Friday, May 13, 2011

AI10 Top 4 - Judges Go Yakety Yak, So Haley Talks Back

The American Idol judges have been mostly useless this season, showering their favorites with superlatives and inane commentary like "He/she's IN IT TO WIN IT!" and "that was beautiful". But when it's come to Idol's whipping girl Haley Reinhart, she's had to come up with the best performances of the season to even get a second glance. After weeks of this shoddy treatment, Haley decided she'd had enough, talking back to the judge who has been riding her all season, Randy Jackson.

Whether or not that is going to hurt or help her remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure - fans of the show are getting very angry at the fact that the judges have no qualms of telling Haley her shortcomings while ignoring those of the others. And they're angry about things such as Randy saying that the first round went to James, Lauren and Scotty. Or, in other words, everyone but Haley. They're also getting angry at the blatant favoritism it is showing James, who, once again, closed the show (after also opening the show). And don't think I didn't notice the opening montage of subliminal messages that had the words "to send them HOME" over footage of Lauren and Haley, while James was shown with the words "as HEROES".

This is the kind of stuff shock boots are made of. Just saying.

James Durbin - Don't Stop Believing by Journey
Someone (coughNigelcough) leaked to E! yesterday that James was singing this song and that it was a "mind-blowing" version that will sound nothing like the Glee version and that he will make it is own. And then James went out there and ..... sang it like the original version. As Simon would say, "Whoopee."

Haley Reinhart - Earth Song by Michael Jackson
Haley's been getting the brunt of the criticism this year, mostly from Randy Jackson, and has had to sit and watch as others struggled but got either coddled or told it was "beautiful", and she's finally had it. When Randy told her that she was screaming and at the top of her range, she answered back that it wasn't at the top of her range. And then he continued his foolery by saying that she should have done runs and repeated AGAIN that she was screaming and that he didn't like it, and she SNAPPED, saying, "I know. I heard it. Do you have to repeat it again?" And I don't blame her. You want to talk screaming, let's talk James Durbin in half of his performances this year. Haley wasn't screaming. She was singing very gutturally, and it wasn't a good song choice for the competition, but she wasn't screaming.

Scotty McCreery - Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning by Alan Jackson
A song that talks about 9/11, with lyrics that name-check God AND Jesus? Score! (Do I think Scotty is that Machiavellian? No. But maybe he has a little Kristy Lee Cook in him.)

Lauren Alaina - Anyway by Martina McBride
The best thing about Lauren's dress is that it almost made James eat it when they walked out on stage at the open. Fashion aside, it was so nice to finally see Lauren go for the big notes. They weren't perfect (RANDY!), and she petered out a little bit at the end, but I think she finally broke through.

Haley Reinhart - I Who Have Nothing by Shirley Bassey
I thought this was risky, as this was a big moment for Jordin Sparks in Season 6, but Haley brought a more dramatic, more intense and a more modern interpretation to the song. It was a bit Gaga-esque, and the judges and audience ate it up. Her vocals were so spot-on. For the second week in a row, Haley delivered a moment, and she deserves to stay in the competition.

Scotty McCreery - Young Blood by The Coasters
I'm having Anthony Fedorov Love Potion No. 9 flashbacks. That is not a good thing. And those faces ................. CREEPY. And the judges just talked about how they loved the humor. I'm sorry, but this is not a comedy competition.

Lauren Alaina - Trouble by Elvis Presley
I am so not shocked that Lauren picked the song that Carrie Underwood did on Season 4's Lieber & Stoller night. It was a great pick for Carrie, and it was a great pick for Lauren, who brought together strong vocals and a strong performance (with her mom's clothes from the 80's). I still think she could have done a little bit more with it, but it was well done.

James Durbin - Love Potion No. 9 by The Clovers
Nigel and co. pulled a little switcheroo here and inexplicably switched up the second half order so that James could close the show after opening the show. ICU, pimp machine. Here's the thing - I was impressed with the hard rock arrangement, but I'm so put off by the machinations, the judges' revisionist history (he has not created a moment every single week ... hi, last week sucked!), James's overuse of pyro and guitar solos, the unnecessary and indulgent screaming, and his imploring the audience to get up or come on or whatever in the beginning or middle of every song, that I will giggle with glee if he gets the Daughtry shock boot.

I think Haley did enough in her last song to stay in, and I think the judges did enough to motivate the voters to vote harder for her, so I have a bad feeling it will be Lauren saying goodbye. I'm hoping for the James shock boot, but I'm not sure the signs are pointing to that just yet.


christine said...

Simon would have called James's second performance "indulgent." The pauses at the end were totally annoying.

Lisa said...

I am just not on the Haley train...she is a great vocalist, has fabulous hair but that attitude whether it's in response to the judges or overall (how she stares at everyone else while the judges are commenting on her...good or bad)...and that feel that we really don't know ANY of her personality...well, I don't like her. I'd rather see James take it even if he's indulgent and too much sometimes...but the country bumpkins are cute and talented but young....anyone other than Haley should be there....I can only imagine what would happen if she gets one more bad critique! lol

And can we FIRE the stylists please??? Such nasty clothes for the last 2 girls...80s trainwrecks...and is anyone else a bit creeped out by the over processing of hair colors in Lauren's families??