Like I said, Russell was jumping on a sinking ship. Nothing could have saved them. And you know what made it more inevitable, the challenge being an endurance one. Russell was pretty much counting on Rupert so that they could get Parvati out because face it, Colby has the endurance dunce of the season. He has no drive or willpower left in him to stay in the game.

It’s obvious that Colby has lost it. Even in the reward challenge, he was getting all frustrated. Rule learned: A frustrated Colby is a weak Colby. Not even the sight of his brother could give him hope. It was right what Boston Rob said on the pilot episode, Colby is definitely in the wrong tribe because he’d have to deal with the many egos there. It was that ego that brought down two strong players right off the bat: Steph and Tom. It was also in losing Steph that he was shattered. Knowing he was in the outs hurt his game the most. He couldn’t pull in JT and Candice long ago to make a solid alliance and that hurt him even more.

As in Survivor 2, Colby thrives on a solid alliance. If his alliance fails or fails to make one, his strength is all gone. In a way, an alliance is the Samson hair of Colby. Take that away and he’s a straight mess. Colby never won any single immunity challenge this season. He was just too unfocused to win. He relied on alliance dynamics that he fell short on the fact that strategy is of dire importance.

Another Achilles’ knee for Colby is the lack of a strategic partner. The reason he got to the final two in season 2 other than his brute strength was Tina being able to play mastermind over the rest.

That being said though, the reason he’s the last hero standing is his great social game. It’s the reason why Sandra is still in it. He was pretty much a stealth-type instead of a brute force kind of guy. He’s also very trustworthy that when it came down to the vote, you could rely on him. But still, without Tom beside him, he was dead meat. It was sort of JT’s fault to be truthful. He kinda led his tribe to go down in flames. Had he played a more solid game, the heroes wouldn’t have crumbled. He attempted to play the villain and failed to bring the group dynamics of the tribe in sync.

Going back to this episode though, with Russell not being able to rely on Colby, he only had Rupert and Jerri. But Jerri really isn’t that strong in endurance. In her past seasons, she was pretty weak at it. Rupert had so much will to stay in the game opposite of Colby but his weight could not help him.

In the end, stating the obvious, Parvati is endurance queen. Lately, lots of immunity challenges have been about endurance and she’s pretty much ruled over them. The ones she lost were either because it wasn’t endurance or because she decided to bow out because of confidence. That girl has the willpower of a camel.

By the way, I love how Sandra plays. She was still able to maintain that game of “as long as it’s not me.” If she knows she’s a clear target, she would go out of her way to play the field. She’ll give her confidence even to a tribe that wasn’t with her from the beginning. She was willing to jump ship just to up her game. When her plan got screwed, she was willing to give her confidence back to the villains. In a way, her flip-floppiness with the fact that her sole motto is “anyone but me,” made her a villain but the loyalty she shows the one she flips to is very hero-worthy.

You know what hurt Russell… it’s his ego. For Russell, it’s “you’re either with me or against me.” Early on, he could have made an alliance with Rob and Parvati (the most dangerous villains of all time). He decided to take out Rob and now, he can’t seem to get rid of Sandra. Sandra has been pulling shots that keeps her in the game and ruins Russell’s. Instead of getting her booted, Coach gets booted by playing Russell’s motto for her own gain. I don’t know why Russell trusted Sandra over Courtney but the fact that Sandra “could” talk to him must have given him some false security that he could trust Sandra more. Again, his ego broke his solid alliance with Parvati. He saw the bond of Parvati and Danielle as a threat and now, Russell is definitely in the outs of his own alliance. And now that he got a lot of people angry, he has no chance to win even if he gets to the final three or two. (Coach, Courtney, JT, Amanda, Candice, Danielle and Rupert are certainly not going to vote for him.) It’s his ego that makes his social game really bad. Now even Parvati can’t trust him.

So I’ve talked about everyone BUT Jerri. Honestly, I can’t pull a finger on her. But I’ll give you this, she’s not the same Jerri we saw in the outback or all-stars. When her only alliance left the island, she knew where to lean. (But I’ll tell you this, it was dumb for her to not trust Rob. Rob was giving his heart and soul for her and she didn’t want to buy it. Rob became a real hero for the villains and yet she didn’t consider it. If there had not been a merge, the villains would have been disseminated by now.) Jerri did not lose hope when Coach left unlike Colby who lost all hope the moment Tom left. She’s gotten Russell, Parvati and Sandra’s trust. Hell, she could even get Colby’s trust if she wanted to.

So what’s the pecking order?

Colby – It seems even he wants to go home
Russell – He’s on the definite outs. The only way he can get to the three is win immunity.
Jerri – Because I’m iffy with her.
Parvati or Sandra – Because honestly, they are now in control.

Posted by: dcmjlive | May 13, 2010

Lynche is out

Hmm…I guess it’s safe to say that the save was worth it because he lasted longer than Matt Giraud with his save. But we have yet to prove that further with CSAB. Speaking of CSAB…yeah, it’s interesting really. There are two possible scenarios going on. I’ll present the split line theory and how it’s going to affect things right up until this week…and it would also affect next week. I can guarantee that.

Well James stays… not really much a surprise given his song choice last night. Now who will win out of these three guitarists. Hmm… I actually wonder if Casey has a chance…

Posted by: dcmjlive | May 12, 2010

Top 4 Singles (Songs of the Silverscreen)

Alright, since I’ve graded the duets, I decided to focus on the solos. Interestingly, Camp Should-a-Been would be very interesting because of how the solo performances worked out. Who knows, we might even see another girl in the final three.

Lee DeWyze – Kiss from a Rose

I’ll take a page from Harry Connick… Lee sang out of tune in parts. His falsetto is VERY undeveloped and it hurt him at the start. In the middle, it didn’t work. The problem is that he did not do anything to the song and did not actually connect to the song. It felt as if he just sang it. And range wise, the song really is hard and it just didn’t work for him. And Simon does say it right, it felt a bit too karaoke and yes, that felt like a contestant performance. BTW, is he channeling Kris with the plaid? HAHAHA.

GRADE: 2.75

Michael Lynche – Will You Be There

That was awkward. The song didn’t build like the original song did. It jumped from part to part that it didn’t feel right. It was like it was a rollercoaster that fell flat. Even if he sang it fairly well, it was just really weird… Ellen is right, the goal SHOULD be to win. I’m not seeing any fire there. And again, because of the weird arrangement, there was no real connection to the song. So not only did it feel like a contestant performance but also an amateur one at that.

GRADE: 3.0

Casey James – Mrs. Robinson

It’s weird to pick a ditty on a night like this but I won’t peruse song choice. I just feel it’s a weird choice of song. I think Casey sang that solidly and simply. It’s just not the song that you would want to have a moment with and it’s cool and all but yeah, there wasn’t anything radical or brilliant about it. And yeah, again, I’m noticing how stiff he actually is. I get what Simon said. The song seems so lazy and that it doesn’t bode well for the top 4. I wanted a performance like this earlier in the game. He’s really not building a nice arc of songs.

GRADE: 2.5

Crystal Bowersox – I’m Alright

Another solid performance from Crystal…and hey, she’s back. I think that’s enough. Oh and yes, she gets the artist shirt.

GRADE: 1.5

Well, I’m tired of grading them on a curve so here are grades that they deserve.

Posted by: dcmjlive | May 12, 2010

Top 4 Duets

I’m separating this from the solos because I couldn’t help myself but focus on these first. What with two songs that have been covered on the idol stage LAST SEASON, these performances are fresh in my memory so I might reference them here and there. (Note: These songs were also sung during the same theme week.)

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze – Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the movie, Once

To start off, it is important to state that had Kris Allen not done this song, it wouldn’t be cleared yet for Crystal and Lee.  That being said, I wouldn’t really compare it to Kris’s. Kris had a true moment with the song and stayed pretty much true to the message of the original.

What Crystal and Lee did was bring beautiful harmonies to the song. I would have to commend Crystal and Lee for a much melodic and harmonious arrangement that brought out the voice of each artist. At first, I felt weird about the answering styling but there were certain parts that I felt were well thought out by how it was phrased. The blending of the voices was pretty near perfect but not quite there. And I was surprised at the counterpoint, which again brought out their voices well enough.

What the pair lacked though was a true connection to the meaning of the song. That connection is what brought out the real moment for Kris. I’m thinking that they knew Kris did it and they decided to change the arrangement so that they won’t be compared to Kris but for it to be a Kris moment, something had to come up. By changing up the melody, it changed the subtlety, the shyness, the desperation of the song. It was too energetic, hyped and the vibe that came out of it is that they were ready to tell each other their feelings rather than that hope that each one would come out to each other and say that I love you.

So while the pair did an awesome job vocally, they lacked what would make it a moment: a true understanding of the song. I appreciate though how they upped their game from before and honestly, it is single-handedly the best performance of the season.

GRADE: 1.5

Michael Lynche and Casey James – Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman by Bryan Adams

I don’t know. For me male duets always seem weird, especially when the song is a love song. HAHAHA. What the first pair did not have is what the guys though did have. The guys had such understanding for the song. If you listen to it closely, the song has a lot of subtlety, passion and vulnerability. For me the intention worked. It was still lacking in passion as compared to Matt Giraud though.

But also, the vocals were not as good though as Crystal-Lee. The blending isn’t that much what I expected it to be. It felt weird that Casey showcased his falsetto here and it felt like a bromance especially when Lynche looked at James. Somehow, funnily, I thought the two were singing it to each other and how they were so in love with each other that they were questioning each other’s gender only to fall in love with each other in the end. Damn, that sounded wrong. But really, I would have to commend their arrangement as well. I think it was well thought out.

GRADE: 1.75

So there you have it.

Posted by: dcmjlive | May 9, 2010

DUETS!?!?!

Again? Grr. Oh well. I’m not really mad but this was a bad moment for Kris last year. This year however, I’m pretty much ok with it. Annoyingly, the duet with Crystal in it would most likely be the better one like the one with Allison in it. (3 guys and a girl again? Hopefully the girl doesn’t leave this time.)

Interestingly as well, the camp should a been version sort of copies the one of last season. In CSAB, it will end up with 2 guys and 2 girls. Also, it’ll be where we’ll see 3 of the original top 4 and 1 person who’ll be the Alexis Grace of the season. If I’m not mistaken as well, the Alexis Grace would be eliminated as well, leaving 2 guys and a girl…just like last season’s CSAB. But that’s enough for the slight spoiler. I’m thinking you know who would’ve reached the top 4.

My big problem however is creating a duet score for the other pair. My guess would be to divide the score of the real duet into 2, get the .9 score of the average of whoever lost his/her duet partner due to CSAB and the score of the Alexis Grace on the night. Hmm… I guess.

Posted by: dcmjlive | May 7, 2010

Candice, Danielle out

Well, I’m pretty much bored by idol now. You can tell by me not posting anything about Sinatra night. Here’s the super quick version on it. Aaron Kelly did a schmaltzy rendition. Casey James goat vibratto-ed his way to becoming worse (down to become the VFTW pick). Lynche nailed the night but still felt boring. Bowersox is losing her swag. And Lee, somewhat near Lynche the night but still boring. SNORE… Oh and yeah, High School student Aaron Kelly is finally gone! WOOT! I like the CSAB version a little bit more than what’s happening in snooze idol.

The real fun thing to watch again is really SURVIVOR! With such competitive minds, the game is ON!

Candice’s elimination

This elimination has Jerri, Colby and Rupert written all over.

Russell tried to control this game by adding numbers to the villains because of the fear of losing Sandra to the Heroes. Candice, I would have to say, stupidly jumps ship when she actually knows that Sandra would flip. Honestly, I’m wondering why it’s not nominated as the stupidest moves in Survivor History. She knows how the heroes would vote. She knows how the villains would vote. She knows that she’s got Sandra’s vote. Why betray someone who trusts you strongly over someone who is attempting to gain your trust? The ship the heroes had when Sandra jumped ship proved not to be a sinking one until Candice made her move. And the casualty, herself.

Jerri knew that they didn’t need her. Sandra was totally now on the villains. In a way, Candice was in the outs in the villains alliance. So Jerri quickly nominated her to go.

To show that Russell was totally out of this game, he even thought Rupert had the idol. He was played. That was an awesome move on Rupert’s part because it went to the inevitable splitting of votes. The villains were dumb enough to let Colby eavesdrop leaving him to know that Jerri had suggested quickly leading him and Rupert to jump from the sinking ship and sneakingly use the splitting of votes to their advantage. In a way, I commend Colby for playing the wits game.

Candice’s stupid move led to her casualty. The game is so intense, a lot have been eliminated because of it.

DIRECT karma hit: Tyson, JT, Candice
Karma casualties: Boston Rob, Courtney, Amanda

Speaking of Colby and this immunity challenge, I’m disappointed. The original HERO of the Survivor series, willing to bring it all in challenges has just lost his spark. With 4 immunity challenges in (with the episode included), he has done zilch to fight for immunity. What he goes for now lately are rewards. Seriously, Colby has lost what I idolized from him in Season 2. Before Ozzy, he was the man with the most immunity challenges won in a row. It is kinda stupid that Russel still thinks Colby has that edge because all the girls know that that blade is rusty.

Danielle’s elimination

For once, Danielle is a clear casualty. Russell now has become very jealous of team Parvati-Danielle. Russell has turned from smart to madman. He knows he can’t win when the final three comes if it was him, Parvati and Danielle.

In an interesting play of events, Parvati smells something fishy. Her bond with Danielle is too solid to not feel that Russell is lying to her. And who can blame her, Russell was acting like a moron. When Parvati brought up wanting to talk to Danielle, Russell started acting all defensive. Russell’s “don’t talk to her” convinced nobody. And when Parvati said, I won’t tell her it’s you, she clearly lied back because after, they found out that Russell was plotting against them.

The power play though that went about is a combination of Russell jumping ship to do the deed and threatening Jerri. When Jerri learned at tribal that it was Russell-Parvati-Danielle in the end, she knew she’d fall for fourth. From there, she knew Hantz wasn’t lying and decided to break the trio.

In short, like I predicted last week, Danielle became the casualty of the Russell-Parvati distrust issue. It really is rooted in the fact that Parvati told Danielle about the hidden immunity idol and not Hantz.

Russell did play like a madman now and it worked in the short run. But new developments would happen:

  1. Jerri: Now that she broke up the trio, she can now comfortably be in control together with Parvati and Sandra. She can now take advantage of the fact that Russel challenged Parvati.
  2. Sandra: Also feeling the same way as Jerri, she can also feel comfortable in the villain alliance with Parvati. Ironic how the alliances Russell broke up are now one strong alliance. (Russell kicked out Boston Rob’s crew with Sandra as a survivor. Russell voted out Coach and broke the love tandem between him and Jerri. Russell then broke his own trio by making a move to eliminate Danielle leaving Parvati.)
  3. Russell: Now, he has to suffer the consequence of his actions. Since he broke up with Parvati with that decision, he is now ironically in the outs of his tribe. That’s far from what he wanted…to be the puppet master. His only way to salvation, siding with the heroes.
  4. Colby: Even if Colby does not have the willpower to play OUTPLAY, he does somehow manage to play OUTLAST. Steph and Tom gone, he was saved by luck when James broke his foot. JT played a move that would sink the heroes ship threatening to get him out of the game. Even further, when they could finally have gotten control of the game, Candice stupidly flips making his boat to sink again. If it weren’t for Russell’s stupid move now, he wouldn’t actually have a chance to stay THIS long. But you know what, he might actually be playing the “I’m weak” card to get further in the game. But, it won’t get him to win, that’s for sure.

So it comes down to Parvati and Rupert. It’s clear Russell would side with the Heroes. In a twist of events, it’s the guys versus the girls. And as Fans VS Favorites proved, the girls are just smarter than the men. It’s survivor 6 all over again. It’s not HEROES VS VILLAINS anymore, it’s MEN VS WOMEN. Survivor 6 crowned Jenna Morasca the winner, a woman. And oh yeah, who won Fans VS Favorites, I remember its Parvati, another woman.

So how would this thing go? I tallied up the votes each person has because now it’s back to an even playing field meaning the first determinant to see who would go would be votes. (These are the votes that COUNTED. Therefore, this does not include the votes that were cast but were discarded by the Hidden Immunity Idol.)

Rupert 6
Russell 5
Colby 3
Parvati 3
Jerri 1
Sandra 0

With this, the clear targets yet again are Rupert and Parvati. Not only because Rupert is strong and Parvati is witty but also because they have the most votes for their respective tribes. Let’s show the scenarios taking into account immunity.

Rupert has Immunity:
Boys vote Parvati
Girls vote either Hantz or Colby
If Hantz, Hantz leaves.
If Colby, fire making challenge, so they’d rather choose Hantz, Hantz leaves.

Parvati has Immunity:
Boys vote Jerri
Girls vote Rupert
Rupert goes home

Russell has Immunity:
Boys vote Parvati
Girls vote Rupert or Colby
If Rupert, Rupert leaves
If Colby, firemaking challenge so they’d rather choose Rupert, Rupert leaves.

Jerri has Immunity:
Boys vote Parvati
Girls vote Rupert
Rupert goes home

Colby has Immunity:
Boys vote Parvati
Girls vote Rupert
Rupert goes home

Sandra has Immunity:
Boys vote Parvati
Girls vote Rupert
Rupert goes home

In short, Russell is STILL on the losing side. There’s actually no reason to jump ship. A better decision would be to make amends with Parvati. If Rupert doesn’t win immunity, he’s gone. If he does, Russell leaves.

So after Rupert leaves, Russell or Colby would be next on the chopping block. Russell could always jump ship, which would leave Colby hanging. Assuming Russell hangs Colby out to dry and that he’s still in the outs, he’d have to win immunity to get into the final three but even if that happens, he won’t win. If he does win, then it would be interesting who would leave.

But I might be wrong about this because I’m not sure if the guys are really going to continue their new-found alliance. They could turn tables if one of them had the hidden immunity idol, but sadly, Sandra has that. And my guess is, she wouldn’t even need to play it.

Anyone up for a Sandra-Parvati-Jerri final three? or would it be a Sandra-Parvati-Russell final three? or an almost impossible Sandra-Jerri-Russell final three.

One thing’s for sure, Sandra is a shoe-in for final three. 😛

Posted by: dcmjlive | April 30, 2010

Siobhan and Amanda Booted

It’s kind of a sad week for me to be honest. I like both Siobhan and Amanda now. It just pains me that someone I begin to like or liked from the very beginning respectively goes home.

With Siobhan, it’s frustrating because VFTW was right, she’s the only one left out of the crummy ones who knows how to make a performance. I’ve pretty much given up looking for a TRUE moment from one of these idols.

As with Amanda, we can attribute the loss solely to Candice. What a disappointment. I mean come on, Parvati could have FINALLY left (even if she is my favorite as well). Candice was the true swing vote this time as she brought Sandra as her co-swing votes. It’s really the problem with jumping ship. And it’s interesting how the thing with the villains is going down. I might even guess there might be a casualty next week that doesn’t involve Russell VS Parvati. Probably it would be Jerri or Danielle going if there’s a divide.

And wow, what an amazing waste of idol from Hantz. Didn’t see that one coming. I understand his fear at the moment but he made more ballsy moves before…

Posted by: dcmjlive | April 28, 2010

Top 6 sing Shania Twain

With Shania week, people would most likely have people think that those that have country leanings do well. But Shania did more than country and that’s why her music is so much more relevant, much more pop and much more rock. With the contestants, it would be important to feel the connection as much as the originality of the performance.

Lee DeWyze – You’re Still The One

Looks like we made it, look how far we’ve come now baby.

With Lee, Kara is right, Lee has made much progress in terms of his confidence on stage. That is a plus. But a problem with Lee is now leaning towards the true connection to the song. I think he went to his husky vocals very prematurely and in the chorus, he sang so loud, I felt he was shouting at me. Pitchwise, it’s good but still, it isn’t a moment. Lee was definitely overpraised.

GRADE: 2.5

Michael Lynche – It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing

Thing with Lynche is, he has his moments in the song. I don’t think he’s consistent throughout the song though but as a whole, it was a pretty good vocal. There are a little more subtleties that he could have done but at least he was very connected.

GRADE: 1.5

Casey James – Don’t

Actually, from what I’ve heard tonight, he actually has the best vocal. I repeated the performance again just to hear the vocal clearly because despite a beautiful arrangement (the dynamics were just right), the bandzilla strikes again. I think the band was a tad too loud in the latter part of the song. But the performance was really nice. It’s this kind of Casey that works and not the stiff one. Casey has this deep soulful voice that is marred usually by fun songs. His sensibilities truly come out with songs like these.

GRADE: 1.25

Crystal Bowersox – No One Needs To Know Right Now

If someone has a beautiful falsetto, it’s Crystal. The song was beautifully sung. Thing was, I didn’t get it. I guess songs like these, I don’t really get. It’s not that bad. But it’s the most country out of the songs though. But yeah, I don’t know what to feel because yes, Simon took the words out of the tip of my tongue, there was a lack of conviction.

GRADE: 2.25

Aaron Kelly – You’ve Got A Way

What I like about this performance is that it balanced what range of Aaron suits him. It was a pretty good vocal but there was something about the original that makes his vocal a wee step lower than Shania’s. He did feel the song and I’ll give that to him. Really good performance actually.

GRADE: 1.0

Siobhan Magnus – Any Man of Mine

If there’s a performance that thrilled me, blew me away and at the same time, made me think that there were loads of bum times…it’s Siobhan. I don’t know what to make of it. I don’t know…uh, should I call it the most exciting performance of the night…YES. If I could call it the best peformance of the night…YES. But the best vocal…NO, it was the WORST. Man, I’m so conflicted. It had great dynamics, it was a great performance but the vocal was just bleh. It’s just a breathe of fresh air because it’s a performance that you can compare to the ones of Season 8 where everything was exciting. I’m so confused that I’ll grade her:

GRADE: 1.0

Favorite performances: Siobhan, Aaron and Casey
Least-liked performances: Crystal, Lee

Man, this is going to be interesting.

Posted by: dcmjlive | April 23, 2010

Tim Urban and JT Out

Well, this week was pretty interesting, if you don’t agree, well…

Anyway, first things first, I have to talk about Idol as this is an Idol critique site. Honestly, wasn’t expecting Turban to go. I actually felt that Turban really has grown and he deserved to stay longer than high school student Aaron Kelly and you know what, Casey James who has consistently been giving the same exact performances save for Jealous Guy for the past few weeks. You need a balance of diversity and individuality in the songs and it’s something that’s lacking in every single one of the idols this season. I’m happy Tim took a risk but the risk did not pay off. So oh well… the time I wanted him gone, he was not and the time I wanted him in, he left.

Now about taking risks, Parvati pulled a big risk tonight. One thing that is true, Parvati is a dangerous player. She’s more dangerous than Boston Rob and Russell combined. She doesn’t have ego to blindside her and she knows what moves to play. I can try to repicture what was going through her head:

  1. I stepped down in the immunity challenge quicker than what I should have done, maybe they’d think that I have the idol. But Amanda knows that I have the idol, do you think she’d want me to flush it out so that a villain would leave?
  2. Amanda said that I should use the idol. That pretty much confirms that she wants the idol flushed out. But then again, maybe she’s protecting me. Maybe her efforts haven’t been effective to convince the tribe, she told me that she doesn’t have much say in this. But if she were protecting me, she won’t outright say to use the idol. Something’s fishy.
  3. The heroes won’t quickly vote Russell, they’re targeting me. They can’t vote Danielle off because she has immunity.
  4. Colby says that they might just vote off someone else. This pretty much confirms I’m not in the chopping block. But what if he’s just saying that so I’ll waste my idol on someone else then I get the 5 votes. It would be 5 votes because I know Russell is on my side, Amanda would not switch to our side just to protect me just yet, and the rest of the heroes obviously would vote me if that were the case.
  5. If I get the 5 votes, probably either Amanda would side with me and Sandra in the other side. What if I give my idol to Sandra so she would be indebted to me so that if the vote does go to me, she won’t switch sides. But also, to increase the odds, what if they vote off Jerri or Sandra instead of me. In that case, I give an incentive to both Jerri and Sandra not to switch sides and furthermore, that assures me that I won’t be the one to be eliminated. If the heroes do vote off Jerri or Sandra, the villains would obviously have the numbers and JT would have been eliminated.

I know, it’s some careful thinking on the part of Parvati. It would have been interesting to see the turn out had the Heroes just voted Parvati off or if Parvati didn’t think of line of thinking #5 above and decided just to save Sandra and herself. The first scenario might have them go back and see how many votes against them they had and in that case, there would be zero each forcing them to have that fire making challenge, which would have decided the power. The second would scenario would have simply booted Jerri off.

But it’s also interesting to note that earlier in the episode, Parvati wanted to save one of the idols for herself but instead use the idols to form indebtedness to the tribe therefore solidifying it much more. It was a big risk that did pay off.

Even more interesting is how Sandra is going to play this game next episode. She’ll actually gain power as the swing vote given the circumstance that she knows that the heroes know she was telling the truth but also, the villains could trust Sandra now that she’s indebted to Parvati. (See, Sandra is a villain.) Also, Parvati’s little stunt has now revealed her to become the ring leader and not Russell putting some doubt into Russell’s mind. It’ll be hard for him to trust Parvati now because he wasn’t informed of this power play. I’ll like how this fans out. 😀

Posted by: dcmjlive | April 21, 2010

Top 7 Idol Gives Back (Inspirational Songs)

We now have the top 7…FINALLY. But I don’t think this season is moving quite the rate I wanted it. I’m happy Andrew Garcia is gone and to some extent Katie, but it still feels weird without Benami, Epperley and Lambert.

Casey James – Don’t Stop

The problem really with Casey is that he still keeps that stiff safe song choice. It’s getting boring and although this is a singing competition, you have to bring something for the fans and not necessarily for yourself. Music is about pleasing people and that really isn’t a crowd-pleaser. What’s more, he was very pitchy and monotone this time around. Lastly, he doesn’t look like a star yet. He still wants to keep that ponytail that clearly isn’t doing anything for him. And like Kara said, he needs moments such as Jealous Guy.

GRADE: 2.75

Lee DeWyze – The Boxer

With Lee, I think he did a good job in retelling the story. He had beautiful phrasing and often in tune vocals. My problem with this song is that it didn’t have a standout moment. The la-la-lie part actually detracted from the song because it was louder than other parts. I wish he put more to the song that would climax the song. It sort of fell flat. But nevertheless, it was sung good, just not great.

GRADE: 2.0

Tim Urban – Better Days

Despite what the judges say, I actually liked this performance of Tim. For me, he’s finally learning how to bring more emotion to the songs. I just think the judges got taken aback by the new song choice because of the difference with this and his usual song choice. I actually found it to be like Lee’s. Pitchy some places but given his limited range, it’s forgivable.

GRADE: 1.75

Aaron Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly

Well, we’re back to hearing the higher register of Aaron Kelly. I don’t like the quick cut in the start. This performance just reminds me of Aaron Kelly, the one who’s trying to repeat performances. The arrangement isn’t doing it for him. It was too compressed. And I didn’t like how he entered the last chorus. And his glory note, I think that’s the only thing that went right.

GRADE: 3.0

Siobhan Magnus – When You Believe

When I was young and Prince of Egypt came out, this was my favorite song. The song in itself was very inspiring (hence going with the theme) and it had such power because Mariah and Whitney were both in their prime. What made the song so powerful is the power belting bridge. But again, I didn’t like the arrangement because it didn’t have the bridge. For me, it was short of inspiring. The song didn’t work well and like Simon said, it did feel old-fashioned. Vocally, yes she did well but as an overall performance, it fell short from brilliant. It was just, flat…

GRADE: 2.25

Michael Lynche – Hero

Well, he’s taking a huge risk with this. It’s the first time for me to hear a song that isn’t exactly soulful. From hearing Lee, Siobhan and now Mike, a resounding problem is coming up, these people do not know how to make an arrangement that produces awe-inspiring dynamics. And like Simon said, it really felt artificial. Again, vocally, they are doing well, but they are not really bringing it emotionally on a night where emotion is key. Hatest part, the “and they’re watching us” ending. It added no substance to the song because it was really flat.

GRADE: 2.5

Crystal Bowersox – People Get Ready

The night where Crystal does NOT use the guitar, is the night where she finally made a genuine idol showstopper of the season. And I love the vulnerability that came from crying. I love it from the start where she sang a capella, until the music came in and the end where she broke down to tears. She unlike everyone here did the dynamics really well and it’s something to really thank the Lord about. If don’t know what would happen if Crystal loses.

GRADE: 1.0

And that’s it. Honestly, if Crystal were the bar, everyone else would be getting much lower scores, around a number lower.

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