By and large, the performances last night were formidable. Of the 13, two or three were true contenders, two or three were real clunkers and the rest were middle-of-the-road decent. I like seeing the contestants working with top-quality producers. But someone seriously needs to buy Don Was a mirror. It’s just not workin’ for you, dude. Not at all. And what was up with the Rock Mafia producers? Honest to God, I thought it was an SNL sketch featuring Jimmy Fallon and Maya Rudolph. Anyway. It’s time.
Dim the Lights.
Lauren Alaina. Any Man of Mine (Shania Twain)—It must suck leading off the show. My only thought was yawn. She’s talented, but this rendition didn’t show that.
Casey Abrams. With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker)—The unlikeliest of Idol singers knows how to bring it. Nobody owns the spotlight quite like Casey. A little shouty at the end, but overall I like the style he brought to this song and to the stage.
Ashton Jones. When You Tell Me That You Love Me (Diana Ross)—There’s a great voice hiding behind that awesome hair, but she didn’t showcase that tonight. One big note surrounded by many weaker notes. And then she referred to herself in third person. Ugh! FAIL!
Paul McDonald. Pick Me Up (Ryan Adams)—What…the hell…was that?! Seriously, Toothy McBeardo! What was that?! What a mess. The judges liked it? Did they take a stupid pill? I did NOT get it. At all!
Pia Toscano. All By Myself (Celine Dion)—My future ex-wife. She could wear a burlap sack on stage and stand silently as her performance and I’d still vote for her. And when she does sing, she knocks it out of the park. But next time she should pick a song with more than five words in the lyrics.
James Durbin. Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney)—I love this kid. He truly can sing anything. And he NAILED this song. His voice reminds me of Sebastian Bach with a little less metal edge. Now we just need to do something about that hair…
Haley Reinhart. Blue (LeeAnn Rimes)—I do not like yodeling. At all. Technically, she nailed it. But it was boring. And then there’s the Tarzan calls she was doing. Ugh.
Jacob Lusk. I Believe I Can Fly (R. Kelly)—Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get the fascination with this kid. Nice kid, but I don’t get it. This is a big song and I did not think he nailed it. Seriously, what am I missing?
Thia Magia. Smile (Michael Jackson)—The world already has one Norah Jones and that’s enough! She has a nice voice, but I was bored with this song.
Stefano Langone. Lately (Stevie Wonder)—Admittedly, I lost interest in the show at this point. Kid’s got a good voice, but this is not a favorite Stevie song for me and it kind of got away from him. And then he sort of exploded at the end. No pretty.
Karen Rodriguez. I Could Fall In Love (Selena)—Something was just off in her performance. Too quiet, too choppy, too timid. Nice kid, decent voice, but she was off tonight.
Scotty McCreery. The River (Garth Brooks)—This kid is a one-trick pony. He can only do one thing: semi-hickish country songs. He’s out of his league in this competition and that was evident in his karaoke take on Garth.
Naima Adedapo. Umbrella (Rihanna)—I like this girl’s story and would love to see her do well, but this was not a great song for her. HOWEVER, I do like the fact that she brought the show (and lightning?) to HER. So-so vocals but a lively performance (and lightning?). I like her style, but she’s not long for this show. And then she told the judges she “overstands.” What? No made-up words!
MY TOP THREE. In this order:
James Durbin—One of the few performers I can’t wait to hear what he does next.
Pia Toscano—My future ex-wife.
Casey Abrams—The other performer I can’t wait to hear what he does next.
MY BOTTOM THREE
Paul McDonald—You were a mess, dude. A mess!
Scotty McCreery—Decent country singer, but needs to grow.
Naima Adedapo—I know. I like her a lot, but I don’t think she’s right for this competition.
WHO’S GOING HOME. You heard it here first!
Naima Adedapo. I don’t know. I just have a feeling she didn’t do enough. Although Paul McDonald should go first, I don’t think he will. Chicks like Toothy McBeardo, so he’ll be saved. And, really, I want more chances to call him Toothy McBeardo, so I hope he sticks around for a few more weeks.