5/11/2011: Vote at American Idol.com or call 1-877-436 -57 ## (see numbers below); they are chargeable.
The show opened with clips of past American Idol contestants “going home.” The contestants that make it through this week will be able to go home next week and be lauded as stars n their hometowns.
Ryan Seacrest told the crowd, “It is hard to believe that in two weeks we’re going to be watching Idol at Nokia Theatre ‘” for the most watched event in television.”
This week there are two themes. In round one, Idols have to pick a song that inspired them. For round two, they have to pick a song that was co-written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Lieber and Stoller were popular songs in the ’60’s who wrote songs for Elvis Presley, and the Coasters among others.
James Durbin: 01 or 05
James performed “Don’t Stop Believing” a Journey song, and he had some good moments and some that were just okay. James hit some high notes but his voice cracked too. He has a way of working the crowd though. He handled the song pretty well.
Steven Tyler, “You are an indication of what is to come. You did it right. You picked a popular song and you rocked out.” J.Lo said, “Me and Randy always wait to see if you are going to pull it out, that vibrato you do when you go very high, and you do.” Randy said, “I love that song, I’ve played it many times. You did it.”
Ryan told Steven his book was #1. Steven Tyler is now a best-selling author with the book, Does the Noise in my Head Bother You. He is on top and he did not even know it.
Haley Reinhart: 02 or 06
Haley did the Earth Song by Michael Jackson. She said, “Michael took a stand about everything: war, to pollution, to destruction, and this song is a masterpiece.” Haley did a good job but it did not blow me away like her song last week did.
J.Lo said, “I felt like that song inspired you, we felt it.” Then she said, “James came out and set the bar. Everyone was going crazy. That song has a beautiful message but I want you to be thinking about what everyone else is doing.” Randy said, “Here is what I didn’t like, that song didn’t fit you, you were screaming. As the great Michael Jackson did, you needed to be singing that a little bit higher. This was Michael Jackson’s signature song. To be honest, I didn’t like it, I thought you were screaming.” Steven Tyler said, “Haley they are both wrong. That song showed me that you could. That upper register ‘” you were pushing it, and you made it.”
Scotty McCreery: 03 – 07
Scotty was a grocery store cashier before he hit Idol. Tonight he sang, ‘Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning‘ by Allen Jackson. Scotty played his guitar as he sang his country tune. Scotty picked up the gospel vote tonight. His performance was religious, talked of believing in God and you somehow felt that Scotty was genuine with the lyrics.
Randy said, “I can tell with all of you that you are listening. Yes, we gave Haley a rough time tonight. For you, I thought it was a perfect song choice. I applaud you with that. You set your mark on this stage this season. You are ready for superstardom.” Tyler said, “I saw you almost lose it in the middle because of what you were singing and that was beautiful. Keep it up.” J. Lo, “I am in love with you – what you stand for, what you bring to your music; I can tell how much you think about it. I can tell that you know what touches other people and it is the mark of someone that was meant to do this. I am glad we are here to see this.”
As Ryan stepped out into the audience, we got to see Casey Abrams and Paul McDonald in the audience. They announced the upcoming Idol tour. Tickets go on sale May 15.
Lauren Alaina: 04 ‘” 08
Lauren performed, ‘Anyway‘ by Martina McBroad. Lauren said, “I picked this song because I can relate to it and the devastation from the tornadoes. I am singing it because I want people to know they can do it. It is okay for people to keep going and rebuild their lives, no matter how hard the situation.
Lauren did a very nice job tonight, pushing for the high notes, and showing great dynamics. Tyler said, “You did it again. You broke my heart. Your pitch is perfect and I am in love with the buckles on your shoes and that dress. I love you. “J.LO said, “That was very good baby. I do feel like you are listening to what we are telling you. We want you to get to that last moment when you are there when the confetti is coming down around you. That is what we want. It was very beautiful.” Randy said, “Last week I was a little worried, but the Lauren that we grew to love was here tonight. That was hot. That was everything. You know what was wrong with that performance. Absolutely nothing. That was perfect and it was a great time to do it.”
Before commercial Ryan asked J. Lo the question, “Round one is gone. Who won that round?” J.Lo danced and avoided answering. Then Randy said, “It is a tie between Scotty, James, and Lauren. Haley has got to up her performance, but Haley is starting us off on Round two.” How is that for pressure?
This week Lady Gaga was there to mentor the American Idols. She said, “It is really nice to be a part of helping these contestants. I am not here to judge. I am here to help.”
Haley took on one of Gaga’s tunes last week and the judges felt that maybe it was a bad song choice for her. This week she performed, ‘I have nothing.’ Gaga told her, “That is perfect for you. It is amazing.” Jimmy Iovine said, “She is so good at singing and the challenge for her is the drama.” Gaga asked Haley, “How do you feel about getting a little psycho?” Iovine said, “Gaga saw that this song could get bland. She encouraged Haley to ‘‹Å”give them a little drama’.” Haley said, “I have always been into theatre, and I think I can have a lot of fun playing a crazy role. It has potential.” The second time around, Haley did much better and she got a standing ovation from everyone including the judges.
J. Lo, “Haley, this is why we can’t take it easy on you, baby. Look what you are capable of. We will never take it easy on you. Just look at what you are capable of ‘” that was one of the best performances of the year right here.” Randy said, “You got mad. You were probably back stage angry with us. Then you came out and gave it all that you got. This moment just put you in it to win it. You have to do it, and you did it. One of the best.” Steven Tyler, “You just Reinharted yourself into next week.”
For his second song, Scotty sang, ‘Young Blood‘ by the Coasters. Gaga said, “He is so funny, and he has that beautiful tone.” She told him, “Anytime that you are singing this way, or that way with the microphone and it loses your voice, you are putting your career in jeopardy. Thing about that as your moneymaker. You need to make love to it. You need to imagine it is your girlfriend and she just said if you do not French kiss me, I am leaving. “Scotty said, “I’m just trying to envision that microphone as my girlfriend.” Iovine said, “Scotty versus Lady Gaga. I could not think of a better fit. It will be interesting.” At the end of the clip, Gaga said, referring to Scotty, “Apparently he is a bit more conservative than I imagined. I just want to open him up a bit.”
Unlike his first tune where he sat on a stool and played guitar this time Scotty was all over the crowed and stage. Scotty looked like he was having some fun. He busted a deep note during his performance, which got the girls-a-swooning. Randy asked him, “Dude are you having a good time out there. You were already having fun laughing with Gaga. You came out joking and laughing with the crowd. You are now like a seasoned professional.” To the crowd, and the other judges, Randy said, “I think he is ready.” Tyler said, “You made Gaga’s yaya go lala. How could you do that? A little Pat Boone, funny, it was good, I liked it. I loved the humor man.” J.Lo said, “It was really great. You hit your stride, and now it is like a sprint to the finish. This performance was a little bit like ‘Gone’ last week. To get to next week, I want to see you do something a little different.” Scotty said Gaga had some good advice; she just had a weird way of saying it. However, he appreciated it. Everything that she said.
For her second song, Lauren Alaina sang ”Trouble’ by Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, she did not knock it out of the park but she changed up her style enough to maybe stay in the game. During the clip with Gaga, Lauren seemed to struggle with the word Evil but Gaga told her the word evil was not that big of a deal and to think of it as a humorous role.
Steven Tyler said, “I don’t believe it. You are not evil and then you are evil.” J.Lo said, “There is so much star quality that I saw coming out of you. I have not seen that coming out of you before. I really loved what I could see. It was sexy and good. I loved it.” Randy said, “We saw a fun side of you, this rocker kind of bluesy side is definitely out of your usual pop country kind of thing. I really liked it. You are working it, and Gaga gave you really good advice.”
For his second song, James sang ‘Love Potion Number 99′. James said, “I didn’t know what to expect with Lady Gaga.” Gaga said, “What made Elvis so exciting was that he was moving his hips.” At one point in the clip, we saw Gaga get behind James and push his hips to the side. Then she said, “I danced with him and got his hips moving a little.” When you move those hips, you look sexy and it puts that song in your body. James came out singing and he got the crowd moving but he never swung his hips. Instead, he did a hard rock number with lights and musicians. J. Lo said, “That showed me that you can sing anything. I was not sure about that song. I was thinking more like Jailhouse Rock for you. You just told me that I was absolutely wrong. That was a really great performance and everybody agreed.” Randy said, “You slayed a Journey song, but it doesn’t matter what song it is, you are peaking at the right time. You are having a moment every single week and that was hot.” Steven Tyler said, “It is amazing to watch where you came from and where you are going.”
I think for the first round on American Idol tonight, I liked Scotty the best. For the second round, I liked Lauren the best. The bottom two from this week for me were Haley and James. If you have a favorite, you should vote. As Ryan Seacrest said tonight in closing the show, this was the week that Daughtry was voted off the show.
Fox Television, American Idol, 5/11/11