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American Idol: Elton John Week

March 31, 2011

Elton John night on American Idol came with a certain dread factor for me because I wasn’t looking forward to hearing the singers butchering songs by an artist I’ve loved for such a long time. I was certainly in for a surprise because I thought everyone – almost everyone – did an admirable job with their song choices. I don’t know if that’s because this year’s group of contestants can actually sing, or because the songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin are just that good.

Scotty McCreery: Dear Scotty, I don’t like Country music so please stop making me like Country music. Scotty does one thing and one thing only, but he does it so gosh darn well (now I’m starting to talk Country!) that it’s pretty much impossible for me to not listen and enjoy. I thought Roy Rogers would have been a perfect choice for Scotty, but as it turned out, he nailed Country Comfort. I’m beginning to think it doesn’t matter what the genre is, Scotty’s going to nail it.

Naima Adedapo: How much did I dislike this performance? Believe me, I disliked this performance more than you want to know! I thought the Reggae arrangement was interesting, but the Jamaican accent was beyond absurd. I suppose the accent was understandable because of the arrangement, but when she introduced the song using the Jamaican accent, what was that about? And dedicating it to all the people in the world who are still standing in the midst of all the world’s current crises was a little insensitive if you ask me. This was a performance, from the introduction right on through to the end, that teetered on offensive on a couple of levels. What’s next up for Naima next, maybe a performance in blackface? And Steven, you’re a fun guy to watch on the show, but your criticisms, especially in this case, couldn’t be lamer. Watching and listening to Naima perform really makes me miss Simon.

Paul McDonald: While I don’t think Paul has the broad appeal to win this thing, he’s my dark horse candidate to go to the finals. I really like Paul’s voice, I like that he knows who he is, and I love the spin he puts on songs. To me, he’s the most original of the contestants and I’d love to hear him perform his original songs. Rocket Man is actually one of my least favorite Elton John songs and I thought Paul performed it very well. He took a song that I don’t like and made it interesting.

Pia Toscano: Nice to see Pia finally wear a short dress! Another great performance from Pia and I don’t care what the judges say to her because anyone who can sing ballads this well should continue to sing ballads every week. If Paul winds up in the bottom group tonight it’ll probably be because everyone forgot about him once Pia opened her mouth and sang.

Stefano Langone: I think I’ll change Stefano’s name to “Long Gone” because I’ll be surprised if he’s still around after tonight. Despite my not a fan of Stefano’s singing I won’t deny that he’s very good, but he’s just not good enough in comparison to the other nine (sorry, Naima) singers he’s competing against.

Lauren Alaina: I’m not sure what the judges were listening to because I didn’t see all the great things they saw in Lauren’s performance of Candle in the Wind. She was good – credit to the songwriters for that – but I didn’t think it was as smashing as the judges thought it was. And Steven, she’s only 16, don’t comment on the length of her dress because that’s just creepy.

James Durbin: I guess everyone has an off week and this was that week for James. It was a good performance which really was the problem. It was a performance and I’m less interested in James’ theatrics and more interested in his singing. Maybe it was the Hulk Hogan effect and Jame will be back to singing next week. I was also a little disappointed with the song choice only because it was so obvious. I think a much better choice for James would have been something like Take Me to the Pilot or Your Sister Can’t Twist (but she can Rock and Roll).

Thia Megia: Thia’s been skating by and avoiding elimination week after week and this week, because of some type of magic in the air or mystical alignment of the planets or the lingering effects of the super full moon, I expect she’ll skate through the elimination again. I thought this was a boring and lifeless performance. Yeah, she sings very well, but… yawn.

Casey Abrams: I really thought Casey was going to shave off the beard, but maybe he’s waiting with that until he’s deeper in the competition. I love Casey, I’m glad he was saved last week and in my best Randy Jackson impression: Casey’s back, dude! It was nice to hear Casey sing rather than watch Casey perform and I hope he keeps that up next week.

Jacob Lusk: Despite how much I look for reasons not to like Jacob I’m not having any success. Jacob’s emotional investment into every song he sings amazes me and like Randy said, “It was brilliant.” The screaming gets a little much for me at times, but I’m not sure that Jacob is able to sing poorly.

Haley Reinhart: It was nice to see Haley get the last spot so maybe she can take a week off from standing in the bottom three and facing elimination. Or maybe not. I thought Haley did a good job on Benny and the Jets, and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t get the judge’s praise. I think probably any one of the other nine singers (sorry, Naima) could have done this song just as well as Haley did. That isn’t a criticism of Haley, just that I didn’t find anything special or unique about the performance and I think by now each singer should be special and unique each week. Hey, do you know how you catch a unique rabbit? Unique up on it.

Will there be a bottom three or a bottom six tonight? I don’t know, but here’s who I think will find themselves somewhere in the bottom:

The two going home:
Naima and Stefano. However, just because I like him, it will probably be Paul going home along with Stefano.

One day until Opening Day and it’s about damn time! Go Twins!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 31, 2011 12:25 pm

    I just can’t get into any of the girls, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I love Paul and Casey so much. I think I am the only person in the USA that isn’t all ga-ga over Jacob.
    Although she is very cute I hated Haley’s version of “Benny and the Jets”. And I really didn’t think anyone would even attempt “Candle in the Win”, but she did okay. I still like Paul for winning…we’ll see.


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