Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American Idol Season 10 - Top 7 Perform

Hello American Idol watchers!  We're back for the top 7 performances.  The remaining contestants "soothed" our ears with the sounds of the 21st Century (and...maybe one cheated a bit with that rule).  And don't worry, even though we only have 7 contestants left, they found many ways to keep the show at an hour and a half, instead of giving us 30 extra minutes of our lives to enjoy say...I don't know a Flyers playoff game or ABC comedies!  I guess FOX is content with hogging 2.5 hours of its week with the ratings hog.  Seriously though, they better not extend it to 2 hours next week and give the contestants 2 songs each already!

Anyway, the night wasn't too bad.  Everyone was pretty much performing at the top of their game.  If not with their voices, then they had their "Game Faces" on.  Getting votes by winking at cameras or kissing judges you name it!  So, in the end, who goes home tomorrow?  I have my thoughts, that doesn't mean they'll be right but stick around and you can see my thought process in motion!

The Recap 

There was no this week but no fear, they brought back the American Idol Rejects to the stage!  Ashton (who went all Hollywood with her hair), Pia, Thia, Karen, Hoppity Boppity Singing too loud in her mic Naima, and off-key harmonizing Paul sang P!NK's "So What!?"   And that had to be the collective expression of America who was watching the treachery on stage.  Yeah, it's great to see Pia and Paul again but no favors were done for them putting all of those rejects on stage together.  It sounded AWFUL!!!!   So, I won't say anything else about it.  

One fun thing that was done all night was watching the contestants make fun of each other in a light-hearted way.  And, the best part is, they called out a lot of the stuff we have called out on this blog.  Even if I'm not always impressed with the performances this season, no one can deny that they got a really fun group of kids this year.  Off Stage, they all seem very likable and they seem to have become really good friends.  And if they're acting, then maybe they have a future in that because I'm sold!   So how did they perform?  Let's get to it! 

  1. Scotty McCreery - "Swingin" written and originally recorded in 1983 - Did you like how Ryan clearly stated that as long as the song was RECORDED in the 21st century, it was eligible? LeAnn Rimes recently recorded a cover of the John Anderson song.  I would cry foul on Scotty for cheating a bit and not going along with the concept of this theme week.  But it's not like he sang something that was going to give him an unfair advantage over the other contestants.  But in a decade where Country Music has really shot up the charts, why wouldn't he want to pick something more modern and catchy?  I know he's old school country and everything but he could have even picked Josh Turner this week and no one would have questioned it!   Maybe a Brad Paisley song (he has a low enough voice), Tim McGraw, Chesney.  Plenty of people to choose from who had big hits in the 00's.  And he goes with SWINGIN?  Really!??!   I love that the kids made fun of his "Flute Playing" mic antics.  And he kept it up on this song.  He sang the song as well as he sings anything else he does and he makes the facial expressions that the girlies love.   But he really schmoozed it up with Ryan after the performance.   Winking and giving the ol' puppy dog "hey, if you don't like my music, just look at this perty little mug ladies" eyes.  Not the worst performance in the world and he'll get by on just popularity alone.  But could he get a scare this week after singing a week song and going first?  I don't think so, but it's possible I guess.  
  2. James Durbin - "Uprising" by Muse - Say what you want about James.  Love him or hate him, he is bringing his all every week.  Over the top antics?  Check.  Marching Band Drum Corps? Check.  Ridiculous attire?  You got it!  Crazy rocker voice?  Yep.   James is in this thing to win it, and he seems to be taking the challenge of trying to upstage himself every week.  Sometimes it fails but sometimes it works.  I think it worked this week for the most part.  Yeah, it was cool for him to raise the octave on the chorus.  But the whole switching octaves for each phrase?  That came off sounding a bit amateur.  But he still brought down the house.  Good stuff.   I still stand by him being in the final 2. 
  3. Haley Reinhart - "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele - I figured I would totally hate Haley's rendition of the amazing Adele song.  Small sidetrack, if you love great singers and great music, pick up Adele's new album 21.  You'll listen to it at LEAST 10 times in a week and not be tired of it.  Probably the best voice in pop music right now.  (And that's coming from a Kelly Clarkson fan!)   Anyway, I actually thought Haley did a really good job with the tune!  I agree with Randy that there were a few sharp notes in there.  But for the most part, her voice really suited Adele's musical style.  And I also agree with J-Lo that a bit of Haley came out in the song too.  Though, I don't think all that screaming was necessary at the one point in the song.  Overall though, great job by Haley. 
  4. Jacob Lusk - "Dance With My Father" by Luthor Vandross - Well, I guess we had to see it coming that Jacob would take on Luthor since he gets compared to him quite often.  He did seem a bit taken out of his element this week when he seemed to promise a very moving performance.  Don't get me wrong, it was good but I really wasn't feeling it.  And, it may not really have been his fault.  Right in the beginning of the song the band started playing the wrong song!  I heard it too, and Jacob tried to mention it without being too mean to the band.  If you have  DVR, rewind and check it out.  It was totally the opening notes of the Adele song again.  That would have thrown off anyone's performance.  Though, I'm not sure it would have mattered.  The song just didn't seem to work too well.  I have a feeling Jacob may be losing some steam here.  But we'll see. 
  5. Casey Abrams - "Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5 - I was hard on Casey last week but I thought he did a much better job this week.  And I thought he did well enough on his own that he didn't have to go the extra mile to seal the deal by smooching J-Lo.  The moments leading up to it were completely awkward, but I guess totally worth it for the actual smooch.  I didn't see it coming, and I'm sure no one else did.  Pretty funny stuff.  But the song itself?  Nice job toning it down in the beginning to showcase the voice he actually has before breaking out into the rock and high fiving and, pun intended due to song title, heavy breathing.   Casey should be fine this week. 
  6. Stefano Langone - "Closer" by NeYo - I don't hate Stefano.  He seems like a pretty funny guy and he is a good singer.  But there just comes a time when it seems like it's time.  Doesn't everyone else feel that way?  Yeah, he was fine.  Everyone is trying to get him to come out of his shell every week and woo the ladies.  Is it really working though?  I just think he has done all he can do.  Not much more I can say than that. 
  7. Lauren Alaina - "Born to Fly" by Sara Evans - Here we are again.  The whole world, judges, Jimmy and America want Lauren to come out of that shell and show the world what she can do.  Once again, she sounded good but there just seems to be another level hidden inside her that we all know is there.  Apparently, she has the stage fright.  And I know people disagreed with me last week but it seemed all too clear again this week that she was shocked to hear that she can sing better than Miley Cyrus.  She had all the confidence in the world in that audition.  So much it was annoying.  And now that she's hit the big stage and competed against all these big singers, she is restrained.  Like I said, she sang really well and people seem to really like her.  But she needs to SLAY it!  It was almost painful to hear the judges tell her what she needs to do and what she is capable of.  But what else can be done?  It seems the voting public want her there, but she needs to want to be there too or this will just be the same thing every week.  STEP IT UP Lauren! '
The Elimination Pick

So that's it. I think there are 2 potential candidates to go home tomorrow.  It could be mostly anyone as always, but there are 2 I'm pegging.  And yes, I will pick one! 

Who brought it and is safe?  James Durbin
Weakest of the night (not bad just weaker than others)? Jacob, Stefano
Played to the audience for votes?  Scotty, Casey
The Middle Ground? Lauren, Haley

Bottom 3: Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, Haley Reinhart  Wildcard Pick: Scotty McCreery

Elimination Pick: Stefano Langone - I like the kid but he's out of his league now.  It's time to pack the bags and come back next week for the next Reject Performance! 

And that's all I have kids.  David Cook and Katy Perry treat us to tunes tomorrow night.   And I'll probably just jot my thoughts again in the comments of this post.   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I'll see you next week! 

Check Out My New Blog!

I've been recapping any and all TV over at the TV Addicts Blog (  Mainly The EventFringe 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!   
  • The Event airs on Mondays 9pm EST on NBC.   (returns April 18th)
  • Fringe airs on Fridays 9pm EST on FOX.  The show has been renewed for a 4th season so it's time to catch up on what you're missing!  3 more episodes this season!  They're going to be fantastic! 
  • Game of Thrones has started and is definitely a good time!  The book is pretty great from what I've read so far as well.  HBO, Sundays 9:00pm  Be there! 


Ian said...

I felt like this week was pretty "blah" overall. No one really impressed me and no one really stunk.

I'll spare you the regular Casey rant because I actually didn't hate him this week. Of course, I wouldn't say I liked him either. Truthfully, he just kind of bored me. I guess my brain has accepted that he can't really sing, so I don't expect to hear anything interesting from him vocally. Of course, it was annoying the way the judges singled him out as being "great" yet again when he wasn't.

Scotty was OK, but it wasn't my favorite performance of his. I think the judges were right that he kind of played it safe. I don't think he's in any trouble though, because I tried voting for him about half an hour after the show ended and I still got busy signals! Hey, I'm not complaining! Go Scotty!

I liked Lauren's performance, but then, I generally like country music. She's probably fine for this week.

James chose a song I don't particularly care for, and the over-the-top theatrics were a little too much for me. I agree with you that alternating the octaves smacked of trying too hard. It wasn't a bad performance, it just wasn't my thing.

Haley, Stefano and Jacob were all forgettable.

I share your opinion of that ridiculous opening number with the eliminated contestants. While they were performing I said to my brother "you can see why they got eliminated." Then Steven Tyler thinks he's so clever with his "You're making America rethink their decision!" comment. Flip off the hype switch once in a while, Idol! One positive development came out of it though: Karen was lookin' good again with her curly hair!

I'm with you that Stefano is probably going home. Of course, if we're due for another "shocker," I could see Casey's fans assuming he's safe and letting his votes lag behind. Fingers crossed!

Mike V. said...

Ian, I'd agree that no one really stood out as being FANTASTIC last night . But, I have to give props to James for trying to do something entertaining lol

Casey definitely isn't the best vocalist of the bunch, but I thought he did alright for most of the night. I gotta say though, I think it might be in your mind that they're "singling" him out as being great. These judges are usually one big giant love fest of proclaiming ALL of the contestants are great. So, I don't think Casey is getting much different treatment. Although, last night they did try to bring some criticism to the table.
Yeah, I know a few people who voted for Scotty last night because they were scared he might get the boot. I think he'll be fine.

I liked Lauren's performance too. I just agree with the judges that there is potential there for her to be AWESOME and she just isn't latching on. But, she is young so maybe it's too much to ask.
LOL on your Karen obsession! Hey, to each his own!

yeah, nothing outside of James or Scotty going home would really surprise me at this point. So if there is a "shocker" I won't be too shocked lol I think they've all been in the bottom 3 except James, Scotty and Lauren. Am I making that up or is that an accurate statement? I just can't keep track in my mind anymore! lol (ahhh getting old)

Mike V. said...

I checked dialidol. The bottom isn't too shocking if it's accurate. But the bigger trend is who has been at the top for every week. Very "Taylor Hicks-like" dominance. I won't say it in case it's a spoiler lol (even though dial idol has not been very accurate this year due to texting and online votes). But if it IS would seem this certain contestant can do no wrong this year. crazy.

Ian said...

The thing I said about the judges singling out Casey was a reference to what Steven said during the closing of the show. After they showed all the numbers Jennifer said something like "I was just listening to all those voices back to back and thinking 'wow, we have so much talent on this show!'" and Steven added something to the effect of "You know, they say all men are created equal, but some are more equal than others," and mentioned Casey. I could see Casey's fans assuming he's safe after that sort of puffery.

I think you're correct about the bottom 3. I'm pretty sure Lauren, James and Scotty are the only ones who haven't been there yet. I used to keep track of that stuff scrupulously, but after a while it all blends together.

I've been following DialIdol this season too, so I know how dominant one specific contestant has been. I have no problem with it whatsoever!

Nicole said...

What a backwards night for me -- I loved Haley and didn't care for Casey. It's funny, the judges complimented Casey for being able to be jazzy and then turn to rock. Well, I disagree. Casey's just not good at rock. His two worst performances: Nirvana and last night. He needs to stick with blues and jazz. I don't really have anything else to say. I thought it was a terribly boring night. When Haley is the best of the night, something's wrong.

Mike V. said...

@Ian - Good point about the end.  I always tune out their comments at the end because I know Ryan is just filling time lol  But yeah I do recall him mentioning Casey then.  

Exactly...I can't keep track of who was in the bottom 3 the week before let alone over the whole season!  But I think I would have remembered if one of those 3 were down there.  

Based on your commentary this season, I figured you wouldn't have a problem with dialidol's predictions! lol   But yeah, the only other time I've seen it this consistent was the Taylor Hicks season.   And now with texting so prevalent, online voting and based on the contestant that it is....this show may already have an inevitable winner.  but we'll see!

@Nicole - Crazy...I really didn't think Casey was that bad lol   But yeah, I didn't think he was fantastic either.  But I was shocked how much I liked Haley last night.  There always is that one contestant that you think will be gone quickly, and they just linger around until they possibly grow on you a bit.  It would seem that Haley is that person every once in awhile lol

Mike V. said...

Gotta love calling a perfect game!! :-)

Ian said...

Good job, Mike! I don't think there was anything surprising about tonight's elimination, but getting the full bottom three correct is harder than it seems.

Mike V. said...

Oh yeah I won't brag too much. It was probably the easiest week to figure it out lol

Mike V. said...

But thanks! :-)

LoRo said...

I'm so sad to see Stefano go tonight. He is a good looking guy, one of the more talented singers in a somewhat lackluster group, and he was a nice kid with a good personality. Was his performance great last night? No, but with the exception of James (who I still thoroughly dislike!), were there any performances that stood out last night?

I'm still kind of pulling for Lauren, even though she has never really impressed since making it to the top 13. This season is starting to remind me of season 6, which I believe was one of the weakest seasons of the show. Sure Jordan and Melinda were good, but has anyone been rocking out to either of them lately? My guess is no. Don't get me wrong, I can get down to "Battlefield" or "No Air," but really did anyone really care about who won that season?

Mike V. said...

LoRo, personally I think there are 3 seasons that tie for the worst ever:

Season 6 (we agree)
Season 3
Season 9

Season 9, I did love Crystal but the group as a whole was not very good. Plus the judging table was a mess. And it became clear to me that a boy that appeals to the teenage girls is always going to win this show from here on out. Maybe that trend will change this year, but it's not looking that way.

This season started off really well and it's starting to taper off a bit. But I still kind of compare it to season 5. Season 5 was loaded with talent and there wasn't one person I could get behind and root for. And they just seemed to be a fun group of kids. And of course, everyone knew that Taylor Hicks was going to win because he had his soul patrol and he dominated dialidol each and every week. There was a shocking early exit with Chris Daughtry (Pia this year but much earlier).

Season 5 saw a lot of people getting some success after the show. Not sure if the same will be said for S10. And I guess we can't automatically guarantee that the one kid that seems invincible this year will actually win. But, I have to say that even without Simon this season is much better than 3, 6 or 9. Just my opinion though.

As for Stefano. Yeah, it's a shame to see him go but I don't think he ever really had mass appeal. Great singer? yes but I never expected him to win. Besides being a fun guy, after a couple weeks I just saw him as filler in the top 13.

Okay, my next comment will be my quick thoughts on last night's ep!

Mike V. said...

Results Show Recap:

PERFECT GAME GUYS!! I picked the bottom 3 correctly and the ousted contestant! It's a rare thing to do, but I even admitted this was the easiest week to do it. We kind of have a feeling who America favors now and who are next on the chopping block to go. All of these bottom 3 Haley, Stefano and Jacob have been there before.

Plus, who knows? Jacob may have had the bottom number of votes but to avoid controversy with the band messing up, maybe they swapped it with Stefano. I factored that into my pick too lol

The same can be said about Haley that I mentioned above with Stefano. She has been improving through this competition, but it seems that America still has their eyes set on 3 certain individuals. They are rooting for them even if they're not the best in the competition:


I think the winner could be any one of those 3. It would seem Scotty has the edge with the teenage appeal. But the south and many others love Lauren too. I'm not sure if James appeals to the teenage vote or not.

Now, I'm not saying that will be the final 3. On any given week - Jacob, Haley or Casey may blow the competition away and steal a spot. But at this point I think 2 of those 3 will be the final 2.

Lauren is one great performance away from stealing some votes from somebody. I think people really want to like her and really see her potential. Include me in that group. I'd certainly prefer her over Scotty or James if she really brings it. But I'm not going to pick up my phone unless I'm convinced to. And don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be upset if Scotty wins. Like I've mentioned before...he's the only one that has already sealed the deal on a recording contract (besides Pia) based on his southern charm and that low low voice. And I still guarantee that Josh Turner will be singing with him at the finale.

As for the rest of the was great to see David Cook again. Don't know if I'm thrilled with his new single, but I did love his last album so I may give it a shot. He is my 3rd favorite winner next to Kelly and Carrie. My favorite part of the night? Katy Perry performed her "ET" song and Ryan Seacrest NEVER once mentioned Kanye West's presence. I almost didn't want to say his name here to keep the trend going! I'm sure it was meant to be a surprise but you'd think Ryan would mention it afterwards! That dude (Kanye, not Ryan) is such a tool. I stand by that with statement everything I have in my arsenal! Ironically, many refer to Ryan Seacrest as a tool too, but not what I'm going for here!

So another week in the bag. Next week's theme is songs from Carol King. They've definitely done this theme before. She has some great songs so we'll see what they do. Will the show be 1 hour finally? I could check my DVR, but I'd rather save my complaints for next week. See you then!

Ian said...

"My favorite part of the night? Katy Perry performed her "ET" song and Ryan Seacrest NEVER once mentioned Kanye West's presence."

The first half of this statement startled me, as I couldn't believe anyone would like that ridiculous performance, but then I realized you were just happy to see Kanye reduced to an unbilled cameo. I can back that.

Have they done Carole King as a theme week before? I can't remember them ever doing it. Regardless, it should be a good week, as she's one of pop music's greatest songwriters. As a Monkees fan, I'd love to hear someone tackle one of the many songs of hers they recorded (as long as it isn't Casey).

I think I'm one of the few people who actually liked Season 6, though I understand why a lot of people hated it. It wasn't the best season ever, but I was able to enjoy it.

Mike V. said...

I had a feeling that sentence would throw people off lol I actually fastforwarded through the performance to catch up to live tv for the results but then when back to see what I missed lol definitely my comment was all about kanye.

It feels like they did Carole King songs before but I could be wrong. I'll look it up!

As for season 6 the only thing that redeemed the season for me was that Jordan won. She seemed the most marketable of them all. I wasn't a very big Blake fan and I forget who else was in that season! If push came to shove I'd probably rank it higher than season 3. I might even rank last season higher than 3. I just hated that season! Lol

Ian said...

How could you forget the immortal Sanjaya?

Ian said...

By the way, if you can't stand Kanye West's toolery, you might enjoy this video if you've never seen it before.

Mike V. said...

Ian, good call on Sanjaya. Definitely can't forget him. Although, clearly I have tried! And another example of why that season was so awful lol

Good stuff with the link you posted too lol

Joe Clarkson said...

I feel like I've been slacking, because I haven't had the chance to comment until now.

Mike- Completely agree with everything you said. It seems like Scotty, Lauren and James are the fan favorites. I love Lauren, but you're right, she needs that killer performance to steal some more votes. She's always good, but we need her to be great.

LoRo- Season 6 was pretty crappy. I love Jordin Sparks and Melinda was talented, but I knew she would never really have a presence in the market. I hope this season doesn't take a turn for the worst.

I agree with all of you about how this week's performances were rather flat. No one wowed me, and there wasn't a clear stand out. I definitely think it was Stefano's time. Nice kid, but the performance wasn't doing anything for me. Simon would've chewed him apart.

This is a big week for Jacob. If he doesn't absolutely WOW the public, I think he's toast. Hopefully, it's a better show this week.

Mike V. said...

Hey Joe! No problem with being late. We all have lives outside of the virtual blogosphere! :-) lol

I'm glad you agree with my comments on the "popular trio". Like I've said, I really want to be Lauren's fan. And I do like her....but she really needs to sell me on voting for her!

Ahhh yes...Melinda Doolittle! I forgot season 6 had her. Yeah, great singer, but I could never take her seriously. She looked like the grandma on 227. And I believe we discussed that on the blog back then! lol I thought Jordin had the most potential for success in that season which is why I was glad she won. And she did produce a couple of hits. And she's still young, so she may still have a chance for more success. But WOW...did anyone watch the Country "Girls Night Out" awards show on CBS Friday night? Don't get me wrong, Kelly Clarkson is still my #1 favorite, but DAMN...Carrie brought the house down with "How Great Thou Art"...duetting with Vince Gill and his awesome guitar. To hear her nail that song with such unbelievable notes and watch her Country Superstar Peers give her a standing ovation....tear inducing people!! This is what I've missed from American Idol in every season except Season 1 and Season 4. The potential for someone to break out and be a mega super star performer.

Even back in season 4, I could see Carrie's potential, but I don't think I ever imagined she'd be THIS huge and THIS good. Crazy stuff.

We'll see on Jacob this week. I agree, the dude needs to go and there isn't much filler left to keep him around.

That's all I have for now. But one more thing..........LET'S GO FLYERS!!!!!!