Trainwreck Idol: Top 11, Take Two

by Chris McGinty (According To

It’s Elton John week. On Motown Week, I said that it could be a good thing and a bad thing, and I meant it because some of the contestants don’t have the level of talent for at least half of the Motown library. This week I’m saying it could be a good thing or a bad thing, because Elton John is an artist I absolutely love, even though some of his songs suck to me. At the end of the show, I think the songs that were done were mostly songs that I like.

Scotty sang “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” or something like that. He has a good country voice, you know. I don’t know the song.

Naima did a reggae version of “I’m Still Standing.” The judges, who can’t seem to say anything bad to anyone, suddenly were bagging on her version. The thing is that I was cringing at the idea of that song as reggae, but I was surprised that unlike some previous attempts to do a reggae version of something (from previous seasons) that the vocal melody of the song translated very well. By the end of the night, I feel her performance was probably overshadowed, but I did like it.

Paul did “Rocket Man.” Excuse me while I vomit. “Rocket Man” is one of my favourite Elton John songs. I absolutely love the song. I even love a very similar track that Smashing Pumpkins did called “Space Boy” because it puts me in the same emotional space as “Rocket Man.” The only emotion Paul brought to me was really more of a state of being perplexed. I don’t know how many different ways the judges can say that he sucks without actually saying anything bad about him.

Pia did “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” She did great of course. This is one of those odd songs that I don’t really like much, and yet there are versions of it I like. The version on “The Lost Boys Soundtrack” is great. Elton John’s live performance with guest George Michael was enough to get me to admit that I like the song. That’s just odd for a song that I’m not a fan of.

Stefano sang “Tiny Dancer” and actually redeemed himself in my eyes, even if it still wasn’t great. Not an Elton John song that I’m really all that into, but I’ll usually listen to it. The thing is there are some very distinctive notes in that song that not everyone can hit. I know I can’t. Stefano did so, and made it seem effortless.

Lauren did “Candle in the Wind.” I could have done without some of the twang, but otherwise, it was very, very good.

James performed “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” He’s the first person to really do the Elton John theatrics, interestingly enough. His vocal performance came across as less interesting than everything else going on, but it was fun to watch. To his credit he pulled of some moves that would left me flat on my face.

Thia sang “Daniel” and it was the best performance of the night. She has such a great voice. I think that every time I hear her sing, and I always get a tinge of worry at the end of her performances that she’s not noticeable enough to make it as far as she should.

Casey did “Your Song” and reminded the world that he can actually sing. It’s too bad he had to be scared shitless to remind us.

Jacob sang “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” Like Pia, he’s always great. Not my favourite performance by him, but still very good. I really love this song, and I wish he hadn’t gone so far off the melody the second verse.

And finally Haley… “Bennie and the Jets.” It made me think of the first “Dark Tower” novel, by Stephen King, where the gunslinger walks into a saloon and they’re doing a player piano sing along of “Hey Jude.” I felt like I should be wearing a ten gallon hat and cheating at poker. Add to the fact that it wasn’t very good. I don’t know. It’s already becoming clear that I’m in the minority for thinking it wasn’t good. I do want to say that it’s one of her better performances, but not good enough for me to say it was actually good.

So bottom three. I’m really tired, so I’m going to pick some names out of my ten gallon hat. Naima, Thia, and Stefano. That’s not who I think should be there. That’s who I think will be there. They talked everyone else up too much. And I’m looking at who probably got overshadowed. Paul was the worst performance of the night, hands down. It would be a pleasant surprise to see him go home, or at the very least end up bottom three where he belongs.

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