Thursday, March 31, 2011

American Idol 10: Top 11 Redux

Wow. Another great show! This is really turning out to be a great season no? I mean, the girls owned the boys this week! How crazy is that?

But to be honest, I thought that tonight should help separate the singers from people who are best suited to sing locally and those that should be considered for a career in the music industry. But somehow, I got it wrong AGAIN. This is the first season where I genuinely don't want anybody to go - yes, even Paul McDonald or Jacob Lusk.

I strangely enjoyed everyone better than I usually do. Plus, I love the fact that they are just throwing down this season and really going for it! Things are going to be very interesting, I think. 

Anyway, let's go with the rankings, shall we?

DISCLAIMER: I am no expert, but this is my opinion - to each his own - and yours will be in the comments below! Haha. 

11. Paul McDonald
Rocket Man
On paper, this should've worked, but I somehow didn't find his voice to exactly fit the song that well. I mean, I would have preferred a more powerful voice for this.  I also thought he messed with the melody too much that I almost didn't recognize the song - or was it his enunciation? I don't know. I kind of thought Paul was better last week. No, this performance wasn't even bad - his coat was - but it was just all over the place. Oh, and his last whispery note was a little strange. 6.5/10

10. Scotty McCreery
Country Comfort
"It has the word 'country' on it". Really, Scotty? Haha. I don't doubt Scotty's talent. I think he has an interesting tone, surprisingly good stage presence, tons of charisma and he surely has a market somewhere - obviously, country. But at the same time, he's becoming too one dimensional. Yes, I'd argue before that he should stick to what he does best, but ALL his performances are now sounding the same and I couldn't really tell them apart. How about he change it up and maybe just go midtempo for once - instead of these mellow country songs he's been doing EVERY week. This performance, though vocally good, was predictable and it never really peaked my interest. Plus, his low notes are like Jacob’s high ones. They don’t need to be gratuitously inserted in every song like that. But does it really matter? No. 6.5/10

09. Stefano Langone
Tiny Dancer
Another cheesy performance from Stefano. I don't know. I really like Stefano's voice, but I just didn't get his phrasing and the funny faces he pulled during this performance. It came off way cheesier than he seemed normally. He sounded - yet again - nasal and though the arrangement worked with his voice, the back up singers screwed things up for him. I could tell he was really trying, but it seemed a bit desperate to me. I just didn't care for it so much. 6.5/10

08. Jacob Lusk
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Hold up, didn't Robbie Rosen perform this during the Wildcard round? Haha. Ok. I can't deny Jacob's talent, but I guess he's really just not my cup of tea. His vocals were great, that last note was incredible and he kept 
things relatively simple, but everything was way too dramatic for my taste. So while I found the beginning part really good, it got messy and too stagey that I just didn't care for it. Oh, and how come nobody really called him out to sing something uptempo? Odd. 7/10

07. Naima Adedapo
I'm Still Standing
It had all the makings of a great trainwreck performance, but I actually thought that parts of this reggae arrangement somehow worked. Seriously. This was all kinds of cool. It was interesting, fun and I liked how she changed it up to suit her vocals. Now, if only Naima nailed her vocals a bit better this week - that first chorus was rough - this would've been fantastic. I could do without Naima's affected accent as well. 7.5/10

06. James Durbin
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
Did he do a split jump? Haha. James was like a breath of fresh air in a sea of ballads. Seriously. He definitely knows how to work the crowd and he seems to be a seasoned performer. I'd say vocally it was one of his weaker performances and I didn’t think he showed that much here, but if you’re looking for performance he definitely had it. To be honest, I'm beginning to think that James is a very dangerous contestant - more than Adam Lambert. I mean, Adam we expected to be awesome every week; there was no growth. James, on the other hand, doesn’t have that issue and he's slowly making sure that the viewers at home are watching him grow in this competition. That's deadly. 8/10

05. Pia Toscano
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Ok. I'll give Pia a pass for another ballad this week just because I don't think she could have done a good job on any upbeat Elton John song. I mean, Elton doesn't have a good uptempo songs for girls to cover. What do you want her to do, sing Crocodile Rock? It's not like Paul, Scotty, Thia or even Naima went out of their comfort zones. Plus, her technical proficiency on this song was just outstanding. She hit all the right notes and I felt more emotion from her than ever. But one thing I hated about the performance though was the freakin' song choice!! Seriously Pia? This is one of the cursed songs on American Idol! Not unless if you're Jorge Nunez or Jasmine Trias, everyone who performed this went on to become JUST a runner-up: Justin Guarini, Clay Aiken, Bo Bice, and David Archuleta. Let's see if the curse will continue this season. 8/10

04. Thia Megia
Gorgeous. I admit, I thought it was just another boring performance from her, but it got progressively better until the end. It was pure, natural and the tone to her voice was lovely. She started and ended great and if she had supported the verses and chorus just the same, this would've been pretty amazing. But that's just me nitpicking, I really felt her and I had shivers listening to this. 8.5/10

03. Lauren Alaina
Candle In The Wind
Sure, the vocals weren't flawless as I thought she went sharp on some parts, but I seriously enjoyed this performance. I love that she added some texture to her voice and her tone was just beautiful. The arrangement was also gorgeous. To me, this was one of Lauren's best, but I admit that it could've been A LOT better if she belted it out a bit more. I mean, the performance just never really peaked. I thought it was going to build into something incredible, but it never quite got there. Oh, and it's a sad song, yet she was smiling through it. I found no emotional connection whatsoever. If she did something about it, I would've ranked her first. Just saying. 9/10

02. Haley Reinhart
Bennie and the Jets
If you had told me a few weeks ago that Haley would be one of the most underrated contestants this season, I would've slapped you and called you a liar! Haha. Seriously. Somewhere in America, Syesha Mercado called to silently pass her throne to Haley. I guess, she justified her presence with this rousing performance. Everything really did come together for her. It was fun, she delivered some impressive vocals, her voice had more character and her stage presence - though still awkward - worked. 9/10

01. Casey Abrams
Your Song
Welcome back!!  Haha. Casey proved tonight that he's not the best singer in the bunch - and without his growling, he just exposed his weakness vocally. But you know what.. I was still pretty impressed with Casey this week. I thought his performance was beautiful and heartfelt. There was a serious emotional connection there that was missing from most of the contestants - no matter how trained their voices might be. It was also refreshing to just hear him sing without all the vocal affectations he usually put on. No doubt, he did justice to my favorite Elton John song. Good job! 9/10


Pao said...

Haley and Casey definitely owned it. I'm so worried for Pia.

jayviedistor said...

yan din yung suot ni Haley last week ah! haha :D

ooh i'm excited to watch tonight! i'm excited about Thia singing Daniel :D


Pao: You're right. Not too worried about Pia though.


Jayvie: I can't find Haley's picture, kaya I used her old one. Will look for it. HAHAHA.

Aaron Vincent said...

Funny that everybody's favorite Elton John song is his most popular song. Yeah, Casey owned the night. He did good(in American Idol standards) singing Your Song but I find that it lacks the vulnerability the song needs. It was emotional, yes, but was it believable? No. I hate comparing reality contestants to real recording artist but Casey should have keep tabs on how the goddess Ellie Goulding covered it. It is such a wonderful cover of everybody's favorite Elton John song.

Haley did good. But had she performed not on the pimp spot, she'd be in grave danger. She just doesn't have an appeal.

Carlos Jude Laron said...

i think 2 boys might be going home this week. i pray for naima to not get eliminated, i think the first part of her performance was really good though, lauren, thia, pia and haley + casey owned the night!!!!! this would make an interesting elimination....maybe paul & stefano (or scotty) are going, wouldnt be shocked if it's jacob too...


Aaron Vincent: Technically, Candle In The Wind was Elton John's most popular song, but whatever. It's subjective and don't really care if it's "everybody's favorite Elton song".

I also disagree that Casey's rendition lacked vulnerability. And personally, Ellie Goulding's version of the song wasn't all that. It was good, but nothing spectacular. Again, it's relative! Thanks.


Carlos: I think the people who are in real danger of elimination tomorrow are Haley, Thia, Stefano, Naima, Jacob and Paul. I doubt Scotty will be eliminated, but let's see. I thought Casey was safe last week and he almost got eliminated.

Etan Musni said...

i don't know why randy find Thia's performance safe.. I think most of the bloggers, critics and viewers would agree that Thia's performance is way way better than the others.

here's my version of critics based on biases and personal taste:
(in order)

1. Casey - Welcome back! God, that gave me chills!
2. Thia - Very nice.
3. Lauren - Though she was great, I think she could give more. But it was great. I like the song! :)
4. Haley - so far my favorite of her. blues, soul, sassy! ;)
5. Scotty - biased alert! :)))))
6. James - Something upbeat! Peculiar among the pack!
7. Pia - not another ballad. I liked Archie's version though.
8. Paul - ...
9. Stefano - pretty face, nasal (i agree with you) and i think he was trying so hard to get back that he forgotten to be Stefano!
10. Naima - i don't like the version. it's like seeing Kofi Kingston (WWE) :))
11. Jacob - not another ballad, too dramatic, shouty and the adlip style of singing isn't working.. its like he's running after the tempo.

i like reading your blog! its nice, realistic and fun!

from Etan (

Anonymous said...

Well, I disagree and think Stefano and Paul were my favorite of the night. Jacob sucked, I had to mute my TV.. Pia was boring.. Thia was kinda boring. Loved Lauren and Caseyy. Naima, yeah she still sucks. Holy wow Haley did greaaat. Scotty, he's just so cute I want to pinch his cheeks. James and the fire was awesomeee. Um, am I forgetting anyone?

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