American Idol Top 7 Tackle 'Songs From the 21st Century': Who Did Best? Who's at Risk?

Good news, Idol fans! Apparently, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson sat in on Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina’s high school English classes in the runup to “Songs From the 21st Century” Night on American Idol, and at least managed a C/C+ comprehension of what the word “judging” means. Nope, they weren’t beautifully astute with their critiques — oh how J.Lo’s Motown Night eloquence seems like a distant memory! — but at least the feedback tonight was more than relentless variations on the “great! great! in it to win it!” nonsense of the past two weeks.

Pia Toscano on Dancing With the Stars ‘Is Not Unfair In Any Way,’ Says Idol Exec

I’m not going to weigh in on the evening’s mixed bag of performances — you’ll have to wait for my full episode recap to post overnight right here at — so in the interim, I turn it over to you. [UPDATE: Full recap is now liiive!] Sound off in our polls about tonight’s best and worst performances, head down to the comments to expound on said opinions, then scroll down for the latest three-part episode of the most important series on the Internet right now, Idoloonies. And for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Tonight’s Set List
Scotty McCreery: LeAnn Rimes’ “Swingin'”
James Durbin: Muse’s “Uprising”
Haley Reinhart: Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”
Jacob Lusk: Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father”
Casey Abrams: Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe”
Stefano Langone: Ne-Yo’s “Closer”
Lauren Alaina: Sara Evans’ “Born to Fly”

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  1. Leigha says:

    Hailey was okay but not even close to Adele. James was my favorite. Scotty finally got some much needed criticism. Steven Tyler is on this show why????

    • Joseph says:

      I thought this was the perfect song choice for Haley and back a few threads this was my song choice for her. But I have listened to the original about 100X and Haley did a good job but it was so easy for me to hear not only where she changed it up but also where she struggled belting this but also it was glaring that she lacked the emotion this song deserves.
      So for me Haley did an okay job but because she lacked the vulnerable aspect of the performance as such it was just okay.

      • hooch says:

        Yeah i agree. I like Haley a lot and i think she did a good job, but sometimes her eyes just looked dead instead of in pain like they should have been to really convey the feeling of the song. I wonder why she cant connect? It’s strange.

        • ct says:

          Is it me or can she not annunciate at all? It drives me crazy and distracts me from how god her voice can be.

          • Who are the weak minded doofs who keep revoting for Haley? Because Idoloonies decided to fixate on her like they fixated on Carly, Allison and Crystal, they decided to revote for her continuously like Lemmings? She’s been in the Bottom 3 three times. She took on a song that she shouldn’t have (why not do something from Adele’s LAST album, NOT her current song?) and wasn’t even close to Adele. Sure, there were parts that were good, but just that, parts. Right genre, wrong song. She probably won’t be going home this week (I’m hoping it’s Jacob,) and she might not even be in the Bottom 3, but she isn’t gonna be in the finals either. Give it a rest with Haley, and stop revoting for her over and over like a doofus.

          • shaggy bee says:

            Apparently Steven and Jennifer have picked Casey Abrams as the winner of Idol. I always suspected that Casey Abrams was the really pimped contestant this season, but some people are too stupid to realize it.

          • JPad says:

            @It Ain’t Gonna Be Haley…Sorry

            Perhaps because Idoloonies and those “weak minded doofs” know great talent to root for when they see one. Those who are the chosen ones, especially the in the most recent seasons, have been ones who are just too shoved down our throats and are simply not as good as they’re made out to be. Those “weak minded doofs” you vilify so much actually see more than what’s at surface level. So tell me, who’s a lemming?

          • tarc says:

            Trouble is, those ‘weak minded dofofuses’ are correct. haley is awesome, almost as awesome as Casey. So much for your comment.

      • cmp says:

        When has Haley EVER showed any real emotion, other than last Thursday when for the first time, I felt like she FINALLY, REALLY connected to a song. Other than that, her attitude is so consistently blase’ and disinterested. She’s a terrible actress.

        • takakupo says:

          I disagree. Haley may concentrate on singing the song more than she does interpreting it sometimes but this week was exceptional. Perhaps she didn’t give you all the fire you wanted but I thought her subtle darkness throughout “Rolling in the Deep” was successful and showed the songs roots.

          • Tarc says:

            It’s also VERY difficult to outsing a ‘voice of a generation’ like Adele, even more so when Adele actually wrote the song based on personal experience. Most Americans culturally really don’t go that deep or serious with youthful relationships, so it’s unlikely Haley has the life experience to pull from that kind of place. Remember, these folks are young and ameateurs.

    • Michael says:

      I can no longer watch the show live. I DVR it and fast forward through the judges comments. I loathe Steven Tyler even more than I dislike Randy…and I really, really, really dislike Randy.

      James was almost my favorite until he let out those ear-splitting shreiks at the end. They were sharp and awful. I loved the rest of the performance so when he faltered at the very end, I was bummed.

      1. Lauren was, for the first time, my favorite of the night. It was fun, flirty and the vocals were SPOT on. The girl needs to stick to the upbeat country ditties. I haven’t liked her this much since the top 24 performance, another upbeat country tune.
      2. Hayley was good, not great, but that’s enough to make her number two on a night when none of the performances were particularly mindblowing. She didn’t have the emotional depth that the song needed, but she toned downed the growls and was technically proficient. I completely understand why people don’t like her, but she has grown on my immensely. She has shown moments of brilliance, but often stumbles before and after.
      3. James Durbin would have been number one on my list had he not botched those two glory notes. They were ear=splitting disasters. What bothers me most was the praise he received for singing the two “highest notes” ever on the Idol stage. Don’t you have to hit the notes to get credit for singing them?

      4., 5., 6. Insert Casey, Scotty and Stefano into any of those positions. I’m not sure I get the “pitchy” references on these boards. He wasn’t pitchy. It was a bit screechy and growly and did nothing to highlight the strenghts of Casey’s voice. After a few weeks of good performances, I think that he took a few steps backwards. Scotty was Scotty. He bores me to tears. I loathe male country singers who often, like Scotty, have no range or ability to sing outside of their genre. That said, America loves country. We’ll be crowning him champion in a few weeks. I would bet a pretty penny on that. When Stefano finishes singing, I’m never sure if I loved him or hated him. There is something so amateurish about him. I find that occasionally endearing and annoying at the same time. He looks uncomforable on the stage and always gives off that karaoke vibe. While I find his voice to be the most tonally pleasing of all the male contestants. His odd cadences/wacky accents bring the pleasantries of his voice down a notch or two with me. I do think that auto-tune and some training is going to do him wonders.

      Last and certainly least, Jacob Lusk. Tonight was a reasonably restrained performance, but I can’t help but despise him. He sings like he’s drinking a mouth full of molasses. He’s screechy, smug and seems like a human being I would not want to know. I dislike everything about him.

    • Beetch please says:

      Steven Tyler is on the show TO KISS Casey Abrams asss.

      • tarc says:

        Then thank God for Steven Tyler, slayer of the music and jazz morons.

      • Lee says:

        Too bad you don’t like Casey because I felt he and Haley turned in the best performances of the night! I’m tired of Scotty, Lauren and James singing the same ol’ songs. (And I wish the judges would call James out on how pitchy or flat his singing is. I also wish they would call Jacob out on how sharp his singing is.) Jacob should go home tomorrow.

      • Suncatcher says:

        @ BEETCH – (at least you got your name right).
        @ TARC already posted my thoughts on your 12 year old comment.

        – Steven Tyler and JLo both know music a whole lot more than you do – that would include JAZZ.
        – Otherwise, YOU would appreciate Casey as much as THEY do – and the millions of other viewers who are voting for Casey.
        – Thought for the day for people like you who just plain hate:
        Don’t bother posting a comment OR say something nice about who you DO like instead. Otherwise, you just come across as a mean old shrew.

    • Julie says:

      I thought Haley seemed and sounded exhausted — both her and her voice. I found her singing sloppy. Then I checked out Adele’s version and wow, that woman can sing. Haley’s problem is she doesn’t figure out how to do a song her own way, doesn’t rework it to make it play to her strengths — she has a sweet nuanced voice; she should stop trying to sing belting songs. She also always comes across as trying to ‘do’ the other singer. How ridiculous was it that Jlo said, “in a few places Haley came through, and so it was great” instead of saying, “we need to hear more of who Haley is in how you arrange your songs for you.” Yeah yeah, the judges were responding directly to the criticism, so this time they had to praise Haley no matter what and tell Scotty to push himself. That’s hardly what people meant when they said Scotty needed to be pushed harder. By them. Hello, judges? How?

      • Leigha says:

        Judges??? What judges??? I have completely given up on them. Randy mimics Jennifer sometimes per verbatim. He was never a great judge but I remember in seasons past where he would say “I didn’t get it at all or it wasn’t good dog or for me for you.” Never constructive but it least it was something. And Steven had to check his notes (Nigel’s notes) to tell Lauren what singers she should cover going forward. It’s frustrating and hard to watch.

        • Tarc says:

          Clearly you are a child, and one that pays little attention to others. Tyler is 64 and did more drug than some counties; the fact that he remembered two of the three from memory is pretty standard for a 60 year old brain.

    • ai11 says:

      Stafano is absolutely horrible–not sure why they keep praising him so much

  2. darcy's evil twin says:

    Okay all you die-hard fans in Idol Land, please help me out here.

    Was Casey’s performance all that? I was thinking, “Oh Lord, they never should have saved him, he is SO going home”, and then the judges acted as though he cured cancer with that performance.

    Who’s right? Me or them? Or is Casey like Paul – just very divisive?

    LOVED Haley and James, and I thought Scotty gave a solid performance.

    • Katt says:

      You’re not alone, I didn’t like it that much either.

      • Brittany says:


      • Maybelle says:

        I guess I am alone with this but I LOVED CASEY’S PERFORMANCE. Sorry about the all caps but wanted to really get that out there! Ok done……carry on! LOL

        • tarc says:

          Nope, you’re not alone – and if you look at the poll, lots of people have an ear for jazz and get it. That’s the problem with the internet… people mistaking their opinion for a worthwhile (informed) one.

          • aislinn says:

            like you, you mean? Everyone’s got their own taste and opinion – that’s all any of this is.

    • abc says:

      I agree with you. Casey didn’t hit one correct note in the entire second half of the song.

      • Christina says:

        The dude growled out of tune the second half of that performance and didn’t get called at all on it!

      • Ablo says:

        But that’s not true. I have begun to understand that most people don’t understand what notes mean. Perfectly fine to not like him or his performance, but you can’t make stuff up. I think the truth is that people who liked Pia blame him. As if it were his fault.

        • Tarc says:

          Frankly, Casey’s default modulation is to minor keys, as his jazz training might suggest. Most Americans are jazz idiots (or just idiots in general) and are unused to hearing anything except the traditonal progression used in pop music. Casey’s vocal was nearly perfect – yet jazz dummies think he’s ‘pitchy’. Nope. Casey’s one of the best contestants in 10 years.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I never thought he was sharp, flat, or “pitchy”. I just didn’t think it was a pleasant or enjoyable performance, and believe me, I really enjoyed some of Casey’s performances. Trust me, I get tired of that same old boring “four chord progression”.

          • lesfull says:

            This is actually a pretty good explanation of my why most people don’t get Casey (minus the calling people idiots). He isn’t as easy to listen to as a traditional pop song that most people are used to hearing, but I love him. I think he goes off key in some instances but most of the time I think he is fine and have been baffled as to why so many people detested him to much.

          • takakupo says:

            You really lose all credibility when you start calling people idiots in parallel to your argument of some genre that you make seem esoteric. Jazz has been around forever and incorporated into contemporary American pop plenty of times for people to “Get it”. Just because people don’t like it doesn’t mean that you get to go around, guns blazing! saying that no one understands “Jazz!!!!!”. I mean really, if I don’t like James does that mean I don’t get “ROCK N’ ROLL!!!!!”? Hardly.
            Casey sucked and he’s been sucking really hard since he got into the top 13.

          • Lee says:

            I’m with tarc–Casey is the best contestant of the season because he takes the most risks. He’s the David Cook, Kris Allen, and Adam Lambert of the season. Who else would have the guts to turn a pop rock song by Maroon 5 into a pretty hard rock song? Not Scotty or Lauren who continue to sing safe country songs or James who sings nothing but hard rock songs or Stefano who sings ballads all the time (with the exception of tonite) or Jacob who screeches every week like a cat on a hot tin roof. At this point, I’m rooting for Casey or Haley to win because they’re the most interesting and the true artists of the show.

        • J. says:

          @Ablo: Yes! That is what I have begun to think, that people think it’s a “wrong note” or “out of tune” when Casey improvises on the melody, or creates a less pop-style harmony. What I can’t understand is how those same people think Jacob Lusk is “in tune” when his improvisations lead him to land sharp of the notes he’s aiming for and all off the map.

    • Andhowarewe says:

      I agree. I thought it was one of the worst performances of the season, and I did not understand the praise… unless of course the judges want to lull his fan base into a false sense of security and send him home tomorrow night.

    • Lynnie says:

      You aren’t alone. Casey wasn’t great. The only performance that truly rocked tonight was Haley’s. She was amazing, and that’s not an easy song to pull off!

    • Deb says:

      Not alone. He abandoned the things that actually make him appealing and kissing the judge didn’t make it better. The judges started to actually critique tonight but got booed and wimped out. Too much karaoke. Are these kids incapable of re-imagining a song?
      Liked James and Haley as well, but James needs a Gokey note: support the verses better.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        I agree with the comments on James. There’s an old saying, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”. James sells the sizzle. I enjoyed the performance and the theatrics even though the notes weren’t all there.

        • aislinn says:

          Ugh – James covered up bad singing with lots of theatrics, and people are snowed into thinking it was good. His screeching on this song wasn’t quite as bad as Gokey’s Scream On, but it was a close thing…

    • SybilT says:

      I’ll disagree here. Casey’s vocal was far from perfect, but as a performance, I thought this really worked. The phrasing, the rhythm — it was one of the two best of the night for me, the other being Haley. No, she’s not Adele, she’s not David Cook — who did an awesome cover of Rolling In the Deep last weekend — but she did a great job with a very difficult song, and made more than just a note for note cover of Adele.

      I admired James’ performance for the ambition, the execution, not so much. I couldn’t help but wish that Adam Lambert was singing it instead — and no, I’m not a Glambert!

      • Coco says:

        I’m just gonna say what SybilT said. ICAM. Casey and Haley=best of the night.

      • Casey is the winner? says:

        At the end of the show Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler basically said that Casey Abrams should be the winner of Idol.

        They said that Casey is basically the American Idol winner.

        How sicken.

        • Tarc says:

          That’s the best thing I’ve heard all season… and it would please me to no end that it’d just irritate the jazz-morons out there. :D

      • j. says:

        I agree with your comment on Casey tonight. That was an interesting, musically acute performance, and it was also interesting to see him as rock singer instead of a jazz singer. That he can do both is a strength not a weakness. Now he needs to let go of the gimmicky grunts and grimaces in both.

    • Lizbeth says:

      I liked what Casey did. Lets face it–if he brought out the bass again and did a slower song–folks would say he is getting boring or complacent or whatever. I will admit I don’t know the song–but I was very entertained by it. I also think it is great that he tries different stuff quite a bit–unlike most of the other contestants.

      I think the kiss was TPTB idea–I really doubt Casey would have just done that own his own. It’s like when those teens rushed Scotty. Plys, JLo turned her head and was waiting for it–LOL Hilarious!

      I thought his vocals were pretty good for the arrangement.

      Loved Miss Haley too. They were my two faves of the night by far

    • Joseph says:

      Dear God, my ears are still bleeding from that horrible performance , and talk about pulling out the gimicks , can I slap that boy for the kiss at the end. Please ,, can I just hit him , Casey really needs to go.

    • karenb says:

      I actually like Casey this week. A first for me.

    • RTW says:

      I’m PO’d because he showed great promise during the first half of the song – he sounded strong with his unique rasp to his tone and very articulate. I was excited to see where the second half was going. Unfortunately, he decided to step away from the mic and choose the ridiculous route, and it saddens me that artistry was replaced with antics.

      • Joel says:

        Right on RTW. I admit I hate most of Casey’s performances. What some see as “jazz” is actually a little boy thinking he’s got a unique talent so much that he earns points for sheer enthusiasm. Tonight, the first half was tolerable, but the train veered WAY off the tracks in the second half — sneering, growling, pulling faces, amateurishly adding “ah” or “uh” as an addendum syllable to words. Weeks ago he didn’t just not deserve the save; he deserved the full ouster. He’s the only one without real singing talent. And this spell he seems to have on people is ridiculous. He thinks he can he thinks he can… but he’s just not.

    • Scott says:

      I’m not a Casey fan at all, but I thought it worked very well tonight. One thing was very odd though — when he moved around stage, it was very herky-jerky, almost like stop-action photography. The man has to learn how to g-l-i-d-e around on a stage.

    • marie says:

      I’m with you on this; did not enjoy Casey’s performance and in fact have not enjoyed him since Hollywood week when I was actually starry eyed over him. In fact, I hate to have to say it but I’ve begun to think he’s actually not a very good singer after all.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Marie, I agree – and I do like Maroon 5. I LOVED Casey’s Peggy Lee song when he sang during Hollywood Week, but I’m beginning to think the vocal ability just isn’t there.

        Again, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”. Casey is selling the sizzle.

        • Joel says:

          JAMES sells sizzle (and well); Casey is selling the unidentified masticated food on the floor below the table on which you’re having the steak.

          • Lunakit says:

            Bwah! Gotta give you props for that, Joel!

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            SNAP! I also commented someplace on here about James selling the sizzle.

            well someone is lovin’ them some of that masticated food. I think Casey has great musical talent but I don’t think he’s the next Idol.

    • dejo says:

      I so don’t get the Casey love… and I think it was just rude to sing in Jennifer’s face and kiss her. In fact I thought it was gross. I certainly hope he had at least asked her permission pre-show. His voice is just ok, perhaps he can write music for Haley to sing.

      • lesfull says:

        I actually like both Haley and Casey, but your idea would be awesome. She could be the lead singer and he could write, play and sing backup. Totally dig that idea.

      • Gautham says:

        He actually did.. He asked J.Lo beforehand and she said yes….

        You’re a complete moron if you didn’t know this already.. Jlo turned her face before Casey kissed her.. That alone should have given you a clue…

        Casey haters are just idiots aren’t they?

    • CKK says:

      Same here. Casey creeps me out.

    • Jessabean says:

      thank you because i didn’t think it was all that.
      i’m trying not to be an idoloonie-head, but all i could think of was jack black. the sound was pretty good, but the visual performance was yikes!

    • Leila says:

      I think Casey’s performance was great. The song arrangement was better than the original. His and James’ were the best of the night, but I see on Dial Idol that Scotty as usual is taking the lead, followed by Jacob and Lauren. Hopefully the West Coast will turn this around.

  3. Katt says:

    I was nervous that Haley was doing a song that is so popular right now, and the beginning wasn’t that great…but I loved it. Great job, gurrrrrl!!!!

  4. Julia says:

    Scotty picked a 30 year old novelty tune as his “song from the 21st century”? Yeesh!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I thought the same thing – but apparently Leann Rimes covered it more recently.

    • The Wheeze says:

      I know right! My husband knew the words to the song and I asked him when he ever listened to Leanne Rimes. He said who? He then told me that was a song his mom and dad used to listen too when he was a boy. I mean of all the songs Scotty could of picked. I do not get it.

    • ladyhelix says:

      Scotty could actually hit the bottom 3 – or go home this week – if his die hard fans “believe he’s not in danger. Maybe the bottom 3 is a wake up call he could use. Remember little David (Archuletta).

    • SybilT says:

      Scotty’s song was a complete cheat. He gets an F on song choice, and vocally it was just another lazy Scotty croon and smirkfest. I know he’s going to win, but he really bores me to tears. He couldn’t do Brad Paisley or Keith Urban or even — I can’t believe I’m saying this — Rascal Flatts? Sheesh. It’s American Idol, not American Idle.

      • karenb says:

        Great post. Just wanted to add that my ears are still bleeding from the Hot Mess That Was Scotty. I mean-tonight was actually the worst ever from this guy.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Scotty’s performance was solid although the song is a bit corny. It was a safe choice for him. His fans loved it, I assure you. I would have liked to have seen him choose something a little outside his comfort zone.

          • Joel says:

            Wait — all of Scotty’s songs are safe, but usually very listenable and likeable. Tonight was his first real mess-up. Not only did the song make “Twinkle Twinkle” seem sophisticated by comparison, but it had no heart, and he seemed to do MORE of the head-cocked flute playing than before. It’s like he’s daring us to hate it. All that said, it’ll still be a while before Scotty even gets close to the “bottom three” chairs. Even if you don’t like country music (me!), that voice is rich and smooth like chocolate milk. And he has a better sense of humor than any of them, or so it seems from tonight’s mocking moments.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I found it odd that the other contestants made fun of the way he holds the mic, sings out of the side of his mouth, etc. and then he sang “Swingin'” and did those same very annoying things!

    • Jessabean says:


    • Leila says:

      He has such a huge fan base by now he can do anything on stage and still take the crown. I’ve given up on this season.

    • Laurel says:

      Scotty creeps me out with the sideways microphone and the weird facial expressions.
      It’s all so phony looking like a hotel karaoke sideshow.

    • neri says:

      Scotty may very well beat both Taylor Hicks and Lee DeWyze as the Most Boring Idol ever crowned. He is so phoning it in, now that he’s sure he’s got it locked. I think the country fans should consider switching their votes to Lauren; at least she’s pushing herself every week.

  5. Preston says:

    Overall, I thought this was a much better night than last week for both the singing and the sheer entertainment factor. The girls totally stole the show tonight for me, with Haley delivering one of the few performances this season that even came close to being an “idol moment.”

    1. Haley – Practically perfect song choice, and girl nailed it. This topped even Bennie and the Jets for me.
    2. Lauren – Total fluff song, but Lauren will record fluff songs like these and get a ton of play on country radio. One of her best yet.
    3. Stefano – Other than some early pitch issues, I thought this was one of his most solid, assured performances yet.
    6. James – I wanted to score this much higher (love me some Muse!), but I can’t deny that he was very flat on the first chorus, and he had serious tuning issues on occasion.
    4. Jacob – I can tell this will be underrated. I thought it was his most in-tune performance yet, but the song isn’t exciting or interesting enough to make it more worthwhile to me.
    5. Casey – A solid performance, I guess. Though the unexpected is usually a good thing, his ever-shifting identity keeps his momentum off-track in my opinion.
    7. Scotty – Well, this happened.

    Predicted B3: Jacob, Casey, Stefano
    Going Home: Jacob

    • The Wheeze says:

      I hope you have a DVR so you can re-watch the show.

    • ErixN says:

      I agree with you 99%, Preston. lol. Only difference is that I didn’t think it was one of Lauren’s best tonight. I still think she holds back and could be giving us more. The song was fluff though and very boring.

    • Erin says:

      Agree except about Jacob. He was all over the place (sharp and flat and quivering) tonight. I truly felt this was by far his worst vocal. And I usually only hate the face pulling.

  6. Steve says:

    Professor Slezak, I hate to be a snitch, but Scotty is totally cheating his way through your Songs From The 21st Century class. Yeah, technically “Swingin'” may have been covered by LeAnn Rimes last summer and made it all the way up to a lofty #57 on the country charts, but the textbook clearly says it was a #1 hit for John Anderson in 1983. (Even made it up to #43 on the pop chart back then.) Heck, at the time, it was one of Warner Brothers’ biggest selling singles ever. Please consider flunking him on this particular exam, or I might have to take this to Headmaster Lythgoe for further review.

    The rest of your Idol class

    • Joseph says:

      If you flunk Scotty then you would need to flunk Adam Lambert from 2 years ago with Mad World, thing is that this is not the song I would have chosen for Scotty , but I think he is smarter then me.
      Swinging , was really smart and safe song for him and gave the show a fun if not Idol Wow experience.
      He should still be very safe.

      • Linda says:

        Wasn’t it Danny Gokey who cheated on the Year of Birth theme week?

      • cathy says:

        If Scotty’s boring and predictable performance is considered a wow moment for this season then they need to cancel this show. Scotty is gotten to the point where he is just obnoxious. Unfortunately, the AI voter again has picked this boring person to win this year. If he turns out to be the star that his fans are predicting then I give up on country music.

    • darcy's evil twin says:


      I thought it was 1993!

      Okay, I’m going to check into Geezerville.

      • Tahoe Mike says:

        See you there. I was shocked when he sang that, since I remember it from the 80’s. That song was huge when I was 17!

    • raun says:

      It was john Anderson from last century…Scotty is at the point he could sing from the phone book and his fan base will get him through. Still see top three being James, Scotty , and Lauren. With a battle between James and Scotty for the win.

  7. Lucy says:

    James Durbin….no just no…that was not pleasant…I love metal an muse and those two just don’t fit well together

    • Katt says:

      I thought James did terrible. The verse was out of tune and the screeching was kinda wonky. I was really confused my the judges when they said he was the best of the night.

    • adamfan says:

      I respectfully disagree. I loved it. I really love the song and James gave me chills. Love the vocals and what he was wearing.

      • Michael says:

        I was crazy about the performance until those final two hideous shreiks. He failed to anil them and I think it would have been a perfect vocal had he not attempted something beyond his reach.

    • Ginger says:

      I thought James gave the worst performance of the night. Just painful to listen to his screeching. He is like a parody of a good performer. Seems fake to me and his ego is overblown. I hope he goes home next. The rest ranged from good to very good. Especially liked Haley.

      • Templar says:

        Despite James’ daring foray into edgy fashion, it didn’t work. He was so channeling Adam. and not doing that good of a job at it. I really like james, but that fell short for me.

      • DN says:

        You are funny. Perhaps you should be on that panel for you appear to know more than those judges, who can’t contain themselves whenever he performs (that ‘killing it’ soundbite from Lopez was from her reaction to a Durbin performance). That was another grandslam by this singer and I feel sorry for those who failed to recognize that. Being tone deaf can be a problem for you.

    • Steph says:

      I like James a lot but he doesn’t have the strongest vocals to support himself as a solo artist. Best thing that could happen to him is he gets voted off before he gets sucked too far into the idol machine and finds himself a decent band.

    • aislinn says:

      Totally agree. He was flat for parts, really strained to reached those high notes, didn’t get there some of the time. People get distracted by all the smoke and mirrors(or pianos on fire) and don’t notice that his vocals just aren’t all that. The high notes were screechy and really unpleasant.

    • Joseph says:


      I really like what James does with his performances but it is frustrating that he lacks the vocal ability. He high notes were painful and the rest of the song was flat.
      Not sure if he really should go another weak after this but thinking the theatrics my keep him safe a little longer.

      • DN says:

        Hey Joe, it’s called hard rock. That maybe something new for you, but James Durbin kicks it every time he’s on stage. Ask around about Rob Halford –er, rather ‘the Metal God’, as he’s called, and hitting the high notes. You really think the great Zack Wylde would’ve joined Durbing on stage if the kid wasn’t stellar? Too funny. If it’s too painful for you, then it’s too sad for you.

  8. Brittany says:

    Amen on the Scotty thing… he didn’t sound good and his looks are getting more and more ridiculous each week. Both he and Lauren deliver every week, but they never do anything exciting or have vocal moments that make me go wow, I must buy this Itunes. I’m glad they called him out on it because this is the second week in a row he hasn’t sounded good. Based on performance tonight, he should be in the bottom three. Based on teenage girls and his crazed fanbase, he won’t. Bottom three: Jacob, Scotty, Stefano. Going home: Stefano.

    • Laurel says:

      I totally agree Brittany.
      Scotty’s facial expressions and sideways microphone were an unpleasant distraction from his boring perfomance.
      It’s sad that he will not be in the bottom 3 because it might be the jolt he needs to snap him out of this.

  9. LGH says:

    Haley was wonderful. One of her best performances, and it was a difficult, risky song choice. She was by far the best tonight. Am glad the judges were a little tougher. Just wish they’d been a little more right. What’s up with Randy telling Jacob he needs to go all out all the time? Crazy advice for Jacob, whose real problem is showing restraint and control. I did not like James’ wailing. Too, too much.

  10. Kristen says:

    I wasn’t a big Hailey fan in the beginning, but she has won me over. Jacob has got to go. I am over his melodramatic performances. Bye bye already!

  11. Monty says:

    I can’t understand why none of the judges commented on the fact that James was a quarter step flat for a huge chunk of his performance tonight. It was painful.

    I like Muse, I like Jacob, I like theatrics, but singing in pitch is still important, and he was way off.

    • Kristen says:

      I agree completely, and this isn’t the first time it has happened with him on this show. When he slowed it down, he seemed extremely off key to me and none of the judges said anything. They seem to love everything he does, and I don’t get it.

    • AKL says:

      They NEVER point out James’ pitch problems, and he consistently has them. Very annoying. And yet they call out Haley on some note that was supposedly sharp? Seriously? That girl sang flawlessly tonight.

      • Lucy says:

        you said it right : “screeching”

        Am I missing something? Because that was a VERY bad performance for my ears…and I have nothing against “screeching” when it’s well done.

      • hdo says:

        No, I’m afraid Haley did not sing flawlessly. She was painfully “pitchy” a few times, and her voice was weak at certain points, too. Do you have a DVR or any other recording device? Go back and listen again. Wish I could say otherwise, but her performance wasn’t very good.

        • buzz says:

          Got 2 HD DVRs, top of the line, and couldn’t stop watching and listening to Haley. Randy sitting right there called her out of being sharp on a couple of the falsettos, not “painfully pitchy”, and finished by saying great performance. My DVR recorded a great performance, maybe you should upgrade!

          • Maybelle says:

            Well Buzz then you need to go back where you bought those “top of the line 2 HD DVR’s” because apparently they ARE NOT WORKING! Haley was nowhere near flawless and she was pitchy in some spots.

          • Tarc says:

            Nah, buzz was pretty much correct. There is a big difference between being off pitch and choosing a minor modulation. was it a perfect vocal? No. But it was pretty close, and there were some really interesting changes that were very well done.

    • S says:

      Agreed! I was starting to think I imagined the horrible pitch problems, but I’m glad someone else heard them, too.

    • agrimesy says:

      Now that Scotty FINALLY got some criticism, James is the only one who has yet to get one false word from the panel. They love everything he does. I fully expect him to come out on stage and just fart next week! He may as well because the judges are living right up his butt! Randy will call it genius! JLo will giggle and say he’s CRAZY good! Steven will go “Wooooo-eeee, you effin’ stank boy . . . so good! I love it.” UGH! James lacks soooo hard!

  12. The Wheeze says:

    Casey and James were my favorites tonight. Haley was pretty good. Lauren, Scotty, and Stefano were okay. Jacob was not so good.
    My pick to leave would be the Lusk Stank. I think he is long overdue.
    Did anyone else think Lauren seemed really nervous tonight?
    Nice to see Jennifer and Randy showed up tonight. Though I wonder if Randy is capable of a thought of his own.

    My(personal) bottom 3

    BUT I think Lauren or Haley will unfortunately take Scotty’s place.

  13. Mel31602 says:

    I thought everyone was good but no one blew me away. James would have been my favorite if not for the screaming. Casey was good but probably my least favorite. Lauren has my favorite voice in the competition but I agree with the judges that she has been holding back. I’m guessing bottom 3 will be Jacob Stefano and Haley because they will likely be the next 3 to go and Jacob was the worst if the 3 even though I liked him more than usual (don’t know why Randy said he needs to let loose- he’s so much better when he holds back). If Scotty was not uber cute and popular I would think he’d be in the bottom

  14. agrimesy says:

    I think Jacob may be in trouble tomorrow. Haley was the best of the night! Her Adele wasn’t perfect, but it was d@mn good! She is getting all my votes tonight. By the way, before I get back to texting . . . PLEASE IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY LET JAMES DURBIN GO HOME! He absolutely maimed Muse . . . had to mute his screeching was so awful. BUT, I can’t vote against anyone, so for Haley, I’ve got to get back to my phone.

  15. robin says:

    James Durbin = straight Adam Lambert? Someone is pushing that but I’m not buying it. Muse, the outfit, the high notes made for obvious comparison but in my mind, Durbin does not compare.

    • Marta says:

      Among other areas where he does not compare…James Durbin does not have sex appeal. Love what he was doing or not, Adam Lambert oozed sex appeal…..

  16. James says:

    The best by far was James Durbin…I actually thought Stefano did a good job as well…and third place is a tie between Haley / Casey…Such a better job he did after the horrendous vocal last week!

    • Robin says:

      James D, is that you complimenting your performance again ?

      • Robin says:

        Also, why was james wearing the outfit and cane Adam L. had on in the FYE video ?

        • Milly says:

          If he had been wearing the corset from FYE, then you wouldn’t be able to tell how much weight James has put on. Odd that Casey is losing weight, but James is packing it on. Hmmm.

          • stevenjaba says:

            Casey has been really, really sick with colitis – he’s had 2 or 3 blood tranfusions since he’s been on the show. It’s amazing he’s not skin and bones if he’s that sick. I know, I have it too – it basically means you can’t eat.

          • Karrie says:

            While I’m a fan of James, I do admit that he didn’t do his best tonight. With that being said, I don’t get all the constant comparisons to Adam and the Adam fans hating on James! They are two different artists, James is a rocker through and through and Adam is a glam rocker/pop artist. I thought that Casey was awful as was Scotty and it’s the same thing with Scotty every week with a different song; boring! Haley was great as usual!
            My B3:

    • stevenjaba says:

      Also, I don’t understand why so many people don’t like James. He’s pitch perfect nearly every single time.

      • Templar says:

        Not tonight. He was flat.

      • DonDDD says:

        What? I like James’s voice, and his I’m Amazed is one of the more standout performances of the show, but he has been on a decline vocally on the show for some weeks now. The week he did My Guitar Gently Weeps was so flat throughout and then he went really sharp on his high note (he’s done this song in the past well, see his youtube), and then tonight was pitch issues everywhere. Flat on the low parts, good solid tone in the middle, but then terribly sharp whenever he went into his higher register. He has one of the strongest voices, but he lacks the skill to use properly yet. He’ll get better with time, he’s just not there yet.

        The only person on the show who was consistently in pitch was Pia, and she was boring. Haley is pretty good with pitch, and Scotty is fine but doesn’t have much range to mess up on. Jacob, Stefano, and Casey all have pitch issues constantly.

      • robin says:

        Because his vocals were really bad tonight ??

      • aislinn says:

        Sorry, stevenjaba, but you need to tune your ears. He was off pitch throughout most of the performance – flat on the low notes, and straining and missing the high ones. This was not the first performance where that was true either – way off pitch for guitar gently weeps.

  17. Rh says:

    Why did James ruin a Muse song and then get praised so much? Matt Bellamy has one of the best modern rock voices, and uses his higher register so effortlessly. James went higher for sure, but it was unpleasant and terrible sounding. Not every note needs to be screamed. He sounded good during the part that were not too low or too high. Jacob and Stefano were both boring, but they were more on point vocally. All three should be in the bottom or could go home and I’d be fine. The girls were the best for me tonight, and even they weren’t knockout amazing. Just alright. I missed Casey’s performance or I’d judge it too.

  18. Lolman says:

    MY god Jacob is terrible…He needs to go ASAP!

  19. Katt says:

    Worst performance of the season = Ashthon, Karen, Thia, Naima, Pia, and Paul on “So What”…just ugh.

    • The Wheeze says:

      Totally agree! That was a mess! And for love of all that is holy can someone please burn Paul’s damn 3 amigo’s suit.

    • Templar says:

      ITA. Paul’s voice was nursing home quality and he moves like a psychotic windmill. he’d look marginally better if he fell down.

      • hooch says:

        LoL! This really made me laugh out loud. And seriously, why is he still wearing that suit??? I hate Pink and the girls looked like brats singing that song.

    • dp says:

      I agree it was terrible. The season 8 group did it MUCH better. Plus, Allison Iraheta performed it quite well during the summer tour that season.

    • Maybelle says:

      Come on you couldn’t tell that Paul had lost most of his voice? Even I could tell that. The poor guy has been nonstop this past week on several shows singing his heart out. Give him a break. Now as for the others…… NO!!!

      P.S. I love, I adore Adam Lambert, but I have had enough of you Glamberts trying to stuff this nonsense that anything James does is copying Adam! Leave the poor boy alone! He has done nothing that compares to Adam! He knows he can’t and he isn’t trying! The outfit tonight is nowhere near what Adam wore in his FYE video. Get over it! Adam is Glam Pop/Rock and James is Metal/Rock. If you think those two are the same then get YOUR HEARING CHECKED!

  20. Christina says:

    I’m glad Scotty got called on his complacence. He’s going to win this thing, but dude could you at least make an effort! He had 11 years of Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, etc to choose from and he chose a cover song done by Leeann Rimes that hardly anyone has heard of. Come on dude!

    • minnie says:

      Except Idol probably didn’t clear any of these folks. The song list was probably 20 or less to pick from. Laurens choice wasn’t any better.

    • nikki says:

      i would have even taken another ‘baby lock them doors…’ over this song. sheesh!

    • Tahoe Mike says:

      What do you mean nobody has heard of that song? EVERYONE, and I mean everyone had heard of that song; when it was #1 in 1983 for John Anderson.

      • Tarc says:

        Being from the Midwest in 1983 and a complete music devotee, I’d never heard the 1983 version of the song. In fact, I’d only heard the Rimes version once. So, no, EVERYONE did not hear it, nor did it get played on pop or country stations around here.

  21. Kumbaya says:

    Paul was off-key in the “So What” rendition. What happened with Ashton’s voice (it turned to chipmunk-rubbery voice), and the group singing? :((

    • Christina says:

      Paul’s singing or lack there of during the group song was the worst thing to come out of a contestants mouth this season period!

    • The Wheeze says:

      Thanks for the laugh! I was wondering about Ashton’s voice too. It sounded like she could not decide whether to sing or rap her part. That whole performace was PITIFUL, especially when Paul and Pia tried to duet. Is this what we can expect on the tour? It did not make me want to buy a ticket!

  22. stevenjaba says:

    that group performance at the beginning… what the… words fail me… that was the worst thing ever

    • Kumbaya says:

      At least Pia was there.
      A solo Pia performance would have been so much better.

      • Tarc says:

        So much better at boring me with lame 1970’s power balads best left to the past, pehaps.

      • Anne says:

        Pia sucked along with the rest of them. They all sounded as if they were trying to sing over each other. And Paul sounded as if they were strangling him. all I could think was “wtf!”

      • Wake says:

        Sometimes, it’s just about singing. Pia outsang 7-8 contestants on the show before she was cut. You have Poor taste

    • Jessabean says:

      that is the worst song for a group sing, the absolute worst. it’s a song about tude and only Pink can pull it off … and solo.

      AND this is the third or fourth time they’ve trotted out this turd for a group sing. argh!

  23. Ked says:

    I feel like I am in the twilight zone or something. Am I the only one that hears James Durbin sing? The show is in such need of someone with a little theatrical flair that they set James up with all the props. Makes me laugh when I think of all the criticism Adam Lambert got for being theatrical. Adam Lambert absolutely killed the MUSE version of Feeling Good and none of the judges gave him good comments. Too Broadway, Randy said, and now they bring in the band? Someone needs to step up and tell James that his voice isn’t really that good, but he is fun to watch. Unfortunately this is supposed to be a singing competition.

    • Anne says:

      James is the prince of screech. That’s his shtick and people love it. He stopped singing after Hollywood week and went into screeching overdrive. The producers and judges want a rocker or metal dude and James is it.

  24. Karen says:

    Why do the judges never call out James for all his pitch problems? I could hardly stand listening to that mutilation of Muse. Bottom 3 should be: James, Stefano, and Jacob, but will probably be Stefano, Jacob, and Haley, with Jacob going home. I though Casey was the best of the night.

  25. AnnaW says:

    I’m sorry…. you say American Idol was on tonight? My Fox station seemed to be running old episodes of the Twilight Zone. Albiet an episode I’d never seen. Maybe someone else has seen it before.

    It’s the episode where there is some sort of singing competition, but it’s reverso world.

    The supposed “front runner” was a strange little fellow who holds his mic. like a Monkey and gets a kick out of the sound of his own freakishly low voice. (Also, if that’s the best that monkey can do for a 21st century song, he deserves no bananas tonight!)

    There was all kinds of praise for mediocre performances that had plenty a flat or wonky note.

    But then there was a nearly flawless performance by a girl singing the most current song possible (has been bumped to iTunes #1 after her performance). Rather than the MO-FO recognition she deserved, she received odd comments about bum notes etc. One judge even managed to artfully make her comment sound like it was negative criticism.

    Then, a wretched performance by the young stallion. I was rather embarrassed for him…. but not to worry. I guess It was really good because this is REVERSO WORLD where all that’s bad is good and all that glitters definitely is not gold!

    • Kerry says:

      It was a bizarro-universe come to life! I thought Haley was artful and relaxed and technically really amazing. James was just odd (will there be a uniformed marching band in the post-apocalypse?) and so flat all the way through. Yet you would never know by the judges’ comments.

      Also, can Randy’s judge card be revoked for claiming the winner of the night after only two performances?

      • AnnaW says:

        I think Randy’s card should be revoked for not only calling it after the second performance, but calling it after THAT performance. Shesh.
        I mean seriously, I was not even on the Haley bandwagon that much. I had just said to my friends tonight when we were talking about how this year there seems to be some good singers, a couple good “performers” but no one was a clear favorite. I said, minutes before we started watching, “if Haley would stop the silly sexy-face stuff she does and just sing, I think I could like her. She has a great tone and rarely misses her notes.”
        Well, bam! I think she gave a truly beautiful performance but the judges are so clearly afraid that she will steal votes away from “wittle Lauren” that they can’t bring themselves to give credit where credit is due.
        Haley got rid of sexy face, she limited growly voice, and interpreted that song really really well. She deserved better.
        Oh, and I love how Ryan’s even in on it. His discussion with her was tantamount to saying “how you hanging in there girl? You shouldn’t really be here still but you’re toughing it out!” Then to Lauren it’s all “you could win this thing, whah whah whah.” Guess what. Lauren can’t win this thing because she’s 16 going on 12. She needs to find some confidence and come back in a year or two. Too bad she can’t. They’ve actually screwed her. She won’t win, she’s not going to have a Kelly/Carrie type love-in win moment, and she can’t come back when she’d be more ready for all the pressure.

        Oh well, at least I have found one of them I’m interested in. :-)

        • idolidol says:

          I agree Anna W

          The Idol execs aired Stephano’s comment about Hailey being a brat

          I smell jealousy in the air regarding Haley from other contestants

          And you are correct, goodness forbid that Haley bypass the judges Barbi Doll (whittle warren)

        • Hmmm... says:

          Actually, I thought the Ryan bit was good for Haley — she came off pretty well there — after all she has been dumped upon and put in the bottom 3 3x and she came off like a trouper. (Though she could have gotten tons of votes if she had broken down and cried).

          If Scotty can phone it phone and end up at the top every week, you know something is broken.

    • JBanana says:

      seriously. I just re-listened to Haley’s performance like ten times in a row… even when I had first heard it, I thought she did great, but man it gets better and better the more I listen to it. How anyone can say that she was not stellar tonight I don’t understand. She totally killed it.

  26. Joseph says:

    I thought this was the perfect song choice for Haley back when we opted for what we thought she should have sung this week. But I have listened to the original about 100X and Haley did a good job but it was so easy for me to hear not where she changed it up but rather where she struggled and not just from the music but the emotion that song deserved.
    So for me Haley did an okay job but because she lacked the vulnerable aspect of the performance it was for me just okay.

  27. Amie says:

    My rankings:
    1: Haley – I’ll admit I’m a big Haley fan and so my ranking seems biased, but I think she really risked something by doing a song that was so recent and even though she’s no Adele, I think she still was able to add feeling to the song(in the vocals not the visual)
    2: Lauren – She was sooooo nervous, and Jimmy telling her not to be nervous just made her look more nervous, but I think she did a solid job with that song.
    3: Stefano? – I actually enjoyed his vocals tonight, the song choice was awful, but I was excited to possibly see him sing again next week so he actually got my votes.
    4: Scotty – Safe. Boring. But no train wreck.
    5: James – Murdered (in a bad way) a Muse song, sadly those high notes would have been awesome had they sounded good in the song. Idk I’m not big into Metal and I can appreciate his genre, but considering I like Muse, it was a fail.
    6: Pia/Paul – Damn that song and the other Idol rejects that got in there way

    I don’t even want to rank Jacob (the dramatic) Luck or Casey Karaoke ….just not good

  28. Jim says:

    I thought Jacob and Stefano were the worst of the night. One of them needs to go home pronto! Stefano missed a few notes during his number, and the whole thing left me underwhelmed. Jacob picked a terrible song…but really, I just don’t care for the style of music Jacob delivers. The world doesn’t need another Luther Vandross, the first one was boring enough. The girls both did terrific; this was my favorite performance of Lauren’s so far, and Haley was exceptional…and will probably end up in the bottom three with Jacob and Stefano because the judges criticized her. But I predict she will survive. James was middle-of-the-road all the way, he sounded great on the chorus but flat during the verses. Casey was actually not bad, but I wasn’t wild about the song choice. This is the kind of music I could see Casey making, and it doesn’t excite me at all.

  29. Owen says:

    Haley was fantastic in the middle of the song, but the beginning and end she was reduced to waving her arm, not listening to what she was singing and had an almost “I don’t care” attitude. Both she and Lauren seem, I don’t know, intimidated, like they’re both afraid of the boys club surrounding them (admittedly, those are some talented boys) and are falling into typical subservient female “let’s not try to overshadow the men” roles. They don’t seem to be, sorry to quote Randy “in it to win it”…and those girls are JUST as talented as the guys, but somehow they don’t know it…I was expecting Haley’s fight to be back after “Moanin'” but maybe she knows the stools of doom are inevitable? If she is indeed dating Casey she should stay with him. Dude may not make it as a singer, but I have a feeling he will end up being one of our best producer/arrangers in the coming years. The guys IS music (I have the same feeling about Kris Allen). And Casey knows how to draw out the BEST in Haley (does everyone know he not only chose, but arranged and coached Haley in “Moanin’?). I think Haley has built up enough of a fan base to outlast Stefano and Jacob, but I still voted for her 50 times just in case.

    • Kumbaya says:

      I can’t seem to vote for Haley. Line’s too busy. :(

    • idolidol says:

      I agree Owen

      And what was that crazy Stephano comment about Haley being a brat
      and Lauren’s comment about others running all over with the notes

      I smell jelosy in the air

      The Idol execs had a responsibility not to air Stephano’s comment

      It appears that the Idol execs take every step to sabotage Haley

      • Erin says:

        Haley is getting some crap edit by the producers. Anyone notice Jimmy Iovine practically eye rolling Haley when he asked her what the singer is feeling and she got a bit nervous? Of course she gets nervous, you know “everyone is watching everything” she does. She wasn’t even my favorite, but its hard not to pull for a forced underdog like her.

        • idolidol says:

          I agree Erin

          I and others commented tonight that the Idol Powers That Be are clearly pushing (Whittle Warren)

          I’ve been a fan of Haley since the show began. I’m enthralled with her technical prowess. Tonight was not her best performance but Bennie and Jets was fab

          Also Haley is hardley every shown in the skits

    • tarc says:

      The real problem was that she was SEATED for the opening – a major mistake for most singers. You have no breath support that way. She should have started standing, and she probably needed a little more warm up time. Adele is the best singer of her generation, so it was already a huge task to take on the song. I loved what she did in the middle.

  30. grace says:

    Haley–if i didn’t see her I would probably like her better. nothing comes together visually–her outfit, her makeup, her hair–it’s all mall-style circa 1989 and i cannot get beyond it. Goes to show you what a good stylist can do.

  31. Kate says:

    James certainly is winning the Award for Most Theatrical this season. Whether that translates into great vocals, great performances, or Idol Moments is less certain. I agree with a lot of what’s being said: before he gets into his upper register I was enjoying it…and then not so much. It bordered on just plain shrieky. He never made me forget I was listening to a cover of Matt Bellamy. Also: first time Muse has been on Idol? I suppose Adam Lambert’s performance of their arrangement of Feeling Good doesn’t count?

    Even though she didn’t really “make it her own,” I really liked Haley’s version of Rolling in the Deep, which has been on near repeat on my shuffle recently. Loved this style for her.

    • Templar says:

      It seems that from now on all of James’ performances will be big production numbers. Lots of smoke and mirrors, not much voice.

      • Vetle says:

        Nothing wrong with production numbers in my opinion. You will see a lot of those during the X Factor. I’m pretty sure.

        That said. James’ performance left a little to be desired. The low notes got somewhat monotonous after a while – I know the song is supposed to be like this, I just wish he had picked another Muse song. I’m a huuuuuge fan of Muse, and I’m also that kind of person who doesn’t think “oh noooo, he’s gonna ruin the song D: D:” if someone’s going to cover a song by my favorite artist or band. If the performance is really bad, I tend to forget them anyways. I’ll give James a C. Vocal was OK, shrieky at parts. I have not seen the actual performance yet, just the audio.

        I loved Haley’s vocal – I don’t get what people are saying about the beginning. I thought she nailed it in the beginning – let it build. The second half was equally as brilliant, as Steven Tyler would say. Slight limitations though. I think the performance would’ve recieved a lot more praise, if it had been performed LAST. B+.

        Haley got the highest score on, too.

  32. LilBubba says:

    Watching Lauren has become so frustrating. For me, she has the best voice left in the competition. She has the chops to win the whole thing, possibly, although I’m not sure anyone can beat Scotty at this point. But she just won’t go for it. Probably too young. I just wish she’d go out there and sing her ass off.

  33. ariel says:

    Honestly, the judging is insane now. Haley was undeniably fantastic and got the only significant criticism of the night — that is just lame. James was out of tune (you know, high notes aren’t by definition good; you have to sing them in tune, judges), Stefano was vocally weak and his song choice was super blah, and Jacob sounds like he’s choking. Lauren was BORING, and the judges should have called her on it, but instead they praise her for what they’ve NEVER HEARD HER DO. I don’t get this at all. It’s hard to account for the wrongness of the judges’ comments, except to acknowledge the producer’s pressure on them. Arg! This show is making me hate it.

  34. donie says:

    The season has gotten really boring. The kids are talented, but aren’t succeeding. The judges and mentors aren’t helping. The ridiculous “that was perfect” praise for every performances makes the show seem fake and pointless. I’d had such high hopes. Bummer.

  35. RaeLynn White says:

    First, we can’t ignore the horrific group number at the beginning of the show. Why oh why did they do that to us? There’s a reason those people went home…and to put them all together in one song? That was pure torture. And Paul? Really?

    I thought Haley was the best of the night with Lauren at a close second. It was literally painful for me to listen to both James and Jacob. Why was James praised like a God? He was out of tune much of the time! He’s getting it laid on pretty thick. And don’t get me started on Stefano–has he turned Constantine on us with his love making eyes towards the camera? GAG.

    I was proud of the women tonight. I think they really stepped up and shined. It’s true that Lauren can do more–but she’s only 16 and is still trying to figure out what she’s capable of.

  36. JVC says:

    Glad I’m not the only one that wasn’t feeling casey. I really didn’t get. I was surprised he picked the song, but he seemed more focused on pulling faces than the vocal. I thought the two remaining girls were the best of the night. Rock on Haley. I wouldn’t be surprised to see scotty in the bottom 3. Joining him: A combo of jacob, stefano, and casey w/ Jacob going home. Is a girl really going to be in the bottom 3 tonight? I hope not.

    • Kumbaya says:

      He’s trying to be Jack Black. That’s what happened. =(
      He’s a frickin’ jazz singer. Like Slezak said, he should embrace Esperanza Spalding rather than Jack Black.

  37. AE says:

    Scotty – Way to get around that 21st century song and sing one that John Anderson did in 1983. Really? of ALL the songs you could have chosen you went with that?! I know America loves him but I’m ready for this cowboy to ride off into the sunset.

    James – I didn’t hate it. Loved the marching band coming out with him, but why does he get the special guest accompaniments every week? Nice jump up the octave on the chorus (thought the 2nd time was a little wonky).

    Haley – I have been saying since day 1 that Haley needed to work in an Adele song. THANK YOU!!! While there were some bum notes here and there, overall it was great. I love the fact that she changed the bridge and those little high notes on the “reap just what you sow part” were the cherry on top for me.

    Jacob – Kudos for maintaining his composure, not only due the emotional aspect of the song but also for blowing off the “Rolling in the Deep” track that crept into the intro. Seriously, what is going on with the sound and production of this show?

    Casey – Liked the song choice. My only request: stop mugging for the camera already!

    Stefano – MUCH BETTER!!

    Lauren – I don’t want to like Lauren but gosh darn it I can’t help it. She has a pleasant quality to her voice that is lacking in some of the other contestants. I wish she would have picked something different to sing though. Why not do a Pink song, like “Glitter in the Air” or something not country?

    Ok, I’ve held out long enough. Why in the hell did they have a group number before the performances tonight? What the hell was that?! Poor Paul. I just love him to death but man was he off on the vocals when everyone else sang with him. And he jacked up the words and wore the same outfit as last week and gah!

  38. mb says:

    I thought Haley was awesome and was more harshly judged than many of the other contestants. James was okay, but during one of his “wails” my 10-yr. old son said, “That could get annoying”. Scotty = boring, cheesy fluff. I am so ready for Jacob and his ego to take a hike and I agree that the group number with former contestants was hell on earth.

  39. Jake says:

    Pia was actually the best of the night – too bad she was paired with Paul in the opening number, who was atrocious.

    James was the best by far, followed by Casey and Haley. I thought Stefano was the worst – I’ll put Jacob at #6 simply because he showed at least some restraint.

  40. Stacey says:

    Playing Lauren back. She was a lot better than my inital thinking of her performance. Still could have picked another country song for her range. Although I can understand not wanting to do a Taylor Swift song after doing Miley and getting the advise that she sings better than Miley. She would likely get the same with Taylor. And doing a Carrie song is rifle for comparisons. Still, Sara Evans is too safe for Lauren.

    But she was pretty confident on stage. She just needs to explode. Put it all out on stage. I fear the backlash she got early in the competition from the audience because of the expectations of her totally put a wall up between her voice and her performances… I think she needs to let loose…

    Let’s hope she has a enough fans to keep her safe tomorrow. I wish Jacob or Stefano would go…

    • hdo says:

      I really do like Lauren. I too wish she would just get more self-confidence and let loose onstage. She is very good at this point, but I agree with the judges that she can do even more. She is my favorite. She comes across as a very warm, likeable person. Those are nice qualities in an Idol, and they are qualities that have been lacking in more recent Idols.

  41. JaxGuy says:

    I’m torn between Haley and James as the nights best. LOVED them both. I love his “screeching.” Haley is getting better and better every week. She was great. I loved her take on a great song. I think she was true to the melody but made it her own. My 2nd after them was Stefano. Lauren comes in 3rd/4th. Casey was 5th in my book. Not a real challenging vocal and the “sling blade” mouth has GOT TO GO!!!!
    The novelty has worn off for Scotty. The seams are cracking. And like Randy said regarding Jacob, “IF you are back next week, don’t hold back.” It just may be too late for Jacob. It’s sad because he gave 2 great performances this year, God Bless the Child and You’re All I Need to Get By.
    In order:
    I think Jacob is leaving.

    • Amelia says:

      I think there’s no way Jacob is leaving! He’s getting the second highest amount of votes on Dial Idol… I have absolutely no idea why he’s (still) so popular, I’ve been wanting

      Basically anyone can go as far as I’m concerned, except Haley (although I’d prefer Jacob or Stefano to go). I’m afraid that Haley will be in the bottom three… she is still at risk of going home even though she gave a great performance tonight.

  42. JaxGuy says:

    I’m torn between Haley and James as the nights best. LOVED them both. I love his “screeching.” Haley is getting better and better every week. She was great. I loved her take on a great song. I think she was true to the melody but made it her own. My 2nd after them was Stefano. Lauren comes in 3rd/4th. Casey was 5th in my book. Not a real challenging vocal and the “sling blade” mouth has GOT TO GO!!!!
    The novelty has worn off for Scotty. The seams are cracking. And like Randy said regarding Jacob, “IF you are back next week, don’t hold back.” It just may be too late for Jacob. It’s sad because he gave 2 great performances this year, God Bless the Child and You’re All I Need to Get By.
    In order:
    I think Jacob is leaving.

  43. Marta says:

    Double elimination Stefano and Jacob in one fell swoop! ….Oops- there I go again- blurting out my Idol wishes in hopes of them coming true (They never do, sadly.)

    • Leila says:

      Stefano was the worst tonight. His attempt at dancing and working the stage were laughable. He’s so cute, but his singing style is cheesy, like a throwback to Joe Secada. Jacob will move on due to the emotional appeal of his “backstory” and the song.

  44. Debbie M says:

    Let’s do a drinking game everytime one of the judges say “beautiful” or “amazing.” We’ll all be drunk and on the floor halfway through the show. I had such high hopes for this judging panel at the start of the season, but now I am so frustrated at them I want to scream. And please Randy, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t encourage Jacob to do a full-out caterwauling mess like on that R. Kelly song again. Just don’t.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      ^What she said!

      I’m fixing a cocktail as we speak…write..whatever.

    • Amanda says:

      I like the idea of drinking every time Scotty does his eyebrow raise. I swear by the time his performance had finished, you’d be drunk enough to handle the rest of the show. I think for that one reason only, they should have Scotty open up every performance night. That way maybe then I can get through the painful lack of judging by the three stooges.

    • Amelia says:

      I fast-forward through the judge’s comments (except when they talk about my favorite, Haley). We all know what the judge’s are going to say.

  45. Aj says:

    Well, Haley was really the only one worth mentioning tonight, and even she was hard to enjoy just because Adele has such an astonishing voice it’s hard for anyone to sing her. Man this season is starting to remind me so much of last year, where there was literally only one contestant by this point that I cared at all about. It just seems like this season really has jumped the shark since Pia’s elimination. I was really liking this year up till then, and now these last 2 weeks have been so blah and I just haven’t really cared anymore. Haley and James are the only ones that deserve to be safe tonight, everyone else should be at risk. But of course Scotty and Jacob won’t be, and knowing this show Haley will be eliminated tomorrow. Ugh.

    • Owen says:

      Okay, no. No. Just compare this Seven to last year’s Seven. Tim Urban? Aaron Kelly? Siobhan Magnus? Lee DeWyze? Michael Lynche? Casey James? Dude, no comparison.

      • AJ says:

        3 weeks ago I would’ve agreed with you wholeheartedly. But it just seems to me like since Pia’s ousting, all the contestants have gone way down from where they were at one point in the season. These past 2 weeks have been more or less a mixture of lukewarm and bad performances, and that’s EXACTLY how last season was. The only exception to it is James, who I’d say has actually been better the past 2 weeks than he was before.

      • davey says:

        Siobhan and Casey gave way more musically interesting performances than this crew who are being controlled by the producers. There has been on Paint It Black or Jealous Guy by any of this year’s singers.

    • Idolidol says:

      I agree Aj

      Haley is the only interesting contestant and the only reason that I watch the show
      Stephano’s comment on Haley being a brat should not have been aired

      Once again the execs are trying to sabotage Haley

    • Amelia says:

      I LOVED seasons eight (Adam, Kris & Allison) and seven (Jason Castro & David Cook). What’s been happening since then?
      In my opinion we’ve had no great ‘moments’ on idol since two years ago… every single contestant & every single performance since then has left me shrugging. No performance this year (or last year) has excited me… and that’s sad. Adam Lambert (and sometimes Kris) brought so much excitement each week and kept surprising us. I guess it’s pretty hard for contestants to match the quality & excitement that Adam Lambert brought to the show.

  46. karenb says:

    I couldn’t believe my ears tonight. Do you get the feeling that everyone…the contestants, the producers, and most importantly-the judges, watched idoloonies before tonight’s episode, Slezak! They must be listening to you! I couldn’t believe Randy called Scotty’s performance “boring.” lmao!

  47. GSOgymrat says:

    Scotty- Terrible song choice. His singing was solid but just seemed lazy. I love him but was disappointed.

    James- Train wreck. Going from barely audible and off key to screeching was just shocking in the worst possible way. I love the song but he ruined it.

    Haley- She set the bar really high and she made it… barely. I liked the last half of the song better than the first because it sounded more like Haley. She is getting better and I hope she avoids the bottom 3 this time.

    Jacob- I thought this was one of his better performances. Obviously a lot of people hate him but I thought he did a nice job with this one.

    Casey- I want to like him. I understand why other people like him. He is just not a good enough vocalist for me. Listen to him sing without the performance (which still has too many weird faces) and his vocal limitation are evident.

    Stephano- I don’t like the song “Closer” but I thought he did an okay job of selling it. I think he has started attending the Constantine Maroulis School for Mugging to the Camera.

    Lauren- Good performance. I hate to agree with Jennifer but I do wish she would just break out and go for it. Her makeup looked like it was applied with a trowel, which is totally not her fault.

    Group number was absolutely horrible. Paul’s vocals were just a nightmare. Will someone please burn his damn hipster outfits!

  48. kim says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about tonight’s performances….still digesting. I just think AI Season 10 is one big mess. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if not one of these contestants (even the winner) make it after the confetti is finally swept away, and the summer tour is done. I totally blame AI Management, 19 Entertainment, and Judges. And the contestants should also hold all of them accountable. It just seems to me they don’t know how to help/critique them. I’ve said this before Idol needs to say its final “goodbyes” and sail off into the sunset. Hey Ryan, does Simon need a “host” for “X” Factor? You should ring him up, because at the rate Idol is going this year, you may need a new hosting gig! I certainly don’t think there will be any openings on his judging panel. Hopefully, he has seen this “holy mess” of a panel and will get judges who aren’t afraid to tell people what they need to hear — even if it is uncomfortable. Nobody said the Entertainment industry was “nice” — quite the opposite. You better have extremely thick skin and from what I can see from the AI talent this year, I think its very questionable who has that “thick skin” to survive.

    • hopeful says:

      I found the quote I was looking for: in the E! interview as transcribed by MJSBigBlog. “Randy also believes women and girls vote for guys. If a girl is going to win, she has have EVERYTHING–charisma, talent, uniqueness.”

      I’m not sure if this is the voters or the judges/producers who have this attitude (or both). Because recently, at least for the better girls, they applied this standard to their judging. Which, in itself isn’t bad, but they should tell people that they are doing this and why. Especially if others are not held to the same standard.

  49. hopeful says:

    So, it looks like they are throwing Haley into the deep end and seeing if she can come out swimming. “Are you a singer or an artist Haley? Show us.” Which I think may be a kind cruelty; especially if soul/blues is where she wants to be.

    If she can survive the next couple of weeks intact, she may walk out of this with a fan base. Pretty good for someone who looked like cannon fodder at the start of the season.

    • hopeful says:

      Still, I’ll bet the iTunes is head and shoulders above anyone else. (Just like the vocals were).

    • Ronnie says:

      Randy searched to ensure he said something negative and so did the sexist pig next to Jennifer. Even Ryan got in the game, ensuring everyone was reminded of her being in the bottom.
      I believe they put Scotty first, knowing he is safe no matter what, and specifically planned in advance to criticize him so they could later tear down Haley without being accused of not critiquing others. And its obvious that the producers and Jimmy both hate her … its disturbing to watch and hard not to see a sad trend when they start the show with a row of 5 women eliminated. When does it stop being a sad anomaly and simply become who they are?

      • JohnDoe says:

        The last person that strikes me as “sexist” is Steven Tyler. Do you even know what sexist means?

        • amelia says:

          Each has their own opinions. In the auditions Steve Tyler struck me as kind of sexist (the way he focused so much on the physical appearance of sexual appeal of the female contestants… and made some of them feel uncomfortable).
          Steven Tyler hasn’t been doing that much in the live show, though. Now he focuses almost entirely on the female contestants actual singing & performance when he judges them and he hasn’t been treating the female contestants much different from the male contestants. During the live show Steven has been coming across to me as a nice guy who genuinely cares about each contestant and gives them the same respect as musicians/singers regardless of gender (although, as I said, he didn’t always come across like this in the auditions).

    • idolidol says:

      I agree Hopeful

      Throughout the program it appeared that Haley was being sabotaged by the Idol powers that be and by Stephano of course with his mean statement of Haley

    • hopeful says:

      I think, in the long run, it’s better for Haley if they don’t pull any punches with her–no matter much they let up on the others because it’s their loss not hers.

      If they jump on every mistake, every problem, then hopefully she’ll learn. Keep stretching, keep making mistakes: She did take a bit too much this week – but she almost delivered. If they keep it up and she improves, she’ll gain a fan base and support.

      She also seems like she can handle it.

      Totally unfair agreed, but maybe we’ll get something great instead of very good out of it.

      I hope she has another opportunity. To bring a performance like God Bless the Child: to show that side of her. (Sometimes, she’s soooo relaxed and chill it’s hard to see her angry or emotional).

    • Bonnie A says:

      I really liked Haley’s performance but her duet last Thursday was the best of the whole season! But my first reaction was that AI is trying to make sure she doesn’t win. Why was she the only one told about a pitch problem? I just downloaded her Itunes version–it’s fantastic!

      • jaxguy says:

        Bonnie I agree. Her duet WAS the performance of the ENTIRE season. I though she was great tonight. I have been a fan from the beginning and I’m just astounded why until now she has been a bottom feeder. But it looks like the tide may be turning. She has definitely gotten the best response from the fans for tonight. But the biggest surprise to me in regard to the people who criticize her, is they are the same people who talk about how boring some of the other contestants are/were. You may not like her voice, but it ain’t boring. After her amazing performance last week in the duet and this weeks great Adele cover she has moved to the top of my list. I’m rooting for her to win.

  50. jules says:

    Here’s my take:
    1. Haley. Thought she sounded fresh and current and cool. And on American Idol. Which is amazing.
    2. Casey. I don’t know the song or, at least, I didn’t recognize it. And it was a little samey-samey in the middle. Like, not melodic enough. But still, it was entertaining and I found myself watching the whole thing, so he gets points for that.
    Big Gap…
    3. Stefano. It was a perfectly fine performance, but just not my thing. He thought it was flirty; I thought it was Cheez Puffs.
    Bigger Gap…
    4. James, I guess. I didn’t get what the drummers added. I hated his outfit. I hated the screeching.
    5. Jacob. It was weirdly underdone and overdone, all at the same time. I just find him sulky and off-putting.
    6. Scotty. He sounds so much the same and it is really boring me to tears. Him, I find fake and silly, as if he has been faking this Boy Elvis act for so long, even he doesn’t know it’s not the real him. But it’s not. AT. ALL.
    7. Lauren. Even fakier than Scotty. She seems to come out, hit her marks and just blahblahblahsingsomestuff. I get no connection between her and the words. I never can remember what it was she sang, but I always remember a sense of entitlement seeping through everything she does. Boring AND smug is never a good combo.

    Should be B3: Lauren, Scotty, Jacob.
    Will be B3: Jacob, Stefano, Casey.

    I think Jacob is headed home. But who knows? If they want to keep everybody guessing and they’re as tired of Mr. Sings Sideways as I am, Scotty will be heading home for prom.