Before we talk about the real performances on American Idol on Wednesday night, let’s chat about that horrendous group performance.
Whose idea was that? Why? Why would you bring back all the losers we didn’t care about? I did not need to see the likes of Ashthon and Karen again. And while I love Paul and have been listening to his band, The Grand Magnolias, like crazy this week, that song was PAINFUL. Talk about trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It was wrong. Just wrong.
Now, let’s talk about the actual performances from people who are, you know, still competing to win the show. The contestants’ intro packages this week included clips of everyone making fun of each other, and one thing was glaringly obvious – this is a really mockable bunch! Seriously, every single contestant has one habit that is insanely easy to mock. If only Paul was still around so we’d gotten to see everyone mimic his hilarious dancing.
Scotty McCreery – Swingin’
Every week now, I wonder if I should just fast forward through Scotty’s performance. It’s a tough call. On the one hand, I have the SAME THING to say every week – I get that he’s talented, but his singing makes me want to suffocate him with one of Randy Jackson’s delightfully unique cardigans. I was glad the judges actually critiqued him, though. That was new.
James Durbin – Uprising
I’ve gotta say, I loved the video of all the other contestants mocking James. You could tell it was all in good fun. One thing I’ve got to give James is that he isn’t afraid to pick a song that might not go over well with the audience. I like “Uprising”, but it’s a bold choice for this show. One other thing about James is that he seems to get a lot more production value in his performances than everyone else. Fiery pianos, marching bands, you name it. he gets it. Are the other people just not asking for this stuff? Or is he getting special treatment? The performance was OK, but it got a little too screechy near the end for my taste, though.
Haley Reinhart – Rolling in the Deep
OK, on Wednesday I believe I wrote something along the lines of “no one can cover Adele” in my Glee review. Haley covered Adele a hell of a lot better than Gwyneth Paltrow did, but she still wasn’t Adele. Which is too bad, because this style of song is great for her. But she was out of her depth. I think she would have been better off doing “Mercy” or “Warwick Avenue” by Duffy. I don’t want to hate on Haley too much, though – this is the right genre for her, it’s just a really hard song to cover. (And if you don’t know the original, you MUST listen to it. Adele’s new album is outstanding.)
Jacob Lusk – Dance With My Father
Wow, this kid really likes Luther Vandross, huh? Just when I was happy making fun of how Jacob dares to suggest he’s not a diva and how he thinks Luther Vandross doesn’t have better things to do in heaven on his birthday than watch televiion, he went and cried over his dead father. Way to kill my mood, Lusk. Luckily, it was only a flicker of sympathy and I quickly returned to my regular icy, snarky self. He helped me out by complaining that the track had messed up at the beginning of his performance. This performance was just too predictable. Jacob is the Scotty McCreery of gospel/soul. His feet are firmly planted in a box, and he’s not leaving it. Yawn.
Casey Abrams – Harder to Breathe
I kind of respect Casey for standing up to Jimmy all the time. It’s great to take good advice, but it’s also great to have a vision for yourself as an artist. I liked Casey’s song choice – Maroon 5 was unexpected, but I thought it worked. I thought he lost it a teensy bit near the end, but overall I really liked the performance. And it was hilarious/creepy/awesome when he sang the last line RIGHT in Jennifer Lopez’s face. And he kissed her! That’s like kissing a goddess! Say what you want about J.Lo being a diva with pure white dressing rooms filled with vanilla scented candles and only being fed grapes that have been peeled by servants from the land of Atlantis, but I think she seems like a pretty fun chick. Also, what the hell did Stephen Tyler say at the end?
Stefano Langone – Closer
I think a Ne-Yo song was a great choice for Stefano because Ne-Yo is a modern performer who seems to be doing what Stefano wants to do. And I liked this performance better than I liked last week’s. He had a lot of confidence and sang well. But Stefano’s still sort of missing something. I think he’s a great singer, and I was really rooting for him when the competition began. But he just never really progressed the way I was hoping he would, and now it feels like he’s overstaying his welcome. It’s not that I don’t like Stefano – I’d just rather have Paul still around.
Lauren Alaina -Born to Fly
I didn’t know this song, but it sounded like it was Lauren’s own. Lauren has always had a great voice, but in the past couple weeks her confidence and stage presence has really improved. I really think she could take this whole competition, and I’d be OK with that. She’s adorable, she’s country and pop, she can sing. I think she could have a great career. I’m glad Jennifer and Randy encouraged her to go for bigger notes, because I do think there’s a lot of potential and room for growth with Lauren.
Overall, I really liked the episode. What’d you think? Did your favorites do well? And as always, my personal rankings:
- Lauren Alaina (Last week #4)
- Casey Abrams (Last week #3)
- Haley Reinhart (Last week #2)
- James Durbin (Last week #6)
- Stefano Langone (Last week #5)
- Jacob Lusk (Last week #8)*
- Scotty McCreery (Last week #7)*
*I’m not sure I should bother ranking these guys anymore. They would budge out of their comfort zones and their shticks just aren’t my thing.