Our top twelve finalists on American Idol took the stage again last night to sing tunes from their birth year, which meant an overwhelmingly large representation from 1989, which makes these kids a full decade+ younger than me. In some cases, I’m actually more than twice their ages. Not cool, Father Time. Not cool.

Anyway, I like this group as a whole, but last night was not their strongest night. Some performances were better than others, but none blew me away. A quick rundown after the jump…I’m a little rushed today; so I’m going to keep this brief. Or as brief as I can be.

Naima AdedapoWhat’s Love Got To Do With It?
I respected Naima’s Rihanna-esque arrangement of the song, but her voice was way too pitchy. Making it hard for me to root for you, dawg.

Paul McDonaldI Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues
Charming backstory, cute parents, but that’s about it. The song choice, while apt, was boring. I give him a pass for having a hoarse voice, but not for being uninspiring.

Thia MegiaColors of the Wind
I love Thia’s voice, but what a dumb song choice. Old-fashioned, super boring, matronly… Randy was right when he likened it to a pageant performance. I don’t want Thia to go home, but she best start getting contemporary STAT.

James DurbinI’ll Be There For You
I love the song choice, and James did a great job moving around the stage and working the crowd. The arrangement was not great though. Bon Jovi’s original song builds from haunting to powerful. This version started full-tilt, thus neutering it of all its intensity. That’s probably why Steven Tyler warned James to avoid being too poppy. Reluctantly, I’m liking James. Still hate his wannabe style.

Haley ReinhartI’m Your Baby Tonight
Taking on Whitney? Ballsy. Doing it while smudging your lipstick all over your face? Even more ballsy. Haley wasn’t as awful as I thought she’d be but also not nearly as good as she thought she would be. Getting sick of her growls too. If I wanted to hear that, I’d watch Burlesque.

Stefano LangoneIf You Don’t Know Me By Now
Great intensity, great vocals — no wonder Stefano earned Randy’s “Hottest Vocals of the Night” award. Too bad the song itself is overdone. Once again, Stefano showed technical prowess but lacked an ability to engage. I was bored.

Pia ToscanoWhere Do Broken Hearts Go?
Another Whitney attempt, this time by the season’s frontrunner. I dig Pia, but I hated this arrangement. Sure, it was good to see her do something uptempo, as J-Lo said, but this felt like a strange carnival sideshow. Plus, Pia didn’t sound great through much of the song. Not her finest moment. Sidenote: who knew she had such a big booty?

Scotty McCreeryCan I Trust You With My Heart
Scotty sounds great. Too bad I hate his genre. He’s good enough for now though.

Karen RodriguezLove Will Lead You Back
I’m always happy to see a Taylor Dayne revival, and the good news for Karen was that this was the best she’d sounded so far. The bad news is that she still sucks pretty bad. Bonus points for having a lovely mother. Demerits for cribbing Jennifer Lopez’s style yet again.

Casey AbramsSmells Like Teen Spirit
Big news: Casey sang the first ever Nirvana song on Idol, and guess what? He stunk. I’m not being a music snob or some Cobain fanatic, but Casey proved why some acts are legendary (Nirvana) and some work at film camps (Casey). Casey earned major points from the judges for being risky, but that was all bullshit. He sounded pitchy and bad the first half of the song and growly and screechy for the second half. This was not the debut Nirvana deserved. Even if Nirvana weren’t considered a hallowed band, it still would have been a terrible performance. On the plus side, Casey’s parents are awesome. Way to introduce “pedantic” to the Idol audience.


Lauren AlainaI’m The Only One
Lauren suffers from being forgettable; so what did she do? She sang a generic Melissa Etheridge song. I guess she sang it aiight. I dunno. I zoned out halfway through. Nevertheless, a decent effort given she has the flu, and who knew that her parents were just three years older than her?

Jacob LuskAlone
Alone is one of my favorite songs. We’ve heard it honored (Carrie Underwood) and butchered (pretty much everyone else) on the Idol stage. Ms. Jacob sadly fell in the latter category. I wanted him to kill it up there, not murder it. The gospel dude forced the song out of his pipes as if he were giving birth. He’s all power, and people are being won over by that, perhaps overlooking how pitchy he can be when he’s singing normally. Where’s Simon when you need him? Funny mom though.

What did you think about the singers?

8 replies on “AMERICAN IDOL RECAP: They Were Born This Way”

  1. I died when Ryan licked his finger and rubbed it on Haley’s chin-priceless.
    Every mom in America understood the need to get that mess off her face though.

  2. Good god, 1989? I was in college in 1989. I am officially OLD, and I do not like that one bit. Now get these whippersnappers off of my lawn.

    Also, I don’t get the adoration for Jacob Lusk. His vibrato drives me insane. If it gets any faster he’ll be singing two notes at once, and will sound like one of those Tuvan throat-singers. But three octaves higher.

    1. I can’t stand Jacob’s singing. He is AWFUL. All the love is utterly baffling to me.

      1. I didn’t think anyone felt the same as I do. He oversings and it’s not pretty watching him.

  3. I do not know why everyone keeps raving about the talent this season. So may of them cannot carry a tune on the big stage–it is painful! Honestly, if you had not watched the season at all, and you tuned in for the first time and saw Paul singing the way he did last night, wouldn’t you wonder if they were doing a “special” season of Idol??? I think he is great, but this stage is not his friend–he looks and sounds awful. And do not even get me started on Haley . . . ugh times ten. I love Casey, but he needs to just SING, dammit, and quit impersonating Will Ferrell. We do NOT need more cowbell.

  4. Lol, I have never felt so old as when that one chick sang colors of the wind, I am in my late 20’s but, wow that just hit me in the gut that I am officially getting old.

    1. I felt the same way – i had fast forwarded through her intro and i was like good god, isn’t this song from the mid-90s?? i am also 29. this show feels like american idol juniors. their ages didn’t bother me until this week with the years being flashed up constantly

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