Spencer J's Tampa Recap

Part 1

Mandisa was strong tonight, although the Ruben thing is a little weird to me.  And, I could have lived without her “follow your dreams and dream big” speech.  But, a nice gesture I guess.

Ace & Mandisa’s duet is nice.  And, whoever it was who said they were surprised Ace harmonized so well, I second that.

The girls most definitely love Ace.  His set was good.

Lisa and Paris are both such teeny tiny little girls.  Lisa’s set is adequate and Paris does a little too much booty shaking for my tastes.  But, they were definitely entertaining.  The choreography they do on Waterfalls is pretty amateur hour, but the youngsters like it.

Bucky has the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen.  He is incredibly sweet to the crowd.  I did not notice any mass exodus during his set.

Chris is really great to see live.  I wasn’t a huge Chris fan during the season, although I liked him, but tonight he convinced me that he has whatever “IT” is that’s necessary to pull off a successful career.  As I mentioned, he got his fair share of Tampa Love.  His duet with E is all that you’ve heard about and more.  They are both utterly fantastic during that song.

I love E’s voice, and he did not disappoint tonight.  He had a VERY good crowd reaction.  A whole big chunk of Tampa is surely on the E-Train.

And, it should be mentioned that the Patience thing is awesome.  Each of them brings their own special quality to it, and you can see the camaraderie between them all.  It’s a real high point of the night.

Kat is gorgeous, that is for sure.  I am however under whelmed by her.  But, I bet Dani wasn’t, so you may want to wait for her take on that part.

Ahh, the moment I was waiting for …..  Taylor gave us a bunch of good stuff tonight.  We got the dancing, the harmonic, and the tambourine.  I also agree that he looks much younger and much more handsome in person.  Oh and yes on the gel.  I really don’t have words for how much I liked his performance.  I just know I’ll be the first one in line for his CD and his solo tour tickets.  If we’re still measuring the clap-o-meter, Taylor’s crowd response was off the charts.

Part II

Okay, here’s the fun stuff about being in the front row:

During Mandisa’s first song, a small person in a white (maybe gray?) hoodie comes down through the aisle between the stage and the gate that is in front of us.  This person sits on a small bench right in front of me and proceeds to sway and bop to the music.  I lean over to my friend and say “I got a hundred bucks on that being Pickler”.  So, during Lisa’s set, the girl next to me leans over the gate and says “Hey Kelly”.  She looks up and smiles, giving a thumbs up sign.  We all tell her that we hope she fells better and then basically just leave her be to enjoy watching her friends.  Which she does.  She’s very into it all, and each of them gives her a smile as they come out.  During Bucky’s first song, the security guy comes to get her and that’s the last we see of her.

So, onto the second half… We let two little girls from the row behind us stand in front of us at the gate.  They were in heaven.  One was a Pickler fan, the other a Bucky fan.  For the second half, Ace’s brother sat on the little bench in front of the gate and videotaped.  That my friends in the video we need to get our hands on.  He also turned around and talked to the little girls.  Very sweet.  Oh, and yes he’s good looking.

When Bucky was out for patience, the little Bucky fan waved to him and he waved back twice.  During the group song, when they all came out to shake hands with the crowd Ace leaned over as far as he could to shake the hands of the two little girls in front of me and smile that megawatt smile at them.  He actually missed one of them on the first go round and came back to her.  Just a great guy.  Bucky also came by to give a handshake to his little Bucky fan who thought she’d died and gone to heaven.

Then, for the last group song, Bucky came by again and looked right at her and aimed a guitar pick at her.  I had been trying to get his attention for her so he sort of looked at me like “catch this for her”.  I was thinking “oh god – I can’t catch anything”  No eye hand coordination.  But, I tried my best and alas…. It fell on the floor.  Luckily right by foot!  I picked it up and gave it to my new little seat mate who’s name I still do not know and she was so happy I almost cried.  Bucky gave a big smile when he realized she got it.  I also noticed him give one to someone else further left of us in the front.

Needless to say, I can confirm that both Bucky and Ace love their fans and especially the kids.  I saw it with my own two eyes and it was great.

As a side note – the front few rows were most definitely made up of Soul Patrollers tonight (including me!) and he gave us a lot of love as well.  I’ll swear on a stack of bibles that he looked me right in the eye at least twice.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

And, when Dani's recap tells you that Kat laughed and had a good time during LIA with the rest of the gang and that they seemed to all respond well to her, I will completely back that up. Some of us may not be her number one fans, but it appears that of at least the ones I saw interact with her, her fellow contestants have no hard feelings.