Friday, March 25, 2016

American Idol: And Then There Were Four

This compressed American Idol season is flying by, while I wish it would linger a bit. Tonight the Idols were mentored by Steve Van Zandt on classic rock songs and then by Sia on her songs. Sia let them see her eyes but this was blurred out for the TV audience.  

LaPorsha Renae -  LaPorsha's classic rock choice was "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi. Although she doesn't seem like much of a cowboy, she delivered a strong vocal, circled the stage with swagger, and hit the big note at the end. The judges felt it was an odd song for her, but J Lo said she could sing the phone book and it wouldn't matter. It reminded Harry of Tina Turner. They also complimented her braids, which she said took 15 hours to do. She did look awesome and she has such confidence now. It's been a great evolution to watch and if there's any justice she will win the show. Her Sia song was "Elastic Heart" and it was another good performance. J Lo said she is a fully realized artist and they just don't have much to say to her, but I wonder if the lack of effusive praise and the fact that she had to sing first tonight might cause people to forget to vote for her. 

MacKenzie Bourg - His classic rock song was "I Want You to Want Me" by Cheap Trick. He slowed it down a lot and it kind of lost its rock edge, Keith hated the arrangement. Harry thought he could have sung it the same and kept it double time as the original was and would have kept the energy up more.  Mac's Sia song was "Titanium." This was a typical performance but he did stretch for a high note. Harry thought it was nice but it shouldn't all be about one note. Keith liked that he made it a singer/songwriter moment and stripped it down. I feel like Mackenzie is sticking with what he's good at but not stretching enough, and this may be his downfall. 

Trent Harmon - Trent's first song was "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top. He delivered it as a rock song with a bluesy edge. We got to see a more rocking side of him, and he got the crowd into it. J Lo said it was fungal - dirtied and muddied up.  Harry thought it was brilliant. His Sia song was "Chandelier" and it was impressive, with the high notes. Sia told him he picked her most difficult song. Keith thought it was exquisite. J Lo said he can do anything. Harry gave it 100 out of 100. The judges really laid it on thick for Trent. I think they want a Trent/LaPorsha finale. 

Dalton Rapattoni -  Dalton sang "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys, and I don't really view this as a classic rock song. However, it's one of my favorite songs and Dalton gave a heartfelt rendition and really connected with the audience. We've seen him rock quite a bit this season, so I won't hold the song choice against him. Harry said it was the most complex song he's sung so far and it showed his vulnerability. His Sia song was "Bird Set Free" and he wore a cool neon spatter paint jacket. He sounded a bit flat to me, but he sang with feeling and got choked up at the end. The crowd went wild. J Lo cried too and said everyone was cheering for Dalton's bravery. Keith said he pushes through his limitations. 

The Bottom Two were Sonika and Dalton and Sonika was sent home. This reinforces my feeling that the judges were wrong to save Sonika two weeks in a row. Now she was in the Bottom Three for three weeks straight and finally was sent home. I think she has a lovely voice but she just didn't connect with the audience well enough to motivate people to vote for her.  

I was definitely surprised to see Dalton in the Bottom Two.  I have been partially basing my prognostications on Twitter. Dalton and Mackenzie both have @ 130,000 followers.  LaPorsha and Trent have about 30,000, and Sonika had about 15,000.  With that huge advantage in Twitter fans, I felt Dalton and Mackenzie would sail through these middle of the competition weeks.  Of course, voters can become complacent. Dalton had a good week last week but he did mention his struggles with bipolar disorder and that may have unfortunately turned off some of his fans.  I also think he and Mackenzie are drawing from the same pool of teen/tween Tiger Beat type voters.  With that being said, I predict Mackenzie and Trent will be the Bottom Two next week and Mackenzie will go home.  It could be Dalton, but I think he will benefit from all of his fans being scared because he was in the Bottom Two this week and they will vote, vote, vote.  

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