'American Idol' Recap: Rock, Roll and Step It Up
Pia Toscano wows the judges on Hall of Fame-themed night
By Carla Patton
Hey "Idol" fans! Or are you no longer a fan since Thia and Naima were eliminated? Either way, you know you can't just quit this show. No one can. You are powerless to stop watching, as I am powerless to stop looking at this picture of real Steven Tyler and wax Steven Tyler, who looks as though he is rocking the grown-out version of "The Rachel."
Here's what I know about tonight: The Top 9 are performing songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and, if I'm reading Nigel Lythgoe's tweets correctly, will.i.am is picking the songs for the contestants, and Gwen Stefani is dressing them in L.A.M.B. (or at least, the girls). What will.i.am has to do with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I may never know, but I'm starting to wonder if he just crashes on Jimmy Iovine's couch, penning a "Rio" spinoff featuring his character.
More: "American Idol" on BuddyTV | Bing: More about "American Idol" Season 10
Well, this episode is off to a weird start. All the contestants were, like, sass-walking out. I guess because it's Rock and Roll week? Or because Marc Anthony told them to? I don't know. But after a week, I've decided that I like Ryan's new hair.
The scary picture of Steven Tyler with his wax likeness is finally explained! He's introducing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by showing us outfits of famous rockers and his wax bust, which he kissed. Are you allowed to do that? Oh, like Steven Tyler can't do whatever he wants. It was cute, and it made me feel positive about tonight's episode.
Even though they've already sass-walked onto the stage, the Top 9 are reintroduced. Jacob Lusk is up first, singing "Man in the Mirror" in favor of "Let's Get It On." But "Let's Get It On" sounded so good! Jacob Lusk threatens us for votes, saying that, if he's in the bottom three, it will be because "America wasn't ready to look at themselves in the mirror." A challenge! Jacob and Naima-From-the-Future sang the song beautifully and with control. Good job, Jacob. Oh, it turns out the woman singing with Jacob is not Naima-From-the-Future, but the woman who co-wrote "Man in the Mirror."
The judges liked it, of course, and Randy likes that Jacob went with his "moral conviction."
Haley Reinhart is up next, singing Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," because everyone wants it. Will.i.am tells Haley to pretend the camera is her ex-boyfriend -- which will change the way I see his performances from now on. Haley is wearing pants this week! The performance and the red lipstick were under control tonight -- although Haley may have maxed out on her growling. Overall, I liked it, and I think Haley could be the sleeper hit of this competition. Jennifer told Haley that she proved to be a real contender, and for a while I couldn't tell whether Randy liked it. But his words said he did.
Up next is Casey Abrams. He was going to sing "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," but it was too snappy and rumba-y, so he's singing some more Creedence Clearwater Revival and taking on "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" He's got his bass! In spite of the cheesy raindrop lighting effect, the performance was quite good, and Casey managed not to lose control again. So far, I think will.i.am is a good mentor, as it seems like these performances are more thoughtful than in weeks past. This performance wasn't mind-blowing, but it was really pleasant. Randy is jealous that Casey made the upright bass cool. Will Schuester is jealous that Casey made the vest cool.
Oh boy. Lauren Alaina is giving "Natural Woman" a country twist. Will.i.am invented "countroul," which is when soul meets country. I'm such a fan at this point that I am going with it. It was great, and I think it put Lauren back on the map, but I can't stop remembering when Kelly Clarkson sang this song in Season 1 and pretty much won the competition. I don't think I really heard the country coming out, but I'm OK with it. Randy was also vaguely remembering Kelly Clarkson, but he told Lauren that she did a good job. Everyone gets a trophy!
James Durbin is slowing it down and singing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Interesting choice. I think we were all expecting great things from James during this Rock and Roll week, so this is the perfect time for him to change it up. I really hate the way his Mohawk is all flattened and limp on his forehead.
James is really sounding like Adam Lambert this week, but with a few pitch problems. I appreciate that James is changing it up, but I don't think it took him to the next level as a performer like he may have wanted it to. The judges loved it, though. If we don't vote for him, does it mean we're against his family?
Yes, yes, yes. Scotty McCreery is singing Elvis! He's taking away country Scotty and giving us something new, as he slides forth on the stairs. While his song isn't country, that double denim sure is. Scotty is particularly cheesy this week, still holding the microphone off to the side and moving his eyebrows all over the stage. Girls rushed the stage at the end, and I think it was part of the act. If that's the case, it was very cute. Oh, and the performance was great. The judges loved it and thought it was good fun. We're all a little high on Scotty these days.
Pia Toscano is "taking a walk on the wild side" this week and also dressed like she's from a sci-fi movie or like Raja from "RuPaul's Drag Race." Pia, as promised, is singing "River Deep, Mountain High," and I'm hoping she'll be as "out of her mind" as Jimmy Iovine promised Tina Turner was. We all want her to slay it like Mercedes and Santana on "Glee," or better. The jumpsuit is back and here to stay, apparently. J.Lo was bouncing in her seat like a little baby in one of those Jumperoo things. So, Pia totally killed it, and she is leagues ahead of the competition. But I would have liked to see her lose control and get into it a little more -- like, really go insane. Jennifer told Pia to research performers of the past to bring her to the next level. Randy wants her to move a little more when she goes up-tempo, like the great Tina Turner.
I pretty much almost forgot about Stefano Langone. I think the producers may have taken pity on him and Paul and put them in the last two spots. Or maybe they'll be spectacular! While a lot of other contestants are mixing it up this week, Stefano is singing "When a Man Loves a Woman." Will.i.am was particularly funny and charming during Stefano's clip package. Stefano sounded a little different in the opening of the song: maybe less nasal, more light and throaty? So, this performance was great, maybe one of Stefano's best, but I'm just sort of feeling like I'm over him. His performances are good, but not particularly memorable, and they lack variety. Jennifer was like, "It was perfect!" But Randy said it sounded a little jerky, which made Randy sound a little jerky (you know?).
Last but not least (or maybe least) is Paul McDonald. He's singing "Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash. Jimmy Iovine wanted Paul to sing it like he is out of his mind. Paul is going to do it "as crazy as possible," but still keep it "him." If he were to go really crazy, he'd end it with a creepy whisper like last week. Paul is surprisingly on pitch when he's doing it crazy, and he looked very comfortable with other musicians next to him. I actually liked it, until the end when he sang the word blues, and it sounded like blooiizz (with teeth). Randy "loved it!" And Jennifer said Paul was in his lane.
This was really a good week for everyone, overall. It's all in America's hands once again, and it may come down to personality this week. What do you think?
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"American Idol" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Hey Eugene! They'll dig up losers like Pop for this loser show of no-talent hacks.
THIS IS TERRIBLE !!!!!! I WILL NOT WATCH AMERICAN IDOL ANYMORE....
WHAT A FARCE AND A FIASCO !!!!!!!!! PIA WAS THE B E S T THINK PEOPLE !!!!
JUST LIKE DANCING WITH THE STARS WHEN BRISTOL PALIN WAS THERE!!!!!!!
ANOTHER FARCE AND FIASCO... I,M WATCHING SPORTS INSTEAD. THEIR REAL !!!!
I agree with SwampDaisy, that's about all Haley can do is growl like a sick cat. Completely ruined the Janis song and when the judges said her "Bennie and the Jets" was the best performance of the night, I was wondering what show they were watching. Then tonight I liked her even less when I noticed the shot of her when Pia was on stage with Ryan and Haley was actually SMIRKING!!! I could not believe it! She has a lot of nerve as Pia could run circles around her, chew her up and spit her out. Ever since the judges started telling her she was "great", now she's even more Little Miss Thinks She's All That. She should have been gone long ago, right along with Thea, instead of Naima. The bottom 3 was a complete shock. Personally, I'm a hard core James fan, but Stefano, Jacob and Scotty are right after. I also agree Paul murdered the Johnny Cash song (he's probably fighting his way out of his grave as we speak to come up and throttle him, with Janis close on his heels after the way he and Haley "killed", and not in a good way either, their songs). Folsom Prison and Piece of My Heart are classics and should not have been attempted by amateurs such as those two. Normally I don't like to slam contestants this way, but after seeing everybody visibly upset after Pia, and then Haley looking rather pleased with herself, it was sickening enough for me to post. So to Haley: GO AWAY!!!!! You ain't good. And to James: ROCK ON DUDE!!!!!!
Although kaykay, Lauren is a very good singer.
Eat that Hotdog Scotty...........roflmao
James and Casey are at the top, talentwise, and the rest fall in beneath them.
And who's dressing her? Is this MC Hammer all over again?mc hammer never looked that good.
The panel seems afraid to say anything that sounds negative. If these kids are all so great and slay every song what's the point of judges? In fact JLO simply says "vote for your favorite" ! Really! Not who's best? At any rate I'm sick of some the posturing of some contestants. Hally always bends like she's constipated and her growl is the only thing keeping her on. Jacob can sing but he he looks so funny/weird it's hard to think of him as their poster boy. Paul's voice was lost in the fast arrangement; I though he was singing in jibberish. Scotty's head bend is so annoying it's creepy. Pia does have the pipes, but she's got to shed the mannequin outer; perhaps her style/looks will supersede her weakness. I think James is really good; his stage movements are unforced, his voice, somewhat one dimensionally great. He seems fit for the crown if enough people don't buy into Pia. Casey's stock went up with the "save" but the performance was only "good". Lauren is sweet, but she can't even compare with Allison, a loser on another season. IMO.Why do you even watch this show???
...I'm really getting tired of Jacob fans claiming those that aren't into him are just homophobes.
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