Blake totally surprises us, coming out wearing a sweater vest, and singing Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know. From the beat boxer, this is pretty good. At the change of key at the end, he can’t seem to find the right one. Randy says, “Check it out, Dawg,” and tells Blake he really shocked him coming out and singing a Keane song, but he kind of dug it. That’s what he loves about Blake; he’s so different, although he misses the beat boxing thing. He kept waiting for him to break out of the chorus with it or something. There were some pitch problems, but overall Randy liked it.
Paula tells Blake she is really proud of him, as he picked an odd song that they’d never expect, and allowed them to see a different side of his vocals. There wasn’t much pitchiness, and she loved his falsetto and contemporary vibe. Simon adds that it wasn’t the best vocal ever, but to differentiate between Blake and everyone else, he’s the first person to come out tonight and sound like someone in 2007. Everything else they heard sounded like it was from twenty or thirty years ago. Simon believes he was absolutely right to not come out and show the whole beat box thing, and so far tonight, he is the best by far. Blake tells Ryan he wanted America to know he could sing, as mostly they’d only seen him beat box. Ryan calls it a good plan. Me too, as I see him as a front runner right now. He was able to be unique, but not have people question him.
Sanjaya Malakar is asked about his sister, and he says she’s still supporting him, and she actually brought this song to him. Asked if it’s risky, easy, or safe, he says it shows off his voice enough to get his message across. Ryan asks if they give him a hard time if he’s ready to go back at them, and he says yes, but he doesn’t seem too sure. Sanjaya has now finished his G.E.D., so he never has to go back to high school again. He’s always thought his sister was better than him and put her on a pedestal. He liked having someone to push him through in HOllywood, and when his sister was cut, he felt like half of him was gone. It’s made him stronger to know he’d have to work that much harder to represent her. He’s trying to bring it all the way for her and himself.
Sanjaya is the only one to choose a Stevie Wonder song, choosing Knocks Me Off My Feet. This song is very much too old for him, and it’s somewhat the same trap that Paris Bennett kept falling into last year. Trying to look at the bright side of this, Randy says the good thing is that it’s a perfect example of what happens when someone tries to tackle a Stevie tune, as it wasn’t even remotely close. He calls it really bad. Paula tells Sanjaya he’s a sweetheart, and says his sweet soul comes across when he sings and he has a very nice voice. She wishes more of his personality and force had come through, as it seemed he was hesitant. Simon says the irony is that the most used line in the song was “I don’t want to bore you with this,” as it was the most dreary performance of the night. He feels half the band is asleep, and that while the song was only a minute and a half, it seems to have taken an hour. He calls it a waste of time.
Sanjaya doesn’t really know what to say afterwards, and Ryan tries to spur him on to saying something. He tells him to argue and tell Simon he could do better. Sanjaya manages to say he knows he can definitely put his personality out there, and he hopes America can see that and disagree with Simon. Simon tells him they’ll like his hair, and Sanjaya thanks him, and says he’s sure they’ll like Simon’s as well. Paula puts it in perspective, and says he’s 17 and he hasn’t really performed as much, although Randy and Simon both disagree saying age isn’t a factor. Sanjaya hopes that as the youngest guy he can learn from other people, and that makes it an advantage. I’m not sure if he’ll make final 12, but I think he’ll at least make it the last semi-final show. However, he should stop taking song advice from his sister, a person that was already cut from the show. She was cut for a reason, Sanjaya!
Chris Sligh is a marketing consultant for a leasing firm, and says sitting with 10,000 other people waiting to audition was pretty crazy, especially since they had to sing Sweet Home Alabama about thirty-seven times. He didn’t like the song to begin with, and now if he hears it again, he thinks he’ll go postal. Chris thinks humor has definitely helped him make it to where he is in the show, and his strengths are strategy and song choice. He really views this as a competition, and he loves all the people he’s with, he the reality is one of them will eventually stand up and sing Do I Make You Proud, and he’s looking so forward to that. It’s hard to read his intent through my written words, but I will tell you it was said with a very, very dry voice.
Singing Mute Math’s Typical, to me, this is the greatest performance of the night, but I’m a Chris Sligh fan. It was very natural and not pitchy, and he was also original and unique. Randy tells him he was rushing it a bit, but it was all good, as his voice was on pitch. He, too, is a Chris fan, and he loved it, and likes him. He’s “da bomb, Baby.” Paula agrees that Chris strategizes well, but he’s anything but typical. She notes everyone was having a great time, and while he was a little ahead of the chorus, so what? Everyone had a great time and loved it.
Simon agrees that humor got Chris there, but he’s torn, as he’s gotten to know Chris, and likes him very much. He has a fantastic personality. But having said that, he felt like he was at “some weird student gig.” Randy asks what a student gig is, and Simon replies it’s when someone gets up and sings a song. Well, that really identifies it. Ryan starts piping in, and Simon asks, “Who’s asking you?” They go back and forth, and Simon refers to Ryan as “Sweetheart,” which upsets Ryan, saying he doesn’t want to have that kind of relationship.
Things go from bad to worse as Chris says the audience was obviously digging it and this type of music is quite popular. He says just because he’s doesn’t sing Il Divo or Teletubbies, doesn’t mean he’s not a good singer. Randy and Paula gave him major credit for that slam, but Simon tells Chris he could always do the latter. Chris tells Simon he knows he loves him, and Simon says he likes him, he just didn’t think it was an incredible vocal performance. It was just okay. Ryan tells Chris he thinks he hurt Simon’s feelings, and Simon replies no, but Ryan has made it all very uncomfortable now. Ryan thinks it’s only uncomfortable because Simon’s on the opposite end of the insults now. He won’t let it go either, as while he’s giving Chris’ phone number, he keeps talking about the Teletubbies and Simon wearing the suit one time. This little thing here is going to be one to watch.