Beliefnet
The Prophet of Pop

It’s that time again!  Time to make fun of J-Lo and speculate on who America will like the least!  That’s right… American Idol!  The show always does a great job with lending it’s huge helping hand to relief efforts, and tonight it is giving all of the money from downloads of tonight’s performances to relief efforts in Japan.  Great work everyone!

Apparently tonight was “songs from the year you were born” night, so I felt pretty old after it’s all over.  Let’s get going!

Naima Adedapo – Naima got the night started by performing “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”  It was a decent performance, but her pitch was off yet again.  She didn’t do any dancng this time which unfortunately made the problems even more obvious.  I believe tonight was the first time that Jennifer Lopez criticized someone this whole season.  Good for you J-Lo!

Paul McDonald – Elton John is a common choice amongst Idol contestants, and Paul fell right in line with “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.”  Normally Paul does a great job picking songs but this one just didn’t work out.  Elton’s vocals are just too big for the soft-singing Paul.  I hope he is able to stay in, I am always interested to see what he does.  It just didn’t work this week.

Thia Megia – Thia was born in 1995.  My, my, my.  Even worse, Pocahontas came out in 1995, and that is where her song came from.  Where have the years gone?  Thia was the first contestant to actually sing like someone who belongs on a show that is viewed by millions of people.  This was another quiet song choice though, it may do this week but I think she is going to need to step out of that comfort zone soon.

James Durbin – James picked a great song with Bon Jovi’s “I’ll Be There For You.”  At risk of showing my bias, I am willing to say that I really didn’t like his take on it.  It sounded like Bon Jovi meets praise and worship.  While he had to leave out a lot of the lyrics, this really isn’t a happy song and that’s how he made it sound.  So as Steven said, it was just “too poppy.”  He sang as well as he always does though.  Another first tonight – first missed censorship.  We are racking them up!

Haley Reinhart – “I’m Your Baby Tonight” is a song that I have never heard performed on American Idol, so that’s something.  Haley has such a unique voice, but it seems she is still struggling to find her genre.  I hope she finds it soon, because like Paul I’m always interested in seeing what she will sing.

Stefano Langone – Stefano performed “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.”  Sorry Stefano, this song came out in 1972.  Either you are too old to be on Idol or they are letting you bend the rules by performing a cover that came out the year you were born.  Either way, to me it’s a cop out.  Shame since it was one of the better vocal performances of the night.  He really sounded great, but what’s the point of the theme show if a contestant is allowed to ignore it?  Simon would have destroyed him.  Anyone else just think he is the second coming of David Archiletta?

Pia Toscano – Whitney Houston’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” is actually an interesting choice in the Whitney catalog.  Pia did Whitney justice though, and it was great to hear her sing something upbeat and knock it out of the park.

Scotty Mcreery – As a child Scotty loved Elvis.  Please Scotty – one of these days sing some Elvis.  Since he was born in 1993 (ahhh!) he sang Travis Tritt.  He did his country thing like every other week.  He does it well, but I don’t know that there is much else to say at this point.

Karen Rodriguez – “Love Will Lead You Back” is a great jam!  Do I lose a man card now?  I’m cool with that.  Karen was dressed like how I imagine people will dress in the future, which was weird for a show about the past.  She did the song pretty well though, not the best performance of the night but far from the worst!

Casey Abrams – Casey is back and feeling well, thank goodness.  I am sure he is feeling better than most Nirvana fans who found out that someone was performing Nirvana on American Idol.  Casey rocked “Smells Like Teen Spirit” while playing the bass, and IT WAS AWESOME.  I hope this song scared some people.  I do think though, that having the bass held him back from really gelling with the audience.  Small criticism given the quality of his performance.  The best part of the sequence was J-Lo criticizing his performance of Kurt Cobain by saying it was “too screamy.”  Seriously J-Lo?  It’s Nirvana!

Lauren Alaina – Apparently the flu may be going around the Idol house, high drama here folks!  Lauren was one of the contestants hit.  Based on tonight’s performance, she should keep the flu around a little longer.  “The Only One” by Melissa Etheridge was a great song choice, and may save her for another week.

Jacob Lusk – Jacob broke out of his gospel mode to do the Heart song “Alone.”  While he missed a big note during the key change, it was really awesome to hear him do something out of his usual range while bringing his signature stamp to it.  Jacob always brings it vocally and emotionally and tonight was no different.

Tonight’s show really picked up about halfway through.  I still think Casey and Jacob are the favorites, but Pia made a serious case to be up there tonight.  I think Naima and Haley are probably in the most trouble tonight, and Paul would be if it weren’t for that lady charming smile.  We’ll see what happens tomorrow night!

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