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American Idol: Motown Week

March 24, 2011

Motown week on American Idol. Theme nights like this always make me shudder because I wonder how the singers will butcher songs/styles I like. What a pleasant surprise last night was for me because no one really butchered anything! Well, not too badly at least.

Casey Abrams: I still like Casey even though I wasn’t totally sold on this performance. There’s a lot more to Casey than that growl he does and the sexy nebbish schtick. This was a too-safe performance for a singer as talented as Casey.

Thia Megia: I’m sorry, but I don’t think Thia will ever sing anything on this show that I will appreciate. Forget that I think she’s too young, Thia is the epitome of bland and uninteresting and it doesn’t matter to me what she sings or what she wears, my response will always be, “Who cares?”

Jacob Lusk: Wow. I thought this was absolutely amazing. I wanted a performance from Jacob without all the screaming, and except for that one note at the end, Jacob delivered big time. This, in my opinion, was a star performance and way beyond American Idol. I thought Steven Tyler going onstage to hug Jacob after the performance was a little odd, but after thinking about it, when a person is moved by a song and a performance, how can he be criticized for reacting to that sweet emotion? I suppose it’s a little unfair that the other singers didn’t get emotional hugs after their performances, but does anyone think the Simonless judging this season is relevant anyway? I’m not a Ryan Seacrest fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought it was funny the way he handled the Jacob hug parade. Seeing Jacob hug his grandma made me miss my grandma.

Lauren Alaina: Oh, Lauren, I’m sorry you had to follow Jacob. You gave a great performance, even though I wasn’t crazy about your hair. But Lauren, did you hear how good Jacob was just five minutes ago? I’m sorry, Lauren, but I forgot your number because I was thinking about Jacob’s performance. I’m sorry, what’s your name again?

Stefano Langone: I think the name Stefano must translate in some language into “boring”. I’d like to like Stefano, but against powerhouses like Jacob, Casey and James, he’s nothing more than fodder to get us through to May.

Haley Reinhart: I hope Randy didn’t hurt his neck with that head bopping to the beat of the song! Haley must have read my advice from last week because the shorts and red lipstick were back! I don’t care what Haley sings as long as she wears shorts and red lipstick and I can look at her for two minutes. What did she sing? Oh yeah, “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”. Not the greatest song choice, lyric-wise, for a singer who’s found herself in the bottom three the past couple of weeks. “I wanna leave you, don’t wanna stay here, don’t wanna spend another day here…” I hope America doesn’t give you your lyrical wish, Haley. She left out the line “Don’t want to kiss you, but I need to”, but that’s alright because I sang it for both of us! I like Haley’s bluesy growl, but I don’t get the Janis Joplin comparison at all. Haley’s good, but she’s not Janis. She doesn’t even remind me of Janis. Haley’s also no Amanda Overmyer.

Scotty MrCreery: The Country singer I love to hate. Well, I really hate to admit it, but after last night, non-Country fan that I am, I’m in Camp Scotty. It wasn’t the best version of “For Once in My Life” that’s ever been done, but it was pretty good, and the best thing about it was he made it his own. Scotty Countrified it just enough to make it comfortable for him without ruining the song and I thought he pulled it off. Back in 1970-something, Frank Sinatra put out an album with covers of modern pop songs like, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”, “Sweet Caroline” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”. These weren’t great covers and this wasn’t a great album, but what was interesting was that Sinatra, without really changing the songs, sang them as Sinatra. They were songs that were about as far from Sinatra’s style as possible, but he made them his. I’m not saying that Scotty is anywhere near the performer that Sinatra was, but Scotty made that song his last night while still staying within the theme.

Pia Toscano: Oh, Pia, my early favorite, you continue to fall lower and lower in my American Idol rankings. Whatever it was that Randy said about doing something up tempo, or mid tempo, I agree. Quit putting me to sleep. Give us something else, Pia. Give it to us fast and give it to us wearing shorts and red lipstick!

Paul McDonald: Paul McDonald, the singer I really wanted to hate. Paul continues to grow on me week after week and he did it again last night. I don’t think he needed the guitar but my guess is he needed that more for a prop to stay centered so he wouldn’t get carried away into those awkward looking dance moves, but vocally, I thought this was pretty good. I wouldn’t buy it, but I did like the McDonaldized version he put on the song. I’d really like to hear Paul, almost more than any other singer on the show, sing an original song.

Naima Adedapo: Naima’s performance last night really made me miss Simon Cowell because the gushy love-fest that the judging has become only goes so far before losing all relevance. Do you remember record players? If so, did you ever play a 45 at 33 rpm? That’s what I thought Naima’s vocal sounded like. And the dancing? I liked it but this is, to paraphrase Simon, “a singing competition”. I sometimes wonder what they used to mean when they said someone sounded like karaoke but listening to Naima last night I got it. Actually, I got it a couple of weeks ago listening to Thia, but it sounded good here.

James Durbin: We know that James can rock and now we know that James can funk. What can’t James do? I think the answer to that question is nothing. For me, his performance of “Living For the City” last night was nothing short of brilliant.

Predictions:
My Bottom Three: Thia, Pia, Naima. (They all sort of rhyme)
America’s Bottom Three: Haley, Thia, Casey
Going Home: Haley

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. meghan permalink
    March 24, 2011 1:42 pm

    Haley is my cousin. and ik she has the guts to stick it through more rounds. Amercia don’t send her home, you need to encourage her to get her confidence back 🙂 worst prediction btw

    Like

    • Michael Fishman permalink
      March 24, 2011 2:20 pm

      I hope you’re right and she makes it through to next week.

      Like

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