Down to the top 5

With Casey gone, I don't really have much invested in Idol anymore--I"m pulling for Haley now, but I don't think she'll win. I think it's James' contest to lose.

Before I get to the show though, I saw Matt Lauer's interview with Steven Tyler the other night on Dateline...interesting guy. He's got a book coming out. I don't tend to read celeb bios, but I have a feeling his will be pretty interesting. Meanwhile, I also plan to read Tina Fey's book as well as Rob Lowe's, based on their interviews on Oprah. What's gotten into me?!

Okay, back to the show. Randy tells us tonight's the night we'll see who's in it to win it! Gosh Randy, you haven't said that in almost...a week!

Tonight they're each singing two songs. One will be from the last few years, and one from back in the day. Can that be any more vague? My "back in the day" is much different than a 25-year-old's "back in the day."

Helping Jimmy Iovine out tonight is Sheryl Crow.

They're starting with contemporary songs. James is up first with "Closer to the Edge" by 30 Seconds to Mars. During rehearsals, James and Sheryl harmonized quite nicely together. Jimmy told James that he fits in this material better than in 1980s rock. For the performance, he started off rather weakly, but when he got to the chorus, he sounded good. It's missing Sheryl's harmony. Steven said he kicked the song's ass. JLo said she's feeling that James wants to take it. Randy said that he's now shown us where he could go as an artist and the type of record he could make. And guess what? "James is in it to win it!" No one mentioned his pitchiness at the beginning.

After commercial, Ryan clarifies that the first song is "contemporary," the second song will be "classic."

Jacob is singing "No Air" by Jordan Sparks & Chris Brown, singing both parts. During rehearsal, his "Jordan Sparks" was painful to hear. Oh, he sounds horrible. I love this song, but I'm hating this performance. He's gone next week. Has to be. Only hit the right key about 50% of the time. Ugh. JLo didn't critique his performance at all. She instead told him he needs to continue to show us what direction he's going. Randy said it's not the right direction for him, most of it was sharp (thank you Randy!), and no one should be singing both parts of a duet on this stage, and he's no Jordan Sparks or Chris Brown.

Lauren takes on "Flat on the Floor" by Carrie Underwood. Sheryl recommended she plant her feet and stay strong while singing. Instead she did her usual walk here, hip wiggle, walk there, hip wiggle. She sounds good though. Oh...she followed the stage advice for the second half of the song. She sang the hell out of that song...best performance she's had, in my opinion. JLo had the "stank face" on the whole performance--she was really into it. Randy said, "That is the direction for you!" "Lauren is in it, y'all!" Steven said "I think you're it." JLo said, "You ate that up."

Scotty's, singing "Gone" by Montgomery Gentry. Jimmy said it has a lot of grit and rock sound to it. His flute-hold of the microphone REALLY gets on my nerves. His performance is fine...not my favorite, but it's different than his usual fare, so that's a good thing. S.T. said up til now Scotty's been like a Puritan, but tonight he danced with the devil. JLo loved it. Randy said, "who knew that you could rock the stage like that?!" And guess what? SCOTTY'S in it to win it! So far, the only one who isn't, is Jacob.

Haley's doing an unreleased GaGa song, called "You and I." Jimmy brought it to Haley--he said GaGa does it on stage, but it's not released. Haley talked to Lady Gaga and got her blessing. JImmy says, "She's got it. And taking on this song is just another way of showing that she's got it." I love it--rocky, gospely, bluesy. Love it. I love Haley! What...the judges didn't even clap for her. Rude! That was weird. JLo didn't like it and didn't think Jimmy gave her the best advice. She needed something that showcased her in a better way. Randy didn't think it was that great of a song. He didn't think it did her any favors. Steven loved it though. He thinks she's "one perfect song away from being the American Idol."

Now it's time for the classics.

James is singing "Without You" by Harry Nilsson. During rehearsals, James cried as he was listening to the lyrics. I get that--it happens to me sometimes too with that song. James was really broken up though. He was thinking of his kids. Nice job...tears in his eyes at the end of the performance. His high note wasn't great, but definitely heartfelt. Randy said it wasn't perfect, but it was emotionally perfect. And he said, "It's yours to lose." Hmmm...where have I heard those words before? Randy & Steven both acknowledged that it was a little pitchy, but it didn't matter. JLo says he's a true artist--has the heart and soul to back up the high notes and screams.

Jacob's unveiling his "rock side" with a Nazareth song, "Love Hurts." His "rock" performance is accompanied by a harp and a brass section. He did much better than the first song, but I'm just so over him that I can't really enjoy it. Steven thought it was a beautiful thing...he got lost in the song, so the audience got lost in him. JLo brought up a "bobble" in the middle of the song, but congratulated him on a good job. I didn't notice a problem, so it's kind of interesting that she brought it up. Randy liked it.

Lauren's singing "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers. She said it's her parents' song. It's not her best performance. Off key quite frequently. JLo said there was nothing to say. Randy said she showed another side of herself. Steven loved it.

I think just like in past seasons, the judges already have in mind who they'd like to see in the top three--Scotty, James and Lauren. So, they give subtle, or not so subtle hints to steer the audience. JLo brings up some tiny flaw in Jacob's song that everyone probably missed, but then doesn't mention Lauren being off key?! And I'm still perplexed about how they didn't clap for Haley.

Scotty is singing "You Are Always on My Mind" by Elvis. Jimmy told Scotty to ignore the advice that he try something new, while at the same time staying true to himself. Scotty's performance was pleasant. Boring, but pleasant. JLo said he showed what a well-rounded artist he is. She said it was beautiful. Randy and Steven loved it.

Haley closes the show with "The House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals. Sheryl recommends she sing acappella at first. She does, and she's wonderful. So haunting. I got chills. I love this, and I'll be downloading it from iTunes. And YES! The judges not only clapped for her this time--they gave her a STANDING O!!! Woo-hoo! In your faces, judges! Randy gave her the award for best performance of the night. S.T. said she sold everyone tonight. JLo said "I don't know if you came out a little angry at us from before? Whatever that little emotion was at the beginning...I don't care, I'm going to sing my butt off right now....that song has never been sang [sic] like that before--great job!"

I'm going to rate these by song tonight:
1. Haley's 2nd
2. Lauren's 1st
3. Haley's 1st
4. James' 1st
5. James' 2nd
6. Scotty's 1st
7. Scotty's 2nd
8. Lauren's 2nd
9. Jacob's 2nd
10.Jacob's 1st

Jacob's got to go. And I'm calling in for Haley, just in case. 10 calls so far.

As a side note, I think the should bring back Sheryl Crow again--she was great. Until tomorrow...

1 comment:

Kerri said...

oh valerie-
i just bought the rob lowe book on my ibook thing- it's good. i loved him on oprah, so i know what you mean!

sorry i missed the steven tyler interview-

i am with you- little interest with casey gone. but am now pulling for haley. her 2nd song last night was really incredible and showed off her voice better than ever i thought- and now's the time to pull that kind of stuff off! go haley!

if jacob wins, i will probably never watch another season again.