by Ruth Anne Boulet
Because of the extra-long episode, we start off with an especially long exploration of the career of Carole King. Then we get another on Babyface. Babyface is apparently taking the Will.i.am slot this week. I don’t care, American Idol.
Jacob Lusk — Oh No Not My Baby
Jimmy Iovine has decided to throw Jacob completely under the bus by telling him to riff as much as he wants. Oy. He’s already in the death slot. How much more can the kid take? I guess Jacob thinks a bright yellow dress shirt with a bright blue sweater will help America remember him. Kathy thinks he stepped out of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Don’t be mad, Bex. Jacob is in full-on taking it to church mode. J Lo has a mildly quizzical look on her face the one time she was on camera. I think Idol producers didn’t want to catch her grimacing. Steven is useless in silver. He thinks Jacob’s strut was magic. J Lo is half-naked, half-silvery sparkles. And useless. Randy thought the scatting was incredible. Use-less.
Lauren Alaina — Where You Lead
Lauren got a surprise — Miley Cyrus came to visit! Miley sounds like that crusty lady in the bar who doesn’t want to give up smoking, no matter what those stupid politicians say. I hate to say it, because Lauren seems to be having a crisis of confidence, but this sounds like most of her other performances. She sings well but she doesn’t connect at all with what she’s singing. She probably should’ve waited a couple of years before auditioning. Lauren then does the mean girl thing of bringing a boy out of the audience to sing to. She then promptly ignores him & walks away. Jennifer was proud that Lauren’s voice cracked. Thanks for pointing that out J Lo. Randy doesn’t know if he loved the song, but he loved Lauren. Steven also loved that her voice cracked. Whatever tools.
We get duets to pad this show. These are not judged or something. I’m not sure. First up is Casey & Lauren singing I Feel The Earth Move. They have to talk about each other & giggle before they get on with the singing. Haley starts the song off strong & Casey screws up. On his verse he then pulls major face — growly serial-killer Casey is back for this number. Let’s hope he gets this out of system before he performs the song that will be judged. I thought these weren’t going to be judged, but Steven blah, blah, blahs about how in love Casey must be with Haley. Wow, awkward.
Scotty McCreery — You’ve Got A Friend
Ok, this might be interesting because it seems like he may have to break out of his country comfort zone. Not too far out of his comfort zone though, as Scotty starts the song seated with microphone firmly to the right. We only get a little bit of crotch this time, thankfully. Jimmy waxes that this will be the most romantic song for Scotty to attempt. I don’t really think of this as a romantic song. It’s not You’ve Got A Lover or You’ve Got A Really Hot Crust or You’ve Got A Completely Sexless Life Partner. It’s You’ve Got a Friend. How non-romantic is that. Randy’s all excited because Scotty wasn’t mad that the judges were mean to him last week. Wasn’t that nice of Scotty? Does this guy remember Simon at all? Randy then gets “In it to win it” Tourettes. Steven. Useless. J Lo was glad they didn’t let Scotty get away with last week! Aw, shucks! Jennifer also thinks Scotty is a perfect storyteller. I think J Lo needs to listen to some episodes of This American Life or something to become acquainted with storytelling.
James Durbin — Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
At least James kind of sees the humor of the title of the song in the context of American Idol. Jimmy thinks James & Carole King were meant to be together. Jimmy can’t stop gushing over James. James starts the song mostly acapella and I think he’s stronger than he was the last time he tried to go “tender.” I want someone to give him a better haircut, or at least stop styling him like David Cook during his Idol run. He gets a little more rocky as the song goes on and I think it doesn’t really help him. He was stronger in the beginning. With the guitar he kind of gets a little boring. Steven shares that it was the song he heard the first time he made out with a girl. J Lo thinks James will be the star of the night. Again. Randy also loved that James turned the other cheek. This guy might win the whole thing! Crazy! Shut up Randy! Ryan keeps telling James to hug Randy. James is tethered by the guitar cord. Comedy ensues!
Duet break! Lauren & Scotty…. awww…. sing together. Ryan has to ask the stupid “are you dating” questions to them. Shut up Ryan. They’re singing Up On The Roof. Countrified, of course. They sing sitting next to each other. Lauren never looks at Scotty. Scotty spends the whole song looking at her. Awkward. Jennifer thinks they did real good.
Casey Abrams — Hi-De-Ho
Casey’s rehearsal with Jimmy turned into a jam session. Casey’s back into his comfort zone — straw hipster hat & all. I was momentarily distracted by the guns on the trumpet players. Wow. Maybe I should take up the trumpet. Casey’s definitely in his element — he’s playing the piano with Ray Chew, he’s singing with each of the band members. If people were disappointed by his Maroon 5 or any of his other frat-boy song choices, they will be happy with this one. Randy gives muted praise. Steven discusses his scalp itch. Jennifer wants him to loosen up physically. Randy wants less growl. What? Less growl & you want more howl from Jacob? Useless. They’re all useless.
Haley Reinhart — Beautiful
Haley starts off with a bit of a technical issue, but it doesn’t throw things off. I wish she had done a song that was a bit more familiar, but she gives a strong performance. Steven saw God. Jennifer thinks she’s got one of the strongest voices in the competition. There’s a guy in the crowd who’s decided it’s his sole purpose to yell as loud as possible.
And finally, James & Jacob are singing I’m Into Something Good. James, you should’ve taken Jacob’s lead & buttoned your jacket. Very few people can wear white pants & a white shirt & look good. It’s not flattering for James. Oh, yeah, they’re singing. It’s way cheesy. Of course they sing to Jennifer. Steven knows they can both sing. Useless.
Dear American Idol: Please tell me you’re going to cut next week’s performance show down to 1 hour. Please? An hour & a half is just too much filler for 6 singers. For 5 singers it’s going to be almost unbearable. Thank you.