American Idol Recap: Natural ‘Born’ Killers
Wednesday night, American Idol broke out the time-honored theme of “Songs From the Year You Were Born, ” which is alternately known as “Excuses to Show Contestants’ Baby Photos” Week and also “Holy Crap, You Could Have Totally Changed That Singer’s Diaper!” Night. Song selections ranged from Nirvana to Whitney Houston (twice!), and from “I’m just gonna pretend that wasn’t the theme from Disney’s Pocahontas” to “Dude, Carrie and Allison sang it better, and as a matter of fact, so did Gina Glocksen.” And that was just the tip of the inscrutable iceberg.
‘American Idol’ on the scene for Top 12 performance night: Casey plays his bassy
The squealing, oh for the love of my cochleae, the squealing! For what amounted to a rather middling Top 12 performance show, the Idoldome was nonetheless Kathy Griffin-with-a-vuvuzela loud. I knew something was up when Ryan Seacrest was greeted with the same enthusiasm as that kid who received a Nintendo 64 on Christmas morning. So, yes, the audience was pumped. Cory Almeida, Idol‘s go-to warm-up guy, took advantage of the electricity in the Idoldome by… doing the same warm-up routine he always does. And Debbie the Stage Manager informed everyone that this was the season’s first live performance show — the prior two had been taped.
More Recaps after the JUMP…
‘American Idol’ recap: Mostly Stupid and Contagious
In between scripted therapy sessions with Jimmy Iovine, American Idol’s top 12 — all of whom are much, much younger than you — sang “Birth Year Songs” (2011’s updated lingo for the tried-and-true “Songs From The Year You Were Born”) on Wednesday’s disappointing performance show. The best contestants — Stefano, Pia, James, Scotty — stood out only because they were not as wretched as the others. They were more like kneel-outs than standouts. Maybe squat-outs. Squat it out, everyone! I am mostly talking to name-dropper Randy.
2 ‘Idols’ leap out of their comfort zones
It was an interesting week on “American Idol” as the headlines were stolen by the risk takers and the sick.
Casey Abrams and Jacob Lusk were the singers who went outside of their comfort zones when picking songs from their birth year. Abrams went with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and proved what’s obvious — he’s not a grunge singer. I give him credit for trying something new, but it was screamy and pitchy, and in general not his best work. Not that he has to worry about being voted off, but he probably shouldn’t plan on moving to Seattle to get that band back together.
Guest Blogger and ‘Idol’ Alum Brandon Rogers: ‘Stefano Langone Stands Out as the Shining Star’
We’re at the start. Like seasons before, my own included, here is a very strong group of singers trying to find their way. But where my year had a ton of people who were dope, it’s taking this group longer to get settled in, to learn how to pick the right songs and have stage presence. I think with the absence of the Top 24 process and by just throwing contestants into the Top 13, it’s causing some growing pains. We had a lot of pitch issues last week, and even on Wednesday’s episode, almost everybody, even Pia Toscado and James Durbin, had a problem with their first line. Whoever can learn that curve the fastest is going to stand out quickly.
‘American Idol’ Recap: ‘Finalists Compete’
Randy and J.Lo are convinced we have a “competition” and I agree. Tonight, just about everyone was vying for a slot in the bottom three.
The Top 12 busted out the awkward body language, bad song choices, sleepy vocals and that cursed “pitchy-ness” all in an effort to make America ponder just who not to vote for.
‘American Idol’: The Top 12 Compete
Tonight’s “American Idol” made it clear: some singers are creeping toward the top of the heap in a very overt way. Others are still struggling to find themselves and who they want to be as a performers. And the judges aren’t holding back on who they like and who they think needs some work.
‘American Idol’: The Top 12
Jimmy Iovine is making out like a bandit this season. No one gets more screen time apart from the judges. And unlike them, when he looks at the contestants, he sees only dollar signs. Never has the capitalist impulse been more blatant on this show, or more welcome. No longer are Simon Cowell’s critiques the bellwether of how a contestant is going to fare. Instead, check to see if Iovine holds their gaze for even a second. For the most part, he’s not – he knows who his thoroughbreds are. Everyone else is just pocket change he’s happy to hold on to, but doesn’t want to get dirty by touching.
‘American Idol’ Top 12: Jacob Lusk Has Heart, Pia Toscano Picks It Up
The theme this week was songs from the year you were born, and first up was Naima Adedapo, who worked up Tina Turner’s comeback hit “What’s Love Got to do With It.” Slinking down the steps in one of her signature colorful getups, Adedapo struggled a bit to find the melody over the rocked-up, percussive track produced by Rodney Jerkins. The performance had plenty of attitude but failed to really show off Naima’s range.
‘American Idol’ Top 12 Night: Sounds Like Teen Spirit
Considering that the median age of “American Idol” viewers is 45 years old, I’m fairly certain many fans felt more ancient than one of Steven Tyler’s discarded gypsy scarves on Wednesday night, when the top 12 performed songs from the years in which they were respectively born. I can only imagine how Steven Tyler himself felt, since the oldest two contestants, Paul McDonald and Naima Adedapo, were born in 1984, and several of them didn’t even enter this world until the MID-NINETIES. (“I have leftover sandwiches under my bed older than you, ” Steven informed one contestant.) No wonder so many Season 10 contestants don’t know who the Beatles are; “American Idol” almost seems like “American Juniors” this year.
‘American Idol’: The Top 12 Enjoy Nirvana & More
“American Idol” is as grueling and competitive as any marathon sport, and this week several of the contestants showed the effects, from the colds that dogged Paul McDonald and Lauren Alaina—but only seemed to make their gruff voices even more distinctive—to the ulcerative colitis that landed favorite Casey Abrams in the hospital last week.
That didn’t prevent Abrams from making “Idol” history by performing, for the first time, a Nirvana song, in this case “Smells Like Teen Spirit;” and even Kurt Cobain, who had some famous stomach problems himself, would’ve had to be impressed by the way the bearded Seth Rogen look-alike emerged from sick bed to slay what he called a song “that defines a generation.”
‘American Idol’ Top 12 Performances: Smells Like Casey Abrams
During last night’s non-live “live” show of American Idol, the Top 12 contestants had to sing songs from the year they were born. This theme has been done in seasons past, most memorably (for us, anyway) with David Cook delivering a haunting twist to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. Well, Casey James may have given just as awe-inspiring a performance with the off-kilter song from his own birth year, though for entirely different reasons. Nirvana, meet Idol. Idol, Nirvana. Head below to see how the hopefuls handle grunge, Disney showtunes and Whitney Houston.
American Idol 10 Top 12: You Give Women A Bad Name
On the way home tonight, I thought to myself how nice it would be if American Idol donated every bit of the cash from the tonight’s song downloads to the Red Cross to help with the relief efforts in Japan. Well, Idol. I might just have to give you props this one time. Of course, you would have looked pretty damn stupid if you hadn’t done something…I certainly do hope one of the contestants delivers a song I want to download tonight.
“Top 12 Perform”
Naima kicked things off with “What’s Love Got to Do With It, ” but first we had a look back at her childhood. Naima’s parents helped confirm my suspicions that she’s probably one of the most fun people on Idol this season to hang out with: she comes from the kind of bohemian stock that probably make up the real-life versions of the wedding reception in Rachel Getting Married. Plus, she wears one of those COEXIST t-shirts made up of all those religious symbols, so I bet she is partial to tolerance and also possibly smoking good weed. Unfortunately, none of this translated into a great rendition of “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Once again, it was a song choice that didn’t seem to reflect her on-stage personality and her pitch was just never really on-point. Steven, who I think just likes Naima because, stylewise, she’s the girl-version of him, said “You got a sorcerer’s grasp of melody, girl, ” and basically contributed nothing of value all night.
American Idol Gets Time Warped
The big scuttlebutt before the stage doors opened surrounded Casey Abrams and his decision to sing “Smells Like Teen Spirit, ” the grunge classic that, as he noted, “defined a generation.” (Note that the alt-rock generation’s relationship to him, age-wise, is almost identical to that demographic’s relationship with the Woodstock era.) At the time, I joked to friends that he should have performed “Weird Al” Yankovic’s oblique-lyric-mocking parody “Smells Like Nirvana” instead. After watching his performance—which the lighting designers honored by giving him this intensely eerie yellow glow that made him look like he was about to transform into an alien—I sort of thought my joke idea would have made him come off better. And his performance was one of the better moments of the night, because it was at least sorta interesting!
Top 12 Recap: The 4 Horsemen Put a Lusky Stank On Their Mosquito Libidos
For the top 12, the contestants sing songs from the year they were born. Paul McDonald, of course, makes VFTW proud with his performance. But it’s not just him I’m loving this year. I’ve dubbed my 4 favorite contestants the 4 Horsemen of the Idolpocalypse. Because if these 4 stick around long enough, it will kill the show. Not just in a slow, dignified way. But in a glorious, horrific way that I anticipate loving. My 4 horsemen are Paul, Casey, Jacob, and Naima. The 4 of them make me want to stand up and cheer because I love them so much each week. They keep delivering entertainment value and that VFTW je ne sais quoi that is so hard to bottle. And this season, four people have it. So naturally, VFTW is going to support the one who would produce the funniest winner, which would be white guy with a guitar #4 Paul McDonald. But there’s so much potential this year, I can’t help but say my interest in Idol is truly reinvigorated. This show has really hit its peak and I’m just holding on for the ride and hoping it can continue for as many weeks as possible. The other 3 horsemen should keep up the good work in case we lose Paul so we can switch horses and keep riding.