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American Idol Recap – Top 9 Performances

It’s ROCK NIGHT on American Idol.  Or more precisely, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Week.

And we’re back with appearance #3 by will.i.am this season (come on, there MUST be people other than will.i.am and mr. jennifer lopez who want to appear this season).  he’s here to coach rock week.  huh?

Jacob is up first, with “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson.  Once again – HUH?  Rock week?  I’m done with you, Jacob.  You lost me in your pre-performance interview when you said that if you get voted out this week, it won’t be because of your voice – it will be because America can’t look in the mirror.  Really?  How can you say something so arrogant?  The performance was strong and not as annoying as you have been in the past.  But also – nothing new with the song.  You’re not Michael.  By far the best part of this performance was Siedah Garrett dueting with him – the writer of this amazing song.

Haley – “Piece Of My Heart” by Janis Joplin. Wow.  Just weeks ago, I would have expected to be putting Haley near the top of my list.  But she was GREAT tonight.  I mean GREAT.  Aside from her awkward gesticulations when she sings, she is actually really, really talented and has truly proven she deserves to have made it this far.

Casey – “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” by Credence Clearwater Revival.  Very smart to bring out the upright bass again, Casey.  If only to remind us why we liked you at the beginning.  Aside from that, it was also a great performance.  But dude – please stop clenching your teeth and growling.  It’s scary.  You get rid of that, you’ll stay in it for awhile longer.

Lauren – “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin.  Smart choice.  I believe it was the week that Kelly sang “Natural Woman” in season 1 that she really started to become the front-runner.  Any reminder of that discovery definitely gives her a halo effect.  That being said, Lauren is neither as mature nor as vocally gifted as is Kelly.  But it was certainly solid and a great performance.

James – “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by George Harrison.  Interesting that he is choosing a ballad this week.  But smart.  I just kept thinking “What’s James going to do this week?” since every week has been rock week for him.  I thought he was terrific this week and that he made the absolute right choice.

Scotty – “That’s Alright Mama” by Elvis.  Every week, against my better judgment, I just love this kid.  He’s such a natural.  And I’ll say it again – this kid is going to be HUGE.

Pia – “River Deep, Mountain High” by Tina Turner.  I was fully prepared for this to be Pia’s week to fall off of her game.  No such thing.  You just can’t dispute how amazing her voice is.  I mean, she didn’t ROCK it like Tina did.  But she sure sang the hell out of it and showed that she can sing anything.  Loveses Pia.

Stefano – “When A Man Loves A Woman” by Percy Sledge.  Definitely his best performance in a long time.  I didn’t hate him tonight.  Though I still don’t think he is of the same caliber as the rest of the folks.

Paul – “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash.  I truly could not remember who the last performer was and told myself that had to mean that whoever it was, they must not really matter much.  No surprise that it ended up being Paul.  Not a bad Paul performance, actually.  Dude doesn’t deserve to be kicked off this week, though I wouldn’t lose any sleep if he did.

My Ranking Of Tonight’s Performances

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

Who’s Going Home

Well, this is the first week I can remember in years where no one has actually been BAD.  What a testament to the talent this season.  No matter what, good folks are going to end up in the bottom three.  I think the most likely trio will be Jacob, Stefano, and Lauren.  Stefano is out of his depth.  Lauren was good, but not superior, and I wonder if she has a strong enough fan base.  And Jacob is just too polarizing and after being arrogant this week, I would be surprised if he isn’t in the bottom three.  Paul could slip in, but I suspect that his fan base will be voting in droves tonight, and some non-fans may be won over by tonight’s decent performance.  My instincts tell me that Jacob is going home.  I can’t say I feel confident about that, but I can say I will be relieved if it happens.

Would Appreciate Your Generosity

I write these recaps on Wednesday nights after trudging up to 138th Street and Riverside Drive to swim practice as part of my training for the NYC Triathlon in August.  I am training with a great organization called Team In Training which provides professional coaching for participants who raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.  I would greatly appreciate if you could give anything you can to help me get to my fundraising goal.  I am just about 2/5 of the way there and if everyone who reads this recap gave even $25, I would be at my goal.  So please help me raise money for this great cause if you can.  You can donate or find more info at my personal fundraising page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nyc/nyctri11/mwerthe59w.

Wertheim out.

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