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:
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.