And Then There Were Five

I must admit that I didn’t have “newly coronated King and Queen of England appearing live on American Idol” on my Idol drinking game card.

And can’t say I ever foresaw a day when Alanis Morrissette and Ed Sheeran would simultaneously occupy an American Idol judges’ table. They both played the role of benevolent sages and were careful not to go anywhere near mean judge territory rather than risk their popularity and global goodwill. They were also careful to treat the Idolists equally with their “praise” although Ed gushed a bit more about Megan.

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

Round 1: Sing-along-with Alanis and Ed

I don’t envy the Idolists having to sing Alanis Morissette songs. She is truly a one-of-a-kind icon that sings like nobody else, sounds like nobody else, with songs like nobody else. To sing an Alanis song, you have to very intentionally sound nothing like her while conveying the emotional intensity of her deeply personal lyrics.

Warren (All I Really Want Alanis) Alanis isn’t his lane. Not that anybody is in Alanis’ lane. But Warren especially not. His going first had a fed-to-the-lions vibe. D

Zachariah (Ironic Alanis) When he started quietly on the opening verse, I was preparing myself to like him for once. Then, the chorus came, and it was a shouty (as always), off-key mess. D

Iam and Oliver (Photograph Ed) Their voices blended beautifully together but Oliver suffered by comparison to Iam on the solo parts. Oliver telling the viewers that Iam spent hours at a time talking to his ailing Dad on the phone is sure to boost Iam’s lovability factor which is already high. B

Haven (You Learn Alanis) I continue to find her marginally talented at interpreting songs. She always gives me pageant vibes. And while there is natural sweetness in her voice, it so often gets lost once she’s outside her narrow sweet spot. C-

Warren and We´ Ani (Perfect Ed) OMG THAT WAS BEEEE-U-TEEEEE-FULLLLL. They blended their very dissimilar voices so well and each sounded terrific on their own, too. That was star-studded stuff and would not be out of place in a playlist of great pop duets. Ed Sheeran seemed spellbound. A

Colin (Hand In My Pocket Alanis) Sooooo pitchy. And like Warren (above), fitting his vocal style into an Alanis song is the proverbial square peg into a round hole. I did like the Allman Brothers-ish spin at the end. But when Luke talks about your smile rather than the performance, that’s a problem. D

Haven and Zachariah (Thinking Out Loud Ed). Ooof. Haven was so nasally, wobbly, and pitchy. Their voices didn’t blend at all, as if Zachariah’s shouting his way through a song would allow any sort of blending, anyway. This was a duet only in the sense that two people were singing at the same time. And when they were both off-key in different ways at the end . . . oooof. F

Megan (Head Over Feet Alanis). Great advice from Alanis (“do it less beautiful”, “be less “performy”, and “treat it like you’re having a conversation with yourself or him”). And OMG I love the tone of her voice and what she can do with it – and Ed Sheeran had the good sense to feel the exact same way as I do about it. A+

Iam (Guardian Alanis). What a beautiful voice. What a simple, elegant, gorgeous performance. I didn’t even notice the “mess up” he claimed he made because I was so captivated by his voice. A

 We´Ani (Uninvited Alanis). Alanis told her to “be less perfect”. This was another We´Ani masterclass. I had whole body shivers at her ethereal, haunting beginning. Then just when I thought she was being “perfect”, she did Alanis proud by letting loose at the end in such a powerful, emotional way. A

Colin and Megan (Dive Ed) This was a meh duet for me, dawg. About ten percent of the time, their voices blended nicely. But Colin isn’t in Megan’s class and they didn’t seem to connect well enough with each other to close that gap. They also sounded like they were in different keys at times. Even Luke said to Colin, “You survived it” LOL. Not a ringing endorsement. C

Oliver (You Oughta Know Alanis). Really difficult song choice. I think the EGPs gave him the Glory Spot to try to save him from elimination. I don’t think he led with as much anger as Alanis said he did, and he certainly didn’t lead with as much anger as Alanis in her iconic classic. But he finally sounded appropriately angry in that frenzied ending. Btw, I had to laugh at the unsung lyrics. No way they were allowing certain parts of that song on primetime TV. B

The results (Tom – Dim the Lights!)

In: We´Ani, Colin, Iam, Zachariah, and Megan. This is a satisfactory result. I only care about We´ Ani, Iam, and Megan. I preferred Oliver way over Colin but from Colin’s audition, I knew he was going to be the favorite in the country lane.  

Out: Haven, Warren, Oliver. Again, no surprises.

Two more weeks to go. While you’re waiting, check out Idol alumnus and luminary Daughtry rocking out to Separate Ways with Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale. Wear a seat belt and maybe a helmet to prevent harm during spontaneous head-banging.

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