American Idol Recap: Oldies, But Goodies
This was it — the night American Idol fans have been waiting for. That is, if you could get past the fact that majority of the 11 songs performed had been covered by previous contestants. And overlook the weird, revisionist-history editing of several finalists’ introductory packages. And, of course, avoid smashing your television in rage over the appalling Gordon Ramsay committing the worst act of douchery in 10 seasons of Idol.
‘American Idol’ behind the scenes: ‘Idol’ coaches talk the Top 11 — EXCLUSIVE
Continuing the exclusive interviews that we launched during the Top 13 and Top 12 weeks, American Idol vocal coach and arranger Debra Byrd and associate music director and arranger Michael Orland chatted with EW following the Top 11 performance show last night. For Idol‘s 10 seasons, Byrd and Orland have been on the front lines with the contestants, from Hollywood Week to the grand finale in May.
More recaps after the JUMP…
‘American Idol’ on the scene for Top 11 performance night: ‘Motown Night’ ignites the Idoldome
American Idol fans, behold the great power of “Motown Night”! I don’t know exactly how the show played on television because I was inside the Idoldome, watching live from my not-so-comfy perch in row 6, but the Supremes-, Stevie-, and Smokey-infused night was surely one to remember from inside the belly of the beast out here in Hollywood. After last week’s somewhat of a letdown performance episode that found many of our beloved contestants (I’m really not being facetious, trusies!) hitting sour notes, this week couldn’t have been more brilliantly upbeat, fun, and — yes! — totally engaging.
‘American Idol’ Motown Night Recap: Plenty of Gambles, Few Stumbles
It’s Motown Night for the top 11 and the last chance for to secure a spot on the Idol Summer tour. The top ten divide is typically a pressure cooker night, and the Motown theme really cements that point. Even Rodney Jerkins acknowledges that his “chops” come from that seminal sound. To add to the nerves, the opening montage is like a who’s who of superstars: Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Jackson 5, to name a few. The only person not rattled by Motown’s legacy is Steven Tyler, who acknowledged that Motown inspired him to “make out with girls.”
‘American Idol’ recap: Motown Madness
It was Motown Week on American Idol, which meant a lot of white blazers, plenty of scrambling to Wikipedia the 1960s, and “a massive amount of pressure, ” considering that the Top 10 who survive tonight’s elimination will end up on the season 10 summer tour. At the top of the show, Ryan began to descend the Stairway to Heaven, and then before we knew it — about a year later — it was time for the singing. Here’s how it all went down.
‘American Idol’ Recap: Jacob Lusk, Paul McDonald Find The Soul Pocket
Producers promised to shake things up this year on “American Idol, ” but they were back to their predictable old tricks on Wednesday night (March 23), when the top 11 singers once again dipped into the Motown bag for some golden oldies. It was a critical week for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it would decide season 10’s top 10, i.e., the handful of singers who will go out on the road with the “Idol” tour this summer.
Guest Blogger and ‘American Idol’ Alum Didi Benami: ‘The Show Needed a Naima’
The Top 11. I remember this week and it was a scary one. Everyone is on edge because, at this point, you really want to make the tour. You want to know that you’ll have a summer job doing what you love. But all you can do is put that anxiety aside and remember why you’re there in the first place: because you love to sing and you love music.
Read more at THR
‘American Idol’ Top 11: Naima Adedapo’s African dance FTW, Stefano Langone’s ‘Hello’ – not so much
You ready to groove on into Motown? The “American Idol” Top 11 are ready. There’s a sign in the audience that says, “Steven Tyler, you’re my mom’s hall pass.” Oh, good lord.
After a bunch of filler (because we’re down one performance from last week, but the broadcast time is the same), the Top 11 come out, with everyone looking very classy.
‘American Idol’: ‘Eleven Finalists Compete’ Recap
Tonight’s Top 11 performances weren’t so much about singing as they were listening. Those who paid attention to the judges’ critiques showcased some marked improvements, while others remained stuck in their respective ruts.
On the most improved tip, we’ve got Thia Megia, Jacob Lusk and the girl who needed to up her game the most, Haley Reinhart.
‘American Idol’: The Top Eleven Sing Motown
“American Idol” contestants did their best with the music of Motown in hopes of winning a vote that will carry them through to the final ten. Most of them added their own unique twist to the songs they performed.
‘American Idol’: The Top 11
Jacob Lusk > Scotty McCreery > Lauren Alaina > Pia Toscano > James Durbin > Haley Reinhart > Paul McDonald > Stefano Langone > Naima Adedapo > Casey Abrams > Thia Megia
For once, the above ranking doesn’t quite matter: this week was the best of the “Idol” season so far, and possibly the best ever for this early in the competition, when there’s typically some dead weight still waiting to be purged. No Luke Menards this year – what a relief.
‘American Idol’ 2011: Top 11 perform Motown tunes
“American Idol” opening Wednesday night: Not that host Ryan Seacrest would ever invite comparisons between him and the great Dick Clark, oh no – but it’s Seabiscuit in black-and-white, doing a Dick Clark while the Idolettes play the parts of Clark’s pimply cast from “American Bandstand.” But hey, that was the 60’s, and Motown was the 60’s, and tonight we’re doing Motown tunes so we get it. Looking forward New Year’s Eve tunes so we can see Seabiscuit bring down the ball!
It’s a lovefest from ‘Idol’ judges on Motown night
After the first nine singers had performed to near-unanimously positive feedback on “American Idol’s” Motown night on Wednesday, host Ryan Seacrest asked the gushing question, “If you’re at home, how do you vote?”
It’s hard, and not because people don’t know how to call, text or go online to support their favorites. It’s that the judges critiqued the singers as if they were scoring a high-school talent contest: Everyone was great, and the only criticism took the angle of how the singers could be even greater!
‘American Idol’ Blog: The Top 11 Perform Motown Songs!
After losing Karen Rodriguez last week, American Idol was back with their Top 11 last night. Tonight’s task? Taking on the songs of “Motown.”
“11 Finalists Compete”
Like just about most people on the planet, I love Motown music. Yet, I often hate Motown when it’s covered on American Idol. First, it’s been done to death—what are the odds that the same show could make the same songs sound fresh and new again? Plus, Idol tends to lack the soul that makes Motown songs so great. But stranger things have happened than Idol actually, surprisingly, providing some entertainment. So would tonight’s episode show us the best of Motown or its conventional worst?
‘Idol’ Watch: Motown, mo problems
At the top of last night’s show, Randy Jackson was talking about the legacy Motown (the evening’s theme) left behind since the genre spawned 400 Billboard chart topping songs. This is why I’m incredibly flummoxed that every single performance (save for one) was of a Motown classic we’ve heard on the stage before.
Rhymes with Ho-Town & No-Town: American Idol 10 Top 11 Its Motown Night
Ah…American Idol’s Motown episode. It always starts in black & white. It always contains the same songlist. It always includes a montage designed to make white people feel good about themselves. There’s Hitsville USA. There’s Stevie Wonder. There’s Smokey Robinson and his now-scary stretched face. Jennifer Lopez is dressed like a radioactive birthday cake. This is likely her way of extending her sympathies to the people of Japan. Steven Tyler may be a very rich man, yet he insists on shopping at the nearest Cache. He also may be wearing one of Paul McDonald’s teeth around his neck.
Top 11 Recap: Growling, Guitars, Hug Lines, and African Dancing
Tonight, the Idols did not disappoint with the Motown theme. Plenty of train wrecks and plenty of the Four Horsemen making VFTW proud. Paul McDonald brought out his guitar so that he could remind voters that he is indeed a white guy with a guitar and should thus automatically win the show, Casey growled at an audience member, Naima did some African dancing, and Jacob started a hug line. And if the four horsemen weren’t entertaining enough, Scotty butchered Motown, Haley ramped it up a bit, and the judges actually gave decent critiques for once. How is this show getting better by the week? The four horsemen are 4 of the best Idol contestants ever. Keep it up, Nigel. So here’s my take on the top 11.
‘American Idol’ Recap: The Top 11 Find A Little Soul
Wednesday night’s (March 23) “American Idol” was Motown themed because nothing says “contemporary artist” like songs that were written half a century ago. That didn’t prevent the stars from showing up in droves. Look! There’s Jennifer Beals and Liv Tyler! Is that Kirsten Dunst having a gal’s night out in the studio audience? And golly! Adam Shankman looks just divine in sweatpants!
American Idol Season 10, Top 11: The Freaky Rictus Smile of Thia Megia
Since last we spoke, Karen Rodriguez has gone back to MySpaceLand, Steven Tyler’s wardrobe has grown impressively more absurd, and Jacob Lusk has bodied the fuck out of Heart’s “Alone”. I missed the last week of American Idol blogging because I went to SXSW. Last year’s runner-up Crystal Bowersox played a showcase in a hotel ballroom or something, and I didn’t even go; I was watching Shabazz Palaces or some such thing instead. But it’s not like I stopped thinking about Idol. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon reunited with DeYarmond Edison, his old band, and all I could think about watching him was what a great Idol contestant he would’ve been. Watch this and tell me I’m wrong. He would’ve been top five contestants in the show’s history, easy.
American Idol Recap: Paul F. Tompkins on Motown Week
What’s going on here?! The show begins and the picture is in black and white! I think, “I‘d better adjust my set.” I get my tools out: screwdriver, hammer, awl — and I am then informed by Ryan Seacrest that that I should not adjust my set. Idol is having some low-production-value fun with us, because this week, the theme is Motown!
American Idol: ‘Mo Town
To be fair to one of America’s most iconic and defining music labels (which, like Kleenex, has come to define something bigger than its particular brand), there are many great Motown songs! The problem isn’t with the music, usually. It’s actually that the music is so good that causes all the problems on Idol. How do you sing “Heard It Through the Grapevine” in 2011 in any new or exciting way? You don’t, typically. You just don’t! So it was kind of a pleasant surprise last night that people seemed to do so well. Not like well well, this is still season 10 of American Groan Factory, but well for them. They did well for them.
Blake Lewis: ‘Pia Toscano, It’s Time for a Shocker’
Last night on ‘Idol’ it was all Motown, the legend of Berry Gordy. I was really excited because this season of ‘American Idol’ has some of the greatest vocalists with soul! I am really, really enjoying ‘Idol’ this year, and last night did not disappoint.
Casey Abrams opened it up with “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” I thought it was a perfect choice, but like I say every week, I’m still missing the softer side of his vocals. I want to see the jazz come out. The cool, vibe-y side I know he has.