The "Idol" theme tonight virtually guarantees eight good performances because they will be doing one of their original audition songs again.
This reprising is supposed to show how much they've grown and whether the performance in a small room translates to a big, live one.
This also strips us of any surprise elements though I'm sure some may try to change things up with a live band behind them. Three sang original songs and original songs have been rare (if not non-existent) on the live shows.
At least the producers are trying to come up with new themes and this one is a newbie.
And we'll also see how they plan to stretch eight performances out over two hours. Perhaps another group sing to fill time?
I don't think last week changed my power rankings all that much. I had Majesty at 5, obviously an over-estimation of her appeal since she was ousted last week. I had her as high as 2 before the live performances and clearly, she didn't earn that ranking at all.
1. Caleb Johnson. I'd like him to surprise me a bit more at some point but otherwise, this is his competition to lose. (last week-1)
2. Alex Preston. His "Don't Speak" last week didn't impress the judges. He is very internalized and very particular in his style. Either you like it or not. He seems to be on a slow and steady path to the finals. (2)
3. Jena Irene. She did a good job in the pimp spot last week. Her vocals and clear desire to take chances are helping her at this point. (3)
4. Jessica Meuse. Go figure. She has yet to finish in the bottom three. She has never been particularly good up to this point live but at least she raised her game last week. She has a bit of an underdog feel about her that may be generating votes. (7)
5. Malaya Watson. I still see Malaya as a work in progress. But at least she's improving and finding her way. She already survived longer than I expected going into the top 13 but she is taking enough chances and showing enough confidence to stay in the running. (6)
6. Sam Woolf. The fact he did okay last week and still fell into the bottom three tells me tweens aren't watching or voting much anymore. His front-runner status is long gone. He is going to have to improve significantly in the next three weeks to survive much longer. (4)
7. Dexter Roberts. He is boring to me. He does what he does and nothing more. Even a passable performance last week fails to change my feelings at this point. Again, he's elimination fodder with no chance of winning. (8)
8. C.J. Harris. I think it's just a matter of time before he goes home. His limitations are obvious to everyone. I liked what he did last week but he is due for a departure sooner rather than later. (9)
Season 11 "Idol" winner Phillip Phillips has opened for John Mayer and Matchbox Twenty (Sorry. I earlier wrote Goo Goo Dolls by mistake. This two really bland 90s bands tend to blur together in my addled brain.). This year, he co-headlines with O.A.R., a popular live band. (Again, I'm sorry I originally wrote "latched onto" because I didn't read the press release carefully enough to notice this is a 'co-headlining" deal as opposed to Phillips opening for them. Anyway, the Twitterati got me on both counts.)
He will start a 25-city tour that ends July 26 at Chastain.
Carrie Underwood will join Sheryl Crow and Emmylou Harris to fete Linda Ronstadt during the upcoming 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.