So… what have we learned since last week’s “shocking” elimination of Pia Toscano? That it wasn’t all that shocking to Nigel Lythgoe, who said she wasn’t a frontrunner… that she’s got a deal waiting with Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope Records… that she’s scored the consolation prize of one of the most eligible Dancing With The Stars bachelors… all of which will give her more buzz than the eventual winner gets. So will anyone tank tonight to try to get the same buzz? We’ll see… as almost live from my DVR… THIS… is American Idol!
Of course, we start with the moment “no one saw coming”… as a reminder that “every vote counts” (so please, let’s make AT&T more money by texting your damn fingers off!)
Judges’ intro… Seacrest intro… Television City audience standing and screaming… we know this part by heart…
Of course, we have to hear about the People magazine cover naming Steven Tyler… um, no, wait… Jennifer Lopez as The Most Beautiful Person In The World. From there, another reminder that YOU NEED TO VOTE… or else they’ll cut your favorite off at the knees next…
It’s “Music from the Movies” week… and it starts with VFTW hero Paul… and it appears that will.i.am has been quietly added as a second permanent mentor…
Paul McDonald – “Old Time Rock & Roll” (Bob Seger, Risky Business)
It’s ironic… he’s in the Leadoff Spot of Doom (clearly, the producers are over his VFTW status)… he’s been mediocre-to-lousy for weeks… and in the week that they’re trying to get rid of him, he pulls out his best performance so far. I won’t say it was great, but it was a definite improvement… now if he could just turn down the volume on his jacket…
Lauren Alaina – “The Climb” (Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana: The Movie)
This could be a tactical mistake, unless she really separates herself from the original… and damned if she didn’t do it… the song sounded more melodic in her hands than it did with Miley’s rasp… the changes in the arrangement helped as well… very good job. If the goal was to “steal” (or, using will.i.am’s choice of words, “invite”) Pia’s audience, it might just have worked…
Stefano Langone – “End Of The Road” (Boys II Men, Boomerang)
I guess Coke paid their bills this week, as the Product Placement Zone is back… of course, he’s feeling the pressure as he seemed to take the blame for Pia’s exit… interesting that he didn’t seem to show it. It was a good performance, but I’m not sure the song was one that anyone could really showcase themselves with (it’s written for multiple singers, after all). He’s probably at risk of a Bottom Three seat again tomorrow night, as this may not be “memorable”… (“slayed it” count = 1)
Scotty McCreery – “
Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me” “I Cross My Heart” (George Strait, Pure Country)
Did Scotty make a mistake with the change? Let’s see… nope. He’s found a bit of range within his comfort zone… this one sounded just different enough from his previous performances that he’ll be OK. Very good. I’m starting to think he really can win this thing.
Halftime: Paul got thrown to the wolves with the lead spot, and Stefano’s performance may not register with the voting audience… I think Scotty and Lauren are safe…
Casey Abrams – “
Nature Boy” “ In The Air Tonight” “Nature Boy” (Nat King Cole, several films including Untamed Heart)
Back on the upright bass tonight… The debate over the song was clearly designed to bury him… “hmph… how DARE you disagree with your Mentor”… here’s the problem… they were right. This is not a good song for Casey, he sounded weak and a bit tentative, and (in short) he jumped the shark tonight. He’ll be in the Bottom Three tomorrow, and he could well go home. While it’s great that he stood up for his “art”, this is about winning over the audience. I don’t think he did.
Haley Reinhart – “Call Me” (Blondie, American Gigolo)
Uh oh. The producers’ nightmare was that they’d lose one of the two girls this week… while I think Lauren saved herself, Haley misfired… she sounded flat on the song… about as bad of a performance as I’ve seen in a while… it was equal parts bad screaming and off-key singing, it was a mess (and not a hot one), and she’s in serious danger after this.
Three-Quarter Time: Two dismal performances after the half changed everything… right now, it’s Paul, Casey, and Haley for my Bottom Three.
Jacob Lusk – “
Impossible Dream“ “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Simon & Garfunkel, The Pursuit of Happyness)
It’s a good song choice for him, but he wavered a bit on some of the longer notes… overall, though, it let him use his gospel edge without overdoing it… and as he finished strong, it became one of his best performances of the season at a time he really needed it…
James Durbin – “Heavy Metal” (Sammy Hagar, Heavy Metal)
Nothing like staying in your wheelhouse when you’re in the Pimp Spot… another Idol saying “no” to the mentors? What a concept… maybe they’re trying to slow down the Durbin Express? Hmm… so after the mentors tell him it’s a bad idea, the show lines up Zakk Wylde on guitar? Odd… This is a very odd choice for the show (speaking of “odd”)… while I think he did a good job on it, the fact that it was more of a showcase for Wylde might be a problem… I’m not predicting it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the Bottom Three tomorrow.
Cue the montage…
Three for the Road: Haley’s in big trouble, I think, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her as the 6th straight girl to go home… I’m sticking with Casey and Paul as the rest of tomorrow’s Bottom Three. I could see James in the B3 if the producers want another “shocking” result, but that’s still a longshot.
Tomorrow night, Rihanna, plus Jason Aldean duetting with Kelly Clarkson.
The results blog tomorrow will be delayed, but should be up in time for Left Coasters to avoid having to actually watch the show… see you then.