And Then There Were Ten

What a day to be alive. First, I got to see My Boy Steph Curry drop a 50-piece in a Game 7 NBA playoff game. And then My Boy Adam Lambert is a guest mentor and performer[1] on Idol.

As to Sunday’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebration, for a group of Idolists that Ryan and the judges keep telling us is the most talented ever, most of this group came up small, no matter how many times the judges rose to their feet after a performance. These lackluster performances came despite great mentoring from Adam, his tips being something the judges commented on almost as many times as they gave undeserved standing Os.

I’ve seen enough to have Ray’s Ride-or-Die Top 3 (in order): We´Ani, Iam, and Megan. Of those three, I suspect Iam has the best chance to win although We´ Ani continues to be in a class by herself, for both her powerhouse vocals and can’t-stop-watching stage performances.

Let’s have a look at how I graded the Idolists on Sunday night In order of performance.

  • 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

Tyson Venegas (For Once in My Life Stevie Wonder) If you’re going to pick a Stevie Wonder song – something I would generally recommend against – this is a good one because as Adam said, Stevie has some “sweet songs”. This song fit Tyson’s sweet voice and personality but the performance came off as loungy. C

Warren Peay (House of the Rising Sun The Animals) Great song choice for him but the performance of it was too shouty for me. I lost the soul of the song and his voice. C

Haven Madison (Livin’ On a Prayer Bon Jovi) Hard not to compare her to a similar-aged Casey Bishop who SLAYED this song two seasons ago. Haven looked like a rock star but this was a terrible song choice for her voice. D

Lucy Love (All Night Long (All Night) Lionel) This was an over-sung mess. D

Oliver Steele (Georgia On My Mind Ray Charles) I could have done without all the runs at the end. Although it was a terrific arrangement of a classic song (great advice from Adam), I’m inclined to agree with Katy that an electrified version (also an Adam idea) might have created a bigger moment. Solid performance, though. B

Colin Stough (Midnight Rider Allman Brothers) He did nothing with this song. D

Marybeth Byrd (Dancing Queen Abba) Sleepy. C

A brief interlude for Adam Lambert + The We´Ani Show

We´Ani (Somethings Got a Hold On Me Etta James) OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG A++++++++++++++++++

And now back to American Idol

Nutsa (The Show Must Go On Queen) She doesn’t understand the meaning of subtle. D

Megan Danielle (Angel from Montgomery Bonnie Raitt) Stunning. Luke sounded choked up at being so moved by her performance and I was right there with him. She has a unique and special voice and is a joy to listen to. She needs to be in a recording studio stat. A+

Zachariah Smith (Don’t Bring Me Down Electric Light Orchestra) I guess people find him entertaining or something but after Idol, I can’t imagine a market for what he’s selling. C

IAM Tongi (Bring It on Home To Me Sam Cooke) His voice is so pure and so easy to listen to. He is very astute about his song choices. I’m not sure that there is a market for old-school crooners but maybe he’s good enough to create one for himself. A


Lucy Love and Nutsa. I have no problem with these cuts. This leaves the five country/country-adjacent Idolists as half of the Top Ten. Apart from Megan, Oliver Steele is the only one that interests me. Basically, it’s We´Ani and Iam vs. the Country Crew.  

See you after Monday’s episode.

[1] And OMG did he ever SLAY his cover of I Can’t Stand the Rain.

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