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American Idol: Haley’s Moment

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Last night on American Idol, the theme was “Now and Then.” Contestants sang a current song during the first round, followed up by a song from either the 60’s or 70’s. Or as Ryan Seacrest said last night, “their parent’s generation.” AMERICAN IDOL: Final 5: Clockwise from top L: James Durbin, Lauren Alaina, Jacob Lusk, Scotty McCreery and Hayley Reinhart. CR: Michael Becker / FOX.

The contestants received additional mentoring from Sheryl Crow. Because nothing says current music or music from the 60’s and 70’s like Sheryl Crow. Overall, I thought she did a good job with the contestants. The less I have to hear from Jimmy Iovine, the better.

James Durbin kicked off the night singing 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Closer to the Edge.” The first words that popped into my mind last night about his vocal performance were, hot pitchy mess. Oh my word, this performance was horrendous.

James’ second performance of Harry Nilsson’s “Without You,” wasn’t as bad, but it was pitchy all the way through. After his performance, he pulled a Vonzell (tears for votes), which honestly he needed to do, since Jacob Lusk has been on a terror and advancing further in the competition than he actually should.

What really bothered me was after James’ performance, when Randy Jackson basically declared him the winner. The winner of what? Singing out of tune?

Jacob Lusk kicked off his performances by singing the Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown duet, “No Air.” Yeah, it really happened. Between the awful note he kicked the song off with to telling America, “I think I’m an artist that appeals to everybody,” it’s time for this dude to go home. Points to Randy for telling Jacob that the performance wasn’t all that and a bag of chips.

For his second song, Jacob sang Nazareth’s “Love Hurts.” The beginning was very nice, but by the end there it was ridiculous vocals gone wild. It’s like he can’t help himself. And I’m taking back Randy’s points from earlier, due to telling Jacob that he hit the highest note ever on the show. Really? Have we forgotten about Adam Lambert already?

If Jacob advances to Top 4 tonight, I may legitimately throw things. He has done nothing to prove that he should still even be in this competition. I have no idea where his votes are coming from. If he advances, I’m going to seriously question the validity of this show and possibly just switch over to The Voice completely.

Speaking of The Voice, was I the only one last night that was wishing the coaches from that show would come storm the Idol set, overthrow the judges and takeover for the remainder of the Idol season? Just me? Bueller?

For Lauren Alaina’s first song, she performed Carrie Underwood’s “Flat On the Floor.” I don’t usually recommend that contestants should ever sing a former Idol winner’s song (I wish I could have warned you sooner, Julie Zorrilla!), but I have to say Lauren really worked it out. She definitely should be singing music with a country-pop music after this whole Idol show is over. Her voice did start to go towards the end, but it had a rasp to it, that added kind of a rock element. I really enjoyed this performance.

I also very much enjoyed Lauren’s second performance of “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. There’s absolutely no denying the girl can sing, AMERICAN IDOL: Scotty McCreery performs in front of the judges on AMERICAN IDOL airing Wednesday, May 4, (8:00-9:30- PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. even if she was up there looking like Too Much Fake Tanner Barbie. Her voice did get a little shaky at one point, but she pulled through and ended the song just beautifully. It would be an absolute shame to see Lauren head home tonight after giving two really good performances.

Moving on to “Baby Lock Them Doors,” Scotty McCreery kicked off his performances with Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone.” For those of you that have been complaining that Scotty has been boring or not contemporary enough, his performance last night was extremely contemporary country music and was not boring at all. That kid rocked the house! Albeit, he was working some crazy eyes reminiscent of season three’s Jon Peter Lewis towards the end of the song, but they just kind of added to his boyish charm he’s been working these past few weeks.

Scotty slowed it down with his second performance, singing Elvis’ “You Were Always On My Mind.” This kid, I mean, just wow. I thought this performance was absolutely flawless. If I go to the Idol tour this summer; it’s only because I want to experience Scotty’s voice live.

And last, but certainly not least, Haley Reinhart received the coveted “pimp spot” this week, and did what you’re supposed to with it; have an Idol moment.

For Haley’s first performance, she took on an unreleased Lady Gaga song called, “You And I.” I thought this song was a great fit for Haley’s voice, and she really just rocked it out on stage. My jaw dropped when the judges sat back and tore apart the song choice. That’s fine judges, you don’t have to like the song,AMERICAN IDOL: Haley Reinhart performs in front of the judges on AMERICAN IDOL airing Wednesday, May 4, (8:00-9:30- PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. but what about her vocals? This competition is about being able to hold a tune. Or at least, it supposed to be about that.

To close the show, Haley sang The Animals’ “House of the Rising Song.” Just thinking back on this performance is giving me chills. That’s how good it was. Haley started the song completely a capella and sounded just beautiful. For the remainder of the performance Haley threw everything she had into the song and just nailed it. I know James Durbin talks about leaving it all on the stage every week, and well James, I hope you were taking notes last night, because Haley completely schooled you.

Haley truly carved out an Idol moment for herself last night. It would be a complete and utter travesty is she is sent home tonight.

Alright Idol fans, which performances did you like last night? Who do you think is headed home tonight?

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a writer and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her long-running music blog, Wait...WHAT, at waitwhatmusic.net. Follow Kirsten Coachman on Twitter: @KirsCoachman
  • AL

    Love the article, Kirsten! Yep, it was definitely Haley’s moment last Wednesday. She’s the best of ’em all and should win this whole thing! Sorry handyguy but since when Haley has been overrated?? if anything, she’s underrated by those judges!

  • Sherry

    I agree. Not missing Casey at all. He was not a good singer. He could be a great musician. Hopefully he can be still be taken seriously in the jazz world now that he has been on Idol.

    I wish someone had pointed out Without You was written by Badfinger. I was disappointed Jimmy Iovine even referred to it as a Nilsson song – Nilsson covered it.

    I think Haley is the best. I have to disagree with Handyguy. I don’t think James is all that good.

    I liked Jacob’s Love Hurts. I thought he did a good job with it. Based on performances I would have sent Lauren home (knowing there is no way James was leaving).

    I thought both of Scotty’s performances were good, especially the first one.

  • I don’t think the show was less interesting without Casey. I didn’t find myself missing his presence at all, I was more annoyed that Jacob was still in the competition more than anything.

  • DogDude

    The next cuts are going to be the toughest. I think any of the 4 remaining can win it all if they can deliver the goods.

  • Well, differences are what makes the world go round. I think maybe at least one of the judges disagrees with you. ]As they disagree with me about Haley.]

    The whole show seemed about 50% [at least] less interesting without Casey, the only truly original talent of the season.

  • handyguy: I have no idea what show you were watching last night, but on the show I was watching, James sounded horrific. He was so off pitch throughout both performances. If he won this season, I’d stop watching altogether.

  • James should win now that Casey was astonishingly voted off. He gave the best performances both last week and last night.

    Haley = overrated, skin deep, plastic.

    Scotty = much improved, but he still looks like Mad magazine’s Alfred E Newman and makes goofy faces on top of it. And his second number was actually too dialed-back, too softly sung.

    Lauren is capable of better than she is delivering. Jacob remains wildly uneven but he may someday find a way to discipline his excesses [not on this show, though].

    Vote for the Worst amusingly dug up some very uncomplimentary things Sheryl Crow said about Idol four years ago. Has she changed her mind or was she just along for the ride?

  • Idolhead Ed

    Haley truly left it all on the stage last night including that “Take That!” last look. Who would have thought top 13 Haley would make me believe she is one of the top 10 Idols ever. No matter what happens tonight she has risen from the ashes like a Phoenix and will be an inspiration to all Idols to come.

    And Kirsten I love your style. Come write for me over at Idolheaded.com.We give our writers free cars. Just kidding but we do have fun.