Welcome back. Tonight is the Top 12 performances. These weeks are flying by, it's already been a week since Ashthon Jones was sent packing. To avoid joining her the contestants will have to step up their game. The Theme this week is "Year You Were Born". There are a lot of younger contestants this year so it should be interesting to see what "classic" songs the contestants will be singing. The contestants will meet with Jimmy Iovine and other notable music producers again this week. They are mentoring as well as helping them select their songs. So as we always do, let's get to it:
How Were The Contestants?:
Naima-Born 1984(What's Love Got To Do With It): Naima is singing one of Tina Turner's most famous songs. She adds a very current vibe to the song and makes it more R&B and club like. Her voice itself isn't extremely on point, but it's definitely a cool version of this song and she makes it her own. She has a lot going on, maybe a bit too much at times. Grade=B
Steven: He loved it and thought it was beautiful. (These are his signature comments)
Jennifer: Loved that she brought her flavor, but finds her consistently pitchy and worries for her in this competition.
Randy: Thought the vocals were all over the place and that she is just under where she should be.
Paul-Born 1984(I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues): Paul's mannerisms on stage are just crazy and are sometimes distracting from his vocals. I give him credit for trying to own that low key, mellow voice, but the band overpowers him at many points. I'm glad that he picked a more notable song than last week. But this really wasn't a super strong performance. Grade=B
Jennifer: Thought he sounded good and his star quality overcame his cold and sinus problems.
Randy: Thought he was pitchy but still likes that he makes every song his own.
Steven: Feels he has cool swagger and finds Paul very distinctive despite some pitchyness.
Thia-Born 1995(Colors of The Wind): The youngest contestant in the competition this year. Jimmy feels that Thia could be a dark horse in this competition. Thia singing a song from "Pochontas" makes me feel very old, I remember seeing that movie when it came out. Wow. Her performance tonight was very tepid in the beginning of the song, but her vocals were controlled throughout. She might have had a pitchy moment here and there but it was a pretty solid vocal. The performance itself was a bit boring and she needs to do something different one of these weeks. Grade=B
Randy: Thought the vocals were ok, but found it boring and felt nothing special came from it.
Steven: Thought she had a beautiful voice, but doesn't think that the song is her.
Jennifer: Didn't feel anything special and finds that she is picking safe songs and needs to step outside the box.
James-Born 1989(I'll Be There): James singing Bon Jovi makes perfect sense, but I don't think his vocal was as strong as it has been the past couple week. I thought the song dominated him a bit too much. But his high scream was pretty controlled. A mixed bag this time, for sure. Grade=B
Steven: Doesn't want James to get too pop-py. Then he accidentally cursed, which is always fun.
Jennifer: Loved it, thought it was amazing, and makes her want to sing along. (Which she did)
Randy: Thought there were some pitch problems, but thought it was tastefully done.
Haley-Born 1990(I'm Your Baby Tonight): Singing Whitney Houston is always dangerous in this competition, because it's a lot to be compared to. It has worked for some but has been disastorous for others. I can see how and why Haley wanted to change her whole style from last week, given she was "this close" to going home last week. I definitely liked this week more than last, but I still think she has more in her. Don't know if she did enough to get away from the Bottom 3. Grade=C+
Jennifer: Thought she looked beautiful, but could sense she is still tense and needs to act more naturally.
Before Randy speaks, Ryan fixes Haley's makeup. Yes, I just said that.
Randy: Doesn't feel that Haley is sure of who she is. Doesn't think it was great performance and is still confused by her.
Steven: Thought it was sweet and tough, but feels she needs to give more blues, like she used to.
Stefano-Born 1989(If You Don't Know Me By Now): Not the most well known or popular song choice, but I don't really know what was that popular in 1989, nor do I know what songs are cleared for the contestants to sing. He does a lot with the song, he has a lot of stage presence and his voice is very controlled. He hit a very high note at the end and nailed it. Grade=B+
Randy: Calls it the best performance of the night (Given the quality of performances thus far that's not extremly hard to say).
Steven: Thought it was over the top beautiful.
Jennifer: Thought it was a perfect song choice, and could be a contender if he stays this consistent.
Pia-Born 1988(Where Do Broken Hearts Go): Another Whitney Houston, another time for everyone to compare the contestant to Whitney. This song seems more appropriate for Pia than the other Whitney Houston song did for Haley. I'm glad she didn't just sing another ballad and took on a more peppy song. She did a great vocal and has been incredibly consistent. Pia couldn't do better in this competition if she wrote the script herself. Grade=A
Steven: Thought Pia nailed it.
Jennifer: Was pleased that she sang a more high tempo song and thought it was perfect for her.
Randy: Feels Pia is in the competition to win it and warns all other contestants that they better step it up.
Scotty-Born 1993:(Can I Trust You With My Heart): If you like a good ole country boy with a cute smile then you love Scotty. If country isn't your thing then Scotty isn't the one for you. For what it was, Scotty did a nice job. I feel all his performances are relatively the same. He's very consistent, his voice is controlled, but it's a bit boring, when it's the same thing week in week out. Grade=B
Jennifer: Feels that he pushed it out there in the end and likes seeing him grow as a performer.
Randy: Feels he can sing anything and is best when he steps out of his comfort zone.
Steven: Finds Scotty really good and that he just needs to continue being himself.
Karen-Born 1989:(Love Will Lead You Back): The most predictable contestant outside of Scotty and his country songs is Karen. You know she will pick either a ballad or a chessy-ish song with a big moment or 2 and she'll try to add some Spanish in the song. She did all of that tonight. It was better than last week but still very boring and not that impressive. Grade=B-
Randy: Thought it was better than last week, but welcomes her back.
Steven: Loves when she adds her ethnic-ness to the song.
Jennifer: Thought she attacked the song and needs to play to her strengths.
Casey-Born 1991(Smells Like Teen Spirit): Casey looks like he is about 28, but he really is only 19. He has had some health problems the past couple weeks but has powered through them to perform Nirvana's most classic song. Casey also got to play an electric guitar. This is the first time that a contestant has utilized an instrument in these live performances. This performance was pretty cool, and was very different from anything I have seen this year and in years past. Don't think the guitar did much for him, but the performance was definitely different and unique. Grade=B+
Steven: Thinks he is crazy and talented and is a great combination.
Jennifer: Thought some parts of the song were screamy screechy and some of it wasn't pleasant but still loves him.
Randy: Loves that he takes risks, and is fearless despite this not being his best performance.
Lauren-Born 1994(I'm The Only One): Battling the flu, Lauren tries to overpower the sickness with a great performance. Given all of that, I thought Lauren did a really nice job. I think she actually sounded and seemed more confident on the stage. I thought it was one of the stronger performances she has had in several weeks. Grade=A-
Jennifer: Made it her own and thought it was a very very good job.
Randy: Thought it was very nice and thinks she should have a cold every week.
Steven: Feels she overpowered her sickness and is a shining start.
Jacob-1987(Alone): I'll say it this year like I said it last year, and the year before, Carrie Underwood owns this song on this show. Nobody sings this Heart song better than Carrie. Jacob definitely went out of his comfort zone, but it didn't really reach unbelievable status like I'm sure he wished it did. He had some pitchy moments, and maybe did too much with it. Grade=B
Randy: Thought it was a very nice even though he got sharp at moments. Thought the tenderness was genius.
Steven: Feels that gospel had a baby and named it Jacob Lusk.
Jennifer: Loved that he gives himself completely and thought it was so good.
How Was The Show/Judges?:
A little better than last week. I thought the bad contestants weren't as bad, and there was even a few more good performances this time around.
Jennifer is impressing me more and more each week, while at the same time Steven is making me regret calling him my favorite judge only a few short weeks ago. He really isn't doing anything that notable or memorable. He doesn't help the contestants with his feedback, and isn't extremely entertaining.
It's obvious now, if it wasn't obvious before, that the guys are much stronger than the women. Although I think that Pia is the leader right now, overall I believe there is more talent with the guys over the girls.
Bottom 3 Prediction/Who's Going Home?:
Bottom 3= Haley, Naima and Karen
Going Home=Haley. She just didn't do enough to overcome being in the Bottom 3 last week. Nobody was terrible tonight, but Haley just wasn't that good either.
Tomorrow will be interesting to see who goes. Come back here to I'dol Be The Judge to find out if we were right in our predictions and see if there are any surprises. We'll see you then.