Thursday, May 12, 2011

American Idol 10: The Top 4 Performances and Reviews


I just have to say, I enjoyed how the judges argued over the performances tonight. They should have done more of that earlier in the Season. It showcases their individual opinions, not manufactured opinions filled with catch phrases.

Anyway, on with the performance reviews. The Top 4 are first singing songs that inspire them and then singing songs from the Leiber-Stoller Songbook with advice from the crazy larger than life Lady Gaga.

Here are my reviews of their performances...



Top 4 James Durbin


Song #1 "Don't Stop Believing" - Opening the show with this Glee-re-popularized Journey song, all of the judges were all over how great it was, but really it was just .. well, OK. The song started off already really high - it is one of those songs where the stanzas are already on your high register so it doesn't really go up much higher. But of course, James pushed it up to the stratosphere. I suppose it would be great if you're only after that high note, but then again, singing is not always about that.

Also, I thought it felt really contrived how he talked about his performance during the backstage interview. :p

Song #2 "Love Potion No. 9" - Isn't it too much that James Durbin gets to open AND close the show? Ugh. This was actually surprisingly good though, I must admit. But it wasn't in the same key he was singing during rehearsals with the Gaga. Hmm Odd. Then again, because they changed it so much from during rehearsals, Gaga's advice no longer fitted in with the whole package. Instead of moving, James just did his usual walking around and giving everyone high fives, then kneeling and standing up. :p

Top 4 Haley Reinhart


Song #1 "The Earth Song" - Before she even began, I was worried. It's too early in their careers to be preaching, plus it's a Michael Jackson song! The video for this song was so epic, so grand, it'd be difficult to top it. And so she couldn't. But she did an OK job with it. She managed it well, complete with goosebumps inducing growls in just the right places. It somehow did feel like she could have done more with it - more stomping around the stage and bigger notes.

Song #2 "I Who Have Nothing" - A Gaga-fied version of this song, with Haley going for the big sustained notes that excited everyone in the audience to pieces (including the judges). I honestly cannot imagine how this song would sell in the market today, but who knows right? She tried to follow what Gaga told her, and it worked. Haley's awkwardness onstage apparently can be transformed into something larger than life, if only she knew how. She needs more Gaga juice. :p

Top 4 Scotty McCreery


Song #1 "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" - Singing a song about 9/11 felt timely after the recent capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden. I can imagine how the judges found it really difficult to critique this performance as it might strike a nerve in members of the audience who were hanging on to every word they would say.

Song #2 "Youngblood" - Pop that hip why don't you? Hahaha! Again back to holding the microphone sideways. I didn't like it. The eye rolling and the sashaying around. And the fact that he just performed this really heart wrenching song about something extremely serious and relevant, to come back out and do that silly performance was bordering on inappropriate. Sorry dude.

Lauren Alaina


Song #1 "I Do It Anyway" - Sounding great on the sustained notes, i didn't like the long scoop to the sustained big note - I felt she took too long to get there, sort of like cheating the high note. Haha. Then again this was better than how she had been performing in the past weeks. Unfortunately for Lauren, between the 2 ladies, I think people are relating more now to Haley than to her.

Song #2 "I'm Evil" - Looking sort of like a "suman" in her dress, swaying all around the stage looking confident and tough, but failing to wow everyone with her vocals... well me at least. She just doesn't have the maturity yet, to portray that role. Still seeming like the sweet little Lauren pretending to be tough. It just didn't work for me. Plus when she reached the climax of the song, she faltered. Err. Not a good place to falter eh?


Top 4 Eliminations


So I'm thinking they won't name the Bottom 3 anymore but proceed to Bottom 2. My predictions for Bottom 2 are Lauren and Scotty. Both have been in the Bottom 2 before, and neither had a special moment like Haley and James did. I'm also predicting Scotty is going home tomorrow.



 
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