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American Idol Recap – Top 13

Wow.  What a difference a year makes.  At this time last year, we were suffering through Paige Miles, Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens, Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly, and Lacey Brown.  Does you miss any of them?  Or do you miss Siobhan Magnus, Big Mike, Didi Benami or even Lee Dewyze?  I certainly don’t.  EVERY SINGLE contestant tonight was more interesting and a better performer than pretty much everyone from 2010.  That goes for Casey James and Crystal Bowersox as well.  And subsequently, it is actually EXCITING to watch again.

The theme this week is “songs by your personal idol”.  Interesting.  At least lets us hear songs the contestants should theoretically feel comfortable with.  It also looks like Jimmy Iovine is this year’s answer to guest judges.  Not bad.

Lauren – “Any Man Of Mine” by Shania Twain – Oh, boy.  The song that led to Mandisa’s early ouster in Season 5.  It was certainly a much better song for Lauren and she sounded great.  She’s a natural.  But Steven was right.  It should have been a little more kick-ass.  Great to hear Steven actually be critical.  I’m starting to understand Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Kelly Pickler’ comment.  So Lauren Alaina = Kelly Clarkson + Carrie Underwood + Kellie Pickler.

Casey – “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker – Great song choice.  Hilarious.  Casey said Joe Cocker has this growl in his voice and he’s not that good looking – which is like me.  I just love how comfortable Casey is on stage.  Such a key factor in people liking you.  I loved the performance.  He sounded great, he acted it out well, and he showed me something different.  We know already that he is technically amazing.  I enjoyed the simpler song.  Steven said it well again – Casey is a “rainbow of talent.”

Ashton – “When You Tell Me That You Love Me” by Diana Ross – Well, she wasn’t bad.  But I still don’t know why she’s in the competition.  Nothing special.  She’s not Diana Ross.  I don’t know why the judges seem to keep giving her a pass.

Paul – “Come Pick Me Up” by Bryan Adams – I’m sure lots of you loved him.  I didn’t see anything wrong with that performance.  I also completely tune out when he sings.  It’s like the teacher in Charlie Brown to me.  I think people will either love him or hate him.  He’s different, and I support that.  But he’s not for me.  Sorry to keep repeating that week after week.  Ryan does a wicked Paul imitation.

Pia – “All By Myself” by Celine Dion – Wow.  She’s gorgeous and she sounds amazing.  Except that high note.  That was flat.  But otherwise, she was really amazing and has quickly moved into front-runner status, as far as I’m concerned.

James – “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney – Now I don’t like James’ style either, but I like James.  Holy schmoley.  This dude is pretty much flawless.  What an amazing voice.  How can people say he’s a pale imitation of Adam Lambert?  This guy is so much more natural.

Haley – “Blue” by Lianne Rimes – Wow.  I had basically written Haley off.  But that was really beautiful.  She sounded amazing and I loved her husky voice on it.  Randy thought it was boring and sleepy.  Yeah, I guess.  But I think she was solid.

Jacob – “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly – I don’t know, Jacob.  I just wasn’t really feeling it.  I thought he was actually pitchy in parts, and I thought it was just a little much for me.  But the judges really liked him.  And I want him to stay in the competition and to do better in the future.

Thia – “Smile” by Michael Jackson from Charlie Chaplin – She was fine.  The beginning was better than the uptempo part.  But she’s way overrated.  And I think she could be in trouble.

Stefano – “Lately” by Stevie Wonder – A worthy idol, and one of his best songs.  I’m just not sure what I think.  At first I was glad he changed it up, then I thought it was a weird remix.  He sounded good – I guess – but he’s no Stevie Wonder.  And he needs to stop furrowing his brow.  But the judges just LOOOOOOVE themselves some Stefano.

Karen – “I Could Fall In Love With You” by Selena – I’m kind of shocked that her idol isn’t Jennifer Lopez.  But she is singing a song JLo sang.  She looks beautiful and much more mature this week.  And I thought she sounded solid and great.  Just like last week.  There is some oomph that is missing.  Randy was right – it was a little sleepy.  She seems just very contained.

Scotty – “The River” by Garth Brooks – Again, not the style I like, but I do like Scotty.  I didn’t think he was half as good as he was last week, but it was still a solid performance.  No question in my mind that America will vote him through.  The big crucifix around his neck will guarantee it.

Naima – “Umbrella” by Rihanna – Seriously?  Rihanna is her idol?  I don’t believe that for a second.  What a risky choice.  It wasn’t bad.  But again, it wasn’t Rihanna.  I liked the moves.  I liked the reggae rap.  The rest was a second-rate performance.

My Ranking of Tonight’s Performances

  1. James – wow
  2. Pia – wow
  3. Casey – wow
  4. Lauren
  5. Scotty
  6. Haley
  7. Paul
  8. Jacob
  9. Ashton
  10. Karen
  11. Stefano
  12. Thia
  13. Naima

The Bottom Three SHOULD Be…

  • Ashton
  • Thia
  • Naima

With Ashton going home.  I just think she brings nothing to the table and is generic and boring.

Who Will Be In Jeopardy

  • I will be shocked if Naima is not in the bottom three.  And I think she is also likely to go home.
  • I think Ashton and Thia are likely to be in the bottom three.
  • This will be a telling night forKaren.  She could easily be in the bottom three.
  • I think there is a chance that Jacob could also sneak into the bottom three.

Tune in tomorrow for Diddy Dirty Money (seriously – he’s really going by that now?) and Adam Lambert.

A prediction – my top 5 tonight will be the top 5.

Wertheim out.

  1. Howard and Eileen
    March 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    As usual you are right on the money. My question is who was responsible for last year’s less than stellar talent? Was it the initial screeners or Simon?

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