Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top 13 Extravaganza?

Article first published as American Idol Top 13 Extravaganza on Technorati.

This is it.  The boys and girls combined and we’re working towards narrowing down for the all-important tour.  Last night’s show bordered on lame for me.  Am I alone?  I just can’t fathom sitting through a 3 hour concert featuring ten of these kids, although there are a couple I’d go see as solo acts.  The theme for Wednesday night’s show was “The Idols’ Idols”; each contestant chose a song from their musical idol with poor Jimmy Iovine as the mentor this week, along with a motley crew of esteemed producers.

So let’s dive into the performances, thoughts and/or rants about them, and predictions for who will be crying to David Cook’s debut of “Don’t You Forget About Me” on Thursday night (

Lauren starts off and shares that her idol is Shania Twain; she sings “Any Man of Mine”.  It was as good as any karaoke performance, but certainly not any better.  Wow, the judges agree with me, and Lauren looks stunned.  I’m sure she’s surprised since they’ve done nothing but fawn all over her until now.

Casey hauled out Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help From My Friends”.  They’re pulling out the whole backup choir pretty early in the season this year! He rocks it out, but it’s not the best I’ve heard him this season.   Jenny from the block calls him “important”.  Randy reminds us that it’s Idol Season 10: The Remix!!  Steven calls him a rainbow of talent and a plethora of passion.   Interesting.

Ashton, this year’s diva in training, tells us that Diana Ross is her (hair) idol.   Actually, Randy told her that last week, and she was smart enough to take his advice and at least secure his support. She certainly proved that she can look like Diana, but sadly, NOT sing like her.  Randy gave her a pass and Steven and J.Lo both seemed so enchanted by her hair that they didn’t notice her singing.

Paul’s idol is Ryan Adams, an Indie singer/songwriter, in keeping with his whole quirky thing.  He is however dressed like an extra from Sargent Pepper, and he’s flat, and all in all, a little off, right?  Steven loves him and his voice but agrees that he was pitchy and should pick a better song.  J.Lo admits that she doesn’t know who Ryan Adams is (one more reason for me to make fun of her).  Randy tries his best to get him votes by supporting him and Seacrest gets in the act and attempts to copy his chicken dancing.

Lovely Pia tells us her idol is Celine Dion. She chose “All by Myself”, which is only a song Celine covered.  So now Pia covers Celine covering it….but she does so really well.  She should decorate her room in the Idol mansion because she’s not going anywhere.

Next up was James doing Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”.  He does his rocker best to amp it up a la Adam Lambert, and he’s pretty good, if a bit rough on the higher register.  Randy loves him and somehow manages to work in once again that he worked with Journey.  OK – we get it; you were famous before Idol – we just didn’t know it!  Steven and Jennifer really like him too.

Haley opted for LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue”, which surprises me.  I was expecting Aguilera or Joss Stone, or some other blue-eyed soulstress.  She is dangerously close to a wardrobe malfunction, but manages to keep it together.  She does not sound great though.  Randy agrees with me, but the other judges are under her spell and only give her praise.  Maybe I’m just not a yodeling fan?

 Jacob’s idol is R. Kelly – shocker!  He believes he can fly…and the full choir agrees with him! He starts off a bit sketchy but finishes strong.  All the judges love him and Randy again proposes that Season 10 is the Best. Season. Ever.  They lavish their praise accordingly.  For me, he’s way over the top.

Thia Megia sang “Smile” and she’s ok, until she surprises us by picking up the pace in her song, and completely losing her key.  The judges agree that her soft, sweet quiet intro was better.  Thia begs us, the voting public, to keep her alive.   I’m not sure she’ll make it, but younger contestants tend to fare well because it’s the tweens amongst us who actually vote.

Stefano chooses Stevie Wonder’s “Lately”.  I just can’t be objective about this guy.  He’s so sweet and cute, but I don’t get his vocal appeal.  The judges seem mixed in their reviews, but again, my guess is that the not-yet-driving set who actually votes will keep him around. 

Karen went with Selena’s “I Could Fall in Love”, but sounds so-so to me. I am actually missing Simon who would surely have pointed out that she brought nothing new to the song and was not relevant.

Scotty McCreery goes out on a limb (ok, not at all) and does Garth Brooks’ classic, “The River”.  It’s ultra low, on key, and a great anthem for Garth fans.  I don’t get the Scotty thing, but he is not going anywhere anytime soon.  The judges utterly adore him and he’ll get a lot of votes from inside the coasts.

Last up, Naima, the wildcard in the clutch position, tells us that she idolizes Rihanna, but not until Ryan reminded us one last time that she was a janitor. She is sort of flat and karaoke-esque and then breaks into a weird reggae / rap moment followed by some Beetlejuice-inspired dancing, but it may just be quirky enough to keep her around.  I can’t tell if I like her or I’m just curious what she’ll do next, but I can tell you that my six year old thought she was “soooo funny”.

So, what do you think?  Who will be in tonight’s hot seats?  My guess is that James, Casey, Scotty, Pia, Lauren, Paul, Stefano, Thia, Naima, and Jacob will be safe.  Karen, Ashton and Haley will be in the bottom 3, and Ashton will get voted off the island tonight.  Do you agree?  


  1. I definitely agree with your Naima prediction! I honestly can't even remember what Jacob sang or who he is so not sure who will be in the bottom 3. I didn't think Haley was that bad though.