Wednesday, April 6, 2011

American Idol 10 - Top 9 Take on Rock

AI10 Top 9
AI10 Judges

Tonight the contestants of American Idol Season 10 invade the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, giving a wide range of music for the kids to choose from, with Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Rockabilly and so many other styles just ripe for the picking. It will be interesting to see how the contestants pick their songs. Crusty leads the contestants out on the stage, excited about being a part of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. Gwen Stefani styling the ladies. Will.i.am is brought in to advise the contestants about the performances.

will.i.am Gwen Stefani

Steven gives us a tour of the Hall of Fame, of which he is a member with the other players of Aerosmith. We see the costumes of some of the greats, and the big bust of a gaping mouth, belonging to our guide.

Steven Tyler

Jacob is singing the song Man In The Mirror, after he passes on singing Let's Get It On, which he felt wasn't him at all. He isn't quite as over the top as he has been before, but there are some rough notes in the early part. I found it to be somewhat lackluster, a tad generic. However, the judges once again heard something else, and extolled the joys of a bit of Lusky Stank, another great performance.

Haley sings Piece of My Heart, by the amazing Janis Joplin. She is wearing an interesting piece of fashion by Gwen Stefani. She is hitting the notes, but missing the emotion. If she would be less interested in the affectations, the forced growl, and more with connecting to the song lyrics. The judges are loving them some Haley this evening.

Casey started singing Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, the great song by the Police, for Will.i.am and Jimmy Iovine. It wasn't pretty, and the next thing we know, he is toting an upright bass to center stage and perform Have You Ever Seen The Rain?, by Credence Clearwater Revival. The song, written by Steven Fogerty, lead singer of CCR. It was a far better choice, I must say, but there was still some bad notes in there, and a certain lack of vocal control. However, the judges seem to think Casey is all about making the bass cool again, and making J-Lo pay for front-row-seats at the Casey show.



Lauren sings Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin... Well, actually, written and performed by Carole King. She delivers a nice performance, and, aside from a strange choice or two, she pulls it off nicely.

James decides to slow it down this week, and picks George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps. The song was featured by the Beatles as part of the White Album. To me, it showcases the lack of real control James shows, as the first 90% of the song, which was really lacking for me. The judges just loved it, thought it was a touching and heartfelt performance. I am at a loss.



Scotty thinks Elvis is in the building. He is singing That's Alright Mama, Elvis' first single way back when. Scotty is hitting all the notes, and sounding way better than I thought he would. The performance, however, was ladled heavy with cheese. The judges are loving it, complete with the staged 'rushing of the performer' by a pack of teenage girls. Maybe a lighter hand, Nigel....

Next up, we have Pia singing the promised up-temp number, River Deep Mountain High. It was originally performed by the Ike and Tina Turner Review. She comes out strong, hitting all the notes. She certainly has the power to sing the song. What she didn't have is the soul. It was much more the vocal exercise of Celine Dion and not the bravado or charisma of Tina Turner.



The amazing Todd Rundgren was in the audience before we get to Stefano, who is singing Percy Sledge's legendary When A Man Loves A Woman. After an iffy start that tries to be subtle, he dives into the song at 145% volume, with seeming to be in the wrong key to start with, and went off on the top end. However, when it comes to the judges, Jennifer and Steven were crazy about it, and Randy was the only one to see the problems in the performance, including the staccato phrasing on the first half of the song.



The last out tonight is Paul. He needs to recover well from last week, when he was the only one of the bottom three to survive. He is singing Folsom Prison Blues, by the great Johnny Cash. He is performing it well, with great energy and style. That was pretty damn good, Paul's best since the semi-finals. He has such interesting musicality, and it shined tonight.

The pressure is on, and it only seems likely that a man will be heading home this week, as there is only three women remaining to the six ladies. I would think that Pia and Lauren are safe, and most likely Haley, too. I would hope that Paul and Scotty are good this week, leaving Jacob, Casey, Stefano and James in a precarious situation. Or, I might be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

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