American Idol Season 11 Top 7 Results

Another good night on American Idol Season 11 last night as the Idols performed “songs of this decade” beautifully.  Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez, Skylar Laine and Colton Dixon were amazing.  Elise Testone did well but did not have the standout moment she may need to make it into the top five.  Phil Phillips and Hollie Cavanagh were enjoyable but did not reach the bar set by Joshua.  Elise Testone and Hollie Cavanagh will probably be in the bottom two and either of them could go home tonight.

Christian musician Jennifer Hudson and Michael Durbin perform tonight so the entire hour should be entertaining, I guess in a gladiator sort of way.  Take the ride with us as they build the bottom three.  Remember, Jennifer Hudson was eliminated on this night several years ago and she has done all right.

So now American Idol starts building the bottom three with Hollie Cavanagh and Jessica Sanchez. Not much tension here. Hollie Cavanagh is starting a group but Ryan is not saying what the groups mean.  Hollie on one side of the stage and Jessica on the other side.  What could it mean?

James Durbin’s expression of his rock vision was pretty good and it sounds like it is popular too. Three weeks after release he has already sold 100,000 units. It is good to him doing well.  If you remember, he was financially crippled while pursuing his rock dream.

We continue to form the two group dance with Phil Phillips and Elise Testone. Ryan sends Phillip to Hollie’s group and Elise joins Jessica. Will one of our Christian musicians be in the bottom three this week?

Joshua Ledet and Colton Dixon are next for results. Joshua joins Jessica and Elise while Colton joins Hollie and Phillip. Skylar Laine is the first performer to be safe and Ryan is asking her to pick the group she belongs to.

Oh my gosh, Joshua Ledet, Elise Testone and Jessica Sanchez are in the bottom three.  Expect the judges to use their save tonight.  This is a shocking travesty.

The first one to safety is Joshua Ledet, so Elise and Jessica are the bottom two.  Jessica Sanchez is singing for her American Idol life.  I predicted something like this but that does not mean it is right.  The judges do not even let her finish her song before they save her.

Wow, tonight was shocking.

Check back this weekend for my revised power rankings.



American Idol Season 10 Finale Live Blog

American Idol Season 10 Top 2 performed last night in a highly charged, rapid -fire show that blasted by before I could digest what was happening.  Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery performed three songs each and were joined by Taio Cruz and David Cook in a show that was so rushed that the judges comments were limited to the second half of the hour.  All of this made more dramatic by Lauren Alaina‘s vocal cord injury and the terrible songs handed to Scott McCreery.

On Tuesday afternoon my cell phone went into hyper-buzz with tweets about Lauren Alaina.  She injured her vocal cords, she was not going to be able to sing, the producers were prepping Haley Reinhart to step in.  I bet I had more than 50 tweets about the breaking situation in the Nokia Theater.  Ryan opened the show talking about Lauren’s injury and even brought the American Idol doctor out to explain that Lauren Alaina had sprained a vocal cord during dress rehearsals but through a battery of drugs and some treatments she would be able to sing.  Through it all, Lauren looked a little embarrassed and a lot ticked-off.

American Idol Season 10 Top Performances

It seemed that both Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery were both visibly shaken by the medical emergency. The injury certainly impacted Lauren’s performances.  In her first two songs you could hear her reach for those big notes that everyone has been pushing her to go for all season, and the voice was just not there.  You could also see in her face and her eyes that the drugs had taken an edge off the Lauren Alaina spark we have grown to love this season.  She sang the songs well but just could not  reach the heights she had hoped for.  She did pull it all together in her third song and delivered maybe her “American Idol Season 10 moment” with “Like My Mother Does.”  Her vocals were perfect and her emotional connection was real but controlled.

On the other hand, the American Idol Season 10 handlers let Scott McCreery down.  He came out guns blazing with his encore of “Gone.”  It was a big, bold performance of a performer in command of his audience.  Scott McCreery looked like the winner after that.  Then George Strait and Jimmy Iovine handed Scott two mid-tempo country pop dirges that pandered to Scott’s teenage following but completely undermined his maturity as a performer.  Scott performed both songs well but neither song had the  emotional impact or harmonic dynamics he needed to show his talent.

With all of that I still believe Scott McCreery will win American Idol Season 10.  His popularity has been solid all season long, despite a very good night for Lauren Alaina, there is little reason for Scott’s fans to jump onto Lauren’s bandwagon.  I do think that Lauren Alaina did prove last night that she deserved to be in the top 2 just as much as Haley Reinhart or James Durbin.  Most satisfying to this website that highlights Christian musicians on American Idol is that both of these young performers are Christian musicians.

It is time to dial into the show as we live blog the American Idol Season 10 finale.  I will be posting observations about performances throughout the show as we get to re-acquaint ourselves with many of the American Idol Season 10 Top 24. And, of course we will bring you all the drama of the results.

Anyone doubting the popularity of Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery or thinking a concentration of artists in the country genre would reduce the viewership or vote count forget about it.  More than 122 million votes were cast last night, the largest ever for American Idol.

The Top 13 starts the American Idol Season 10 finale with a big production number of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”  Aren’t all Lady Gaga numbers big productions?

Ryan and the judges talking about voters choosing between Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery, but really, how can you dislike one while liking the other the other?

James Durbin‘s dream comes true.  He is playing with Judas Priest.  This and meeting Hulk Hogan may have been bigger prizes for him than winning American Idol Season 10.  He is doing it right with the leather studded vest and hat.  James Durbin sings better than the Judas Priest lead singer (sorry, I don’t know his name).

Jacob Lusk jumped deep into his gospel pool with Kirk Franklin and Gladys Knight and a big gospel choir. I don’t think I have ever seen Jacob Lusk enjoy himself more.  I could have used a few more choruses of that.

Casey Abrams is singing Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls” with Jack Black.  Sorry Casey, Jack Black sounds better than you.  What is this a skat-off between Casey and JB?

This show is fun so far.

Haley Reinhart is doing a duet with Tony Bennett.  You can never go wrong with Tony Bennett. Haley seems like she is heaven and she is slamming on “Stepping Out On My Baby.”

Scott McCreery is singing “Live Like Your Dying” with Tim McGraw. Why didn’t Jimmy Iovine give Scott that song last night? Look at this image.  You will see it again and again on every country music awards show for the decade. Scott sounds very, very good on that song.

This is as good an American Idol finale as I have seen. When you match the depth of talent this American Idol Season 10 group with wide breadth of musical styles you get a very good variety show concert.

We are even getting some hot Latin salsa from Mark Anthony and Sheila E,  and, of course J-Lo.  I have never listened to Mark Anthony but this guy is smoking good.  And who knew? Jennifer Lopez can dance.

tom-jonesThe Top 13 guys are doing a Tom Jones medley.  If Tom Jones joins them I am going to get stupid giddy.  Yes I am jumping up and down and screaming like one of Scott’s teenage girl fans. IT’S TOM JONES! THIS IS THE GREATEST AMERICAN IDOL SHOW EVER!

Ford just gave Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery the keys to any Ford vehicle they want.  I bet Scott picks a F-350 and Lauren picks a Mustang.

Lauren Alaina is singing with her hero Carrie Underwood. Once again, get ready for a decade of Lauren and Carrie sharing duets of their big country hits.

It is about time to find out who wins American Idol Season 10, but first Spiderman, or is it Peter Parker?, sings with Bono and Edge. As big a Spiderman fan as I am (really revealing my inner geek tonight) and as much as I love U2, I think I will miss Spiderman the Musical.

The last quarter of the show slowed down when it became a parade of Billboard artists debuting new songs.  We have not seen any of the top 13 since TOM JONES. Well, we did but I just wanted to say TOM JONES one more time. Could have used some Pia more than another song by Beyonce or that Spiderman thing.

Time to find out who 122 million Americans voted for. The Season 10 American Idol is … but first Steven Tyler sings “Dream On” with the entire Nokia Theater audience.  Then another commercial.  So much for finishing on time, it is 8:57.

Scott McCreery Season 10 American IdolTime to find out who 122 million Americans voted for.  Lauren Alaina looks like she is hyperventilating. The Season 10 American Idol is Scott McCreery. I don’t think I have ever seen a performer lead American Idol from Hollywood to the end. And then, as we should have expected, Scott McCreery gave all glory to God.  A fitting end to American Idol Season 10.

Scott McCreery cannot even sing his new single he is so overcome with emotion and then at the end he collapses onto the floor in tears.

Thank you for joining us for American Idol Season 10 as One21music followed the Christian musicians on American Idol.  Thank you Ashton Jones, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina and the Season 10 American Idol–Scott McCreery.  It was a wonderful season.

American Idol Season 10 Top 2 Performance Live Blog

Put on your kickers and your 10 gallon hat because American Idol Season 10 goes country tonight.  Christian musicians Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina are both country singers so it does not really matter what songs are chosen for them to perform. They will put their own unique country twists on their performances anyway.  However, in addition to songs chosen by George Strait for Scott and Carrie Underwood for Lauren, both of them will debut their first singles tonight.  The new songs will be available on iTunes on Thursday.

For all of the talk about how predictable American Idol has become we have several unique developments in the American Idol Season 10 finals. This is only the second time in American Idol history that two Christian musicians have made it to the finals. This is the youngest duo ever to make it to an American Idol finale.  If Lauren Alaina wins she will be the youngest performer ever to win American IdolSeason 10 is the first time two country singers have made it to the final. Scott McCreery will be the first teen guy and the first male country singer to win.  Lauren Alaina will be the first female to win since Season 7′s Jordin Sparks.

In my American Idol Season 10 Top 2 Power Rankings, I review the highlights of Scott and Lauren’s journey to the top 2.  I had both of these teens pegged as potential winners from the start.  I lost faith in Lauren Alaina when she lost faith in herself.  Through much of the season she fell short of her potential and had to rely on her charisma to keep her in the competition.  However, she always seemed to come up with the right performance at the right time and managed to prevail over favorites James Durbin and Haley Reinhart. Scott McCreery skated through Season 10 with quiet confidence and a laser focus on his musical persona.

The biggest surprise of Season 10 was Scott and Lauren’s overwhelming popularity.   These two southern, Christian teens are so popular that they generated 95 million votes last week to overcome a split vote in their demographic and eliminate Haley Reinhart.  That was the third largest number of votes ever for American Idol, including finales. I think Scott McCreery will win but I have learned to not underestimate the popularity of Lauren Alaina.

So sit back and enjoy as we live blog the final live performance show of American Idol Season 10.  I think it will be less a competition tonight and more of a preview of the 2013 Country Music Awards.

Ryan Seacrest is in a tux and the Idol world past and present is in house. Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina have never performed before a crowd like there is tonight in the Nokia Theater.  Lauren Alaina blew out a vocal cord in rehearsals so this should be interesting.  Three rounds tonight: their favorite song of the season, one from their Idols and their new single.

Scott McCreery starts with “Gone”. Well, the moment nor the crowd has not overwhelmed Scott McCreery.  He just threw down with a romping version of “Gone.”  That was much, much better than his performance of that song earlier in the year.  Scott was in the moment, playing to the entire audience and singing full out in the chorus.  Scott McCreery started with a bang.

Lauren Alaina now does “Flat On The Floor.” This was one of the high points of her season, when she put a stamp on her position as a frontrunner.  You could really hear the impact of her vocal cord problem.  She delivered on her sassy stage persona and was her usual charismatic personality.  She had good moments in the song but a few times, when she reached for her big voice, it was not there.  It did not effect the song and she didn’t miss any notes but it was not as big as she is capable of.  If she planned on blowing away Scott with her voice power tonight she needs a new plan.

Scott McCreery seems more excited than nervous tonight.  Lauren Alaina seems a little shaken by her voice.

George Strait has selected “Check Yes or No” for Scott McCreery. Scott is much better with his guitar.  I hate this song.  There was not much there for Scott to work with.  Scott did all he could with it, but I don’t know how that helps us decide on our vote.

Carrie Underwood selects “Maybe It Was Memphis” for Lauren Alaina. Much much better in many ways.  Lauren seemed to rediscover her voice in that performance.  The song is much better than Scott’s song.  With this performance, we saw the Lauren Alaina that could win American Idol Season 10.

I agree with the judges.  Round one to Scott McCreery. Round two to Lauren Alaina.

We end the night with new singles from Scott McCreey and Lauren Alaina.  Look for them to hit the top of iTunes charts by the end of this week.

First, Scott McCreery sings “Love You This Big.”  Jimmy Iovine helped him pick the song and the arrangement.  That was a perfect song for Scott thematically, but it showed the limitations of his voice.  I had a hard time hearing him, the music overwhelmed his voice in places.  However, when he sang “love you this big” every teenage girl in America was lining up phones to vote with.  The judges thought he showed great range and sang the song exceptionally well.  I think the mix on the single will be better and it will push a million copies for Scott McCreery.

Now Lauren Alaina does a remake of the Carrie Underwood song “Like My Mother Does.” Will she have enough voice to pull away from Scott McCreery. Well Lauren Alaina just picked the right moment to have her American Idol moment.  That was a fully blasted vocal of a highly emotional song. Every mother in America is now fighting their daughters for the phones to vote.  She went down to hug her mother in the middle of the song.  Her voice held up and it was beautiful.  The judges are worshiping Lauren Alaina after that performance.

Even with her vocal problems Lauren Alaina delivered the performances she needed to to win this night.

Join us tomorrow night as we live blog the American Idol Season 10 results show.  We will see U2, all of the Idols from Season 10 and we will find out who wins American Idol Season 10.

American Idol Season 10 Top 3 Performance Live Blog

American Idol Season 10 is coming to a conclusion.  Tonight, America selects the finalists from the Top 3. If you have been following us throughout the American Idol Season 10 journey, you will know that we have thought Christian musician Scott McCreery was a lock for the finals and the favorite to win.  We are not so sure any longer.  Haley Reinhart has put together a string of tremendous performances and put Season 10 into question. And even though Christian musician Lauren Alaina has yet to reach her singing potential, her charisma and humor have brought her into the Top 3 with a chance to win American Idol Season 10.  I now believe that tonight will be a legitimate battle to decide the American Idol Season 10 final two.

Scott McCreery, Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alaina will each sing three songs this week.  They can pick a song for themselves, the judges will pick one and Jimmy Iovine will pick the third.  In addition to all of the work to prepare three songs, the American Idol Season 10 Top 3 took a day to go home for the annual American Idol homecoming celebrations.

So tonight comes down to this.  Scott McCreery will make the Top 2 unless he stumbles tonight.  However, Scott very much needs a special performance tonight to regain momentum that has been snatched by Haley Reinhart.  Speaking of Haley, if she continues her run of stunning performances tonight, she could challenge Scott for the American Idol Season 10 title.  If Lauren Alaina can just lose herself into three songs and belt out performances like she consistently does in the results show, she will push Scott or Haley out of the top 2 and maybe even win American Idol Season 10.

I do want to take a moment to point out a comment from our Top 13 Power Rankings on March 6th:

“Today, two of the Top 13 show all the signs of winning American Idol Season 10. Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina are young, likable, good looking and safe for the American Idol voting demographic. The pre-teen girl voters want to date Scott and hangout with Lauren, and their voting mothers want that as well. Both are talented and will have successful music careers, so one of them winning would be a good conclusion to American Idol Season 10.”

Both Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina have lived up to that prediction and both have a real shot at winning.

It is time for all three to prove that they belong, so join me as I live blog the American Idol Season 10 top 3 performances, right now.

We are going two hours tonight.  I need to grab my charger.  In case you have not heard, American Idol sponsored James Durbin‘s homecoming celebration.

Beyonce mentored the Top 3 through their personal choices. Did you know that she is an iconic diva, like J-Lo?

Scott McCreery picks “Amazed” by Lone Star. Beyonce thinks Scott has innocent charisma. Scott’s has demonstrated perfect phrasing all season.  That is why he has seemed to be a consumate pro from the time the Top 24 hit the stage.  That was a very simple song, with a beautiful melody and Scott completely owned it. He needs to work on his stage movements a little, but as a vocal performer he continues to prove that he is a master.  He much went higher in his range than he usually does.  Steven and J-Lo both loved. Randy had a few small complaints think he finished the song strong. A good Scott McCreery performance but it did not blow my mind.

Lauren Alaina is singing Faith Hill’s “Wild One.” Lauren showed exceptional stage presence.  She moved around the stage effortlessly and seemed very engaged with the audience.  She certainly had fun with the song.  She missed a few opportunities to build on some notes and blow everyone away.  The judges did not seem to be blown away but had nothing but nice things to say.  A very good performance but not a show stopper.

Haley Reinhart‘s song choice is “What Is And What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin.  This is certainly a risk.  This is a 40 year old rock song that was never a hit. Except for falling down in the middle of the song that was pretty exceptional.   Except for the fall, her stage movements were dead on.  That was completely in Haley’s pocket.  She wailed on this big bluesy rock number. Her voice is big enough and she sang it full out.  Haley Reinhart is on fire.  The judges gave here a standing ovation and they all loved it. I thought is was pretty incredible as well.

Randy, Steve and J-Lo all say Haley Reinhart created a moment and won round 1.

Jimmy Iovine picks “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” by Thompson Square  for Scott McCreery.  He brings out a guitar for round 2.  Good job Jimmy. This is a perfect song for Scott. That was a great performance by Scott.  He showed a little range and added some growl to his vocal.  I think that may have been his moment.  A fully complete performance.  Scott delivered a full body, nuanced, fully engaged performance.  Everything came together for Scott McCreery with that performance. Steven loved the way he delivered the chorus.  J-Lo thought he was in the zone. Randy declares Scotty is in it to win it.  That is the type of performance Scott needed tonight.  That was perfect.

For Lauren Alaina, Jimmy Iovine goes to today’s charts for “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry.  They are a Christian band. Jimmy is good at this.  Another great performance.  Lauren really pushed her vocals and delivered some big notes.  The competition is heating up.  In this week, more than ever, Lauren is performing more as a professional than as a competitor. J-Lo loves her tone. Both Randy and J-Lo picked up on her losing herself in the song but complimented on her recovery.  t didn’t hear her mistake, evidently she got caught up in the emotion of the song and missed a chord change. Lauren delivered another great performance. No one is backing down tonight.

Haley Reinhart will be singing Stevie Nick’s “Rhiannon.” Jimmy tells her to build to the end so America can hear every color of her voice. Haley gets the full Stevie Nicks wind machine treatment. That was beautiful visual performance but the vocals we just okay.  Her pitch was perfect but that song did not show off her voice.  That was okay but it was not up to par with her past three weeks.  Randy and Steven enjoyed it.  J-Lo thought it was beautiful moment.  Like the judges, I thought it was good but not special.  It was like a throw away from her first album.

Steven thought Lauren took round 2. J-Lo and Randy adamantly thought Scott took round 2.  Jimmy thinks we saw Scott transform into a star tonight.

The judges pick “She Believes In Me” by Kenny Rogers for Scott McCreery. This is a really schmaltzy country ballad for the 80′s.  This song challenges Scott’s range and he proves to be up to the challenge.  A perfect delivery of that song.  Very beautiful.  I was hoping for a more emotional moment that never came.  Steven thinks he sang the big chorus with ease. J-Lo says they were trying to challenge him with that big chorus and that he showed them.  Randy loved it.  The judges all complimented him on the technical singing and I agree.  That was a beautiful vocal performance.

For Lauren Alaina, the judges selected “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. That was solid.  Tonight, as many times with Lauren, I am left wanting more for her.  She sang perfectly but she held back.  She could have gone for a big finish but went soft.  She walked out like she owned the stage and she sang well.  I just want more.  The judges went gaga (not Lady) over her performance.  I am not sure I saw what they saw or heard what they heard.

The judges have saddled Haley Reinhart with Alainas Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know.”  Not only do I haet this song, it is completely wrong for Haley.  If she pulls this off she deserves to win.  Haley soars through the big chorus really unleashing her big voice.  However, she muddles through the rappy verses.  The rapid fire lyrics in the low end of her range really tied her in knots.  She finished huge though.  Randy loved the choruses.  Steven said she was amazing because she nailed the choruses.  J-Lo loved the choruses.  Aren’t songs made up of both verses and choruses?  The Haley Reinhart train ran out of steam tonight because of poor song choices by Jimmy and the judges.

Steven thinks Haley won round 3. J-Lo and Randy thinks Lauren won round 3.

Nothing was better tonight than Haley Reinhart singing “What Is and What Should Never Be”, but both Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina were consistently better than Haley. I think Scott McCreery assured himself a spot in the American Idol Season 10 top 2 and may have solidified his shot at the title.  It will be a battle between Lauren and Haley to join Scott next week.

Join us tomorrow night as we live blog the American Idol Season 10 top 3 results show.

American Idol Season 10 Top 4 Results Live Blog

The American Idol Season 10 top 4 performances last night were mostly good.  James Durbin and Haley Reinhart both needed to be great and they both were. James’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Love Potion No. 9″ both showed off James’ great singing chops and his exuberant performance style.  Haley’s “The Earth Song” and “I Who Have Nothing” were both thrilling and continued her string of great performances.  Christian musicians Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina had mixed nights.  Scott’s version “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” and Lauren’s “Anyway”, both with openly Christian messages, were the top two performances of the night.  However, Scott’s “Youngblood” and Lauren’s “Trouble” missed the mark.

The studio recordings are really good so join me in purchasing the American Idol Top 4 Season 10 – Various Artists on iTunes (be sure to have iTunes open before you click through.)

Two big subplots emerged last night. First was the judges unfair and completely unbalanced criticism of Haley Reinhart for her performance of “The Earth Song.”

Whether or not you agree with me that this was a gut wrenching, wailing throwdown of a performance by someone who really cared about what she was singing, or you don’t like when a singer loses control a little, this was not fair.  Over eight performances last night, this was the only negative criticism.  Everything else was fawning and supportive.  The entire Internet has turned against the judges.

The bigger story for us is the interchange between Lady GaGa and Scott McCreery.  During the mentoring sessions Lady GaGa came at Scott with a series of vulgarities.  This young man, under the pressure of his life to win American Idol Season 10, stood his ground in the face of the most popular performer on the planet.  He did not argue with her, he not did challenge her actions, he merely resisted her crudeness.  In the end, the reigning queen of controversy saw the vulgarity of her actions and apologized.  Admittedly her apology was “for telling the truth” but it was an apology.  Here is a bad video of the exchange. Sorry, it was the best I could find.

So, last night, controversy overshadowed the performances of the American Idol Season 10 top 4, but America votes on the performances.  As I said both Haley Reinhart and James Durbin were terrific last night while Christian musicians Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery had two of the best and two of the worst performances on the show.  Scott could afford the inconsistency.  We don’t think Lauren had the wiggle room.

We believe that Lauren Alaina will go home tonight.  The most interesting result to watch tonight is whether James Durbin or Haley Reinhart joins her in the bottom 2.  This will tell us if the Haley Reinhart rocket ship has launched her into the finals or if she has more work to do.

The results start right away.  The first person into the Top 3 is Lauren Alaina.  That certainly a shocker for me, but a good one.  I did not see that one coming.  That means James Durbin and Haley Reinhart are at risk.  That probably means Haley Reinhart goes home tonight.

But enough speculation.  Join as we live blog the American Idol Season 10 top 4 results right now.

Wow, almost 72 million votes last night, the most ever for an American Idol top 4.  Jordin Sparks, Lady Gaga, Julio Iglesias and Steven Tyler’s new video.  More performances than Idol contestant torture tonight.  I am happy about that.

James Durbin and Scott McCreery sing a country duet and they sound exceptional.  Their voices fit together seamlessly. That was fun.

Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart do another country song for a duet.  Once again Lauren shines in a duet. She just shines in these results show performances, when the pressure of competing is gone.  That was very enjoyable as well.

Results already. The first one into the top 3 is Lauren Alaina.  Wow, that is a shocker, but a good one.  I never saw this one coming.  That means James Durbin and Haley Reinhart are in trouble.  I suspect that Haley Reinhart will go home tonight.

Boy, that young lady is just silly giddy and I don’t blame her.

Time for more results, who is in the Bottom 2.  The next one in the Top 3 is Haley Reinhart! Another shocker. Bad news for James Durbin and I think he feels it.  James Durbin looks crushed.  Now I have been so wrong this week it is entirely possible that Ryan Seacrest gets voted off this week.

I think the judges unfair treatment may have pushed Haley Reinhart into the American Idol Season 10 top 3.  Not that she hasn’t earned it, but the reaction to the judges has been pretty strong.

The American Idol Season 10 journey ends tonight for James Durbin. He is deeply emotional, as are the judges and the audience,and us. We have come to greatly appreciate the heart of this earnest young man. I hope he can make it through the end of the show. He will have a wonderful career and I hope for the best for James and his family.

The American Idol Season 10 top 3 are Scott McCreery, Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alaina.  Two Christian musicians and probably the young lady who turned out to be the best singer of the season.  Check-in this weekend as we do our final power rankings for American Idol Season 10.

American Idol Season10 Top 4 Performance Live Blog

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.

American Idol Season 10 Top 5 Results Live Blog

Haley Reinhart House of The Rising SunIf you read our American Idol Season 10 Top 5 perfomance live blog you will know that I believe last night was the most important night of the season.  It seems that James Durbin and Christian musician Scott McCreery are destined for the finale.  Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart all had big questions to answer.  Lauren Alaina answered her questions of confidence but Jacob Lusk did not find his swagger.

However, Haley Reinhart made her biggest push of the season.  First she took the biggest, boldest risk I have ever seen when she performed an unreleased song by maybe the biggest artist on the planet right now, Lady Gaga.  And she pulled it off.  Then she sang “House of the Rising Sun”.  It was her best performance of the season, by far the best performance of the night and arguably the best performance of American Idol Season 10. On James Durbin’s worst singing night of the season, Haley Reinhart soared.  She took the last night’s performance competition by a mile. I think she is a shoe-in for the top 3 and a real contender now to win American Idol Season 10.

Overall I thought last night’s performances were surprisingly shaky.  The top 3 performances were “House of The Rising Sun” by Haley Reinhart, “Gone” by Scott McCreery and “Flat On The Floor” by Lauren AlainaJames Durbin and Jacob Lusk danced around the proper key all night and I thought Lauren and Scott faded into the background on their second songs.  I am happy to report that you should go straight to iTunes and buy the American Idol Top 5 Season 10 – Studio Performances (you can just jump there from this link).  James’s songs were incredible in the studio and everyone sounded better.

Unfortunately, I think Christian musician Jacob Lusk goes home tonight. He needed a big night and he missed on both of his performances last night.  I think Christian musician Lauren Alaina joins him in the bottom two tonight.  I cannot imagine the outrage and indignation that will erupt if Haley Reinhart is even in the bottom two.

But enough speculation.  It is time for the show so let’s see who goess home performances from J-Lo and Lady Antebellum.

Wow, 60 million votes last night. I guess American Idol is still pretty popular.

25 minutes in and nothing to write about.  I am feeling marginalized.

Now maybe some results-who is safe and who is in the bottom 2.  Ryan says we may be in for a surprise.  James Durbin is the first one in the gauntlet. Jimmy Iovine also thought this was James worst week as well.  He called it an 8 out of a string of 9′s and 10′s.  Lauren Alaina up now.  Jimmy thought she did great with “Flat On The Floor” but thought her fear kept her from delivering “Unchained Melody.”  He thinks she will be in the bottom 2.

Ryan has started two groups, one with James and one with Lauren, but it is time for a J-Lo performance and commercials.

40 minutes in and time for more commercials.

Okay, more results.  Jacob Lusk is under the microscope. Jimmy Iovine says Jacob had a rough night and thinks he has lost confidence.  Jacob is asked to join Lauren.  That looks like a bottom 2.

Now for Haley Reinhart. Jimmy Iovine thinks she showed no fear and won the night.  He thinks she is a lock for the finale.  She joins James on the far side of the stage.

At least Ryan did not call Scott McCreery “Scotty the Body.”  Jimmy thought “Gone” was stellar but came up a bit short with “Always On My Mind.” Scott has never been in the bottom 2 and he is safe tonight. Now Ryan is making Scott picking who is safe and he refuses.

Christian musicians Jacob Lusk and Lauren Alaina are in the bottom 2 and Lauren is already crying.

It is time, Lauren seems to have composed herself.  Well maybe not.  Jacob Lusk is going home.  I am sad, Jacob has been one of my favorites all season, but this is the right decision.  He was was the 5th best on American Idol Season 10.  It looks like Lauren faced her exit from the show and she looks devastated.

American Idol Season 10 Top 5 Performance Live Blog

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.

American Idol Season 10 Top 5 Power Rankings

American Idol Season 10 Top 5American Idol Season 10 Top 13 featured five Christian musicians (Ashton Jones, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery). Now that we are down to the Top 5, three Christian musicians remain and Scott McCreery looks like a shoo-in to make it to the finale.

The theme for this week is “Songs From Then and Now” featuring a modern song and a song from the 60′s.  That means the Idols should have no problem selecting songs that suit them well and they get two chances to show their best.  This is a strong Top 5, anyone could win but some need to turn up the heat to make it to the finals.

American Idol Season 10 Top 5 Power Rankings

Three big questions coming in American Idol Season 10‘s Top 5 performances. Can Haley Reinhart ride her momentum into the finale or did she begin to find herself too late? Can Jacob Lusk regain his swagger after several weeks of tentative performances? Can Lauren Alaina let loose with her talent or has American Idol grown too big for her tender age of 16? If these three cannot answer these questions it looks like James Durbin and Christian musician Scott McCreery are destined for the finals.

1) James Durbin- Jennifer Lopez said on Wednesday night that James Durbin has been good every week and has had no stumbles in American Idol Season 10. I agree. He loves hard rock music and it undermines his vocal talent.  That is why we all were amazed a few weeks ago when he sang “When My Guitar Gently Weeps.”  This week was another of those moments when you stop and marvel at James Durbin‘s vocal talent and arranging skills.  He is starting to feel like a combination of Adam Lambert and Kris Allen. His performance of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” has moved James to the top of our American Idol Season 10 Top 5 power rankings.

2) Scott McCreery- On all of measures of fandom I can find, Scott McCreery is far ahead of the other Top 5.   He is a nice looking young man who exhibits humility and a sense of humor.  Scott has a unique voice, a deeply expressive interpretive style and is very clear as to the type of performer he will be.  Get ready Grand Ole’ Opry because a new Randy Travis is on the way.  This week he changed pace and showed a different flavor to his voice with his country flavored version of “You’ve Got A Friend.”  I will be shocked if he does not make it to the finale.

3) Jacob Lusk- He is a magical performers with an other worldly voice, but I think American Idol Season 10 is starting to get the best of Jacob Lusk.  The voice is still there.  This week’s “On No Not My Baby” was strong, with a cool skat run in the middle, but there does not appear to be much joy or confidence in Jacob’s performances over the past few weeks.  It seems if he is performing to not be eliminated.  This week’s theme is perfect for him.  Andre Crouch wrote some iconic gospel songs in the 60′s and I would like to see him perform “Believe” from Jennifer Hudson’s new cd.  Jacob Lusk may go this week, so I hope to see some full gusto performances from him this week.

4) Haley Reinhart- This was an odd week for Haley. She has been the coolest cat on American Idol Season 10.  None of the criticism form the judges or the mentors has seemed to bother her all season.  She took a few trips to the bottom 2 with big smiles.  She seems to be the one person who is just happy to be on American Idol.  Over the past few weeks she seems to have flipped a switch and is delivering consistently strong vocals and heartfelt performances.  She has momentum.  Then, when Jimmy Iovine said she must find herself as a performer she drops a bleeped profanity on live television that even upset the unflappable Ryan Seacrest.  The thing is Jimmy is right and Haley confirmed his opinion when she tried to rebut him by saying her style was soulrockbluescountryjazz.  Haley, all styles are no styles.  I don’t know if that out of character display will hurt her with the voters, but she does not have much margin for error.

5)Lauren Alaina- I think Lauren Alaina will have the biggest career of all the remaining Idols.  She is attractive with a great sense of humor and stage presence. We have seen her wow us with her singing, mostly in duets with Scott McCreery.  It is beginning to feel like she has not developed the confidence, at the age of 16, allow her talent to shine each week on American Idol Season 10.  Each week the judges, the mentors, the vocal coaches push her to let her voice fly and each week she is afraid.  Lauren Alaina may have a television special before she is old enough to drink but I think she has reached the limit of her maturity on American Idol Season 10.

Join us on Wednesday night as we live blog the American Idol Season 10 top 5 performances.  Each Idol will be performing two songs so it should be a fun filled evening.

American Idol Season 10 Top 6 Results Live Blog

Look out,  Haley Reinhart is making a move.  Last night she overcame technical problems and a horrendous arrangement to deliver another killer vocal and her most nuanced stage performance yet.  Haley’s “Beautiful” was fast and slow and fast and slow but it did not matter.  Haley Reinhart’s voice and spirit overcame all that mess.  On top of that, she just completely overwhelmed Casey Abrams in their duet of “I Feel The Earth Move.”

James Durbin and Christian musician Scott McCreery deftly changed pace from the rest of their seasons and probably solidified their places in the American Idol Season 10 finale. Scott eschewed his country stylings and changed his tone for a beautiful moment with “You’ve Got A Friend.” James Durbin mesmerized America with a soft acapella opening to “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” He couldn’t hold the quiet and reverted to rock for the closing but America was hooked.

Casey Abrams and Christian musician Lauren Alaina did what they do.  Casey played the crazy man, again, with “Hi De Ho” and Lauren charmed with “Where You Lead” but her vocals were too tentative to live up to this stage of the competition.

Are the producers trying to end Jacob Lusk‘s run on American Idol Season 10? On this critical night for Jacob he was forced to deal with the Carol King songbook and, for the second time in three weeks, he was stuck into the lead spot on the show.  On top of all that, the judges made their positive critique sound negative.

Can Christian musician Jacob Lusk overcome all of the factors working against him this week?  Has Haley Reinhart waited too late assert her talent?  Has American Idol Season 10 outstripped Lauren Alaina‘s maturity as a performer?  Is America finally ready to end the “Casey Abrams Monster Mash” tour?

It is time to find out as we live blog the American Idol Season 10 top 6 results and watch Bruno Mars and Crystal Bowersox perform.

Ryan is predicting that fans are going to be disappointed with tonight’s result.  What does that mean?  Don’t all of the Idols have fans? Aren’t some people always disappointed with the results?

Time for phase one of the results.

They are going through the Idols one at a time and Jimmy Iovine is summarizing his overall thoughts about each Idol.

They start with Haley Reinhart. I agree with Jimmy Iovine that Haley’s flaw is that she doesn’t know who she is an artist.  Haley takes great offense at Jimmy’s comment then proceeds to prove him right by saying, “well, I wish someone would terll me.  I hear the soul in me….and the blues…and some rock….and some country.” Listen to yourself , Haley.  With all of that, Haley Reinhart is safe.

Next up is Scott McCreery.  Jimmy thinks Scott has a subtlety that will serve him well as an artist but could hurt him on Idol.  Ryan did not give Scott’s status?

Then Ryan brings Lauren Alaina up to be reviewed. Jimmy thinks that Lauren only hears the negative feedback but that Lauren is in Idol for the long run. Ryan did not give Lauren’s status either?

Then Ryan brings Casey Abrams up for a review.  Jimmy thinks Casey is a great musician but that he growls too much.  Ryan frustrates us all again and keeps Casey’s fate secret.

Forty minutes in and no closer to a result.

James Durbin is under review now.  Jimmy thinks that James is much more believable when he sings a melody.  When he sings hard rock, not so much.  James Durbin is safe.

Jimmy Iovine did not like Jacob Lusk‘s performance and thinks Jacob is on banana peels this week.

Lauren Alaina is safe. Casey, Jacob and Scott are left waiting the results.  We don’t know if these are the bottom 3 because Ryan has said the results are revealed in no particular order.

Finally, time for the results.  Jacob Lusk is safe, hallelujah!

Casey Abrams is going home. He has had a good run but this is the right time for Casey to depart.

Join us this weekend when we post our American Idol Season 10 Top 5 power rankings.