American Idol – Top 13 Boys Performance Review

You want a sign that I’m losing interest in American Idol? I didn’t even bother watching Hollywood week this season. I always skip the dreadful audition rounds when it comes to American Idol, but I almost always watch Hollywood week. Group performance drama! People fainting on stage! So many forgotten lyrics! But this year I just wasn’t feeling it.

I did tune in for the first live show though – or, rather, I DVR’d it and am watching it as I type, and I do plan on watching this season. With Parenthood concluded for the season, I’ll have some free time on Tuesday nights.

So twelve guys performed last night. Let’s talk about them!

Reed Grimm – “Moves Like Jagger
Reed has a lisp which I find very distracting when he speaks, and I felt like it was noticeable when he sang as well. It was an interesting idea, turning “Moves Like Jagger” into a slow jazz number, but it didn’t work for me. And to be honest, his voice didn’t sound like anything special to me. If this were The Voice, I wouldn’t have turned my chair around for this performance.

Adam Brock – “Think”
Adam says he’s been told there’s a large black woman trapped inside his body. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I did like Adam’s voice. Unfortunately, the performance came across as really cheesy. Like a cruise ship singer, as Simon Cowell would have said.

DeAndre Brackensick – “Reasons”
DeAndre is young, cute and has great hair, which means American Idol voters should love him. He also has a high, non-threatening voice, which will work to his advantage with the teenybopper set. To me, however, his falsetto sounded a bit similar to nails on a chalkboard. I’m sure we’ll see more of him though, so perhaps my opinion will change. His normal singing voice was nice.

Colton Dixon – “Decode”
A Paramore song was a good choice on Colton’s part since that band is popular with young people — sadly, at only 25 I now have to refer to American Idol voters as “young people”. I can only bring myself to type the word “teenybopper” so many times, you know? Colton has a major James Durbin vibe which isn’t my taste, but he could go far in this competition.

Jeremy Rosado – “Gravity”
I don’t know this song by Sara Bareilles, but I found this version of it melodramatic and overwrought. He has a nice voice, I suppose, but man was that not my thing.

**We interrupt this broadcast to mock J-Lo’s nip-slip at the Oscars on Sunday, a wardrobe malfunction she denies. Thank you, Stephen Tyler.

Aaron Marcellus – “Never Can Say Goodbye”
Finally! Someone I actually like. I thought Aaron sounded great, and gave a really lovely, professional-sounding performance that will likely be overlooked in favor of flashier choices. But I dug it.

Chase Likens – “Storm Warning”
He’s good looking and sings country music? Expect this kid to stick around. I didn’t know the song, but I think he’s good and would like to hear him sing something I’m familiar with.

Creighton Fraker – “True Colors”
Does anyone know what Creighton’s voice actually sounds like? I’m not sure we do, because his performance was SO OVERDONE vocally. I hated it. So beautiful, J-Lo? Try so annoying.

**At this point, we were more than halfway through the show and I’m pretty sure none of the judges had yet to say anything negative. Everyone is “beautiful”, everyone is great, everyone deserves a special gold star. 

Phillip Phillips – “In The Air Tonight”
I would have given Phillip five bucks to come on stage with Mike Tyson tattoos on his face. Phillip thinks he’s David Cook, but he doesn’t have that talent. I couldn’t believe J-Lo said he was one of the most memorable or best people they saw on the road, because I didn’t think that song showcased his voice at all. I’m not saying I don’t like him, I just didn’t think we saw much from that performance.

Eben Franckewitz – “Set Fire To The Rain”
Oh my god. This kid is fifteen and looks about twelve. And he has Justin Bieber hair. I knew before he opened his mouth that I probably wouldn’t like what I heard. I commend the kid for trying to tackle an Adele song, but that wasn’t American Idol quality. But if this were a school talent show? Then it would be very lovely.
**At this point, my boyfriend noted that among the many things wrong with this performance, “they put a baby in a blazer”. He’s right.

**The harshest thing said was “it wasn’t all perfect”. This is maybe why children shouldn’t be allowed on the show. He has rosy cheeks and dimples! Simon Cowell wouldn’t have let that face stop him from stomping on the kid’s dreams.

Heejun Han – “Angels”
It doesn’t speak well of American Idol that I was shocked to see a minority on the show. I immiedately felt bad for poor Heejun because he was holding the mic too close to his mouth, and it was distracting. “Angels” is one of my favorite songs, and the original by Robbie Williams isn’t exactly what you’d call edgy, but this was just so vanilla. Like something the audience from old folks’ homes across America might like.

Joshua Ledet – “You Pulled Me Through”
Oh, the requisite church singer! It’s always interesting to see if vocalists like this can figure out how to make their voices suit a pop song. Jennifer Hudson was probably a good choice for him. I’m kind of a sucker for this kind of thing, so I dug the performance. Some of you like the James Durbins of the Idol universe, I like the George Huffs and the “Mantasia”s. 

Jermaine Jones – “Dance With My Father”
Before Jermaine even sang, I was hoping he’d make it right to the end of the season. Why? Because I love seeing Seacrest dwarfed. You know that guy is insecure about his height. He’s a perfectionist and it’s the only thing he can’t control. And really, who doesn’t love a giant in white pants and a massive bow-tie? Jermaine’s performance wasn’t great, but I’d really like to hear his deep voice bellow out “I’ll Cover You” from Rent. Just saying. 

So that’s it, folks. Out of thirteen performances, I liked…two? And found…four or so more to be acceptable? Yikes. And the judges, well, they basically loved everyone. Sigh.