Canadian Idol – July 23rd – The Top 9 Perform

Okay, CTV: you need to promote it heavily when you move the night for Canadian Idol. Because we totally forgot about it, and even with my apathy towards the season I have to keep up with these blogs. They appear to have forgotten to tell the lighting people the show was tonight, because Ben’s blinking up a storm.

Jaydee Bixby – “Runaway” (Made Famous by Elvis Presley)

He completely missed the tempo on the opening to this song, and never felt in control of the song until its conclusion. And, for an Elvis song, it didn’t really feel all that energetic either. While I know what he was going for, he needs to stop singing Rockabilly/Country at least one week. Please?

My Mother’s Opinion: “If they don’t say that sounded like karaoke…”

What the Judges Think: Jake felt he was out of tempo with the band, Farley thinks that while vocally good it wasn’t risky enough, Sass felt there wasn’t enough movement, Zack is happy about the chest hair but feels that he was grooveless off the top and revue band fare. He wants something more interesting, as do I.

Tara Oram – “Suspicious Minds” (Elvis Presley) 

Tara, why can’t you see what you’re doing to me? I LOVE this song, by far my favourite Elvis track. And you’re ruining it. This is a song about energy, I agree, but your energy has no soul to it at all. This is not a country track, this is a soul-based pop song. I know it had newer versions, but yours had guitars and light shows and was just…offensive to my sensibilities. It wasn’t vocally terrible, but it wasn’t RIGHT. Suspicious Minds is just that song for me, the one I don’t like seeing destroyed.

What my Mother thinks: “I just don’t really like her that much. She’s fine, but…”

What the judges think: Farley thinks it was good and showed new range, Sass felt it was her best performance yet, Zack agrees and felt it was bang on and the best performance by anyone yet, and Jake has nothing to add…but then adds things.

Matt Rapley – “Whipping Post” (The Allman Brothers)

Matt’s idea of performing, it seems, is singing like Ray Charles and making faces of anguish. This is better than his usual clear voice and blank face routine, but it still wasn’t the least bit interesting for me. Still, the best he’s done by far. Strong vocal, strong energy. He’s off the hook for the last few rough performances, but I still want to see him break out in a less generic fashion. He was really only good, performance wise, compared to last week. Read below for my biggest problem with this performance in my final review of sorts.

What my mother thinks: “He was good, really stepped up his game.”

What the judges think: “OMG OMG OMG”, “Whole new show”, “Blew my mind”, “Oh wow.”

Dwight D’eon – “She’s Come Undone” (The Guess Who)

He isn’t powering through this song, he’s singing it as some sort of really slow ballad and then making some louder notes at the end to compensate…but that wasn’t worth the build up of blandness. It was sang decently, but it wasn’t pushed in the least. He just kind of sang it…which is fine, in theory, but he isn’t in any way actually able to

What my mother thinks: “He did a good job of it, but it just didn’t…”

What the judges think: Zack wanted him to push it, Jake felt it showed some melody, Farley would rather see him push hard with physicality, and Sass felt it was the most in tune he had ever been…which is quite the compliment.

Carly Rae Jepsen – “Georgia on My Mind” (Ray Charles)

And Carly Rae abandons her new upbeat persona and goes back into her smooth, vulnerable tones. I think she tried to push a couple of high notes that were not advisable: she can’t hit those notes, and she never felt like she was entirely on them. However, she pulled back every time into her lower register, and it worked. She kept the song within her range, which is in her best interest and kept the performance well grounded.

What my mother thinks: “She did a good job, but I don’t know if she’s sincere.”

What the judges think: Jake liked the vulnerability and the range, Farley compares her to Theresa Sokyrka, Sass felt there was some really intriguing (positive) stylistic choices, while Zack thinks that she is the one person who would have a recognizable voice on the radio. And that’s what is important in his eyes. And mine. But that’s neither here nor there.

Brian Melo – “Bold as Love” (Jimi Hendrix)

I’m tired of people picking 60’s songs that have clearly been covered and turned into contemporary songs. This doesn’t sound anything like a 60s song, it’s basically turned into a John Mayer song. And guess what? The result is that it doesn’t have any of the edge Hendrix gave it. Brian sings the heck out of the song, even as his mic stand is clearly not in the right position for some of his vocals. And, do you know what, it was really good.
What my mother thinks: “Liam should be there instead…(later) he just threw the mic stand.”

What the judges think: Farley loved the phrasing, Sass felt it was excellent, Zack feels everyone is stepping up and completely bought into the performance, Jake felt it was his best performance yet.

Khalila Glanville – “Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin)

She needs to rethink these song choices: she couldn’t pull off Roberta Flack, how did she think she could pull off Aretha? She just doesn’t have the range to do it. She’s not terrible, but she is just screaming to overcompensate for a lack of range here. There just isn’t enough there for her not to go home this week after being Bottom Two’d. However, her French at the end as an attempt at grabbing the Francophone vote might be enough to save her. I’d like to slap, Ben, though: we did not need to know that people covered this as a charity single with Shania Twain and Celine Dion. It’s ARETHA FRANKLIN.

What my mother thinks: “She did a good job…I don’t know if she’s my favourite, but…”

What the judges think: Sass felt it was fantastic, Zack thinks that there were some moments where he wanted more but felt there was no unnecessary showing off, Jake felt she was better than all the rest (Uhh…) and Farley felt that she has matured greatly.

Greg Neufeld – “Long Black Veil” (The Chieftains)

Once again: I know Dave Matthews covered it, but at least sing it like it’s a 60s song sorta. It’s an odd song choice, considering how obscure it is, and it doesn’t really seem to be doing anything for him special at all. Plus, apparently the song was released in 1959 (Or so Wikipedia says). It just didn’t feel like anything special, and that’s a problem on a night when apparently everyone else is. I don’t necessarily agree, but what can you do?
What my mother thinks: “I don’t know about that…”

What the judges think: Zack felt that it was hopefully better on TV, Jake felt it was really smooth, Farley felt he knew what he wanted to do, Sass thinks he sang gorgeously and was gorgeous. Sigh.

Martha Joy – “Love Child” (Diana Ross)

Well, it’s not Celine Dion! And I don’t think Celine’s sang it before, either. My problem is that even as she tries to jump around, even as she tried to imbue emotion into the song, it just comes across as a trained and planned performance. I compare her to Melinda Doolittle on American Idol: someone who can sing really well, but has to expand their repetoire. When Melinda stepped into something new, she went all in: here, it felt like Martha just doesn’t completely committed to the performance. I hope she gets another shot at a song like this, thought: she has the potential for it.

What my mother thinks: “She just seems really trained.”

What the judges think: Jake felt she doesn’t know how to groove and shouldn’t be singing them, Farley can’t tell her what he thinks, Sass felt it was the best thing she’s done thus far (I’d pretty well agree), and Zack think that it was stiff as hell because she had trouble hearing…but that this was better for her.

In Review

Rather than picking the best of the week, here’s the two things that bothered me this week:

– People who basically just sing modern versions of 60s songs. At least attempt to make them your own instead of copying someone else making it their own.

– If you’re going to step outside your comfort zone, you have to go all out…but it has to feel natural. Matt Rapley went all out and sounded the better for it, but it still felt like he was acting like he felt the song should sound. I still don’t think he has developed a persona or style of any kind, but rather just adapting to each song as he feels he should. And it feels like Martha is doing the same, although really for the first time. These two are trained singers, and are very good at it, but they need to find themselves before they can really shine.

They say it’s the best show they’ve ever done.

My mother’s reaction: “WHAT?”

Ditto, Mom. Ditto.

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Filed under Canadian Idol, CTV, Reality TV, Television

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