This week the contestants had to chose a song released in their birth year. They worked with Jimmy Iovine to perfect their songs. We got to see a little into their childhood and hear from their parents about how special and wonderful are their children, repeatedly.
Naima Adedapo – “What’s Love Got to do With It” by Tina Turner. She put her own twist on it, changed the harmony completely. But she was pitchy, again after last week. Jennifer called her out on it. Randy agreed with Jennifer, the vocals were a mess. I give her a C.
Paul McDonald – “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” by Elton John. This guy is growing on me with his weird movements and soft, yet rough voice. He was a little extra rough this week because of a cold. Jennifer said even with his cold, he did well. Randy didn’t give him a pass, calling him pitchy, but he likes that he makes whatever he sings his own. Steven said he’s “a cool dude in a loose mood”. I give him a B.
Thia Megia – “Colors of the Wind” by Vanessa Williams. Lovely, not amazing, but very nice. Randy said the vocals were okay, but his problem (big boo from audience) is that he was bored. There was nothing special or unique about it. Jennifer didn’t like her bravado, which was a little shaky. I give her a B+
James Durbin – “All Be There For You” by Bon Jovi. He had everyone dancing and feeling it! He did a great performance. Steven told him not to get too “popy” on him. Jennifer said he had her singing and acting a fool. He was great. Randy said he had some pitchy spots but made it his own and he did it tastefully. He gets an A-
Haley Reinhart – “I’m Your Baby Tonight” by Whitney Houston. For some reason, if I closed my eyes, I could picture a little 8 year old boy singing instead of Haley. It seemed very immature. And she had lipstick all over her teeth, and chin, and cheeks…. must not have been the kind that stays only on your lips…eventually Ryan helped her out and fixed it for her. Jennifer felt she was stiff and told her not to force anything, but her voice comes naturally. Randy said he’s confused with her and that it was a great performance. Steven said he’s waiting to hear Janis Joplin from her, some blues. She gets a B-
Stefano Langone – “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Simple Red. I would have liked to see him do some Milli Vanilli! But this was nice, too. Little boring but sexy. The judges really liked it. Randy said it was the best performance of the night. Hot vocals. Steven said it was over the top. Jennifer told him to connect his eyes to hers. After his critics were over, he went and gave him ‘momma’ a hug. A
Pia Toscano – “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” by Whitney Houston. She looked and sounded fabulous. Steven said she nailed it, Jennifer was happy to hear something uptempo from her. She’s perfect every time she gets up there. Randy said she’s in the competition to win it, her pitch is always perfect. A+
Scotty McCreery – “Can I Trust You With My Heart” by Travis Tritt. Oh boy! This guy has an amazing country voice! If you love country, you would understand that this guy is ready to cut a record and it’d be popular! He’s amazing! Jennifer said he pushed it out a little but more, growing. Randy is a dear friend to Travis Tritt so him saying that it was good is a great complement. Steven told him to keep going where he’s going. A++
Karen Rodriguez - “Love Will Lead You Back” by Taylor Dayne. Started rough, but eventually she found it. Randy said he wasn’t jumping up and down but he liked it. Jennifer said she could tell she was scared when she came out but she attacked it. B-
Casey Abrams – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. He played his guitar and sang…not really sure how to feel about the song. This was the first time that Nirvana has ever been played on American Idol. It was outside of the box, for sure! Lots of screaming. I really hope that the audience gets him and this doesn’t ruin him. Steven said he’s got it! Jennifer said it got a little screamy-skreechy, but he loves him so much. Randy loves him because he takes risks, he’s fearless! B+ for the fearlessness.
Lauren Alaina - “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Etheridge. She’s suffering from the flu this week but she did well. You could tell she wasn’t as strong as normal but it still sounded great, little shaky. She added some country twang to it to make it her own. Jennifer and Randy both called it very nice. Steven said that her flu made her sing better! A-
Jacob Lusk – “Alone” by Heart. I’m still not feeling this guy. He’s my least favorite contestant. He can sing, and he does it really great but it just not connecting for me. Randy said he got a little sharp but he found his way back. The ending, tender and not over done, was genius. Steven said gospel had a baby and named it Jacob Lusk…hummm…. Jennifer called it amazing, so good.
Tomorrow night, we find out who goes home!