Singing for Our Votes: Round 1

Like last season, for two nights, the Idolists are performing for our votes at (promotional considerations paid by) the Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii. Nothing says entertainment like Disney, so it’s appropriate that Idol choose a Disney venue to find out who among the Top 24 26 is ready to entertain us.

Every season I look forward to seeing the first voting shows. It’s the first time I am able to see the Idolists directly competing against each other not to win over the judges but to develop a fan base. It’s a crucial step in the development of their music careers.

Of course, the judges will opine, and their opining will influence the voting. While I consider the former and am often outraged by the latter, you can always count on me to bring my Missing Mean Judge judgments to evaluating the Idolists.

Here are my rankings for Round 1 of the Top 24 26. The grading is as follows:

  • A – Superior
  • B – Good, often meaning positive moments out-weighed negative ones
  • C – Meh, nothing memorable or distinctive
  • D – Ugh
  • F – A Gots-to-Go Situation

Kaeyra (Don’t Let Go En Vogue) She slayed one of my favorite songs. Katy all but proclaimed her the best in the competition in the sense of having all the star-making qualities: looks, fashion, talent, and unique vocals. A

Mariah Faith (You Should Probably Leave Chris Stapleton) Love the soul and rasp of her voice. I’m curious about how wide a range of songs she can handle but I loved hearing somebody sing a Chris Stapleton song without trying to sound like Chris Stapleton. A

Emma Busse (Lay Me Down Sam Smith) BEE-U-TEE-FULLL performance. A

Nailyah Serenity (Loving You Minnie Ripperton) Best singer in the competition. I’d buy a ticket today for a show of hers. Great jazz singer. A

IamTongi (Don’t Let Go Spawnbreezie) He was given the Glory Spot. The purest, most pleasing voice in the competition. A

Elise Kristine (Holding Out for a Hero Bonnie Tyler) I was prepared not to like this given Adam Lambert’s cool and campy recent cover of this[1] and Bonnie’s frenetic and campy original but Elise held her own by bringing a campy Glee vibe. B

Matt Wilson (Speechless Dan and Shay) Nice R&B vibe. Pitchy at times, though. B

PJAE (Golden Jill Scott) Loved how he half-timed the back end of the song. Unrelated to that observation, learning that he grew up on gospel music explains a lot about his vocal style. B

Oliver Steele (Better Together Jack Johnson) OK. Nothin’ special, dawg. C

Warren Peay (Set Fire to the Rain Adele) Interesting song choice. Not necessarily a wise one. D

Zachariah Smith (Lucille Little Richard) Little Richard? Seriously? Idol couldn’t clear any Jerry Lee Lewis or Bill Haley and the Comets songs? I’m sure people will vote for him. But why? What kind of record is he going to make? D

Haven Madison (The Middle Zedd, Marin Morris, Grey) Brutal. That was all over the place. F

Lucy Love (What’s Love Got to Do With It Tina Turner) Brutal. That was all over the place. F

Monday night I’m looking forward to We´Ani and the mysterious 26th Final Judgement survivor. See you soon.

[1] On his amazing covers album High Drama.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: