Last night was the chance for the finalists to perform without having to compete against a Thompson.
Ryan is centre stage, flanked by the two heavily smiling sisters, Tori in what looks like a soccer shirt with no arms and a red skirt, Taylor in what I hate to describe on one so young as a “pimped out” patchwork coat. Ryan has decided on an acid yellow t-shirt, bearing the words “OPEN ALL HOURS”, which clashes horribly with his hair and skin colours. I have a feeling this will be a source of great distraction to me all evening.
After giving us a brief explanation of why we’re tuning in tonight, the opening credits roll. I still have a feeling the theme tune might be the first single for the group.
If it is, I hope the funky dance moves the “golden” children perform won’t form the basis of the accompanying choreography. How no one twisted an ankle after the dreadful “United We Stand” moves they were forced into doing last week is beyond me.
After the break we are introduced to the judges.
Deborah Gibson is in the first chair, in a two-tone blue striped one-shoulder top.
With no Simon and the fact that gay jokes would be highly inappropriate for this show, look for Ryan to pursue the “Deborah is in love with me” line of comedy at some point this evening.
Next is Jordan Knight. You know you’re getting old when a member of New Kids On The Block needs corrective eyewear.
Finally we have Gladys Knight, who Ryan introduces as Jordan’s mom.
The judges are amused by this comment, so Ryan is happy to have gotten a genuine laugh rather than the fake ones he got from Jordan during his introduction.
For some unknown reason, they have decided to make the kids sing songs from 1962 this week, instead of carrying on chronologically from the first two shows.
Ryan explains that 1962 was the year of the hula-hoop and the yoyo. Some grainy black and white film of people yo-yoing and hula hoping is played to back up this comment.
None of the kids were alive then, most of the parents probably weren’t either, and so the film could have been from any year, we would be none the wiser.
Time to meet the performers. They run through them quickly that most of them don’t stand out at all to me.
AJ makes a low-key entrance, waving to the crowd, or more likely just to the laydeez. Danielle’s hair has been fashioned into Mickey Mouse ears, Chauncey is wearing the shiniest shirt and tie combo I’ve ever seen and I notice that once again, Morgan has bought his dancing feet with him.
First to perform is AJ.
He has decided to wear two shirts for this performance. He could easily have looked like a kindergarten kid in a painting class, but he is just so cool he carries the look off.
Ahhhhh AJ, if only I were ten years younger…I’d still be nearly twice your age.
He sings The Night Has 1000 Eyes, by Bobbie Vee.
His mother is in tears as he works the females into a screaming fit. His shoulder shimmies fit the music perfectly and his voice sounds good as he makes his way to his final “glory note”.
Debbie – Great performance.
Jordan – How many girlfriends do you have?
AJ replies, “I don’t know you tell me”, which I don’t really understand as a response, but his cheering section in the audience loved it and give him an extra squeal.
Gladys calls him a little charmer and poses the question “but can you sing?”
AJ and Ryan sport twin knotted expressions of concern, until Gladys quickly adds that “yes, you can”.
I imagine Ryan is quite pleased when AJ exits the stage; frankly his coolness makes Ryan look like a King Dork in his bright yellow t-shirt that is burning my retinas.
Next out is Danielle and I have to confess to liking her after her performance in her heat, such a sweet pure voice.
I wonder if the fact the Thompson’s have made it into the group already has made the remaining girls think they need to pep up their performances, as the “two T’s” were always very energetic.
Danielle might be thinking this way as she offers up “The Locomotion” for her performance. She performs some fitting, if not a little obvious dance moves and looks as pretty as ever as she does her thing.
This just doesn’t feel right to me though. I like my Danielle standing still and amazing me with her pure voice “killing” a beautiful ballad. She ends on a great note too and Ryan springs over to her to find out what the judges have to say.
Debbie – Your voice is better suited to ballads, prefer it when you stand still and let your beautiful voice shine through.
That’s what I said Deb.
Jordan – Agrees with Debbie (and me, obviously).
Gladys – thinks she chose the wrong song, it didn’t show of the great “gift” she has, but did show her fun side.
Danielle remains smiling throughout and happily gives us the “two” sign so we know which number to call to vote for her.
Next up is Chantal Kohl, singing “Don’t Make Me Over”.
Again I have to confess to liking Chantal (actually, I pretty much like all of them), this song doesn’t seem to suit her voice though. The background vocals seem very loud and I think I’ve heard her sing better. Her dad would no doubt disagree, if he could stop crying long enough to comment. I hope she doesn’t sing in the shower. Imagine when she graduates, gets her first job, gets married etc.etc. He’ll be a wreck.
Ryan goes to Dad for a comment. Through his tears he rambles something about imagining her in her baby carriage and now she’s so big. Ryan tells her to go give her dad a hug, which spurs a fresh burst of tears from him.
Debbie – Your Dad’ll be a wreck if you make it into the group.
That’s what I said Deb. Let’s face it, he’ll be a wreck if she doesn’t make it into the group too though.
Debbie adds that Chantal needs to work on her “dynamic”, I have no idea what that means.
Jordan – Was blown away at the end, thinks she has a great voice when she hits the high notes and she is very beautiful.
Well, I can’t argue with that Jordan.
Gladys – Thinks the group needs a voice like hers in it.
Back from the break, we’re told that Chauncey is up next singing “Moon River”.
His sating shirt and tie is incredibly shiny and I give him (or his mother) full marks for managing to find a pair of lilac boys shoes.
He sings as though he has a bit of a cold, but nevertheless does a very nice job. The audience is already impressed, even before he launches an arch of silver sparkles into the air on the word “rainbow”. This is met with a big “wooo” and lots of applause.
Ryan -Did you hold those sparkles in you hand for the whole song?
Chauncey – No
Ryan – Were they in your pocket?
Chauncey – No
Ryan – How did you do that then?
Chauncey – He repeats the arch shape with his hand as she says… It’s magic.
Debbie – You nailed it. I didn’t think it could get better from last week.
Jordan – Good job I have glasses on as I have tears welling up in my eyes.
(So, you’re pleased the glasses covered the tears, but then you tell us about them anyway?) Are you sure you’re not a midget?
How bad will you feel if you see Chauncey in twenty years time and he isn’t any taller Jordan?
Gladys – you touched my heart, you’re dressing the part and I know that you have a cold, (I said he sounded like he did Gladys) but you sang right round it.
I have to agree, Chauncey did a good job tonight in my opinion.
Next up is Lucy Hale. Along with Chantal and Katelyn she looks too mature to be in a group with the Thompson’s. I wonder if America will be thinking about that when they vote, or if people will vote for whom they think sang the best.
I have nothing against the Thompson’s, but the fact that they are in the group makes me think the whole thing is going to be a little too cutesy. Some of these kids are just to good to be in a band that we see so much of the attention focused onto the Thompson’s just because they are sisters.
Lucy sings “Breaking Up Is Hard Ro Do”.
She sings a slow version like Ruben did during AI2 and I think this is the best I’ve ever heard her. I really feel as though I don’t want her to get into the group now, as she is just too good. I think she would look all wrong alongside Taylor and Tori. I really wish she would just pursue a solo career. Oh well, it’s up to the voters.
Debbie - You hit every note every nuance, voice has richness and texture. America would be fools not to vote for you.
Jordan – Are you sure you just don’t want to go solo?
(Yep, that’s my thinking too Jordan)
Gladys, - you look beautiful you have power and control your phrasing is very good.
Back from the break and there are just three juniors left to perform.
Next up is Morgan, looking good in a brown leather jacket; the outfit is topped off with a hat.
He has chosen to sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”.
Hmmm, is that the title of the song? Or is it “I can’t help falling in love”, or “I can’t help falling in love with you”?
Whatever way, his voice sounds pure to me. He ends on a glory note and I feel he showed that he doesn’t have to just rely on his dancing, he really can sing.
Debbie – America doesn’t get to see you rehearse you found a way to make the song work for you
Jordan – you have everything. I can’t find one thing that was off timing, pitch, grabbed a hold of the song took it up and up until it exploded
Gladys – you’re still my little man in a trunk. (If you have been watching the show, that comment does make sense)
After the break Ryan busts out the “Deborah loves me” comedy I warned you about earlier. He pretends she has written him a love letter, but it’s all just an elaborate introduction to Jordan singing “Sealed With A Kiss”.
Deborah sings at him “only in your dreams” which is a play on words of one of her hits from way back when she was just Debbie Gibson.
I think they’ve given young Jordan some strange hairstyles during this show, but I think her shaggy, curly look they gave her for this show suited her. It really showed off what a pretty face she has. Her voice doesn’t sound too good to me on the low parts (that would be her lower register, right Paula and Randy?), but when she does unleash her power she does well. She should sing powerfully more often.
Debbie – Tori and Taylor want you in the group.
Oh, btw, The Thompson’s have been sitting on the other side of the stage all night, just watching the performances. No doubt they’ll have made them do some commercial during the week that we’ll get to see during the results show)
Debbie continues – I think you sometimes hold back on your power (me too Deb, me too)
Jordan – with the name, you’re going places. You need to work to make your lower register stronger (I said that, I could so be a judge on this show f only I was famous and could sing)
Gladys – got to have someone who is more laid back in a group, you might get lost in the group, don’t try to be over the top.
I have to say Gladys; I think everyone who isn’t a Thompson stands the risk of getting lost in this group. I can just see all the attention going to the sisters.
Last up, is the very beautiful Katelyn Tarver.
She has chosen to sing “Tell Him” by the Exciters.
To me, she looks taller, older and prettier each week and I just don’t think she would look right in a group with the sisters. She currently looks about ten years older than Tori to me.
Like Danielle, she has chosen to go with a peppier song this week. She moves about more than I’ve seen her do before and does look like she’s enjoying herself to me.
Debbie – your best yet, looked like you were having a great time.
Jordan – I thought I was at a Broadway show (huh?) If you don’t make the group, worst-case scenario is you become a super model in five years time. (Yep, I think she probably could)
Gladys – the song was perfect for you.
So, the performances were over and it was time to vote.
I can’t help but think that the people who don’t get into the group might make a better group tan the people who do, but hey, that’s just my opinion.
My prediction for tonight is…
Top three Chauncey, AJ, and Lucy.
Next person making it into the group… Chauncey.
Kelly Clarkson will be on the results show this evening.
I’ll be sure to watch to see just how wrong my predictions were.