Unfortunately, I was working on the family finances until about 8:30, so I missed the first three guys - Rudy, Brandon and Sundance. So all I have to go on for them are the little clips of their performances that were played before the phone lines opened. Based solely on that, Rudy sounded strained and shrill; Brandon sounded good and seemed appealing, although the performance appeared pretty cheezy; and Sundance evoked a reaction of "WTF?!?" (and not in a good way).
Of the guys I did see...
- Paul Kim has a really nice voice, but the tone fell down in spots, and overall, the whole thing was kind of 'meh'. I also cannot STAND it when these kids take songs with heartbreaking lyrics and smile all the way through them. If you're going to do a sad song, guys, do it SAD!!! And all those pretentious 'gangsta' moves are pretty annoying when they're not applicable to the song or genuinely done. All in all, this was probably good enough to push Paul into next week, but he's going to have a very short stay in Hollywood if he doesn't step it up.
- Chris Richardson's whole performance was a bizarre clash of stuff. The suit, the song, the voice, the movements - none of it matched each other, so that was pretty distracting. I agree with the judges that his voice did not sound good in that song. However, he did bring a presence to the stage and he put his own spin on the song, which are big plusses.
- Nick Pedro chose the wrooong song. I agree with the judges completely that the 'spark' he showed in the audition vanished entirely in this performance, and the song didn't flatter his voice to boot. I was left feeling absolutely convinced that this boy has never known what real love is. Unfortunate all round.
- Does Blake Lewis remind anyone else of Travis from season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance? This biases me towards him right off the bat since I think Travis is fantastic. However, the boy can also sing, is very cool, and he clearly knows what the hell he's doing on a stage. The first half of the song was very well done and I thought the tone of his voice was very, very good. But I also felt that the second half was not as good as the first - his voice didn't sound as good and his concentration on the performance seemed to be a tad off. But definitely one of the better performances of the night.
- I just didn't see what was so bad about Sanjaya Malakar's performance. I thought his voice sounded very good. No, the whole thing wasn't tremendously exciting, but I did think it was very appealing. He took his time and reached out to the audience, and I appreciated that.
- Jared Cotter was bland, nasal, and often off-pitch. It's a good thing he's cute.
- I must admit that the audition shows and Hollywood week biased me very heavily in favour of Chris Sligh. He is funny, personable and likeable, and also comes across as a completely normal guy that could totally hang out with you and your friends. And he can really sing. I thought he sounded great and was one of the very few guys of the night who controlled the stage instead of letting the stage control him. This was arguably the best performance of the night. Unfortunately, that isn't saying much - while I enjoyed it, I felt Chris was holding back on the choruses and should have really pulled it all out. It was very good compared to the rest of the guys, but it wasn't good compared to what I think Chris is truly capable of.
- At last, with AJ Tabaldo, we got someone who decided to go out and have some goddamn fun. Yes, as Simon said, the performance was predictable, but it sounded good and was nice to watch.
- Phil Stacey started out absolutely disaaaastrously. I was even starting to cringe...and then the chorus started. Woohoo! At last! Someone who decides to completely pour themselves into the song! What a freakin' relief! Phil has a great voice when he gets going - I'm really looking forward to seeing more of him. What he did with his choruses is what Chris Sligh SHOULD have done with his.
Overall, the evening was pretty disappointing and ho-hum. If the girls tonight aren't any better, I could stop watching this season altogether out of utter boredom.
- Chris Sligh
- Blake Lewis
- Phil Stacey
- Chris Richardson
- AJ Tabaldo
Likely quite safe:
- Brandon Rogers
- Paul Kim
- Sanjaya Malakar
- Sundance Head
- Nick Pedro
- Rudy Cardenas
- Jared Cotter