American Idol Journal – Week 3 (Top 11)

James Durbin

It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks.  Don’t be so surprised, the folks that produce the show finally corrected the monitoring issues  and magically, everyone sang on pitch for the most part (at least nothing worth mentioning).

The night started slow for me (for you, for me), Casey Abrams didn’t light me up but it was a solid performance (you’re gonna hear a lot of that phrase).  Thia Megia sang a nice up tempo song, best female voice this year, but I found myself forgetting what she sang and that spells continued trouble for her. Lauren Alaina gave a solid performance but I can’t help but think Simon would have called it karaoke.  Can you hear him saying that to her?  I sure can.Jacob Lusk finally redeemed himself in my view, his was the first standout performance amid many other solid performances.  Also, wouldn’t it be nice if Ryan Seacrest went through a “Crowd Control 101 for MC;s” class of some sort?

Haley Reinhart sang very well but like Thia, I didn’t recall what she sang until the recap. Scotty McGreery was a standout again tonight.

Why is it the judges have to bring a crowd pleasing performance down with phrases like, “…it wasn’t your best vocal”?  When does anyone really set the bar higher each week?

I think it’s a phrase that is most useful when the judges are trying to be kind to a singer who would normally have been much, much better the previous outtings.  Scotty was clearly in his space.  Curiously, I too thought of Glenn Campbell when McCreery began to sing, I think it was S’ven that pointed that out.

Stefano Langone picked to sing the most timeless song of the night.  A well written song that can transcend musical styles and still be relevant, unfortunately last week’s hero fell short.  I like how the song started, very well in hand, then the arrangement got in the way.  Oddly, his may have been the worst vocal of the night, in a night of solid performances.  Pia Toscano took the stage and had to contend with a cellist that was playing off his notes in the beginning of the song.  Did you notice that?  High marks go to Pia for holding on to the correct notes until the string player had the sense to back off.  Like with the McGreery/Campbell connection, I thought of Celine Dion as she was performing.  I think it was ‘Niffer who involved her name.

Paul McDonald seemed completely in his element tonight.  He’s better with a guitar or piano than stand without a prop. Again, a solid performance and even memorable. For the first time in the competition Naima Adedapo brought her best to the stage.  I thought the dancing was a bit weird, but I don’t see her as a bottom three person this week.  Remember, this was a pretty good week for everyone too.

The best was saved for last, James Durbin was spot on in his performance despite an awkward first six bars.  I like his personality too, he truly is enjoying this competition and seems unphased by the pressure.

Standouts this evening were James Durbin and Jacob Lusk.

Average performances, were put in by everyone but one other I will mention next.

Disappointments for the evening, Stefano Langone.

This is a tough week to call for the bottom three, however, I think you’ll see Stefano, Haley and Thia hoping against hope to make the cut, although you could interchange Lauren Alaina for any of the above three.  I think Haley Reinhart will be saying goodbye.

How do you see it?

Thanks for reading this far.