American Idol: Four Finalists Compete

It’s Wednesday night again, and this one is going to be a lot tougher. We’re down to a point when all of the finalists are pretty good. Before they sing tonight, my ranking is as follows: James, Haley, Lauren, and Scotty. Let’s see how they do tonight.

Before I start, let me say that, at the time of this writing, Christi is still waiting on a plane at DFW. The airport shut down because of the storm this afternoon, and the plane she is supposed to get on, the last I heard, was still in Austin. She has a connecting flight in Denver at 9:30. I hope she makes it.

Okay…here we go.

Ah…this is the episode when they send all the contestants back to their home towns. That’s always fun. Oh, wait. That’s next week. Sorry. That was just enticement to get us to vote for them so they can be in the top three when they do that next week.

Okay. For their first song, they are picking a song that inspired them. For their second song, they must pick a song from the catalog of Leiber and Stoller. And they’ve brought Lady Gaga in to “mentor” them. I’m actually getting weary of this.

James is up first. Haha. He’s going to sing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” The song is perfect for his voice. The arrangement is pretty much Journey. He hasn’t changed it at all, which is fine with me. You don’t mess with Journey. Randy is bobbing his head and smiling!! Haha. In case there is anyone who doesn’t know this, Randy Jackson was once the bass player for Journey. So…anyway. Nice job, James! Very nice. He gets a lengthy ovation. Steven says he couldn’t have picked a better song. I just realized James is wearing a Journey shirt. Jennifer likes the way he pulled off the vibrato at the end. Great job, she says. Randy says “Yo.” He gives him lots of words about giving props to Journey and Steve Perry. He liked it, though.

Haley is going to do a Michael Jackson song? Ugh. Why???

Interrupt: I just got a call from Christi (It’s 7:49) She’s about to get on the plane real soon. That’s great news! Rachel has landed safely in San Diego and is about to get a cab to take her to the hotel.

Okay…back to Haley. As soon as they stop talking about Steven Tyler’s book. She’s going to sing “The Earth Song.” ??? I never heard of it. I think she’s making a mistake. It’s a ballad. Her voice is beautiful. As far as I can tell, she’s doing very well. Well, it’s a pretty song, but I don’t know it. She gets a chance to get her growls in in the second half of the song. I guess she did okay. Jennifer really felt that the song did inspire Haley. She’s getting on to her for the song choice. Randy says, “Yo.” He says the song confused him about who she is as an artist. Steven says Jennifer and Randy are both wrong. He said that song showed him that she “can.” I’m closer to agreeing with Randy and Jennifer, because I don’t think it was a good choice for her.

Scotty will sing next. He’s singing “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?” by Alan Jackson. Surprise! It’s a country song. Because Scotty McCreery can’t sing anything but country! While I might think singing an emotional song about 9/11 is a cheap trick, it’s not a bad song. He does a pretty good job on the song, but, let’s be truthful, it really wasn’t much of a challenging song. Range wise, it didn’t move around much, but it showcased his low range. I will say that I’m happy to see that Scotty is not afraid to stand up for his faith on this stage. Randy says “Yo, Scotty. Yo.” Randy applauds the song choice. He hopes that Scotty keeps that line, “a simple guy singing a simple song.” Steven dittos what Randy said. Jennifer says she’s in love with Scotty.

Lauren is up next. She’s going to sing…what?? I couldn’t understand the song…Oh, wait…it’s “Anyway.” I know this song. By Martina McBride. It’s definitely better when she gets into the higher register. The beginning was definitely shaky, because it’s a little low for her voice. And I really don’t like that country slide up to a note. And she takes way too long to do the slide, too. Otherwise, it’s a pretty good performance for her. I think it’s kind of funny that out of the four contestants, James is the only one that chose an upbeat song for his “inspiration.” The rest chose ballads. To be honest, I’m not sure what song I would have chosen. What is my inspirational song? Hm. I don’t know. Okay…back to the show. Steven says “Lauren you did it again. You broke my heart. That was the most beautiful thing.” Jennifer is proud of her. She says she believes that Lauren has been listening to what they tell her. Randy says “Yo.” He essentially says nothing. But he says that there was nothing wrong with the performance.

Okay…after round one, I would have to rank them thusly: James, Lauren, Haley, and Scotty.

Okay…Haley will sing first in round two. Hey…you know what we just realized? Jimmy Iovine is not there tonight! Do I miss him? Nope…not one bit.

Ahahaha….look at Gaga!!! She has a black stripe painted around her platinum blond hair! And a black spot on her cheek. She looks scary!! Hahaha.

Haley is singing “I Who Have Nothing.” Oh, shoot. There’s Iovine, sitting next to Gaga. I’m not sure Gaga’s wearing anything below the waist. Really?? She really looks stupid. The makeup is so over the top, it’s not even credible. So here comes the song. Nice start. Got some good reverb effect going on. She’s doing a very nice job. Vocally, she’s nailing it. The pitches are pretty much right on. I think one of the long notes drifted a little flat, but otherwise, it’s great. I don’t know the song, but she’s doing a great job. She gets a standing O from the judges. Along with everyone else. Jennifer says “this is why we can’t take it easy on you. Look what you’re capable of!” She says that was amazing. One of the best performances of the year. Randy says “Yo.” Says she came back and “had a moment.” And he said “in it to win it” again. I’m really getting tired of Randy saying that this year. I’d rather he went back to saying “dog.” Steven said “you just Reinhardted yourself right into the middle of next week. That was beautiful.”

Scotty is up next. He’s singing “Young Blood” by The Coasters. Actually, this song might just be great for him. I love this song. I love The Coasters. Okay. Gaga stood up. Now I see what’s going on. It really looks like she forgot to put her pants on. I’m serious. That’s ridiculous. I mean really. I find this to be in poor taste, especially for a show that is supposed to be a family show. Idol, you can do better than this. Bad form, American Idol. Bad form. Okay…back to Scotty. So it’s a “countrified” version of The Coasters’ song. I kind of like it. Pitchwise, he didn’t quite get the “You better leave my daughter alone” line. Not a bad performance, but not really a “wow” one, either. Randy says “Yo, Scotty.” He likes that he did a fun song for the second round. Randy thinks he’s ready. Steven says, “Dude, you made Gaga’s yaya go lala.” What?? Steven liked the humor. Jennifer thinks it was really great and that he’s really hit his stride. I swear she was looking at some notes before she spoke. Hmm…she talks about what she wants to hear next week. Hmmm…does that mean it’s already decided??? Was that a slip?

Lauren sings third in this round. She’s singing “Trouble” by Elvis Presley. She’s a little thrown by the word “evil” in the song. I have to say, I’m completely disturbed by the interaction with Iovine, Gaga, and the contestants. There’s something just a little bit “not right” about the whole thing. I can’t quite pin it down. And please don’t let Gaga stand up again. Please? Woo!! Lauren looks HOT!!! Whoa! Did I just say that? Yes, I did! And she came out doing great on the song! The fast part had a couple of shaky points in it. I think she lost the tempo both times on the “don’t mess around with me” part. And the ending was really bad. Oh, Lauren. You did such a good job on the rest of the song, but the ending…you totally lost it on the ending. Steven says it was well done. And just loves her. Jennifer saw a performance quality at the beginning that she hasn’t seen before. Randy says they saw a fun side in her. Out of her pop country thing. Nobody even noticed the bad ending. What does that say to me? I’m not sure.

James is up last. Alright! James is singing “Love Potion #9.” Oh, no!! Gaga is standing up again!! No! Stop it! She’s not wearing any pants! And she says James is singing his pants off. I think she’s confused. So James comes out with a totally rocking version of this song. It’s a little pitchy in the first verse. But he’s rocking it, otherwise. What an ending!!! That was the most amazing song ending I’ve ever seen on Idol! Yeah! I salute you, James Durbin!!! Jennifer says it showed her that he can sing anything. Says he put that “James thing” on it. Randy says “in it to win it” again. Says he is peaking at the right time. That was hot. Steven says he’s incredible.

So that’s it for tonight. James is leading the pack by so far it’s not funny. So my ranking tonight returns to the original order. James, Haley, Lauren, and Scotty. However, I have a bad feeling that Haley’s number is going to be up this week. You see, she has to go against the two cute country youngsters. And honestly, the part of the audience that is supporting them is going to be much larger. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Scotty and James in the finale. I think more girls vote than boys. And the girls vote for the cute guy. Call me cynical. I don’t care.

All in all, I enjoyed the show. Hey, you know what? I just changed my order. Mostly because they played the end of Lauren’s second song again. That ending was so bad, she fell into last. But it won’t matter. I stand by my opinion that Haley will be the one to leave. And I really hate that.

TTFN, y’all!


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