Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"If only for one night," can I pretend Chikezie's gone home?

I've wanted to see Chikezie go ever since the first week when he copped an attitude with Simon. I came around a little bit a couple of weeks ago when he sang "She's a Woman" and it was such an incredible performance, I just couldn't help but root for him. But after he slaughtered my absolute favorite Beatles song last week, I feel like I'm done with Chikezie - he can no longer redeem himself in my eyes and I just want him to go home.

Well Ryan is talking to him before his performance and Chikezie says that he had been afraid to sing a ballad after the judges didn't like one of his performances, but that he decided to follow his heart this week and he picked a song that resonates really deeply within him. Whatever... I wonder what he'll sing - perhaps that Luther Vandross song he's already sung twice this season - once in auditions and again a few weeks back.

Anyway, he was born September 11, 1985 in Los Angeles. He says he doesn't remember when he started singing, but they show his parents and his mom says when he was 3, he would hum songs even before he knew the words. Chikezie says his parents always played Nigerian cultural music in the house, and they were always focused on faith and education.

He sings "If Only for One Night," which in 1985, was recorded by Patti LaBelle and wouldn't you know it? Luther Vandross. It's a shame the song has me longing for my bed and a good night's sleep because his voice is pretty good tonight...

Wait... is he actually touching the audience and serenading them as if he really is somebody? Oh no, no, no. That's a bad move right there... way too cocky, way too premature. See? That's my problem with Chikezie - just when I'm about to say something nice about him, just when I start thinking that perhaps I've judged him too harshly, he does something stupid that just reaffirms for me how full of himself he is and how much I want him to go home. I'm just over him... let's move on...

Randy says he didn't love it, that it was too old-school, that it wasn't hip and cool like the Chikezie he loves with all that energy, that it was just kind of boring for him. Paula disagrees and says that it was a good throwback and he did a great job with the textures of his vocals. Yeah, that's what she said, I promise. I can't tell you what she means, but it's what she said. Simon says he thinks he sang it well, but that the performance was very cheesy, putting his hand into the audience, that it's all very... and then Chikezie interrupts Simon and says, "That's who I'm singing for, I'm sorry." Idiot - just shut up and take the criticism - the judges don't even get a vote. Let America decide if they agree or not, but the second he starts arguing, he makes himself look bad. Simon quickly tells him he's not singing it for them, that he's singing it for himself along with everybody else. He then goes on to say that he has to show originality and he didn't see anything original except for someone trying to copy the original and he doesn't think that's what Chikezie should be doing. He says he misses Chikezie's personality.

Brooke White was born June 2, 1983, and she's the oldest of four children. She remembers the day the got a piano - it was their great grandmother's. Then they show her parents and her mom says that not long after they got the piano, she could hear someone playing a song and she went in and asked Brook where she learned the song and Brook told her it was a song she had heard on TV. Brooke says she taught herself to play by ear and that to this day, that's how she plays. She says she likes seeing her family in the audience that it's comforting and she misses them a lot.

She sings "Every Breath You Take" by The Police, and oh no... she just screwed up. She starts off, sings a line kind of off key, stops and just starts over. It's a tiny little blip and I hope no one makes a big deal out of it. Her voice has such a beautiful tone - it's so perfect for this kind of display... just a voice and a slight accompaniment, perhaps a guitar or a piano. She makes these performances so beautiful in a way that I doubt anyone else could. Oh, I'm actually a bit disappointed that she incorporated the band in the middle of the song. It would have been so much better had she left it just her and the piano. But still, it's a great performance, a gazillion times better than last week's mess.

Randy says it's an interesting song choice, great song, that the front part of it was good. He actually liked that she started, realized it wasn't right and started over. But he didn't like the arrangement with the band after the bridge - he actually says he would have liked it if she had stayed without the band, that it would have been more interesting on her own, but that it was all right. Paula says it was better than last week and that her voice is recognizable and that she's consistent. Simon says he agrees with Randy, that if she had just stayed with her and the piano, it would have been much cooler, the minute the band joined in, it made it old-fashioned.

Michael Johns was born October 20, 1978 in Perth, Australia. His moms says that when he was a child, he was competitive, competitive, competitive. He always had to be best, she says. Michael says he was really competitive with his sister at card games, tat he would sometimes throw the table if he thought she was cheating. He says he thought he would be a tennis player until he was 15 and discovered music.

He sings a medley of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" and finally, finally, Michael Johns has made us notice him. I don't know if it was the lights that added to the excitement of his performance, but I feel like this is his absolute best so far. Great choice of song(s), and his voice sounds great - perfectly suited to his choice tonight. I am wondering a few things, though. First, why did he get to sing two songs in one and no one else? Were they all given the choice? Also, everyone criticized Amanda for having that one sound, for relying on her Janis Joplin-like sound. But so far, Michael Johns has only impressed us with Queen songs - seems a bit unfair to applaud him when we've just voted her out for basically using the same crutch. Having said all that, I think he's fantastic tonight and absolutely safe tomorrow night.

Randy tells him that finally he believes in himself and used his big old voice and that it was his best performance since he's been on the show. Paula says this was his shining moment, blah blah blah... Simon says this is the first time he's seen star potential with him because he just got it right tonight. He says it's the only memorable performance of the night so far.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post - I always enjoy them. Just want to make a small distinction here - you state about Amanda that "we've just voted her out." Many people have said that the person that goes home is "voted out," myself included, so I'm not picking on you. However we actually vote for who we like, or in other words, who should stay. There is a difference and I rather like that slant on things. Instead of the focus being on who was bad and should leave, the viewer must pledge their vote to who excites them. I feel the positive vote makes things less predictable as time goes on. It's always easier to criticize and for any of us to say who's the weakest any given night. That seems to be human nature. But I often have more than one favorite. The performers must attract us, draw us in and convince us to join their cause. I don't know about you, but I'm more consistent with who I don't like, but I love when someone I didn't consider before starts to win me over. Makes things fun, don't you think?

Kirk McDonough said...

I am wondering a few things, though. First, why did he get to sing two songs in one and no one else?

"We will Rock You" and "We are the Champions," are commonly played together, like he sang it.