Well, well, well is American Idol making a comeback in Season 10? The guys were pretty good last night. Christian music performers Jacob Lusk and Scott McCreery were among the best of the night, along with Casey Abrams and James Durbin. However, 10 of the 12 performances were better than most of what we saw last year. Read our live blog of the American Idol Top 12 Guys’ performances and share in the excitement.
Can the girls keep pace? Christian musicians Ashton Jones, Kendra Chantelle and Lauren Alaina perform tonight. Ashton and Kendra have been solid throughout the auditions and Lauren is touted as a favorite to maybe win American Idol Season 10. Ashton Jones is an R&B singer who has nailed every performance so far. She asserted herself in Hollywood with a controlled and nuanced version of “And I’m Telling You” from Dreamgirls. Kendra Chantelle almost got lost in Hollywood but made a nice comeback with her performance of “Georgia On My Mind.” Lauren Alaina charmed the judges in Nashville when she sang a duet with Steven Tyler with her family in tow.
It does not seem to me that the girls, except for Lauren Alaina, have asserted their personalities the way the guys have up to this point. I am not sure what to expect tonight, so join me and we can be surprised together.
After a little banter it is time to get it started. Ta-Tynisa Wilson leads us off with Rhianna’s” Only Girl (In The World)”. We haven’t seen much of Ta-Tynisa so she needs to deliver a breakthrough performance. She certainly looks comfortable on stage but the singing sounds way off key. She certainly gave it her all, but it was not great for me. Steven liked it? J-Lo liked her comeback from a shaky start and her groove. Randy agrees with me and Jennifer is fighting with Randy. Judge fight!
The most quirky girl, Naima Adedapo, is sporting a bright yellow dress, which she designed, that affirms her image. She is singing a very dangerous song “Summertime” because Randy will say that Fantasia retired that song in Season 3. She will need to bring a different interpretation of this number. Well, it is different, very upbeat with strong jazz overtones. This is working. Naima has comfortable stage presence and a strong voice. This performance ranks with the guys from last night. J-Lo liked it, but Randy, predictably, mentions Fantasia and did not love it. It is almost like Randy has decided to the curmudgeon. Steven calls her new old-timey.
Kendra Chantelle is climbing a big mountain with Christina Aguilera’s “Impossible”. I don’t know this song that well but it seems like Kendra is stretching beyond herself to match Christina’s power. Randy liked her vibrato calling it warm enabling him to connect. Steven likes everything about Kendra. J-Lo says we are just scratching the surface with Kendra. I see what Randy is saying so I will go with him. Vote for Kendra Chantelle.
Opera singer Rachel Zevita brings us back from break with a smokey rendition of Fiona Apple’s “Criminal”. She is shouty and loses herself when she moves around. I don’t know if this was technically good but it was not pleasant to listen to. And Rachel snaps back at Steven’s criticism, which he did not like. Randy says it was not good. Rachel is visibly unhappy with the judges feedback.
Latin siren Karen Rodriguez is singing Mariah Carey’s “Hero” in both English and Spanish. What a beautiful tone she has in her voice. Karen struggles when she tries to belt the big notes. That performance had its moments but was not consistently great. J-Lo is screaming wow and great. Randy liked her interpretation. Steven calls her a one of kind singer. The judges saw much more in that performance than I did.
Now it is time to Big Easy with New Orleans native Lauren Turner. She is reaching way back into her blues roots with Etta James’ “Seven Day Fool”. Okay, so I see why she picked this song. Lauren has a big, bluesy voice and this song gives her room to stretch it out. She completely owns the song. It sounds like it was written for her. J-Lo referenced Bette Midler, I am hearing Maria Muldaur. Yep, that worked. Randy says, “that’s how you do it!” Steven said that it was a perfect, full complete sentence. J-Lo encouraged her to break out more. I think we have the second of our Top 5 girls right here.
Christian musician Ashton Jones tackles Monica’s “Love Over Me”. There is some conversation on the Internet about how much Ashton resembles Beyonce, let’s see if she brings that kind of star power to American Idol Season 10 tonight. Wow, Ashton has some hair. I really do not like this song. Ashton hits some nice big notes but I don’t think this song displays the nice tone of Ashton’s voice. I am worried that she might not get another chance. What did Steven say? J-Lo gushes about Ashton’s star power. Randy liked Ashton but not really the song. Ashton has a comfortable report with the judges.
One of the Internet favorites, Julie Zorilla, is singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway”. I don’t think this song presents Julie’s voice in good light. When she stretches for the big notes, it gets a little shouty. J-Lo did not think it was great and was missing a connection. Randy says she did not bring anything new to the song. I agree that it was a pale comparison to Kelly. Steven nailed it that she was singing a couple of keys too low.
We now jump right to Hayley Reinhart who is singing Alicia Keys’ “Fallin”. I love this song so she better bring it strong. Her stage presence is a little clumsy. She is trying to bring something new to the song but it feels like she is over the top. That felt like a mess to me. Randy says it was the wrong song for her. Steven disagrees with Randy and me and says it was great. J-lo with Steven. I think Hayley needs some work to polish and develop a style.
Another quirky singer, Thia Megia, is pulling a song from my teen years with “Out Here On My Own” from the movie Fame. This is a big song, which is not really her style. I am interested to see what she does with this. The beginning was beautiful. Slow and controlled, she is completely in control of this song. And that comment about her not belting, forget it. That was spectacular. I think a star is born. Steven said her pitch was perfect and it was beautiful. J-lo says she was captivating and Randy is saying ‘amen”. Randy says her tone is hot. Think we have another of the Top 5.
Lauren Alaina goes loud with Reba’s “Turn On The Radio”. That girl has a big voice and owns the stage. As hard as they are trying the band cannot overcome Lauren’s voice. We now have a new country belter here. Another big time performance. The judges are loving it. J-Lo calls her singing effortless. Randy says she has a natural gift and calls her a combination of Kelly and Carrie. Steven says she kills him or something like that.
We end the night with Pia Toscano singing another of my favorite songs “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders. This seems like an odd choice for her so let’s see what happens here. Pia is a beautiful singer and she is belting this song. It took me a few minutes to get there but that was very well done and the judges leap to their feet. Her competitors are crying. Randy calls it one of the best performances in 10 years of American Idol. I think Steven liked it, but who knows. J-Lo calls it out of this world. Pia will always be able to say she made a statement on American Idol Season 10.
I came into tonight skeptical. I do think the guys demonstrated more uniqueness and were more consistently good, but there were some jaw dropping, confident, mature performances tonight. The girls are just littered with super strong singers. I feel sorry that the judges have to pick three wild cards among this group. Here are my Top 5 girls in American Idol Season 10:
- Thia Megia
- Pia Toscano
- Naima Adedapo
- Lauren Alaina
- Lauren Turner
I had our other two Christian musicians, Kendra Chantelle and Ashton Jones just out of the Top5, so let’s hope they get some love from the judges.
We usually just re-cap the results show as soon as the results are announced. However, there is so much going on tomorrow night with the selection of the Top 10 and the three judges picks that we will live blog American Idol Season 10 tomorrow night. Join us to find out who has made it to the finals. If America votes right this will be a good season.