Friday, April 29, 2011

Top 6 Results Show....Idol says Adieu to One more Contestant

Article first published as American Idol: Top 6 Results Show on Technorati.

Idol kicked off on Thursday night as usual, with the Idols all lined up and Ryan telling us how hard it is to let someone go and teasing us that “A lot of fans are going to be disappointed with the nights’ results” ….Oh, the tension.  JLo looked lovely in red, Steven Tyler was dressed as someone going to a Halloween party…as Steve Tyler, and Randy was wearing some sort of high tech pocket protector that I still haven’t figured out.  The judges have stylists, right?  I think someone’s asleep at the wheel.

Now, back to the music, which kicked off with an especially long (and particularly bad) medley of the idols singing Carole King songs in what I’m sure was meant to be an homage to the songwriting icon.  After a short break, this was followed by yet another Ford commercial featuring the idols, this one to  “Our House” by Madness.  Again, does this stuff really sell any Fords? Finally, we got some real music with Crystal Bowersox performing one of her latest. For those or is who loved her last season, she didn’t disappoint at all.  Her band rocked it out too. 

We were further teased before the actual results with some Q&A for the Idols from their biggest fans.  I guess they’ve got to fill up the hour somehow. Each Idol was brought to center stage for a recap of their last night’s performance, together with the individual judges’ comments, and Iovine’s take.  Haley was the first victim, and she was safe.  Our next victim was Scotty, who was also…oh snap!  He was sent back to the couch and we had to wait to hear his results – such intrigue!

Lauren was called up to center stage next, and was then promptly sent back to the waiting couch with Scotty.  Casey was put through the vices next and although Iovine predicted he’d be safe, he also told him definitively to stop that crazy growling.  Here, Here Jimmy!   I think we’re all pretty done with that by now, right?  Ok, in spite of Jimmy Iovine’s prediction of safety for Casey, he was also sent to the waiting couch with Lauren and Scotty.  Is this the Bottom 3?  It’s all too confusing to me.

James was then called up to see Seacrest and we learned that he’s safe with Haley. 
That leaves Jacob, who is joined on the stage by the 3 on the couch, and we were told that Lauren is safe.  They went to commercial break pretty quickly, but this means that Jacob, Scotty, and Casey must be the Bottom three this week. 

Before the final results, the incredibly likeable Bruno Mars sang a new incredibly likeable song.  Now, that’s a pop star – take note Idols!  His incredibly large band sounds great too – it looks like the entire population of some small island….what fun!  But then it was time for the fun to end, at least for one of the Idols.  First, we learned that Jacob’s safe – uh oh!  That means that either Casey or Scotty has had their swan song.  So we’re told that it was Casey’s week to go, but he didn’t seem nearly as broken up or surprised as Randy did.  He went out with “I Put a Spell On You,” and had as much fun with his exit song as I’ve ever seen on the show.

I’m a little bummed because I’m a fan, but I can’t say that I’m too surprised. I think Casey’s jazz focus is not the stuff that pop dreams are made if, and his weird angry growling was getting a little old. He was always creative and fun to watch though, and for that, I’ll miss him.      

We’re down to the Top 5 with only a few more weeks to go….and Jacob is STILL hanging on!  Does he have like 10 fans that just vote nonstop or is it possible that he really has untold legions of sadly tone-deaf fans?  I just don’t get it at all, but I can’t wait to see what happens!

Tune into FOX to get more recap info and breaking news about next week’s show:

Photo: FOX.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Top 6 Perform the Carole King Catalog

Article first published as American Idol: The Top 6 Perform on Technorati.

Wednesday night, the Idols took the stage and took on Carole King, a living legend. I was psyched about the song choices of what I believe is one of the best songwriters of the 20th century.  My only concern was whether the Idols would stick to her oft-overplayed standards, or delve deeper into the portfolio and make some risky and less known choices.  It was a fun evening for sure with some interesting twists.  Here’s how it all went down…

Seacrest kicked things off by sharing, somewhat inexplicably, that Babyface is the mentor this week.  Hmm…didn’t see that coming. was just starting to grow on me.  “” I guess….disappointing.

Also, we were told that each Idol would sing a solo as well as a duet with another Idol. They’re really pulling out all the stops in Season 10!  The performances started off with Jacob, doing “Oh No, Not My Baby,” in typical understated Jacob style….ok, so maybe not so understated!  He was dressed a little like Carlton from the Fresh Prince, circa 1990, and now that I think of it, he danced a bit like Carlton too!  The Pep Squad (aka Judges), naturally dug him.  Especially Randy, who was dressed a bit like a Carlton sidekick.

Next we got Lauren’s solo effort of the night – “Where You Lead.”  During her rehearsal, Iovine surprised her by bringing in her idol, Miley Cyrus.  My ears are still ringing from my 6-year-old’s screaming over that stunt.  Laruen’s performance was certainly fine, but I just thought she lacked any truly unique or interesting.  Maybe she’s suffering from a lack or real star quality.  The Pep Squad didn’t seem to watch the same performance as me however, because they all loved it.  Randy tried to criticize her a bit, but then backed out of it midstream and just cheered her on.  laurn had trid to up the ante on her performance by flirting with a smitten boy in teh audience.  Ryan brought him up on stage to meet Lauren, but then one of the producers must have screamed into his earpiece and reminded him that Lauren is underage so Ryan backs off the plan.  Whew – Idol decency crisis averted.

Our first duet of the evening was Casey and Haley doing, “I Feel the Earth Move. ”  It was very cruise ship-esque and I found myself wishing Master Cowell had been there to say so….Certainly the rest of the judges said nothing of the sort. 

Scotty was next with a very slowed down and understated version of  “You’ve Got a Friend.”  I’m sort of done with his schtick, but it was one of his best performances and sounded great, in a 1970’s Andy Williams TV special sort of way. He seemed less like a caricature of himself this week and I pretty much dug it.  Of course, the three judges did too. 

We were then promised a softer, gentler side of James Durbin.  Ever the skeptic, I thought it may be sarcasm in Ryan’s reference, but no.  He did dial it down a bit and went with “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” with “no marching band and no flaming piano,” in his words.  He still rocked it out quite a bit – it was hardly a lullaby.  James is consistent and this performance was a winner.  The judges seemed focused on trying to outdo one another complimenting him.  Randy even went so far as to predict James the winner, AND came up on stage and hugged him.  What I wouldn’t give to watch just one episode of this show with Simon in my living room….Oh well.

Since no soloist would ever voluntarily follow that lovefest, we were back to a duet of Scotty and Lauren.  Ryan tired desperately to drum up some Idol scandal by suggesting that those two had something going on, but they weren’t having any of it.  Why is Ryan obsessed with Lauren having a crush?  He should leave the poor girl alone.  Their performance of “Up On the Roof” did not send me over the moon, but maybe I’m just grumpy?  It seemed sweet but lame.

Casey was up next with “Hi-De-Ho”, seemingly a perfect song choice for him.  Even his angry growling sounded in context within the song.  It was one of his best performances in my opinion.  At the very least, he had a blast and it gave the idol producers a chance to bring back out the blond bombshell sax player. Aside from JLo telling him to “get loose”, the judges offered only praise.               

Haley chose “Beautiful” and sang it well, but I’m not sure I’ll remember it in 2 days or rush to download it.   There was just nothing magic about it, and this late in the game, she needed to bring magic every time. Steven Tyler said he “saw God” and JLo called it “beautiful and amazing.”  Randy dared to almost offer some criticism, but was quickly shut down. 

The closer of the night was James and Jacob doing a duet of “I’m Into Something Good.”  What a Felix and Oscar moment that was.  It was corny and – amazingly – Steven Tyler did not dig it.  They didn’t even bother to get the other judges’ opinions. 

With the judges apparently trying to keep everyone and all of the Idols being pretty consistent, predictions are going to be tough again this week.  I’d say that Scotty and James are 100% safe, and that everyone else is vulnerable.  I’d like to see Jacob, Lauren and Haley in the Bottom 3, with Jacob going home, but I’m not sure that Casey is totally safe, and we may even get Lauren in the Bottom 3 tonight.  It will definitely be a suspenseful recap show tonight on Fox.  Check here for local listings and scheduled performances:


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Top 7 Results Recap....Goodbye to One More Idol!

Article first published as American Idol: Top 7 Results Show Recap on Technorati.

Who went home this week on Idol?  That was the big question on everyone’s mind on Thursday night for sure.  The talent this year is relatively strong, and this week, like many others this season, was a tough one to predict.  I’m not at all confident about my picks from last night to be honest.  The show started off with some group performances by the Idols, which were far less impressive than Wednesday’s solo efforts, and some gentle ribbing of Jacob, who the group proclaimed a “Diva.”  Then, fairly quickly we were on to the actual results.  Here’s how it went down…

Casey and Jacob were the first to receive judgment, and we learned that while Casey is safe, Jacob was sent to the seats of shame and landed in the bottom 3.   Even my 6 year old, who loves everyone on the show, thought that was the right choice.     

David Cook, the Season 7 winner, debuted his first single from his latest album.  I was a huge fan of his the year he won, but thought his performance on the show was pretty weak, and in the current season, would not have gotten him past the first few weeks.

Next, we were given a glimpse into the lifestyles of the Idols, which apparently includes loads of spa treatments, bowling, and baseball games.  I want in!  Right after they were reminded how incredible their lives had become, three more Idols were called to learn of their fate and possible departure.  Oh those Idol producers are so cruel!  Lauren, James, and Stefano were then called to center stage and we find that Stefano joins Jacob in the Bottom 3.

It was time for the remaining Idols, Scotty and Haley, to pay the piper.  I wasn’t too surprised to hear that Haley rounded out the Bottom 3, and Scotty was sent back to safety.  Almost immediately however, before Haley could even get over to the seats of doom, she was sent back to the glorious couch with Lauren, James, Casey and Scotty.  It seemed like they didn’t want the audience to get too comfortable with her in the bottom yet again?  But maybe that was just the wine talking…

It’s all down to Jacob and Stefano, but before we could find out who’s dream was ending, we had to endure some new song about aliens by Katy Perry and Kanye West. Maybe we could vote Katy Perry off?  Normally, I’d love that, but to be honest, I’m pretty much over Stefano and Jacob and won’t shed too many tears for the departure of either one.

With 52 million votes cast this week, Stefano apparently didn’t garner enough support from America’s teenaged voting public to make it another week.  He did not seem surprised and there was no false remorse or shock expressed by the judges either. His final song didn’t do anything to make me think twice either.  Sorry Stefano!  Jacob – consider yourself lucky….and on notice!

Just before the show closed, King Ryan shared that next week, the Top 6 would be doing the songs of Carole King.  What an amazing songbook for the remaining youngsters.  I can’t wait to hear what they do!  Stay tuned to FOX for more information on next week’s show, and video of this week’s performances (

Photo: Fox.

The Top 7 Perform Songs They Actually Know!

Article first published as American Idol: The Top 7 Performance Recap on Technorati.

There’s just something about that guy Ryan Seacrest.  I think he’s really going places.   Kidding of course – King Seacrest is by far the biggest star Idol has ever produced….and had the best line of the night, and possibly the season, but we’ll get to that later.  The show opens up tonight with this season’s Idol castoff’s doing a group number and reminding us exactly why they were the ones to go.  I’m glad to see that Paul is continuing to rock the rose-embroidered suit.  I love that guy.

Scotty’s kicking things off for us tonight with “Swinging,” the Leann Rimes tune.   He’s really cheesing it up tonight with the facial expressions and the performance.  I don’t think it’s his best work, and surprisingly the judges (AKA the “Pep Squad”) do call him out a bit on song choice.  Maybe this is a harbinger of things to come?  Maybe the judges will actually judge this week instead of just cheerleading for everyone? Such high drama!

So James is up next with Muse’s “The Uprising” but in typical Idol style, the arrangement inexplicably includes a marching band drum corp. There’s that, and James is wielding the mic stand around like a cattle prod or riding crop and wearing what looks like some sort of post-Apocalyptic soldier’s outfit.  Oh, the theatrics.  JLo loves it, or at least loves the theatrics and the screeching.  Randy gives him nothing but love. Tyler loves the get up and calls it “Mad Max meets Storm Troopers on Melrose.”  Where does he get this stuff?  Admittedly, he does sound good if oyu like that kind of music and he’ll be 100% safe.

Haley is up next with Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” and has decided to do it dressed like Betty Boop. Ok.  She sounds good and even manages to work in a bit of her signature growling and yodeling, and while I think her performance is a bit stiff, her vocals were some of her strongest.  The judges are dying to keep at least one female in the hunt, so they are very complimentary of her all around.

Fourth at bat tonight is Jacob.  I’m guessing he’ll do something mellow and really subdued tonight.  NOT.  Not surprisingly, he goes with the Luther Vandross song, “Dance With My Father.”  The judges ramble on about how great and emotional his performance was, but then Randy actually offers some criticism. Pray tell?  Did the Pep Squad drink some grumpy juice today?  They think he should have brought more to the party.  I couldn’t agree more.

Casey is next; I’m not sure that landing the 5th slot bodes well for him but we’ll see.  He does Maroon 5’s “Harder To Breath.”  So, I am an unabashed Casey fan and that is one of my favorite 21st century tunes, and I did not love it.  I’m guessing that means a lot of others didn’t either.  He seems to scare JLo little bit by walking right up to her singing in her face, and then he kisses her. For real.  So naturally, she loved it.  Randy gives him mad props. Tyler says something really profound, but we cannot hear it because the decency police bleep it out.  Interesting.  Even Ryan gets onboard the Casey train and (briefly) sports an Amish beard to look like Case.  And then, he utters Idol’s best line EVER, “Is this what it feels like to be a man?” Clearly the producers have decided that since they’ve used their one-and-only save on Casey, they need to keep him around for a while and make it count.  I totally love that Ryan throws himself under the bus to boost Casey’s street cred.  Nice work.

Stefano is our penultimate performer tonight and chooses Ne-Yo’s hit, “Closer” with a fair amount of swagger.  The judges all eat him up.  I didn’t love it, but I don’t get his whole Boy Band appeal at all.  Enough about him, I’m bored already.

Finally, Lauren closes out the evening with Sarah Evan’s “Born To Fly,” and a fiddler.  It’s ok, but she seems overwhelmed on the stage and under-confident.  The judges give her a good pep talk instead of actually critiquing her, but I think she lost a bit of her luster tonight .

Predictions are going to be tough this week, but here goes.  I think James and Lauren are totally safe.  I’m going out on a limb and guessing that Casey and Haley could both be safe too, which would give us an intriguing bottom 3 of Stefano, Scotty, and Jacob.  If that is how it plays out, then I think Jacob will have hammed it up through his last song on Idol.  I’d be totally happy with that result.  I could also see Casey, Haley and Stefano bringing up the rear, with Casey going home.  Or even Stefano going home.  What do you think?  I’d honestly be fine if any of those singers departed us at this point. Tonight should be interesting!  Stay tuned to FOX to see what happens:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Top 8 Results Show Recap

Article first published as American Idol Top 8 Results - April 14 on Technorati.

It’s country night on Idol….Oh wait, no it’s not, I’s just Lauren and Scotty opening up the results show with a country duet.  Tonight we find out who goes home after Wednesday evening’s movie soundtrack performances.  I thought it was a rocky night for many of the Idols so we’ll see how this goes down.  We’re also served up a heaping of Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson for good measure.

Ryan tells is it was a big week for voting, which is no surprise given Pia’s somewhat shocking exodus.  Surprise eliminations always seem to drive large voting numbers.

I’m looking forward to getting some results but first we hear Casey and Haley do a jazzy throwback duet, which while not my taste in music, does a surprisingly good job of highlighting both of their strengths.  The newly crowned “Most Beautiful Woman in the World” and her 2 co-judges give them a standing ovation and love it.  Too bad that neither of them did as well last night (at least not in my humble opinion).  But, now we’re down to business and all set learn the fate of Casey, Haley, Scotty and Lauren.   First, we learn that Scotty is safe, as is Lauren.  Did anyone NOT already know that?  We then learn that Casey’s ascot and jazzy approach to the movie song list was a winner with voters and that Haley is the one in the bottom three.

The Idols have some good fun with Rob Reiner, who called Casey “Seth Rogan’s bass-playing, younger brother.”  Is Rob Reiner reading my blog?  Uncanny!  Then, there’s a surprisingly good country duet (“Don’t You Wanna Stay?”) between Kelly Clarkson and some cowboy-hat wearing singer I don’t recognize.  I believe his name is Jason.  I really need to pay more attention.  This is followed by the 4 of the remaining Idols, Paul, James, Stefano and Jacob, doing a medley of Simon and Garfunkel.  Something is wrong with the sound apparently, which is too bad because they sound great!  Even Jacob doesn’t annoy me and in that medium, Paul cannot move around as much as usual.  I like it!

But, now according to Ryan, we have to face the fire…the four impromptu band members receive their fates, and while James is safe, Stefano is in the Bottom Three. That leaves us with Jacob and Paul, with Paul rounding out the Bottom, and Jacob surely praising the heavens above for his good fortune. 

So who will it be?  Haley, Stefano or Paul? I’m anxious to find out but first we have to sit through Rihanna performing her latest.  It’s not bad, but I’m distracted by her bozo-red hair and cirque du soleil-style back-up dancers. 

Ryan reminds us that only girls have gone home this season and teases us that Haley will follow in their footsteps.  But – she is safe!  One of the Idol heartthrobs is going home.  Will it be Paul or Stefano?  It turns out that it is Paul’s week to go home.   The rose-embroidered suit was perhaps not quite as lucky as he has hoped.  My theory is that the cougars just didn’t vote as much as the teeny-boppers this week.  What do you think?  I think Stefano should not get too comfortable.

It’s a sad departure, with Paul and JLo both tearing up.  I know a lot of my friends are sad too – Paul seemed to have a big fan base in the over-40-female demographic.  Personally, I really liked him during auditions and Hollywood week, but he has not been a favorite of mine throughout the performance weeks.  I hope I don’t get my cougar card pulled for saying so!  I wish him well and I’m certain he’ll have some sort of recording career. I definitely look forward to seeing what mayhem ensues next week; stay tuned to Fox for more news and a heads-up on next week’s theme:


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Top 8 Perform: Movie Madness Week

Article first published as American Idol Movie Madness Week on Technorati.

Where to start?  After last week’s all-around stellar performances, I had high hopes for this week.  Our night starts off with Jennifer being honored as People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman award….She looks lovely as always tonight, except for the odd piece of garbage-shaped tulle affixed to the hem of her dress.  I don’t get it.  Sitting next to her, Steven Tyler looks like he is trying to give J. Lo a run for her money as the world’s most lovely lady.  What IS that he’s wearing?

Ok, onto the performances.  We open up with Paul doing “Old Time Rock ‘n Roll.”  I cannot hear that song without thinking of Tom Cruise sliding through the living room in his tidy-whities…Uh oh, I hope this doesn’t inspire Paul to jig incessantly all over the stage.  We quickly learn that it DOES inspire him to haul out yet another rose-embroidered suit.  Good Lord – how many does he have?   I really want to like him and the song,  for real.  Sadly, I do not. He just always sounds to me like he’s about to get laryngitis.  The judges disagree with me though and fawn all over him.  What do I know?

The second singer of the evening is Lauren, who chooses “The Climb”.  On the plus side, there’s a REALLY GOOD chance she sings this better than Miley Cyrus.  Jimmy and both are quick to point this out as well and coach her on using the song to steal Pia’s voting bloc.  This brings sweet Lauren to tears and quickly course corrects and sells it to her that she should “invite” Pia’s voters to follow her.  Jimmy, mumbles something about that being semantics, but I’m actually glad that is there to keep the cynicism in check. She gives the mentors their prediction and does sing it (marginally) better than Miley so naturally, the judges give her nothing but acclaim.  Actually, Tyler says something vaguely creepy, but it’s intended to be a compliment.

Next up is Stefano who dares to sing “End of the Road.”  He tells us that this week he’s going to be a great singer by becoming a real performer.  He does this by wearing a hipster hat in his video package.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to also keep his eyes open.   He does in fact incorporate a reasonable amount of emotion and his song is better than usual, but I’m still not a fan.  He’s a little flat, and it’s just not my style of music.  He really plays to the teenage girls in the audience, flexing his guns as much as physically possible while belting out Boyz 2 Men.  However, Randy says he slayed it and that it was his best vocal, and Steven and Jennifer seem to agree.

Scotty’s up next and he’s doing….wait for it…it’s a shocker…a country song (“I Cross My Heart”)!  Seriously? I like that he’s clear on who he is as an artist, but I wish he’d be more creative and take something else and turn it into a country song.  He actually teases us with this, doing “Everybody’s Talking” for Will and Jimmy, but then reverts to form.  Jimmy and I are both disappointed.  It’s a good enough performance but it’s totally safe and a bit ho-hum.   All the parents in the audience adore him, and so does Tyler. JLo. tries to be critical, but just don’t seem to have it in her.  Randy’s a fan.

Casey is really going old-school Hollywood and is bravely sporting an ascot.  Bold choice.  As for song choice, he first picks a Nat King Cole tune, which Jimmy warns him is way too small for the Idol Stage.  Casey then tries on “In the Air Tonight” on for size, and it sounds great.  Lo and behold though, he goes back to Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy” against the mentors sometimes-better judgment.  He brings back the big bass for good measure.  It sounds a bit like a serial killer, playing a great bass, singing Nat King Cole. My husband said “Wow” like 4 times, but then again, he likes Jazz, and for that matter, any music more than about 50 years old.  The judges ALL love it and give him a standing ovation, and then proceed to try and talk America into liking it.  I’m not sure.  I love Casey and it wasn’t my favorite.  Plus, I don’t think the little 15 year-old hipsters that actually pull out their iPhones and vote, will get it either.       

Our next victim is Haley, who tries on Blondie for size.  Specifically, she chooses “Call Me.”  I think it’s her weakest performance yet, but she’s wearing stripper boots, so naturally Tyler tries to stick up for her.  JLo agrees with Randy but resists saying anything too negative, because she’s all about the girl power.  I bet she’s in trouble.

Jacob comes out and is appropriately chastised by the judges for preaching to the audience last week – I love it.  Jimmy reminds him that he shouldn’t insult his audience, when he hasn’t even made a record yet.  He concedes and looks to take on “Dream the Impossible Dream.”  The mentors veto that choice and suggest “Bridge Over Troubled Water.  Ok, I’m no Jacob fan and that is one of my all time favorite songs so I’m cynical at best, but the dude pretty much rocks it!  Of course, there is the standard over-singing and vocal gymnastics, but that’s just his thing.  It seemed more approachable to me this week. All the judges dig him too.  I still think he could be in trouble.

James is last up with “Heavy Metal”, again against the mentor’s better judgment.  They strongly caution him against it, but James sticks to his guns and does squeal his way through the Sammy Hagar gig. It’s definitely not my cup of tea, and I’m not sure there are a ton of true metal-head Idol voters, but what do I know?  He is in tune though for the most part, and the studio crowd seems to dig him, as does Ms. Lopez.  Randy gives him mad props, and of course Tyler, this year’s Ellen, agrees, because he can ever apparently say anything mean.

So, how to predict the results this week?  It’s really tough.  Here’s how I see it going down…Lauren and Scotty are totally safe.  James is most likely safe as well.  I see Haley in big trouble and Stefano, Jacob, Paul, and Casey on the bubble.  If my life depended on picking the bottom 3, and again this is not my least favorite 3, but just who I think will get the least votes,  I’d say it will be Jacob, Haley and Casey.  I think Haley’s going to be voted off the island.  What do you think?  Tune in to FOX tonight to learn for sure!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Top 9 Results Show: Another Elimination Shocker!

Article first published as American Idol: Elimination Shocker on Technorati.

It was another high drama elimination show on Idol.  I’m not sure that my frail constitution can take any more of this!  The first thing I notice is that J.Lo looks as if she was also styled by Gwen Stefani this week – she’s dressed like MC Hammer.  After the judges’ intro, they kick things off with an Idol medley comprised of several songs we should now be glad they didn’t choose to sing last night.

Then, we’re treated to a video package of Russell Brand as this week’s “charisma coach”.  They should consider adding him as a judge for Season 11 – he’d really ring a lot to the group.  However, the Idols performances on Wednesday night didn’t suggest that they listened to him much.

Ok, right to results; Stefano, Lauren and Casey are called to center stage. Ok, I know I’ve said this before, but tonight, Stefano is definitely wearing a Members’ Only Jacket.  Bold choice.  Lauren is declared safe, as is Casey.  Stefano is the first in the bottom three. 

We get a break from the suspense of the results while Constantin Maroulis, the original Idol Rocker, performs “Unchained Melody.”  He does is like he’s doing Eddie Vedder doing “Unchained Melody.”  Maybe something is wrong with the sound because I can barely hear the first part of the song.  Then again, maybe my husband just turned down the sound to save himself – we’ll never know.  Once again, I’m grieving the loss of Simon, because we all know this is his all time favorite song, and I’d pay money for his take on this version.  There’s a bit of witty banter with Seacrest and then they show us Gwen Stefani’s time with the Idols this week.  This segment answers a lot of questions from last night – it would have been good to see it then, right? She looks great but somehow manages to make all the idols look like bad 80’s throwbacks.  Haley might be an exception – she actually looked good on the performance show.

Back to results; we get Paul, Scotty, and Pia back to center stage.  First, Scotty is sent back to the safety seats.  And wait, another surprise – Paul is sent back to safety and Pia is in the bottom three.  I almost dropped my wine!  Wow.  Looks like we’re in for a wild ride.

Next, the Idols get some media training from a true expert….Harvey Levin of TMZ!  This really is great TV.  There I actually a twisted wisdom to this bit and I love how the one TMZ guy calls Stefano out for being boring, even on his Twitter page.  If you are on one of America’s Top Rated Primetime shows and you can’t find 140 characters worth of something interesting to say once or twice a week, you have a problem.  I’m just sayin’.  My favorite line of that night may be wen Harvey asks he Idols who they are dating, and Casey says, without missing a beat, “Your Mom.”  I love that kid.

Back to business- we’re down to James, Haley and Jacob.  One of them will round out the bottom three.  We learn that it is Jacob!  Wow – this is a night of many surprises!  Jacob, really?  Am I dreaming?   Jennifer seriously looks like she is going to cry.  It’s ok Ms. Lopez, they cannot send both Jacob and Pia home.

Next came what was definitely the highlight of the night for me, if not the season. Ryan warns us that “we might not be ready for this.”  Boy, truer words were never spoken.  Out pops a shirtless Iggy Pop, making even Steven Tyler look youthful.  I didn’t see that coming.  I’m embarrassed for him, but I do want t know what kind of flat iron he uses.  That’s some smooth hair.  Seriously, at what point do rock stars need to figure out that we don’t want to see their saggy used-to-be-six-packs?  His very high-energy performance tests the judges’ poker faces to the limits.  He actually sits down in the middle of he song to catch his breath! It’s just beyond awesome.

Ryan reminds us of Jacob’s self-righteous prediction last night about singing “man In the Mirror”, but sends him back to safety anyway.  We’re stunned to learn that Pia is going home and the Stefano, the luckiest man in America, is safe.  Pia is barely holding back tears; Jennifer is not controlling her emotions nearly as well and looks visibly shaken, and “shocked and angry”.  Randy is “incensed”, even “gutted”.  Tyler accuses the voting public of a lack of passion.  Ryan chastises us again for not voting enough to save Pia.  I think they are as genuinely shocked as I am.

What a night of surprises.  I like Pia.  She wasn’t my favorite contestant.  I think she sings too many ballads and I cannot really see myself downloading a bunch of her songs, but her vocal range and talent are undeniable.  Plus, she’s gorgeous right?  She’s near perfect pop-star material.   I really saw her in the final 3.  I think she got robbed, going home before Stefano and Paul, but what do I know? What do you think?  Did you see that one coming?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Top 9 Perform: The Idols Take On Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame Classics

Article first published as American Idol: Top 9 Perform on Technorati.

So, the Idols are rockers tonight.  It should be a good week for James and Casey especially.  We’re treated to Steven telling us all about the Hall of Fame and its mission, patting himself on the back as an inductee.  The honor is well deserved on his part, just it feels a little cheesy that someone else didn’t give him the accolades. 

The show raises may questions for me.  Why is Randy wearing pleather?  Why is a Rock ‘n Roll mentor?  Where is Gwen Stafani? Why are the Idols all dressed like it’s 80’s week? Hopefully, most of these deep mysteries will be solved.

They bring out the Idols, who are doing their best to build their street cred as actual rockers, by wearing mall fashions.  First up is Jacob, who tells us he’s doing “Let’s Get It On.”  Jimmy is ecstatic and he sounds pretty good in his quick riff, but wait.  There’s a twist; he changes his mind and goes with Michael Jackson’s “Man In the Mirror” instead, much to Jimmy’s dismay, and mine as well.  I really dig Marvin Gaye and thought he could have rocked that.  “Man in the Mirror” wasn’t bad, but it was not memorable to me. The judges and the audience love him though, so maybe I’m just not keen on Jacob.

Second up is Haley who’s doing Janis Joplin.  I think that could be a strong choice for her.  She does “Piece of My Heart” and proves that it’s really in her wheelhouse.  I think it’s one of her strongest performances yet, even if she does go a bit overboard with the gravelly voice thing.   The panel thinks she is awesome. 

Next, we’re treated to the vocal stylings of Casey, who opts for CCR’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.”  And, he’s bringing back the “Big Base.”  I should love it – it’s got a mandolin and everything (or is that a ukulele?)  But to be honest, I think it’s just so-so.  Randy, pointing out of course that he’s a fellow base player, digs it.  Steven and Jennifer call him a true musician. Am I just grumpy tonight?  Another mystery I can only hope will be solved by the end of the 90 minutes.    

Then Lauren does “Natural Woman,” one of my all time favorite songs.  Tonight, she’s dressed less like one of Bravo’s Real Housewives, and more like Janet Jackson, circa 1983.  She sounds good but somehow forgettable.  I like her; I just think she could have done more with this tune.   Steve says she’s not a little girl anymore, and I’m getting a little creeped out, Jennifer calls her amazing, and Randy tells her it was a difficult song and she did a good job.

Ryan promises us a very different James.  He says he’s going to slow it down with “Why My Guitar Gently Weeps”.  That’s a ballad, right?  Didn’t we get enough of those last week?  Still, we haven’t really seen the softer side of James yet, and it’s a great song choice for him.  He even throws in a vintage Durbin scream at the end for good measure.  The experts agree that it was a calculated risk that paid off.

Scotty is on deck now and taking on Elvis, specifically “That’s Alright Mama.”  Scotty promises to try to tap into his inner bad boy and not the “Country Scotty.”  It still sounds pretty country to me, but his voice is really well suited for the range of the song, and he tries to limit the corny Elvis faces for the camera, at least a little.  Ryan allows a bunch of girls to rush the stage….interesting.  All the judges give him props.

Pia promises to really bring the attitude and power tonight on Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High.”  If I close my eyes, she sounded amazing.  She just didn’t really bring much energy to the actual performance.  She was also sporting sort of a Snookie poof, and a weird 80’ jumpsuit thing, so even though she’s a beautiful girl, closing my eyes was a good call.  Jennifer and Randy both gently call her out on the performance issue, but Tyler loves her.

Our penultimate performer is Stefano, doing “When a Man Loves a Woman.”  It starts off pretty weak, but then he decides standing up might help, and it brings a lot more power to the tune. Jennifer thought he really brought it, but Randy was kind of lukewarm.  Steven agrees with Jennifer, while I’m firmly in Randy’s camp. 

Finally, Paul is going to bring it home for us with “Fulsom Prison Blues.”  He’s going to try hard to channel some of that Johnny Cash craziness.  I’m glad to see that he’s left the rose-embroidered suit at home this week, although he does bring back his stage jig.  It’s good though – this is absolutely his bailiwick.  All the judges thought it was a great way to end the show.  

Predictions are going to be TOUGH this week as everyone was actually on top of their game.  I really think Stefano, Jacob, and Casey (sorry guy!) should be in the bottom 3 and Stefano should go home this week. But, that probably won’t happen.

If I break it down, I’m pretty confident that Jacob, Scotty, Lauren, James and Pia will be totally safe. Paul has been in the bottom in the bottom before, and Casey, Stefano and Haley are no strangers to the dreaded perches either.  My guess is that Paul, Casey and Haley will actually be the bottom 3, and Haley will go home.  I’m not as confident as I’d like to be on this, but there you have it.  I think that voters just don’t like her attitude even though her voice is good and she did a great performance last night.  I’m still holding out hope that Stefano will go home, but I think teenage girls voters eat that guy up.  What do you think?  Watch the results on Fox tonight and check out more recap details here:

Photo: Fox.