Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AI10: Top 11 Redux - Don't Set Me On Fire I'm Only The Piano Player

I'm not a fan of Elton John night on American Idol. I just think his songs are too kitschy or too ballady to make for a good two hours of television on a reality singing competition. So when American Idol announced this theme (after first announcing it would be 80's week), I was none too pleased. But after a few surprisingly entertaining performances and a piano being set on fire onstage, I'm willing to reconsider my pre-hate of this theme week.

Scotty McCreery - "Country Comfort"
Of COURSE Scotty would do "Country Comfort". Of course. And it sounds like all the other songs Scotty has done on this show. He's very good, but it's starting to get a little bit tedious. Although I do think that the most successful contestants are the ones who know exactly who they are, I do want to see Scotty step out of the box a little bit moving forward.
Score: 7.5

Naima Adedapo - "I'm Still Standing"
While I applaud her efforts at making the song her own, it would be nice if she actually made it her own and not pretended to be a Jamaican woman singing this song with a faux accent. Bitch, you're from MILWAUKEE. And the performance dragged about halfway through. Nadia Turner tried to reggae Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" in Season 4, and it put her in the bottom 2. With two people leaving this week, Naima's toast.
Score: 4.0

Paul McDonald - "Rocket Man"
This actually started out promising. Paul didn't use the word "yo" while addressing the crowd before he started singing. He was playing his guitar, so the drunk uncle dance moves didn't come out. And then the chorus came. Oh dear. He seriously has the weakest voice of everyone in the competition, and that last line showcased that in a big way. The whispered "time" made me convulse with laughter.
Score: 4.75

Pia Toscano - "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"
Oh. This song. Sigh. I guess it wouldn't be Idol without someone singing this song. And I guess it wouldn't be Idol Season 10 without Pia singing a ballad. But, to be fair, what choice does she have on Elton John week?! Anything up-tempo by Elton John would be a disaster for her. I can't say anything about her vocals - they are flawless!
Score: 7.25

Stefano Langone - "Tiny Dancer"
Hold me close, young Tony Danza! Now THAT would have gotten me to vote for Stefano. Actually, this was a lot better than I expected it to be, although I don't like how chopped up the song had to be to fit into the allotted time. It's a song that needs to build to really become as epic as it is, and it didn't have time to build.
Score: 6.5

Lauren Alaina - "Candle In The Wind"
This is Lauren's first ballad on the live stage. And now I see why she's stuck to the up-tempo songs. I thought she sounded too breathy, and there was a disconnect for me in that I didn't think she felt the lyrics whatsoever. She smiled a few times and side-eyed the camera. On this song, which Elton John wrote about the death of Marilyn Monroe, and then dedicated to Ryan White the day before he died, and then sang at Princess Diana's funeral. YOU DO NOT SMILE EVER. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Lauren has an evil streak in her. In the show's opening flashback, they showed her saying, "If they use their save, two people go home next week" and then cackling.
Score: 6.0

James Durbin - "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting"
After seeing Britney Spears lip-synch on Jimmy Kimmel while moving around the stage at about 1/4 the speed of James on this song, I give James so much credit for his breath control. I really enjoyed this, flaming pianos and poser rock jumps and all. It was a show!
Score: 8.25

Thia Megia - "Daniel"
OMG what key is she singing in? Ohhhh, it's the key of GTFO!
Score: 3.5

Casey Abrams - "Your Song"
Casey, it isn't your beard that makes your scary. It's the way you scream and growl and look into the camera like you want to kill us. I'm so glad that went away along with the beard ... for most of the song, anyway! That was the first time I've liked Casey since he brought out the upright bass. Funny what a non-serial killer look into the camera will do for you, huh?
Score: 7.75

Jacob Lusk - "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word"
This is one of my least favorite, most snoozy Elton John songs that always gets done on Idol. So Jacob's starting out with a negative. And then he broke out the ugly crying face the whole song while standing in leftover fog from Adam Lambert's "Mad World" finale performance two seasons ago. Ehhh.
Score: 6.0

Haley Reinhart - "Benny & The Jets"
This started out kind of Fabulous Bakers Boys-ish, and I was really starting to like it, and then she slid off the piano and started waving her arms in the air and morphing quickly into dive piano bar territory. But yet, I kind of enjoyed it. Her growls work so much better on this song, for you, for me.
Score: 7.5

Bottom 3 prediction: Naima, Thia, Jacob (OMG all the minorities! CUE ELTON JOHN!)
Going home: Naima, Thia


Anonymous said...

I won't say anything about your Idol critique but I sooooo agree with you about Britney on Kimmel! :)

Water Cooler Convo said...

LOLOL. Seriously, she was standing in place and barely moving her hips up on that platform. I could've done that ~choreography.

SarahBeth said...

OMG what key is she singing in? Ohhhh, it's the key of GTFO!


I legit snorted at that.

Love the recap, as always.

Thia needs to go. Too pageant bot-y, too boring, no idea what the songs are about, no connection. I like Naima and sadly, I think her and Thia are going home. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Stefano in the bottom with them.

And dammit, I don't want to like James. But he's MAKING ME LIKE HIM. While not vocally great, his performance was SO much fun and I'm always curious to know what he's going to do next week.

christine said...

This was your funniest post EVER! I'm still laughing! It started with tiny Tony Danza actually singing Hold me closer Tony Danza, then full on tears with the Thia Magia-Thrilla in Manila key change to GTFO!