American Idol Season 10 - Top 8: April 13, 2011
Top 8 - Songs From The Movies - April 13, 2011
Really Nigel Lythgoe? "Songs from the Movies" AGAIN? How many years have we had this tired theme? Oh well, here we go again.
1. Paul McDonald - "Old Time Rock 'N Roll" (from Risky Business) B-
Something came off a bit awkward and well, just...off...about Paul's whole performance. And this is coming from someone who likes Paul and has voted for him several weeks. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song too. But something just didn't click here. Paul has a lot of energy on stage and is obviously meant to be performing with a band. He is not, and will never be, a solo artist. I think that is where the level of awkwardness comes from. I hope Paul goes onto have a niche, sort of neo-soul/alt-rock career he deserves. But it just didn't work for me, for you, tonight.
2. Lauren Alaina - "The Climb" (from Hannah Montana: The Movie) A-
Well, Jimmy Iovine was right. Lauren certainly outsang Miley Cyrus on this song and added a far more pleasant tone overall to the song (except for that one note she went way off and totally missed on, but oh well). Lauren picked a song that was age-appropriate and a song she felt she could connect with the lyric on -- and it showed. She looked like she had a lot of fun with the song and did a great job singing. Also without Gwen Stefani to "style" her this week, she looked beautiful and much more at ease on the stage. I could picture her covering this song at one of her concerts!
3. Stefano Langone - "End of The Road" (from Boomerang) B-/C+
I didn't like it as much as his great performance of "When A Man Loves A Woman" from last week (a performance, I should add, landed him in the dreaded Bottom 2). And while I absolutely love the song "End of the Road", it was all too easy to compare him to Boyz II Men and he just fell drastically, totally short. I don't think Stefano is a particularly good performer either. He can certainly improve and has a lot of room with which to do so.
4. Scotty McCreery - "Cross My Heart" (from Pure Country) A-
One of Scotty's best performances on the Idol stage! This time I really felt the lyrics from him and there was a lot less cheesy eyebrow raising and side of the mouth singing. Scotty delivered an earnest, pure performance that is sure to win him a lot of hearts of country fans. Is Scotty taking risks? No. Certainly not. But what he is doing is working and may take him to the Top 3 of this competition. I know that each week he will deliver a solid performance.
5. Casey Abrams - "Nature Boy" (from The Boy With the Green Hair, Untamed Heart, Moulin Rouge, Angel Eyes, and The Talented Mr. Ripley [take your pick]) C-/D+
His voice sounded very flat and I did not like the "scary faces" he kept making throughout the performance. I didn't think the upright bass worked on the song but I loved the other jazz musicians who added a great sense of musicality to an awful performance. There was very very little I liked about this performance. Casey's vocals were pretty bad and I honestly did not like the song. One thing I can applaud Casey for is taking a risk doing a song that has never been done on Idol and will likely never be done again.
6. Haley Reinhart - "Call Me" (from American Gigolo) A
WOW. I thought Haley picked a great song choice that really suited her unique voice. She looked great and gave a performance that demonstrated a lot of personality and was fun to watch. I could not understand for the life of me why this was the ONLY performance of the night the judges chose to criticize. And this is coming from someone who could not STAND Haley for the first few weeks of this competition and wondered how she made it through to the Top 13 over Kendra and some of the other competitors. Was this a perfect vocal? No. But like I said last week, I love that Haley isn't afraid to get messy with her voice. I can't wait to hear the studio version.
7. Jacob Lusk - "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (from The Pursuit of Happyness) C
Was this Jacob's Kristy-Lee-Cook-"God-Bless-The-USA" song choice moment? YOU BET YOUR ASS IT WAS. The whole time I was watching this, I compared it to Clay Aiken's vastly superior Idol Moment (TM) on this stage in the 2nd season, way back when I was just a junior in high school. Jacob's version came off overcooked, like melted cheese that has hardened after too much time in the oven. Oof. His "big note" sounded awful. The arrangement didn't do him any favors either. The song is supposed to build to a dramatic climax, but I felt like Jacob sang an extended first verse that never really lifted off the ground.
8. James Durbin - "Heavy Metal" (from Heavy Metal) A
OMFG. Another "I rocked so hard my hair clip fell out" moment. I think I should have fallen off my couch when I saw the great Zakk Wylde on the IDOL STAGE. My god. I would sure as hell go to a James Durbin concert. It is so clear through his song choices, metal scream, attitude, and just overall look that he loves metal. It is not an act, it is not posturing. He feels it in his soul and to the rest of us that turned it up to 11 and never looked back, we get it. I would give this an A- for vocals but having Zakk fucking Wylde on this stage boosted it up to an A for me.
Best of the night: James or Haley
Worst of the night: Casey