It will be interesting to see if the judges say anything critical after last weeks love fest. There was not a single critical comment last week, except for a few constructive comments for Pia. I don’t even Jennifer and Steven don’t know enough about music to be critical because they can just do it, or if they choose to not be critical. The judges need to realize that when they are not critical, (when it is appropriate) that they are not helping the contestants get better. The contestants this year are not that much better this season to be above constructive criticism as opposed to the gushing praise for all show we had last week.
Paul McDonald — Old Time Rock and Roll
This song was wedding singer quality at best. He digressed from any level of quality he had raised himself up to over the past few weeks. the judges can talk about letting go and his abandon all they want, but I would like to see him pull that in and actually sing the song. He was starting to grow on me, but he lost me with this performance.
Lauren Alaina — The Climb
Lauren sings the song the way it should have been sung in the first place. She was poised, confident, and belted out the vocals. I grow continually frustrated with her refusal to move on stage. I agree with the producer guy that she definitely could steal some of those Pia votes. She is growing and doing well, but she needs to keep pushing herself. The judges comments aren’t helping her push herself, so hopefully she is finding that internal motivation to grow.
Stefano Langone — End of the Road
Stefano is becoming one of the best story telling singers on the show, but sadly he can’t back up with stellar vocals. He has this tiny little range of notes he can sing and he can’t nail the big notes. He puts the effort in and he can perform the songs, so I feel bad for being critical, but he just doesn’t have the talent the other singers have. I agree with Randy Jackson that they may be Stefano’s best vocal, but it is still not good enough, and I don’t think he can physically do any better.
Scotty McCreery — I Cross My Heart
Good performance by Scotty. I liked a slow song from him and he sang it well. Not much more to say other than that he needs to remember what the TMZ guys says and work on his facial expressions.
Casey Abrams — Nature Boy
I didn’t get Casey’s performance. Gina says she would like to listen to it in a coffee house, but this is not Coffee Shop Idol, this is American Idol! I like Casey, and he sang it well, but it wasn’t really for me. I guess it could go on a jazz type album like Randy says, but I don’t know if everyone is going to get it.
Haley Reinhart — Call Me
Good performance by Haley. I would agree with her that she is growing as a performer. This is one of her best performances thus far and she is settling into a style of rocker girl type singer and it is working for her. This performance should be good enough to keep her out of the bottom 3 and get another chance to shine. Gina says that the boots along should get her some votes. So, now Randy is going to criticize her performance, but praise Paul? It’s like they just jump on the band wagon, once one of them says something negative, they all follow along.
Jacob Lusk — Bridge Over Troubled Water
Jacob is taking on a song that Clay Aiken ruled with and it is an interesting choice. This is one of Jacob’s most seriously and believable performances to date. He did an excellent job showing off his vocal abilities and his ability to emotionally connect with the audience. It sounded a lot like he was singing in a church choir at times, but this came out a lot better than I expected. I’m still not sure if I could hear him on the radio, but that was a good performance.
James Durbin — Heavy Metal
James rocked the house again. I don’t know if a rocker can win this show, but he could be the first. Not much more to say, he is really good.
Ranking of Tonight’s Performances
1 – James Durbin
2 – Haley Reinhart
3 – Scotty McCreery
4 – Casey Abrams
5 – Lauren Alaina
6 – Jacob Lusk
7 – Stefano Langone
8 – Paul McDonald