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!
There was no Will.i.am 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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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!