This is my second-to-last Idol post relating to season 15. I have designs on posting a pair of larger articles, one an essay on my Idol experience and the other a compilation of the top 40 videos of my Idol experience. I watched seasons 7-12 and 15, so my top 40 will be limited to those seasons.
As for tonight, it was a night of solid performances mixed in with curiously pedestrian performances as the contestants sang three songs each. Trent was given three fairly similar songs, Dalton was given songs that suited him better than the ones from his recent past, and La’Porsha’s upper range was tested even more than her patience with obtuse and oblivious men.
The singers, the songs:
MacKenzie Bourg, “Hallejulia” – Leonard Cohen
Lauren Alaina used to struggle with her breathing like Mac does. Other than the breathing issues his vocal was strong, but I’m not sure he will still be doing that song the same in a few years. He needs to really take it down to the lowest energy level he can, so his emotional crescendo stands out.
Dalton Rapattoni, “Calling You” – Blue October
Dalton has no power, no range, and a thin tone – so he ain’t going to win going toe to toe with Chia Girl and Trent. This is the sort of song he needs to do, and the sort of spare arrangement he needs to work with. Big arrangements overwhelm him, and big songs overwhelm his vocal abilities.
Trent Harmon, “Tennessee Whiskey” – Chris Stapleton
This song has a history… Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove wrote it, David Allen Coe and George Jones famously recorded it. I don’t really like a lot of Trent’s phrasing choices – I think he ruins the dynamic effect of his tremendous range – but I liked how he ended it with the A Capella breakdown up to the big falsetto note.
La’Porsha Renae, “Glory” – Common and Jon Legend
Chia Girl is rocking some extensions tonight…. Nothing new to report – the La’Porsha concert tour goes on.
Dalton “Dancing in the Dark” – Bruce Springsteen
I bet he wanted to do the mic drop at the end … moment for Dalton; this was his best performance of the season.
Chia Girl “Stay with Me” – Lorraine Ellison
She sounded a lot like Dorothy Moore on this one. Click on the link and close you eyes – tell me they don’t sound a lot alike.
I know one reason why she didn’t want to do it; that high note is pure, vintage church singer. and La’Porsha doesn’t have that kind of range. The performance wasn’t a moment, but her line about the idea that she would beg a man to stay with her was priceless. If she wasn’t already going to win, that might have clinched it.
Trent “Drink You Away” – Justin Timberlake
I can’t say I like that song, but Trent sang the shit out of it.
Dalton “Everybody wants to rule the world” – Tears for Fears
His mom looks like Catherine O’Hara.
She had to lower the key so much to hit the high note that her lower notes lost some effectiveness, but so what? Just another song from the Chia Girl concert.
Trent, “Waiting Game” – Parson James
Apparently Trent has a type. Every song chosen for him tonight has been a variation on the old country/blues style T. Graham Brown played in the 1980s. I’m a moment whore, sue me. Trent has been terrific all night; he deserves one.
Safe to in Danger
Sure, like I have any idea what they are doing next week. Chia Girl is safe. Dalton and Trent are about as close to a pure coin flip as you can get for the second spot. Dalton had a good night, but so did Trent.
By the time you see my Idol byline again the show will be history, so thanks for the music, the fun, the drama, the great performances, and most of all, Idol, thanks for the fish.