Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fabulous...

What a great show!

Songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mentoring by Jimmy Iovine and Styled by Gwen Stefani. Idol is bringing out the big guns this season!

In seasons past with 9 contestants left, there are usually still 1 or 2 that need to go. It's always obvious. But not this year. With our top 9, everyone can sing. Everyone can deliver a great performance. Who do you like the best? Because that's where we are. Lucky us!

Like everyone else, my feelings toward our remaining contestants are getting stronger and more clear, week after week. I have a clear idea of who is...and isn't...for me.

Reality check, please?

JACOB - last time I checked, you haven't sold any albums yet. So when you pronounced "if I end up in the Bottom Three this week, it's because America's not ready to look themselves in the mirror"....I'm thinking someone needs a reality check around here. Immediately. "Let's Get It On" was too sexual of a song choice for you, but with all that hip-swangin' you did during "Man in the Mirror", the difference was lost on me. Your self-righteousness and preachiness are really getting on my nerves.  And in your post-interview, when you said, "If you want to change the world, start with you and everyone else will follow"...gag. Maybe I'm old and jaded, but enough already. We don't need you to preach to us, we just want to be entertained. You're not a big star yet, Jacob. It's not even about the vocals now - we know you can sing with the best of 'em, but this is a personality contest, too, baby. I like my Idols with a dose of humility. I'm just sayin'.

Get your motor runnin'

HALEY - you revved your vocal engine through Janis' "Piece of My Heart" like you were in the pole position at the Daytona 500.  I swear, Steven was growling right back at you through the entire performance. Girl, you are a crazy-train-wreck of a performer, but I love it.  The big fuzzy hair, the bright red lips, that soulful voice, you make me...giggle. I don't think you're going to win, but I'm going to enjoy this ride while you're still on it. 

The Face of the Revolution
CASEY - I hate Freedom Rock. '70s music makes me itch. The Forrest Gump Soundtrack...blech. And I consider CCR to be in this category. But I've always loved "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and thought your performance was flat-out great. Your screaming, growling, grunting, humming vocal, all while plucking away at that bass, made for one of my favorite performances of the night. Randy called you a "revolutionary". I just call you "awesome".

Our baby girl is all grown up!

LAUREN - did we know that Country + Soul = COUNTROL? Thankfully, we have to teach us these valuable lessons.  Lauren, your look definitely got hit by the Gwen Stefani-stick this week, and your new, darker hair reminds me of Hillary Scott, the lead singer from Lady Antebellum. And your voice is just as lovely as always. "Natural Woman" coming from a 16-year old could have been a disaster (say, if Thia had tried to sing this), but coming from you, it was mature and controlled. This performance would have worked on the Country Music Awards - a great country artist doing a beautiful crossover performance. 

All sweetness and light
JAMES - at first, I was distracted by the way your ears were so backlit, they looked like red beacons in the night.  But once I chose to ignore that, I loved this performance for what it was - sweet and lovely, but we could still feel the power surging underneath all that restraint. I love your obsession with The Beatles, and you've now performed songs by Paul and George. Your vulnerability during "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was one of the most quiet, yet best moments in the show. 

All hat and no cattle? Don't think so.
SCOTTY -  Last night, we got the sneering, hip-shaking, shoulder-shrugging, Rockabilly-Gangsta version of Scotty! Who isn't charmed by you? Elvis' "That's All Right Mama" was straight up your lane, although you have the amazing ability to own every genre and put your Scotty-swag on it. No one is worried at this point if you're "all hat and no cattle." And that's all right with us.

Strike a pose
PIA - I don't want to say I'm disappointed. It's hard to say that about someone who has probably the strongest, biggest voice in the competition. But if you're going to sing "River Deep, Mountain High" by the ultimate Bad-Ass Tina Turner, then I want more. How about some leather pants, some wild hair shaking, some reckless abandonment? THAT'S what this song needed. Yes, you looked great, sounded strong, and hit every pose on stage. But for me, it was just that...posed. Composed. You gave us the pretty version of this song, which really didn't do it justice. But again, that's who you are. And if I don't like it, I don't have to vote for you. You have the voice, but this left me wondering if you have the performance and personality to match?

Cheese fondue
STEFANO- i need you to go because i hate to put you on BLAST every week. But for me, you are just a cute, earnest wedding singer. Those pleading eyes, burning into the camera...that mouth open so wide I can see your tonsils...blech. And again, I  just don't enjoy your phrasing choices. Every performance of yours, while strong, is just upping the cheese-factor to uncomfortable levels. I'm choking on cheddar. You need to go - not because you can't sing, but you're just not as good as everyone else. 

98 lbs, soaking wet
PAUL - sigh. A last, desperate attempt by a misunderstood would-be Idol to connect with us. In a way, this is the performance I've been waiting for from you. It was joyous, your guitar works wonders for your stage presence...yet it was frantic and frazzled at the same time. You are just too much of a lightweight for this competition. Your "Folsom Prison Blues" was more of the "I-did-shots-with-a-man-in-Reno" variety, than the man-in-black Johnny Cash variety. You're the Idol I'd most want to have a beer with, but I'm afraid you may be gone this week. Too little, too late.

Overall, a fantastic show. We have 9 great competitors, but someone has to go:

BOTTOM THREE: Paul, Stefano, and Jacob (cuz I'm mad at ya)
Who will go home: Paul

What did YOU hear last night?!


  1. Gillian, again spot on commentary. Particularly about Jacob. What the hell is his problem? He was my favorite but now that the ego has landed, not so much.

    Here are my quick thoughts on all contestants:

    Jacob - good, controlled vocals but he should've darn Marvin. He did shake his booty and act lascivious, so he's being hypocritical. And self-righteous. Blechh!

    Haley - I like her more each week. (She's your younger sis!) And she's got a great voice and is becoming more of a performer. Which is more than I can say for Pia.

    Pia -Looks great. Sounds great. Couldn't act sexy if she tried. And she didn't really even try. She is starting to make me think she's nothing but a really good Miss America contestant who would ace the talent portion of the show. She's just too wholesome and perfect and kinda cold. Shake it, girl! She needs to get that ass a movin'. Maybe get some hip swiveling lessons from Jacob.

    Scottie - He might win this thing. He's the one already ready for the tour. And he brings it every week even if it's just country. (Right, Carrie Underwood?)

    James - The other one I think could win. His sensitive side did him well last night. And he's got the best back story.

    Casey - Really great with that bass. And his performance was one of the best last night. Scottie's was the other. Still, he looks like a cartoon character. Or at least a rabbinical student. Too weird?

    Stefano - Just sing "You're Just Too Good To Be True" as your audition for the road company of JERSEY BOYS and get outta here already!

    Paul - Such a unique voice and understated style. He might go home tonight as I'm not sure where he fits in exactly. His Cash song was a party boy interp of a song that has the nastiest lyric ever - "I shot a man in Rio JUST TO WATCH HIM DIE." You're right, it's more like Paul did shots with a man in Rio. Kinda wrong.

    Lauren - Okay, here's where you're going to get mad at me. She's good. Nice voice. And she sounds like a hundred other girls in country. That may be fine. But to me, she's dull. And last night she was boring. Same issue with her song as Pia's - if you're going to do THOSE songs you better rock the house. They didn't. Lauren should go home, as she gave the dullest performance last night.

  2. Jeff -

    It looks like you may have been right about Pia after all!

    Was she too perfect for America? Either way, I'm so sad for her!

    And ok, ok, I hear you on Lauren. I can't really explain my obsession with her. Let's hope she brings it with more energy next week, or she may be in trouble, as much as I hate to say it!