American Idol 10 Top 4 – Videos and Recap

UPDATE: Nigel Lythgoe tweets: “Wow, over 70 million votes on #AmericanIdol tonight.” and “”I, Who Have Nothing” was my favorite performance tonight.” (In response to fans giving him sh*t on twitter)

Right off the bat, I need to elaborate on my live recap of Haley’s performances. Yes, I get that the judges seem to be singling her out for criticism more than the others. But, Randy and Jennifer’s critique of her performance of “Earth Day” was generally right on the money. Yes, it sucked that Jlo dragged James Durbin into the discussion, when his performance wasn’t really the bar-setting masterpiece the judges made it out to be. But if Haley wants to advance she’s got to play the game, and part of the game is not putting on a stank face when the judges criticize you–especially when the critique is worth taking note.

After 10 seasons, the big stage is littered with Idol contestants who have put up with unfair criticism. Freaking Jason Castro was slammed for a song he hadn’t even performed yet and he managed to keep a smile on his face all the way through. It’s unfair, but that’s the game of Idol. And it’s frustrating, because Haley’s 2nd performance of “I Who Have Nothing” was easily the best of the night, but she may be eliminated tomorrow because she lost her cool. So that’s that.

The producers are so hellbent on James advancing this week that they shook up the performance order, allowing him to perform first AND last. They also ignored his flat notes and affect on “Don’t Stop Believing”. That song is a huge HUGE anthem that everybody knows at this point. If a singer is going to cover it, they gotta BRANG it. He performed a nice karaoke version of the song, but it wasn’t anything that would get me out of my seat. I actually thought his arrangement of and attack on the silly “Love Potion #9” was sharper and more entertaining. The judges pimping of James is redonkulous.

I still see a scared teenager when Lauren Alaina hits the big stage, but there’s no denying her vocal talent. She’s coming out of her shell bit by bit, but I don’t think it’s enough. Certainly not enough to win American Idol. I’m not sure what’s going to happen to her tomorrow…

Gaga was a better coach than I was expecting. I thought her advice to Haley was especially good. Although I had to avert my eyes when she got behind James to swivel his hips. Just. NO.

Live blog and videos below…’s the annual recap of past hometown visits. WHO DOESN”T LOVE THAT! Yes, I’ll be capping this, don’t worry. – VIDEO

The Top 4 want IT more than ever…Ryan assures us before he introduces the Top 4. Haley! Scotty! Lauren! James!

Round 1 – Songs that Inspire them
Round 2 – Songbook of Lieber and Stoller.

And Lady Gaga and her dildo shoes! (She and Jimmy mentor the Lieber and Stoller tunes)

James Durbin – “Don’t Stop Believing” By Journey – Never once has he stopped believing! C’mon Randy I know you know the words! shouts James. Solid rendition of this classic, classic tune. Flat in spots, and it could have been more..passionate? This song is one of the mother’s of rock anthems. It’s supposed to get people on their feet. That didn’t quite happen here. Maybe I’ve seen/heard too many versions of this song already. James is dressed in a complete homage to Steve Perry, with tails and a Journey t-shirt. Steven: An indication of what’s to come. You did it right. You couldn’t have picked a more popular song. Nice going. Jennifer: It’s amazing. Everybody can’t do that [hit the high notes] You pay such homage to my friends. One of the greatest rock bands, greatest singers, Steven Perry. That was the highest degree of difficulty, and you did it. The judges comments from last week made James refocus a little bit. 1-866-436-5701 – 1-866-436-5705PERFORMANCE

Haley Reinhart – “Earthsong” by Michael Jackson – Hm. A very odd song choice. Oh Haley. I really wanted you to go home to Chicago this weekend. This song ain’t gonna do it for you. She’s very shrill on the big notes. VERY SHRILL. Nevermind this song is not one of Michael’s best.  Jennifer: I really felt that that did inspire you. James sets the bar. You’ve got to choose the hit records. That song has a beautiful message. Randy says: It confused me with who you are as an artist. It felt like you were screaming. The song needed you to deliver it. Haley begins arguing with Randy. She’s clearly pissed. BUT THEY ARE RIGHT THIS WEEK. I love Haley…but they just are. Steven: They’re both wrong. That song showed me that you can. You nailed it. Haley is back talking the judges with attitude. Not good. Oh Haley. 1-866-436-5702 – 1-866-436-5706PERFORMANCE

Scotty McCreery – “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning” – He gets a little sit-down to begin. Oh geez. Jesus, Guns And God. Ought to be good for a few billion votes. Pander much? Excuse me while I barf. Scotty sings the way he typically does. Whatever. At this point he could poop on the stage and it wouldn’t matter. Randy: That’s a great amazing song, Alan Jackson. They mean so much to you. Perfect song choice for where we are as a country. I hope that you keep that. You’re ready for superstardom dude. Very nice. That was beautiful. Saw you almost lose it in the middle because of your passion. Jennifer: I’m in love with you. What you stand for…what you bring to your music. It’s the mark of somebody who was meant to do this. I’m glad that we’re here to witness this. 1-866-436-5703 – 1-866-436-5707VIDEOPERFORMANCE

Casey and Paul on hand to pimp the

Lauren Alaina – “Anyway” by Martina McBride – A very good vocal performance from Lauren. She’s finally coming out of her shell a little. Steven: You did it again. You broke my heart. You deliver a song like a blue plate special. You’re the whole package. Jennifer: I’m so proud. I feel like you’re listening to what we tell you. That was exactly what we’re talking about. Randy: Last week I was a little worried. Lauren is BACK IN IT TO WIN IT. That was hot YO. That was amazing. 1-866-436-5704 – 1-866-436-5708PERFORMANCE

Who won the round? Jennifer is having a hard time picking. Randy tells Haley she’s got to up her game in round two. When Randy said the round was a tie between Scotty/James/Lauren Haley puts on a giant STANK FACE. Part of winning is PLAYING THE GAME. Play the game Haley IN A WAY THAT’S NOT GOING TO HURT YOU. Otherwise YOU ARE LETTING THEM WIN. – VIDEO

Here comes LADY GAGA looking as crazy as ever.

Haley Reinhart – “I Who Have Nothing” – Haley says she had an immediate connection with Gaga who tells her to get CRAZY. Give them drama! Give them Edith Piaf! “You’re going to kick so much ass little pony!” – Wow. Haley looks sensational. HALEY’S BACK. By the way, I suggested this song for Haley and was basically told by my peeps in comments that I WAS BAKED. Haley’s bringing her own flavor to this tune. Loving the dramatic flourishes. Gaga really helped her here. Standing o from the judges! Casey clapping for his girl! Jennifer:  This is why we can’t take it easy on you. Look what you’re capable of. That was amazing. One of the best performances of the year. Randy: What you did is you came back and you were mad. YOU JUST HAD A MOMENT RIGHT HERE THAT PUT YOU IN IT TO WIN IT. That was amazing. Steven: You just Reinharted yourself into the middle of next week. Haley heads to the judges’ table to hug everyone. – VIDEOPERFORMANCE

Scotty McCreery – “Young Blood” – Gaga tells Scotty to make love to his microphone. LOL. Scotty needed to kiss his cross after that.  Look at Nigel. He’s enjoying himself. Scotty looks ridiculous. All the stupid faces and the wandering around the stage. Drunk uncle at a wedding HELLO. He really should get the “At this stage of the competition” speech. But he won’t. Randy: You were actually having fun with Gaga. You came out having such a good time. We just saw both sides of a Scotty concert. Steven: You make Gaga’s Ya ya go La la. A little Pat Boone It was fun. I love the humor. Jennifer: You really hit your stride, right now. This reminded me of what you did with “Gone”.  Next week I want to see a whole different side of you. – VIDEOPERFORMANCE

Lauren Alaina – “Trouble” – Gets a sit down with Ryan, “This has been such an amazing experience. I don’t want it to end.” Gaga says when she was 16, she was too weird to be on American Idol. Lauren says she doesn’t want America to think she’s evil. Then why the hell did you pick the song? Lauren says it’s better that the song pulled her out of her comfort zone. I actually chose this song for Lauren, but now that I’m hearing it…she not confident enough to really pull it off. But it’s a solid effort. She’s at her best when she’s displaying her personality. Lauren’s got a lot of sass.   Steven: That was well done. The character came out again. I love you. Jennifer: I saw a performance quality that came out of you that I haven’t seen before. Total attack. Really really good. Towards at the end…I kind of lost you. We saw some maturity. Randy: We saw a fun side of you. Rocker thing with a little attitude. I really enjoyed it. She’s working it! Gaga gave you really good advice. – VIDEOPERFORMANCE

Mike Stoller is in the audience. “It’s wonderful” he says.

James Durbin “Love Potion #9” – Going for a “Paul Rogers/Bad Company” feel. Gaga gets behind James to get his hips moving. “When you move those hips, you look sexy, ” She says. Ugh. This is such a dumb song. Having said that, this is a pretty hot arrangement and a good vocal. It’s like heavy metal Leiber and Stoller. Very entertaining. Jennifer: That showed me that you can sing anything. I wasn’t sure about that song for you. You just told me I was absolutely wrong. Randy: Hopefully all 4 of you are in it to win it. DOESN’T”T MATTER WHAT SONG IT IS (wait…I thought the song DID matter). You’re having a moment every single week. Steven: Beautiful thing, man. VIDEOPERFORMANCE

About mj santilli 32325 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!