OK, here is how it’ll work – boys Tuesday night, girls Wednesday night and then you vote and on Thursday we get down to a Top 10 (5 boys; 5 girls) by viewer vote and 2 or 3 more via judges’ wild cards. Short and sweet.
The shows were taped.
New 360 degree stage. About 700 screaming Idol fans on hand.
Ryan Seacrest and Steven Tyler play around with f-bombs (boring) and the introductions send us into the show.
Clint Jun Gamboa – Superstition by Stevie Wonder –
Honestly, he’s a bad version of Andrew Garcia (who I loved). Screamin’ near the end so I guess that’s the current trend – scream now, sing later.
“Beautiful. You started out strong, you ended strong. Brilliant,” said Steven .
“You got it out. You had a little bit of the jitters, but it didn’t affect the performance. Next time I expect a lot,” said Jennifer.
“I loved it too. There’s no karaoke singer in the world that has that kind of vocal talent,” Randy added.
Average at best and going No. 1 won’t help him either.
Jovany Barreto – I’ll Be by Edwin McCain
Looks and cute personality will appeal to the tweens, but this is a singing competition. Average at best.
“Holy, shipyards,” said Steven.
Jennifer: “You brought it again. Beautiful. I loved it. I’m happy right now. People got to see you for the first time. You did it.”
“I hate to be the one to break up the apple cart. It felt very karaoke to me.” – Randy Jackson.
He was so right on.
“I disagree!” insists Jennifer.
Jordan Dorsey – Usher song –
More a dancing song than a singer’s song.
Say good-night Jordan.
“You had the moves, but it wasn’t my favorite performance of yours,” said Steven.
“You know I love you. To me, I’m not sure that’s who you are as an artist,” Jennifer added.
“If you’re going to sing anybody else’s song, you’ve got to bring something different to it. It was pitchy,” said Randy.
“I’m not a jumpy kind of person” says Jordan.
Tim Halperin – Streetcorner Symphony (Come On Over) (a Rob Thomas song) –
Tim Halperin yucks it up with Ryan, complimenting the other 11 guys. Yawn.
“All those guys over there are like my brothers,” says Tim.
OK, but certainly not a Top 10-worthy performance. He is better than this.
“I’m not sure that song did you any justice. It really let you down,” said Steven.
“I don’t think that’s your strength. It didn’t show America who you really are. You have one of the most beautiful voices,” Jennifer added. She was right on with her comment.
“I think you’ve been much better before, You didn’t bring anything different,” said Randy.
Brett Loewenstern – Light My Fire – Doors –
Just not feelin’ the love for CarrottTop. But he did try to do it a little different. Mr, Morrison wouldn’t be thrilled, that’s a given. His mannerisms even remind me a little bit of Richard Simmons.
“You did it again. You brought it home,” said Steven.
“There was more hair tossing than me and Beyonce in the last 10 years! I liked your performance,” Jennifer said.
“There were 14 hair shakes. The vocals had some pitch problems in the beginning. You’re definitely fun and bold,” said Randy.
James Durbin – You Got Another Thing Comin’ by Judas Priest –
Close your eyes and it’s Adam.. well, kinda. Give him credit for stretching the envelope and Jennifer is really into it. He’s in his element, that’s for sure. And he didn’t overdo the sceamin’ high notes. He gets a Standing O.
“That was — crazy good! That’s the first Judas Preist song ever on this show. I love it that you’re over the top,” said Steven.
“James, I love the way you perform. It’s organic, it’s real. It comes from something inside. You do it so naturally. Crazy,” added Jennifer.
“This is how you do it right there. This is how you do it!” said Randy. “You didn’t over do the high thing, you were nice and tasty with it.”
Robbie Rosen – Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlan –
No matter who you are, following an upbeat song with a ballad is always gonna be tough and this was no exception. Kid is solid, but this effort lacked energy for sure and he has done better.
“You can sing a ballad like nobody’s business. That was a beautiful thing,” said Steven. Steven’s comments were awful on this one.
“I’ve said this to you before. You tell a story. You feel every single word. You make choices that I loved better,” said Jennifer.
“I kind of differ. The notes were pitchy, you were never quite comfortable in this performance. It didn’t quite all connect,” said Randy.
Randy was right on the money.
Scott McCreery – Letters From Home – John Michael Montgomery –
Sounds more mature than he is. But that has to be because of the voice. Come on, give the kid a C&W recording contract, a good management team and let’s move on. Sounds like he’s been singing country for the last 20 years. Doubt it, but he might do better than expected in the competition.
“Scotty you’re going to be getting a lot of letters from home soon. That was so beautiful.” – Steven.
“You are born to sing country music.” – Jennifer.
“Loved that you switched it up. You’re a throw-back country guy. You love country. I love the lowness in your voice.” – Randy
Stefano Langone – Just The Way You Are – (Bruno Mars) –
Good song. Fits his style well. He didn’t change it up much from the original but then again he didn’t miss many notes… if any. Reminds me a little of Matt LeBlanc.
“I like the way your voice cut through the air in the room. You are so good,” says Steven said.
“You’re so consistent. There’s nothing awkward about you up there. You’re a beast up there,” said Jennifer.
“ We were all rockin’ up here. That’s how you do it,” said Randy. “This kid could be on the radio right now.”
Paul McDonald – Maggie Mae by Rod Stewart –
Really comfortable on stage. Unique voice. Sounds a little like Rod. Gravelly voice works perfectly with this song. Like this guy a lot, but this wasn’t his best despite what the judges said.
“There it is. It’s all about the jacket! You got a real character about your voice. I love that chacter in you.” – Steven.
“You have real character in the way you move to. You smile lights up the whole place. You bring joy to the world.” – Jennifer.
“One of the things I love about you…you were so unique and differnt. I’m glad that Idol can embrace this kind of singer…quirky and different.” – Randy.
Jacob Lusk – House is Not a Home – Luther Vandross
He toned it down a lot tonight. But he still has that big voice and he used it well. He’s a natural singer. I wonder if he has ever had singing lessons. I kinda doubt it. With this effort he is probably the one to beat now. The contest is his to lose.
“Divine intervention has brought you here.” – Steven
“Luther Vandross is gone, but he’s here tonight in you.” – Jennifer
Casey Abrams – I Put a Spell On You –
Not the natural singer Jacob is. But Jacob is not the unique talent that Casey is. Very, very good version of this song. Hope he stays well.
“Casey, Casey, you are in your mind good and out of your mind good…girls, what do you think about this man?” said Steven. “As good as it gets.”
“You’re sexy Casey,” added Jennifer. “You’re going to redefine this whole thing. Casey wants it bad. I loved. it.”
Randy said, “I loved how you transformed yourself into the spirit of that song. More More More.”