It’s the final week of the pre-Top 10 portion of Canadian Idol, and looking at tonight’s performers…I don’t know if there is a worthy Top 5 here. But, I can be proven wrong: here’s their opportunity to prove, once and for all, that they belong here. Tonight, it’s the girls’ turn to shine or, conversely, not shine.
Annika Odegard – “Ordinary Day” (Vanessa Carlton)
Dearest Annika, I am quite sorry for this…but that just doesn’t work. Much like last night’s opener Matt Rapley, the piano didn’t help you. In your case, you were very engaging performance wise but the voice didn’t hold up; this is the exact opposite of Matt whose performance didn’t improve but his voice stayed consistent. Annika isn’t a terrible singer, but that was vocally off for me. It was much better, more real, but I think it still needs a lot of work in the vocal department. In fact, it was really off key. (Also, is she dating that curly haired youngin’ she met during auditions? Or are they just friends? Any gossip, anyone?)
What the judges think: Jake thinks she has finally rediscovered himself, Farley thinks she let down her hair, Sass thinks she’s good, and Zack thinks it was good as well.
Worthy of Top 5? No. Look, this showed a lot of promise, but without that piano she was apparently terrible, and then she sings arguably worse but with a piano and she’s immediately infinitely better? She was more engaged and real, maybe, but the voice still isn’t mature enough to sell me on it. While she was relatively great for the judges compared to last week’s drudging, I don’t think she was any better here vocally.
Khalila Glanville – “For You I Will” (Monica)
This is more like it: after last week’s unfortunate song choice, Khalila chooses to belt out an R&B power ballad that showcases her voice well. She isn’t perfect, or overly original, but it is much more what she is trying to do. There were some rough moments, but her voice actually did a really good job of making its way through the song. It was a performance that doesn’t make you turn the channel, but at the same time won’t change your mind about her or the show.
What the judges think: Farley felt that she pushed her voice a bit more than usual, Sass thinks that she didn’t have enough wow factor, Zack thinks it was trying a bit too hard to hit a home run but has a ludicrous amount of positive things to say about her, and Jake thinks there was a couple of off moments but overall strong.
Worthy of Top 5? Yes. Even though she’s not perfect, Zack is right: she is mature and sophisticated and has room for growth within the competition.
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Waiting in Vain” (Bob Marley)
I have no idea what that song was. I still don’t know after googling like 90% of the lyrics. Luckily, Jake saves me by mentioning that it is Bob Marley’s waiting in vain as covered by Annie Lennox. This doesn’t change her performance: it was good. The James Taylor inspired semi-circle was good
What the judges think: Sass thinks that it was vulnerable but not perfect, Zack would ditch the show to giver her a record deal, Jake felt that even the shaky moments sounded good, and Farley says exactly the same thing.
Worthy of Top 5? Yes. She has been the most consistently performer in terms of musicianship, and without her the girls’ side loses almost all of its cred.
Tara Oram – “When God Fearing Women Get the Blues” (Martina McBride)
Tara loves judges comments, and thinks she should learn. She says her song is upbeat, but it is her THIRD Martina McBride song in a row. That’s three, people. How can people not be pointing this out? I know that she is performing with more energy, but she isn’t actually more Gretchen Wilson at all. She’s basically Martina McBride, quite literally: I am half afraid she is going to die her hair and start affecting her voice. If McBride returns for a guest visit, I seriously think she’ll sue her for identity theft.
What the judges think: Zack thinks it is average, Jake loved her performance style, Farley wanted more physicality, and even though Sass is not a fan of the singing she loves her confidence.
Worthy of Top 5? No. She has shown no ability to step outside of her box and sing something other than a Martina McBride song (The other two were covers she did, but still). The point is that she is incapable of getting herself out of the mundane country music mindset, and this is a serious issue.
Montana Martin Iles – “Ironic” (Alanis Morrisette)
Finally, Montana has brought out her guitar. This should cut down on the screaming, I hope. And it does as Montana delivers a version of Alanis Morrisette’s hit single…while driving me crazy with annunciations for the first time. And it’s not because of the French: that’s natural and, while awkward, can’t be avoided. But she sang the lyrics like she was attempting to sound ironic, which just made me want to throw things at the television. Vocally, it was decent. But performance wise it just didn’t click for me.
What the judges think: Jake thinks the vocal could have been better but she at least sang a melody, Farley thinks she has the X Factor but still isn’t actually singing, Sass thinks she stepped up to the plate despite an early clunker of a note, and Zack has no concern about singing and thinks she is a star.
Worthy of Top 5? Sure. I don’t really like her, but she has at the very least embraced something of some sorts in this competition. But she needs to not sing in styles based on the titles of songs. Ever again. But she also needs to stop acting, that was just painful.
Martha Joy – “That’s the Way It Is” (Celine Dion)
She can apparently sing in 6 languages, but I wish she’d sing in English in a bit more original fashion. This sounds like it’s going to be one of those reflex happy songs that goes too far…and it ends up being a boring, lame song that isn’t fun at all. It’s still pageantry, it’s still completely and utterly cookie cutter, and she still has no dynamism in her performance style. Still got nothing for me.
What the judges think: Farley thinks she pushed herself, which is good. Sass thinks she was a bit more animated, but thinks she shines with ballads, Zack is stuck in this thing where he isn’t so happy with Celine (But felt it was sophisticated and subtle for her age), Jake felt the last half was one of the best things this year…uh buh?
Worthy of Top 5? No. She has yet to prove capable of being the least bit original, and I just don’t get a single good vibe from her. I think she’s technically sound, but I want her to hire an official song selector ASAP.
Mila Miller – “Rehab” (Amy Winehouse)
It’s time to see whether the fro was what was holding Mila back. And, well, she’s decided to perform the entire song sprawled on a piano. My biggest problem with this performance was that it didn’t feel like it built to anything. She really needed to get off the piano to finish the song in order to drive it home.
What the judges think: Sass felt it was an imitation but had a sense of humour and was charming, Zack thinks that it was nice to see a current song and that it was cool and vibey, Jake loved her sassiness and can’t say enough about her, and Farley thinks that Amy Winehouse is gimmickry but she is pedigree.
Worthy of Top 5? Yes. I think that she should be able to adapt well, and seems open and energetic about new things. That’s an admirable trait.
Best of the Night: Mila Miller
She did the most complete performance of the evening, and made the most impact with a newer song. Smart all around.
Runner-Up: Carly Rae Jepsen for continuing her streak of vulnerable, charming performances.
Worst of the Night: Annika Goddard
Improved or not, she was basically off key on every single low note. And playing the piano does not change that.
Runner-Up: Montana, just for trying to sing “ironically”. Grrr.