It is time! We have a top 5 and three weeks to resolve the burning questions: “Who is the next American Idol?”
Tonight should be a barn burner as each Idol performs a modern song and a classic song. Ten performances on the pivotal night of American Idol Season 10. As I discussed in my Top 5 power rankings , James Durbin and Christian musician Scott McCreery are strong frontrunners to make it to the finale. Can Haley Reinhart build enough momentum to usurp one of these guys? Will Christian musician Lauren Alaina find that nugget of self confidence that will enable her unleash her big voice in these solo performances? Will Christian musician Jacob Lusk find himself again after floundering for the past few weeks? Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart must deliver the performances of their lives tonight. If not they all will go home before the American Idol Season 10 finale.
Time to find out. Check back regularly to see what I think is happening as One21music live blogs the American Idol Season 10 Top 5 performances.
Wow, no intros or walk-outs. American Idol is not wasting any time to night. Well maybe they are because now we are asking Randy why tonight is so important. As Randy says, “Now is the time to do it!” Let’s go.
First song within 5 minutes. James Durbin is singing “Closer To The Edge” by 30 Seconds To Mars. He started flat and I did not enjoy the high five parade. He screamed a lot and I do not think he showed any connection to the song. Not his best performance of the year. The judges fawned all over James but I think he did not live up to his season long high standard.
In seasons past American Idol judges have demanded a high level song interpretation and an expression of the song’s meaning. At this point in the season I expect the top 5 to deliver the emotion of the song. These judges don’t seem to care about that.
Jacob Lusk is up next singing “No Air” by Jordan Sparks and Chris Brown. Jacob is singing both parts. That was not really great. A little screechy and he fell off key several times. I agree that this is the type of songs he will do as a performer, but he did deliver on this performance. J-Lo said nothing about his performance. Randy does not think this should the be direction he should go. This is not the performance that will keep Jacob in American Idol Season 10. Randy did just say that Jacob’s is much bigger than Jordan Sparks.
Lauren Alaina is doing Carri Underwood’s “Flat On The Floor.” Sheryl Crow is advising Lauren to just stand still and bring the audience to her. I think we just saw the full flowering of Lauren Alaina. She stood in the middle of the stage and just belted this country rocker. Lauren found some confidence. J-Lo says she ate that up. I agree. The best performance of the night so far.
Scott McCreery is singing “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry. This a big country blues song. Let’s see what Scotty’s got. Wow. That was the most playful Scott McCreery we have seen so far. He danced, he mugged, he growled and he wailed. That was not an Idol competing to win. That was a country performer guesting on American Idol. Perfectly sung and big, big stage presence. That may have just won American Idol Season 10 for Scott. Judges loved it big time and so did I.
Haley Reinhart is performing an unreleased Lady GaGa song? Wow, that is pretty cool. The song is called “You And I.” That was strange. I got really excited, then kind of bored then really excited again. She belted the song and it showed her voice off but she did not wow me. She seemed to get a little lost in the song. J-Lo did not like the song selection. Randy did not like the song. Randy thinks it was a risky choice but she kicked it. I didn’t mind the song choice I just don’t think she did much with it.
Round one goes to Scott McCreery by a long shot.
Back to James Durbin. He is doing “Without You” by Nillson. This could be a big moment. James broke down during rehearsals. He misses his family. I really, really wanted this to be great. He just really struggled with the low end. This young man is struggling to hold his emotions together. It was emotional and it was very good, but it was not great. Randy says Season 10 is his to lose. I disagree. It was cool to see James stand in front of a string section and sing an emotional ballad. It was really good but not as good as I had hoped. I will say that in the past few minutes we experienced the emotional toll this competition takes on the young people. That was one of the most poignant moments I have ever experienced on American Idol.
After that Jacob Lusk must take back the audience with Nazareth’s “Love Hurts.” I didn’t know that was a gospel song. Jacob Lusk is back! He just wrenched all the emotion out of that song. That was a spectacular vocal performance. Evidently he screwed something up in the middle. I didn’t hear it and I loved the gut wrenching performance. Randy said Jacob may have hit the highest note he has ever heard on American Idol. The judges were blown away. So was I.
Lauren Alaina sings “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. That is a big risk by a confident performer. That was not as good as I had hoped. She seemed a little overwhelmed by that classic. She sang it beautifully but she did not bring anything special to the song. The judges tried to like it. J-Lo says nothing to judge and Steven agrees. It was just okay for me.
Scott McCreery is doing Elvis’s “Always On My Mind.” This is a perfect song for him to finish the night with. It is interesting that everyone has decided to go quiet with their second songs. I wish he would have been a little bigger. It was a little quiet and breathy. I thought he was a little flat in places. J-Lo says that there is nothing uncomfortable about him. I agree. Randy is happy he did a tender song. Steven says it was beautiful rendition of the song. The audience may have heard the song differently in the studio but I thought it was a tad too quiet.
Haley Reinhart finishes the Animals’ “House of The Rising Sun.” Okay, so I am speechless. Haley’s momentum is skyrocketing. That was a tremendous, tour de force performance of that bluesy rock number. Growls, wails and very big notes. I don’t think I have ever seem Haley interpret a song with as much emotion as she did with this song. J-Lo says no one has ever sung that song that way. I agree. Randy says it was the best performance of the night. I agree. Haley Reinhart just had her American Idol Season 10 moment at the right time.
Vote, vote, vote and then join us tomorrow night as we live blog the American Idol Season 10 top 5 results.