Thursday, April 21, 2011

American Idol: 21st Century

The Idols were challenged this week to pick a song from this current century. It definitely beats having these teens and twenty-somethings sing something from the Rat Pack era. Instead of getting straight into the contestants, the show kicked off with a performance of Pink’s So What? from all the Idols who’ve been voted off (Paul, Pia, Karen, Thia, Naima, and Ashthon). It was an energetic performance but seeing almost all the girls on stage like that at once was jarring.

And then the real show began.

Scotty kicked things off with another country song I’d never heard before. It was Swingin’ by LeeAnn Rimes which actually seemed to have something to do with swinging in a swing and not something more –ahem – adult themed (I need to get my mind out of the gutter). What can I say? It was a safe Scotty performance. Not his best but I don’t think it was his worst. He’ll be safe to swing another week.

James Durbin took on Muse’s Uprising, walking through the audience with a cadre of marching band drummers behind him. James put on a show and had a rocker song that really allowed him to focus on his vocals. With the energy and the spectacle, this should have been the opening number. Scotty and his swing should have been second.

Haley took on Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. It’s a song about heartache and I wasn’t sure usually peppy and perky Haley would be up to the challenge but she attempted to interpret the lyrics. Albeit, I don't think she ever fully connected to them. At least she didn’t try to imitate Adele which would have been disastrous. Picking such a currently popular song though is a risk. After seeing the opening with a number from all those voted off girls, tomorrow night might not bode well for Haley.

Jacob came out (well not really) with Luther’s Dance with My Father. He’s been compared to Luther but he’s no Luther. I’m not saying that in a bad way, he’s not Luther. He’s Jacob. Anyway, the song has a lot of meaning because he lost his dad when he was 12. Personally, I wouldn’t advise someone to sing a song that personal and emotional but he managed to pull it off. It was a good interpretation but I have a feeling, it won’t be enough. Jacob could be going home.

Casey decided to cover my favorite band Maroon 5. To be honest (maybe a little too honest) I sort of threw up in my mouth a little when they said he’d be doing a Maroon 5 song (I tend to eat a late dinner). He chose Harder to Breathe and actually did a pretty good job with it until the end. The scatting was okay but after that it descended into hot mess category ... including the kiss to J Lo. People can try to sell me on Casey all day long but he's not all that as a singer and when it comes to looks and sex appeal, he is no Adam Levine!

Stefano went with Ne-Yo's Closer. This was the best song choice he could have made. The song was squarely in his vocal range. There was no deep connection he needed to make with the lyrics (because so far he's been terrible at that). He got to move around the stage and actual do a dance step or two. For the first time in this competition, I really enjoyed a Stefano performance.

Lauren Alaina, like Scotty, sang a country song I'd never heard before, Born to Fly by Sara Evans. She and Scotty must be reading from the same play book. Like Scotty she sang it well and played it safe. I thought she was boring. She could be headed for the Bottom Three.

Bottom Three:

Going home ... Jacob

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