American Idol Top 13

10 03 2011

American Idol Top 13

After having a medical procedure on Wednesday, I was tired and crabby. I maybe should not have watched American Idol tonight because I was critical of EVERYONE.

Tonight’s our Top 13 had to sing songs that were from their own personal idols’ collections. My personal idol is my son, so he would probably make me sing something like Hymn 43 by Jethro Tull. That is, by far, his favorite song, but his face lights up when I sing Katy Perry’s “Firework” (without any air-microphones or pretend microphones) and dance around him like I was giving him his own personal concert. Since he is nonverbal, I’m going to assume that he likes it versus him thinking his mother is off her rocker.

Lauren Alaina was up first singing Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain. I wished she would have stayed a little bit rock-and-roll versus a little bit country. Every season needs a girl rocker. Since I dislike most country music, she gets demerits for that alone. Not knowing the song, it is hard to judge it, but I thought it was average.

I like Casey Abrams. He reminds me a little bit of David Cook with the goofiness. I wonder what he would look like without the beard. He tries to do “I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends” from Joe Cocker. I was not feeling it (it was only later in the evening that I figured out it might be me and not them).

Ashthon Jones needed to redeem herself for getting a place in the Top 13. It was sharp and out of tune quite a lot. There was no wow factor. I think she will be going home tonight.

Paul McDonald brings a unique voice to the group, but he vocally sounds like a young Rod Stewart and moves like Joe Cocker. I just don’t know what to make of that. He sang a Ryan Adams song, “Come Pick Me Up” that I was not familiar with either. I imagine he is safe though.

One does not pick a Celine Dion song without slaying it. Actually Pia Toscano picked an Eric Carmen song that was reinterpreted by Celine Dion. There was a part in the middle when she had to get that high note that she used all her breath control to get to the high not, but then could not sustain it. I liked it, however. It took moxey.

I ruminated last night about why I’m so hard on James Durbin. He sang a great rendition of “Baby I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney. There are arguments going on within the autism community itself about whether or not he even HAS autism (not making a judgment here; just letting you know some people think he just suffers from Tourette’s). I want him to be better because I do not want people voting for him “because he’s the guy with autism.” I want them to vote for him because they like him and they like his singing.

Haley Reinhart decided to go a little bit country herself with “Blue” from Leann Rimes. The yodeling part was impressive. I was worried she was going to have a wardrobe malfunction because when they panned the camera to her back side there was a huge gap between the dress and her skin in the bra area.

Jacob Lusk needs new role models. Seriously, dude, R. Kelly? A pedophile as a role model is not going to get you votes. “I Believe I Can Fly” was the song but he was flying all over the place with that song. He was out of key most of the song. But when you are doing runs like that, some people cannot tell the difference between something in-tune and something that is over the top.

Having had an outstanding performance last week with “Out Here on My Own” I was looking for another song to set her apart from the group. “Smile” is a hard song to sing. You need either great acting skills or life experience. At Thia Meglia’s tender age, I’d have to say iffy on both. Backstage, even she knows she might be in trouble. She might be in the bottom, but Ashthon will go home.

I always find it funny when mentors point out the “don’t close your eyes” when you sing. We believe, as singers, when we close our eyes, it is emanating deep emotion. It was the same criticism Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber gave to David Archuleta a few seasons ago. Just like with David, you could see Stefano Langone fighting back closing his eyes to the entire song of “Lately” by Stevie Wonder. He wound up squinting. It looked weird.

Karen Rodriguez did not do herself any favors singing Selena’s I Could Fall In Love. She had a very difficult time in her lower register. But when she was in a good register, her voice sounded pretty. No one was making my night tonight.

Scotty McCreedy looks like he could share some ancestral tree with Clay Aiken. And Just like with Clay I never expect the voice that comes out of him to come out of him. I’m sure country music fans love him and his music. Singing Garth Brooks “The River”, for me he was just floating on an inner tube on that river as I waved to him from shore.

I was excited to hear what Naima Adedapo was going to come up with. As is tradition, the last song of the night is usually reserved for the best performance. Having barely made it into the Top 13, she had to make this night count. She was out of tune quite a lot during “Umbrella” but I liked the rapped part in the middle and it showed a different side of her. Goodbye lounge singer. Hello to someone who is more contemporary.

For me, no one stood out Wednesday night. I have not gotten goosebumps yet. I am looking forward to seeing Adam Lambert on Thursday night’s show. I predict the person going home will be Ashthon.

Who were your stand-out performances? Who missed the mark? Who failed to impress? Discuss.



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