Ryan talks to Brandon and Phil about the judges seeming a little bit underwhelmed, and asks what Brandon plans to do to change that. Brandon plans to just leave it all out there and do his best and hope it goes well. Phil is asked how he plans to relax and just let it go to stand out. Phil says he just hopes that Paula, Randy, and Simon remember how passionately he loves them, every single one of them. More seriously, he says you have to take what they say with a grain of salt. They are all incredible and their opinions matter a whole lot. In other words, please judge him well tonight.
What we didn’t know about Brandon is that he’s a classical piano player. He’s been playing since he was 9, and started off playing by ear, then learned to read music. He now finds a piece of music to suit his moods. He’s a little rusty, but still just loves to do it. Tonight he sings Rare Earth’s I Just Want to Celebrate, What I like most about this is that it’s something different. He seems to have finally have gotten a clue on what it will take to succeed in this competition. However, it’s not really a good performance song.
Randy agrees that it was a good choice of song, and he liked to rock edge Brandon brought to it. However, he thinks it got a little messed up at the end with the run, with the timing being off. It was solid, but he turns to Simon here, saying he’s not jumping up and down. Paula thinks it’s phenomenal, and can’t recall having heard it before in any of the competitions. She believes he’s really getting in there and proving why he belongs there on that stage.
Simon, though, doesn’t think Brandon has represented himself well, and in this stage of the competition, he had high hopes for Brandon, as one of the better singers there. He thinks perhaps he should have taken some advice from some of the girls in the competition that have chosen more memorable songs. Simon has a horrible feeling that this song might prove to be a problem this week for Brandon. He doesn’t feel it has enough of a melody or hook, and he’s nervous for him. For his part, Brandon says he had a great time, and he just wants others to have fun with him as well. He’s as confident as anybody can be at this point, as it’s such a crapshoot. He admits to Ryan he would do almost anything to get this. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not for him to admit to.
Phil Stacy’s big surprise is that he hasn’t always been bald, and I’m thinking this may have been when we found the same thing out last year about Chris Daughtry. Phil actually had long hair, but was then in a group in college where the guys had to have a short haircut, and since he’s never liked himself with short hair, he shaved it off, and found he actually kind of liked it. He starts off LeeAnn Rimes’ I Need You, and I can only saw eeeww. There’s a weird whispery tone here that is terrible. It picks up toward the middle, but I’m feeling very underwhelmed overall so far, not seeing any of the guys that are out there really trying to pull this thing out, other than Sundance and Blake.
Randy calls it an interesting song choice (to say the least …), but what he feels is cool about Phil and and his big old voice, is that it reminds him of someone he’s worked with, Steve Perry of Journey. I see that, but I think Perry is better. Sorry. Randy says Phil can hit the high notes, but the lower part of his register started off a little weird and was pitchy in spots. He doesn’t know if it was his best performance, but it was a’ight. Paula thinks Randy is absolutely right, saying the song choice was chancey, and also mentioning those bad lower notes. Yet, Phil hit his comfort zone where the big notes can swell, and while she thought it was a beautiful song choice, it wasn’t his best performance.
Simon says he didn’t get it at all with the hat and the big eyes, he thought it all came off somewhat insane at the beginning. Randy tells him not to critique his eyes, as he can’t change it, but Phil says he’ll changes his eyes if Simon wants him to. I don’t like the desperate thing here. Simon says it wasn’t just the eyes, but the whole thing appeared very odd and very strange. Overall tonight, bar one or two, Simon finds it very disappointing. Ryan asks Phil why he’s staring Simon down, and he laughs it off and says he appreciates what they have to say, but he loves the song and he’s glad he got to sing it tonight. Ryan asks if he stays next week if he’ll squint, and Phil promises to surprise him. I’m just not altogether sure Phil will be here next week. I think Brandon was better, but it depends on how those votes come in.
Chris Sligh also has a hair secret. He had short hair for a very long time, and in May 2005 he shaved it all completely off, saying he looked almost like Phil, except slightly better looking. At this point, a picture is put up of Chris’ face with Phil’s lack of hair and a different body, and it’s pretty funny. He then decided to grow it out, and now has these lush curls, which is his real hair, as he’s never had a perm, nor will he. He sings We All Wanna Be Loved by DC Talk. I’ve never heard of the group before or the song, but, wow, I love that Chris found it. I honestly think by what is being shown every week, he is showing the best voice. I like that he finds songs that he sounds good on and that have meaningful lyrics. I think behind the humor is a really, really deep guy.
It’s not Randy’s favorite song choice for Chris, but he says the good thing for him is that while it wasn’t a stellar night for the guys, he definitely gets the vocal prize of the night. Paula starts with an “Oh boy,” meaning she’s not sure how to insult him here. What’s with her tonight? She says it wasn’t her favorite performance, and she’s feeling like Chris needs to keep rising above, like this was just kind of middle of the road. Vocally, she wants him to stretch and take risks. Chris asks if it was better than last week, as he’s trying to build, but Paula thinks last week was better.
Simon says the beginning was very good, but he feels Chris shouted in the middle and struggled at the end. It wasn’t a very good hooky type of song, but the good news for Chris is that Simon thinks he has done enough to make it to the finals. Yet, looking back on it, as Paula said, it probably wasn’t one of his strongest performances. Simon does like his potential, though. Randy harps again on song choice. Chris says it’s one of his favorite songs, and while it’s not well-known, he likes the sentiment, feeling it’s universal. He apologizes if they don’t feel he brought it like he should have. He then oddly asks Ryan for a hug, saying he hugs everyone else, why not him. I think this guy’s here to shake it all up and doing a pretty good job.
Randy and Paula agree that only four performers have proved they belong in the finals, and Simon is saying three-and-a-half. I’m thinking they mean Chris Sligh, Blake, Chris Richardson, and Sundance, and Sundance is Simon’s half. I think the remaining two spots are going to be fought by the other four. Jared hasn’t done what he needs to, I don’t think, but with Simon saying he’s popular, I wonder if he’s getting lots of votes which means he’ll stay. And Phil certainly fell this week from a position that was somewhat precarious to begin with, so I’m not sure what will happen.
Thoughts about Idol you need to get off your chest? Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com