American Idol Season 10: Top 13

American Idol has changed. It seems only fitting that I also change the way I recap these shows. For starters, I’m gonna wrap all the judges comments for the rest of season in one fell swoop:

Randy Jackson: “Yo Dawg! You know you my dawg and I either did or did not feel that for me for you. This is my tenth season and you were the best ever!”

Jennifer Lopez: “You sure look beautiful and I love you.”

Steven Tyler: “Rainbows. Pussycats. Fuck! WOAAAAHHHOOOAAHHHOOO!”

Don’t get me wrong… I really enjoy the energy that Jennifer and Steven have brought to the show this season, but I’ve already figured out exactly who they like and what they are going to say every week.

Let’s get to the show, shall we?

The theme this week is “Idols.” The contestants are singing songs from their idols.

Lauren Alaina is the young chick that the judges have been ramming down our throats as a front runner. She picked Shania Twain’s Any Man of Mine. If you liked this performance, there are 37 karaoke bars in the city where this exact version is being performed right now. Hurry! Those gin and tonics aren’t going to drink themselves ya know.

Casey Abrams is crazy, ridiculous, and absolutely the most talented contestant that I think has ever been on the Idol stage. He picked “With a Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker and blew that shit out of the park.

Ashthon Jones is this season’s diva in training. She’s chosen “When You Tell Me That You Love Me” by Diana Ross and by the time I wrote this sentence I forgot what it even sounded like. I liked her early on, but I don’t think she’s a Jennifer Hudson diamond in the rough. She’s going to have to do something really stellar next week if she sticks around.

Whisper-y singer-songwriter Paul McDonald has picked Ryan Adams as his idol. The song is “I Wish You Would.” I’m torn on Paul. I think I’d probably like his recordings, but I’m not super impressed with his live performances, especially tonight. His voice reminds me a little bit of an asthmatic David Grey.

Up until last week, when she shined I don’t remember a thing about Pia Toscano who has picked Celine Dion’s version of “All By Myself” as her song. This was another stellar performance from Pia. Her pitch was fantastic and she chose some pretty challenging intervals to jump around to. She’s definitely a front runner for the girls.

James Durbin idolizes Paul McCartney. He’s picked “Maybe I’m Amazed.” The comparisons to Adam Lambert are inevitable, though I think James has a better tone than Adam, though he’s no where near being as polished. I’m a fan of this version. It wasn’t as screamy as I was afraid he’d make it. He actually showed more restraint than he has so far.

On a side note, if James doesn’t let out a Tourettes fueled “shitpissmotherfucker COCK SUCKER!” at some point during this season I’m going to be very disappointed.

Haley Reinhart wants to be Leann Rimes and has picked “Blue.” So… Hayley is pretending to be Leann who was pretending to be Patsy Cline. I’m a little dizzy and three levels removed from Patsy Cline equals boring. My friend Chasity used to perform this song at the Northtown Opry and would totally steamroll right over this sad note-for-note copy.

Sidebar – we’ll get into this again soon enough when Baby LockDemDoors performs, but THIS IS NOT “COUNTRY IDOL.” Yes, Carrie Underwood is the most successful Idol alum, but that’s because of her pop sensibility and crossover appeal. Plus, she’s smoking hot. I love country music and it certainly has it’s place, but all these contestants who are trying to jumpstart their Nashville recording careers should GO TO NASHVILLE.

One trick pony Jacob Lusk has inexplicably picked R. Kelly as his idol. “I Believe I Can Fly” is the only song that he could possibly perform. Yep. That’s it. I’m guessing he will do lots of flip-top-head jaw quivering manuevers and not one single note he sings will have just one pitch. Oh! And for those of you doing the drinking game at home, he did the Ambulance Siren which means you should drink shots until you can’t hear anything and I will envy you for it. I’m not a fan. I know someone out there loves this style of music… I don’t understand it, but I know it.

Little Miss Pinoy Jackson Thia Megia takes the stage next paying homage to her idol, Michael Jackson and his version of “Smile.” She’s perfectly pleasant even is she’s somewhat pitchy. If I saw her performing on a cruise ship she’d definitely beat most of the talent I’ve seen on other ships, but she’s totally outclassed on Idol. She’s just too young and inexperienced.

Can we talk? Lowering the age limit is not the way to go, folks. RAISE the age limit. One Justin Bieber is more than enough for the world. The likelihood of finding another is slim. However, the chances of finding an experienced performer who just never got the right break at the right time is MUCH better. *cough cough*

Stefano Langone has a great idol, Stevie Wonder. He’s chosen “Lately” which is beautiful. He was one of my early favorites and was quite happy he stuck around as the wild card last week. He’s definitely got a bit of a Bruno Mars vibe about him. I’m surprised I like this updated disco-y version of this song, but I can totally hear it being a hit. His vocal was very good.

Karen Rodriguez‘s idol is Selena and she’s picked “I Could Fall.” This sleepy song seems to be a bit too low for her and doesn’t have the breath support for verses. Her voice simply is not strong enough or unique enough to carry her through the end. This seemed to fall apart from note one.

And now we get to Baby LockDemDoors – I mean Scotty McCreery who idolizes Garth Brooks and the song “The River.” If you haven’t left the house to catch Lauren at the karaoke bar yet you may still have time to catch this performance. It wasn’t a very good cover and certainly did nothing to make him stand out as his own artist. Oh yeah, THIS ISN’T COUNTRY IDOL! He will kill it on country radio because he sounds like every other generic country singer out there, but he will have his ass handed to him on this show. Sorry, I don’t buy into it. Where’s the originality? I’m sure to people who don’t listen to country regularly Scotty sounds like some weird deep-voiced wondrous frog. However 20 minutes of listening to 98 WSIX will expose you to at least three current performers who sound EXACTLY like him.

She’s been my favorite girl so far, and she was almost eliminated last week. Naima Adedapo is performing “Umbrella” by Rhianna. What a surprise! I didn’t expect this style from her. I enjoyed the performance despite some moments where she was sharp. I look forward to seeing her evolve and show us more hidden talents.

So, I’m opening it up to you guys now… what do you think of the season so far? Any early predictions?

One thought on “American Idol Season 10: Top 13

  1. I would love to see Casey win the whole thing. He is absolutely fantastic!!
    I really like James Durbin when he’s not screaming.
    I love country so of course I love Scotty and Haley. I do think Haley made an extremely poor song choice. How can you personalize “Blue”? I thought she did much better with Alecia Keys last week.
    On the topic of bad song choices, Jacob should have pulled out some Luther Vandross–it would have been much better suited to his style.
    Even though I don’t really care for Naima that much (and I HATE Rhianna), but I loved the reggae-style rap in her song. It was really fresh and new. You could tell she was enjoying herself.
    I totally agree with the age limit comment…I would love to see you on Amercian Idol and finally get the shot you deserve.
    Paul really disappointed me this week. I have liked him all along, but I think he missed completely. It is really hard for the majority of America to vote when they probably haven’t heard the song (or heard of the artist).

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