Wednesday, April 27, 2011

'American Idol 10' - Top 6 performance recap

Take a look at this picture and what do you see? Just six Idols left to sing for you and me! Not sure what that had to do with anything, but see how this show inspires me! This week, the remaining Idols will perform the music of Carole King for the first time.

Cold opening intros the Top 6 in shadowy lighting. Only six left America. Voiceover man intros the judges and then Ryan. We see a video package highlighting Carole King's amazing career. She wrote hundreds of hits for other people, but was also an artist in her own right. Her 1971 album Tapestry was on the charts for six years!

Ryan intros the contestants and another video follows on Babyface, this week's guest mentor. Babyface doesn't think "America has really caught the essence of any of them.” Maybe, maybe not.

Jacob Lusk – “Oh No Not My Baby”
Jacob's in the death spot. He rehearses the song over and over, but still doesn't seem to be able to please Babyface and Jimmy Iovine. Jacob's in plaid tonight and although he blows a few notes, he's having fun and that translates. He dances a bit and does some decent riffs. It was fun.

Steven is pleased Jacob finally "shook his tailfeathers" and says it was beautiful. JLo says it was a tricky song and points out some of Jacob's misses, but ends by saying he killed it. Randy says he loved the scatting and that Jacob brought it back. "You are a great singer," he concludes.

Tickets for the Idol tour go on sale May 13.

Lauren Alaina – “Where You Lead, I Will Follow”
Miley Cyrus pops in as a surprise during Lauren's rehearsal. “Do it for yourself, people will always talk about you, that will never change," she says. Lauren is wearing uglu boots, and a dress with a full skirt and a belted waist that does nothing for her figure. She works the stage and even pulls some poor, unsuspecting dude up from the audience. Her vocals are okay, nothing spectacular.

JLo says she's proud of Lauren and felt her pushing. Randy calls the song safe and boring, but points out Lauren "came out with a vengeance." He says "I saw you shine tonight when your voice broke." Steven tries not to slam her and gives her some sort of babble talk. Ryan further humiliates the boy from the audience, who's name is Brett. He's 19. Ryan warns him to stay away from Lauren, who's only 16. Tee hee hee.

Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart – “I Feel the Earth Move”
Casey and Haley, sitting in a tree... This song feels underrehearsed and thrown together. Their voices aren't at all in sync, but they are having fun. So who cares. We're not supposed to judge them on this, right? Steven calls Casey "Weird Beard" and asks him how much in love with Haley he is! Way to embarrass the guy Steven.

Scotty McCreery – “You’ve Got a Friend”
Babyface and Jimmy want Scotty to sing it softly, like a love song. So, Scotty totally abandons his lower register and sings this in a beautiful tenor. It's a simple but lush arrangement with strings and an acoustic guitar. It was beautiful and possibly his best performance so far.

Randy says Scotty's in it to win it and points out that he turned the other cheek after last week's less than stellar judges' reviews. He does advise Scotty not to fall off the high notes. Steven says he doesn't think Scotty has every sung better. JLo also praises his using his upper register and points out that he used to be afraid to do this. "You told that story beautifully," she finishes.  Ryan makes Scotty give us “the look." Interesting in that the king of the "look," Constantine, is in the house tonight.

James Durbin – “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”
James tells Ryan that he's singing this because someone on the 'Idol' message board requested he do so. He starts out quietly with his guitar and builds it up to rock pitch. But his vocals are controlled and he infuses the song with emotion. Everything works on this. Very good performance.

Steven says he liked the beginning and the rock part grew on him. JLo says James will be the star of the night (hey, there are still two more to go). and says he's had a strong week every week. "Consistency is going to win it," she finishes. Randy goes bonkers. "Who is in this to win it?" He says that James wasn't just a  great rock singer, he was a great singer, and then proclaims "This guy might just win it all." To emphasize, he gets up and hugs James. Pull the crown out of the storage room and polish it up guys. 

Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina – “Up on the Roof”
Ryan mortifies Lauren by suggesting she and Scotty have something going on. Scotty says they are like brother and sister. Together, though, they sound pleasant, although Scotty goes flat a couple of time, which messes up the harmony. Again, I don't think they rehearsed this much, so that being considered, they do okay. JLO says that Lauren sings her brains out and tells Scotty he did a good job backing a powerful voice. Little diss there?

Casey Abrams – “Hi De Ho ”
Casey jams with Babyface and really gets into it. Jazzy Casey is back tonight. He starts out tinkling the keyboard, and then wanders about interacting with the various musicians on the stage. You really had to see this to get the gist. He growls, he scats, and he sings the stuffing out of this. What's interesting is that despite all the moving around, he never loses a note or falls off key. It's an outstanding performance.

Randy says it's like the song was written for Casey and that it took him back to New Orleans. Steven says "It’s the best mother…loving show I’ve seen." JLo wants to see Casey loosen up his body a bit. Whatever.

Haley Reinhart – “Beautiful”
The mentors want to make sure Haley "gets" the "get" in this song. And, despite some kind of technical malfunction before she starts, she really does get it. The song is perfect for her style and range. She owns the stage and the audience. I would never have guessed she'd make it this far, but here she is, and considering she's in the pimp spot tonight, she may well make it to the Top 5.

Steven says, "I just saw God. You just nailed it." JLo says it was beautiful and that Haley has one of the best voices in the competition. Randy didn't love the beginning but says the end was great.

Jacob and James – “I’m into Something Good”
James and Jacob realize they are an odd pairing, but they take this song and have fun with it. They encircle JLo and sing to her. It was stupidly fun. Steven wonders where they were going with the song and everyone has a great laugh about their paying homage to JLo's legs.

Report Card
Tough week. No one was bad, most were very good. But grade we must.

Jacob - C+
Lauren - C+
Scotty - A
James - A
Casey - A+
Haley - B+

The grades don't like - the bottom three should be Jacob, Lauren, and Haley, and sadly, I do believe Jacob will be eliminated. I would be shocked if it went any other way.

Tomorrow night, Crystal Bowersox returns to the 'Idol' stage for the first time. Bruno Mars will also be on hand.
This is unexpectedly fun. James and Jacob have some chemistry going–I would not have expected that. They head over to Jennifer to serenade her. Big crazy notes at the end are funny, but in a good way. Steven: You guys were having fun…man where were you going with all that.

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