After Casey Abrams performance last night, JLo said, "What am I watching here?" That was how I felt about some of the performances, and not in a good way. So here's my rundown.
Lauren Alaina - She sang Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine." The judges were right. It's just too easy for her. It was nice, but she was phoning it it. She's good enough that she'll be around for a while, but it was just good enough.
Casey Abrams - Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help from My Friends." He is fun to watch, and I think he may have curry combed that beard. It looks a little less like something might be hiding in it.
Ashthon Jones - Diana Ross "When You Tell Me That You Love Me." Kind of - boring.
Paul McDonald - Ryan Adams "Come Pick Me Up." This guy was okay when he sounded like Kenny Loggins doing a Rod Stewart impersonation. But this performance was just weird. Randy said he hoped "America gets it." I think only people who actually know who Ryan Adams is will get it.
Pia Toscana - Celine Dion "All By Myself." Everybody knows American Idol contestants shouldn't do Mariah, Whitney, or Celine. Pia proved herself the exception to the rule. She has the big diva voice to pull it off.
James Durbin - Paul McCartney "Maybe I'm Amazed." This guy can sing! And the AI stylists are at work already, because he lost the tail and got a haircut. James is going to be in the top 3. Wouldn't it be awsome if an Aspie won?
Haley Reinhart - Leann Rhimes "Blue." This girl is a vocal gymnast. Yodeling is not easy, but she made it sound good. Randy thought it was kind of sleepy, but I don't think he's a real country guy.
Jacob Lusk - R. Kelly "I Believe I Can Fly." This song has been done to death, and Jacob wrung the last vestiges of life out of it.
Thia Megia - Michael Jackson "Smile." The beginning showcased her real strength, which is the beautiful tone in her voice. The judges didn't like the jazzy second half, but I did.
Stefano Langone - Stevie Wonder "Lately." Stefano was a wild card pick, so he had something to prove. And he proved it. I think he'll be around for a while. I liked his up-tempo version of this song.
Karen Rodriguez - Selena "I Could Fall In Love." She was off pitch most of the way through. Jennifer took great pains to point out that Karen usually doesn't have that problem, probably hoping that the voters would give her a pass this time.
Scotty McCreery - Garth Brooks "The River." Scotty has a voice that's just easy to listen to, whether he's singing or talking. As long as he doesn't make any huge mistakes, he should be around for the finals. Randy told him to keep doing exactly what he's doing. But I would really like to see him take a song from another genre and "countrify" it. (Think Journey's "Open Arms.")
Naima Adedapo - Rihanna "Umbrella." This was either a big flop or a big hit, depending on which part of the performance you look at. She threw in a lot of great dance moves, but when she was dancing she couldn't stay in tune. As long as she was holding still, her voice was just fine. And then she busted out the reggae. LOVED IT! Too bad she didn't do more of that, and less dancing.
So who's going to be sent home tonight? I would pick either Paul or Ashton. Unfortunately, Paul has hit the radar of the Vote For The Worst website, which almost guarantees him several more weeks. Ashthon was a wild card pick, which meant she had to really sell it and get more votes, but I'm not sold. Karen's performance was awful, but she already has a fan base from MySpace, and she will probably ride through on the strength of past performances and the Latino vote.
As for the other two wild cards, Stefano is safe, but Naima is teetering dangerously. She might make it through just because she has the guts to go where no contestant has gone before. And she locked in the rastafarian vote, if they can find their cell phones.
POST RESULTS SHOW UPDATE
I was right. Ashthon was eliminated.