Did you miss one of Colton Dixon’s many TV appearances from this past week? Click below for a video round-up of his interviews & performances!
On Wednesday night, this season’s crop of American Idol contestants took on the classic songs of one Mr. Billy Joel. As much as I would love to report that each contestant did a fabulous job this week, however that was not entirely the case this week.
This week’s episode of Glee, “The First Time,” features the cast covering music from the acclaimed musical West Side Story and the return of the Warblers.
Lea Michele (Rachel) and Darren Criss (Blaine), who on the show are playing Maria and Tony in McKinley High’s production of West Side Story, are highlighted on tracks “Tonight” and “One Hand, One Heart.”
In general, I think that Lea Michele can handle whatever piece of music is thrown her way, so it should be no surprise that she reigns supreme on these two tracks. Over the past couple seasons, listeners have been made aware of just how truly talented she is, and with these songs she packs a one-two punch. And Criss is no slouch, either. His voice comes across strong and pure on both tracks. He demonstrates a lot of vocal control and sounds wonderful in contrast to Michele.
Naya Rivera (Santana), whose character also took part in the production as Anita, also pairs up with Michele this week for a duet. Both singers showcase their strong points during “A Boy Like That.” Michele’s voice ascended to operatic heights during the song, however, I’m going to give the edge to Rivera, who proves she can offer the show so much more than the occasional Amy Winehouse cover. She really captures the drama of that scene between Anita and Maria in her voice and it translates beautifully to the ears.
Rivera’s vocal performance on both “A Boy Like That” and “America” are truly standout moments for her this week. I would go out on a limb and say this is the best she has sounded throughout her entire time on the series. Rivera displays rich vocals that are full of personality and pizazz. These songs allow for the singer to show some range and depth to her voice, which is a joy to listen to.
In this week’s bundle of Glee music from “Grilled Cheesus,” the audience gets to hear the first solos of the season from Glee’s most beloved characters who are not Rachel Berry.
Mark Salling (Puck) has his first big solo of the season with “Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel.
It’s great to hear from Salling so early in the season. However, the Glee vocal coaches should work with him on his vocal vibrato while holding longer notes and try to smooth them out.
Amber Riley (Mercedes) sounds absolutely beautiful singing Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You.” If any of the Glee cast can pull off Whitney, it’s Amber.
Her vocal runs at times felt unnecessary, but overall it’s a very strong vocal from Riley. This song is so much better than anything she sang during season one.
Lea Michele (Rachel) contributes this this week’s recordings with “Papa, Can You Hear Me” from Yentl.
What really can be said about Michele’s voice that hasn’t already been said? This is an absolute stellar recording. Michele has a voice to be reckoned with.
Chris Colfer (Kurt) sings “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles in this week’s recordings.
I absolutely love how Glee chose to rearrange this song. It had such a dramatic feel that really captured the emotions that Colfer’s character was feeling.
Colfer has a really great vocal. I really hope he is featured more this season.
R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” was a great song choice for Cory Monteith (Finn). However, what was not great was having him record it as an attempt to sound like Michael Stipe. Monteith has a great voice, there was no need for the sound-a-like vocal phrasing.
I loved that Amber Riley had two solos this week, but there was so much auto-tune used in her rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” I couldn’t tell if it was Riley or Naya Rivera (Santana) singing the song at first.
The big group number of the week was a rendition of Joan Osbourne’s “One Of Us.”
Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Monteith, Michele and Colfer are the featured vocals on this track. I was really surprised that Salling was not featured on this track, because the song would have fit his voice perfectly.
The cast of Glee sound great altogether. It seems like every week their group numbers are getting better and better.
Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.
Originally posted at BlogCritics.