Yes.

HCJr: Really, really strong. KU: you deliver. You got your own lane. JLo: sound phenomenal. But you should have been more messy.

Janelle Monae tomorrow.

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About mamadeb

I'm a devoted fan of Adam Lambert, but also of cooking, knitting, science fiction and pretty anything pop culture. I'm @_mamadeb on Twitter.
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