Cast: Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez
Network: Fox, Airs Wednesday and Thursday
Original Telecast: March 23, 2011

With Karen Rodriguez going home last night on the world’s greatest karaoke competition, AMERICAN IDOL, we are down to 11 “singers”.

Sigh. Motown. Really? Again with Motown IDOL? How many years must we do this? Certainly we can come up with a better theme night than this right? There are so many other bands or genres that you could tackle. How about a U2 night? Or, shocker, an Aerosmith night? Not like you have the lead singer as a judge? Or modern pop night, not like you have one of the most popular singers of that genre as a judge? How about a Chicago night? Or classic rock night? Or anything other than what we have seen.

Anyway, I could go on but whatever, why bother. We’ll probably get another Beatles night or Michael Jackson night coming up because no one can think outside the box.

So let’s move to Detroit, get a hair weave, thaw out the Pips, get some soul, use some melodic bass guitars, break out the gospel singers and get this Motown party started.

Casey Abrams – While some people didn’t like Casey’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from last week, I totally loved it. Thought it was genius for him to perform that song the first time ever on IDOL. This week he did “Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. It was good but he still rocked it out and definitely made it his own (more Creedence Clearwater Revival than Gaye), something that he has become an expert at doing. Not his best performance but I would chalk it up to the song he had sing. Grade: B

Thia Megia – I can’t believe that Thia wasn’t in the bottom the past week because she was so sleepy. Obviously, the judges thought the same as they commented on how she was only doing ballads. Doing Martha & the Vandellas “Heatwave” is definitely a change in the right direction. The only problem is that she sang it just like the original, which is never a good thing. And totally forgetting the lyrics is never a good sign. If she hadn’t messed up the song by not remembering the lyrics I may have given her a pass. But I would expect her in the bottom this week. Why didn’t the judges knock her for forgetting the lyrics? Grade: C

Jacob Lusk – Now this is the Jacob that I always look forward to seeing. Last week he was just there, but this week singing Marvin Gaye’s “All I Need to Get By” he was right in his element. That freaky control of his voice is just something else I have to say. He is one different type of singer in the competition and once the tweens eliminate all the chicks and those that are just skating by he can go far for sure. He was stellar and how can you not like him? Grade: A-

Lauren Alaina – At least Lauren looks better this week. Last week it was if a horse had a baby with a pair of jeans and she put it on because she didn’t give a f***. I really liked that she chose “You Keep Me Hanging On” by the Supremes because it is a good song for her as it is upbeat and plays to her strength as a powerful performer. While her vocals were strong in the beginning, the rest of the song was sort of lost but still decent enough. The performance itself is strong enough to keep her out of the bottom, however. Grade: B

Stefano Langone – What a surprise, Stefano is singing Lionel Richie’s “Hello”. Do I need to say it again this week? We get it Stefano, we know you can sing ballads. We know you love making the ladies weak in the knees and love making them cream all over you when you are on stage. You don’t have to rub it in our faces week after week. Hey champ, try to sing something more upbeat and you may win over some of the other non-female voters. Scratch that, you already lost them because they hate you for having the looks and pipes to steal all our women. On the positive side, you sang it well. Grade: B

Haley Reinhart – Holy hell, Haley is a phenomenal looking hottie. Hot damn she got my vote just by wearing that outfit. Singing “You Really Got a Hold on Me” by Smokey Robinson is an interesting choice considering it is a song that is normally done by a male performer. It wasn’t bad, she can definitely sing but the problem with her is that she doesn’t have the pipes that some of the other singers have so she really needs to up the performance aspect. But that outfit really did her some favors. Not sure if it will save her from being on the bottom because of her lack of singing prowess but she certainly won over the male demo for sure. Grade: B-

Scotty McCreery – Well, that went over like a fart in the wind. A country version of “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder? Did anyone else think they had entered THE TWILIGHT ZONE other than me? Granted, he’s a country singer being asked to sing Motown but still it was just weird. I know the judges really like him for staying true to what brought him to the show to begin with but I would have said something about maybe making a bit more poppy or something because it was just awkward. You know what else was awkward? Scotty’s dancing … yeah don’t do that again, for the love of God. I don’t think he has to worry because people like him already, but not his best. Grade: C+

Pia Toscano – While Haley looked freaking awesome, Pia is just a damn knockout regardless of what she wears or does. The good news is that Pia isn’t all just looks, she may very well be the strongest singer among the females on IDOL this year (by the way Pia looked amazing again). That’s good because the tweens are knocking out the women left and right and to make it past the point where the tweens dominate the voting is gonna take being one of the best. She sang “All in Love is Fair” by Stevie Wonder. Anyone that reads my IDOL reviews knows I hate ballads and I still do despite the fact that Pia did one. I was a bit bored but she was spot on in her vocals but like J.Lo, I would like to see her perform something upbeat and exciting that shows off her voice. Grade: B

Paul McDonald – I don’t get Paul. I really don’t. Nor do I see how he hasn’t been in the bottom in the last few weeks, but some people like him and his quirky popness. Singing “Tracks of My Tears” by The Miracles he continued that weird pop style by turning a Motown song into something you’d hear on craptacular Top-40 radio stations right up there with Matchbox 20 and Creed. I guess that’s what the majority of the IDOL audience wants, however, so I shouldn’t be too surprised if he isn’t in the bottom yet again. I did like the hot blonde back-up singers, however. Grade: C

Naima Adedapo – Oh Naima, I really thought we had something when you were performing earlier this season … but you’ve faded and have really been making some bad choices. Not in songs, but in outfits. Just what the hell was that you were wearing? Some sort of ’70s PROJECT RUNWAY reject. I nearly lost it laughing when I first saw it. But let’s talk about your choice of “Dancing in the Street” by Martha and the Vandellas. It was not a bad choice,  but then you decide to go with some African tribal headbanging fiasco that just made it all more worse. I know the crowd liked it and the judges glowed over it which I can’t believe but for me it was one bad choice after another. Grade: C-

James Durbin – They are smart closing it out with James as he is one of the favorites for sure to win the whole thing. James chose to do “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder. It allowed him to show his vocal range as well as get his quota of screaming in so it fit him just right. It was probably the most rocking of the performances tonight and one of the most entertaining of the night. He rocked it out for sure and should have no problem making it to next week. Grade: B+

So who will be in the bottom this week? I gotta believe we will see a repeat of Haley Reinhart and Naima Adedapo being there but once again for the third week in a row I will predict that Thia Megia will also be there. Who will go home? My guess is Naima.

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