The First Round of Twelve


Here it is, the week I’ve been both eagerly anticipating, yet dreading. Dreading because there is so much talent here in the first round, and yet only three will be able to progress.

I’ll be typing this in real time, so forgive me in advance, as I know I will miss some details.

First up is Jackie Tohn. This girl has a ton of personality. She chose to sing “A Little Less Conversation”. This is definitely not one of my favorite performances…she was really energetic, in her favor–as Kara said, she really knows how to work a stage; but I don’t think her tone is one I like. Not bad, but just not my kind of thing. But that is just personal preference–nothing concrete.
Simon thought she played the clown…unfortunate for Jackie.

Ricky Braddy is next up in the spotlight. Singing “A Song for You”, Ricky blew me away. I was NOT expecting this. Will he take the spots I’d previously imagined for Danny and Anoop? If not, he should definitely make the wild card.
Randy said this was the start of season 8-the way to jump it off.
Kara called it amazing and effortless. And a hard song to sing.
Paula said he deserves to go very far.
Simon isn’t ‘jumping out of [his] chair’, and doesn’t think Ricky has the self-belief and the charisma to be a star and needs to believe in himself.

Alexis Grace; “Never Loved a Man” was her choice and what a choice it was! Perfect for her! This is a little girl with a big voice. All I could think is ‘Way to go, girl!’. She’s going to go far, whether she continues on this show or not.
Randy is “loving [her] right now”.
Kara is “digging it”.
Paula loves her quiet confidence; calling it a fantastic performance.
Simon thought her the best by a mile so far. He called her a potential dark horse; comparing her to Kelly Clarkson.

Brent Keith had to take the stage after Alexis’ amazing performance, as well as a technical glitch with his video, and he didn’t do bad by a long shot. Singing “Hick Town”, he wanted to show everyone who he is. As a country singer, I really like him; unfortunately, I don’t think he’s good enough to compete with some of the others.
Randy liked the return to the country roots but with a new edge to the old stuff.
Kara thought he played it a little safe, and that he has more than he showed tonight.
Paula thought he took more risks at audition.
Simon said what we all know, you only have one shot; and he thought Brent blew a massive opportunity and was forgettable.

Stevie Wright is my favorite girl so far. She chose “You Belong with Me”, and starting off, you could really hear the nerves. I would love to see her in a later season–is that possible after she’s already appeared here in the top 36? There were some breathy issues.
Randy said it was safe…and not hot.
Kara thought she picked a song with nothing to do with her. Identity crisis.
Paula had to agree with the others. Said she has better skills than that.
Simon called it terrible.

Anoop Desai sang “Angel of Mine”, and it was as good as we knew it would be. But…in a way, it seemed safe. Personally, I was looking for more from him.
Randy thought it an interesting song choice. He called it a little sharp; and thought it never quite settled; it wasn’t Anoop’s best but still has a fan in Randy.
Kara did not think he has the rifts or the ability to sing that particular song. But still, she likes Anoop and connected with him.
Paula said “the world has connected with you. I think Anoop dog’s here for a while”.
Simon said it was too old and serious. “We’ve heard you better but you have a massive likability factor going for you”.

So far, I’d pick Ricky, Alexis, and Jackie. We’ll see how the others fare.

Casey Carlson picked a Police song, “Everything He Does”…it sounded a little weak, but I like her tone.
Randy let out an oooh. He thought it completely wrong, and weirdly kareoke.
Kara thought the song was wrong, wrong; overdone and had high hopes.
Paula said the phrasing was weird. Again, it was the wrong song, just didn’t work.
Simon was glad she had fun; thought she looked good. But, the singing was atrocious, and said she could not have chosen a worse song. He called it “kareoke, and it doesn’t tell us who you are”.

Michael Sarver sang “I Don’t Want To Be”. I really, really like him. There seemed to be some problems with the sound…don’t know if that was overall, or just my TV…
Randy thought he could definitely sing but it started a little bit off in pitch.
Kara called it “a great crowd pleaser song”. But she enjoy seeing him sing “what’s true to you”. But we’ve seen better.
Paula said he did a “real good job. This is a different side of you”. But she was confused and distracted by the mic changing hands. Paula was sure, though, that he did Gavin McGraw proud.
Simon: “This show gives you an opportunity…You are a good, honest guy…We’ve heard a lot worse tonight, but this was not the best either”.

Singing “Natural Woman”, Ann Marie Boskovich wanted to put her “own natural twist to it”. And yes she did!! Ann Marie brought it tonight. She and Alexis are going to be battling it out. And she brings the house to it’s feet!!
Randy asked her how she thought she did-her answer: pretty good. But not according to Randy. He said it was the same old problem as nearly everyone else that night: the wrong song choice; “Didn’t get the song choice at all”.
Kara was quite empathetic, “you have to kill this song if you do it. It feels old-fashioned; you should do something girly”.
Paula said that, “compared to Hollywood and auditions you did better! This song requires a tremendous amount of soulfulness. You gave it your all”.
Simon thought her voice not good enough for that song. “This performance was not good enough for the real world. You may have ruined your one chance.”
I completely disagree!! Her mom said she thought she was awesome and I agree wholeheartedly.

Oh, look; there’s a new X-Men coming out May 1st! Oh, the things they have while you’re waiting for A-I to return. 🙂

Stephen Fowler sings a Michael Jackson song, “Rock With You”. I think this was another bad song choice. I found myself clapping and “rocking away” with him, but that was more from the beat of the song…not really to do with Stephen.
Randy thought he wasn’t underneath the notes.
Kara reminded everyone of Stephen behind a piano, saying “with a piano you were connected. Not now.”
Paula said that “to sing ‘Rock With You’ is like the kiss of death.
Simon said “I wish you had forgotten the lyrics. Terrible arrangement. The last ten seconds were okay. But it was a bit corny”.

Tatiano Del Toro chose to sing “I’m Saving All Of My Love For You”. Tatiana can definitely sing…it’s whether she can connect with people and if they like her enough to send her on. Truthfully, I don’t think she’s presented her best side to people. She comes off looking selfish. I don’t want to believe that’s true; I prefer to give her the benefit of the doubt, but she better start working on her public relations. But she did have an amazing vocal performance tonight.
Randy thought there were some moments and was really impressed.
Kara said Tatiana is like a rollar-coaster ride. “This is a very reserved Tatiana. Who are you? Where do you fit in all this?”
Paula called her “the most talked about contestant so far. Good and/or bad.” But she was not used to the “demure Tatiana”. And thought her closing note was beautiful.
Simon, whether he menat this in a good or bad way, I don’t know; he called Tatiana “a drama queen”, and said that she was “surprisingly not bad at all. Much better than I expected.”
I liked her a lot more tonight.

At long last! the one I’ve waited all night for; Danny Gokey closed the night with Mariah Carey’s “Hero”. I like the beginning of this…This guy is an extremely talented young man. I haven’t ever heard a performance of “Hero” sung by a guy that I liked until tonight. I feel so inspired listening to him…this is like listening to the beginnings DC all over again. Standing OVATION!!!! And no one can be quiet; the crowd is wild! He was amazing tonight; totally my favorite all over!!! Even now, quite some time after his performance, I’m still breathless and excited.
Randy called him “blazing hot!”
Kara called Danny “a hero; incredible. You give us all hope. This was GREAT!”
Paula said he was “steller”, and that she could envision “sold out arenas”.
Simon thought it was good, but wasn’t fantastic. “The end was great, the beginning was good. I’m just not buying the hype right now so much.”

I think it’ll be between Danny Gokey, Alexis Grace, Ricky Braddy; with Ann Marie Boskovich and  Tatiana Del Toro possibly in there somewhere. But I truly think those three will be in the top runners.

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