9/9 Episode: This Ain't No Holiday
Somehow Todd Newton comes out in the exact same clothes he had on during the last episode. I could be wrong, but it looks exactly the same. Of course, it’s still incredibly boring with mostly brown leather, but I swear it’s the same.
Jessica admires Madonna for her confidence and feels a kinship with her since she’s a small town girl herself. Jessica used to sing a lot as a child. She performed the National Anthem when she was twelve years old, but unfortunately she forgot the words halfway through. Luckily the crowd helped her finish the song, but this destroyed her confidence as a singer thereafter. She has chosen to do this performance in the hopes of gaining some of that confidence back. The vocal coach is not sure she can become Madonna, but the dance coach feels she is just going to have a ball. Jessica promises she won’t forget the words tonight.
Jessica performs one of Madonna’s earlier hits, “Holiday”. She comes out in a hanging star wearing a white and black polka dotted outfit, the same one Madonna had when she was on tour. She has on a blond curly wig, and from far away she looks like Madonna. Sometimes she seems a little too bouncy, but for the most part she captures the fun of the song. Although this song isn’t very hard to sing, she does quite well and sounds a lot like Madonna. I, myself, actually found this performance to be one of the more enjoyable ones to watch.
Her score for Vocal technique/Performance ability is 8.95.
When we come back we meet the judges again with the same spiel given the last two weeks. They still don’t speak, but if anyone is dying to read who they are, I believe my first episode recap is somewhere in this forum. Probably still on the front page since no one even posts here!
Lenny has admired Garth Brooks’s ability to bring in fans from all genres of music. He attended Colgate University where he played lacrosse and majored in finance. He worked in finance for two years. One day, though, he decided to make a list of all the things he wanted to accomplish by the time he died, and he realized none of these things had to do with finance. So he quite his job and now spends more time singing and playing lacrosse. The vocal coach feels Lenny needs to loosen up more vocally. Lenny comments, “Country music is soothing. Everyone has a little country in them”. Not this gal, Lenny, not this gal.
Usually I don’t recap the interview that takes place between the first clip and the performance because there is never anything significant in it. Tonight, though, Lenny makes the comment “We mock what we don’t understand.” I truly believe this encapsulates my recaps of this show.
Lenny performs the song “And the Thunder Rolls” or at least that’s what I think it’s titled. He is wearing a blue and black shirt with a black cowboy hat. I don’t really know how much this looks like Garth because it seems to look like all the people that imitate any country performer. He also sings pretty well, but I’m not sure how much he sounds like Garth because as previously stated in one of my other recaps, I avoid country like the plague. There are some thunder crashes during the performance along with some kicking and arm thrashing, but overall I found this quite boring to watch.
Lenny’s Vocal ability/Performance technique score is 8.48, which is right now in second place.
Darren went to college on a football and music scholarship, which he found to be quite challenging. Darren is now pursuing a Masters in education and hopes to also coach football. He heard Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” when he was young and has been a fan ever since. The vocal coach thinks Darren is quite ambitious and is willing to take criticism that will help him make a dramatic improvement. Although Darren would like to win, he is just going to try to enjoy this great opportunity.
Darren performs the song “And I Will Do Anything For Love, But I Won’t Do That”. He comes out in a black tuxedo with a red vest. On top of the tuxedo, he is wearing a black cape. He stands in the middle of the stage singing with a microphone stand. He has a longhaired wig on, but other than that I don’t find him ugly enough to look like Meatloaf. He is singing to some random girl across the stage on the scaffolding. Not too far into the song, he throws off the cape and starts to rock out a little more. Even “random girl” is getting her swerve on. I find he looks down a lot during this performance, but his singing makes up for it.
Darren’s Vocal ability/Performance technique score is 8.95, which ties him for first. Personally I think he should be in second place, but then again I hate Meatloaf and that song.
Arlys loves Annie Lennox’s unique voice and strong stage presence. She also admires her for her ability to come back from a back injury. Arlys, herself, suffered an injury last year that had her wheelchair bound for months. She was afraid she was never going to be able to dance again. The dance teacher felt Arlys had the right vibe to perform as Annie, and the vocal coach was very impressed with her abilities. Arlys loves to sing inspirational songs so she chose “Sweet Dreams are Made of This”. How this is inspiring is beyond me.
Arlys comes out with short orange hair wearing a men’s suit and carrying a small whip. Her outfit definitely looks like Annie, but Arlys’s face does not. I find her eyes are made to look a lot bigger than Annie’s actually are. There are dancers writhing on the stage as Arlys adds a very dramatic feel to the performance. She truly exudes confidence. Her singing is also very good although she doesn’t sound a lot like Annie.
Arlys receives an 8.75 for Vocal ability/Performance technique, which puts her in third behind Darren. I truly feel the judges were wrong on this one.
Carmel likes to write and sing. She admires Toni Braxton because she brings so much emotion to her singing. The vocal coach feels Carmel sings too much through her nose and does not have a natural sense of rhythm. Carmel hopes to capture the sultriness Toni brings to her performances.
Carmel decides to sing “Unbreak My Heart” dedicating it to a past boyfriend that died. She wears the white dress Toni wore to the Grammy’s one year. I truly admire her guts to wear such a revealing dress, and I believe she did it more justice than Toni herself. She stands at a microphone stand with thousands of roses behind her. The song starts out a little too low for her and she seems to be a little flat. She does not look too much like Toni, but as the song heads towards a higher register, she definitely belts it out like Ms. Braxton. I found the second half of this performance to be very good even though there was not a lot of moving around. This will be a close race.
Carmel receives an 8.84 for Vocal ability/Performance technique. Some judge actually gave her an 8.00! I seriously don’t understand the reasoning behind that, and for once I wish the judges would explain themselves.
When we come back from the break Todd reveals the results.
5th Place with an average of 8.41 Lenny Hirsch (Garth Brooks)
Tonight, though, we have a three-way tie for second place! See, I knew it was close.
Knocked off in no particular order with an average score of 8.83
Carmel Helene (Toni Braxton)
Darren Tolliver (Meatloaf)
Arlys Alford (Annie Lennox)
1st Place with an average score of 8.98 is Jessica Keenan (Madonna).
Jessica sings us out and for the first time I feel the judges made the right decision. Although I truly enjoyed Annie Lennox and Toni Braxton, I am reminded how much I enjoyed Jessica’s carefree performance.
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