Well. I might as well start by being honest. This was really not a good show for me this week. Far too many GFB’s(Generic Female Ballads) and uninspired performances. After awhile everything started running together in my head and I found myself drifting. Now that I’ve confessed my initial reaction, let’s break it down a bit.
The top ten ladies basically landed in two categories tonite, “eh” and “ok”. No one really won me over completely. I’ll start with the “eh” performances.
Kinnik Sky busted out with Gretchen Wilson’s “Here for the Party”, working the crowd well I must say. Unfortunately, this song really doesn’t even begin to show off Sky’s vocal range and that was something I looked forward to hearing out of her. It was upbeat and fun in the moment, but semi-forgettable after the fact. Melissa McGhee was another one that just didn’t dazzle me. Another country song, another lady trying to sell it, but the whole thing fell flat for me.
Heather Cox decided to attempt the impossible and took on a Mariah Carey song, namely “Hero”. She held her own I thought, weakly but she held it. The big problem, she is not Mariah Carey, has no where near that kind of voice and so she couldn’t possibly live up to the original. Gutsy song selection but it may also be a fatal one for her.
Also landing on the “eh” list, Brenna Gethers. You remember, the high maintenance girl with lots of attitude? Sure you do. Another case of choosing the wrong song this evening. I love Donna Summer and freely admit it. I grew up listening to her and one of her CD’s is about two feet from me as I type. Brenna just killed “Last Dance” by weak vocals, forced attitude and badly staged dance moves. Killed. It. Please, allow me to pack her bags up because I’m feeling confident that she’s a goner. Katharine McPhee was another one that just lost me tonight. No, wait. Her voice and emotion that was poured into her Stevie Wonder song really did give me chills. I really do like her but tonight she seemed so lost in her own song that instead of being pulled in I felt like an intruder.
Landing on my “ok” performance list was Lisa Tucker. She sang “Who’s Lovin’You” and it’s obvious that R&B is a really good niche for her. This showcased her amazing range but it was low on the performance side. After two slow weeks I’d really like to see her kick it up and have some fun next week. Ayla Brown is another semi-finalist that was packing some vocal heat tonight. She opted to do a Celine Dion ballad that was really perfect for her abilities. The judges were all “pleasantly surprised” but still agree that she needs to be less mechanical in her delivery. She can sing, but I keep wondering if she enjoys singing.
Even little Paris Bennett drew criticism tonight. She sang Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” brilliantly but the song selection seemed a bit odd. The judges encouraged her to embrace her youth and to have fun on stage and hopefully, she’ll take heed. Kellie Pickler was the only one that drew positive feedback on both vocals and delivery tonight. “Something To Talk About” was as fun as any performance got and there was a rawness to her voice that I thought worked very well.
Mandisa closed out the evening with Faith Hill’s “Cry”. Again, not exactly the best song selection, but the power in her voice really brought this one home. I think it’s pretty clear already that Mandisa is the biggest risk taker this season. She adds her own flavor and personal vibe to everything which really helps to set her apart from the others.
Fairly uninspiring night but I’m excited about the ten remaining men. They’ll sing tomorrow and then the bottom two from each night will be booted on Thursday.