Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Top 11 Perform Again...

Welcome back to I'dol Be The Judge. Last week was all sorts of crazy on American Idol. From Hulk Hogan, to the Judges's Save being used, to Casey Abrams almost collapsing and passing out after learning his fate. That Results show was one of the crazier hours ever on this show. This week will only be crazier with 2 contestants having to go home, as a result of the Save being used. The theme this week will be Elton John so it should be a nice selection of music. As the clip package said, "NO MORE SECOND CHANCES", everyone is at risk now. Should be fun. So let's get to it:

How Were The Contestants?:

Scotty(Country Comfort): Scotty chose this song due to it being one of Elton John's only country songs. Scotty decides to play guitar during his performance. I feel we have seen this performance every single week. It's the same thing he does every week, his voice is very low, he is pretty on tune, is not pitchy, but relatively safe and boring. There is nothing really exciting about this performance at all. Grade=B Steven: He loved everything about his voice.
Jennifer: Finds that he has the right instincts, finds it a good performance.
Randy: Thinks he is a seasoned performer already. Thinks he is very comfortable and in his zone.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?:
Not really. They think that he is doing fine every week in this element, that he doesn't have to change it up. I wish he would. But given this response he probably won't.

Naima(I'm Still Standing): Easily Naima is one of the more interesting characters on this show. She has to show why she is different, and why we should enjoy all of her quirks and style. Once again Naima turns a song into reggae. I give her a lot of credit for trying and being brave by going so far away from the original. It's an interesting performance. It was pretty cool, but it wasn't completely in tune or energizing. What was interesting was that instead of just making the song reggae, she actually made her voice sound reggae. Either way I give her credit for going out there and being different. Grade=B-
Jennifer: She loves her, and loves the reggae swag. But, she thinks this song probably shouldn't have been flipped to reggae. It was a better idea than what actually occurred.
Randy: Thinks the performance came off a little corny, which doesn't really match the cool character that Naima really is.
Steven: Likes that she picked a song that fit her.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?:
Pretty much. They give her credit for trying but it didn't really pay off in the end.

Paul(Rocket Man): Playing his guitar again Paul is back in his flower jacket. I love the acoustic essence of the song, and making it very subdued and calm. If you like Paul then this was quintessential Paul, very quiet, very relaxed, nothing too exciting, but performed pretty well. At this point I don't know what the audience thinks of Paul, if they like his shtick then they might like this, if they find that Paul is a little too quiet and reserved then they won't like it. Grade=B-
Randy: Thought it was a little pitchy, but loved the softness and tenderness of his voice. Thinks he might be holding back.
Steven: Loves his voice, doesn't know if America will like it, but he liked it.
Jennifer: Feels that he needs to push himself a bit more, there's more there.
Do The Judges Agree With Me? Yep. We actually match right on the money this time.

Pia(Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me): Last week the judges criticized her for doing ballads, but Jimmy Iovine just wants her to show her passion and don't worry about doing ballads. Pia's voice is so controlled and always on pitch. With a dozen or so back-up singers, Pia definitely proved why ballads are her thing. When those big notes comes she kills it. The slower parts of the song were a little boring, but when the song picked up the performance became much more exciting. Grade=B+
Steven: Feels she done it again. Feels she nailed it and thinks it was as good as it gets.
Jennifer: Feels that she is starting to push the barrier, and is getting to a place where she will be a complete artist.
Randy: Thinks she slays the ballads every time, but still wants her to switch it up from time to time. Thought it was unbelievable, and thinks that she was great once again.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?
Kind of. I didn't think it was Pia's best but it was still top notch and better than what we have seen from all night thus far.

Stefano(Tiny Dancer): Jimmy Iovine thinks it will be a tough night for Stefano because there are parts of this song that were designed exactly for Elton John. I want to like his performance, but I kind of agree with Jimmy on this one. I feel he missed some words and he wasn't finishing some of the notes completely. It was very stop and start, stop and start. There wasn't a great flow to the song or performance. His tone and pitch were fine but overall it wasn't that exciting. I think he could have done better, but it was a little a bit better than last week's performance. Grade= C
Jennifer: She can feel that he connected with the audience better, and thought that he was back to his old self.
Randy: Likes that he connected with the audience, and kept his eyes open and moved around the stage. Thought he hit the money notes tonight.
Steven: Thought there was a sweet thing to his voice. Thinks that he nailed it.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?:
Nope. They thought he nailed it, and that he connected. I thought it was kind of weak and even tough to watch at points.

Lauren(Candle In The Wind): Lauren puts a country kind of spin on this song. Her voice was perfectly on pitch and she had a nice flair to her voice. The performance was a little sleepy, but her voice was right on the money. I liked the country style she put to this song. Grade=A-
Randy: Thought it was one of the greatest Lauren Alaina performances ever on that stage. Thinks that was very pro and feels she can do anything if she believes in herself.
Steven: Thought it was perfect and beautiful. Feels if she keeps performing the way she just did then she'll eventually be able to pay for the rest of the dress. *One of Steven's funnier lines since Hollywood week.*
Jennifer: Thought she looked and sounded gorgeous. Thought it was just like when they first heard her.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: They do. We both think that she sounded beautiful and is definitely finding her way now.

James(Saturday Night's Alright):
James decides to start his performance in the middle of the audience, he wants to utilize the entire arena and get everyone up on their feet. He definitely did that, he really did a nice job getting around and getting back to the middle of the stage to sing the chorus of the song. I don't always like that James panders to the audience, but this time he really made it his own and made it seem like he was already in concert. It was one of the cooler performances this season by any contestant. Nothing boring here. Grade=B+
Steven: Thought it was beautiful and loves his rock voice. Jennifer: Thinks that James really got everyone involved and had a great full performance.
Randy: Loves that James really enjoys himself and loves his performance all the way around.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?:
Yes. We all feel that the performance element of James is off the hook and he did a really nice job moving around and making the song his own.

Thia(Daniel): Jimmy Iovine wants Thia to connect to her song, and feels if she connects she'll move on, if she doesn't connect she won't. Again Thia sings the song very nicely, it's pretty, she's in tune, but the performance was pretty sleepy. There wasn't much there to get excited about. It's the complete opposite of James' performance. Grade=C+ Jennifer: Calls the performance beautiful and feels the song suited her perfectly.
Randy: Liked that it was relaxed and we were able to hear her whole voice, but thought it was a bit too safe for her this week.
Steven: Thinks she picked a perfect song and sang it really well.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?:
Pretty much. I don't think this will really do too much for her with the voting public. The voters that have kept her around will like it, but I don't know if she'll gain that many more fans off of this performance.

Casey(Your Song): Jimmy Iovine wants Casey to get humble, and do the opposite of everything he did last week. The first step was trimming the beard a bit. He looks a lot better. He also sounds so much better. The performance was very controlled and completely different than the yelling, growling performances he has done the past few weeks. We were really able to hear his voice, and he actually has a nice one. You can still hear the grit in his voice but it was a great mix of his style mixed with a new found controlled voice. It was pretty enjoyable actually. Grade=B+
Randy: Is proud that he and his fellow judges saved him last week. Loved the tenderness and thought it was just a well done performance.
Steven: Loves that he sings differently each and every time out there. Jennifer: Loves that they saved Casey, and feels he proves why they saved him tonight.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Yes. I never thought that Casey deserved to be in 11th place, but I also didn't agree that the Save should be used so early in the competition. Casey will have to go pretty far to make it seem that using that Save was a good idea, tonight was a good first step.

Jacob(Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word): Mary J. Blige dropped in to see Jacob rehearse, so that's pretty cool for Jacob who only learned this song from hearing her version. If I didn't have to watch Jacob's facial expressions than I'd probably think this version was pretty good. But those facial expressions were really odd this time around, and one of the more "interesting" facial expressions came when the camera was on a close up, so that's unfortunate. I think his voice was pretty controlled and his big note at the end wasn't that crazy or too much. Grade=B
Steven: Thought the first half of the song was great, and so was the second half.
Jennifer: Thinks he made the song his own, and thought the last note was unbelievable.
Randy: Loves his restraint at points, but only wants him to pick one spot to make it his own rather than multiple times during the song.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?:
We kind of do. They probably liked it more than I did, but I still thought he did a nice job.

Haley(Benny and The Jets): Haley was not in the Bottom 3 for the first time last week, and this week she needs to prove that she shouldn't go back there. I think she succeeded by having one of her best performances, by far. You can hear her growl, her grit, and all the rock and soul in her voice. She was completely on pitch and she had some really great moments. Grade=A-
Jennifer: Thought it was "IT". It all came together for her. thought it was all sorts of amazing.
Randy: Thought it was the best perfroamcnce of the night. She deserves all the credit.
Steven: Thinks that she sings "Sexy". Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Definitely. Next to Lauren's performance I feel that Haley was the best of the night.

How Were The Show/Judges?:

*I thought that this was Jimmy Iovine's best night of helping the contestants. I thought his constructive criticism's were right on the money. He was able to look back at each contestants previous weeks and pick out their weaknesses and strengths. I loved that he was no hold barred with his comments.

*Probably one of the stronger performance nights so far. Nobody was completly atrocious, the judges were for the most part pretty in sync with what really occured and not delusional like they can be from time to time. I still think they give Jacob a bit too much credit than what he really deserves, but I love that they praised Haley tonight for the first time in a long time.

Bottom 3/4 Prediticions/Who's Going Home?:
Since 2 people will be going home, I'm not sure if they will do a Bottom 3 or Bottom 4. But here are my picks anyways.
Bottom 3/4 : Thia, Naima, Stefano and Paul
Going Home: Thia and Naima. I really hope I am wrong and that at least one of the boys goes home, but I think that it will be 2 girls going home tomorrow.

Come on back here tomorrow when 2 contestants will be going home. There is no more Judge's Save so anything can happen. See you soon.


  1. This year has a completely different feel to it with the judges. I don't recall more than a handful of times this season when the judges gave criticism without praise to follow. Randy is the closest to doing this. It's almost as if they are afraid to hurt the singer's feelings. The judges started the Top 12 with praise/love, praise/love, and don't seem to be changing their stance. The singer's heads will be twice the size by the end of the season after being told how they are ready for the studio and concert performances over and over again.

  2. I agree. I really liked Steven in the beginning, but he has yet to give constructive criticism yet. I hope it's Paul and Thia going home tonight. Paul really annoys me and Thia is just too young.