And then there were 4


It wasn’t reasonable to expect another night full of moments, I suppose, but tonight’s show was definitely sedate compared to last week’s show. As expected Sonika was sent home, Kat McPhee and David Cook came back to perform, and Sia mentored the singers on her songs in the second half of the show. The first half was Rock Night, which went about as you would expect. None of these kids are rockers.

La’Porsha “Wanted Dead or Alive” – Bon Jovi

She forgot the words during her second chorus, but I doubt that really matters for her. It would probably be death to Trent or Dalton, maybe Mac, but I have to believe Chia Girl is safe. She couldn’t have sung this arrangement a month ago, with the big high notes. At the time she didn’t have them in her arsenal.

MacKenzie “I want you to want me” – Cheap Trick

Mac is what he is, and what he is ain’t a big, ballsy singer or a rhythmically dynamic dancer. He did what he could with the song, but honestly he should have just chucked it and went with something else. Anything else. I don’t know if it will hurt him going forward – he hit the notes and he has another song to sing – but the overall effect of Mac trying to wring some excitement out of this song, with his voice, was like a squirrel trying to wrestle a Saint Bernard to the ground. I doubt the song even knew he was there.

Trent Harmon “Sharp Dressed Man” – ZZ Top

The first verse gave the song its flavor and it was a really cool rearrangement of a pretty straightforward song. The only problem is that it left too much song in front of it. It might have been better to put the breakdown verse in the middle, or even at the end. It still worked, though. I’m nitpicking. I’ve sung this song dozens of times so I know he had the words out of order; I wonder if anyone will call him on it? I’m sure Keith has sung it a few times. He’ll know.

Dalton Rapattoni “God only Knows” – Beach Boys

I’m probably the only person in the world that thought he was imitating Barry Manilow, but he had Barry’s lilting, Shatneresque, hesitant phrasing going on. I enjoyed Dalton tonight, maybe for the first time since the semifinals.

La’Porsha “Elastic Heart”

She missed more notes on this song than she probably missed all season, but nobody called her on it so she is probably safe from a voter backlash. Probably.

Mackenzie “Titanium”

I don’t know what the hell he was doing with his breathing there, breathing right in the middle of his glory note run all three times. It ruined the effect for me, even though he hit the notes everyone worried about. Mac, who had a tremendous night last week, had a relatively mediocre night this week. We’ll see how strong his fanbase is.

Trent “Chandelier”

He hit every single note of a pretty dammed tough song. Nobody else in the competition could have pulled it off, including Chia Girl. To raise it to the level of a moment, though, he should have hit the middle of the three high notes in full voice, blowing everyone up against the back wall of the theater. I know he has that note in his bag; I wish he had used it. He was technically strong, emotionally…. meh.

Dalton “Bird Set Free”

Dalton can’t compete with Trent vocally, but he can create the kind of emotion Trent’s song was missing. Despite not hitting a single note that would thrill anyone, Dalton’s overall performance was far more thrilling than Trent’s vocal masterpiece.

Safe to in Danger

Fellapalooza’s first night muddled up the handicapping sheets. MacKenzie, who could have locked up one of the two Fellapalooza spots with a good night, had just an ok night. Trent outsang everyone, including Chia Girl, but missed chances to thrill us with his superior vocal talents and left us a little cold. Dalton’s voice sounded like a four-banger with a cylinder down trying to qualify at Daytona, but he brought the emotion Trent was missing.




In danger:

Everyone else

Any prediction would be a blind dart throw at a three-tiered board. I’d just be guessing, with no conviction whatsoever behind my choices. We’ll just have to wait and see. Hell, there is a non-zero chance Chia Girl could get dumped. Adam Lambert nearly got dumped around this time of the show in season 8 and Chris Daughtry did  get dumped in 4th place, so it can happen to anyone.

As for the rest of the show …. Cookie was awesome, Kat was Kat, and Sia – Orca Girl? – was weird but charismatic and sweet. Burma Shave, see you next week for round 2 of Fellapalooza.

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