American Idol‘s Top 13 performed tonight, singing songs by their idols. I’m rating those performances.
Lauren Alaina, Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain: Way too laid-back. I want to be blown away, not just watch Lauren “have a good time” on stage. She does have one of the biggest voices this season – it’s time to really use it! I did like that judges were honest and finally said something except “you’re so amazing, we love you, that was beautiful”.
Casey Abrams, With a Little Help from My Friends by Joe Cocker: I love this guy. He’s so genuine, every song sounds great, and also the entire song sounds like a climax.
Ashthon Jones, When You Tell Me that You Love Me by Diana Ross: Oftentimes she sounds pitchy and screamy to me, and this song wasn’t an exception. I don’t get what Randy sees in her, and yet he was obviously the one who got her in Top 13 with the “wild card”.
Paul McDonald, Come Pick Me Up by Ryan Adams: Terrible! This guy really annoys me. I’m all for unique indie artists, but he’s just not one of them. He sounds like a cat and looks like a drug addict. Please America, vote him off soon.
Pia Toscano, All by Myself by Celine Dion: Great voice, great performance. Going forward, I wish Pia would expand her repertoire and choose some less expected songs (feel free to use my suggestions, Pia!)
James Durbin, Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney: Now that‘s unique! Love this guy, his voice and his passion.
Haley Reinhart, Blue by LeeAnn Rimes: I really like her, and I liked how she made a country song interesting with her bluesy voice. Not sure why Randy doesn’t seem to like her.
Jacob Lusk, I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly: What a voice! What a passion! And I really liked how he changed the song to fit his old-fashoned gospel-ish voice.
Thia Megia, Smile by Michael Jackson / Charlie Chaplin: I agree with the judges that the tender beginning was much better than the weird jazzy part. But, as we saw last season when somebody did that song as well, it has a danger of turning into a lazy lounge-like performance, which Thia happily avoided. (Still doesn’t excuse her not knowing who Charlie Chaplin was, though.)
Stefano Langone, a song by Stevie Wonder: I strongly support the idea of doing something original with a well-known song, but Stefano’s club remix version might have been too much.
Karen Rodriguez, I Could Fall in Love by Selina: Definitely shaky vocally, especially in the lower notes, and lacking overall power.
Scotty McCreery, some famous country song: I generally find country music boring, and Scotty didn’t do anything to change my mind. And I’m still waiting for him to get out of his comfort zone and show us some range.
Naima Adedapo, Umbrella by Rihanna: I like Naima (she does bring some flavor to the competition), and it was a good idea to do Umbrella, but she should have done the acoustic version. The way she actually did it sounded too much like the original but of course not as good as the original, and the dancing was weird and unnecessary.
So, who will be going home tomorrow? I know exactly who should go home, and that’s Paul. However, everybody seems so attracted to his “uniqueness and quirkiness”, that’s not likely to happen. Realistically, people in danger are Naima, who wouldn’t have made it to the Top 13 had it not been for the “wild card” to begin with, and didn’t wow the audience enough to secure a spot in Top 10 (or whatever it will be after tomorrow’s elimination); Ashthon and Stefano, for the same reasons (although Stefano is in a better position since he’s a cute guy, and the lion’s share of actively voting audience consists of impressionable teenage girls); Karen, who, with competition like Pia, cannot afford to be anything less than great. Lauren should be in danger too after not trying hard enough for two weeks in a row.
Such are my projections; we’ll see what happens!