We’ve all been complaining about the judges since the live shows began, but could the critiques have been any more effed up than they were tonight?
Randy is ridiculous with his “IN IT TO WIN IT” mantra. Yes, I know. The contestants haven’t been bringing the ole competitive spirit to their performances. But, repeating yourself over and over again Randy is not going to change the complexion of Season 10.
We still have contestants who are not talking chances, nervous when they hit the big stage and pitchy pitchy pitchy. But does Randy, or anybody else for that matter call out the kids or give them constructive critiques? Jacob was straight up horrible tonight, yet the judges tell him he’s got one of the best voices in the history of AI instead of “DUDE that BLEW.”
Or making excuses for an over-emotional James Durbin who had trouble staying on pitch. NO. Pros know how to keep it real, yet stay in control. Erm. It’s not ok forget about pitch just because you can’t hold it together.
The contestants who had solid performances tonight–Scotty and Lauren, weren’t perfect either. Scotty was positively scary (and didn’t sound very good) pulling crazy faces and jumping around the stage during his performance of “Gone”. Lauren’s Carrie Underwood cover was fine–one of her best yet, actually–but while she managed to hit the notes of “Unchained Melody” she lacked the maturity to pull off the emotion. (Oh, if only Lauren had waited a few years…but that’s a subject for another blog.)
The only contestant to get any sort of criticism was Haley Reinhart, who was the only contestant who went out on a limb tonight. Sure it was risky to sing an unreleased Lady Gaga song. But while I agree it wasn’t a great tune, Haley nailed the sucker–even better than her “House of the Rising Sun” later on. Not one for conspiracy theories, I had to wonder if that bus was getting ready to run over poor Haley when the judges breezed past the obvious flaws of the performances that came before hers, only to have nothing good to say about one of the best performances of the night.
By the time the judges came around at the end to effusively praise her “House of the Rising Sun”, I was already too irritated to cut the panel any slack. The judging really sucks this season, and that IS ALL.
Sheryl Crow was rather useless as a mentor. The tips she had for the contestants were mostly common sense. I say BRING BACK BABY FACE.
Video and Live Blog after the JUMP…
Live blogging American Idol RIGHT HERE!
Randy gives the big speech! It’s time to step it up contestants! You’ve got to show that you want to win! In other words, “We haven’t had a moment! The viewers are getting bored! It’s time to deliver people!”
Sheryl Crow, the ex-Idol hater, will be helping Jimmy mentor the kids tonight. Check out her video package.
James Durbin “Closer to the Edge” by 30 Seconds to Mars – Sheryl is so excited to be singing with James. Really? And only a few years ago, she hated Idol. James agrees with Jimmy that he’s a HAC DUDE BABY. HAC ALL THE WAY. And this song showcases the type of song he’ll be releasing to sit on the charts next to Cook, Daughtry, et. al. Oh, but there’s certainly room for a rock scream. Bye bye metal Durbin!!! This is a boring song (but aren’t most rock lite songs?) and James is pitchy in parts. Steven: James man, I think you kicked that songs ass. You’re ready for Freddy. (My grandma used to say that when somebody died.) (oh…and didn’t Steven tell James not to lose his rock edge earlier in the competition?) Jennifer: You’ve been showing us that you want it… Grab it take it. It’s yours to take. Now you’re showing us where you could go as an artist. Randy: JAMES IS IN IT TO WIN IT. HE WANTS IT RYAN HE WANTS IT. (Kill. Me. Now.) – 1-866-436-5701 – 1-866-436-5706 – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
Jacob tackles Jordin, Lauren will sing Carrie
Jacob Lusk – “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown – Jacob gets a little sit down with Ryan. Why, Jacob believes he can win! Harvey Mason, who produced the track, works with Jacob. Oh boy, In rehearsal, JACOB SOUNDS TERRIBLE. He’s singing out of his range. He plans on singing both parts. He looks ridiculous. He’s screechy and off key. HOLY JORDIN SPARKS BATMAN. Now he’s just hopping around the stage, yelping. He’s not even singing a melody. JACOB’S CATERWAULING IS UNBEARABLE. This has GOT TO BE the end of Jacob. I’ll cut a bitch if he outlasts Haley. Jennifer: One of the best voices that’s ever been on this stage (IS SHE HIGH?) It’s going to be important that you pick songs that reflect who you are as an artist. (Uhm. Why didn’t you tell him he sucked?) Randy: I don’t think that’s the direction for you. Most of it was sharp. I don’t see you as Chris Brown or Jordin Sparks. You’re the church kid, I see you as Luther. It doesn’t wear well. (Jennifer and Randy begin arguing. Jennifer thinks Jordin/Chris knockoffs are fine. Randy thinks it’s ridiculous. I side with Randy.) Steven: We’re waiting for you to find a niche. I love your voice, but I’m looking for that thing that’s 100% you. Great job tonight. (Uh, no. He was awful) “I think I’m an artist that appeals to everyone, ” says Jacob, adding that Luther sang in many different styles. 1-866-436-5702 – 1-866-436-5707 – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
Lauren Alaina – “Flat on the Floor” by Carrie Underwood – “It’s a hard song!” She says. Jimmy is proud of Lauren, and for good reason She handles this pretty well. The sassy stuff is right up her alley. One of her best performances so far, for sure. Full of confidence. She needed a break. Randy: That is the direction for you. I love you showing the fun side. Steven: Lauren is in it y’all. As good as it gets. You know where you’re going. Jennifer: I think you’re it. You ate that up. I saw you. You want it. Do it just like that every time. 1-866-436-5703 – 1-866-436-5708 – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
Scotty McCreery – “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry – Sheryl sings harmony with him in rehearsal. Scotty is drowned out by the band and the backup singers. The song doesn’t showcase his vocals very well. In fact, it reveals his weaknesses. His phrasing is very limited. He’s working the stage like crazy, making lots of googly faces. Not really digging this vibe for Scotty. Steven: Up til now you’ve been like a puritan. Tonight I saw you dance with the devil. That was really beautiful. Jennifer: I lost it there for a second, I was so excited. I liked it! That’s some American Idol stuff right there. Randy: I felt like we were sitting at a concert Scotty. It don’t matter what age you are. THIS GUY’S IN IT TO WIN IT TOO. 1-866-436-5704 – 1-866-436-5709 – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
Next: An UNRELEASED Gaga song? Would that still be considered a cover?
Haley Reinhart – “You and I” – Jimmy Iovine brought an unreleased Lady Gaga song (she does it in concert) to her. Gaga personally gave Haley her blessing. Jimmy says Haley “just laces” the tune. Sheryl thinks she’ll have a moment. Haley begins on the stairs. Yeah. Haley’s killing it. The best vocal so far tonight. I hope the audience isn’t turned off by the unfamiliarity. Jennifer: I love the way you sounded. I’m just not sure it was a cool idea to do an unreleased Lady Gaga track. Randy: I’m not sure it’s that great of a song. It’s so risky to do a song nobody knows. I don’t know if this whole thing did you any favors. Steven: His usual garbage. OK, so maybe that wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, but she took a risk, and she sang the crap out of it. I just don’t get it. 1-866-436-5705 – 1-866-436-5710 – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
James Durbin – “Without You” by Harry Nilsson – Wait….what happened to the 60’s theme? This is from the 70s. James cries as he sings it in rehearsal, thinking about his family. James is pitchy in his lower register. He won’t be called out on it of course. But, the song is nicely phrased, if a little shouty on the high notes. He ends in sobs. Randy: This is a mark of a truly great performer. For you to give a vocal like you gave, no the performance wasn’t perfect, but it was emotionally perfect. The competition is yours to lose. Steven: That was just as beautiful as it gets. Your emotions were incredible. Jennifer: Everyone knows you can sing, You have the heart and soul to back it up. You are a true true artist. It takes a lot to control your emotions and deliver what you just did. Actually, he didn’t control his emotions AT ALL. A true artist PULLS IT TOGETHER. So, it’s OK to be pitchy all over the place as long as he’s CRYING. OMG. – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
Jacob Lusk – “Love Hurts” by Nazareth – Sheryl sang a few bars of the song, softly to demonstrate to Jacob. Will he get it? It starts off OK. Here comes the screaming! EEP PITCHY. But he’s emotional y’all! So it’s OK. Oh dear GOD. My EARS ARE BLEEDING. Steven: You kinda got lost in the song, but everyone got lost in the song. Jennifer: I don’t know if they heard that little bobble in the middle at home (Oh, yeah. We did.) but you bring out the tricks in the end. It was just amazing. It takes you to another place. Really good. Randy: You redeemed yourself on this one. That might have been the highest note ever sung on this stage (Randy, you know that’s bullshit) – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
Lauren Alaina – “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers – Sheryl cautions that it will take a lot of maturity to sing this song. There’s a version of this by Lauren floating around on You Tube. She doesn’t get down to the longing and gritty emotion of the song. Yes, like Sheryl says, it takes maturity and Lauren does not have that yet. But she’s on key! And it shows off her big vocals. Jennifer: Nothing to judge. It was beautiful (Jlo! Earning her millions!) Randy: This girl can sing like a bird. Very nicely done. Steven: I loved that song. It was perfect. There was nothing to judge. (as if you ever) – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
Scotty McCreery – “You Were Always On My Mind” – Sheryl can’t wait for Scotty to move down to Nashville! I guess they’ll be BFFs. This is much better than that bouncy crazy thing he did in the first half of the show. Scotty is best when he slows it up and takes the time to tell a story. There’s some pitchy stuff here and there, but a solid vocal. Typical Scotty. Jennifer: You show us what a well rounded artist you are. So beautiful. Nothing awkward about you up there. Randy: We call you our youngest veteran. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You do country music so well. When you do the simplest thing, it gets the loudest reaction. I love it dude. Steven: America loves your voice man. I cannot pick that apart (When do you EVER pick ANYTHING apart Steven). Scotty’s Puerto Rican grandma is in the audience. – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE
Haley Reinhart – “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals – Sheryl suggests she sing it a’capella. If the judges knock this it’s a conspiracy people. A little too much growl on the phrases. And a little too sexy. This is not a sexy song. I actually liked the Gaga song better, but this is still worthy of some PRAISE. It was a powerful. solid vocal, although I was not crazy about her interpretation. Randy: The award tonight for best performance of the night goes to Haley! You’re so good now that was amazing. Steven: Sweet and sour, raspy, that really sells a song. Jennifer: I don’t know if you came out angry at us…that song has never been sung like that before. – VIDEO – PERFORMANCE