American Idol Top 11 Performance Review

March 24, 2011 7:22 am

Week after week the pressure is cooking for the contestants on American Idol. With the Top 10 looming over all their heads, Wednesday night was the time to shine, stop playing it safe, and show the world who the next American Idol is. The music choices for the night being all things Motown, raised questions for artist like country boy Scotty McCreery, rocker James Durbin, and southern belle Lauren Alaina who all are deep rooted into their own respective styles. Incorporating the soulful wisdom of Motown was going to be no easy task.

With all that on the line, all the contestants stepped up to that plate, leaving the fans with a very hard decision. Who is going to be left out of the Top 10? Here is a brief recap of Wednesday night’s show and a grade felt deserved.

Casey Abrams, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.”(Marvin Gaye): Casey came out very strong this week after what some may call a poor song choice last week. He started the show with a bang, bringing his energy and feel good vibe on stage. Grade: B

Thia Megia, “Heatwave.” (Martha & The Vandellas): After receiving some negative feedback from the judges last week for playing it too safe, Thia broke out of her shell. With the upbeat song “Heatwave” she gave the judges a taste of her potential, and they all collectively agreed that she has “it” in her. Grade: C+

Jacob Lusk, “You’re All I Need To Get By.” (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell): Possibly the best performance of the night, Jacob finally kept his amazing voice under wraps. He held his notes and let loose at the appropriate times, ending with Steven Tyler dubbing him “Baby Luther” Vandross. Grade: A

Lauren Alaina, “You Keep Me Hanging On.” (The Supremes): Lauren continued to surprise the judges with her performance this week. She showed a strong stage presence with her attitude and got the judges excited for her future. Randy said “she’s ready now.” Grade: B+

Stefano Langone, “Hello.” (Lionel Richie): Although the judges always seem to enjoy Stefano’s performances (especially Jennifer Lopez), they had some constructive criticism for him this time. The judges all agreed that there was a disconnect between Stefano and the lyrics. He didn’t truly feel the pain of the song, which affected his performance. Grade: B-

Haley Reinhart, “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me.” (Smokey Robinson): Haley started off a bit awkward and pitchy at times, but managed to pull it together midway through her set. She showed off her one of a kind voice as she gained confidence. Randy and Steven enjoyed it very much. Grade: B

Scotty McCreery, “For Once In My Life.” (Made famous by Stevie Wonder): Scotty was the biggest surprise of the night. Who would have thought that turning this soulful tune into a country song would work. Scotty has this ability to connect with all the songs he sings and tell its story. Grade. A-

Pia Toscano, “All In Love Is Fair.” (Stevie Wonder): Pia has very strong vocals and everyone knows that. What she hasn’t shown is her ability to venture out of her safe zone, which is the ballad. Jennifer wants her to “own the stage,” and Randy wants her to “bring something different.” Grade. B-

Paul McDonald, “The Tracks Of My Tears.” (Smokey Robinson): Paul has consistently good performances every week. His version of this song was done in good taste and a very interesting artistic perspective. The judges enjoyed it and seem to always enjoy what he brings. Grade. B

Naima Adedapo, “Dancing In The Street.”(Martha Reeves): Naima was given much praise for the night for essentially creating her entire performance. From the african vibe, to the dance she did midway, to the bongo solo. This is what makes a true artist, and what molds an artist into an icon. Although her performance vocally had pitchy areas her grade is a B-

James Durbin, “Living For The City.” (Stevie Wonder): James, being the rockstar that he is, changed this song into his own version of it. He is a performer, and loves every minute of being on stage. James will continue to raise the bar for the other contestants who have yet to discover who they are. Grade. A

The opinions in this blog do not express the opinions of Ryan Seacrest, American Idol, Fox Television, or 19 Entertainment.