Wednesday, April 27, 2011

American Idol Season 10 - Top 6 Perform

Hello American Idol fanatics!  Welcome to Carole King night!  I know, we all dreaded it when the name was mentioned.  Don't get me wrong, she has written some amazing songs over a 50 year career but a whole night of her songs?  Yikes, that's a tall order.  The night didn't turn out to be too bad in the end though.  Not sure if all the kiddies out there will have loved it but it was an enjoyable night of music for me.  Of course, not without some low points!  So there are 6 contestants left and if you followed the discussions in the comments last week, you'll know that most of the people reading/commenting are are on the same page with who we think the frontrunners are.  So, it's just a matter of trimming the fat at this point.  Granted, there may still be a few shockers along the way, but I personally don't believe it's going to happen this week.  And hey, if there's any week where I can feel confident about my picks, it's the week after I throw a perfect game with a perfect bottom 3 call and elimination pick of Stefano!!   Seriously though, that's all I'll brag about it.  It wasn't that tough to call last week!   Anyway, let's get into the recap!

The Duets

We already figured FOX would find a way to keep the 1.5 hour shows going and they did so by throwing some duets at us tonight.  I don't think any of the duets did anything to bring more votes in for them so it was just filler to me.  But I'll give some short reviews of those.  The duet I remember most from recent seasons was Allison Iraheta and Adam Lambert doing "Slow Ride" 2 seasons ago.   Now THAT had the power to advance Allison for a couple more weeks.  Such a shame that Danny Gokey made it further than her!  Oh well, let's get to this year's duets:

  1. Haley and Casey performing "Is there something going on off camera?"  - okay no really they were doing "I Feel the Earth Move".   There have been rumors that these 2 are a having a bit of a fling off camera though, and that could definitely be implied by their interviews.  Anyway, like I said earlier the performance was just a bit blah for me.  Haley sounded better than Casey, but not THAT much better.  So I'm done talking about it! 
  2. Lauren and Scotty performed "Up on the Roof" teaming up for the 3rd time.  They actually sounded better than they had on their last 2 duets.  They actually worked out a bit of a melody.  Plus, this was just after both of them had very good solo performances so it was nice to see them back on stage again.  Giving Lauren some more screen time with her "out of shell" self. 
  3. James and Jacob performed "I'm Into Something Good" and had a very gay time with it.  You know, because gay used to mean happy back when this song was written!  They tried to butch it up by pulling Miss Jennifer out from the table and singing to her legs.  Hey, whatever works!  But the thing was mad cheese and they knew it.   But hearing that song brought back fond memories of The Naked Gun!
 The Recap

Jacob Lusk - "Oh No Not My Baby"

Truthfully, I don't remember much about this performance.  But let's talk about the clown costume!  WHAT ON EARTH was he thinking?  There is no way that's in style for anyone!  Not even Perez Hilton!  Sorry Jacob, major laugh points go to that attire.  It was like taking a bunch of different colors and saying "what can I wear that matches the least?"  I guess he performed okay, but like I said, not memorable enough for me to escape the bottom 3.  If they do a bottom 3 this week.   Oooh I have a prediction!  They will split the group in to 2 groups of 3.  And then Ryan will swap one person from each group and then announce the bottom 3!  We've been watching this show too long haven't we?   Granted, they have mixed it up on results show nights this year and tried some different approaches.  So, maybe I'll be surprised.

Lauren Alaina - "Where You Lead" 

Well, apparently, all Lauren needed to come out of her shell was a visit from Babyface AND Miley Cyrus in one week!  They start trying to make her push her voice and she sure did!  I was pretty proud of her this week.  She was happily roaming around the stage and giving it her all.  Even dancing with some 19 year old Matt Saracen look-a-like (bonus points for whoever knows what I'm talking about!) during the show.  I was surprised the judges just kept giving her constructive criticism instead of someone flat out saying she was good tonight.  Maybe that means something, but I could tell they were all proud of her.  And I think Lauren may have been a little proud of herself with those tears of joy!  She really needed a big week this week, and I think she got it.  It's no secret that she's a favorite among voters since she's never graced that bottom 3.  I think that trend will continue this week. 

Scotty McCreery - "You've Got a Friend"

This song was always a favorite of mine to jam out to on the piano while strolling through songs in my Fake book.  It's a good time.  And Scotty, well I believe Scotty had a bit of a moment tonight!  They told him to tone it down in the beginning and use a bit of an upper register.  Babyface has some mad skills because it did the trick with Scotty.  The first half of that song I was getting J-Lo's "goose pimples" all over!  And then I felt like Randy thinking "man, that voice at 16!?!?!"  Or maybe he's 17 now but whatever.  If he keeps dishing out performances like that I don't see how he can lose this one.  He does have some contenders though. 

James Durbin - "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"

Unbelievable start to the song when he strummed his guitar once to get in key and then just sang with no backup.  Then, the band kicked in.  And while it was still really good, it kind of took away from the magical opening a bit.  It made me think of if Bo Bice would have had the band come in halfway of his a capella performance of "In a Dream" back in season 4.   But anyway, it was still amazing.  This has become a 3-headed race to the finish.  And it has Lauren, Scotty and James written all over it.  Will one of these other 3 be able to play spoiler to the Dream Team final 3? 

Casey Abrams "Hi-De-Ho"

Casey did his thing out there tonight.  I loved the camera work and choreography of the performance. Roaming through the various band members but making it look like he was strolling down the streets of New Orleans.  It was cool to see Casey riff on the piano, but it just made me want him to grab the dude's harmonica and play a riff after the next phrase and so on and so on.  There's an SNL sketch there waiting to be made.  So, Casey is very musically talented.  I don't think anyone would argue.  And yes he can sing, but he constantly feels the need to do all of that growling!  And while it might be entertaining in the right environment,  (When singing a Cookie Monster duet with Haley), it just seems to not feel right on Idol anymore.  He isn't showing off his vocals in a singing competition and it's starting to annoy me!   I love how Randy gave an extremely positive review and then while the Idol music was cutting off the judges, THAT is when he decided to start mentioning "less growling".   Ugh.   I think he'll be in the bottom 3 by default, but I don't know about the boot just yet. 

Haley Reinhart - "Beautiful" 
I could tell that Haley was in her vocal element during the performance but something weird happened.  I was forgetting the performance WHILE it was happening.  It just seemed to be missing something to me.  Maybe it was missing me knowing the song and her not selling it enough for me to be interested.  I don't know.  Because like I said, I could tell she was singing well.  And she even toned down the "crazy Haley" that made us all want to scratch nails on a chalkboard for relief.  I don't know if anyone else feels like me on that one but if they do she may as well just be waving goodbye in that picture above.   It's between her and someone else.  So let's get to it. 

The Elimination Pick
Safe? Lauren, Scotty, James (they have to be, right?)
Not Safe? Casey, Haley, Jacob 

Bottom 3: Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Jacob Lusk  Wildcard: Naaa not this week

Elimination Pick: Jacob Lusk - I'm sorry.  The bowtie did it for me.  The yellow shoes didn't help.  All he was missing was a red honker of a nose.  I couldn't take him seriously for one second!  And I don't think America will either.  Throw in the fact that he went first and then made a fool of himself with James at the end, and it's as good as a done deal!

I wouldn't be surprised if Haley or Casey went home either so we'll see.  If any of the other 3 went home, I'd be floored but if there had to be one this week it would be Lauren.  And well, that's just not fair!  She did so well tonight.  And, as mentioned before, we all know she has lots of voters pulling for her.  I wasn't quite convinced to pick up the phone this week so if she does go home, I'll take the blame.

That's all I have for tonight folks.  Bruno Mars and Crystal Bowersox will be gracing us with their presence tomorrow night.  I liked Crystal and all last year but let's hope she doesn't sing that dreadful "Farmer's Daughter" song and gives us something new!  As per usual this season, I'll probably just give my results show thoughts in the comments here so be sure to come back and join the discussion!   

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!  


Ian said...

I'm with you: I rather enjoyed this week.

It was great to see Scotty redeem himself after last week's performance with perhaps his best one to date. I'm proud of the kid for proving he's not just a one-trick pony.

James was really good too. I like the fact that he took a girl group hit from the '60s and made it into a modern rock kind of thing. His talent has never been in question for me, but this was the first time I really felt a connection with him. Well done.

I don't know what it is, but Jacob's been growing on me over the course of the competition. I liked his performance this week, and I hope he sticks around. Heck, I even voted for him, which I never envisioned myself doing.

Lauren failed to blow me away yet again, but like everyone else, I enjoyed her newfound confidence. I threw her some votes this week, because I feel like she's someone whose safety the voters could easily be tempted to take for granted. I want her in the Final 3!

I still haven't warmed up to Casey. I found him momentarily interesting at the beginning of his performance, but by the end I was left with the same feeling of "I don't like this guy." Like you, I don't feel he really cares about showing off any singing ability, just artistry. Maybe this week America will finally decide they've had enough? Please?

Haley stunk. Not much more to say about that.

As for the duets, I thought the best by far was James and Jacob. They had fun with it and reimagined one of my favorite '60's pop songs. And yes, that scene from The Naked Gun crossed my mind too. Who would've guessed that the least-likely pairing would end up producing the best performance?

Scotty and Lauren's duet was just OK, but Casey and Haley's was awful. Seriously, those two sounded terrible individually and their harmonizing was a joke. Between their duet and their solo performances they dragged down an otherwise good show.

Who's going home? Honestly, no one but James or Scotty would surprise me. As I said before, I think Lauren could be in trouble, because her performance wasn't great, yet it was praised enough that it could possibly give her fans a false sense of security. Jacob had a very good performance, but he went first and was overshadowed by some better performers. Casey just isn't right for the Idol stage, and Haley was the worst of the night.

Aw, heck, I'll just go with my wishful thinking and predict Casey leaves, since he's probably only got his hardcore fans voting for him at this point, and he didn't show us anything new. Will I be wrong? Probably.

Mike V. said...

Ian - looks like we disagreed on a few but for the most part on the same page! But yeah, it's nice to see Scotty isn't 1 dimensional. He definitely showed some growth this week. I really didn't get a modern rock vibe from James this week but I still thought he did a good job (again better in the beginning than the end). As for Jacob, I can not agree with you on him growing on ME! lol If anything, I've grown tired of him. All of them as people seem like a great, fun group of kids to hang out with. So I don't have any personal issues with him. But from a performance perspective, I'm just tired of his act! Lauren, yeah, I guess she still has a lot of room to grow in front of her. But I thought she took extraordinary leaps towards that goal this week. I think the fact that people can note the improvement and are rooting for her work in her favor. They want to see her overcome her issues. At least I hope so. I agree I'd like to see her in the top 3.
You could be right on Casey. I just don't know.
Yeah, it could be Haley that goes home tonight. That's who my wife picked...she thought she was awful too. I was just indifferent to the performance. But sometimes indifference is what causes eliminations!
James and Jacob were fine I guess in their was funny and entertaining but I still don't think it would earn either one of them more votes! I didn't feel like they really reimagined it either. Unless, you're referring to the fact that they turned it into a FIGHT for the girl instead of one man's profession of being into something good. I thought that part came off a bit corny lol
Wasn't it Casey and Haley that teamed up before for a duet? They were awesome the last time they did it...but yeah this time was just a mess.
It's crazy, the last 2 years the duets seemed rehearsed and they pulled them off very well. Remember Crystal and Lee last year doing the song from the movie ONCE? (i think that's the name anyway). And of course I mentioned Allison/Adam from the year before. This was just a disaster in comparison. Of course, they've done a lot more duets this year so maybe it dilluted the whole experience in general.
On another note...did anyone watch The Voice the other night? We was okay so far. I do enjoy the coaches' banter, Carson Daly is still a tool, and the contestants so far are just so-so. Was cool to see Frenchie again....I actually saw her on RENT and she was amazing LIVE. Unbelievable voice. But, kind of weird that she's getting another chance to make it big. I think enough people knew who she was back in season 2 if she was really going to make it. Oh well. I'm sure I'll be tuning in here and there to The Voice....but probably no recaps lol X-Factor, I'm still deciding if I think I'll have time for that. I'd probably just comment on this blog if anything. And if Simon and Paula are might be something to think about!

(did a quick copy/ sorry i didn't have time to put some spaces between paragraphs! lol)

Nicole said...

I'm surprised to find myself saying that I LOVED Scotty this week.  Remember in the beginning how much I loved his voice?  Well, I'm thinking now that I maybe never stopped loving his voice, I just go so terribly annoyed by his ridiculous antics that I forgot about his singing (although there were a couple times when his singing was mediocre).  He lost the antics last night and won me back - for now at least!
I hated all the duets.  I agree with you that I loved Adam and Alison's duet and Lee and Crystal's (yes, the movie is called Once - and I have been in love with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's music ever since that movie came out).
I liked Jacob and Durbin's solo performances though.  I'm worried for Jacob because of going first and then the duet being bad.  I think both girls should leave before him.  But he's gotta go sometime (i.e. no gonna win it), so I'm not going to be crushed if he leaves now.  But I'm still with your wife re Haley finally leaving this week.

Mike V. said...

No doubt, Nicole, Scotty was great last night and proved why he should still be in the competition and most likely the front runner to win.

Yeah, I just didn't see the appeal of the Jacob performance, but I think I'm just tired of him. I can tell you're still not on the Lauren train! lol I'd be perfectly fine if Haley went this week. Casey, Haley or Jacob...perfectly fine!

Ian said...

Interestingly enough, from what I'm reading on the internet a lot of people thought Haley was great this week (both duet and solo). Am I missing something? I thought she sounded awful both times.

The consensus seems to be that Jacob's going home too. We'll see, I guess.

Mike V. said...

Well, i did mention that I thought she sounded good but I just didn't think it was very memorable. But my wife was holding her ears the whole performance (figuratively lol) and whining of how awful she who knows?

I still didn't check dialidol so maybe I'll do that now lol

Mike V. said...

well if it was just phone votes to factor in...IAN, I think you'd be really happy with dialidol this week! lol

Ian said...

All I can say is...spout thyme! Farewell to No Soap Radio Abrams! Knowing Idol though, they'll find a way to shoehorn references to Casey into every show for the rest of the season, since they so desperately want to convince us he's listenable and that we "miss" him.

Mike V. said...

Definitely not as shocked at the elimination as Randy was last night. I mean COME ON! We already knew he was voted off before. It's impressive that he got this far since his original elimination but definitely not a surprise that he was voted off. Even some of his champions (me) lost their appeal of him over time. He never really did anything that he showed off in the weeks prior to the live shows and resorted to that growling. Even his response to the growling complaints was funny and he seems like a funny guy, if not a little crazy. (how about all of those hugs, high fives, and kisses to the audience? I laughed but it kind of showed off the guy as a little loco!)

Anyway, the bigger shocker was his company in the bottom 3. Scotty showed up for the first time. We thought the man was invulnerable and there he was. Of course, now that fans have seen him grace that bottom 3...they may be inclined to vote even more for him. But, the Mrs. and I started considering that people may like another subplot going on in the show even more. Miss Alaina, while not the best singer in the competition, has some kind of appeal to the audience. She is growing each week and that's something that American likes to root for. She's making an effort to come out of her shell and be a better performer. And people notice that, people will vote for that. But can a girl actually break the trend of the past few years and reclaim a crown? James and Scotty will definitely make it difficult for her. But as I've said, of the people remaining, the only one I'd really root for to win is Lauren. Yes, I wouldn't be mad if Scotty or James won it. They both deserve it. But if Lauren EARNED a win through her constant improvement? Well, that would just make me very happy!

As far as eliminations go, we trimmed the fat just like we said we would. Casey is gone which leaves Haley and Jacob to leave us at some point. Will one of them ruin our DREAM TOP 3? It's possible, but we all hope not!

Rest of the results show:
Crystal Bowersox - Nice to see her again. Didn't like the song even though I was thankful it wasn't the "farmer's daughter" song. And what was up with the seemingly looking Hasidic Jewish people in Redneck clothing playing harmonica and steel guitar? weird!!

Bruno Mars - I don't mind the Brunster, and his song is definitely fun even if we couldn't explain why there was a monkey on stage for his Procrastination Anthem. Yes, there is some innuendo humor to be had there but I'm going to lead people read into it rather than GET into it!

Carole King Medley with the Amateur Kids - AWFUL. Absolutely awful. I think they've given up practicing on these things. It sounded dreadful. The only part that sounded decent was when they came together and had their harmonies worked out. I believe that was probably the only rehearsed thing about the performance.

Q&A session - Always fun to hear from the contestants and their "star-struckedness". But Haley...ugh....she had to go all PC and wouldn't just name one past idol contestant as her favorite. "they're all so good!!" Don't make me barf, Haley! everyone has a favorite! At least she finally mentioned Kelly but then had to keep going until she mentioned everyone that ever performed on the show outside of Taylor Hicks and Carrie Underwood! But...I'm making a bigger deal out of it than it really was (for entertainment purposes).

And that was really it. I was more excited to see the final Michael Scott episode of "The Office" last night and it was absolutely a perfect way to say goodbye to that crazy boss! Tears galore peeps!

That's all I have. Top 5 next week, more fat "hopefully" to trim!

Joe Clarkson said...

Mike- Couldn't agree with you more! I wasn't that surprised with Casey's departure. I can tell that Casey is a nice guy, who I would have fun with if we went out for a beer. As far as the next American Idol is concerned, he's not doing that much for me. I don't expect us to hear from him again.

Jacob's time should be coming soon. I don't know who told him that it was okay to wear that suit, but they lied to him. I thought his solo performance was forgettable, and the duet was a disaster.

James has never been my cup of tea, but I was extremely impressed with him this week. I thought he sounded great. He's definitely a contender. I don't think he's as talented as Adam or David Cook, but he's got something.

I was extremely caught off guard that Scotty landed in the bottom three. I would expect his fans to be in full force next week. I thought he had a great solo performance, so that really caught me off guard.

Lastly, I have been pulling for Lauren from the get go. I think she's a good kid, who is extremely talented. She has no idea how good she is. I think she has bright future ahead of her. In order to win this competition though, she needs that break out performance that blows everyone away. I'm hoping that it'll be next week.

Mike V. said...

Joe - yeah...if Casey is planning to "bring jazz back" we definitely won't be seeing him much! LOL I love me some jazz music, but I don't just sit around listening to it or going to jazz concerts. I can appreciate the style and I played the style in high school and college. That's the extent of it.

Agree on Jacob...I'm over the guy and ready for him to leave!
James - yeah, he definitely has been the most consistently good and is definitely a contender. Also agree he isn't as good as Adam (who irritated the hell out of me) or Cook who really mixed things up on his run to the crown.

The Scotty thing was crazy...and yeah I think his fans will be voting 2 times or 3 times as hard next week.

Yeah...Lauren does need that performance to blow everyone away to solidify this thing without a doubt. But something tells me if she just keeps improving week to week...that might be just as effective. And if she keeps up the whole "i don't know how good i am" act. That goes a long way too! Of course, now that I think about how she started this competition off with all the confidence in the world (before the LIVE shows) and who she is's hard not to think that it might BE an act! lol I mean, she was obnoxious and KNEW how good she was before she got on that live stage. Maybe she was intimidated and humbled by the competition. Intentional or not, it worked because she fully converted me over to her side!

Nicole said...

Ummm... that was NOT the bottom three! They never said they were the bottom three - they just sent safe people to the couch. And Ryan specifically said "results tonight are in random order." Scotty was just there for drama.

Nicole said...

Oh, and two more things:

(1) Jimmy Iovine should be a judge. Did you hear all the wonderful criticisms he said of each contestant? Telling Casey that the family dog doesn't vote? And ripping on Jacob's clown suit? THAT'S what I've been needing all season.

(2) Agreed on the last Michael Scott ep. So well done. Good job, Office, for keeping your show fresh.

Mike V. said...

Good call Nicole! Ryan was very sketchy last night with the results. I usually pick up on that stuff! I didn't hear him say the "random order" thing either lol

And yes Jimmy was very good at the criticism. He would have been a good replacement for Simon...and I don't think anyone would have questioned it. I've known about Jimmy Iovine's track record since childhood.
Well, I wouldn't agree that THE OFFICE has stayed fresh the past couple seasons (even though I still watch hoping it will regain its mojo)...but the Michael leaving arc has been wonderful and everything I could have hoped. His goodbyes to everyone (but especially Jim and Pam) were wonderful and final words to the camera were simply perfect

"You don't know how great it feels to get this off of my chest. (saying the next part without the mic) That's what she said! Bye." AWESOME! PERFECT!
Also...people are dropping hints online of a big arch possibly to come. Erin wished she met her birth mother. Phyllis revealed she gave up a child in high school! hmmmmmmm