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American Idol Recap – Top 7 Perform

Tonight’s theme, songs of the 21st century, which I’m sure will include at least one song that was remade by someone this century but originally written in another one.

An Idol first tonight, as they have the six already booted contestants (Ashton Jones, Karen Rodriguez, Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia, Paul McDonald and the lovely Pia Toscano) come out and do a version of Pink’s “So What” which was probably best suited for a local Six Flags engagement.  But anything that puts Pia on my TV for a few minutes is all right by me.  Nice quick shot of her potential boyfiend/my #1 enemy Mark Ballas in the audience.

Scotty McCreery (“Swingin’ by Leann Rimes) – I feel like this qualifies as an older song that was re-made, but that’s just a guess.  Best part of this was all the other contestants making fun of Scotty for the way he holds the mic like a flute when he sings.  Performance wasn’t too shabby, but it’s starting to feel redundant with him, he needs to step out of his comfort zone and change it up a little for one week.

GRADE:  B

James Durbin (“Uprising” by The Muse) – sweet song choice and James absolutely kills it.  Having several drummers marching behind him was a sweet touch too.  Tonight might have been the first time I actually believed James could win Idol.  Hopefully he can build on this and keep up the high quality of his performances down the stretch since he’ll be safe for a few weeks.

GRADE:  A

Haley Reinhart (“Rolling In The Deep” by Adele) – ok, great song choice since this is probably my favorite current new song and one of the coolest songs that has a strong build like Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (my all-time favorite).  So I’m not sure if it’s because of the song, but as much as I’ve been Haley’s #1 anti-fan, I really enjoyed this and her performance, and this is two straight weeks (and 3 straight performances if you count her duet with Casey last week) that I’ve really dug.  Maybe I underestimated her, but I think she’s found her groove and might have some life remaining in this race.

GRADE:  A-

Jacob Lusk (“Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross) – wow, now that’s a terrible song choice.  It’s so bad, that Jacob butchers the song by forgetting the second line of it, but thankfully half of America might have been asleep already.  As much as Stefano doesn’t belong here and should have been voted off for weeks, I think it’s Jacob’s time to go.  Actually it’s similar to Paul’s elimination last week.  It’s gotten to the point where we’ve already seen the best Jacob has to offer and he’s just trending downward now and it’s probably best for his career to go home now and save face.

GRADE:  D

Casey Abrams (“Harder To Breathe” by Maroon 5) – this is like the exact opposite of Haley’s performance, here’s a terrible song that instantly sours me on the performance.  But this was at least a lot more upbeat and alive than last week’s snooze fest.  I feel like saying any more would give too much credibility to Maroon 5, so I’ll stop here.

GRADE:  B-

Stefano Langone (“Closer” by Ne-Yo) – what the hell is a ne-yo?  I’m just going to give Stefano a C for every performance he has remaining in this competition since he sings the exact same way every time and never really does anything to stand out and doesn’t really do anything to crap the bed either.

GRADE:  C

Lauren Alaina (“Born To Fly” by Sara Evans) – Maggie said it best, “that was boring for her.”  Yep, agreed.  You have the pimp spot with only 7 people left, you gotta do something that makes you stand out like James did tonight.  Very disappointed.

GRADE:  C+

BOTTOM THREE PREDICTION:  Stefano, Jacob and Casey (only because I can’t stand Maroon 5)

GOING HOME PREDICTION: Jacob

American Idol Recap – Top 11 Perform…Again

I’m usually one to brush off any talk about Idol conspiracies and whatnot, but last week smelled fishier than the dumpster outside of a Long John Silver’s.  He may not have had a great performance, but I’m not believing that Casey Abrams received the least amount of votes, especially with the likes of Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo hanging around.  And with the judges cutting Casey off just seconds into his “save-me” performance, it just seemed all too perfectly dramatic.

With ratings the lowest they’ve been in years, and Steven Tyler all of a sudden becoming Ellen Degeneres 2.0, Idol needed to do something dramatic and drastic, and it’s worked, as the focus of all their advertising this week has been about last week’s shocker.  And now this week, all 11 will be back (and all 11 are going on tour) and I fully expect Naima or Haley to be at least one of the two, if not both, to be eliminated this week.  But there’s no way Casey is voted off two straight weeks.

Anyway,  here’s how I have the Top 11 ranked again going into this week…

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

Tonight’s theme, songs of Elton John.  Another recycled theme, but last used in season 3 if I’m not mistaken, so I’m ok with that (anyone remember John Stevens trying to do “Crocodile Rock”? – well I do, check it out here – it’s the second video on the page, it’s worth the trip down memory lane)

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American Idol Recap – Top 11 Perform

My apologies for missing last week’s Idol recap…actually I’m not sorry, I watched it a few days ago and it was pretty atrocious.  Not sure anyone stood out (maybe Stefano), but plenty of them would have gotten a D+ or worse (I’m talking to you Haley, Naima, Jacob, Casey and the recently departed Karen Rodriguez).  Let this be a lessen to you Idol hopefuls…if you dress like Snooki, you’re going to get voted off the show.

Tonight starts off as the screen is black and white with Seacrest (aka Peaches) telling us to not adjust our TV sets, because it’s MOTOWN night on Idol (again for the 10th straight season…let’s get some original theme nights already).  So if this is true Motown night, will Jacob and Naima sing tomorrow instead of tonight in a special episode just for them?  Too soon?

Anyway, with no prejudice, here’s how I have the Top 11 ranked going into this week…

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

My only prediction for tonight…Scotty, who’s completely out of his element tonight, sings “My Girl” as that’s suited for his voice.  Jennifer Lopez says there are so many great songs of Motown, that you can’t go wrong.  Too bad we can’t say the same thing about her makeup artist.  It looks like she’s got lime green jello for eyelids.  Oooh, Liv Tyler’s in the audience tonight, where’s Alicia Silverstone?

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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.

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American Idol Recap – Who’s Going Through?

I don’t normally write about the recap shows, so I’ll make this a quick one.  Kudos to the American voters for doing an admirable job of voting in a solid group of 5 guys and 5 girls.

TOP 5 GUYS VOTED IN (in no particular order, except alphabetical)
Casey Abrams
James Durbin
Jacob Lusk
Scotty McCreery
Paul McDonald

TOP 5 GIRLS VOTED IN
Lauren Alaina
Thia Megia
Haley Reinhart
Karen Rodriguez
Pia Toscano

After the judges, gave 3 more guys (Stefano Langone, Jovany Barreto and Robbie Rosen) and 3 more girls (Ashthon Jones, Kendra Chantelle and Naima Adedapo) one more chances to sing for a 3 wild card spots.  Which means it’s the end of the road for Jordan Dorsey (no Artest meltdown), Clint Jun Gamboa (shouldn’t have been mean to Jacee Badeaux), Tim Halperin (who?) and Brett Loewenstern (who might have gotten zero votes).  Also leaving for good is Lauren Harris (not made for TV), Ta-Tynisa Wilson (ta-ta), Julie Zorrilla (not gorilla) and Rachel Zevita (woooooo, victory!)

Ashthon Jones – terrible performance when singing for one’s career, but I have a feeling the judges love her too much to not let her thru.

GRADE:  C-

Stefano Langone – awesome, he resurrected my faith in him, should be a lock for the Top 13.

GRADE:  A-

Kendra Chantelle – Maggie loves her voice (more than Pia), and this was good, but it’s hard to mess up “Georgia On My Mind”

GRADE:  B

Jovany Barreto – we have some lovely parting gifts for you, thanks for boring us again.

GRADE:  C-

Naima Adedapo – shaky beginning, but picked it up towards the end.  Steven Tyler loves her no matter what, so she could have sang just about anything here.

Robbie Rosen – ok, but man I’m gonna miss that gigantic honker of his.

GRADE:  C+

Not surprisingly, Ashthon, Stefano and Naima are thru, so here are your Top 13 in order of how I rank them….

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

American Idol Recap – Top 12 Girls

For a recap of last night’s Top 12 guys performing (most rather admirably), check it out here.

It’s the ladies turn to take the stage tonight, as all the guys (and Brett Loewenstern) get the night off before finding out their fate tomorrow.

Tatynisa Wilson – (“Only Girl In The World” by Rhianna) – uh, apparently she’s now known as Ta-Tynisa Wilson.  What a coincidence, I’m now going by Jar-Rett Fischer.  The opening chorus was decent, but from there it was a downhill train wreck, kind of similar to Jordan Dorsey trying to do Usher last night.  Also, what’s up with her hair?  Did she just wake up from a six-day nap?  Between her and Lauren Turner later, it’s apparently bed-head theme night.   Oooh, Seacrest made a fat joke at Randy Jackson, I guess no more gay banter now that Simon Cowell’s not here anymore.

GRADE:  C-

Naima Adedapo – (“Summertime” by Ella Fitzgerald) – you have to have balls, or whatever girls have, to take on arguably the greatest performance in the history of this show (Fantasia – Season 3), and impressively she made it her own version, completely different from Fantasia.  It was a little too much like a lounge act, like Randy said, but I’ll give her credit for holding her own, a solid start.  I’m still trying to figure out what Naima Adedapo spells when you un-jumble the letters.

GRADE:  B

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American Idol Recap – Road to the Top 24

Unfortunately there was no recap last night, as I was celebrating Maggie’s birthday (which apparently is more important that blogging about Idol), then watching the end of Carmelo’s debut and the Terps big win over FSU.

But before tonight’s revealing of the rest of the Top 24, here’s a recap of last night’s two hour show.

– 61 contestants remain, put in groups of 2 or 3, singing Beatles songs in Las Vegas. Very happy to finally see Idol show this portion finally. Usually it goes from after Group Week when they put the contestants in 4 rooms straight to announcing the top 24.

– Good to see Lauren Alaina finally showing some nerves, was afraid she’d get too arrogant.

– My favorite moment (even though it involved my least favorite contestant) was when Ashley Sullivan got married, because it was at the The Little White Wedding Chapel Of Love, the exact same place Maggie and I got married four-plus years ago!  I’m a little disappointed that Ashley didn’t opt for the drive-thru wedding like we did.

Paul McDonald, Tim Halperin and Pia Toscano might have sounded the best doing the Beatles.  Was a little disappointed with Chris Medina and Casey Abrams duet, didn’t really mesh well.

– Sad to see Sophia Shorai get cut after her performance.  Probably her own fault for partnering with Ashley Sullivan.

Thia Megia may have an incredible voice, but I think it’s confirming that 15 is too young of an age minimum for this show; she looks like a frightened puppy out there.

– They need to cut Scotty McCreery already, he’s a one-note low pony, plus John Wayne Schulz should be this year’s resident cowboy. Also if Rachel Zevita makes it thru to the Top 24, I may boycott.

– Not making the cut after Beatles performances include Ashley Sullivan, Molly DeWolf, Carson Higgins, Caleb Hawley, Denise Jackson and Melinda Ademi.  Not sad about any of those cuts.

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