American Idol Season 11 Top 12 or 13 Guys Live Blog

Welcome to American Idol Season 11 on One21music where we cover the entire extravaganza but we highlight Christian musicians.  Tonight the Top 13 guys perform.  Here are the Top 12 and we will add number 13 in a few:

Aaron Marcellus
Adam Brock
Chase Likens
Creighton Fraker
Heejun Han
DeAndre Brackensick
Eben Franckewitz
Jeremy Rasado
Joshua Ledet
Colton Dixon
Phil Phillips
Reed Grimm

I am in L.A. tonight and tomorrow so this will not be exactly live because half of the country has already seen this.  But read on to see my reactions to the performances as they happen.

New stage for American Idol Season 11 looks pretty good in gold and white.  Now the judges put forward 12 guys from Hollywood and will select a 13th from four others: Jermaine Jones, David Leathers, Richie Law and Johnny Keyser.  But we will find out about that later.

First up is crazy rocker Reed Grimm singing “Move Like Jagger”. I have never heard this song but evidently it needed censoring. I don’t know about the first part but after he hits the drum and starts scatting the performance hits a peak.  An unfortunate spot to perform but a good enough performance to move him on to next week. The judges love the jazz take on this popular tune.

Next up, Christian musician Adam Brock puts his gospel, soul, jazz twist on” Think”. I don’t know how America will react to Adam Brock but I love to listen to hear him sing.  He has that casual ability to seamlessly scale his voice up and down his range that enables him wail with control. Two great performances to start the Season 11.  Who knows if he goes on but this performance was finalist worthy.

Following Adam Brock is Hawaiian heartthrob DeAndre Brackensick.  He picked a perfect song for his voiced with Earth Wind and Fire‘s “Reasons”.  DeAndre’s nerves are getting the best of him as he keeps missing on this song’s falsetto.  I have heard him hit those notes but this is a mess.  He hit some big notes in the middle but he muddled through the beginning and the end.  Of course, the judges heard something different than me. J-Lo actually said his voice was perfect.  And DeAndre already has groupies that Ryan brings up onto the stage.

Now get to see if Colton Dixon can fulfill the promise that we all thought he had in Season 10. Colton is at his piano, where he is at his best, singing Paramore’s “Decode”. Boy, as he gets up from that piano and marches to the front of the stage, he looks like a star.  Oh wow he jumps up on the piano like he owns the stage.  Well, Colton delivered a perfect singing performance and established himself as a star. Randy calls him an alt rocker and J-Lo calls him a relevant artist. Even in his interview with Ryan he pl;ays the crowd by asking them how he they liked his performance.  I think we see Colton Dixon next week.

Now Christian teen Jeremy Rosado takes on Sara Bereilles‘ “Gravity”.  We love Jeremy’s brown-eyed soul but he seems a little lost in this song.  He is too breathy and not showing his beautiful tone.  When he tries to wield his full throated voice he loses the pitch.  I don’t know Jeremy, I am not sure that gets you past this week.  I guess the judge’s are not going to say anything critical. J-Lo is gushing over his artistry and Randy loves Jeremy.  Let’s hoping this works out for Jeremy because he is a fave of One21music.

Gospel singer Aaron Marcellus calls himself a regular dude who has a big dream.  Aaron sings “Never Can Say Goodbye”.  I would have preferred him do something with a little more impact.  He looks great in his silver and black and he sings the song perfectly, but I don’t know.  I am not sure this propels him into the top 5 guys. However, the entire audience and the judges leap to their feet at the end of the song. Randy calls the run at the end of the song “crazy”. Stephen says he is the total package.

Country crooner Chase Likens confesses that he is a whistler.  This Christian musician is singing “Storm Warning”, a country rock tune.  The music is drowning him out and the song does not really give him anything to work with. With all of the great performances this may not get Chase into the top 5 guys.  Stephen and J-Lo both talked about how good he looks, uh oh.

We are half way through the performances and it is obvious that we are going to be upset.  There are only spots that will be voted on to next week and I have already seen five I would like to send.  Problem is that I don’t think all next 7 performances will suck.  So get ready to be say goodbye to some performers who deserve to stay.

New Yorker Creighton Fraker now takes his first shot with America. Is he really singing a Cyndi Lauper song? Yep, that is “True Colors”.  This is a pretty terrific vocal performance with great dynamics and tremendous range. J-Lo gushed and Stephen says that Cyndi Lauper is home crying. Randy makes the veiled observation that Creighton can sing but that America will probably not vote for a 28 year-old New York street performer.

Phil Phillips, he of the unfortunate name, is up next.  He is bringing his Dave Matthews vibe to “In The Air Tonight”.  I love this arrangement.  This may be the first time I have ever enjoyed this song.  Finally, one of these guys takes their time and dominates a song.  That was awesome.  Phillip Phillips has delivered the best performance of the night. The judges must be tired but Randy does deliver an actual criticism of his arrangement.  Of course I strongly disagree.  That was awesome.

Now Eben “Beiber” Frankewitz has left school to follow his dream. He is making the mistake of singing Adele‘s “Fire To The Rain” and it is not working out very well.  He seems overwhelmed by the sing and I am not sure he has hit many of the notes and ever found the melody.  Sorry, Eben that was the worst performance of the night.  Randy noticed but he couldn’t help compliment Eben on the performance.  if Eben goes through it will be because America’s teenage girls show up for him in the voting.

Now we roll on with Heejun Han and he continues to bring the humor.  He is singing “Angels”.  A very, very good singing performance but he did not bring much personality to the stage.  In a cut night like this he may not have brought enough pizzaz to the television.  The judges all agree that it was not the best song selection to show off his voice.

Another of our favorites now takes the stage.  Gospel blower Joshua Ledet is singing “You Pulled Me Through” and he starts with a gospel run.  You go brother! The first singer to stand in the middle of the stage and just dominate the room with his voice.  Incredible. Josh Ledet is a crazy good singer yall! That’s right everybody on your feet.  This kid, with no performing experience, just walked in and dominated this show tonight.  That was a LeBron James dunk.  J-Lo is right that Joshua can be a gospel singer, an R&B star, Joshua can be anything he wants to be.  Incredible.

Finally, we learn that Jeremiah Jones gets a second chance. Can his crushingly deep voice carry this Gospel crooner to the Top 12? Singing “My Father” which I am not sure was the best choice for his vocie.  However, the song does show his range and he sings it beautifully.  Jeremiah is thrilled to be back and is enjoying every moment of this opportunity.

Well that was a great start to American Idol Season 11.  There were 9 or 10 performances that deserved to be rewarded with a place in the Top 12 but some really good people will go home on Thursday night.  Based on these performances I think Joshua Ledet, Phil Phillips, Colton Dixon, Aaron Marcellus and Adam Brock deserve to be in the Top 5 and, if that happens, look for the judges to add Creighton Fraker back into the mix.  However, do not dismiss teen friendly singers DeAndre Brakensick, Eben Franewitz and Jeremy Rosado.

Join us tomorrow night as we do our in the moment reactions to the Top 12 girls performances on American Idol Season 11.

 

 

 

 

 

American Idol Season 11 Top 24

Well, American Idol Season 11 is in our hands now.   After an agonizing two nights of acceptance and rejection, the American Idol judges revealed their Top 24.  Now Randy, J-Lo and Stephen can sit back for the next two months and encourage, make meaningless comments and provide star power.  I pretty much agree with all of the decisions, except for the decision to eliminate Christian musician Jermaine Jones.  Not only was his rejection agonizing to experience, this hulking bass gospel boomer was one of the most unique voices I have ever heard on American Idol. Jermaine’s falsetto is deeper than the bottom of Scott McCreery‘s bass.

But in a shocking turn of events American Idol announced that Jermaine Jones, David Leathers, Richie Law and Johnny Keyser   have a chance to become the 13th guy in the American Idol Season 11 Top 12.  Yeah, I am confused as well.  I don’t know how the 13th Idol will be selected.  I do know that I hope, beyond hope, that Jermaine Jones makes that 13th spot.

Oh well, next week We get the vote.  The American Idol Season 11 Top 12 13 guys will perform for our votes and then, on Wednesday night, the Top 12 girls will perform.  Thursday night our votes will take us to a Top 10 and then the judges will select the final 2 that will make up or Top 12.  However, given the history of these American Idol judges, I bet we wind up with a Top 13.

American Idol Season 11 Top 12 Girls

Baylie Brown
Brielle Von Hugel
Chelsea Sorrell
Elise Testone
Erika Van Pelt
Hallie Day
Haley Johnson
Hollie Cavanaugh
Jen Hirsh
Jessica Sanchez
Shannon Magrane
Skylar Laine

American Idol Season 11 Top 12 Guys

Aaron Marcellus
Adam Brock
Chase Likens
Creighton Fraker
Heejun Han
DeAndre Brackensick
Eben Franckewitz
Jeremy Rasado
Joshua Ledet
Colton Dixon
Phil Phillips
Reed Grimm

We have, so far, identified 10 Christian musicians in the American Idol Season 11 Top 24. We believe several more of the Top 24 are believers but we cannot find any evidence to verify our instinct. Here are your Christian musicians going to the live shows:

Christian Musicians in American Idol’s Top 24

Baylie Brown
Chelsea Sorrell
Hallie Day
Aaron Marcellus
Adam Brock
Chase Likens
Eben Frankewitz
Jeremy Rasado
Joshua Ledet
Colton Dixon

Last year, at this time, I pegged Christian musicians Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina as the ones to beat for American Idol Season 10.  This year is not so clear.

From what I have seen, there are two stand out singers among the girls: Jessica Sanchez and Jen Hirsh. They will surely make it into the American Idol Season 11 Top 12.  I think we will see only one of the three country singing girls (Baylie Brown, Chelsea Sorrel and Skylar Laine) emerge from next week’s vote. That leaves three spots for the girls and I think it will all depend on which ones deliver show stopping performances.

For the guys, Christian musicians Joshua Ledet and Colton Dixon are contenders to win it all.  I think Jeremy Rasado‘s personality and soulful voice will carry him into the American Idol Season 11 Top 12.  The big question is whether Eben Frankewtiz‘s Justin Beiber looks will compel the teenage vote to drive him into the Top 12.  And where does that leave Adam Brock, Creighton Fraker, Aaron Marcellus, Reed Grimm and Phil Phillips.  I don’t know the answer to that question but it does look like we have another American Idol season with a stronger group of guys than girls.

I will live blog next weeks performances from Los Angeles so we will be running a couple of hours later than usual but be sure to check-in on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for my reactions in the moment.  And don’t forget to vote.

American Idol Groups in Hollywood and Vegas

It was a good week in Hollywood and Vegas for Christian musicians on American Idol Season 11.  In the four hours of American Idol this week just about all of our Christian musicians received a lot of love and we even had a Chelsea Sorrell sighting, no performance footage just a sighting. After a sluggish first week in Hollywood we had a whirlwind four hours with Hollywood week groups and final individual performances, the room cuts, a trip to Vegas for a another group round and more final cuts.  We went from 160 contestants to start the group round down to 40 Idol hopefuls by the time the bus pulled out of Vegas.

Baylie Brown, Chase Likens, Eben Franckweitz, Aaron Marcellus, Jeremy Rosado and Colton Dixon all received some screen time and did well.  Aaron Marcellus drove one of the best group performances in Hollywood as Group Sauce slammed through “Hold On (I’m Coming)”.  His solo started the judges whooping and cheering. Jeremy Rosado and Eben Franckewitz shined with their Hollywood group’s version of “Mercy” and Jeremy Rosdao thrilled us again in Vegas when his group performed an intricate version of “Rockin’ Robin”.  However there were three significant developments this week for Christian musicians.

The Emergence of Joshua Ledet

We had not seen Joshua Ledet on American Idol Season 11 until his Hollywood group performed. Then he hit the stage with 697 singing “Hit ‘Em Up Style” and blew everyone else’s socks off. Then during the Vegas group performance of “Blue Suede Shoes” he blew up that song with a sick gospel run in the middle of the song. If all of that was not enough Joshua Ledet stamped himself as a serious contender for American Idol Season 11 with this performance of “Jar of Hearts”:

Adam Brock Asserts His Gospel Blues Cred

Early on Adam Brock said that people have told him there is an old black woman blues singer in his white body. This week he backed up that claim with this performance of “Georgia On My Mind”:

Adam Brock backed that performance up with his Vegas group arrangement of “Great Balls of Fire” that brought the house down.

Jermaine Johnson Channels God’s Voice

Gospel singer Jermaine Johnson caused my jaw to drop and hang open with his exquisite delivery of “Make It Easy On Yourself.”  His deep bass and perfect pitch is one of the most unique voices I have ever heard on American Idol. The performance was made more difficult because of his paring with one of American Idol Season 11′s “villians” Richie Law. Through the difficult preparation, Jermaine Johnson was gentle and patient with Richie’s strong will and demands to dominate preparations. No matter their struggles, watch this stunning performance:

So we have at least a dozen strong Christian musicians in the American Idol Season 11 Top 40 so watch next week as the Top 40 deliver their last performances before the judges make their final decisions. Then check back with us next week for further analysis and re-cap.

American Idol Season 11 Hollywood Week

My overall assessment of American Idol Season 11 Hollywood Week is too short and not enough.  The episodes were too short and there were not enough performances.  Thursday’s group night episode had no group performances, and really, not even that much drama.  We did not really learn much about any of the performers on Thursday night.  There were some who could not find a group, some who wanted to work later than others and some who monoplized their groups. Nothing new there.

Christian Musicians on American Idol Season 11

Several Christian musicians were featured during Round 1 when more than 160 hopefuls were sent home.  Texan Baylie Brown sang a country song I don’t know and  Baltimore’s Hallie Day sang “Natural Woman”.  Both of them slayed the judges and were passed on through to the group round. Jazz singer Adam Brock unleashed his big, soulful voice on “Walkin’ In Memphis”, to the delight of Jennifer Lopez and the other judges.  Aaron Marcellus unleashed a run so powerful that the American Idol judges stopped him before I could identify the song.  Finally, Jeremy Rasado delivered a soft lilting rendition of “Superstar” that brought goosebumps to Jennifer’s arms.

Nothing more than fleeting, background appearances on either episode by Colton Dixon, Chelsea Sorrell, Chase Likens or Eben Frankewiez.  Let’s hope we get to see them in their group performances this week.

We did identify another Christina musician in American Idol Season 11.  We did not see him this week so keep an eye out for him during the group performances next week.

Joshua Ledet

A 19 year-old son of a preacher man from southern Louisiana. Joshua Ledet (think “lay debt”) seems to be the story book American Idol contestant.  He is a college student he can sing and has a dream. Let’s hope Joshua gets to some face time next week because we have yet to see him on the screen.

 

 

 

 

Join me next week for another re-cap of American Idol Season 11 Hollywood Week.  Let’s hope we see more performances and less drama.

If you know any Christian musicians on American Idol Season 11 please send us a comment.  We will follow them throughout Season 11 and cheer them on to success.

American Idol Season 11 Christian Performers

American Idol is back for Season 11 and we at One21music are back for our fourth year of coverage. However, as we did in Seasons 8, 9 and 10 we will take a little different slant. We will identify and focus on Christian musicians competing in American Idol Season 11. So far we have identified nine American Idol Season 11 contestants who are Christian musicians. If you know of any other believers who have made it to Hollywood, please let us know. We would love to feature them through out Season11.

American Idol Season 11’s Hollywood theater of torture is upon us. It starts on Thursday February 8th. The American Idol judges will narrow the Hollywood field down to 40 for a trip to Las Vegas.  American Idol Season 11 will then announce the Top 24 semi-finalists after Las Vegas. We then begin voting on live performances on March 1.

We will research the American Idol Season 11 hopefuls to find those who profess their faith in Christ, and then we will follow their progress, with you, throughout American Idol Season 11. As we head into Hollywood week, keep your eyes open for these Christian musicians we have found so far.

American Idol Season 10 Christian Performers

Aaron Marcellus Sanders

We don’t know much about Aaron Sanders but we do know he is a member of Aaron Marcellus and The Will Band, a soul, pop group featured on Bonnafide Radio.  The Atlanta, Georgia native made it to Hollywood in American Idol Season 10Aaron Sanders auditioned in Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

 

Adam Brock

Christian musician Adam Brock sings jazz musician and is the featured vocalist for the Trinity Jazz Orchestra.  The Pittsburgh native lists Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Staple Singers, Kim Burrell, Clark Sisters, Vickie Winans, Kurt Elling, Adele and Beyonce as influences. As you might expect Adam Brock auditioned in Pittsburgh as well.

 

 

 

 

Baylie Brown

Christian musician Baylie Brown made it to Hollywood in Season 6 as a 16 year-old girl from a small town who craved the big city.  Since then this Krum, Texas native moved to Nashville was signed by Universal South music and has pursued a career as a professional country singer.  Baylie Brown reemerged as an experienced, adult musician in the Houston auditions.

 

 

 

Chelsea Sorrell

Christian musician Chelsea Sorrell is a veteran from American Idol Season 10 where she made it through Hollywood to Las Vegas.  This North Carolina native auditioned in Savannah and is the lead singer for The Chris Land Band, a local North Carolina band who regularly opens for touring country artists such as Sara Evans and Darius Rucker.

 

 

 

Chase Likens

Christian musician Chase Likens makes a return trip to  American Idol Season 11‘s Hollywood round after the  disappointment of being a Hollywood casualty in American Idol Season 10.  The West Virginia native is a Nashville recording artist who auditioned in Pittsburgh.  Chase Likens is a member of Point Peasant, WV group Youth in Gospel .

 

 

 

Eben Franckewitz

What do you get when you combine a 15 year-old Justin Bieber look alike with a smooth, nuanced singing voice? Well, you get Christian musician Eben Frankewitz, a contestant who makes American Idol producers giddy and will cause quite a buzz among American Idol’s tween demographic.   The Milford, Ohio native traveled to Pittsburgh with his family and proceeded to blow the judges away with his version of “Ain’t No Sunshine”.  If Eben Frankewitz makes it to the live voting, America’s tween girls will carry him far into the competition.

 

 

 

Hallie Day

Christian musician Hallie Day had a long tortuous journey to her Pittsburgh audition.  At 15 she dropped out of high school and moved to New York to head-up an all girl rock group Plum Crazy.  The story goes, as many have, until she hit bottom with a very real suicide attempt.  Today Hallie Day is a 24 year-old newlywed who is a worship song leader at Baltimore’s Second Presbyterian Church.

 

 

 

Jeremy Rosado

Christian musician Jeremy Rosado auditioned in Savannah.  The Valrico, Florida native has auditioned for American Idol five times and finally made it to Hollywood.  A member of Elite Youth Productions, Jeremy Rosado lists himself as a Gospel/Soul artist.  We did not see his audition but be sure to watch for him during Hollywood week.

 

 

 

Michael Colton Dixon

It seems the American Idol judges are trying right what was probably their biggest mistake from Season 10.  Christian musician Colton Dixon was one of the last contestants eliminated before American Idol Season 10 went to live voting and it was a huge mistake.  The good looking young singer was probably a better musician than any of the Top 12 boys and is an effortless singer.  Colton Dixon did not even sign up to audition for American Idol Season 11 but was supporting his sister, Schyler, in her Savannah audition when the judges pulled him into the room, asked him to sing and gave him a ticket to Hollywood.  Let’s see if the judges make the right decision in American Idol Season 11 and give us a chance to vote for Colton Dixon.

 

 

So it is time for the American Idol Season 11 journey to begin for One21music.  Join us as we cover these Christian musicians on their journey.  We will recap the Hollywood episodes each week at this time and then, when American Idol Season 11 goes live with the Top 24 performances we will begin live blogging the performances and providing real time reporting of the results.  We know these are not the only Christian musicians in Hollywood.  If you know Christian musicians who have made it to Hollywood in American Idol Season 11, please drop us a comment and we will add them to the list.