Opening tribute to Motown was wonderful. There is little that can compare to the Motown genre. It will be interesting to hear them interpret this music tonight.
Casey Abrams – “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye” –
Not his best performance, but it did solidify one thing – I’d go see him in a concert setting, I’d enjoy it and I’d get my money’s worth.
Steven: “Perfect entertainer, perfect pitch, crazy ass out of control ego. Beautiful.”
Jennifer: “I don’t think there is anyone out there like you now. You can really, really carve out a niche for yourself.”
Randy: “You are definitely a true original. You can only do you, and that you is great.”
Thia Megia – “Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas –
Still think she has an incredible voice that just doesn’t fit her youthfulness. She just didn’t go crazy with the song like she could have. Maybe she just doesn’t have it in her to do so. But the voice is gonna carry her a long way, but will it be any further on this show? She just might be in trouble.
Jennifer is right on the mark with her comments.
Jennifer: “I feel like we’re scratching the surface. Great to see you let loose. You need to dig even deeper each week. Part of performing is acting. Connect to your lyrics.”
Randy: “It’s about taking chances. You took a chance tonight. You can take more chances, but you can really sing.”
Steven: “You’ve taken a step out. Just great. I’m good with it.”
Jacob Lusk – “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel –
He did reign it in better, much better this week. But was it really as good as the judges felt? I don’t think so.
Steven ran on stage and called him “Baby Luther.” A little much.
Randy: “The great Barry Gordy is somewhere. You were a great professional.”
Steven: “You held it back. It was beautiful.”
Jennifer: “You made us beg for those notes. You moved me. You moved us.”
Grandma jumps on stage to hug Jacob. Ryan invites the front row to come up and hug Jacob. Odd. Glad I wasn’t sitting in the front row.
Lauren Alaina – “You Keep Me Hanging On” by the Supremes –
Great song. Parts, most parts, were magnificent. She coulda really killed this one. But it fell a little flat. Much better than the last couple of weeks.
Steven: “You ripped that song another beauty mark.”
Jennifer: “You look amazing! So much attitude! You brought it to life.”
Randy: “She’s got her swagger on high. She’s ready.”
Stefano Langone – “Hello” by Lionel Richie –
Hard to hear this song and not think of David Cook’s rearrangement. So, looking at it that way Stefano falls far short. Stefano goes from the penthouse one week, to the outhouse this week I’m afraid and, well, he might find himself in the Bottom 3 on Thursday night.
Jennifer: “I want you to sing like you’re telling a story. I want the intensity to come like your heart is breaking. You gotta make that connection.”
Randy: “The only thing you’re missing is that connection. There was no real emotion.”
Steven: “You ramped up too soon. Pull back a little bit, and you’ll take off.”
Haley Reinhart – “You Really Got a Hold on Me” –
Really hard Smokey song to sing.
Entrance down the steps a little awkward. She picks it up a little in the middle but the whole song is a little flat and the voice just doesn’t work this time.. and the giants heels don’t help any either.
Randy: “It started a little rough. By the middle of the song the Haley that we fell in love with came roaring back. I’m so happy to see you return to that form.”
Steven: “That was beautiful. You sang your heart out. You don’t look a day over fabulous. That’s the Haley I’ve been looking for since the day we heard you. “
Jennifer: “You can do anything with your voice. You may have the most soulful voice on the girls side.”
Scotty McCreery – “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder –
Well, my source was right on the money with this selection. Not the song I would have picked for him but he made it work. Countryfied version of Stevie. Never thought he could do it, but he did it with a twang.
Steven: “Just like Glen Campbell, Harry Nilsson. You took a big chance. You really ripped it.”
Jennifer: “This was a great version of this song. You made it your own. Wasn’t your strongest vocal performance. But every time you hit that low note at the end you get me all over again.”
Randy: “Not your strongest performance, but I was smiling the whole time. Maybe it needed to peak a little sooner. You’re a young lady killer!”
Pia Toscano – “All In Love Is Fair” by Stevie Wonder –
As good as she is, as precise a singer as she always seems to be there is one problem with Pia – there just is no uniqueness there. She might be the best pure singer in the competition but she won’t win simply because of that.
Jennifer: “You kill us with one of your killer ballads. I need now you to incorporate that other part of the performance. Take over the stage cause you are gonna have to do a 2-hour concert one day.”
Randy: “You’re phenomenal. Give me a midtempo! Give me an uptempo. Bring something a little different. You can’t live by ballads alone.”
Steven: “You are the closest star in this American Idol universe. Step out, put on some sneakers and kick some ass. It’s just beautiful.”
Paul McDonald – “Tracks of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson –
Wrong song for Paul. He plays the guitar on this one and and he seems to be a little nervous and he screws up the words at one point … but, hey, Archie did that once upon a time didn’t he? He still sounds a little Rod Stewartish and that isn’t all bad. But can it get him a win? Nah, but he’s a pro on the stage already.
Randy: “You’ve got a distinctive voice. I was worried when it started, you took it to a cool place. When you sing tender… oh my God dude. It’s so cool. Bring more of that out.”
Steven: “Very different, like Dylan, like Willie Nelson. Your voice is that different. Just great.”
Jennifer: “Most seasoned performer. You’re the complete package. All you need is a good producer, and there you go.”
Naima Adedapo – “Dancing In the Streets” by Martha Vandella
Love this song. It’s really gonna be hard for Naima to mess this one up. Jimmy called it a feel good song and he was so right. Not overly fond of her voice, but she did this pretty well and a little different. The Dancin’ didn’t really work for me
Steven: “I don’t know what to say. E to the Z and tweedlee dee. I heard you came up with the drums and the dance. Beautiful.”
Jennifer: “You are an exciting performer. It was my first little goosebumps of the night. You have that little extra something on the stage. It’s just that thing.”
Randy: “I’ve been a little rough on you. Finally tonight, all of Naima showed up. You took your time to sing, everything was really smart tonight.”
James Durbin – “Living For the City” by Stevie Wonder –
James is just getting better and better. I’m beginning to wonder if he won’t be the winner that Adam Lambert shoulda been. He didn’t do much wrong with this song. Hello Top 10. The audience roared.
Jennifer: “Oh my God. You are serious business up there. An incredible thing to watch.”
Randy: “When it started it was a little bit rough, When you finally hit your stride, it was unbelievable.”
Steven: “I think it takes a little bit of being crazy to make a difference in this world. You nailed it.”