American Idol 10 (2011) Finale Contestant Performances

Update: Scotty McCreery wins American Idol. The vote percentages are not announced, but a total of 122 million votes were cast in the finale.

American Idol 10 (the 2011 season) has its finale results show on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. As usual, the Top 13 should be on hand to give several performances before the crowning of either Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina as Idol champion.

Contestants often sing with guest celebrities. According to MJsBigBlog rumors, Casey Abrams will be singing with Jack Black. Other performances may include Beyonce with the girls, Tom Jones with the boys, and several duets. These include Carrie Underwood and Lauren, Tim McGraw and Scotty, heavy metal band Judas Priest with James Durbin, and Tony Bennett with Haley Reinhart.

The latest news is that Filipino import Charice will not be performing with Pia.

In addition to the contestants, the new judges, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, are set to perform. Tyler will do his band’s hit “Dream On” (apparently without Aerosmith), and J-Lo will be doing a duet with husband Mark Anthony.

I’m especially looking forward to Casey and Jack Black, which should be a riot, watching James wail away with Judas Priest and Haley rocking some jazz tune with Tony Bennett.

The first performance on the night was “Born This Way.” The entire Season 10 Top 13 contestants performed this Lady Gaga hit. The entire group is decked out in white. It was the typical cheesy choreography and straight-up karaoke singing of the big group numbers. If Lady Gaga is already going to perform tonight, why sing one of her songs? Come on. Let’s spread the wealth, Idol. Is Gaga holding secrets about the producers or something?

James Durbin came out next and performed with Judas Priest. They are rocking this pretty good. James sounds better than he did the last couple of weeks he was on the show. I never thought I’d see “Breaking the Law” on American Idol. Now, if we could just get some voters with a wider range of interests. They got a big standing ovation after the performance.

Kirk Franklin’s “I Smile” was next. Kirk is a gospel singer who sounds sort of like a preacher while singing. Jacob Lusk starts the song off, and then Gladys Knight comes out to join them. Jacob and Gladys are doing a good job. The choir also joins in. I heard this is Kirk’s schtick, but he seems like a cheerleader, not a singer. I guess he is like those old-school band leaders.

Casey Abrams and Jack Black then perform “Fat Bottomed Girls.” This is pretty funny. Casey also gets in some good scatting in the middle.

Next up, the girls are getting ready to come out and perform. They are singing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” Okay, this is a Beyonce medley. It never ceases to amaze me that some contestants sound better when they come back than they ever did when on the show. Karen and Ashthon both sounded better, and even Pia showed a different side that she failed to show for weeks on the show. Beyonce then appears to sing with the girls.

Haley Reinhart comes out next with Tony Bennett. They are singing “Steppin Out With My Baby.” Tony messes up for some reason, but he recovers quickly. Tony did a great version of this with Christina Aguilera. Haley is doing okay, but a more freestyle performance shows off more of her uniqueness. None of the performances tonight are mindblowing, but they are all good.

The girls come out again with Lil John and TLC. They do a medley of “No Scrubs” and “Waterfalls.” It sounded like Lil John and TLC were all lip syncing. Shouldn’t there be a rule that there is no lip syncing on a singing-contest show?

Tim McGraw and Scotty sang “Live Like You Were Dying.” Scotty kept up with Tim in my opinion. At least we have some real singing here.

Mark Anthony also performed some Latin music. He is actually one of the best singers of the night so far. Jennifer Lopez then shows up on stage and dances. Sheila E. is also playing the drums. This is actually the best overall performance of the night up to this point.

The guys come out to sing as a group. This was a strange medley of different songs, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Finally, Tom Jones joins the boys. I felt this was much better than the girl contestants’ group performance, but that was mainly because there was more originality and individuality to it. In many ways, I think this is a reason why the boys keep winning – Idol has been great lately at picking guy contestants that are both good and unique. Girls like Pia are picked only for their singing without respect to overall musicality.

Lady Gaga comes out to perform “The Edge of Glory.” As expected, she has some kind of indescribable outfit with a huge hat and necklaces hanging from it. Gaga gets a lot of people criticizing her for the attention-seeking antics, but her voice is actually somewhat underrated. Her tone is nothing special, but there is definitely some grit and power in her voice.

Lauren then performs “Before He Cheats” with Carrie Underwood. Shoot me, but I think she actually outperformed Carrie. It’s almost like she drew confidence from being with Carrie as opposed to singing alone.

Beyonce performs her new single “One Plus One.” She has that same excessive vibrato that Jacob suffers from, but the power and emotion are good.

The Spider Man Broadway show is next with “Rise Above.” Writers Bono and Edge (from U2) are on hand to perform with members of the cast. This was one of the better performances of the night, as well. I can’t stand Bono’s arrogance, but the dude is spot on at using his voice.

Finally, Steven Tyler sings “Dream On.” He has an orchestra instead of Aerosmith, who I suppose turned down the offer to appear.

Sources:

MJsBigBlog: American Idol Finale Week Facts and Rumors