American Idol Season 10 Top 9 Pre-Results

Last week certainly got rid of some dead weight who answers to the name Naima. Yay! Last night was, by far, the best overall night of performances this season. On the re-cap, I kept saying “that rocked” to far too many people compared to recent weeks.

Leading off, Jacob Lusk found his inner Elton John, Village People, and singing Liberace last night. I don’t understand why the teenie-bopper girls shout “I love you” to him. Maybe their gaydar is broken. He came all the way out with “Man in the Mirror” flailing and doing hip thrusts and all. Beside all of that circus dancing, the singing wasn’t as good as his Hollywood week smash.

Haley Reinhart still can’t figure out what to do to save her life. She somehow managed to make me hate a Janice Joplin song. At least this time her red lipstick stayed on her lips.

Then the run started: Casey Abrams with CCR, Lauren Alaina with “Natural Woman,” James Durbin with a George Harrison ballad, Scotty McCreery busted out “That’s All Right,” and Pia Toscano brought down the house!!!! with “River Deep – Mountain High.” I would have been pleased if that was the last song, but then…

Stefano Langone had to ruin the night with “When a Man Loves a Woman.” I haven’t quite figured out what I don’t like about him, but I would never go to a Stefano concert. Ever.

At least they got back into the right place with Paul McDonald slaying “Folsom Prison Blues.” It fit him perfectly and the crowd really got into it and it ended up being a great ending after all. That Stefano number had me worried that the producers had lost their minds.

Bottom Three:

Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, and Haley Reinhart.

Going Home:

Haley Reinhart

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Pre-Results Part Deux

Last night was pretty lame, but that can’t be helped too much – it was Elton John night. Tonight, there will be a Bottom 4 and two people will go home after Casey Abrams’ save last week.

I’m going to get this off my chest: I can’t stand watching or listening to Naima Adedapo. I want her to go home and keep on cleaning toilets until she finds a less annoying way (than making me want to throw my remote) to make more money.

I was floored to see that Haley Reinhart had the coveted finale spot, and while she did a great job picking a song, style, and way to move, it still isn’t anything that will win. Scotty McCreery picked “Country Comfort” because, you guessed it: it had the word “country” in it.

After Casey’s run-through with the producers, they suggested that his beard is taking over his face and that he should go get it trimmed. They were right! What a difference. Now his beard looks like mine at the point that I can’t stand it being that long, and it looked like he’d lost 25lbs. It was a good performance, but I am still stuck on wanting another Nirvana, because that was his best ever.

James Durbin totally rocked. 3/4 of the way through the song, the pianist just got up and ran off-stage. I wondered why, but only for 5 more seconds… the piano lid was missing and the whole thing lit up with 6-foot flames for the rest of the song, finished with 2 pyro blasts at the base of the stairs. It was an epic performance.

Pia Toscano was wonderful and lovely, as usual. Thia did much better, but she can’t win. Jacob Lusk bores me with his face-pulling, and acting generally like a girl or very confused man. He’s a one-trick pony, too. All he knows to do is to go high.

Lauren Alaina did fantastic singing “Candle in the Wind,” especially since she ripped out her “ear” immediately. There must have been something terribly wrong with what came out into her ear, but she really kicked butt. She’s coming across as more air-headed each week, though. My wife thinks she’s been out of school too long.

Paul McDonald was great and picked the perfect song in “Rocket Man” and really did his brand justice. The dude is ready to go on tour and have tons of iTunes singles.

Oh, yeah, Stefano Langone… well, since I almost forgot to include him should tell you how ordinary he was.

My picks for Bottom 4: Naima Adedapo, Stefano Langone, Haley Reinhart, and Thia Megia.

Going home: Naima Adedapo and Stefano Langone.

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Pre-Results

Is it just me or are the worst getting worse and the best getting better? It’s really hard to pick a 3rd worst from last night because there were four bad performances. It’s almost game time (I’ve got a lot of NCAA to watch tonight, too), so I’m going to cut to the chase.

Last night was Motown night. It made it really easy to tell who knew themselves, what their niche was, and how to arrange a song to match their style. Those who succeeded in best to worst order were: Paul McDonald, James Durbin, Pia Toscano, Thia Megia, Casey Abrams, Scotty McCreery, and Lauren Alaina.

I’m over Jacob Lusk and his faces, dancing, and hand gestures. Naima Adedapo was confused which Nigel Lithgoe show she was on and started (very badly) doing an African dance number – oh, she IS African? I guess that hadn’t been thrown in my face enough yet for that to sink in. Haley Reinhart has always been and will always be in the Bottom 3 until she goes home. Lastly, Stefano Langone still can’t keep his eyes open.

Naima AdedapoBottom 3 of 11

Haley Reinhart, Stefano Langone, and Naima Adedapo

Going home

Naima Adedapo

American Idol Season 10 Top 12 Pre-Results

Casey AbramsThere is a flu going around the American Idol mansion with 12 contestants in Season 10 remaining. It’s best to get the flu early and make it through to the next round while there is a greater probability that someone will royally stink up the place with their song choice or performance without the flu and then let someone get booted because they stink with fewer people remaining because they got the flu late. Last night, it looked like Casey had recovered from whatever put him in the hospital, but Paul, Lauren, James, and Pia were all affected in some way.

I voted last night based on some strange mix of how awesome they were last night and how much I want them to stay in the competition. I left those with raw talent up to those with a sure-fire fan base (Pia Toscano and Jacob Lusk) even though I didn’t care of last night’s performances from either one. Seriously, did the judges zone out on Jacob’s last 15 seconds and miss the same dog-howl notes that I heard loud and clear? If you’re going to pile on the pitchy for 4 others, you have to lay it on him, too. I’m an equal-opportunity pitchy judge, especially when I didn’t hear it from 2 of the ones they dug into for that singing sin.

I watched Casey Abrams performance 6 times just because I’m a Smells Like Teen Spirit glutton for punishment and just now loaded up some YouTube love for him while I’m writing this. I also played back Paul’s performance one more time before moving on to other DVR programs of my fancy. I have to respect the contestants who 1) know themselves 2) know their music history 3) combine the two into a great show. Those were the people I voted for with my text plan as follows:

  • Casey Abrams: 15 votes
  • Lauren Alaina: 6 votes
  • James Durbin: 5 votes
  • Scotty McCreery: 4 votes
  • Paul McDonald: 3 votes

Moving on to the bad performances/impressions/songs of the night. I know, that’s why you REALLY come here, so I won’t leave you hanging any longer. It was hard for me to limit myself to 3 picks. Correction, it IS hard  – considering that I’m writing this on the fly and removing the better ones if I come up with a worse one. How’s that for how bad the entire lot was?

  • Haley Reinhart – She won’t be able to recover from all of the things that went wrong: singing a “Whip Me” Houston song, those awkward tights, and her epic lipstick malfunction. The camera crew doomed her when they cut in close enough to see 3 smudges on her face and lipstick stuck between her teeth. It was so bad, it looked like she’d just had a 2-hour make-out session and forgot to tidy up before coming home to awaiting parents. It was nice of Ryan to come out to dab some away, but the damage was done.
  • Karen Rodriguez – She didn’t do anything to change anyone’s mind about her from last week. She’s still some sort of Latin ambassador or poster girl in my mind. Her whole notion (egged on by Jennifer) to switch between English and Spanish lyrics is getting old. It’s one thing to sing a popular (J-Lo or Shakira) song completely in Spanish and another entirely to appeal to or appease people by switching in the middle of the song. Have some substance to your performance next time, okay?
  • Stefano Langone – I still can’t get past seeing Matthew Broederick on stage. He’s just “okay” ever since Hollywood week.
  • Thia Megia – Girl, you’ve gotta know who you are. Enough with the ballads. I think we have another David Archuleta case where the parents are picking the songs.
  • Naima Adedapo – She’s still bothering me by hanging on there. Tina Turner, she isn’t. Bad song choice for her.

My picks for the Bottom Three: Haley, Karen, and Naima.

Going home: Haley Reinhart. You just can’t sing Whitney Houston AND smear your lipstick all over and still expect to stay. It’s never a good thing when the judges lead with how good someone looks – that means they don’t have anything else nice to say.