Heejun Han American Idol 11 (2012) Top 13 Performance (All Is Fair in Love)

Heejun Han has made it past the semifinals of American Idol 11. He made it on the public vote, which has actually been rather difficult in Idol history for Asian males. So getting to the Top 13 on the voting instead of as a wildcard is actually a big accomplishment in that sense. Of course, he is going to want to finish higher than 13th now that he has made it.

Heejun had a lackluster performance in the Top 24, and he was lucky to get through on the voting because it would have been tough to give him a wildcard spot. His “New York State of Mind” performance as the last audition before the Top 24 was excellent, but Heejun was way off the mark during the Top 24.

Which Heejun Han we are going to see in the Top 13 remains to be seen, but I suspect that he will start to decline in popularity pretty quickly. However, Han seems to already have an pretty large fanbase due to constant exposure throughout the audition episodes. Look for him to easily get past the Top 13 no matter how he sings. As the show progresses, though, we need to see more good singing getting him attention than his comedy. Otherwise, Heejun will have no chance of being the first Asian American winner of American Idol.

Tune in to FOX at 8 Eastern to see the 2-hour Top 13 episode. The show is on Wednesday, March 7, 2012.

Heejun sang Stevie Wonder’s “All Is Fair in Love.” This was a massive improvement over his performance from last week. It was quite beautiful, and he had good control for 95% of the song. This guy could make the Top 6 singing like that. He was also funny with the mentors to add some personality.

Phillip Phillips American Idol 11 (2012) Top 13 Performance of “Superstition”

Phillip Phillips is a strong favorite to win the whole thing on American Idol 11. He is humble, plays the guitar, and rearranges songs. There really is nothing else besides a little luck to win American Idol.

Phillips should easily make it through this Top 13 round and on to the Top 12. However, it will be interesting to see what kind of performance he ends up delivering in the Top 13. The one thing about Phillip that I have started to notice is that even his guitar arrangements are starting to sound repetitive. This style could start to get stale if we see almost the same exact thing every time or one fast arrangement and one slow arrangement. He will certainly make the song his own, but will it feel like Phillip is “ripping his own music off” by sounding the same every week? This remains to be seen, but he should easily get through several weeks before we even have to start worrying about that.

Watch Phillip Phillips and the Top 13 perform on FOX on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The show starts at 8 Eastern and lasts two hours. The lowest vote getter will be eliminated from American Idol 2012 on the following night.

Phillip went with “Superstition,” which was the same as his initial audition. Repeating a song already is not necessarily a good thing, but I think that doesn’t matter under these circumstances. He went last in the pimp spot and made the song his own while playing the guitar. Need I say any more? Phillip will be here next week.

Jessica Sanchez American Idol 11 (2012) Top 13 Performance of “I Will Always Love You”

Jessica Sanchez made it through on the public votes into the Top 13 of American Idol 11. On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, Jessica and the rest of the Top 13 will perform live. Now, there will be no more wildcards, and the lowest vote getter will go home until a winner is crowned. From what we have seen so far, Jessica is one of the favorites to take the championship.

At the same time, Sanchez appears primed to be a possible shock boot, much like Pia got the boot last year in the Top 9. However, many had opined that Pia was boring. I see a few people online claiming that Jessica is boring, but it seems she has more tools in her singing chest than Pia did. Jessica can certainly sing upbeat songs, and she has that growl that Pia never had that could add a different element to her performances.

At the same time, Jessica still fits in the same general mode as Pia, and these types of singers have not done well in American Idol results the past few years. Jessica is one of the few that will almost certainly be saved if she falls in the bottom. For now, though, look for her to easily sail through to the Top 12.

Check back here for song spoilers (if they are released before the Top 13) and other details about Jessica Sanchez’s Top 13 performance on American Idol 2012. The show will air at 8 Eastern on FOX.

Jessica ended up singing “I Will Always Love You.” I am learning to hate this song, as it seems to be sung by every young girl. Nonetheless, Jessica did fine and is arguably the best singer in the contest. She will easily make it to the Top 12 beyond doubt.

American Idol 11 (2012) Top 12 (Now 13) and Wildcard Results Reveal Episode

On March 1, 2012, American Idol will reveal its new Top 12. Like last year, this year’s crop of 12 finalists (there could be 13 or even more as a surprise twist), will consist of the 5 boys and girls that got the most votes on their respective nights plus wildcard picks.

At this point, those considered virtually a lock for the Top 12 would be Phillip Phillips on the boys’ side and Jessica Sanchez and Elise Testone on the girls’ side. Others highly likely to make it include Joshua Ledet and Shannon Magrane.

It becomes much  more difficult to pick after that because of many factors. For example, HeeJun Han and Reed Grimm were shown over and over again during the audition episodes. However, Reed had to perform first, which is a really bad spot to go in the singing order. And HeeJun was underwhelming. Look for HeeJun to probably make it off of his audition exposure, particularly during Hollywood Week. Look for Reed to either make it through on votes or at least make the Top 12 as a wildcard. There is almost no way they are going to pass up on Reed as a wildcard. Although prone to cheesiness and divisiveness, there is just no way the producers don’t want Reed in the Top 12 for American Idol 11. He was arguably in both of the Top 2 group performances and has shown good musician skills throughout his Idol journey so far.

Others that seem to have a good chance at making it through on votes include Skylar Laine and Jen Hirsh. However, Jen may have to rely on a wildcard and almost certainly will get one of the wildcard spots.

Baylie Brown has always been overrated, but she has always had fans at the same time. Baylie had a so-so performance, but her past on this show gives her a decent shot at getting through on votes. Hollie Cavanagh got pretty good reviews and will likely make it as at least a wildcard pick.

Jermaine Jones went last as the 13th boys’ pick at the last minute. Due to his favorable singing order, Jermaine has a good chance of getting through on votes. He will not get a wildcard spot if he did not get the votes to make Top 5 on Boys Night.

Colton Dixon is also probably going to make it through on votes. If he doesn’t, you can fully expect Colton to get a wildcard spot. The same goes for DeAndre Brackensick. He is either getting the votes (he probably will) or will get a wildcard spot.

Eben Franckewitz was really bad in his Top 24 performance, but demographics are on his side to get through on voting. I do not expect him to get a wildcard if he does not make it through unless it is as a surprise 13th pick.

Creighton Fraker has been featured quite a bit and sang well in the Top 24. Thus, I give Creighton about a 40% chance of making it. I don’t really expect him to get a wildcard spot if he does not get in on the public vote.

The biggest surprise of all could be Chase Likens, who has a chance as the lone male country singer just from a demographics perspective.

Those with very little chance of making it either on votes or as a wildcard pick include Aaron Marcellus and Jeremy Rosado. Adam Brock had a so-so performance and was featured quite a bit. I think this guy is way overrated, but he has a slim chance of making the Top 12.

The girls with little to no chance of making it include Chelsea Sorrell, Erika Van Pelt, Brielle von Hugel, Hallie Day and Haley Johnson. Strangely enough, Haley probably has the best chance of making it due to Idol voters’ odd propensity to give out sympathy votes. Haley was so bad in the first part of “Sweet Dreams” that Randy said it was more like a nightmare. It was bad enough to get sympathy votes. Brielle started out equally bad, but she is not a sympathetic figure. Erika is a good singer, but just singing okay and going second in the order has her in a tough spot.

Check back here as the show progresses to find out who has made the American Idol 11 (2012) Top 12 and wildcards.

Results:

Chase, Phillip and Jeremy are called out together. Phillip is in the Top 10 on votes. Chase and Jeremy did not make it on votes.

Jessica, Hollie, Brielle, and Hallie are up next. Brielle did not make it on the public vote. Hallie did not make it, either. Jessica and Hollie made it to the next round on votes.

Joshua, HeeJun and Adam are called up. Joshua made it on votes. HeeJun also made it. Adam has to hope for a wildcard spot.

Baylie, Skylar, Chelsea Sorrell and Shannon are all up next to get their results. Shannon made it on votes. Skylar also made it. Baylie and Chelsea have to hope for a wildcard spot.

Aaron, Reed and Creighton are up now. Aaron did not make it. Creighton did not make it, either. Reed is also out on votes. They all have to hope for a wildcard.

Elise, Jen, Erika and Haley are called up to the front. Elise is almost certainly going to be the one to make it here. And of course she makes it.

Deandre, Eben, Colton and Jermaine are called up as the last group. Deandre was not in the Top 10 in votes. Colton made it. Jermaine Jones also made it.

Top 13 Boys:

Phillip Phillips

Joshua Ledet

HeeJun Han

Colton Dixon

Jermaine Jones

Jeremy Rosado (wildcard pick)

DeAndre Brackensick (wildcard pick)

Top 13 Girls:

Jessica Sanchez

Hollie Cavanagh

Shannon Magrane

Skylar Laine

Elise Testone

Erika Van Pelt (wildcard pick)

The wildcards can be either boys or girls. They have announced that six will get a chance to sing.

The first wildcard contender is Jen Hirsh. I believe she had a great performance, but the judges didn’t seem very enthused about it. Five more will sing first before the judges make their decisions.

Jeremy Rosado is the next contender. He is surprisingly singing some Carrie Underwood. This is another good performance, but it lacks uniqueness. But based strictly on talent, he arguably deserves a spot. This guy can hold some long notes and hits some great high notes.

Brielle is the next contender. What the heck is she doing here? Her “Someone Like You” was good in spots, but it was rather inconsistent. Her vocal control is a mess. The judges gave her bad reviews overall.

DeAndre Brackensick comes up and sings “Georgia on My Mind.” His control could use some work, and many of his notes are not well supported. It’s like he’s two different singers — one with a richer tone and one with a thin tone that can’t support all the notes. Overall, though, he will almost certainly get one of the wildcard spots.

Erika Van Pelt is singing “Edge of Glory.” The low notes are interesting, but like most singers with a lower voice, it’s hard to fully project power. Nonetheless, she got in some good power notes. Erika will get a spot over Jen if it comes down to those two.

Reed Grimm is the last wildcard contender. He does another crazy performance. While his tone is certainly not special, his musicality is. If Reed makes it, it will be for that and uniqueness even though he may not have a stellar voice.

Randy announces the first wildcard pick as Erika Van Pelt. Jennifer picks Jeremy Rosado, and Steven picks DeAndre Brackensick.

Thoughts:

What is the point of talking about uniqueness and you still don’t put through Reed? And Jeremy Rosado over Jen Hirsh? Really? Jeremy is a non-descript R&B singer. Jen has loads of tools in her singing chest. The wildcards have always been a joke. It’s more about casting or creating moments than anything else.

 

 

 

 

Phillip Phillips Top 24 Performance: Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”

By most indications, Phillip Phillips is a strong contender to win American Idol 11 (2012). Although he certainly has his fair share of detractors, most of those whiners are just the ones moaning about another WGWG (white guy with guitar) possibly winning. The whole WGWG claim simply ignores the fact that Scotty, for example, never really relied on his guitar and was a completely different type of artist than Lee, Kris and David Cook.

The truth is, lots of people like Phillip’s style and his musicality. Are all of them young girls? No. Is there any proof that young girls even make someone a winner? No. Is Phillip Phillips even that cute? I’ll let the girls answer that one, but he doesn’t strike me as some kind of hottie.

No, what people like are Phillip’s genuineness and creativity. Like most of his performances so far, Phillip took “In the Air Tonight” and changed it up just enough to make it his own while also keeping at least some of the emotion of the original song.

Phillips should easily get through to the Top 12. The danger with him, though, is that he could start to get too repetitive. If you look at “Thriller” and “Don’t Want to Fall in Love” and “In the Air Tonight,” a theme starts to emerge. Phillip is in danger of becoming a one-trick pony. I’d like to see a bit more versatility in his performances.

His voice is in the middle in terms of power. He is not going to have the power of a Joshua Ledet, but he has decent power to go along with a more unique style than the other contestants. Overall, his Top 24 “In the Air Tonight” was a good first live performance for Phillip’s American Idol 11 journey. If he surprisingly does not make the Top 5 in voting, then Phillips will certainly be put in the Top 12 as a wildcard and vie to become the winner of American Idol.

Jermaine Jones: American Idol 11 (2012) Top 24 Predictions

Jermaine Jones is a singer who was actually cut before the Top 24. In a surprise twist, Jermaine was brought back as the 13th boy for the Top 24, making it a Top 25. We don’t know at this time whether another girl will be chosen, but such a twist has not been announced.

 
Jermaine likely would have been an afterthought, but then we found out on the Top 24 boys’ night that he performed last. Together with the surprise twist, I predict that Jones will make it to the Top 12. Idol loyalists have noticed for years that the last person to sing almost always gets through to the next week. In fact, it is even called the “pimp spot” due to its favorable results in public voting. This is likely because one of the prime times for people to watch a TV show is right at the very end (people love their endings, and certainly the voters watch at the end and see the numbers for the contestants).

 
As far as Jermaine’s “Dance With My Father” performance, it was decent. But that is less important than the singing order, itself. The pimp spot, all by itself, is generally enough to get an American Idol contestant through to the next round.

 
As far as predictions if Jones does make it to the Top 12, I don’t have high hopes for him. He was not really a standout during the auditions, and people seem to have preferred David Leathers, Jr. or Johnny Keyser as the 13th pick. Keyser would have been an absurd pick for the 13th boy because he never even made it to the final audition. From what we saw of Leathers, it seems like he did enough and deserved a spot in the voting rounds.

 
In the end, the whole Jermaine Jones thing is just odd. Although Johnny would have had a better chance to go farther (and probably David, as well), the whole twist seems like nothing but a ratings ploy, not a last-minute opportunity to add a worthy contestant. I wish Jermaine Jones luck on American Idol 11, but he is not a favorite even if the pimp spot gets him into the Top 12.

American Idol 11 (2012) Reed Grimm Group Performances and Predictions

Reed Grimm is a singer and musician who grew up on the stage. He started performing with his family’s band at the age of 2. Grimm has made it to the last audition round on American Idol 11. If he makes it past the next round, Reed will be in the Top 24. According to spoilers at TheIdolPad, he did make it to the Top 24 (they were chosen already, but the Green Mile episode does not air until later this week).

Reed’s group performances have been awesome. Singing with completely different contestants, my opinion is that both of his group performances (Groovesauce’s “Hold On, I’m Coming in the traditional Hollywood Week group round and the Las Vegas performance of the “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”) are easily in the Top 10 of all American Idol group performances I have seen in 11 years.

While we didn’t see what was going on behind the scenes, it appears that Reed is an integral part of the arrangement behind these awesome group-round performances. He is the one common denominator, but we just don’t know for sure. I’d say Reed would be awesome as part of just about any group that has the freedom to do its own arrangements.

With that said, it’s hard to predict a Top 3 finish for Reed Grimm. He has to do it all solo. What Grimm has shown is that he is a fantastic musician and arranger/producer. His vocals are also good and likely worth of Top 24 and probably even Top 12 without all of the other stuff. But the “Georgia on My Mind” solo audition was not really that great from a vocal perspective. Reed will likely make the Top 12 without a problem. He has been featured throughout the audition stage of the competition in every single round. Clearly, the producers are grooming him for a Top 12 finish.

Will Grimm’s solo performances from here on out carry him to an American Idol win? I predict he will fall short of the title, but Reed is the type of act that just needs some good exposure. This will help his career, and he could easily get jobs in production or songwriting even if his solo career does not soar. The guy is a fantastic musician. His personality and style don’t seem to match that of most past Idol winners, but any Top 10 finish and a place on the tour would be great and also likely enhance the quality of the American Idol 11 tour regardless of what happens with any solo career.

Notes

1. The awesome Groovesauce group audition included Reed, Nick Boddington (who was cut in the Las Vegas round), Aaron Marcellus Sanders and Jen Hirsh.

2. Reed’s Las Vegas group audition included Haley Johnson, Elise Testone and Eben Franckewitz.

American Idol 11 (2012) Joshua Ledet Spoilers and Predictions

Joshua Ledet is a 19-year-old singer from Westlake, LA. He has made it to the last audition round before the Top 24. According to spoilers at TheIdolPad, Joshua has made the Top 24, which was already chosen but not aired at the time of this writing.

From what we have seen so far, Joshua is a fantastic singer. He has not been featured very prominently, which could be a problem in early voting. But his “Jar of Hearts” performance was awesome except for one little voice crack during transition. No one is even going to remember that.

In the recent past, there haven’t been too many African American guys who have done well on Idol. There was one in the Top 5 in each of the last two years, though. And that is likely because the right kinds of singers were chosen for the Idol demographic. R&B or Hip Hop singers just don’t do well on Idol. But Big Mike and Jacob Lusk- the singers who made the Top 5 – are different. Although their styles were different, they each brought something either musically or vocally to the table that was not your stereotypical crap that you see forced down our throats by the music industry these days.

Joshua is closer to the type of singer that has a chance to go deep on Idol. I predict at least Top 7. The hope is he will be consistent, something that Jacob Lusk suffered from (Lusk was great one week and way off the next). Ledet also has a better vocal tone than either Big Mike or Jacob. In fact, he is pretty close to the tonal quality of Ruben Studdard, who actually won Season 2.

In short, Joshua Ledet has a very good shot of going deep on American Idol 2012. He is a gospel-type singer with a great vocal tone and power. While Phillip Phillips is the favorite to win the whole thing, any Top 4 finish for Joshua would have to be considered a victory. Hopefully, the consistency and personality are there to make that happen.

Resources:

TheIdolPad Spoilers for AI 11

 

Chase Likens American Idol 11 (2012) Spoilers and Predictions

Chase Likens is a country singer. He is auditioning for the 11th season of American Idol. Chase was briefly shown in the initial auditions for the Nashville round. Likens is 19, and he is a college student from Point Pleasant, WV.

According to spoilers from TheIdolPad, Chase has made the Top 24 for American Idol 2012. If true, then he will sing for America’s votes against 11 other guys, 5 of whom will make it to the Top 12.

I suppose the guy is handsome, which might be good for getting early votes. But Chase doesn’t seem to be getting featured in Hollywood, and he seems to be the token country singer that is thrown in as an afterthought just to appease the country fans. While he sounded pretty good in his audition clip (although it was very short), we are not talking another Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina here. Chase is a competent country singer, but his tone and other singing aspects seem average to above average. In a season that is following up on the heels of a Season 10 that had two country singers in the Top 2 (that has never happened), I’d suspect only the hardcore country fans are looking for another singer to repeat that success. Others will likely be looking for something different this year, and the producers have chosen to focus on one cowboy during Hollywood Week that probably won’t even make the Top 24.

If a country singer is going to do well this year, I am more likely to predict that Skylar Laine may have a decent chance to go far than Chase Likens. This is just not a good year for country singers to be competing, and none of them is getting featured as of yet. Conversely, Scotty was one of the star attractions during Hollywood Week last year, and Lauren’s auditions were shown over and over again.

Chase Likens is a decent country singer, but that’s it. Other than being handsome, there is nothing there that seems very appealing or marketable that would give him an edge. Look for Chase to go out in the Top 24 round or early in the Top 12. It is not that easy to predict exactly how well he will do, but it is clear that Chase is not being edited as a favorite for the show. Thus, it is easy to predict that he will not win the 11th season of American Idol.

Sources:

TheIdolPad Spoilers for Season 11 Contestants

YouTube: Chase Likens Interview About American Idol Auditions

YouTube: Chase Likens Audition for American Idol 2012

Adam Brock Spoilers and Predictions for American Idol 11 (2012)

American Idol’s 11th season is currently airing its Hollywood Week auditions. Adam Brock was not shown in initial auditions, but he was featured during the first round of Hollywood Week.

Adam even got a little backstory, but it was pretty lame. He is sad to be away from his daughter, as this is the first time he has been separated from her for several days in a row.

Brock has a nice, strong voice. Some people say he reminds them of Season 8’s Danny Gokey. They are both soul singers (although Danny made a country album that was moderately successful by modern standards). Other than that, I don’t get this comparison at all, but they are both good singers for sure.

According to spoilers at TheIdolPad, Adam Brock was chosen for the Top 24. The people behind that site have been pretty accurate in the past with their spoilers, but they do sometimes change based on previous bad information. It’s fair to say, though, that Adam has probably made the Top 24, which is the first voting round.

Predictions

I can’t predict high success for Adam. It seems he is going to focus on soul singing. While the power is certainly there, his voice is a bit shrill when going for the big notes. That lowers the quality of his vocal tone, which is going to be very important to a lot of voters. People compare him to Danny, but he seems more like Gokey Lite than the full banana.

In the end, if the spoilers are true that Brock has made the Top 24, I suspect that there is about a 75% chance he will be cut immediately in that Top 24. Of course, he has some chance of making it to the Top 12, especially because there are wildcard spots given by the judges. Adam could also be helped by the fact that this seems to be a pretty weak group of guys, which is in contrast to what seems to be a very strong group of girls for Season 11. But that help him will only get him so far. Adam has a lame backstory, he doesn’t seem to have a star personality and his singing is good but a notch below other singers of his type who have been on the show before. This means he has little to no chance of winning American Idol 2012.

Sources;

TheIdolPad Spoilers for American Idol Season 11 Contestants