"American Idol" Season 10, Episode 3

1/28/2011 Posted by Admin

"American Idol" Season 10, Episode 3

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

On Tuesday night, "American Idol" moved to Milwaukee and I became more enchanted by the singing voices of the youth of America. Maybe it’s because the 15-year-olds allowed to audition for the first time were five when Kelly Clarkson won the title, or maybe it’s because of the whole Justin Bieber phenomenon going on, but I feel that the people who have truly impressed me this season have been the young ones. To be fair, I notice more of a young kid is singing, and the adults all just blur together, and we’ll see in a couple of months whether "American Idol" will have busy on-set tutors.

To me, the only truly impressive part of the Milwaukee auditions was Steven Tyler. I really, really like him, and I didn’t think I would. He’s funny, he’s ridiculous, and he offers great advice. The judges seem to have a good rapport and a great sense of humor, and it’s this that's carrying this season.

My complaints still exist: The contestants who are doing well are all singing classic songs, and the contestants who are relegated to the montages of bad performances are the ones singing contemporary hits. This competition is about being a commercially viable pop singer in 2011; being able to sing Otis Redding well is fine and all, but being able to sing something current carries a little more weight (especially since no one can rightly do justice to the classics).

My favorites: Thia Megia, a 15-year-old girl who sang Adele, schmoozed Randy, and came across far older than 15. Maybe I’m on a huge Adele kick at the moment, but I really loved her. I also loved Scott Dangerfield, who sang an Amos Lee song and was J. Lo’s favorite of the nght.

I also really liked Harvard grad and White House intern Molly DeWolf Swensen, who, in all fairness, did sing an Otis Redding song really well because she gave it a nice arrangement. She has a great tone to her raspy voice, and I liked her a lot, even if I found myself asking, “Why are you auditioning for this show?” And I think that might ultimately – and unfairly – hurt her. Over 10 seasons, "American Idol" has had its share of sad, heartbreaking stories and has become a launching pad for people to better their lives, and here is a girl who has such an incredibly bright, albeit non-musical, future ahead of her. She’s talented, and I hope people vote for talent this year.

Chris Medina, the final contestant of the night, was also wonderful, but he had a truly heartbreaking package to go along with his beautiful audition. I hate to be the cynic, but I get uncomfortable when these produced packages of sorrow air before a contestant. He was so incredibly good, and I want to know him as an incredibly talented singer period, not an incredibly talented singer with a heart of gold and a tragic story.

The good: Jerome Bell was fine by me, although I feel “Let’s Get It On” isn’t the greatest initial audition song. His tone was great, and being a professional Bar Mitzvah singer, he performed incredibly well. I liked Steve Beghun, the hugely awkward CPA with a shockingly good, high voice. I also liked Alyson Jados, one of the biggest Steven Tyler fans to come through. Here’s where I disagreed with Randy, who told her no--he lets young, crying, marginally talented girls go forward, yet here’s a unique rocker voice that he automatically dismisses. I’m glad she got a second chance.

The ones I disagreed with: I felt letting 15-year-old Emma Henry through to Hollywood was a mistake. Her performance was not up to par, and had she not been a 15-year-old girl crying and begging for another shot, I guarantee she would not have made it to the Hollywood round. Jennifer was right--she will get swallowed up in the next round.

Didn’t do it for me: I know a lot of people really liked Scott McCreery, the first audition of the night, but I just don’t think this show is right for him. Don’t get me wrong, he has a great voice, but a super deep, super throwback to classic country probably won’t last too long when voting starts. I also didn’t feel too strongly about Haley Reinhart, the 16-year-old girl who sang “Oh, Darling.” She had a good voice, but spent too much time focusing on her ad libs and vocal runs, and I think she just needs to keep her song selection simple and not try so hard. She’s plenty talented without the faux-Aguilera ad libs.

The terrible: Civil War reenacter, Nathaniel Jones. But before I dismiss him as being ridiculous, let me at least say that had he chosen a better song, maybe (but probably not) he would’ve fared a little better. The tone of his voice wasn’t bad at all. However, Megan Frazier, who sang an operatic rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” actually was terrible… and completely bonkers. At least she still has the Packers to look forward to.

The good was fine, but nothing revelatory. A week later and I’m still liking Robbie Rosen’s New Jersey audition, and I’m not sure if I’ll remember anyone other than the Civil War reenactor in a week’s time. On Wednesday, Idol headed to Nashville, and if you feel like believing the promos, it seems as if they’ve found what they’re looking for.

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