And Then There Were Five

Pain and outrage delayed for another week.

As happy as I was to hear My Girl Casey’s name as being the first of the Final Five, I am just as shocked not to hear Hunter Mett’s who I was sure was going to win. Well, I became a lot less sure of that when Katy was literally begging for people to vote for him and the fact that he got the Glory Spot in both rounds. Sure seemed like the evil genius producers were trying to get out the vote.

Who I thought would be in the Final Five: Hunter, My Girl Casey, Willie, Caleb, Ava (I’m not over her. I will never be over her).

Actual Final Five: My Girl Casey, Willie, Caleb, Chayce, Grace.

Ideal Top Three (not a prediction): My Girl Casey, Willie, Caleb – the two best singers and the best songwriter. My amount of pain and outrage will depend entirely on My Girl Casey and Willie.

Since the judges weren’t going to say anything critical to the Idolists with their mothers watching, it’s left up to me to provide objective criticism. Only three of the seven Coldplay songs got B+ or better grades from me which says that the Idolists should have picked my songs!! Or performed my picks better (see Grace, below).

Best of the Best of the Night

Willie: Yellow A+

Willie: You Are So Beautiful (Joe Cocker) A+

I was prepared to hate Beautiful but I’ll take Willie’s Boyz II Men vibe on this treacly song all day and twice on Sunday. I’ll also add Chris Martin’s own fawning words about Willie: “Sometimes you think OMG this is a human being like me and this is what he can do.”

That feeling when you’ve sold 100 million records and you’re in awe of an Idolist.

Best of the Night

Caleb: Mama Said (Caleb Kennedy) I don’t know anything about the country charts but this song should be on the country charts. A-

My Girl Casey: Ironic (Alanis Morissette) A-

Chayce: Mamma (Chayce Beckham) A-

Hunter: Everglow A-

I made no specific notes on the other three songs. I just sat and enjoyed them. I’m pretty sure My Daughter Diandra (MDD) and I gushed about Casey when she finished singing Alanis.


Caleb: Violet Hill He picked my song!!!!! Told ya it would be good! B+

Chayce: Magic MDD accurately pointed out the 70s singer-songwriter vibe. That the song didn’t sound like a Coldplay song (in a good way) helped, too. B+

Arthur Gunn: In My Place Arthur Gunn doing idiosyncratic Arthur Gunn things. B

Barely Aight

My Girl Casey: Paradise This was messed up by the sound about which longtime Idol follower Michael Slezak tweeted this: “The sound mix on Casey Bishop’s “Paradise” was straight out of a local cable-access show from the mid-90s.” The arrangement did not capture what she was trying to do with the song, either – sorry, Kris Pooley. And I didn’t like this song choice. But her voice is magical. B-


Arthur Gunn: Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd) Arthur Gunn doing idiosyncratic Arthur Gunn things which gets boring after a while. C

Grace: Fix You She picked my song! Missed opportunity here. The point of her doing the song was to show a vulnerable side that she seems allergic to. The tempo was too upbeat and allowed her to stay in her sing-every-note-perfectly self. She sounded better in rehearsal when she was struggling with the song, i.e. sounding vulnerable. C

Grace: When We Were Young (Adele) Again, technically perfect delivery but emotionally flat. C

Hunter: The River (Hunter Metts) Of the three original songs, this was the weakest. C

Chris Martin

He was a delightfully interesting and insightful coach. As simple as the melodies are in Coldplay’s most popular songs, it takes a lot of musical knowledge and a way of hearing to make melodically simple songs popular. His mentoring was incisive when it needed to be and hands-off when he could hear that the Idolist was nailing it. His coaching covered aspects of both arrangement and performance.  

I like the new Coldplay song, too. MDD noted the hints of CHVRCHES, St. Lucia, and Two Door Cinema Club.

You have no idea how relieved and happy I am to see My Girl Casey and Willie in the Final Five. Now I just need America to get them into the Finale. I feel the pain and outrage simmering.

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