Fair note to my readers: I've been ill with a stomach virus for the past several days, but I am almost certain that I haven't been hallucinating. All critiques are spot on as they've always been.
From what I saw during auditions and the Hollywood rounds I expected more from this group of guys. The guys fell into one of two categories, they were either so good that they will move right into the next round, or they were so off that they have a 50/50 shot of getting there based on the fact that so many were so mediocre. It hasn't happened in a while, but this may be the year of the lady.
As usual, I will give each contestant a score from one to five, one being the worst, three being 50/50, and five being the best.
01 Reed Grimm sang Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5-- Reed does have talent but his vocals were mediocre. He did a jazzed up version of this song which sounded similar to elevator music. He is musical, but this wasn't the right song for him to do. Score: 3
02 Adam Brock sang Think by Aretha Franklin-- His voice is solid, but many before him have sang this song, and this version didn't blow me away. There were many times during Hollywood week where he moved me more than this. Score: 3
03 Deandre Brackensick sang Reasons by Earth, Wind, and Fire-- His voice may be a little quiet or weak in parts, but it is definitely on pitch. He actually hits a couple of really amazing notes. Jennifer calls his voice perfect. Randy says he's pulling for him. Overall, I liked this performance. Score: 4
04 Colton Dixon sang Decode by Paramore-- Hmmm, this was a little bit of a confusing performance for me. I think Colton is better than what this performance was. Randy acted like we've never had a rocker or alternative rocker perform on American Idol before and we've had several of them over the years: David Cook, James Durbin, Adam Lambert, Bo Bice, Chris Daughtry, Allison Iraheta, just to name a few. To me, he is a relevant artist as Jennifer said, but this was not a great performance. Score: 3
05 Jeremy Rosado sang Gravity by Sara Bareilles-- Steven said he couldn't have picked a better song; I agree. Jennifer said, when you open your mouth, you affect people, and I forget that I'm a judge. The best of the night so far. He should be around going forward. Score 4.25
06 Aaron Marcellus sang Never Can Say Goodbye by The Jackson 5-- Randy said beautiful vocals. Jennifer said, I've always believed in you. Steven called him the whole package. I don't think it was great because I have heard others sing it better, but it was a good performance. Score: 4
07 Chase Likens sang Storm Warning by Hunter Hays-- Chase looks the part and seems like a nice country guy, but the vocals weren't all that special. Jen says he sounded great and has grown a lot in this competition. Maybe he has more talent, but we didn't see it with this performance, it was much too safe. Score: 3
08 Creighton Fraker sang True Colors by Cyndi Lauper-- Jennifer says she doesn't want him to go home, and I don't think he will be. That was one of the stronger performances of the night vocally. I don't think it's the best I have heard him. Steven enjoyed his phrasing throughout the song, and I would agree with that. He puts a unique spin on everything he does. Score: 4
09 Phillip Phillips sang In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins-- Jennifer said, you are one of the most special talents we found this year. Randy said you remind me so much of Dave Matthews. His only criticism was that maybe the melody of the song was changed a little bit too much. Clearly though, Phillip should sail right through, he's a legitimate contender. Score: 4.5
10 Eben Franckewitz sang Set Fire to The Rain by Adele-- I don't think this performance was quite as disastrous as everyone made it out to be. Eben is only 15 years old, and for 15, he was pretty calm, cool, and collected. I give him that 50/50 shot of making it into the top group just like I gave to many of the other guys.
11 Heejun Han sang Angels by Robbie Williams-- Oh dear, this young man is entertaining, but this just did not work. The phrasing was not good at all, the vocals were off tonight, he was brilliant so many times before, but this was bad. Score: 3
12 Joshua Ledet sang You Pulled Me Through by Jennifer Hudson-- Randy loved it. Jennifer says your voice is so talented, your voice is from God. Steven said I love you voice. I agree on all accounts, this was on a different level than everyone else, best performance of the night. I would be both surprised and upset if he didn't make it through to the next round. Score: 5
13 Jermaine Jones sang Dance With My Father Again by Luther Vandross-- Considering that Jermaine has that genuine baritone voice that is often very difficult to manage, he did really well. He made a great song selection that made his voice shine. It was so good that it may even land him in the group of finalists. Score: 4