AMERICAN IDOL XIV: Tyanna Jones performs on AMERICAN IDOL XIV airing Wednesday, April 8 (- PM ET/PT) on FOX. ”) — I decided to take a page from Bonnie Raitt and turn down these voices inside my head. I also stayed off Twitter — the place where opinions hatch half-formed, get hurled from the nest and flap their hideously mangled wings in vain — until the point at which we all had to type furiously as part of the show’s new Idol Fan Save. Because at the end of the day, she’s not merely willing to take risks — she absolutely seems to thrive on acts of musical derring-do. Could she roar back with an epic performance and leave me certain she’s a shoo-in for a hometown visit? And therein lies this teenage chica’s polarizing appeal. (Harry whined about the lyrical content prior to the performance — which made me cringe, seeing how Katy Perry’s monster smash IS NOT LITERALLY ABOUT BEING UNDER THE AGE OF 20, but rather, is about the kind of romance that transports you back to those first romantic percolations you feel as a kid.
Good guy Anwar Robinson seems even more mannered on record than he did on the stage, and everybody's favorite Midwestern farm thug, Scott Savol -- we all better pray that there aren't a million of him walking around Ohio -- sounds thin and weak here, even though he's drowning in reverb.
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As time went on, leading ladies with voices that could cut through Top 40 radio’s clutter gave way to easygoing strummers operating in the vein of Jason Mraz and Gavin De Graw. Danny Gokey (Season 8, Placed 3rd)Season eight was perhaps Idol’s pinnacle; it also had a contestant who might have been the closest villain analogue Idol has ever had to offer: Danny Gokey, an early-odds favorite whose wife had passed away shortly before he auditioned with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” He stuck around for a long time, vanquishing contestants with okay-enough performances that would sometimes tip over into horror (recall the Gokey Scream) and sometimes be just really boring (the anodyne “What Hurts the Most”) and too often be capped with that heart-hands gesture and never, ever result in his being in the show’s bottom three.
R&B became more of a way to spice up folk-pop than a genre with its own solid footing in pop, or at least in the Idol top two. The willingness to stand up for artistic choices, even if doing so results in some British acidity being flung back. “It’s a singing competition,” Simon Cowell would drone again and again when he found someone’s performance not quite up to par. His snide comments about “loving” his fellow contestants in a strictly “Godly way,” which came before season-eight runner-up Adam Lambert came out on the cover of Rolling Stone, played both to his fanbase and to those who were looking for reasons to vote him off.