What was your favorite song of the 90s? Well this week, the Sing For Your Life Top 8 contestants gave us a reason to reminisce. However, the pressure to impress became even more intense when they were blindsided by a surprise double elimination. Check out which contestants rose to the challenge and which ones got stuck in the past.
Indie- “Waterfalls” by TLC
At first it seemed that Indie was making fun of the genre, which felt inappropriate, but also appropriate for her ‘Killed-the-popstar’ persona. After hearing what the judges/mentors had to say about her day-to-day, consistently positive attitude towards the competition, it became clear that she was really just having fun with the theme. She appeared somewhat uncomfortable behind the piano to start with, including a hesitation in the very beginning, but pulled it together after the first chorus. While the rap was somewhat cheesy, it fit the performance like a glove and the crowd was happy that she nailed it. Throwing in some killer vocals made this a show not soon to be forgotten.
Josette- “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia
Josette turned out her most relevant “recording artist” performance yet. Being known as the resident showgirl, JL Rodriguez was impressed with her ability to command the stage despite her everyday “no frills” look that she rocked. Her obvious emotional connection shined through as she growled out the last chorus, not bothering to make it overly pretty despite her ability to do so. The refreshing part of Josette is that she doesn’t get bogged down in the fact that her voice isn’t the biggest or prettiest. She comes out and puts on the best show possible and is, on average, more entertaining and engaging than most of her competition. There is no shame in playing to your strengths.
Sarah Elizabeth Peavey- “The Freshmen” by The Verve Pipe
This was a good song choice and played well to some of the softer qualities to Sarah’s voice, including her beautiful falsetto. Barry Brandon raved about her vocal acrobatics. While there were no arguments on that, a couple of the judges pointed out that she lacked some audience connection, which is probably due to the music being too loud in the beginning. I would like to see a little more control going from the upper register to the lower, but that is just being nit-picky. Peavey came out looking hot in her 90’s Grunge ensemble and gave a solid performance.
Adam Horne- “All For You” by Sister Hazel
Adam Horne has definitely shown us his musical abilities, but he missed the mark on this night. Michael Robinson said that he really liked Adam’s energy but the band was the best part. Horne chose to stay true to the arrangement and Barry Brandon felt it sounded too much like the original artist. It was a clunky, karaoke style performance that lacked the artistry of Adam’s past performances. His shtick is singer/songwriter and it is clear that he shines brightest when playing his own arrangements.
Matty Barbato- “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal
This was a risky song choice and a true test for Matty. Barry Brandon felt it was a strong vocal, but said it lacked artistry and sounded like a singer covering someone else’s song. Well… it was a singer covering someone else’s song, but making some interesting choices that strayed from the original completely. Vocal artistry is still artistry. With that said, it did get a little weird on the bridge. JL Rodriguez stood by it and seemed very pleased. Overall, the voice was there, but it lacked some of the magic from his previous two performances. It would still be nice to see Matty pick up the tempo and have some fun on stage.
Amy Dixon- “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears
I was super excited to hear Amy Dixon’s take on this 90’s pop diva’s debut hit, but in all honesty I think I would have rather heard Britney ACTUALLY sing it herself. I am a huge fan of Dixon, but this bubblegum-pop-song turned ballad fell short. It supposedly sounded better in rehearsal, which is believable considering what a genius she has been in the past. There were some microphone feedback problems that couldn’t have helped. Either way, it didn’t come together. The judges gave her a love fest with only JL pointing out some of the pitch issues. Barry even dared to say he thought she would be the night’s fan favorite.
Chari- “You Mean the World to Me” by Toni Braxton
Chari, Chari, Chari… please, never stop singing. This was another great song choice and another AMAZING vocal performance. Barry Brandon did, however, make a great point. It would have rocked my 90’s world if she had busted out some “Unbreak My Heart.” We did get a little taste of it per his request, so thanks for that one Barry. Chari continues to grow weekly and the SFYL crowd loves her. JL wants to see her test her limits. Bring it on Chari! We want more and more and more…..
Amber Renee- “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak
Ok…. I’ll be the one to say it. When the curtains opened and I saw Amber’s leg jutting out across a couch surrounded by this beautiful red fabric from her dress, all I could think about was Angelina Jolie’s leg bomb on the red carpet. It looked awkward. Somewhat distracting visual aside, Amber gave the best performance of the evening by a mile. The song was right in the sweet spot of her voice and had guest judge Bill Kaelin wanting to download the single. “Every week you have been good. I dare to say tonight… you were perfect,” proclaimed Michael Robinson.
The Danger Zone
Amber Renee’s chilling performance landed her in the #1 spot, winning her a one-night stay at the W Hotel in Midtown as well as dinner for two at Spice Market. With the double elimination curveball, three of the top eight found themselves singing for their lives. The two remaining guys, Adam and Matty, were on the chopping block along with Amy Dixon. Adam started things off by singing an original song. Matty countered with a powerful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Amy Dixon pulled out Kelley Clarkson’s “Miss Independent”, and despite missing some rather important notes, convinced the judges that this was now a ladies competition. Both Matty and Adam were sent home. There was some talk about a Wild Card spot opening for one of the fallen contestants, so perhaps there is still some hope for a male competitor. Stay tuned, and join us next week at Jungle for the Valentine’s Day edition of Sing For Your Life, complete with a Love Song and Duets theme. Ooo-la-la!