American Idol Top 13 Performance Night: Who Was Your Favorite? Who Should Go Home?

It was a case of the good, the sad, and the ugly when the American Idol season 10 finalists took the stage to sing tracks by their personal musical heroes tonight. Those adjectives could also be used to describe the mixed bag of critiques coming from judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler, who managed to finally conjure up unenthusiastic feedback for Thia Megia and Karen Rodriguez, but completely excused Jacob Lusk’s caterwauling evisceration of “I Believe I Can Fly.” Why The Face?

Based on first impressions — as of this moment, I’ve only watched the episode once — I’m going to predict a bottom three of Karen, Jacob, and Ashthon Jones, with Ashthon getting booted. (It’s always more dangerous at this point in the competition to be slightly forgettable than it is to be absolutely horrendous.)

I’ve typed up the full episode set list below, and with that out of the way, I’m gonna get crackin’ on my full episode recap, which will publish overnight right here at Until then, take our two extremely scientific polls about the night’s best and worst performances, then feel free to hit the comments to explain your picks. And for all my Idol coverage, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Lauren Alaina: Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine”
Casey Abrams: Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” (originally recorded by The Beatles)
Ashthon Jones: Diana Ross’ “When You Tell Me That You Love Me”
Paul McDonald: Ryan Adams’ “Come Pick Me Up”
Pia Toscano: Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” (originally recorded by Eric Carmen)
James Durbin: Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”
Haley Reinhart: LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue”
Jacob Lusk: R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly”
Thia Megia: Michael Jackson’s “Smile” (originally recorded by Charlie Chaplin)
Stefano Langone: Stevie Wonder’s “Lately”
Karen Rodriguez: Selena’s “I Could Fall In Love”
Scott McCreery: Garth Brooks’ “The River”
Naima Adedapo: Rihanna’s “Umbrella”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jay says:

    This season is absolutely horrible, I really can’t wait for Simon Cowell and the X Factor.

    • I can’t wait for X Factor also, but I don’t think the season is horrible. I think tonight, for the most part, they had a rough night. A good majority of them were off key, or pitchy, or both. I think they will get better along the way. It’ll be interesting to see who goes tomorrow. Could be Karen, could be Ashthon. Might bet is one of those 2. I think the show will get better. I wish Steven wasn’t as generic with his comments, it’s unfortunetly reminding me of Ellen from last year. Great Hollywood week, then downhill from there. I hope he can pick up his comments.

    • JW says:

      I don’t agree about this season, there is a deep pool of talent here. But I am looking forward to X Factor.

    • Chuck Lorre says:

  2. Alex says:

    Thank you, THANK YOU for acknowledging the original artists of Casey’s and Pia’s songs, because they certainly didn’t. My mom, who grew up during Beatlemania, was watching with me and was absolutely outraged by this.

    • Sandy says:

      Casey talked about his original artist with Ryan and was also discussed with Randy. They even showed a film click of the dude singing it. I can’t remember his name at the moment. He is butt ugly and has a very raspy voice. Celine Dion was the artist for Pia’s song. That was discussed also.

      • Monique says:

        Joe Cocker and Celine Dion were not the original artists of the songs that Casey and Pia sang. This is what Alex was trying to say. Yes, they sang them, but they weren’t the ones to originally make them popular.

      • Cathy says:

        The point is, “A Little Help From My Friends” was a Lennon/McCartney song (and originally recorded by the Beatles) — Joe Cocker did a cover. Likewise, “All By Myself” was originally recorded by Eric Carmen, and later covered by Celine. While the cover artists may be the “idols” of these contestants, they were not the original artists. AI needs to give credit where credit is due.

    • Jay says:

      What do the original artists have to do with this? The kids chose an artist(or song) that inspired them. Casey related to Cocker’s (far more widely recognized) version and Pia selected a song from Celine’s library. The same way that David Cook killed “Billie Jean”…it was Chris Cornell’s incredible take on that song Cook chose, not the King’s original. If they were inspired by the original, give credit to that artist. If it was a cover, does that artist not deserve it instead?

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Of course it’s a Lennon-McCartney song. Their version had a more “pop” feel. Joe Cocker is the one that infused tons of soul into the song with his version. he put that song on the map.

  3. susan says:

    Was I expecting too much? Am I getting curmudgeonly in this tenth season of Idol? Am I just grumpy tonight?

    I was so looking forward to tonight’s episode and it just left me – meh.

    No one has made me want to re-watch their performance. I hope I haven’t lost my Idol spirit!!

    What’s wrong? Is it me or tonight’s performances??

    • agrimesy says:

      I’m right there with you. I was so excited for tonight, and it seems like every contestant took a step backwards. What happened?

    • dee says:

      it was pretty bad. a lot of boring singing and bad song choices. and the judges didn’t help. i’m starting to really miss simon.

    • Cath says:

      Susan, I feel exactly the same way. So hopeful. So excited to witness more of what we witnessed throughout the journey so far. Nobody knocked my socks off. Not one person. It was painful at times, to be honest. The whole vibe of the show was — meh. Hope it gain some steam over the next couple of weeks. Lookin’ forward to Adam Lambert showing them all how it’s done tomorrow night.

    • The Wheeze says:

      Totally agree! Last night was a snoozefest. I felt like I was watching a watered down version of last weeks performance shows. The only 2 contestants that did not sing a carbon copy of last week was James(Great Performance) and Naima(What was that?). I was soooo bored I started counting how many times Randy said dude. I stopped at 25.

      • Robin says:

        Totally agree about the snoozefest. Most were forgetable. It sounded like “bandzilla” was in full force last night. Sounded like Scotty and Karen were having a hard time hearing up there. James was very good last night, hope he continues to tone it down on the screaming. Use only when necessary. That goes the same for you Jacob! Naima blew me away. Very unexpected. Ashton goes home tonight.

    • Gaila says:

      Same here, sooooo disappointed in all of them. Well, except maybe not so much in Durbin. Made me wonder if those music producers’ influence ruined it. The previous weeks’ performances seemed natural and spontaneous compared to last night’s stilted packaging. Such a let down.

  4. Kai says:

    Absolutely love(d) Lauren. I do agree with the judges about her being a bit more riskier and trying more. She is just so comfortable and she needs to start challenging herself.

    I can so do with out Ashton, Jacob, and Thia.

    I know a lot of Pia is probably a favorite right now, but I’m just not feeling it. Sure she’s done a great job, but is she’s going to keep doing ballads after ballads its going to get boring and depressing (kind of like tonight).

    LOVE Casey Abrams. Awesome-ness.

    • Jewels says:

      I agree. It was a snooze fest except for Casey and James performances. I love Paul, the song was okay. But, I am so sick of ballads. Pia has a great voice, but I will not be putting ballads of hers on my Ipod.

      • Wyatt says:

        Totally agree that Casey and James ruled the night.

        Ashton (can’t bring myself to put an “h” in there) and Karen were the worst. Thia started out well but — as the judges rightly pointed out — the uptempo ending didn’t work.

        Lauren disappointed by being too karaoke; didn’t really put anything new or interesting into it.

        Jacob was over-the-top even by Jacob standards.

        Believe it or not, I liked Haley’s yodeling. Something different, and she did show a softer, more melodic side. A bit snoozy, as Randy pointed out, but a nice change of pace for me.

        Stefano is not my cup of tea but he’s a solid singer. Would rather hear Kendra any day, but unfortunately that ship has sailed. :(

        • Snsetblaze says:

          I am not a Lauren fan but Lauren made the same mistake as Kelly Pickler – who also picked an uptempo song (Suds in the Bucket) early on that did not showcase the voice and because Simon was still on the panel, she was eviscerated for it instead of mildly criticized like Lauren was. I personally think Lauren resembles Kelly Pickler singing and personality wise more than Kelly Carlkson or Carrie Underwood.

          • Erika Kent says:

            Lauren Alaina is more of Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson than Kellie Pickler. I don’t think that anyone should be juding her on how she sounds. Yes her performance wasn’t all that great, but still I think she will bring it big this week. She needs to kick it into high gear in order to stay on the show. I hope she makes it into the top 5! Lauren Alaina has what it takes to become the next american idol, but she is just not proving it right now. And everyone is saying she is fat! Heck no she is not fat. Im the same size as her and Im not fat! She looks good for her age. She’s super talented and very pretty. But I think she needs too kick it into high gear. If her performances become boring, I’ll stop voting for herr. So lauren if your reading this, get what I’m saying, please bring it this week. Do what you did in your auditon. I vote for yu 100 times every week. I hope she wins! Amazing! :)

    • Sandy says:

      Kai Me Too!

    • Jay says:

      It’s a VOCAL competition, peeps. So even though Pia’s “done a great job” (Kai), and “has a great voice” (Jewels), you’re already throwing her under the bus?! That was an incredible voice tonight. Her’s is a ballad voice; Scotty’s is a country voice; Casey’s, Paul’s and James’ are…..well they’re f’in great! If you’re gonna hate on Pia for starting the real competiion in her (impressive) power zone, ya better hate on the others for doing the same.

      • j. christopher says:

        “It’s a VOCAL competition, peeps.”

        no, its not…
        its a reality show based around finding a marketable pop star…
        of course vocals play a part in that, but saying that AI is a VOCAL comepetition is inaccurate no matter what Randy Jackson tells you every week…

        • Rick says:

          “its a reality show based around finding a marketable pop star…”

          Um, no, it IS a vocal competition, despite the fact that they want it to be about finding a pop star. AMERICA chooses who they like the most. If it was all about finding a pop star then Ruben and Clay would have never dominated season two, Taylor Hicks would never ever have won the damn thing, Carrie would have become the next Britney Spears instead of becoming a COUNTRY star, David Cook, the ROCK star, would have been beaten out by Archuleta, and someone like Blake Lewis would have never sniffed the finals of Season Six. Do they want a pop star? Yes, of course they do, but what they get is what America gives them, and America damn sure makes this a pure VOCAL competition.

          • LR says:

            “America damn sure makes this a pure VOCAL competition.”> Is that why Lee won last year? Boy didn’t have a single performance that stayed on pitch the entire time.

          • j. christopher says:

            its a reality show pure and simple, complete with scripting and producer manipulation…sure, America has a voice in the results but that is manipulated to a degree as well (by both the producers and organized power voting)…your comments and the examples you give prove the point that its a POPULARITY contest and not a VOCAL competition…sometimes the most popular have happened to be the best singers, but that has not always been the case and certainly not a requirement…

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I’m wondering if Lauren has ever even been in a church choir or a school choir. Her breath control and phrasing are awful. I can’t believe they haven’t called her on the carpet on her lack of control.

      I preferred her performance last week to this one. ‘Any Man of Mine’ has two other contestants packing. I would have liked to have seen her sing a song that was easier for her. But she’s clearly comfortable on the stage.

  5. Mel31602 says:

    Agree that some of the judges comments were off. Karen and Thia were way better than Ashthon and Jacob yet the latter two were praised. My top 3 were Pia Scotty and James and Lauren was also decent compared to some of the others. Casey is not my thing but he sang well. I would definitely put Ashthon and Jacob in the bottom- and I agree Ashthon is likely out. But not sure who should get the third bottom slot- everyone else was so mediocre to bad

  6. LR says:

    Tonight was such a snooze fest. Everything was sleepy and/or boring, even the supposed “moments” they were trying to force on us. I still really enjoy a lot of the contestants, but they need to wake it up a bit. Naima was the only one who really tried to that, so I give her points, but her vocals were a mess. Durbin sounded better than usually, glad he’s using his head voice more, though the note he tried to hit in his upper register was still sharp and unpleasant to the ears. Scotty was smooth like usual, though his song choice make for very boring tv. Jacob and Stefano, who are both solid vocalist, were sharp as well. Lauren A and Pia were fairly flat, Casey and Paul were a bit muddled, Karen made me want to sleep, Thia was picth perfect but robotic, and Ashthon does not have the voice to tackle such big songs.

    Also, did Jimmy Iovine admit during Thia’s package that the producers were trying to make everyone sound similar? That to me is why it was so boring. Ballad and slow song heavy. I’m all for music producers coming in to help as long as they’re improving the show, but all tonight did was get me ready for bed.

    • Ablo says:

      Again — people saying that Thia is pitch perfect? Gosh no.

    • Gail says:

      Too much interference by the guest producers is my take. The week before most all the singing was fine, except for Ashton. Then along comes the gues producers and we see a flat curve-dive on the graph. Dumb idea bringing them in so early, or at all, while the 13 still are trying to find themselves for themselves.

      • Rh says:

        I agree. I think Jimmy Iovine set out a specific sound and flow he wanted for the show, and then let the guest producers kind of control it from there. The best thing about Idol is when the kids themselves are able to make their own interruptions on songs. I don’t mind the producers being there to help out if someone needs it (some of these kids are obviously in over their heads), but when it all starts to run together the show become boring.

  7. Layla says:

    Honestly, I thought it was great! I mean, if you compare this season to last season, it’s practically perfect, so…
    I liked Lauren, Casey, Pia, Paul, a lot of others…They pulled it of greatly. Contests idol!

  8. Amanda says:

    Casey by far had the best performance of the night for me. He’s my second favourite in the competition but he nailed it tonight. I don’t think many people can take the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help From My Friends” and do it justice while still making it their own a little bit. He was awesome.

    Was not impressed with the poor attitude shown by Lauren, that was the only thing going for her was that cute, bubbly persona and now it’s gone. I guess she can’t take criticism. Ashton and Kendra had the worst performances for me tonight. Despised the yodeling Haley and did not care for the over sung R Kelly song and such a cliche song!

    My favourite contestant this season though is Paul McDonald and I had to re-watch his performance tonight a few times to really see how I felt. I found that I did enjoy it(though I’m biased) but I fear that American might not get his quirkiness that I love. His dancing was a bit too distracting tonight, going a bit more over the top than last week. If I was at his concert, it would be no problem, but on the show that could seal your fate. It seems completely genuine but I think since he’s used to performing with a band, he’s uncertain what to do and just tries to put on a show. My hope is that next week he’ll come out with an acoustic guitar and just nail it. I remember Crystal Bowersox didn’t seem as comfortable without the guitar, I’m hoping that will save Paul and people might take him a bit more seriously because he is a contender.

    That being said, are the contestants allowed to use instruments during these shows? I have yet to see anyone wield a guitar, play the piano, anything since the top 24. I hope the producers aren’t pressuring the contestants to stay clear of that because these “remix” sad attempts at trying to make current songs aren’t really working for me. Sorry JLO but I’m not sold.

    • Marta says:

      You said it about Lauren….she blatantly revealed tonight (along with Thia) that they cannot take criticism. I’d be embarrassed as a parent if my teen pouted and goo-gooed that sense of entitlement they both did tonight. Teens on Idol can either hang with crowd, or they can’t…and the true test is when the first person comes out and says that they aren’t the best.

      • GingerSnap says:

        Look, TPTB have practically anointed her since the auditions. They fawned all over her, and now she’s got to be a grown up and listen to some honest appraisals of her talent. Doubt she’s ever had to do that. But she wasn’t the worst performer tonight, just middle of the pack.
        Both Lauren and Thia are too young (emotionally) for this type of competition. That’s why lowering the age limit to 15 was a really bad idea.

    • Leigh says:


    • Wyatt says:

      I didn’t see it that way at all with Lauren. I just think her feelings were hurt. She’s a young and sensitive girl. So a 15 year old girl is hurt by some public criticism, no giant newsflash there. I think she was more embarrassed than anything else. She didn’t have her best night for sure but it wasn’t nearly as boring as AshtHon or Karen, or even Thia.

      • Sue says:

        Actually she was as boring as the others. All the girls were pretty boring in general.

      • Rh says:

        If she can’t take public criticism, then she shouldn’t be on Idol. That’s the point everyone is trying to make – these 15 year old kids are too young. They come off as spoiled brats, even if they’re not really.

        She reminds me of those kids on Toddlers & Tiaras, especially after that pink and purple dress she wore for the Green Mile episode. The attitude comes of as entitled.

    • Scarlett says:

      Agree with you regarding Lauren. And she shows no stage presence on the big stage. LOVE Paul as well. I sort of said “Hmmm” after his performance but I went back and listened to Ryan Adams’ version and, vocally, he does it in a similar fashion. I really want Paul to stick around because I know he can do more and I love that he is quirky. Per his youtubes, we haven’t seen the best of him yet. I give props to Naima as well. At least she TRIED to entertain. Pia probably had the best vocals of the night.

    • Tkav3 says:

      Actually if you go back and watch Lauren carefully, you can see she was fighting tears. Another reason I think 15,16,17 are too young period to be on this show. They need time to grow and mature. If you want to complain about maturity, how about Haley? Shut up and smile. When will they learn to not talk back?

    • Erika says:


      I LOVE LAUREN! (:

  9. AJM says:

    I was Team Naima all the way. I loved her performance. She and Casey were my favourites but Naima just blew everyone out of the water.

    I’m guessing Ashthon is going home. She was just okay, and I was disappointed. Where was the fire that she had from the WildCard round?

    And I am also very, very glad you acknowledged the original artists of those songs. I made a point to do so in my own recap, because JFC, it’s kind of important. Like, yes make sure we know which version they’re doing (David Cook and Chris Cornell/Michael Jackson), but they’re not the original artists.

    • ginaM says:

      Really? I give her points for tackling a new song, but her vocals were all over the place. Idol is not a dance competition. I don’t want to see anyone dance. There are other shows for that. I was disturbed what JLo basically said after her performance that it didn’t matter that artists don’t have to stay in tune if they have a dance routine going on. It proves to me more that most Top-40 artists are rely more on their dance moves and dancers than their true vocals during a performance. Looking at you Usher, Britt, Katy Perry.

    • Coco says:

      Naima and Casey were my top two also. Naima threw down, breath problems or not. Heck, most singing/dancing entertainers lip sync because otherwise they’d get out of breth.

    • IdolGirl says:

      I completely agree. While Naima did have some breath/vocal problems, she wasn’t as bad as some of the others. I was entertained and drawn in he entire performance. She herself noticed the breath problems, and she will probably work on that before she tries to do it again. But as Michael pointed out, it’s more dangerous to be forgettable than bad at this point in the competition. At least people will remember her performance, which is a LOT better than what I’m doing with some of the others that were so dull they put me to sleep.

  10. Christina says:

    Im sorry but Haley was definitely one of the worst tonight for me, she sounded horrible doing that yodle thing she was trying.

    • zweiosterei says:

      Absolutely. I missed Simon because of that. He would have crucified her.

    • Eolra says:

      I thought her vocal was quite good technically. The “yodelling” sounded like it’s “supposed” to, based on the Leanne Rhimes’ version – so I don’t know that she should be faulted for that. My biggest problems with it were A) no emotional connection to the song – I’m getting tired of seeing her trying to be “sexy” on EVERY song. Not all songs are right for a “come hither” tone B)Her version sounded just like the Leanne Rhimes version – she brought nothing new to it. She says she’s been singing it since she was 6 and it showed. It sounded like a girl whose been singing the same song, the same way, for years – very uninspired.

      • Wyatt says:

        The yodeling is fine in my book too. I actually liked the way she toned down her sex kitten approach on stage. Ok so it wasn’t the most scintillating performance of the night — Casey and James tie for that honor — but it certainly wasn’t the worst. And she did show a different side of herself for a change.

        I’m hoping to see AshtHon and her “H” go home tomorrow night

        • GingerSnap says:

          I’ve watched that performance twice now. Second time around sounded better than the first, but I hated the song choice. Wrong way to
          “stand out” from the Idol crowd. It’s not going to hurt her this week, but it certainly won’t help.
          There’s just a lot of things about her vocals that irritate me. This song only emphasized that.

  11. Tekkie says:

    Totally agree with the good, the sad and the ugly quip.

    The good:

    1. I love the wookie

  12. Lilly says:

    Naima had one of the best performances, but one of the worst vocals. Pia’s vocals were the best, but next week she needs to find a song with a little more energy.

    Asthon has a nice voice, but she doesn’t know what to do with it. The same goes for Jacob.

    The worst part of the night had to be the producers. There is no excuse for the horrible arrangement of “Lately” or for sudden change in “Smile”. The producers may be a little too hands on.

    • Sue says:

      Pia and Karen have to stop with the pagent mannerisms like reaching out or hitting your heart (Karen does more of this.) Pia also needs to stop doing the backstroke with her arm while singing.

  13. Tekkie says:

    Ok..botched first comment…durn iPhone twitter app.

    1. I love the wookie…Casey rocked tonight and has that something special you just can’t put your finger on. I don’t think he matched Georgia yet, but he certainly is captivating unlike some others. He had all my fb votes!

    2. I liked listening to Paul, but not watching him. He’s got to find a way not to fidget. Calling him the fidgeteer

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I think he’s just used to being in a band and having an instrument (which he more than likely would have on tour or in the future if he makes an album).

  14. Jewels says:

    I do have to say that both Paul’s dancing and Naima’s dancing reminds me of Elaine Benes on Seinfeld…Little kicks.

  15. annab says:

    Things I learned from tonight’s AI:
    -I was right! Kendra should have been in the top 13 over Ashthon, Karen, or Haley.
    -I love him, but Paul McDonald is definitely too quirky for America.
    -She is sweet, but I have no interest in seeing Thia ever again. Please try to develop a personality. (Charlie Chaplin who?)
    -Go Stefano!
    -I can’t believe Pia got me to actually kind of enjoy a Celine Dion song.

  16. Kelsey says:

    Tonight was absolutely terrible. I won’t be voting for anyone. Those wildcard pick contestants definitely proved why they deserved a second chance in the competition though. NOT. :/

  17. Rita says:

    Was I hoping for too much after the great semi-finals? The bombastic overly done production that surrounded many of my favourite contestants (yes, even my personal fav Casey) was distracting and karaoke with a capital K. Too much “producer’ interference stripped performances of any originality – the girls almost all looked, sounded and dressed alike, while they tackled the same sad overwrought ballads. Thank god for a little bit of Paul’s dancing, and thank god he chose a less known song (although, for the record, I have always liked that song, despite my basic aversion to country). And, thank the goddess that Naima at least tried something different, and with a little more energy. Yes, this group is mightily talented, and yes, Idol is trying to create some polish and reinvigorate the brand, but really, it was mostly boring and predictable. What made season 8 so exciting, was that the audience didn’t always know what was going to be done on stage, and that was exciting! Ok, Adam, these kids need schooling… show them how its done with just your voice and not the chorus from Lee Dewyze’s version of Hallelujah.

  18. Scott says:

    I thought Jacob did fine and shows a lot of talent. Paul is unique and I love that about him. Thia deserves to be in the top 10 too.

  19. Crispin says:

    Slezak… can’t wait for your in depth review. I agree that Ashton was the worst tonight and should be going home. I predict the other bottom vote getters to be Karen (she’s no Selena) and Haley (Randy you were exactly right with “sleepy”). While I’m loving that Idol is trying to be different this season… I felt like most of the arrangements were over produced. This is a complaint I have about producers in general… they tend to drown out the singing with the arrangement (granted that’s cause most “singers” today can’t really sing and are autotuned to hell). I’m hoping you talk a bit on the next Idoloonies about this tendancy this week to over produce or mutilate the arrangments. I mean “Smile” is one of my all time favorite songs… Glee’s done a great version recently… and when it hit the jazz part that Thia and the judges all hated… they eviscerated my favorite song!!! It seemed like the failures tonight were performers who weren’t strong enough to tell the producers “NO”… and let them railroad what they wanted as opposed to what Scotty did in saying he’s going to stay doing his thing (Kudos to Randy for pointing that out during his critique… agreed with him 100% there). Let’s look at who was great… Pia once again just blew it out of the house, James did a fantastic rendition (and lost the Navi tail!), and Stefano continued on his streak and did a modern take on a somewhat dated song. I feel like the youngins who got railroaded (Lauren & Thia) got arrangements shoved down their throats. Sometimes these producers forget…. it’s about the contestants and the singing… not so much about what you can do. The arrangement should compliment the singer… not compete.

    Would love to be on Idoloonies anytime to crtique! :)

    • JBanana says:

      I totally agree with you about the arrangements. I can’t believe how horrendously Thia mutilated that song. And it started out really well, too. I realize it had idiot producers’ hands all over it, but if a contestant is too young/weak/inexperienced to be able to make basic decisions of taste, then they shouldn’t be here. These people are trying to get record contracts, and the contestants who are too easily pushed around by producers are going to be just as easily pushed into making terrible cookie-cutter pop music once they get off the show. I am rooting for the ones who have a sense of themselves, even if they make mistakes along the way. Loved Naima and Casey tonight.

  20. Eolra says:

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills – Paul’s vocal was freaking terrible, especially in the first few verses. I have been into Paul this whole time, so I don’t think it’s that that I don’t “get” what he has to offer, I just thought this particular performance was a total disaster and did him no favors. Is this like a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes, where if you don’t say it’s great you’re not cool enough to “get it”, or am I actually crazy?

    • donie says:

      No, I also thought he was bad – started off terrible and improved only marginally. I could hardly hear him, and it didn’t sound like music for quite a while. To be fair, the acoustics overall were terrible. Most of them were drowned out by the band and couldn’t seem to hear themselves.

      • Wyatt says:

        Yeah, Paul was literally all over the place tonight. I do love hi originality and musicality though. Would hate to see him go home tomorrow night in preference to AshtHon’s hysterics, Karen’s blandness, or Thia’s lack of musical personality.

    • Bat Country says:

      If you are crazy then it’s folie á deux. I watched for a little bit then burst out laughing. And I liked his Blackbird with Kendra. (I didn’t realise Maggie May was a redux of his first audition, so points off for that.) But I don’t get the extended love here for him. So he has a band and maybe a good album. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be awesome on Idol…

  21. Tekkie says:

    Ok..botched first comment…durn iPhone twitter app.

    1. I love the wookie…Casey rocked tonight and has that something special you just can’t put your finger on. I don’t think he matched Georgia yet, but he certainly is captivating unlike some others. He had all my fb votes!

    2. I liked listening to Paul, but not watching him. He’s got to find a way not to fidget. Calling him the fidgeteer.

    3. Scotty did decently with Garth’s The River, but would have done better with Standing Outside the Fire or The Thunder Rolls. Clint Black’s Untangling My Mind would have worked for him too. Another one I’d rather hear than look at!

    My bottom performers…aka Karaoke hell were hayley, Jacob, Lauren, Karen and stefano. Kendra and Caleb are on my missing you, why aren’t you here list.

    The rest I forgot, which is worse than Karaoke. Is it just me or is it music blasphemy to compare Thia I have more accents than potpourri Megia to Michael Jackson?????? Just on a talent basis… It’s like comparing Stephen Hawking to the guy from Jack Ass. WTF

    Last note….The judges SUCK. Faux live performances have sucked the personality out of Steven, castrated them all and turned JLo into a coherent but vapid Paula clone. What happened? Steven’s vocal dwindled down to beautiful volcano and soaring…. Randy’s is comprised of Dude, Man, and didn’t get it. JLo – ?????

    Seems to me the show would benefit from less judging and more I dunno… Something.

    • Scarlett says:

      Amen to the Thia comparison to Michael. No, just no. I get that Randy meant the tone of her voice and maturity of voice for her age, but no, just no. Do not say that again.

  22. Joel says:

    Clearly Pia (What’s an Eric Carmen?) and James (Straight Lambert) took the night. Why hate Jacob Melismaniac tonight and love him before. No difference — same oversinging. The three terrible girls (Selena, Diana, Yodler) were truly terrible, but the worst was — and I’m sorry to say it — PAUL. I get that he’s quirky and sounds good doing Rod and (probably) Kenny Loggins, but this song made him seem like a drunk guy they pulled from the audience. Finally, give Casey an A for effort, but sooner or later the guy has to sing — not just growl and become musically possessed — otherwise he needs to get the boot. White Soul Men get old quickly. And can Lauren come off any more dumb! She makes Thia (“Charlie Chapman who?”) Magia look like a brain surgeon. Karen not getting her bilingual on was the biggest shock of the night.

    • Ablo says:

      Didn’t really like Pia — she needs to watch those shrieks.

      • Eolra says:

        Agree. Those high notes were not a success.

      • sara says:

        Thank you. I can’t believe how many peole are completely ignoring how shrieky she was. Again.

        • Wyatt says:

          Pia has talent, no question about it, but her upper range often sounds strained, at least to me. She’s managed to hang on to those notes so far, but something tells me that she is going to lose her grip on one big time in the coming weeks and it will really sound bad.

    • Tuzo says:

      How can anyone — even a 16 year old — not even know who Charlie Chaplin is? When I was 16 I was watching Charlie Chaplin movies (and they were already 50-60 years old at the time).

  23. booboo says:

    I wonder if the idiots who keep gripping that this is the worst season of AI ever, are the same ones that say that crap EVERY season. Go and watch SURVIVOR if you are so frakkin’ miserable with this season…

    • ginaM says:

      Definitely don’t think this is the worst season. Actually, except for Kelly Clarkson, season one was pretty low on talent. I don’t think anyone but Kelly could have made it through today’s Idol. I think I lot of us have a lot of gripes with the producers. They are shoving several youngsters down our throats that could use a couple of years of seasoning. And many commentors are right about all these new producers behind the scenes molding the contestants and their song choices. At what point does the contestant stop being original if the producers have told them how to do their songs? I like knowing trailblazers like Kelly, Carrie, Bo, Chris, David Cook, and Adam actually re-worked a lot of their songs and it was their effort that resulted in show-stopping performances.

  24. Crispin says:

    Slezak…. can’t wait for your full review. Please talk about on the next Idoloonies about the issue with the producers over producing those arrangments. The youngins (Lauren and Thia) got shoved horrific arrangments down their throats tonight. Smile is my favorite song ever… Glee did a great version recently… and that jazz thing was horrific and everyone knew it.

    Would love to discuss it on Idoloonies! :)

    • Crispin says:

      sorry for my repeat… thought my first post didn’t take

    • annab says:

      See, I totally, totally disagree with the not liking the producers thing. Because honestly, this is what the winner will be up against when creating their record. They will have to work with a producer, who is well known, and has their own style, and the winner will have to be able to stand up for themselves, and have a dialogue with the producer and say “no, I don’t want to do the song this way,” or “I’d rather go in such-and-such direction” and AI needs to find a winner who is able to do that, and record and craft their own songs. Honestly, I think this is good, because it clearly shows the youngins are so not ready for this. THey have no idea who they are, what they want their music to be like, and just go along with whatever the producer recommends.

  25. tyler says:

    bottom three:
    stefano or thia

    best in worst in my opinion:

  26. Eolra says:

    LAUREN – Missed it cause I tuned in late – saw the phone number recap though – WTF was she wearing????? Did she piss of the stylists? “Let’s put her in a TENT.”

  27. Eolra says:

    CASEY- Weirdly have not been “drinking the Casey Kool-Aid” (so to speak) so far, have found him too shouty, and I found his song choice kind of predictable and boring – especially since it was just done last season, same version. Actually really enjoyed the first part while he was actually singing, but tuned out when he started shouting and growling again. Was totally distracted by how OK it is now to say “get high” a million times on a family show – no more Ed Sulivan I guess lol.

  28. Eolra says:

    JAMES – Have not been a James fan, but he has really won me over these last few weeks. Love that he did Judas Priest last week, and loved that he chose an unexpected song this week – unlike other contestants. Though he did a good job – he made what could have been a boring ballad a little more engaging.

  29. Boo says:

    Paul was atrocious. The only way you could possibly think he was good is you are attracted to him and you don’t give a fart what he sounds like. He just butchered an incredibly beautiful song by Ryan Adams. Butchered it. The guy cannot hold a note to save his life and should not be on a big stage. That might have been one of the worst Idol performances of all time and he’s getting a pass because zombies like his personality. Again, I’m a fan of the song. He ruined it.
    Casey also was not good tonight. He’s getting through on personality at this point and not vocals. He didn’t do anything special with the song at all and he’s starting to come off like it’s just a big goof for him.
    The best of the night were Pia, Scotty & James. The three of them outclassed the rest of the competition by a long shot.
    It was easily Jacob’s worst performance, but at least he hit 50% of the notes. Still not as horrid as Paul.
    Lauren was forgettable. That song did nothing for her.
    Thia had a terrible arrangement and song choice. She feels way too young for this competition.
    Karen was pretty much awful.
    Haley actually did a good job although I couldn’t understand a lyric out of her mouth.
    Naima had the most interesting twist on the arrangement. If she was able to hit her notes she was actually on to something.
    Ashthon? Thanks for playing.
    This was not a good night at all. When Haley is the 4th best vocal after Pia, James, Scotty, it’s a bad night all around.
    Again, Paul was AWFUL. If you liked what you heard him sing tonight you must hate music.

    • Boo says:

      Oh, and whoever changed the arrangement on Lately for Stefano should be banned from the music business. He would have killed on that song had they left it alone. The dance beat was ridiculous and ruined what would have been a good vocal.

    • Ross says:

      Ryan Adams does this song in almost a monotone and makes it work. I’ve heard Paul, who is a huge fan of Adams, do this with his band many times. The way he normally does it brings the crowd to their feet. I’ve got to think AI wanted some up beat version to show Paul knows newer stuff than 60’s Rod Stewart but also wanted average America to tap their foot. Following him around places like Bonarroo one can see he loves the ‘classic’ bands but is totally in to the cutting edge sounds. I hope AI lets Paul play his own songs the way he wrote them. This year has plenty of great singers but when I pay money I want someone who owns the stage and invites me in. Think Berry, Jagger, Springsteen.

      • Boo says:

        Ross-The upbeat arrangement was ridiculous, but Paul didn’t hit a good note or an extended note in the whole song. I’ve seen Ryan Adams live in NYC several times. I thought Paul should have tried, “Oh My Sweet Carolina” if he was going to try an Adams song because at least that song has somewhere to go in it vocally. What he did on that stage tonight was an abomination. Don’t worry. He’s not getting voted out. There are too many females who think he’s hot and quirky for him to get voted out first. They’ll turn on a female contestant first before not voting for Paul.

  30. dawg says:

    1) I was surprised that I really enjoyed James Durbin’s performance tonight. Plus, he shed his tail. I’ve stopped wanting him to disappear. For now, anyway.
    2) Can you address Naima’s use of the word “over-stand?” Please. Now.
    3) I would take Naima’s performance (even with the rough vocals) over Thia’s competent snoozefest any day of the week.
    4) J.Lo’s red lips. Whoa.

  31. Eola says:

    KAREN and PIA – Is it any surprise they went to the same performing arts school – what was it? “The Official Miss America School of Sappy Ballads”? How can 2 young girls have such lame taste in music? Pia is obviously really talented, but I can’t take a whole season of this crap. Karen’s song choice made me cringe tonight – can we stop so obviously pandering for Latino population votes now please? Her vocals were a mess.

  32. agrimesy says:

    I’ve never been so confused about Idol as I am tonight. It was like a reinactment of the Emperor’s New Clothes! What show did the judges watch? It wasn’t the same one I saw! I’m so confused. The whole episode, performance after performance I just kept asking myself, “Can the contestants actually hear themselves?” I thought the fact that they were taping the show in advance would clear up some of the errors, but NOPE! I don’t think one singer made if off the stage without me wincing once, twice, maybe more times. And this is the worst thing . . . Jacob Lusk is my favorite, but I cannot lie . . . his performance was just awful! I’m just shaking my head over the whole mess.

    On a positive note, I liked the vocal coach segments even though they seemed a little too positive. Man, I really have no idea who’s going home or even who I want to stay anymore. Can we call a do-over?

    • agrimesy says:

      Oh, one more thing . . . James Durbin actually didn’t suck. I don’t like him, but he was one of the better singers tonight! My fave at the bottom? my YUCK at the top!? Sheesh . . . my head hurts. I’m going to bed now. Maybe this was all just a bad dream . . .

      ***trails off*** there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home . . .

  33. GingerSnap says:

    Top 3 performers – Casey, James, Pia.
    Middle of the pack – Scotty, Jacob, Thia, Lauren A, Stefano, Naima, Ashthon
    Bottom 3 – Paul, Karen, Haley. Paul was particularly bad.

    Who’s going home – Ashthon

  34. Eolra says:

    SCOTTY – It’s no secret that I’m am embarrassingly fan-tarding for Scotty this year because I love old-school country, but I thought his performance was a total snooze :( I really love his voice, but his vocal wasn’t as strong as usual tonight (to high a key maybe?????) and I am getting itchy to see something from him with a little more oomph.

  35. jane says:

    Well, finally they said a few things other than beautiful, awesome, etc, but please somebody tell them to retire the word “pitchy” forever. Let’s call it what it was, they sang some notes out of tune. And since the judges don’t want to give some constructive criticism, I’ll offer some of mine.
    Lauren -should sing something a little quieter or tell the band to back off cause her voice gets lost in the music at times.
    Casey-sometimes the growls sound like screeches and not very tuneful, more of the actual singing like in the beginning.
    Ashton Jones- try taking some acting classes, the singing is just not good enough. If I was Kendra, I’d be pissed right now.
    Paul McDonald- I agree with J Lo, pick better known songs and give them a twist. But I love Ryan Adams.
    Pia- don’t wear metallic ever, that goes for all of them. Plus pick a song that doesn’t make you seem 45.
    James- watch acting cocky after the judges give comments. It’s too early in the game to play conductor with the audiences’ cheering.
    Jacob- needs to learn the word subtle. He voice is great, but way over the top.
    Thia- needs to understand what she’s singing about. She’s 15, sing Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift, something you can relate to.
    Stefano- I’d like to see him play piano and sing a ballad again. The Stevie didn’t work for me tonight, to borrow a phrase from Mr. Randy Jackson.
    Karen- you sang out of tune and also were boring. I have nothing else for you.
    Scotty- work with a singing coach to be able to sustain a note for longer than 4 seconds. I actually really like his voice, but it needs some work.
    Naima-style over substance can work (Kie$ha, Brittney) but I actually think she’s way better than that. Pick a Lauryn Hill song a blow it out of the park. The Fugee’s update of Killing me Softly.. would be really cool for her to sing.

  36. Eolra says:

    Also feel like maybe I’m taking crazy pills a little regarding Naima. I like her personality, passion and style, but I don’t get why everyone thinks she’s amazing, or a front-runner. In my mind, I don’t think we’ve EVER seen what can be described as a great vocal from her. I really appreciate her breathing some life into the shoe tonight, but the notes were just not there, and I don’t know that they ever have been…

    • Boo says:

      Most like Naima because she doesn’t look like Pia. They like that she is “different”. She’s “ugly pretty” if you can overestand that. That said, he vocals have never been spot on and she seems to get free pass from the fans because she sings with so much emotion according to them, yet if Pia sings one note slightly sharp they harp on it. It’s about looks. Certain female fans can never be comfortable with someone who looks like Pia, but they sure can get behind Naima because she will never be confused with a cover girl.

      • GingerSnap says:

        Well, I’m not one of those females. I love Pia. If Idol is looking for a female singer who can become a “Carrie Underwood” type of success, she’s got it. She’s beautiful and she can SING. Don’t know if her niche is a Celine-type of career, but this girl is going to be successful. She already has star quality.
        I like Naima. She doesn’t excite me. But I see a world of potential in her. She just needs to get better control of her vocals.
        I’m also disappointed in the reaction to Thia. Her vocals were lovely tonight. She’s young, is humble, and has a world of potential. I’d criticize the people who chose that arrangement for her.
        Otherwise, the rest of the females are just Blah for me.

  37. Sandy says:

    There certainly is a lot of Casey love out there. He continues to entertain us and projects his personality. He seems to be a happy relaxed performer. He would be the best IMO. Naima really came to win tonight. She also gave her all to the song and performed it very well. The audience went nuts over both of them. Pia’s arrangement was horrible, she just sang the same words over and over. I am not seeing the producers helping them. The results just aren’t better. Stephano forgot to show up, he was terrible as was the screaming Joseph, the screaming James, Haley & Ashthon should have stayed home, Not a stellar night tonight. I think we need a little more from the producers, they hear the final product, if that is what they think is good we need to let the contestants do it their selves. Perhaps we would get better results. I doubt that Paul is going to be with us very long either. I think there is something wrong with the song because everyones songs started out very quietly and after the first verse it seemed to improve. The sound system still sucks. It is far better to hear the singer than the orchestra drowning them.
    The judges need to tell it like it is. Everyone is great/I like everyone even when the stink is not judging.

  38. JM says:

    Let’s be honest….this season is becoming a disaster
    All of these “unique” contestants are uniquely horrible
    Paul – give me a break – he’s different, but in a freakish way, not in a cool, edgy way
    Scotty – zzzzzzz, really? His range is more limited then my 4 year old neice. Just because he can put on a country twang and has a deep voice doesn’t mean he can be anything more…he does not belong in this competition
    Ashton – she LOOKs like a diva, but her voice is SO underwhelming…I keep on waiting for her to let loose and then realize, to my dismay, than she doesn’t have the ability to…so sad
    Casey – act is ALREADY wearing thin….a good example of a guy (similar to many above) that would NEVER have gotten through to Hollywood week, let alone the live episodes, if Simon was still around (sigh)
    Jacob – c’mon judges, he has actually had a few good performances,and is very unique, but he was HORRIBLE tonight….can you say “utter indulgent NONSENSE”….w/a British acccent ;)
    Haley – ok, but (judges got this right (!) – kinda sleepy….
    Karen – another example of a TERRIBLE performance that should have been called as much – she sang fine last week, but credibility is being lost by these merry band of judges by not saying when something is AWFUL
    Thia – actually she was fine, but the arrangement was horrible – she has potential though, if she had an identity that was already formed (she would have benefited by another year)
    Lauren – bad song choice, but she can SANG
    James – can’t believe he’s one of the best of the bunch – sad, sad commentary but have to give him a shout out – a pleasant surprise
    Stefano – the fact that he is hot helps him a lot – nice tone, will be in the top 5 but he’s not that good – just keeping it real
    Naima – ok, judges sort of called her out, but I keep thinking that if Simon was around, words like “one of the worst performances in idol history” would be (appropriately) thrown around a little more….this kid glove treatment is frustrating – she was beyond terrible
    Pia – thank you for being the only singer (maybe other than Lauren) who is worth waiting for….really really great
    Still SO sad Robbie and Kendra are gone…..

    • Jay says:

      How you can be so right with most of your comments, but so wrong about Casey is puzzling. I mean, you NAILED everyone else in your review, but Simon would have loved Casey…original, unique, other synonyms, etc… And concerning Jacob…sick, phenomenal voice…but “utter, indulgent nonsense”? Best. Call. Ever.

  39. sofi says:

    I fell in love with james tonight. I DIDNT SEE THAT COMING. HIS PERFORMANCE MADE ME CRY. AWESOME!

  40. Tuzo says:

    Is Don Was related to the Geico Caveman?

  41. Tuzo says:

    I actually liked Naima’s energy but I think the night went to James Durbin. It’s getting harder for me to dislike him. He lost the tail and for the most part had a more restrained performance. I’d like to see him dial it way down sometime.

    • Snsetblaze says:

      I wonder if he lost the tail because he read a bunch of boards with many posts saying how stupid it looked.

  42. Kat says:

    I was underwhelmed.

  43. Fred Hicks says:

    Nine years of Simon saying “don’t sing a song you love, sing a song that fits your voice” and the producers make Top 13 Week a “choose a song you love by an artist you love” theme? Were they listening at all? I honestly don’t blame the singers for this episode, I blame the poor thinking that went into the theme choice.

    Casey and James rocked it for me tonight. Everyone else had … Troubles. I respect the talent of several of the rest, but they either had an off night (Paul) or continue to bore me (Pia) despite those talents.

  44. amy.. says:

    Randy- pretty good this week
    JLo- LOVE her laugh, so pretty and infectious
    Steven- He only said beautiful twice
    Lauren- insert lip pout
    Ashton- I know she struggled, but I like her
    Casey- don’t mind the growls, but Love when he sings the notes
    Paul- was a fan, can you stand still for one moment?
    Pia- She gave Celine a run for her money
    James- wasn’t a fan, but the last 2 weeks he’s done great
    Haley- I thought Luau, just like she wanted. Her dress sang it all.
    Jacob- not taking flight
    Thia- not ready (Charlie Chapman? oh Chaplin)
    Stefano- still like him, last week was better
    Karen- very little support under any of her notes
    Scott- I like him, I hope he gets better musically
    Naima- like her, but don’t like Rihanna

  45. AmericanIdolit says:

    First off: am I the ONLY one who is getting douche chills hearing Steven use Randy-words like “pitchy?” Cmon Tyler, you’ve been in the music biz for a long time now and you are aping a hack wannabe?

    Anyway as far as the performances go:

    Lauren Alaina: Thank you Lauren for not singing something more derivative of Shania’s repertoire. It was a pretty decent vocal, but you need to take criticism without turning into a blubbery mess. Not bad though. You may have time to turn around the haters. Just a few words of advice: NO MORE PEACHES!!

    Casey Abrams: Was not surprised to see him choose this song. The luster of originality and surprise is wearing-off really quickly with Mr. Abrams. He better start showing a little more vocal prowess, otherwise he will lose his viability.

    Ashthon Jones: Just because Randy called you Diana Ross doesn’t mean you have to now claim that she’s your idol. Your performance wasn’t the bottom-3 worthy, but it would have qualified for bottom 4.

    Paul McDonald: I like that he chose Ryan Adams (shame on JLo for saying how she isn’t familiar with the artist AFTER bragging that she knows so much about the music business). The vocals were just a mess. THE WORST of the evening. Dude needs a guitar and a chair like Randy Jackson needs a thesaurus.

    Pia Toscano: It’s true that if you want to attack the Mount Rushmore of divadom (Celine, Whitney and Mariah) you better bring it. Pia brought it. It may have been straightforward and not the most original, but it sounded good.

    James Durbin: I was scared he would Lambert-ize the song with unnecessary screaming, but he showed the kind of restraint that maybe Mr. Lusk should have done. Also, an unexpected song choice and he really pulled it off nicely. Perhaps the best of the night.

    Haley Reinhart: For the first part of the song, I was hoping she would avoid the husky gravel that ruins every performance, and then she did it. Oh boy, it wasn’t great, but for her benefit, it wasn’t the worst of the night either.

    Jacob Lusk: Jacob, Jacob, Jacob. It doesn’t look like the Holy Spirit was inside you tonight. Just a sloppy mess.

    Thia Megia: Just for calling him Charlie Chapman should get her a one-way ticket home. Then, thinking Randy Jackson calling her voice akin to Michael Jackson means that all of a sudden, it’s her idol. But choosing that song as opposed to a Michael-written ballad with such an awful arrangement, just a sin. Thia may not have had the worst vocals tonight, but she SHOULD go home.

    Stefano Langone: When the song changed time signatures and sped-up, his vocals were spotty. A very middle-of-the-road performance.

    Karen Rodriguez: Latina-persuasion aside, Karen had the third worst vocals of the evening. The crowd was not behind you at all. Out of all the critiques, no one booed the judges when they were criticizing how awful of a performance you had. You better hope that people vote at home, because based on the crowd reaction, you will be going home.

    Scott McCreery: To quote Randy from past critiques: “I dunno dude. For me, it was just O.K.” Scotty definitely leads the middle of the pack performances tonight. How many people were thankful (and surprised) that he didn’t pick Josh Turner as his idol?

    Naima Adedapo: Who knew that Rihanna would be the culprit of awful performances 2 weeks in-a-row? First Ta-Tanyisa, now Naima. I enjoyed her enthusiasm (probably the most alive of the contestants along with Casey and James), but her vocals were sloppy. If there was a bottom 5, she’d be there.

    In summation, Top 3: Pia, James, and I suppose Lauren (I never thought I would say that so soon).

    My bottom 3:
    Paul, Jacob and Karen.

    “America’s” bottom 3 (based on votes):

    Ashton, Karen and Thia.

    Going home: Ashton.

    • GingerSnap says:

      Right now, America’s Top 3 are Casey, Scotty, and James.

      And America’s Bottom 3 – Ashthon, Karen, Jacob. Ashthon will be going home. Karen next week. And if Jacob doesn’t develop a following soon, he’ll be next.

    • Takakupo says:

      WHAT!? Are you kidding me!? Thia is in the bottom 3 based on America’s votes? She’s gotta be one of the top three or four backed candidates coming out of the starting gate. There’s no way she’s going to be in the bottom three this week or next week or the week after that. Everywhere I go, all I see is compliments for her and I’m really sorry for all of the other dedicated voting blocks out there but the philipino voting block is always the most reliable (Jasmine Trias? Ramielle Malubay? HELLO!?). The only different is (And I freakin’ hated Thia going into the top 24) Thia actually might deserve her spot where she is. She is, dare I say, remarkable when the song is stripped down.

      As for Lauren having the top 3 performance of the night? Spare me. She’s a boring singer with a cute personailty. Even though everyone keeps saying this is a “singing competition” I’m going to have to say that Naima was definitely in the top 3 (perhaps) 4. She connected with the lyrics (the only one to do so) and she performed! She just needs to work on her vocal control cause the first 15 seconds were beautiful (as was the reggae rap part).

      Other than that, you review was very good.
      Scotty was so drowned out by the back-up singing orgy that I couldn’t even concentrate or hear his voice. It was a very bad vocal from what is a very easy genre to sing when you go honkey tonk like he does.

  46. Reuel says:

    I believe that the producers that “helped” the contestants tonight screwed them over instead….

  47. L says:

    Disappointing. Or maybe my expectation for this year’s contestants is just too high? The only performances that I can actually remember after watching once without having to go back to youtube again and again are the following:

    Casey – He doesn’t have the best vocals. He’s sometimes off key. But He has such a musicality in him and he owns every song he performs. He uses his voice like an instrument (even though it may not be the best instrument out there). When I see him on stage, I see a true musician, a true performer, an artist. To be frank, I don’t really care about this competition for him. I just want to listen to his debut CD at this point.

    Pia – Amazing performance. She’s one of the few female singers this year that shows potential to be a true star. But on the other hand, I think she’s putting too much effort into the high notes. I would rather she just sing a song well and show us who she is as an artist. Ballads are not good for that.

    Jacob – He has such an amazing voice, and yet I never like his performance. Just sing. Don’t try to make it dramatic and over the top. His vocal alone is dramatic enough. I disliked the arrangement of that song. Oh, can I also say that I hate the whole backup singer walking on stage thing?

    Paul – I think Paul would make a good recording artist, but prob not a very good live performer. He’s quirky. His voice tends to shake when he’s on stage doing his moves. I like his musical style and vocal style and I would love to hear his music in the future. But I don’t necessarily want to see him on the American Idol stage anymore.

    Lauren A – Well, she would make a good Carrie Underwood Junior. Good vocal skills, good country/pop vibes. No wonder the producers are pushing her so hard. I think they are just trying to use American Idol to build her a good fan base before her record deal, which is bound to happen regardless if she wins or not.

    Others didn’t really leave much of an impression with me.

    James – nice performance with pleasant vocal (except for a few places), but I think he completely missed the mark with the emotional side of the song .

    Thia – bad song choice. I can’t imagine a 15 year old singing Smile. It’s such a heart breaking song with emtional depth that no 15 year old can sing well without some serious messed up life experience. Thia can sing every note perfect and still give a bad performance.

    Naima – Good energy, not very good vocal. Now I am confused about what kind of music she really wants to make.

    I have nothing to say about Haley, Karen, Ashton, Stephano and Scotty.

  48. Joseph says:

    The biggest surpris of the night , James , he reinvented himself !
    Love the new look and different way he was showed off his talent.

    Solid performances both showed up the way I expected
    Paul – A new song for me and most of America but he should be fine
    Scott – Another solid job and song choice

    What were they thinking.
    Pia – Maybe she can sing but there was nothing special about this
    Casey – Singing the sound track to the Wonder Years , aint special

    These had no energy – get a crash cart stat !

    Some were really a mess like
    Thia – Some things worked but the rest did not
    Ashthon – Loud and off key is a bad thing
    Naima – She should focus just on singing
    Jacob – He needs to stop changing songs like it is part of a worship

    • Jay says:

      “Maybe she can sing”? Ya think?
      Casey singing Joe Cocker (well) = no-brainer.
      But the rest of your comments were spot on.

  49. Snsetblaze says:

    How many are actually going home? The song choices overall were pretty bad.

    Worst performance: well there were 3 that I saw: Naima, Karen and Ashthon. I admit that I hate the R. Kelly song so I had to fast forward through Jacob. I wish he would choose more interesting material.

    Really good performances: Casey and James Durbin (who suprised me – he’s still a bit of a dbag though). I loved Paul – loved the song choice.

    Lauren was breathy and late on the words. The soundsystem was also off. Pia was a bit screechy. While I actually like the Eric Carmen version of that song, I can’t stand the Celine one. Haley did manage to reign in the constipation or 1-800 party line commercial faces a bit but that’s it. Her voice is just not enjoyable. Thia – it started off ok but it was ruined by changing the tempo.

  50. James says:

    My god was James Durbin good tonight…of course he is! He has the most awesome first name ever haha! But seriously he was the best of the males and Pia the best of the females…the worst goes to Ashton hands down…she thinks she is so good but is average at best…