We’ve seen it a little too much apparently. And this stage in the competition, everyone wants to either sing a song from the radio that they like to sing along to, or else they want to sing a song that is way too big for them. Last night we had few exceptions. I’m just guessing that tonight’s guys’ night will be more of the same.
Randy Jackson is asked to rate this group of guys, then says it’s an interesting group he’s pulling for, and tells them to hold their own and be true to themselves, because the girls blew it out last night. That was rating the guys? Kara DioGuardi thinks the biggest thing right now for the guys is that it’s their first live show. Ryan Seacrest mentions about her being up onstage in a bikini and asks how to get rid of the nerves. She thinks you need to think of a safe place and let go. Simon Cowell suggests they think of Laura Ingalls.
Ellen DeGeneres compares watching it at home to watching it live, saying she was totally shocked. It’s mixed differently and if they say they sound bad there, it sounds even worse at home. Simon watched some of the rehearsals earlier and saw an awful lot of nerves. If they mess up and forget their words, their career is over. Wow. That’s cutting it to the chase and putting a little extra pressure on them.
First up tonight is Todrick Hall, 24, of Arlington TX, a writer/actor/dancer. One of his defining moments happened at his audition when he sang a song he’d written himself in the shower. He says people know the song he wrote and have been singing it back to hm. Every day he wakes up and thinks this is such a blessing to be here. He’s singing Kelly Clarkson’s Since You Been Gone, and it sounds like a completely different song. I don’t dislike it, but I don’t think it’s necessarily improving it. If I’d never heard the song before, I’d might like it, but all I can do now is compare to Kelly.
We start with Ellen tonight who says that’s what you’re looking for after a song, to hear that reaction from the audience. Todrick is a dancer and already has that stage presence. She likes what he did with the song, except for the chorus, as it was a little rough. The singing wasn’t the greatest, but he was a gret performer and she liked that he took a chance with the song. Randy says he’s a fan of Todricks’, but what’s crazy is that it didn’t even sound like the same song. You never want to take and obliterate a song, especially when it’s a hit.
Kara agrees, saying Todrick is a strong enough singer that he doesn’t have to change the arrangement so much, as he would take it to a different place making it different anyway. It’s undeniable that he’s a performer, and he took a risk, and that’s how you learn. Simon thinks he came over as a dancer trying to sing. He found it to be a crazy arrangement. He’s all for taking risks, providing you can improve, but what Todrick did was compleely murder the original song, verging on looking completely stupid. Todrick doesn’t have much to say afterwards, although he did question himself about changing the song. Kara gives him a hand for at least having creativity.
Next up for he guys is Aaron Kelly, 16, of Sonestown, PA. His defining moment was his last performance when he did Angels. In a split second it was pretty much silence as he forgot his lyrics, then focused and they came back to him. The experience is very surreal and is still sinking in for him. Tonight he’s singing Here Comes Goodbye, and I’m getting a Poor Man’s David Archuleta vibe from him. He does have a very good voice, but like Katie Stevens last night, is singing stuff too old for him. His glory note at the end rocked, though.
Simon tells Aaron that bearing in mind it was his first live performance, it was really good. He looks at the moment like he’s embarrassed to be there and isn’t confident enough to now why he’s there. He’s a good singer, very likable, and cute, but he needs to take control of the song. He doesn’t think it was as good as Angels, but he does thik he’ll be around net week. Kara tells Aaron he is her favorite kind of contestant, because he has no idea how great his raw, natural talent is. A competition like this will make him better every week with the feedback. What he does naturally, they can’t teach people. She likes the pop/country thing for him with the soulful spin.
Randy thinks they’re right, saying as a guy Aaron has those incredible pipes . He had a few pitchy moments in the chorus, but he, too, wants him to believe in himself and just thinks “Wow” that a 16 year old has that voice. Ellen dittoes all of that and thinks he’ll be here a long time. She loves how humble he is, but he does need to gain the confidence so he’ll just get better and better. Aaron and Ryan talk about him indeed having confidence, but that he just has to learn to show it.
Jermaine Sellers, 27, of Joliet, IL sang Man In the MIrror on his last day in Hollywood, and practiced it to the tee. It didn’t work out that way, when he called out the band for messing up. He promises not to throw anyone else under the bus again, though, as he looked like Boo-Boo the Fool. He’s not just standing here for himself, but for his city. It’s about proving that you don’t have to dream it, you can be it. Tonight he’s singing Get Here, a song that grew on me more and more when Justin Guarini sang it. Jermaine’s falsetto misses it completely, and the rest of the song struggles to find the right note.
Ellen tells Jermaine she’s a fan and loves his look and the song, but she felt like he was singing it more as a performance than actually feeling it. She felt he was pushing a little too much, and ther were a couple of times he went off. Randy loved the song, but it was a weird choice, as it’s an older song, and he sees Jermaine more current, to match his look. He was trying to do too much vocally. He doesn’t need to do so much with it.