Did you watch American Idol last night? The competition is heating up and the top 13 are pumping up the energy. Not all of the performances impressed the judges and some of the comments from Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were downright mystifying as to who they actually enjoyed.
Well, we all can’t agree, all the time, but there was some common ground.
Casey Abrams took the Joe Cocker version of With a Little Help From My Friends and put his own spin on it. Abrams continues to deliver unique renditions of each tune he takes on – and this one demonstrated yet again how versatile he is as a musician.
Pia Toscano proved her worth with All By Myself, and that took guts. The tune is a power ballad original written and sung by Eric Carmen in 1975. That was a major hit then – and amped up again when powerhouse singer Celine Dion covered it in 1996. Toscano belted it out and is fast becoming a dark horse.
James Durbin, who has been the true rocker of season 10, retooled his image with the Paul McCartney tune Maybe I’m Amazed. It was obvious Durbin would hit the high notes easily, but the more subdued parts of the song were also impressively handled by the singer. We’ve come to expect much from Durbin and so far he’s delivered solidly each week. We’re smitten.
Jacob Lusk, like Casey Abrams, seems to do no wrong when he’s on the Idol stage. In the past few weeks Lusk has been topping himself with whatever he sings. God Bless the Child, then the Luther Vandross hit A House is Not a Home and now, R. Kelly’s knockout tune, I Believe I can Fly…he totally took flight.
Wild Card entry, Stefano Langone covered the Stevie Wonder song Lately and made an impression on most everyone – including the judges (not an easy accomplishment considering Wonder is one of a kind). While Country crooner, Scotty McCreery proved how secure his is in his talents with the Garth Brooks tune, The River.
Then there were the not so hot performances.
Lauren Alaina kicked off the show singing the Shania Twain hit Any Man of Mine. It clearly it wasn’t the best song for her. Still, Alaina managed to add energy to her performance. While Ashthon Jones decided to sing a lesser-known Diana Ross single, When You Tell You That You Love Me. Jones has a whole heap confidence, but has yet to impress us. This was just another so-so performance.
The LeAnn Rimes recording of Blue, got the once over by Haley Reinhart. This was a song originally intended for legendary Country Music star, Patsy Cline, but she never got to record it. It was an instant hit when Rimes put her spin on it at the age of 13. The same can’t be said for Reinhart. She gave a good performance, but honestly, there was nothing to set her apart from the Rimes rendition.
I get why judges all like Paul McDonald. He has a infectious smile and a sort of jerky charisma. That being said, his rendition of Come Pick Me Up was unimpressive as he twitched (translation: danced) across the stage.
The 15-year-old contestant, Thia Megia is a tiny girl with a big voice, but she still took a hit with a uneven adaptation of the Charlie Chaplin classic Smile. While Karen Rodriguez choose the Selena song I Could Fall in Love…we didn’t fall for her performance. And Naima Adedapo’s rendition of Rihanna’s hit Umbrella reminded us of how much we love and longed to hear Rihanna sing it again.
Still, if you were as bowled over by the best contenders of the night, you can download Wednesday’s recordings from iTunes today, either individually or as a compilation album.
We’ve already scoped out our top five…have you?