Friday, April 8, 2011

American Idol: Top 9 Week

This week of Idol started with a bang and ended with a boom. In the "Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Week" on American Idol, we saw a variety of performances that really showed their variety. The majority of the performers nailed their performances really well. For some, it boosted their Idol resume and for some, it was too late.

It was great to see some comeback performances. For instance, Casey Abrams finally brought his bass back, showing his signature talent of playing instruments that are generally not played on American Idol. His vocal performance of "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" by Creedence Clearwater Revival showed why he was worth keeping for another week. It was also great to see Paul McDonald's signature raspy vocals and moving around make a minor comeback. I prefer it when Paul doesn't have the guitar, because it prevents him from dancing around the stage. Nevertheless, he danced around the stage after his performance, and got everyone else to do so in the process. The only issue I have with injecting a positive vibe to Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" is that it's a depressing song with depressing lyrics. He did make it his own in the process.

Then we saw some different bridges be crossed. Pia Toscano finally went upbeat with Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," after spending week after week doing ballads. The reason for this may have been the fact her first performance of  The Pretenders song, "I'll Stand By You," was so strong and standing ovation worthy, that she felt she needed to make another moment such as that. She felt she would need a ballad to do such a thing. However, it was refreshing to see her do such a performance. However, like the rest of the females, I wasn't a fan of the wardrobe, and I'm not such a fan of Gwen Stefani's wardrobe either. Stefani helped the females pick out their clothes.

Scotty McCreery has shown that week after week, he can do much more than we thought. In Motown week, he countrified Stevie Wonder, in Elton John week, he found a song called "Country Comfort," and this week, he picked just the right Elvis song, "That's Alright." This song was Elvis's first hit back in 1954, when he was doing more country. Scotty was able to take it higher this week and show that he could do just about anything. Plus he had a group of girls come up and smother him with fan girl love.

After doing heavy, crowd-moving rock songs for three straight weeks, James Durbin took it slower with George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" in what may have not only been the best performance of the night, but also the best performance of the season thus far. I sound like a broken record when I say that James is the best performer each week, but with the exception of the Top 24 week in which Pia blown the audience away with her performance, James has consistently been excellent. His performance of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" was as slow as he got, until this week. His vocals were raw, and hitting those notes sent shivers down my spine. The ending put his signature to such a great performance that showed such a passion that words can't explain.

While Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart didn't do such a great job, I felt that Stefano Langone was the performer that delivered the least. I did not like the beginning of his performance of "When A Man Loves A Woman" and he didn't do much to make it his own. It sounded like the Michael Bolton version from 1991, when it was Percy Sledge version from 1966 that drove passion and soul into the song. Stefano should very well make it his own, but unfortunately, he didn't.

The results show was a typical results show. Constantine Maroulis and Iggy Pop performed, and the bottom three were Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, and Pia Toscano. Pia ended up being shown the door. It was the shock of the competition thus far, and it hasn't been since Siobhan Magnus's elimination last season that we had such a shock in the competition. The only difference being that Siobhan made it to the top six, Pia leaves the competition in ninth place. Steven Tyler said it best when he stated that this was the result of a lack of passion from the fans. This means that if you don't vote for your favorite, then your favorite is not going to stay. While Pia didn't have such big performances between "I'll Stand By You" and "River Deep, Mountain High," she truly deserved to stick around in the competition for awhile more. There were several of the competitors that could and should have gone home before Pia, because this here was talent that was worth sticking around. When I checked next week's theme, I saw that it would be "Songs From The Movies," which has been a recurring theme season in and season out. I was hoping to see some different and interesting themes, but it seems like the stars are making due with what they've got.

At this point, I can't imagine anything other than a James and Scotty finale. With Pia's departure, Lauren and Haley are the only females that remain. While the two ladies remaining are talented, Pia was the female that had the most potential staying power. We found at last night that this wouldn't be the case. Back to my thoughts on a James and Scotty finale, I couldn't think of any other great ending. You have rock and country, both of which would be represented by just the right representatives. This would be the best finale pairing since season seven, and it would very well remind me of season seven, which including a rocker and a cute guy (according to the ladies, that is). We'll just have to see what twist and turns the competition still has in store.


  1. By Season 7, you mean the two Davids? You have a point, but I would not compare Scotty to David Archuleta.

  2. That would be correct. Scotty is from a completely different genre, but he does attract the ladies. I do agree that this is all the two have in common. Then again, James and David's common ground is the fact they are rockers. James's style of rock is a bit different from David's, though.