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12-32: "Top 4 Perform Again" 2013.05.01


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#91

MrSarahWalker

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 3:55 PM

And now that same Boston connection is going to be why the producers want Angie out of the finals. Because they don't want to go to Boston for the hometown visit. Given the recent tragedy. JMO. And they'll unfairly sacrifice Angie to make sure that they don't have to. Just speculating.


Wow, I didn't even think of this but I actually think the exact opposite. If she makes the top 3, her hometown visit should be really fantastic given this connection. The footage from these visits usually makes people emotional but if they play up the bombing angle than it could get really emotional. We'll see I guess.

#92

rebecca21

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 4:07 PM

If she makes the top 3, her hometown visit should be really fantastic given this connection. The footage from these visits usually makes people emotional but if they play up the bombing angle than it could get really emotional.


You could be right, but I think it's too recent and too raw for AI to conclude that they'd be able to generate the traditionally expected over-the-top cheering and enthusiasm for an AI contestant. And the security alone would be a nightmare.

Hope I'm reading the situation incorrectly, though. I'd very much like to see Angie in the finals.

#93

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 4:19 PM

My favorite lines of the night:

Kree: What version are you using?
Connick: The song.

I like HCJ, especially that he doesn't pull any punches, but I'm not sure I agreed with him about the Lena/Etta thing or maybe I just didn't understand. I know I don't want to watch a show where the contestants sing only the original version of a song, no re-makes, no 'making it their own' or attempts to make it current. And why does he assume if Kree sang the Etta James version it means she doesn't know the original? I actually thought Randy made more sense with his advice to sing the Etta version but be herself. Though I'll applaud anyone who calls him out on his b.s., which most of what he says is.


See, but Etta James knew the song. Etta James started from familiarity with Harold Arlen's melody and used it as a point of departure. Kree doing "the Etta James version" (what she was singing in the mentor clip before Harry stopped her) is a young singer slavishly aping all the personal improvisations of another singer. This makes as much sense as starting a diary and making every page about the activities, thoughts and feelings of a person you admire. Harry steered her to the Lena Horne recording not because he wanted her to sound exactly like Lena Horne, but because it was closer to what was written.

Connick wanted her to look up Lorenz Hart's bio, note his alcoholism, look at a photo of his physique and come to the same conclusion that he did: the song really isn't about a lover accepting the imperfections of her true love. It's really a deep treatise on one specific songwriter's self-flagellation regarding his own inadequacies.


Which would have taken her how long? Certainly less time than she spends on her nails. It's not as though he told her she had to read A Ship Without A Sail from cover to cover.

If you're singing "My Funny Valentine" wouldn't it be good to understand it and not think it's a couple "being funny together?" That said, I think HCJ made a good point then ruined it by talking about how homely Larry Hart was.

MFV's lyrics are about how someone's not perfect but you love him/her anyway. That's really all you need to know. I don't think if Hart wasn't handsome like HCJ has anything to do with singing that song AND understanding it.


He was considering who Amber is, her experience in a world of "confessional" singer-songwriter types whose personal ups and downs are public knowledge. Even though Lorenz Hart was an artist from a very different time and place, he was pointing out to her that Lorenz Hart is there in his songs, just as Adele is. There is a lot of masochism and insecurity in Hart's words, some of which are very poignant behind the erudition. Harry was trying to bring Lorenz Hart's world to Amber in a way that would make it easier for her to understand. He wasn't just making a promotional appearance, offering vague feedback, and collecting his fee; he was being an actual teacher. How often does that happen on AI?

Edited by Bastille, May 2, 2013 @ 4:26 PM.


#94

Kromm

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 4:32 PM

He was considering who Amber is and her experience in a world of "confessional" singer-songwriter types whose personal ups and downs are public knowledge, and even though Lorenz Hart was an artist from a very different time and place, he was pointing out to her that Lorenz Hart is there in his songs, just as Adele is. There is a lot of masochism and insecurity in Hart's words, and some of them are very poignant. Harry was trying to bring Lorenz Hart's world to Amber in a way that would make it easier for her to understand. He wasn't just making a promotional experience, offering some vague feedback, and collecting his fee; he was being an actual teacher. How often does that happen on AI?

It was a great lesson, but unfortunately it didn't work. Despite the pimping and pandering by the judges, in my opinion the live performance she wound up doing was just as empty, just as void of understanding, as Harry's worst fears for it.

I can't say if it was partially a function of time, or JUST a function of Amber's true limits as an artist. But it certainly is bizarre that the editing monkeys LEFT Harry's comments in, just to have those shitty judges blithely give Amber another tongue bath anyway.

I liked it that HCJ wanted Amber to understand the lyrics. I think a lot of the time she doesn't and, though she has a wonderful voice, the lack of understanding hurts her.

Thank you!

This is what I've been hearing in EVERY performance of hers (I even commented in the thread about her on it). There's something empty in her singing, whatever you say about its technical merits. I used the phrase "soulless" in my other post.

Its a loaded phrase, because we've come to think of a certain pre-programmed group of mannerisms, in a certain genre as "soul", and some of what Amber sings uses those mannerisms and is in that genre, or related ones (like R&B). But the CONTENT, the understanding and deeper feeling isn't there. There's little "soul" in whatever she sings, regardless of the actual genre.

#95

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 4:46 PM

Bastille:My favorite lines of the night:
Kree: What version are you using?
Connick: The song.

This really sums it up.

Harry was trying to bring Lorenz Hart's world to Amber in a way that would make it easier for her to understand. He wasn't just making a promotional appearance, offering vague feedback, and collecting his fee; he was being an actual teacher. How often does that happen on AI?

This is what the judges should be doing, instead of calling them pet names, discussing their clothes, and saying they're "In it to win it!" It happens so seldom that the judges themselves are taken aback, whether it's by Jimmy Iovine, or in this case, by Harry Connick.

#96

MrSarahWalker

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 4:48 PM

I can't say if it was partially a function of time, or JUST a function of Amber's true limits as an artist. But it certainly is bizarre that the editing monkeys LEFT Harry's comments in, just to have those shitty judges blithely give Amber another tongue bath anyway.


I think my favorite part of the episode was when Harry destroyed the performance as they came back to him and he pointed out the sheer uselessness of one of her glory notes.

Edited by MrSarahWalker, May 2, 2013 @ 4:48 PM.


#97

FullRetail

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 5:13 PM

I liked it that HCJ wanted Amber to understand the lyrics. I think a lot of the time she doesn't and, though she has a wonderful voice, the lack of understanding hurts her.


It was pretty clear that she didn't even have a basic understanding of the 2013 song, as evidenced by the little dancing routine she incorporated in it. Even just listening to the words once will lead even the least intrepid to at least realize it's not a danceable ditty. Harry's lesson was completely lost on her, as well as the judgery.

#98

rebecca21

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 5:36 PM

I like Keith but really thought he was off-base by having previously advised Angie not to enunciate so much. It's called respect and reverence for the language. Gee, too bad he wasn't around to provide this wisdom to a little known singer named Barbra Streisand when she was first starting. Maybe she could have become a success.

"Someone to Watch Over Me" seemed to call for each word to be valued and projected clearly. Angie was maybe somewhat hindered by trying to keep Keith's advice in mind.

#99

touchedbysun

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 5:56 PM

Sing it, Bastille, sing it.

I can't say if it was partially a function of time, or JUST a function of Amber's true limits as an artist. But it certainly is bizarre that the editing monkeys LEFT Harry's comments in, just to have those shitty judges blithely give Amber another tongue bath anyway.


It's a lesson that's learned over time; it's unfortunate that Amber—nor Angie nor Kree—was able to get what HCJ was saying, but she will. I really think she will—because she knows that she didn't get it and it will eat at her until she figures it out. And the editing staff put that clip together way before anyone could have known what would happen when Amber sang live.

Lastly, judges are not coaches nor should they be.

#100

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 6:06 PM

See, but Etta James knew the song. Etta James started from familiarity with Harold Arlen's melody and used it as a point of departure. Kree doing "the Etta James version" (what she was singing in the mentor clip before Harry stopped her) is a young singer slavishly aping all the personal improvisations of another singer.

Absolutely! James' version displays an awareness of the melody and the limits to which it can't be bent and reinterpreted. It's something that only comes from deep familiarity with the song--that is to say, years of singing the song.

The truth is that Kree sang the song exactly like the judges would have wanted to, and she sounded like her off performances from last week. She keyed the song too low so that she couldn't sing the melody without difficulty, she had to constantly sing above the melody. Moreover, the arrangement had a noticeable lift toward the end, suggesting a certain joyful feeling out of sync with the music. Kree had no choice but to respond in kind, to start singing in a bigger, more elegiac voice, in order to fit in.

That whole thing about HCJ throwing Kree off her game was bullsh!t. All the things they did to make the song amenable to broad, sweeping melisma diminished kree's potential to sing the song.

ETA: I don't understand why bluesy equates with hysterical runs. I never heard that from Bessie Smith.

#101

mlda88

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 6:12 PM

[quote]I think my favorite part of the episode was when Harry destroyed the performance as they came back t

#102

cocopuffy

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 7:03 PM

I think HCJ would have let Amber off the hook if she at least had could explain what the song meant to her personally. I mean she is singing it for the second time in the competition so you would expect that she had some reason for doing so. Its clear that she just sings a song because she likes the sound of it or she sings it well enough. I think thats the point that HCJ was trying to get across to the girls- I don't think he really cared how they interpreted the melody or the lyrics as long as they had a reason for doing so.

#103

farmer

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 7:22 PM

You could be right, but I think it's too recent and too raw for AI to conclude that they'd be able to generate the traditionally expected over-the-top cheering and enthusiasm for an AI contestant. And the security alone would be a nightmare.

Hope I'm reading the situation incorrectly, though. I'd very much like to see Angie in the finals.


It's neither too soon nor too raw. Boston has been looking for, getting and milking these kind of feel-good stories since the day after the Marathon bombing. The producers know this. There is no reason why security has to be any tighter than for any other AI home visit. Boston is no more a target now for homegrown teen terrorists than it was on April 14.

But I hope Angie loses. She seems very young, but not in a good way, and very pageanty, especially singing "Someone to Watch Over Me."

#104

mlda88

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 7:36 PM

[qu

#105

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 7:49 PM

I loved Harry as a mentor--totally agree with him (not Randy) re: runs. Much of the time, I think they're to cover up not knowing the melody. I'd love to hear more of Harry's critiques--not interested in this point at anything that Randy, Nikki, Keith or Mariah are saying--most of it isn't about music it's about personality, looks and pimping. Boring.


I often yell at my TV - "less is more!" when the Idol contestants do lots of runs. A little flourish here and there to give the song a little spice is one thing, but too much melisma does ruin the melody and I think it's a crutch.

#106

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 7:51 PM

kali12: I loved Harry as a mentor--totally agree with him (not Randy) re: runs. Much of the time, I think they're to cover up not knowing the melody. I'd love to hear more of Harry's critiques--not interested in this point at anything that Randy, Nikki, Keith or Mariah are saying--most of it isn't about music it's about personality, looks and pimping. Boring.


Agreed Kali12, and the other problem with extraneous runs is that they have to be effortless. Amber's a puzzle to me because she starts off most of her ballad/standard songs with a lovely tone yet within a few measures it gets this shouty/talky, very UN-melodic tone to it. Her run at the end of My Funny Valentine was simply not melodic to me. Mariah, much as her runs and trills drive me crazy, could have done that run and made it effortless. If you're going to do the run, for the love of all that's good, do it without sounding screechy on the high notes which just RUINS it.

Also, much as I love Candace, someone upthread hit it: she sounds so aggressive and borderline angry. Candace, please, try a little tenderness. She started Bruno Mars' song with the right feeling then tapped into her inner angry woman and great as she was, it could have been a-MAZ-ing if there were more emotional dynamics to it instead of staying so loud and aggressive for the last 4/5th's of the song.

Kree, dang. I thought Carrie Underwood's version of her own song was really horrible the night she sang on the show. Not only was it vocally pretty sad (surprisingly) but the song just wasn't a hit with me. Kree made me *listen* to that song and almost choked me up a bit. Stellar performance. Stormy Weather was a misstep but I didn't think it was as bad as many are saying ... I just think it didn't give her a chance to shine and at this point it's all about shining. Would still pick Candice and Kree for my final two and Harry Connick Jr for my judge.

PS Couldn't help wondering if Harry Connick Jr came barreling out on stage after Cree's song because he was ticked that the judges (especially Keith) seemed to be throwing Kree under the bus for a pretty great performance? He seemed a bit riled up. Or maybe he was just scheduled to come out and it worked out that way. But he seemed a bit hot to me. LOL!

#107

Kromm

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 9:20 PM

Hated that drecky tune that Kree selected. And I wasn't all that overwhelmed by her abilities, including those ohohoh's that she was advised to remove.

To be fair, the oooh oooh oohs in her version were coming from background singers only, not her.

But... just like I think she was talked into the song by producers, I think she was urged to keep those stupid oooh ooh oohs in by the same. Ultimately she and Ray Chu together are supposed to decide an arrangement but... I don't think it always works out that way.

#108

BogoGog24

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Posted May 2, 2013 @ 10:26 PM

I don't know if Angie's hometown visit will necessarily take place in Boston- her actual hometown is Beverly.

#109

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Posted May 3, 2013 @ 6:49 AM

I don't know if Angie's hometown visit will necessarily take place in Boston- her actual hometown is Beverly.

Yes, of course it will be in Beverly. Boston is a very small city geographically, only about 48 square miles.In fact, only a few miles of the 26-mile Boston marathon take place in Boston. It's all part of the Greater Boston area.

#110

Kromm

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Posted May 6, 2013 @ 6:38 AM

I loved Harry as a mentor--totally agree with him (not Randy) re: runs.

Connick wanted her to look up Lorenz Hart's bio, note his alcoholism, look at a photo of his physique and come to the same conclusion that he did

Harry's lesson was completely lost on her, as well as the judgery.

They had one of those idiotic "Was Harry a good mentor" bars on the screen during the results episode.  I think its relvant here to the discussion being held here, becuase there's been a ton of talk about what a good mentor Harry was.  But the American public?  People tend to vote "yes" on these things knee-jerk, so the percentage SHOULD be pretty high (I'd say 70+%).  Harry only got a bit over 50%.  Which puzzles the shit out of me.  Given the natural momentum to vote yes, it means a lot of people specifically bothered to text or click in to say "no".   For the FIRST guy to give straight advice on this show in years AND put that moron Randy in his place.

 

Maybe they were reacting to Harry's (admittedly lackluster) song, which was being sung onscreen right around the same time.


Edited by Kromm, May 6, 2013 @ 6:44 AM.


#111

BogoGog24

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Posted May 6, 2013 @ 10:17 AM

It also depends how you interpret him being a "good" mentor- he mentored them well, yes. But a lot of them also didn't take his advice (Amber still didn't seem to understand what she was singing about and Kree filled Stormy Weather with runs after he told her not to, and while the "oh oh ohs" on See You Again weren't her fault, they still showed up after he suggested they be omitted) So maybe people voted no because his advice ended up mostly falling on deaf ears.


Edited by BogoGog24, May 6, 2013 @ 10:18 AM.


#112

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Posted May 6, 2013 @ 10:57 AM

Wasn't the voting for Harry thing a twitter hashtag type vote?  If so that would limit those participating to a small amount of seemingly young audience members willing to tweet the stupid hashtag during the show.  I'm not sure thats telling of anything.



#113

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Posted May 6, 2013 @ 1:03 PM

It's possible that the twitter votes mirrored the support that each contestant has: Amber and Kree voters, who  felt that both singers were unduly embarrassed, for instance.



#114

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Posted May 6, 2013 @ 4:24 PM

Or it could be that the viewing audience noticed Harry pouting in the audience like a four year-old who didn't want to eat his vegetables.