Why on earth would Eben Franckewitz choose Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain" as a 15-year-old boy with a voice I might generously describe as "weakly pretty"? Aggggh! Aw, he's so young. He was probably like "We can sing anything? Ooh, I love THIS song the best, so I'll sing that!" And I get it, you know? We all sing that song -- in the shower, in the car, in the elevator… in bed. But little one, you should not sing that on the American Idol stage. You are simply too small in every possible way.
The judges, who had to have been horrified on the inside, cheerfully read from their NigelNotes on the outside. "It wasn't all perfect but at the end you really brought it home." "You're aware of what you're doing." "You got a really true, straight, beautiful voice." Steven threw in something off-script at the end: "Listen to some old blues records -- try to shake it out." That's good advice. It's a good suggestion in general. Maybe I'll pretend I'm Eben Franckewitz and do that myself right now. But I don't have a stiff crimson blazer.
Heejun Han introduced his dancing mom to America -- a good move. She's fun. "She loves to dance, sing. But she's not good at all," Heejun told the camera crew in secret. "You're not gonna air that, are you?" Ha. In an effort to prove that Asians can do more than outscore you on the SATs -- they can "also sing and melt their hearts… the females, of course" -- Heejun sang Robbie Williams’ “Angels." He smiled slyly at all the right moments and I notched that Heejun doesn't have to be really demonstrative or even move around at all in order to engage the audience. His voice sounded better than I was expecting, even though he seems to abandon the ends of certain words as he does when he's speaking. The judges all criticized his song choice, which I found bizarre. (NigelNotes!) Steven started singing "Hey Jude" and I wish he would have continued…..
But not for too long, because next up was my second-fave of the night, Joshua Ledet, whom some fans have apparently nicknamed "Mantasia." I will probably not be doing that. I love a man who can make a smoothie, so I was sold on Mantasia (oh crap) even before he started in on Jennifer Hudson’s “You Pulled Me Through." He was wild yet eerily controlled with his "ya-ya-yas" and ecstatic high notes. J. Lo was so thrilled with Joshua that she decided she wanted to punch him. I found one of her more decipherable comments, delivered with bedroom eyes, to have a bit of a sexual tinge -- "You can do whatever you want up there, all season" -- so I guess we can conclude that J. Lo likes to punch people in bed? No, but maybe.
I just love Joshua, though. He's so unassuming and gentle but not in an annoying way where he pretends he doesn't know he's got talent. I never know which is worse with some of these reality contestants: obnoxious showboating or playing dumb.
In conclusion: "THIS WAS A HOT NIGHT, RYAN!" Always great to hear from you, Randy.
I have much higher hopes for the girls tonight.
Who are your top 5? I'm going with Phillip, Joshua, Colton, Heejun, and Creighton -- with Jeremy Rosado as the wild card.
See you tonight!
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Ask Annie anything about 'Idol' (or whatever) in the video player below. To see her answers to previous questions, click on the text links below the picture.