ESBMusic’s American Idol commentator, Lauren Campbell’s, analysis of the Round 2 (week 2) semifinalists:
Jasmine Murray – Started the night off with “Love Song” which I personally love and proved to be a breakout hit for Sara Bareilles. Jasmine had confidence and did a fairly good job but doesn’t even come close to the vocal range of this artist. This 16-year-old girl is cute and can sing decently, but the song was kind of pitchy and not all that great. Try again in a few years when your voice develops some more. You aren’t the next Jordan Sparks quite yet.
Matt Giraud – A dueling piano player who maybe just wasn’t comfortable without the piano but his version of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” just didn’t work for me. I mean it wasn’t horrible just not particularly good. His spin on the song just wasn’t a risk worth taking and I think unfortunately, Matt blew this week’s shot which is a shame since it seemed like he actually has a quite good voice if he stuck with something a little more soulful. Matt – better luck if they give you a shot in the wild card round.
Jeanine Vailes – ugh, the show was not off to a good start. Maroon 5’s “This Love” didn’t sound like a bad choice but apparently it was; the song didn’t work with her voice. Jeanine at least looks good and seemed like she was having fun up there but it was a little painful.
Nick Mitchell – I do enjoy his stage character Norman Gentle (?) and it is a lot of fun to watch. But Nick/Norm belongs on a Vegas stage performing a fun comedic-esque musical/ variety show not the American Idol stage. This was the most entertaining performance of the evening and I like how he worked/ utilized the whole stage and changed some of the words of “Your Gonna Love Me” to apply to this show and the moment in time. Maybe he could be a new American bandmate on Flight of Concords; I don’t think he will be our next idol though. His voice actually isn’t that bad, he just isn’t one of the better singers on this show. The most surprising part actually was that Ryan Seacrest was actually mean to Nick. I thought he was contractually obligated to be nice to everyone. Hilarious.
Allison Iraheta – This cute 16-year-old came out in all black with her bright fire engine red hair and some raw natural talent. I was unsure if she could pull of Heart’s “Alone,” but I was very presently surprised. She rocked the stage with some seriously powerful vocals. I love this song and her singing of it. She was the best of night to this point by far. Her personality is a little bland but her voice and the way she worked the stage makes up for it.
Kris Allen – This guy is totally my type, he is an adorable brunette with amazing eyes who plays the guitar well. I really wanted to like him on looks alone but his rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” was just good not great. He had decent vocals that got better as the song progressed and seemed comfortable on stage but I am afraid that this wont be enough. Selfishly I hope enough teenage girls vote him through because I would love to watch him again and think he has more potential.
Megan Joy Corkrey – Sang Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” which despite its Grammy nominations, I am not a huge fan. Although she sang well, I couldn’t really get into her performance. The judges however, liked their song choice and thought it seemed to fit. She is a strikingly beautiful blond with a fun vibe and decent vocals, so I am sure she will at least be remembered.
Matt Breitzke – Is the nice guy background story of the week I liked – the welder with a big heart who wants to provide a better life for his family. His song choice was something I could get into and one that I really like – Tonic’s “If you could only see”. I just don’t know if the song has mass appeal enough for the rest of the audience. I am always a fan of the rockers on this show as it is my favorite genre and Matt sang the song well. His story and vibe is similar to last weeks Michael Sarver, so let’s see if the back story is enough to pull him through like it did for Michael.
Jesse Langseth – Yet another single mom. I feel like half the female contestants the past two weeks have been one of these and they keep showcasing it in these pre-packages. Jesse sang “Betty Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, which I am not familiar with but she seemed to really sell it. I like her voice and think she was OK but not good or memorable enough.
Kai Kalama – Sang an oldie but goodie from the 60’s “What becomes of the Broken Hearted” and I quite enjoyed his performance and thought it suited him. Kai is a likable performer, but it could have been sung better. I just don’t feel like it was anything special enough to get him through to the next round.
Mishavonna Henson – Is an 18-year-old who got cut last season during Hollywood Week. I am not sure she really showed that she deserved to be here this year with her performance of “Drops of Jupiter” by Train. She is young and will probably still grow, but tonight’s performance started off a little pitchy and boring for me, the second half of the song was really really good though. It seemed like she gained her confidence and belted out some nice vocals. I enjoyed her interaction with the judges and Ryan after she sang more then performance, which probably isn’t a good thing.
Adam Lambert – He is my other AI Crush this season although I am not sure he is a “viable” one. I honestly cringed a little when he said he was going to be singing the Rolling Stone’s “Satisfaction” because no one sings this better then Jagger and often comes off karaoke-esque. From the first sultry note and sexy stare though, I was hooked. I liked the slower seductive start and I think it was a smart move for him as I think the female audience was willing and ready to vote him through after that alone. The majority of the song was amazing though right down to that last high note. Adam has a musical theater background and it definitely shows here but I think it only helped to prepare him as he strutted around the stage with confidence and charisma. This hottie knows how to work the stage. Overall, it was a very Satisfying performance. Sorry I had to lol…
I would personally put through Adam & Allison as the top male and female of the evening. As the third runner up, I hope Matt or Kris get in as I really like them and think they will do better in rounds to come.