Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Top 11...Part Deux.

Did anyone notice, Ryan is growing his hair out?

Overall, I thought Elton-John-Song-Night was very entertaining. Our Top 11 separated themselves into three clear talent buckets for this one night:

SUPER-HOT: Casey, Haley, Lauren
LUKEWARM: Scotty, Naima, Pia, James
WEAK: Paul, Stefano, Thia, Jacob

Shout out to Grandma
SCOTTY - The entire state of North Carolina is voting for you. I'm excited for your future in country radio. That last, low note of "Country Comfort" was a thrill. And I really enjoyed the performance, considering I've never heard this song in my life. But I'm putting you in the middle because we've seen this performance before; NOT that it isn't great, radio-ready, and charming. But we see it every week.

Givin' it that ol' reggae swag
NAIMA - I  know I'm supposed to love your individuality, your courage, your flava. But you are not my American Idol. Sorry. You looked great in your reggae-jumpsuit. And you are clearly not afraid to go home, given the way you put it all out there every week, whether we like it or not. (Not). But it's only a matter of time before you have to go. "I'm Still Standing", the reggae version...if I were in Jamaica and the bar-band kicked into this song...maybe. But for AI? Not so much.

Houston, we have a problem
PAUL - I'm going to say it out loud. This show is not for you. Your sweet, subtle, breathy, whispering-tone of a voice is not translating onscreen. I know what you are trying to do. I love the genre that you represent, my iTunes is filled it. But for American Idol, you are just getting lost in this deep talent pool of big voices. Every week, I wait for your voice to explode, to take off into outer space, for you to have your moment. It should have been this week with "Rocket Man.". But dude, you were stuck on the launch pad this week. Houston, we have a problem.

Deja vu?
PIA - I might as well upload the same photo of you every week. And write the same review. I love you, your voice is a powerhouse, you look amazing. But your performances are feeling very...familiar. Man cannot live on ballads alone. Please, please, please...shake it up a bit. You promised us an uptempo number this week. You lied. And now you've promised the same thing again for next week. I'm sure America will give you a chance. But don't go lying to us again...we may get mad at ya.

"I don't need a makeover!"
STEFANO - sorry, but you DO need a makeover. This competition is more than a voice, it's how you choose to use it. And I've figured out what I don't like about you. Your phrasing choices on "Tiny Dancer" were downright awful. Cheesy. Painful. You took this incredible song and covered it in syrup. I hated it. Your voice is so gorgeous, but that's only part of the story. I think maybe you should have listened a little more to Jimmy Iovine. Maybe.

Let's hug it out.
LAUREN - I will say this now, with 11 people still standing (and NOT the reggae version): I want YOU in the finale. I love you. You do it for me. I didn't cry during this performance...but almost. Your voice is so pure, so rich, so strong...oh stop, I'm GUSHING. I need to search through my music catalog and figure out who you remind me of...because whoever it is, I'm LOVING it. I love how your eyes expressed the emotion of "Candle in the Wind" just as much as your voice. You are the country BOMB. As J Lo said, " that was IT, baby!"

Um, James...your piano is on fire
JAMES - a performance complete with pyrotechnics. Just another day at the office for James Durbin. I love your enthusiasm, you are a big kid onstage. Your antics and strut on and off the stage wouldn't work if you couldn't sing. But we know you can. You are the most consistent performer on the show, you rock it out hard every week.  So what if you don't know that Coke is paying for that mansion you're living in right now. Let Seacrest and his new bangs worry about that. You just keep being you.

I love my brother, damn it!
THIA - you are a baby girl in a competition of women. Your "Daniel" was not believable. I'm sure you do love and miss your brother. But your pathetic, literal translation of this classic song was just wrong on all levels. Let's remind ourselves, Lauren is also 16 years old. Hmm, makes you think. I know I'm being hard on you, you are so young. But you need to go. This has got to be anguish for you, trying to compete with the Big Kids. Bottom Three.

No, this is YOUR song
CASEY - You. Had. Your. Moment. Made. Me. Cry. Best. Of. The. Night. Or. Maybe. The. Season.

JACOB - "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" for your performance last night. This was so overdone, so affected, so over-the-top...I HATED it. Like Stefano, it would have helped you to listened to Jimmy. Pick a different song that didn't require you to make that freakin' CRY-FACE through the entire performance. Ugh. Awful. I'm trying to forget this one ever happened.

Bennie and the Jetssssssssssss

HALEY - the judges called you the best of the night. Not for me. But I do feel that you came into your own with this performance. Finally. I almost expected to see you crawl across the piano a la Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Fabulous Baker Boys". And it would have fit your personality, because as Steven says, "You. Sing. Sexy." Good for you. Your version of "Bennie and the Jetssssssssss" was pretty darn entertaining.

My bottom three: Stefano, Thia, and Jacob

And remember...TWO GO HOME TONIGHT!!!! Bring on the drama!

What did YOU hear last night?!


  1. Gillian, I agree with everything you say here except I thought Haley rocked the house better than Casey. She IS sexy. And I love it when she roars in that Kim Carnes, Janis Joplin way of hers. Didn't you love J-Lo grooving to her as well? And I do think Haley looks a little like you, m'dear!

  2. So did you hear that Casey & Haley are an item?? That's what the rumor mill is spreadin' around today! I think Haley was really good last night which kind of bummed me out because last week I was ALL about sending that girl HOME! I agree with your about everything else you said and with your bottom three picks. Oooooh I can't wait for the drama to begin!

  3. Gillian- You'll need to have Miranda Lambert in your catalog to find who Lauren reminded you of. Also, consider this....only a true artist could take a Stevie Wonder song AND an Elton John song and turn it into a country hit....that's my man Scotty!

  4. Hey guys -

    I LOVE the comments. Please keep them coming!

    Alto (Jeff) - thank you for the Kim Carnes reference. That's who I was missing! You nailed it. And I will take the Haley comment as a compliment...although it's been years since you've seen me! HA!

    Jennifer - I did NOT hear this rumor! I need to know these things! Thanks for sharing! I can't wait for the drama to begin either!

    And finally...Tommy - is it really YOU? And THANK YOU for pointing out the similarity to Miranda Lambert. She's the one I was thinking of, but couldn't put my finger on it. I love Miranda, and I love Lauren even more. Her voice kinda breaks my heart. And I promise, I'm not dissing Scotty. I love him for who he is. Seems like everyone loves him. He's going to do well in this competition!


  5. yes...and I told SOT last night that Lauren and Scotty needed to do a solo...I forgot to request my all-time favorite Randy Travis tune. You'll see more of the SAME from Scotty

  6. I agree with your sentiments too. I was glad to see Naima and Thia go home. Thia should be OK. She is filipina and will probably get her fame in the Philippines. They love that kind of stuff.

    I loved Casey and Haley. Lauren is getting the better of me, each week she chips away my skepticism.