It turns out we didn’t just get new judges this year on American Idol. We got a whole new show, or at least what seems like a new show. Gone are the tired out Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder songs, replaced by Matchbox 20, John Mayer, and Pink. Sure, we had songs by those artists once in awhile before, but these kids were told to pick something that explained who they were and instead of picking up something Idol had already secured the rights to, they went off the board. It made it like a whole new show.
Dexter Roberts – Aw Naw I don’t usually listen to country music, so this was a song I’v never heard. This definitely told us he’s a country dude. Success all around.
Malaya Watson – Runaway Baby She chose this Bruno Mars hit and had a hard time with pitch, but there’s just something damn likable about this girl in the braces and glasses.
Kristen O’Connor – Beautiful Disaster I need to start out by saying I’m always highly critical of anyone performing a Kelly Clarkson tune. But even forgetting that it was a Kelly tune, she seemed to have a difficult time with pitch.
Ben Briley – Folsom Prison Blues He did Johnny Cash proud, although Harry Connick Jr. thought he sped up the song too much. Personally I liked it.
C.J. Harris – Radio I agree with the judges that this didn’t really show us much about his skills as a singer, yet it’s probably more of a fun song than something that would have shown his skills.
MK Nobilette – Satisfaction This is something different for MK, and I tend to like the other stuff she sings more. Listening to the song a second time, though, I liked it more. Maybe it just needs to grow on you.
Majesty Rose – Tightrope This was really good. She showed some skill with singing the lyrics in the verses that are quick-paced, leading into the melodic chorus.
Jena Irene – The Scientist She had a few pitch problems, only made worse when she belted it out. Nevertheless, overall it was a good performance as the good outweighed the bad.
Alex Preston – A Beautiful Mess Jennifer Lopez looks to get goosies with songs, and I look for chills or tears. Didn’t get it, but came close to tears. This was beautiful, but anything but a mess. He’s unique.
Jessica Meuse – The Crow & the Butterfly Here’s another unique one. It’s hard not to watch when she’s performing. I’ll add that it looks like they gave her extensions.
Emily Piriz – Glitter in the Air At times she was singing too quietly and you couldn’t hear her. When you could, it was beautiful.
Sam Wooolf – Unwell I’ll start out saying this is a favorite song of mine. I thought he did it justice. Better than Matchbox 20? No. But justice. No complaints here. I also think it does a good job of saying who he is.
Caleb Johnson – Pressure and Time I don’t know if the Idol stage has rocked out this much since James Durbin was a contestant. If anyone doesn’t know who Caleb is after this, they weren’t paying attention. Taylor Hicks in the audience seemed to approve too.
At least eleven of these songs have never been performed before. Beautiful Disaster and Folsom Prison Blues may have been. Better yet, they all did fairly well save for a few pitch issues here and there. There wasn’t anyone on the stage that I thought didn’t belong there, and there isn’t anyone that I am hoping will go home tonight. It was such a refreshing change, especially after last season.