Monday, April 30, 2012

The Voice Season 2 • Semifinals

It is time for the final eight to perform tonight, and I have to sit back and think about that for a moment. Next week, there will just be four, one from each team, singing for the win. This season moved by so quickly, and when I think about it, it has been a great ride. I like the quickness of the chopping of the teams, leaving us with a semifinal of eight, two from each mentor. Although I try to avoid the comparisons, this is certainly making Idol seem like it is plodding along, going endlessly toward crowning another winner that will fall off into oblivion. Oh, enough with that. Forward, I say...

Blake Shelton Christina Aguilera Adam Levine Cee Lo Green
erin-willett-voice Chris Mann Katrina Parker Jamar Rogers
Jermaine Paul Lindsey Pavao Tony Lucca Juliet Simms
Top Row, Mentors: Blake, Christina, Adam and Cee Lo. Contestants Clockwise: Erin Willett; Chris Mann; Katrina Parker; Jamar Rogers, Juliet Simms; Tony Lucca; Lindsey Pavao; and Jermaine Paul.

The first performance of the night goes to Team Adam, and Tony Lucca. Tony will be singing How You Like Me Now?, the 2009 hit by UK band The Heavy.

Tony takes the song in the soulful and rocky direction, which is just in his sweet spot. I thought it brought the best of him out, with the blues and rock just perfect for his voice, and giving him a bit of youth, of freshness. There is a nice Robert Palmer quality to the performance as well, with Tony in his suit and the ladies in "the band." Blake loved it, and thought Tony was "bad ass." Christina was kind of nice but meandering, and takes a slight cheap shot before being done. Cee Lo loved it, and Adam is just so very proud of Tony and having gotten the chance to work with him. After a break, it is time for Team Blake, and singer Erin Willett. She will be performing Without You, the 2011 song from David Guetta, featuring Usher. I'll be honest here, and thought it was her weakest performance to date. Her voice went off a bit, with a tough tone on the chorus. And she has this quirky phrasing that seems to continually fall behind the beat. I thought it brought the whole song in just a bit flat. Christina seemed to be searching for something to say that was nice, and Cee Lo was also kind. Blake brought it home with the emotions of the song, sung for her father. Soon it was time for the first up from Team Christina, and Chris Mann will be singing Ave Maria.

This is a gorgeous song, and a chance to allow his voice to show off. I think he sang the Charles Gounod version, as sung in the video by Kathleen Battle. It is lovely, but I will tell you, I find his voice to be a bit hollow, even a tad frail. I want him to be fuller, to really allow it to bloom, but it just doesn't for me. Cee Lo and Adam are nice, and enjoyed the departure from Pop music. Christina is thrilled, and just thought it was quite moving. Soon, it was time Team Cee Lo, and the people's choice for the semifinals, Jamar Rogers. He will be putting his own very special spin on the great song by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, If You Don't Know Me by Now. Jamar definitely takes it away form the original, giving it a bit of a reggae feel at the top, and an odd Trance/Electronica flavor, while keeping the vocals strong and soulful. It almost sounded like some of the music I remember from the early 1990s, being done by the New Wavers like Jimmy Somerville and Boy George, but not quite getting there. I was a bit confused by it, I have to admit. At times the vocals seemed to be fighting the music, battling tempos. But he was in great voice. The judges were loving on him, and he is just so pumped up, brimming with energy. Soon it is time for the first group performance of the night, as Team Adam and Team Cee Lo get together to sing The Killers' All The Things I've Done, the 2005 hit for the band. It was great fun, and they all sounded great. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I find these to be the two strongest teams in the competition. There was great energy between them all, and it was great fun to watch, and let up cleanse the palate just a bit. The second hour kicks off with Team Blake and Jermaine Paul singing the great Open Arms by Journey. And by Journey, I really mean the amazing voice of Steve Perry.

Well, that was nice, I do have to say. But it was not spectacular to me, or even all that special. There was something that was special about Perry's voice, so crisp and clear, that managed to push what is really a rather mediocre song to a different level. After a break, it is time to have the next contestant perform, with Katrina Parker singing Roberta Flack's 1971 hit, Killing Me Softly With His Song. She is, however, singing the 1996 version by The Fugees, featuring the vocals of Lauryn Hill.

Now, that was an amazing version by Lauryn Hill, and Katrina delivers so beautifully. That was a wonderful performance, one of the best of the night. I don't have any criticism whatsoever. Amazing. Christina starts on about how she loves her, and how she would have coached differently, and how Adam needs to look at Katrina over Tony. I heard all that and laugh, thinking how ugly she would get if the same was said to her. Thankfully, Adam has the class to just move away from that. Cee Lo reminds everyone that not just Lauryn Hill, but the great Roberta Flack to thank for that brilliant song. And Adam just can't control how thrilled he is for her, and how much he loved her performance. That is followed by a performance by mentor Blake Shelton, who sings his latest single, Over. Wow, he did a great job with that song, and it makes me want to buy his album, Red River Blue. After another break, it is time for Christina's save, Lindsey Pavao. She will be singing Skinny Love, 2008 song by Bon Iver.

Well, that was about what I thought it would be. It is tough for me to think one could find a performer more imbued with affectation. She sang a song by Hipster darling Bon Iver, and, well, it annoyed me. However, both Cee Lo and Adam are nice, and appreciate the performance. Blake was even more kind, noticing how Christina brought both her kids to where they started. Christina jumps up and wants to give Lindsey a hug and kiss. Soon, it is tome for the second group performance, and Team Christina and Team Blake are tackling Lady Gaga's Edge Of Glory. This seems more disjointed than the other, but only because the voices are way more varied in this on than with the other group. Lindsey suffers trying to sing big Gaga, and Chris sticks out, not sounding very Pop. But it is really just a time filler, so I don't really give it too much thought. This leaves only one performance, as Team Cee Lo's Juliet Simms takes to the stage to sing It's a Man's Man's Man's World, the 1966 song by James Brown.

Juliet is singing it nicely, keeping it strong and vibrant. I don't really get the shoulders on the dress, or the weird way she moved around. I think she is talented, but often relies on gimmick. I wish she would trust the talent. I will tell you, I am not sure what will be happening with the voting tomorrow night. The judges have also been given 100 points, and can divide them the way they see fit. Last week, the four men ruled in the voting, but I don't thin the same will happen this week. Can Juliet overtake Jamar, who also had a strong performance? How about Katrina, can she pass by Tony? And did Lindsey do enough to overtake Chris? I don't think Erin delivered what was needed to pass by Jermaine, but you never know. The voting is now open and continuing until 10:00am Tuesday morning. And how about the judges scores, written down to be revealed on the results show Tuesday night, at 9PM on NBC.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Evening with Stewart Lewis

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On March 15, 2012, I was lucky enough to go to the MilkBoy Coffee in Ardmore, PA, to see Stewart Lewis, playing a show with Tom Goss. I haven't seen Stewart in a couple of years, when I saw him play with Goss and Jake Walden in the Rock The Folk Out Tour. I loved him then, and have continued to love his music. His recent EP, Stumbling For Truth, is just exceptional, proving he can move effortlessly between Pop and Folk, making both adjust to his deft touch. I will start off with Stewart's Pop nugget, Not A Love Song. I love this song, one of many gems off the 2008 album, In Formation. I am blown away by Stewart's ability to bring his textured and layered music to a live performance, as you can see here.

Stewart's Stumbling For Truth is a beautiful gift from the storyteller, balancing Lewis' sweet voice with the sparse production to make music that has both power and a delicate touch. There is also a haunted feel on House On A Hill, the final track on the EP.

Since the first time I heard the next song, I thought it had a interesting sexy feel to it. There was just something so playful in Stewart's vocals, and sultry in the music, from the bluesy guitar to the undulating rhythms. And since he played the song for me that night, there was an added layer of thrilling. So just sit back and enjoy Leave Me, off Stumbling For Truth.

For the final song in the post, I offer up Supertramps Or Superstars, a song written by Stewart that has yet to make it to a recording. I have my fingers crossed that Stewart is already storing up music for a next release. This one reminds me of the great songs written by some of the great folk poets of the past, like Lou Reed, artists who have perfectly captures stories and told them with just the right amount of honesty balanced with flavor to capture the tale.

As much as I loved the new EP when I got it, hearing it played live made me love it even more. There is something about the intimacy of hearing the music live that gives the songs a more tangible edge. I don't think it is possible to beat hearing your favorite artists play the music live, and allowing your senses to fill up with the experience. But if you can't get to the live show, then certainly pick up the music that you like. You can find Stumbling For Truth on iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. You can find In Formation on iTunes and purchase the physical CD from Amazon and CD Baby. For more about Stewart, visit him on his official website.

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Sunday Morning with Joan Baez

Joan Baez

When I am looking for music for the Sunday morning posts, I am always looking for a new song or style to deliver the beauty and solemnity of the occasion. So when the name Joan Baez popped into my head, I was stunned I hadn't thought of her before. Aside from being the Queen of Folk for much of her career, the clear and lovely tone of her voice never lost the crisp and precise nature, delivering decade after decade. I will showcase that delicate beauty of her voice in the first clip, when she sings Amazing Grace with Aaron Neville. This was recorded on the Conspiracy of Hope tour in 1986.

Next I will offer up a true classic. In 1963, Joan Baez released a live album, and included on it was a stirring version of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The song was written in 1861 by Julia Ward Howe using the music from the song John Brown's Body. Baez often sang the song throughout her career, especially in the 1960s while she was going on civil rights marches. Listen to the live performance.

And, finally, how could I not include the great spiritual, Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Again, she often sang it while on civil rights marches, including while she was marching with The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. The following clip was recorded in 2009, when Baez was 68 years old. As you will hear, time did nothing to diminish her gorgeous voice.

For more about Joan Baez, visit her official website. You can purchase the music from How Sweet The Sound, a movie documenting the life and times of Joan Baez. The music is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Torch From Berlin

Sarah Vaughan Betty Hutton
Annette Hansahw Deanna Durbin
Clockwise: Sarah Vaughan; Betty Hutton; Deanna Durbin; and Annette Hanshaw.

No, not torches of the German variety! I am talking about torch songs from the great Irving Berlin. Berlin has written some of the most memoralbe songs from the last century, songs that still can be sung today and seem new and fresh. First up, I picked a song written by Berlin in 1923, and has been performed by the best singers of the last 89 years. That includes the incredibly talented Sarah Vaughan. Here she is, singing the incredible What'll I Do.

The next song was written for the 1926 musical, Betsy. While the show itself was a flop, the song was an instant hit, with the audience demanding an incredible 24 encore performances from singer Belle Baker on opening night. The song, Blue Skies, is long remembered as a classic in the Great American Songbook, while few can tell you a thing about Betsy. Sung by a variety of stars, the song was at the top of the charts in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1960s and 1970s. Here is the great singer/movie star Betty Hutton singing Blue Skies.

While Say It Isn't So might have been written in 1932, it has also maintained a timeless quality when it has been recorded by artists like Julie London, Dinah Washington, and Aretha Franklin. But I went back a bit further for this version, so here is Annette Hanshaw singing Say It Isn't So, from the early 1930s, shortly before she retired from the music business.

For much of the late 1930s and the 1940s, Deanna Durbin was a a star on the rise, along side Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Durbin played the sweet girl next door, and her beautiful voice and good looks made her an audience favorite. However, once she tried to grow up and play more interesting roles, the films were less successful, and soon Deanna retired from the business, and withdrew from the public eye. Thankfully, her rich voice was recorded both on record and film, including this beautiful version of Always from the 1944 film, Christmas Holiday.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Spanky & Our Gang • Give A Damn

Spanky & Our Gang

Released in 1968, Give A Damn just missed the Top 40 on the charts, topping out at #43. The song was another socio-political song with a message, so big in the 1960s. Like many songs, it straddled the sound of Pop and Folk, ultimately giving in to the Pop sound. The song incorporated the ethereal sounds the group was known for, with tight harmonies and strong vocals by Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane.

You can find Give A Damn on 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection on iTunes and Amazon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Graham Norton • Summer 2010

Graham Norton Show
Diana Vickers Kelly Rowland Usher
Left to right: Diana Vickers; Kelly Rowland; and Usher.

I really do enjoy watching the Graham Norton Show, for many reasons. One is that Graham is just very funny to me, and I find myself laughing all the time! Also, there are some guests I would most likely not get a chance to see otherwise, and that just helps keep it fresh. And, of course, for the musical guests, for there are some great up-and-coming acts from the UK that are great fun, like the three I am picking out now. In fact, I picked out three guests that appeared three weeks in a row, on May 31st, June 7th and June 14th, all in 2010. The first on the list is adorable Diana Vickers, who was apparently an X-Factor contestant what went on to be signed and have some chart hits. One of those was the frisky and clever The Boy Who Murdered Love.

The next week, Graham has Usher on, and of course, the consummate entertainer put on an amazing show with Lil Freak. The single, which made it to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, was one of the early songs to feature a young rapper named Nicki Minaj. She didn't make the trip with him, but it is a gerat show nonetheless.

And with the last act on this fun 3 week run, it is Kelly Rowland, who has a much stronger career in Europe and the UK than she does her in the US. Commander, which was produced by and featured DJ David Guetta, made it to #1 on the Dance charts in both the US and across Europe. HEre she is, singing the girl-power anthem.

Have a great Friday night!

Anthony Callea • Last To Go (in LA)

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One of the things I love about YouTube is that I get to catch live performances I would otherwise be unable to see. That is definitely the case with Anthony Callea, and he had a couple of performances in Los Angeles and in Las Vegas. Despite my insistence that my subliminal messages for an East Coast show will work, it has failed miserably so far. But I do have videos from his show at the Cherry Pop, and here is Last To Go.

The show was last Saturday 21st April. Performing alongside Anthony were dancers Marc Cleary, Oskar Rodriguez, Deidre Maldonado, and Laia Ribatallada. There were also additional vocals by Tim Campbell & Michelle Sharman. It was kinda cute to see Anthony checking out partner Tim off the side of the stage, giving them a moment of singing together. I am loving Anthony's new music, and think you will too. You can purchase his Last To Go EP on iTunes. You can get some cool remixes of Oh Oh Oh Oh on Amazon and iTunes.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

American Idol Season 11 Top 6 Results

Well, as I prepare for the results show, I just live in fear as to what might happen, and who I might still have to endure. Queen wasn't too kind to the contestants, but that didn't stop the hapless judges from jumping to their feet for three performances. And, if I remember correctly, they didn't bother answering those performances when asked for the highlight of the sessions. Go figure.

American Idol Season 11 Top 6
Stefano Langone Katy Perry Queen

Soon the judges are coming through the audience, and find their seats. Crusty comes out to announce 58 million votes were cast, almost 10 million more that a year ago, when there were more viewers... How does that work? Well, I'll shake that off and move forward. He then introduces what has kinda become the tribute band for Queen, despite having Brian May and Roger Taylor playing. I have to admit, the faux-Freddie was pretty good. Well, for an imitation. But it somehow seems oh-so-right to have them on American Idol, doesn't it? Oh, I heave a sigh and move on. They played the Ford Music Video, and it was just so wan, I have to ignore it. They went to TMZ to give some blatant publicity to them, and for little other reason. Jessica and Elise are called to the stage. Jessica hears from Jimmy, that she was not good with Bohemian Rhapsody, but struck gold with Dance With My Father. Jimmy didn't like Elise, thinking she sounded like a night club act. Jessica is safe, and Elise is in the bottom three. After a break, Crusty pushes tickets to the tour, and is joined by Casey Abrams, furrier than ever. They joke about the tour, and soon introduce one of Casey's compatriots from last season, Stefano Langone. He's there to sing I'm On A Roll.

Really? That was a song? Well, it's not like I expected better from Stefano. I'll try to cleanse that from my memory as we move forward. We all must agree to never mention it again. Thank you. So, after a break, Crusty has Hollie and Joshua on stage with him. Well, the judges loved them both, but Jimmy thought was she not bad doing Queen, and was great singing The Climb. He said Joshua was amazing, and should be making it to the final. So, we learn that Hollie is in the bottom three, and Joshua is safe. After a break, Crusty rushes to introduce Katy Perry, who will perform Part Of Me.

Well, she did that with some sort of military feeling, and it at least helped to distract me from her singing live. Well, taped live, at least. After another break, it is time for Skylar and Phillip to hear the reviews from last night. Jimmy loved Skylar doing Queen, but didn't like the country song. In the slightest. Jimmy wasn't happy with Phillip, either. Thought he lacked energy and focus. But after the vote, Phillip is safe, and Skylar is in the bottom three. Crusty brings Elise and Hollie out with Skylar, and then sends Skylar back to safety. After a break, it is time for Crusty to send Elise home. This is so very sad, but not unexpected. And it is now the judges decide to get to their feet for her. Elise is excited, she gets to sing Whole Lotta Love on her way out.

Elise Testone, American Idol Season 11

Chris Keys • New Day (Live)

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I have discovered that I have my own version of globetrotting, and it has to do with music, and my love for singer/songwriters. I seem to love them so much, I find them all over the world. And that includes in Ireland, where Chris Keys happens to live. I found his music online, and have been listening since. I was quite pleased to see a recent post of Chris singing a song on a radio program, I believe in Belfast. Keys follows in a long line of impressive Irish storytellers, including U2 and one of my favorites, Van Morrison.

For more about Chris Keys, visit his official website and listen to some great tunes. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter. You can find his EP, New Day, on iTunes and Amazon.

Tom Waits • Small Change Live

Tom Waits
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Images by Elizabeth Wolynski - for more visit her blog.

Just the other day, I was sitting around listening to 'Small Change', the great album released by Tom Waits in 1976. It blends the Jazz, Blues and Pop together so perfectly, it transports me. Waits' voice, so filled with whiskey and rye, and God knows how many cartons of cigarettes, delivers the lyrics with a style so very much his own. Part storyteller, part troubadour, part spoken word performer, and part down-on-his-luck-guy-at-the-end-of-the-bar, he brings you to a familiar yet not always comfortable place. I will start with "Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)", the first track on the album. While every man looking for luck at the bottom of a bottle speaks of the woman who brought them there, Waits finds hope in Matilda. Listen as he incorporates the Australian Bush Ballad, "Waltzing Matilda", in his tale.

Tin Pan Alley blues sounds a lot like Tom's "Step Right Up". There is a bright and fluffy side the to the song, like cotton candy waiting to be eaten. But listen closer, and you hear Waits' biting satire on the commercialism of America.

When I first heard "]Invitation To The Blues", I get the same feeling now as I did then. The saxophone and Tom's vocals reach down deep, and touch the soul, reminding of great heartache.

And, finally there is the Jazz-infused "The One That Got Away", the seductive song is driven by the upright bass and Waits' own interpretation of syncopation.

As much as I love Tom Waits' music, I continue to return to 'Small Change'. The brilliance of Tom's artistry and the depth of his emotional investment is incredible. You can find 'Small Change' on iTunes and Amazon. For more about Tom Waits, visit his official website.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

American Idol Season 11 • Top 6 Perform

Tonight we get back to the action, and there should be plenty of action this evening. The theme for tonight's Top 6 is the music of Queen, and a song of their own choice. Ever since Season 4, when Constantine Maroulis tackled Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen has not really been great for the Idols. Two weeks later, Constantine, thought to be a challenger for the title, was shown the door. In Season 5, there was a full night dedicated to Queen, and it sent Country singer Bucky Covington home, with Elliott Yamin (Somebody To Love) and Ace Young (We Will Rock You) in the bottom with him. Bucky picked Fat Bottomed Girls, which apparently didn't set well with the audience. How Kellie Pickler's pathetic attempt at Bohemian Rhapsody escaped the bottom, I just don't know. But two weeks later, she was sent home. Hmmm, wonder if anyone will tackle it this season, and we'll see if they can avoid being sent home in two weeks.

American Idol Season 11 Top 6
Queen indiaarie Luther Vandross
Jason Aldean Jimi Hendrix Miley Cyrus Dave Matthews Band
Top: The Top 6. Clockwise Queen; India Arie; Luther Vandross; Dave Matthews Band; Miley Cyrus; Jimi Hendrix; and Jason Aldean.

The show opens with Crusty mentioning the surprising results of the last two weeks, proving all your favorites could be in jeopardy. He offers big hugs to the judges, which seems odd, and then introduces a video package about the great band Queen, with voice over by Randy Jackson, not Crusty. Then Brian May and Roger Taylor talk to the kids, answering questions. Soon, they are performing a medley of songs. It goes surprisingly well, for there are not many solos where anyone gets lost. It is really more about the remaining members of Queen than about the kids. A rather subdued Crusty tells us that after the break, Jessica will be taking on an iconic anthem. When we get back, we find out she will be singing Bohemian Rhapsody.

She does an interesting job with it, kind of putting a modern twist on it. That was a nice way to open up the show. Steven loved it, while Jennifer thought it needed more rock in the performance. Randy, however, thought it was great - restrained and lovely. There is no real agreement, and soon we must just move on. After the break, Skylar is back on the stage, getting ready to sing The Show Must Go On. Right away, it is noticeable that she is doing a rock version of the song, not taking it to a Country arrangement. Wow, I am totally surprised, but she sounded fantastic. There was great variation, from quiet to bold. The judges are loving it, giving her much credit for the performance. Then Randy pollutes the moment with his attempt at a new catch phrase, "Ryan, she's got to have it." Ugh. Once I recovered from that, we learn that next up is Joshua, who will be singing Crazy Little Thing Called Love, which put Elliott Yamin in the bottom three in Season 5. Joshua's version is a jumble of styles, combining the feeling of old Memphis blues, with some odd Tina Turner moments. I felt it was sloppy, but the judges greet him with a standing ovation, the first of the night. They are pushing him bad, from the judges to Crusty. They keep calling him a young Wilson Pickett, which is nice, but that hasn't been a thriving style for 40 years. Well, I'll let that go. With a quick shift, Elise is on and singing I Want It All.

That was great, for she commanded the stage and the song. This is my favorite of the night so far. Her voice has the weight and depth to sing this music, and her soul has the courage to deliver. The judges praise her, but never even thought to get out of their seats. Tells me they got the orders for the night. After the break, Phillip is coming out to sing Fat Bottomed Girls. I have run out of ways to voice my lack of understanding why he is on the stage. There is little attempt to be on any particular key, and the same muddy, mushy phrasing we have come to expect. He takes a fun Queen song and makes it sound as joyless as every other song he has performed on the show. This even lacks energy. It was also the song that sent Bucky home. And the judges loved it. Well, Steven and Jennifer did. But I feel we could discount Jennifer, who claimed he always sounds different. Is she paying the slightest bit of attention? Randy thought it wasn't Phillip's best, and I just had to laugh. Best is never a word I use with Phillip. To kill the final song by Queen tonight, we have Hollie to sing the lovely Save Me.

She does a nice job, although she always seems to be more a Disney version of whatever they are doing. Steven is polite, and Jennifer rolls on about wanting her to connect, have fun, and smile, apparently all at the same time. Randy gives her credit, while blatantly soft-selling whatever she does. That concludes the Queen portion of the evening, and when asked who was standout in the round, Jennifer immediately answers Skylar, not a singer she offered a standing ovation. Randy figured it out, saying Elise, Skylar and Joshua were tops. Crusty is on stage again, talking to Jessica, and you can't help but notice the lack of energy he has. We find out Jessica will be singing Dance With My Father, great ballad from Luther Vandross. She does an outstanding job with the song, really bringing it up to date and sounding gorgeous. The judges loved it, but did not bother to stand, even if Jennifer thought it was the best version of the song she has heard. This confuses me. Before they sing, there are these odd video segments that give me nothing, so I am not talking about them. Skylar is up next, taking on Jason Aldean's Tattoos On This Town. She does a lovely job with a rather mediocre song, and is just so effortless in singing it better than the original. Randy and Jennifer loved it, but Steven thought she was great, but not a great song. Good God, I am agreeing with Steven, this can't be good. After a break, it is time for Joshua, offering up a little India Arie realness on Ready For Love.

This is the most contemporary he has been, and it falls flat for me. I don't feel the connection to the emotion, more of a connection to the style. It is really a style over substance for me. He is greeted by the second standing ovation of the night, and the judges think that he is spectacular. I shrug and move on, wondering if Jennifer will remember that when asked who was the top from the night without a note from Nigel. Soon it is time for Elise's final song of the night. She is pulling out the great song, Bold As Love, by Jimi Hendrix. Well, that was fantastic, and did a this amazing combination of Blues, Jazz and Rock, taking down a road that reminded of Janis Joplin, and a bit of Grace Slick. I am not sure that is something the voters will connect to, but I sure as hell did. Steven was unsure of the song choice, but thought she was great. Jennifer loved it, and Randy hated it. Next up, we have Phillip on the stage, and he will be singing The Stone by Dave Matthews Band.

Well, that was just a masturbatory experience. I don't know what else to say. Steven is confused, and seems almost angry in his review. Jennifer hated the song, and asked him to sing more recognizable music to make sure he makes it to the finals and wins. Randy disagrees, and thinks it shows off his artistry. So, in recap, apparently, Randy doesn't think girls show artistry, and should sing popular songs, and boys can play off-beat mood pieces and are great. Also, in recap, Jennifer thinks you can do obscure songs if you slay them, but when you suck, as Phillip did, she worries. Got it, everyone? For the final performance of the night, we have Hollie, who will be singing The Climb, made popular by Miley Cyrus a bit ago. She is singing the stuffing out of it, all power and belt, nothing much more. Of course, it is not like Cyrus had too much behind it, either. The judges greet her with a standing ovation, the third of the night, the first not for Jacob. They loved it. I laugh at them, deciding to move on. We get a recap of the night, and I just don't know what to think. The weakest of the night for me were Phillip, Joshua, and Jessica, but I would be shocked if Phillip is in the bottom, even if he deserves to leave. Jessica was good, but might be lost. Hollie might have saved herself with that awful song, and maybe even Elise could be in trouble. Skylar should be safe, but I just don't know. Asked who he was most impressed with, Steven says "Skylar," who did not receive one of the three standing ovations. I laugh out loud. Frankly, I think we have to consider sending home the producers, who picked the theme that seemed to undermine several of their favorites, and then tell the judges to give standing ovations to people who miss the mark.


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