Pardon me if this week’s American Idol recap is a bit all over the place. I’m still coming off a HIGH from watching an advance screening of “Thor“. The vision of Chris Hemsworth’s pecs in 3D is still haunting me (in a good way). It was the perfect movie to kick-off the summer movie season. Be sure to come back on Friday to check out my full review of the superhero flick.
Back to American Idol. While I liked the idea of tonight’s theme of getting the contestants to sing contemporary songs and oldies, I could’ve done without the hour and half long show. Remember the good old days when Idol had the Final 5 sing only one song. Yup, I miss it too. When rehearsals took place, Nigel Lythgoe should’ve pulled the plug on the first round. I’m putting it mildly when I say it sucked collectively. All of them did so much better for their second performances. One of them even earned a standing ovation from the judges, audience and most importantly ME.
On a side note, J. Lo was extra pushy tonight, IMHO. She was butting in all over the place and even judged out of turn during Scotty’s critique. I love Jennifer, but I wish she wasn’t such a diva sometimes. We get it, you have an album to push. Enough bitchin’ on my part and onto the performances. Check them out below.
Song: Closer to the Edge by 30 Seconds to Mars
Steven: Kicked the song’s ass.
Jennifer: The win is his to take.
Randy: He’s in it to win it.
I think this is the first (and hopefully last time) James has been pitchy on the Idol stage. Started off very flat and never fully recovered. Had moments when he hit the high notes, but definitely not his best. As bad as he was, his sleeveless denim vest was worse. Stylist needs to be fired immediately.
Song: No Air by Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown
Steven: Waiting for him to pick a song that will represent him 100%
Jennifer: He needs to cultivate who he is.
Randy: He’s not Jordin Sparks or Chris Brown.
It sounded like he inhaled a balloon full of helium before his performance. He may have no air, but he found another substitute. It’s never a good thing to sing both the girl and boy part of a duet. Trust me. I’ve heard myself sing both Lionel and Diana’s part on “Endless Love” and it’s not pretty. You thought Jacob was a diva before. Tonight, he channeled Celine Dion and gave aggressive fist pumps, even she would be jealous of.
Song: Flat on the Floor by Katrina Elam (covered by Carrie Underwood)
Steven: She’s as good as it gets.
Jennifer: She ate that up.
Randy: Loved seeing her energetic side.
Vocally, it was one of her better performances. But to be perfectly honest, I kinda zoned out. It wasn’t bad, she sang on pitch and it was good to see her perform with a lot of energy, but it wasn’t anything memorable. That said, it was a million times better than both Jacob and James’ first performances.
Song: Gone by Montgomery Gentry
Steven: He danced with the devil tonight.
Jennifer: That is some American Idol stuff up there.
Randy: No idea he could rock the stage like that.
I thought the backup vocals were too loud on the chorus, but it was a good Scotty performance. He was more animated than usual and showed a little bit of attitude. Work it out cowboy. Is it me, or did Sheryl get all cougar-ish during their session. Put it away Cougar Crow.
Song: You and I by Lady Gaga
Steven: She’s one perfect song away from being the American Idol.
Jennifer: Not sure if Jimmy gave the right advice.
Randy: Risky to pick a song people don’t know.
She seemed like cannon fodder at the beginning of the season. Now, she’s the producer’s favorite. How else can you explain the special treatment. She gets pimp spot two weeks in a row, a song suggestion from Jimmy Iovine and an opportunity to talk to Gaga? How things have changed. Sure the judges criticized her for not picking a familiar song, but I like the bold choice. She sounded great on it and I loved it even though I had never heard of the song before.
Song: Without You by Badfinger (covered by Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey)
Steven: Pitchy but that was as beautiful as it gets.
Jennifer: He’s a true, true artist.
Randy: It wasn’t perfect, but it was emotionally perfect. It’s his to lose.
Good news. It was way better than the first performance but nowhere near his potential. What happened to James this week? He was so off tonight. It’s like he was invaded by the body snatchers. Sure, I get that the emotion got to him and brought him to tears, but that’s no excuse to be that off pitch.
Song: Love Hurts by The Everly Brothers
Steven: He got lost in the song.
Jennifer: He brings out the tricks in the end.
Randy: He redeemed himself. Highest note ever on that stage.
Love may hurt but so did listening to this. In the few seconds we heard Sheryl sing the song, she owned it. She schooled Jacob. This could’ve been his redemption from that No Air disaster, but nada. I’m so ready for Miss Jacob to go home.
Song: Unchained Melody by Todd Duncan
Steven: He could listen to her all night.
Jennifer: Nothing to judge there. It was beautiful.
Randy: She can sing like a bird
BY FAR, HER BEST on the Idol stage. If she knows the song well, she can hit it out the park. Not only did she look beautiful, she sang it too. She needed this to remind all her fans why they fell in love with her in the first place. Stay on track, Lauren. Stay on track.
Song: Always on My Mind by Brenda Lee
Steven: He can’t pick that apart.
Jennifer: He’s a well-rounded artist.
Randy: He’s the youngest veteran.
Awww shucks. Scotty made me weak in the knees with this performance. Perfect song choice. It was Willie Nelson for the new millennium. He’s going to be a tough one to beat with this performance. Is Scotty the American Idol this year?
Song: The House of the Rising Sun by Traditional
Steven: She sold everybody tonight.
Jennifer: The song has never been sung like that before.
Randy: She’s grown leaps and bounds.
WOW, WOW, WOW. This has been the moment I’ve been waiting for all season. Haley had her Idol moment tonight. She’s done well with a few other performances this year including her Janis Joplin and Adele covers, but tonight she was phenomenal. The beginning part was so haunting. It was astounding. Deservedly so, the judges and the audience gave her a standing ovation. Haley FTW.
1. Haley Reinhart
2. Lauren Alaina
3. Scotty McCreery
4. James Durbin
5. Jacob Lusk
1. Haley Reinhart
2. Scotty McCreery
3. Lauren Alaina
4. Jacob Lusk
5. James Durbin
If past results play into tomorrow’s results, Haley will be in the bottom two with Jacob. They’re the only two to ever stare elimination in the face. Yes, Scotty was standing with Casey last week at the end, but keep in mind, Ryan never said they were in the bottom two. Haley has no business in the bottom two after that tour de force. That said, I’m curious to see if James lands in the bottom for the first time. Based on last night, he should be. But at this stage it’s all about fanbases. Will they save him and put Lauren and Scotty there instead? The writing is definitely on the wall for Jacob. He’s dunzo, but who will join him. I’m thinking it’ll be Lauren.