- James Durbin - 1.) "Don't Stop Believin" - Journey, 2.) "Love Potion Number 9" - L&S
If there is any 80s song that has stood the test of time and reinvented itself generation after generation, of course it is the Journey classic. Nobody can get enough of the soothing sounds of Steve Perry. My wife and I even requested the band to play it as the final song at our wedding (complete with Sopranos ending). It's a fantastic cheesy song that everyone gets a kick out of and laugh at while singing their hearts out and raising their fists in the air and getting all squeaky with their voices. I have no doubt in my mind that this is what James was thinking when he picked the song. "ooooh yeahh...that will be really funny, yet realllly cool! yeaaah." For me? For you? For me? It didn't really work. I don't care what the judges say or how the in studio crowd reacted. They're reacting to the SONG, not James performing the song. James strained on those high notes. No one sounds good singing like Steve Perry except Steve Perry. Sorry! That's just how it goes. Anyone else that sings it, it's meant to be semi-joking, unless you're the cast of Glee and completely change it into a duet. And they did NOT try to sound like Steve in the process so it worked. Plus Leah Michelle took all the high notes. Works better for a girl wouldn't you say!? Not much else to say about that.
As for the Love Potion, well that was classic Durbin. If you hate Durbin, you certainly hated this. If you like him, you loved it just like every other performance he's done. One thing cannot be argued, this guy knows how to put on a show. Although, I can't help thinking he has an unfair advantage with utilizing effects and props and whatever. Sure, maybe they're all his suggestions and any one of them could suggest the stuff but it just seems like he's getting special treatment. Pyro-technics to sync with him jumping and landing on the ground. And how about the song seeming a little longer so he could do a dramatic 30 second pause before his final notes. Not to mention the crazy guitar solo that let him run into the crowd for his next shot. It just seemed a little TOO polished for the Idol stage. Am I crazy? But, don't get me wrong, he will totally be here next week. Unless the Chris Daughtry effect happens to him too. (or as Ryan likes to call him..."Daughtry" No Ryan, the whole band didn't get eliminated in season 5, just Chris!) After a couple crazy eliminations this season already, I just can't see that happening.
- Haley Reinhart - 1.) "The Earth Song" - Michael Jackson, 2.) "I Who Have Nothing" - L&S
Oh, how I wish that this is the end of the road for Haley! She certainly has been on quite a ride for none of us expecting her to last long. Top 4? Impressive, Haley! And that's where the impression should end, in my opinion. Good singer? No doubt. But, the attitude is AWFUL! And that above anything is what turns me off from her. The first song was no doubt awful too. Too much growling. And her muppet alias morphed from Cookie Monster to Grover "Near!?!??? Faaaaaaaaarrrrrr!!!!!!" Too much screaming. And way way way way way too much talking back to the judges. They were fairly judging her and she was all obnoxious and "well...I didn't know that I should do that. That is NOT the end of my vocal range!!!" And then when the 4 were rounded up between songs they pretty much said it's a 3 way tie minus Haley. And Haley went all "oh well, thanks a lot!" A B-word came to mind watching her attitude through the whole thing. And I might have blurted it out at the screen. Enough already. I hope America has had enough. Go let her spend time with her BF Casey who will give her a standing O for apparently anything she blurts out.
Song #2? Yes, it was much much better. I'd say Jordin Sparks still reigns supreme with this one since it was her "MOMENT" song. Haley vocally was awesome on the song, but I already had a bad taste from her attitude leading up to it that I didn't care. And her facial expressions throughout the song did her no favors. I think I'm just over her so I can't judge this fairly! Moving on!
- Scotty McCreery - 1.) "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" - Alan Jackson, 2.) "Young Blood" - L&S
There is no doubt that "Where Were You..." is one of the best songs that came out of the 9/11 tragedy. The lyrics were simple and reflected what most of us were thinking as we lived through that awful event in our country's history. And I couldn't help thinking that where Scotty was when the world stopped turning. He was 5 years old. Sure, 5 year olds can feel pain too. No doubt. But I just couldn't buy Scotty singing this song. My wife loved it and I'm sure many out there did. Maybe, I'm a shallow person yet again. But, I felt like Scotty knew this song would give him an edge in the voting (like he needs it) and I really wasn't FEELING him sing it. I felt him being all "Scotty" up there with his droopy eyes and "pretending" to emote feelings. My favorite thing was how you could only hear one guitar playing a cool little rhythm as he sang. And sure he had a guitar in his hand. But, there was no way what he was strumming was turning into what we were hearing. It was all for show folks! None of this will matter in the end. Everyone loves Scotty. Everyone that knows the song loves the song. And most of the people that know the song and love the song are Scotty's fans. So this played to his strength big time. It wasn't awful, don't get me wrong. But, it was not his greatest performance either. And based on the judges' critiques you would have thought he brought the house to tears. He did justice to the song, but I don't want to over praise him for it. Now, if Alan Jackson was up there performing the song, I'd be a bawling mess still thinking about it!
Song #2 was just silly! Silly Scotty. I was laughing, rolling my eyes and laughing again. But gosh darn it if I wasn't tapping my feet right along to the craziness. His mannerisms and facial expressions were all over the place but it was classic Scotty. Really, I don't think the kid can do anything wrong at this point. He is a very polished and seasoned performer for his age. He has a lot of growing to do, but I think he has this competition in the bag. And, hey, he may deserve the win. But that doesn't mean I can't critique him along the way. We know the judges really won't. And damn, have we heard Steven Tyler say ONE bad thing during this entire show!? Ugh.
- Lauren Alaina - 1.) "Anyway" - Martina McBride, 2.) "Trouble" - L&S
Guys, I just can't help it. There is something about this Lauren girl that makes me want to root for her. Which is so crazy because I was so against rooting for her in the beginning. (I know, I say it every week) Once I heard that she picked "Anyway" as her inspirational song choice, I knew she'd really have to bring it to hit some of those big notes. And big notes were what she'd have to do after her flub last week. Kids, she went to TOWN on that song! And, you see, here's a song that she could identify with! I felt it, and the big notes? They were all there. Wonderful performance by Lauren and I think it was just enough to keep her in this competition. Well, that and a huge round of sympathy votes from last week. That's my thought at least. She'll really have to wow the crowd next week to get to the finals but for now? I think she can be content with making the Top 3 which is a feat in itself. We'll see though.
Song #2 - Well this was a little saucy wasn't it!? She came own owning that stage. She got over her fear of being perceived as evil. (Okay, I found that tough to swallow. How could anyone not want to say the world EVIL in a song??? It's all in good fun!) And she just went out there had had fun with the song. I will say that the beginning was much better than the end. I think she lost herself somewhere in the middle when she started running to behind the judges table and back to the stage. But, she still put on a good show and it was just good to see her enjoying herself out there and singing well (for the most part). I think personality goes a long way in this competition. There is no doubt that Lauren, Scotty and James have a personality that America enjoys. I can personally attest that I do NOT enjoy Haley's personality as much as theirs. And her attitude tonight was flat out AWFUL. The camera is always on Haley. And more importantly, the MIC is always on!
I don't think it's any secret where I'm going with my pick tonight, is it? Hey, I knew who I wanted in the top 3, and I think it's going to happen. I went out of my way to vote a zillion times for Lauren to keep her in it so I did my part. (I can text with the best of 'em, teenagers!!) Because, I think either way, a girl is going home tonight. So let's make sure the right one goes home. An American Idol should be someone a kid can look up to and be inspired. (duh..."IDOL") I don't see that in Haley. Yeah, I'm usually all about "the best voice". But a good voice looks much better on a good personality, doesn't it? (I think I may have stolen that off of Steven Tyler's notepad) Here are my picks:
Safe: James, Scotty
Bottom 2 - Lauren, Haley (I don't know if they'll really tell us who the bottom is this week, so close to the end)
Elimination Pick: Haley Reinhart - Casey's beard misses you! Do us all a favor and go see it!
That's all I have folks. I think I may have overanalyzed some of that stuff just a tad, but I enjoyed myself! I'm sure you all have different opinions which is great! Unfortunately, I'm not going to be around much to defend myself or discuss with you guys. I'll be traveling starting tomorrow and not sure if I will have much access to comment. So you may be without my results show commentary as well. If I get a chance I'll throw in some small tidbits from my phone. But, I promise I'll read everything and look forward to your comments and opinions as always!
Hope you enjoyed MY ramblings as always too and I'll see you when I see you!