- Lauren Alaina: Idol = Shania Twain, Song "Any Man of Mine" - You always hate to go first on this show, especially with 13 contestants. You also should think twice about singing "Any Man of Mine" on the Idol stage. Mandisa did it in season 5 and it was her curtain call! Lauren was not very good tonight. And she made sure she did a lot of kissing up to Steven and calling Ryan "Peaches" to make up for it. Hey, I hope she lasts too. She definitely has the Idol look and can appeal to the masses...but that's if she sings well! She seemed out of breath, and even in her pre-performance video she seemed a little hoarse. And what was up with the Doublemint Twins singing behind her? That was creepy! I'm sure Lauren will be fine this week but she needs to step up her game. BTW, you have to love how she slammed other contestants for picking ballads in a not so subtle way. "I tried to do something up tempo, because you know everyone does ballads!" Nice foreshadowing for the night!
- Casey Abrams: Idol = Joe Cocker, Song "With a Little Help From My Friends" (A Beatles song originally, naturally) - The build-up for this had the makings of a true classic for Casey, but he just didn't seem to deliver. Maybe, because he was hyped up to be singing as crazily as Joe Cocker himself would have done, and has done on the Idol stage. Don't get me wrong, he sounded good in the parts when he was singing. But the whole part with the chorus repeating over and over, it just got old really quickly. And yes, I know that's how the song goes. But you have to bring something really special to make that interesting! I thought Casey, at best, did a mediocre impression of Joe Cocker. Which makes me kind of think that this "Sing your Idol's Music Week" idea is not the greatest idea. All of these contestants are going to pale in comparison to their Idols! But whatever. I think Casey will be fine too.
- Ashton "HEH! HEY!" Jones: Idol = Diana Ross, Song "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" - If she does that little "HEY!" between lines of the song any more, I just can't be responsible for what I do next. Ugh, it's so annoying. I'm sure it's like people saying "UM" during public speaking, and she doesn't even realize she's doing it. But she needs to fix it, pronto. Then again, maybe she won't even have the chance to do that. Because this performance was pretty much a snooze fest. Ashton has to drop the "DIVA-TUDE" and get a little younger and hipper with her musical selections. You need to pick songs that will appeal to the masses, and this just isn't one of them. That is all...
- Paul McDonald: Idol = Ryan Adams, Song "Come Pick Me Up" - People are either in Paul's corner or they're 100% in the other direction. I don't think there is an in-between. Well, scratch that, because I may be in between after this one. I really like the guy and I want him to do well. Now, unlike J-Lo, I do know who Ryan Adams is. But I cannot say that I'm fluent in his music. And even if I wasn't, the song wasn't the issue. The song sounded like a really good song. But for the big idol stage with Paul's unique soft raspy voice, it just seemed to get eaten up. And the dancing, well I don't know what to say about it. I love it and I hate it all at the same time. I love it in the sense that, he's one crazy dude and he's having a good time. I hate it in the sense that, THIS is why some of America hates him. I'm sure Paul will be fine this week too, but I would ove to see him slow it down and do a nice ballad one week. That seemed to be where he shined. There must be only certain weeks where they'll be able to use their instruments in performances. That makes things fair I guess.
- Pia Toscano: Idol = Celine Dion, Song "All By Myself" (originally an Eric Carmen Tune) - Well, we were saying last week how she is the 2nd coming of Celine and I believe I mentioned how Idol used to be looking for the next Mariah, Celine, Whitney. So glad Randy didn't let me down in American Idol Season 10: THE REMIX! YO! He brought up that same point but to the fact that Pia actually held her own with Celine's version of the tune. I mean, she sounded JUST like it. At first, I thought she was a little off on the high note, but I think it was because the shortened version didn't allow her to hold that note out as the band played the complimentary chord to make it REALLY soar. (look at me being all technical!) But, if one person shined tonight, it was Pia. But, I have the opposite advice for Pia than I did Paul. She needs to pick things up now. 2 power ballads in a row, it's time to see what else you got! Oh, and the dress. Was she wearing a CAPE?! That was kind of nuts.
- James Durbin: Idol = Paul McCartney, Song "Maybe I'm Amazed" - Yet another song that repeats the same lyrics over and over again. I actually didn't think James was too bad tonight. So that's 2 weeks in a row where he has been slightly less annoying than I anticipated. I still hear an unmistakable similarity between his voice and Adam Lambert's voice (just a little less razzle dazzle to James's demeanor). And hey, NO SCARF TAIL this week! Just an American Flag vest while singing an Englishman's song!
- Haley Reinhart: Idol = LeAnn Rimes, Song "Blue" - Well how could you go wrong with the producing duo ROCK MAFIA helping you out!? Bizarre. Anyway, something about Haley just really gets on my nerves. I can't even pinpoint it. She has a great voice minus the weird facial expressions and the over-growling. Add this week, the YODELING! HUH?! She sounded like 1930's Tarzan swinging through the vines with some of those notes jumping all over the place. I just don't know about her.
- Jacob Lusk: Idol = R. Kelly, Song "I Believe I Can Fly" - The best part of this whole segment was seeing Jacob from back in the day when SPACE JAM came out and he had a crazy flat top, Kid n' Play style! But seriously, dude, your idol is R. Kelly? You may need some different inspirations in life! Once I heard that, I knew he was going to believe he could fly. He wouldn't be remixing to ignition (love that song!). Anyway, of course the judges were going to rave about Jacob. And how could you not with that crazy voice and that crazy range? Well, I'm not going to. I thought he got WAY too high with it and he stayed there way too long. It's like he inhaled helium to HELP him fly. He has a deep and powerful voice. He doesn't need to be doing those theatrics to prove anything. Stick to the ground next time Jacob.
- Thia Megia: Idol = Michael Jackson, Song "Smile"(Originally a Charlie Chaplin song) - Now we get into the weird segment where every ballad had to transform into something peppier! Thia has a great voice too and you could hear that throughout the performance. But why on earth did they pick it up into some Jazz fest tune in the middle? It did not sound good at all! And may I take this opportunity to say that I miss Ricky Minor and the band! They went some new direction with the band this year and it definitely sounds noticeable. Poor Thia was seen crying back stage hoping for another chance. Awww, look at American Idol editing the show to make people feel bad! (it worked!)
- Stefano Langone: Idol = Stevie Wonder, Song "Lately" - Here we go again. Song starts off decently enough and then turns into DISCO FEVER by the end. What on Earth did these producers tell the contestants?! Were they worried it was too many ballads so they had to pick up the pace? Anyway, Stefano has a great voice, but it just sounded bizarre for me. The judges seemed to like it so maybe all of you out there did too!
- Karen Rodriguez: Idol = Selena (of course), Song "I Could Fall in Love With You" - I could fall asleep on YOU! After Karen's bilingual disaster last week, it came as no surprise that her Idol is Selena who happened to be portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in the movie. Convenient? Doubtful. Well, kissing up to the judge didn't do her any favors this week. The performance was a train wreck. Showing us that you have a creepy Selena Barbie Doll collection just made it worse! I really didn't think she was good last week, so this week didn't surprise me either. She could be a threat for the bottom.
- Scotty McCreery: Idol = Garth Brooks, Song "The River" - It's tough not to like this guy! He picked a good song and he sang it as best as he could. He has that great country twang. But, he also got drowned out by the band. Yes, he was opening up to the crowd as J-Lo suggested. And he still is a big favorite with the people out there. Especially in the Country Western part of the country, right Steven? I don't feel Scotty is in an danger of leaving any time soon but I just hope he evolves a bit as the show goes on.
- Naima Adedapo: Idol = Rihanna, Song "Umbrella" - I really thought with this being the last performance of the night that she was really going to do something special with it. And NEWSFLASH! Another disaster! Pitch was all over the place. Newsflash: Jennifer Lopez does not care about Pitch on a singing competition! The dancing was ridiculous, the Jamaican breakdown was bizarre. No fear, Randy wants more of it! Ugh, where is SIMON!?!?!?! The judges were pretty much a love fest tonight and I think Simon would have helped with his analogies of Cats falling off skyscrapers and what not. I must say though, Steven has Paula down to a tee! I'm going to have to start writing down his crazy critiques. Back to Naima, what was up with her saying she "OVERstands" instead of understands? Did she think that was witty? Wouldn't OVERSIT have been better? (Oh don't worry, I know it's really bad but look who I'm competing with for Laughs!) I had seen before the show on Twitter that the dial up number was going to be 36 to avoid the stigma of the number 13. Hmmmm....who is really going to remember to dial 36??? And especially with a performance like that? Man, can you imagine the fallout if Naima gets sent packing after having a disadvantage with the phone number? Whew, I'm actually starting to hope it happens!
I really did not have many great things to say about most of them, did I? It was a mess of a night. People are entitled to disagree with me, but I just wasn't feeling it and hope for MAJOR improvements next week. Well, we still need to figure out who is going home so let's get to it.
Safe this week: Pia
Weren't Awful: Scotty, Casey, Paul, Lauren, Jacob, James
Good voices outside of bad arrangements: Stefano, Thia
Totally Weird: Haley
Total Disasters: Ashton, Naima, Karen
Bottom 3: Ashton Jones, Naima Adedapo, Karen Rodriguez Bonus Pick: Lauren Alaina
Elimination Pick: Ashton Jones
I was going to go with Karen, but then I remember Jennifer Lopez pleading and begging and hoping Karen stays because she has one of the best female voices in the competition. I'm still waiting to hear it! I put Lauren as a Bonus pick because she had the disadvantage of going first and she wasn't very memorable. But, I think the 3 wildcards that got in are really the most vulnerable (didn't include Stefano in the list above). None of them really blew anyone away this week. And Ashton was the one that gave us more of the same. And I just don't think it was good enough. So hopefully, I'm right!
Anyway, I can't believe I got that many words out of a bad performance night. I don't have much more in me so I will bid adieu! Can't make any promises on a results show recap but we'll see how things go tomorrow (or even Friday if I can post something real quick). 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!