We’re down to four wannabe superstars on American Idol, and for what felt like the second time all season, the judges actually gave some harsh criticism to one of the singers. It was a move in the right direction, but unfortunately, they also praised several boring, off-key, and generally lackluster tunes as well. Who’ll go home tonight? Who cares? But for the fun of it, let’s look back at the latest performances.

James Durbin
I was a semi-fan of James Durbin in the middle of the season, but I’m back to hating the guy. He tends to screech his songs rather than singing them, and his choice of “Don’t Stop Believing” was both unoriginal and pandering. Plus, he didn’t even sing it well. Apparently now that Jacob Lusk is gone, James feels the need to carry the caterwauling torch. Plus, we’re catching on to his tricks — ie. yelling “Put your hands together!” when he walks on stage. The only people who haven’t caught on are the judges, who of course loved this stupid performance.

Song #2 was “Love Potion #9,” which was fine, I guess, but totally unmemorable. Again, stupid.

Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina is sweet and all, but her dough-eyed innocent act is getting tired. Her first song was some Martina McBride dreck, and her second was “Trouble,” which had her claiming to be evil — an utterance she felt was just HORRIFIC to say. Thank goodness Lady Gaga was on hand to smack some sense into her. But seriously, if the girl is too afraid to say the word “evil,” then I don’t want her on my TV. Sweet smile, nice voice, no charisma. Adieu!

Scotty McCreery
This was the first week where I out and out hated Scotty. His first song, “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning),” was about 9/11. 9 freakin’ 11. Of COURSE he won’t be voted out now. As expected, Scotty cloaked his performance in proclamations of being a proud American, which infuriated me only because it was such a cheap ploy. Remember when Kristy Lee Cook saved herself with “Proud To Be An American?” Awful.

But here’s what truly chafed me about Scotty: it was his second song. The kid sang a throwaway ditty called “Young Blood” that was about as average as can be. It wasn’t bad necessarily but just totally unremarkable. It certainly did not create the sort of “moment” that the judges were demanding from everyone else, especially poor Haley Reinhart. And yet guess what? The judges loved him! Whaaa? Worst season EVER.

Haley Reinhart
That leaves us with Haley, the only girl left who can actually sing — and the only one who manages to draw criticism. To be fair, her choice of “The Earth Song” by Michael Jackson was not a wise one. It didn’t match her style, and it relied too heavily on power from a backing choir. Still, the performance wasn’t as bad as what Randy had made it out to be. Plus, Randy and J-Lo faulted Haley for failing to have a “moment.” Again, note Scotty McCreery. Or as I like to call him, Scotty McDREARY. Thank you. Thank you. I don’t know where I come up with these gems. Anyway, I was glad Haley snapped back at Randy, basically telling him to shut the eff up (although, not a smart move, PR-wise), and I was even happier when she came back and totally nailed “I Who Have Nothing.” Damn, she blew the roof off the place, providing the first wow moment since Pia Toscano left.

Too bad Haley will probably get voted off for a) being lippy to Randy; b) getting bad feedback; c) not singing about America like Scotty; d) not having a baby to mouth “I love you!” to like James; and e) not being annoyingly wholesome like Lauren, who has trouble saying the word “evil.” Alas.

What did you think about the episode?

6 replies on “‘American Idol’ Final Four Sing Inspirational Songs, Fail To Inspire”

  1. Is it just me or are the judges not actually judging anything. Its all puppies and rainbows, give these kids some actual advice. Not just “beautiful”. I kind of miss Simon and his “a bit indulgent / very kareoke”

  2. Scottie was seven on 9/11. SEVEN. No doubt it was a scary day for him, but could it really have affected him as much as he pretended?

  3. this was the first episode I watched of AI this season, and am I the only one who noticed Scotty’s dinosaur arms when he sings?? Why won’t he straighten his arms & why haven’t the judges yelled straighten your damn arms! He looks like he’s doing Colin Mochrie’s raptor impression. I was so worried that he was going to eat an audience member, I couldn’t even hear his patriotic pandering.

  4. Man you nailed it. I was a little stunned at the results – but happy. Boring season. i am pulling for Haley but at this point don’t really care. I am so irritated with the judging I have to fast forward through their crap.

  5. It’s the strangest thing. How could these 3 judges be so insightful and entertaining through auditions, and the first couple weeks, and then completely fail to have anything of value to say, pretty much since Pia was voted out? AI judging: J-Lo: “that was great, but next week push yourself even more”. Randy: “____ is/is not in it to win it.”; Steven “that was beautiful. You make me cry inside.” Ugh. They need to get rid of all three of them and start over next year. All those Kara bashers from last season are now seeing that she wasn’t so bad after all. At least she had an opinion and SOMETHING intelligent to say most of the time.

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