American Idol – Recap & Review – Sudden Death, Round IIII

photo: fox

photo: fox

American Idol
Sudden Death, Round IIII

Original Air Date: Feb 28, 2013

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer

We finally have the Top 20. We might not agree with every choice, but the judges are now officially done making decisions. From next week on, the audience gets to vote on who stays and who goes.

Surprisingly, no one crashed and burned this wound. Rather, only a few blew us away. Here’s how they did.

Backstory: He came very close last year.
Song: “A Little Less Conversation”
Impression: It’s a flashy song that doesn’t focus on his voice. But he certainly gets the audience riled up. His last note paid off. KEITH praised his huge range and power, but thought his entertainment factor can hide him. NICKI thought he tried too hard to please the judges. RANDY said he has a great voice but didn’t like the song choice. MARIAH pointed to his duality of being an entertainer and a singer.

Backstory: He is a sikh and calls himself “The Turbanator”
Song: “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You”
Impression: He showed that he has a good, but not great voice. The song didn’t give him “a moment,” which he really needed. KEITH liked his voice more when he plays guitar and dissed the song choice. NICKI agree with Keith and felt he had to draw them in. RANDY said it was terrible. MARIAH was disappointed not to hear his softer voice.

Backstory: He’s a worship leader and teaches voice. He’s backed up Whitney Houston and others.
Song: “Cause I Love You”
Impression: Now, this is the kind of song that shows off a voice. His R’n’B/gospel mix is show stopping and his voice is gorgeous, especially that long last note. He got a standing ovation from Keith, Mariah and Randy. KEITH loved it. NICKI thought he was a good and sexy old-fashioned. RANDY felt the show started with him and called him the complete package. MARIAH said “finally.”

Backstory: He was cut in Vegas last year.
Song: “Say Something Now”
Impression: I’ve really been a fan of his, but this song seems a bit too quiet. It’s pretty, but it may not be enough. KEITH liked the timbre of his voice but he kept waiting to feel a connection with him. NICKI loved the warmth of his voice but felt it wasn’t a 10—it wasn’t his best. RANDY wasn’t sure it was the right song and lacked a moment. MARIAH said she heard a moment but she needed to feel more connection.

Contestant: JOSH HOLIDAY
Backstory: He auditioned because of the bus tour.
Song: An original tune.
Impression: He accompanies himself on piano. He’s very commercial, but also the type of white guy who wins – just what the producers don’t want this year. The song starts nicely, but gets hammy at the end. And he’s not a great singer. KEITH liked the song but felt he needed to cut loose instead of being so controlled. NICKI wanted him to stay on the piano because when he got up, he seemed to try too hard to please. RANDY wasn’t wowed by it. MARIAH praised his bold choice, but it didn’t pull people in.

Backstory: He is a worship leader and was adopted by elderly parents.
Song: “Fever”
Impression: Bad move accompanying himself on the guitar (BGWG). It’s a fun arrangement and he has a pleasant voice, but he’s so nervous he doesn’t connect. KEITH felt it wasn’t the right song to show off his voice but he loved it. NICKI felt like he’d just gotten a guitar for Christmas. RANDY thought it was boring and didn’t show off his voice. MARIAH thought he could show off his vocals more.

Contestant: BRYANT TADEO
Backstory: He is Hawaiian.
Song: “New York State of Mind”
Impression: He has a really sweet voice, but the hand motions were distracting. It’s really beautiful, but not “wow.” KEITH noted that the audience gave him a standing ovation. He said it was a good song for him and his voice. NICKI loved the last falsetto note and riff, but didn’t like anything else. RANDY loved the beginning but was waiting for it to go somewhere. MARIAH said he sounded professional but it wasn’t his great performance.

Backstory: He recently lost 40 pounds after Katrina destroyed his home.
Song: “This Time”
Impression: He has very distracting hand motions. I had to close my eyes to listen to him. The song nicely showed off a strong voice, but overall, it was underwhelming. KEITH liked it and thought his singing style was original. NICKI said she would pay right now to hear him sing and he was the best by far of the night. RANDY applauded his courage. MARIAH wanted him to keep going.

Contestant: LAZARO ARBOS
Backstory: He has a very big stutter.
Song: “Tonight I Wanna Cry”
Impression: His intense pink shirt burned holes in my eyes. His pitch is all over the place. KEITH called him a great singer but didn’t think it was a great song choice (Keith had written it) because he kept trying to slow it down and couldn’t. NICKI said he played it safe in a good way, by playing to his strengths. RANDY agreed it wasn’t the perfect song, but when he hit the sweet point in his voice he can really sing. MARIAH praised his emotional connection even though she’s heard him do a stronger vocal.

Contestant: CORTEZ SHAW
Backstory: He came from a poor single-family home.
Song: “Titanium”
Impression: What a pretty voice and the song lets him show it off. He has a few bum notes but his passion shown through. KEITH called it a bold and brave move to tackle that song into a ballad, but his high notes hit the mark. NICKI liked him a lot. RANDY said his ranged surprised him despite some pitch issues. MARIAH didn’t have any problems with his choices and loved him.

YES: Vincent Powell, Lazaro Arbos, Cortez Shaw, Burnell Taylor, Nick Boddington

NO: David Oliver Willis, Bryant Tadeo, Mathenee Treco, Josh Holiday, Gurpreet Singh Sarin

It’s early in the season, but we still heard Randy’s first “in it to win it.” I have to say that I am very disappointed that Bryant didn’t go on. He got a standing ovation from the audience — what more do they want?

Next week, we get three nights of Idol. The women perform Tuesday, the men on Wednesday and the selection of the Final 10 is Thursday night. Hopefully the ratings dip during the two sudden death rounds will bounce back.

Will you be watching next week? Did you agree with all the judges’ choices? What did you think of Zoanetta dancing in the aisles? Give us your TwoCents…

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