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American Idol Recap by Bob in SC

2011 American Idol has a much better crop of singers than 2010 did, making it harder to
clearly see who will continue to advance - then again, that's part of the fun.

Paul McDonald (Come Pick Me Up): I liked this guy at first, his voice has a unique sound to it,
but now he just grates on my nerves. This version of one of Ryan Adams' coolest songs was just awful,
with him missing most of the notes while bouncing around like a drunk at a party. Tied for THE WORST of the night.

Lauren Alaina (Any Man Of Mine): She went first which probably makes for some extra pressure.
To be as young as she is, she has tremendous range and comfort on stage. She seems sincerely sweet
and she's cuter than a speckled pup. I think America will continue to like her a bunch.

Naima Adedapo (Umbrella): I like Naima but I didn't care for this song. She's knocked me out in weeks past
and I was glad she was one of the judges' saves. She did however prove herself as a total performer Wednesday,
mixing in some genuinely good movement with the song. She has lots of confidence, I'd like to see her hit on
some more sultry Cassandra Wilson-esque jazzy sounds than what she did last night but I suppose she sounded
like what pop music is like in 2011.

Haley Reinhart (Blue): She was wearing a knockout dress and looked great. Started slow but really showed
some versatility with the pitch-perfect yodels and growls she threw in there. Sounded like Patsy Cline with
some tasty sprinkles on top.

Ashthon Jones (When You Tell Me That You Love Me): I liked her early on but this was totally boring.
She seemed more concerned with looking Diva-like instead of singing the song in a heartfelt way.
She may get voted off tonight and it wouldn't bother me a bit.

Karen Rodriguez (I Could Fall In Love): They didn't say specifically, but she must have been having
some vocal issues - Jimmy Iovine told her not to talk to anyone on the phone - and she was extremely
timid and almost scared singing her song. I thought it was extremely boring and the judges agreed.
Ties with Paul for THE WORST. She may be toast.

Thia Meghia (Smile): Firstly, her name is fun to say - like Amelia Bedelia.
ha ha Thia Meghia, good to see ya!
If I'm not mistaken she's the last of the 15-year-olds left. Anyway, she did a capable job, not stunning,
but I did appreciate the additional groove she tried to bring to the song. And since she's just 15
I will cut her some slack for not knowing who Charlie Chaplin (she said Chapman) is.

Pia Toscano (All By Myself): I have to admit that I abhor Celine Dion so I've never heard her version
of this song. I think of it as an Eric Carmen song so I guess I'm showing my age. Oh well. She really
nailed it though, I have to say. Definitely some challenging notes on this one, she reached up and
grabbed them with total control and power. And she has the Mediterranean good looks to go with
the chops. Definitely safe.

Stefano Langone (Lately): Always tough picking a Stevie Wonder song as Stevie ALWAYS nails it
and makes it unmistakably his own. But Stefano brought a soulful freshness to this somewhat Stevie
deep track and really sold it. One of my favorite performances of the night. He was also a judges'
save and they were smart to do so.

Jacob Lusk (I Believe I Can Fly): All right, this guy just has a gift. His voice just does stuff that makes
you shake your head and pick your jaw up from the floor. Having said that, this song has been done
to death and he's already brought out his over-the-top gospel style, so next week bring us something
we haven't seen yet. Oh and by the way, I wouldn't admit that your "idol" is R.Kelly, a convicted
pedophile, but that's just me I guess.

James Durbin (Maybe I'm Amazed): See Jacob, this is how it's done. Last week James rocked the house
with a Judas Priest song. This week he launched into a quieter ballad, showed some range and some emotion,
was still able to flex some power at the end and still OWNED the house. He had them eating out of his hand.
Again, a sincerely great guy with a moving backstory. He will hang in there for quite awhile I think.
My FAVORITE of the night.

Casey Abrams (With A Little Help From My Friends): Casey is probably the most talented of this bunch
 - like Crystal Bowersox last year, he plays a variety of instruments, has a funky bohemian look, and knows
exactly what kind of artist he is. He turned in a top-notch performance, improvising around and off the beats,
not imitating Cocker's version but bringing it into his own style.

Scotty McCreery (The River): Like Casey, Scotty knows EXACTLY what his style is and he's not going
to deviate from it. His aw shucks genuine good ol' boy style and smile will probably snag him lots of votes
from young girls, and he's macho enough (he's missing his high school baseball season) to appeal to the
cowboy hat and boots crowd too. I have to laugh thinking back to group week; all the singers that turned
him away are gone now, and here he is. Not sure if he's versatile enough to go all the way, we'll see.

We'll find out tonight - my prediction is that Karen or Ashthon hits the streets.
The guys are definitely a cut above the ladies this year.

Sidebar - Judges, you need to be more specifically critical of these young people, to HELP them.
To gush praise at them non-stop is not going to make them any better.
 Bob in SC

Good job, Bob!



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