America’s voting began Sunday night on American Idol as twelve of the top twenty five were each given two chances to impress the viewers. The first performance was a solo, and the second, a duet with their assigned celebrity mentor. Everything is riding on these first live shows; the “make or break” performances if you will that distinguishes those who are “ready” from those who were apparently just flukes (during the audition process). Sunday night’s show was no different, and out of the twelve contestants, I thought only two truly stood out; Willie Spence and Grace Kinstler.
Spence performed The Wind Beneath My Wings for his solo, and then a flawless duet of The Prayer (minus the Italian parts) with his mentor, AI finalist, and new bride of legendary music producer David Foster, Katharine McPhee. Spence is undeniably polished and has a natural gift, but I would worry about his bankability and will leave it at that.
The only other notable performance of the night was Grace Kinstler, who performed a gutsy Queen by Jessie J’, strutting her ample stuff all over the stage in a slinky black dress. She then performed a
screaming match duet of Midnight Train to Georgia with her mentor, Joss Stone. There were maybe one or other competent performances, but MOST were clunky and forgettable. Tonight, the remaining top twenty-five perform as the viewer voting continues. They are whittling the top twenty-fove down to sixteen, so nine are going home.