Cast: Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler
Network: Fox, airs Wednesdays and Thursdays
Original Telecast: May 18, 2011
There was a lot of pomp and circumstance on the world’s greatest karaoke competition, AMERICAN IDOL, this week.
Lots of looking back at the final three and how they got this spot, but one more has to go before the finals during Season 10 of this powerhouse series. So I’m skipping all that filler (since they boosted it to two hours this week) and going right to the heart of the matter – the performances.
Beyonce was the guest mentor this week and she was very good in helping the contestants in their choices, very interactive, as they should be. I still think about the lame ones they had and wonder why they were even there.
So let’s get to it.
First songs chosen by the contestants.
Scotty McCreery – You pretty much know what you are going to get with Scotty. No one is expecting him to come out and belt out a soul tune or a hard rock anthem or anything. He’s hardcore country and that’s what we are getting, like it or not. Obviously, some of you like it ’cause he’s in the final three. He chose “Amazed” by Lonestar, which fits him perfectly. Giving him a good song to showcase what people like about him and a bit more of a register to show off that maybe some people haven’t seen. He’s not gonna fool you, but does he have enough votes to make it to the finals? Was it his best performance, no, but it was good and solid – which is what Scotty has been the entire competition. Grade: B
Lauren Alaina – Last week, Lauren may have put herself in the position to be in the finals. She nailed both of her songs even if I thought the second song was a bit hokey. Lauren is interesting because she really has kept straddling the fence between country and adult contemporary/pop. I guess that’s good because she’s in the final three. She went country with her own choice with “Wild One” by Faith Hill again going back to the country aspect. It will be interesting if Lauren and Scotty are in the finals as it will be a country final – which may be the first time on IDOL ever. I keep expecting Lauren to crash and burn at some point because she’s so young, but she hasn’t done it yet and probably won’t at this point. I also thought that maybe her voice wasn’t strong enough to compete against some of the others, but people keep voting for her and I expect that to continue. Look for Lauren to be in the finals. Again, not her best performance but solid. Grade: B
Haley Reinhart – What the hell? Led Zeppelin on IDOL? What’s next Pink Floyd? I can only wish. In a year of firsts where we saw a host of songs never performed at all on the show, we get another. I like that Haley is still rocking it out regardless of the fact that she can go soft if need be. And doing Zeppelin’s “What Is and What Should Never Be” does indeed take balls as Beyonce said. And she nailed it. She was having fun out there and gave her a chance to show off her range, her trademark growl and rock the house. In a competition with two country stars, she may have a good chance indeed. Yet another great performance and you can almost see Haley coming on like Kelly Clarkson did during the first season. Grade: A-
The next songs were chosen by year-long mentor Jimmy Lovine.
Scotty McCreery – Wait, was that Elijah Wood sitting next to a man dressed as a puppy? Weird. Anyway, Scotty’s song from Jimmy was “Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not” by Thompson Square. Unlike Haley where we actually keep seeing her do different things and different songs, we get the same from Scotty. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I’m just saying there are no surprises and the people who already made up their mind to vote for Scotty are doing it. Will he be able to win over the rest of the people that haven’t been voting for him? I dunno because it is a battle of two country people with Haley doing her own thing. There was nothing wrong with the song and I liked he was playing guitar, but we’ll have to see if the largest voting bloc on IDOL goes all country or not. Grade: B
Lauren Alaina – Jimmy chose “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry for Lauren. And it proves that Jimmy should be brought back next season and even made a judge (if someone drops). He nailed it for her. This was a perfect song for Lauren. It also gave us the other side of Lauren which was the adult contemporary/pop side and perhaps her best side. This may have been my favorite performance from Lauren and I’m not much of a fan of hers just because I think she tends to be too wishy-washy for me. This was great. I have nothing bad to say about it. I think it cements her place in the finals. Grade: A-
Haley Reinhart – Jimmy chose “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac for Haley. Remember when I said that Haley could go soft if needed. She proved my point, but I love that she kept with the classic rock vibe she has been rocking out (and she admitted to growing up on as a kid). Not sure about the flowing wind and such that was part of the arrangement but it was a nice subdued performance that had enough of Haley’s own elements to make it a modern rendition of the song. And there is nothing wrong with Haley’s voice as she could sing the phone book as they love saying. Grade: B+
The final performance were songs chosen by the judges.
Scotty McCreery – Personally, I would have loved to hear Scotty sing “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers but that’s only because that’s the only song I know from him. Instead, the judges (I guess as a whole since none of them were singled out) chose Rogers’ “She Believes in Me.” It was Scotty’s slowest and probably worst performance of the night because it was just kinda boring. After all the good performances for the night, it just seemed to drag everything down. Nothing wrong with how he sang it, just a little sleepy. Grade: B-
Lauren Alaina – For Lauren, the judges chose “I Hope you Dance” By Lee Ann Womack. Props to the judges as they chose a modern-ish song that everyone knows regardless of whether they like country or not. So in a night when we have seen Lauren do one country song, one adult contemporary song, it was fitting she did one that combined the two. I think her previous effort was better, but this was solid. The song choice really helps as people will know it and want to vote for it and, as usual, she showed why she has made it this far. Grade: B
Haley Reinhart – Well, you can’t say the judges didn’t give Haley a similar song that everyone will know in “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette – again maybe the first time performed on IDOL. While the song choice will give some people reasons to vote for her, it wasn’t the best that played to her strengths because she had to belt it out for much of the song, which as we know isn’t the best thing for Haley. She is best when it is in small doses and we get that trademark growl and softer undertones. Wasn’t bad, but not nearly as good as the first two songs from Haley. Grade: B
So who will be in the finals? Shockingly, after losing much of the female contingent on the show in the first few weeks of IDOL, I think we are bound for two females to battle it out in the end. While yes, Scotty has his voting bloc, I think there are more people that will vote for Haley’s rock attitude and Lauren’s overall talents rather than just someone that can sing country. We’ll see what happens.
UPDATE: Who got voted off – CLICK HERE
Check out photos of the performances below.
AGREE? DISAGREE? Let your voice be heard – COMMENT BELOW!
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