Songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mentoring by Jimmy Iovine and Will.i.am. 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.
|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".
|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?
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?!