Home > American Idol, Recaps, Television > American Idol Recap – Top 11 Performances

American Idol Recap – Top 11 Performances

Evening, folks.  Sorry for the delay in getting tonight’s recap up.  I just got back from my first group swim training session for the Triathlon in August.  At least I get to sit down to Motown night.  Whether on not the performances are good, at least we know the songs should be.

Casey – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye – Wow.  Three backup singers and three backup violinists.  You would think Casey could at least have groomed that beard.  Very solid opening number.  Great as usual, though I can’t help but remember loving ‘Tasia on the same number during Motown week in season three…

Thia – “Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas – Aside from forgetting the lyrics in the third verse, I thought it was pretty freaking terrific.  I was frankly pretty shocked.  My college singing group did “Heatwave” almost every semester and I have heard the song endless times so much so that I find it quite boring.  But I think she did great things with it, sang it with soul, and was an immense improvement over her previous performances.

Jacob – “You’re All I Need” by Marvin Gaye – Absolutely one of my favorite songs of all time.  And a great performance.  Not only was the crowd on its feet, so were the judges, and in an Idol first, Steven Tyler even ran on stage to hug Jacob.  I gotta say though, if this guy makes it into the finals, I will really be impressed with America.  I have seen drag queens who are less queeny than Jacob.  Just sayin’.

Lauren – “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Diana Ross – YES!  Lauren Alaina is back.  From the first note, she sounded great, sassy, and sexy.  She was so much fun.  Steven Tyler said she “ripped that song another beauty mark.”  Hahahaha.

Stefano – “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie – OK.  First of all – is this Motown?  I mean, Lionel Ritchie, yes.  But ’80’s Lionel Ritchie?  More importantly – Stefano has NEVER heard this song before?  Wow.  I am truly getting old.  Most importantly, EWWWWW.  It was weirdly operatic, dripping with cheese, and with missed words.  Oh, and with melted Velveeta cheese on top.  Yuck.  Yuck.  Yuck.  He revealed to America what I already know – he ain’t the American Idol.

Haley – “You Really Got A Hold On Me” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Reinhardt is clearly taking the Scarnato strategy and sexing it up as much as possible to keep herself in the game.  That being said, she can also really sing.  I don’t know what it is.  She doesn’t really connect with me for some reason, but she is actually very, very talented.  I think maybe she’s a little too young.  But as far as I’m concerned, she earned her place in the top 10 tonight.

Scotty – “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder – This guy just has a timeless look.  You could tell me he was born in any decade in the last 200 years and I would believe it.  I give him mad props for not attempting to sing it straight up and try to pretend he has soul.  He did a very good job of countri-fying the song.  I don’t think it succeeded 100%, but I definitely think it did 80%.  As Jennifer said, it wasn’t his strongest vocal performance, but I still think he’s great.

Pia – “All In Love Is Fair” by Stevie Wonder – This woman really does have an astounding voice.  No question.  The best voice in the competition.  The judges are right – she can work on her performance a bit – but her voice is simply astounding.

Paul – “Tracks Of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Another solid Paul performance if you like Paul, which once again, I do not like Paul.  But I can definitely be impartial enough to recognized that he did NOT have a “moment” tonight like Jimmy insisted he needed.

Naima – “Dancin’ In The Streets” by Martha & The Vandelles – Look.  Naima does not have the most beautiful voice in the competition.  But she is a GREAT performer.  And she sounded great and had a great overall performance with an African dance break to boot.

James – “Livin’ For The City” by Stevie Wonder – Two words: Rock Star.  This guy is really tremendously talented.  My only true criticism here is that the song really does have a heavy subject matter and none of that came through via the performance.  Still, incredible.

My Ranking of Tonight’s Performances

  1. Jacob
  2. James
  3. Pia
  4. Lauren
  5. Casey
  6. Haley
  7. Naima
  8. Thia
  9. Scotty
  10. Paul
  11. Stefano

In Danger:

I doubt that the bottom three tomorrow night’s results will truly be based on tonight’s performances.  I would say that Thia, Naima, and Haley will have the highest likelihood of appearing in the bottom three.  Stefano could and should be there as well, and I think is by far the most deserving of getting the boot.  Can’t say I would miss him.  Could also be the week that Paul appears in the bottom three.  But if I had to predict tomorrow night, my money is on our saying goodbye to Thia.


Once again, I have to acknowledge how much better this season is than the last two.  Every one of these folks is talented.  No doubt about that.  And frankly everyone except Stefano was pretty solid tonight.  Not easy to do these rankings.

On Another Note

As many of you know, I have started training for the NYC Triathlon in August.  I am training with a great organization called Team in Training, which provides professional coaching if participants raise money to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  If you are enjoying these blog posts (or at least if you’re reading them) and you’re in the position to do so, please consider supporting me in my fundraising efforts.  You can make a donation at http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri11/mwerthe59w .   Thanks so much.

Wertheim out.

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