Only three more weeks of American Idol Season 10. If you read our Top 4 Power Rankings, you know we think Haley Reinhart is making a big move to the top. Going into last week’s Top 5 performances we thought James Durbin and Christian musician Scott McCreery were a lock for the final two. We stated that Haley Reinhart and Christian musicians Lauren Alaina and Jacob Lusk were fighting to make the top 3. We don’t believe that anymore.
Haley Reinhart has been so strong for the past four weeks that we believe she has a chance to overtake James Durbin for a spot in the American Idol Season 10 finale. We will be shocked if Scott McCreery is not standing on the American Idol stage on May 25th, but the next two weeks look to be a fierce battle between James and Haley.
It will be interesting to watch how Lauren Alaina recovers from last week’s results show. She looked completely crushed standing with Jacob Lusk, looking at what was probably the American Idol Season 10 top 3 across the stage. Will she give in to what looks like her inevitable exit this week and stumble through these performances? Will she resolve herself to go out with her best performances of the season? Will she refuse to accept the picture from last week’s result show and fight for her place in the finals? Will last week’s results finally push her to let loose with her big vocals and forget about failing? We can forgive Lauren Alaina for crumbling under the pressure since her biggest struggles this year have been with confidence. However, we believe we will see the drive and determination that landed this 16 year old in the American Idol Season 10 top 4. I expect great things from Lauren Alaina tonight.
So the charge to the finale begins tonight as the Idols work with Lady Gaga to update songs from the Leiber & Stoller catalogue. The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame composers shaped the sound of pre-Beatles rock with hits for Elvis, The Coasters, Ben E. King and many others. These songs set-up much better for Haley Reinhart than for James Durbin. I also expect wonderful country interpretations of these songs from Christian musicians Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery.
But enough speculation, let’s see what happens as we live blog the performances of the American Idol Season 10 top 4.
A twist in the songs. The first songs will be “songs that inspired them” and then the Leiber & Stroller songs.
James Durbin starts with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Wow, I was looking at my screen during James’s opening and I swear it was Steve Perry up there. Well James Durbin has accepted the challenge. Except for the silly calls to the audience at the very beginning that was a great delivery of that song. Very few singers can pull this song off. It is rock song in a very high range. Really Randy? Journey is one of the greatest rock bands of all time? I scoff at you. I do agree with Randy that the song was the highest degree of difficulty and James pulled it off. Game on.
Haley Reinhart will be singing Michael Jackson. That sounds like a mistake to me. She is singing “The Earth Song.” Game is on. I was wrong. Haley slayed that song. She commanded a stage filled with a choir and completely owned the entire arena. I agree with J-Lo that Haley really felt the message of the song. Randy hated it. I completely disagree with Randy and J-Lo. I agree with Steven that she nailed the song and he felt strongly enough to cut-off Randy’s critique. The judges are trying to pigeon hole her into too tight a style.
Scott McCreery is singing “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).” This is an Alan Jackson song about 9/11. For the first time this year Scott is playing his guitar. This openly Christian country song quotes I Corithinians 13:13 and blatently states that the singer knows Jesus. It was a great song for Scott and he sang the song beautifully. Scott is fighting back tears because this song defines who he is. All of the judges thought it was a perfect song choice and that it perfectly fits with who he will be as an artist. This is just another example of Scott McCreery commanding American Idol Season 10. He did exactly the type of song he has done all season, he did it perfectly and the judges ate it up. Good job Scott.
Lauren Alaina is singing “Anyway” by Martina McBride. Our Christian musicians are coming through tonight with strong proclamations of their faith. Lauren just declared that God is great and that she prays through her set backs. Well, Lauren Alaina decided to fight for her place in the top 3. She stood in the middle of the stage and belted that country ballad like it was written for her. She went for the big notes and she just swallowed them up. That was a great vocal performance. Randy says that Lauren was back in it to win it. Steven and J-Lo loved it. I did too. My favorite part, Lauren ended the judging by calling Ryan by his nickname, “peaches.”
Round one, inspirational songs, four way tie at a very high level. Game is on and Lauren Alaina is back in it.
Haley Reinhart is doing “I (Who Have Nothing).” Another Haley risk because this song won season 6 for Jordin Sparks. Wow, she certainly got the drama of that song. She sang the notes off the page! That was a big soaring performance. Deep, connected and dramatic and it showed-off the truely great voice Haley brings to American Idol Season 10. The judges gave her a standing ovation. J-Lo says it was one of the best performances of the season. Randy said it was perfect. Steven just said Haley just “reinharted herself into next week.” Haley continues her run of awesome performances.
Scott McCreery enters the Gaga zone. He is singing The Coasters’ “Youngblood.” Of course the mentoring was coarse and rude. Not my favorite Scott McCreery performance. It was playful and showed Scott’s fun side. However, I did not like the frantic running around the audience and the song had virtually no singing. I don’t understand these judges. They just love everything he does, no matter what. I think the judges have become a little too fawning with Scott. Not his best.
What I did like was that the queen of the world right now, Lady Gaga, went right into conservative Scott’s face with vulgarity, he politely stood his ground and she realized she had gone too far. She apologized to Scott.
Lauren Alaina, Elvis and Lady Gaga. What a trio. Lauren is singing “Trouble” with a gold sparkly dress and lots of big jewelry. So many songs, why this one? Lauren struggles with singing that she is evil then sings it about 10 times. She would have been better off if she had kept it slow and smokey. The song picked up tempo in the middle of the song and she lost the impact of her performance. That was a good try for Lauren, she sang it well, but this was the wrong song for Lauren. The judges enjoyed it but were not raving. I did not like this Lauren Alaina performance, even though I look forward to the “Lauren Alaina Christmas Special” in a few years.
James Durbin is singing “Love Potion No 9.” A metal version of Love Potion No. 9 with squeals and shredding and big dramatic finishes. A great performance from James Durbin, It was big, loud and exciting. And, by the way, he sang it perfectly note for note. J-Lo says this tells us he can sing anything. Randy says he is peaking at the right time. Steven says something. That was great.
Scott McCreery played the front runner perfectly tonight and will maintain that position. James Durbin and Haley Reinhart delivered four killer performances. Lauren Alaina did herself proud with “Always” then, I think she stumbled with “Trouble.”
Vote, vote, vote and then join us tomorrow night for the results as we select the American Idol Season 10 Top 3.