America's Top 12

It's Idol night! The show opens with Steven Tyler singing, There's something wrong in the world today...and the judges and Ryan announce that if you download tonight's performances from iTunes, all proceeds will go to the Red Cross to aid in Japan.

The judges and contestants are introduced and Ryan tells us that tonight the kids will be singing songs from the years they were born. I already know there are going to be songs from my high school days--this is only going to depress me.

But, let's get on with it.

Naima's up first, born in October 1984.   She's singing Tina Turner's What's Love Got To Do with It.  She does okay, but doesn't blow me away.  Steven liked it.  JLo said she was pitchy, and mentioned that last week, she gave her a pass for that, because she did something so different, but now it's becoming a pattern.

Paul is another 1984 baby.  He's singing I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues, by Elton John.  Great song.  Paul was just okay too, which disappoints me, because I like him.  He was hoarse in his interview, so maybe that's the problem.   JLo said he sounded good--and that he has so much soul that he overcame that.  Randy liked that he finds a way to make it his own.  Steven said he defines "cool dude and loose mood." Huh?  Steven is channeling Paula, apparently.

Thia was born in, sigh, 1995.  She's singing Colors of the Wind, by Vanessa Williams.  As Tommy Iovine told her, she has quite a lovely tone to her voice.  Nice performance singing-wise, but not too exciting otherwise.  Randy said she's singing ballads every week, and there was nothing special or unique about this performance.  Steven thought she sang it beautifully, but asked "is that song who you think you are?"  She didn't answer yes or no, but said she picked it because of what's going on in the world today.  JLo said she played it too safe and that she needs to work on her vibrato.

James is up next.  He was born in 1989 and singing Bon Jovi's I'll Be There for You.  My sister is going to love this--that's one of her favorite songs.  She'll miss Richie Sambora though.  He sounded a little off in the very beginning, but otherwise, it was a great performance.  He seems very comfortable on the stage and really played to the audience, like he's been doing that forever.  Steven liked it, but warned him not to become too pop-py.  James made a deal with Steven that he'll sing Aerosmith at the finale, and Steven will sing with him.  Then Steven said "shit....." and they silenced everything out.  JLo and Randy liked it too.

Haley was born in 1990.  She's singing Whitney Houston's I'm Your Baby Tonight.  This reminds me of an aerobics class I took in college.  Oh dear...she slipped a little when she went out toward the judges--that could've been bad.  She sounds fine, but again, this probably isn't the best song choice.   I like the way she ended the song, and it made me think she should be singing Teena Marie (RIP Teena) instead of Whitney & Mariah.  Sadly, it would probably work against her because most of America isn't familiar with Teena Marie's music.  Anyway, JLo liked the character in her voice, but said she seems unsure in her movements on stage.  Then Ryan comes out to wipe lipstick off Haley's chin.  Randy was confused by her performance because she doesn't seem to know who she is.  Steven suggested more blues.

Stefano is next.  He was born in 1989.  Stefano mentioned that some of the great options he had for songs in 1989 were Girl You Know It's True, Milli Vanilli; Hangin' Tough, New Kids; and Funky Cold Medina.  Ha!  Then, thankfully, he found Simply Red's If You Don't Know Me By Now.  He did a nice job tonight.  I haven't been that big of a fan, but he redeemed himself.  JLo was singing along.  Randy said it was the best performance of the night so far.  I agree.  Steven loved his phrasing, said it was over the top beautiful.  JLo loved it.

Pia was born in 1988, the year I graduated!  She's doing Whitney's Where Do Broken Hearts Go?  She sounds great, as always.  I don't know if I like the up-tempo arrangement of the song, but she still sounded good.  Steven said she nailed it.  JLo liked that she did something up-tempo.  Said Pia's perfect every time she gets up there.  Randy said, "Pia's in the competition to win it!"

Scotty will be singing Travis Tritt's  Can I Trust You with My Heart? from 1993.  His mom says he was a "chunky monkey" as a baby.  What can I say?  He sounds good singing country music, but to me, his performances all sound the same.  (Not a country fan.)  Not a thing wrong with his performances--they just aren't my thang.  Oh what's this?  Travis Tritt is one of Randy's dearest friends?  Good to know.  *cough*namedropper*cough*.  JLo liked that he pushed it at the end of the song.  Randy liked that he took a chance to hit longer, higher notes.  Steven told him to keep on keepin' on.  (I'm paraphrasing.)

Karen was born in 1989 and will be singing Taylor Dayne's Love Will Lead You Back.  She's not doing it for me.  Taylor has such a strong voice on this song, and Karen sounds a bit weak.  Karen's trying to prove tonight, that she's not just a Spanish singer.  But then she ends en espaƱol.  I don't know what it is, but she sounds better singing in Spanish....she must know that.  Randy liked it well enough.  Steven loves when she breaks into Spanish.  JLo said something about if you can't hit the note, don't try it.  I think she liked the performance, but I'm not positive.

Casey!  He was born in 1991, and his parents were in their 40s at the time.  They're the proud older parents.  His parents are so cute.  He's singing Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, and he's slappin' da bass tonight.  (If you haven't seen I Love You, Man, do so now.)  Wow...Casey rocked it out.  He looked like a madman while doing it, but maybe that was just the weird green/yellow lighting.  When he's done he's all smiles and back to his cute self.  Steven said he's crazy & talented all at the same time.  JLo said a few points in the song got a little "screamy-screechy."  Randy said it wasn't his best performance, but liked that Casey is fearless!

Lauren's next, born in 1994.  She's singing Melissa Etheride's I'm the Only One.  Lauren sounds great--probably the best performance she's had.  And this despite the fact that she has the flu.  JLo said, "That's how you make it your own."  Randy said, "that was very nice, so have a cold every week."  Steven said she's a shining star.

And last but not least, it's Jacob's turn.  He was born in 1987.  Jacob's mom embarrasses him by singing for the cameras.  He's singing Heart's Alone.  Jimmy Iovine's happy that Jacob's doing a rock song.  He does a good job, but maybe too much vibrato on long notes.  Toward the end, a couple of his high notes were a little iffy.  Randy said it was a nice performance, even though he was a little sharp "during the modulation."  Steven said, "Your momma may not be able to sing, but she gave you the moxie that makes you who you are."  JLo said she loves that he gives himself completely to every performance, to every moment he's up there. 

Well, this show didn't knock my socks off.  My top 3:  Stefano, Casey and James.  Bottom 3:  Naima, Karen, and sad to say, Paul.

We'll see what happens to-morrow1

Also, since I mentioned Teena Marie earlier, I figured I'd share this.  Love her.

1 comment:

Kerri said...

yeah, i agree. i like paul too, but he didn't sound good at all! and i don't think he was all that great last week either. i do love that he is somehow able to hold a smile while singing tho.

and even tho jacob sang a "rock song" it kinda sounded like the same style he always does, so it didn't seem like a stretch to me.

and altho i love casey, i was not into his performance. but who cares? i support him completely and want him to win the whole thing.

steven and jlo like every performance and pretty much never give any negative criticism. i am missing simon for his honestly!!