I've devised a method on how to judge each performance objectively. First I just listen to the performance so I'm not distracted by what they do or look like. Then I rewind the video and watch the performance. That's why I don't watch the episodes live, because I don't have DVR up at school.
Okay, enough of the yakking. Onto the singing.
(Side note: Why was there fire behind Seacrest in the cold open?)
Melinda Ademi Hot Pants - "Nobody's Perfect" by Jessie J
When the song starts, Melinda does this really weird walk to the middle of the stage. She also appears to be wearing leather hot pants over purple leggins (gurl, no). I think she's trying to be sexy but it's not working at all. Didn't some girl already sing this song last week? I can't remember if it was good or not. Anyway, Melinda's lower register is shaky and she seems out of breath already. She does some of the AI Poopy Dance, which makes me laugh. She's gesturing with her free hand a lot. Some of her belted notes are off-key as well. Her voice is nothing special, and I felt it was whiny in places.
Nicki compares it to the girl who sang it last week (apparently her name is Angela, I still don't remember if I liked it last week). Randy wanted big moments in the song, which is Idol-speak for oversinging and the Idol-trademark glory note.
Grade: C-. At least the song was about mid-tempo. I bet none of the other girls are gonna do anything faster than that. She sang it simply too, something else I won't be able to say about the rest of the girls.
Candice Glover Purple Hair - "(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin
Candice was on Idol last year and got cut in Vegas (again they showed footage of her that probably never made it to airtime last season). Then she sings Aretha. NOOOOOOOOOO. What the hell makes these girls think they're good enough to sing Aretha? She's oversinging from the start. She sways back and forth a lot, so not a lot of choreography. Her lower register seems a little off, and a couple notes are off-key. And she ends with the Idol-trademark glory note that is painfully off-key in places. Ouch.
Keith called it a great song choice, and I beat my head against my wall. The judges were creaming their pants over her so she's definitely through to the voting rounds.
Grade: D. Frankly, Demi Lovato's cover on her tour is worlds better.
Taylor Swift Clone Juliana Chahayed - "Skyscraper" by Demi Lovato
Juliana is fifteen, which probably means her favorite "artists" are Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and One Direction. XP She slows "Skyscraper" down painfully and she pronounces a couple words, like "never" and "skyscraper" weird. She's off-key in places and incredibly breathy, even when she's singing in her head voice, to the point where it's annoying. Her upper register is weird-sounding to me, and her sustained note near the end finished off-key. During her performance, she looked like an ethnic Taylor Swift. This is probably Demi's most iconic song and it requires a lot of emotion, something that the younger contestants can't put in their performances. Juliana is no different, especially since she revealed afterwards that she didn't like the song (her music teacher forced her to sing it).
Keith said she had pitch problems (first good critique of the season). Nicki called her timid. Randy started off by mentioning she was fifteen (something we'll probably hear non-stop for the rest of the season).
Grade: D+. Believe it or not, Demi is a hard artist to sing, especially this song.
Jett Hermano Who's Filipina - "Only Girl in the World" by Rihanna
Jett is Filipina, which means she won't win because Idol doesn't like Asians. The song starts out slow and I groan. Now I've never heard the song before (I've heard covers) but isn't it supposed to be uptempo? Why do people think the only way to show off their voice is to sing something slow? Jett is off-key, which is odd because Rihanna isn't hard to sing. Her chest belts are particularly painful. Her voice is really not that pleasant.
Keith liked the arrangement (ugh). Nicki was waiting for a big moment she never got (agreed).
Grade: D-. I'm getting bored. It's almost eight in the morning, don't put me back to sleep.
Cristabel Clack Skunk Hair - "No One" by Alicia Keys
Cristabel's hair is funny. She used to travel with Grammy Award-winning gospel artists, which makes me think she's a plant. Right away, her voice is very scratchy and raspy and she's off-key. And she's oversinging. Some of her belted her notes are very painful. At least the pace of the song picks up and it's not slow the whole time. Her lower register is off, too. That was just... oy.
Nicki called her voice unique (usually when an auditioning contestant says they have a "unique vocal range" it means they sing like shit). The judges love her for some reason (although Nicki seemed iffy about her).
Grade: D- if I'm being generous. Ah, screw it, she gets a FAIL. I never want to hear her voice again.
THERE ARE FIVE SINGERS LEFT. FIVE. OHMYGOD THIS SHOW DOESN'T END.
Mega-Pimped Aubrey Cleland - "Sweet Dreams" by Beyonce
This song is too big for her. Beyonce is hard to sing, too. She's off-key from the start. Her attempt at oversinging is very off-key. Her pained facial expressions and her constantly gesturing hands are funny, though (my roommate wondered if she was an alien). She's probably the best looking female contestant though, so that'll get her votes.
The judges turn up the pimpage for her. Why? She wasn't that good. She's just pretty. That's it. Nicki said her high notes weren't "Beyonce-ish" (that's because they weren't in tune). Then the judges argue when Randy said he didn't like the song choice. Oy.
Grade: D+. Her performance was kinda funny but her vocals weren't. I'm on the verge of being bored again.
Southern Rachel Hale - "Nothing But Water" by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals (who?)
As soon as I heard her accent, I thought, "Country song". And I was right. Everyone on this show is so predictable. She's off-key but she picked something more uptempo tonight. Her high notes are painful. She does the AI Poopy Dance. These contestants need to stop trying to oversing because most of them suck at it. Rachel seems bland and just not interesting.
Why does Nicki keep calling the girls "ladybug"? Is "ladybug" the new "dawg"? Randy thanked her for singing something uptempo (agreed). Rachel keeps talking about prayer during the critiques. Stop. Stop it.
Grade: C- for not putting me to sleep. It'd be a better grade if she could ACTUALLY SING ON KEY.
Breanna Steer (she's not interesting enough to get a nickname) - "Bust Your Windows" by Jazmine Sullivan
Breanna starts off with her sob story about losing her house in a hurricane. Her video package also showed her wearing leather pants in one of her Vegas performances. But she's wearing high-waisted paints in this performance. Her lower register is slighty off-key. She just seems kind of hesistant overall. She's very flat throughout the song. She looks slightly deranged throughout the song too, which I guess fits the song but makes her look like a gargoyle. Then she ends with the Idol-trademark glory note and that was just awful. The ending was off-key and just trailed off.
Keith has never heard the song before. Mariah is starting to seem fake to me right now.
Grade: D. None of the girls are really impressing me.
Bland Janelle Arthur - "Just a Kiss" by Lady Antebellum
Janelle's shirt is this baggy pink-orange deal with a fringe going down her boobs. Not attractive. She sings another country song. Do we really need more bland country artists? I think not. The song has a beat but it's still slow. She's off-key right at the first verse and very much so in the chorus. Ouch. That was painful. Her high notes are flat. Stop trying to oversing. You're not good at it. At least the performance was mercifully short.
Keith said there wasn't much range in the song (true). Nicki said her performance fell a little flat. Randy didn't like the song choice.
Grade: D-. I'm bored again.
Zoanette Johnson With the Blonde 'Fro - "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King
Zoanette is from Liberia, which makes her slightly interesting. Her hair changes colors about three times in her video package, but it's a blonde afro when she's onstage. As soon as she sang the first line of her song, I was like, "HELL YES!" I like this girl already. The orange-yellow lighting made it more awesome. And she's appropriately wearing cheetah print tonight. Her lower register is eh, and she's also off-key when she oversings. I think I also heard a slight lisp when she sang. The performance is over the top but it suits her and the song. She ends with probably the best executed Idol-trademark glory note. That was awesome. I love her.
Keith, Nicki, and Randy gave her a standing ovation, as they should. They all loved her. PLEASE let her through to the voting rounds. This show needs this kind of energy. The rest of the cast is just bland. Mariah said she was Broadway ready (uh no, not yet).
Grade: B+. This is the one ballad that didn't put me to sleep. Thank you, Zoanette!
After the judges pretended to decide who was cut and who stays (even though it was decided by the producers weeks in advance), Zoanette and her 'fro (YES!!!!!!!), Mega-Pimped Aubrey, Purple Hair Candice, Breanna With No Nickname, and Bland Janelle (really?) advanced while Melinda Hot Pants, Juliana aka Ethnic Taylor Swift, Filipina Jett, Skunk Hair Cristabel, and Southern Rachel were cut.