American Idol: this field rocks

If you didn’t come away from last night’s episode of “American Idol” feeling like this field has no clear-cut winner, you weren’t paying attention. I truly can’t remember a more talented group of finalists, about half of who have a shot to win it all. Of course, I didn’t agree with all of the judges’ comments last night, but I do appreciate the field of talent that they have given us. Here is our recap of the episode of the contestants singing songs from the year they were born in:

THE REALLY REALLY GOOD
Let’s take the judges out of the equation here. Haley Reinhart, born in 1990, sang Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” and while you have to marvel at the contestants’ fearlessness this season, Haley’s version was a bit different than Whitney’s, as she incorporated that bluesy growl. Folks, this was an awesome performance, and I’m saying that right now because the judges were watching something different. It had a couple of pitch issues, but I mean a couple. J-Lo said “You look beautiful,” which is the kiss of death. And then she went on to say she has an amazing voice but is tense and insecure up there; Randy said he is confused with Haley’s song choices; and Steven said Haley is sweet and tough but he wants more bluesy growl. Hopefully she gets that chance.

Pia Toscano was born in 1989 and her parents talked about her performing in front of the video camera at a young age doing her diva act. I’m a firm believer that things like that are a sign from above…she was born to do this. She also took on a Whitney song, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” and just nailed it, though the uptempo arrangement was a bit odd. Steven agreed with me that Pia “nailed it;” J-Lo said she dug the uptempo and that producer Rodney Jenkins is a “genius” (not sure I agree based on this peformance); and Randy said Pia is “in it to win it.” Yep.

Scotty McCreery was born in 1993 and did Travis Tritt’s “Can I Trust You With My Heart?” This kid is also a natural and it was pretty flawless, but he also showed he can belt it a bit. J-Lo loved how Scotty belted it; Randy said “you can sing!” and Steven said Scotty is gonna go places. Amen to that.

Casey Abrams was born in 1991, but pulled off the surprise of the night with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Wow. Sure, it was rough around the edges, but are you kidding me? Dude even nailed playing bass while he sang. He is a natural, ridiculous talent. Steven said Casey is so good and so crazy; J-Lo said he filled the huge shoes of Kurt Cobain; and Randy said he loves Casey’s fearless attitude and as a musician has so much respect for his talent.

Lauren Alaina was born in 1994 (yikes) and sang Melissa Etheridge’s “The Only One,” and just rocked it out–with the FLU! Damn. J-Lo said she loves how Lauren stays true to her ability; Randy said it was very nice; and Steven said she is a shining star, even sick.

Jacob Lusk had the pimp spot and was born in 1987. He did Heart’s “Alone” and do I have to spell it out? Dude was insanely good. Randy said that Jacob needs to rein himself in on the modulations sometimes but that he is genius; Steven said Jacob is on fire; and J-Lo said she loves how Jacob gives himself completely to every song. Yes indeed.

THE PRETTY GOOD
James Durbin, born in 1988, did Bon Jovi’s “I”ll Be There For You,” and it was a lot like Bon Jovi, but really strong. Steven said he is afraid of James getting too poppy but loves his style; J-Lo said James exudes joy and makes her sing along; and Randy said there were a couple of pitch spots but he loves how he made the song his own. Really?

THE GOOD
Naima Adedapo kicked things off, and was born in 1984. She did a boppy version of Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and it wasn’t great but I love the spunk and unique thing that Naima brings to the table. Steven loved it; J-Lo thought it was pitchy too often; and so did Randy, who added it was “all over the place.” That’s an exaggeration, Randy, and you will know it when you watch it back.

Paul McDonald, also born in 1984, sang “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” (are you kidding me with these long song titles?) by Elton John and true to Paul, it was a bit weird. But there is no denying his talent. J-Lo said it sounded good and she loves his soul and star quality; Randy said it was pitchy in spots but original; and Steven said Paul “defines cool dude in a loose mood.” Ha! But true.

Stefano Langone was born in 1989 and did the Simply Red version of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” It was good but not as great as the judges made it out to be. Randy said it was the best of the night so far. (um, no, that was Haley). Steven said he loved the phrasing; and J-Lo said it was teh perfect song choice.

THE JUST OKAY
Thia Meghia was born in 1995 and did Vanessa Williams’ “Colors of the Wind.” It was pretty good and there is no doubt Thia has a beautiful voice. Randy said it was just okay and kind of like a pageant performance; Steven said he didn’t love the song choice; and J-Lo said Thia is doing too many safe ballads. I can see that.

THE NOT QUITE GOOD ENOUGH
Karen Rodriguez, born in 1989, did Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back,” and she said she was going to step out of the Hispanic thing. But then right in the middle of a (kind of lame) performance, she sang in Spanish again! Karen wants those damn votes. Randy said it was better than last week, but still not great; Steven said he loves Karen’s “ethnic whatisness”…ha! but right on; and J-Lo said she likes how Karen “attacked” the song. Okay. But I’m sorry, Karen is the least talented of this amazing field. She really should go home, except for that Hispanic population vote thing.

So I think it’s down to these folks to be in the Bottom 3–Karen, Paul, and Naima. But I think Thia should also be there. I also think, based on the judges irrationalitiy, that Haley might land there too, which is ridiculous. But it could happen. What do you think? See you back here tomorrow with the results…

  

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>