by Ruth Anne Boulet
Tonight’s theme is the contestant’s personal idol. How about something unique, Idol producers, like sing the songs of the band you hate. THAT would be interesting.
Lauren Alaina — Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain
In Lauren’s intro package she talks about how nerve-wracking it was to work with Jimmy Iovine. Jimmy Iovine then says Lauren’s going to be a star. Subtle. Shania is not my idol so I’m not digging Lauren’s performance. She seems to be phoning it in, even thanking the audience before the music is out. Steven doesn’t call it beautiful! He wishes it was more kick-ass. Jennifer tells her that she doesn’t really have to try but now she’s got to kick it in high gear. Randy wants that girl they met in Hollywood. I think the judges may have been reading their critiques. Lauren thinks that because she didn’t get superlatives that she did bad. Pout.
Casey Abrams — With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker
Casey first heard this song watching The Wonder Years. I feel like I should grab my cane. Casey then discusses how Joe Cocker feels the song with his whole body. Casey wants to be felt. Casey gets huge producer love by getting opening on the stairs and a 10-person chorus behind him, in case we don’t get the ‘help from my friends’ theme. He definitely doesn’t have the gravitas Joe Cocker does. Casey’s 19. He hasn’t needed the type of help Joe Cocker has. Jennifer thinks she watches something import-ant. Randy thinks Casey makes listening to him sing fun. Steven calls him a rainbow of talent. I think he’s trying to avoid the word beautiful. I didn’t get the power out of Casey, I got more of someone trying to act like he had power. I like Casey though, but he’s got to mix it up eventually. One can only give a growl so often.
Ashthon Jones — When You Tell Me That You Love Me by Diana Ross
Jimmy wanted to invite Berry Gordy because he thinks Ashthon will be that good. She doesn’t start off that way. When they cut to the judges it looks like JLo has an earpiece. Ashthon feels like the song would be better with a bunch of ‘yeah!s’ in them. Randy thought it was a safe move but that she was able to bring things back into control when she started to go off the rails. Steven thinks she’s got more to show and thinks she’ll stay around. Jennifer thought she maybe should’ve sung a more well known Diana Ross song, but she still loves her.
Paul McDonald — Come Pick Me Up by Ryan Adams
Paul starts off a little too soft for me. I can barely hear him. Kathy wonders why he’s selected the Adam Ant jacket for a Ryan Adams song. I think my problem with Paul isn’t his voice, but his mannerisms. He’s like the crazies on State St. in Madison. Only difference is Paul is singing to an audience & not talking to the invisible people around him. I’ve liked what I’ve heard from Paul on YouTube, but I haven’t liked him on the Idol stage. Steven calls him on being pitchy. Jennifer looked at the audience and saw they enjoyed it. She doesn’t know if America will get it though. Randy loves who Paul is. He too hopes America gets it. Paul gives Ryan a dancing lesson. Ryan’s a quick study.
Pia Toscano — All By Myself by Celine Dion
Pia admires Celine because she can be successful and be close to her family. Because she’s very, very rich Pia. That’s the key. Pia’s wearing a short sparkly dress with a long gauzy train. It’s like James Durbin was her fashion consultant. The audience goes crazy whenever she gets louder. Like last week, Pia doesn’t move while she sings. This week she doesn’t have a mic stand so she’s restricted to only one hand gestures. Did I mention this song is dreck? Jennifer is speechless. She thinks Pia topped last week. Randy says Yo. Dude, he loves Pia’s natural gift. Very hot, dope, cool performance. Steven thinks she polished that apple & references International Women’s Day. Which was yesterday. She can sing well, I just wish she would stop singing melodramatic crap. And maybe move around once.
James Durbin — Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney
James thinks Paul McCartney is the greatest singer of all time in the history of ever. Really? Recognizable, maybe, but hardly the best singer. I mean, I love me some Paul McCartney but…. Anyway, miracle of miracles the stylists got the tail off him. They replaced it with a wallet chain. Daughtry! He kind of looks like a hybrid between Daughtry & Kurt Hummel. Randy thinks James is one of his favorites because he can sing Judas Priest and Paul McCartney. Dude! Randy declares James Durbin dangerous. Steven thinks he kicked it into next week. Jennifer thinks James has a great rock voice because he can sing anything.
Haley Reinhart — Blue by LeAnn Rimes
Haley starts off with a bit of a yodel that’s not all that pleasant to listen too. She’s wearing a blue dress. Do you get it? It’s also dangerously strapless. I’m surprised in the age of wardrobe malfunctions that they let her out on stage in it. Steven finally tells someone they’re beautiful. He thinks the country-western part of America is loving it. Jennifer thinks she does really special things with her voice. Randy likes that she can ‘do anything’ but found it boring. Yep, me too. Haley wanted to show her softer side.
Jacob Lusk — I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly
The guy who takes it to church is taking on the guy who was charged with peeing on people. That’s his idol. Interesting choice. I would’ve thought maybe he would’ve picked Bump ‘N Grind as a song choice, but whatever. Jacob also gets the ‘buddy’ treatment with the 10 extra singers. This time they’re in choir robes. Jacob decides to return to his taking it to church roots and doesn’t control the song at all. He lets the song get completely away from him toward the end. Steven says he’s so good Steven can’t judge him. Yes, Steven, you can. Jennifer also says it’s difficult because he’s so good. The love continues with Randy but he takes note that he missed some of the notes on the B verse. See other judges, it was possible to point out a flaw.
Thia Megia — Smile by Michael Jackson
Please let it be Dirty Diana. Please let it be Dirty Diana. Drat! It’s Smile. Great song, but again she’s singing a powery-ballady type song. Same kind of tone as last week. Are you as surprised as I am that the singers people were compared to last week are those singer’s idols this week? Interesting. Don’t even ask if Thia knows who Charlie Chaplin is. The band breaks into an up-tempo mall beat halfway through the song. I think that was Thia getting creative & not doing a straight ballad. Randy loved the intro but she got pitchy in the jazzy bit. Steven also did not like the up-tempo ending. Jennifer was reminded of last week’s performance. She was also unsure of taking Michael to the mall with that one. Thia felt more better in the beginning of the song.
Stefano Langone – Lately by Stevie Wonder
Stefano seems like he’s in the wrong key for the first verse of the song. Once he gets into the power notes he’s ok, but he’s got to be able to sing he softer stuff and be heard and not sound like he’s shooting everything through his nose. Steven also thought it was beautiful. Jennifer was dancing in the middle. Randy notes that it started off rocky, but that by the middle of the song he was soaring.
Karen Rodriguez — I Could Fall In Love by Selena
I’ll admit that I’m not really familiar with Selena but this is a really sleepy song. Jennifer comments on how pretty Karen looks. OOooohh, that’s not good. Karen admits that she was having a hard time hearing the band. Randy also comments on the sleepiness. Steven commented on how Karen ended the song well. Kathy just noticed that only Pia has gotten good feedback from the girls. Hmmm…
Scotty McCreery — The River by Garth Brooks
Scotty thinks he needs to show Jennifer that he is a country singer. Really Scotty? I thought you were the new Eminem. He just wants to be Scotty & sing one of Garth’s classics. I want to hear him sing Chris Gaines. Scotty sticks to his tried-and-true formula. Hold microphone with both hands. Tilt head to his right. Twist mouth to the right. Make other gestures that get him compared to George W. Bush and Alfred E Neuman. As far as the singing, Scotty gets drowned out by the band a few times. Randy thinks if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Steven says something about riding high. Jennifer thinks he’s taking all of us on the ride.
Naima Adedapo — Umbrella by Rhianna
Ryan says Naima was sweeping the floors at a music festival just a few weeks ago. No, she wasn’t. It’s an OUTDOOR music festival and it’s winter in Wisconsin. Naima busts out with some dance moves to start the song and throws in some rap too. She’s also dressed with a funky top & jeans. It’s overall a lot more contemporary than she’s been in week’s past. Steven thinks she’s crazy good but a little pitchy. Jennifer thinks she’s got fire and gives her advice about controlling her singing while she’s dancing. Randy loved the reggae thing and wants her to do the whole song in reggae. Naima, please do not listen to Randy in this case.
Tomorrow we find out who goes home and we get to hear Adam Lambert. The results are going to be a tough call. No one did horribly. Some were pitchy; some were just boring. There were plenty I don’t want to hear again, but I think those contestants will still get votes. If I had to guess, I would say Haley, Karen and Ashthon would be in the bottom. But that’s your call, America.