Cast: Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson
Network: Fox, airs Wednesdays and Thursdays
Original Telecast: April 23, 2011

Finally, we get a relevant theme night on the world’s greatest karaoke competition, AMERICAN IDOL.

After having to wade through Motown night, Beatles night, movie night and a whole slew of other craptacular themes that challenge the competitors to try and bring an old song to the current day, we finally get a night where the contestants pick songs from the 2000-on.

And we got a slew of great songs that people will actually recognize and be able to compare to what is being heard on the radio today.

So let’s get to it.

Scotty McCreery – After weeks of picking the right song to appeal to his base of country stars and those that just like the kid because he has a great deep tone, Scotty took a step back this week in one of his weakest performances. Yeah, the live-action Alfred E. Newman was all over the map on stage and I didn’t actually realize his stupid microphone thing until the other contestants pointed it out, but the performance was just corny. “Swingin’” by LeAnn Rimes just didn’t mesh with the Scotty we have come to know and while I don’t think that he’ll be in danger this week, it may have moved him down a peg in terms of being one of the favorites. Grade: C

James Durbin – You gotta give it up to James, the dude is bringing it every week and it isn’t a secret why he is one of the favorites to go the distance. His rendition of “Uprising” by Muse was really well done especially the tweaks he put into the song from beginning with the marching band to his outfit to his rebellion-ish attitude throughout the song. It all came together and came together well in one of the best performances during the entire season. Grade: A-

Haley Reinhart – Not sure what the hell the judges were listening to because they seemed lukewarm to Haley’s rendition of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” I thought it was excellent. She began it slow and passionate as it built into a powerful performance that showed off her trademark growls and deep register. Beyond that, it was a great song choice (as Randy said) because Adele is one of the hottest singers right now and the majority of the public will recognize the song and realize she did a pretty damn good job. Hopefully, the public will also recognize how well she did and ignore the judges. Grade: B+

Jacob Lusk – I’m not surprised at all that Jacob decided to sing Luther Vandross’ “Dance with My Father” because it suits him extremely well and he has been compared to the singer many times already. However, it may have been a better choice to pick something that wasn’t so emotional to him because he faltered at the beginning for sure and then had some problems with his earpiece and other stuff that screams amateur. Yeah, he recovered, but for some people that’s enough for them to not vote. Hey, people are finicky about that stuff. They don’t want these normal people to do normal things, they want them to get up and sing like professionals, especially at this point. I’m not saying it’s enough to get him off the show, but he may lose some votes. Again, I’ll say what I have been saying the last few weeks, Jacob is getting boring and Randy mentioned this, but was nicer about it. He’s doing ballads all the time and just sleepy performances. I like the guy but damn, get me some NoDoz quick. Grade: C+

Casey Abrams – While I think James definitely is one of the best overall performers on the show this season, Casey is right there up with him. He’s been rocking it out as much as James in a lot of ways, but in different aspects. “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5 is a great choice because again, people are going to recognize it. “Oh yeah, I know this song” and that will get them to vote for him. Yeah, maybe not the best song to showcase his vocals, in fact, it was more just a karaoke version, but that’s ok because it is about the song and about the performance in this case not about the singing – which is often the case on this show. I also liked the kiss on J. Lo at the end, very clever. Grade: B+

Stefano Langone – Surely, this is the week that Stefano’s luck in the bottom finally runs out. After weeks on weeks of him singing ballad after ballad he decided to take on “Closer” by Ne-Yo and it was … uh, interesting, if not overdramatic, but that’s what we have come to expect from Stefano. Plus, the crazy eyes and weird mouth movements that make him look like a circus act never helps. I don’t know. Each week for the past four weeks, I’ve said Stefano is going home, yet here he is, still on the show. And can Steven Tyler give any other critique other than “good job?” Grade: C-

Lauren Alaina – Of all the songs that you have to choose from 2000-present you decide on “Born to Fly” by Sara Evans? Really? I guess I don’t really get that since Lauren has been doing the rock thing mostly with only one song that was country. I know that there are a lot of mix between genres but this was more of a country radio song than adult contemporary radio. I think this was the wrong choice for her on a variety of levels. She needs a song that not only shows her good voice (which she says she doesn’t have) but also one that is going to attach to the viewers and get them to vote for her. Again, I don’t think this was it. I don’t think she is in danger just for the fact that she has not been in the bottom yet – meaning someone out there likes her and is voting for her regardless, but I think in order to make it to the final four or five, she’s gonna have to do better. Grade: C

Who will be in the bottom three this week? Obviously, I think it Stefano will be there, plus I think that Jacob Lusk and Haley Reinhart will be there, with Stefano going home (hopefully).

UPDATE: Who got eliminated? CLICK HERE for the scoop!

Check out photos of the performances below.

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CLICK HERE for a rundown and review of AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – THE TOP 8 PERFORM

CLICK HERE for a rundown and review of AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – THE TOP 9 PERFORM

CLICK HERE for a rundown and review of AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – THE TOP 10 + ONE PERFORM

CLICK HERE for a rundown and  review of AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – THE TOP 11 PERFORM

CLICK HERE for a rundown and review of AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – THE TOP 12 PERFORM

CLICK HERE for a rundown and review of AMERICAN IDOL – Season 10 – THE TOP 13 PERFORM


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