Sunday, October 29, 2006

Round of 9: Message Through Songs

Tonight’s theme is “Message Through Songs,” and the Idol finalists sing songs that have either special meaning or convey a special message from them to someone important. We start the show with Apple Chiu, who chose Someone to Watch Over Me by Linda Ronstadt. Apple’s rich voice is given a song she can really sink her teeth into, and she undulates through the George Gershwin original with enough yearning to make anyone feel the song. Save for a wayward flat here and there, Apple’s song is a pleasant change from her usual power tracks, and it works.
Pilita: This is my kinda song. You look wonderful! In what you give us, and how you present yourself, you show how much you’ve improved. Tonight, I love you.
Luke: Your voice is lovely and soothing. Galing!
Ryan: I’ve been waiting for you to sing something intimate. Tnoight, I like it. It’s intimate, I can hear the nice tones… I like it.

Arms Cruz chose If I Believe by Patti Austin.
Arms puts a lot of herself into the song, and her strong voice is put to good use with the song. Exhibiting extraordinary control, she certainly works the stage, but the 80s chestnut a boring song choice.
Luke: There were some parts na flat na konti, but you don’t notice kasi ang sarap kumanta. I know someday makahanap ka ng someone.
Pilita: Reymond or Drae? CHEAP!! Whatever happened last week when we had to be strict with you, you have all become so good! You’ve improved so much! You were very good.
Ryan: The choice is very good, you sing it very well. It’s one of your good performances – not the best, but you’re still good.

Ken Dingle chose Get Here by Oleta Adams
Why is a ballet duo behind him? CHEAP!!! The song actually kinda suits his voice, but he when he birits, well, the notes go here and there. Soothing for the most part, a very good performance, but Idol's never had dancers. Oi vey.
Pilita: Let’s give a big hand to the wonderful couple who danced! Ken, you surprised me tonight, you did. All your performances has always had something lacking. I’m so happy to see you improve for this evening.
Luke: I was amazed sobra. Yung range niya, babae. Ang hirap ng ginagawa mo. You did a great job tonight.
Ryan: Ken, I can just imagine all the Ken haters. Para silang tinamaan ng kidlat. That was a complete transformation and that is what this competition is all about. If we diss you, and you prove us wrong... I don’t think you’ll be out next week with this kind of performance. But kailangan tuloy tuloy na iyan.

Pow Chavez chose For Once In My Life by Spiral Staircase
Why are there dancers everywhere?! On the good side, Pow sings the song with conviction, and she certainly looks like she’s enjoying herself. On the bad side, we’ve heard this song so many times, that her version pales in comparison. That last note wasn’t so good either.
Pilita: Pow, last week I had to put you down because it was bad. I don’t know what happened to her. It looks like hindi ka na broken-hearted, ganoon ba iyon? Gusto pa rin kitang mkita in a beautiful gown, with bling bling everywhere. I hope I can see you like that because you look very good. Congratulations!
Luke: Gustong gusto ko yung belt niya. I enjoyed her performance. May konteng mga flat ang kapos na konte, and the ending medyo hirap, pero natumbok kahit papaano. Funky. You’re the man.
Ryan: Pow, I didn’t like the performance. It’s the song choice. Medyo blah ang performance, para kang nanunuod ng show nuong 1970s. The song choice has a lot to do with it. I hope you’re still there next week. It’s not a winning performance, not a bad performance.

Jan Nieto chose Kailangan Kita by Ogie Alcasid.
Jan’s song choice has a very wide range, which would normally showcase a singer’s range, and the first minute of Jan’s song is pure pleasure, with deep, rich notes and an excellent vibrato. However, when he launches into the ‘birit’ mode, it’s obvious he’s having a hard time. That last note skipped a beat, so eeeh.
Pilita: Kailangan daw niya ako, Mr. C. Ako daw ang kailangan! It’s so wonderful to see all of you like this, so nicely dressed, so wonderfully… From the beginning, John, talagang nagpayat ka. I hope to see you again next week.
Luke: I’m sure maraming babaeng magkakagusto ditto. Gwapo, e. But I think he has to work on tone, some flats along the way, at the end and start, breathing… I know mag-iimprove ka talaga. Good song choice.
Ryan: I didn’t like it. Walang ka-energy-energy. You have the looks to be a matinee idol. You have to hit a little harder. Masyadong relaxed. It’s a bit boring. Try to learn the song and be a part of it. Try harder.

Mau Marcelo chose I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
Mau says she chose the song because it brought her a variety of styles (and because her mom taught it to her). The first part of the song is done by her in a flawless a capella, before she launches into the ‘birit’ mode – where she throws off the black poncho about her. While it’s nothing new (we’ve seen Lani Misalucha do it, and of course Whitney and every other drag queen in town), it’s yet another stellar performance by Mau.
Luke: *standing ovation* Wala akong masabi. Yun na iyon. Sana sa next album ko, mag-guest ka.
Pilita: Sometimes, I don’t have to say anything, everyone else is saying it. The only thing is that I think Mau knows exactly how good she is. I expected she came with that big overcoat, when she opened it, she’d be in a bikini or something. Very good, Mau.
Ryan: Lagi ka naming magaling. You have the audience in the palm of your hands. I’ll tell you something. Your choice of song, Whitney Houston… sana nagcontrapelo ka. Sana iniba mo yung look mo. When you came on, people laughed because they thought it was Halloween. Kahit nakakatawa, magaling.

Miguel Mendoza chose Sandra by Barry Manilow
Miguel pulls an ace out of his sleeve, starting his song by playing the grand piano as he launches into a song for his mother. He puts a lot of emotion into the song, and the usual flats aren’t present! It’s a virtually flawless performance, and I’m quite surprised. Between Miguel and Ken, someone doesn’t want to get voted out soon!
Pilita: Our youngest finalist, and I’m sure Miguel has gotten a lot of flak for being so young and not mature enough. I think last week you heard what Mr. C and you accepted it nicely, so now you’ve proved you can be better.
Luke: Kasama mo yung Mommy mo? I want to meet your Mom. Nakikita mo yung pagmamahal. It wasn’t the best performance, but it’s good that you can play the piano and sing… it was a good performance.
Ryan: It was a good performance. As a matter of fact, you showed us you play, but more than anything, tonight was the first night I really felt the song that you sang. You showed a certain maturity and an aspect in your personality. It’s good… keep on going. You can do boh high school and this one.

Jeli Mateo chose You Don’t Know Me by Ray Charles
This song was Jeli’s audition piece when she first tried out for a lounge act, and she got the gig. She vamps her way through the song in a slinky red dress (and a black tie, go figure). She apparently practiced in a different key, because she was sick, but for the most part, I was bored out of my wits, and I don’t foresee a longer future.
Luke: Sobrang improved siya from the rehearsals. Ngayon the parts I thought weren’t good, now I don’t see. Good performance.
Pilita: That song really, you need to be on a couch like that. It was like, “sit beside me.” Jeli, this is one of the performances that I like that you’ve done. Congratulations. Bagay mag-bossa.
Ryan: Whether you make it or not, remember this performance. For me that was your best performance. It still doesn’t mean you’re on top of the heap. Just remember, do the best that you can do with the voice range that you have.

Gian Magdangal chose Superstar by Luther Vandross
Gian knows he’s in trouble, having been in the bottom every single week, and decides to croon out the Luther Vandross version of the Carpenters’ chestnut, and does it with style and class – for the most part. Near the end, Gian starts to fall apart, with poor microphone distance and notes that just don’t hit the mark. What could’ve been a phenomenal performance ends up sullied.
Luke: Etong batang to magaling talaga. Wala akong masabi. Keep it up.
Pilita: Yes, indeed. I think I will give up on Jan Nieto and go to Gian! Honestly, from the beginning, I think you’ve taken his advice very seriously, and not doing the theatrics. Tonight, you’re wonderful.
Ryan: Gian, yun lang naman yon. Lose yourself in the song. It was a classy performance. Total atmosphere and feeling was several notches above what a competition usually presents. It was a very good performance.