Thursday, May 26, 2011

American Idol Finale Part 2: American Idol Crowned

Welcome back. Well we are finally here after nearly 5 months of auditions, and eliminations and shockers and some great performances it's finally here, the next American Idol will be crowned. It will either be 16 year old medical marvel Lauren Alaina, or 17 year old front runner Scotty McCreery. We picked Scotty to win the whole thing a while back, and despite a valiant effort by Lauren, I think Scotty has got this. But crazier things have happened before.

Since this is our last blog of the season we thought we'd provide a recap of some of the more memorable times on this blog. As well as see how we did in predicting the Bottom 3 or 2 and who goes home:

Eliminated Contestant/Season Grades:
Here's a breakdown of how each of the Top 13 were graded and a line from what was said about them the week they performed.

13th Place: Ashthon= C   "Right out the gate Ashthon does not sound good".

12th Place: Karen= C-, B-   "The most predictable contestant outside of Scotty is Karen. You know she will pick either a ballad or a cheesy-ish song with a big moment or 2 and then she’ll try to add some Spanish in the song".

11th/10th Place Naima= B, B, C+, B- “The judges had goosebumps and I didn’t get a slight chill”.

11th/10th Place: Thia= C+, B, C+, C+ “There wasn’t much there to get excited about”.

9th Place: Pia= A-, A, B+,  B+, A   "This was an all around great performance, great vocals and different then anything we have seen from her in a long time”

8th Place: Paul= B-, B,  B,  B-, B+, B   “He sounded very screechy despite having a lot of energy and powering through it”

7th Place: Stefano= B, B+,C, C, C+, B-, C   “Stefano has been in the Bottom 2 for two weeks in a row, he needs a big performance. But I don’t think he does at all”

6th Place: Casey= B+,B+, B, B+, B, B, B , B  “I think I prefer this Jazzy Casey over Angry Rocker Casey like last week”

5th Place: Jacob=  B-, B,  B+, B, B+, B,  B-, B-, D, C+ “I actually had to mute my television at one point, really really bad”

4th Place: James= B+, B,  A-, B+, B,  B-,  B+, A-, B,  B+, B, B+  "It wasn't ultra amazing or creative, but he sang the song well".

3rdPlace: Haley= B, C+,  B+,  A-,  B+, B,  B,  A-, B-,  A,  B,  A,  A-,  B+, B+  “To go from falling, back into this pretty rock and fast song is impressive”.

2nd or 1st Place: Scotty= B+, B,  B-, B,  B,  B, C+,  B+, B+,  B,  B+, B,  B,  B+, B+, A-,  B,  B+   “He looks very determined and isn’t going crazy with those crazy facial expressions”

2nd or 1st Place: Lauren= C+, A-, A-, A-, B,  B+, B- , B+, A-. B,  B,  A-,  B,  B-,  B+,  A-,  A,  A-   “Lauren starts the song a little tepid, but when the chorus kicks in she starts to really hit her stride”

Best Performance of The Season=Haley, House of The Rising Sun

Worst Performance of The Season= Jacob, No Air

Bottom 3 or 2 Predictions= 21/29. Not bad at all. I was able to narrow it down pretty well.

Going Home Predictions= 3/12. Not so great, this shows how shocking some of the eliminations were this season.

Alright, hope you enjoyed that blast from the past number of months. Now let's get on with tonight's recap and find out who will win American Idol.

Let's get to it:

122 Million Votes Last Night, 750 Million Votes This Season. A New World Record. At least according to Ryan Seacrest.

Top 13 Perform:
All dressed in White, the Top 13 are back together singing Lady Gaga's "Born This Way". It's nice to see them all again, love that they have continued to have them sing live and not with the pre-taped recordings. They actually sounded pretty nice all together. It's a nice way to start the show.

James & Judas Priest:
This is obviously one of James' favorite bands, so it's probably pretty cool to sing with Judas Priest. Not gonna lie I'm not the biggest fan of theirs but when you think of heavy rock music they definitely are high up on the list. James is definitely in his element. Very cool performance.

Judge's Review Part 1:
They have a pre-taped packaged piece on the judges. They make fun of Randy's repetitiveness and him saying "What Kind of Show Is This" or "In It To Win It". Randy is Randy. He tried so hard to be the anchor and "bad guy" of the show, but it just didn't fit. He is too crazy with his sayings and isn't consistent with his critiques. Randy will be around until American Idol takes its last breath, I hope he'll take something away from this season and maybe grow from it. Ya gotta hope.

Jacob, Kurt Franklin & Gladys Knight:
Jacob paired up with this Gospel singer is a perfect match. Jacob is definitely in his groove right there. You can see him doing this type of style of music. During the middle of the performance Gladys Night sans Pips joined in. They all sounded really great together.

Casey & Jack Black:
This is a match made in crazy dude heaven. Both Casey and Jack Black have that intense and crazy fun style of performing. They both look sharp in their suits while they sing Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls". Cool performance, but I wouldn't expect any less from these two.

Ladies of The Top 13:
They sing a compilation of Beyonce's "Single Ladies", "Irreplaceable", "Move Your Body", "If I Were a Boy", and "Deja Vu", oh look it's Ashthon and Karen, it seems like they were on a different show, it's been a long time since they were eliminated. I wonder if Beyonce will show up if they are singing a few of her songs? Haley sounds great, even though she has only been gone a week I missed her. Even 13th place finisher Ashthon sounded pretty good. Guess what, Beyonce showed up. Can you say predictable, I will, predictable. Beyonce then sang a bit of her "Crazy In Love" and the ladies backed her and danced a little bit with her. Beyonce is cool, she really knows how to work a stage.

Judges Review Part 2:
It's Steven Tyler's turn. They call him a loose cannon who curses, smokes and does whatever he wants.  The thing that I find the saddest looking back on some of his clips is how much promise and creativity he showed during the audition rounds and how much it lacked during the live performances. Honestly if I had a nickel for every time he said someone's performance was "Beautiful" or "He Loved It", I would have a lot of freakin' nickels. He did prove that he is very endearing and sweet, something a lot of people, including myself didn't know about him going in. I think if he comes back next year he has to learn from his mistakes and step it up. People do love him, he is a legend.

Haley & Tony Bennett:
What an interesting combination, but it makes perfect sense. Haley has such a cool jazzy voice and they sound great together for a bit there, even though Tony forgot a lot of the words. But Haley sounded great and stepped in for him. Don't know what happened there, but he is a legend and you can't say anything negative about him.

Judges Review Part 3:
It's Jennifer Lopez's turn. They go over the fact that the contestants really loved J.Lo. They show all the contestants that gave J.Lo compliments, Casey giving her a kiss, Stefano flirting with J.Lo several times. I thought she did a nice job this year, better than I expected going in. I feel she could have been more critical and consistent with her comments. Honestly one week she told Haley "don't pick a song that know one knows" because it's tough for the audience to connect and the next week she tells her "it's tough to sing a well known song". There were also some performances where she literally said "You can't be judged". Well they really could, no one is perfect and these are mainly kids who needed the guidance and help. If J.Lo comes back I would hope that having a year under her belt will help her be a bit more guided and focused with her comments and critiques.

Lil Jon, TLC and Ladies of Top 13:
I love Lil Jon, I pretty much like anyone if they have the guts to be called "Lil". Since I haven't seen TLC in about 10 years it was cool seeing them again singing a couple of their hits like "Waterfalls" and "No Scrubs". Some of the ladies of the Top 13 join TLC during "Waterfalls".

Scotty & Tim McGraw:
What can I say, it's a perfect match and Tim McGraw is exactly who Scotty wishes he could be. If Scotty has half of the success that Tim McGraw has had then he is in really good shape.

Memorable Contestants:
They show a compilation of some of the more "memorable" contestants from the audition rounds. By far my favorite moment is when one of the contestants tried to do a back flip or two or three and landed right on the cameraman's face. I didn't see in the package the time that Randy punched the girl in the face by accident, that was pretty funny as well.

Marc Anthony Performs with Special Guest:
Who does this guy know to be able to perform on Finale night? Oh, that's right. We also get Sheila E. on the drums, which pretty cool. After getting through about half of the song, his better half J.Lo comes out and performs some sexy dance for/with him. She then joins some of the backup dancers. Really fun performance.

Shocking Results Debate:
The contestants talk about some of the shocking results this year. Stefano thinks that James was the most shocking elimination. Casey said he is the most shocking. It's a pretty funny bit. Then after debating who the most shocking was, Pia steps in and with her "Most Shocking" sash and crown stops the debate. There really is no question that Pia's elimination was the most shocking. But it's possible that her early elimination might benefit her in the long run. The fan support that she garnered from this can catapault her career. If she puts out a decent record she can have a nice little career.

Top 13 Men Perform:
The men of the Top 13 sing Prince's "Kiss", Tom Jones' "She's A Lady"  "What's New Pussycat", "Love Me Tonight" and "Delilah" and Katherine Jenkins' "Green Green Grass of Home". After singing the majority of Tom Jones' songs I wonder if he will come out? Holy smokes he did. Shocking oh so shocking. He sings his big hit "It's Not Unusual". He still looks and sounds pretty great.

Ford Music Video:
Didn't want to talk about it during regular shows, still don't want to talk about it during finale. American Idol did give a car away to a couple of deserving teachers. Ford also gives Lauren and Scotty a car. Thus ends another season of the ridiculous, tedious and shameless plug of Ford.

Lady Gaga Performs:
Live and in person singing her new song "Edge of Glory". A couple weeks ago the contestants got to watch Lady Gaga on their TV's now they get to see her up close and crazy. Love Lady Gaga because she is nuts and is proud of it. She also always sings live and sounds great. Plus she was a really good mentor a couple weeks back, I hope she comes back next season to help out.

Lauren & Carrie Underwood:
Singing with her "Idol", Lauren and Carrie Underwood' sing one of Carrie's most famous songs "Before He Cheats". Like with Scotty and Tim McGraw, if Lauren can achieve half of Carrie Underwood's success she'll be in really good shape with her career. Damaged vocal chords and all Lauren definitely keeps up. Carrie and Lauren look great tonight. It's weird that Lauren was only 10 years old when Carrie won American Idol. Doesn't seem that long ago does it?

Contestants Take on Lauren & Scotty:
They make fun of the "school children", they make fun of the fact they can't drink, can't vote,  and can barely drive. They are just learning cursive still. Funny little bit.

Beyonce Performs:
"One Plus One" is Beyonce's new single. I guess her album is coming out soon or something because she is getting a lot of her songs out there tonight. Hey if they let ya sing twice and have the Top 13 ladies sing about 5 of your other hits then good for ya. She always sounds great.

Bono & The Edge and the Broadway Cast of "Spiderman: Turn Off The Lights":
As longs as no one gets hurt then this is a successful outing and gives the very notorious Broadway show a lot of exposure. Plus having Bono and The Edge come out is always a huge bonus. If I were to see the show I might still be going to see if someone gets hurt and not for the music, but maybe that's just me.

Steven Tyler Performs:
Singing "Dream On" is none other than Steven Tyler. Supposedly Aerosmith did not agree to come on, but as long as we hear Steven Tyler's voice then that's good enough for me. He is the man, there's no denying it. He is such an exciting performer, even when his voice is a little hoarse like it sounds, but he hits that high note like only he can. Amazing.

Oh Yes, The Results:
So after a looooong show it's time to announce the winner. One of these two people will be something that only 9 others have achieved.

The Winner of Season 10 American Idol: SCOTTY McCREERY

Final Thoughts:

*Scotty had it, we all knew he had it, he was so consistent week to week. Lauren did an amazing job but Scotty was the front runner for such a loooong time. His fan base was huge and despite a valiant effort by Lauren last night she just couldn't make a big enough dent to steal it away from him.

*Scotty now is the 6th male to win this show following Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, David Cook, Kris Allen, and Lee Dewyze. The only females are Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks.

*The streak continues of Idol Winners never to be in the Bottom 3. Only Fantasia was Bottom 3 and won. Scotty's fans always kept him in one of the top two spots, and they came through big for him again.

*Where Scotty's career goes is anybody's guess but no one can take away the fact that he is the American Idol. Congratulations to him and all the American Idol contestants. It's been a fun season.

Well that's it. I hope you all enjoyed I'dol Be The Judge. Please come back here over the course of the Summer and Fall for all your Idol News. We will keep you updated as to what is going on in the Idol World. Thanks to everyone for reading. We'll see you real soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

American Idol Finale Part 1: Top 2 Perform

Hello and Welcome Back. Thanks to everyone who has dropped by Idol Be The Judge over the course of the season. We've had fun doing it and hope you had fun reading it. But we are far from over because like American Idol delivers year after year, it's time for....DRAMA.

As of 30 minutes before the Live performance rumors were swelling that Lauren would not be able to perform because she lost her voice and was under doctors orders to not sing. Supposedly, she tried to sing her first song during rehearsal and had to stop mid way. 3rd place finisher Haley was then called upon to begin rehearsing in case she had to fill in for Lauren.  Once the show started Ryan wanted to see what was going on by asking Lauren how she was doing. According to Lauren "she's here, ready to sing, don't worry about it". They then bring up the American Idol doctor who said "Lauren pushed her voice, and she blew out one of her vocal chords". But the doctor gave Lauren a lot of medicine and thinks "she will do great".

So after a bit of drama Lauren and Scotty are the Final 2 and will both perform 3 songs. They will first sing a song that they sang before. Their second song will chosen by one of their Idol's, Lauren's Idol is Carrie Underwood, Scotty's Idol is George Strait. The third song they will sing will be their first single if they win the show.

Scotty won the toss and decided to sing first. I probably would have chosen to go second, but it's definitely a different strategy.

Scotty is a huge favorite going in, but weirder things have happened and if Lauren has a good night she could pull off a big upset. Tomorrow night all of the Top 13 will perform as well as many live performances from some very established artists. But that's tomorrow night, tonight is a big one as well. So like we do, let's get to it:

How Were The Contestants?:

Round 1: Contestant's Choice

Scotty (Gone): This was one of my favorite performances of Scotty's over the course of the season, and I guess he felt that too. He sounds just as good as he did the first time. He gets more back up singers, and a few fiddlers with him. He looks very determined and isn't going crazy with those crazy facial expressions. Grade=A-

Um for some reason the judges didn't judge. Ryan didn't even explain what happened, but the judges made zero remarks after Scotty's song. Maybe it's because this is the song that has already been performed, but in every finale the judges always speak, so I just don't understand.

Lauren(Contestant Choice=Flat on The Floor): Despite her medical issues Lauren sounds pretty good. Maybe a little less powerful, but she sounded really great and deserves a lot of credit. Her voice cracks a little bit here and there, but it's a very powerful song and she blew right through it. Grade=A-

No judges remarks again, but J.Lo gives her a standing ovation.

The judges don't even say who won Round 1. Simon always used to say who won each round. 

I think Round 1 Goes To: Scotty, even though I give Lauren tons of credit for all that she did out there.

Round 2: Idol Contestant's Idol's Choice

Scotty(Idol's Choice=Check Yes Or No) George Strait is Scotty's Idol who chose his own hit.  No pre-taped packages of the contestants meeting up with Jimmy or with their Idols. The song is very much in Scotty's lane. It is funny that George Strait chose a George Strait out of any song. It's the same old same old for Scotty. Nothing too unbelievable.Grade=B

Lauren (Idol's Choice=Maybe It Was Memphis) Carrie Underwood is Lauren's Idol who chose this Pam Tillis song. Never heard of the song but Lauren sounded great. She hit some huge notes and then had some very tender moments as well. Grade=A

I Think Round 2 Goes To: Lauren

Judge's Comments & Prediction of Winner of Rounds 1 & 2:

Randy: America did a fine job with these 2. It's so even and they are both incredible. Thinks Scotty's reprisal of Gone was brilliant and thinks his second song was really good. Thinks Lauren sounded good on the first song and slayed the second song.
Round 1=Scotty
Round 2=Lauren

Jennifer: Thought it was an explosive start. Loved Scotty doing "Gone" and Lauren attacking "Flat on The Floor". Didn't think that Scotty's second song was dynamic but thought Lauren's second song was beautifully done.
Round 1=Scotty
Round 2=Lauren

Steven: Thought both had finale deserving performances, and luckily they are both in the finale.
Round 1=Lauren
Round 2=Lauren, because she is prettier than him.

Performance # 1:

So all season long Coca Cola and American Idol have partnered up with the American Idol fans to create a song. Supposedly  they created this song called "Positive". On stage to perform is Taio Cruz. So instead of having the contestants sing longer or the judges comments after each performance they have this nonsense. The song was fine, but really unnecessary.

Round 3: Idol's Potential First Single

Scotty(I Love You This Big): This is the song that will be the Idol winner's first single and Jimmy Iovine thinks it is a big song but Scotty can pull it off. I think Scotty did a really nice job with the song but didn't hit the big notes that I thought he could. He didn't take it all the way there. Really beautiful, and touching lyrics but don't know if Scotty matched the epic-ness of the finale with an unbelievable performance. Grade=B+
Randy: Not sure if it was the perfect song, but loved the ending and is proud of Scotty and finds it to be a beautiful vocal.
Jennifer: Thinks he did an amazing amazing job.
Steven: Proved that he has some crazy range and has nailed it once again.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Not really. At this point I didn't think they would say anything negative about Scotty, they haven't all season, why start now? Randy said he didn't think it was the best song but called it a beautiful vocal. Scotty did do a really nice job, but I don't think it was American Idol winner good. Just a bit below that.

Lauren(Like My Mother Does): Jimmy thinks it will showcase her vocal tonight and thinks the audience will be moved like crazy with this song. Lauren starts the song a little tepid, but when the chorus kicks in she starts to really hit her stride. You can see Lauren get emotional by the lyrics but she is able to get through it. Lauren then goes to find her mother and serenades a bit of the song to her mom. Very cute and emotional. Grade=A- 
Randy: Thinks it was an amazing song choice. Loved how she sounded and finds it standing ovation worth amazing.
Jennifer: Thinks with that song Lauren might have just won, thinks she sang it beautiful it was everything for her. Gave all her heart and feeling and beautiful voice.
Steven: Thinks that Lauren will be everyone's American Idol.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Yep. They think she nailed it, I think she nailed it, she nailed it.

I think Round 3 Goes To: Lauren

Judge's Prediction of Winner of Round 3:

Randy: Lauren

Jennifer: Won't Say, but she already said a few seconds before that it was Lauren.

Steven: Lauren

Performance #2:

David Cook performs this season's Idol swan song "Don't You Forget About Me". I love David Cook, love the song, good combination. Cook is still in my Top 3 of best contestants, and easily the best contestant in terms of creativity and originality. Loved the performance tonight he sounded really great.

How Was The Show/Judges:

*NO JUDGES REMARKS? WHAT???!!  For 9 seasons the judges used to give remarks after each performance in the Finale, but for the first time ever and without Ryan even mentioning it they decide to not give their opinions after the first and second round of songs. Maybe it's because they had to spend a few minutes with Lauren explaining her illness, or the random performance by Taio Cruz or the performance by David Cook at the end, but they should have at least mentioned the fact that they are running short on time. I don't understand, I am trying and struggling to come up with ideas, but when you do something the same way for 9 years and switch it up now, it would be nice to mention that it's a bit different.

*This was easily the quickest and weirdest show ever. No pre-taped packages, no judges remarks, barely any Jimmy Iovine, the songs seemed to only last about a minute and Ryan Seacrest was in a tuxedo. What is going on?

*Despite some really nice performances by Scotty and Lauren I didn't like the finale at all. It was too rushed and even though I think the judges are some times a bit non-sensical and biased, I do feel that they should have been featured more in the show.

My Take On Final 2:

*Scotty has been the front runner since very early on in this competition and is coming in with huge amounts of fan supports. He really never had an awful week of performances. His vocals have been pretty consistent, he never was called pitchy or anything too negative. He was easily one of the judge's favorites.

*Lauren was called the "It" girl since her audition round. She has battled through some rough weeks, probably didn't live up to all the hype that surrounded her from early on. But she was pretty consistent having only landed in the Bottom 3 once. She was also one of the judge's and producer's favorites.

Who Should WIN?/Who's Going to WIN?

Who Do I Think Should Win?: Lauren, she won the night and battled through some medical issues at the last moment to really perform at her best. Plus she sang that really touching song to finish the night. Sometimes when an athlete is injured or sick they battle through and perform at their best, I think Lauren did the same tonight.

Who's Going To Win?: Scotty, I think he didn't win the night but won the season. I think he was the most consistent week to week and built up too huge of a fan base for Lauren to overtake in one night. The majority of Scotty's  fan base is teen girls that text and vote and vote and vote some more. Scotty hasn't been the underdog too much this season so that might put his fan base into overdrive. Should be an interesting thing to see either way.

Please come back here tomorrow night(Wednesday) for the results of the Finale. All of the Top 13 will be back and we will learn who will be the next American Idol, Scotty or Lauren. See you soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Top 3 Results

Welcome back. Tonight we will learn which 2 contestants will make it to the finale and which contestant will be this close but still so far away. 3rd place is a tough position to be in, you are almost there but not quite. Either Scotty, Lauren or Haley will join the ranks with some other notable 3rd place finishers. They join people like Season 1's Nikki McKibbin, Season 4's Vonzell Solomon, Season 5's Eliott Yamin, Season 6's Melinda Doolittle, and last season, Season 9's Casey James. It's quite a mix of shoulda, coulda been winners, and a couple of people that you don't even know how they got there. Being 3rd isn't the best place in terms of after-Idol success but one of the remaining contestants will be there anyways. We will see shortly who that will be. So let's get to it:


Ryan announces that there were 95 Million Votes cast last night. The most votes for a non-finale show. This is the main reason why American Idol will never ever limit the number of votes per phone or per person like they do on Dancing With The Stars. American Idol Takes pride in that big number.

Contestants Watch A Movie/Get A Prize:

The contestants get a sneak peek and see clips of Super 8, that is produced by J.J Abrams and his company Bad Robot. From the looks of the movie there is something out there that is trying to hurt people for some reason. J.J Abrams gives each contestant a video camera to bring back to their hometown visits.

Haley's Hometown Visit:

Haley gets to go home to Chicago's suburb Wheeling. It's a little rainy but a whole mess of people show up anyways. The President of Wheeling declares May 13, 2011 Haley Rainhart day, instead of Reinhart, guess she didn't get the memo that her name is produced like Rhine as in Rhinestones. But Haley is too pumped to notice that she messed up her name. Haley gets to go to her actual home and see her family finally. I don't see Haley carrying around one of those fancy cameras that J.J Abrams just gave her. After Haley visits her family she gets to go on a little parade and visit her old high school. It's probably all pretty full circle. Then she goes to Arlington Park and sees about 30,000 more people and performs on stage with her father. It's nice to see.

Performance #1:

Il Volo performs. You know Il Volo they are just below Lady Gaga in terms of popularity. They are an italian group that sings a song that is probably 3 decades too old for them. I wonder who knows someone that knows someone who knows someone that was able to pull strings to get this group. They were fine, they sang cool, but it doesn't really match the vibe of the contestants or theme of last night. It's just an odd little fit for the show at this point. Either way, there ya go.

Scotty's Hometown Visit:

Scotty went home to Garner, North Carolina. He gets a lot better weather than what Haley got in Chicago. Scotty visits a radio station, gets swarmed by tons of screaming teenage girls and that's all before noon. Scotty gets to go home to see his family and lay in his bed for a second. He then gets to visit his old baseball team at his high school and he starts to get really choked up and emotional. Then he gets to visit his old grocery store that he worked at. We see Scotty pull out his camera and shoot a few scenes. Pretty much everywhere that Scotty goes he is bombarded with screaming fans, mostly girls. He then goes to a park and sings his famous "Baby Lock Them Doors " which is actually a song by Josh Turner who completely surprises him and joins Scotty on stage. You probably can't get more surprised then that. You can see how much the day meant to him and he calls it probably the best day of his life.

Performance #2:

Nicole Scherzinger former Pussycat Doll, now X-Factor co-host sings her new single featuring 50 cent. Ryan announces Nicole's performance away from the stage thus meaning that this another pre-taped performance. Why do they lie? Why can't they just say here is a performance that was taped last week, or last night. Why carry on such a ridiculous lie like that? Haven't seen 50 cent in awhile so that was cool to see him. Other than that it was nothing too exciting out there.

Lauren's Hometown Visit:

Lauren is from Rossville, Georgia. It's the smallest of the 3 hometowns. Before Lauren even leaves the plane she is already in tears. She gets to visit her old high school, and she had a day declared for her as well. A few weeks ago a lot of hurricanes and tornadoes rocked the South, including a lot of the area near Lauren's home. It's pretty emotional and incredibly sad. Houses, parks, trees and lives are destroyed, including an arena that Lauren used to play basketball in. Lauren visits Tyler Long who rescued his family from wreckage. He pulled a diaper in some of the debris and it ended up being his little brother and then he pulled him out from underneath some bricks. Wow. After that Lauren gets to go on a little parade and pulls up to a park where thousands of people show up to hear her sing. Lauren then gets to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game. A whirlwind emotional day for Lauren but incredibly enjoyable and unforgettable for her.


All 3 join Ryan center stage.

First SAFE is SCOTTY. Not shocking in the least. He has been getting huge numbers and has easily been the front runner the entire way.

Who's Going Home?:


Going Home=HALEY. Darn. I thought she was making it to the finale. I think she did too, her face was just utter shock.

Final Thoughts?:

*The country fans came out huge last night. Lauren and Scotty must have a lot of fans because having 2 country singers in the finale is saying something.

*Scotty and Lauren both seem like pretty cool and nice people. I love that Scotty makes fun of himself and goes for that "Baby Lock Them Doors" that is always pretty funny given that he sang it like 10 times in the first couple rounds of the show. Lauren is always so cute and bubbly and just goes with it, the hometown visit also made her really endearing. They are the youngest twosome ever to be on the finale together.

*It should be an interesting finale, Lauren and Scotty are definitely both gonna get that country vote, but Scotty still has all the little girls and teen votes, Lauren is going to have to try to grab some of Haley's votes to overtake Scotty. It's not easy task. Scotty is a force.

*In 10 seasons of American Idol only one time has the eventual winner been in the Bottom 3. That person was Fantasia. If the same fortune holds true then Lauren is in trouble and Scotty has got this because he has not been in the Bottom 3 once. Although Lauren has only been Bottom 3 once. I guess we'll have to see.

*Haley went from being in the Bottom 3, 4 times to getting to the Top 3. That's quite a turnaround. She provided a lot of fun and different moments and I will miss her not being in the finale, just to add a little spice and having a different style in there. But she did a great job and was easy to root for.

You must come back to I'dol Be The Judge Next TUESDAY after the Top 2 perform. It all ends next week, come back to see how it turns out.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Top 3 Perform

Welcome back. Well we are only a week away from crowning the next American Idol. Either Scotty, Lauren or Haley will take home the prize. During the past week the remaining 3 visited their hometowns. All of the videos and news about their hometowns will happen tomorrow during the 1 hour results show. Tonight the contestants have to sing 3 songs. They will sing 1 chosen by the judges, 1 chosen by Jimmy Iovine, and they get to choose 1 for themselves. Should be an interesting night. I know that Scotty has a pretty big following, but these performances rather than past performances might dictate who will be in the Finale. It might all come down to tonight. We shall see, so as we do, let's get to it:

Round 1=Contestant Choice
Round 2= Jimmy Iovine's Choice
Round 3= Judges's Choice

The contestants are not only getting mentored by Jimmy this week, but Beyonce will help them for their round 1 songs. Pretty cool that she is there to help out.

How Did The Contestants Do?:

Round 1:

Scotty (His Choice=Amazed): Beyonce doesn't think that Scotty needs to go into his higher range because he is amazing already, Scotty wants to push himself even further. I kind of thought Scotty was gonna start singing "Baby lock them doors..." but he chose this more well known Lonestar song. It's odd but Scotty actually sounds more country tonight then what he usually sounds like if that makes sense. It seemed he had more of a twang on his voice. It's a very typical Scotty performance, he does go to that higher range and it was very controlled and sounded pretty good. He seemed to go out of sync with the music at a point or two, but he did his usual business. If you like Scotty then this is perfect, if Scotty was never your favorite then he didn't really do a lot to sway ya. Nothing amazing in my opinion. Grade=B
Steven: Thinks he keeps getting better and better. Loves that he took the song up a notch.
Jennifer: Thinks he has grown so much as a performer over the weeks, and loved that he opened the show so well.
Randy: Thinks it was a great song choice, thinks there were some pitchy spots but then the end of the song was "money".
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Sorta. They definitely enjoyed it way more than I did. I'm glad Randy noticed that Scotty had a couple pitchy moments, but then he kind of dismissed it and said it was really good. I thought it was pretty average.

Lauren(Her Choice=Wild One): Beyonce' tells Lauren to be fearless and not be nervous when performing and just let go and trust herself. I never heard this Faith Hill song before, but it's a fun uptempo song. The song was a little all over the place, and since I don't know the original it's tough to say if she sang it the same way,. If she sang it the way it should be sung then she did a good job. She hit her spots, there were times it seemed she lost her breath and missed some of those higher notes, but she pulled through it. Definitely not her best, but far from her worst. Grade=B
Jennifer: Loves that she attacked the song and created a moment for herself.
Randy: Loves seeing her have fun and wants her to keep stepping it up and having a good time.
Steven: Thinks she had plenty of moments and is so ready for "this".
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Pretty much. Again they probably enjoyed it a bit more than I did, but Lauren did a fine job.

Haley(Her Choice=What Is and What Should Never Be): Beyonce' loves Haley's fearlessness of choosing this song and loves her &$^%@ that got bleeped out. We can only imagine what Beyonce' said.  Haley is going for this Led Zepplin song which is something that nobody would have guessed she would pick. Haley starts the song very low with only a little electric guitar, the guitarist is none other than her father, which is awesome. Never heard this song before, but I know I will look it up after because it is very cool. I don't know the original therefore I don't know how much she changed it up, but for what it was it was still very very good. At one point when Haley was getting back on stage she slipped up the steps. But she kept going and maybe only missed a note. To go from falling, back into this pretty rock and fast song is impressive. She did a really fantastic job. Randy gives her another deserved standing ovation. Grade=A-
Randy: Loves that when it's time to be great she is doing it. Calls it one of her best performances ever.
Steven: Tells her it doesn't matter how many times you fall but how many times you get up. Calls it superb.
Jennifer: Loves that she kept going after falling, thinks it was a tough song and she sang it really really well.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Definetly. Haley has just been killing it the past few weeks. Like Randy said she is peaking at a great time.

Judges Feel Round 1 Goes To: Haley

Round 2: (Before the contestants perform we get to see their initial auditions)

Scotty(Jimmy's Choice=Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not): Jimmy thinks it is a perfect song choice for him. I love that Jimmy is loving the song choice after he just picked it for him. Funny. Anyways this is a more fast moving song. Scotty brings out his acoustic guitar and has a pure vocal performance, no stunts or tricks. I like his voice a lot more this time around then the first performance. Don't like the crazy facial expressions, but it is what it is with him. I'd love the judges to once tell him to cool it with the eyebrow movement and interesting stuff he does, but they never do. Much better performance by him. Grade=B+
Steven: Thinks it was beautiful and he sang it well too.
Jennifer: Thought it was so good, and requests that he cut his hair back to what it initially was if he makes it to the finale.
Randy: Loved the song choice, and feels that he almost reached "Garth Brooks" level.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Pretty much. They definitely love Scotty and feel he can do no wrong. I don't think it was his best, but do think that he sang and performed very well.

Lauren(Jimmy's Choice=If I Die Young): Jimmy has wanted Lauren to sing this song since he met her, and Lauren is pumped about it. It's a more mellow performance, but it allows her voice to really settle in and gives her the ability to hit those soft moments much better than in the first performance. At one point in the middle Lauren misses her cue and in turn some of the lyrics but she tries to get back into it. It does mess her up and then when she hit a higher note she was screeching a bit. The performance was all over the place. It had it's nice moments, but there were some rougher moments as well. Grade=B-
Jennifer: Thinks she has the most beautiful tone of the remaining 3 contestants. Thinks Lauren got caught up in the moment herself but still loves her honesty.
Randy: Loves that she re-grouped and was able to hit her notes beautifully and thinks it was a nice song choice.
Steven: Thinks that she nailed it again even though she got caught up for a second.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Not really. I thought that when she got caught up it actually made her sound not so great, but they loved that she got caught up and lost in the moment. I feel earlier in the season they would have been all over that, well maybe not this group of judges, but in past years they would have. At this point the judges are just going with it.

Haley(Jimmy's Choice=Rhiannon): Jimmy has wanted Haley to sing this Fleetwood Mac song. He thinks she identifies with Stevie Nicks and thinks it's a perfect fit. They take the original version and flip it upside down in the beginning. They make it slowed down and very soulful. The backup singers were a little loud so it was tough to hear some of the runs that Haley was doing with the song. Haley is so controlled and they have this crazy wind machine going, so it would be easy to forget whats going on, but she really stays with it. Probably not as awesome as the first performance but still really really good. Grade=B+
Randy: Thinks she did a good job,and was on tone.  Loved her Haley growl and thinks she is in the zone.
Steven: Loved that it was different than her first performance and that she sang it really well like they knew she would.
Jennifer: Loved the beautiful moment she was having, wished she pushed it a bit more, but loved the contrast from her first performance.
Do The Judges Agree with Me?: They do. They definitely wish she went further but loved what was there.

Judges Feel Round 2 Goes To: Scotty, although Steven thought it was Lauren

Round 3:

Scotty(Judge's Choice=She Believes In Me): It would have been cool if the judges went against the grain and chose a non-country song and made Scotty be a bit more creative, but they chose this Kenny Rogers song instead. I think Scotty did a very nice job. He was very controlled and in tune for the most part. There was a moment that he was a little pitchy and he ended the song with a falsetto which is different. I give him credit for trying to switch it up a little. Grade=B+
Steven: Thinks he put it over the top for him right there.
Jennifer: Thinks he really hit the chorus beautifully. Is proud of him.
Randy: Loved seeing him believe in himself, loves that he was sweet and tender and good all over.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Pretty much. They love this kid and they really aren't going to say too much differently at this point.

Lauren(Judge's Choice=I Hope You Dance): There are some really nice low and sweet moments and then some big moments in the song. Lauren is lucky to have this song to sing after her last performance, you don't want to leave the audience with a rough moment like she had. Lauren definitely hit those bigger notes with a lot of control and was beautifully in tune. She did a few things differently with the song. I wish she changed it up a bit more, but it's a really beautiful song so you don't want to stray to far away from the original.  But when she did do some things differently, like the end, it makes an impact. Grade=B+
Jennifer: Got goosebumps listening to Lauren. Thinks it was beautiful and thinks she won the round already(Since Haley is up next me thinks that Ms.Lopez saw Haley's rehearsal and is going off of that)  
Randy: Thinks she slayed it, and feels Lauren is in it to win it.
Steven: Is so happy, thinks she is so happy, and thinks the audience is so happy.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Sorta kinda. They loved it and Jennifer is already giving her the round before Haley even performs. Lauren definitely did a beautiful job.

Haley(Judge's Choice=You Oughta Know): This is one of Alanis Morrisette's biggest hits and it's a cool choice by the judges. It's a tough song, there are a lot of fast bits, but during Haley's performance she slowed it down. The first half of the song was a little slow and didn't do much, but once the chorus kicked in she started to really kill it. By far her first performance was her best, but this was pretty cool and she did a really nice job with it. Grade=B+
Randy: Thinks America has a tough decision on their hands, because he thinks Haley is in it to win it despite a few trouble spots.
Steven: Thinks she was amazing and nailed the choruses.
Jennifer: thinks it was a really tough song and no one can match her. Loved the choruses even though there were some trouble spots in the middle when Haley was moving around.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Sure. They were probably a little less enthused than I am, but they still feel it was really really good and she did a lot with a tough song.

Judges Feel Round 3 Goes To: Lauren, although Steven thought it was Haley

How Was The Show/Judges?:

*For the first time maybe all season I didn't really see any bias coming from the judges. Sure the judges love Scotty and will never say a bad word about him, but they loved Lauren a lot, and at one point gave Haley a standing ovation. The judges gave Round 1 to Haley, Round 2 to Scotty and Round 3 to Lauren. It's tough to be more fair than that.

*I think Haley overall had a great night. Her worst performance was still pretty darn good. Lauren was spotty. When she was good she was really good, but when she stumbled she stumbled hard. Scotty was the same old same old. He wasn't spectacular but he didn't do anything that bad. It's tough to go crazy over Scotty when he does the same stuff every week and every time out there. The girls switch it up pretty consistently. That's why when Scotty does something different like when he sang "Gone" a couple weeks back it was awesome to see because it pushed him outside the box, this week was pretty generic Scotty.

* I think Haley beneifited the most from the Contestant's Song Choice, Scotty benifited the most from Jimmy Iovine's Song Choice, and Lauren beneifted the most from Judge's Song Choice.

Going Home Predictions:

Going Home=Lauren. I think her rough moment in her second performance might have done her in. I think the Scotty fans will vote and vote and then vote some more, I think Haley had a great night and is still feeling the great effects of her unbelievable past few weeks and had a nice overall night. Therefore, I think Lauren is going to come up a bit shy. This is a tough call but someone isn't going to make it and unfortunetly I don't see 2 ladies making it to the finale.

Come on back here tomorrow night to learn the results and find out the 2 contestants that will make it into the Season 10 American Idol Finale. See you soon.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Top 4 Results

**I Apologize for the delay of this recap. Blogspot was having a rough night and wouldn't allow posting, and I think it deleted the Top 4 Performance Blog. But we move on. Thanks.

Welcome back. Well tonight one of the remaining 4 will be sent home. They have come a long way so it’s tough to leave when the finale is so close, but it has to be done. Tonight the Season 10 4th place finisher will join some pretty decent company. They will join Season 1’s Tamyra Gray, Season 7’s Jason Castro, Season 8’s Alison Iraheta, Season 9’s Michael Lynche, and most famous 4th place finisher ever Chris Daughtry. There’s a mix of great success and obscurity thrown in there, we will have to see how Season 10’s 4th place finisher ends up. We picked Lauren and Haley as Bottom 2 and Haley going home. Hopefully both ladies will stick around, given that I think that James had a weaker week, and Scotty has been on cruise control for awhile. We’ll see what happens.

Enrique Iglesias, Jordin Sparks and Lady Gaga will all be performing tonight plus we will get to see Steven Tyler’s new music video. Should be jam packed, so let’s get to it:

James and Scotty Perform:

James hunkers down and sings a little country duet with Scotty. Yes, it’s a strange as it sounds. James does his best, but it’s obvious it is Scotty’s home turf and James is just visiting. I guess it’s easier for James to be a bit more country, then for Scotty to be a bit more rock n roll. Sorry I think I just quoted a Donny and Marie song, I’m ashamed and would hope you all forgive me. Either way the performance was decent, James tried his best I think, and Scotty is just the same as he usually is.

Lauren and Haley Perform:

They also decide to do a little country duet. It’s a little easier for Haley to transfer to a country song, then James. They sound really nice together, they have different voices but it blends really well.

Family Connection

The contestants get to connect to their families through the internet and some web chat. James got to see his girlfriend and son, Lauren got to see her brother and dogs, Haley got to see her father, and Scotty got to see his sister. Very heartwarming, plus American Idol got one of their sponsors a little plug. All in a day’s work.

Results #1:

All four are center stage with Ryan


After Lauren’s almost breakdown last week, I guess the producers didn’t want her to pass out so they decide to not play games with her and sent her back to safely pretty quickly.

Performance #1:

Lady Gaga is not in the American Idol arena or even really playing for the American Idol crowd. We get a taped performance from her concert. She is singing the song that got Haley slaughtered for a bit last week, “You and I”. Obviously it was well done; it’s at her concert and completely in her element. I don’t understand why Lady Gaga couldn’t perform on the Idol stage; she was obviously in the area since the contestants were mentored by her this week. Whatever. Still nice to see her perform, she’s always very good.

Performance #2:

Enrique Iglesias is the next performer. Ryan is up in the grand stands so that obviously means this performance was pre-taped last night or last week, the audience behind Ryan pretends that Enrique is really there and feigns enthusiasm and a good amount of clapping. Either way Enrique Iglesias sings his new song “Dirty Dancer” and his hit song “I Like It”. I’ve never been the biggest fan, but give him credit for still being pretty relevant after being around for a really long time.

Performance # 3:

Jordin Sparks is back on the Idol stage singing her new hit single “I Am Woman”. Not the 1970s “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” bit more R&B and pop. It’s very Beyonce and a lot less Helen Reddy. Wonder if she heard the comment that Randy made last week about how Jacob Lusk has a bigger better voice than those that sang the song “No Air” performed by Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks. Um Jordin can out sing and out belt anyone, especially Jacob. No respect there by Randy. If that doesn’t prove that 95% of the time Randy really doesn’t know what he is talking about then I don’t know what will. Jordin sounds really good, and looks great. Plus she sang live which is refreshing after back to back pre-taped performances.

Steven Tyler’s New Single:

We also have the privledge of viewing Steven Tyler’s new music video from his new single “It Feels So Good”. This is his solo project, no Aerosmith here. It’s nice to see him sing. After seeing him week after week as kind of aloof and mostly unhelpful as a judge, it’s nice seeing him back in his element. The song is fine, I’m more of “Dream On”, “Dude Looks Like A Lady” kind of person, but still pretty good.

Results # 2:

Scotty, Haley and James are in middle of the stage.

Second SAFE is HALEY.

WOW. I cannot be more thrilled if I tried. Not just because I think she does deserve to be there after getting 2 standing ovations in 2 weeks, but because a lot of people were expecting her to go. It’s pretty incredible. Obviously her performance of I(Who Have Nothing) convinced a lot of people to vote and vote and vote. Plus the fact that she was a little bit of the underdog last night also helps. I picked Lauren and Haley for Bottom 2, and Haley going home, and I honestly have never been so happy to be so wrong.

Neither James or Scotty has been in the Bottom 2, let alone 3, so it will be a huge shock for one of these guys. Whoever is left is not necessarily the next lowest in votes, but it’s still interesting to see one of these guys leave.

Bottom 2/Who’s Going Home


GOING HOME=JAMES. I want to be completely honest here, I wasn’t the biggest James fan early on, but he really grew on me, and it’s a little sad to see him go. Just a little. He is pretty emotional and is proud that he brought metal and a lot of new things to American Idol.

Final Thoughts?:

*The results tonight were incredibly shocking. I honestly thought that James was making the Top 3 and maybe Top 2. He really was very consistent week to week, but Jacob’s fans that were voting for him were probably not James fans, and they might have gone to Haley. That is possibly a big contributing factor for this elimination.

*So after 5 ladies going home in a row, it is now 2 ladies and 1 guy left. Incredible. After Pia left I think everyone assumed that 2 if not 3 guys were going to be in that Top 3. It is a true testament to Haley and Lauren for sustaining and doing so much to stick around. So at a minimum we are guaranteed at least one of these ladies being in the Top 2. It’s going to be tough going against Scotty, who I think has been the number one vote getter this season, but if Haley and Lauren can do what they did last night, then it’s possible that they can make it a female Top 2 for the first time since Season 3 between Diana DeGarmo and eventual winner Fantasia Barrino.

*Just don't think there were enough performances in this show. Jeez. I know there are only 4 people left and the results show is an hour long, but instead of all this filler how about 2 performances and the results in 30 minutes, instead of 4 performances and the results in an hour? Probably never going to happen unless FOX finds a 30 minute show that would be close to equaling the ratings it gets for this full hour Results Show.

*I give the audience a lot of credit for seeing past gender and really voting for who is best. Haley and Lauren out performed James last night and the results showed it. Gives me some hope that maybe all those teeny boppers who were supposedly not voting for the females early on, aren’t the only ones voting. It’s a nice sight to see.

Come on back next week when these Idols will take on 3 songs each and get to enjoy their hometown visits. Should be a lot of fun, tonight definitely was. See you then.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Top 4 Perform

Welcome back. In only 2 short weeks the Season 10 American Idol winner will be crowned. We are down to the Final 4, Haley, Scotty, James and Lauren. We know that only 3 will be able to visit their hometowns next week, and one will go home, we just don't know who yet. Although it has seemed that Scotty has been the favorite week after week, it really now comes down to who out performs who, because it's possible that even though Scotty and James haven't been in Bottom 3 once, that if they don't outperform the ladies that they could go.

Lady Gaga will help mentor the contestants tonight with Jimmy Iovine. They will be singing songs that inspire them and then sing songs from famed songwriters Leiber and Stoller. This seems like it would be up Scotty's alley, and maybe not James, but how the contestants interpret and change up the songs could make all the difference in the world. Creativity is key at this point. Should be good, so let's get to it:

How Did The Contestants Do?

James (Inspirational Song-Don't Stop Believin'): We don't get a peek into the mentor session this week for the inspirational song. This is the ultimate karaoke song, so it's tough to put your own spin on it without making it seem like the original. James sings those high notes as good as anyone and he was pretty controlled. It wasn't ultra amazing or creative, he just sang the song well, at this point in the competition you would hope that the contestants can sing a song pretty well and he did. Grade=B
Steven: Thought he picked a perfect song.
Jennifer: Thinks he pulled off hitting those high notes, and calls it a great performance.
Randy: Before giving James any credit Randy gives credit to his former band Journey and bandmates. Then remembering what his job it he tells James that he thinks he reached the highest level of difficulty with ease.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Kinda. They definitely enjoyed it more than I did. I didn't think it was anything special, but it was a solid performance nonetheless.

Haley(Inspirational Song-Earth Song): This is one of my favorite songs ever, it is such an epic song. Haley starts off pretty rocky, kinda pitchy in spots and flat in others. But when the chorus and band kicks in she definitely starts to hit her stride a bit more. She even gets a choir to help her out in the chorus. She really picks it up and makes you almost forget about the beginning. Definitely a step or two below last week's crazy amazing performance, but still really really well done. Grade=B
Jennifer: Can feel all the feelings that Haley is feeling. Doesn't know if she chose the right song and doesn't think it stacked up against James' performance.
Randy: Confused him about who Haley is as a performer. Doesn't think that she hit the top of her range and the song needed her to deliver and she didn't. He continues to go on and on about why he didn't like it.
Steven: Thinks that Jennifer and Randy are both wrong. Thinks she nailed it with feeling and pushed it over the top.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Steven does. Randy and Jennifer just don't think that was a good song choice at all. Luckily(and it's the first time I've said it all season) Steven was able to calm everyone down and tell Haley she nailed it. Haley is pissed that they didn't like it, even Jennifer mentions that Randy went on too long with his comments. Not a great start for Haley in regards to judges comments.

Scotty(Inspirational Song-Where Were You When The World Stop Turning): Obviously this song was written and performed originally by Alan Jackson and was about 9/11. It's tough to say anything wrong about the song given the content and feeling behind it. The performance was solid. It's the same old same old with Scotty. He didn't do too much with it and make it creative, but it's tough to do with the lyrics and content of the song. Grade=B+
Randy: Thought it was the perfect song choice for Scotty. Thinks singing a simple song with simple lyrics was perfect. Thinks Scotty is ready to be a star.
Steven: Loves Scotty's passion and thought it was all beautiful.
Jennifer: Is in love with Scotty. Loves what he stands for, and what he brings to his music and loves that he knows himself and how to perform to the audience. Loves that she is able to witness such greatness.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Sure. Though I am sure if they had their wish Scotty would be crowned Idol winner already and they can go on to other things. They are so in love with this kid, that it makes it hard for the other contestants to stack up against him. The comments that he got were as good as you can get.

Lauren(Inspirational Song=Do It Anyway): After a very emotional results show, Lauren has got to pick it up. She was easily the favorite contestant going into this competition but has fallen under expectations greatly in recent weeks. Singing a Martina McBride song is a wise choice. You could tell that Lauren wanted to push her vocals this week, she didn't hold back on the high notes and hit them really well. When she goes all out she really does a beautiful job. I don't think it was her moment, but much better than last week. Grade=B
Steven: Thought it was the most beautiful thing. She delivers the song like a "blue plate special". Thinks she is the whole package.
Jennifer: Is so proud of her for growing and pushing her to be at the final. Was a great great vocal performance.
Randy: Thinks that Lauren is in it to win it. Thinks Lauren is back(I don't remember her really going anywhere) Didn't think there was thing wrong with the performance.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Sorta. They liked it a bit more than I did. I don't understand Randy's comment that Lauren is back. I honestly think he has said that to her 10 times this season.

After Round 1, Ryan asks Jennifer who she thinks won the first Round, she doesn't answer, but is able to tell Haley that it wasn't a good song choice. Ryan asks Randy who needs to step it up, and for some reason Randy answers Jennifer's question and says that first round goes to a tie between Lauren, Scotty and James. Wow! Then he says that Haley needs to step it up, but that they believe in her. Right Randy, I'm sure you do.

I didn't realize it was dump on Haley day. Honestly was any of that necessary? We know Haley didn't do her best, but she wasn't horrible. The way that Randy was speaking it made it seem like Haley was that contestant from last year who sang with his pants on the ground. Haley is much more than that, and didn't really deserve to get ganged up on again from Randy. One time was more than plenty.

Haley(Leiber/Stoller Song=I Who Have Nothing): With the help of Lady Gaga as mentor Haley goes for this very well known Idol song. If everyone can recall this was by far Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks best song and performance, and helped her win the crown. So it's chancy. Lady Gaga calls her amazing and wants Haley to add to the drama of the song and make the song more emotional to connect to the audience. I love how different Haley made the song from the Jordin Sparks' version. She adds so much to the performance and just kills the song. Last week was crazy amazing, but tonight was just unbelievable. The judges again give Haley another very deserved standing ovation. Grade=A
Jennifer: Says they will never take it easy on Haley because this is what she is capable of. Thinks it was amazing, one of the best performances of the year.
Randy: Thinks that this was Haley's moment. Thinks that Haley is in it to win it. One of her best vocals ever.
Steven: Classic moment, with classic Haley. Thinks she Reinharted herself into the middle of next. Don't know what that means, but it was really funny.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Definitely. This was one of, if not the best performance of the year. Haley has given herself a shot to make Top 3 with this performance.

Scotty(Leiber/Stoller Song=Young Blood): Lady Gaga loves the humor of his voice and performance. Gaga wants Scotty to make love to the microphone. Scotty definitely has a good time with his performance and playing with the audience. Not sure if this was the best song choice. It didn't really do too much with or for his voice. I think his uptempo performance last week with "Gone" was a whole lot better. Grade=B
Randy: Loved that he had fun with the song. Thinks we saw both sides of a Scotty concert.
Steven: Thought it was good, he liked it overall but really loved the humor of the song.
Jennifer: Thinks he is really hitting his stride, enjoyed that it showed another side to him, but wants him to keep switching it up if he sticks around next week.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Not really. I really disliked the song choice, not one of my favorites for Scotty at all. I haven't looked at the Leiber and Stoller song book, but there has to have been another, better song for Scotty to sing.

Lauren(Leiber/Stoller Song=Trouble): Lauren is concerned over one of the lyrics in the song being the word "Evil". She doesn't want the public to think she is evil. Lauren doesn't really give the audience a lot of credit for being able to disassociate the song to the person. Gaga wants Lauren to realize that nobody thinks she is evil and wants her to get past her insecurities. You could see a huge difference from Lauren last week and the past few weeks to her performances tonight. She really pushes herself and makes her voice go places that it really hasn't in a really long time. She makes her voice go on these really funky runs and she has so much fun with her performance. Grade=A-
Steven: Thinks it was well done and just loves her.
Jennifer: Saw a lot of maturity and an ability to attack the song. Loved the performance and thought vocally it was great.
Randy: Loved this fun side of her and her really changing it up and getting into the song.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Yep. Lauren definitely showed a different side of herself and nailed it. I definetly haven't seen this side of Lauren in a long time, hope she continues upping it every time out there.

James(Leiber/Stoller Song-Love Potion #9): Gaga was not happy at how subdued James was during his rehearsal. She gets up out of her chair to help James move his body some more. James definitely adds his own rock and metal genre to this song. Definitely never heard this song sung this way before. The performance and vocals were kind of average for me, but the last note and the way that he carried it out and made the audience get really low and then he went crazy for the last note was really well done. Grade=B+
Jennifer: Proves he can sing anything and is able to take any song and put his own spin on it.
Randy: Thinks he is peaking at the right moment, and thinks it was hot.
Steven: Thinks his voice is incredible and calls it a beautiful thing.
Do The Judges Agree With Me?: Pretty much. Don't really get the fact that he got the best spot of the night, but he did well in it.

How Was The Show/Judges?:

*I don't understand the shakeup of the order of performances. Usually if you go first in the first round you go first in the second round. James actually went from singing first on the show to singing last. I don't get that. It's a bit unfair to Lauren, who thought she was getting the best slot of the night, the last spot. Haley had to go from getting harsh criticisms to immediately singing. And James gets the best spot of the night. Just don't understand the fairness of all that. Plus if people aren't paying attention it could mess up the voting a bit.

*Randy going on and on over Haley's first performance being bad, as well as asking the judges who won the first round and who needs to step it up was very strange and a bit unfair.

*Odd that we didn't see the mentoring session between Jimmy Iovine and the contestants for their first performances. They have sung 2 songs before in the same allotted time, so it has nothing to do with time restraints. I wish that Lady Gaga mentored them on both performances. If they are singing 2 songs why not have her help out with both. She's there, utilize her.

Bottom 2 Predictions/Who's Going Home:
This is one of my hardest predictions of the entire season.

Bottom 2?=Haley & Lauren. Until those that are voting prove to me that they are not voting for boys, I can't see these 2 girls escaping the Bottom 2. Especially since Lauren was in Bottom 2 last week, Haley has been there plenty of times, and neither James or Scotty have been in Bottom 3 or 2.

Going Home?= Haley.  I want to be wrong, I feel she had one of, if not the best performances of the entire year tonight, but she got hammered by Randy and Jennifer for that first performance, and with the other 3 contestants not getting really any negative feedback, I don't know if she can escape going home. Again, I hope I am wrong, but don't know if I am.

Come back tomorrow to learn which contestant falls just short of the Top 3. It was a very interesting night. Tomorrow's results show should be just as interesting. See you soon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Top 5 Results

Welcome back to I'dol Be The Judge. Tonight we will learn the fate of another contestant, and see who makes the Top 4. One of the remaining 5 will join the ranks with those eliminated at this spot. They join contestants such as, George Huff of Season 3, Paris Bennett of Season 5, Brooke White of Season 7 and most recently as Ryan Seacrest liked to say "teenager" Aaron Kelly. Not a lot of success from those eliminated at this point. George Huff is now Jennifer Hudson's back up singer, so that's something to strive for, being the back up singer for a person that was eliminated on your season earlier than you. So to this season's eliminated 5th place finisher be ready to be Thia Megia's back up singer.

All kidding aside, it should be interesting to see what happens. So let's get to it:

Top 5 Group Performance:

The Top 5 are singing "Happy Together", a bit better than last week's mess but still rough, the 2 girls saved this performance. Jacob Lusk's part was pretty bad, and the song just kept going and going, I never realized how long that song was until these 5 sang it together.

Top 5 Cooks:

Last week the Top 6 went to a gathering at the British Consulate, this week they get to learn how to cook with Gordon Ramsey of Hell's Kitchen. Nice cross promotion FOX. What's next? Is Homer Simpson going to perform a duet with Scotty? Although that would be cool, it's still shameless cross promotion. Time waster is more of an accurate portrayal of this bit. I did enjoy that Haley cursed while being under pressure, she just doesn't care that she is on the most popular show on TV. Awesome. The blind food test between Jacob and Lauren was pretty funny, I will admit that. Why can't Jacob show some of this funny side. Lauren wins the Best Chef Prize, which adds up to absolutely nothing.

Performance # 1:

Lady Antebellum is back. They came to the show a few weeks ago, and are back again. Don't get why Cheryl Crow can't perform since she was the mentor this week. It's a nice live performance by this group, not my cup of tea, but I definitely appreciate their sound.

Song Choice/Wardrobe Discussion?:

They feel it's difficult picking new songs each week. Lauren likes to pick songs that people her age can relate to and isn't old fashioned and boring. Haley finds it difficult to choose a song that the judges, audience and what she wants all at the same time. Scotty jokingly reveals that he throws a deck of cards in the air and whatever card he picks that is the song he chooses. James just goes with whatever he feels like in the morning. Jacob stands up for his bow tie and checkered suit jacket combination that he wore last week and then the rest of the contestants make fun of him for that.

Results # 1:

(Like last week Jimmy Iovine will have comments on all of the performances from last night).

James stands up at the couch.

What Does Jimmy Think?: He loved James' first selection, but feels that James was so overwhelmed by emotion during the second song that his voice closed down.  Feels to be a great performer he needs to control his emotions better. Gives him an 8 overall.

James joins Group 1 on the far end of the stage.

Lauren stands up at the couch.

What Does Jimmy Think? Thought Flat on the Floor was great, but in her second performance she pulled back on the big moment of the song. He thinks her fear made her pull back. If she continues to be afraid it will keep her out of the finals. Thinks she will be in the Bottom 2 tonight.

Lauren joins Group 2 on the near side of the stage. She looks very sad and emotional from the comments that Jimmy just made.

Performance # 2:

Jennifer Lopez performs her hit song "On The Floor" with Pitbull. How did they convince her to perform this song, just as her album came out 2 days ago? Incredible timing. I do enjoy seeing another side of J.Lo. Seeing her in the judges role and seeing her jump around and sing live is enjoyable. Plus the song is damn catchy.

As a "bonus" we also get to see a teaser of J.Lo's new music video with her new song "I'm Into You".

Results # 2:

Jacob stands up at the couch.

What Does Jimmy Think?: Thinks Jacob had a rough night and thought both songs were odd. Thinks his inner strength didn't come out and feels he lost his way. Thinks Jacob was a 6 out of 10.

Jacob joins Lauren on the near side of the stage.

Haley stands up at the couch.

What Does Jimmy Think?: Thinks that Haley needed to take a risk and showed she had no fear. Loves that Haley brought herself back from some of the tough judges' comment and came out as a lioness. Thinks that Haley deserves a 10 and was best performance of the night. Believes that if Haley's confidence continues to grow that she is a lock for the finale.

Haley joins James on the far side of the stage.

Scotty stands up at the couch.

What Does Jimmy Think?: Thinks he killed it and his first performance was stellar. Thinks he came up a bit short with his second performance but still has a huge talent and thinks he will have an extraordinary recording career  if he wins the show or not.

Scotty is SAFE

Ryan asks Scotty to stand with the group that he thinks is also Safe. He refuses and then Ryan pushes Scotty to the far side of the stage with James and Haley.

James and Haley are both SAFE

Lauren and Jacob are BOTTOM 2. Lauren is now even more emotional and is crying pretty badly.

Bottom 2/Who's Going Home?:


Going Home=Jacob. It was his time. He went further than I would have liked, but he had to leave before the other 4 because most of them nailed one or both of their songs and blew him out of the water. His swan song is from one of his better performances "A House Is Not A Home".

Final Thoughts?:

*Jacob Lusk was last season's Andrew Garcia. Like Andrew, Jacob had a breakout song during Hollywood week. Jacob's version of "God Bless The Child" was really incredible. This one song carried him throughout the course of his run on the show. Sure he had one or 2 decent weeks, but he honestly was living off of that one performance. But Jacob lasted a few weeks longer than Andrew so gotta give Jacob credit for that. I liked Jacob a lot more earlier on in the competition, and actually started to resent the fact he was still on week after week. So now that he is gone maybe I can appreciate his voice again. Probably not, but it's a thought.

*This Top 4 is as good as you could ask given the crop that we started out with. I would have loved Pia in the Top 4, but since she left Haley has grown leaps and bounds and last night proved that she is a contender. Plus Pia has been gone for a pretty long time if you think about. The other 3, Scotty, Lauren and James all have been very consistent with Lauren now only being in Bottom 2 once, and Scotty and James having yet to be in Bottom 3. They are obviously very popular, but they also have a lot of talent.

*I think Lauren had a shot of having a moment last night and didn't because she was scared to push herself to that next level. By being saved this week and avoiding elimination she can retool and bring out whatever tricks she has because arguably Lauren is not the best girl left in this competition anymore.
*Funny that after all of the craziness of having 5 girls in a row go home, we are left with exactly 2 guys and 2 girls in the Top 4. That tells you something about these remaining 2 girls and the guys that were sent packing.

Please come back for Top 4 week next Wednesday. These are the best 4 that we could have asked for, and it should be really fun next week. See you soon.