by Ruth Anne Boulet
Jacob Lusk — Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye — Man In the Mirror by Michael Jackson
Jacob just can’t sing about the nasty that bluntly, so he goes with the MJ tearjerker. If he’s in the bottom 3 it’s because everybody in America wasn’t ready to look at themselves in the mirror. Wow, really Jacob? So even if you completely harf the song, being in the bottom three won’t be your fault. Very interesting strategy. You see Jacob, your going home has a lot to do with how America PERCEIVES you. I’m perceiving you as a bit arrogant and unable to shift as an artist. It was cool that one of the backup singers was Siedah Garrett who wrote Man In The Mirror. Other than that, if you’ve seen a Jacob performance, you saw this. The judges blather on about how ‘true’ Jacob is & how ‘powerful.’ Blech. He sings it well, but I wasn’t touched. I’m more motivated by RuPaul asking “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Can I get an amen up in here?
Haley Reinhart — Take Another Little Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin
Haley’s going to work on connecting tonight. Unfortunately the Idol machine has mashed and mangled the original song into a 90 second mess. Haley’s voice is a good fit for Janis Joplin, but she’s a bit too clean to fully commit to Janis. I’m not afraid Haley is going to OD in a nondescript hotel room mess. That’s a great thing for Haley, but she needs to develop some acting skills so I kind of question it.
Casey Abrams — Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by The Police Have You Ever Seen the Rain by Creedence Clearwater Revival
I was initially excited about the Sting selection, but CCR is also a good choice for Casey. And I’m happy to see the upright bass back in play. He’s trying to smile a lot more than he has in performances past. It’s helping to dampen down the look of psychosis. He’s joined on stage by a guy with a really pretty mandolin. Randy thinks Casey did well justice to that song. Randy thinks it’s revolutionary that he’s playing the upright bass in pop music. Um, Sting? Steven says no one can play the upright bass. Again, Sting? Doesn’t anyone remember the creepy Every Breath You Take video?
Lauren Alaina — Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin
For some reason Lauren decides that the most appropriate outfit tonight would be having 80s Madonna puke all over her. She’s got bangles! She’s got a black & white short jumper thing! She’s got a tuxedo jacket! Tights! Poufy hair! No, I’m not really paying attention to her singing. She’s good, but man it’s so put on. Christian Slater thought it was beautiful. Steven thinks she’s great. J Lo thinks she’s amazing. Yo. Randy. Yo. Good job. Does Lauren even know who Christian Slater is?
James Durbin — While My Guitar Gently Weeps by George Harrison
Will.iam warns James to be sure to bring energy to his performance since he’ll be bringing the house down. I’m with James — he needs to show something other than running around setting stuff on fire while doing karaoke. He’s going to need to learn how to perform a song like this. He definitely doesn’t seem as comfortable just sitting & singing. He also seems to get weepy. Don’t go Boehner, James. Jennifer likes James sensitive side, as did Randy and Steven. Then Ryan does the douchey thing of asking “what are you thinking about?” Ryan, leave him alone.
Scotty McCreery — That’s Allright Mamma by Elvis
We won’t be hearing country Scotty this week. It’ll be rock Scotty. Sure. But we still get Scotty crotch on the stairs with the side sit. Um, Scotty, it’s still country. I still hear twang. He’s going all out Dubya in his mannerisms. The way he holds the mic to the side of his mouth is just weird. Stop it Scotty. A group of girls came tearing up on to the stage and surround Scotty. I don’t know if he’s working on his acting skills but Ryan really looked surprised by that move. Randy thinks Scotty is in it to win it. Jennifer felt a little flavor in his performance. Remember J Lo, he is a quarter Puerto Rican.
UPDATE: I just had a discussion with a co-worker and it was decided that perhaps I need a support group for those sick of seeing Scotty McCreery’s crotch. If you’re in need of such support, comment below.
Pia Toscano — River Deep Mountain High by Tina Turner
Pia promised to turn it up this week. Jimmy Iovine tells Pia that she needs to get pissed off tonight & show everyone. She should be pissed at whoever keeps dressing her in really stupid onesies. They look horrible on you girl. Kathy points out that Pia is still only using 4 square feet of the stage. She decides to walk up to the judges table. Move, Pia. The walk & saunter performance style is really boring & not appropriate for the song. Tina Turner, even now, would be running all over that stage, stomping & pointing at anyone in her way. Steven calls her a murderer because she killed it. Jennifer thinks she proved she can sing up-tempo, but now J Lo wants her to research how other performers have done things so she can improve. Randy also tells her she needs to work on her movements on stage. No one calls her on the one or two kinda funky notes she threw out.
Stefano Langone — When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge
Blech. At least we get treated to an entertaining montage of Will.i.am demonstrating Percy Sledge’s control of the song. Stefano thinks this is going to be a good week for him. Stefano doesn’t understand that this song can come off as way cheesy and it’s been done to death in the Idol canon of history. Stefano goes full-on cheese with it. Oh, Stefano, you’re trying really hard. J Lo thought it was beautiful. She knew he had it in him. She thought it had another layer of emotion on it. Randy wasn’t jumping up & down. Steven thinks Stefano nailed it & he should play with his voice more.
Paul McDonald — Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
“Paul fights back from his stint on the stools!” So says Ryan Seacrest in his intro for Paul. That was kind of awesome Ryan. Jimmy Iovine tells Paul not to tone it down, cause if Paul tones it down, the folks at home are going to turn it off. Paul starts off with his typical “How’s everyone doin?” He can stop that any week now. It’s getting old. His gleaming white smile while talking about shooting a man is a little disturbing. Michael Slezak of TVLine.com makes a comparison between Paul and a famous serial killer. It’s feeling appropriate again this week. Randy loved it. Steven thinks Paul’s his perfect, imperfect boy. Jennifer loved it. Ryan then hops around doing his ‘wrap up the show’ speech. It’s kinda early in the season for him to lose his marbles, isn’t it? The singers have also lost their marbles & won’t stop dancing. Jacob does a butt scootch-up against Ryan, someone starts trilling, general chaos reigns. Ryan can’t wait until FOX finally cuts over to the series premiere of that new Christian Slater show Breaking In.
This week’s bottom is a tough call. Again, no one really sucked, and I didn’t think there was any one big standout. Tomorrow’s results show should be interesting.