Tonight's theme is "Motown", which means some contestants (Stefano, Jacob) should do great, while others (Scotty) could struggle. This theme always seems to produce some great performances so I'm hoping that continues tonight. I personally love Motown because it is one of the great things that came from Detroit :). The show opens with a black and white intro. I'm glad it didn't last long though cause I can't say I'm a fan of black and white TV. We then get a brief history on Motown, which I am sure they could use every year since this seems to be a running theme each season. I think I'm going to start a new drinking game for every time Randy says how long he has been on the show and Steven Tyler makes an inappropriate comment or some bizarre analogy.
Casey Abrams- "Heard it Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye. Casey says he feels comfortable with Motown, but his rehearsal sounds a little rough so I hope the live performance is better. Can't say I am a big fan of the beginning. I guess its hard to jump from Nirvana to Motown though. Gets a little better in the middle, but still not great. Great stage presence as he walks through the audience, but I can't say I enjoyed the vocals very much. Steven thinks he is the perfect entertainer. He loved it (of course). Jennifer says he is so specific who he is. She thinks there isn't any other recording artist around right now like him. Randy calls him a true original. I still didn't like it too much. He will be safe though I'm sure.
Thia Megia- "Heat Wave" by Martha and the Vandellas. She wanted to do an upbeat song after getting critiqued for so many ballads. She starts off pretty good. Much better than last week. She looks very cute too. Very confident performance. Good vocals throughout the whole song and she moved around a lot. Much more energy than last week. Jennifer says it was great to see her let loose. She wants her to dig deeper each week. Randy says she took a chance and she can really sing. He was happy to see her move out of her safety zone. Steven agrees with Jennifer and Randy. He's good with it. She should be safe...we will see though as the show goes on.
Jacob Lusk- "You're All I Need" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Jacob has a church background, who knew!! Here's hoping Jacob doesn't go too over the top (like he seems to do every week). On a quick sidenote, the backup singers sound good, but they sure looks pretty stiff! Beginning is very nice and restrained. Chorus is even pretty good. He definitely has the jazz hands going though. The ending was a little much, but otherwise that was my favorite Jacob performance. Steven once again refers to him as "baby Luther". I don't think so, but whatever. Randy says it is his best performance on the Idol stage. Says nothing was wrong with that performance. I have to agree. Steven says he held it back this week and loved it. Jennifer says he moves her and he made them beg. I agree, that was the best he's done thus far. Ryan invites the whole front row to come up and hug Jacob while he is giving out his numbers. Random Ryan...He will be safe though.
Lauren Alaina- "You Keep Me Hanging On" by The Supremes. Like Scotty, Lauren could have trouble with this genre, but we will see. Okay so this is really the first week I've noticed how much Lauren looks like Candice Cameron aka DJ Tanner! Vocals start off good. Lauren then makes her way off the stage to dance and sing seductively to Randy (blech). She's actually doing a lot better than I thought she would this week. Pretty food performance and she has a lot of personality while she sings and performs. Steven says she "ripped that song another beauty mark". Says it was beautiful. Jennifer says this is the most beautiful she has seen her. She loved the attitude she gave to the song. Randy says she "now has her swagger on high. She's ready!".
Stefano Langone- "Hello" by Lionel Richie. Okay I got to say I am a little disappointed with his pick (before actually hearing him sing). I thought he would do great with a Stevie Wonder song. Hopefully he does great anyways though. Its a little ballsy of Stefano to pick "Hello" after David Cook knocked it out of the park a couple seasons ago. That's a tough act to follow. Ryan reminds us of David Cooks success with this song before Stefano performs. Stefano is doing pretty good and I LOVE him, but I seriously dislike this song that I am already ready for it to be over with. Chorus is pretty good, the judges don't look like they are enjoying it too much though. Glory note at the end is done nicely. Decent performance, but bad song choice in my opinion. Jennifer tells him to connect more with the audience (I think). Randy says the only thing he is missing is the connection. Says he sounded good but there was no real connection. Steven agrees (shocking). Jennifer adds at the end that she just loves him anyways. Hmmm hopefully he will be safe. Randy then makes an inappropriate innuendo about Stefano and Ryan being in a relationship. Just when I was starting to like you Randy!
Hailey Reinhart-"You Really Got A Hold On Me" by Smokey Robinson. Its her goal not to be in the bottom three this week. We will see Hailey. This song should fit her voice though since she has that little growl thing going on. At the beginning it sounds as if the backup singers are louder than her, but that soon changes luckily. For some reason she sings hunched over the entire time as if she is having an episode of appendicitis. She is doing pretty good with the song though. Like I said her growling fits good in this song. My favorite performance of hers so far. Randy says it started a little rough, but by the middle the Hailey he loves came roaring back. He ends it with "Yo you know what I'm saying. You feel me right". Steven says she sang her heart out and she doesnt look a day over fabulous. Jennifer says she has effortless control in her voice and it goes where she wants it to go. She says she has the most soulful voice of the girls.
Scotty McCreery- "For Once in My Life" by Stevie Wonder. Well I thought Stefano would do great this week and he was just a'ight for me so maybe Scotty will surprise me and do better than I think. There's a pretty impressive video of Scotty shooting a basketball from the window of the mansion and actually making it into the hoop. Nice job! Well it doesn't sound like motown at all so at least they won't call it karaoke. Has the Scotty twang to it. He moves his eyebrows while he sings more than anyone I have ever seen. It is actually sounding much better than I thought it would though. My only problem with Scotty is everything sounds alike. He has an excellent country voice, but every song is starting to sound like the previous one. Steven says it was beautiful. (That's going to become a new drinking game rule too. I think he says that to just about everyone). Jennifer says it was a great version of the song. She says it wasn't his strongest, but the low note at the end always gets her. Randy agrees with Jennifer. He says the song needed to peak a little sooner though.
Pia Toscano- "All In Love Is Fair" by Stevie Wonder. I have a feeling this is going to be pretty good. Of course her vocals are great. I really hope next week she goes with something more up tempo though. She seems to be doing ballads every week too. She can hit the high notes pretty darn good though. She always sounds pretty pitch perfect to me. I'm thinking if a girl wins this seasons like the producers seem to want, it is going to be Pia. Great performance as always. Jennifer tells her she needs to move around more on the stage and, like Stefano, take it to the next level. Randy says she is phenomanal and he loves that she had more falsetto in the beginning, he is also getting sick of the ballads though. Steven says she is the closest star in the American Idol universe. Agreed. She will be safe.
Paul McDonald- "Tracks of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson. Paul is the first contestant to play an instrument this season. Big switch from last year when just about everyone played. Sidenote: I LOVE Paul's teeth. I wish mine were that white. Although they do sort of remind me of the "Friends" episode where Ross whitened his and they were glowing in the black light :). I love that Paul starts off his performance EVERY week by talking to the audience as if he is giving his own little concert. Well the guitar seems to have put a stop to Paul's "dancing" this week. He is actually sounding pretty good. I am pleasntly surprised. It actually sounds like something you would hear on the radio today. I really liked it! Great job Paul. That has got to be my favorite from him all season. Randy says he has a distincitive kind of voice (which we all know by now) and a bunch of other stuff, but I am pretty sure he liked it. Steven compares him to Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. Calls it great. Jennifer says he is the complete package. I'm calling him safe too. Ryan asks him what kind of pin he has on and Paul says a jaguar or something, but Ryan insists it is a cougar so he can get the "cougar" vote. Seriously made me laugh. Nice one Ryan! I think he is the oldest one on the show too with his 26 year old self.
After break, Ryan points out that Randy has not said "pitchy" once tonight and I totally didn't notice that. Thanks Ryan! It really is a record!
Naima Adedapo- "Dancing in the Street" by Martha and the Vandellas. LOVE this song! She sounds a little flat in her rehearsal piece. Well she definitely dressed the part with her bell bottoms tonight. I like the beginning and actually the first half is pretty good. Then towards the end she busts out with some African style dancing. Random. Steven says something strange that I can't even quote. He uses the word beautiful again though. Jennifer says she is an exciting performer and she loves watching her and says it was her first goosebump performance of the night. Randy says tonight all of Naima showed up. Everything worked out.
James Durbin- "Livin For The City" by Stevie Wonder. Like I said last week, James is slowly making his way to the top of my favorites list. I believe he is at #3 right now. He reminds me of Adam Lambert again this week, but not in a bad way. Throws a couple of the trademark screams in there this week, but not over the top so I can tolerate them. Great performance by James again. The crowd loved him too! He remains in my top 3 of the season. Jennifer says he is serious business. He left her speechless. Randy says it was a little rough when it started (and gets booed), but when he hit his stride it was unbelieveable. Steven says he's all about being crazy. says he was incredible and the song was perfect for his voice.
Well all in all it was a pretty great show tonight. Stevie Wonder was well represented except by the person I was hoping would do one of his songs (Stefano). I didn't hate anyone, but there were definitely some stand outs for me. Tomorrow's results show should be interesting. If it's going on fan bases then Hailey could be in trouble again, but she did pretty good tonight so I'm not sure. Tough to even predict.
Faves of the night: James, Hailey!, Jacob!, Paul! and Pia (although I am sick of ballads from her)
COULD be in danger: Naima, Hailey (based on voting history), Stefano :(, Thia
Love Stefano and Hailey was pretty good tonight so I hope they are both safe tomorrow.