It seems the theme of the past few weeks has been that of three “D’s”: Depressing, Dreary and Dull.
For weeks on end, the three remaining girls chose ballads for each performance. Dreadfully boring ballads that did little to entertain or really enhance their voices in any way. Just sad bits of beauty that are great for singers to mess around, but don’t show anything artistically about the type of singer the contestant could be or what they would record.
All the song choices serve is vanity as they’ve allowed each contestant to do as much vocal gymnastics as possible without having to worry about the melody.
It’s been awful.
And it hasn’t a thing to do with the girls themselves. They’re all solid singers who just can’t seem to get out of their own ways with the song choices. They’re dead set on keeping in the ballad zone either because it’s safe or because they just don’t know any better.
Last night, that power was mercifully taken out of their hands as Jimmy, The Judges and The Producers mercifully chose songs for the contestants.
So how many ballads remained, and how many times did the show’s brass force the contestants out of that tedious comfort zone? Let’s find out.
ROUND ONE: JIMMY’S PICK
Kree Harrison Sang: “Perfect” by Pink
Keith Said: I love that no matter what you sing, you have such a strong signature sound.
Nicki Said: It felt very short to me, I wanted to see more.
Randy Said: I didn’t love that song choice for you. It didn’t have a lot of pizzazz.
While this is a little more upbeat than what the contestants have given in the past few weeks, it’s no less boring.
That’s mostly the fault of Kree. This is a nice pop song with a great melody that’s arranged with the right amount of country flavor for Kree to really mold it to her little attempted twang.
Instead she just gets through it. That’s all she does. It’s like somebody at the gym just running fast enough to keep the elliptical from turning off for a half hour so they can say they worked out.
Here there was no fire in her voice, she created no moments and she seemed like she’d forgotten to wake up from a backstage nap before the lights went up. If she’d come out in pajamas with matted down hair, it would have felt absolutely perfect.
Instead, it was anything but.
Candice Glover Sang: “One” by U2
Keith Said: I felt every bit of it. Beautiful.
Nicki Said: You are on your way. You are a diva.
Randy Said: I don’t know if everything was perfect, but what was perfect about it was the emotion was so on point.
The opening line Candice Glover sang from this song was “Did I disappoint you?”
Yes. Yes you did.
This song is arranged like somebody put in an old cassette that’d been torn up and put back together with scotch tape by a madman. It jumps from part-to-part of this song without any chance for the melody to build or even make sense.
Candice jumps from earnest, to quiet, to belting, to soul diva, to just trying to end the song. There was no context for the performance: It was like somebody auditioning for their high school show choir by just trying to show off every aspect of their voice in that small audition timeframe.
Blame Jimmy for a terrible song choice, but blame Candice just as much for a poor delivery.
Angie Miller Sang: “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” by Elton John
Keith Said: You could hold back a little more.
Nicki Said: You’re clearly bringing it to win this competition.
Randy Said: I actually really liked it.
Here we are, back in the doldrums with another bit of sad bastard music complete with the word “sad” about fifteen times.
It didn’t have to be this dreary, the original song isn’t nearly as depressing as the producers arranged it for this performance as they turned it into something from ‘Phantom of the Opera’, complete with dry ice and a weird gate behind Angie.
The one thing going for Angie is that unlike the other two girls, she at least had some connection with the song and seemed to be pouring her guts along with her lungs into the performance. Her vocal was great and she was vibrant the entire time.
Even if the song lacked anything of the sort.
JIMMY’S ROUND ONE WINNER: Angie, Easily.