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S16.E18: Performance Finals

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I think it's safe to say that when Johnny Cash wrote "Folsom Prison Blues", he never once imagined it'd someday be performed on "American Idol" :p. Interesting choice of song. 

I'm so rooting for Maddie. She was the most consistent throughout the night, and I just really like her style in general, and it'd be cool to have a fellow Iowan win this thing :D. My mom thinks she might've seen our local news team during that hometown visit segment. 

Caleb was pretty good overall tonight, too, though. And I kinda like Gabby's single. 

Also, hi, Steve Perry!

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What was up with Katy's comment that she is voting for Maddie? Hmmm

 

Loved all of Maddie's performances and loved her original composition. I had not heard it prior as I started viewing the show a few episodes late. Also think the single written for her really suited her.

Edited by ECM1231
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Good luck Maddie( or Caleb).

I was hoping Stevie Nicks for Landslide would show since Gabby got an appearance by the great Steve Perry.

Did Maddie have the biggest hometown crowd?

So the judges decide to critique on the last performance show.  Where were you All season?  I really thought they were being hard on Caleb to give the chosen one Gabby more leverage.  Then when they started being honest with Gabby  that theory went out the window.  She seemed none too happy.  

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Maddie bores me.  I just can't get behind the yodeling.    Plus her sound just doesn't seem current to me.

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I agreed with Katy on one comment:  the first round was kind of a disaster.  None of them seemed able to put much conviction in those songs.

I thought round two did go to Caleb.  Maddie wanted to show off her songwriting skills, but the song is not that exciting on stage.

So they get Steve Perry to watch Gabby and slather her with praise.  OK.

 

I split my votes between Caleb and maddie.

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1 minute ago, Diana Berry said:

The 80's were my time (aging myself).  So great seeing him.  

I've always thought he'd make a great judge.  

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I thought Gabby got some stronger critiques tonight ... but then Steve Perry was invited to see her.  Maybe she is still the show's chosen one.  That said, I voted for Maddie (go Maddie!), but I like Caleb too.

Edited by HelenCrump
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Maddie is the only one I care about. At least Katy was honest that she was the only one actually deserving. That's what judges should be doing. But it won't matter. Only white guys win this show. At least it was worth watching to discover Maddie.

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3 hours ago, sinycalone said:

 

So they get Steve Perry to watch Gabby and slather her with praise.  OK.

 

 

He was awfully nice.  I'm going to go with Lea Michele as one of the best versions.

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12 minutes ago, Suzysite said:

Plus her sound just doesn't seem current to me.

The other 2 sound current? Switching back and forth between AI and the Billboard awards, there's a huge gap between 1) winning a singing competition and 2) winning in the real music world.

I hope the show tomorrow night is as much fun as the old Fox ones used to be, but honestly, there's no star power to draw viewers this year.

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13 minutes ago, Diana Berry said:

 She seemed none too happy.  

She (Gabby) all but stomped her foot and yelled "How dare you?!" when the judges didn't slobber all over themselves for her tonight - at least in the beginning.  The wind really was taken out of her little sails.  That girl is just too full of herself, at least at this stage in her 'career'.  I do believe it's turning a lot of people off, as it does me.  I was just reading some comments on another site, and most of them were saying they voted for Caleb, and those who didn't, they voted for Maddie. 

 

2 minutes ago, ECM1231 said:

Idk. Will have to listen again but Gabby sounded awful to me on the Journey song.

Thank you!  I didn't get Steve Perry's praise either.  I guess he had to say what he said.  Her performance of that song was a pale imitation of SP. 

And I don't get why she picked that Journey song since before that, in her little interview with the mentor guy whose name I can't remember, she said she wants to be a country "star".  Yes, she said "star", not "singer".  ?  Because nothing screams country like Don't Stop Believing. 

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I'm torn about what the outcome will be. Maddie got The Pimp Spot, but I feel like she was so head-and-shoulders above the rest that the judges never knew what to do with her. You could see it in Luke Bryan's face, he was basically Chris Farley in those old SNL celebrity interviews: "Remember when you sang that song? Um, that was awesome."

Back on the Fox Idol, Maddie would've been a shock boot because there was no progression (drink!) or journey, and she was never the underdog, even though she seemed likable and humble to me throughout. She'd have been another Melinda Doolittle.

But there wasn't enough manipulation for me to truly believe the producers don't want her to win. If anything, I don't think that they think she will win. So, their only strategy was to make sure that people knew she was closest to what they want out of the show (an artist, someone who knows who she is, someone who owns their performances and is comfortable onstage) and hope it translated to the audience.

I'm not sure it did, but I hope it does. She sings with such emotion that I'm always engaged by her performances. I truly hope she can pull it off.

On the other hand, this ... is American Idol.

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All my votes went to Maddie. 

I am not sure what the judges and Steve Perry were listening to during Gabby's performance but I can't imagine it was actually her singing because that was not good. At all. I used to tire of Simon and his throwaway "I feel like I am watching a performance on a cruise ship" comments but that was EXACTLY how I felt during Gabby's final performance. 

Caleb is sweet and funny and a good singer and probably very marketable but does the world really need another sort of indistinguishable from all the others young dude country singer?

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 Gabby's singing sounds the same on every song. ...plus her words are unintelligible. 

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14 minutes ago, sempervivum said:

The other 2 sound current? Switching back and forth between AI and the Billboard awards, there's a huge gap between 1) winning a singing competition and 2) winning in the real music world.

I hope the show tomorrow night is as much fun as the old Fox ones used to be, but honestly, there's no star power to draw viewers this year.

What, you don't think Kermit the Frog will bring in viewers?  Lol.

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OK, I don't have a dog in this fight any more, so I don't really care who wins.  I have many years of experience in this field and can't help but call out the producers once again with their monkeyshines (manipulation).  It really looked like Gabby was lip-synching the first song (coronation song) so that it would sound perfect.  Caleb came in too early during the intro, so we know that he didn't lip-sync.   THEN they pulled Steve Perry out of the hat for the icing on the cake. The best version ever?   Really, Steve? 

Edited by Babalooie
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3 minutes ago, Babalooie said:

OK, I don't have a dog in this fight any more, so I don't really care who wins.  I have many years of experience in this field and I can't help but call out the producers once again with their monkeyshines (manipulation).  It really looked like Gabby was lip-synching the first song (coronation song) so that it would sound perfect.  Caleb came in too early during the intro, so we know that he didn't lip-sync.   THEN they pulled Steve Perry out of the hat for the icing on the cake. The best version ever?   Really, Steve? 

I thought it looked like she was lip- synching too.

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My overall thoughts are that it was a really underwhelming night across the board, though I think Maddie easily performed the best. I will be shocked if she doesn't win. 

Caleb - His first song was a clunker, I wasn't a big fan of the studio version but I think it translates a little bit better live. But he definitely wasn't comfortable. Second song was a little better but another slow, boring country ballad that was similar. He redeemed himself with Johnny Cash. But honestly it doesn't matter how well he performed or not because male country vote. 

Gabby - Thought she performed the worst of everyone tonight. Her worst showing all season actually. The first song was alright, I actually like it and purchased it on iTunes, but it does not translate live well at all and I think the judges were hinting at that. The Miranda Lambert song was a terrible vocal and she made a mistake wearing those boots, as they really constricted her movement. The first time she performed that song she at least had a lot more energy. The Journey song was a dumb choice and she sounded awful. Having Steve Perry in the audience to give an undeserved tongue bath over it was new levels of obnoxious manipulation. Mark my words she gets 3rd place. Her fans will vote for her no matter what, but I can't see any casual fans voting for her after 3 god awful performances. They were all different genres as well which doesn't give a clear vision of who she is as an artist.

Maddie - Out of the first round, she easily did the best but no one really did well with the originals. Honestly if they let the contestants write their own songs they'd probably perform them better instead of these crappy rejects they get. Case in point with her second song where she actually performed a song she wrote herself. It was a risk to do another original but I think it was smart, as it gave her a chance to show her real artistry. It was better than her actual single. And she won the night with Landslide, a pretty strong ending to the season (at least it didn't end with Gabby's screaming mess).

The random contestants showing up in the middle to sing originals was weird, but appreciate the attempt to let them showcase their writing. Only Harper and Catie had good songs though. Jonny's was a bit boring and Michelle's was not only badly written, but terribly sung as well. They should have just given more time to Harper and Catie. 

As I said, it doesn't matter how any of them performed as everyone has their favorites at this point and vote regardless of performance. But I think casuals will get on board for Maddie, especially since she performed last. Country fans are probably more likely to give votes to Caleb since all 3 of his songs fit that wheelhouse. Gabby was too all over the place with her song choices and every single song was upbeat, there was never a tender, emotional moment like Caleb and Maddie had. 

My prediction is Gabby gets third and Caleb and Maddie will battle it out. I will be shocked if Maddie doesn't win but at the same time, I can see Caleb winning due to male country WGWG vote. 

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31 minutes ago, sempervivum said:

The other 2 sound current? Switching back and forth between AI and the Billboard awards, there's a huge gap between 1) winning a singing competition and 2) winning in the real music world.

I hope the show tomorrow night is as much fun as the old Fox ones used to be, but honestly, there's no star power to draw viewers this year.

I hope and pray Caleb does not jump on the FGL/Bebe Rexha trash faux-country train...or the Sam Hunt auto-tune bandwagon.  He seems to genuinely admire artists like the Steeldrivers and Jamey Johnson.  Jon Pardi and William Michael Morgan have stuck pretty much to traditional country and have nice careers.  Of course, AI and whatever label they might provide probably has something more like Thomas Rhett in mind (yuck).  Maddie could have a future as indie artist....but not sure Disney or AI would know what to do with her.

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30 minutes ago, Eolivet said:

You could see it in Luke Bryan's face, he was basically Chris Farley in those old SNL celebrity interviews: "Remember when you sang that song? Um, that was awesome."

Ahahaha, I love this :D. Perfect. 

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Wow, all the Gabby haters out there..lol! I'm not a singer, or an entertainer, so all I have to go by is my little 'ol ears. I've tried to be objective all season long and I don't intend to be any different tonight. So here are my ratings:

1. Gabby - I thought she did great on the second and third song. The first one, which was I believe their victory song, was just ok for me. Probably because I didn't know the song. Gabby, who is only 18 I think, will get better and better. She has the "It" factor you hear so much about.

2. Maddie - She has been the most consistence performer of all, with only last week as her weakest one. Maddie had a good night and will definitely be one of the favorites to win tomorrow night.

3. Caleb - I thought he messed up the words at the beginning. He did what Catie should've done and go with the flow. I didn't hear the judges critique him on the mishap. Simon Cowell would've been on that like a lion on a injured buffalo! He did sound good on all three songs though. I don't think he has enough to win.

Winner will be Gabby!

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1 hour ago, incandescent said:

Gabby may have been the producer's chosen one, but I think voters will disagree.

I hope so.  I certainly disagree.  I didn't like her from the start - She's too impressed with herself, and sounds like a whole lot of other female singers.  The way she works the stage - especially when she's all hunched over - seems forced and clumsy.  I didn't see anything tonight that changed my mind, absolutely nothing special about her in any way.

1 hour ago, hyacinth said:

I gave 10 votes to Caleb.    I like his sense of humor and his voice.     

Me too.  I'm not overly crazy about any of the Final 3, but he's my first choice.  All of my votes went to him. 

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I’m hoping for a Maddie win. She’s been my favorite from the beginning and I thought she was great tonight. Country is not my thing, but I much prefer Caleb to Gabby. I personally find Gabby annoying. I felt sorry for Caleb, messing up the beginning of his coronation song, and also because that song was just terrible. The other two got decent songs to sing, but that song was so badly written. No wonder he lacked confidence while singing it!

I really like Maddie - her voice, her singing style, and her personality. I actually voted for her on all three methods - never did that before! I’m hoping she wins but I wouldn’t be mad with a Caleb win. He does have a good voice and seems like a sweet kid. I really hope Gabby comes in third. 

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I liked when Katy respectfully disagreed with Bobby. I didn't think the judges were harsh at all. If anything it was better than the non-helpful mentoring he was doing. With Maddie, all he did was tell her she seemed more confident.

I miss the old finale format. Seemed more like an event (although it doesn't help the Billboard Awards are on tonight).

Also the audio mix was not good--the backup singers were so loud!

Edited by niklj
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10 minutes ago, JMarie99 said:

I’m hoping for a Maddie win. She’s been my favorite from the beginning and I thought she was great tonight. Country is not my thing, but I much prefer Caleb to Gabby. I personally find Gabby annoying. I felt sorry for Caleb, messing up the beginning of his coronation song, and also because that song was just terrible. The other two got decent songs to sing, but that song was so badly written. No wonder he lacked confidence while singing it!

I really like Maddie - her voice, her singing style, and her personality. I actually voted for her on all three methods - never did that before! I’m hoping she wins but I wouldn’t be mad with a Caleb win. He does have a good voice and seems like a sweet kid. I really hope Gabby comes in third. 

I feel the same way, but in reverse.   Even though I'm not a country fan at all, Caleb is my first choice, but I'd be okay with Maddie.  I'm not crazy about her voice or singing style, but it's clear she's talented.  And she does seem like a nice girl, who would be willing to put in the work.  I don't get the impression she has expectations of anything being simply handed to her or any feelings of superiority.  Unlike Gabby, who I also - as you said - find annoying.

Bottom line for me is that I'll be happy as long as Gabby doesn't win.  And much happier if she places third.

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1 hour ago, TeeMo said:

Caleb is sweet and funny 

A lot of viewers have described Caleb as sweet or nice, but I just don't see it. Sarcastic, yes. Sweet or nice, no. Not that there's anything wrong with it. I love sarcastic. But I don't love Caleb. 

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31 minutes ago, JMarie99 said:

I really hope Gabby comes in third. 

Any chance we can have her place further back than third? She shouldn't be in the top three!

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Gabby really rubbed me the wrong way tonight. 

I'm pretty I different towardscall of them dontvghink any of them will  have much of a career after the show.

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I thought Maddie was the best of the night. Caleb was pretty solid as well - at leasr he didn’t smile through “Folsom Prison Blues” the way Paul McDonald did in his season. 

Gabby sounded horrible to me. Her voice just absolutely grates.

I was pretty impressed that the judges decided to actually judge. What a concept! 

And...this week Katy is channeling....Doris Day? Carol Channing?

Edited by sharifa70
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7 minutes ago, sharifa70 said:

And...this week Katy is channeling....Carol Channing?

Katy this week looked like Samantha Stephens borrowing one of Endora's caftans.

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That was an extremely underwhelming finale.  For what its worth, I thought Maddie was the only one who did fairly well on all three songs.  Caleb really messed up the first song, while Gabby was horrible on "Don't Stop Believing".  I do think Maddie probably deserves to win, not just for tonight, but also what she's done over the whole season.  I really doubt she's ever going to be some kind of star, but she is talented enough that she could have some kind niche success.

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13 minutes ago, incandescent said:

Katy this week looked like Samantha Stephens borrowing one of Endora's caftans.

Yes! I couldn’t quite put my finger on it so I defaulted to Doris Day, but yours is perfect!

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I hope Maddie wins. There was no Wow moment for me tonight but I felt Maddie was the most consistent and I like that she seems humble and grounded. I liked her hometown visit. Both Caleb and Maddie seem like themselves , wore the same clothes, and acted just like they did on the show during the hometown visits. I would be okay with Caleb winning but hope it is Maddie. 

Something about Gaby seems a bit fake? She seems to like performing as more then the quality of singing. It bothers me how one song she has a country accent and the next she doesn't. The Journey song sure was not the best version ever. I thought Gaby had missed the word Boulvard but she had held the microphone to the crowd thinking they would be singing with her and they didn't. 

I wish AI had given us more backstory on the contestants instead of the very narrow story they want the public to know. All 3 finalists are young 20 or younger, so why not learn about school, siblings, favorite classes, dating? I was surprised to learn reading an article, Gaby has 7 younger siblings. During hometown we didn't get to meet anyone but the parents, why didn't we see 7 Gaby siblings hugging her? and are Maddie and Caleb only children? I remember I didn't think much of those questions Ryan used to ask the contestants during results night, now I miss those questions and getting to know them better. 

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16 hours ago, DebbieM4 said:

Bottom line for me is that I'll be happy as long as Gabby doesn't win.  And much happier if she places third.

That seems to be the consensus here and elsewhere.  I hope that translates into America's voting.   -   I almost feel guilty for my reaction to Gabby, since I'm old enough to be her........whatever, but she's got the type of personality that bugs the bejeezus out of me; I don't even know what to call it - misplaced arrogance?  And whenever she said she wanted to be a country STAR - not 'singer' - well, that about summed it up.  And not that it's her fault or anything, because it's not, but her parents bug me.  Her mother seems totally bland, disheveled and disinterested, while her father is too creepily invested in her.  (She said if she moved to Nashville for her music, she'd want to take her father with her.  Huh??)  Even the mentor didn't think that was a good idea.  I thought I read that she had a passel of younger siblings and that her father lost his job and now works at Goodwill.  Somehow I get the impression that the whole family is waiting for Gabby to be a STAR so that she can support the family. 

Anyway, I thought last night all three of her performances were the worst she's ever had, so it might've been nerves/family pressure.  And believe me, I'm not that crazy about country music in general (like some of it, dislike some of it) but whatever Caleb was selling last night, I was buying!  I sent 10 votes his way.  He's got an easy-going way about him and a quick wit, which should serve him well in the business. 

I like Maddie; in that edited bit they kept showing, she said she wasn't in it for the fame and money, but just to have a career.  How honest and refreshing.  Unlike Gabby, who comes across as downright desperate to be a STAR. 

Edited by Ladyrain
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Steve Perry is one of the greatest vocalists of our lifetime, so it was terribly disappointing that he would go on national TV and lie about Gabby's performance being the best version of the song he's ever heard. Aside from the fact that she skipped half the lyrics, it was energetic karaoke at best.

I used to hope my favorite wouldn't win, so he/she wouldn't be hamstrung by the terms of the Idol contract.  However, I have no idea what that entails anymore. I'll just state that Maddie is my favorite. If she doesn't win, Caleb is next in line from a vocal talent perspective. Gabby doesn't belong in the top 3.

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I thought the Gabby Barrett logo merchandise that her dad was sporting (as well as others in the Pittsburgh segment) was the most obnoxious thing I had ever seen. Talk about being full of oneself! What other singing competition contestant would have the huge ego to think they were a “brand” already? She gets on my last nerve.

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9 hours ago, rr2911 said:

 

1. Gabby - I thought she did great on the second and third song. The first one, which was I believe their victory song, was just ok for me. Probably because I didn't know the song. Gabby, who is only 18 I think, will get better and better. She has the "It" factor you hear so much about.

 

See, I feel just the opposite about her - that she doesn't have any "It" factor at all but she desperately wants to and I feel like I can see her trying to convince me she is a star every time she performs. I found her utterly forgettable all season (one of those contestants that I would not think about being on the show until she was standing on the stage singing) and think in past seasons with a better talent mix she likely would have been out during the first and second week of live shows if she even made it that far. I also think that the path after Idol  is not an easy one and it requires a ton of work to make something out of a win and I am not sure if she has it in her based on her reaction to the judges offering some very mild criticism after her first song last night. But I guess that is one of the fun things about Idol and Idol message boards - everyone sees and hears something different when they watch the show! 

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9 hours ago, Ladyrain said:
10 hours ago, Diana Berry said:

 She seemed none too happy.  

She (Gabby) all but stomped her foot and yelled "How dare you?!" when the judges didn't slobber all over themselves for her tonight - at least in the beginning.  The wind really was taken out of her little sails. 

Sorry but this made the show for me. I think she does have a decent voice, but as Simon would say, "It so karaoke" - she doesn't have her own sound - she just imitates other people and doesn't do that great of a job of it. She was really pissed when they started telling her the truth.  Oh yeah, and where was her sister she was so excited to see a few weeks ago when they had her show up? She was in not one of the home town shots.

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7 hours ago, sharifa70 said:

And...this week Katy is channeling....Doris Day? Carol Channing?

I thought that it was a Marilyn Monroe wig.  Either way, it was from that general era of Channing, Day,or Monroe.

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7 hours ago, sharifa70 said:

And...this week Katy is channeling....Doris Day? Carol Channing?

I told my husband Carol Channing. lol

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My hope is that Caleb and Gabby split the "country" vote and Maddie ends up winning, but -- echoing what others have already said -- if history has proven anything, then I need to be prepared to not get what I want.  If Maddie doesn't win, then I'm actually indifferent between Caleb and Gabby (who both annoy me for different reasons).

I was thrilled when the judges decided to actually judge, although pretty much too little, too late at this point.  (I wonder why now, though?)  Although perhaps it bodes well for next season.

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Wow, that was EPIC!

Yes, I'm talking about Gabby doing "Don't Stop Believing", a trainwreck that would make Amy Schumer sick with envy.  (Which, considering how little I like Amy Schumer, would make things even better, but still.)  I don't think I've seen anything this bad since Paint Store Lee DeWyze in his "heyday".  (And yes, Gabby fans, he won; I know.)

I mean, at first, when they announced the song, I was like "hmm, that doesn't really seem right for her".  And then she started off by countrifying it, which left me dubious, but which wasn't bad in and of itself.  But then the goat-throat voice took over, and then she lacked the power to do the belty parts justice, even asking the audience to sing it for her, a sure sign of weakness.  (Or do we think she forgot the words there?)  And she was even off-pitch at the end!  A seven-layer cake of bad, with a topping of awful sauce!  Forget Steve Perry, they should have brought on Dan Aykroyd as Leonard Pimph-Garnell to go "utterly wretched! Wonderful!" 

I mean, seriously, that was some bad singing.  (I'm guessing Steve was contractually required to praise her?  Either that or he's gone deaf.)

Oh, and Katy?  Mr. Perry hasn't been "Steve Perry of Journey" since 1997.  Before any of these kids were born.  He may be the most famous Journey vocalist, but he wasn't the first (Gregg Rolie, then Robbie Fleischmann, then Perry, then Steve Augeri, then Arnel Pineda; Pineda's had the job for a decade now and he was the one who sang at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, IIRC) and it doesn't appear as though he's getting the gig back anytime soon, either.  Just so you know.

Caleb was good on the Keith Whitney song, but if you're not Johnny Cash, maybe you shouldn't try to be?  Just a thought, son; just a thought.

Maddie was the star of the evening, right down to her silver glitter eyeshadow for "Landslide".  They're doing a better job of getting her out of her bib overalls, although she's got a way to go before she ever hits "glam".  But I wouldn't want her to turn into Katy, anyhow.

Cool that Caleb got to throw out the first pitch for the Braves.  I guess the Pittsburgh Pirates are too big-time for Gabby, huh?  Burn!  (Or, quite possibly, they were just on the road whenever the visits were happening.  But I noticed the difference.)  Still, IMO the most affecting visit was Maddie's principal re-assembling her graduating class for her.  Even in small-town Iowa, there's probably been some scattering.  Good work, sir.

(And points to ABC for letting Caleb sing "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die".  I wasn't sure that would survive the censors, tbh.  So there's that, at least.  But I still preferred Maddie.)

Edited by Halting Hex
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Was it just me, or did Gabby's homecoming crowd seem a little... small? Especially for a bigger city. I noticed that the edges of the crowd didn't go back very far, and the camera people seemed to compensate for this by keeping everything close -- no wide panning shots like they had for Caleb and Maddie.

Of course, it may just be that people in a bigger city don't care about an American Idol finalist coming to town the way folks in small towns do. I just thought it was interesting that the camera work seemed to be designed to disguise the smaller size of the crowd in Gabby's case.

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