Thoughts and musings of Peter Kupfer

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American Idol Top 11

Motown theme this week for the top 11 and a chance to make the tour as part of the top 10. Will we finally see the demise of Naima? Will Jennifer Lopez continue to be critical of the contestants, or will she revert back to her praise-fest? Only time will tell?

Casey Abrams — I Heard It on the Grapevine
Casey took the judges advice to heart and toned down his energy this week with great effect. For a lot of people in his position this would be a week to give a nice safe performance, but Casey added his own flare to the performance from the opening riff to the serenading of his girlfriend (I think) in the audience. Casey is a quite original and quite awesome I hope he keeps bringing the heat each week and taking risks!

Thia Megia — Heat Wave
Good change of pace for her and Thia performs admirably. The motion seems forced and robotic but I give her credit for trying to step out of her comfort zone. She didn’t show as much vocal talent in this performance, but now she has started moving, but she needs to bring the two together. Not a stellar performance, but it was good and she should be safe.

Jacob Lusk — You’re All I Need to Get By
This should be a chance for Jacob to deliver another knock out punch. He opens with good restraint, as mentioned in the preview, and builds the anticipation. He looks a little awkward standing still but he is doing okay. I guess the performance must have been great since Steven Tyler went up on stage, but I wasn’t really that blown away by it. Maybe I just was expecting it to be great so I wasn’t blown away. Maybe the song was just a little too simple. I would agree that he really did build it up but it never really got as big as I was waiting for.

I am not sure why Steven goes up on the stage at the end, but whatever. And now the whole crowd is hugging him? Odd. Also, I wonder if Jennifer realizes that she is on camera when she is doing her goofy dancing?

Lauren Alaina — You Just Keep Me Hanging On
Lauren delivers a good performance. It sounds like the original with very little variation. It was a fine performance, but nothing really new or interesting. She moved well, but still looked a little uncomfortable. (I mean it is amazing for a 16 year old to be doing this and all, but she needs to step it up still.)

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Stefano LangoneHello
Stefano is really growing on me. What I like the most about him is his passion in his songs. We saw it last week with another love song. Jennifer’s comments are a little confusing, but I think I agree with her. I thought he was showing the emotion in the song, but it must not have come through in the studio. Especially in the middle it really felt like he was feeling the song. He really is a good singer and is coming kind of out of no where to be a serious contender.

Jennifer’s commentary is becoming very good as the season goes on which makes me happy. :-)

Haley Reinhart — You Really Got a Hold on Me
Haley is on thin ice, so this better be a good one. The song start out extremely poor but starts to pick up steam in the middle. The second half of this performance is actually pretty fantastic. I’m having a hard time buying from her from some reason. I don’t know if it is because she looks to nice or because of the skirt being too short, but the singing is really good. I don’t know if this one half of a performance would be enough to get her through to next week, but we will see. If she sticks around, then she needs to keep this up.

Steven Tyler is amazing just busting out those screams without even trying.

Scotty McCreery — For Once In My Life
I really don’t like watching Scotty sing because, as I have said before, he comes off as a snotty teenage punk in his mannerisms, but I really like the way this song sounds. This could legitimately be a country single tomorrow and I don’t think I have ever heard a country version of this song before. It is not an amazing performance, but it is good and clean and he took this Motown classic into a country vibe.

Pia Toscano — All Is Fair in Love
This performance on Pia’s is kind of boring and it seems out of place when I think of Motown. It seems like she could have branched out into something a little more entertaining rather than another ballad that she can just knock out. She sang it really well, but she needs to grow a little bit more for me to really get behind her.

Paul McDonald — Tracks of My Tears
This is easily Paul’s best performance on the show. This rendition of the song has some potential to be a nice single for him down the road. He is still a one trick pony, but that trick worked really well for him this week. The guitar helped him stay in place and not look so goofy on the stage. This performance will probably help him stick around for another week, but another bad performance down the line and he could be gone quick.

Naima Adedapo
Good performance from Naima, although I’m starting to dislike the Motown theme because it seems that the songs are just too easy. Last week we had several singers who weren’t very good that got a lot better with a week off. This was he best performance, but she is still the bottom of the singers left and should go home.

James Durbin
Great job again from James. His dance move off on the ramp were awesome and the whole performance was great. The high notes at the end and the whole feel of the performance was just great. I’m tied on who was better, James or Casey, but both were great.

Ranking for the Night

  1. Casey Abrams
  2. James Durbin
  3. Jacob Lusk
  4. Stefano Langone
  5. Pia Toscano
  6. Scotty McCreery
  7. Paul McDonald
  8. Lauren Alaina
  9. Haley Reinhart
  10. Naima Adedapo
  11. Thia Megia

Overall Ranking for the Season
No changes this week. Great performances with easy songs.

  1. Casey Abrams (1) —
  2. Pia Toscano (2) —
  3. Jacob Lust (3) —
  4. James Durbin (4) —
  5. Stefano Langone (5) —
  6. Scotty McCreery (6) —
  7. Lauren Alaina (7) —
  8. Thia Megia (8) —
  9. Haley Reinhart (9) —
  10. Paul McDonald (11) —
  11. Naima Adedapo (12) —