He’s growing on me a little, but I doubt he’ll survive the next round. I don’t question his talent – he has one of the kindest voices in the competition, very smooth and comforting – but he’s really young and he lost his buddy in the last round.
I probably wouldn’t have kept him, and I certainly wouldn’t have kept him at the expense of Christian Eason if they were fighting for a single spot. I don’t care if Christian gargled paint chips in his showcase (they didn’t air it, and I can’t find it). He was too good to dump, and they should have known that ten seconds into his first performance.
Lee’s showcase performance (not full, they screwed around all over it):
Lee with a band, some sort of street fair:
Lee Jean “Runaway” – Ed Sheeran: B-
Lee has a neat tone, like – I keep saying this – he learned how to sing with one of those auto-tune microphones. He should do some DeBarge or maybe Sting; he hits the blue notes really well. His falsetto is a work in progress and he gets overwhelmed by complicated rhythms, but that sweet tone might be enough to get him through.
Lee with Chris Daughtry “Home” Chris Daughtry
Well, Lee stuck the landing at the end but it was a rough trip to get there. He seemed so nervous until the song was almost over, his adrenalin kicking him in the teeth over and over, saying “run! Jump! JUMP! RUN!” Lee did a good job of tamping it all down and not blowing up like so many Idol contestants in the past have. He hit that last harmony note and let out a breath that could have knocked the judges off their chairs. It was very human.
Lee Jean, “Make It Rain”
I had a weird Tracy Chapman flashback early in the song… Lee’s performance was split – the first half (and the end) were terrific, sweet and strong. The middle part, though, his nerve endings tensed up, almost like he was having nerve cramps, and he had to fight through it. He did, and I give the kid a lot of credit for it, but he was straining on notes he usually nails. Nerves have destroyed many, many Idols over the years … Lee struggled with nerves last week, too, so he’s going to have to find a way to relax or he ain’t going to last long.
Judges: Keith noted the nerves, too.
I found several versions of this song on Youtube, none of them as bright and cheerful as Lee’s version. Lee sounded as mature tonight as he has all season, and he channeled a little Stevie Wonder tone underneath is usual auto-tune microphone intonation. His falsetto ain’t the best, but that was the only real blemish on a strong performance.
Judges: they noted his basic sameness, which is a fair criticism, and Harry mentioned intonation, which really wasn’t. After watching the show for several years, I’ve come to believe there is no real reason to mention pitch unless it’s glaring, and Lee wasn’t anywhere near glaringly out of tune.
And then there were 8
Lee Jean “Use Somebody” Kings of Leon
He was doing fine until he dropped the guitar and tried to do the crowd hand slapping thing. Some people can do that – Dalton can do it – but it looked weird when Lee did it.
Judges: Translation: “sing better.”
And then there were 6
7: Lee – he sounded ok, but he didn’t do anything but sing the melody and it wasn’t impressive
3rd Beatles song tonight (not that I’m complaining) … Lee sounds a bit like Jackson Browne, doesn’t he? He was so nervous that it took him half the song to get his throat open.
Judges: kissed him goodbye.
Audience – loud but not intense.