American Idol Top 9, 4/6/11, Season 10

Steven Tyler’s shiny, um, ensemble while showing the exhibits at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame was, well, interesting. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Jacob Lusk – “Man in the Mirror”
Okay, here’s my deal with Jacob. Could he possibly sing a song that doesn’t involve him looking like he’s going to cry? Every week it’s these big, deep ballads and it’s going along the lines of what Pia has been doing. Oy. Performance-wise, it was solid. The vibrato is starting to grate on me, and he did switch things up a little bit by moving around and dancing, but overall a solid performance.

Haley Reinhart – “Piece of My Heart”
Entertaining, but good grief, how much growling can be done in one song. When they said she was going to sing a Janis Joplin song, my first thought was, “Suicide.” I’ve mentioned in the past that Haley was one of my favorites, but if I’m being honest, this wasn’t my favorite Haley performance. Too much growl. And while she looked a bit more comfortable in pants (although someone has got to send this girl to some kind of dance class so she can get a handle on her body), all she needed was a witch’s hat and she could’ve gone trick-or-treating.

Casey Abrams – “Have You Ever Seen The Rain”
Two weeks in a row and Casey has made me eat my words about not wanting him to be saved. When he goes all artistic and loses the mean growly thing, he’s actually good. It was a different, but interesting, arrangement and it was performed well and with restraint. My favorite so far.

Lauren Alaina – “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman”
First things first, what does Gwen Stefani have against Lauren Alaina? Those shorts with the leggings and the boots…the entire outfit was completely unflattering. Couple that with the big poufy rocker hair that is several years past it’s prime, and I had to focus elsewhere in the room and just listen to her sing. Note to the cameramen: stop showing us Mama Alaina, who is trying so hard to look “cool.” It’s embarrassing. Good performance, but the look is distracting.

James Durbin – “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
I think James could have picked a more recognizable song by The Beatles to do for the masses. If George sang it, you know only the die-hard Beatles fans know it. I think the obscurity of the song is going to hurt him in the voting. I also don’t think it was a great performance for a rock ballad either.

Scotty McCreery – “That’s All Right”
Of course he’s going to sing an Elvis song. It’s the closest he can get to country in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While it was one of Scotty’s better performances, the way he performs irks me. He seemed to be a caricature of himself. The fake groupies was lame, sorry. Good singing, better energy with this performance, but it was like he was poking fun at himself. Please, someone teach him to not hold the microphone like a flute.

Pia Toscano – “River Deep, Mountain High”
That outfit is horrendous. Not as bad as Lauren Alaina’s, but pretty darn close. Thank you, Pia, for finally singing an up-tempo song. However, the music tempo was up, but she didn’t have to sing quickly, and she made sure that she didn’t. She can sing, we know that. She’s not a murderer, Steven, she’s skirting the edge of the suggestion. Pia is starting to come across smug, and it’s bugging.

Stefano Langone – “When a Man Loves a Woman”
Is it just me, or does Stefano look like he could be related to Tony Danza? He’s got that weird eyebrow thing going on. Anyway, Stefano, it’s time for you to go home. You keep choosing these songs that are just too big for you. You also have a ballad issue. I don’t expect him to make it through this week.

Paul McDonald – “Folsom Prison Blues”
I’ll give it to Paul for the ambition, and he is entertaining. But he keeps singing these songs that are supposed to be sad (this song has the word blues in the title for goodness’ sake!) with a big smile on his face. For those of us who are Johnny Cash fans, we didn’t love it. The people with us who didn’t know the song thought it was great.

I’m going to have to give my vote to Casey Abrams, reluctantly. I’m guessing that Stefano or Paul will go home this week.