This is our first review of a men’s semi-final for American Idol 2013 due to the power outage we had here last week and missing the first semi-final entirely. I must say after watching this one that I hope that I missed the best one. There were some talented singers in the second semi-final and some high spots, but overall there was a little too much of the same thing and not too much that I thought was worthy of the final.
Mathanee Treco – Kicked off the evening, he sang the Elvis song A Little Less Conversation, but where Elvis was a Baritone, Mathanee chose to sing it really high. It didn’t work in that range; it was neither an easy nor comfortable place to listen to that tune. The judges mostly criticised him for song choice.
Gurpreet Singh Sarin – The Turbinator arrived in a matching bright yellow turban and trousers. I really like the juxtaposition of a Sikh man in a turban singing soul music, but I did not like this song and it wasn’t the best I had heard him sing. The judges didn’t like it much either. Randy Jackson said it was terrible, it wasn’t terrible.
Vincent Powell – Sang a slow soul ballad with plenty of range, even falsetto. It was undoubtedly the best of the night so far and I guessed this was the kick off point. The crowd went mad, the judges stood, except Nicki Minaj. Vincent received great compliments from the judges and Randy echoed my thoughts that this was where the show started.
Nick Boddington – sang a soft soul tune, which got better when the backing vocals came in. It was tough to follow Vincent with something similar and initially I thought it would fail. But I thought it was good and would like to hear more of him. The judges were only moderately keen and questioned his connection to the song.
Josh Holliday – played a song of his own at the piano, his voice was good, but I found the song quite theatrical and it never really appealed to me. He did the staged ‘get up and walk away from the piano’ and there was far too much squirming around when he did. There was not enough passion for Keith Urban and none of the other judges were that keen either.
David Willis – played guitar and sang the old standard Fever, it was not like the Michael Bublé version. He had the audience on their feet and clapping along, but was a bit mid tempo, middle of the road for my taste; only the big notes at the end really did it for me. Keith seemed to agree with me as did Randy and Mariah Carey.
Bryant Tadeo – sang a slow soulful version of New York State of Mind. He sang really well with exactly the right amount of bluster and fancy runs. It was excellent, but only Keith Urban and the audience seemed to agree with me. Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson gave him a really hard time. These guys must be deaf. It also makes me suspicious that it is decided before the performance who they want to go through.
Burnel Taylor – sang with very theatrical movements. It was a pretty awful song. He sang OK but I would not put him through based on that. Keith liked it, Nicki over enthused, she “knows what it feels like” she repeatedly told us. Randy and Mariah liked it too.
Lazaro Arbos – sang a Keith Urban song. Always a bit of cheesy thing to do, singing a judges song in front of them, I think. The fact that the song sounded a lot like The Wind Beneath My Wings didn’t help. Lazaro sang OK. But once again it was too theatrical for my taste. He got a big crowd reaction. It was funny to hear Keith say it as not a good song choice. The rest of the judges were again very enthusiastic, so I am sure he is going through.
Cortez Shaw – Yet another ballad, the backing vocalist harmonised really well with him, but I didn’t like it when he went for the big notes, I thought he was off. But most of the judges loved him.
The judges put through Vincent, Lazaro, Cortez, Burnel and Nick and I really believe those decisions were made before the show.
Bryant was probably second best for me tonight, after Vincent and should have definitely gone through. I would have maybe only put through 2 or 3 of them tonight, which makes it even more depressing that Bryant and at least two of the best girls from last night were sent home.
This particular final had a bit too much of the same stuff. There were no rockers or real up-tempo stuff. Eight out of ten ballads is over doing it, don’t you think?