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American Idol Recap – Top 13 Perform

After a one-week voting period which resemble a popularity contest, we’ve got our Top 13, or otherwise known as 12 runner-ups and one winner.  It’s been six long days since we’ve had to say goodbye to…um, oh crap what are their names?  Let’s see there was the gay Archie (Brett Loewenstern), hot blonde (Kendra Chantelle), not-hot brunette (Lauren Harris) creepy homicidal black guy (Jordan Dorsey), really untalented black girl (Ta’Tynisa Wilson), crazy not-in-a-good-way Broadwa girl  (Rachel Zevita), token Latino guy (Jovany Barreto), big-nose (Robbie Rosen), Waldo’s twin brother (Clint Jun Gamboa), and the king and queen of plain (Julie Zorrilla and Tim Halperin).

Here’s how I have the Top 13 ranked going into this week…

MY OVERALL TOP 13
1. Lauren Alaina
2. Casey Abrams
3. Pia Toscano
4. Paul McDonald
5. Thia Megia
6. Stefano Langone
7. Scott McCreery
8. Naima Adedapo
9. James Durbin
10. Jacob Lusk
11. Karen Rodriguez
12. Ashthon Jones
13. Haley Reinhart

Tonight’s theme, sing the song’s of your own personal idol.  If I was on Idol, I’d probably be singing something by either Bobby McFerrin or Rob Zombie, tough call.

Lauren Alaina (“Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain) – here’s the issue with this song, yes it’s a great song (i’ve got a soft spot for Shania…or should I say a hard spot, giggidy), but this isn’t an American Idol song.  It’s too karaoke no matter how good the singer.  Basically if you close your eyes, there’s no way to not picture yourself in a bar, with a pint in front of you (beer, not ice cream) listening to a talented, yet slightly drunk, borderline redneck female belting this out while secretly eyeing which random guy she’s hoping to go with later that night.  Wait, what I was talking about?  Oh yeah, I’m going to open a bar that serves ice cream.  Anyone know how long it takes to get a Ben & Jerry license?

GRADE:  C+

Casey Abrams (“With A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker) – bonus points for Casey for acknowledging this as the Wonder Years theme and also comparing his own looks to Joe Cocker’s ugliness too. More bonus points for busting out a sweet rendition of this song and basically having the audience eating out of his hand, and probably his beard too.  Randy Jackson just referred to this as “American Idol Season 10 The Remix.”  I have no clue what that means.

GRADE:  B+

Ashthon Jones (“When You Tell Me That You Love Me” by Diana Ross) – not good for Ashthon to have to follow both male and female front-runners, she’s going to need a knockout performance to not be forgotten tonight.  I got to be honest, I was bored with this and it didn’t do her any favors.  Considering she’s only here because the judges put her through, she might on the chopping block this week and Randy Jackson can’t save her this time.

GRADE:  D+

Paul McDonald (“Come Pick Me Up” by Ryan Adams) – really, Ryan Adams?  I mean, I might have accepted Bryan Adams here, but this is an odd choice for an Idol. Oh Paul, why?  You were one of my favorites and possibly Maggie’s favorite too.  What was this garbage?  Even Jennifer Lopez said, “I don’t know Ryan Adams.”  Ouch, sucks to be Ryan Adams.  Paul should be safe because of his fan base, but I think he might have lost a few fans tonight after this awkward performance.

GRADE:  D

Pia Toscano (“All By Myself” by Celine Dion) – wow, they really are trying hard to get rid of Ashthon Jones tonight sandwiching her between arguably the four best singers in this competition.  Kudos to Maggie who said last week that Pia sounds like Celine, and now here she is singing her.  The good news, she looks great, and she had some solid moments throughout the song.  The bad news is that at times this felt a little more shouty than singy, plus I’m not a big fans of songs that just repeat the same line over and over again (i.e. Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open”).  Not as good as last week, but overall a strong performance that will keep her momentum…plus she looks great.

GRADE:  B

Steven Tyler wishes us a Happy International Woman’s Day…thanks for the contribution Steven.

James Durbin (“Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney) – good song choice for James who’s been gaining some momentum the past couple of weeks.  Definitely was a nice change of pace to not hear James screech out the big notes and give a more control performance.

GRADE:  B

Haley Reinhart (“Blue” by LeAnn Rimes) – good to know your idol is someone who cheats on her husband.  I don’t think I can objectively grade Haley because every time it sings it sounds like I’m listening to four different people, there’s the soft country, the growler, the bluesy warbler and the 4th person who shall remain unnamed, mostly because I can’t think of a 4th type of sound she produces.

GRADE:  C

Jacob Lusk – (“I Can Fly” by R. Kelly) – good to know your idol is someone who pees on underage girls.  Also, is it bad that I think of the movie Space Jam every time I hear this song?  Ok, not fair, why does he get choir singers for this?  That’s completely unfair.  Also unfair is that I have to listen to this.  If not for the choir singers, this may have been one of my least favorite performance of all-time.  Of course the judges liked it, which just proves that I either know nothing, or I should be the 4th judge.  I can be just like Ellen, plus we both like Tia.

GRADE:  F+ (only gets the + because of the choir singers)

Thia Megia (“Smile” by Michael Jackson) – I call shenanignans. Last week Randy said she reminds him of Michael Jackson and now all of a sudden he’s her idol?  She probably didn’t even know who he was until she googled him.  In fact, when Thia was born, Michael Jackson was fully-white and already divorced from Lisa Marie Presley.  It would have been better, after Jacob’s song choice, if she did Michael Jackson’s “Jam” and we could have dubbed this Space Jam night on Idol.  Someone would have to sing “C’Mon Ride The Train” by Quad City DJs for the night to be complete.  Oh yeah, her vocals were solid, but this was also kind of boring and she was lacking the personality when Seacrest was talking to her afterwards.  All of which could be a side effect of being only fifteen.

GRADE:  C+

Stefano Langone (“Lately” by Stevie Wonder) – the best part of this performance was either when Maggie brought over some fresh made guacamole or when I realized there’s a new season of Real World tonight.  25th season of that show…guess they’re running out of cities since they’re going back to Las Vegas.

GRADE:  D+

Karen Rodriguez (“I Could Fall In Love” by Selena) – problem with having four of your best singers at the beginning of the night is that it’s making it difficult to stay excited throughout the rest of tonight as there hasn’t been a lot to look forward to.  As least the guacamole is good.

GRADE:  C

Scotty McCreery (“Baby” by Justin Bieber…nah, just kidding “The River” by Garth Brooks) – I’m a big fan of Garth (not such much Chris Gaines), but this was just a messed up, too quick version of this Garth hit that didn’t do Scotty any favors.  Also, what’s up with the cheesy lakeside background?  Felt like I was back at summer camp listening to a semi-talented counselor play for all the campers of talent show night by the lake.

GRADE:  C+

Naima Adedapo (“Umbrella” by Rhianna) – interesting that she gets the pimp spot since she wasn’t even voted in by the fans.  I think the producers are trying to make us get on board with her since she wasn’t even top 5 last week in voting.  Very odd, another song sung quicker than the original.  Also odd, the random reggae mix thrown into the middle of it as well as random dance moves.  Not really a good choice for the pimp spot, but really only Pia sang a show-ending worthy song, but she had the pimp spot last week.

GRADE:  C+

Overall, not a very good night after the strong showing last week from just about everyone.  Wouldn’t be surprised if about any of them go home tonight except for a few standouts.

Definitely Safe: Lauren Alaina, Casey Abrams, Pia Toscano and James Durbin

Has Enough Fans To Save Them: Paul McDonald, Jacob Lusk  and Scotty McCreery

Wouldn’t Be Shocked To See Go Home: Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia and Haley Reinhart

Bottom Three: Ashthon Jones, Stefano Langone and Karen Rodriguez

Going Home Prediction: Ashthon Jones

MY NEW TOP 13
1. Lauren Alaina
2. Casey Abrams
3. Pia Toscano
4. Paul McDonald
5. Thia Megia
6. James Durbin
7. Stefano Langone
8. Scott McCreery
9. Naima Adedapo
10. Karen Rodriguez
11. Jacob Lusk
12. Haley Reinhart
13. Ashthon Jones

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