Scotty McCreery Serenades, Lauren Alaina Gets Emotional, and James Durbin Slays Another
Do or die in the “American Idol” top six, as the contestants had to sing a Carole King song, from an era in which none of them were even born. Carole King was big in the 70’s but has made hit after hit throughout generations, and also gave many contributions to a broad range of genre’s. From Ballads, to Blues, to Rock, to Country, King has put her stamp on music and the contestants needed to pay homage in impressive fashion. None of the contestants disappointed us, but rather brought their very best.
Helping vocal coach Jimmy Lovine was Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, and a surprise guest visitor for Lauren Alaina, as Miley Cyrus stopped by to share some wisdom for the up and comer to do it for herself, as the “haters” will always well… hate.
The overall tone of each performance was to croon the audience into a nice, soft, feel-good vibe, as King would have wanted it. Here is a brief recap of Wednesday nights performances.
Jacob Lusk, “Oh No, Not My Baby .” Last week Jacob wasn’t given the best reviews and left the judges doubting his abilities. This week, he showed more comfort and swagger as he had a good time with his song and also in choosing his boldly blue outfit. Keeping his gospel roots and soulful melody in tact, Lusk turned a ballad into an uptempo, groovy track. Perhaps his outfit was a foreshadow of the risk he was going to take with the song, and show that his vocals would shine through. Grade: B-
Laren Aliana, “Where You Lead (I Will Follow)”. Lauren pushed her barriers with her performance this night and although she missed a few big notes, all the judges agreed that she came out with something to prove. The judges brought her to tears when giving praise in her effort. Lauren showed off her flirty side as well as she serenaded and sat especially close to Bret, a boy who sprouted out of the audience in the middle of the song. Was that planned? Not sure if it was, but it made for a good performance and had her father particularly worried as Ryan Seacrest said, “dad get on that.” Grade: B+
Duet: Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart, “I Feel The Earth Move.” Haley’s strong, raspy voice, complemented well with Casey’s hard rockin’ tone for the first duet of the night. They had a certain chemistry on stage that Steven Tyler mentioned by asking Casey “how much do you love Haley?” Leaving both performers slightly blushing. They both fed off each others energy, and in some opinions may be better performers together than solo.
Scotty McCreery, “You’ve Got A Friend.” Scotty played his first real intimate song this week, with spanish guitar in tune, and trademark Scotty storytelling. Randy said “The beginning was flawless,” while Steven said “I don’t think you’ve ever sang better.” Scotty hit some high notes that most didn’t know he had in his arsenal. It was a much better performance than last weeks, as far as pitch, connection, and all around song choice goes.
James Durbin, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” During the rehearsal as James was still learning his song, coach Jimmy Lovine went into a frenzy for how well James’ voice goes with Carole King’s music. Once again being dubbed the performance of the night. Jennifer Lopez said “James has had a strong night every single week,” while Randy Jackson said “This guy might win the whole thing, Lady’s and Gentlemen James Durbin is in it to win it!” James always receives high praise by judges and bloggers alike, as he should. It is now without question that he belongs in the top 2 as long as he stays consistent. Grade: A
Duet: Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery, “I Feel The Earth Move.” The third duet by these two country folks leaves the judges, and America wondering what’s going on between here? Although they both deny any sort of feelings other than a brother/sister bond, the cute interviews they do together, along with deep looks given during performances say otherwise. Oh yea, the performance was solid as well.
Casey Abrams, “Hi-De-Ho.” Casey’s obscure, hard to sing song gave him yet another chance to show another element to his musical pallet. Casey always shows off his passion for music when he performs, allowing an ensemble of instruments to take part. He finds something to love about every song he sings, and manages to pull off a great performance that is right below James Durbin in consistency. Yes, Casey can easily be in the top 2 as long as he continues to stay true to his abilities and keep bringing the heat. Grade: A
Haley Reinhart, “Beautiful.” Haley picked a song as perfect as her outfit. It just fit her in all the right spots. She did a great job from beginning to end and had a very good vocal consistency. Consistency seems to be the underlying theme of the night, with the performers needing step their game up. “Haley you are as beautiful as all that song is,” Steven admitted, and he was right.
Duet: James Durbin and Jacob Lusk, “I’m Into Something Good.” Closing out the night with a very unconventional pairing of Jacob’s soulful vibe and James’ metal pitch, left the judges a bit confused with the route they were taking. They didn’t seem too sure themselves either. Luckily it wasn’t being judged. The performance was awkward and all around bad to say the least.
*The opinions in this blog do not express the opinions of Ryan Seacrest, American Idol, Fox Television, or 19 Entertainment.