American Idol 10 – Top 13 Perform! Recap

The big change this season is the presence of UMG exec, Jimmy Iovine and his crew of producers. The performances are way more produced than ever before. Not as pre-fab as the X Factor-There is a live band backing the kids up. But there are also produced backing tracks, and some of those arrangements–holy moley. Stefano could have had a moment singing Stevie Wonder’s “Lately” as a straight ballad. But no–we get the Donna Summer treatment instead. I have to wonder if Stefano was really down with that completely, or gave into pressure from the team.

So, I’m coming around to James Durbin. Which I would not have imagined during the auditions. Paul McDonald sings the kind of music I dig, but unfortunately something went very wrong with his Ryan Adams cover tonight.  Could Paul be the Michael Johns of Season 10? Pimped highly during Hollywood, only to fizzle out during the semis?  Like James, Casey Abrams is winning me over. Yeah, he can be a little gimmicky, but that dude knows how to interpret a song.

I wanted to get behind a girl this year, but that’s going to be tough.  Only Naima is half-way interesting.  I found her flawed, ambitious performance of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” compelling. Has there ever been an Idol performance like that before? I mean, one that didn’t end up a Vote For the Worst favorite.  The rest of the girls are…ugh.  Pia…Celine Dion? Really? And there was little Thia in her Grown Up dress making mom and dad proud like a little pageant princess. Lauren Alaina doesn’t realize she isn’t singing karaoke at her local bar any more. Karen Rodriguez and Ashthon Jones were deadly boring and uninspired.

I don’t think a girl is going to win this year. And first out? Either Karen or Ashthon.

Jennifer and Steven are still not throwing down the way they should. They need to stop throwing softballs and get honest with these kids.

Live Blog, Photos and Videos after the JUMP…

The American Idol 10 take the stage tonight for the very first time! I’ll be live blogging all of the live pre-taped action, right here!

For International/non-East coasters: Watch American Idol Online

Here come the judges! Arm in arm. And Ryan Seacrest takes his place center stage.

Who is your favorite? Keep your energy up for OUR JUDGES. Congrats to Jlo. Her single is #1 on iTunes. The Top 13 take the stage. The contestants chose a song by their “personal Idol” Jimmy Iovine and his producers worked with the contestants.

Lauren Alaina – “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain – producer Don Was1-866-436-5701 – She chose her song because it was “fun”. Oh boy. Lauren wants to be a country music diva, just like Shania. Like the karaoke singer she is, Lauren’s treatment is competent, but she doesn’t bring anything new to the song. The song calls for spunk. She really doesn’t have it. Steven: “Gotta have a good song, I wished it had been more kick ass” BITCH FACE. Jennifer: “We want you to kick it into high gear. Now it’s time.” EVEN BIGGER BITCH FACE. Randy: “That’s a cool song, you sang it well…we want to see something that makes you shine beyond belief.” She WAS NOT EXPECTING to be criticized. Pouty pout pout. She says she didn’t want to sing a ballad. SHE’S MISSING THE POINT. Her performance lacked VERVE. ZZZzzzz Y’all! – Part1Part2

Casey Abrams – “With A Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles – producer – Jimmy Iovine1-866-436-5702 – His personal idol is…Joe Cocker. Lulz. He heard the song on the “Wonder Years”. DOUBLE LULZ. He begins sitting on the the steps. I’m liking this way more than I thought I would. There’s a nod to Joe, but he’s putting his own spin on it, for sure. He’s feeling it. WOW. GO CASEY GO. Chock full of AWESOMENESS. Me likey. Jlo: “At one point I grabbed Randy and said what am I watching? Blew me away.” Randy: “Dude, you were so unbelievable and so exciting. You make listening to you sing fun.” Steven: You are a rainbow of talent, man. You are a plethora of passion. Everyone in the house felt what you did. Yowza. “I was just so happy,” says Casey. He felt like he was channeling Joe Cocker. – Part1Part2

Ashthon Jones – “When You Tell Me That You Love Me” by Diana Ross – producer Rodney Jerkins1-866-436-5703 – “I’m just glad they are taking me to a place wheree I’ve never been. She’s very breathy and doing the Diana Ross hand gestures. The problem with this song begins with the choice. YUCK. What a terrible song. Does she think she’s going to record a song like this as a contemporary artist? Zzzzz. Here comes the big note. Very karaoke. Randy: “I liked it” Barry Gordy in the audience! “It sounded like a safe move, but I liked it. You grew as a singer. You did yourself some good with that.” Steven: “There’s more in there than you’re showing us.” Jennifer: “You’re so elegant up there. But, I want to start seeing you sing songs that we can sing along with you. I think you are amazing.” Well, that was faint praise for the twitter queen. But they didn’t trash her. Ashthon says, “I want people to see the elegant side of me…who Ashthon Jones really is.” Oh boy. – Part1Part2

Paul McDonald – “Come Pick Me Up” by Ryan Adams – Producer Don Was1-866-436-5704 – Paul calls Don a “big baller in the music scene.” Hm. Paul Dude. I love this song choice but you are sounding super pitchy. This might not have been a great choice for Idol. I’m afraid you may have left many out there in Idol land scratching their heads. If you pick an obscure song, in a style viewers are used to, you gotta NAIL IT. But he didn’t, so it didn’t quite work. Still, I love his tone and his stage presence. Steven: “I love the character and the rasp in your voice. A little pitchy. Nail it next time.” Jennifer: “You’re so unique. You moved the crowd. I hope America gets it. I don’t know Ryan Adams and that song.”Oh, Jennifer. Randy: “After last week’s performance, it wasn’t the most exciting thing. I love the character. I get it I hope America gets it.” Hm. I’m going to say…America is not going to get that. – Part1Part2

Pia Toscano – “All By Myself” by Celine Dion – producer Ron Fair1-866-436-5705 – Pia gets a sit down with Ryan. She talks about what life has been like since the Top 13 were chosen. She loves Celine because she is so family oriented. She’s hoping to make her Dad proud tonight. She’s got a great husky tone. She’s doing an expert job interpreting this. She’s nailing the notes. Big high note? Whoa. It’s tough for me, because I’m NOT NOT NOT a Celine Dion fan (Although I do heart Eric Carmen) So, I’m not digging this much. I want to hear her sing something other than a big drippy ballad. Jennifer: She thinks Pia topped last week “Really beautiful.” Randy: “We say don’t tackle those songs if you can’t do them. But you have that quality. You hit the notes dead on without even thinking about it. Very hot dope cool performance.” Steven: “That was the sum of all your performances so far.” He wishes Pia a happy International Women’s Day. “You just polished that apple. You just slammed it. That was beautiful.” – Part1Part2Part3

James Durbin – “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney – producer Jim Jonsin1-866-436-5706 – James’ Idol is Paul McCartney. I’m not loving the editing on this song, but wow. I’m officially changing my mind on James. When he reigns it in, he’s got a beautiful voice, a gorgeous falsetto. Wow. He poured emotion into that performance without over-singing. Randy: “You’re one of my favs in this whole thing. I love this kind of voice. Now you come out and sing Paul McCartney and slayed it. You showed you had a sensitive side. Dude. James Durbin is dangerous, America.” Steven: “You have taken everything you’ve ever felt and kicked it into next week.” Jennifer: “You have such a quality. You have what the greatest rock singers have. You’re melodic.” James ditched the tail and got his hair cut! – Part1Part2

Haley Reinhart – “Blue” by LeAnn Rimes – producer Rock Mafia duo1-866-436-5707 – She is OFF KEY on the first note. Yikes. She’s attempting to do that slidey yodel thing that talented country singers like Patsy Cline can do effortlessly. But Haley? Not so much. This is just OK. She might want to stick to pop and rock. Steven: “That was beautiful. You can hear the rest of the country roaring. You did such a good job.” Jennifer: “I think America is really getting to know you now. You do really special things. It’s so unique to you. Really special.” Randy’s going to tell the truth! Randy: “I like that you can do anything. But it was a little sleep and a little boring.” Haley says she was trying to show her softer side. Jennifer thinks she’s very sensual. Part1Part2

Jacob Lusk – “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly – 1-866-436-5708 – producer Rodney Jerkins – Jacob also gets a product placement sit down with Ryan! He talks about working as a receptionist at a spa. When he mentions the “wet room” Ryan changes the subject. R. Kelly is Jacob’s Idol. Oookay. And Garry Glitter is mine. Not. Jimmy Iovine tells him that “breathing is very important.” That’s why Steven gets paid the big bucks. Gah I freaking hate this song. Randy looks like he’s into it. Here come the gospel singers. Is it just me, or does Jacob sound slightly off? He’s not bringing anything new to it, except for a bunch of screamy screams. Blah. Steven: “Pure passion, pure music, I can’t even judge it.” Jennifer: “You make us feel so much when you sing. It’s anybody’s game. You’re at the top of the list.” Randy: “When you start, you have such a signature sound. You kinda went sharp, but by the end, you hit those high notes. I’m excited every time you hit the stage. – Part1Part2Part3

Thia Megia – “Smile” by Michael Jackson (his version) – producer Ron Fair1-866-436-5709 – When Ron explains the song was written by Charlie Chaplin, Thia looked at him like he had three heads. Then she called him “Charlie Chapman” Oy. There she is, all dressed up in a gown like she’s competing for Miss America. Indeed, this loungy, emotion free “Smile” comes off like the most pageanty of pageant performances. Thia probably thinks the song is actually about smiling. Randy: “I loved the intro, it was so beautiful, I heard Michael, a little Adele. All in all it was good. I loved the beginning more than the end.” Steven: I got to agree. A little pitchy in the middle there. But you’re so young. Overall I liked it.” Jennifer: “The beginning reminded me a little bit of last week. I thought the arrangement was interesting (I don’t think she meant it as a compliment. Doesn’t matter, you sing like an angel. Thia is crying because Randy dissed her. – Part1Part2

Stefano Langone – “Lately” by Stevie Wonder – producer – Polow Da Don1-866-436-5710 – OMG. It the freaking disco version of “Lately”. Not really digging this. Stefano does have a beautiful voice with a soulful quality. Too bad this arrangement is ridiculous. It switches up between ballady and dancy. Not liking it. But, Stefano, like last week, is putting his all into it. He’s got emotion and a great “YOu pulled it off. It was like a volcano. Arrangement was crazy.” “You had me dancing there for a minute. It wasn’t just a copy of it it was really you.” “It started off a little rocky for me. Stevie is so hard to sing. He’d be proud. You slayed it. Very nicely done.”  Part1Part2

Karen Rodriguez – “I Could Fall In Love” by Selena – producer Jim Jonsin1-866-436-5711 – She’s a huge Selena fan since she was a wee one. Oh look, footage of Karen as a kid all dressed up in Selena garb. This is pleasant enough. She’s having some trouble hitting the high notes. Eh. That even beyond karaoke boring. Does she realize she’s in a competition? She could be in trouble this week. Jennifer tries to be nice: “For me, I could tell you were a little uncomfortable with the notes. You’re one of our strongest girls, I hope you make it to next week.” Randy: “It felt like you were fighting the song. It was a little sleepy for me. It didn’t quite come off for me.” Steven: “It was lacking a little bit. I know you can sing so much better.” Karen and the stylist designed her outfit. Part1Part2

Scott McCreery – “The River” by Garth Brooks – producer Don Was1-866-436-5712 – Scotty gets the product placement sit down. He plays some sport that he’s missing. He’s just a good ole boy. Yee haw. “You’ve got to be country music, you can’t just sing it,” says Scotty. I’m still blown away by that old voice coming out of that young body. I can’t say that Scott has an original style, but he wears what he does well, like a very comfortable old glove. The kid doesn’t even look nervous! Randy: “If it ain’t broke, don’t even think about fixing it. That’s a great Garth Brooks song. Dude, this is exactly where you belong. Don’t change it. I love it.” Steven: “You did the Garth justice. You’re riding high tonight.” Jennifer: “I saw you open up as a performer. You embraced the audience…your taking the audience on the ride with you. Congratulations.” Ryan’s joking about the paint by numbers looking background heh. – Part1Part2Part3

Naima Adedapo – “Umbrella” by Rihanna – producer Tricky Stewart (produced the original) – 1-866-436-5736 – Hm. These non-singy songs can be hard to make work on Idol. She’s kinda pitchy, but the arrangement is cool, with that little reggae changeup in the middle.. She looks awesome and has great stage presence. Ooooh. New pimp screen: LIGHTENING BOLTS! Having said all that, Naima is the closest thing we got tonight to a real, contemporary, commercially viable performance. This is exactly what Rihanna, Fergie, Katy and the other Top 40 girls are singing today. And pitch doesn’t really matter. Steven: “You’re crazy good. A little pitchy. You brought flavor tonight. I adore you for that.” Jennifer: “You got fire girl. You dancing up there. You’re doing it the way stars do it. You need to work on the control. I’m glad you came out and id what you did.” Randy: “I differ with Jennifer. I care about the pitchiness. You’ve got to have the breath and the control. The cutoffs were a little rough. I loved the whole reggae thing.” Uhm What? I have no idea what Namima just said. – Part1Part2

Remember…Naima’s phone number is 36!  Randy says they didn’t use 13 because it’s an unlucky number. NO it’s because it’s a PORN LINE. lulz.

  • Valentin432

    Well now we know how they will use the producers

  • songsungblue

    What is she wearing? A prom dress over jeans? *Averts eyes*

  • HermeticallySealed

    Meh, not terribly impressed. She’s not bad, but it does come off a bit karaoke.

    ETA: Sound seems to be better this week.

  • tierbee

    Hmph. I feel like I’m at a Lil’ Miss Rodeo pageant.

  • girlygirl

    Lauren sings well, but that performance wasn’t very interesting

  • musikken

    She sounds winded and breathy. It’s a fun song, but not a very fun performance.

  • ri

    wth with the outfit Lauren?

  • HermeticallySealed

    Is it me, or does there seem to be a bit of awkward after the judges give there statements?

  • jasmaree

    Lauren A. wasn’t good. Sharp in a few spots and she whispered the first part of the song. But I don’t understand the fanfare for her, so I may be wrong.

    “Well, I had a good time.”
    Famous last words.

  • songsungblue

    She’s clearly upset, but I still secretly want to pinch her. Is that wrong? ;)

  • webster

    Hideous. Swallowed every line. And we don’t care if you are having a good time, lauren

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Lauren seemed tired. No energy in that performance.

  • koshka

    Tierbee – she is a natural she can sing anything without trying *eyes rolling* I wish the judges wouldn’t push so hard.

  • sma11ie

    Omg, she really is a YOUNG 16 year old, isn’t she? Girl cannot take even reallly kind criticism! I feel bad for her.

  • girlygirl

    I’m watching on a live stream at work, and I forgot my earphones, so I have the volume down low. My feelings watching the stream may end up being different from when I go home and watch the West Coast feed on my tv. But yeah…I don’t get why they are pimping Lauren so hard. She really reminds me of Kellie Pickler — I just don’t see star quality

  • ri

    Lauren is so used to praise, she looked like she was gonna fall to pieces when she wasn’t getting it. buck up, Lauren.

  • keware

    Is it me, or does there seem to be a bit of awkward after the judges give there statements?

    I agree. Steven and Jennifer need to learn how to “finish” their comments. They just kind of leave you hanging wondering if they are done.

  • blmetsfan

    Probably the worst I’ve seen her… but she should not be in trouble. America will eat up her personality.

  • partyintheusa

    I thought she did well, but I agreed with the judges that she should challenge herself more next time, but gosh dangit, she’s such a doll!

  • musikken

    Omg, she really is a YOUNG 16 year old, isn’t she? Girl cannot take even reallly kind criticism! I feel bad for her.

    I’m guessing she’s mostly heard how cute she is and how good she sings. It’s given her a lot of self-confidence, it seems, but not much practice taking hits or critique.

  • Tess

    Lauren is a very typical 16 year old that wears her feelings on her sleeve. I am sure it is tough for her to hear anything negative because in her short life she hasn’t learned how to process it yet…give her some time and she will be able to understand the difference between constructive criticism and dislike. Her openess will keep her fans voting for her doubly hard this week…she won’t be in any trouble at all.

  • Meg23

    I want to like Lauren. I like her voice, and I think her performance quality will definitely improve over time. But her responses and baby-ish speaking voice are making it very hard for me to root for her.

  • kozisedso

    Well, that was underwhelming. It’s interesting that the judges don’t usually spout the “and she’s only 16!” about Lauren.

  • Mtlfan

    she was good but not outstanding

  • fuzzywuzzy

    A pretty underwhelming performance and bad wardrobe. Kelly was right when she said that Lauren had some Kellie Pickler in her. She’s going ot have to toughen up if she’s going to make it in this competition.

  • bridget

    I felt like the judges were asking her to not play it safe – to go out there and attack. I thought she did good, not great (and – uh oh, I liked her outfit).

  • jasmaree

    “That’s what I want. I want to be felt.”
    Lol. WOW, Casey.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Casey is doing good, but i still can’t watch him. His expressions scare me. lol

  • jasmaree

    I wish Casey did more singing and less gruff talking/shouting.

  • turquoisewaters

    “Peaches” probably wasn’t her idea, but someone needs to tell her that Ryan is not 16 and that it’s not appropriate. It bothers me.

  • justshootme

    Stop shouting at me Casey.

  • songsungblue

    I like Casey, but he’s a little too over the top for me. It’s like – I don’t know – not sincere?

  • kcostell

    Not particularly impressive on Lauren’s part, though the song certainly fit her a lot better than it did Siobhan or Mandisa.

    Casey certainly had me grinning. I’m still looking forward to the week when he sings a song straight.

  • webster

    Best vocal from Casey, so far. I’ve liked him, but wondered about his voice. This is encouraging.

  • sandrajane

    The end 30 seconds of Casey’s song was more talk-singing than actually singing. And yes, he was really off.

  • girlygirl

    I like Casey, but I was a little underwhelmed by that performance. I think he was better last week.

  • Elizabeth Lemon

    Maybe I’m missing something. But that was painful to listen to… he was yelling at the end. Like a growl/yell. I didn’t like it at all.

  • girlygirl

    And a lot of that performance got a little shouty.

    I still like Casey, though

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    I do not get Casey.

  • tierbee

    Heh, I like Casey. He’s a nut, in a good way. Well, most of the time. He does have skeery eyes sometimes. I think I like that he lives in the music, if that makes any sense.

  • Trina

    I feel like I’m in some other dimension when Casey gets praised like that. I don’t get him at all.

  • partyintheusa

    GO CASEY! And dang you for causing this to be most likely yet ANOTHER year of a male winner! Grrr! LOL!

  • Meg23

    I love Casey’s joy. It’s infectious to me.

  • iluvai

    I thought Lauren sounded great and looked like a darling teen tonight. Casey is a little gruff sounding and looking for me, but my husband thought he was fantastic.

  • Elizabeth Lemon

    Vonzell sang this. And was so much better.

  • songsungblue

    The minute Ashton starts I wonder when she’ll stop. That is not a compliment. ;)

  • monleo1705

    Heya guys, anyone got a live streaming link? Thanks much!! :D

  • musikken

    Ashthon is boring me to death and hurting my ears in the process.

  • bridget

    I liked Casey because he is exciting. He does have a way about him, though – like his performances are almost like clever jokes sometimes. When I’m convinced, really convinced, HE’S feeling it – I’ll feel it more. But I like him.

  • HermeticallySealed

    This is horrible. Just horrible.

  • girlygirl

    oh Ashton…just no…

    3 performances, and so far the contestants are 0-for-3 IMO

  • Lucy1234

    I’m in the camp that was not that crazy about Casey’s performance. A little too shouty for my taste but I still like him.

    Oh Ashton, that was off key.

  • jasmaree

    Ashton sounds better when she’s not trying to hit those power notes. I know that she wants to be a diva, but I don’t think she has the voice for it.

  • webster

    I hate this kind of song. It needs an amazing delivery to rescue it. This is a very bad delivery.

  • Elizabeth Lemon

    Is Randy joking?

  • tierbee

    Sigh, Ashthon. Not such great song choice, and you know what I find myself thinking? Damn, I wish this girl’s voice was as good as her look/confidence.

  • songsungblue

    http://www.directon.tv/channels/3168/

    There you go!

    What are they smoking? That was AWFUL.

  • iluvai

    I like Ashthon. I didn’t like the song that much though.

  • Meg23

    Ashton’s voice has a strange quality to me…like it’s watered-down (if that makes any sense). Something just isn’t sharp and clear enough.

  • keware

    Wow. Those comments to Ashton were way too polite. She was horrid.

  • kozisedso

    Totally love Casey. Ashton is so not Dianna Ross.

  • girlygirl

    by the way, is there a “judges’ save” this season?

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    That was bad Ashthon

  • tierbee

    I know that she wants to be a diva, but I don’t think she has the voice for it.

    I totally agree. I would like to see her do something with a little more spunk, and quit trying to sing big ballads that are too big for her voice. She DOES have a nice voice, but it’s just not all that powerful.

  • lizland

    She sounds flat to me. Not good. Bad song too.

  • koshka

    Please let the rest of these guys be better. So unimpressed … Thankfully there are many more.

  • HR

    Casey was okay. Vocals were improved from the last week.

    I’m not happy with the song selections by the girl’s.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Ashton’s voice has a strange quality to me…like it’s watered-down (if that makes any sense). Something just isn’t sharp and clear enough.

    That and she was a bit too breathy. Made her sound asthmatic, not sexy.

  • jasmaree

    Hopefully Paul will rescue the night. From what I’m seeing so far, this episode will not be good. We’ve seen three bad performances in a row.

  • shell29

    I can’t help it…I still like Casey.

    Ashthon-she’s either going to have a Syesha trajectory (the girl who puzzles many by her continued existence in the competition week after week) or go the way of Lil Rounds (the judges play mind games with her when offering critiques until she finally gets the boot).

  • Willis

    I enjoyed Ashthon more than I thought,

    Also, I’m liking the shorter comments from the judges this year. Far better than the Dioguardi monologues of yore.

  • Trina

    See now times like this I miss Simon. Enough with this nice crap. Simon would have been all “that was dreadful” heh.

    If Casey wins, good luck to 19 and UMG with that marketing!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Casy was OK. Ashthon was meh. She could be in trouble. So far, not impressed with anyone.

  • gangreen29

    Hopefully Paul will rescue the night. From what I’m seeing so far, this episode will not be good. We’ve seen three bad performances in a row.

    Lauren and Casey weren’t bad performances.

  • cjinsd

    girlygirl:
    03/09/2011 at 8:24 pm
    by the way, is there a “judges’ save” this season?

    I think they’re making it up as they go along. So, if they want to save someone, they will.

  • bridget

    I like Ashton’s hair, earings, gown, eyeshadow, and . . . hair.

  • JudyL

    There have been lots of big voiced diva singers over the Idol seasons and I consider Ashton way at the bottom of the pack.

  • claudette

    Casey is Taylor Hicks 2. Love him and his performance, but he doesn’t really sing. He’s be a fun winner though. I’d love his interviews!

  • Indigobunting

    Lucy1234 I wasn’t feeling Casey either. I haven’t really liked anyone yet. Ashton was awful- they went way too easy on her

  • dvls

    Oooh, I remember that song from season 4. Ashton was way off! Not good.

  • jasmaree

    Lauren and Casey weren’t bad performances.

    Well it may just be me, but Lauren was lackluster and off-pitch to my ears, and Casey wasn’t singing as much as he was loud-talking.

  • Meg23

    Please be good, Paul, please. I love Ryan Adams.

  • Dakota01

    Lauren was okay … at least she has personality. She reminds me of Kelly Pickler.

    Not a fan of Casey. He shouted his way through that song plus he’s too Taylor Hicks-ish for me. That beard needs to go … not a fan of beards on anyone.

    Ashton was very out of tune.

  • Indigobunting

    Is Paul off tune or is it my ears?

  • gangreen29

    Well it may just be me, but Lauren was lackluster and off-pitch to my ears, and Casey wasn’t singing as much as he was loud-talking.

    Lauren wasn’t off pitch.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Paul has a very weak voice with little range. He’s quirky but I don’t get why people think that he’s a good singer.

  • jasmaree

    Is Paul…drunk?

  • Valentin432

    Paul is making a bid for the Taylor Hicks spot too

  • songsungblue

    I’m loving it [McDonald]!

  • blmetsfan

    Wow, Paul. So disappointing.

  • Brook52

    I can’t believe that I am saying this… I miss Simon…so these people had “experts” working with them?…I also miss the guest judges.

  • sbalk017

    If I close my eyes, I love paul. But the visuals are killing me.

  • Niall

    Lauren was average and was basically told that tonight. She seemed to have a hard time dealing with it so I’d suggest she go YouTube AI performances by past teen contestants like John Stevens or Diana DeGarmo. It should help her get an idea of how to handle being criticized without looking like a spoiled brat. Do that for me, will ya Lauren? Thanks!

    Casey is headed to Taylor Hicks-ville. Good for him, bad for the record label that has to market him if he wins.

    Bye Ashthon! You got one more week than some of us really wanted you to have anyway.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    LMAO @ Paul he is so weird.

  • Elliegrll

    I just can’t get into Paul’s voice. I really don’t know what people see in him, other than he knows who he is as an artist.

  • jasmaree

    Lauren wasn’t off pitch.

    I thought she was sharp in several places.

  • s0x_prisoner

    Lol Paul. I still love him though.

  • Junior

    That’s way too low a key for Paul.

  • Miss Blue

    Bye Ashton, glad I gave you all 20 of my poll points.

    Glad Lauren got some negative comments, loved, loved, loved Casey, hated Ashthon, and didn’t like this performance by Paul at all.

  • claudette

    Lauren’s lost some confidence. I think that’s her problem.

    Love, love Paul but not loving this.

  • Hannah Palindrome

    First, I hate the way Paul dances.

    Second, I’m not a fan of any of the singers this year.

    Third, I miss Simon…

  • Meg23

    Love Paul’s voice, love that song…but didn’t love that dancing. It took away from the impact of the song, IMO.

  • Indigobunting

    I am missing Simon right now too, yikes!

  • lizland

    I like Paul and his unique tone. But that wasn’t good.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Meh, kinda boring performance for me.

  • Trina

    WTF was that? He looked drunk and sounded so vocally off.

  • turquoisewaters

    I don’t know, Paul. There is something to be said for standing still.

  • musikken

    I was hoping for more from Paul. He’s needs to watch his ‘dancing’, especially on a softer song like this, it’s disjointed with the vocal. I’m glad Steven called him on getting off key.

  • Tony

    God damn Paul was awful.

  • girlygirl

    I love Ryan Adams and I really like Paul, but I’m sort of meh about that performance. I’m gonna have to watch it again to form a real opinion, I think

  • webster

    Does Paul have to sing in that cartoon voice? Drives me nuts. I can’t take that seriously. People who know that song: did he add anything to it?

  • Meg23

    How many alt-country, indie, Americana artists did Randy just name drop?

  • shell29

    Paul has a very weak voice with little range. He’s quirky but I don’t get why people think that he’s a good singer.

    Me either. I don’t get Paul at all (he is cute though).

  • Hannah Palindrome

    Niall-

    Yes! Casey reminds me of Taylor Hicks!
    Never like Hicks and not a fan of Casey.
    He’s a bit goofy…
    Fans love him, but he will disappear after AI.

    I just don’t see anyone with the IT factor this year?!
    Maybe I’m getting old…boo

  • Elliegrll

    Paul is making a bid for the Taylor Hicks spot too

    Yes he is. Casey is Taylor’s clone, but Paul is his more subtle younger brother.

  • s0x_prisoner

    I think Paul’s studio recording will be a lot better than that performance was.

  • Lucy1234

    There is something about Paul that just makes me feel good and smile.

  • zweiosterei

    Ashton hasn’t got the voice to be a diva. The sooner she accepts it the sooner she can pull something decent. Also Paul is charming as hell.

  • monleo1705

    Songsungblue – thank you honey!!!!! ;D

  • kozisedso

    Paul – should def get a script for some antispasmodics.

  • Dakota01

    Paul doesn’t know how to dance. His vocals were not good. The judges are trying to hide their disappointment. Not a good performance.

  • iluvai

    Paul sounded terrible. But he is fun and funny to watch. :)

  • Niall

    I’ve liked Paul up to this point but I’m not sure when “act like the drunk guy at a wedding” went from a Simon Cowell type slam to a planned course of action on the part of a contestant…

  • tierbee

    Heh, Paul. That song just didn’t really work, it was all a bit… muted? I don’t know how to explain it. I like him because he’s a little quirky and different but that didn’t really work for me. I don’t need a powerful voice, I need a voice that intrigues me. Tonight, it didn’t really grab me. I’m still waiting for someone to wow me tonight. Casey was my favorite so far.

  • Jewlmc

    I can’t wait till all the Negative “I miss Simon” Nellies see Simon slobbering all over mediocre contestants on X-factor. He will. Because it’s his show and if you think Idol is desperate to pimp “great talent”….you aint seen nothing yet.

  • songsungblue

    I think he’s just feeling his way without instrument or band. And I think his voice is weak right now because he’s having some node issues. There’s something that’s awesome about him though, he’s got something that’s real and unique. He just has to learn now how to pick the right song to reveal it. His originals are fabulous.

  • Tony

    And Lauren was disappointing. She hasn’t done well picking up-tempo songs. She sings them pitch perfectly but they come off as kinda boring and forgettable.

    She needs to pick a song with a great beat/rhythm…or just pull a Pia.

  • justshootme

    I did not like Paul’s version. And I like Paul. But I adore Ryan Adams and that version did not cut it. It’s an emotionally intense song, not a dance around the stage song. Sadz.

  • MrDuffin

    3 performances, and so far the contestants are 0-for-3 IMO

    I agree……

  • lili_anne7

    LMAO …….Paul was hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing. WTF was that?

  • Meg23

    I think Paul’s studio recording will be a lot better than that performance was.

    There is something about Paul that just makes me feel good and smile.

    I agree with both statements.

  • tierbee

    And I still don’t miss Simon :) But I wish these kids would step it up tonight, I’m not all that impressed.

  • Niall

    Pencil me in as NOT missing Simon Cowell. I sense much less of an agenda on the part of Lopez and Tyler, which I appreciate. They still need to toughen up, but they put RodeoCowgirl Lauren in her place a bit tonight so that was a good enough start.

  • sunchick

    I don’t think you can sing a Shania song in flats. Don’t laugh, but if you put that girl in heels, it would have helped the stagecraft. She wasn’t fierce enough.

    I adore Casey. I don’t know what more he could do to show that he feels it. Every molecule is in the moment. *shrugs* He was fantastic. Only criticism: I think he needs to have a chat with the camera man or Byrd or someone who gets how to sell America so that he can start nailing down stage blocking and singing to the cameras and not the live audience. He’s obviously feeding off of the live audience and vice versa, and it’s affecting how he comes across on television.

    Ashthon flat out sucked.

    Paul…I like his twitchy movements. I love his taste in music. I really wish I liked his vocal tone. And Randy throwing down with Whiskeytown? Dawg, who knew? You could have just knocked me over with a feather.

  • nncw

    That performance by Paul was so underperformed – maybe he misses his band! Casey was okay but not as good as I was hoping he would be. Ashton was off – lacking confidence in her voice. Lauren A was okay but song a bit hokey.

  • sbalk017

    Pia is so pretty. But I can’t stand celine dion.

  • mak

    I think there are Ryan Adams songs better suited to Paul’s voice but I was happy to hear Come Pick Me Up on Idol. But I HATED the change from “screw all my friends” to “lose all my friends.” Ick. I hope he stays and keeps making unusual choices.

    How many alt-country, indie, Americana artists did Randy just name drop?

    I know that was hilarious! At least I heard the word Whiskeytown on network tv! EXCITING!

  • tinawina

    Lauren…. eh. Sang it okay, but there was no pep in her step. Judges were dead on.

    Casey… he did sing well on the singing parts, and he did the gritty yell thing where it fits. Solid.

    Ashthon… big pile of meh. She didn’t need to be meh. But she looked good, That girl cannot pick a song to save her life.

    Paul… there is something about him I like, but I don’t really get him like others do. I have yet to be really moved by his presence. I think he really messed up.

  • Indigobunting

    zero for four so far.

    Step it up Pia for us please!

  • Mtlfan

    Casey was quite good. There’s just an aesthetics that’s missing for me to really like his performance.
    ashton.. just ok
    Paul.. he’s a sweet guy but not mu cup of tea

  • flyaway

    Hey Paul, I got it! The dancing makes me happy, makes him interesting. No, didn’t like it as well as Maggie but felt he did better than the first 3.

  • tierbee

    I don’t think you can sing a Shania song in flats. Don’t laugh, but if you put that girl in heels, it would have helped the stagecraft. She wasn’t fierce enough.

    I think she’s too darn young to sing that song with any sort of fierce. She needs to be married for a while, then she can get the whole smartass vibe of that song haha.

  • Hannah Palindrome

    Paul = Ray Lamontagne

    Pia is Gorgeous!

  • Willis

    Pia’s the first potential star I’ve seen tonight. Looks and sounds fab!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Hmm… not fond of the sound of Pia’s voice when she hits those high notes.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Pia Wow.

  • Elliegrll

    So far Pia has had the best vocal delivery of the night.

  • claudette

    Man is she getting the package. Princess Pia is not as good as Celine even though she must think she’s equal to all the Divas.

  • webster

    Oh Pia. I can’t hear this song without thinking of Bridget Jones. She’s good, but I hate her taste. And not liking the screams.

  • Nuts 0f Wonder

    so this was supposed to be good? I didnt like Pia at all

  • grayhound

    Pia borrowed James’ scarf tail.

  • shell29

    Pia is the “diva” Ashthon wishes she could be. Girl can sang, but I hate the song choice. Still the best performance of the night so far, hands down.

  • jasmaree

    Pia is really good. I wish it was a different song though. Best of the night so far, easily.

  • Tristessa

    It’s too bad I really, really hate this song.. she sounds fantastic.

  • s0x_prisoner

    Wow… I think I’m going to choose Pia as my Overall Pick in the office pool after listening to that. She nailed it.

  • musikken

    Pia’s a little shouty on the big notes, but she’s got a really lovely voice.

  • Elizabeth Lemon

    Pia is ten times the diva Ashthon is.

    I was skeptical when I saw this as her song choice, but she knocked it out of the park. She’ll be back for next week and I’m hoping she’ll change it up and do something up-tempo. She’s proved she can do ballads like no one’s business.

  • certain1

    I thought they wanted people to move around the stage this year. Also please stop the screeches.

  • tierbee

    Sheesh, Pia is gorgeous. My husband approves haha.

  • zweiosterei

    Randy mentioned Whiskeytown, Wilco and Traveling Wilburys.

  • Meg23

    No doubt Pia has a great voice, but this bores me. If she goes uptempo next week, she could stand out even more.

  • JOJOSIE

    Paul reminds me of a slicker Taylor Hicks. Both have unique voices, quirky moves and audience appeal, whether your a fan or not they do entertain and make you smile. Taylor always made me happy in season 5 and Paul is doing the same this year.

  • Valentin432

    I have nothing bad to say about Pia, she’s really good, got to wait for an up tempo now.

  • Indigobunting

    Pia was decent, but I liked her way better last week. Maybe because Pretenders>>>>>>Celine LOL.

  • Niall

    Pia has an it factor I don’t see in most of the other contestants. I’d call her the likely winner if I wasn’t 100% convinced a female will never win this show again.

    I’m ready for her to do something that isn’t a ballad. Anytime now, Pia. Please!

  • Trina

    Dear Pia:

    Please win!

    Kthnx!

  • HermeticallySealed

    That was so very off. She just did not hit those high notes.

  • zweiosterei

    Pia was pitchy throughout.

  • HR

    I didn’t care for the choice of song but after the first three performances I’m just happy to hear someone sing as well as Pia did.

  • soccerboi

    Hate that Celine song but Pia is in it to win it…really really good

  • girlygirl

    Pia: really good voice + awful song choice + boring presentation = ???

    again, I don’t get why she thinks Celine Dion/Mariah Carey type songs are suddenly going to make a comeback.

  • Hannah Palindrome

    Jewlmc-

    I don’t think i’m a negative person because I like Simon.
    I like his honesty.

    I’m glad the judges are trying to step it up tonight because last week was bad.
    Sometimes being too nice doesn’t work.
    It’s just me. I’m not a fan of all that kumbaya love.

  • gangreen29

    I’m ready for her to do something that isn’t a ballad. Anytime now, Pia. Please!

    She has only done two songs lol.

    I like Pia. Paul was eh. I would rank them Pia>Lauren>Casey>Paul>Ashthon right now.

  • St.Lucia

    Pia has a phenomenal voice…but all that praise, really?

    I was bored.

  • kozisedso

    My husband thinks she’s pretty but said that reminded him of a singing statue. Where’s the emotion?

  • Fe

    Pia just blew me away, and made me cry. Loved it.

  • Miss Blue

    sunchick – Totally, totally agree with every single word of your post. I loathe Taylor Hicks and can’t see the comparisons at all. Casey is a true musician, and I’m not talking about playing instruments. He’s a musician through every fiber of his being. I haven’t seen a contest through all 9 seasons of this show with his degree of musicality.

    As far as his voice, he’s always on pitch, knows his key – what more do you want? I don’t need a vocal smoother than butter. LOVED Joplin, Cocker, Hendrix – all singers without the traditional voice but they were great singers.

    Pia – judges loved it and she did hit notes I thought she’d miss. I won’t be able to stand 13 weeks of diva ballads, however.

  • lili_anne7

    Pia is the best so far IMO.

  • blmetsfan

    Pia could be a huge pop star. Huge.

  • claudette

    Pia will win. She got the home package and is beautiful. I don’t think she’s as good as she and others think she is, but she is perfect Idol material. I’d probably like her if she did other songs and not think she’s all that.

  • MrDuffin

    I miss Paula and Simon. Randy is trying to pull it all together but so far he not able to do it. The pace of the show feels frantic to me…

  • tripp_ncwy

    Pia – judges loved it and she did hit notes I thought she’d miss. I won’t be able to stand 13 weeks of diva ballads, however.

    ITA.

  • songsungblue

    I just don’t see her winning. I feel like she’s screaming. Maybe I just hate Celine SO MUCH.

  • Lucy1234

    And they call this group the most talented – maybe better than last year but NOT season 8.

  • tinawina

    Pia did good. I like her.

  • Elizabeth Lemon

    I didn’t hear the “pitchy-ness” some of you are talking about. At this point in the show though, there’s no point in complaining after what we just heard Ashthon sing. Ouch.

  • Niall

    She has only done two songs lol.

    I’m counting the little bits we heard in Hollywood and her own statement about wanting to bring back big ballads. :)

  • mak

    Oh Steven, International Women’s Day was yesterday. Way to make the pre-tape that much more obvious.

  • Mtlfan

    Pia has such a good voice!! but i wonder why she’s tackling this kind of songs.. she’s quite good but just doesn’t make it when it comes to an original take. Still like much more Celine’s take on this imo.. just because she can’t top Celine’s voice for a similar version of the song

  • Dakota01

    I wish Pia would have picked something current. That song is so dated. A little shouty, but she was the best one so far.Still, no one has moved me enough to vote.

  • HermeticallySealed

    I don’t see Pia winning. She’ll probably make it to top 6 or 5, though. I think Lauren will make it further, however, i think Pia deserves to go higher than her.

    So far tonight:

    Casey> Pia> Lauren> Paul> Ashton

  • Elizabeth Lemon

    And they call this group the most talented – maybe better than last year but NOT season 8.

    Or season 7, my personal favorite season. I think this group is exponentially better than last season. The problem this season is song choice. Overall this group is much more talented that season 9, but its shame we’re not seeing it with these lame song choices.

  • Mtlfan

    Oh Steven, International Women’s Day was yesterday. Way to make the pre-tape that much more obvious.

    lol.. i noticed and was surprised it wasn’t cut at the editing

  • partyintheusa

    Pia was pitchy throughout.

    I am not sure what you were hearing. She was just as perfect as one can be. If she was pitchy then so is Celine every time she sings it.

  • gangreen29

    I’m counting the little bits we heard in Hollywood and her own statement about wanting to bring back big ballads.

    She also said in that statement that she wanted to do dance songs ; )

  • Miss Blue

    James – Wow, who knew his voice could sound this pretty? Really, really nice. Reminding me more and more of Sebastian Bach, who has one of the greatest voices to ever sing metal.

    Best of the night so far for me.

  • Indigobunting

    Go James!

    By far the best IMO

  • Caffiend

    OMG, I loved James!!! That was a really good vocal! Love how I can understand every word he sings.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Very nice James. I still dont like u though.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Wow, very restrained. I liked it.

  • Nina1

    Either I’m having a very off night or everyone so far has been pitchy – except James, who is up. Pia didn’t make her notes; it hurt.

  • claudette

    Now, that was AMAZING to me. And I didn’t like him before last week.

  • Valentin432

    James has star quality

  • sunchick

    I know that was hilarious! At least I heard the word Whiskeytown on network tv! EXCITING!

    LOL, seriously. I wonder if Randy has someone with good taste in music compile lists of intelligent sounding musiciany namechecks.

    Three reasons I am unlikely to ever board the Pia train..

    1) Celine Dion song with diva hands
    2) Sit down with Ryan was like listening to a Miss America interview
    3) Was that…did I just see a train…MULLET DRESS! The horror!

  • soccerboi

    I gotta give it up to James…I am liking him more and more…

  • zweiosterei

    James brought it.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I thought James sang and performed well. Good job.

  • Nuts 0f Wonder

    I love James when he doesnt scream… best so far

  • Tristessa

    Impressed.

  • songsungblue

    I like your voice, but your ears make me giggle.

  • jasmaree

    James is really surprising me. I thought he was a low-rent Adam Lambert copy, but he’s actually pretty good. Especially compared to the rest of the performances tonight.

  • shell29

    Wow, someone must have gotten a hold of James. Big difference between semi-finals and finals James vs. Hollywood. I’m enjoying him more and more. Well done, James!

  • Trina

    Damn James. Just damn. Sorry but I think he’s incredible.

  • Miss Blue

    James – Wow, who knew his voice could sound this pretty? Really, really nice. Reminding me more and more of Sebastian Bach, who has one of the greatest voices to ever sing metal.

    Best of the night so far for me.

    And the judges go wild. Loved every second of it.

  • Meg23

    I actually didn’t want to mute the tv while James was singing tonight. He’s definitely not my favorite, but he sang that really well.

  • gangreen29

    Either I’m having a very off night or everyone so far has been pitchy – except James, who is up. Pia didn’t make her notes; it hurt.

    Pia and Lauren weren’t pitchy.

  • tinawina

    James was good too. Ended weird… it just kind of stopped.

  • HR

    James was very good.

  • Niall

    She also said in that statement that she wanted to do dance songs

    I just hope her definition of that includes the years 2000-2011. Busting out “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” will have me off her train in a heartbeat.

  • webster

    I liked James. I wish I could blend him and Casey. Casey’s taste and musicality with James vocal tone and versatility.

  • zweiosterei

    Fantastic stuff by James.

  • Mtlfan

    Very nice James. by the way he’s reigning his big voice, I can see he’s in to win. Stylistically it was not that original though imo

  • Elizabeth Lemon

    I must say, I love Haley’s Illinois accent.

  • readon

    The judges are useless.

  • HermeticallySealed

    I think working with the producers will be good for helping him to learn when to reign in that voice.

  • girlygirl

    Ok, I wasn’t blown away, but that was a strong performance by James. Best of the night. Nice restraint with the vocal. He has more stage presence than Pia has shown me to date, although both can definitely sing.

    So far tonight: James >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Pia >>> Casey >>> Paul >>> Lauren >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Ashthon

  • Lucy1234

    I’m liking James more. I wasn’t sure if he could really sing but I think he proved himself this week. He also is very likeable.

  • sunchick

    Guh, I love rock voices. Go James.

  • tinawina

    LOL. Ryan Adams is trending on Twiter because people are mad at JLo for not knowing who he is. :D

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Yodelling! lol

  • girlygirl

    was that the yodel the spoilers were talking about with Haley?

  • songsungblue

    I kind of love Haley. She’s adorable.

  • Hannah Palindrome

    Haley?

    WTF?
    Who is this girl?

  • St.Lucia

    Haley scares me when she sings….and my dog left the room on the chorus….how did she make Top 10 again?

  • october

    I just fell in love. With James. Fabulous!!

  • Miss Blue

    Haley – She’s doing justice to this song. Wow, AI wants their country diva, say goodbye to Lauren and get on the Haley train. This is really, really good.

  • Niall

    Congratuations James. You’ve been excellent the past two weeks. I can no longer hate you with the fury of 10,000 Ninjas. Consider yourself now on probation with me. Keep up the good work, don’t say anything stupid, and I might kind of appreciate you by mid-season.

  • iluvai

    Nice job James. I like his voice a lot.

  • Trina

    Uggh this hot mess following James is like getting smacked in the head!

  • Vital

    Wow. I really liked Haley tonight. :)

  • sandrajane

    It’s lonesome not wonsome.

  • sbalk017

    There is something about her that reminds me of an oversexualized disney star. Or a pagent queen, but a seven year old.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Pretty good Haley.

  • claudette

    I’d pick Haley over Pia…Miss America..any day. Wish Lauren could show her sass like that but she is too young and would get slammed.

  • koshka

    James was better but I still want to see more dimension, same with Pia. Haley was a pleasant surprise.

    The judges comment are useless.

  • gangreen29

    I am NO Haley fan, but she does have a unique tone and I think she did well.

  • girlygirl

    Haley annoys me, not sure why.

  • shell29

    I didn’t like that.

  • steph6449

    Hayley didn’t sound good to me. Interesting the judges are raving. Maybe better in person. And sensual? wth.

    Kinda get Randy with the luau comment though.

  • Elizabeth Lemon

    Haley didn’t do too bad. With all the complaints about her growling, she changed it up. I give her the thumbs up for that.

  • zweiosterei

    Haley stunk up the place.

  • kcostell

    Why was Haley smiling through that whole song?

  • Hannah Palindrome

    Okay Paula…I mean JLO

    Calm down

  • gangreen29

    was that the yodel the spoilers were talking about with Haley?

    Yeah, it wasn’t full blow yodeling though, kind of mini-yodeling lol.

  • tinawina

    There is something about her that reminds me of an oversexualized disney star. Or a pagent queen, but a seven year old.

    OMG! That’s it exactly.

    I really don’t like her, but she’s staying until next week. Sigh.

  • kozisedso

    Crap, I didn’t want to like James, but damn – dude can sing. And I don’t really like Haley, but I think she did that song justice.

  • Tristessa

    There is something about her that reminds me of an oversexualized disney star.

    Jessica Rabbit maybe?

    I do like her, more than most of the girls, and moreso when I’m not watching her sing. Now I’m curious to hear her actually yodel.

  • readon

    Haily, don’t listen to Randy. She did the song justices and even added a little of her personality to it. However, she watch it with all the arm movement. That was bit distracting.

  • sunchick

    Once again Haley’s facial expressions make me stabby. Nah.

  • Meg23

    I’m not a fan of Haley’s voice. I agree with Randy. That performance was quite boring.

  • Willis

    Yay Haley! It is a “sleepy” song, and I think it’s supposed to be. She did a great job with it and actually seemed to be feeling the lyrics towards the end. That’s something I’ve been missing from the previous performances. I guess James kind of “felt” his song too…

  • soccerboi

    Haley kinda bores me…her voice is nice but she does nothing for me…forgettable

  • webster

    I wish Haley was just a little beter. I like her song choices better than the other girls, and she’s not constantly belting. I liked the yodel-y bits, but I’m with Randy. Overall boribg

  • girlygirl

    I have no clue what kind of artist Haley wants to be.

  • claudette

    So I love James and Haley so far. Casey and Paul just grunted around the stage, and Princess Pia did her glory note over and over with an at home I love Dad package. Those 2 were at least entertaining to me.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Steven Tyler has a cheat sheet on set. Way to go idol.

  • Mtlfan

    Haley was pretty good for me. I think Randy found the song boring because for me the performance was not. Not crazy on this song but she did well; i think it’s one of the best i heard of her so far

  • Niall

    Between her odd pronunciation and weird facial expressions, is it fair to assume Haley has a speech impediment AND was smoking pot before she performed?

  • Fe

    Well I’ve completely done a 180 on James….I LOVED his performance tonight. I can’t wait to get the itunes. I actually liked Haley’s performance and disagreed with Randy … it was not sleepy/boring. Having said that, I am not sure if it was good enough to stick around for another week. I just hope Jacob does not over over over sing this song coming up.

  • nncw

    Pia has a powerful voice, but the song is very repetitive and it is true she doesn’t emote feeling in her songs. James best so far – so natural, powerful pure voice and really into the song. Haley I don’t get it at all.

  • Meg23

    Congratuations James. You’ve been excellent the past two weeks. I can no longer hate you with the fury of 10,000 Ninjas. Consider yourself now on probation with me. Keep up the good work, don’t say anything stupid, and I might kind of appreciate you by mid-season.

    Hilarious. You took the words from my mouth.

  • blmetsfan

    Haley was OK, but she has no chance of winning, or even making the top 10.

  • koshka

    I’m a bit disturbed about James discussion about Jimmy/producer pitting together an arrangement. This may have been exactly what happened in the past, but I’m thnking ignorance is bliss.

  • Lucy1234

    I kind of liked Haley tonight. I want so bad to route for Pia but I just cannot do Celine Dion and when songs like that come on I just tune out no matter who sings it.

  • girlygirl

    I do not like this RKelly song, so I’m gonna admit going in that I’m biased against whatever Jacob does with it.

  • Soberba

    James was great. Haley sucks.

    Pia was amazing, and I fucking hate Celine Dion.

  • Hannah Palindrome

    Jacob-

    Ummm…no

    Next!

  • blmetsfan

    I cannot stand Jacob. I just can’t.

  • musikken

    Why is someone strangling a cat on my television?! Yeowch!!

  • girlygirl

    oh nonononononono…WAY too early in the competition to see freakin’ CHOIRS on stage.

  • keware

    Not digging Jacob tonight. But the judges will love him for sure.

  • Lucy1234

    One thing you can say about Jacob is he puts everything on that stage when he sings.

  • Marie Ruffin

    I absolutely hate some of these songs. Why is Jacob singing I Can FLY? That’s so overdone. He’s all off key. He’s not singing in key with the background singers. No way no way.

    Ashton should not listen to the judges. They told her last week to be Diana Ross…..don’t be Miss Ross….be who you are. She even dresses like Diana. She’s a goner.

  • CindyM

    I love Jacob’s voice and I love OTT, but that was even too much for me. Still hope he makes it through though.

  • lizland

    I’m not feeling Jacob’s song at all. Shreaky, too emotive, hate the choir with him.

  • Miss Blue

    Geezuz Jacob. Take a chill pill or something. Sooooo over the top.

    Now I shall take a pill for the headache that gave me.

  • Indigobunting

    Isn’t it early to bring on the choir pimping?

    Jacob not my cup of tea, but he’s great.

  • songsungblue

    I just have this strong feeling that James is one hell of a tool. So shoot me.

    I’m never going to get into Jacob, but I do admire his ability.

  • sbalk017

    There’s a difference between taking it to church and totally destroying the melody. But I can’t hate on him. He mentioned space jam.

  • Teri63

    I have to admit that I’m not familiar with a couple of the songs that have been performed thus far tonight (specifically, I didn’t know Paul’s or Hayley’s), but the others I’ve heard have been really close to the originals for me. I mean, I’m liking James the most these past two weeks, but I still feel like he, along with about everyone else, is just doing really good karaoke. They’re not really changing things up so far this year, IMO. I’m actually missing Simon for a couple reasons. I miss his honesty (these judges are waaaaayyyy too positive across the board) and I miss that he inspired the contestants to find their own voices even on songs we’d heard a million times. I’m just not hearing much of that this year.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    I just dont get Jacob. Not my cuppa

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I didn’t like that performance by Jacob. He dresses well though and got a choir. lol

  • Niall

    Nope. Not liking you Jacob. You are what would result if Fantasia and George Huff had a baby and made Patti LaBelle the Godmother. No freakin’ thank you.

  • Nina1

    I have always loved Blue and I thought Haley did very well.

  • zweiosterei

    Jacob is still rough but the talent is there.

  • Meg23

    Again, I was bored. Surprise me next week, Jacob.

  • girlygirl

    I can easily see Jacob going the gospel/Christian music route and making a nice living. He can defintiely sing, even if he goes way OTT at times. But in my opinion he is NOT a relevant mainstream recording artist.

  • soccerboi

    Not a fan of jacob…and could the Producers be pimping him any harder? A choir? Really?

  • CindyM

    I’m sorry, but I did a spit take at Randy’s “OMG, That’s Jennifer”. Steven, Luther I can understand.

  • grayhound

    Is there something going on with the sound tonight? I’m just not hearing what the judges are hearing…..everyone sounds off key to me except for James tonight.

  • tinawina

    Jacob went off in the middle of the song and never got back on. That hurt my ears.

    I still like him though for being just so… Jacob.

    Does anybody else but me want to see him clap “Hurcules, Hurcules” like Eddie Murphy? LOL

  • Tristessa

    No, no, no, no. R Kelly makes me cry.

    He should have listened to me and sung Antony and the Johnsons.

  • Lucy1234

    Steven Tyler and JLo are useless as judges. Randy is the only one with constructive comments. WTH is wrong with them – they are singers and should be able to provide some type of constructive response.

  • readon

    I like Jacob. I ddn’t like that performance. IMO, he would have done better without the choir. He changed key mid song and and it went off from there.

    Why are the judges there. Judges put your pom poms down and offer some constructive critiscm. Randy, at least gave some to Jacob, but he has no credibility.

  • Mtlfan

    Jacob has a wonderful voice but he went ashtray in the melody in the middle..

  • believeme

    I’m not my reception distortion or what but Jacob sound bad and the judges just okay with that. James like an Adam lite but i prefer James. Pia is Zzzzz.

  • Marie Ruffin

    I absolutely hate some of these songs. Why is Jacob singing I Can FLY? That’s so overdone. He’s all off key. He’s not singing in key with the background singers. No way no way.

    Ashton should not listen to the judges. They told her last week to be Diana Ross…..don’t be Miss Ross….be who you are. She even dresses like Diana. She’s a goner.

    LOL, little Thia didn’t know it was a Chaplin song….so young! Why is everybody singing sad, slow songs?

  • CindyM

    girlygirl:
    03/09/2011 at 9:11 pm

    I can easily see Jacob going the gospel/Christian music route and making a nice living. He can defintiely sing, even if he goes way OTT at times. But in my opinion he is NOT a relevant mainstream recording artist.

    I think he has a shot at Urban AC or R&B. I don’t see him on POP, but I don’t see a lot of Idols on POP.

  • johanna

    have to admit that I’m not familiar with a couple of the songs that have been performed thus far tonight (specifically, I didn’t know Paul’s or Hayley’s), but the others I’ve heard have been really close to the originals for me. I mean, I’m liking James the most these past two weeks, but I still feel like he, along with about everyone else, is just doing really good karaoke. They’re not really changing things up so far this year, IMO. I’m actually missing Simon for a couple reasons. I miss his honesty (these judges are waaaaayyyy too positive across the board) and I miss that he inspired the contestants to find their own voices even on songs we’d heard a million times. I’m just not hearing much of that this year.

    I don’t think this year changing song really matters they want people that can sing, have a distinctive voice and will sell. When they are signed they will have their own team of writers and producers. So as the producers mentionned their are looking for a new voice or personality.

  • koshka

    Teri63 this has been my exact complaint for the last 2 weeks. Iths all still karaoke. No one has yet OWNED their songs. Good renditions, but nothing remarkable.

    Lol my husband just fell asleep next to me. That says it all. Great talent, uninspired performances.

  • songsungblue

    I mean, I’m liking James the most these past two weeks, but I still feel like he, along with about everyone else, is just doing really good karaoke. They’re not really changing things up so far this year, IMO.

    YES. THIS. They are all so worried about making the tour, I think. It’s like too competitive.

  • HermeticallySealed

    I think there is a reason why this isn’t one of Michael’s more famous songs. . . .

  • aislinn

    Love, loved, loved Casey – he’s the real deal for me. Pia did well with her song, but I agree with you MJ – I want to hear her do something other than the ballads. I’m really sorry Paul was as pitchy as he was on an obscure song, as I think his voice is distinctive and interesting. Don’t get the positive feedback that Ashton got from the judges at all. James was just OK for me.

  • Nina1

    I think Jimmy Iovine etc. may actually have hurt the singers this week. I think they are trying too hard; they may be overinstructed.

  • Lucy1234

    There is no Michael in Thia – stop saying it Randy.

  • lollypop12

    Robot. Thia is boring as hell!

    And when did AI borrow XFactor’s choir?

  • St.Lucia

    Thia sucked for me. That’s all. It started off better than it ended, Randy was right.

    Still OTT pageantry

  • claudette

    I LOVED Thia. I guess I hear different things. She was way better than Pia with better tone and way less pageantry. She and James are my fav so far.

  • blmetsfan

    This is a rough night for most of them, mainly because of awful song choices.

  • Willis

    Thia=It’s possible to sound great AND horrible at the same time. That’s gotta be hard to do but she pulled it off.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    ZZzZThiaZZZZMegiaZZZZ

  • webster

    I love Thia’s tone. But boring song choice.

  • sunchick

    I still like him though for being just so… Jacob.

    Does anybody else but me want to see him clap “Hurcules, Hurcules” like Eddie Murphy? LOL

    Yes, and YES. He reminds me of a gospel-i-er Ricky Smith. Not my usual thing, but kind of charming.

    I sorta liked Thia again. She sings without overemoting and it’s so refreshing. Plus I thought the arrangement was at least interesting.

  • Brook52

    Boring.

  • Marie Ruffin

    I absolutely hate some of these songs. Why is Jacob singing I Can FLY? That’s so overdone. He’s all off key. He’s not singing in key with the background singers. No way no way.

    Ashton should not listen to the judges. They told her last week to be Diana Ross…..don’t be Miss Ross….be who you are. She even dresses like Diana. She’s a goner.

    LOL, little Thia didn’t know it was a Chaplin song….so young! Why is everybody singing sad, slow songs? She’s going to get eaten alive. Too young.

  • koshka

    Nina1 ITA I hope the artist figure some of their arrangements out fir themselves instead of relying on these producers. I want their Point of view not the producer. So far I haven’t heard their visions.

  • sandrajane

    Thia is going to whatnottosing herself right out of the competition. She’s the best singer on the show, but the song’s are way too old for her.

  • johanna

    Teri63 this has been my exact complaint for the last 2 weeks. Iths all still karaoke. No one has yet OWNED their songs. Good renditions, but nothing remarkable.

    This is a new ball game now with Interscope instead of RCA/Jives they don’t care about creativity they want singers that will make it in the business. Good voice and good performers. They will sing new song written for them so it will not be karaoke anymore.

  • CindyM

    Ah, young Joey Tribiani is next.

  • windmills

    tinawina: LOL. Ryan Adams is trending on Twiter because people are mad at JLo for not knowing who he is. :D

    I was SHOCKED she admitted not knowing him and figured she’d get grief for it! I wonder if she was pissed when Randy start dropping song titles and similar artists right after she started talking. I think he was trying to save the situation but it unintentionally made JLo seem like more of an ignoramus. This was one of those where you could tell the judges didn’t think the performance was good but they were trying to be nice so they talked about how awesome Paul is in general. “You’re so special/we love you because….” has replaced Paula’s “You look beautiful tonight” as a way of not talking about why a performance was bad.

    Thia crying is probably going to get some backlash going against her. Don’t you think?

  • tinawina

    Oh my goodness. I love what Stefano is doing to this song.He just made himself stand out by a mile. Stefano wins the night :D

  • webster

    God, Stefano. We’ve already got a million girls doing stupid belting. We don’t need you.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Ewww Stefano NO NO NO

  • Hannah Palindrome

    girlygirl:
    03/09/2011 at 9:08 pm

    oh nonononononono…WAY too early in the competition to see freakin’ CHOIRS on stage.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • koshka

    OMG did you guys catch what stephano said? “He (the producers) looked at me and knew the sound HE wanted.” Crap!

  • Marie Ruffin

    Stef is doing what they keep telling him not to: open your eyes, like Jennifer said before. He kept closing his eyes.

  • kozisedso

    Thia seems so………..young. Stefano – that was sweet, but you should never sing a song with the word “good-by” in it!

  • Willis

    Stefano has a real current sounding voice. I could hear him on the radio. Strange version of Lately. Liked him more than I like the song.

  • Lucy1234

    Stefano’s song is an older song but he made it somewhat current. So far Stefano is only one I could hear on pop radio. I think Pia could be a pop start also but with the songs she is singing she is boring to me right now.

  • Valentin432

    They put beats on this? Strange, but I like Stefano.

  • Hannah Palindrome

    Do.Not.Sing.In.Spanish.

    I’m a minority too, but It’s going to get old quick.

  • Marie Ruffin

    Karen is a little shakey. She needs to step up her style. The gowns and earrings are too formal. What’s with all the slow songs tonight?

  • kcostell

    Why is Karen starting this song so low in her range?

  • songsungblue

    I’m from Seattle, and Kent is such a hole, it just makes me shudder to send Stefano back there. But what can I say? He’s going. :)

    Karen is not owning this.

  • Tristessa

    Is it just me, or is Karen really off?

  • Teri63

    I don’t think this year changing song really matters they want people that can sing, have a distinctive voice and will sell. When they are signed they will have their own team of writers and producers. So as the producers mentionned their are looking for a new voice or personality.

    This is my problem with this format thus far, though: I really don’t know their vocal personalities yet and even during a weaker season last year I felt like I knew the contestants better by now. I know James likes rock and Pia loves Celine (yuck), but I don’t feel like they’re really putting any of themselves into what they’re doing. They’re just reenacting songs to me, not really embodying them.

  • tinawina

    Yeah, Karen was off in the beginning. Something went wrong in there, she did herself no favors.

  • Marie Ruffin

    koshka:
    03/09/2011 at 9:16 pm

    Teri63 this has been my exact complaint for the last 2 weeks. Iths all still karaoke. No one has yet OWNED their songs. Good renditions, but nothing remarkable.

    Lol my husband just fell asleep next to me. That says it all. Great talent, uninspired performances.

    Totally agree! They don’t know how to own the song, they’re being safe with safe songs….somebody please break out of the pack.

  • Valentin432

    dizzyfeet Nigel Lythgoe
    RT @votefortheworst:These people this year are so bad. My sound is crystal clear crap. Thanks, Nigel! HA HA YOU CAN TAKE A HOLIDAY THIS YEAR

    Lol, Nigel is answerring to VFTW

  • Fe

    Loved Stefano (my favorite of the guys). What happened to Karen? She’s been one of my favorites, but tonight something happened and it wasn’t good.

  • Marie Ruffin

    I think Scotty is def C&W, got a good future in country if he gets the right songs.

  • HermeticallySealed

    Weird, suddenly it seems like the band and backup singers are overwhelming Scotty.

  • songsungblue

    That cross on Scotty is just….Christ. Heh. Literally. I don’t know, I can’t stand this kid. He’s annoying as hell, and this song is boring.

  • lollypop12

    I hate Scott’s voice!

  • Lucy1234

    Even Scotty was boring tonight – booooo

  • sbalk017

    Favorite garth brooks song ever. Scotty aint too shabby.

  • Duke

    Did I just fist-pump to a stevie wonder song? Yup…thats a first…

    Not crazy about anyone so far except Pia…killer vocals…didnt like the arrangement tho…but damn, prob the best vocal this season..it kills me she had to try out 5 times before this…

  • CindyM

    I really don’t like country, Garth Brooks is my exception. Scotty put the twang to the extreme in that song. He still looks like Clay Aiken to me. It’s a lil eerie.

  • HR

    LOL Nigel

    I’m missing Rachel’s energy tonight, a little bored.

    I’d like to blame the songs but I think in some cases it’s the performers. I like some of these songs from the original performers.

    Best vocals tonight are James, Pia and Thia.

  • webster

    Not looking, just listening, Scotty sounds ready to record. Not my jam, but I like all the little nuances. He had pitch probe, a bit, but he’s usually pretty solid, so he’s good to go.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Scotty. fan freakin tastic

  • tinawina

    Os Scotty. He just is who he is. LOL. People love him.

    I want to see him grow more over the course of the season. He has the goods, lets see him get better.

  • Willis

    I really dislike The River. Would have been better sitting and without the backup singers. They should make Scotty the Country Bieber. That’s an untapped market.

  • lizland

    Scotty was good. It’s weird, but he looks much younger to me now than he did in hollywood.

  • Marie Ruffin

    In trouble: the girls. Ashton, Karen, Thia. I think this is not Thia’s time. She’s a bit timid and doesn’t show confidence. I remember the voice coach telling her to “bury her”….in other words, win this mutha….and Thia is a pageant singer if ever there was one.

  • koshka

    Wow I HATE country music.. but I love Scotty!!! This scares me. LOL

    I’d never buy anything that he records, but really came off calm & confident tonight. Best of the evening as far as I’m concerned.

  • Nina1

    Scotty told Iovine he was gonna do himself. Good for him. Everyone else should have done the same.

  • MrDuffin

    SO far Stepheno(sp) and Scotty are the best IMO…

  • Marie Ruffin

    Scotty is who he is….but people could get bored with his performance if it’s like that every single week.

  • gangreen29

    In trouble: the girls. Ashton, Karen, Thia. I think this is not Thia’s time. She’s a bit timid and doesn’t show confidence. I remember the voice coach telling her to “bury her”….in other words, win this mutha….and Thia is a pageant singer if ever there was one.

    Actually I watched an interview with that vocal coach. She was talking to that girl Melinda when she said that. She had negative things to say about Melinda but nothing but effusive praise for Thia. She said Thia came totally prepared.

  • mak

    Weird, suddenly it seems like the band and backup singers are overwhelming Scotty.

    I heard that too! I don’t know if he wasn’t singing too quiet or if the band was too loud.

    That kid annoys the crap out of me. His voice hurts my ears and I hate how he always looks like he’s winking or something. Sigh. Paul might be my favorite but if I had to vote based on performance I would pick Pia.

  • St.Lucia

    I LOATHE Country music. But Scotty…I don’t know? I don’t hate him. There is something about his voice that kinda intrigues me. I’d probably never buy the record, but I can’t hate on the kid. he’s got a good talent and he isn’t singing “baby lock them doors….” He really connects to the story telling that goes along with country music. Good for him!

  • songsungblue

    A little different Scotty? oh hehehehehehheheh! Please. He’s always the freakin’ same. Stay in your box, kid. Stay.

  • shell29

    He still looks like Clay Aiken to me. It’s a lil eerie.

    He really does. I’ve dubbed him “Country Clay”. I can’t help but like Scotty though, even though Country music isn’t my cup of tea.Stefano is my “Elliott” for Season 10. I’m going to have to send him some votes tonight. I need him to make the tour.

  • lollypop12

    The f… dancing!!

  • Niall

    I’m waiting for Scott to sing something without doing a note by note copy of the original. He’s got a voice but he’s like the kid who memorizes the answers to the test but has no understanding of why those answers are correct. In other words, he sings it like he heard it but I’m not sure he feels it.

  • OldHag

    I wish he had done The Dance if he were going to do Garth Brooks.

  • HermeticallySealed

    I have now reached the conclusion that no-one should sing Rhianna songs, cause they just do.not.work.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Woof..Nice Naima. Loved it.

  • keware

    Scotty has the audience eating out of his hands. His voice is amazing. I know some people don’t like country, but for those of us that do….he is incredible.

    I hope he sings country every single week and does NOT listen to the bloggers. It will serve him well in the future if he doesn’t compromise himself.

  • Valentin432

    LOL, Naima rapping and dancing was crazy.

  • Duke

    there is a 100% chance scotty will be in the finals…

    MJ YOU NEED TO FIX UR SERVERS ITS KILLING ME NOT TO BE ABLE TO COMMENT11111“`111!!! :)

  • Indigobunting

    Loved Naima; didn’t think she was any pitchier than some they praised

  • Hannah Palindrome

    I hate country, but I like Keith Urban.

  • kcostell

    Loved everything about Naima’s performance except the actual singing.

  • webster

    Finally, a girl who looks and acts like someone I could imagine having a conversation with.

  • gabriel oak

    Wow that gospel choir was tacky. What was Stefano doing? He wrecked that song. Pia would have been fine if she hadn’t screamed the lyrics over and over again. Karen was just plain awful. I actually thought the first half of Thia’s Smile was lovely. The arrangement almost killed her but she sang better than Karen. Scotty is fine but I’m never going to love this music. He kind of bores me. Haley yodeling? Enough said. Paul looked lost. Naima was at least lively. Ashton or Karen should go. Why do some singers get no graphics?

    I hate to say this but James and Casey were the best.

  • Trina

    Naima is not the best vocalist but she just might be the current female popstar they need.

  • ReginaFilange

    Naima’s awesome. I’d call it best of the night, but all the moving around she did caused a few pitch issues. Solid four out of five stars, up there with Casey and James tonight.

  • Duke

    i actually thought niama did a good job. the rapping and dancing was hot…but bitch needs2breathe

  • Elliegrll

    Naima thinks that she’s on X-Factor, but she’s still fun to watch. This probably wasn’t the best idea since she was a wild card. And if she sticks around, she will eventually have to deliver a good vocal performance.

  • BrianC82

    zweiosterei:
    03/09/2011 at 8:44 pm

    Pia was pitchy throughout.

    lol

  • tinawina

    Naima woke the place up. LOL. She doesn’t know how to dance and sing at the same time yet. But that was the first time I could see her as a person who could be on the radio.

  • Marie Ruffin

    ’m missing Rachel’s energy tonight, a little bored.

    I’d like to blame the songs but I think in some cases it’s the performers. I like some of these songs from the original performers.

    Best vocals tonight are James, Pia and Thia.

    They’re being very safe.

    Naima killed!

  • Teri63

    OK, Naima (probably misspelled that!) was the most interesting tonight for me BY FAR. I’m agreeing with the judges that she had a few vocal problems, but I loved that she tried for something different and actually entertaining.

  • koshka

    I’m waiting for Scott to sing something without doing a note by note copy of the original.

    I’m waiting for this from all of them.

  • kozisedso

    Lil’ ol’ Scotty – he could go make a record right now. Naima – good performance – not such good singing. Who’s going home?

  • shell29

    Whoa…I didn’t know Naima had that in her! I don’t know if I completely loved it, but would like to see Naima stick around.

  • monleo1705

    CindyM:
    03/09/2011 at 9:26 pm
    Ah, young Joey Tribiani is next.

    LMAO!! Oh Cindy…you got me laughing in tears on the floor! It’s so true! Stefano does look like Joey from friends! But amazing job on his vocals….

  • Niall

    Oh and Scotty is also very much like a pageant girl with all his winking and mugging for the camera. Knock. It. Off.

  • lili_anne7

    NAIMA!!!!!!!!! … Ok not the best vocals but I LOVED it. Loved the reggae, the dancing.

  • brittneybabyy

    I freaking hate country music, but Scotty puts a huge smile on my face and I can’t help but love him! He’s going to make me love country, I swear. I’ve went back and watched his audition so many times already. Love him!

    James is my favoriteeeee. I know some people have beef with him because he’s so polarizing, but I love him. His performance tonight was beautiful. I’m SO excited to buy it and put it on repeat! (:

    I missed the first 4 people, time to go back on my DVR after the show!

    I’m actually surprised how much I’m diggin’ this season. I thought I was going to have to turn my TV off, I swear.

  • gangreen29

    That was amazing. Naima is a STAR.

    My rankings tonight

    James>Pia>Naima>Scott>Lauren>Casey>Jacob>Haley>Karen>Paul>Stefano>Ashthon

  • Marie Ruffin

    OK, Naima (probably misspelled that!) was the most interesting tonight for me BY FAR. I’m agreeing with the judges that she had a few vocal problems, but I loved that she tried for something different and actually entertaining.

    Totally agree….she’s unique….she’s a star. She may not win, but she’s got a record contract!

  • soccerboi

    Scott is going far in this competition…i think top 3 for sure. He is so comfortable on stage…his voice is silky smooth…if he stays in the country genre he is going to the finale. Having said that he is not my personal favorite but he is insanely popular already and he did nothing tonight to diminish that.

    oh Naima…that Rihanna song is not you at all…but you got the pimp spot so you are safe this week.

  • kcostell

    They don’t want anyone to use the “unlucky” number 13. Nice euphemism there.

  • http://www.amadcow2.com amadcow2

    Today was about playing it safe and not getting cut.

    The ‘Real’ bottom 3:

    Thia
    Karen
    Ashthon

    What probably will be the bottom 3 after the vote:

    Ashthon
    Haley
    Naima (think she’s safe, but bad phone #)

  • Willis

    Naima did good with the song. I did like the rapping, and she at least showed ENERGY. I also was happy to see Tricky.

  • lizland

    Naima was good. No one sounds great singing that song, including Rihanna. She gave good stage, too.

  • soccerboi

    I think Karen could be going home tomorrow…or Ashton..I forgot all about her thats how much she sucked

  • koshka

    Marie Ruffin:
    03/09/2011 at 9:53 pm
    I’d like to blame the songs but I think in some cases it’s the performers. I like some of these songs from the original performers.

    Best vocals tonight are James, Pia and Thia.

    They’re being very safe.

    Naima killed!

    They had good vocals, but are very, very predictable choices.

    I loved Naima, was not expecting that.

  • mak

    OK Naima might be my favorite woman. I think she could really switch up some songs and do something cool and original in the next few weeks. I loooooved the rapping/reggae part.

  • Niall

    Damn Naima! Not the best vocal (not because she can’t sing, but because of everything else she threw in), but that was certainly the most Top 40 relevant performance all night.

  • Vital

    Oooh. Rapping? On Idol? In the top 13 finalists round?
    I think yes. :)

    Really liked Naima even if she didn’t have the best vocals of the night. She wasn’t that bad vocally, but I bet most issues were probably due to having to breathe more with the dancing.

  • Marie Ruffin

    Top 3: Naima, Pia, Stefano (ran out of breath). These three got my attention and had me watching. The others were really boring, or was it the song?

  • gabriel oak

    MJ Scotty plays baseball.

  • sunchick

    They’re just reenacting songs to me, not really embodying them.

    THIS. I said two weeks ago I felt like we regressed back to old school idol. I miss the instruments. So shoot me.

    Epic FAIL cameraman cutting away to the judges on the rap/ska/reggae part. DAMMIT. Fail fail fail. Naima, I love her. I just do. She’s got mad vibes and leaves it all on the stage.

    So, to sum up…
    Overall favorites: Naima and Casey, still
    Favorite of the night, fullstop: Naima
    Favorite voice: James
    Most successful at pulling off a very cool musical idol reference: Casey
    Very cool song choice that unfortunately didn’t quite work: Paul
    Most overrated by a mile: Pia

    Everyone else…meh

  • missytoots

    Go Naima! Best of the night for me.

    Worst for me was Paul, Thia and Haley

  • Miss Blue

    Bye Ashthon. Hope you have your bags packed.

    Loath Scott, still. Jacob was way too over the top for me, hated it. Stefano – meh. Thia – yuck but not happy she cried after the judges’ comments. Karen – liked it very much. Naima – loved it.

  • sma11ie

    No one blew me away, but I really liked James and Scotty and Pia- they nailed it. Lauren was not bad either. Naima was pitchy but I dug it. I think vocally, Ashton and Paul were the worst. I love Ryan Adams and I actually kinda enjoyed Paul last week, but something was wrong with his performance tonight that didn’t sound right. Everyone else was varying degrees of mediocre, with good and bad parts. Oh yeah I think I missed Karen.

  • Owlgirl

    LOVED Naima! What a great way to close the show. Hope that performance inspire some of the others to take risks next week.

    I don’t think the weird number will hurt her too badly thanks to online voting.

  • monleo1705

    To me – Scotty, Hayley and Jacob were.just.unlistenable. OMG.

    Loved – James, Pia and Stefano.

    Just can’t get Jacob’s wailing out of my head, i thought a cat was being slammed against the wall.

  • Willis

    My favs tonight were Pia, Haley, James and Stefano. There were no trainwrecks and no real stand-outs.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Bottom 3

    Stefano, Karen, Haley

    going home:
    Karen

  • Marie Ruffin

    @Owlgirl, Randy is right, she should do a complete reggae version of Umbrella.

  • windmills

    Lauren A: Definitely didn’t have the oomph vocally or performance-wise. Solid but not great.

    Casey: I didn’t love this when Casey got screamy. It was good before then and made me think Casey could kill singing some Maroon 5.

    Ashthon: Her tone eerily resembles Beyonce but she’s no Beyonce. They pushed the song too big for her.

    Paul: Weak vocal and the stage moves didn’t work this time.

    Pia: I liked it better than I thought it would but I’m at the point of wanting Pia to stop hammering home her upper range belting ability with key changes and glory notes. I’d like to see that she can get the emotions right with a good uptempo song and also show the stage presence. She’s got a really good voice but her tone at the highest notes can be a little strident. She can do so much more with her voice and I’d like for her to show it.

    James: WOW. Amazing vocal whether he was doing his falsetto, singing regular, or wailing. He brought some soul tonight! He’s got good stage presence to go with that too.

    Haley: Rough start but after that I actually thought she did a really good job going between the yodelling and a little bit of the sultry growling she’s more known for. This worked way better than I thought it would!

    Jacob: Vocally that was a mess. I’m shocked.

    Thia: The producers were trying to make her current and you could tell Thia didn’t believe in it. She shouldn’t have picked such an old fashioned song again.

    Stefano: The disco remix of Lately? He sang it VERY well but emotionally I didn’t really buy it? But I think he did the right thing to stay. Karen: Darnit Karen, I want you to stay! But she needed a great vocal and a better arc tonight.

    Scotty: I had high expectations for this. There was some sound mix problems with him getting drowned out but it was also a shaky vocal from him. Scotty needs to stop dropping his phrases. He sounded better during the breakdown. He was much better last week.

    Naima: I liked that better than I thought I would! Definite pitch issues but she performed well. I want her to stay.

    Best (in order): James (by far the best), Pia, Haley, Stefano
    Middle tier (in order)
    : , Casey, Lauren A, Naima, Scotty
    Ruh roh:
    Thia, Karen, Jacob, Paul (won’t be in the bottom 3), Ashthon

  • BrianC82

    Naima will be in trouble. I don’t care if she got the pimp spot. Reggae and rapping won’t go down well with the Idol audience.

  • http://www.dallascowboys.com GeminiDolly

    Oops, I forgot about Ashthon. Switch Haley with Ashthon, but Karen is still going home.

  • CindyM

    Loved loved loved Naima!!

  • kcostell

    Favorites for me were Casey, James and Scotty, with a pretty big gap between #2 and #3.

    Least favorites were Stefano, Karen, and Ashton, with Ashton a sizable bit below the other two.

    “no trainwrecks but no real stand-outs” seems a pretty accurate description.

  • flyaway

    Bleh. James and Scotty good. Casey, Paul entertaining. Pia, Jacob too stagey and the rest just, bleh.

  • Elliegrll

    Rihanna saw Naima’s performance:

    rihanna
    Vote for Naima!! Rah Rah!

  • Niall

    rihanna
    Vote for Naima!! Rah Rah!

    I think Naima just had her “A Star Is Born” moment. Hopefully she continues to be contemporary because right now she’s got that lane all to herself.

  • tinawina

    Rihanna gave her the seal of approval! Holy cow.

    Well, can’t wait to see how this week turns out. I think Ashthon, Thia, Karen, Haley and maybe Paul have a shot at a bottom 3 appearance. I still think Ashthon is the one going home.

  • Indigobunting

    My favorites are still James and Naima after tonight. Scotty has a great voice and will get a contract no matter what. He is a little one trick pony but sure has a lot of time to grow.

  • OldHag

    This is the first time I have gotten Naima.

    My order:
    James
    Casey
    Scott
    Naima
    Pia
    Lauren (ick)
    Jacob
    Paul
    Stefano
    Karen
    Haley
    Ashton

  • lili_anne7

    Wow Rihanna is pimping Naima! That’s awesome.

  • koshka

    I’m bummed. So much talent and seemingly know very little about what to do with it.

  • CindyM

    Nice shoutout for Naima from Rihanna to her 3.8million followers:

    rihanna Vote for Naima!! Rah Rah! 7 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

  • sma11ie

    gangreen29:
    03/09/2011 at 9:54 pm
    That was amazing. Naima is a STAR.

    My rankings tonight

    James>Pia>Naima>Scott>Lauren>Casey>Jacob>Haley>Karen>Paul>Stefano>As

    You forgot Thia, or got cut off. I think I may nearly completely agree with what you have here, especially with the first 8. I’d put Stefano maybe a couple further up, stick Paul further back, and stick Thia near Paul and call it a day. The bottom 5, aside from Ashton being at the end, is all pretty interchangeable for me though. That sucks for Stefano, cuz I really liked him before.

  • webster

    Tops for me were: James, Naima, Scotty, Casey
    Bottoms: Ashton, Lauren, Karen, Stefano

    and I agree. Nothing marvelous, no trainwrecks

    I like seeing the production bits. I wonder though if this is any more than usual. I’m betting the real help was always the hired music directors/ producers. It wasn’t the mentors.

    And I’m ready for the judges to get more pointed in their comments.

    And it seems Randy’s 2011 Hallmark Word-of-the-year calendar is featuring “slay”

  • crazyidol2011

    Okay.

    I am now convinced. Lauren A will not come close to winning this show. She may even go out prior to top 6. I was buying into the kool aid all over the net that she may actually sneak into the finale somehow, but after tonight, I am convinced she will not.

  • bridget

    My faves are JAMES, NAIMA (oh, I’ll bet she be excited Rhiana tweeted about her), and CASEY.

  • CindyM

    The only item trending in the US on twitter with regards to tonight’s Idol is “ryan adams” and most of the tweets are about JLo not knowing.

  • lla2827

    Casey (he’s awesome.)
    James (Best I have seen from him–really nice)
    Haley (My fave performance from her by far)
    Pia (Hard to be objective cause I hate that song–LOL)
    Stefano (Didn’t like the arrangement-but he’s got a nice voice)
    Scotty (Hate the song–he’s the same as always
    Naima (Don’t like this song either–but she tried some stuff)
    Lauren (decent)
    Paul (Points for doing a different type song)
    Jacob (Did not like this week)
    Karen (Not too good)
    Thia ( Bad arrangement)
    Asthon (She should go after tonight)

  • Niall

    I’m bummed. So much talent and seemingly know very little about what to do with it.

    I think some of them are way too intimidated by Jimmy Iovine and his producers. Hopefully that changes as the season goes along.

  • Vital

    Rihanna saw Naima’s performance:

    rihanna
    Vote for Naima!! Rah Rah!

    Wow, that’s awesome. I was not expecting Rihanna to give her a shout out.

    Naima did do very well though. Although she wasn’t spot on with the vocals, she performed!

    (And it wasn’t like her vocals were that bad that it would be hard to listen to her, since she was still decent.

  • OldHag

    Oops – I forgot Thia. Might not be a good sign for her if I am not alone.

  • Nostradamas

    I’m officially as bored as Steven Tyler looks…..not ONE interesting person in the lot…..

  • littlefishes

    I was the biggest Paul fan before tonight, and he picked a great song but what the hell was he doing on that stage?! Omg, that was bad. He was pitchy and the crazy dancing had nothing to do with the emotion of song.

  • koshka

    I think some of them are way too intimidated by Jimmy Iovine and his producers. Hopefully that changes as the season goes along.

    I think Casey & Paul will push to do their own thing, but the rest of them I’m not so sure. Most of them haven’t shown that they know how to sound current and within their lane in the road.

    On the upside, I’ve never found the group as a whole solid until they hit the Top 10.

  • kcostell

    The only item trending in the US on twitter with regards to tonight’s Idol is “ryan adams” and most of the tweets are about JLo not knowing.

    Garth Brooks and Charlie Chaplin both show up as trending for me. The former in part from Scotty’s performance and in part from a bunch of retweets about the Charlie Sheen brouhaha. The latter because of Thia not knowing him, I think.

  • Chicagolaw

    Very entertaining show tonight. I know it’s early, but I think James is a lock for final two. Casey was also really good tonight. And, I love Naima! I think she will be fun to watch, because unlike a lot of these contestants, she has lots of room to grow.

  • nncw

    My favorites: James, Stefano, Naima
    Should be safe: Jacob, Thia, Casey, Lauren, Scott, Paul, Pia
    Likely eliminated: Ashton, Haley, Karen

  • Studio57

    1. James
    2. Scotty
    3. Naimi ( even with the pitch problems)
    4. Casey
    5. Pia ( completely overrated pageant bot)
    6. Lauren- did I miss something? She’s country now?
    7. Paul- off key but he still made me smile

    THE REST DON’T MATTER.

  • chicksineggz

    mj, I just have to say that I LOVED your recap tonight! It was so funny, and I agreed with a lot of what you said.

  • blmetsfan

    Ashton will go, IMO. My favorite tonight was a tie between Pia/Scotty/James.

  • unidentified

    Enjoyed:
    Casey Abrams
    James Durbin
    Scott McCreery (and I hate country)
    Naima Adedapo

    Made me want to change the channel:
    Ashthon Jones
    Paul McDonald
    Jacob Lusk
    Lauren Alaina

    The rest: eh

  • sma11ie

    windmills, you’re here! A tad OT, but just wanted to let you know The River is one of those country songs I heard when I was a kid that I actually LIKED, lol. And it’s SOO country (IMO), so see, I like some “real country”, hee. I thought Scotty sounded good on it– was glad to see him work the crowd a little.

  • Lucy1234

    How many are eliminated tomorrow night?

  • jammasta

    Holy sh*t, Naima KILLED it. Vocal wasn’t her best, but that just screamed STAR to me. If she doesn’t make tour it’ll be a crying shame. The dance moves, the reggae rap part were both amazing. Holy crap.

  • sanrio76

    How many are going home tomorrow. One or two?

    ETA: Lol at Lucy asking my question right before me.

  • alonzo7

    I have to say that I have been totally turned around by James Durbin-wonderful vocals-I believe he can sing anything.
    He’s my front runner for the boys along with Scotty who is totally endearing and the audience loved him.
    Please tell Pia to sing an upbeat song next week-love her voice but the big booming noted songs are going to get old soon. She has the best vocals of the girls.
    Lauren didn’t benefit from being first and bringing nothing new to the song. I thought she was a front runner but now I’m not sure.
    Paul is too wacky for me with those moves-I have to close my eyes and just listen to the vocals.
    I’m in the minority but I don’t get Casey at all and I’m sure he’ll make top 5.
    Poor Karen-she was not comfortable at all and I hate hate Umbrella by Rhianna and Naima didn’t do it any justice.
    Stefana, Haley OK-Thia looked like a little mouse and Jacob was off tonight.
    Fav by far was James and I didn’t want to like him.
    Audience fav seemed to be Scotty.
    Karen, Ashton, Naima/Paul/Thia bottom for me with Karen or Ashton going home.

  • savgal

    Naima has STAR QUALITY. After all the ballads, she was like a splash of cold water–refreshing! Gosh, I hope she stays around.
    Scotty also has IT. I agree with the person who said he could be the country Bieber. I hope he makes it really far so he can duet with Carrie Underwood in the finale. I also want him to tackle another genre but sing it his own way. Lots of classic Motown had deep voices, could be pretty cool.

  • eyelinerandcigarettes

    I want to see Scotty’s performance already but they show AI here really late. Sadz :(

  • Pixie Baker

    I am really loving the changes to Idol this year. Nigel knows what he is doing….I think….love how the different producers are working with the kids….sure gives them a real chance to improve and perfect their talent. I do think there were too many *good reviews* given by judges and producers though…..but I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt since we are new into this season.
    My fav tonight was Casey….then Paul…the others just eh. I am enjoying the show though and look forward to tomorrow night….especially seeing Adam on the Idol stage again. (I voted for Karen and Ashton…splitting the points…to go home. I have been terrible in the past for predicting!)

  • sunchick

    bridget:
    03/09/2011 at 10:09 pm
    My faves are JAMES, NAIMA (oh, I’ll bet she be excited Rhiana tweeted about her), and CASEY.

    We have the same faves. :D

  • ReginaFilange

    Pimp Spot
    +
    Huge contrast to a bunch of boring performances (minus james, paul, and maybe a couple others)
    +
    Judges approval
    +
    Shoutout from frickin Rhianna
    =
    top vote getter tonight. If not she’ll be just behind Scotty.

  • Animated

    Oh wow after all the news that this Season is the best , is it starting to run out of steam or are they directed to perform in certain ways ? It’s starting to feel like Glee with Mr.Schuester (Paul). Standouts ?probably none. Let’s just say, for me the most interesting of the night -James Durbin.

    Maybe, this is what Idol wants… no major train wrecks, but no major stand outs as well…..

  • Allison

    I really , really hated Stefano’s performance.

  • Lucy1234

    The only performance I really liked with no complaints was JAMES.
    Casey was good but not my cup of tea and a little OTT
    Pia was good but I hate Celine Dion
    Scotty was good but boring
    Lauren was good but boring
    Stefano was pretty good but I didn’t like the arrangement.
    Jacob was pretty good but a little OTT for me and I hate the song.
    Paul was not that great tonight but he still made me smile
    Naimi was not that great but she at least wasn’t boring and she makes me smile also.
    Haley was good but forgetable.
    Thia was not good and boring
    Karen was BORING and not good
    Ashton was just plain bad.

  • crazyidol2011

    Lauren draws similarities to me to what happened to David A in season seven. Remember week one of the finals? The botched lyrics in “We Can Work It Out”? Lauren was definitely someone I saw going deep in the competition but if she doesn’t start knocking it out of the park (as of next week), she is going to fall and fall fast.

  • readon

    Thank you Naima for not playing it safe. Little pitchy, but at least we had a show.

    I liked Haley’s performance. It was a good rendition of a country classic. I want to see what else she can do.

    James was good. Pia was good. Casey was casey.

    Everyone else, meh.

    Too much producer influence in these acts. The kids are losing themselves.

  • Mtlfan

    My ranking:
    1) Stefano. It surprises me :) but I really like how he sings. Very dynamic and I do like his voice a lot
    2) Pia, Casey, James
    3) Haley, Lauren, Scott, Naima (the performance kind of made up for the so so vocals at times)
    4) Thia, Jacob, Paul
    5) Ashton
    6) Karen

    I’d like to see Karen eliminated this week but since she was voted in the top 5 girls, I think it will be too soon for her to go. So it’s likely going to be Ashton

  • SparklesATL

    Casey before AI.

    Casey, Paul or James FTW!

  • kvwicks13

    I liked James and Scotty the best. Don’t get all the Naima love, do not like her at all!

  • thesheriff

    Wow – I’m waiting on the show to start. Dammit Paul, I have NOT voted in 5 seasons. Do not suck so I have to!! My girl Naima – excited to see that. Saw an interesting article on her family in the Chicago SunTimes today. Decades of family involvement in the Arts and Entertainment field in CHicago. Way Cool!

  • http://MJO judes

    koshka:

    koshka
    03/09/2011 at 10:13 pm

    I think some of them are way too intimidated by Jimmy Iovine and his producers. Hopefully that changes as the season goes along.

    I think Casey & Paul will push to do their own thing, but the rest of them I’m not so sure. Most of them haven’t shown that they know how to sound current and within their lane in the road.

    On the upside, I’ve never found the group as a whole solid until they hit the Top 10.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head koshka.I think everyone is playing it safe until they hit the Top 10 [well maybe not Paul as he chose a song not so well known even though I do know it & thought he did quite well]. So far Paul & Casey are the ones that have changed things sometimes -but maybe more when they play their instruments as it helps them to interpret the songs more .

    For some having Jimmy help is a plus for them – like James – his performance tonight was great but it seems that he has been told to vary things . The end of his song ended abruptly -I wonder if that was deliberate so that James didn’t go into his screaming mode this week? No matter what- he did well.

    I just hope once the Top 10 is made that the idols will be allowed to use their instruments sometimes. At the moment we’ve gone from one extreme to the other – lots of instruments to none. Allow Casey , Paul etc to use an instrument & you may then see more individual interpretation. Unfortunately the Producers allowed too many girls with similar singing style this year -so I thnk its mostly up to the guys to change it up & maybe Naima from the girls[ apart from Scotty who does what he does really well ]

  • easyrider707

    All 6 guys = yes. Girls, thank God producers worked with this less than artistic and musicially challenged group (exception Naima). LA= no, Pia = fair (shame on AI for not giving credit to original artist Eric Carmen), Karen = fair, Thia= fair, Haley = good, Ashton=no, Naima=yes, the only one with any musicality among females since throwing off LT and Julie.

    Naima and the 6 dorffs, who all can bring more. I guess with an instrument most of the girls will really have trouble.

  • webster

    i guess for me, the best thing about tonight was seeing that James would bring some control to his singing. dont know if that was on his own or through coaching. The good tone and range were obvious in earlier rounds, but the questions were about control and taste.

    But its always easier for those who have a good instrument to begin with. i always feel sorry for those who really have the taste and ideas but just dont have a good enough voice to really bring it out. i think thats whats going to eventually do Casey in. I hate that.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    Lauren: Very karaoke. Why do some female country singers think bugging the eyes out=stage presence. No, it is more than that, honey. I think she’s a frontrunner, but I’d like to see her in the B3 after that. I’m not a huge Shania fan, but I can see that she has attitude and charisma.

    Casey: Good job. Like his voice. He did a good job with song selection.

    Ashthon: Ok. I didn’t like the song. It was a snoozefest for me. I liked her better when she was sassy.

    Paul: I want to like this dude because he’s from my hometown and he has a nice quality to his voice. I also appreciate that he sang a Ryan Adams song. BUT, the whole thing seemed a bit creepy to me somehow and there were the pitch problems.

    Pia: I recognize it was a good vocal, but I have a hard time with songs that make me cringe and this is one of them. No doubt she will sail through to the next round.

    James: NICE! Good song choice, well-sung and likeable. :-)

    Haley: I may be in the minority, but I like this girl. Not nearly as much as I liked Jesse Langseth, but I do like her. She didn’t quite pull it off, but I respected the song choice and like her tone.

    Jacob: Again, song selection. R. Kelly is your Idol? Okay. He comes across as very likeable. He will sail through, but I fast forwarded through it. Not my cuppa.

    Thia: She’s a very pretty girl.

    Stefano: I kept thinking Broadway. Nothing wrong with that. I have a hard time seeing him on the radio.

    Karen: Yikes.

    Scotty: Well, he’s going through to the next round. Nice tone, likeable, true country. It did seem effortless.

    Naima: OH, I love this chick. Talk about balls. Good for her.

    I may have to throw Naima some votes.

  • tinawina

    **unpopular opinions alert**

    The judges were better tonight. Both Steven and JLo said appropriately critical things in spots, and JLo was trying to be constructive. They have to get better… they still let too many things go… but I think they are moving in the right direction.

    I think I’m the only person who liked what Stefano did. LOL

    Both the contestants and the music producers are still getting used to things and it shows. No one really nailed it from start to finish but you could see the potential in many of them. I actually liked that some different arrangements were attempted (Thia, Stefano, Naima) even if not all of them worked.I think this is a year that will get better as it goes along. I think by Top 10 we will really start to see some breakout buzzworthy performances.

  • windmills

    sma11ie: windmills, you’re here! A tad OT, but just wanted to let you know The River is one of those country songs I heard when I was a kid that I actually LIKED, lol. And it’s SOO country (IMO), so see, I like some “real country”, hee. I thought Scotty sounded good on it– was glad to see him work the crowd a little.

    YAYYY for more common ground to share! I’ve always loved that song too. It’s just one of those songs where the melody is so great it transcends the genre (IMO) and it fits the lyrics perfectly. In his prime Garth really knew how to pick a song.

    I watched Scotty’s performance back and it was better than my 1st impression. Still not up to my high expectations but pretty good. He’s safe either way. I really want Scotty to work on his breath support at the end of his phrases. But ITA it was nice to see him reach out to the crowd some. I was surprised but the crowd really seems to love him out there, which you wouldn’t expect but it’s awesome to see.

    SO cool of Rihanna to give Naima a shoutout like that!

    tinawina: The judges were better tonight. Both Steven and JLo said appropriately critical things in spots, and JLo was trying to be constructive. They have to get better… they still let too many things go… but I think they are moving in the right direction.

    I think I’m the only person who liked what Stefano did. LOL

    ITA with your 1st point and I half liked what Stefano did! I liked it for him and it worked musically but I was a little confused by it as far as the emotions of the song. But Stefano did well with it.

  • jammasta

    Oh wow after all the news that this Season is the best , is it starting to run out of steam or are they directed to perform in certain ways ? It’s starting to feel like Glee with Mr.Schuester (Paul). Standouts ?probably none. Let’s just say, for me the most interesting of the night -James Durbin.Maybe, this is what Idol wants… no major train wrecks, but no major stand outs as well…..

    You never know. Tonight could have been an off night, or maybe the group does not know how to play well to their talents (the same issue last year)? At any rate, I still think it’s tons better than last year and that we have a good, balanced Top 13.I wonder if things will change once the shows stop being taped.I’ve only watched Naima and James on Rickey. James totally proved that he’s not just a metal screamer and absolutely owned that. I was a little worried because Crystal performed this last season (although Crystal not changing the gender was a little weird, honestly), but he did it!Speaking of Crystal, she says she still backs Casey but liked Naima tonight.

    Okay, I’m about to take back most of what I said about Haley. She didn’t do all that great, but I’ve really warmed up to her tone. I hope she sticks around for a bit and uses that growl she has on a song that could actually benefit from it. Something jazzy or soulful.

  • flyaway

    thesheriff:
    03/09/2011 at 10:28 pm
    Wow – I’m waiting on the show to start. Dammit Paul, I have NOT voted in 5 seasons. Do not suck so I have to!!

    HAH! Just finished voting online for Paul because I felt I had to. Didn’t want another Cristy Lee’s in, Michael Johns is out kinda thing to happen.

  • gangreen29

    The judges were better tonight. Both Steven and JLo said appropriately critical things in spots, and JLo was trying to be constructive. They have to get better… they still let too many things go… but I think they are moving in the right direction.

    I hope this isn’t an unpopular opinion because I %100 person agree with you. The judges need improving, but this week was much better than last week. Someone upthread mentioned that the judges need to work on how they end their critiques, and I agree with that.

  • Lucy1234

    Casey is 2d from the bottom and Paul is at the botton of Dial Idol. I’m sure hoping that is off again this week. The raw numbers are much different which proved to be more accurate last week. Although I didn’t particuarly like Paul’s performance tonight I do not want to see him go this early. I would like to see Ashton and Karen go.

  • easyrider707

    Playing it safe? What are the odds of changing a tune if you cannot even play an instrument? Maybe Jacob and then the guys, but not this group of pageant singers.

  • littlefishes

    I don’t understand the “he was not good, but he made me smile” comments about Paul. His not being good actually annoyed the hell out of me. But as they say, YMMV. LOL

  • samgamgee

    Pia ang Thia are perfect examples of pageant singing. LOL!

  • sma11ie

    windmills: YAYYY for more common ground to share! I’ve always loved that song too. It’s just one of those songs where the melody is so great it transcends the genre (IMO) and it fits the lyrics perfectly. In his prime Garth really knew how to pick a song.

    I think I actually heard it at church camp first, so I enjoyed the “bones” of the song first before I heard it done really country, and to my surprise, I didn’t mind the country version cuz I already liked the song. It definitely was an anomaly though, cuz myself and all my friends growing up in the Northeast always found it “cool” to describe our musical interests as “anything but country”. It was just the popular thing to say, even though I hardly knew what country was, cuz we were so busy listening to Pearl Jam lol. But I don’t think I ever minded Garth, just the male country singers who came after him who were trying to ape his sound with crappy songs and a put-on twang.

    I think the ones I liked and really want to stay in the competition are for sure safe at this point (James, Pia, Naima, Scotty, small gap Casey, big gap Lauren). The only other person I’m worried about is Stefano cuz he was just okay– but I think he deserves to stay a while cuz he has lot of potential.

  • Lucy1234

    don’t understand the “he was not good, but he made me smile” comments about Paul.

    What I meant is that it was not one of Paul’s better performances but he is charming and makes me smile when he performs. I do like the tone of his voice. He also had be laughing when he was joking around with Ryan.

  • littlefishes

    Although I didn’t particuarly like Paul’s performance tonight I do not want to see him go this early.

    I think he deserves one more week to show us what he’s got too, but maybe being in the first bottom 3 of the season might wake him up a bit?

  • zweiosterei

    Paul is charming as heck even though the vocals are not everybody’s cup of tea.

  • zweiosterei

    Casey’s vocals didn’t convinced me that much but he’s also very very likeable.

  • girlygirl

    Any chance that they will send 2 people home tomorrow, not just 1? Remember, S8 had Top 13, but then they immediately cut 2 people the first show of the finals to make it a Top 11 for the following week

  • http://talkinaboutmovies.blogspot.com Brenoga

    MJ, freemantle is blocking your videos on youtube =(

  • retjenny

    Can’t wait for West Coast Idol. Was planning on staying off this site but dang-I’m weak! I’m loving all your comments.

  • Mtlfan

    true girlygirl, I wonder too if 2 people will be sent home tomorrow. I guess we can do the math with the finale date

  • OldHag

    Anyone think “stank face” Lauren might go, or at least be in the bottom 3?

  • gangreen29

    Any chance that they will send 2 people home tomorrow, not just 1? Remember, S8 had Top 13, but then they immediately cut 2 people the first show of the finals to make it a Top 11 for the following week

    It’s probably one, because it fits the schedule better. Maybe they will send two home though, and still have the save and the week after the save only one person goes home. That would mean though that they were actually required to use the save, which would be kind of weird.

  • jammasta

    Any chance that they will send 2 people home tomorrow, not just 1? Remember, S8 had Top 13, but then they immediately cut 2 people the first show of the finals to make it a Top 11 for the following week

    I think MJs tentative schedule said it was 1 person going home each week. Personally, I wouldn’t mind 2 if they were Ashthon and Karen. I think 2 is also quite feasible, given what happened in Season 8.

    I think Scott’s shirt was too big for his pants.

  • lla2827

    Usually when I call it says: thanks for voting for contestant X. Now it just says thanks for voting. weird

  • girlygirl

    I’m going to watch the West Coast show on my tv, but after watching the live feed, the only ones I really liked tonight were James, Naima and Scotty (in that order). I usually like Casey and Paul, but was meh about both of their performances tonight. Paul needs to learn he shouldn’t smile through an entire song (especially when the lyrucs don’t really fit with smiling) and his dorky dancing tonight just didn’t work for me. I thought Casey was trying to hard to emulate some of Joe Cocker’s style.

  • Trina

    Well I said long ago that the potential for James to be amazing was there but he needed to learn how to properly use his voice. The coaching is already showing huge improvement. I saw today an old video of him singing the National Anthem and the power of his voice is just incredible. I’m really anxious to hear more falsetto from him.BTW I’m cracking up over Jimmy saying he had no idea kids like him were out there singing like that. Is he that stuck in pop autotune hell?I don’t think he should go first but based on his singing and performance tonight Paul at the very least deserves a bottom 3 trip. I don’t care how charming he is, his singing was painful IMO. I think his whole quirky thing is going to get real old fast.

  • sue

    Ok I thought a girl is suppose to win this year? I don’t think so after tonight. The guys killed it! All the girls sucked except for Naima, and she wasn’t perfect.

    James has officially won me over tonight. WOW, that was so good. I still flove Casey and I have been voting like crazy for him since he went 2nd. He needs the votes. Scotty was AMAZING too, very confident for his young age. Scotty has star power, he is going to be signed regardless of what happens. He could win this thing. I hate country music but boy has this kid change my mind. Every time he sings it puts a smile on my face. Go Scotty! Go Casey! Go James! Go Naima!

    The rest were meh tonight. I am over Jacob. I am over Paul for now. I am sort of over Pia but she may bounce back. lolz. :)

    Please get rid of Thia ASAP, she is so boring, it is like watching paint dry. She probably isn’t going anywhere yet. Dang it!

    So either Haley, Karen or Ashthon is going bye bye…..Get packing girls.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    Paul needs to learn he shouldn’t smile through an entire song (especially when the lyrucs don’t really fit with smiling)

    I think that’s why it came across as creepy to me.

  • movin2thabeet

    My response to tonights show was more disappointment than anything. Way too much pageant-style singing (Pia, Karen, Thia – I’m looking at you), missed opportunities (Paul, Naima) and alot of karaoke. I think the producers gave it more of a karaoke feel and not less. I felt the strong arm of the producers tonight, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Some of these kids are pressured into arrangements they weren’t comfortable with, no matter how much they talked about ‘being themselves’. Without the ability to play their instruments, they were even more at the beck and call of the producers, both in the studio and on the show.

    My favorites of the evening were Casey, James and Haley – yes, Haley. I don’t know what folks have against her. She’s cute, confident, stretches herself, and a good singer. Of course she has room for improvement, but at least she’s alive out there and not trying to be the second incarnation of (fill-in-the-blank). Suggestions: Celine Dion, Selena, Shania Twain.

    Alright for me were Scotty, Pia, Stefano and Lauren. I’ll continue to go against the grain and say that Pia drives me almost as crazy as Lauren, for completely different reasons. I’m no fan of Celine Dion, but I’m pretty sure that some of those notes that Pia was hitting were not golden. Did not enjoy. Stefano is too controlled for me. Seems like he might be good on Broadway, on a cruise ship, in a lounge act. Lauren’s spoiled aggressive stance is not a turn-on for me. And Scotty seems right at home, even as he’s still getting used to the stage and performing.

    Didn’t work at all for me: Ashton, Thia, Naima, Paul, Jacob, Karen. I continue to feel that Ashton craves visibility without the talent to back it up. She simply doesn’t have the vocals. Thia might need more time to truly find her voice. Kind of reminds me of the David A situation. Tons of talent without the life experience to fill that cup all the way up. Naima could really benefit from a couple of years of vocal training. Then she could pull off what she’s shooting for. As it is, I hear a voice that is all over the place with very little breath control. Paul’s performance was a mess. There was little voice to hold together that crazy free style dancing so it fell apart on stage. Jacob went for too much and lost me, and I had been a big supporter. He wasn’t able to hold the performance together, so it fell apart for me. And Karen. The last thing I’m interested in seeing is a boring Miss America contestant-type performance, and that’s all I get from her. No thanks.

    I just hope my top three make it. James seems popular, Casey a little less so, and Haley, not so much – but I’m rooting for all three – at least for this week.

  • BootStar

    Remember…Naima’s phone number is 36! Randy says they didn’t use 13 because it’s an unlucky number. NO it’s because it’s a PORN LINE. lulz.

    OMG, I wasn’t paying any attention and my kid told me to vote for “13” so I’ve been dialing that porn line!!! Yikes! It was busy five times and then I got through. Poor Naima. I think she’s screwed. (Pardon the pun!)

    Thank God I didn’t let my 13-year-old make the call! :-P

  • lashes3699

    tinawina…I’m with you on the Stefano train..I thought he did a very nice job tonight…I DO NOT get the Scotty love at all…all of the little girls in my school (I teach 7th grade L.A.) love him…I really don’t have a horse in this race though and I’m just gonna enjoy each week…Stefano did it for me this week; someone else may get my vote next week.

  • Jae

    Here is how I ranked and voted. I voted for my top three guys and top 3 girls and gave like 1 vote to who I think was not so hot tonight but can do better.1) Casey: I just thought he was entertaining and did a great job with this song. I am not a Crocker fan but Casey did it justice.2) Scotty: Not a country fan but a big Scotty fan. Its so effortless for him. He really should just quit Idol and go get signed. I really enjoy Scotty.3)Pia: She nailed her song. I didn’t like the song choice but her vocal was great.
    3)James: I thought he did so well with this song. His huge talent comes through with each performance. I reallly want to see him do well and go far in this competition.4)Naima: She was a little flat through out but I liked her take on this song and her dancing and her style. I want to see how she develops as she settles into her self.5)lauren/Thia The little girls did pretty good. Lauren didn’t have her normal oomph. She seemed kind of tire. I really like Thia’s voice and tone. I just want her to find herself.6)Stephano: He was good but I am really still on the fence as to whether I like his voice or not7)haley/Paul: best I have heard her but still don’t like that growly snarly stuff she does at all. Paul is interesting. I am not sure if he is really good or not but he is interesting and I like his smile.8)Ashton: Didn’t like this song and she didn’t seem to really settle into it. Not a memorable performance9)Jacob: he was all over the place on his vocal tonight. Sharp, off key. Just made a mess of that song. He just doesn’t know when less is more.I thought the judges did a better job actually delivering some good feed back tonight. Can’t wait to see who goes home tomorrow. And Adam!!!

    Oh And Karen would be maybe with Ashton. I think they did about the same. I like Karen better though as a performer.

  • lorenzo

    Man, they blocked James video! I knew ya’ll would come around to James, the guy is so young, and has some unreal talent, with tone.. I REALLY hope he last a while!

  • webster

    I’ve been thinking about Scotty and strategy. He’s NOT my thing, but if I magically became a coach on the show, he’d be the one I’d want to coach, just for the fun of it. I think he’s right to stick to his own style, but I also think people here are right who say it’ll get old if he just does one straightforward cover after another. He’s got a good enough voice that that’d be fine for some, but it’d get old.

    What I’d love to hear him do is sort of a reverse Ring of Fire: take a song from some other genre and sing it in his style. Start with some artist that also does narrative songs well, like Dire Straits. I could so hear Scotty doing Brothers in Arms or Why Worry. Or Pearl Jam’s Breathe.

    I think Casey could do a similar thing. Take a rock or pop song that has some jazz flavor and swipe it. Maybe pick a band that’s known for it’s bass and play along. Like RHCP’s Soul to Squeeze. He’d be awesome on that scatty verse and bassline is super sweet.

  • sartana60

    Best of the night: Casey, Pia, Scotty

    Most overrated: Jacob, Naima

    In danger: Ashthon and Karen. Wish I could put Thia here.

    Recap: Who should stay and who should go

    Song by song grades:

  • monleo1705

    Has anyone noticed when James sings he doesn’t twitch at all? He seriously has all the makings of a rock star when he performs! I think his singing is the main driving force in keeping him to be so passionate, and in some ways – more normal. I love him. Hope he goes to Final 2.
    What are the odds that James Durbin wins it, while Adam Lambert, one of the greatest rockers to ever grace the Idol stage, only came in second?

  • http://www.dancin.ca dancin

    a whole lot of boring with a few exceptions

    in no particular order
    Lauren A .. i think she has more in her hopefully she has time to show it
    Naima u goooooooooo girl … ire!!!
    Thia.. i just think she has somethin another week to show it
    JAMES YES YES YES i enjoyed that boy can sing
    SCOTTY OH YA love me that old time country vibe of his.
    Casey better than last week for sure
    send the rest home now
    please especially ashton your not freakin diana ross jones

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    What I’d love to hear him do is sort of a reverse Ring of Fire: take a song from some other genre and sing it in his style. Start with some artist that also does narrative songs well, like Dire Straits. I could so hear Scotty doing Brothers in Arms or Why Worry. Or Pearl Jam’s Breathe.

    I just started watching this season with the girls last week. Missed the guys. Have they said if there are going to be themes this year?

  • girlygirl

    is there a theme for next week announced yet? or is it going to be more “sing anything you want that we can get cleared” stuff?

  • webster

    Randy says they didn’t use 13 because it’s an unlucky number. NO it’s because it’s a PORN LINE. lulz.

    Which is why they should always reserve that number for the pimp spot.

  • http://www.fatladysings.us TFLS

    Another Haley fan here. I personally loved what she did with the Patsy Cline song. Girl’s got an unusual voice – one I like. I kinda hear her singing P. J. Harvey or Melanie (‘Brand New Pair of Roller Skates’). Original’s are the way for her to go, IMO – music composed to highlight her particular style. Pity Idol’s so dead set against artists doing their own stuff. Paul would really benefit from singing ‘Grand Magnolias’ material.

    As for the rest – I really liked Casey, James and Scotty as well. Add to that Paul (that cool rasp just slays me) and Naima (though both were really off tonight) – and that about covers it. No one else has caught my attention. Speaking of…….I’m really at a loss over Lauren’s popularity. She always comes across as high school karaoke to me.

  • Joyed

    Ok, I am kind of loving pretty much everyone this season – even those who aren’t killing it vocally for me are engaging me with their personality.

    My favorite this season = Naima. I love everything about her. Her look, her sense of style and fun, and her voice sounded great on older and newer songs. She is believable to me as a star.

    I also like the voices of Pia, Thia, and Lauren.

    Pia needs to pick less Diva songs though cause I find her tone grating sometimes when she goes high. I loved her youtube cover of Ingrid Michaelson. More like that please.

    Thia has a lovely tone that is botched by some poor musical instincts – she needs time to grow musically away from those who are over-coaching her. I think she comes across to me as sweet.

    Lauren has pretty good control and a nice tone. I don’t feel she is distinctive vocally, though and her personality can be grating.

    Ashthon was gorgeous tonight but was outclassed. I liked her tone in certain places, but feel like she was given bad advice to go higher than she was comfortable with. That was mean.

    Karen seems like a sweetheart, but she feels very cruiseline to me, no solo artist. She should still get a career from this.

    The Boys
    Scotty is the most ready for this. At this point he will get a record contract – he is ready, although I worry for him since the only teen male country singer I could think of was Billy Gilman!

    Paul was interesting to look at and quirky in a fun way, but the vocals were not there, and he made the song almost unlistenable for me.

    Casey – great song choice, decent vocals. He didn’t quite let go enough or have spot on vocals.

    James – he did well. I have a hard time looking at him perform, but he actually has stronger chops then I expected. Good for him.

    Jacob – seems like a sweetie, but he was the most out of tune tonight. I wonder if he couldn’t hear himself.

    Stefano – he has a sweet tone, but that arrangement was terrible. It made me miss RJ Helton’s wildcard performance!

    The judges: I was annoyed at all the “Beautifuls,” but at the end of the night I felt like they started to offer more constructive criticism. So yay!

    The good news for me, is that even when the performances aren’t great, I still feel entertained:)

    ETA. I missed Haley! I liked her yodel, she seems fun.

  • abbysee

    Loved:

    I absolutely loved Naima, she was current, exciting, and just freaking awesome. I also loved Scotty, he is amazing, he’s gonna go deep, as he should. Also James, my top three. They know what they are doing. James sang one of my favorite songs quite skillfully. I am definitely seeing potential. Casey is a crowd pleaser, and his passion is tangible. I like that.

    Hated: Jacob, I thought he looked incredible, but the singing was just horrible after the first quiet moments when he went all nuts it’s supposed to be his bread and butter, but it was just margarine, just not up to par, imho. He’s got to be able to control those outbursts, after a while they will realize that he really isn’t singing. Thia, seriously kid, this is how you show your love and kinship with Michael? Utterly boring and totally pageant. Karen, I was pulling for you but this was not even worth the time.

    Pondering tm Archie:

    Love Paul, not sure I enjoyed his singing, but his dancing was epic! Not sure America will appreciate his spontaneity.
    It’s funny from the spoilers Ashthon was horrible and pitchy and they reamed her, except she wasn’t and they didn’t. It was a loungy performance however and she should take a page out of Naima’s handbook and show how she would represent herself if she went into a recording studio to do her own thing. If that’s it, she needs to give up now. Haley, she can sing, but that was a performance that will do her no favors. What was she trying to accomplish? Is she Leanne, or Alicia….who is Haley? Lauren, I don’t like her much, period, so I am not objective. I thought the performance was rather pedestrian. Not compelling at all. Whereas Scott connects with what he is singing, she just seems to be showboating.

    Like:

    Pia can truly sing, of the girls she has the best voice imho, but this pageant singing is not going to make me vote for her. She’s got to show me why she’s worth the time. Stephano. I adore the kid, I think he’s the best singer of the boys, but that arrangement was odd. He pulled it off I think, and he sings with a passion that I love, he’s also like Naima, one of the few that I know could have a hit on the radio.

  • jpfan

    They should def do some “theme” weeks because if it’s just sing whatever you want, we’ll be hearing alot more cheese. Alot.They could also use some mentors who aren’t producers. Just to provide the star quality that’s missing. I like Scotty but a country Justin Bieber he ain’t. For one thing, he looks too much like Howdy Doody (remember him).My favorites are James and Haley.
    Pia is really boring. And Stefano is so headed to nearest cruise ship. I’d like both of them more if they didn’t sing such sappy songs.

  • Chicagolaw

    So, when do they get to use instruments again? I think they have all established themselves enough, I am ready to see what they can do. It’s funny, I don’t even know who plays an instrument this year.

    Although she wasn’t perfect tonight, I do think Naima might possibly have the best chance at post-Idol success. I really like James, but what are they going to do with him post-show? It really feels like he should be fronting a rock band…

  • AmericanIdol8

    I am having a problem. I want to access itunes which I have an account there and download tonights performances but when I get there I see no music from Season 10. Can someone direct me to where I can go to do this?

  • sonyab

    Who I am voting for tonight are,

    Lauren Alaina

    Seth Rogan Jr aka Casey Abrams

    Paul Mcdonald

    JD aka Jame Durban

    Hailey Reinhart

    Stafano Lagone

    Scott “nuts of wonder” Mcreery

    Comments:

    Wow what a great show tonight!:) This year has started out great so far!!:)

    The phones: What the heck is going on with the phone? Everytime I try to call in, it keeps ringing and ringing and nothing happens. Is that the new busy signal? I have to vote online!

    Seth Rogan Jr: I feel you baby! I feel you!! WOOT WOOT! :)

    Paul Mcdonald: I’m not a fan of his raspy singing voice, but he was entertaining with his dancing and smiling hahaha.

    Stafano Lagone: In the beginning was meh but then he got really into the song! Yeah he was good.

    Naima Adedapo: I was more entertained by the background! By the lights and the lightning!:) Damn they went all out!:)

  • chicksineggz

    What are the odds that James Durbin wins it, while Adam Lambert, one of the greatest rockers to ever grace the Idol stage, only came in second?

    Was that last part supposed to be sarcastic? Anyways, I actually like James Durbin more than Adam Lambert. But I think at this stage, it’s still anyone’s game. No one has really proven to be a frontrunner IMO.

    Oh, and mj, none of the links are working. They’re all being taken down.

  • Willis

    Heh, Chris Jericho’s opinion: #IAmJericho Casey, Pia, James and Jacob will be the top four on Idol this year. Somewhere Lee Dewyze is crying…

  • Suzanne

    Well, here’s my list.

    1. James
    2. Scott
    3. Naima
    4. Pia
    5. Stephano
    6. Casey
    7. Lauren
    8. Haley
    9. Jacob
    10. Ashthon
    11. Paul
    12. Karen
    13. Thia

    So, I’m hoping that it’s Karen or Thia. I really did not like Paul this week, but he was awesome singing Blackbird in Hollywood week, so I hope he comes back.

    But Thia cried, and that’s a huge factor for voting moms, so I’ll pick Karen to be out tomorrow.

  • TwigLA

    Great recap, MJ. I agree with almost all you said. I think Haley was better than you did, but otherwise spot on in your assessments. I watched online and it’s just starting west coast. (Lauren A annoys me to no end. I just want to smack her.)

    Naima was fantastic and for me the best of the night. I really hope she gets the votes because she belongs there. She’s the full package they’re always talking about.

    Pia is a fantastic singer, but I’m really bored with that style of singing. Celine is on a commercial that I mute every time it comes on.

    James surprised me. I actually liked him tonight. Loved Casey at the beginning, not a big fan of the ending. Scotty was perfect in what he did. I find I can’t look at him singing though. It’s that Aflred E. Newman thing. :)

    Paul was a huge disappointment and pretty bad. I think his fanbase is big enough that he’s safe though.

    The rest, meh.

  • Jae

    monleo1705:
    03/09/2011 at 11:09 pm

    What are the odds that James Durbin wins it, while Adam Lambert, one of the greatest rockers to ever grace the Idol stage, only came in second?

    this would not be surprising. Like Daughtry set the path for David Cook to win. I think because of Adam, James Talent can be appreciated and Adam’s loss could make it more urgent for people who like James’ talent too not be lazy voter. I think though that James doesn’t stand out as much his season as Adam did in s8 because there are a LOT of really strong interesting voices and personality. Your favorite performance can change from week to week! S8 I watched for Adam. This year I am watching for a lot of them, including James. :)

  • girlygirl

    wow Ashthon sounds worse on my tv than she did on the live feed. just, no…

  • monleo1705

    Was that last part supposed to be sarcastic?

    Chicksineggz – Lol…wasn’t meant to be sarcastic, just thought it would be ironic. Don’t get me wrong, cos i thought Adam was one of the greatest i ever saw on the Idol stage. In fact, the last performer i thought was the greatest on Idol stage was Daughtry. ;D Now i am going to give that hat to James!!!

  • milwlovesadam

    My favorites: James. Casey. Jacob. Pia.

    Prediction of winner: Scotty or James. Lauren Alaina, nope.

    Advice for Naima, my hometown gal: Diction. Articulation. Poise. Communication. It goes a long way to helping people vote for you.

  • gangreen29

    Heh, Chris Jericho’s opinion: #IAmJericho Casey, Pia, James and Jacob will be the top four on Idol this year. Somewhere Lee Dewyze is crying…

    I love random celebrities opinions on idol lol.

  • flyaway

    Wow! Dial Idol has Paul and Casey on the bottom. Wonder if the online voting and texting (which doesn’t factor in) is the cause or these two really aren’t getting votes???

  • sf3456

    Man, I don’t know how joke contestants like Casey and Paul got through. Was I really supposed to take those performances seriously?

    After what Stefano did to “Lately”, I had to pull out the Jodeci version.

    I know that he’s probably getting a lot of complaints and slammed all over the place, but I don’t care — I loved Jacob. And there’s a major double standard going on with him, but anyway. He was the best of the night. He got my votes. Hope he’s safe. Hope he makes the tour.

  • thesheriff

    Was humoring myself at the thought of Webster’s suggestion that Scotty pick something “out there” and make it Country. My Life would Suck without you came to mind.

  • girlygirl

    I don’t think James possibly winning or not winning will have much to do with Adam not winning in S8. Two entirely different people and performers.

  • OmahaCookie

    Well rats, I wanted to watch the video to see Lauren’s face during the comments cause I missed it and it says Fremantle blocked the video for copyright! What a stupid move on their part. Hopefully they’ll be available somewhere???

  • cheese

    I managed to watch the show in 30 minutes by skipping country songs, R. Kelly songs and big drippy ballads! Which means that I watched Paul, Casey, James, Naima and Stefano, and watched everyone else’s re-cap. Lauren’s bitchfaces were hilarious on fastforward.

    Casey – I expected to love this but didn’t. There were parts of it I liked, but some of it felt really forced, not authentic.

    James – pretty damn good, but not a moment or anything. He sounds more like Adam than I though, haha.

    Paul – What the hell was he doing smiling and dancing around and singing offkey? Please hand this man a guitar. I almost fastforwarded him, too, and he’s probably my favorite guy. CALM DOWN.

    Stefano – Could not deal this horrible arrangement, and I think his tone is weird anyway (and not in a good way). I didn’t even recognize the song. I appreciate his energy but he needs to calm down, too.

    Naima – I loved her. She didn’t sing it any worse than Rihanna did, and that might be the first time I’ve seen competent dancing on the Idol stage. The rapping was cool, hope it’s on the recorded version.

    Pia sounded awesome on the recap, but I can’t listen to that whole song. Ashthon didn’t sound good, Karen sounded worse, Haley sounded worse than that. etc.

  • Grammie Kari

    They should have put one of the stronger contestants in that 13th spot. I am afraid that will cost Naima a lot of votes, and I believe she deserves another chance. She’s not boring as several others were. She took a risk, and I think it was more nerves than anything else.

    Awwww… Stefano, the little engine that could. I hope e makes the tour.

    James = excelent!

  • sf3456

    Heh, Chris Jericho’s opinion: #IAmJericho Casey, Pia, James and Jacob will be the top four on Idol this year. Somewhere Lee Dewyze is crying…

    Jericho is awesome.

  • Junior

    Just when I thought tptb were moving into the 21st century, they go and block all youtube videos.

    They still don’t get it.

  • glamertitis

    Best for me – James – that was beautiful to listen to and watch – he seems comfortable and confident. Well done
    then Naima for potential and creativity… and no matchy matching fashion faux pas! Yay!

    Paul reminds me of a wee, squeaky leprechaun. Did Pia sing anything other than the chorus? And so many not so golden moments. Casey is Burl Ives… and scratchy/pitchy – why oh why didn’t he get a make over?
    Who was it stretching her arms out to the air in the long blue dress??? What was that movement all about? And singing a song called Blue in a blue dress? uh, no.

    5 of the 7 girls continue their Miss America tour… those long gowns, standing in one spot, not so hot vocals. I thought they were supposed to move and dance this year?
    Loved the bitch faces on Lauren and Thia.

    Thia should be eliminated after that performance. Worst of the night by far.

    Do you think the judges have been told not to be too honest/mean with the youngsters? Only Randy was close to being honest tonight. The other two are just following along to some script. I hope that changes soon.

    I really, really like the no instruments this year. Hope it stays that way. No one is hiding behind any props and covering up their weak voices

  • ptslittlecomment

    Stephen Tyler is pimping Lauren Alania on twitter

    IamStevenT Steven Tyler
    My hair all in Bradies&- TONIGHT I WATCH THE BEST- LAURENS A NATURAL NO MATTER WHAT SHE SINGS-FROM HERE ON OUT THOUGH THE SONGS GOTTAROCK)
    11 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

  • monleo1705

    I must say Paul, while doing the spasm dance and singing slightly out of tune, still looks extremely yummylicious!

  • ri

    okay whoever is advising James should be commended. there existed some intense dislike for this guy not all that long ago and most of it seems to have dissipated already. i’m not convinced James could have known how to make that happen all by himself because there were many, including myself, who had every intention of despising him right through till the end but God love him he pulled it back and his talent is so apparent, and i, for one, am looking forward to seeing him every week for as long as possible.

    oh and if people like Paul’s vocal style, i do hope they can overlook his dorky moves onstage. if anyone has ever seen Mick Jagger or Rod Stuart in concert, they have seen those moves before. and well it didn’t hurt their careers any. so even though Paul makes me a little uncomfortable with the weird “dancing” i’m trying not to let that affect my view of his performances. plus he looks like he’s just happy to be alive and that makes me smile.

  • milwlovesadam

    I’m laughing at myself, laughing at my favorite moment of the whole show, Seacrest’s dancing imitation of Paul!!

    So, if measuring on a “boring meter”, who bored me tonight:

    Everyone, except James, Naima and Jacob.

  • easyrider707

    OldHag – LA’s cover was notnearly as good as Siophans last season and she went home the next night. It could happen, but I would like to give her another try. She is young and not use to working with others on how to switch things up. But, maybe she will grow in the process. Girls are way behind boys overall in musicality this year (exception appears to be Naima).

  • Inconnu

    Best of the night – James Durbin and I wasn’t a fan before, but liked his performance last week. I’m actually starting to like the guy more and more. I also loved that he chose Paul McCartney as his idol and that song of his. It was a good choice.
    I think Stefano and Naima did good also, Stefano for his singing even though I didn’t like the arrangement. I think Naima did well performing the song but not singing it. I’m starting to realise why the producers want her on the show. She brings that unique flair that S. Tyler eluded to, she’s a great performer, she’s magnetic to look at. She’s the girl right now who I most associate with. I don’t think though that it was her pick to do Rihanna, I think it was a producer pick and she went along with it and it paid off big time.
    The thing with Pia is that she doesn’t move me and I don’t particularly like her upper range. I’m not crazy about the diva style, the dresses and the song choices. I don’t really care if somebody sings perfectly, they need to move me. I much prefer contestants like Casey and Paul, the style of music they play and in their case, I wish they would sing with their instrument. I know I would enjoy them more. I hope Paul won’t show up the bottom 3 tomorrow and I’m actually looking forward to hear his Studio version.
    I thought the first part of Thia’s song Smile was good. She has a lovely tone… but something happened with the arrangement and it threw the whole thing off. In this case, the producers didn’t help her at all.
    I think Ashton will be the one to go tomorrow, and Karen & Thia will be in the bottom 3. I still hope that S Tyler gets better at it and that the song choices improve.

  • ptslittlecomment

    Paul and Casey remain at the bottom of Dial Idol.

  • monleo1705

    this would not be surprising. Like Daughtry set the path for David Cook to win. I think because of Adam, James Talent can be appreciated and Adam’s loss could make it more urgent for people who like James’ talent too not be lazy voter. I think though that James doesn’t stand out as much his season as Adam did in s8 because there are a LOT of really strong interesting voices and personality. Your favorite performance can change from week to week! S8 I watched for Adam. This year I am watching for a lot of them, including James.

    Jae - Yessss i totally agree to that! So hopefully they paved the way for James and we will have our first ever rocker to ever win Idol!!!! I don’t really have too many favourites this season, so far, it’s just James, Pia and oh lovable Paul. Maybe Stefano.

  • thesheriff

    Casey just finished…didn’t like. He just doesnt fit what he’s doin for me. He needs a snickers bar so I can see who he reallllly is.

  • milwlovesadam

    When I look back at who my all time faves were, Adam, Daughtry, Bo Bice, none won. But all have great careers. James has a chance to win, he can rock it out, he has a great learning curve, he has obviously studied Idol trends. I do believe the path has made it better for him.Jae, ITA with your post.Can’t wait to see Adam tomorrow night.

  • littlefishes

    Re-watching Paul’s performance on my TV verses watching it on my laptop, he totally reminded me of the lead singer of Coldplay in that Jacket. LOL

  • girlygirl

    Steven and TPTB that pimp Lauren A as much as they want — I don’t like her bratty, entitled attitude and she isn’t anywhere nearly as great as they want us to believe.

  • jpfan

    Ummm…I’m pretty sure Cook self identified as a rocker so no James won’t be the first rocker to win Idol. How short Idol memories are.

  • Chicagolaw

    It would be fitting to have rocker James win in the year that Steven Tyler was a judge.

    Regarding Alaina, I wonder if TPTB realized that all the pimping wasn’t doing her any favors.

  • glamertitis

    Lauren must be really working the Steven Tyler manipulation game… she is very, very good at it. What did she poutily say when the judge’s finished critiquing her? “I am sorry you didn’t like me Steven” or something like that… ugh

  • littlefishes

    Pia looks beautiful tonight, and a really good performance too.

  • Grammie Kari

    Diana Ross sang, “When You Tell Me That You Love Me” last week on Oprah and she did a beautiful job with it. I think Ashthon might be going home if Karen’s fan base gets out there for her.

    Pia has a beautiful voice, possibly better than Carrie. However, we need to hear some uptempo songs for a final verdict.

    Jacob needs to break away from the gospel driven songs and tone it down.

    This is certainly a unique group vocally – and the Judges did a nice job tonight.

  • http://www.skepticalsports.com Ben Morris

    Paul and Casey remain at the bottom of Dial Idol.

    Last week DialIdol’s busy signal numbers did horribly, and also had Casey near the bottom despite him going last and winning virtually every online poll. But their *raw* vote totals correctly predicted all 10 finalists.

    This week the top 3 in raw votes are Casey, James, and Scotty, which seems much more realistic to me.

  • ray1

    MY post will be unpopular…Here goes!…Lauren Alaina you are not Carrie Underwood yet- even as karaoke…Paul McDonald acts like the OZ scarecrow on crack dancing(really!)…Ashton took the A out of diva and replaced it with E and well, now she is DIVE as in DIVE OUT!…AND, the winner of First place in Miss Universe is PIA…Runner up-Karen…with Thia winning Miss Congeniality— on Jacob Lusk-I like him but I really think he wants to sing Donna Summer!…Casey channels Taylor Hicks….James channels ADAM Lambert..Scotty channels Randy Travis and a host of great country guys…Stafano is the pretty boy with the pretty voice..Haley is hot…..NOW that leaves me Naima Adedapo- and she seems to be just Naima Adedapo, kinda REFRESHING!!!!!!

  • Lovesyesha

    1. Pia
    2. James
    3. Casey
    4. Jacob (oversang: went in and out of amazing and terrible)
    5. Thia (wasn’t nearly as bad as people are saying, first part was most beautiful moment of the night)
    6. Scotty (not as good as last week, still strong though)
    7. Lauren (disappointing vocal)
    8. Naima (with stronger vocals would have been much higher, best visual performer)
    9. Stefano (Lower register was terrible)
    10. Paul (eh)
    11. Karen (forgettable, but I hope she makes it)
    12. Ashton (average to mediocre)
    13. Haley (hate everything about her voice, please get off my TV)

  • girlygirl

    Jae I totally disagree with you. To me S8 contestants >>>>>> S10 contestants. But hey, different strokes for different folks and all that

    ETA – and David Cook was the first rocker to win AI

    ETA2 – Just watched James’ performance again. I really do think he was the best of the night. He is really growing on me — I just would prefer to stay away from the Adam comparisons, because they aren’t that similar.

  • Junior

    ugh, these arrangements are killing me. I was really looking forward to this season, but the heavy handedness from the Iovine and his team of producers are sucking the life and creativity out of these performances.

  • thesheriff

    A lesser popular opinion there could not be than:

    Paul vocally sucked and I love him still!

  • mmb

    I think James is a really good singer. Very nice tone in his voice. And I like his song choices. I’m still not on board because, despite the strong vocals I just still find that he lacks a certain charisma, or it factor. But maybe that will come. We will see. I find Casey very entertaining. Scotty really seems comfortable on stage and has such a pure country voice. I wasn’t impressed with any of the girls tonight. As much as o find her personality grating on tv, I like Lauren has the most commercial, recording ready voice. I would have liked to see her on idol in two years, when she is legal and a bit more mature

  • abbysee

    I like him but I really think he wants to sing Donna Summer!

    Well if that it, then sang the damn thing! I mean if you are gonna be OTT, then own up to it!

  • Trina

    In Shirley Halperins book Simon Fuller in so many words says he considers David a rocker. He said something about how Bo being a rocker paved the way for Daughtry and David “drove it home”.

  • Jx223

    What I’d love to hear him do is sort of a reverse Ring of Fire: take a song from some other genre and sing it in his style. Start with some artist that also does narrative songs well, like Dire Straits. I could so hear Scotty doing Brothers in Arms or Why Worry. Or Pearl Jam’s Breathe

    That could be interesting. I think that if Scott took a song from another genre and sung it in the country style, that could really benefit him,(if he pulled it off). Are they really not doing any theme weeks this season at all? If not I think we might not really see most of these contestants venture outside their comfort zones. Though sometimes in the past the best performances have come from contestants doing that.

    I would like to hear Scott sing some other songs from different genres. He has such a nice smooth voice, I think it would be interesting to hear him sing sungs from other genres (and “countryfying” those songs).

  • milwlovesadam

    “Reverse Ring of Fire”

    Tee Hee. I just love how so much gets compared, or referred back to Adam. Even by people who didn’t like him. He sure has left his mark on Idol forever.

  • girlygirl

    huh…Haley sounded better on my tv than when I watched the live feed. Still didn’t think the yodelling thing worked, though

  • Jae

    Guys, I just read my last post. I think I was dozing when I typed that out. Thanks for getting my meaning! LOL!

  • webster

    Just when I thought tptb were moving into the 21st century, they go and block all youtube videos.

    They still don’t get it.

    I’ve always assumed it was contractual: the rights to the songs covers specific things, and free on-line video isn’t one of them. So they contest in order to honor the contract. That’s just a guess, but it seems far more likely than other explanations I can think of.

  • MayMirabella

    For me, the top 3 most entertaining performances were:
    James, Casey, Naima

    The least entertaining performances for me were:

    Haley, Lauren, and Karen. I am a big Selena fan and I was hoping Karen would nail the performance. It would have been something we Selena fans could have posted as a wonderful Selena tribute on her fan site that keeps Selena’s memory alive through her music being remembered… had Karen done a better job so I was sad about that.

  • girlygirl

    Scotty said he sang Sinatra and John Mayer at some point during this competition, right? So maybe he could take a song in a totally different genre and countrify it to fit his style. I’d like to see him at least try, it could be quite cool.

    The most up to date Dial Idol raw numbers have Ashthon, Karen and Jacob being in the bottom 3…

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    In terms of marketability, the two that stood out for me most were Naiama and Scotty. I need to see more of some of the others (who were good, don’t get me wrong). I really hope one of the ballad girls go home. I don’t need more of that.

  • Lisa

    What to say about tonight besides meh…pretty much it, meh.

    Why is Karen here? Really…
    Why does Haley keep glancing at the camera & smiling at weird times like she is checking herself out in a mirror.
    Why was there so much over singing?
    Why didn’t Thia do the whole song like she did at the first since the last sucked big dogs.

    The rest were just meh for me.

    Why sums up for me the whole night…..why?

  • Elliegrll

    ugh, these arrangements are killing me. I was really looking forward to this season, but the heavy handedness from the Iovine and his team of producers are sucking the life and creativity out of these performances.

    I agree. The arrangements for Thia and Stefano’s songs didn’t make any sense. I wonder if Iovine and his teams involvement is the reason why some of the performances seemed so affected. Maybe it’s because it is early, but none of the contestants looked loose, which added to the performances not being very exciting.

  • yellin

    James is AMAZING. I have a son with Aspergers and what people need to understand is that the main factor with Aspie’s is their lack of social graces/relationships, and how they take things/communicate things literally (hence his having the audience clap and not clap when told.. Ryan asking him what he changed this week, and he gave him a list..etc) I think he is doing a fabulous job, and I do pray that the “social” part of it doesn’t hurt him, cause I have no doubts he has dealt with that all of his life. He has a brilliant talent that I pray brings him far!

  • cookcricket

    Whoa, cool new things, spell check? Not sure what the gray arrow thing is.

    Anyway, going to post real quick and off to bed.

    I only got to watch Jacob on, but saw the recaps. I came here to watch vids and of course they’re blocked/taken down, whatever. Boo Freemantle.

    Thanks for trying anyway mj!!

    On a side, I’m not on twitter, but someone who’s following Paul, send him a kind message to try to watch himself perform so he can bring that guitar playing “It” factor to the stage, sans guitar. :D Love this guy and I’d hate to see him go too soon! ;)

    I don’t know how to read the raw scores on DI, but Casey and Paul are looking better there (I think) than on the Idol scores…

  • claudette

    My favorites never win so saying James was by far the best might not be a good thing for him! ha!

    I don’t see Lauren as bratty at all. I see her as a 16 yr old southern innocent girl. Really her age. No where savy like the others. I think she’s lost confidence and I hope her sass comes back. I loved her at audition, but have slowly seen her become too nervous and hesitant to just be herself. Hopefully she isn’t reading the internet. I don’t think some get southern young girls.

    Favs in order: James, Scotty, Thia, Haley, Niami, Lauren, Stephano

  • webster

    oh and if people like Paul’s vocal style, i do hope they can overlook his dorky moves onstage. if anyone has ever seen Mick Jagger or Rod Stuart in concert, they have seen those moves before. and well it didn’t hurt their careers any.

    I actually like the weird dancing. I also like his song choices ( well, not Maggie Mae). It’s his squirrel-on-crack voice I can’t stand. If he’d fix up his tone some, I think he’d be interesting. he’s the one I’m getting a Taylor vibe from, not Casey. Loads of personality, quirky vocal tone and quirkier moves, passionate but not particularly inventive interpretations.

  • MayMirabella

    I know that he’s probably getting a lot of complaints and slammed all over the place, but I don’t care — I loved Jacob. And there’s a major double standard going on with him, but anyway. He was the best of the night. He got my votes. Hope he’s safe. Hope he makes the tour.

    I like Jacob a lot too. I think he is great.

  • lla2827

    ugh, these arrangements are killing me. I was really looking forward to this season, but the heavy handedness from the Iovine and his team of producers are sucking the life and creativity out of these performances.

    I agree. What the producers did to Stefano and Thia and some others was bad, bad, bad. These producers along with Nigel are going to put these contestants in their “Box” and we will hear the same stuff out of them every week. I want to see what these contestants come up with–not what is in some producers mind.
    Next week Pia sings You Light up My Life

  • MayMirabella

    The most up to date Dial Idol raw numbers have Ashthon, Karen and Jacob being in the bottom 3…

    I can see Karen and Ashton in the bottom 3, in fact, I would be shocked if they were not. But Jacob does not deserve to be bottom 3 this week, I do not think. I think there are others more worthy of that spot, for me that would be be Thia.

  • Jx223

    Scotty said he sang Sinatra and John Mayer at some point during this competition, right? So maybe he could take a song in a totally different genre and countrify it to fit his style. I’d like to see him at least try, it could be quite cool.

    I think that if Scotty did this successfully he could get have a “Wow” performance or more than one “Wow”performance.

    He has such a smooth voice, I think that his voice could sound good singing many songs from different genres. I don’t know if he will do this, especially if they really are not doing themes this season, but I think it would be interesting if he did do this. And I think that if he did this it could expand his already big fanbase.

  • MayMirabella

    It is early yet and Dial Idol Raw Numbers are something like this and with texting and voting online, Dial Idol might not be as reliable as in the past. But I was impressed last week that their raw numbers were good in predicting top 5 girls and guys.

    1.Casey Abrams

    2.James Durbin

    3.Scotty McCreery

    4.Pia Toscano

  • http://MJO judes

    I really, really like the no instruments this year. Hope it stays that way. No one is hiding behind any props and covering up their weak voices

    Its funny as I completeley disagree but hey each to their own likes! I think we’ve had enough time to showcase the voices & in some cases its become monotonous & boring.
    I like variety & that’s why I like adding instruments as well. So lets see the boomer voices but also lets see eg Paul & Casey at their best with their instruments. Casey with his bass just oozes feeling which inspires him to perform well. Having said that I think Casey doesn’t need an instrument to define him but to me it helps lift his performance to another level.
    I also like Paul better with a guitar as I don’t think he’s learnt to control his moves without it & its a bit distracting.
    I agree that singers who don’t play an instrument well shouldn’t play on idol but those whose performances are enhanced by great musicianship should be allowed to choose whether to use an instrument or not.

  • milwlovesadam

    The only two girls I like anymore are Pia and Naima. That being said, Pia needs to move, and try another genre. Naima, she’s fabulous. Could use tighter more controlled vocals, and speak more clearly.

    I’m over Lauren. If this season becomes Lauren versus Scotty, I’m done. This isn’t Opry Idol.

  • BigNLiddle

    anyone find out the reason behind the headphones during karen’s set? steven and jlo had them on…

  • glamertitis

    Bought my James Durbin Maybe I’m Amazed itunes studio version!

  • cheese

    The iTunes recordings are up if anyone is interested

  • sf3456

    The most up to date Dial Idol raw numbers have Ashthon, Karen and Jacob being in the bottom 3…

    If Jacob leaves this early, that would be a shame.

    And look at the three who are in the bottom — the minorities. Now, who says they don’t get picked off first.

  • gangreen29

    The itunes studio versions are very high quality. Maybe a bit TOO polished though.

  • MayMirabella

    I’m over Lauren. If this season becomes Lauren versus Scotty, I’m done. This isn’t Opry Idol.

    If the finals come down to these two, there is not enough alcohol in the world to dull my senses, I might try hemlock for a better result. LOL.

  • suziq

    Tonight was the Jimmy Iovine/Interscope Show. Where was the American Idol show I knew and loved? I enjoyed a couple performances…but all the emphasis on producers, etc., left me COLD. It was just weird.

  • Cindij

    for those who have bought the studio version of the songs are they whole songs or just the snippets we see on AI and also how do they sound
    thank you

  • gangreen29

    for those who have bought the studio version of the songs are they whole songs or just the snippets we see on AI and also how do they sound
    thank you

    Whole songs

  • Jae

    I just came back from sampling the itunes studio versions. Casey’s was great. Pia sounds fantastic. Scotty is radio ready. James was better live. Jacob did much better in his studio version.

  • MayMirabella

    And look at the three who are in the bottom — the minorities. Now, who says they don’t get picked off first.

    And I am liking this top 13 because there is diversity in all ways, style, voices, culturally and so on. I hope the first 3 that go home are not All girls, or not all minorities. The tour is much better when there are more an equal number of men and women as well as some diversity all the way around more interesting. And I admit, I like when Idol looks more like America the melting pot of all different types of people, cultures, and styles, gender and so on.

  • ri

    so when ARE the instruments coming back?

  • Inconnu

    Glad to hear the I-Tunes are up already.

    What started to be a varied Top 13 is becoming more like a few that I prefer (James, Naima, Paul, Casey, Stefano) and the rest – not interested at all. This probably will be a year also where the winner will not be my fav, but it’s like I don’t really care that much. I’m watching the show more for its entertainment value and I’m glad some of them sign it this year so I can hear new music(for ex. Paul and his band).

  • http://MJO judes

    sf3456:
    03/10/2011 at 12:32 amThe most up to date Dial Idol raw numbers have Ashthon, Karen and Jacob being in the bottom 3…If Jacob leaves this early, that would be a shame.And look at the three who are in the bottom — the minorities. Now, who says they don’t get picked off first.

    To me that has nothing to do with it-its about performances & those 3 were my least favourite performances -however Jacob deserves another chance as he’s done well up until now.

    I only got to watch Jacob on, but saw the recaps. I came here to watch vids and of course they’re blocked/taken down, whatever. Boo Freemantle.

    Cookcricket Rickey.org has all the performance videos which work for me over here in Australia. I was able to watch these when this site was down for a while & they are still there.

  • beesims

    I was pretty bored with all the girls tonight with the exception of Naima. The singing was not the finest but it woke me up from the stupor of Celine kareoke, Shania kareoke, Selena kareoke and Diana Ross kareoke. I think Ashthon and Karen are the one’s likely to go home.I wish it could be Lauren or Thia. I loved Paul’s song choice but thought the performance tics were ultimately distracting and heavy handed. Jacob needs to dial it back big time. Casey was great and I am glad that he kept the Cocker mannerisms to a minimum. There was a nugget of goodness in Stefano’s disco take on Stevie Wonder. Scotty has a great instrument but I am not convinced that he is more than a great mimic as opposed to a true interpreter.

    I felt the strong arm of the producers tonight, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Some of these kids are pressured into arrangements they weren’t comfortable with, no matter how much they talked about ‘being themselves’. Without the ability to play their instruments, they were even more at the beck and call of the producers, both in the studio and on the show.

    I agree with this assessment. They surround these totally green kids with some of the biggest names in the biz so it’s easy to see how they would succumb to a disco version of “Lately” or that bizarre loungy end to “Smile”. I also found it odd that Jennifer and Randy were going on so much about how hard it was so make a song work when it has to get chopped to 1:40. I think the producers need to validate their cred in the biz may have contributed to some of these overly complicated arrangements. I am curious to see how these producer/idol pairings play out over time. If one idol clicks with a particular producer, can they stick with them for the season or will they be forced to work with as many as possible?

  • Cindij

    thank you

  • hoosiermama

    Dang it! I blew it voting for Naima. I texted the wrong number (guess I wasn’t paying attention to Ryan! Eep!)! I did wonder why I didn’t get a confirmation back (and my daughter was writing a paper online so I didn’t doublecheck her number). *sigh* I loved her performance, even if she was out of breath at times…at least she tried something current and fun. Her dance moves were great! I hope lots of west coasters will be voting for her since I blew it. :-(

    Oh and James was my fav of the night, but I threw some votes to Pia, Stephano, Scotty, and Haley (shocked myself at that—but I enjoyed her when I wasn’t expecting to). Thinking Ashthon, Karen and Thia are bottom 3.

    I’m ready for some instruments to return. I’ve seen them sing solo, now let’s see what those who regularly perform with an instrument, will do. I wonder if the arrangements will be more natural if they come back (less producer interference)?

  • gangreen29

    Just sampled the recordings. Casey, Pia, and Scott have amazing recording voices. I really like Naima, James, and surprisingly Haley and Thia too.

  • sf3456

    MayMirabella:
    And I am liking this top 13 because there is diversity in all ways, style, voices, culturally and so on. I hope the first 3 that go home are not All girls, or not all minorities. The tour is much better when there are more an equal number of men and women as well as some diversity all the way around more interesting. And I admit, I like when Idol looks more like America the melting pot of all different types of people, cultures, and styles, gender and so on.

    I agree. But eventually, it’s going to happen. The minorities get picked off first, then the girls do. It’s the same thing every season.

  • bmms

    Lee Dewyze is crying…

    Who?

  • songsungblue

    I really liked Paul’s studio version. I agree he didn’t show himself off to the best degree tonight, but he brings up in me the same emotional response that Fantasia once did. Some people HATE her voice, but she feels the music in an instinctive way, IMO. That’s what I get from Paul. Where as I just can’t stand the Pia style – I mean, there’s a Lea Michele. Why do we need a Pia? Blech.

  • blissful

    Best: James, Scotty, and Naima
    Okay: Stefano
    Unmemorable: everyone else

    James and Naima are the ones with any presence. For the girls, they are pretty boring songwise and personality (is Thia even here?). I’m really missing Lauren T.

    I like that they tried different arrangements, but most could not pull it off entirely.

    But I still have high hopes for this season, but bummed about the girls.

  • chicksineggz

    Gahhhh, I have no idea who to make my overall pick for the pool.

  • OhSnap

    Loved: James Durbin. Awesome. Pipes.
    Loved: Casey. Pleasantly surpised on how much I loved it
    Loved: Naima. No one else had the balls to do what she did. Girlz got some moves, and she did the reggae thing. Props. We all know if she would have just stood in one place and sang it, the judges would have knocked her for not putting her spin on it. Irony is she would have sounded better standing in one spot, because then she wouldn’t be all out of breath because of the dances. I LOVED her since day one. Love her crazy style.

    Meh: Paul…I really was expecting somethin better than that tonight. Dancing didn’t do him any favors…or whatever that was.

    If I were a man, I’d pick: Pia. If she can pull off an Evanescence song, she’ll have my vote.

    Snarky comment of the day: If there were a PornStar Idol, Haley would have this in the bag.

  • ross

    so when ARE the instruments coming back?

    Yeah, at this point it seems kind of stupid to deny people their instruments. They should be performing as they will perform in the real world, and be allowed to be who they really are as artists.

  • colette

    Negative alert! I’m feelin’ grumpy….OK, for me the two most compelling VOICES emerging are from the roomies James and Stephano. Yeah, yeah, the arrangement of the Stevie Wonder song was a little odd, but Stephano NAILED it — he was one of very few tonight who had serious pitch control, plus he really has a powerhouse of soulfulness. Really hope he lasts.
    James, sure to stay. PRobably Casey too, and Naima (though her singing was godawful tonight)Scott does his thing well, it’s sort of eerie to hear that voice come out of a kid. But I doubt he’s going to ever surprise me on this show.
    And Paul was just, well, terrible. PItchy all over the place, spastic dancing, it just did not work dude. I “got” you, and I didn’t like it.

    But, really, so much of the show left me cold, or wishing I had gone to a movie. They can’t keep focusing on the producers, PLEASE. Yeah, they’re all hitmakers, but it isn’t a show about them. We know very little about the contestants — how about focusing it on those folks?

    Then again, I’m ready to see at least half of the contestants eliminated tomorrow, maybe more. Why do Pia and Jacob have to scream at us? Off pitch? Why do they get props for it? Haley, Karen, Thia — meh. And yes, the attitude from Lauren A. is definitely the brattiness of a 16 year old — but one who has probably been praised and fawned over every time she’s opened her mouth. She’s still cozying up to Steven, and gushing it up with Ryan. Cut it out, kid! It’s just. plain. obnxious.

    As for the judges, puleeze. They told just about every contestant, more or less, that they’re great and should be voted in. Ummm, fine, but isn’t the point here that we’re going to have ONE WINNER? This isn’t the state singing championships, where everybody gets a trophy. It’s American Idol, where you’re supposed to be discovering somebody really, really special.They just seem to be patting themselves on the back for choosing these kids, and overpraising them like crazy.

    Yes, it’s sweet that they’re so gentle in their criticism, but are they helping them survive? And get ready for the rough and tumble of being a professional performer?

    Boy, I hope things get more interesting soon, or I don’t know if I can stick with it this season….

  • WiltedYouth

    Wow, Ashthon’s studio version sounds way Auto-Tuned. Blech. Definitely a pass.

    From the 30-second previews, I like Casey’s, Naima’s, James’, Scotty’s, and Pia’s the most. Paul’s and Haley’s sound good, but I need to listen to them in their entirety. Thia’s sounds interesting, too, but I’m not entirely sold on her yet. Not interested in Lauren’s or Karen’s. Stefano’s and Jacob’s I need to hear in their entirety, because the previews didn’t give me much.

    The production values on these studio versions are quite high. I wonder – is this the first year they’ve used Auto-Tune? Because I definitely can hear it on Ashthon’s track.

  • jammasta

    My rankings for the night:
    1. James Durbin – He scaled it back just like he needed to, and he did a fantastic job with it. Very good.

    2. Naima Adedapo – Yes, she had some big pitch issues, but the girl is ballsy. Her performance had the most star quality (including the lack of pitch that some stars have :P), and if she can learn to control both her movements and her pitch, we’ve got one amazing performer coming out of this show (I think).

    3. Scott McCreery – I love this guy. The way he works the camera is strangely endearing. Amazing voice.

    4. Casey Abrams – Loved him. He is one of the most entertaining contestants we’ve had lately.

    5. Pia Toscano – Pageanty and very predictable, which made it a bit boring, but nevertheless a spectacular vocal.

    6. Haley Reinhart – I’ve been really really hard on this girl. She killed “Fallin'” for me last week. I admit that I’m being VERY nice putting her 6th, but I saw some potential in here that was totally not there last week. She shouldn’t do country, she has a very nice tone for some soulful jazzy stuff with the weird sounds she makes.

    7. Stefano Langone – It reminded me a little of why I don’t like dance remixes (*coughaftermathcough*), but I like the guy’s voice. Fistpumping to Stevie Wonder! lol.

    8. Jacob Lusk – Nowhere near as bad as anyone said, I think. Not as good as the judges said, though. I liked his take, but it kinda went wild.

    9. Thia Megia – Aww, I love Thia, but I didn’t love this. Started off very nice, but the jazzy arrangement didn’t work. I really really hope she stays, I have to meet her lol.

    10. Paul McDonald – Ugh, huge drop for Paul. Did not work for him. It was like last week, except way inferior and less energy input/output. Copycat performance of last week except inferior = bad. I hope he stays too.

    11. Lauren Alaina – Siobhan did a better job on this song (I WILL FIGHT YOU FOR THAT OPINION, knowing Siobhan’s performance wasn’t very popular >_>), and she got eliminated the next night. I don’t see that happening for Lauren. So much potential in her song choice, but she did not deliver. Hopefully she delivers next week.

    12. Ashthon Jones – She’s really elegant, but her performance was not on point. Copycat but not good enough. I miss Hit ‘em Up Style!

    13. Karen Rodriguez – I love this song, but she did not do well with it at all. I found her video package a bit endearing though.

    Bottom 3 should be Ashthon, Karen, and Lauren. Lauren will probably be replaced by Thia or even Jacob o_O. I have a strange feeling there’s gonna be someone in the Bottom 3 who doesn’t belong there. My pick to leave tonight is Karen.

    Naima’s close to B3 on Raw Numbers. I hope the different number doesn’t screw her over.

    Overall, I really don’t think the night was as bad as some people are saying it was. The top 5 performances alone made it entertaining, IMO.

    Is editing kinda messed up? When I tried to add more to what I said, the spaces between my rankings disappeared and turned it into a gigantic block of text.

  • girlygirl

    LOL – that’s a huge banner on iTunes for the studio performances. Gonna go check them out now, see if I want to buy any

  • blissful

    I bet the instruments will come back once they get the live shows figured out — I’m guessing by Top 10 ish

    I just did the online voting — it’s SO slow.

  • OhSnap

    Kendra should have had Ashton’s spot.

  • gangreen29

    Karen just made a big leap on dial idol once the west coast voting started. I still think the scores are a bit off for everyone. My gut is saying Ashthon is going though.

  • sue

    Gahhhh, I have no idea who to make my overall pick for the pool.

    I know what you mean, I had to ponder for awhile to decide who was going to take it all. I still don’t know so I just pick Scotty, lol. It is between Scotty, James, Casey and Pia right now and maybe even Paul if he gets his act together. Scotty is going to sell a lot of country records.

  • Incipit

    The Hell? There are some people with good voices, yet somehow there were 13 uninteresting songs, and varying degrees of performances…mostly underwhelming. Whatever skill this Producer crew was supposed to be bringing? They aren’t. Maybe they used it all for the iTunes. Whatever originality or skill the cast was supposed to be bringing, not much is here yet. Except for Naima and a little bit of Casey – nothing fresh. Since IDK what degree of backstage influence on song choices or performance styles is happening – I’m not even going to comment more about it.

    The new judges still haven’t stepped up…and I can only surmise that from the comments posted. Fremantle’s black out here was paired w/Rickey’s videos having no sound for me – so click the vid and the mp3 as closely together as possible for the whole performance, minus the comments. Retro-tech.

    The judges’ remarks in the past – when they were any good, and not just clever or mean spirited – weren’t aimed at improving any performance – that’s what the coaches were for, and most of the panel didn’t know anyway. They were clues about ‘how to win’- even if the advice was find a box and get in it – even if the advice was aimed at how to be appealing to the audience – it was about how to win. Now there are two actual performers who could also give an honest critique, but they don’t. These remarks are not constructive in either column.

    More to the point – Idols main goal wasn’t met, for me, anyway – nothing about this evening was very entertaining.

    JMO. Of Course.

  • chicksineggz

    I know what you mean, I had to ponder for awhile to decide who was going to take it all. I still don’t know so I just pick Scotty, lol. It is between Scotty, James, Casey and Pia right now and maybe even Paul if he gets his act together. Scotty is going to sell a lot of country records.

    Yeah, I was choosing between those people as well. I think right now Scotty is probably the most popular and is getting the most votes, but I feel like that has to diminish each week, and people are going to get tired of hearing the same type of song from him every week.

    I think Ashthon will be going home tomorrow. And I’ll be happy if she does.

  • girlygirl

    does anyone know how long it usually takes for the Glee songs to show up on the iTunes chart after they are released? I’m trying to figure out when I should expect to see some of these Idol songs showing up on the chart (none of them are on there yet, but the West Coast show has only been over for about 1/2 hour so it’s probably way too soon)

  • gangreen29

    does anyone know how long it usually takes for the Glee songs to show up on the iTunes chart after they are released? I’m trying to figure out when I should expect to see some of these Idol songs showing up on the chart (none of them are on there yet, but the West Coast show has only been over for about 1/2 hour so it’s probably way too soon)

    Idol does not let their songs chart on itunes.

  • girlygirl

    Are you sure? I know Kris and Adam both had a bunch of songs that they performed on Idol that charted quite high on iTunes. Maybe that was only after the finale, though (I don’t remember)?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if TPTB allow them to chart this year, though. They seem to be going the Glee route with all this, and Glee lets their songs chart…

  • Brook52

    Watched tonight with my sister and 21 year old nehphew and we found we had the same opinion as Incipit. I know that the press is that S9 needed improving upon but we found ourselves reminiscing about last year and wishing for ….well we couldn’t quite figure out what is missing, but some spark that just doesn’t exist this year. I wanted to see Crystal glaring at the judges and Lee singing from his heart, Katie belting her songs, Casey on his guitar, etc. This just seems like a unimportant singing contest. Somehow the show has not made us care who wins. Very interesting….I have to say that although the ratings are supposedly good no one at work that was watching last year is watching this year. I wonder who is?

  • girlygirl

    I wonder if Ryan Adams saw Paul’s performance (or just Mandy Moore did)

    TheMandyMoore Mandy Moore

    crazy to hear ry’s music on a idol tonight!! randy needs to hip jlo to some of his tunes :)….
    36 minutes ago

  • OmahaCookie

    Any thought that Idol may let the compilation album chart? That wouldn’t be giving away any secrets. The only problem might be if it was way lower on the chart than the glee albums.

  • OhSnap

    I think if Rhianna could have hand-picked one of the contestants to cover her song, she would have hand-picked Naima. Naima has the balls and the style and the dance moves to pull this thing off. I think she is the true Wild Card. Truth is, if she hadn’t been so entertaining, the judges would have knocked her for being boring.

    Casey needs to stay in this competition because I loved his Joe Cocker cover. That is how you SING.

    James Durbin also rocked his song. Loved his voice…he reminds me of those old 80 rock singers with the insane pipes.

    Scott McCreery is just a shoe in for the finals. He will definitely get the country vote…and he even has a country name. Good voice. I want me some George Strait next week.

    Pia Toscano: May be the first female that has a huge teenage boy following. She’s good, too. For reals.

    I’m calling these five SAFE.

    Paul–I don’t think he did well, and I don’t think people will “get” him.

    Stefano– Another good voice, but there were about five boys that were better.

    Lauren– Now that she lost some of her “It” girl glean, she should be able to skate on through next week because of her country creds.

    Haley — Good singer. I’m a reluctant fan.

    Bottom Three:

    Ashton — Not feeling her. Naima probably has the diva vote locked up.

    Thia — Nothing really special about her. She’s good, but so are most of the other girls.

    Karen — Stefano has the Latino vote locked up. Her Selena song kind of dated her.

  • canuck

    Some random thoughts:
    -I thought the show lack spontaneity tonight. I prefer the live shows than pre-taped or maybe the producers had too much of a hand in what the idols did on stage.
    – Loved James Durbain as always and was disappointed in Lauren Alaina who i also like. Good grief though. What she was wearing did nothing for her? Aren’t they supposed to have costume support people by now?

  • suziq

    Brook52, I couldn’t agree with you more. I know it’s the minority opinion, but I missed Season 9, too. Even though Simon was beyond his expiration date, I still waited eagerly for his opinions. I personally prefer acoustic music, so I miss the pianos and guitars. I hope they get to play instruments at some point. The show tonight, for the most part, just felt cold and clinical to me. The judging panel was okay through the early stuff, but they weren’t very good tonight. I did feel some heart and could feel a real human connection with James Durbin. I thought Haley is a really good vocalist, too…much better than Pia or Karen who are pretty “one-note” to me. I guess I’m the only one, but I thought Naima looked kind of ridiculous up there bouncing around. Paul’s performance was disappointing…let that man have his guitar back. I’m sure he’ll rebound. Scotty is okay, and a likable kid, but he doesn’t make my heart pound. He is one relaxed performer, I’ll say that for him.

  • suziq

    Canuck, you made me laugh. Yes, Lauren’s outfit was not good…and why the flats…that girl could have used some high heels, too. She wasn’t great tonight, and she’ll have to learn to handle the criticism more maturely…but I think she is one of the better singers. Her voice and singing style are a lot more interesting to me than the “pageant” girls. I hope Lauren doesn’t lose her confidence because of her youth. Yes, they were pimping her from the beginning…but she is one of best girls of the bunch they have now.

  • Ratna12

    Hopefully the judges will start making constructive criticism because it is not working with some of these contestants to just be their supporters.
    I like that both the young ones, Lauren and Thia got “little criticisms”. They will get better because of it. LOL at their hurt faces.

    I hope that Pia got that Celine song out of the way, sang it for her dad, good for her… Now just don’t do it again. Pick a different types of song, not a big ballad. Please, and yes she has the star quality, I think.

    Can’t believe I love James’ performance.
    I hope that James will wail and scream more because I don’t want to like him.
    That was a  really good job by him and a great song for him. 
    Maybe there will be a top 2 of Pia and James.

    Tonight there was too much screaming for me and I think the majority of them especially the girls feel pressure to hit the high notes and most couldn’t deliver.    

  • GaryJ

    Something was wrong tonight. It was almost like the producers tried to sabotage some of the contestants. I thought this season was going to be electrifying, but tonight was dumb and dumber. At first I was against instruments, because I want the focus on the singing, but now I’m thinking, please bring back the instruments to keep me from being bored to death!

    The two contestants who did not live up to expectations tonight: Paul and Jacob. Pia lived up to expectations and was very good, but she was somehow unsatisfying at the same time.

    Two contestants stepped it up tonight even though they had flawed performances: Naima and Stefano.

    James stepped it up tonight with a great performance that was just right. So did Scotty, because he seemed like he was interacting with the audience more.

    I think you can take DI’s predictions for the bottom 3 to the bank.

  • oza902

    James Durbin is doing SUPER WELL. He’s controlling his tone and doing a beautiful job. I’m pretty sure he’s gonna go all the way to the top 2 if he can contain his crazy over the top vocals. He’s freakin’ adorable looking to boot… odds are in his favor.

    Go James!

    Wow.. Paul McDonald was a nightmare.. painful to watch. Was he nervous.. unsure of himself.. ?? Bad.. bad song choice.

  • oza902

    There is some mega bore factor going on with the season and it’s not with the contestants, but with the judges and the wonky format. It’s like the producers are trying so hard to make it interactive and “exciting” but they have awesome talent this year.. they don’t need all the fluff.

    I agree, the judges need to step up the critique. They don’t have to be buttheads about it, but they shouldn’t love every contestant to death and excuse their flaws. There won’t be any contestant back talk with that kind of judging going on. lol

  • karenc

    suziq and Brook52:

    I agree with both of you. SOmething was missing for me, too, and I did even miss last season. I kind of think that they are almost too overproduced and polished this year, and they are not coming across as authentic to me. When there was changes to the arrangements, I have to wonder if this is coming from the contestant, or from the producers.

    I was also impressed with James, and I never was before. For some reason, even though I’m mainly a rock fan, he wasn’t my favorite, I’m just not connecting with him, but I did like what he did tonight. Paul and Naima were my favorites before that, but I thought Pauls voice was weak. Naima’s performance was the most exciting, but it isn’t really what type of music I expected from her. I thought Pia was good, but hated the song choice. And I thought Casey was great. BUt it seems that I am not as invested as I have been the past few years. I do not have a clear favorite or favorites, and I usually do by this time, but I have to wonder if that may be because of the shortened semifinals.

  • Dlynne

    Most of the song choices tonight ruined the show for me. And what the songs didn’t ruin, the judges did. For the first time, other than Randy, I didn’t care what they had to say. It didn’t feel honest. I don’t want mean. I just want an honest opinion. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    I really enjoyed Casey, James, Naima and Paul. Paul didn’t give his best performance vocally but at least he didn’t bore me to tears. But give that man his guitar back. The same goes for Naima. Not the best vocal performance but at least she performed and took some risks. James’ and Casey’s vocals were stellar. I loved them both. As for the rest, if I have to hear one more diva ballad by a pageant bot, I will seriously puke.

  • BlankSlate

    Lauren is doing her very best to channel her inner Kelly Pickler. One of The Pick is enough. What was that bag she wore tonight? Quite unflattering. And the song is TOO OLD for a 16 yr old to sing. That made the performance wholly unbelievable. Simon would have called her out on that right away. JUDGES: DO YOUR JOB. You can critique FAIRLY. WHy are you afraid to say “THAT DIDN’t CUT IT AT ALL”?!Jacob’s voice was all over the place. Another Simon-ism: Jacob is not a POP recording artist. I don’t see him making waves on the radio, iTUNES, pop Billboard charts, etc.

    I know why Snotty Scotty bugs me. He reminds me of and resembles a young George Bush. Enough said.

    Pia: why do you have to scream your notes at the end? Adam Lambert’s endings were natural for the song he was performing. Pia is doing her best to bring back those squealing voices from Star Search. We hear you. There are mics in the studio. Dial it back. She also needs to express a little personality. Right now she seems robotic. Flash, glitter, glamour does not make a star all by itself.. Haha.

    My favorite part of tonight’s show: Ryan letting loose and imitating Paul’s stage movements. Hilarious. He looks like he’s enjoying this season. His “tension” with Simon always felt phony to me.
    Lots of off-key singing tonight. Sorry, Jennifer. It does matter. Maybe not to “singers” who rely on auto-tune but… come on. Don’t teach these contestants cheating is the new norm. (Ahem. Ashton, hello? How embarrassing to have Berry Gordy in the audience and you butcher his star pupil’s song.)

    Overall not the finest of episodes in the AI pantheon of shows. I was expecting more from thie group. Let’s hope it was just First Night jitters.

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    So, Jimmy and his team of producers really changed the game again, eh? :D

  • poohbear

    Dang! These judges are so bad. They’re boring and offer no decent critique whatsoever. Everybody is great, to them. Where’s Simon? HIs honesty and his industry smarts are sorely missed.

    Jacob, Thia, Karen, Haley, Stephano, Naima–Yuck!

    I can’t even watch Paul. He gives me the creeps. Maybe it’s those fake white choppers, I don’t know.

    Pia and James really stood out. Scotty is technically good, but just doesn’t electrify me. Neither did Casey tonight. He should have never attempted a Joe Cocker song unless he was going to feel it down to his bones.

    Plus, this year, the “behind-the-scenes” with the producers is beyond boring.

  • RockiDreams

    Wow, what a dreadful show. The only contestants I remotely liked was Pia and James. The rest were getting the FF button on my remote. I hate hate hate country music so it is difficult to even listen to it for more than 10 seconds. Paul was just plain horrible and should stop whatever that is on stage. Same goes for Naima. That was awful. Jacob – FF. The judges suck and only Randy slightly got real. For me a toss up who should go home – there are about six that should get booted all at once.

  • springboard

    I have only caught up from videos, and it’s never as good as on TV, but am I the one who was not blown away by James? After the rave reviews, I am disappointed I don’t love his performance. It’s good but I find that he forces his voice during most of the song.

    After listening to the audio only of all performances, my verdict is that they are mostly screamers, even Pia, James and Casey although I like them..enough..
    After a few plays, Paul sounds quite good to me and he is one of the few non-screamer, along with Scotty and Haley.
    As BlankSlate pointed out, they have mics in the studio.

  • sf3456

    I have only caught up from videos, and it’s never as good as on TV, but am I the one who was not blown away by James? After the rave reviews, I am disappointed I don’t love his performance. It’s good but I find that he forces his voice during most of the song.

    I wasn’t blown away. He still shrieked in parts of the song. And yet, he’s being called brilliant.

  • gabriel oak

    I really think the choice of songs and the arrangements are killing these contestants.

  • limi

    I miss Simon!

    With the exception of an occasional comment from Randy, I really don’t like these judges. Even Paula at her ditzyest (don’t know if that’s a word) had constructive comments.

  • longsong

    HAH! What a bunch a bummer posters! I thought the show was GREAT, and that this season is WAY better than last year! And even though the judges overpraised many, it was good to see judges that actually CARED and didn’t look pissed off or bored being there. Much as I love Simon, it was time for him to go.

    And the reason Ashton, Karen & Jacob are in the bottom three is because they SUCKED – at least Ashton & Karen did. Jacob, while I think he’s great, picked the absolute worst song possible. UGH.

    CASEY FTW!!!

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    Paul McDonald is VFTW pick? LMAO. Well deserved.

  • jennyl

    Wow. I have no favs. lol! I don’t get Casey at all. I like Pia but her song choice sucks. She, Ashton and Thia has just moved back to like 10 and 20 decades ago. Jacob and Niama was a little bit more interesting but vocally didn’t blew me away. Paul was lacking and the only thing is I found myself laughing at his horrible moves. Lauren, Karen and Stefano left no impression on me. James and Scotty were okay. But can Scotty survive singing country every week. I’ll be more impress with James if the arrangement was solely his own. Did I leave out anyone? Is interscope doing all the arrangement for them? I’m missing out the wow factor in contestants actually creating their own version and making an old song current. I hope this doesn’t continue. I want to see the real singer/ musician in these kids. I’m missing the good old times like when David Cook put his own twist in Always Be My Baby and when Lee turned R&B into rock in Treat Her Like A Lady. If any of the kids can do that on their own, then maybe I’ll feel the excitment again. There is absolutely no one that had convince me to buy their records at this point in time.

  • Esqt

    Lots of bad splicing and OTT arrangements. Poor Thia & Stefano!

  • BlankSlate

    Another thing: I know this is not a first but the blatant use of “backup” singers really throws me for a loop. Do they really need the twin blondes or the gospel choir ALREADY to help make the contestant sound better?

    Can’t the singer just sing without the auto-tuners and the auto-harmonizers?

    I guess not.

  • soverymel

    I really need to stop reading the thread before catching the show on dvr, I think my expectations for a couple of the performances were raised too high. I enjoyed a few of them, but none felt like more than some really quality karaoke to me.

    I am on #TeamNewJudges though, I liked Simon, but I have a feeling that if we had S9 style judging, some of these Idols would have their confidence srsly beat down at this point. And I am still hopeful that as they get accustomed to the stage and the stress that some of them really start to blossom musically. In the meantime, Randy has definitely stepped it up, JLo has been mostly on point and so so pretty to look at, and Steven is just flat out entertaining even if he’s offered mostly fluff since Hollywood week.

    The producer stuff made me cringe though, because it seemed like less of a collaboration than Jimmy and the producers bossing the Idols around. Frankly, I have some strong doubts that those song choices were actually what some of the Idols would have chosen if left to their own devices. A couple of the producers did seem pretty cool, tho. But dang Jimmy Iovine is like a black hole for likability. Not only is he unlikable, but as soon as the Idols get within 10 feet of him they become less likable as well.

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja

    Is interscope doing all the arrangement for them? I’m missing out the wow factor in contestants actually creating their own version and making an old song current. I hope this doesn’t continue. I want to see the real singer/ musician in these kids. I’m missing the good old times like when David Cook put his own twist in Always Be My Baby and when Lee turned R&B into rock in Treat Her Like A Lady. If any of the kids can do that on their own, then maybe I’ll feel the excitment again.

    I don’t miss that at all. T hose that will get signed by Interscope will have to work with these same producers pretty much the same way as they work now on Idol. So the contestants are getting a taste of how major label music business works. Idol is really trying to get some of the relevancy back. Now they just need to improve song choices.

  • mmb

    Saddest moment of the night : when Jimmy iovine commented that he didn’t know kids sang like James these days.

  • Hazehel

    Whoa! Jacob went from the best to the worst in one week. He had some minor issues with pitch in previous performances, but this one went completely out of tune in the middle of song.

    There were some really strange arrangements which sabotaged the contestants. Thia sounded beautiful in the first half, then went completely off in the second half with that arrangement. Stefano sounded great, really good, but that dance beat just can’t work for the song.

    James and Casey were good, although Casey’s performance almost looked like a parody sometimes, he should really not do so many exaggerated facial expressions. Most of the girls were just boring. So best of night – James.

  • St.Lucia

    I’m bummed Paul stank up the place. :( I really like him. I enjoy his voice, and his taste of music is similar to mine. Shame on you Jennifer for not knowing Ryan Adams! I hope he’s spared.

    Naima surprised me. I didn’t care for her either way until last night when she got the clue that she needs to make this sound CURRENT. It wasn’t fantastic, but it was way better than Pia’s “All by myself” and all the other sappy ballads the girls sang.

    I kinda like Scotty. Much to my own surprise. He’s alright with me. :)

    ETA: I’m changing my tune about James Durbin as well. I couldn’t stand the kid and he still hasn’t won me over personality wise, but after that controlled performance where he actually showcased some of his stellar vocals I was impressed. “Maybe I’m Amazed” is one of my favorite songs and he could have ruined it and he didn’t.

  • Marie Ruffin

    Casey was very good….showed a lot of range. Please somebody give him a haircut and shave….I’m sure there’s a good looking guy there.In danger: Ashton (that’s not YOU girl), Thia (no confidence, bad arrangement), Karen (boring).
    Did not like Jacob….gave Stefan props for his interpretation and style.

  • jennyl

    Idol is really trying to get some of the relevancy back. Now they just need to improve song choices.

    Somehow, it didn’t work for me last night. No one was relevant for me last night. I hope its really the song choice. Its really not entertaining to compare who has the most perfect vocals.

  • Marie Ruffin

    Simon in my head: To Thia — you’re young, sing a young song.
    To Jacob: Too gospel and you were screaming.
    Karen: That was really boring. You need to stop singing Spanish songs it’s going to kill your chances.
    Can’t get Simon out of my head.

  • ri

    the judges aren’t doing these contestants any favors by not giving them any constructive criticism (or any criticism at all for that matter). it’s just weird that Randy’s opinion is the one i look forward to hearing the most when prior to this season i never cared what the hell he had to say to anybody about anything! i don’t know if i miss Simon or at least someone LIKE Simon to tell these kids what they need to hear: HONESTY.

  • http://www.amadcow2.com amadcow2

    Here’s how I would rank them:

    James – Gave a great preformance, hit every note on a hard song.
    Casey – Casey is a true showman, not for everyone, but he does it well.
    Pia – “You just polished that apple” (translation: you polished that godawful song and made it sound good)
    Scotty – I don’t think he broke a sweat and stayed in the easy lane.
    Lauren – She played it safe and won’t go home.
    Stephano – Stephano showed the world he belonged in this competition.
    Naima – She ‘gets it’ and I give her bonus points for staying current. I hope she finds a fan base to vote for her.
    Jacob – *sigh* I didn’t like the song or his arangement, but he’ll be here next week
    Paul – I like Paul, but he has to do better.
    Haley – Poorest of the country songs sang and just bland all around.
    Karen – Absolutely beautiful… then she sang
    Ashthon – The curse of a bad song, bad slot, and pitch problems will probably send her home.
    Thia – Wow, she’s so young, and lucky she has a strong fan base.

    So, my bottom 5 would be:Paul, Haley, Karen, Ashthon, and Thia with Thia being the logical person to be sent packing…..However, I believe that Thia and Karen (to a lesser degree) have a solid fan base, so I think that they will be safe, putting Paul, Haley and Asshthon into the bottom 3 for tonight and probably sending Ashthon home.

  • jodeb

    Most of the night I felt like I was in Atlantic City or Vegas watching a not so great *Legends* It seemed like Jimmy Iovine was trying to recreate (or reincarnate) the past. Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Luther/Ruben, Patsy Cline, Shania Twain, etc.Doesn’t Lauren Alaina know that she sang the *death* song.

    At least two contestants were voted off immediately after singing that song, Mandisa and another one who I just completely forgot. The only thing missing from a Legends performance was a dark wig and of course a great performance. Lauren will probably last because of the OTT pimpage from day one, but based on last night’s performance, IMO, she could/should be gone. Don’t look so shocked, Lauren, you were not good and you didn’t even sit on Steven’ lap.

    Jacob will be around, but why a six piece choir on the very first show??? We don’t usually get that until the final or at least the semi-final. Big mistake. It seemed to even scare Jacob when they started to sing. Besides, that song should be retired, along with Shania’s “Any Man of Mine.” Enough is enough. Buy a new song, Idol.Pia can sing, but is there any reason to sing two lines of the song and sing lines of the Glory note sentence (ALL BY MYSELF) over and over) Boring, overkill. And no need to announce whose version it is/was. It’s also a song that has outlived its day. Remember Latoya, enough.

    And now to Lately, a pretty song sung by a pretty voice in Stefano Langone. He has the tone to get in touch with a lyric and it’s hard enough to sing Stevie, but why that awful arrangement. Are they trying to kill Stefano. He is one of the better singers. I have to blame Iovine on this one. Awful arrangement and advice.

    Thia is not Michael Jackson, nor was there a Diana Ross on the stage last night. Maybe in appearance, but not in voice.

    And country has been the haven for Idol singers in recent years. A remarkably successful Carrie followed by a group of not so successful singers (not stars) And Scotty is def. a country singer, but not a Garth Brooks and even then, why that song, when Garth has so many others. Is he too young to sing a love song? And country still has Josh Turner, do they need another one? Scotty will sail through anyway, so no problem, but that one trick pony act may grow old. ETA. With a little bit of research, other songs in *his* key can be found, like the very good *Letters From Home* sung last week.

    And now for the two singers who didn’t belong on a *Legends* stage for different reasons.The negative: Paul, who already ruined a legend, Rod Stewart with Maggie Mae and is now singing a non legend with an even worse spastic performance than the non *legendary* Ryan Adams. Yeah, I didn’t know who he was either J-Lo, but when I heard Paul was singing him, I simply went to You tube and listened. I think you could have, also. :(

    The VERY POSITIVE: James Durbin, Yes, he sang Paul McCartney, but it was no imitation, nor a repeat of his last weeks’s very good performance. It was wonderful, finally a guy with an original wonderful voice, good performance who had range, could get in touch with a lyric. He is simply too good for this contest, IMO. Let’s crown him now and start the auditions for the next idol already.

  • sunchick

    So, Jimmy and his team of producers really changed the game again, eh?

    For the worse, mostly. I did think the interaction between Naima and Tricky was fun, though. And since it can’t be said enough, I’m with the peeps who want to give some of the kids back their instruments. I think they got the point-don’t use them as a crutch every week. Okay then, but they do add something when appropriate. At least then there’s a chance the arrangements wouldn’t seem so overwhelmingly manufactured and insincere. Any day now, Uncle Nigel… *taps foot*

    And also, I’d rather see more of the new band instead all of these random choirs and back up singers popping up.

  • http://www.twilightslo.com Mateja
    So, Jimmy and his team of producers really changed the game again, eh?

    For the worse, mostly. I did think the interaction between Naima and Tricky was fun, though.

    I’m actually really happy that the game was changed again – I’m certainly not a fan of “Song arrangement” Idol era (seasons 7-9), so this is a relief.

  • Marie Ruffin

    And there was little Thia in her Grown Up dress making mom and dad proud like a little pageant princess. Lauren Alaina doesn’t realize she isn’t singing karaoke at her local bar any more. Karen Rodriguez and Ashthon Jones were deadly boring and uninspired.

    I so agree with you! Thia is going to get eaten up. Jlo told her to move around the stage, she acts like she’s scared to take a chance.

  • jersey

    Maybe Haley will be first out since MJ forgot to mention her in her summary review of the girls and why she couldn’t get behind them this year. :-) if MJ forgot her, what chance does she have! LOL

  • Nina1

    This new producer/mentor system has made it impossible for the judges to criticize song choice and arrangement. And both were plenty lousy last night.

  • MrDuffin

    I know it’s the minority opinion, but I missed Season 9, too. Even though Simon was beyond his expiration date, I still waited eagerly for his opinions. I personally prefer acoustic music, so I miss the pianos and guitars

    I agree! I don’t know what’s going on but that was the worst AI show I have ever seen. VFWT is going to have a hard time picking their victim this year. Now that the new has worm off the judges they are useless and not longer entertaining.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    So, Jimmy and his team of producers really changed the game again, eh?

    They sure have. The involvement of Iovine and his producers is an interesting addition to the show and it will be hard for any of the contestants to resist going with what’s being “suggested” to them. The clips are edited to make it seem like there are no disagreements between the producers and contestants, but I’m not sure that’s true. On the X-Factor, there have been cases where contestants have had blowouts with their mentors that have reached the press. As people have said, there’s a lot of room for manipulation with the advent of these producers and it makes me wonder how those contestants who aren’t so sure of themselves as artists will fare. At the same time, this is a dose of reality for the contestants about what’s involved with being a recording artist these days, so from that POV it’s a good thing.

    This new producer/mentor system has made it impossible for the judges to criticize song choice and arrangement. And both were plenty lousy last night.

    There were a number of problems with arrangement, but was the song choice also solely the producer’s choice? I thought that the contestants were still choosing their songs.

  • Marie Ruffin

    @Longsong: Agree. These singers can sing, but I think their song choice is really poor. (where’s Simon when we need him?) All slow, sad songs! Naima at least woke me up and had me tapping my foot and saying, you go girl! And Jacob? What’s with the choir? Who thought that up? The song is so-so…way overdone! Karen was boring. I cannot say enough against Thia, I’ve run out of words….but the voice coach was right about her.I wasn’t blown away by Paul at all, he looks silly. But Casey has some pipes!

    I like that they’re working with pro producers. I think it makes it more interesting…I would like to see more.

  • Nina1

    There were a number of problems with arrangement, but was the song choice also solely the producer’s choice? I thought that the contestants were still choosing their songs.

    I have trouble believing that so many contestants chose as their “idol” exactly who Randy associated them with last week. Not buying, especially with the mannerism mimic. A producer can advise someone on how to sing a song, but I don’t think they are necessarily pros at what it takes to win a contest. Different thing – and the advice to Stephano (per Debbie at EW) was terrible.

    There was an article up at Ew interviewing the coaches, but now I can’t find it.

  • springboard

    There were a number of problems with arrangement, but was the song choice also solely the producer’s choice? I thought that the contestants were still choosing their songs.

    I don’t believe that these young people have such traditional musical taste, and either that had a very limited list to chose from, or they were told what to sing.
    May be they were able to discuss their choices, but I believe that at best they were strongly lead in the ‘right’ direction.

  • plays strings

    So far the only thing I’ve liked is the new judges. Last year a couple of the kids had me rooting for them by this time. This year there are a couple interesting kids but no one has stood out IMO. But, it is early. I’m not sure I like the attempts to polish these kids beforehand. Seems to take away something for me.

  • weese

    I don’t like the clothes any of the girls are wearing. Really ugly stuff and whats with everyone designing their own clothes? I’m not appreciating their singing or their designing skills.
    James was so good–I am thrilled for him. He said he wanted to be remembered for an outstanding performance on Idol. I think I will remember this one for a long time.
    Disco Stevie Wonder, Jazzy Charlie Chapman Chaplin– what was Interscope trying to do? I think Stefano could have pulled off the original and made us love it —His Smokie Norful song in the wild card round was better than Smokies original.
    Interscope should step out for a few weeks. I would like to see which of these kids really needs them. I think Karen, Pia, Hayley, Ashthon and Thea could use some help from somebody but these guys made them even worse.
    It was not an entertaining night. Ashthon will be going home.

  • MaryS-NJ

    I was out having fun last night and missed AI…Thanks MJ. Always grateful for the videos.

    Doesn’t Lauren Alaina know that she sang the *death* song.

    I think the PTB are banking on her being as popular as THEY think she is. I’m sure she’ll be safe even if it was a kareoke version of the death song. Sometimes criticism gets the fans to panic vote to save a favorite on an off night. Personally, I Lauren sings good kareoke. I’m not hearing or seeing whatever it is the judges do. Interesting that they depimped her this week… looks like the Jordin Sparks approach: Pimp, pimp, pimp, subtle depimp, OMG! you’re back!!

    I love Paul but that was more entertaining to watch than to listen to.

    Karen, Pia and Thia all have lovely voices and all of them bored me. Thia’s arrangement swallowed her up and she looked and sounded awkward. Karen’s version was forgettable (sadly). Pia was the best of this schmaltzy bunch but none of these song choices screams “commercial”.

    Naima, Casey and James were the only performances I found compelling on stage. The recordings were a different story. I’ve like Naima from the start and Casey off and on, but wasn’t so sure about James. He’s starting to impress me.

    Jacob is not inspiring me. Stefano is adorable and sounds commercial but that arrangement was not helpful.

    Scotty is very consistent both live and recorded, although I want to see what happens when he has to do something uptempo.

    Haley, Ashthon neither was particularly good nor memorable.

    If I could send someone home it would be Thia. Let her finish high school and stay away from the David Foster caberet music. She can take Lauren with her (I know, dreaming here).

    And send home the damn professionals who are “helping” these kids. They are not doing them any favors with these arrangements. I want to know if these song choices were truly their own or if they were “suggested” but the helpful producers?

  • Kirsten

    General Comments
    —————–

    1. While I think the producers-working-with-the-kids thing may need a few tweaks, I’m glad that the “mentors” are actually working with the kids. In past years, most of the mentors just spent 5 minutes with each kid so that the mentor could get more screen time and it was probably a waste of time for the contestants.

    2. Ryan is so much more pleasant this year than last year.

    3. I want Jimmy’s red headphones.

    ——————-

    1. Lauren – This girl needs to remember two things. One: She isn’t back in her karaoke bar back home. Her interactions with the crowd, song choice and level of effort seem like a perfect fit for a stage in a small bar, but don’t translate well to the big stage. Also, she’s not competing against some dude who needed a couple of beers just to get on stage. She’s competing against actual singers so she needs to try harder and bring it. Second: This competition doesn’t end when she stops singing. Many a contestant has survived to last another round by graciously accepting the input from the judges. Copping an attitude like that will not get you any extra votes.(6.5/10)

    2. Casey – Er. No. I get that the guy has great musicality and that he pours all of his passion out on the stage, but I don’t feel connected to his performances. He’s taking this journey on his own and I’m just a spectator. And it’s way too OTT. He’s like a dog that runs up to you at a picnic, shoves his face in yours, pushes you over and then roots around your food before running off to harass the next family. Calm down, Casey. And concentrate a bit more on your vocals. (7/10).

    3. Ashthon – Um. Okay, then. Like a few contestant before her, she doesn’t realize this is a singing competition. She seems to think this is “Famous Singer Impersonator” Idol. I can understand that people have musical heroes, but it gets a little creepy when one isn’t just happy singing their songs, but also tries to dress like them, wear make-up like them and copy their mannerisms. She shouldn’t take the Diana Ross comparisons so literally and needs to find her own style. And Jimmy? Molding her into a copy of Berry’s ex-girlfriend and then inviting the guy to watch her sing like you are auditioning her for the part? Even more creepy. The song did her no favours. Still, I think a lot of people like that style of singing and she’s so pretty, that she will survive this week (4/10).

    4. Paul – Paul is a dude desperately in need of a band. His erratic “dancing” all over the stage would not seem so strange with people behind him and he would have somebody to interact with which would focus his actions. If we can have an entire gospel choir on stage, why not a guitarist or two? Paul may be in trouble this week. He picked an obscure song, performed early in the night and his voice was simply swamped by bandzilla. This performance just seemed all over the place (6/10).

    5. Pia – There is no debating that she sang that well and that is no easy song to sing. The song is overdone and I don’t want to hear a glory noting ballad every week, but I will cut her some slack for repeating her last week’s triumph because this is the week to solidify one’s fan base. (8.5/10).

    6. James – I think James is the contestant to be most helped by the entire Idol make-over process. First off, which stylist do I send the money to? The one who convinced him that he should not wear those ridiculous handkerchief tails? He’s the only rocker in the crowd. He doesn’t need stupid fashion affections to stand out. Second, kudos to the person who has gotten him to turn his screaming songs into songs with nuance that build to the rock wail and also allow him to show off his other singing assets. It was a good performance and I like the tone of his voice (8.5/10)

    7. Haley – That was odd and didn’t really work. Unlike Pia, Haley decided to abandon her existing fan group and look for another. I’m not sure picking a genre that is already dominated by Lauren and Scotty is the correct choice. I get that she is trying to show some flexibility and other sides to herself, but that kind of song is an acquired taste and she didn’t really have a convincing performance. She looked a little lost. If she survives, she should go back to her gritty, rockier style for a few weeks to solidify her fan base. (5/10)

    8. Jacob – That started out over the top and ended up in another galaxy. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Whoever is working with James needs to come over and teach Jacob that sometimes, a little bit goes a long way. The song choice was not good and is far too overdone. The choir-of-pimpage just added to the insanity. (6/10).

    9. Thia – Each year, this show eats up a contestant and spits it out. This year, that contestant will be Thia. I wish her parents would have made her wait. I know that she’s had years kicking around the singing contests, but it seems to have turned her into an under-confident performer who is constantly twisting themselves into knots trying to find what will make the judges happy. She needs a year or two off to find herself and come back to singing. She has a beautiful voice. She has just lost who she is. (5/10).

    10. Stefano – Stefano was better than his performance last week, but not quite as good as his WC performance. The song was a hot mess, though. Who arranged that travesty? I kind of forgot about the performance, so that is not good. He’ll probably survive based on the afterglow of his WC performance. (6/10)

    11. Karen – She never really connected with this song. The singing wasn’t great. Something was off. (5/10).

    12. Scotty – Dude sets off to solidify his fan base and he does. He needs to eventually mix up the tempos or he’s going to get boring, but he’s doing the right thing for now. He is really great at selling the story of the song. My husband came down to watch the last two performances and started laughing when he heard Scotty’s voice talking. By the time he’d seen the recap, he decided that he was the best of the night. By far. Which kind of shocked him because he hates country music. I think Scotty can go far because I keep hearing that about him. People like him even when they don’t like country music. JLo’s comment about the Bronx girl may become the prognosticating soundclip of the season (9/10).

    13. Naima – Boy, they really don’t want her to go home, do they? The production values for her number were head-and-shoulders above those for any performance that night. Most of them just got a screen-saver background, but the entire studio was involved in selling that song. “Umbrella” is not really a song. It’s just a gimmick. It was an interesting change in direction for Naima. She was all old-school lounge singer last week and innovative, modern singer this week. Since lounger-singer didn’t work too well for her last week, mixing it up this week is probably not a mistake for her. She certainly performed and closed the night with a bang. The singing wasn’t great, but I’ll give her a chance to work out her new style. (singing 5/10. Performance 8/10).

    Best of the Night: Scotty, Pia, James, Naima
    Who should consider finding their suitcases: Haley, Paul, Karen
    Worst of the Night: Thia and Ashthon (but I think between frightened panic voting and their popular styles they may survive).

  • Eriko

    Kelly Ann, professional vocal coach and singer recap/review

    Lauren is up first – singing Any Man Of Mine

    This is the first time I have just not loved her….I don’t like the frumpy outfit on her – and her breathing was off, so her diction was weak in spots and her pitch was fluctuating like I have not heard before – belt notes were sustained – but low notes were squeaky, and the fast parts of the song were iffy at best – she just never clearly defined the melody in the fast tempo parts – it was sloppy…this was not the song for her and she is MUCH better than this! 6.5

    Casey – With A Little Help From My Friends!

    Oh Casey – let me be your friend cuz I wanna sing with you! MAN this guy KILLS it every time! His soft tones are pretty – almost like honey – and then he grits it up and rocks it OUT! Fab!!! His control is really impressive! 10

    Ashton – When You Tell Me That You Love Me (is that the name of this????)

    Did you not totally think she ripped that dress off a Diana Ross Mannequin somewhere? Her diction was dreadful in spots and I am so annoyed that she is “shining like a Ken Doll” – really???? NEVER tilt your head BACK when going for a high belt note – unless it is within your range to begin with – you must RELAX into the throat and allow for room…otherwise it does what everyone? GOES FLAT! Ugh! Poor Barry Gordy – I hope they gave him earplugs….maybe she was better in rehearsal? Bored….5.75

    Paul – Wish You Were Here

    He needs to really put that mic up to his face when he is singing softly – his lower notes are almost completely swallowed up and gone. His pitch is going strange places – and the lows need better more complete breath support. He is fun to watch! 6.5

    Pia – All By Myself

    Welcome Everyone to the 2011 Miss Wisconsin Pageant…you have been stripped of your collective bargaining rights – so please sit back and allow the brainwashing to begin….you are being told this is GOOD….ok – it is good for a karaoke singer – but NOT for a major recording contract. Her belt is FLAT – period…it is flat. And – there is no heart in this performance – she has never been alone – or we would FEEL it….and the end of the song – just felt like she rushed through it and chickened out on the place where she could have really shown us a belt….but since the lower belt was flat – why would she go for the BIGGER belt….blah…bored. If you are going to sing this song – make me CRY…..I just want her to stop….8.0

    James – Baby I’m Amazed

    Wow, what a gorgeous voice he has. Everyone has wanted to just hear him sing – and there it is – stunning tone, vibrato is amazing – control is stellar! He is SO talented!!!! 10

    Haley – Blue

    Her yodel is perfect – it is hard to control that and she is doing a wonderful job! She could use a little more breath for the low notes – relax the tummy – and, whomever did her “breathing” for phrases, should have given her a few more spots to breathe – because you always use more breath when you are nervous or flipping into head voice like that. Her pitch except for the lows is really fantastic. 9.0

    Jacob – I Believe I Can Fly

    It started out really pretty….a few little diction issues…and then – something just went wrong – that transition went haywire and awry….it was basically awful in that part – then he started riffing – and there were a lot of pitch issues – he went from nice to out of key completely to in and out of key….he is such a performer – but this was….in the end….not good overall….and I am sorry, Steven – but we must judge him in order to vote or not vote….6.0

    Thia – Smile

    Such a pretty and pure voice – she does use her vibrato to pull flat notes up – smart esp for a 15 year old – she has to watch her breath support – some notes are falling off too quickly – and when the vibrato gets to tight or we see her chin/throat/face shake – then she is too tight – and she needs to relax everything- so the pitch will be better. She has great tone! 8.0

    Stefano – Man Of Many Wishes (again….I can’t ever get his song titles correct…is that right?)

    I don’t want him to try to sound like Stevie – just do Stefano and be confident in that. When singing – add “AH” to all “I”’s – it will round them out and prevent dipthong. Floating rib breathing will help with support esp on the lower notes – but overall – he really sold the song. 8.5

    Karen – I Could Fall In Love

    Starts really strange with pitch – she looks uncomfortable and sounds uncomfortable. The lows are really lacking – no support or color – and then she is strained on the upper notes – she needs to relax her tummy for both highs and lows – and give her range the support it needs. 6.5

    Scotty – The River

    This is one of my favorite Garth songs! What I liked most was that he just did the song with respect, not imitation! There were some slight degrees of pitch being off – but he his the transition nicely – and just lived in the song – great job and I believed him! 9.5

    Naima – Umbrella

    She is marketable – but she is just not consistent with anything – not pitch, not delivery, not dance moves….but she has energy and potential….there are a lot of pitch issues – but again – she has a spunk and ability to work it on stage – so….dynamics need work – pitch needs work – but she is working HARD to sell us on her! 7.5

    So tonight I was not blown away by everyone – but I was impressed with James and Casey! They are the top 2 right now in my book…Scotty is next….and even though some of my favorites didn’t do as well tonight – I think Haley and Lauren and Stefano and even Thia are going to be safe…..I am sure Pia will be safe, and Jacob…..after that though….I am not sure how America is gonna see tonight

  • Inconnu

    I agree word for word with your wrap-up MJ.

  • JIMDOGSILKIES

    I thought the reason AI went w/ Iovine and the other producers was to groom the contestants from the get go into a current, pop (young) artist like a Bieber or Swift. I believe they STRONGLY encouraged and suggested song choices & arrangements to the most of the contestants. The younger contestants were probably intimidated and trying to get on the producers’ good sides thinking they may need to work with them in the future. For producers trying to groom a young, relevant, pop artist they’re picking some non relevant, old sounding material and arrangements. I too much prefer to see if the contestant has a strong sense of his or her self as an artist and musically and not be influenced by these producers. In its own way not letting them do what feels right for them kills their confidence and comfort on stage. The so called “moments” on AI were when contestants did their thing, made songs their own, showed us who they were as artists and were comfortable in their own skin (ie) Cook, Lambert, etc. I too miss Simon telling the young contestants that they are indeed young and to act and sing the part! Randy is stepping it up and saying what I think more than Steven or JLo are. I found that he more than they, called out the poor arrangements. I wonder if there’s tension between the judges’ thoughts on the arrangements and the producers? Steven did critize in his own way one or two of the contestants and JLo is making some suggestions but I wonder if they’re strong enough to be heard by the kids. Some of the kids did seem upset, especially the youngest like Thia and Lauren by the relatively mild comments. I don’t know if this is b/c they are not ready age wise for this pressure, or they had a stressful week with the producers on top of not expecting any criticism from the judges. Not sure they got what the (some of the) judges were trying to tell them regarding acting/performing young.
    I think Casey in confident and knows music. Whether or not he has the best voice almost doesn’t matter b/c he stands out artistically.
    James has natural talent. He knows what he likes too and goes with it. I hope his social-emotional and neurological concerns under the stress of doing AI don’t adversely affect him.
    Lauren does have a nice tone to her voice and she’s young but seems clueless as to who she is as an artist and what works best for her. She seems eager to please (ie) singing “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and I think listened too much to the producers.
    Pia’s I think a former wedding singer. (Hearing Simon’s voice in my head now,lol). She’s got the pipes, the look and is likeable but has to young it up too, even as she’s one of the oldest.
    Naima was pitchy but I see that Steven in particular and I would guess a lot of the audience at home is rooting for her and her back story. She needs work on her pitch but she can be current.
    Ashton, listening to much to the comments about her being a diva and Diana Ross. Not current, pitchy, and may not be as likeable.
    Karen just don’t get. Nothing special and is pitchy. Nice girl though.
    Stephano has more potential than I first thought but has to lose the croaner/old school vibe and stop listening to the producers who ruined the arrangement.
    Paul, I don’t know what to think. He is quirky and different in tone but he’s not current and can be pitchy.
    Haley, trying to be what. Has the ability to do that growly type of thing but trying to go country now? Doesn’t know who she artistically? A bit pitchy too.
    Poor Thia, way too old a vibe for such a young girl and is being eaten up by the whole process. Nice tone though.
    Scott, ready for country. Knows who he is, does it well. A little old school though but sounds good to most who may not even love country.
    Jacob, whole thing just didn’t work for me. Sounded too gospel and add the choir…forget about it. He will be ok as he was so pimped and most think he does have a voice with range albeit not very current or pop sounding. JMHOs!

  • Landmd

    I miss instruments!! Most of the show was very boring! Everyone to my ears hit bad notes. I enjoyed Casey, James, Haley, Paul this rest were meh. Pia can sing but dang that hurt my ears! Just not getting Naima at all, Scotty sounded the same as last week, Thia trainwreck, Karen boring, Laruen the song has energy she did not. Ashthon boring boring boring, Jacob again same song as last week different title, Stefano not sure what that was.

    Bottom 3: Ashthon, Karen, Jacob, Ashthon going home.

  • Tess

    Having watched this show for 8 of the nine seasons (I just couldn’t suffer through season 9) I am seeing the exact same thing that happens every year when it is whittled down to the 12/13 finalists. The kids have one focus and that is not to screw up for 2 or 3 weeks so that they can make the tour…I don’t think we are going to see anything earthshattering for the next two weeks, either.

    And the fact that these kids are being run ragged by an insane schedule that is far worse for those under 18 (how do you do 3 hours of school and “some” time for studying) I am surprised that any of the 13 are still standing much less singing.

    And I don’t quite get all the “hate” for this season from the commenting audience…though it is much easier to just put a VFTW spin on everything then try to see the potential beautiful trees through the forest.

    As far as who should stay and who should go…well I think Paul did a lot more to hurt himself than help. His stage presence was beyond ridiculous, his song choice highlights the fact that new, current, and obtuse songs are not what the audience really wants to hear (how can you judge a contestant when you don’t have a clue whether they are even singing the melody at any point). Thia is a good singer but she is proving a bit more every week that she doesn’t have any soul in her style. She sings a song…she doesn’t interpret a feeling. Ashton is just a poor woman’s copy of an original who had her own vocal issues, Haley never found a way to energize a song that she was so busy showing off her “skill” that she forgot to sing well, Karen is just boring when she sings.

    The others did a competent if often uninspired job. No one “owned” their songs, and I, too, believe that Jimmy is more a hindrance than a help to these kids…they don’t want to impress an audience they are just trying to please him and that never makes for a good performance.

    Still haven’t picked a favorite but do have some gut feelings on who will “win” and who will ultimately succeed whether they win or not. I bet there are some very good song-writers who are just itching to provide songs for some of these idolettes. There is some big potential…much more than has been proven by past seasons.

  • alonzo7

    Just rewatched Naima and I was totally wrong when I said it wasn’t good for me-she was current and different-also rewatched James-the boy has some chops and he’s slowly becoming my favorite singer this year.
    For the girls I like Pia’s voice but if she doesn’t change up her song selections soon she’s going to lose me-hasn’t shown she could be current like Naimi.
    Scotty will do well in country no matter what-he sure is an audience fav.

  • J9BT

    alonzo7:
    03/10/2011 at 8:57 am
    Just rewatched Naima and I was totally wrong when I said it wasn’t good for me-she was current and different-also rewatched James-the boy has some chops and he’s slowly becoming my favorite singer this year.

    So far these two are my favorites!Not sure if this means anything, but Ryan Adams’ “Pick Me Up” is #115 on ITunes right now, with Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” up to #158. Joe Cocker’s song has snuck into the Top 200 at #199. So while I thought Paul’s performance was a complete mess, it seems it was quite popular!

    ETA: Ryan Adams’ song moved up to #113 on ITunes as I was typing. Wow.

  • jpfan

    I agree with many of these comments. One, I miss Simon (or anyone who would be honest). He’d have nailed many of these folks for their kareoke/cruise ship renditions. That was one of his pet peeves and really forced folks to step up their game.I hate the clothese as well. And I now know that producers aren’t as important as the artists they record. Thanks Idol for the info.In terms of talent, I actually don’t see miles of potential. Top to date: Scotty (who I like) could turn into a one trick pony, Pia is boring, Naima is fun but isn’t a great singer. Casey, Jacob, Paul seem like novelty acts.

    I’m not voting but if I was it would be for James.

  • nncw

    I think Steven Tyler had it right it is hard to sing a song in less than 2 minutes so why not cut out all the intro stuff that is unnecessary plus the interviews off stage and just let them sing for 3 minutes or however long a song is normally supposed to take.

  • Allison

    I hated the gospel choir – I wanted to kick Jacob and company off my screen right then and there.
    Even though I think Thia is the most bland boring personality this is, she does have a lovely tone.
    Haley yodeling – a bit interesting. BUT all the girls except Naima were so old fashioned. [I could hear Simon saying this. He’d have been so bored,]
    I thought the sound was very unbalanced during Scotty’s performance. This kid is a pro, however.
    James is the second coming of Adam Lambert. He’s beginning to even look like him, as well as sound like him.
    Paul’s in trouble. I happen to like that Ryan Adams song, but’s it’s got a strange cadence to it. But his line was super open last night.
    J-LO and Steven are going easy on them, but I think everyone can read between the lines. They don’t not to be dragged through the coals to realize they did not do well.

  • grayhound

    Why are most of the girls wearing gowns/cocktail dresses? Why not wear something younger….I keep feeling like I’m watching a pageant “Miss American Idol” and they are at the talent portion of the program. I think beautiful women who can sing well are a dime a dozen….none of these girls (Pia, Karen, Ashthon, Thia) do anything for me because they are just beautiful girls who can sing – so what? They aren’t bringing anything new or unique so I can’t get behind them.

    Pia is absolutely gorgeous and does have a great voice – but I don’t care enough to vote for her.

    Although Naima didn’t sing so well I was beside my self with joy that she at least presented a younger personna.

    Scotty impressed me last night with his natural stage presence. I think he’s got a career for sure.

    Paul didn’t have the best night but I voted for him cause he needs to stay around longer. Love Casey – he feels music to his very soul.

    I’ve loved James’ voice since we first saw him – loved that he sang with control last night.

    I liked Stefano last night – I can see why they put him through.

    Jacob – I think he has a beautiful voice. Just ok last night.

    The rest are a blur or I fell asleep during their performance out of boredom.

  • lucy

    I have trouble believing that so many contestants chose as their “idol” exactly who Randy associated them with last week.

    And then picked a song that’s been sung umpty-ump times on Idol before (or is in some new bag of songs they’ve just picked up the rights to, like Lennon and McCartney.) … That “this has been my lifelong idol” was ginned up and at least partly false for a bunch of them, I expect. All By Myself, Any Man of Mine, etc. etc.James was the only one I really liked. Well, Casey kinda sorta. And Naima for her energy and verve and her ability to pull off some different styles convincingly, even if she did go off key.I really like the song Paul sang but he needs to be fronting a band. He just looks silly doing his frontman-funny-dance schtick as a solo performer. And his voice, while I find the tone intriguing, fits more into a band context, as far as I can see.Liked Scotty better singing a non-sexy-non-romantic song. Seemed much more in keeping with who he is at this time of his life. Obviously, though, most of the songs eligible for his singing are sexy-romantic. I think I’ll continue to find that kind of phoney-baloney and uncomfortable. Come back in three or four years, Scotty.I thought Stefano did a really good job with a very odd arrangement. Seemed like kind of a curse.Unlike most everybody else in the known universe — except mj, I see — I thought Haley was way off key on her first note, and that kind of unnerved me for the first part of her performance; but then she pulled it together and, while I didn’t think she did a *great* job, I liked her try at something interesting and liked her tone in a lot of this. Thought it was an ambitious, competent, and honest performance. If we’re going to have a country(ish) girl in this, I would *way* rather have Haley (less musically talented as she is …) than Lauren, whose sense of entitlement has already begun to drive me nuts. I guess it’s one of those cases where Lauren’s so naturally talented that she’s used to succeeding without even trying. But that really isn’t going to cut it on this stage, for me, anyway. (So, was Haley off key badly on that first note or not? My ear is pretty good in person but not reliable at all when I’m listening to television, for some reason.)

  • leome

    I don’t care if Pia choses Celine or Mariah or whoever, her voice is amazing and as long as she picks a song where she can show that, like she did, I’m in. She has control and her voice is just beautiful.
    Really loved Casey too. I hope Haley and Paul pick up next week. I really like the way they sing and their voices, but it wasn’t their strongest night. Naima was different but memorable. Very very good. And Scott has such a charm voice lol I really like the country boy.
    Overall, it was a good night. But these contestants can do even better.

  • fanaround

    Ack, I don’t want Paul to go. He is fun and interestng to watch. I agree with the comment that if some of them can have genre specific back-up singers, why can’t he perform interacting with the bank? He, Naima and James were interesting to me. Stefano left me confused. Pia sounded good but boring. Jacob was not done any favors by the choir. Haley I liked actually – but she is going to get split by the other country singer voters. Scotty was scotty and that was all he needed to do at this point. The other four just bored me.

    Edit: I was trying to remember why I liked Pia in the beginning and wasn’t originally bored by her – it was because of the Bruno Mars, non-blah ballad Grenade. I hope she does something like that again.

  • spritely

    I love Paul, but that was bad, imo. Bad song choice, wrong for his range, badly performed. If he gets another chance, which I doubt he will, I’d say to him, “Forget marketing your band for a while. Concentrate just on your performances. And don’t fall for the ‘America doesn’t get me’ excuse. America got that you screwed up last night, honey.”

    As has been said, Paul desperately needs his band behind him. Sigh. Well, I love his album and I’ve met a new artist I like, so thank you Idol, for that gift.

    I love Casey, but I don’t think most voters do.

    Kirsten, I, too, can’t believe how nice Ryan is with Simon gone. It’s refreshing.

    Jimmy Lovine is not very interesting so far. He looks as if he wants to say snarky things but isn’t allowed to say them on air.

  • lucy

    The so called “moments” on AI were when contestants did their thing, made songs their own, showed us who they were as artists and were comfortable in their own skin (ie) Cook, Lambert, etc.

    Exactly. Too much making of songs somebody else’s own last night. Although I do think it probably made for a much more polished show than we would have gotten otherwise. ….

    To really have a “moment,” I think you have to be both feeling the song strongly yourself and putting across your connection to the song to the audience. Not all of these are capable of that, I expect. Unfortunately for the pretty-voiced girls, I don’t know that *any* of them are currently capable of doing that for most songs. Like a lot of female singers, they’ve been so focused on the prettiness of the voice that they don’t really express much, I fear, nor even realize that they’re supposed to be living through the song, not just turning it into a pretty music box.

    James came closest to a “moment” for me. Casey, Scotty, Naima, and Haley were the others that I felt were pretty at home in their songs and expressing themselves through them, in their different ways.

  • tinawina

    The contestants pick old ass ill-fitting songs every year. This is nothing different, especially in the early stages when we haven’t weeded out the duds yet. I’m not blaming some evil producer conspiracy on that one.

    I actually think a lot of them picked songs that should have worked, at least on paper (Lauren and Karen, for example) but they fell apart on stage. It happens.

    There was no big flawless “moment” last night but I think we’ll get several this season out of this group, the potential is truly there. And some of them… once they get their instruments back we’ll be see some interesting stuff, I bet. I’m pretty optimistic about where this is going.

  • Allison

    Any contestant or mentor who is even thinking choosing about Lately, Smile, All By Myself , Any Man of Mine, When You Tell Me That You Love Me, or I Believe I Can Fly should be shot. I’m sick to death of them!

  • webster

    My suggestion: one more week with the producers, then drop them and let us see what these people learned. Or what they can do when no one is messing with them.

  • Mary102

    Ok my take on last night:

    Most of the people either bored or underwhelmed me. I found myself saying, ok, we’ve got some diversity, and better than last year, but the performances mostly left no impression. My friend said it best when she commented: “I mostly like all the people during the show, but can’t remember any of them once it’s over.”

    Breaking down the performances:

    * Lauren - HOLY BREATH CONTROL ISSUES, BATMAN! Yikes! Yeah, there is clearly a reason Mandisa and Siobhan have both been kicked off the show on this song, it is just never really done well. Lauren is good, but the bottom of every phrase dropped out and she kept losing her breath. Still, I finally realized she really is like Kelly Pickler with that “aw shucks!” attitude. lol

    * Casey - one of the best of the night, too bad it came so early in the evening. Energetic, great arrangement, perfect fit for him. He’s in danger of getting too growly and goofy though. Fine line.

    * Ashton - exit the show, stage left. Holy jeebus that was terrible! Her voice is way too weak and reedy to handle that song. Shouty and pitchy throughout. Actually unpleasant at times. Hope she is gone after that.

    * Paul - Dear god – I DO NOT GET THIS GUY AT ALL!! I actually kind of liked him doing Blackbird, and he seemed like a shoe-in for top 3. But I really really don’t like him. Annoying stage presence with that stupid dance thing, weak vocals, so not impressed. He is totally my Vote for the Worst pick too. I can see him lasting awhile and annoying me greatly by that fact.

    * Pia - Well, she gets the Adam Lambert stamp of approval ;-) She has a great voice, gorgeous look, but I HAATTTEE that song! And she is so boring and old-fashioned with it! No creativity, originality or anything current or new coming from her. She also seems boring. IA she may be the best “package” pop artist of the bunch, but pop stars have an edge, a bit of controversy and interest that goes beyond, in her case, OMG she’s gorgeous! Better songs and arrangements, please! They’re literally making her Leona Lewis Part 2. If this was 1995, that’d be swell, but today? No thank you!

    * James - Bravo, James! He was the best of the night imo. Emotional ending, reigned in vocals, could easily be top 5. And he got rid of the tails, lol (good move).

    * Haley – pretty good song to highlight her quirky vocals, but boring and non-descript otherwise. She’ll be in the bottom with Ashton, imo.

    * Jacob – Very predictable song choice, and while the end was cool, his over-melisma-ing to the max there featured a TON of pitch problems. Not his best, and the choir was so overblown, dear god.

    * Thia – Started well, but that arrangement was wack! Very weird muzack-y thing going on there! And her personality is non-existent. She’s safe, but that was not interesting.

    * Stephano – Well, I think he’s the most contemporary of the guys, though he also has one of the weaker voices. Very old fashioned arrangement, and kind of all over the place, but energetic. He SHOULD be safe.

    * Karen – I don’t remember anything about this except that her earrings and bracelets were insanely big and sparkly. Oh, and she stole JLo’s catsuit. Next.

    * Scotty – Awesome awesome job! This guy is gonna win! He’s like the Country Justin Bieber! Voice is amazing, and perfect for country! He’ll get signed and do really well – good for him!

    * Naima – Pitchy as HELL, but she’s my favorite girl. Interesting, energetic, different, she had the pimped out matrixy lightning and lasers or something going on there. Cool reggae dance break in the middle. But yeah, really really pitchy. Hope she cleans that up and does really well though! I’m rooting for her.

    I think my favs at this point are: Naima, James, Casey, and Scotty. The rest annoy me to varying degrees.

  • steelbluelily

    Biggest surprise of the night for me – James. I really loved that, and I just hadn’t been all too keen on him up until that.

    Still unsure on Casey. I loved what he did, but I’d like to hear a little less shout and growl and a little more singing from him sometimes. I think he’s one of the most musically intelligent this season, but also that he really thinks and works on things so his arc across the show might be really interesting to watch.

    I was disappointed with Paul tonight. I thought his voice and this song might be a match made in heaven. He should be made to stand behind a mike stand for a few performances – without the hand held mike, he can’t do the involuntary dance twitch as much and maybe more energy and focus goes into the vocals then. I think his guitar does the same thing for him – grounds him so the music comes out of his mouth instead of jittering his whole body around.

    Not sold on any of the girls tonight although I really like what Naima attempted. Wish her vocals matched the challenge of the rest of her performance.

    And finally Scotty – gotta admire the calm poise and smooth, mature vocals and interpretation from that young man. He’s another one that is surprising me, although I’m not completely sold on him yet.

  • Tamarynd

    After watching last night’s show, I wanted to send everybody home. No one impressed me at all. If this is all AI could come up with, this season could become as mediocre and tedious as last year.

    Bottom 3: Ashthon, Karen & Naima
    Going home: Ashthon
    Should go home: Ashthon, Stefano, Jacob, Thia, Karen, Lauren, Jimmy Iovine & the UMG production crew.

    To Jimmy Iovine: I know Dr. Dre is on your label and he’s a star and stuff, but could you be less obvious in shilling his hats and headphones? Try giving constructive advice / criticism to the contestants and help them, OK?

  • Mary102

    Oh, and if I had to pick the best and worst of last night:

    BEST:

    1. James
    2. Scotty
    3. Casey

    Bottom 3:

    * Ashton
    * Haley
    * Stefano or Karen

  • J9BT

    There is no way I can possibly catch up with all of your comments, so I don’t know if this was mentioned, but Rihanna tweeted to vote for Naima. I think that’s pretty cool

    @rihanna Rihanna
    Vote for Naima!! Rah Rah!

  • saramcvt

    Wow, I have such a different perspective than so many on here, but I suspect it is largely due to the fact I did NOT tune in until last week (so I have not seen the big back stories, etc).

    The only female that even remotely interests me is Niama. Though she struggled with pitch last night, she has a stage presence and a somethin, somethin that makes me want to keep watching. That was a huge gamble last night, and I applaud her for taking a risk. The others were a big ole snooze fest.

    I totally don’t get Paul’s appeal. I think he is terrible. I do like the men better, but I don’t feel invested in any of them yet. I want to feel the same way I did when I first saw Adam L, but no one is blowing me away. I like James and Jacob, but they need a lot of work to finesse and control performances. If I was a betting person, I would totally put my money behind Scotty to take it all. If he can manage to continue to find songs that suit him, I think his appeal to the Country music fans will carry the day. Let’s see if I am right! I miss Simon!! Jennifer and Steven are way too nice. They need to be more honest with the contestants.

  • steelbluelily

    @webster – I love that suggestion.
    @mary102 – I think we’re drinking the same koolaid, girl!
    @tamarynd – LMAO at sending home Iovine and UMG production crew…

  • Mary102

    Ok, now I’m gonna tackle the changes with this season.

    Well, it’s the first show with Iovine et al, but I gotta say – I AM NOT liking this change :-( Everything comes across as very staged and pre-planned now. I’m pretty sure Iovine is picking the songs (we already heard he’s doing the arrangements) and I fear that this, along with the lack of actual theme weeks now, will lead to repeats of last night’s show – everyone does something pretty safe and in their musical niche, pre-picked and packaged by Iovine, and as a result we get some pretty decent, but VERY predictable and bland performances, with no real MOMENTS (though possibly plenty of fabricated “moments”) happening.

    And the judges are just feeding into that. I’m sorry, but Pia is boring, and no amount of THAT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN LAST WEEK!! Is gonna convince me otherwise, JLo.

    Also, the arrangements are borderline ATTROCIOUS at times (Smile, the Stevie Wonder, Celine song). They’re so old fashioned and un-original. Again, if Iovine is doing all that too, we’ll lose the delicious originality of some truly memorable past contestant rearrangements of songs.

    In year’s past, when things were totally left up to the contestants, there was an actual sense of spontaneity, of WTH is gonna happen, that, for better or worse, fed the show and created actual moments. I think back to Adam having to do country and giving us ROF, or Kris doing disco and giving us She Works Hard for the Money, etc. Sure, some performances would be a disaster, but those were kind of fun to watch too.

    In the end, I think this year is too corporate driven, and thus too safe. We’ll see if things change in the weeks ahead, but that’s what I’m afraid about most.

    Oh, and add to that the “intimate” contestant moments, which seem pre-packaged for maximum voter impact (James sobbing about needing the money for his family, Thia crying, Pia dedicating her performance to her father). Ugh. IDK, just so much more manipulation this year.

    I’m completely suspicious of everything I see this year, since I’m mostly thinking, well, how much of this is the actual artist, and how much of it is really Iovine and Nigel pulling the strings behind the scenes?

  • steve2013

    i agree with everyone that says jimmy Iovine and UMG production crew need to go. I wanna see these people come up with there own arrangements and arrangements that there comfortable with not arrangements that are forced upon them etc.

    Bottom 3:

    * Ashton
    * Haley
    * Karen

    * Ashton Going Home

  • LoveDaRocker

    Are these kids dumb? Just because the theme is “your idol” doesn’t really mean you have to pick “your idol,” SPECIALLY IF YOUR SELECTED ARTIST DON’T HAVE A SONG, OR YOU CAN’T PICK ONE OF HIS/HER SONGS, WHICH WILL MAKE YOU ADVANCE!!!
    I think that was the problem with Ashton, Karen, and Thia.
    Pia was smart. I think she picked a song she knew she could nail and then said that Celine was her idol.
    Naima gets points for picking a song from the last 5 years and being entertaining with it.
    Casey picked a classic he could nail and perform.
    Jacob: WTF? R. Kelly? I don’t believe that for a sec. I don’t believe R. Kelly is anyone’s idol. He is not that good.

  • IndyMuse

    I am wondering if some of the way they are doing things this year is also to ensure no one comes out of the show with any leverage based on their own songwriting or rearranging ability. While it is true that after the show those who are signed will face producers who want to push them in a certain direction, they would have leverage with which to bargain if they are hugely popular off of their own musical sensibility. If they are given few choices right off the bat, they will be known as what the producers have made them, not who they are on their own. The sad thing is, this is what a lot of folks think Idol has always been, but in some years folks were able to express their own vision and direction. These will be molded Idols.

  • jpfan

    Sadly, Pia has said many times that Celine Dion is her IDOL. No guile there at all.

  • lucy

    Well, it’s the first show with Iovine et al, but I gotta say – I AM NOT liking this change :-( Everything comes across as very staged and pre-planned now. I’m pretty sure Iovine is picking the songs (we already heard he’s doing the arrangements) and I fear that this, along with the lack of actual theme weeks now, will lead to repeats of last night’s show – everyone does something pretty safe and in their musical niche, pre-picked and packaged by Iovine, and as a result we get some pretty decent, but VERY predictable and bland performances, with no real MOMENTS (though possibly plenty of fabricated “moments”) happening.

    I’m thinking that we may feel this way but that the average casual tv viewer may feel the opposite way?

    Am I alone in wondering this?

  • lucy

    Are these kids dumb? Just because the theme is “your idol” doesn’t really mean you have to pick “your idol,” SPECIALLY IF YOUR SELECTED ARTIST DON’T HAVE A SONG, OR YOU CAN’T PICK ONE OF HIS/HER SONGS, WHICH WILL MAKE YOU ADVANCE!!!

    I’m sorry, but I remain suspicious that a lot of them *were* picking “their Idols.” If they really were, then why were they singing so many of the *exact* *same* *songs* we’ve seen done on this show over and over and over and over and over again. … Honestly, I think most of them were probably forced to choose their “idols” from a “list of possible idols for whom we cleared this particular song seven years ago and can definitely get it cleared all over again.” …

    Not buying the “the kids chose this stuff out of all the options in the world” story. … For one thing, that story would be *way* at odds with the very “producers running the show” vibe we’ve got going here.

    Seems to me that Nigel probably feels he can’t compete with Simon’s more polished production values if he just lets chips fall, as has been done more in the past. AND they’re still too cheap to try to get too many more songs approved.

  • OnePlusSix

    MJ I agree with your comment that Jennifer and Steven are way too nice and soft. I can’t help but wonder what’s on their monitors in front of them on the desk – are they given pointers as to where to take the comments they present. Also, if I remember corrrectly, don’t they get to view the rehearsals (because of the time factor in doing the actual show)and from there base most of their comments anyway prior to the actual show. These contestants need “some” hardcore constructive criticism, after all, the music industry is the toughest of the tough to plunge into.
    Mary102

    I’m completely suspicious of everything I see this year, since I’m mostly thinking, well, how much of this is the actual artist, and how much of it is really Iovine and Nigel pulling the strings behind the scenes?

    These were my thoughts as well, appears to be very manipulated, whether it is or not, but that’s the feeling that comes across.

    Like others here, I haven’t seen a great deal of lustre yet and not invested in anyone like I have in other years. But here’s hoping it will change.

  • gangreen29

    I’m thinking that we may feel this way but that the average casual tv viewer may feel the opposite way?

    Am I alone in wondering this?

    I’m guessing they do. People seem to forget in the idol bubble that the highest rated seasons were pre instruments, before the so called “artistry” that so many believe in lol.

  • Mary102

    mmb:
    03/10/2011 at 6:24 am
    Saddest moment of the night : when Jimmy iovine commented that he didn’t know kids sang like James these days.

    OMG – I literally went WHAT THE FUCK!?! Please tell that to Adam’s face today, Jimmy, I dare ya, lol.That said, I think tptb are purposelly NOT bringing up Adam wrt James on the show, because right now they are fully engaged in convincing us that S10 has THE BEST MOST AMAZING TALENT EVER TO EXIST IN THE WORLD EVER!!! And bringing up Adam in comparison to James is NOT the way to do that, lol.Still, though, Adam aside – Really, Jimmy? Really? Have you heard Adele, Christina, ANY current artists?

  • jpfan

    Well I for one always critized the “artistry” seasons and thought the voices were better pre-instrument. However, I’m starting to rethink because the cheese quotient of the show is off the charts. Maybe without Simon to call them on it, no instruments = pure kareoke. At least it feels that way this season.

  • gangreen29

    Still, though, Adam aside – Really, Jimmy? Really? Have you heard Adele, Christina, ANY current artists?

    Adele and Christina don’t sound anything like James?

  • mymagoogle

    I wish the rap and reggae parts were longer.
    Durbin keeps getting better.
    Can we please stop the Big Note Ballads, please?

  • Mary102

    Seems to me that Nigel probably feels he can’t compete with Simon’s more polished production values if he just lets chips fall, as has been done more in the past. AND they’re still too cheap to try to get too many more songs approved.

    This is my thinking too. Last year sucked because of bad casting (mostly). The best seasons of AI have all been about the contestants, about diverse groups, strong talent, interesting performances, stars emerging, but that is all largely a crap shoot that could just as easily turn the season into a repeat of S5 as it could a repeat of S9.

    So Nigel made sure as much remained in THEIR control, and out of the kids’ control, as possible this year to ensure better performances. As a result, we have better quality, but a lot of blandness.

  • Mary102

    Adele and Christina don’t sound anything like James?

    Ok, good point, if we take Iovine literally, lol. I was trying to make my comment not 100% about Adam there (as I am prone to do, lol).

    I was taking it further to mean Iovine was referring to big, good voices. But yeah, I was just trying to make it not just about Adam.

  • tinawina

    I’m guessing they do. People seem to forget in the idol bubble that the highest rated seasons were pre instruments, before the so called “artistry” that so many believe in lol.

    LOL. Well, I do think that America has come to expect some radical re-imagining of songs, and has spent the last few years putting people who do so consistently in the finals. This year, Casey became a front runner doing that in Hollywood. I don’t know if people have to be holding an instrument when they do it though. And I do think some people just like to hear a great voice coming out of someone with charisma as well. It seems this year we have both types being popular IMO.

    As a rule, I do think the boards are way more critical than the rest of the world. Plus we have short memories IMO. This is only the second week of live performances, and I don’t think we’ve ever seen one of those where most of the people on stage were OMG GREAT! Only the one or two very experienced people who really have it together shine right now, everyone else usually takes a few weeks to figure it out, plus the worst people have to get voted off for things to tighten up.

  • Mary102

    I’m thinking that we may feel this way but that the average casual tv viewer may feel the opposite way?

    Am I alone in wondering this?

    Good question. I’m gonna ask more “non-AI bubble” friends what their impressions are too. Could be interesting.

  • Nina1

    I’m thinking that we may feel this way but that the average casual tv viewer may feel the opposite way?

    i kinda think scripted is scripted and you can’t script a contest. People just don’t trust you.

  • lucy

    Really, Jimmy? Really? Have you heard Adele, Christina, ANY current artists?

    Apparently, and somewhat to my surprise, Jimmy has been hanging out in the time-warp crypt with Clive Davis in recent years.

  • lucy

    I’m thinking that we may feel this way but that the average casual tv viewer may feel the opposite way?

    i kinda think scripted is scripted and you can’t script a contest. People just don’t trust you.

    I tend to think that too, but X-factor feels pretty scripted to me and it did better in England than Pop Idol, right?

  • calimari

    Overall, I find it sometimes hard to get into a performance if I have never heard the song. That said, I know I’m getting old because after watching this show for 10 years, there are more songs that I have never heard of – LOL.

    Lauren -Any Man Of Mine: I’m not a big country fan, and I think she is doing a disservice to herself if she thinks she is the next Carrie Underwood. Idol has already put out 2 blond, female, country singers – Carrie and Kelly Pickler. Lauren needs to do something else to stand out. She has not been a favorite of mine to begin with, but I get she has a lot of appeal for others.

    Casey – With A Little Help From My Friends! I really like him because I love bluesy, growly stuff. He did a great job with this. Still, I kept thinking about when Taylor Hicks did something in Season 5 and Randy told him to bring all the Joe Cocker. Still, I enjoy Casey and his interpretations.

    Ashton – When You Tell Me That You Love Me: Just shoot me now. That was awful. She’s very pretty but, as a wild card to begin with, that performance, and that placement in the show, I think she’s going home. Are they sending one or two home tonight?

    Paul – Wish You Were Here: I like what I’ve seen of Paul so far. I do not know this song, but I get him. I love his performance style. I think his moves & such would not seem that extreme if he could have his guitar. I recall how Taylor Hicks had a lot of odd movements, but when you see him in concert now, w/ his guitar – not nearly so much. He’s staying a bit longer even tho this performance wasn’t top notch.

    Pia – All By Myself: Beautiful girl, lovely voice, very pageanty. I am tired of ballads from her and would like to see her mix it up. I also hate it when they sing just a little bit of the song and then sing the repetitive chorus over and over and over. Give us more nuance – more of the song – then bring it home w/ the chorus.

    James – Baby I’m Amazed: I’ve acknowledged his talent but wasn’t on his bandwagon as I was tired of the comparisons to Adam Lambert that I kept hearing. But – I have to give it to him. Fabulous performance. I’ve seem McCartney in concert a few times now, and this was great. Controlled, connected – best of the night.

    Haley – Blue: OK, again with the country? I actually like Haley out of the girls as I think she is at least doing a few different things – Alesha Keyes last week, country this week. I didn’t think her yodel was bad – not as good as Leeanne Rhimes – but quite serviceable. Maybe one of the better girls.

    Jacob – I Believe I Can Fly: Hate hate hate this song. Do not like big voiced R&B singers. Hated the gospel choir coming out. What was that big open-mouthed up and down scream in the middle? The guy has a great voice, but his style is just not my cuppa tea.

    Thia – Smile: CHarlie Chapman? Really? I liked the first half better than the second half, but it was a little dull for me. Still better than Ashthon.

    Stefano – Lately: I love Stevie Wonder but wish he chose a more memorable song. Still, the guy can sing, he shows good personality, and I think he puts it all out there. He knows he is a wildcard & didn’t have the fan base to bring him forward this year. He is the cutie of the guys, so I think he’s safe, and he has room to grow, which audiences love.

    Karen – I Could Fall In Love: I liked her better last week – thought she could be a dark horse girl to really pull forward. This Selena song did her no favors. And I wonder about a grown woman with Barbie Doll collections. She could be at risk, but possibly the Latina vote could pull her thru – I still think Ashthon is more at risk.

    Scotty – The River: Again, not a country fan, so don’t know the song, but Scotty knows himself, what he can do, and he nails it every time.

    Naima – Umbrella: I’m glad Naima was wild-carded in as I think she has such an interesting stage presence and is just beautiful. I do not know this song, can’t comment on if she changed it up or anything, but she at least tried to PERFORM. She is someone who could really grow in this competition. High energy and drive, passion – she needs to work on the voice before trying to integrate so much w/ the dance, but I enjoyed her stage presence. I think the pimp spot will keep her safe for now.

    For me: favorite guys in no particular order are James, Casey and Paul, but not based on Paul’s performance tonight. Hon Mention to Scotty, as I don’t like country.

    Favorite girls in no order: Naima and Haley. Others are too predictable. Hon Mention to Pia for the great voice & good performance of a Celine song (yuck), but mix it up next time.

  • calgary

    I don’t usually post here, but Naima’s performance shone so much brighter than the others, I had to chime in. I must confess I was also impressed with James last night.

  • pmreyn2010

    I can’t help but wonder what’s on their monitors in front of them on the desk – are they given pointers as to where to take the comments they present

    As far as I know, the monitors are there to show the judges a close up view of the contestants singing– if the contestant were to go behind the judging table, for example, the judges don’t have to try to awkwardly turn around and watch. That’s why Paula used to say things like “The camera loves you”– without the monitors, the judges wouldn’t see how the contestants are coming across on the camera.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    On the judging:
    Let’s not romantisize the past. Simon calling someone “cruise ship” may have been entertaining the first few times he said it, but not later when he got bored. And no one has ever been very constructive. I prefer Jennifer being supportive and lucid to Paula being supportive and drunk/drugged/loopy. At least she’s not judging a performance that hasn’t happened yet. ;-) And Randy… well, I still hate him.

  • gangreen29

    As far as I know, the monitors are there to show the judges a close up view of the contestants singing– if the contestant were to go behind the judging table, for example, the judges don’t have to try to awkwardly turn around and watch. That’s why Paula used to say things like “The camera loves you”– without the monitors, the judges wouldn’t see how the contestants are coming across on the camera.

    Yes, those monitors are to watch the performances, and they have been there forever lol. It is funny every year someone notices them though and thinks they have stumbled across some kind of conspiracy.

  • gangreen29

    On the judging:

    Let’s not romantisize the past. Simon calling someone “cruise ship” may have been entertaining the first few times he said, but not later when he got bored. And no one has ever been very constructive. I prefer Jennifer being supportive and lucid to Paula being supportive and drunk/drugged/loopy. At least she’s not judging a performance that hasn’t happened yet. And Randy… well, I still hate him.

    It wouldn’t be the idol bubble without romanticizing something from the past though lol! It happens every year.

  • Trina

    My take on Jimmy’s WTF comment was that he’s so stuck on the autotune sound that’s huge today that he was referring to huge versatile voices HE doesn’t listen to often, guys that can just really saaang. Its quite possible he’s not even that familiar with Adam (longshot) or its just his way of pimpin’ HIS new Idols. As successful as Adam is when all is said and done Jimmy will have zero to do with Adam, but he might with James post AI.

  • Mary102

    Let’s not romantisize the past. Simon calling someone “cruise ship” may have been entertaining the first few times he said, but not later when he got bored. And no one has ever been very constructive. I prefer Jennifer being supportive and lucid to Paula being supportive and drunk/drugged/loopy. At least she’s not judging a performance that hasn’t happened yet. And Randy… well, I still hate him.

    Simon was hardly perfect, especially when he was phoning it in the last few years, but the point is that there’s a way to be constructive and helpful rather than monotonously supportive. I’m sorry, but if you’re a singer, it is WAAAYYY better to hear the judges give honest feedback – say what’s great and what you should keep doing, as well as what’s not and what you should change or be more mindful of. Ignoring flaws or praising things that just aren’t that good, isn’t gonna help anyone.

  • Mary102

    Its quite possible he’s not even that familiar with Adam (longshot) or its just his way of pimpin’ HIS new Idols.

    Pretty sure it’s the latter. TBH, I wasn’t really bothered by Iovine not mentioning Adam, because clearly he and Nigel are now running the “revamped, remixed” S10, and don’t want to invite unfavorable comparisons to other idols.

  • milwlovesadam

    I can’t remember a season where the contestants all had so much production, back-up singers, visuals, glam-overs from this point. I’m not sure it’s helping. I want to hear the voice right now, not the over-production.The only one who didn’t use all of that was Casey.Steven needs to be coached to give constructive criticism, not just praise.My faves are Pia, Jacob, James and Naima. But, Pia needs to change it up, move onstage. Jacob, needs to stop the church choir stuff, and sing, he needs to reign it in. Naima, she’s a whole lot of awesome. But, her speaking skills need an injection of articulation and grammar. She needs to be thinking of press junkets, top 10 touring. James, surprisingly, is really improving every week.But, I still think Scotty is the winner. Crap. I hate Country.

    My early prediction for top 2 is Scotty vs James. IMHO

  • http://www.twitter.com/resqgal resqgal

    The Good:

    My favorite of the night, hands down, James! And he hasn’t been my favorite before AT All. He’s the only performance I’ve watched more than 2 or 3 times. And, when I close my eyes he totally sounds like Bon Jovi until he gets into his upper register near the end.

    I loved Casey’s performance, but he’s really not the type of musician I would buy music from. I would pay to see him live before I’d put down money for his album.

    Pia is definitely the most talented of the girls, but I’m really ready to hear her do something different. Thought she was great last night, but nothing new was brought to the song.

    Haley – This is the first time i liked her. Before last night I always found her too over the top and too hard to understand. I’m a big fan of the song Blue and she did it justice. Then again, I have a yodeling background.

    Naima – My favorite performance from her thus far. First time she’s seemed current to me. We know she isn’t normally pitchy, so maybe tone down the dance moves a little bit. We all know todays pop stars aren’t usually singing live when they do all that dancing anyway.

    The Bad:

    Jacob. Totally sounded out of tune to my ears. While he isn’t my type, I have appreciated most of his prior performances and his talent, but he blew it last night.

    Karen, Ashton, and Stefano were forgettable for me.

    Thia was just not good. Not as out of tune as Jacob, but not good to listen too.

    The Meh:

    Paul and Lauren – Didn’t Impress me much, but weren’t bad.

    Who I think will be bottom 3: Ashton, Stefano, Jacob. Ashton going home.

    On a side note, I watched half the show whith my 60 year old neighbor. She didn’t get Paul at all, thought he looked dirty. She liked Pia until the high notes. Couldn’t get past James’ ears to pay attention to him. Haley gave her chills in a good way, was her favorite. Didn’t like Jacob at all.

    I’ll talk to my parents later this afternoon to get the 70 year old impressions of the night.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    Remdinder:

    Please keep your remarks focused on expressing opinions on THE IDOL PERFORMANCES and not on what your fellow posters are thinking? I’ll be deleting condescending and/or critical posts (and all the responses) directed at fellow posters.

    Also, please keep your remarks focused on Season 10? I don’t want the conversation drifting off into a discussion of prior seasons.

  • pmreyn2010

    I really liked Stefano in his audition and last week– I think out of all the guys’ voices, he has just an incredibly powerful instrument.

    What I hated was the arrangement. He could’ve just stood there and sang, and it would’ve been amazing. He has that quality that he can take on Stevie and do it well. I think he’s great, and I think that his strong vocals overshone the bizarre arrangement.

    Really enjoyed Casey last night. What worries me is– where is there a place for this guy in today’s music world? He reminds me of Taylor Hicks– I liked Taylor on the show, but if they want a guy who’ll sell millions of records… I don’t know if Casey fits the “Idol” mold.

    Scotty I liked. Safe but good. For me, Casey Stefano & Scotty are in my Top 3 for the guys.

    As far as the girls, I did like Pia, though I don’t think anyone will ever slay “All By Myself” as well as LaToya London did. On the plus side, Pia definitely outsang Jasmine Trias’ version easily.

    Lauren I think reminds me of the comment Bayley Brown (or whatever that girl’s name was a few years ago) received, in that she is Commercial with a capital C. She just needs to put some OOMF into her performances. Otherwise the vocal is fine, but the performance is a bit flat.

    As far as Naima goes, she’s the opposite of Lauren– GREAT performer, but what the heck was going on with her vocal?! Didn’t like it. Vocals take more importance over performance for me.

    And Ashthon– I didn’t think that her performance was ‘awful’ like everyone has been saying– wasn’t bad, but it was soooo boring. I wish we could get one more week out of her, because I think she can do much better. I don’t know if she’ll get that chance though. I think the most vulnerable this week are Ashthon, Karen, & Jacob, though Thia (Jasmine Trias 2.0) and Paul were definitely not so hot either

  • http://myspace.com/susanatfox sumidol

    Casey, Paul and Haley were my top three, only ones I really remembered with any fondness, one I did remember as horrible was Naima, she was unique but not in a good way and she just looks dirty to me, must be the dreads, I never felt that way about them with Castro or last years lady but I dont know, not feeling her anymore. So, those four stood out to me, oh and James was ok.

  • Mary102

    One thing I kind of like about the competition this year at this point in the game – I really do feel like it could be almost anyone’s game from week to week. This time last year, Crystal seemed like the best by far, and S8 it was Adam and Danny at the top, and then everyone else.

    This year, James is tops this week (imo). Next week, I can see Pia, Scotty, Lauren, Casey, or Jacob blowing it out of the water. I think we’ll get a lot of that all season (I kinda hope so – it’ll make things way less predictable).

  • Diana

    Surprisingly, I thought Haley was very good.

    Even more surprisingly, I thought James was excellent.

  • uhohnogo

    It is very difficult to connect with the performances with SO much production, so much pre-performance information, so much cheering from the audience (especially during the judges commentary), and no judge that you feel like you can trust to be honest and really “get” the performance. Simon may have gotten bored over the past few seasons, but it is 100% true that he would be the one to say what needed to be said to the contestants. With the current judges, I felt like only rarely did they “get it”. It isn’t interesting to watch performances, and then have 3 judges says how great it was, or at the MOST critical, saying something like “It was just a’ight for me”. I find myself even missing Kara, and her experience producing artists and songs. Example- Jacob Lusk’s performance was AWFUL last night. His voice was shrill and screeching and difficult to listen to. There was nothing, absolutely nothing pleasant about his performance. And… the judges fawned all over it because of his showy and excessive vocal stylings (the runs and multi-syllabic pronunciations, etc.) and the massive amount of production that went into the song.

    In terms of the production, I think it helps to cover up for some of the weaker contestants (hides flaws and weaknesses) and does not do a service to the stronger contestants. I have had so many moments in the past where I got goose-bumps from an Idol performance, and turned the TV way up, and sat there in awe of one of the performers. It will be very difficult to have that kind of connection with these contestants with all the frantic-ness that currently seems to be engulfing this show (as in, how many gimmicks can they throw at the wall to see which one sticks!)

  • tierbee

    Just popping in to comment on this –

    I’m thinking that we may feel this way but that the average casual tv viewer may feel the opposite way?

    EVERYONE that I know outside the Idol bubble who is watching is impressed with this season and loves the talent. Now that isn’t everyone in the country of course :) but my friends and family, many of whom are long-time Idol watchers, are very happy. So maybe my outside-bubble is a bubble of its own but there’s my feedback lol.

    Oh, and whatever pitch issues she had, Naima gets HUGE points for me for not singing a ballad and for having the guts to get out there and do something totally different. And I wanted that reggae break to go on and on, she was awesome. Striking girl, too. I’ve loved her from day 1 and was so happy she got a wild card.

    I did not like James AT ALL in the Hollywood stuff but damn, he’s singing well. Very nice.

    And that is all, back to work. Ha!

  • jga94

    My top were:
    1. james–never thought I’d like him
    2. Scotty-I think this one is destined to be a star
    3. Naima-best performance, most contemporary, great rap mix, didn’t really care about pitchiness (I mean she sang it better live than what I’ve seen from Rihanna live singing)
    4. Casey-great energy but not my type

    The rest were just okey ot really bad..

    The really bad ones were:
    1. Ashton—this one was way out of tune and boring
    2. Pia–I’m sorry but this one was a weak rehars of last week….now to me she seems like an average singer who works very hard to sound not average….because her performance down to the type of song, dress, gestures was EXACTLY the same
    3. Karen-boring, boring
    4. Stefano–what the hell kind of arrangement was THAT?!
    5. Paul—what was that?I don’t get it…
    6. Jacob—again, he forgets that less is more Mr. McShouty

    Thia and haley were just okay….not really THAT bad….

    Out for me:
    Ashton or Karen

  • jumpstart

    * Paul – Dear god – I DO NOT GET THIS GUY AT ALL!! I actually kind of liked him doing Blackbird, and he seemed like a shoe-in for top 3. But I really really don’t like him. Annoying stage presence with that stupid dance thing, weak vocals, so not impressed.

    My feelings exactly. Every time I see him perform I think of Taylor Hicks but at least Taylor had a good voice.

  • supermart

    I have had so many moments in the past where I got goose-bumps from an Idol performance, and turned the TV way up, and sat there in awe of one of the performers. It will be very difficult to have that kind of connection with these contestants with all the frantic-ness that currently seems to be engulfing this show (as in, how many gimmicks can they throw at the wall to see which one sticks!)

    I feel the same way. If the over-produced vibe of last night with the awful background tracks continues– I have a hard time imagining that even the best contestants will fully be able to shine. And even if they DO shine- it appears it will be more the merits of the producers that coached and arranged them. How could past artists so confident in who they even shine in such an environment? (Bo Bice…Cook…Lambert…Bowersox…)

  • partyintheusa

    Re: Naima – the girl did have a decent performance and much more relevant for today’s pop standards. HOWEVER, will we EVER have an Idol who can not only perform with mainstream pop appeal AND sing well too?! Her vocals were pretty bad. Pitch may not matter in today’s pop world…if it did, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus wouldn’t be such big stars. But seriously, I am not sure we’ll ever find one who can do both. Carrie had the voice, but lacked stage presence. Adam has both but doesn’t exactly have mainstream pop appeal. Kris is great at the acoustic stuff but not truly a pop star. Kelly Clarkson is probably the closest we’ve ever come to having both, but she keeps changing her style so I’m not sure what to make of her. Daughtry is a rocker, so I’m not including him in this. I am talking about a true MAINSTREAM POP artist who can combine stage dynamics with great vocals.

  • doggiedr

    EVERYONE that I know outside the Idol bubble who is watching is impressed with this season and loves the talent.

    Is that as of this morning?
    Because up until last night I felt the same way.
    IMO this emphasis on “producers” has taken a talented bunch of kids and effectively neutered them.
    No more (metaphorical) manic highs and depressive lows- it’s now a midline lithium line for everyone.

    Yay. Not.

  • car3278sweet

    I thought Naima brought it. The first contemporary, interesting performance of the night. Okay, pitchy in spots, but damn… entertaining to watch. Isn’t that what AI is looking for? An entertainer?

    I think Ashton is on her way home.

    The rest?
    Lauren – pure karoke and she’s irritating too
    Casey – fun and entertaining, but contemporary? Radio friendly? No.
    Paul – odd. Very odd. But I can’t seem to take my eyes off him. Hm.
    Pia – She’s got potential but if she doesn’t mix it up, she’s done.
    James – this guy is really growing on me. He was wonderful.
    Haley – was it just me or did this girl sound out of tune throughout? I had to actually switch channels while she finished
    Jacob – so over the top. Just head right to Broadway. Please.
    Thia – okay. Not a good song. And she just stood there looking blank. But the girl has this tone in her voice I really like.
    Stephano – what was that arrangment all about? A hot mess. And he doesn’t have a cushion to fall back on.
    Karen – I liked her outfit. That’s about all I can say.
    Scotty – good, solid. Kinda boring. He has the same look on his face whether he’s singing about rivers or drinking. I’m not on the bandwagon yet.

  • tierbee

    Is that as of this morning?
    Because up until last night I felt the same way

    Yeah, they are still excited and they liked a lot of the performances last night. People were pretty uniformly disappointed by Paul and thought Ashthon wasn’t good. Lots of people love Stefano. Nobody even mentioned Karen or Haley, they don’t seem to be on the radar with the folks I know. James, Pia, Casey, Scotty and Naima seem to be the favorites of most everyone (except some of my friends who love Paul but again were disappointed).

    I don’t know, I’m still excited about this group. I think when you change *everything* like Idol did you are going to have some kinks. So we’ll see if they iron them out and it’s still an Idol I like… or not.

  • tierbee

    OK, not like it’s not a zillion years late, but my take:

    ~ Lauren: *Admission* – don’t like her to start with. Wanted to get that out of the way. She’s just offputting to me, which makes me feel kinda bad because she’s a kid. I just felt like I was watching the Little Miss Rodeo pageant or something. She’s too young for the song, first of all – not so much in age as experience. That song needs a woman who can sing it with some sass. I agree that it was more like karaoke night at the local saloon. She can sing, but she’s got work to do on presentation and having any sort of charisma.

    ~ Casey: Casey is a nut. In a good way (mostly, sometimes he does make skeery face). I think what I like about him is that he lives in the music completely, really feels it. His vocals went off in spots into the “hmm, rough” territory and I’d like to see him clear that up but he definitely does his own thing and stands out.

    ~ Ashthon: Sigh. I keep wishing this girl was as good singing-wise as she is with looks and attitude. I like her, but she’s out of her depth trying to be the diva voice. Her voice isn’t powerful enough. I’d be surprised if she sticks around. Forgettable song, poor performance.

    ~ Paul: Well, I don’t know what to say other than that just didn’t work. I like Paul, I think he knows who he is and his voice is cool. But his presentation of the song just didn’t work, and his voice was too breathy and quiet. Plus he had lots of issues with pitch, I thought. I hope he gets to come back and try again. And if he does and he’s bad again, I might have to debark from the Paul train and happily send him back to front his band, which seems to be a good place for him.

    ~ Pia: She’s gorgeous, and has a beautiful voice. Thought she sung the song very well. A little alarmed that Celine Dion is her hero (no offense, Celine, you do have a beautiful voice) and would like to see something more… well, exciting out of her. Don’t want to see her sing ballads every week.

    ~ James: As I said before, I did NOT like James, at all, in Hollywood. But the more restrained James is showing a really fantastic voice and a connection with the song that I didn’t expect. Hmm. Even if I just keep seeing Wayne Rooney on the screen when he’s on there and it’s distracting… I really like his voice. I’m surprised.

    ~ Haley: Haley’s inability to enunciate drives me nuts, I have to admit. She seems to be allergic to consonants. That performance made me uncomfortable for some reason. I didn’t really buy the “seductress singing ‘Blue'” thing. I love her growly voice – I love lower female voices – but I’m not thrilled with what she’s doing with it. She might survive this week because Ashthon was just flat out worse.

    ~ Jacob: Oh, Jacob. I LOVE Jacob, but that was a hot mess. For one week he had dailed it down, but this week… It was just not good.

    ~ Thia: The beginning was so pretty but she leaves me so cold. She’s like a little beautiful robot programmed to sing pretty. At some point, if she lasts until next week, she’s going to have to connect with a song… and sing something that feels more young. The second half of the song sounded like something I’d hear at the dentist. Producers, that was not good.

    ~ Stefano: OK, I like this guy – he’s adorable and has a really nice voice. But I do not like that dance mix crap they threw in there. He sounded like he was trying to somehow wrestle with R&B, Broadway and disco all wrapped up in one and in spots he kinda got a hold of it and held his own but… again. Producers, REALLY?

    ~ Karen: Karen made me sad. Something did not work, at all. Is she losing her voice?

    ~ Scotty: Scotty might risk boring people with the same stuff every week but I think he should just ride that train as long as he can because I think he has a good shot at being a viable country artist. His voice is cool. I don’t know that I love him, but my mom and sister and friends sure do :)

    ~ Naima: I was SO happy that she got the wild card, there’s something really appealing about this girl. Was it the best vocal performance ever? Nah. But she had the balls to do something different, and that reggae part was just awesome. I hope she continues to improve. I want her to stick around for a while.

  • hersheydog1

    Mary102:
    03/10/2011 at 10:10 am

    mmb:
    03/10/2011 at 6:24 am
    Saddest moment of the night : when Jimmy iovine commented that he didn’t know kids sang like James these days.

    OMG – I literally went WHAT THE FUCK!?! Please tell that to Adam’s face today, Jimmy, I dare ya, lol.That said, I think tptb are purposelly NOT bringing up Adam wrt James on the show, because right now they are fully engaged in convincing us that S10 has THE BEST MOST AMAZING TALENT EVER TO EXIST IN THE WORLD EVER!!! And bringing up Adam in comparison to James is NOT the way to do that, lol.Still, though, Adam aside – Really, Jimmy? Really? Have you heard Adele, Christina, ANY current artists?

    THIS! I had the same reaction. Maybe if you work with people who can’t sing you are surprised that some can?? Jim Cantiello (@jambajim) noted the same thing:

    “On a separate (and admittedly catty) note, if Jimmy Iovine “didn’t know kids out there were even singin’ like that,” he’s in for a real treat Thursday night when Adam Lambert performs his latest single on the results show. Ahem.”

    And as much as I love Adam, I don’t get the Pia love – singing the same 2 lines over and over and over was boring to me. I thought it was awful the first time so I went and watched it again…bored me to tears.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    Pitch may not matter in today’s pop world…if it did, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus wouldn’t be such big stars. But seriously, I am not sure we’ll ever find one who can do both.

    I thought she sang on pitch last week. We shall see.

  • partyintheusa

    She can sing, but she’s got work to do on presentation and having any sort of charisma.

    Well Lauren had that in spades last week. She just needs to sing songs that bring that out in her.

  • hcpoirot

    Lame and boring. The (real) theme of the top 13 is OLDIES boring song. Except for Naima song, all others are probably from before 2000.

    And I bet you that the finalists got a small list of songs to choose and majority of them even did not idolize the singers the song they sing. LIke THia idolize MJ and Lauren “Shania”? Their real idol singer probably are Beyonce, Taylor Swift or even Justin Bieber.

    NIgel, if you read this you had to give more current songs for the finalists to sing next week or at least songs that not had been sing so many times in singing competition like I Believe I Can Fly, Umbrella , Diana Ross song etc etc.

    James had to be the best tonight. He managed to make the song more current. Casey always entertained.

    Pia should chose her song carefully. Her vocal not as near as good as Celine version of All By My Self. I had heard Celine version dozens times and Pia vocal not as close as that. But she had very good vocal and very pretty. She will go far.

    Ashton, Stefano and probably Naima or Karen will be in bottom 3. Ashton will go home just because she had the diva attitude but not diva vocal. She should chose a different song.

    Hoping they had better song selections next week or it will be boring season.

  • adamsoldestfan

    MJ….I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the little photos. I am an old fan and it takes me some time to learn all the names….

  • tierbee

    Well Lauren had that in spades last week. She just needs to sing songs that bring that out in her.

    Right, but people forget quickly what you did the week before so she needs to figure it out fast.

    Again, though, part of the disconnect at least for me is that song was not for a barely 16 year old to sing, unless that is one sassy and experienced 16 year old. You need to be a little jaded and a little smartass ;)

  • idolwatcher

    I know I may be in the minority here but last night was a 2-hour snoozefest for me. Didn’t even get excited for my favorites. And, for the first time, found myself missing Simon and his no-nonsense reviews. Even when the judges didn’t love a performance they seemed to have a difficult time saying so without sugarcoating it. I’m already getting tired of Jennifer and was hoping Steven would be a little more brutally honest with these contestants. Time to get that DVR set so I can zip through next week if it’s a repeat of this week.

  • sue

    After listening to some of the performances again. I have to say that Paul wasn’t that bad. lolz I kind of enjoyed it this time around. I still love James, Casey and Scotty’s performances.

  • partyintheusa

    Right, but people forget quickly what you did the week before so she needs to figure it out fast.

    Again, though, part of the disconnect at least for me is that song was not for a barely 16 year old to sing, unless that is one sassy and experienced 16 year old. You need to be a little jaded and a little smartass ;)

    Yes I agree on that. I felt like this week was a cop out for her. However, I wonder how much control the contestants have over song choice this year. I don’t mean that as an excuse for Lauren, but it just seems that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes this year and feels like that the contestants aren’t really that excited about their songs. So it makes me wonder.

  • artemis

    I haven’t had a chance to read the 760 plus posts (yet-I like reading all the varied opinions) but I don’t understand all the dislike for Haley. All the girls can sing, but not all can perform.
    I find Haley fun to watch, and I like her voice. Some people obviously like her-she was voted into the top5 girls. After she performed last night, both “Haley Reinhart” and “Patsy Cline” were trending in the US on twitter, and Leann Rimes tweeted about her performance.

  • http://mjsbigblog.com/luvadamlamberts-american-idol-tour-2009-washington-dc-re-cap.htm luvadamlambert

    Tonight was mostly kinda boring…only really good one was naima

  • Dlynne

    Saddest moment of the night : when Jimmy iovine commented that he didn’t know kids sang like James these days.

    ^^^This! It’s because music has become so manufactured that he doesn’t even recognize real music when he hears it. And I don’t just mean James’ voice, although I do like it a lot. There is a huge disconnect between what the labels think the public wants and what they really want. Manufactured pop and dance music has its place but NOTHING compares to live music. Nothing.