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American Idol: Drumlines & F-Bombs

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Wednesday night’s American Idol started out kind of all over the map The show kicked off with a group performance from the eliminated contestants. Ashthon Jones, Karen Rodriguez, Thia Megia, Naima Adedapo, Pia Toscano, and freshly eliminated Paul McDonald sang Pink’s hit, “So What.”

Where to begin? First off, season eight’s contestants performed this very same song during their finale. And they did it so much better. And secondly, making Paul sing a Pink song is just mean. He doesn’t have a pop voice to pull it off, and it just caused me to have so much secondhand embarrassment for him.AMERICAN IDOL: The Final 7: Clockwise from Left: Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and Casey Abrams. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

Moving on, Scotty McCreery was up first singing LeAnn Rimes’ version of “Swingin.” I was actually expecting Scotty to dive head first into Carrie Underwood’s songbook this week, so I was surprised about his song choice. Also, the song was originally done by John Anderson in 1983, so Scotty managed to avoid the actual theme this week.

That said, I thought he did really good. There was a key change about midway through that I raised an eyebrow at, but he was never off pitch. I thought Scotty worked the stage, and showed a lot of personality. The judges thought he was playing it safe, and to an extent I kind of agreed with them. I felt like they really went after him this week, which seemed almost ridiculous, because he’s been consistent week after week, unlike the judges who have been consistently inconsistent with their critiques.

Last week the judges jumped on Haley Reinhart out of the blue, after praising every other contestant. I think it was fine that they critiqued Scotty, but after a point they came across as asses. And I think if the judges are going to be asses to the contestants, that’s fine, just be consistent asses and critique everyone.

Next up was James Durbin, who sang Muse’s “Uprising.” His performance opened with him walking up to the stage accompanied by a drumline. Oh yeah, that happened. I don’t understand why Idol keeps giving James all these “perks” to his performances. What’s next, a pre-finale confetti shower?

James’ vocal performance was a hot mess. He was pitchy all the way through, and the only thing I could do was cringe. If you take away the drumline, the flashy lights, and that ridiculous outfit, you are left with an awful vocal performance. When he went up into his screech, oh my ears, I just wanted his performance to be over. It was like the second coming of Danny Gokey’s “Scream On” performance from season eight. For Randy Jackson to say that he thought it was going to be the best of the night was kind of ridiculous. Because in short, it wasn’t. It was painful.

In my opinion, the performance of the night belonged to Haley Reinhart, who bravely took on Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep.” I thought that Haley did a fantastic job. The vocals weren’t perfect, but you believed her performance. Haley is definitely putting the work in, and it really showed in last night’s performance. I dare say that this was the closest thing we’ve had to an “Idol AMERICAN IDOL: Hayley Reinhart performs in front of the judges on AMERICAN IDOL airing Wednesday, April 20, (8:00-9:30- PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.Moment” all season.

Haley is a contestant that we have truly gotten to see grow as a performer on the Idol stage. Yeah, she stumbled a bit last week, but she shrugged it off and got out there and rocked one of the most popular songs on the radio last night. I say cheers to Haley!

Following up Haley was Jacob Lusk, who performed Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father.” We learn that Jacob lost his dad when he was 12-years-old, and that he’s performing this song in memory of his dad, which is sweet.

About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer/Blogger from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has interviewed a variety of people from across the entertainment spectrum, including singer-songwriter/Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, fun.'s Andrew Dost, singer-songwriter Christina Perri, American Idol winners (David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze & Scotty McCreery) and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance. Connect with Kirsten on Twitter & Facebook.
  • El Bicho

    I only heard a bit of James and thought he sounded fine and considering the original still exists, not sure how anyone can ruin a song

  • Butch

    Glad to see Idol Wired back this week – was interested in your thoughts on last week’s movie-themed week.

    As for this week, agreed on Hailey – best of the night by a mile.

    Stefano – my favorite voice this year – I felt had his shakiest week. The “dancing” was lame and seemed to distract him from his usually rock-solid vocals (he was flat during much of the song).

    Casey has just worn out his welcome. He thinks he’s funny, but I find him annoying as hell. The biggest problem is that he just isn’t a very good singer. He set the bar so high with his “Georgia” during Hollywood week, and he’s never come remotely close since.

    James is such a cocky guy, I think he gets a pass on that because of the Tourette’s. It humanizes him, I guess. Otherwise I think a backlash would’ve set in by now. I do think he sang well this week, but I don’t care for his style.

    Scotty is kinda coasting at this point. If anyone really needs a “moment” this year, it’s him. I know he’s super popular but I’d really like to see him show a little more emotion and to stretch his vocal range a bit. At least he had the Blue Crew there to cheer him on.