American Idol Top 13: Whitney Houston/Stevie Wonder

I can’t remember the last time I wrote about American Idol. However, the talent is looking good this year (at least for the guys), so here I am.

Tonight, the mentor is Mary J. Blige.The girls will sing Whitney Houston songs; the guys, Stevie Wonder. Ryan explains that, on the results show tomorrow, they will announce the bottom guy and the bottom girl and the JUDGES will choose who goes home.

Before I get into the show, I’ll reveal my biases: I am #TeamJoshua ALL DAY, ERRY DAY. Man-Tasia can sing the alphabet and I’ll listen. HARD. But I can still recognize good singing when I hear it. I’m also a fan of Deandre Brackensick. Also, I’ve only actually heard two of the girls sing: Erika Van Pelt and Jessica Sanchez. I like both of them, and they are the only girls I think can beat the guys. But just from hearing the guys, it seemed that AI stacked all the talent on that side to insure a guy would win…cuz there is NO way all the girls are as talented as ALL those guys.

On to the performances:

1. Joshua Ledet – “I Wish”: He said that the song was out of his comfort zone. Psh. I don’t think ANYTHING is out of his comfort zone! He can sing anything. This song was more upbeat, different from what he normally sings, but I like it. I admit, he’d have to royally mess up for me to say he sounded bad. He was energetic and entertaining. He is just pure CHURCH! (Preacher’s grandkid here, so I’m good with that!)

2. Elise Testone – “I’m Your Baby Tonight: She was originally going to sing “Greatest Love of All”, but Jimmy Iovine changed that. Lucky for her that he did, because she was NOT sounding good singing it. That was not gonna work out. That said, I’m not sure this worked out either. She doesn’t sound bad, but I’m just gonna say it: I’m a HUGE Whitney fan. I know ALL those songs. I’ma need you to show me some passion or something. Ryan tried to say that the last minute song change was a factor. She agreed, saying she only had 4-5 days to learn it. Man please. Where’s Simon? That is not an excuse. Professionals learn the song in 30 minutes and KILL it. NO EXCUSES.

3. Jermaine Jones – “Knocks Me Off My Feet”: I think this is the perfect song for him. I loved how Mary advised him to tone down the riff at the beginning. That was good advice. I could be on Team Jermaine….if Joshua and Deandre were to be voted off, God forbid! I liked his performance. His voice is like butta. Just one thing: I’ma need the AI stylists to help him NOW. IMMEDIATELY. PLEASE.

4. Erika Van Pelt – ” I Believe In You And Me”: She might be the only girl I liked from her first audition. Being an alto, I love a good alto voice. I did wonder how she’d work this song out, since her voice is so different from Whitney’s. But I needn’t have worried. She’s good, and I think she can pretty much sing anything. She modified the song to fit her, and it worked. The song itself is pretty low-key, so it wasn’t the most exciting of performances, but she did well. She could be a dark horse in this competition.

Let me interject here: I HATE THE ARRANGEMENTS OF THESE SONGS. WHOEVER IS DOING IT NEEDS TO DO BETTER.

5. Colton Dixon – “Lately”: So Colton is our “Rocker” this year, I guess. He was good. I’m just not partial to soft rock. It was just aight for me, dawg.

6. Shannon McGrane – “I Have Nothing”: I had a bad feeling about this from the moment they said she was singing this. I was scared she was gonna crash and burn. And she did. Voice cracking, flat notes. It wasn’t pretty. She had nothing.

7. Deandre Brackensick – “Master Blaster”: First thing Mary told him was that he couldn’t sing this song pretty. He had to let it all out. His voice is much more mature than his 17 years. He took Mary’s advice and did a good job, though it was hard to understand what he was saying. Can I be equally on Team Joshua AND Team Deandre? Because I am. You can’t stop me.

8. Skylar Laine – “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?”: This song translates well into a country song and Skylar killed it. I have NOTHING bad to say about her. She did a good job.

9. HeeJun Han – “All In Love Is Fair”: HeeJun has a great voice, but he bores me.

10. Hollie Cavanaugh – “All The Man I need”: Hollie has a BIG voice. Technically, she did the song well. But there’s no passion, no soul. She will never beat the guys.

11. Jeremy Rosado – “Ribbon In The Sky”: Another good, but boring voice. I felt like there was so much he could have done with the song, but he didn’t do it. Blah.

12. Jessica Sanchez – “I Will Always Love You”: I wondered who would be bold enough to do this song. When I heard that she was doing it, I had high hopes. She did NOT disappoint. She SLAYED it. Best of the night. Hands down. This girl can SAAAANG. Whatever theme they choose, I’m sure she’ll be up to the challenge. She is the girl to beat. She could even beat the guys…which hurts my Team Joshua heart, but hey, it’s the truth!

13. Phillip Phillips – “Superstition”: If ever there was a Stevie Wonder song to rock out on, this one is it. Phillip did just that. His was the most lively, energetic performance of the night. He did VERY well. If he can keep it up, he could win the whole thing. I don’t think he will though.

I liked Mary J. Blige as a mentor. She gave good advice, but wasn’t overbearing or rude. She genuinely tried to help each one of them. I STILL question JLO judging anybody’s singing, but that’s my cross to bear. At least she’s not incoherent like Paula.

The folks at AI aren’t fooling me. Sure, everyone wants to pay tribute to Whitney, but the combination of the difficulty of her songs and girls with limited talent all but ensures that a girl will go home this week. That girl better be Shannon. If it’s not, somebody done messed up somewhere, and I will be VERY surprised.

Those are my thoughts. What did you think?

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