It’s Motown week on ‘American Idol’. Historically, this is a strong week, as there’s so much good music to choose from. It will be particularly tough to decide who should go home, because the contestant voted off this week will not get to go on the ‘Idol’ tour.
Jennifer was looking pretty in pink with crazy blue eye shadow, and Steven was in high gear with off-the-wall comments.
First up was Casey Abrams, who sang “I Heard It through the Grapevine.” Remember when they tried to groom Chewbacca for the ceremony at the end of ‘Star Wars’? That’s kind of the look Casey had. Please, ‘Idol’ stylists, STOP! He sounded great, though, and also had a great James Brown-style “HA!” The judges were happy with Casey being Casey, as was I.
Thia Megia came second, singing “Heat Wave.” I though she sounded good. Peter, my significant other, said: “Cruise Ship!” Jacob sang “You’re All I Need to Get By.” He was very good, and seemed much more relaxed on stage. Steven came up and gave him a hug. The judges and audience loved him. Grandma and more people came up and gave him hugs. It was a funny moment.
Lauren gave us “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”. Nice arrangement, nice dress, nice job. Steven said, “You ripped that song another beauty mark.” What? Randy said something, but I can’t remember what it was. I’ve just started tuning him out because he hasn’t added anything meaningful to the mix this year, and he basically starts everything with, “I agree with Jennifer.” I do still like seeing his outfits and watches, though.
Stefano sang “Hello” by Lionel Richie. Shoot me now, I hate this song. The judges did have it right – he sang it well and he’s got a nice voice, but there’s little heart or connection. Haley Reinhart sang “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” and she brought it. Steven said, “You don’t look a day over fabulous.” Haley said her goal this week was not to be in the bottom three. I hope she makes it.
Scotty went for Stevie. He sang a countrification of “For Once in My Life.” Jimmy liked it. Jen and Randy said it wasn’t his strongest performance, but they liked it. I kinda liked it. Pia also went for Stevie with “All in Love Is Fair.” Jimmy was concerned she’d over-think it. There’s no question she can sing, but I find her dull and formulaic. The judges thought she sounded great but are tired of the ballads and want her to show more.
Paul sang “Tracks of My Tears” and did it as a folk-pop version. It was really nice, but he needs the same speech that Stefano got about connecting with the song and audience. Naima sang “Dancing in the Street” and she’s definitely different. I still can’t make up my mind about her. I think she may be a little odd for mainstream America. James Durbin sang “Living for the City.” He started a bit rough, but he warmed up and ended strong.
Let’s talk pitch for a moment. Suddenly this week, everyone was more on pitch. This seems to happen every year. I can’t figure out if it takes the contestants time to adjust, or if the producers intentionally mess with them and don’t let them hear themselves in order to help weed out the weak ones. In any case, it was a strong week for the contestants and it’s tough to pick who’s going home. My guesses for bottom three are Thia Megia, Paul McDonald, and Stefano Langone, but Naima is a close call.