On March 14th, 2012 the folks at American Idol confirmed that big baritone voice Jermaine Jones was kicked off the show for lying to the producers about his past history. The singer hid the very real fact he has a criminal record and it cost him his place on the reality television competition. The sad part about a competitor making it on the show under false pretenses is that the bad publicity tends to overshadow the truly good press the other singers in the competition have gotten. To that end, here’s the recap review of how the other singers did during the Wednesday evening live performance — including the strongest and weakest performance notes. Best singer of the night? Joshua Ledet, the young man with the gospel tone. The weakest link but nicest person on the show? Heejun Han, the Korean boy who is so sweet. He’s likely to be the next competitor to go home…
Singer Jermaine Jones getting booted off American Idol 2012 early for lying about his criminal past was the focus of the major media outlets after the gossip he had been cut over a celebrity scandal was confirmed March 14th. His bad publicity took the focus off the performances of the rest of the cast. In an effort to give them all more substantial free press, we here at Green Celebrity Network decided a performance review complete with career and reality television show competition winner predictions was in order. To that end, from first to last — here’s who sang well the night Americans got to say goodbye to the gentle giant… and those who didn’t quite pull off singing their best for the “pick a song from your birth year” challenge.
This our my story about the competitors performances and the likelihood of them having future success in the music business, and we’re sticking to it…
Phillip Phillips had kidney surgery just a few days before the live performance and he still managed to knock his performance out of the park. They young man is a sexy young version of a Joe Cocker. Not a crooner but also not a rocker, his blue grass meets R&B sound is unique in and of itself. When voting for the singer you would most like to go see perform live at a club on in a small, intimate venue it is him. Why? When watching him sing, that boy feels the music from all the way down in his hips and enjoys singing so much hitting certain tones or vocal rifts makes his toes curl in a way that can only be described as absolutely seductive in the most fun sense.
Jessica Sanchez is sixteen years old. “Swaggernaut” is the nickname Will.I.Am is calling her, and man does she have a great singing style. There is just no way this tiny young lady is not going to be a music star. Judges were critical that she had chosen the wrong song, but the audience appreciated her stage presence so much that everyone who watched her sing thought she rocked the house. But alas, she seems to need to be doing some big, dull, love song to really wow the crowd. She’s going to make a fabulous addition to the American Idol tour for sure — but people are starting to wonder if she can sings songs that are surprising without losing her sense of self.
Heejun Han sang “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx. The hardest part for him was getting the American accent right but he certainly tried his best to take his Korean tone out of it. Off key, struggling to find his own voice in the song, Randy Jackson gave his normal pitchy critique but Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler gave him moral support. With his cute girlfriend in the crowd, Heejun told Ryan Seacrest jokingly that the reason he sounded so emotional and breathless while singing the song was because he was thinking about her… and 20%about JLo… and 10% about Fergie.
Elise Testone seems to be a judges favorite but viewers watching at home do not know fully why. Randy Jackson says her voice is like butter, but listening through the BOSE system she sounds more like a generic lounge singer destined to wear black polyester pants with sequined tops while she sings for a small audience of traveling salesmen at a hotel bar somewhere. Its hard to say, but not every American Idol contestant can go on to bigger and brighter things — but it does not mean they can’t earn a living someplace singing. [Just sayin'...]
Deandre Brackensick started singing at four years old. The Elton John Disney song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” was one of his first choices, but he switched to “Endless Love” at the last minute at the prompting of the voice coach and Will.I.Am — leading to a big OOPS. While the judges might have appreciated him taking a risk and stretching his vocals, the song was wrong for his voice and for him personally. Had he trusted his instinct, he would have been better off. Because the selection was dull and he did not really love it, he was dreading his performance. If he’s going to be a star, he needs to man up and drop his testicles to defend song picks he’s truly comfortable with — let’s just hope if he does, his falsetto does not break like a teenage boy when his confidence hits. He needs to be in Broadway musicals.
Shannon Magrane is the daughter of the pro baseball player that Steven Tyler compared to a Boston summer, unwisely telling the man his girl was, “Hot, happening, and humid — just like [his] daughter.” She sand “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey but ugh. Her voice has a lovely tone and she’s a pretty girl, but the tune was too Christian rock to make it a winner — and too obscure for people at home to really sing along (even thought at one point it spent 18 weeks at the top of the pop music charts). That’s got to cost her votes, leaving us with a major question for the song coaches: why aren’t they steering these kids to pick songs that voters at home will like hearing the most? Even though she did a nice job with the vocals, it was not the best choice for her in the eyes of most.
Colton Dixon had dinner with Daughtry at the Belmont in Los Angeles before the contest. his advice to the contestant? “Be yourself and do songs that people know.” By the time the singer got the advice, he’d already picked a hard rock ballad to make his own. He’s got a bright future in the rock-n-roll music industry, already getting such a big star’s attention. Chances are with or without an American Idol victory, this kid will have a recording contract and launch his career as an opening act for some bigger rick bands. Whenever he sings, the crowd goes wild… and Jennifer Lopez says in her mind, “He’s a lover.” She thinks he looks pretty when he sings. Steven Tyler hated it and said he gave the song itself a raspberry. Randy Jackson was impressed that he, “performed it dope” and said the song choice did not matter because he made it his own.
Erika Van Pelt chose the Bryan Adams song “Heaven” — and her deep jewel toned voice was just right (for the most part) to sing the big ballad piece — but she took a risk and changed the arrangement. Thinking of herself as a rocker, she invokes the feel of the band Heart. Steven Tyler panned her, too… surprising the audience by telling her she was too busy. JLo says she is this season’s Janis Joplin but the comparison was a big stretch. Of special note was she was starting to look the past of a singer. Randy Jackson says he’d give her an 8 out of 10 by doing well but looking amazing. Noting, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it by adding.”
After she sang, Ryan Seacrest confirmed that with the help of law enforcement, Jermain Jones was let go from the show.
Apparently in March of last year, Jermaine Jones gave a fake name to the police. He did it again several months later… and he currently has four active warrants outstanding. The show producers confronted him about lying to them about having a record. Jones said he was scared and nervous about his past. Telling him they are not contractually allowed to have anyone on the show with warrants against them. Telling him his voice was fabulous, they aired a clip of him singing at rehearsal on Tuesday before he was let go. Listening to him sing, one had to agree with Ryan Seacrest that his voice will be missed on the show and any future tour for sure. Had he been honest from the start, the producers said they would have been willing to help him clear all his legal issues up. But, apparently because he was arrested under a fake name, he was willing to roll the dice and think no one would ever find the truth out.
As a child, Skylar Laine was a mess. Her parents said she had a self-destructive streak and quite a temper. Going into the mentoring session, Jimmy suggested a lovely variety of song choices but the singer was really stuck on performing a Bonnie Raitt song. After a weak start, it was obvious there was a bit of karaoke feel to her rendition. But, the predictability of it did not completely do her in. The country twang she sings with impressed Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. Randy Jackson said her song choice was fine and that whatever she sings, she, “just needs to sing it really good.” Her performance was a lesson for all the competitors to be willing to stand up for themselves when they get a chance to work with Jimmy if he makes a suggestion that they sing a song they are not in love with for any reason. She’s likely to walk away from the contest with a recording contract from somewhere in Nashville even if she does not even come close to winning because the sassy star wannabe is (if nothing else) tenacious.
Joshua Ledet has a gift — and we’re not just talking about his voice. The state of Louisiana sent him a huge bucket of crawfish because he said he was homesick and missed the regional cuisine. Singing “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Michael Bolton, the pastor’s son impressed both his mentors. Will.I.Am said he was going to come out on stage and kill it and he was right. Although the gospel sound he has might scare some voters off, he will undoubtedly be one of the best performers on the American Idol live concert tour. That boy is AWESOME. All three of the judges were standing up, singing along, and clapping while he did his song. I want to buy tickets to see him live in concert already. What a voice, what a sweet personality… absolutely a stunning song. Randy Jackson was waiting for his favorite moment? He got it. Jennifer Lopez said that was her favorite performance on American Idol. Steven Tyler said he gave it up so big, God came through his eyes. We blame the crawfish — and Ryan Seacrest for being willing to bring them back from New Orleans. They little shellfish were certainly food for the soul and Percy Sledge would have been proud to hear him sing (as Randy Jackson pointed out).
Hollie Cavanaugh is the cute little blond singer that belts songs out so well it shocks you. This week, she sang “The Power of Love” by Celine Dion. No one can figure out where she gets her vocal power from, but she truly sings her heart out. Truly a professional singer already in her stature, the mentors say she comes to work each day and chips away at it. Between she and Joshua, Jennifer Lopez said the show producers who generated the line up really saved the best performances for last. Randy Jackson says she has more swag than act two. All three judges gave her great feedback even if her brother (who Ryan Seacrest asked if he liked the song and he panned her from the audience) didn’t.
By the end of the night, which singers did the celebrity judges say were the best? Joshua Ledet got top spot while Hillie Cavanaugh took second in their eyes. The only judge to say a singer was at risk of going home was Randy Jackson who pointed the finger (probaby correctly) at Heejun Han. Even though he’s a great singer, his appeal to an American audience is limited with regard to the scope of people who watch the show.