American Idol: 11 Finalists Compete. Again.

It’s Wednesday night again, so that means I’m blogging about American Idol along with a bajillion other people. Oh, well. I’ve got my dozen reader share of the blogosphere…

If you’re just joining our show, last week, Casey Abrams got “saved” by the judges from the shocking audience vote elimination. I’m not sure that sentence made any sense. At any rate, tonight should have been the top 10 competing, but since Casey was saved by the judges last week, he gets to compete again, and two people get sent home this week. Mind you, I’m actually glad Casey got saved.

I haven’t heard what the theme yet. Oh, great, they’re showing Casey’s meltdown from last week, so I’m already teary-eyed before we even start.

So I guess they are doing Elton John songs tonight. That could be interesting. But first we have to waste time talking about a photo shoot.

Scotty gets to go first tonight. I can’t wait to hear a country western version of an Elton John song. That was sarcasm… Aha! He’s going to do “Country Comfort.” Yeah…I forgot about that one. He gets to work with the Geico caveman. Scotty is playing his guitar as he starts right out singing with little introduction. He appears to be wearing a black leather jacket and blue jeans. The performance is pretty nice. He’s got the melody down, and seems to be hitting all the notes. But we still haven’t heard any variety from Scotty. All he can do is country. Steven says he loves everything about his voice. Jennifer encourages him to always keep grounded…it was a good performance. Randy says he has seasoned very fast. Likes his comfort on the stage.

Naima is up next. Apparently, she is going to do a reggae version of “I’m Still Standing.” She chose it because nobody expected her to still be there. So she’s “still standing,” you see? She’s wearing a white jumper with green, red, and yellow stripes on it. Since I don’t like reggae, it’s utterly boring. Vocally, it’s okay, none of the old pitchiness (thanks to Jennifer’s husband). Sorry, I just didn’t like it. Jennifer isn’t sure that the song was suited for reggae. Randy agrees with Jennifer. He likes reggae, but thinks it came off corny. Steven says she picked a song that fit her. That’s pretty much all he said, though. Did he like it or not? Who knows?

Paul will sing next. Have I ever mentioned that Paul looks like Ringo Starr? Okay…he’s going to sing “Rocket Man.” One of my favorite Elton songs. It could be good for him. He’s playing his guitar, also. He’s wearing a very flashy jacket over a red shirt and a dark tie. He gets off to a nice, soft start. He changes the melody just a bit, tastefully. I believe this was a perfect song for this quirky guy. It’s working well for him. It’s not intense, or all that powerful, but it’s pretty, as he literally whispers the ending. Randy says “Yo.” Some “quiet comfort” from Paul. He called it “infectious.” Steven pokes fun at his suit…he loves Paul’s voice. He likes when he doesn’t always exactly hit the notes. Jennifer encourages him to push. She thinks he has “a little bit more.”

Pia is up next. Looks like Pia rocked the photo shoot. She’s going to sing “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.” I used to play that song when I was in high school. Yeah…I’m that old. Shut up. Another one of my favorite Elton songs. Hey, Rick! I wonder if anyone will sing “Ticking?” Remember that one? (Sorry about that…just a shout out to an old high school bestie.)(Did I just say “bestie?” Egad.) Oh, yeah..it’s another ballad for Pia. She looks pretty stunning in a white/silver sequined dress. Oh, yeah, she’s killing this! The high note was just a bit off, but not much. The power in her voice is punching the lights out of this song. It’s official. I got goose bumps. Folks, it looks like it’s gonna be another tough performance night. Steven says she’s done it again. Jennifer says it’s crazy what Pia does with her voice. She felt her tonight. Randy says she slays the ballad every time. Says it was unbelievable. Throws out words like “Whitney” and “Mariah.” “Pia was great once again.” I agreea. Heh. Ahem.

Stefano will sing next. Oh, man. He’s singing “Tiny Dancer.” ANOTHER one of my favorites! Can he do this? The chorus of this song is tough. He’s wearing a white shirt and gray vest. And jeans? I can’t tell. He chose to eliminate some of the lyrics. He’s pitchy on the chorus, too. I still don’t think he’s connecting enough. And I don’t think he nailed the bridge like he should have. That part of “Tiny Dancer” is strong and powerful. I just didn’t feel it tonight. It’s not horrible, but it’s just not…”there.” Nice finish, though. He certainly “connected” with Jennifer at the end. Hehe. Jennifer said she could feel that he was connecting better with the audience. Randy also thought he started connecting better. What do I know? Likes that he was moving around more. Very nice job. Steven also thought it was very nice. He used the word “connecting,” also. It’s a theme!

Okay. Ryan says that Lauren is about to take on the best selling single in Billboard history. What? She’s singing “White Christmas?” Hm…Wait. I bet it’s going to be “Candle In the Wind.” What do you think? It’s NOT the best selling single of all time. However, it is the best selling single since the charts began in 1950. Pft. Oh, man. Stefano’s dad is a dead ringer for Howie Mandel. Weird. Okay…back to Lauren. Okay. Stop right there. She says “this song was so great the first time it came out that I didn’t want to stray too far away from it.” Lauren! Honey! You weren’t even a gleam in your daddy’s EYE when this song came out the first time!!! Gah!! She says she can relate to this song? What? She starts off a bit pitchy as she sports a black, sparkly minidress (turns out it had a train on it). The pitchiness disappeared as she got into the song. Well. I’m not moved by her interpretation. Listen. (Hey, I’m pretending to be Randy. “Yo!”) I was a teenager when these songs first hit the airwaves. The potential for absolutely slaying this particular song is amazing. I played this one, too; played and sang it over and over in my living room. I’m sure my mother got tired of it. But Lauren…the pauses in the rhythms of the melody were all wrong. As was that little country “bump” at the end of the long notes. That just doesn’t fit this style of song. (I don’t know what to call that vocal effect.) I mean…it wasn’t bad. But it didn’t move me. Not like Pia’s performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.” Randy says “Yo.” He said it was one of her greatest performances. I disagree 100% Randy. Steven is a little off his game tonight. He says it was perfect. Jennifer says it was amazing and gorgeous. Oh, well. As I said before…what do I know?

Man…I can’t believe we still have 5 singers to go. It feels like this show has already taken two hours.

James is up next. I wonder what he will sing…Saturday Night’s Alright? YES!!! I guessed it! Really, I did. I typed that before he said it. He starts out in the audience behind the stage. Comes down the stairs. Man, he is nailing this song! He is all over the stage like a dynamo. He’s nailing the vocals. This guy is really performing! Now he’s standing on the piano! I’m at a loss for words now. I’m actually laughing out loud as he ends the song with a tremendous scream. What. A. Performance! Steven says he brought the heat. Says he has a really good rock voice. Jennifer says she forgets it’s a competition show (that’s what I was talking about!). She said it was “really a full performance of a great song by a great artist, period.” Emphasizing every word with her hands. Randy says “Yo.” He loves how much James enjoys himself. He could see that he was having a great time. It was a “great, great, great performance.” I forgot to mention that the piano was on fire for a moment. As he talked to Ryan afterward, he said that he had a lot of hairspray in his hair and was worried about having a “Pepsi” moment. (For those of you who don’t get that….Google Michael Jackson, Pepsi, and hair.) Oops!!!! Idol is sponsored, of course, by Coke! LOL!!!

Thia is singing next, and, based on what Ryan said, she’s going to sing “Daniel.” Bad idea, Thia. I mean…it’s a nice, pretty song. But it’s plain and kind of boring, and people won’t remember it. Thia, though, as always, is adorable. She is so cute… She says she is going to try to channel the emotions that she had when her brother left home. Vocally, she’s pretty much flawless. Actually, I believe I can feel it. She gets a little pitchy on the chorus, but not too bad. The arrangement is actually pretty interesting. So…I was wrong. Not boring. But not tremendous, either. But it was nice. Very nice. Jennifer says it was really beautiful. I have to say that Thia’s voice is so mature for her age. Randy liked that it was relaxed and people can hear her beautiful voice. But he didn’t like that it was really “safe.” Steven thinks she found the right song.

Casey is up next, and he will sing “Your Song.” This is a great song, and it could fit Casey very well. Oh, no!! Is he?? Did he?? He trimmed the beard and got a haircut. Whew. I thought he was going to cut the whole thing off… Okay. He starts out sitting on the stool next to the piano. Very simple, since this is just pretty much a piano and vocal song. Nice piano work, Mr. Piano Man… Nice vocal tone at the beginning; very quiet and simple. Very nice. Nice move into falsetto during the chorus. It was a very moving performance of a nice, simple song. And a very nice ending!! Bravo!! Almost made me cry. Randy says “Yo!” Randy believes that their save of him was the greatest save ever on the show. He said the performance was “absolutely brilliant.” Steven concurs on the save decision. Loved the last two notes of the song. Steven says he sings different every time, and that makes a good artist. Jennifer says he proved that they were right to save him.

Jacob will sing next….that’s weird. Two guys in a row? That means Haley will be last. He’s going to sing “Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word.” I hope he does better than the rehearsal clip they showed. He’s wearing a gray jacked over a red shirt with a red handkerchief in the pocket. wait. That’s a blue shirt. What’s the red thing? An untied bowtie? Anyway…and they have the fog machine going. He’s doing okay, but by the end of the song, I can’t recognize it any more. It’s not the same song I know. It has the same words, but the melody is completely different. The last note went on forever, going in and out of pitch. It was a powerful performance, I’ll give him that. Steven likes the intensity. Jennifer liked the arrangement. Randy also liked the arrangement. I think he thought he was too restrained. Really?

Haley closes the show tonight. Ooh. She’s singing “Bennie and the Jets.” Really? That could be interesting. Or not. It’s definitely never been one of my favorite Elton songs. Mostly because it was silly. I mean, c’mon… She starts out sitting on the piano, ala Michelle Pfeiffer in “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” Hm..she growls out “Candy and Ronnie,” on the chorus. She giving this a kind of R&B flair. I actually like it. This girl has got a great voice. She really needs someone to write a song just for her. I enjoyed that. Surprisingly. Let’s hope that can keep her out the bottom three. Jennifer says, “That was it, Haley!” It was great way to end the show and amazing. Randy says “Yo.” And “Listen.” And “for me.” Randy says it was the best performance of the night. No. Sorry. It was great, but it wasn’t better than James. Nuh-uh. No way. Steven says, “it just goes to show what a well-placed chorus will do. You. Sing. Sexy.”

Okay. It was a good night. Not as good as last week, but still pretty good. My top picks are: 1. James; 2. Casey; 3. Haley; 4. Pia; and 5. Paul

My bottom three tonight are Lauren, Stefano, and Naima. It probably won’t come out that way tomorrow, but we’ll see.

TTFN, y’all!

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2 thoughts on “American Idol: 11 Finalists Compete. Again.

  1. I’m just not going to win you over to the country kids, am I? I think we mostly agreed about tonight, although I thought Lauren was in the top four rather than in the bottom three. But James, I’m right there with you. He was fabulous!

  2. Jeff,
    Love your commentary. I like Jacob but didn’t think he did great tonight. My top 3 were Pia, James and Scotty. I didn’t like Haleys performance at all! But, what do I know? LOL

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