Thing to say upfront - I'm sort of tone-deaf. This means I can't differentiate between similar notes unless they're played one right after the other, and often not even then, and I cannot reproduce them.
However, I can tell if someone is grossly off. It has to be bad, but if it is, I can tell.
It also means that for me to enjoy a song, I have to know or hear the words.
I still like it if someone rocks.
So, last night was dreadful for me. First of all, I knew exactly one of the songs. And that one was "Drops of Jupiter." Which, yeah, is stfnal enough for me to appreciate, but Ace wasn't great. He was pretty. He does pretty very well, but pretty shouldn't be enough.
Then - things got confusing. Because I didn't know the songs, and often not the singers, I had no basis for comparison, and a performance I liked would be called "bad" or "karaoke" by the only judges I could stand to listen to. And a performance I heard as *awful* - screechy and loud and off-tune - was called "the best so far" and "almost like [the original singer]."
Yeah. Katharine. I'm not familiar with the song, but I have heard Cristina sing other songs and she's not screechy (I'll never forget her a capella performance on SNL - just her, no music (well, yeah), no back-up singers. No tricks. Just pure voice. I couldn't help thinking, "Take that, Britney.") This was unbearable.
But I am tone-deaf and the judges are not.