Here we go with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame week. The correct two got eliminated last week so now we will have to see how the contestants progress and see if they challenge themselves and grow or just play it safe.
Jacob Lusk — Man in the Mirror
Jacob’s little comment that if I’m in the bottom 3 it is because America isn’t ready to look in the mirror really turned me off. This was a good performance. I don’t have the love for Jacob that the judges do. Randy specifically told him to pick a point in the song to show his whole range, and he didn’t. But does Randy call him on it? No, he says, “You did exactly what I said.” We need some more critical judges, not just yes men.
Haley Reinhart — Take a Little Piece of My Heart
Haley does a great job paying to tribute to Janice Joplin. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I know who Haley is at all. Every week she is different and doesn’t have her own identity. This week she is just doing what she thinks the judges want. I think she absolutely nailed this song, so maybe this is who she should be, but time will tell.
Casey Abrams — Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Great vocal performance by Casey. I’m not sure how I feel about his smiling through the whole thing, it comes off almost as a little creepy. He still got his little growls in there for some vintage Casey. I really like this performance. Especially towards the he really starts to show off his range. Good performance. A nice step up from last week.
“Casey is making up-right bass cool!” — Randy Jackson
Lauren Alaina — You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman
Wow, Lauren seems much more poised and confident this week. Perhaps last week’s rave reviews may have encouraged her. Great vocal performance, but as the song progressed I really felt that she could have used the stage better. She walks out but then gets to center stage and doesn’t move from there. I’m really on the fence with her. She could be really good if she works a little more on her performing to own the stage a little more.
The judges are becoming absolutely useless. No constructive feedback just praise with no thought.
James Durbin — While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Great move by James to slow it down. I agree with Will I Am (is that how you even spell that?) that he needs to bring some passion in order to not get swallowed by the other fast songs of the night. The first half of the song was good, maybe a little boring, but I could feel him trying to put the emotion into the song. The last note was really nice, he maybe could have put more of that into the rest of the song. Not a lot because he wanted to keep it soft and sweet, but maybe a little more edge. It was a good performance, not his best, but it was good.
Scotty McCreery — That’s All Right
Nice to Scotty show us another side of spectrum. This is a fun little performance that he sings very well. He is still very goofy (I know he is only 17 so maybe that is to be expected) but it is probably appealing to the ladies (as evidenced by the girls running on stage.) Good performance and it will help him stay alive showing more sides of himself.
Pia Tuscone — River Deep – Mountain High
Very interested to see Pia’s upbeat song. She picked a good song for her voice. I’m trying to be unbiased, because I just don’t like her, but even this song is just an upbeat ballad. She stood at one place on the big stage and just sang a few words and then hit a big note. I don’t know why these people don’t know they are allowed to walk left and right. She eventually wondered down by the judges and sang to them and eventually sang to the crowd. She still seems like a little princess who doesn’t want to mingle with the people, but I hope I’m wrong because I really want to like her.
Jennifer actually give some constructive feedback, but only to the best singer in the competition. I seems like she is favoring Pia over the rest.
Stenfano Langone — When a Man Love a Woman
I really want Stefano to do well, but he just doesn’t have a strong enough voice. It is perhaps not fair to compare him to the original, but there where places where I really wanted a bigger note and he just couldn’t do it. Having said that, 95% of that song was awesome. He was emotional, he walked on the stage, and he made the song his and about him. He seemed a little confused at the start switching between the falsetto and now, as if he was two people.
“Sometimes you can let it marinade and then counter-punch at the end. You know what I’m saying?” — Randy Jackson (BTW: No, I don’t know what you are talking about.)
Paul McDonald — Folsom Prison Blues
Paul is growing on me. He did good justice to Johnny Cash tonight. You can really see his experience as a performer coming through as well. He gets up on stage and does his thing and doesn’t care about his critics or detractors. This was a good performance and it will be interesting to see if it gets him out of the bottom three.
This ranking was tough. There really weren’t any bad performances. I think Pia, Casey, and Jacob where in one category and then James and Scotty were in a second category and then the other four are a toss up. Haley was the weakest, but no one really flopped. What was disappointing is that no one really stood out as a star performer. Many of them tried new genres which was nice but no one blew me away.
1 – Pia Toscano
2 – Casey Abrams
3 – Jacob Lusk
4 – James Durbin
5 – Scotty McCreery
6 – Stefano Langone
7 – Lauren Alaina
8 – Paul McDonald
9 – Haley Reinhart