American Idol 10 Finals: Round of 6

DISCLAIMER: There are some very nasty thunderstorms, with possible tornadoes, passing north and west of my area (an offshoot of the storms that trashed Alabama today) – the fact that you can see this should indicate that I’m safe, fortunately, but we’re getting EAS alerts inserted by the cable company for counties 30-50 miles away from me… so there may be performances I won’t be able to hear in full…

We’re set for 90 minutes tonight, with just 6 finalists left.  Are you ready for some filler?

The theme is the music of Carole King – which is awesome music, but hardly contemporary – so it’ll be very interesting indeed to see the Idols sing songs that may be older than their parents…

Finding America’s next pop star with 50-year-old music…THIS… is American Idol!

“What started with 125,000 is now down to 6”… and they each get an on-stage spotlight and intro before the opening credits…

Wow… Seacrest with the vintage Dick Clark hairdo… that’s just creepy. Smile

We get an extended montage/intro for Ms. King, followed by the official intro of the Final Six.  And then we meet the guest mentor – Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.  This could be… something…

My theory from last week is confirmed… there will be duets as well as solos tonight… makes sense with the number of Carole King songs written for two… but we do have solos… starting with…

Jacob Lusk – “Oh No Not My Baby” (Goffin/King; Maxine Brown, Rod Stewart, Cher)
Wow, he’s all over the place… the montage made it clear he was having issues with the song… there were some really good parts, and some really bad vocal histrionics, all within a few notes of each other.  It was smart, strategically, for him to do something other than gospel-style performances… but I wonder if it’s enough, given the uneven vocal.  We’ll see…

We go to break teasing Lauren’s visit from a superstar… sadly, it’s only the singer whose song Lauren did last week…

Save the date – tickets for the Top 11 Idols tour go on sale May 13.  They’ve booked the Richmond Coliseum this year (August 20). I’m in a hurry to buy my ticket, really…

Lauren Alaina – “When You Leave” (King/Stern; Barbra Streisand, “Gilmore Girls” soundtrack)
Miley Cyrus drops in on the rehearsal… completely not contrived at all… Good song choice.  And a very solid performance of it, complete with the “random” audience member to sing to… might be one of her best of the competition.  Over the last few weeks, she’s been proving why the producers are pushing her so hard.  She could well win this thing.

First duet up after the break – the randomly-selected duo of Casey and Haley (I’d expect a Lauren/Scotty duet, leaving the truly odd couple of Jacob and James a the third duet)…

Casey Abrams & Haley Reinhart – “I Feel The Earth Move” (King; Carole King, Martika)
A tornado alert covered the montage before, and first part of, this song.  Back just after Casey joined in.   And it was about what I expected – a kind of jazzy rendition of the song.   Good for Steven Tyler to mention the elephant in the room (their relationship), since it was kind of obvious during the performance.  Looks like only one judge will comment on each duet (saving a little time, I guess).  Bottom line: I think they’re better as a duo than as individual singers.


Scotty McCreery – “You’ve Got A Friend” (King; James Taylor w/Joni Mitchell, VH1 Divas ‘98)
It’s not a “country” song, but damned if Scotty didn’t make it sound like one.  And there’s really nothing else to add.   This is one we’ll remember from the season.  I know I just said Lauren could win this thing.  She’ll have to elbow Scotty out of the way to do it.  (“In it to win it” count = 1)  Another tornado warning wiped out the interview and phone number plug after the song… but apparently, James is next.


James gets the Product Placement Zone treatment… then…

James Durbin – “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (Goffin/King; Shirelles, Four Seasons)
On guitar… Wow – starting with no mayhem, no “rock god” stuff, just a stripped-down solo vocal… and sticking with the lower-key performance.  He desperately needed to show this side of his skills.  James clearly got the song – the full-length studio version might be worth a listen.  Terrific.  Absolutely terrific.  And we just saw the three likely finalists, back to back, with their best work of the season.  (“Just might win the whole thing” count = 1; awkward Randy/James man-hug count = 1)

Big surprise – the Kountry Kids are next…

They get the Product Placement Zone treatment, as Seacrest tries to stir up “they’re a couple” rumors for them…

Scotty McCreery & Lauren Alaina – “Up On The Roof” (Goffin/King; The Drifters)
Another storm warning took out the bulk of the duet, as the EAS system becomes “the boy that cried wolf”.  What little I heard sounded good, but I’m not surprised.  It definitely didn’t sound like the Drifters, though.  I’ll have to wait for this to post online.


Casey Abrams – “Hi De Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)” (Goffin/King; Blood, Sweat & Tears)
Just a bit over the top, but he’s at a point where he has to do something to avoid going home.   Interesting, but I don’t know that it’s going to sway any new voters to him.


Oh, a Penny Marshall sighting…

Haley Reinhart – “Beautiful” (King; “Tapestry” album track)
After a quick visit to Technical Difficulties theatre (the IFBs weren’t working)… I think she’ll have the same problem as Casey.  Good performance, one of her better ones, but I don’t know if it’ll pick up a lot of votes for her.

No break… right off to our next number…

Jacob Lusk & James Durbin – “I’m Into Something Good” (Goffin/King; Herman’s Hermits)
Another weather alert right after the first note.  And I really wanted to hear this oddity… unfortunately, the alert went right through the performance.  Waiting for the posts, I guess…

Cue the montage…

I’d say (without hearing the duet) that Jacob is at the most risk tonight, simply because his solo was first, and because just about everyone else has a fanbase… if they do a bottom three, it’ll be Jacob, Casey, and Haley.

Tomorrow’s results show features Crystal Bowersox, Bruno Mars, and the cut to 5.  “Breaking In” gets one episode closer to cancellation… next.

All frustration with the broken EAS system aside, if you’re affected by tonight’s tornado outbreaks, be safe.


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