Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Top 7 Perform

Welcome Back! This week the Top 7 will be performing songs from The 21st Century. I don't remember anyone singing a song from this century at all last year, so this is a change for American Idol. Sometimes it is hard to sing a more current song because people still remember the artist and how it sounded, so it's on the Top 7 contestants to really change it up and make the songs their own. We'll see how it goes. We have 5 guys and 2 girls left, almost anyone is at risk.

Interestingly, before the Top 7 perform, Naima, Thia, Pia, Ashthon, Paul and Karen perform "So What?". Weren't they all just eliminated? It might be a little early to start reminiscing. The girls sounded decent enough, but when you throw Paul's voice into that mix it made the whole thing a mess, plus Naima was jumping around and doing karate kicks all around the stage. We also get a little shot of Mark Ballas(pro dancer on Dancing with the Stars), Pia's supposed new boyfriend. Next week Pia will be singing on an episode of Dancing with the Stars, so we get a little cross promotion thing happening as well. A little odd to bring back these contestants before the finale, but American Idol is a little strange sometimes, any long time viewer of this show knows that.

So after that odd little interlude we are finally ready to get to the remaining contestants. So let's get to it:

How Were The Contestants?

During the clip packages the Top 7 is asked about what they think of their fellow contestants.

Scotty (Swingin): The contestants make fun of the way Scotty holds the microphone, and sings out of the side of his mouth. Scotty had the choice to sing any song from the 21st century, and he picks a relativley obscure LeAnn Rimes song. A little bit of an odd choice. His crazy facial expressions are in full force tonight. I give Scotty credit for singing an uptempo song, but it really wasn't that unbelievable, the song choice is a little questionable, in my opinion. Grade=C+
Steven: Loves him, loves his voice, loves LeAnn Rimes, thought it was real good.
Jennifer: Loves his story telling ability, but wants him to pull out the big guns and push past his comfort zone. Says he had a decade of music to choose from and this didn't live up to expectations.
Randy:Thinks that at this point Scotty was too safe and didn't like the song choice at all.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: It's nuts, but yes they do. Forget Steven, both Jennifer and Randy thought it was a safe choice and didn't do anything for Scotty. I never thought that the judges would say a bad word about Scotty. I kind of feel that if Steven didn't comment first, that he wouldn't have liked it, but because he was put on the spot first, before hearing the other judges he didn't know what to say. Scotty has a lot of fans, but getting bad reviews and being in the first spot tonight is a little dangerous, he should be safe, but depending on the other contestants, he could land in Bottom 3. I won't believe it until I see it, but ya never know.

James(Uprising): The contestants makes fun of the way he points, his scarf tail and the way he hits those high notes. I love this song so much from The Muse, and it's a great choice for James, Jimmy Iovine also thinks it's a great substantial song for him. James gets to come into the arena with a marching band, cool entrance. The beginning of the song was very generic and karaoke, but then James added his high pitched flair which made it his own. I really liked this performance, it was very cool, and he sounded pretty controlled out there. Grade=B+
Jennifer: Thinks theatrically that it will be the best performance of the night. Thought it was really amazing, thinks it was the highest he ever sang.
Randy: Loves the direction James went with this song and wants him to follow this path. Goes out on a limb and thinks this will be the best performance of the night.
Steven: Thinks it was crazy good, loves that he is beautifully out of his mind. Also asks James to stay out of his closet.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Pretty much. I might not have said this will be the best performance of the night since we have only seen 2 people thus far, but James was really good.

Haley(Rolling in The Deep): The contestants make fun of her growls, they think she is a brat, sassy, and has a love hate relationship with Stefano. Haley has chosen one of Adele's new songs. It's a great song, and Haley makes a great choice with this one. Haley starts out sitting on piano, and when the song picks up she starts getting her growls into the song and makes it her own. Although you could still hear Adele in there, there was a lot of Haley in it as well, which makes it a lot better.  Probably not her best ever but definitely better than last week. Grade=B
Randy: Loves the song choice, and wants Haley to go the vocal path of Adele, thought it was well done.
Steven: Thought it was a great performance, has a great feeling to her voice.
Jennifer: Gives her credit for choosing Adele and loved that she made a lot of the song her own.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: They do. Haley made the song her own, or as much as she could, and did a really solid job.

Jacob(Dance With My Father): The contestants call Jacob a diva, a cool diva, very diva-ish. Jacob has been compared to Luther Vandross a couple times this season, so singing this song, along with the meaning behind Jacob singing it(Jacob lost his father when he was only 12), makes this an appropriate song choice for Jacob. From the first line, Jacob almost loses it, he kind of stops briefly and then picks it back it up. This performance was full of emotion, and I give him credit for getting through it. I thought he was a little flat at points, and then a bit pitchy at points, but it an emotionally packed performance, so he did a decent job given all that. Grade=B-
Steven: Calls him "Luther Lusk". Calls his performance a beautiful thing.
Jennifer: Thinks that although he was able to control the emotion and perform really well, he maybe was a little off at a couple points.
Randy: Thinks it was an emotional performance, but thinks it was just vocally okay, and that he wasn't jumping up and down. Thinks he is a race horse that has constraints put on, wants him to let loose next week, if he is still around.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Pretty much. I am glad they are giving constructive criticism this week, and not just letting some of the negative aspects of his performance go without a mention.

Casey(Harder To Breathe): The contestants obviously make fun of Casey's beard and thinks he is a little weird and off about him. They call him a mad genius. Jimmy likes the song choice of singing this Maroon 5 song. The first part of the song, without the band was very cool and made the song so different from the original. Once the band came in, it made the song a little karaoke. He added a little of his own flair with his growl and then made it a little angry at a couple points. If we all remember that didn't work out for him a few weeks back when he performed "Smells Like Teen Spirit". At the end of the performance Casey walks up to the judges, sings the last notes very quietly and goes right up to J.Lo and kisses her on the cheek. Gotta give Casey credit for pulling a stunt like that. Grade=B
Jennifer: Thinks Casey has soft lips. Loved it....the performance. Thinks it was really great, and he brought all his Casey-isms to it.
Randy: Loves that it's always a surprise out there. Enjoyed it and wants him to continue to take chances.
Steven: Thinks he is a cult hero and then Steven Tyler cursed incredibly bad and was bleeped. I'm no lip reader but I believe the "F" word was used. The comment was positive, just a little bit too much for a show such as this. Steven just got a little excited right there.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: They do. It was a crazy cool performance. Simple as that.

Stefano (Closer): The contestants make fun of the way that Stefano tries to be a ladies man, and will flirt with a piece of paper if he has to. Singing Ne-Yo is an interesting choice for Stefano. Stefano has been in the Bottom 2, for 2 weeks in a row, he needs a big performance. But I don't think he does that at all. He loses some of the beat, and is flat in some points. He tries to dance, which was a little awkward. I do think that Stefano looks really good, so that's a positive. Otherwise it was pretty rough for me. Grade=C
Randy: Thought he did a very good job. Liked that he took his time singing the verses and worked it all out.
Steven: Thought it was a good job. Glad he danced a little.
Jennifer: Thinks it was really really good, thinks that he had his swag going on. Thought he owned the song and thought it was a really good job.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Nope. They really liked it, I really didn't. But they thought he was crazy good last week, and he was Bottom 2, so we'll have to see.

Lauren (Born To Fly): The contestants make fun of her accent, and the way that she talks and talks and talks. Jimmy tries to motivate Lauren to push through her nervousness and really step it up. He thinks if she can get past all that she is that magical of a singer to win the whole thing. Lauren decides to go straight country by singing this Sara Evans song. Unfortunetly the performance was lacking tonight. Her song was pretty solid, but unfortunately it was a little boring at some points. Kind of disappointing. Grade=B-
Steven: Thinks that she has such natural talent and is special.
Jennifer: Thinks her voice has a lot of character, wants her to try to hit those big notes that Lauren is afraid of.
Randy: Wants Lauren to believe in herself as much as the judges do. Thinks the performance was good, but thinks she can bring greatness.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Yep. Lauren had a tough night because she didn't push herself. She has what it takes, but tonight she just didn't take it there.

How Was The Show/Judges?:
*Either some producer gave the Judges a note, or the judges are reading and listening to the fans, because tonight the judges definitely provided some constructive criticism. It wasn't mean, or nasty, it was just good old fashioned help. Do I wish that they have been doing this all along? Sure. But if they do it this week and don't really do it again, then at least we got one decent week of judges feedback.

*The beginning of the show with the first 5 eliminated contestants performing was so strange. The American audience just got rid of these people, why would we want to see them again? Aside from Pia, they were all justly eliminated. I'll see you all at the finale for the little reunion, but don't come back til then, ya hear?

*Steven Tyler cursing was the funniest thing he has done in a long time, and that's not a good thing. Steven is such a non-entity on this show, so it's unfortunate that the coolest thing he did was curse. Jennifer and Randy stepped it up a little this week, Steven again did not.

*The song choices for 21st Century were decent. I think in the past 10 years there have been some incredible songs, so there were a couple bad song choices tonight. The two people that suffered from the worst song choices were Scotty and Lauren. When you get 10 years of songs to choose from your song choice should not be bad. I know sometimes the producers can't clear a certain song, but there are still plenty of other songs to choose from.

*For many many seasons at the Top 7 point Ryan does the fake out Bottom 3. He makes 2 groups of 3 and tells one person they are safe. Then he asks the one person to choose which group they think is Safe and which is the Bottom 3 group. I wonder if this  scenario will happen this season, and if it does which 1 person will have to make the choice.

Bottom 3/Who's Going Home Predictions:

Bottom 3=Jacob, Stefano, Haley
Going Home=Jacob. I think he needs to go. I feel he didn't bring it tonight, and he hasn't in a long time. Randy wants Jacob to push his vocals and go nuts next week, I want no part of that, so I would love for Jacob to be gone this week, and there is a good chance this will come to be.

Come on back here to IdolBeTheJudge tomorrow to see which contestant falls just shy of the Top 6. Should be interesting like always. See you soon!


  1. I think Jacob is much better than Stefano and needs to stay another week. Bottom 3 Lauren, Stefano, Hailey. Going home, Stefano hopefully.

  2. Stefano doesn't have a frog in his throat on his lower and mid rage notes like Jacob. Jacob's voice is amazing in his high range, which is why I like his choruses and hate his verses. Stefano doesn't have a problem with either. I just don't like his phoney Latino diction. But his clarity and consistancy in his tone throughout his range far surpasses Jacob's. I don't think Stefano has a relaxed enough sound, and comes on too strong when needing to be sensitive. He also makes very abrupt cut-offs which screws with his phrasing. Lauren is a talented vocalist, but far too cookie cutter for me, and often becomes unforgettable. While Haley's pitch is often better on her recordings than live, she has extraordinary chops and a style and sound that's unique and powerful. James has a ridiculous range, and I think is a great performer. I don't get the hype about Casey or Scotty. Casey seems like he's mocking something with his teeth clinching, and unnecessary growling, and almost always gets carried away to the point of losing the pitch. And I'm sick of the praise! Scotty has a beautiful voice, and will make it big in Nashville, but he has to be less awkward on stage. I can't stand watching his cocky forced flirting and crooked neck. I guess we shall just have to tune in and see what happens.