Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AI Season 10, Top 10-11 Performance, 03/30/11

We start with some behind-the-scenes shots from last week's elimination show, and then a recap of all of the excitement: Stevie Wonder, Hulk Hogan, and Casey's near death experience. It was pretty darn amazing, lemee tellya.

JLo is wearing a one-shouldered, one-sleeved (3/4 of a sleeve at that), one-shoulder-foofed, raspberry sparkly dress. She has very sleek hair and huge hoop earrings. Steven Tyler is wearing a black leather jacket over a black and white print shirt, and white pants. Randy is dressed like Randy. Ryan has Sam Champion's old hairstyle. It looks good on him.

It's Elton John Night, and I fully expect this to be a disaster. We get a review of Sir Elton's life, which includes a reminder that he, personally, is responsible for Lady Gaga. Way to go, Reg.

This week, the kids had Glamour Shots taken by E! Weekly. They come out on stage, and it's obvious that the stylists have had their way with them- hair is sleeker, makeup is smoother, and teeth are much, much whiter.

#1. Scotty. Jimmy Iovine says that some people think that Scotty is a one-trick pony, and they may be right, but if he plays that one trick right, that's all he needs. Scotty ignores the pro's advice on verse choice, going for the Gramma Shout-Out over appealing to the working classes. Scotty is singing Country Comfort, and playing his guitar. He's wearing a black leather jacket, over a gray t-shirt, and he sounds exactly the way he always sounds, and he's toned down the lop-sided smirk. It's a good performance, though I wish he'd gone with the high note at the end, rather than the low.

#2. Naima. Jimmy Iovine warns that Naima may not be able to pull off a Reggae version of I'm Still Standing. She's wearing a white halter jumpsuit with green and red accents. As I watch and listen to this performance, I honestly don't know what to think about it. The faux-Jamaican accent bothers me, but you know what? I think she might have pulled this one off. JLo didn't love it (though she did self-correct on the 360-180 degree thing). Randy agrees with JLo, and Steven talks for awhile but doesn't actually say anything.

#3. Paul is going to sing Rocket Man. He's wearing that awful rose-embroidered suit again. Or maybe, it's poppies. No matter what kind of flowers are on it, it's awful. Paul is so weird, and once again, I don't get him at all. Does America have a secret longing to listen to whisperers with lots of really white teeth?

#4. Pia. Here's a surprise- Pia is singing yet another ballad- Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me. I may have mentioned this on any of the many previous Elton John Nights, but I always thought that this song had a line that went: no more augie doggies. Nothing about tonight's performance disabuses me of that notion. Pia, as always, is gorgeous, and her voice is lovely. And she's dressed in a pretty, short, tight, spangly dress with long sleeves. But she's boring as hell, and maybe not just because she's singing another freaking ballad. Sheesh.

#5. Stefano, AKA Joey Tribbiani. Stefano is wearing a white shirt, gray slacks and matching vest, and another pair of clunky tennis shoes. He's singing Tiny Dancer, and parts of the song are lovely, but parts are painful. He does keep his eyes open, at least. I'm not so sure that he didn't mess up the words at the end, when he pulled a cheesy Reach for JLo move. Oh Stefano, Honey, don't talk.

#6. Ryan teases us that Lauren's song is the best-selling single in Billboard history. During the commercial, The Hub and I sort of hope it's Crocodile Rock, but mostly we assume it's going to be Candle in the Wind.

After the commercial, Ryan sits between Howie Mandel and his identical twin, Stefano's dad (I'm not kidding- they look exactly alike). Howie shills for his new show, which I would not watch even if they paid me.

Lauren is wearing a short, black strapless dress with a black satin mullet overskirt. We guessed right on the song. Lauren is countrifying Candle, but she's doing a lovely job of it. She sounds really good, and quite grown up, at least until she finishes and then she reverts to 16 by giggling and hiking her dress back up. Lauren's Speech Center has been set on babble, I fear.

#7-#8. James and Thia. I had to take an important phone call during these two performances, but The Hub tells me that James did his typical Jamesian stuff on Saturday Night's All Right, and that Thia at least didn't sing Circle of Life or Can You Feel the Love Tonight. I'm relieved that she stepped away from the Disney.

#9. Casey. Jimmy Iovine tells Casey that everything about last week's performance was wrong. I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly wasn't his best. Casey allows his hair and beard to be trimmed and both look very good indeed. He's wearing a gray suit with a medal, and he's sitting on the Stool of Seriousness to sing Your Song. Okay, this is not up to the Georgia Standard, but it's good. He's building beautifully and logically to a really gorgeous end! Bravo, Casey! I think this was exactly what he needed to do, and the judges all agree. Randy talks musical stuff with him for a moment, and Casey babbles a bit. I think the beard makes us forget that he's only 19.

#10. Jacob. Once again Jimmy Iovine tells Jacob exactly what he needs to hear: that going totally over the top is totally going to send him home. Jacob is wearing a limp gray jacket, a black shirt, and an untied red bow tie. He's singing Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, and you can see the effort it takes to restrain himself. I think this is his best performance yet, and the glory note at the end was amazing. But I think I've finally pin-pointed what I don't like about his voice- it's that bubble-in-the-back-of-the-throat sound, the Kermit Voice, that bothers me.

#11. I could not, for the life of me, remember who the 11th contestant was until they flashed a shot of Haley. Haley's singing Benny and the Jets. Hmmm. She starts out lounging on top of the piano, wearing a chiffony dress with blue and purple grapes on it. She growls, she flirts with the camera, and then schlumps down off the piano, and stomps around the stage. Oh my lordy, this is not just the worst performance of the night, it might be the worst ever in the history of the show (and I watched the Carmen and Sanjaya seasons). And- WTF???? The judges love it? Randy calls this performance the best of the night? JLo says it was great? Steven Tyler says it was sexy??? Either they need new ears, or I do. I am in shock.

The replay tells me that James did okay, and Thia was even more boring than Pia, and that Haley was every bit as horrible as I thought she was.

Best of the night: Scotty, Lauren, Casey, and Jacob
Bottom 3: Paul, Thia, and Haley. Can we send Haley home twice?


Kathy said...

I was begging Haley to please STOP!!! It was horrible and all my Idol buddies agreed with me! So what were those judges hearing? I have to think that they are thoroughly bound to say whatever the producers ask them to. It is the only explanation.

Kathleen Taylor said...

Kathy, I'm still flabbergasted at the judges' comments. It must have sounded totally different live (though it must have looked the same).

Viki said...

Well, Haley, Was better than in the past, but not by much. Less growl, she should have stayed on the piano and flashed Steven some more.
Can we please just send Stephano/Stefano home the boy can not pronounce words correctly and it bugs me.
Glad Casey did better this week.
James was over the top and I just can not stand Jacob and his performances are just way too overplayed.

Cathy Ardrey said...

I have the same bottom three as you do. No matter who I personally really like (Casey), I think James and Scotty are the only two performers who have good performances every week. Casey, Pia, and Lauren are in the next group below them. Jacob is in a class by himself----I don't care for his voice. I think he's a very polarizing contestant. You either love him or hate him. Haley, Thia, Naima, Paul, and Stefano are just not in the same league as the others.