*Disclaimer: Lyrics by Bernie Taupin on "Elton John Night" Oh...and this show was brought to you by Coca Cola, NOT Pepsi Mr. Durbin and your Michael Jackson reference! Don't you forget who is paying for your flaming piano! (no pun intended, being Elton John night and all)
- Scotty McCreary - "Country Comfort" - Well, I've said it before. I think eventually the country may turn on Scotty. But, I don't think this week will be the week. But, I think I am going to have to start the criticism this week. First of all he's showing his age if he thinks he has to pick a song with the word "Country" in it to make it Country. Lauren, same age, proved you don't have to do that. As Jimmy said, most of Elton's music is easy to countrify. Country music tells stories. Elton tells stories. It's perfect. Anyways...Scotty was fine and his shout out to his grandma in the pre-recorded clip and the live performance sealed the deal for him this week. His singing was good if a little bit sub-par. The final low note was off but it won't matter. Just judging my my wife's reaction, she still loves the guy and he can do no wrong. I'm going to guess that much of the SOUTH will feel the same way and will keep dialing, texting and Facebooking Scotty to the Top 9. I still like the guy too, but he needs to step up his game a little if he wants to compete. There's only so much cushion left before the people will start to turn!
- Naima Adedapo - "I'm Still Standing" - Speaking of that cushion! UGH, how awful was this? Complete with fake reggae accent? WHO DOES THAT? Let's start with the fact that I have absolutely no interest in Naima succeeding on this show. Let's continue with the fact that she goes out of our way for us to dislike her even more! The song was ridiculous. The reggae-ising of one of the tune just didn't work. And when watching the recap at the end of the show, I just laughed my way through her clips. BOTTOM 3 and if I have my way she'll be gone.
- Paul McDonald - "Rocket Man" - "Y'all Ready?" and then we were. You have to love Paul's demeanor while performing. This is his bread and butter. Keep things toned down and just play and sing with that unique and soft voice. It was a beautiful performance. He definitely didn't reach for the all important high notes in "Rocket Man" though. TIMELESS FLIGHT. You gotta go for that. Even I can hit that Paul! I think Paul said he couldn't hit them TODAY so maybe his voice wasn't up to snuff tonight. But he found ways to work around it. I'm not going to say Paul stood out as much as later performers but I enjoyed his performance and hope that he outlasts some of the consistent under-performers! And you gotta love that crazy suit! Definitely fitting for Elton night.
- Pia Toscano - "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" - So, I've gotten this far into this season's Idol blogging and have yet to tell the story of my wife and I auditioning for the American Idol experience in Disney last December. When I made it through the first round, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down" was one of the songs I choosed to sing for Audition #2. (Bohemian Rhapsody being the other one) The guy told me I was good but they filled their "Rock Guy" quota for the day. Never saw myself as a ROCKER, but whatever! My wife made it to the performance though! That southern country charm wins them over every time. She was great! Anyways, to PIA.
She actually had the same arrangement of the song that I auditioned with so I found that comical. But WOA....PIA is still amazing. No one holds a candle to her in the vocal department. I mean CRAZY CRAZY good. Yes yes, robotic, too many ballads, shmallads. She's awesome guys. Don't kid yourselves. I will argue until the day she is booted off the show that there is someone who won American Idol with good looks, an amazing voice and many many people talking about her robotical performances. Do you know who that is? Only the biggest selling Idol artist (self-proclaimed by Simon Cowell) to come out of the show. Miss Carrie Underwood. There is something to be said about seeing these "undiscovered talents" get groomed through the Idol process and even go on to get even more polished. I think Pia came out of her shell even more this week and promised a more upbeat song next week. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt. With a voice that amazing, she isn't going anywhere any time soon. And it is definitely hers to lose. And I'm not counting that possibility out.
- Stefano Langone - "Tiny Dancer" - Yes yes Phoebe the TONY DANZA song! "Hold me close young Tony Danza" Ironically, and the Mrs pointed this out to me, Stefano sure does look like a young Tony Danza! Anyway, I'll admit that I got distracted during Stefano's performance and was talking about Tony Danza too much trying to figure out who really WAS the boss?! But from what I heard I thought he sounded really good. Seemed like he took Jimmy Iovine's advice to heart and connected with the audience and felt his inner Elton come out (seriously, no pun intended). I don't think he was the greatest performer of the night but he was good. Good enough after being in the bottom 3 last week? I hope so, because there were 2 that were dreadful!
- Lauren Alaina - "Candle in the Wind" - Yes, Mr. Seacrest, Candle in the Wind IS the biggest selling single ever, but not the version Lauren sang. It's the version that was performed at Princess Di's funeral. But that didn't change the fact that Lauren really came into her own tonight. The song was perfect for her and she just knocked it out of the park. Beautifully sung ballad and showed her true star power. Enough power to win it all? We may have thought so all those weeks ago. I guess there's an outside chance it could happen, but I'm not going to declare that right now. She needs to string together a few more hits like this. A few more head turners. But, I'm definitely past being disgusted with her because of Nigel's tweets promoting her as the next greatest thing. She is very good and I liked deciding that on my own. And we must discuss the dress for a second. The Skirt Cape that she had on was hysterical, but not nearly as funny as Steven Tyler's best line yet on the live shows. If she keeps singing as good as this she'll be able to "afford the rest of that dress." CLASSIC!
- James Durbin - "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" - Okay, let's get ONE Glambert comparison out of the way. When he said "I love putting on make-up" I immediately thought of Adam Lambert telling the world that he loves to play "dress up" and wanting to gag myself! But I can not say one bad thing about Mr. Durbin's performance tonight. OUTSTANDING is the word that comes to mind. The song requires a lot of pizazz and a lot of rocking. He started off up in the rafters, came down to the stage for the start of the chorus and then did a tour around the orchestra seats all to end up on top of the piano and cueing the piano to light on FIRE! Pure entertainment, all the while staying in tune and singing fabulously. This guy is an entertainer and that goes a long way. Amazing how annoying he was before the live performances and how he as grown on at least me. Definitely a front runner to stay in this competition for the long haul as well. BRAVO James.
- Thia Megia - "Daniel" - The minute I heard Thia was doing this I could see those red tail lights leaving L.A. Don't get me wrong (I'm saying that a lot aren't I?), "Daniel" is one of my favorite Elton John songs and I love singing and playing it on the piano. But having 15 year old Thia sing it I just knew what we were in for. And hey, isn't the song about LOSING SOMEONE from the Earthly realm? Not losing someone who has flown across the country? I can understand that Thia took the song at face value because she could identify with her brother skipping town. But yikes, talk about making the song a little less impactful! Okay, my bad, it's about a blind Vietnam War Vet. But still! Here's the difference between doing ballads every week and blowing everyone away vs. doing ballads every week and putting the audience to sleep. And what was up with that arrangement? Those crazy drums? I'm sure they were thinking "Okay band, Thia is not going to help us at all and we need to pep this song up!!!" I promised I would never use this expression but #EpicFail!!! It might be time to WAVE GOODBYE Thia just like we could see Daniel doing.
- Casey Abrams - "Your Song" - New Beard, New Look, New Outlook on life. Casey finally got to business on this one. Man, I love Elton John's music. "Your Song" is such an awesome song and Casey really really nailed it. I felt every word of what he was singing. You could tell he was really focused on giving a fantastic performance and he did it. Just enough CRAZY Casey in there with some screamy notes (all in good pitch) but most of the song soft with some nice runs and great emotion. Perfect Casey performance. He should be in no danger this week.
- Jacob Lusk - "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" - It's starting to happen, at least for me. I'm getting worn out on Jacob, folks! I just couldn't digest it tonight. It's all starting to sound the same every week. And let me be the first to say that he really can't pull off the untied bow-tie look. It just looked like a sloppy half-dressed clown or something. Sure, the judges praised it. Sure, he sounded great with the great big voice again. But UGH, I don't know. I can't really explain it more than I have. Just redundant. He needs to try something different. But hey, great job meeting Mary J. Blige, I guess.
- Haley Reinhart - "Bennie and the Jets" - Ugh, once I heard she was going last I knew we were in for a good performance from her. Who knew "Bennie" would end up being the absolute perfect song for her style? She really was great and it pains me to say it. The growling fit the song and her high raspy notes fit it great too. Can she possibly turn me into a Haley fan? It's just one performance folks, it would take a lot more than that! But, I sure do like an underdog story! What would be more of an underdog story than turning a complete hater into her biggest fan? It would be amazing, but I don't see it happening just yet.
So there it is. Pretty good show! I have no idea who all 3 of the bottom 3 will be but know with 99% certainty who 2 of them will be. So let's figure it out.
Completely Safe: Pia, Lauren, Casey, James, Haley
Completely Unsafe: Thia, Naima
Most Likely Safe: Scotty
I hope is safe: Paul
Who did I leave out?: Jacob and Stefano
Bottom 3: Thia Megia, Naima Adedapo, Stefano Langone Wildcard: Paul McDonald
Elimination Picks: Naima and Thia - America, please save us from these 2 ever hurting our ears again! Let Naima know she should stop standing and let's watch Thia wave goodbye!
I just don't see how else this could go down. I guess there could be a shocker and Paul and Stefano may go home, but really. If there is any justice in the world it would be the 2 I picked. I feel like usually after a shocking elimination show things are a little less surprising the next week. So, it seems like things should go our way!
Prepare your Fast Forward buttons for Thursday night's show folks. In keeping true with the Elton John Week theme, they're bringing in Fantasia and Will.i.am.
Did you piece that together? Yep, me either. Makes absolutely no sense. And what is up with their love for the Black Eyed Peas dude? 2 results shows? SERIOUSLY!? And Craptasia? When will they learn that she is just no good!? Anyway, that's all I have for tonight folks. As always we'll see if I have time for a results show recap or else tune into the comments here for my reactions. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I'll see you when I see you!
Check Out My New Blog!
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!