Sunday, April 24, 2011

AI10 Top 7 - Delayed Reaction

I missed Idol this week due to a quick trip to the Bay Area to see Janet Jackson in concert (she was awesome, btw!), and I was going to use this space to share some video from the concert, but somewhere between the encore and leaving the theater, I lost my camera, so so much for that!

A couple of days later, I finally got to watch this week's Top 7 episodes, where the contestants sang current songs - except for Jacob Lusk, who sang an old, musty Luther Vandross song to further cement the fact that he is not a current artist, and Scotty McCreery, who pulled a Taylor Hicks and used a newer cover of an older song to get it to fit into the theme of the night (songs from the 21st Century). Haley Reinhart got my vote for performance of the night with her cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep". She didn't stick to a straight cover and she kept her growls mostly in check. As each week goes by, I find myself rooting more and more for Haley. Whether it's a stick-it-to-TPTB underdog sentiment or not remains to be seen, but I like how she remains one of the more entertaining and vocally consistent singers on the show.

Also vocally consistent is Lauren Alaina, but while she hit all the right notes on Sara Evans' "Born To Fly", the performance was quite dull and not quite pimp-spot worthy.

James Durbin is easily the most entertaining performer left as far as staging and theatrics go. The staging of his "Uprising" performance was outstanding, walking in behind a small group of marching band drummers. His vocals, on the other hand, weren't as entertaining. Just because you can sing that high doesn't mean you should. I felt it was out of place and unnecessary. And his lower register is inconsistent.

Casey Abrams got all kinds of raves from the judges about his "Harder to Breathe", and his post-song kiss of Jennifer Lopez was all the talk, but I couldn't get past his singing of the guitar solo (LOL WAT?!) and the beyond creepy looks he continues to make, especially when he grabbed his microphone and prowled over to JLo. SCARY. Plus, he really isn't that good of a singer, but no one likes to acknowledge that.

Jacob Lusk is a technically good singer, but he's stuck in a time-warp, and his song choices are horrendous. This was his chance to do something more current, and he chose a slow R&B ballad from 2003, Luther Vandross' "Dance With My Father". This is the latest in a LONG line of boring songs used several times on Idol. Pia Toscano has nothing on Jacob in terms of boring song choices/performances. Jacob was able to save himself from elimination by getting some sympathy votes from people who felt for him after talking about his father who died when he was younger and from people who thought he might have been sabotaged by the musicians/TPTB with that technical glitch at the beginning of his song.

Also doing a not-quite-so-current song was Scotty McCreery, who did LeAnn Rimes' "Swingin'", which was covered in 2010. The original song was released in 1983 by Jon Anderson. After being made fun of by his fellow contestants for his flute-holding microphone technique, I kind of felt like Scotty was doing it even more so in this performance. If that was the case, I kind of like him more for doing that. But still, the performance wasn't much to write home about, especially in a week where they were supposed to be showing a contemporary side.

Stefano Langone, who was (finally) eliminated this week, sang Ne-Yo's "Closer" with a bit of a half-assed dance break. During his post-elimination conference call, he bragged about having Stevie Wonder's range and did that whole defensive thing about not wanting to win Idol. I HATE when people do that (hello, Lilly Scott!). He also, when asked how long until he wins a Grammy, actually answered it and said "A year. Two years." I assume he was joking since it said he laughed, but seriously ... WHO DOES THAT?!

Anyway, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the performances in the results show. Jacob, Lauren, Haley and Stefano sang "Hey Soul Sister", and it was horrible. James, Scotty and Casey sang "Viva La Vida", and Matt Giraud thanked the lord for someone doing a worse performance of that song than him. Season 7 winner David Cook sang his new single "The Last Goodbye". While it wasn't his best vocal ever, it was a good performance, and it certainly didn't warrant Constantine Maroulis continuing to be his ~charming self and tweeting right after "See how hard it is to hear there? Mmm hmm." Pffft. That still doesn't explain your shitty arrangement of "Unchained Melody", Constantine. Ugh.

Next week, the Idols sing songs by Carole King. Lauren already did "Natural Woman". Womp womp.

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