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American Idol: The Good, The Alright, and Yikes!

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I’m sitting here trying to decide where to start about last night’s American Idol, and I think we’ll just start with the good and make our way to the contestants that I am ready to see get the boot.

Last night the Idol contestants were singing songs from the year they were AMERICAN IDOL: Stefano Langone performs on AMERICAN IDOL Wednesday, March 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/T) on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.born. Stefano Langone mentioned that he could have sung a New Kids on the Block song. If he had, I would have totally voted for him. I have wanted “Boyband Week” for the longest time on Idol, so it would have made me a happy camper. Instead, Stefano went with Harold Melvin & The Blue Note’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.”

Stefano had a stellar performance. Granted, his final note left much to be desired, but he was by far the best of the night. It was like he was singing for his life, and after the report on his DUI arrest came to light Wednesday morning, he needed to. He had to show that passion and show that he’s the real deal. If the audience can get past his past, then he could be a contestant to look out for in the upcoming weeks.

Lauren Alaina was sick with the flu, but managed to pull off her performance of Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m The Only One.” When she told Ryan Seacrest that she was sick in her pre-performance interview, I was instantly reminded of that episode of Friends when Phoebe got sick and had her sexy, raspy singing voice. “Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you…” Anyone? Bueller?Anyways, she was under the weather, but she had a pretty strong vocal performance. She seriously needs to just stop talking,(And, she’s not the only one.) The bit with Ryan in the beginning with the masks was ridiculous.

This week Scotty McCreery sang “Can I Trust You With My Heart” by Travis Tritt. It was ever so slightly a little more up-tempo that what we have heard from him throughout the competition. The thing with Scotty is that he’s consistent and he knows what works for him, but he’s venturing on the line of being boring. I would really love to see him step out of his comfort zone just slightly more and go full-on up-tempo.

I felt this week that Pia Toscano needed to stay away from any Mariah/Whitney/Celine/Christina music, and of course she gives Whitney Houston’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” a go, basically just because she can. Albeit, her remix on the song was kind of strange, I appreciated her making the song upbeat, because I couldn’t bear another straight-laced ballad. When she hit that big note during her performance, I was blown away. However, she seriously needs to get away from the diva songs. We know Pia can sing, but it’s time to put her voice to the test with something legitimately upbeat. I have to say, I did love was that we finally got to know something about Pia from her pre-performance video. Hopefully, she’ll be able to connect better with her fans.

Moving on to those contestants who had some issues last night with their performances, but I’m not ready for them to be eliminated quite yet.

Naima Adedapo’s take on Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To DoWith It,” was AMERICAN IDOL: Naima Adedapo performs on AMERICAN IDOL Wednesday, March 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/T) on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX.personally my favorite performance of the night. I didn’t find it to be as pitchy as the judges made it out to be. I thought her last note wasn’t so hot, but overall I really liked her performance. This may be an unpopular opinion of sorts, but I loved the arrangement. She didn’t do a copy cat performance like Lil Rounds did back in season eight, and I appreciate that. I hope that other people enjoyed Naima’s performance, because I would hate to see her leave before making the Top 10.

I really wanted to like Casey Abrams’ performance last night. I went in with the mindset that I would be able to embrace the idea of Casey singing Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” but in the end, I just couldn’t. His growl throughout the song was just unnerving. However, he has quite the fan base that just loves his personality, so he’ll be around for awhile. Plus, keeping Casey in the competition means seeing more of his adorable parents, and I am all for that.

Oh, Haley Reinhart. I really felt for her last night, because her performance of Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” was just not the business. It was pitchy from start to finish. And then she had lipstick all over her chin by the end of her performance. Talk about having a rough night. I think Haley plus Whitney equals another trip to the bottom three. I hope she can persevere through and move on to the Top 11, but I don’t know how likely it is. However, if she does make it through, she needs to take the judges’ critiques and go on with her day. There’s no need to comment back.

Now onto the last five contestants from last night that need to get it together very quickly. Let’s start with Paul McDonald.

Paul sang Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” last night, and I seriously don’t know what to do with him anyone. I think the fact that he can’t stand still during his performance bothered me more than his less than lackluster vocals. I seriously have no more advice left to give for Paul. I thought his song choice was much better this week, but his vocals were just a mess. I don’t foresee him taking a trip to the bottom three this week, but I see it happening sooner than later.

I think I finally figured out what Thia Megia’s problem is, and I’ve decided that she takes herself way too seriously. Someone needs to send her a memo that she’s only 15-years-old and its okay if she acts like it. Her song choice “Colors of the Wind” from the Disney soundtrack for Pocahontas managed to make me feel old as all hell. I wasn’t crazy about it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she made her first trip to the bottom three.

As far as I’m concerned, I am so completely over James Durbin. For those who don’t know, Bon Jovi is one of my all-time favorite bands. “I’ll Be There For You,” which James sang last night, is my favorite Bon Jovi song. I was less than thrilled with this combination.

For starters, James arranged that song something weird, because for the life in me, I do not know why he started in the middle of the song. And what made me even 100x more upset is that “I’ll Be There For You” is a power ballad. It is supposed to be sung slow and with emotion. I cannot believe that he sped it up to be an up-tempo rock song. That annoyed me greatly.

But what really got me, was when Steven Tyler started mentioning that Aerosmith had a song out that year as well, to which James responded, “I was saving that for the finale.” That’s not confidence, that’s cockiness. From there to the whole discussion about his outfit, I just wanted to throw something.

Now, if you think I am upset about James’ song choice, you can’t possibly imagine how not thrilled I was about Jacob Lusk’s song choice. Jacob dared to touch the one song that truly only one Idol contestant has really been able to put their mark on it, and that would be Heart’s “Alone.”

In season four, Carrie Underwood performed the Heart classic. That performance was a defining moment for Carrie and it was also the night that Simon Cowell made the bold statement that she would not only win American Idol that season, but she would also go on to sell more records than any other Idol winner. This prediction would come true on both counts.

And before someone calls me out on this, Allison Iraheta’s season eight performance of “Alone” was truly amazing. But, when I think an iconic Idol performance of “Alone,” I think of Carrie.

So back to Jacob, my initial thought was he had lost his ever-loving mind. But then for a split second, I thought just maybe he was going to rein in his vocals, but now I am completely convinced that he doesn’t understand the concept of doing so. His performance was admittedly hilarious, but the vocals were just plain awful. It’s officially time for Idol to take “Alone” off of the list of available songs.

I would love to tell you what I thought of Karen Rodriguez’s performance, I reallyAMERICAN IDOL: Karen Rodriguez performs on AMERICAN IDOL Wednesday, March 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/T) on FOX. CR: Ray Mickshaw / FOX. would, but I was so distracted by her outfit, that all I know is that she performed Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back.”

Seriously though, what in the world was she wearing? She looked like present-day Judy Jetson. I am willing to bet money that I could have been able to stick one of my hands through her earring hoop, because they were enormous. From the dress, to the boots, to her hair, I have not a clue what look she was going for. In other words, where are the stylists? Were they just not paying attention while Karen was getting ready?

I would not be shocked if Karen went home tonight, because I’d send her home based on her outfit alone. When people spend your entire performance wondering who would let you leave backstage like that, something is wrong.

Obviously, I have a lot of feelings about what transpired on Idol last night. What did y’all think of last night’s performances and who do you think is headed home?

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an Entertainment Writer 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, Andrew Dost from the Grammy Award-winning band fun., singer-songwriter Christina Perri, and acclaimed writer-director Derek Cianfrance.
  • Sherry

    I pretty much agree with everything you said except I didn’t like Naima, and I didn’t think Karen was all that bad. I would have put Thia in the bottom three over her. Thia is pretty boring.

    I thought James was all over the place with his “I’ll Be There For You,” and I don’t know how the judges couldn’t hear how off key he was throughout the whole song. He is way to cocky and I was hoping the judges would call him out and take him down a few notches, but for some reason they loved it. Starting in the middle of the song like that was just wrong.

    I really hated Casey’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” I don’t know how the judges liked that either. I really don’t think he has that great of a singing voice, and the yelling is just not working for me. It seemed like a joke.

    Speaking of judges liking bad performances, Paul McDonald was truly awful. I’ve listened to some of his pre-Idol songs and they are not bad, but I don’t think his style is working all that well for the show.

  • DebbieJ

    I agree with most of your critiques. Except for where Paul is concerned. I love him. I love his quirkiness, I love his voice, I love his weird dance moves. I love his clothes and most of all, that amazing smile! While agree that his performance wasn’t the best of the night (I do agree with you and the judges that honor went to Stefano this week), I do like his style and I feel his unique sound/style is needed for this season.

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