Thursday, April 19, 2012

American Idol Season 11: The Top Seven


American Idol Season 11:  Seven remaining contestants 

Season 11!!!!!!!!!!! It is incredible for any show to be lasting this long. In American Idol’s case. It’s still going strong after 10 long years. Despite the appearances of new talent shows on TV such as The Voice or X Factor, I still love Idol and I watch it every week. I like the show’s format and the incredible talents discovered each year in America although I do miss the presence of Simon Cowell and his filthy mouth when it comes to criticizing bad performances. That’s what is missing these days on Idol. The current judges, Jennifer- It’s crazy-You-give-me-goosies-Lopez and Randy Jackson with his favorite lines: Yo, I don’t know what to say, man!(well, you are the judge. Say something but not that!) This is THE most dopest thing I have ever seen on Idol stage in years. IN YEARS!!!  (Errrrm, seriously, Randy?) , are boring me tremendously with an exception of Steven Tyler who always manages to give me chuckles with his knack for funny lines and quotes. The addition of the mentor Jimmy Lovine, while I like him for his honesty and great ideas he gives which usually contradict with the ones given by the judges, only further confuses the poor contestants.

At this stage in the competition, there are 7 hopefuls still remaining and here’s what I think......... because it matters.

Elise Testone
The rock diva with a sour attitude. Her voice reminds me of Anastasia and her looks often bring Mariah Carey to mind. She tends to oversing a lot even to a point the actual melody of the song is lost. While I am a fan of her smoky tone and her incredible riffs & runs, something about her does not warm up to the audience. She does not seem to take the criticism from the judges that well too and it simply shows. That could be the reason why she is a bottom 3 staple and her days in the run are numbered.

Phillip Phillips
That cool dude with a t-shirt with holes. One of the cuties of the competition that the girls will vote for no matter what. His only competition is Colton Dixon who is equally cute.  To me, he’s quite dull and predictable. This free-spirited street musician look he is going for might find him audience in the Jason Maraz/Jack Johnson sort of genre but it’s getting a little boring. Judges seem to love whatever he sings though. He gets standing O every week. I understand he is all about the music, not about the way he looks or other stage hooplas but I am frankly not excited. His way of singing (I do praise his mad vocals) works better in live pubs or open mic nights at the street corner, I don’t see many people flocking to buy his records even if he eventually wins due to female votes.


Jessica Sanchez
The High-school sweetheart with a big black woman living inside. She’s always gracious, humble and consistently good . I can’t get over her version of “The Prayer” during the preliminary rounds. Control. Range. Clarity. Power. Agility. Texture. Tone;  all checked! Technically, she’s the best singer in the competition. Besides, she often succeeds by incorporating soul into her performances.  At sixteen, her stage presence, showmanship, precision and delivery are astonishing. She’s la petite Beyonce with a touch of Jennifer Hudson.

Hollie Cavanagh
The girl-next-door with golden pipes.  Her clean-cut sweet girl image has kept her in the competition this far. She reminds me of a young Christina Aguilera. But she needs to work on her stage craft and live vocals which often are noticeably shaky especially when she sings low and during movements. Her soaring mammoth notes though are always spot on and crystal clear. This performance is my favorite of hers. That note she holds towards the end, I'm sure, makes Christina proud. 

Joshua Ladet
Just another church singer. While I admire his powerhouse growls and praise-the-lord shouts, he is predictable. Every week, he does the same thing, yeah-yeah-yeah and ends with tears in the corners of his puppy eyes which according to the judges, “Soulful”. Fantasia screamed her way through the top in season three and there have been many African American church singers in the past seasons. I just do not see him win this year unfortunately. His mad vocals though should have secured him a corner in the gospel genre by now. You’ve got a friend, Mandisa!

Skylar Laine
Mini Miranda Lambert with a huge Reba-personality. America loves this big-voiced country crooner with a whole-lotta-personality y’all and I do too. I just can’t bear the thought of yet another country singer taking the crown. Then again it’s American idol. It’s about America and the music it loves. It’s only fair. I therefore won’t be surprised if she ends up becoming the eventual winner. She’s got all it takes it win. Wholesome attitude, southern twang, sky-high country vocals and guitar playing.  


Colton Dixon
The Emo heartthrob with Edward Cullen stares.  He’s quite creative and versatile on stage and yes, I can see why teenage girls go gaga on him. Yet still, these girls are fickle. It is clinically-proven. They are known for their tendency to move from Biber fever to Taylor Lautner syndrome within a few seconds. Pretty boy contestants of the past can stand in line and share their testimonies one by one. Starting with the season 1’s Justin Guarini, Casey James of Season 9 to Jason Castro in Season 7 and the list goes on. Now you are like “Who are these people?” Exactly my point. 

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