This season of American Idol has not failed to disappoint viewers.
Amongst the idol fanbase lurks a slew of celebrities including, P Diddy, Kate Hudson, Kathy Griffin and even King Of All Media himself, Howard Stern. It seems that even the most sophisticated of watercoolers are buzzing about the the Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler additions to the show. Apparently Paula and Simon were just stops on the larger agenda of the Idol train. There is simply no stopping a powerhouse show where viewership can lead to stardom and your vote can create a worldwide pop sensation.
While Tyler's hip huggers, blouses and perm is the stuff of Melanie Griffith circa 1989, his presence is a welcome change the idol format. Lopez's sensitivity and sweetness echo a more sober and less kooky Abdul undertone. While Randy holds down his chair with his classic catchphrases and “pitchy” comments, it seems the show overall has found new footing in the face of a format change.
American Idol: Songs From Their Birth Year
Naima opened the top 12 with What's Love Got To Do With It.
With the style of a questionably blind Spice Girl Naima chose a song with high expectation. While Steven gave her great feedback, Jlo nailed the pitchiness. She's really consistent with her mediocre singing and half way decent moves. Bottom line: Her vocals aren't strong enough to hold up in the top five.
Paul went with some classic Elton John. While Paul's original style was well suited for a song like this, there were some weak moments and a few awkward dance moves to boot. Something about the uniqueness to his tone makes me feel as if he has a fighting shot at the top. This is mostly because his soul and tone really sets him apart from the competition making his performance memorable and his swagger distinctive.
Thia sang Colors Of The Wind by Vanessa Williams. I think Thia has some clear Idol worthy talent, but her song choice really didn't showcase what she was capable of. There wasn't much range and such a safe choice really doesn't help you into the top spot. Point being: she could have been stronger if she had taken a risk. Bottom line: Cruise ship talent.
James went with some 80s Bon Jovi from his birth year of 1989. James had a great presence and definitely chose a song with some great potential to get the audience excited and the judges on his side. He very much delivered and showed his personality and range well. All in all seems like a good bet to be around in the coming weeks.
Haley definitely has something classic and soulful to set her voice apart from the rest of the contestants. So far she seems like a sure bet for top five Her technically outstanding performance and confidence definitely worked in her favor. She's got a Kelly Clarkson quality that should shine in the coming weeks as she shows her skills with different genres of music. The judges seemed hung up on her finding her “voice” while she was likely trying to show range. Looking forward to more Haley.
Stefano definitely outshines the other contestants with some great vocals and a lot of charm. He should without a doubt impress Idol audiences and show his range in coming weeks. If he sticks with songs that really show off what he's best at he should be a great addition to the finals.
While Pia's vocals were impressive and the judges were fans, I wasn't fully sold on her being in the competition to win it. Her voice is technically quite good but fairly bland. Not as outstanding as former winners but certainly has the potential to last on the show.
Scotty showed some great vocal skill but all in all his sound is too country to win the show. Though the country market is hugely represented in America, he has major selling potential, but no pop sound to balance it out. Great performance, tough genre.
Karen is another good talent but Jlo was onto something when she said that she was exposing her weaknesses. She chose a song that was a little outside her vocal capability. All in all a talented singer but not unique enough to stand out.
While I totally respect that Casey took a risk singing Smells Like Teen Spirit I really can't help but think about Kurt Cobain being absolutely horrified by the concept of an American Idol showcasing his work like this. Cobain wouldn't even sing the hit at big shows because the magnitude of what it became was the very thing it stood against. Not sure how Courtney Love let this one slip by. Must have been from the sold section of the Nirvana catalog. Jlo critiquing Cobain's vocal style really didn't sit well with me. Not a fan overall and really disliked Ryan Seacrest's request for “Nirvana lighting.”
Lauren definitely showed range and talent with her country inspired performance. The great balance she showed, which differed from Scotty, was a bit of pop flavor. This is a great middle ground for a country singer showcasing talent on a show like Idol. All in all really enjoyed the performance and think she has a great shot at the finals.
Jacob didn't leave much of an impression. Ballads are always a rough choice for potential Idols unless they have incredible skill. His notes weren't perfect and it was an unsettling way to end the night in my opinion.
Winner Prediction this week: Stefano