accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

‘American Idol’ recap, season 11, semifinal top 13 men

Joshua Ledet virtually guaranteed himself a spot in the top 13 tonight. CREDIT: Fox

Joshua Ledet virtually guaranteed himself a spot in the top 13 tonight. CREDIT: Fox

Who were your top 3 tonight? (pick up to 3)

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

For “Idol’s” first live show, the producers back-ended the stronger performers into the second hour. That’s typical. They also created fake “suspense” by waiting until the end for the 13th guy to show up.

It was Jermaine Jones, the baritone mama’s boy. Although I would have preferred Johnny Keyser or David Leathers Jr. but as Randy Jackson said, they have  a surfeit of sopranos this year and needed a lower voiced man to mix things up.

Overall, the male talent was good, not stupendous. I think it’s stronger than season 9, weaker than season 10. But that judgment could change. The judges, if you’d even call them that, were way too easy on many of the singers but tougher on some who I felt did better. Again, when Randy Jackson is considered the “tough” judge, you know how soft this trio is.

My favorites tonight were Heejun Han and Joshua Ledet, with Phil Phillips a close third. Biggest disappointment was Eben Franckewitz, whose off-key performance probably made the judges wonder if they should have chosen David Leathers Jr. instead.

I anticipate there will be seven guys in the top 13. So here we go with my assessment:

Likely in:

1. Joshua Ledet (”You Pulled Me Through” Jennifer Hudson) – He brings conviction and grit to his gospel performance. He feels real on stage and isn’t merely “performing.” He was my favorite coming and he didn’t let me down.

2. Heejun Han (”Angels” Robbie Williams) – He is an insecure dork and slathers sarcasm when he’s unhappy. But sometimes, he is improbably charming. And despite odd enunciation due to his accent, he can sing like an angel and I enjoyed his take on this Robbie Williams classic. The judges gave him an inordinate hard time about his song pick.

3. Phillip Philips (”In the Air Tonight” Phil Collins) – This attractive unassuming Leesburg singer imitates Dave Matthews to an almost comical degree. But discounting that, he can pick apart a song like this and make it equally compelling. He is easy on the eyes and brings depth and feeling to his performance. So we know if he does end up not winning “Idol,’ there are plenty of Dave Matthews cover bands out there!

4. Reed Grimm (”Moves Like Jagger” Maroon 5) – Very smooth, as in smooth jazz, if you’re into that sort of thing. He really does enjoy himself up on stage, which should help garner votes. (Think Taylor Hicks.)

Better than even odds

5. Jermaine Jones (”Dance With My Father” Luther Vandross) – The 13th man in was NOT Johnny Keyser or David Leathers Jr., the two most expected to come back. Instead, they opted for the “gentle giant,” the sweet as sugar Jones, who has an especially deep bass voice but has no sense of modernity. Nonetheless, he does a solid job with this angsty Vandross classic and with the pimp spot, could make it through.

6. Colton Dixon (”Decode” by Paramore) – He’s the only guy tonight who really hit the rock circuit so he gets points for differentiation. But he is like a poor man’s Adam Lambert-meets-James-Durbin with significantly less charisma or vocal power. He has a few ardent fans, though, who might help get him in the door.

7. Jeremy Rosado (“Gravity” by Sara Bareilles) – Yet another falsetto man. But he brought heart and sensitivity to this song. And heart and sensitivity doesn’t hurt when trying to connect with an audience for votes. I think he might squeak through.

Iffy

8. Creighton Fraker (”True Colors” Cyndi Lauper) – He’s like a slightly less quirky, more feathery Reed Grimm. He did a perfectly solid take on this ballad and possesses decent levels of charm. His votes might get diverted by Reed.

9. Eben Franckewitz (”Set Fire to the Rain” Adele) Terrible song choice and nerves definitely did not help him. He missed notes galore, especially in the middle. The judges tried to prop him up by noting how he recovered at the end, but will that be enough? He certainly is the type of singer who might get enough votes to sneak him through. And even if he misses the top 10, I bet one of the judges will put him through via wild card.

10. Aaron Marcellus Sanders (”Never Can Say Goodbye” Jackson 5) Good news: Aaron chose a relatively upbeat song in the midst of ballads and did a perfectly acceptable version that Cover it Live viewers (see poll results below) liked. Bad news: he got almost no air time before tonight and I don’t think he did anything to elevate him into the top 6 or 7.

Virtually no shot

11. DeAndra Brackensick (”Reasons” Earth, Wind & Fire) – He certainly had potential based on his “sing for your life” performance but tonight, he picked an incredibly boring song and except for one big note, did nothing exceptional with it. With so many other high-voiced men here who did better, he’s in big trouble.

12. Adam Brock (”Think” Aretha Franklin) – He had the worst slot of the night (second). And while he has a solid voice and brought some of that so-called “white chocolate” out there, he does not look like a star or feels like a star. That lack of stage presence = lack of votes.

13. Chase Likens (”Storm Warning” Hunter Hayes) – Who? Like Aaron, he was given almost no air time. And with a country singer having won last year, he is truly cannon fodder tonight. He picked a song hardly anybody knows (though it’s current) and did nothing interesting with it. His voice also lacks depth. He is a goner and we hardly knew ya.

“Cover it Live” poll

Based on the poll below, the top 7 would be easy to pick. But I’m not sure if Aaron will get the support in terms of votes vs. someone like Colton. And I liked Jeremy more than most people who were live blogging with me (though he is doing better on the poll above.)

Percentage who said yes, will vote, percentage who said okay but won’t vote and percentage who didn’t like it.
Joshua: 60, 28, 12
Heejun: 58, 32, 10
Philip: 57, 35, 8
Jermaine: 50, 25, 25
Creighton: 39, 39, 22
Reed: 35, 35, 30
Aaron 32, 57, 11
Colton: 11, 16, 73
Chase: 10, 19. 71
Eben, 4, 16, 80
Adam: 0, 58, 32
Jeremy 0, 38, 62
Deandre 0, 24, 76

“The Voice” vs. “American Idol”

In a poll I took on an “Idol” live blogging site, two thirds of the readers prefer “The Voice.” Yes, this was from readers of a blog focused on “Idol.” I even like “The Voice” more right now.

And which show is getting more media attention – “The Voice” or “American Idol”? HighBeam Research checked media sources and found “The Voice” from Feb. 5 to Feb. 24 received 53% of media attention vs. 47% for “Idol.” New is often more interesting.

I also saw stats on Mashable about which shows are getting the most “social media” references. “The Voice” is at No. 4. “American Idol”? Not in the top 10.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

157 comments Add your comment

JTesla

February 28th, 2012
6:21 pm

Should be an interesting show tonight, I’m just glad we are on to live performances.

Deirdre

February 28th, 2012
7:55 pm

Yay! I know most will be live blogging and I may give it a try again but last year I found it way too distracting. I like to focus on the singers and much as I don’t like a show when they make it about the judges, the live blogging feels like it’s all about the comments. Neither one seems to care about the singers.

Deirdre

February 28th, 2012
7:59 pm

This is confusing! There’s a thread for live blogging and comments and then there’s this thread

Seth T

February 28th, 2012
10:23 pm

Not voting for any of them – Bring-on the girls!!

JTesla

February 28th, 2012
11:52 pm

I’m with Seth, but so far i think the guys have more talent, and are more musically diverse.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Mike Walker

February 29th, 2012
3:21 am

Joshua Ledet knocked it out of the park tonight by far. Even his earlier singing was outstanding. I listened to him with my eyes shut and then again watching his performance. Both ways it blew me away. Who the hell is this guy and where did he come from? It was like he was dropped on earth from heaven or something. After tonight’s show I thought the competition was over. Who could hold a candle to him? Maybe somebody will come out of the dark and hold a candle… let’s see what the ladies do. As far as all the other guys Heejun is fun to watch because he makes me laugh but I replayed the Angel song that Archuleta did years ago and sorry Heejun you are no contender. I know Deandre is a contender with the ladies but he looks like an idiot shaking his hair around and he should be a girl with his high notes. Are these girls that like him lesbians? He is cute… I will give him that. The little jewish boy Eben will make it through on his cuteness. He has a voice but not powerful enough. And the gentle giant will make it through for his uniqueness but I personally wasn’t totally blown away. I am gay… and my gaydar is going off like wildfire with all the hopefulls. Is it only gay guys that can belt out a good tune? THATS MY COMMENT!.

emily

February 29th, 2012
5:48 am

i liked reed, heejun, aaron, and phillip.

may i be the first to say….. if the dialidol results are right, i’m going to be seriously mad!!!! i’m hoping for “it’s early in the season, there’s so many contestants that it couldn’t be accurate”… if not, i’m going to become unreasonably upset!!! :(

Annie

February 29th, 2012
7:10 am

Joshua Ledet was amazing. I was not expecting a lot from him, and thought that he would be this year’s Jacob Lusk, but I was amazed by his control. He’s going to have to make sure that he avoids going overboard in his performances, and show that he doesn’t have to gospelize ever song.

I was most disappointed by Deandre. I think that he has a lot of potential, but he just blew his chance last night. Poor song choice, and poor decision to do the whole song in falsetto. Even the original singer of that song has a hard time delivering it. Besides, he’s too young to be saddled with that song.

Eben was horrible, and it makes me sad that he made the top 24 instead of David Leathers. That was easily one of the worst performances that has ever been given on the idol stage. He looked like he belongs in glee club, and not someone who has a serious shot at a recording career.

Creighton was good, but I don’t get why he received the “thank you for coming” brush off from the judges, while people who were horrible were praised for sounding like garbage.

The guy who keeps talking about having a black woman inside of him is getting me upset, especially since he sounds like he’s doing a bad imitation, and not actually singing. His ignorance is all the more annoying, since there are no actual black women in the competition.

Everyone else was pretty boring. They need to figure out how to put more energy into their performances.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
7:13 am

Morning!

1. Joshua Ledet. Just the best voice in the competition so far.

2. Reed Very smooth, as in smooth jazz, if you’re into that sort of thing. I am and that’s why I liked Reed so much last night. Idol knew what they were doing putting him first. He may not be exactly what Idol voters choose but he’s got more control and style than Casey Abrams had so I expect him to hang around for awhile.

3. PhilX2…The camera loved him. I never noticed that before, maybe it was the make-up and lighting that helped. Girls will be swooning just a little. Plus, the guy did a really nice song very well.

4. Aaron. He surprised me because I wasn’t impressed during the prelim auditions. Good sound.

5. Heejun. This guy has let his personality speak for him. His voice is ok but his personality shines.

6. I’m not sure who will end up in the 6th spot. Creighton is interesting, Colton has the attention of some and Eben(despite his disastrous performance) is just the kind of guy the little girls will vote for. There’s also Deandre who had almost as bad a showing as Eben but little girls at his feet.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
7:19 am

The country guy was almost a non-entity last night but he also has a chance(probably a very good one) since no other country singer was in competition with him and we all know how the country people love to vote..

Eben has his entire school voting for him so my guess is that he’s a lock for the top 6 boys.

Highlander

February 29th, 2012
7:27 am

“Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!”

Yeah??? Then why the hell isn’t it posted!

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
7:37 am

One more thing(oh, you know that is not true! ;-) )The whole Jermaine Jones stunt may have made people tune in(its whole purpose) but it also annoyed the crap out of those who wanted someone else to walk through those doors. Idol, stop the stunts and do what you do best! Plus, while Mr Jones seems to be a lovely person and had the only deep voice of the night, he needs a lot of work.

Mercedes S.

February 29th, 2012
7:38 am

Morning!

Bummer idol watch for me last night; midway through hubby called abt broken down car outside Tin Lizzy downtown Buckhead… spent 2 hrs waiting for promised tow truck (bet call was outsourced to India), and then cop showed up to inquire about car awkwardly “parked: in middle of road… he got us a tow in 10 minutes. Shout out to Trooper Pope!

Scary to sit outside a bar and watch people stumble outside, scramble for car keys and then drive away, full of those $4 Margaritas.

Home at 12:30 and too tired to watch rest of show.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
7:52 am

Harriett! Hello????

I tried the live blogging last night using some rules of my own creation. 1. Never type or read while someone is singing. 2. Turn the volume down on the computer so the annoying clicking every time someone posts does not distract me. 3. Ignore people who appear to be there only to chat rather than watch the show…there were a couple last night.

There were also some very nice people hanging out and, so far, my rules have helped a lot.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
8:02 am

Sorry Mercedes…not a fun way to end the evening.

Mercedes S.

February 29th, 2012
8:17 am

Thanks, D., on a positive note, we had a pleasant encounter with an Atlanta cop, we found a reliable tow truck service, and we weren’t killed or maimed trying to tend to the broken-down vehicle. Plus, had recorded Idol so I look forward to seeing rest of the male singers.
Also look forward to the pages and pages of comments.

Mercedes S.

February 29th, 2012
8:18 am

And hey, it’s leap day! When it’s ok for girls to propose marriage. If I had been born four days later, I would still be in my teens today,

Sam-A

February 29th, 2012
8:24 am

Bah,humbug! Last night sucked. I could only find two to vote for on the poll. I liked Heejun and Adam – the rest ugh! That kid with the dreds – lord have mercy – sounded like he sucked a whole tank of helium before hitting the stage, after taking some lessons from a baby piglet squealing!

The ATL/NY guy who sang Jackson would be my 3rd pick. I dozed off for Eben, woke up just as they critiqued him – apparently not so good, sadly because he truly has a lovely voice.

I don’t like anyone else. Thought I might like Grimm, but mercy – what a mess that was. Was it really “Moves Like Jagger”? I didn’t know that until the chorus. And I cannot stand skat – not place for it in Idol.

I know some of you like the gospelly dude, but I don’t at all. And knew they’d bring back the giant baby cryer – hopefully he’ll be gone soon.

I sure hope the girls do better tonight. Last night was a huge disappointment for me.

Harriett

February 29th, 2012
8:31 am

Hello, Deirdre! And, hello everyone. I had something akin to what happened to Mercedes last evening and had to ride to the rescue of a family member, so had to dvr Idol. Now, this is getting to be a habit–the second time ever not catching the show live. I do not like the recorded show. I know I am in the minority here.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
8:34 am

Happy to hear from you Harriett. You’d think people would take better care of the cars…especially on Idol nights! ;-)

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
8:36 am

Sam, if you’re talking about Deandre, he didn’t have dreds, just long hair…and yes, he was awful!

Harriett

February 29th, 2012
8:54 am

Deirdre, isn’t that the truth!! I wouldn’t have told a soul, but all the while I was waiting, I kept thinking…well, you know what I was thinking, and then I did not begin watching until almost 9 PM. I did not catch up until after 10, so blogging was not possible. And, I did not want others’ impressions before I actually heard the performance.

I have been taken with Joshua from the first time I heard him sing. I love Heejun, too, but last night I did not love his performance. I especially did not like that song for him. Agree about Eben, and did not get Deandre. That high voice is annoying; especially carried through a whole song. Why doesn’t he just use it for occasional effect, or can he sing without the soprano? I am in the minority in not liking Phil Phillips’ performance at all. I hated what he did with the song. You know, I realize the judges put great emphasis on making a song “your own,” but I think a couple of the guys last night were waaaay on the other side of bad with their treatment of their songs. Phil and Reed come to mind.

KAR

February 29th, 2012
8:59 am

I wish the judges would do their jobs. They are not being honest about the performances or they’re all tone death. I’m not sure I can watch another season of this if they are not going to give honest critiques.

Tom

February 29th, 2012
9:00 am

Boy does this show need Simon back. He was the only honest judge on the show. These guys just suck up to every singer on the stage. Give me a break!

Sam-A

February 29th, 2012
9:05 am

Harriett, KAR, Tom: Agree with each of you totally, about needing Simon, wishing the judges would be honest and do their jobs, and not liking Phillipx2- he’s adorable looking, but I don’t care for his singing style at all, as is the case with most of the others.

Thx Deirdre: Look like dreds, but I guess they are just ugly curls, since in the film he did toss them around a lot – guess dreds would have smacked him pretty hard. Hopefully his cute face will not cause a tween frenzy of votes – I couldn’t take that squealing every week.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
9:13 am

I would take Simon back ONLY if he is the Simon we used to have on Idol and not the smarmy, my-singers-are-better-than-your-singers-and-I’m-a-egotistical-azzhat simon that we saw on XF this year. Honesty was not his strong suit!

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
9:15 am

I’m hoping that the judges are at least hearing the critics and realizing that it isn’t their job to make these singers feel good.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
9:18 am

Also, we need to start a drinking game for every time ST says “beautiful” We all ought to be good and sloshed by 30 minutes into the show!

Sam-A

February 29th, 2012
9:19 am

Did anyone else notice it looks like they’ve hired XF’s set decorator and lighting mgr for Idol – all that flashing spotlight junk, and the surrounding walls of moving light scenes – bad news for the singers, since all the lightshow goings on detract mightily from the singers.

Woodpappy

February 29th, 2012
9:19 am

I got home from school to catch the second hour of AI. Apparently I caught the good part. I was amazed at how Big / Tall Mamma’s boy was over Ryan. Man it looked like a giant talking to a 12 yr old. As for the one’s I saw perform, Ledet and Phillips were the best for me.

Sam-A

February 29th, 2012
9:26 am

Just read thru last night’s live posting: what a “cat fight” between KatJ and Ms Javon – Ms J is a touchy little creature, eh. Went to a live post and a fight broke out. Too funny, but probably distracting for most of the others. Have to say Kat was making more sense!

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
9:28 am

They’ve had cheesy background lighting and pictures behind the singers before but last night was a little too much. It used to be just one wall of “noise” behind them, now it’s like surround sound.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
9:29 am

I’m not sure that Rodney can keep an eye on both threads. I’ll hang around on the slow blog tonight and fill Miss J in on the rules.

JTesla

February 29th, 2012
9:30 am

The judging stunk last night. Eben was a flaming pile of… rain, but the judges couldn’t be bothered to say anything honest. Oh they decided to bash Phillip a bit, but then that was only to spark some votes to go his way.

JTesla

February 29th, 2012
9:32 am

Sam-A, at least one of them has been trolling for a fight for weeks.

RxDawg

February 29th, 2012
9:35 am

I too like the voice over Idol. Although this year, I think Idol has better talent. But the format of the Voice is just fun. They seem to of gotten that part right.

Now, the guys I think will go home for sure are:
DeAndre – TERRIBLE song choice, come on man. Or rather girly mon.

Eben – complete let down. He probably should of been that contestent that sings nothing but balads.

Colton – that was aweful, and I wanted to like it.

The guys I think very well could go home are:
Aaron – honestly, I think he gave one of the best performances of the night. But song choice is going to get him.

Chase – This guy let me down. I’d of put him in the for sure going home section, but he’s the only country male singer. So he’ll skate by for weeks on that fact alone.

Adam – He doesnt’ seem to be getting a lot of love. He let me down during the course of his song (freeedom, Freedom, FREEDOM). All I could think of was when Shibonbon did this song a few years back and blew it out the park. Adam is no Shibonbon, and she didnt win.

Creighton – Something about this guy annoys me. Both in interviews and when he sings. I can’t quite place it, but I bet I’m not alone. BUT he picked a good song so he may get through on that.

Jermaine – This guy can sing well, but that’s about it. Everything else about him screams big crybaby. How old is this guy? He lives with his mamma and is still attached to her hip? Look I love my mom too, but this guy is kind of creepy about it. But he is probably the best baritone that’s been on the show so who knows?

The rest of em are pretty strong. But more then likely at least 1 or 2 of them will go home because the voters for Idol have always been tone def and vote for other reasons. For instance, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Eben stay in it.

Melanie

February 29th, 2012
9:40 am

Maybe the guys weren’t as good as usual because AI doesn’t want another male winner and the judges deliberately choose this group to try and steer the competition toward a female winner this year. Just a thought. As for last nights comments, I give the round to Ms Javon. KatJ was provoking another blogger by addressing her as “honey” and “sugar” in a very condescending manner.

Red Dawg

February 29th, 2012
9:43 am

I liked Creighton Fraker the best. My least favorites were Deandre and Reed.

Rottweiler

February 29th, 2012
9:48 am

None of the boys showed any kind of manhood to own a dog like me. All kind of soft. Whatever happened to the Chris Daughtry’s?

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
9:49 am

I mentioned this last night but it might bear repeating.

The comments about last night are very similar to the comments about the top 24 last year…and the year before that. Until last night, we have only seen edited versions of these singers. Now, we’re seeing them live. Now, they are performing on a big stage, in front of a large audience(speaking of which, the mosh pit again? Really?) with lights flashing and orchestra blaring and all the fear and self-doubt comes through loud and clear.

This show is not The Voice. Most of these singers are not seasoned performers. Many of them will start to shine eventually if they get the chance. They each have a voice. Give them some time to get used to all the other stuff and we’ll see some pretty good talent.

Sam-A

February 29th, 2012
9:53 am

Melanie: however, it looked (read?) to me that Ms J was really jabbing and seemed to have a “superior” attitude – at least on my quick scan thru that was my take. I agreed more with what KatJ was saying most of the time, except for Ms J’s “gospel” remark – I agree if I want church, I’ll go to one. No tv evangelist needed on Idol. Sad that Idol has seemingly stopped being a pop/rock oriented show, and now has everything but the kitchen sink, ie jazz, country, skat – a big old UGH from me.

Rickster

February 29th, 2012
9:55 am

I missed the show last night… but was curious if Randy said anyone was “in it to win it.” :-)

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
10:01 am

Rickster, Randy claims that he won’t say that anymore. Time will tell.

Rickster

February 29th, 2012
10:05 am

Time will tell, your queeness… time will tell.

Better than 50/50 odds he’ll let it slip at some point.

JTesla

February 29th, 2012
10:08 am

The question is: if he says it, will anyone listen? I used to listen to the judges coments, even if I skipped most of the performance, now… not worth paying attention to.

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
10:19 am

I’m not really paying any attention to the judges either, JT. They are just background noise to me, like the flashing lights.

JTesla

February 29th, 2012
10:26 am

Speaking of lights, I wish that fire was real when Eben was on, maybe the heat would have caused them to drop. Pre-pubescent singers do not appeal to me.

JTesla

February 29th, 2012
10:39 am

I’m going to get this in early: tonight vote for Haley Johnsen!

And even though they only showed the girls a few brief times, I saw Hollie rocking the leather skirt. Don’t pull that tonight because sexy girls do not get votes.

Men of East Asian descent and sexy women do not do well on Idol (at least not since Season 5 for the later).

Deirdre

February 29th, 2012
10:44 am

JT, I feel like I don’t know much about the girls this time. Looking forward to learning more tonight.