“American Idol” Reaches New Peak with Varied Genres: Pop, Gospel, Heavy Metal, and Country Performances

Eight finalists left performing songs from movies. Last week Pia Toscano was sent packing by the ‘AI’ nation.

Paul McDonald

“Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger, from the movie “Risky Business.” In house mentor Jimmy Iovine said it was important that Paul have fun with it. First, let me tell Paul – you need a new wardrobe of current clothes. I think his quirky appeal is beginning to play out, we still know he can sing, but he needs to add to the voice. Tonight his performance wasn’t great to me. He made a rock song jazz. All three judges completely loved him though and all of a sudden I wished for Simon Cowell, the best judge ever to come back to the show to give the honesty that is needed to help Paul advance. Bad night for him, even his voice was wrong for the song. I see Paul as more James Blunt than Bob Seger, with his voice.

Lauren Alaina

She chose Miley Cyrus’ song, “The Climb” from “The Hannah Montana Movie.” She said she chose it because the song is about a young girl reaching for her dreams. Jimmy Iovine admitted on national television that Lauren’s voice is much bigger than Miley’s. Iovine advised Lauren to take Pia’s fans, since she’s gone now. Lauren is the first girl I have wanted to see make it to the end – in a long while. She has a lot of talent and range in her voice. The audience gave her a standing ovation and she was beyond thrilled. Randy Jackson said she did an amazing job.

Stefano Langone

He sang “End Of The Road,” by Boyz 2 Men, from the movie “Boomerang.” I would say it’s a good song for his voice. His voice is pretty good, and if he could hit some high notes would be better (to me). Randy said he slayed the song and called it his best vocal to date. Jennifer commended him and then said his performance was “the shit.”

Scotty McCreery

His song of choice was “I Cross My Heart” by George Strait, from the movie “Pure Country.” Good choice!! Scotty is one of my very favorites this year and he is gunning for the number one slot in my heart. His voice is ready now, it’s deep, and genuine. He’s not faking the voice- it just takes over and he’s amazing. He can sing low and unlike Stefano – he can also sing high notes. Steven Tyler said all of America is falling in love with him, as he will find out from the votes tonight. Randy said he loved him singing George Strait and said “a star is born.” Randy said he’s a fan.

Casey Abrams

His first choice song was “Nature Boy” by King Cole and second choice song “In The Air Tonight,” by Phil Collins. Jimmy Iovine advised Casey not to sing “Nature Boy.” However, Casey went against the good advice and sang “Nature Boy,” where you won’t be able to hear his voice. Iovine said “he went against my advice, he better be right.” His bass is starting to seem weird on stage. I’m just saying that becuase it does and he’s going all jazz…Regardless, he’s a natural born performer but he needs to gear away from the lounge act. The song did show the range of his voice with the crescendo. I’m afraid the song is going to make him lose a lot of votes this week due to the song being unknown to most people that vote. Randy Jackson said it was genius. Steven Tyler said his mom sang him that song when he was little and called Casey a “true artist.”

Haley Reinhart

She sang “Call Me by Blondie, the song is featured in “American Gigolo.” She admitted to feeling like she had grown as an artist. Her voice is a power house there is no denying it. She can hit the high notes as well and this is the first time I liked the song she picked. Even though she has done well each week. Only two girls are left at this point. The guitar in the background is just what she needed to stage up her performance. Randy said he didn’t love the beginning of it and sounded very karaoke to him. Steven agreed but said she nailed the chorus. Jennifer agreed with Randy and urged the girls to vote to keep the two girls in the competition.

Jacob Lusk

He sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness.” Jimmy Iovine advised him against his two choices and he went with it. The song is a fan favorite, even though I am not familiar with it. The song fit his voice well and for the first time ever I could see why he was still in the competition. The song showcased his gospel deep voice and there was no denying he could sing. Steven said he puts himself into a song completely and that his voice is like an angel. Jennifer called him a gifted vocalist. Randy said when he listens to Jacob- be believe him. Well said Randy. Randy also called it very controlled and said he has perfect harmony.

James Durbin

He wanted to sing “Heavy Metal,” by Sammy Hagar from the movie of the same name. Jimmy didn’t like the song choice, but James didn’t want to change who he was. He glammed it up on stage with a guitarist thrashing alongside him. He always gives us the song with energy and excitement when some of the others make you want to take a nap from song choice. That’s his strong suit- he finds the right song and knows how to rock. He’s a natural performer. Randy called it a James Durbin concert, and told the audience that the guitarist is Zakk Wylde from Ozzy’s Osbourne’s band. He also said he’s glad James “stuck to his guns.”