Unless Idol changes what it’s done in the past, the 10 contestants who survive can look forward to a whirlwind, nationwide summer tour.
Granted, the tour wasn’t as popular in 2010 as past years, but it’s still a chance to perform in front of thousands of fans all over the U.S.
This week’s eliminated contestant misses out after coming oh, so close to being part of that tour.
Oh, sure, the low vote-getter can hold out hope for a judges’ save.
But unless your first name is Lauren, Pia, Scotty, Casey or James, it’s a pretty dim hope this early in the competition.
The theory behind the save is to protect someone who could potentially win the competition, not someone with so little support they wind up on the bottom in week three.
Two years ago, the judges waited until week six to use their save on Matt Giraud. Last year, they saved Michael Lynche in week four.
In other words, best of luck Naima Adedapo and Haley Reinhart. You’d better be on the top of your Motown game tonight.
Yep, the theme is Motown, meaning Scotty McCreery will have to come out of his country shell, and Nigel Lythgoe hasn’t freshened up those Idol themes as much as he promised.
Meanwhile, this could be an interesting night in Idol Chatter-ville. It’s pouring outside, which means the satellite signal could go out at any moment.
Well, if it has to go, hopefully it will be while Thia “Bore Me to Tears” Megia is performing.
Casey Abrams: He’ll kick things off with “Heard It Through the Grapevine.” It was a given someone would sing this song. Casey promises to try to control the screech and growl this week, something he didn’t do very well singing Nirvana last week. Well, I guess that doesn’t mean he’s not going to growl a little, because he already has. Screechy or not, here’s the thing about Casey: He makes me smile. Why? Because he knows how to entertain, something lots of these contestants should take lessons on. Loved, loved that closing. Great way to open the show. Much better vocal than a week ago. Grade: B+ (only because he’s first and someone might be fortunate enough to do better. I reserve the right to upgrade Casey later if they don’t. Casey just got an upgrade to an A-
Thia Megia: Among those who need to learn how to entertain … Thia tops the list. Please, child, not another boring ballad. Performing second puts Thia is a fairly dangerous spot this week. Can she do something fans will remember by the end of the show? OK, Thia’s going to sing “Heat Wave.” This should be interesting. Well, better. Vocally fine. But also nothing special. And still a little too reserved for my taste. For heaven’s sake, Thia, cut loose. Grade: C.
Jacob Lusk: Had Idol followed its normal format, he who sings last one week sings first the next. But Jacob didn’t open tonight. Hmm, wonder why? He’ll be singing “You’re All I Need to Get By.” Jacob opens with more control this week, a great sign. And Steven Tyler is so impressed he rushes on stage to hug Jacob. Vocally, I’m sure that was splendid. But there’s just so much going on when Jacob performs. I’m afraid I wasn’t as impressed as the judges. Grade: B.
Lauren Alaina: The country gal will be singing “You Keep Me Hanging On.” Truth be told, Lauren hasn’t lived up to her frontrunner billing since the finals began. But that was probably her best performance since the finals started. She brought attitude, some sass and she delivered a decent country vocal onto a Motown tune. Grade: B-.
Stefano Langone: OK, let’s see what Stefano can bring. He’ll sing “Hello” from Lionel Richie and promises to keep his eyes open. Oops, eyes closed every time he goes for those big notes. But Stefano turned in another solid vocal, on a ballad this time. Bottom line, he’s safe for another week. Welcome to the tour, Stefano. That wasn’t as good as last week, but, hey, that was a top performance to top. Grade: B-.
Haley Reinhart: She looks lovely again. What Haley needs is a lovely vocal. She’ll be singing “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me.” OK, I was really rooting for Haley. But that opening was hideous. You could barely hear Haley over the background singers. And growling doesn’t work as well for Haley as it does for Casey. As the judges noted, Haley pulled it together toward the end, but will it be enough? Grade: C-.
Scotty McCreery: Ah, yes, I forgot Scotty’s most surprising album in his collection is the Jackson Five. So maybe he can pull off some Motown. He’ll be singing “For Once in My Life,” country style. OK, in his attempt to keep this from becoming a lounge performance, Scotty is getting a little too animated. That said, he successfully twisted a Motown song to fit his vocal style. I’m just not sure most of the song was in his vocal sweet spot. Grade: B-.
Pia Toscano: Sounds like Motown is right up Pia’s alley. She says she’s performed Motown all the time with her band. She’ll sing “All in Love is Fair.” Pia does another ballad. And turns in a perfect vocal. That last note was incredible. But I’m still waiting for Pia to cut loose and entertain. Randy’s critique: You can’t live on ballads alone. Good point, Randy. Steven calls Pia the closest star in the American Idol universe. Oh, by the way, Pia, much better dress this week. Grade: B+
Paul McDonald: He’s going to use his guitar tonight, which means he’ll probably look more comfortable on stage. He’ll be singing “Tracks of My Tears.” By the way, how does Idol decide who gets to use instruments when? Casey was the only one to use an instrument last week. Paul’s the only one to use an instrument so far this week. OK, take away the aimless dancing around stage, and Paul seems so much more comfortable. I vote for letting him play guitar every week, because that was his best vocal yet. Very nice ending. Grade: B.
Naima Adedapo: The gal who’s been the definition of pitchy so far in the finals is going to be singing “Dancing in the Streets.” She’s going to dance and sing at the same time, which didn’t work so well for her with “Umbrella.” Let’s see … Well, Naima entertained. And wasn’t nearly as pitchy as she had been the past two weeks. Steven, in his own rambling way, thought it was good. Problem is, her voice isn’t as special as most of the other performers on this show. But I think Naima might have just bought herself another week on the show. Sorry, Haley. Grade: C.
James Durbin: Interesting, James gets to close the show. He’ll sing “Living for the City.” Wow, I think there were more shrieks than lyrics in that performance. Which might be good, because I didn’t enjoy the vocal at all. James gets an A for effort, a B for the shrieks and a C for the singing. Jennifer is “speechless” over his performance. Come on, it wasn’t nearly that good. Grade: C+