Thursday, March 10, 2011

American Idol, Top 13

It’s time for the real fun to begin! Theme weeks! I personally would like to thank the producers for picking a theme for this first week that allows the contestants to pick a song that they actually know and might actually record something like one day. The theme was “songs from your idol”. Let’s break it down, shall we?

Lauren Alaina - “Any Man of Mine” – Being first out of the gate is rarely a good thing and almost never does you any favors, and that was certainly the case with Lauren. She did a good job on the song, but she did nothing to make it memorable and that’s a problem when you’ve got twelve other people performing after you. Good lesson for her. And I still wish she would tone down the make-up just a tad.

Casey Abrams -“With A Little Help From My Friends” - Going second is a lot like going first when there’s thirteen performances going on, but Casey apparently got the memo about making it memorable. I love me some Joe Cocker, and this song takes me right back to The Wonder Years with Kevin and Winnie. It makes me smile, and Casey makes me smile. He’s just so GOOD. Although I do wish he would trim up the hair so he looks a little less like the unibomber.

Ashthon Jones - “When You Tell Me That You Love Me” – I’m still a little bitter that Ashthon made it into the top thirteen over Kendra, and this performance did nothing to win me over. I could say it was pitchy, her lower register was basically non-existent, and so on. But I’ll leave it at, it was NOT GOOD. I think she’s in trouble.

Paul McDonald - “Come Pick Me Up” – Paul looks like Bradley Cooper and sounds like Rod Stewart, and that is a winning combination. I, like Randy and Steven, hope America “gets” him. Cause I can’t wait to hear what he does next. Plus, he’s quirky, and he’s got some rad dance moves that might be a little reminiscent of Elaine Benes. You be the judge.

Pia Toscano - “All By Myself” – I hope Pia is not peaking too early. She had another really good night with what could have been a disaster of a song choice. Celine is always iffy, but Pia definitely has the voice to pull it off. She proved that last night.

James Durbin - “Maybe I’m Amazed” – I’m a fan now. Clearly, he listened to my advice last week and lost both the tail and the scream. I’m sure the scream (and possibly the tail) will make a comeback, but at least he didn’t try to force it into a song that in no way needed it. That move broke him out of the Adam Lambert mold for me.

Haley Reinhart - “Blue” – She didn’t have any issues hitting the notes on this song, yet still she tried to tramp it up a bit. Which was a little creepy and totally unnecessary since LeAnn Rimes was like 14 when she released that song. Please note that growling is not mandatory in every song.

Jacob Lusk - “I Believe I Can Fly” – He completely oversang this song, which is difficult because this song is over the top to begin with. But you know what? It doesn’t matter, because this boy can sing like nobody’s business. His range is unbelievable. ‘Nuff said.

Thia Megia - “Smile” - I didn’t think this was the best song choice for her. I still think she has an amazing voice, but I think she’s going to have to find a little more fun if she’s going to stay very long in this competition.

Stefano Langone - “Lately” – I hated this. More specifically, I hated the interjected dance beat. I think I would have liked this so much more if he had stuck a little closer to the original. I don’t care what some big time producer thought about it, I thought it stunk.

Karen Rodriguez - “I Could Fall In Love” – And it’s round 2 of the Miss American Idol pageant! And this one has the added bonus of being a “design-your-own-costume” round as well. I realize the outfit was inspired by Selena, but no where in the rules did it say that you had to dress like your idol while you were singing their music. Although, I really don’t think an outfit from this decade would have helped this performance any.

Scott McCreery - “The River” – Perfect song choice for this guy. Really cheesy pictures running as the backdrop while he sang, but that wasn’t his fault. Honestly, he could really be bad for a couple of weeks, and it still wouldn’t affect his chances of going far in this competition. The ‘tweens have spoken.

Naima Adedapo - “Umbrella” - I didn’t get this AT ALL. We all know that I am not up on current music. If you didn’t, jump back up to my comments on Casey Abrams' performance and my declaration of love for Joe Cocker. Joe Cocker does not equal current music. However, in my defense, I, unlike J.Lo, do know who Ryan Adams is. So maybe I’m not as out of it as I thought. Anyway, Burge said that “Umbrella” was one of those songs that never sounds good performed live because there was so much mixing done on the original track, it can never be replicated live. I agree. And that rap in the middle and the awkward “choreography”? NOT GOOD. There are reasons artists like J.Lo hire choreographers.

So, I’m not going to give any prediction of who will be in the bottom three and who will be voted off. Because, America? We are a fickle bunch. Who knows what criteria people will use when voting. Instead, I will say who I think should be in the bottom three. And they are… Ashthon Jones, Hailey Reinhart and Karen Rodriguez, with Ashthon Jones going home. Now, let’s see how wrong I am. :)

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