Idol Worshippers, before we even begin with anything Idol, I’d like to give a shout out to this great website as this little here recap becomes the 1,000th published post for Yak Nicholson and company. I know I speak for the staff here at YakkityYaks when I say it’s been a pleasure thus far and we hope to continue to bring you the entertainment coverage you want and deserve as we continue to grow!
Ok, enough mushy gushy talk. I’m starting to sound like the AI judges. Yup, you guessed it. Before we get into the performances tonight, I need to take a second here (more like a few minutes) and gripe away about the Dawg, Clueless Rock Legend and our Latina Spice. Up until tonight, I’ve been having a real rocky love/hate relationship with the 3 persons sitting front and center “judging” our contestants week after week. Tonight, it pretty much took a turn for the worse. Dare I say, we’re now in a hate/hate relationship. Well, I guess it’s just one ‘hate’ since they have no idea I exist. Why am I a hater now, you might ask? Well, I’m sure the majority of you are feeling what I’m feeling … These judges need to stop. being. nice. Plain and simple. Throw some constructive criticism their way. Not everyone does “beautifully” or gives you “goose bumps” or “is in it to win it, yo!” Someone up there is messing up. Someone up there is dull. Someone up there looks bored. Someone up there is laughing and smiling when the lyrics are conveying a completely opposite message. Someone up there is being more than just “pitchy.” And those are just a few of the performances tonight!
For once, and I hope it’s the last time this season, I was wondering if Simon Cowell would pop out from under will.i.am’s tent, which is likely under the stage since he’s always in the studio, to give some decent criticism. Ms. Lopez has been doing a pretty good job this season by throwing constructive criticism their way, but she’s now drinking the same happy juju from Paula’s old dressing room, which obviously now belongs to Tyler. Unfortunately, we’re finally seeing the repercussions of new judges (and the same old confused dawg) behind the table. The adrenaline from the live show, the excitement of what’s going on in the studio is clouding their judgment. As seasoned artists, though, they’re doing a pretty crappy job of blocking that out and successfully doing their job! I’ll leave it there, ya?
So tonight we celebrated the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While most of the songs didn’t necessarily scream “rock” or “roll” tonight, we were still treated to a show we could enjoy, right? One thing I was hoping they’d throw in tonight was the little temporary marriage between my girl Carrie Underwood and Mr. Tyler himself from this Sunday’s ACM Awards. Infusing rock and country … that was just a genius performance, something our contestants need to take note of and fast! Speaking of those guys (and I say guys because do you realize we’re already down to 3 girls!?), we should get to the juice of the recap, shouldn’t we? In honor of our theme, let’s divide the performances into two categories – conveniently, “rock” and “roll” (as in possibly time to roll off the stage). Remember, if you want a reminder of tonight’s full set list, head on over HERE.
James Durbin: Bringing a stripped down performance on rock and roll night from the show’s signature rock star was quite the unexpected twist. Can we please see that again? One thing the judges said that made sense tonight, making a calculated risk like that will pay dividends! James knew what he was doing. He knew he’d be using the week he could have blown out of the park with his rocky edge to try a song that’s emotionally won him (and now America) over. There was something that I can’t place my finger on that didn’t quite fit, though. I don’t know if Durbin pulled a Naima and picked up an accent for the performance or if it was just a few flat notes that rubbed me the wrong way. But there was something that needed some adjusting. Maybe it was my volume. Who knows? For 5 years of his work on that stringy rendition of the hit to move James the way it did … how can you not say that this risk paid off?
Paul McDonald: Brother made the bottom 3 last week and did what all bottom 3 dwellers should do … be scared back into submission to the Idol gods and come out guns blazing the next week. Edging in a little bit of dueling guitars in his performance, Paul took on a Cash anthem and left nothing behind. He didn’t hold back, he wasn’t about to just give 70%. Paul was ready to not just whisper sweet nothings into the television sets of women across America. Paul was ready to bring the genius behind Johnny Cash, walk the line (like what I did there?) and make America pick up their phone (or hit the webs). And I think he accomplished that. He brought all he had to the stage and I he should be proud. His vocals weren’t flawless, but he was comfortable up there and loved every minute of it (i.e. Scotty). For that, he’ll be smiling tonight.
Haley Reinhart I think someone forgot to tell Haley that the microphone is meant to amplify one’s voice. Haley took on Janis Joplin in a complete opposite manner from Mama Bowersox. She showed no restraint, looked like she was trying too hard and ended up singing too harsh. I know the internet world blew up after her performance of “Bennie and the Jets” last week, but I just didn’t get it and I still don’t. Underdog, I think not. Someone also needs to remind these Idolites to examine the meaning behind the song before they go on stage and laugh (or cry) when the other emotion is meant to be expressed. Last time I checked, taking pieces of hearts and breaking them isn’t meant to produce joy.
Lauren Alaina Sorry Nigel, but I think you’re Chosen One could actually be in danger tonight. Ironic, though, that Kelly Clarkson’s apparent reincarnation on the Idol stage (as touted multiple times by producers and judges alike) took to singing the very song the original (and highly talented) American Idol slayed on stage. Don’t remember? Check out our featurette on Ms. Clarkson HERE. I’m just surprised comparisons weren’t made tonight. Actually, I’m not. Randy hinted at it and I’ll provide a translation of his statement below. The Dawg made mention that countless contestants have battled that song on the very same stage and killed it (see above) and that Lauren took a very difficult song and did a “good job.” Translation: it wasn’t good. Comparisons can’t be made because a “good job” just isn’t good enough, especially when you look so bored on stage with it going unnoticed by the judges. Well, America tends to notice these things. That said, Lauren has seemed to mature on stage vocally and in her personality, but she just didn’t seem excited to be up there tonight. For her sake, hopefully America still is. I’m looking for Lauren in tonight’s bottom 3, but she’ll be the first sent to safety because America isn’t going to be that harsh on her. Plus, Papa Nigel isn’t ready for her to leave yet.
Who’s getting eliminated tonight? My money’s on Jacob.
So Idolites, what’d you think about tonight? Do you agree with my gripes and praises or are you singing a completely different tune? Who’s in your bottom 3? Who’ll be leaving us tonight and missing out on the Top 8? Let us know what you think! Don’t be shy, yo!