Hello Idol fanatics! We're back. And what a difference a week makes! I guess Motown week usually brings out the best in contestants. Everyone knows the songs, and people can really showcase their voices with them. There really is not one contestant I can point to this week and say they were horrible. No, I think the ones that will be in danger are the ones that are forgettable or unlikable. (i.e. the usual suspects) But, I will do my standard ritual of talking about each contestant individually before declaring my results! Let's dive on in!
- Casey Abrams - "Heard it Through the Grapevine" - Finally, Casey showed us he can actually sing! When I saw him all dressed up I thought we'd be in for the standup bass tonight and a "Casey-ized" version of "Grapevine". While it was jazzed up a little bit, it was just Casey roaming the stage with a string section following him. It was a major improvement from last week and I think he'll be safe to move on to next week. I do want to see him tone it down a bit still, bring out that upright bass and give the crowd the blues for all the right reasons!
- Thia Mega - "Heat Wave" - Any time I hear that someone is going to do this song I think of Kimberly Locke back in season 2 with the big flames behind her and always dread that we'll see that awful flaming background yet again. The Idol stage team finally did away with those thankfully. For most of the song I was impressed with Thia's voice. She picked an upbeat song and she was singing well. Nothing really stood out about it, until......the middle of the song. She start doing some "oohs and ahs" and started looking around and then started singing the middle of a chorus and then we realized, "oh she totally forgot the words!!" Of course, maybe not everyone noticed that she messed up half of the song's lyrics because certainly the judges weren't paying attention. They had already prepared their critiques after listening to the first half of the song (or maybe even the dress rehearsal). Not one of them critiqued her on forgetting the words. And no one may have EVER known about her forgetting the words until this recap if Thia didn't bring attention to it herself in the POST performance interview. OOPS! Granted, it's probably the only thing she had going on in her head the whole time so when she got off stage she just blurted it out to the cameras! So, 2 performances in, I thought Thia MIGHT be fine. 9 performances after her, yeah, it might not be looking good for her. Definitely bottom 3. We'll see if she goes home.
- Jacob Lusk - "You're All I Need to Get By" - Well, I just thought she did a fabulous job!! Okay okay!! Kidding! Well, he really did do a good job, and I was HALF kidding about the she part. Jacob was able to sorta tone down the feminine tendencies that he has. And besides him having to adjust his jacket in mid performance after he raised his arms up, I can't really find many flaws. The dude went with my advice (or Jimmy Iovine's advice too I guess). I suggested he tone it down and only bring out the big guns in small portions to make it more effective. That's what he did and he soared with it. I love how Randy complimented him on doing that but his earlier critiques were that Jacob should ALWAYS be over the top! Way to contradict yourself ex-Dawg! (you know, because he purposefully doesn't say it now)
- Lauren Alaina - "You Keep Me Hanging On" - I think Lauren has really stepped it up the past couple of weeks after a couple iffy performances prior. She was recovering from the flu last week and did pretty good. This week was even better. The wife and J-Lo both told me she was looking fabulous. I have to be careful because of the age difference so just note that I personally said nothing about it! I think Lauren has a strong fan base and will be "hanging on" for awhile. (ahhhh how many bloggers do you think used THAT little play on words this week?)
- Stefano Langone - "Hello" - After last week, I felt like Stefano could be a real sleeper in this competition. He really does have an amazing voice and it was on display again tonight. But he's getting to be a little on the ballad-heavy side. The judges said he needs to connect with the vocals. I thought he was fine, but there's always room for improvement. Another guy that does not need to worry this week.
- Haley Reinhart - "You Really Got a Hold on Me" - UGH, her again!? She is still here? Let me just ask you one question. Who wears short shorts? Oh right, Haley does! What on earth was THAT attire? And thus, the growling and howling and prowling continued. When they were replaying the performances at the end of the night I was thinking "Casey, oh yeah he was pretty good. Thia...yeah might be a little forgettable, Jacob...yup keep that jacket pulled down, Lauren....nice job! Stefano...HELLO! Haley...." I just started laughing. How can anyone take this girl seriously? ROOOOWLLL!!!! YOu REAAAAHHWWWLY Got a hooooooOOOOOooooOOOOOoooOOOOooooOOLDD oOOOOoooOOOOnn MEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee. UGH....put her out of her misery! Yes, she can carry a tune but she is causing us all torment! Please, end it now!
- Scotty McCreery - "For Once in My Life" - How can anyone not like this kid? Even I was thinking at the end, "that is just too darn cute!" The 3 point shot from the Idol Mansion has to give him some street cred too. (though, how many times do you think he took that shot before he made it?) But Scotty keeps churning out the tunes. And no, he doesn't have the strongest voice in the competition but it sure is distinct. That low voice is so nice, I agree with J-Lo. And his high's aren't bad either. He definitely countrified his song convincingly. I have a feeling that he is very very popular amongst Idol voters. So popular, that there might be backlash eventually if he starts staying in longer than really powerful singers. In any case, Scotty has a record deal in Nashville waiting for him. And I still maintain that he'll be singing with Josh Turner at the finale, and then everyone can see what an established low voiced country crooner sounds like. That dude is crazy good.
- Pia Toscano - "All in Love is Fair" - So, I'm sitting on the couch, staring at the TV in absolute awe of Pia's performance. What an amazing voice, what amazing control, how can anyone top this girl? And then out of the silence my wife says, "nice fake pony tail." WHAAAT!?!?!? So, naturally, that's all I remember now. But she did agree that Pia is amazing. There just isn't anything else to say. I totally agree with the judges. It's time for her to step it up. She probably showed in earlier rounds (pre-taped) that she could really rock the stage, but we have not seen it on the live shows yet. So, it's time to bust it out!
- Paul McDonald - "Tracks of My Tears" - Well well well, what did I suggest for Paul last week? Stop dancing around the stage, pick up your guitar and tone it down. He certainly did that! Now, the performance is immediately going to draw comparisons to Adam Lambert's very memorable performance of the same song on the Idol Stage. (As not the biggest Glambert fan, I have admitted that this was his best performance and one of the best ever) So what can I say about Paul? It's still the same thing. You either like him or you don't. His voice is not the strongest in the competition, but it's distinct and good for what he wants it to be. I could probably go to a Paul McDonald concert and have a blast listening to him. He was really feeling the music and rocking it on stage doing his thing. But in a singing competition, people might look at him and just say "this guy's voice is awful!" It doesn't help him when he is placed right after Pia whose voice is ridiculous and in another stratosphere. That all being said, I think Paul made the right move and did great for the artist that he is. Now, it's just a question of how long America will tolerate him on the show. Could he be in the bottom 3 this week? Maybe, but I'm not sure he deserves it.
- Naima Adedapo - "Dancing in the Street" - So you think you can sing? WELL THEN STOP DANCING! You're on the wrong show! Naima is another contestant who has already destroyed my enjoyment of her beyond repair. Sure, she sang a lot better this week. But once I heard she was going to bust out the African Dance in the song, I already dreaded the entire performance. I kept wondering after each phrase "when is it going to come?" And when it finally got there, I thought the Idol roof was going to collapse and rain was going to pour in. Either that or Naima's head was going to start spinning Exorcist style. What on Earth was that and why was it on my television!?!? I'm sorry if I'm insulting someone's culture or whatever, but there is a time and place for it and it is NOT in a singing competition. I'm done.
- James Durbin - "Living For the City" - Well, James had nowhere to go but up after last week's Bon Jovi debacle. He certainly improved this week with the Stevie Wonder classic. He worked the stage, he did a little back step dance (not deterring from the SINGING! Big difference, Naima!) and he sang well. Yeah, the high notes can get a little irritating after awhile, but he hit them all and he sounded good. Not my favorite performer, but he is probably going to be in this thing for awhile and deservedly so.
Honestly, I really have no idea who is going to win this year. There is a plethora of talent (if only they had a plethora of piñatas to go with all of the talent!) I'm sure it will get easier as time goes on. But, it must be said that the talent in this year's finals is SO much better than last year's disaster. And with that, I guess it's time to get to the picks.
Who was good? Most of them
Danced too much? Naima
May never be everyone's favorite? Paul
Bottom 3 Picks: Thia Megia, Haley Reinhart, Paul McDonald Wildcard: Naima Adedapo
Elimination Pick: Haley Reinhart - Don't even care if I'm wrong. I can't stand the girl. Knowing she has been in the bottom 3 twice now means that no one is too desperate to vote extra and save her. She is an acquired taste that no one wants to acquire. Time to go home!
It could easily be Thia too. Messing up the lyrics, going so early, people may just not vote for her because so many others impressed. It could easily be someone I didn't mention too. Someone everyone assumes will be safe and just ends up getting eliminated. I think it's too early for that to happen though. With people like Haley hanging out, I think everyone else can still feel safe. We shall see!
That's all I have for tonight folks. As always, I cannot guarantee I'll recap the elimination show. But as promised, last week I did add comments to the performance recap with my thoughts on the elimination. So, I will do the same if I can't get around to it. Stay tuned. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings, can't wait to hear yours and I'll see you when I see you!
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I've been recapping any and all TV over at the TV Addicts Blog (www.tvaddictsblog.com). Mainly The Event, Fringe and The Walking Dead. Occasionally, I'll comment on other shows I'm watching. I'm already looking ahead to some other returning shows this spring as well as some potentially big shows in Fall 2011. Keep tuning in and join the discussions!