They say anything can happen on live television, and never was that old adage more apt than it was this Tuesday—and not just because judge Nicki Minaj complimented busty contestant Tenna Torres’s cleavage on the air (a bold move that would make even flirty old man Steven Tyler blanch), or because she told the viewing public that another contestant, Kree Harrison, was her "wife." No, the most unpredictable part of “American Idol’s” first live episode of the season actually came during its first five minutes, courtesy of—who else?—zany Zoanette Johnson.
Tuesday’s top 10 girls show opened with Zoanette, the wild lion queen of Season 12, so of course it was time to expect the unexpected, no matter what. But c'mon, even with that being said, I had at least expected Zoanette to remember her lyrics.
Zoanette Johnson singing “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” by Tina Turner
The thing with Zoanette is she is so off the wall and theatrical that it takes an over the top song to balance her out. But when she sings a more “normal” song like this one, she just seems crazy. And this seemed crazy. Zoanette has a decent belting range and she is a born performer, but let’s be real — this was not a good performance. All over the place. Will the oddball factor get voter nation to hit the polls?
The vocal was a little weak on this, but Breanna has this mystery about her and this unique look that even when the eyes start to glaze over on her voice, her eyes draw us in. I wasn’t familiar with this song, and it never really had a climax, but Breanna is an interesting contestant. Her pitch was pretty solid. Nicki Minaj hated it.
Aubrey Cleland singing “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie
My first thought on this was “Oh, not this song,” but Aubrey added a nice touch to it. She was on pitch, she looks like a star and she has likability to her when she sings. Her voice is nowhere near the strongest in the competition, but she has a nice range and picks songs within her limits. She has a decent shot at advancing.
Janelle Arthur singing "If I Can Dream" by Elvis Presley
Last week, Janelle barely survived and she needed to up the ante this week. Challenge accepted. This was a much better song choice for Janelle. Her voice, which was country star quality at moments, was able to soar and for the most part this was dead on. Every season, I talk about the power of the country-loving voters and if they love Janelle, she’ll be around for a while. Also, Keith may be in love with her.
I don’t care what the judges say, I cannot stomach this girl’s belting range. Her tone is so nasal and piercing that even when it’s on pitch, it makes my skin crawl. Her lower range is nice and strong, though. I don’t think America gets behind this voice but at least Tenna got a nice compliment from Nicki on her boobs. See, there’s always a silver lining.
Kudos to Angie (I guess she prefers Angie to Angela) for choosing the song of last year’s “Idol” contestant. And more kudos to playing the piano and pulling her hands off the keys for emphasis and going right back to playing. That takes some talent. The vocal was strong, definitely within her range. And she has this superstar spirit that comes through every time she performs. Angie really wants it. And the judges LOVE her.
Amber Holcomb singing “I Believe In You And Me” by Whitney Houston
I have never seen anyone nail this song on “Idol.” And after Amber’s cover, I still haven’t. The Whitney song is just too big and although Amber did a nice job with it, nothing ever compares to the original. Appropriately enough, her falsetto sounds a little like Whitney, but the belting just isn’t there. This song needs the money notes to be 10s out of 10s and these were eights. The judges all gave her a standing ovation, but it wasn’t quite worthy.
Solid vocal from Kree but following Amber, who had much more fireworks in her song, this fell just a little flat. Kree has a great, countrified voice and she sings so effortlessly that sometimes that spark isn’t quite there. As of right now, Kree is a great singer, but not a great performer. My eyes glaze over a little each time she gets out there.
Adriana Latonio singing "Stand Up For Love" by Destiny's Child
That last money note that Adriana hit was killer, but the rest of the performance was nothing terribly special. It was more talent show than “Idol” stage. Adriana is beautiful and has a good voice, but this wasn’t the best song and she pales in comparison to some of the other performances.
Candice Glover singing "Ordinary People" by John Legend
The diva strikes again. Candice’s lethal combination of poise and power is going to carry her deep into this competition. This thick, richness to her voice is so pleasing to the ear I’m always sad to hear the music stop. This was a good song for Candice to show off her runs and show them off she did. There’s a reason why she sang last.[/align]
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