Welcome Back. We are down to the Final 5. I probably never would have predicted that it would be this exact 5, but it is what it is at this point.
The theme for this week is Now and Then. The contestants will sing a more current song, and then a song from the past. 2 songs is going to be a pretty difficult job as is, but then to sing 2 songs from 2 completely different generations is a different task altogether. The contestants will be mentored this week with the help of Cheryl Crow and Jimmy Iovine, as usual. Should be fun, so let's get to it:
How Were The Contestants:
James(Current Song=Closer to The Edge)=Jimmy thinks there is nothing between James and greatness tonight. I'm not going to lie I don't know a lot about the song or the band that originated this song 30 seconds to Mars so the performance doesn't really grab me like James' performance did last week. To be honest, James was a little pitchy and sharp in some parts of the song, and then flat in others. He is always a great performer and moves around the stage as good as any, but didn't think it was his best performance. Grade=B
Steven: Thinks he kicked that song's ass.
Jennifer: Feels that James really wants to win and can feel it also.
Randy: Thinks he fits well with the song and band. Thinks he is in it to win it.(Randy's new favorite saying)
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Kinda. They were very impressed with it, there were no criticisms or constructive feedback. James definitely wants to win, but not sure if this was his best outing.
Jacob(Current Song=No Air)= This was by far Jordin Sparks' most popular, well known after-Idol song. Jacob is singing both parts of this duet. Jacob starts the song in the highest of high voices, and then goes crazy screechy and pitchy. He just screams through the whole thing pretty much. I actually had to mute my television at one point, really really bad. One of his worst ever. Grade=D
Jennifer: Thinks he is a showman, and thinks his voice is one of the best, but doesn't like his song choice.
Randy: Doesn't like the direction for Jacob and choosing a duet song and singing both parts was a bad idea and makes it corny and very sharp. Doesn't think it wears well for him.
Steven: Wants him to find his nitsche and doesn't think he found it yet. Loves his voice but doesn't think he found himself yet.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Not really. Randy most closely agreed with me by not liking it, but I really hated that performance. It was so rough. How they didn't get all over him for screeching and screaming through that proves that something is wrong with the judging panel. Really bad for Jacob.
Lauren(Current Song=Flat On The Floor): This is a Carrie Underwood song and a really difficult one at that. Right off the bat you could see the determination in Lauren. She didn't do a lot to make this song very different from the original, but it was a well done version. Her voice was pretty flawless and she pushed herself further than she has done in a long time. One of her better performances from the entire run of the show. Grade=A-
Randy: Thinks it is the direction that she should go in. Loves the fun, energetic side and thought it was amazing. Thinks she is in it to win it.
Steven: Thinks she is "IT".
Jennifer: Thinks she ate that song up. Thinks that Lauren is rising to the top every time.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Yep. This was a really great job by Lauren, and she actually has benefited from some of the critiques the judges and Jimmy have given her.
Scotty(Current Song=Gone): Never heard of this song or the artist Montgomery Gentry, but it's country if you can believe it. Scotty singing country, I know, it's such a departure. You could see right away that Scotty is having a lot of fun with the song. He moves around the audience and stage. I like seeing a more fun side of Scotty he was very very into the performance. I still don't like some of his facial expressions, but it was a departure from some of the slow versions of country he has done in weeks past. Really nice job. Grade=B+
Steven: Thinks he saw him dance like the devil, in a good way. Loved seeing a whole new side of Scotty.
Jennifer: Was so excited for this performance, feels he owned the stage and thought it was some American Idol Stuff right there.
Randy: Feels like he was sitting at a Scotty concert. Feels he is in it to win it also.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Definetly. Seeing this different side of Scotty was very smart. He needed to change it up and he did just that.
Haley(Current Song=You and I): This is an unreleased Lady Gaga song that she only sings at concerts. Jimmy feels that she's got it and so does Cheryl Crowe. Haley's voice is so different and cool from anything that we have heard on this show in a long time. I have never heard this song(obviously) but think that Haley sang it really well. She might benefit from the fact that not alot of people heard Lady Gaga sing it, thus making us really feel it is a Haley song and can't compare it but then again maybe people would rather hear her sing a song that we are really familiar with, it'll be interesting to see what people think. Definetly not her best, but far from her worst. Grade=B-
Jennifer: Loves the way she sounded, but not sure singing an unreleased song was the best advice that Jimmy gave her. Wants her to showcase her voice with songs that people could connect to. This didn't do it.
Randy: Not sure it was that great of a song choice, thinks it was really risky and didn't do her any favors.
Steven: Thinks she put all of Haley into the performance, and thinks that she was able to make it work and is only one perfect song from being the next American Idol.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Sort of. They definetly disliked it a bit more than I did, but we all agree that Haley's voice is amazing, and she is really close to being at the top of this competition. She just has to choose her songs a bit better.
James(Older Song=Without You): This is a Harry Nilsson song and a really beautiful, emotional one at that. James really gets touched by the lyrics and what it means to his family and him. You could see all the emotion James is feeling during his performance. It's such an extreme opposite of the performance he gave only a little while before. That he can go from one extreme to another is a great testament to him. He was a little flat at points but he hit those high notes like nobody's business. Grade=B+
Randy: Thinking of his family and fighting through the emotions was incredible. Doesn't think it was a flawless performance, thinks it was emotionally perfect even though it was choppy at points. Thinks it is his competition to lose.
Steven: Thinks it was beautiful thing, but a little pitchy at some points, loved the emotions.
Jennifer: Knows that he isn't just a singer who can wail, but has the heart and soul, and thinks he is a true true artist.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: They do. James definitely had a few rough spots, but he carried through and did a really solid job.
Jacob(Older Song=Love Hurts): This was originally a rock song by Nazareth. Jacob took the song in a whole different way. Definitely better than his first unwatchable performance, but he still hit some rough spots and lost his way a bit in some areas. Grade=C+
Steven: Thinks he got lost in the song, but everyone got lost in him.
Jennifer: Thinks he had a rough moment in the middle but brought it home in the end.
Randy: Thinks he redeemed himself with this song.
Do The Judges Agree With Me: Nope. They heard the pitchy/weird moment in the middle of the song but really glanced over it. He also had a few other rough moments that they didn't say much about. It was a better performance than the first but that's like saying getting kicked in the stomach is better than getting kicked in the groin, sure it's a little better, but you still just got kicked and it's still pretty painful.
Lauren(Older Song=Unchained Melody): This Righteous Brothers song is one of the most famous and well known songs of all time. Lauren is only 16 so singing a really grown up song is a risk. It started a bit slow, but when she hit that big note in the middle of the song she nailed it. I wish she took the song in a bit of a different direction. I think she could have done a little more with it, but there were some really nice moments mixed in there with a couple of slower, sleepy moments as well. Grade=B
Jennifer: Doesn't think there is anything to judge, thought it was just beautiful.
Randy: Loved seeing a different side of Lauren, and thought it was very tender.
Steven: Thinks she is right there and could listen to her all night and also doesn't think there is anything to judge. Beautiful stuff.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Kind of. Sometimes the judges want the contestants to do a whole lot different with a song and sometimes they want them to stay close to the original, this time they let Lauren slide by without doing too much with the song. I think she could have pushed herself into having a really great moment, and just missed it.
Scotty(Older Song=Always On My Mind): Scotty decides to sing this Elvis Presley classic. Jimmy wants Scotty to be true to himself and not worry about anyone else in the competition or being someone different. A very different, more Scotty like performance this time around. I actually preferred his first song to this one. I appreciate his very controlled voice, but thought it was pretty boring. If you like Scotty then you will like this, if you are mixed on Scotty then you probably will still be after this performance, don't think it made anyone a fan that wasn't before. Grade=B
Jennifer: Thinks between the last song and this one that he is a well rounded artist. Thinks he captivates the audience. Doesn't think there is anything awkward about him on that stage.
Randy: Loves when Scotty does the simplest and quietest things it actually creates the biggest reaction. Sometimes you don't have to hit people over the head with it, and is happy to see those tender moment.
Steven: America loves that voice, and can't pick the song a part at all. Perfect.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Pretty much. Scotty just does his thing week in and week out. I'm not the biggest Scotty fan so I'm not jumping up and down for this performance, but I can appreciate it and him.
Haley(Older Song=House of The Rising Sun): One of the better performances of last year was sung by Siobhan Magnus singing this song by The Animals. Last season was full of ups and downs so I can really remember that this was one of the highlights. Haley singing this should provide a different spin. Haley starts the song acapella, all focus on her and her voice. Love it. When the band jumps in it is still very subdued and her voice just rips through the song. It was such a sexy, cool version and I definitely have never heard this song sung this way before. I love that it was still identifiable from the original, but was given such an interesting spin. By far Haley's best performance of the entire Idol run. Awesome way to close the show. The judges give Haley a very deserved standing ovation. Grade=A
Randy: Loves that Haley just slayed that song and the best performance of the night goes to Haley. Thinks she has grown leaps and bounds on this show. Amazing.
Steven: Thinks she sold everyone tonight.
Jennifer: Loves the emotion, loves that she took that song where it has never been before. Great great job.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Definitely. Haley just had her best moment on the show, and proves why she is still around. She is the ultimate underdog and this performance was crazy good.
How Was The Show/Judges:
*Such a crazy night for Haley. She probably had one of her weaker performances mixed in with her best performance of the entire run of the show. It sucks for Haley that she was advised to sing that Lady Gaga song by Jimmy and was then panned by the judges, but that last song was just amazing. It rivals being one of the best performances by anyone this year. Really well done.
*So taking from what Randy said, James, Scotty, Lauren and now Haley are in it to win it. I might be mistaken but I do not believe Randy has uttered his new favorite phrase to Jacob yet. Jacob definitely doesn't deserve it. He might want to be in it to win it, but his voice and whole on stage persona is not going to take him there. To be honest Jacob is this year's Andrew Garcia. Andrew had an unbelievable moment during Hollywood week singing "Straight Up" but really could never get past that moment. He went a far ways, and so has Jacob, but with a lot of good performances tonight I don't know if Jacob did nearly enough to warrent sticking around another week.
*When the judges give out constructive criticism it really pays off. Usually the next week or next performance nearly all of the contestants take it all in and do such an amazing job. It proves that what the judges say does matter to these contestants. Just telling people they are perfect week in and week out doesn't do anyone any favors. Think how much further these remaining 5 contestants would be if they were given out some advice when there were 10 or 11 people left? The judges should take their own advice and be more consistent every week, it makes for better contestants and a better show.
Bottom 2/Who's Going Home Predictions:
Not sure if they will still do Bottom 3 at this point so just going with 2.
Bottom 2= Haley and Jacob.
Going Home=Jacob. He had a rough rough night, and the only person's fan base who's possibly around the same as his is Haley. Haley had a rough first song, but killed it with the last song, so it should save her. Ya never do know. Both of Jacob's songs combined were the weakest of the remaining contestants and he should be going home tomorrow. Again, I say should.
Check back in here tomorrow to see the results. With 5 people left almost anyone is at risk. See you then.