AMERICAN IDOL “Top 11 Perform” Review

AMERICAN IDOL “Top 11 Perform” Season 10 Episode 20 – Someone put some get-up in Ryan Seacrest’s go tonight. That dude was almost freaking hyper. And he should have been; by the time the night ended, when all was said and done, it turned out pretty good. Best night so far.

It didn’t start that way. Well, aside from Casey Abrams, who kicked the show off to a good start. After that it looked like another night of less-than mediocre performances.

I want to say this to the judges: You do yourselves and the show a disservice when you praise every single performer. You praised Thia Megia and she forgot half the words to her song, singing half the time with her face turned away from the audience so her hair could hide her lost lips. She was a disaster, and you may have fooled half of America into keeping her and allowing a better talent to get kicked to the curb. It’s a little like the Boy Who Cried Wolf, because when we DO come across memorable performances, if all you can do is keep praising …

How is America to differentiate? American Idol will just be a popularity contest.

I guess that’s all it ever is anyway, but at least Simon had a way of keeping the cosmic balance.

It was Motown night, which basically meant a lot—and I mean a lot—of Stevie Wonder songs. Until Durbin came on and closed the show with a bang, I thought Abrams and McDonald (or “Sandie’s Boys” as I call ’em) would be fighting it out for the top spot. Nope! Durbin gets the win.

Here’s how I scored it:

James Durbin: 26

Song: Livin’ For The City (Stevie Wonder)

Performance: 4 Originality: 5 Stage Presence: 5 
Appearance: 4 Marketability: 5 Intangibles: 4

Notes: I would have given his “intangibles” a 5 (since he got the longest standing ovation—by far) but Durbin likes playing to the crowd a little much. That could hurt him in the long run if America gets sick of it, no matter how good he is.

Casey Abrams: 25

Song: Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)

Performance: 4 Originality: 4 Stage Presence: 4 Appearance: 4 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 5

Notes: His intangibles will continue to be high if he continues to just bring the Caseyness of his Caseylike performances. I thought this was his best so far. This kid could really go places. Plus he’s ugly, which is awesome.

Paul McDonald: 25

Song: The Tracks of my Tears (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)

Performance: 4 Originality: 5 Stage Presence: 4 
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 5 Intangibles: 4

Notes: I agree with Tyler, I think I heard a little Bob Dylan goin’ on. McDonald’s best performance to date; I say keep the guitar. I agree with J-Lo: all he needs is the right producer and I think he’s platinum. I would buy that song. Actually, I think I will go do that right now!

Naima Adedapo: 24

Song: Dancin’ In The Street (Martha and the Vandellas)

Performance: 4 Originality: 4 Stage Presence: 4 
Appearance: 4 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 4

Notes: Now THIS was what I expected when I first saw this chick. Easily her best performance; she smoked the other women with that “total package” thing. The vocals were good, the dancing was cool … it just worked. Pow! She’s safe—and I’m glad. The Idol tour can certainly use her flash of dash.

Lauren Alaina: 22

Song: You Keep Me Hangin’ On (The Supremes)

Performance: 4 Originality: 3 Stage Presence:
 3 Appearance: 4 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 4

Notes: This was Alaina’s FIGHT BACK song, and she acquitted herself well. I don’t think she’s going home. Glad she was able to really put on a performance finally.

Jacob Lusk: 21

Song: You’re All I Need To Get By (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell)

Performance: 4 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 3 
Appearance: 2 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 5

Notes: Very good performance (and a fun little “hug everyone in the front row” moment, though that was Ryan’s idea). What was weird is that Jacob is normally impeccably dressed, but today he looked a mess. Dude should have taken an iron to his jacket before the show. What the hell?

Pia Toscano: 21

Song: All In Love Is Fair (Stevie Wonder)

Performance: 4 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 
3 Appearance: 4 Marketability: 4 Intangibles: 3

Notes: Another well-sung song from Toscano, but I (again?) agree with J-Lo: next week she needs to pick it up a notch, kick her shoes off, go with something up-tempo. If there is any chance at all for an early upset, it may be here. It will not surprise me to see Pia in the bottom three, if only because emotion seems to be swinging so hard in other contestants’ directions.

Haley Reinhart: 20

Song: You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)

Performance: 4 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 
3 Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 4

Notes: This is a girl whose self-confidence seems to be slipping drastically. The vocals are still there, the saucy growl is still there, but she looks more and more unsure with each vote of no-confidence America gives her. I don’t think she’ll be out of the bottom three, but I could be surprised.

Stefano Langone: 19

Song: Hello (Lionel Ritchie)

Performance: 3 Originality: 3 Stage Presence: 3 
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 4

Notes: Probably Stefano’s worst performance to date. Yes, his eyes remained closed for most of the second half of his performance (though that doesn’t bother me like it bothers the judges). His enunciation is weird. Like he carefully. Sings. Each. Syl. A. Bal. It works at times, but other times it comes off annoying. Bottom three? Maybe.

Scotty McCreery: 18

Song: For Once In My Life (Stevie Wonder)

Performance: 2 Originality: 4 Stage Presence: 2 
Appearance: 3 Marketability: 3 Intangibles: 4

Notes: Well this was a surprise: Scotty McCreery dancing like a chicken. The judges were kind. TOO kind. This was the second worst performance of the night, but I still think his Country Strong following will save him from the bottom three.

Thia Megia: 16

Song: Heat Wave (Martha and the Vandellas)

Performance: 2 Originality: 2 Stage Presence: 2 
Appearance: 4 Marketability: 2 Intangibles: 4

Notes: Wow. How bad does it get? If she’s not in the bottom three for completely botching this song, well that’s on the judges. I think she needs to go. Does the tour really want to see this?

That’s it for this week. Can’t wait to see who gets to ride on the American Idol tour bus tomorrow!

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