First, I have to say...WOW! This was the first show this season that I actually think has that WOW Factor that is so necessary in this competition. In fact, it's the first time I actually said "WOW!" out loud. That's always a bit of a 'tell' for me--as in it tells me that someone just did a damned good job at entertaining me. Tonight's theme: Paul McCartney/John Lennon songs.
Some of tonight's contestants actually made me feel as though I were watching them perform at their own concert. For me there were really only 2 weak performances out of the Top 12--and that would be Kristy Lee Cook and (I really hate to say this) my little Idol "crush" I wrote about last week, David Archuleta. While Kristy Lee tried to put a country twang that just didn't work to her McCartney/Lennon song, poor David had a rough time dealing with nerves and lyrics that he couldn't remember in at least 3 places. Drat! I was rooting for you, David.
I can't vote, people. I live in Canada. So I am relying on those of you in the US to pick the greatest performers based on ALL of their performances. And David still ranks high with me. Kristy Lee, on the other hand, may just be seeing the exit sign. Unfortunately, someone has to go, although all these performers are extremely talented.
Now on to best performances of the night and that WOW factor I was talking about. I am selecting a male and female performer in two categories: sweetest performance and awesome rock performance.
First, with the sweetest, most poignant performances, I have to say Ramiele Mulabay takes this one for her pure, sweet voice that emanated emotion. Her control is astonishing and her lovely youthfulness adds a certain vulnerability that can move you to tears. In the same degree, I found Jason Castro's song choice to be tenderly wrought with his amazing voice and recognizable tone. When he performs those softer songs, he is mesmerizing to watch.
My final top choices are for awesome 'rock the house' performances. These next two contestants had that WOW Factor to the max. The first is Carly Smithson. That girl can belt out a tune! Not only does she have sensational vocal control, she also knows how to give a crowd-pleasing performance. Tonight, Carly radiated confidence, showing us the true star that she really is. (In my opinion, a close second for female rocker was Amanda Overmyer, but she just didn't show the range that Carly did, and like Simon, I couldn't understand some of what Amanda was singing.)
The top male who rocked the house dooowwwwnn is getting my last paragraph to himself--maybe 2 or three paragraphs. This guy astonished me tonight by giving me the performance that made me get up, clap my hands and shout "WOW! I've liked him before but always thought he was a quiet guy who blended in at times.
But tonight Chikezie is king! He rocked the house down with an amazing performance of 'She's a Woman'. I loved Chikezie's interpretation of the song and his stage presence commanded attention. He started off sitting with three band members front stage. The music arrangement was inspired and dead on--a perfect fit for his voice, showcasing his range, gritty tones--AWESOME!
I believe it was Paula Abdul who said it sounded a bit like "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" rockabilly music in the opening...and it did. I loved it! Like Paula, I almost expected the musicians to be playing the spoons and jug. When Chikezie stood up, I wasn't sure what to expect because I had enjoyed the opening so much. That boy let loose--his voice had every nuance necessary to make the song come alive. Way to go, Chikezie!!!
One last thing: WOW! King Chikezie's in the house! This contest is ON!
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