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 S10 Top 11 Results

American Idol Season 10 is losing two tonight.  After the love affair between the judges, the producers, the mentors and these performers reached its peak last week, with Casey Abrams save, it is time to get on with the competition.  There will be tears and sadness when the two depart tonight, but it will not matter in the bigger scheme of American Idol.  Whomever goes home tonight never had a chance to win American Idol Season 10 and everyone in tonight’s group number goes on the tour. Time to move on.

Last night’s top performances came from Pia Toscano, James Durbin and Christian musicians Jacob Lusk and Scott McCreery.  Everyone gushed over Haley Reinhart’s performance but, even after watching again I did not get it.  I have always liked Haley, and even though she probably did enough to make it into the Top 9, I thought she has had at least two better performances this season.  Christian musician Lauren Alaina continued her comeback with a country version of “Candle In The Wind” and Casey Abram‘s “Your Song” was strong enough to keep him out of this week’s bottom group.

Unfortunately, Christian musician Stefano Langone‘s uneven performances over the first five weeks of American Idol Season 10 will probably land him in the bottom 4 with Thia Megia, Naima Adedapo and Paul MacDonald.  I suspect that by the end of tonight’s show we will have six guys and three girls remaining after Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia go home.  That will be ironic that the lady whose huge personality undermined her vocal performances goes home with the girl whose sparkling voice could not overcome her introverted personality.

How will they do this?  Will they do one elimination halfway through the show and then another at the end or will they do both at the end?  The lead-in promises shocking results.  Does that mean Lauren Alaina is at risk?  Did Casey Abrams not do enough to save himself?

Wow, over 55 million votes.  This is getting serious.  Those are top 3 numbers.  Fantasia, Jamie Foxx and Wil.I.Am are performing tonight.  Kinda cool, they are breaking from the big group number.  First is a country duet with Christian musicians Lauren Alaina and Scott McCreery and it is very cool.  Lauren just hit a big note she should have been displaying all season.

Now they go straight into the results with Scott and Lauren.  Both of them are safe, so Lauren Alaina is not the shocker.

Naima Adedapo and Jacob Lusk are singing Ashford & Simpson. This is Naima’s best vocal of the season. Jacob, not as much. However, they did seem to have fun with the song.  Results time again and Naima Adedapo is in the bottom 3.  Jacob Lusk is safe.  This is not a surprise.  Remember she was a wild card selection to get into the Top 13.

Haley, Thia and Pia are doing a trio performance.  The band name rhymes, cool!  Interesting that Haley Reinhart sounds better on this song than Pia Toscano. Does our blonde bohemian have a stronger voice than the resident diva?  Now for results.  Pia Toscano and Haley Reinhart are safe, but Thia Megia is in the bottom 3.  America has it right so far.

This is tracking exactly as we thought.  Will the final member of the bottom 3 be Stefano Langone, Paul MacDonald or, maybe Casey Abrams?  Is the American Idol Season 10 rock band going to perform?  Yep, the band is debuting for America tonight with “Band On The Run”.  Ooh, those harmonies in the beginning did not work.  I think James Durbin should be the lead singer of this band.  But they sure do look happy, for a moment.  Time to break up the band.  Casey Abrams is safe.  James Durbin is rightfully safe.  It is down to Paul MacDonald and Stefano LangonePaul MacDonald is in the bottom 3 for the first time.  After hearing these four sing together, I think America got it right.

Pretty cool.  Like in Season 8, nearly half of the top 9 are Christian musicians.

Who goes home?  It is time.  Paul MacDonald is safe.  Thia and Naima go home. It was time for these ladies to go home.  They had a great run and deserved to be in the top 11, but not in the top 9 ahead of any one of the remaining performers on American Idol Season 10.  Check back on Saturday for my Top 9 power rankings.

American Idol S10 Top 11 Performances Again

After a terrific week of performances and uber-drama on American Idol Season 10, what can American Idol and their stable of budding superstars pull off this week?  Remember that two Idols will go home this week so the stakes are high.  Couple that depth of talent on American Idol Season 10 and the pressure to perform is intense.  As Casey Abrams proved last week, no one can afford two or even one weak performance.

Mix in the Elton John catalogue and this week becomes a high wire act for most of the Idols.  I am listening to my Elton John collection as I write this.  I am a big fan of the Rocket Man, but his music is highly structured and his songs after 1979 are pretty sketchy, sorry Lion King fans.  Tonight, the Idol’s need to be very careful to keep their singing in a pretty tight range, without seeming derivative or hokey.

Our Top 11 Power Rankings has Christian musician Jacob Lusk at the top.  With two people going home this week, I think he needs to be very careful.  The Elton John catalogue can be a tremendous pothole for him.  Maybe he will surprise me, but I don’t hear much room for Jacob’s signature runs and histrionics in Elton John’s songs.  I hope he takes “Your Song” or “Tiny Dancer” and honors the intimacy of those songs with a quiet, straight delivery.  If Randy says it was “I don’t know man, it was a little boring for me”, Jacob has accomplished his goal.

I expect Paul MacDonald and Pia Toscano to do well tonight.  I think James Durbin and Christian musician Scott McCreery could do well but both can survive a misstep.  Everyone else should be terrified.  I am not sure what Christian musician Lauren Alaina can do with this catalogue and she is starting to fall behind the other favorites.  Just like Jacob, this week is a major pothole for Christian musician Stefano Langone.  I am not confident that Haley Reinhart, This Megia or Naima Adedapo will survive the votes this week.

So, as you can see, I am a little pessimistic.  Let’s see if the American Idol Season 10 crew can surprise me as we live blog tonight’s performances.

Boy, American Idol really played up last week’s drama.  Let’s hope Casey Abrams health holds up for the rest of the year.  Does Elton John have a new album coming out?  American Idol tonight and he hosts Saturday Night Live on Saturday.  Jimmy Iovine is right.  All 11 Idols have to kill it tonight.

First up Scott McCreery is working with Don Was on “Country Comfort.”  This is an obscure song from his early album Tumbleweed Connection.  Good selection and, with the guitar, he has a different vibe on stage.  Another assured, solid performance from Scott McCreery.  This could be a single from his first album. He slayed the end with a deeeeep note.  Perfect choice to keep it in a very distinct lane.  He did not try to do too much with the song. Steven and J-Lo did not seem too excited but Randy was exuberant in agreeing with me that this could be on his first album.  Scott McCreery has set the bar high.

Naima Adedapo is bringing a reggae twist to “I’m Still Standing”.  Remember, I begged the Idols to not do this song. Let’s see if the reggae vibe moderates the hokiness of this song.  Jimmy said that the slower tempo made it harder to stay on key.  Naima is proving him right. i like the reggae take on the song but this is not a good singing performance from Naima.  I think she may be in trouble.  J-Lo did not like this interpretation, I disagree I just did not like the singing.  Randy thinks it was corny, but he likes reggae.  Steven like that she picked a song that fit her.

Paul MacDonald has gone from touring in a 15 passenger band to doing runway photo shoots.  He is singing “Rocket Man.” This is a tough song for a singer with his range.  Paul brings his guitar as well.  That was almost cool. It just did not take off for me.  He sang okay, but I think he missed the emotion of the song.  Randy thinks his soft voice is infectious.  Randy and J-Lo think he is holding back. It was interesting but not compelling.

Now, to someone no one can accuse of holding back.  Pia Toscano is bringing her chops to “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”.  She is certainly sure of herself by continuing to ride her ballad train.  Pia has gospel chops.  Nice soul phrasing and then she slams on those big notes.  Another mind blowing performance from Pia.  I liked this better than her other performances.  She was a little looser than the past few weeks.  I agree with Steven that it was just about as good as it gets.  I agree with J-Lo that we felt her a little more this week.    I can now hear Pia Toscano recording an R&B album in the vein of Mariah Carey.

Stefano Langone, tread carefully with “Tiny Dancer”, one of my favorite Elton John songs.  Jimmy Iovine is very concerned about this performance. Can he capture the intimacy of this power ballad?  Very strong start, he lost it a little when he moved away from the mike stand but recaptured the song on the second chorus.  Stefano Langone did himself well tonight.  That was very good. J-Lo and Randy loved that he connected in a way he had not in the past.  Stephen thought he nailed it.  Another very good performance from Stefano Langone.

Halfway through the Elton John songbook and the American Idol Season 10 Top 11 are delivering solid performance after solid performance. These guys are really good!

Lauren Alaina is singing “Candle In The Wind”, the best selling song in the history of Billboard. Lauren’s country phrasing is throwing me off a little.  Good for Lauren, she is toning down the stage theatrics a bit and letting her voice carry her performance.  That was very nice.  We finally get to see the singer that is Lauren Alaina.  Randy says it was nice and sensitive, very professional. J-Lo says it was amazing, I agree that this was the first time America was able to hear Lauren’s power.  This was Lauren Alaina‘s best performance of the season.

I am really impressed that the Idol’s are respecting these songs and performing the songs rather than competing with the songs.  This feels more like an Elton John festival than an American Idol competition.

James Durbin turns up the volume with “Saturday’s All Right (For Fighting).” Jimmy thinks he is taking a risk by starting his performance in the audience. Heis  just amazing.  He can run and jump all over the stage and it does not impact his singing one bit.  This is not my favorite song, but James Durbin turned it into to a crazy, fun rave.  He makes me smile.  J-Lo says she makes her forget she is at a competition.  Randy loves that James really enjoys himself.  I agree with the judges, it does not seem James is aware that he is in a competition.  It seems he is just excited to have a new stage.

Thia Megia takes on “Daniel.”  This is another gut wrenching song from the beginning of Elton’s career.  This will require a much deeper expression of feeling than we have seen from Thia before.  Jimmy is right that this song is poignant rather than dramatic.  Thia Megia has such a beautiful voice.  I just cannot connect.  I don’t know why.  I was trying.  J-Lo thought it was beautiful.  Randy liked her voice but felt it was safe.  Steven thinks she sang a great Elton John song well.  Thia sang Daniel to her brother, but we were not inspired.

Casey Abrams is singing “Your Song”, my all time favorite Elton John song.  I don’t think this is the right song for Casey.  Maybe he will surprise me.  I hope it is not the jazz version of “Your Song.”  Yes, he did trim his beard.  Well, I was wrong.  He stays grounded and centered and sings this beautiful ballad with feeling and meaning.  Not a mind blowing performance but the right performance for this song.  Randy thinks it was brilliant. J-Lo compliments him on the character in his voice.  Casey Abrams did justify his save and is back in the competition.

Will Jacob Lusk be able to control all of those crazy chops with “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.”  Mary J Blige showed up in the studio while he was rehearsing.  He was blown away.  Tricky and Jimmy are advising him to not over dramatize. I am speechless.  This guy is like the Incredible Hulk of singing.  I sit here and think “hold it”, “hold it”, “hold it” and he did it.  The judges did not really know what to say.  They thought it was brilliant.  Randy tried to offer criticism but no one really understood what he was talking about.  Jacob Lusk did exactly what he needed to do tonight and it was amazing.

Haley Reinhart gets her best shot to save herself with the final spot. Can she turn “Bennie and The Jets”  into her season turning moment? Not a chance, this is Elton John’s worst song, even considering the Lion King stuff.  She does the best she can by starting it with a quiet jazz twist and singing the dog out of the chorus.  However, the middle of the song brings out the dorkiness of the song.  J-Lo just loved it.  Randy says it was the best performance of the night.  Steven says she sings sexy.  I need to go back and watch Haley’s performance again.  I was not able to overcome my distaste for the song so I need to give Haley Reinhart another shot.

Overall, another great night.  This exceeded my expectations by a mile.  We really felt the influence of the producers and the maturity of these performers.  I think Naima Adedapo, Paul MacDonald and Thia Megia delivered the weakest of the performances.  I am holding judgment on Haley Reinhart.  Everyone else was consistently excellent.  Please vote and join us tomorrow night as we report in the results live as two Idols go home.

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Power Ranking Again

If you go look at the intro to our coverage of the American Idol Season 10 Top 11 results show I said Casey may be in trouble and that the judges may save him.  It happened as I thought it might. The judges also agreed with me that Casey needs to stop the growling and the screaming and return to the jazz influenced musicianship we all fell in love with.

I also said last night that, after a wonderful night of Motown performances that no one deserved to go home this week.  Even better, the American Idol Season 10 tour will include all of 11 of these wonderful American Idol hopefuls.  That just could be a ticket worth buying.  Imagine Thia Megia’s beautiful voice after she has matured under the tutelage of the American Idol road show producers.  Think about the joy Naima Adedapo‘s passion will bring to the stage.  Buy some ear plugs because you will need to protect your hearing from the screams of 12 year old girls when Scott McCreery and Stefano Langone hit the stage.  Christian musicians can be heart throbs. Be ready to be awestruck when the voices of Jacob Lusk, Pia Toscano and James Durbin are released in a live setting.

Casey Abrams Saved By American Idol Judges

Back to the save. Here is the full video in case you did not see one of the most dramatic moments in the history of American Idol. If you saw it live, look for what you missed. Check out the faces of shock on Jacob Lusk and James Durbin just after the results are announced. Watch Casey’s hands tremble when he goes over the shake the judge’s hands. Watch the joy of Jacob Lusk and Lauren Alaina when they realize that all eleven will go on the American Idol Season 10 tour.

Well, nothing was decided last week.  I think we probably have six or seven contenders for the title of Season 10′s American Idol.  It amazes me that the voting seems to track week to week performances.  America voted Karen Rodriguez into the Top 10 over Naima Adedapo and Stefano Langone and two weeks later she fell to the bottom of the voting in the Top 12.  This week, Casey Abrams and Stefano Langone delivered the weakest of  11 very good performances and, despite numerous triumphant performances earlier in Season 10 by both, they were at the bottom this week.  There is no such thing as momentum in American Idol Season 10.  That is good for us as viewers, but which of the Idols will crack under the weight?

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Power Ranking, Part two

There is a lot movement from last week’s American Idol Season 10 power rankingsJacob Lusk, Pia Toscano and Paul MacDonald made big moves up the rankings.  As you might expect Casey Abrams and Stefano Langone fell pretty far.  With the strength of this crew we should expect to see a lot of movement throughout the season.  There is a wide variety of styles and a deep well of talent in this group.  I try to be stylistically agnostic in the rankings.  Notice that the top 4 are old school soul, sold-out rocker, committed balladeer and country crooner.

  1. Christian musician Jacob Lusk delivered one of the greatest performances in the history of American Idol on Wednesday night.  Jacob is a rare talent.  I did not see Fantasia win American Idol, but she is only one I can think of that reaches the heights of Jacob Lusk.  I am a huge fan of Jennifer Hudson and her performance on Wednesday night paled in comparison to Jacob’s performance of “You’re All I Need”.  Check it out.
  2. Wow!  Unlike so many of his competitors who are working to stretch themselves, Jacob is so effortless and has so much to bring to a song. His biggest issue is restraint.  He looked completely comfortable and relaxed in this performance.  If he can maintain that restraint through the rest of Season 10, he is the only one capable of separating from this incredible group of American Idol hopefuls.

    2. James Durbin just continues to stroll through Season 10 almost effortlessly.  He seems to just be enjoying every week’s performance.  It is almost like he is ignoring the competition aspect of American Idol, because he is just that talented.  James has delivered consistently excellent performances.  It seems week after week one or two people throw out the performance of their lives to rival him for the top spot, but James brings it Wednesday night after Wednesday night.  I was impressed that James was able to connect with the meaning and message of Stevie Wonder’s “Livin For The City.”  Most people missed Stevie’s point but James understood that the upbeat party grooves were juxtaposed against the lyrics of poverty and prejudice to signify the hope of a generation coming out of the civil rights and anti-war strife of the 60′s.  Pretty good for a kid who had not been born when the song was written.

    3. Pia Toscano makes a big move from 7 to 3.  I think she may be the only girl who can rival the guys as a contender for the Season 10 title.  I had her at 7 last week because I said she needs to prove she can sing more than ballads.  I was wrong.  Sing ballads Pia.  Her interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s lesser known “All In Love Is Fair” showed great music sensibilities.  Her performance, with its subtle soul phrasing, respectful arrangement flourishes and picture perfect singing, demonstrated that Pia Toscano is ready to go.  She is the most polished artist on American Idol Season 10.  It is time for her career to start, this American Idol nonsense is a distraction now that we know her.

    4. Christian musician Scott McCreey falls from 2 to 4 just because Jacob, James and Pia were so great.  I actually think Scott created a hit record.  There has not been a popular version of “For Once In My Life” and after hearing Scott’s version I do not know why.  This should be on Scott McCreery‘s first album and American Idol should release it to the country charts today.

5. Paul MacDonald makes a huge leap from 9th to 5th. The past two weeks I have heard more of Paul’s singing voice and I like what I hear.  I wish he had exercised more of the interpretive skills I assume he has and turned Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” into a singer/songwriter ballad.  I liked the slow quiet beginning of the song and the quiet ending.  If he had stuck with that vibe he might have created one of those transcendent moments.  Randy called him on it in the judging when he told Paul to use more of his quiet voice, that it had something special.

6. Christian musician Stefano Langone has had two great nights and two nights where he seems to miss the point.  I think Jennifer hit it right when she told him to quit competing and to start performing and connecting with his music. His two great moments came when he was fully immersed in his song and he was not worried about creating emotion or performing perfectly.  Stefano has a chance to be great in the competition, he just needs to be more consistent.  I wait for Stefano with high hopes every week and this week he did not deliver.

7. Christian musician Lauren Alaina is surprising me.  It feels that she is starting to get swept-up by American Idol Season 10.  She has a big, powerful, clear voice and a big personality.  It seems she is using that personality to overcome her singing.  I am not sure if she is just too young to deliver some of these performances, but Jordan Sparks was her age when she won American Idol.  Lauren needs to dig deep and focus on her singing. Her performances have felt a little superficial lately. I would like for her to come out this week, stand in the middle of the stage and belt an introspective ballad without flirting with the camera.

8. Haley Reinhart delivered a wonderful performance.  I did not think it was good enough to save her.  I was surprised she was not in the bottom 3.  It hit me on Tuesday night that Haley Reinhart is American Idol‘s Joan Osborne.  Remember her from ” …what if God was one of us“.  Both have these incredible bluesy voices that can sing anything and both of them cannot pick a musical style.  I would have preferred that Haley belt out “Midnight Train to Georgia” on Wednesday night.  That would have given her room to infuse some deep emotion into her performance and to blast away with that great voice.  I think Haley still needs to create her moment if she plans to stick around much longer.

9. Naima Adedapo had her moment on Wednesday.  This was clearly her best sinigng performance and her African, tribal arrangement of “Dancing In The Streets” was fun and innovative.  I enjoyed it.  She is probably the weakest singer of the Top 11, but her personality can carry her performances.  She needs two more weeks of solid singing or she goes home soon.

10. Casey Abrams did not fall from 4 to 10 because of this week’s performance.  He fell because last week was not an anomoly caused by his hospitalization.  It seems Casey took all of the adulation from his week 1 screaming, growling version of “I Put A Spell On You” and turned into his “winning” style.  It is not winning.  If Casey returns to his jazz roots he will be alright.

11. Thia Megia is growing on me.  Her voice really stands out in the group numbers and her performance of “Heatwave” felt appropriately young for her.  Being 2nd string in the NBA means only means that you are one of the top 500 basketball players in the world.  That is pretty darn good.  Being 11th in American Idol Season 10 is pretty special as well.

The theme for next week is Elton John songs.  I don’t remember seeing this as a theme before.  I think they did it in Season 3.  Sir Elton has some great songs but there are some real land mines in there.  Choose carefully Idols.  Please, no one sing “I’m Still Standing” or “Bennie and The Jets.”  Pia, if you are thinking Lion King, please just say no. See us next Wednesday as we live bloge the performances of American Idol Season 10‘s top 11.

American Idol S10 Top 11 Performances

Tonight America will decide who comprises the American Idol Season 10 touring company.  If you have checked out our American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Power Rankings you know that we believe Hayley Reinhart, Mia Thegia and Naima Adedapo are at risk of missing out on the tour.

One21music focuses on Christian musicians performing on American Idol.  We have previously identified Scott McCreery, Lauren Alaina and Jacob Lusk as believers on Season 10.  Based on the research and strong recommendations of our readers we have decided to add Stefano Langone to the fold.  Please keep tuned in for an article on Stefano.  Some may wonder why we care.  Please check out two early articles Why Do Christians Have All The Lame Music and How Underground Christian Music Saved Us, to better understand why a musician’s world view matters to us.

Back to American Idol Season 10. Here are our five big questions for tonight:

  • Can Hayley Reinhart pull off a season saving performance that gives her the opportunity to stick around a few more weeks and develop an identity? Hayley is a great combination of Paul MacDonald‘s style with James Durbin‘s chops.  She has not been able to establish an identity and is in danger of leaving the show tonight.
  • Will Stefano Langone continue his march from judge’s save to power rankings leader?  Stefano’s performance of the gospel plea “I Need You Now” is the best performance of the live shows.  His interpretation of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” was the best of the week’s performances.  Is Stefano a strong contender to bring R&B back to the top of American Idol?
  • Can Jacob Lusk and Naima Adedapo control themselves enough to deliver an in tune performance?  Naima is an exciting performer who has delivered the worst vocal performances of the season.  Jacob is an indescribable talent who has not been able reign in his voice on the live shows.  Naima is in danger of going home and Jacob Lusk is in danger of losing his chance to win American Idol Season 10.
  • Will Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina continue their march to the final three?  Scott is clearly the most popular performer on American Idol Season 10 and he has delivered each week.  Lauren stumbled a few weeks ago but seemed to regain her momentum last week.
  • What untouchable singer will Pia Toscano challenge tonight?  After Chrissie Hynde, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston in three straight weeks, it seems like Pia is determined to slay all of American Idol‘s untouchable singers.  Chaka Khan, Mariah Carey and Aretha never sang for Motown.  The only Motown untouchable I can think of is Stevie Wonder. I don’t know.

As I alluded to above, the Top 11 will be singing the songs of Motown, always a fun theme.  Join as we react “in the moment” and share our insights on the American Idol Season 10 Top 11 performances.

I love soul music.  I am more of a Stax/Volt man but who can argue with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and The Temptations.  The soundtrack of my childhood.  Oops, yep I am that old. Motown had over 400 songs chart on Billboard and over 50 No. 1 hits.  Randy is right, this is inspirational music.

Casey Abram is singing Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”  Thankfully, Casey looks like he is feeling better.  Casey looks like a grizzly bear and is growling like one tonight.  I have heard many versions of this song.  Casey’s growling, jazz-phrased, manic performance is not one of my favorites.  I think Casey was a little over the top on a slick song.  J-Lo says he is unique in the marketplace.  The judges like the performance because it was unique and well performed.  Me not so much.

Thia Megia struggled song selection with this week.  She is trying to show some uptempo chops with “Heatwave” by Martha and The Vandellas.” Heatwave” is the right ager song for her.  Great, great singing, what a voice.  A little mechanical in parts but by far her best performance of the season.  She showed personality and chops. I agree with J-Lo that it is good to see her let go.  Randy is happy she took chances and pushes her to stretch even further.  Her performance puts some pressure on the other girls like Hayley and Naima.

Jacob Lusk is singing Marvin Gaye’s “Your All I Need to Get By.”  Jimmy Iovine is right that Jacob needs to show restraint in his singing.  One of the original Funk brothers is playing bass.  Wow.  I sit here with my mouth hanging open.  I wish I could go hug him like Steven Tyler just did.  The entire studio leapt to their feet, including the judges.  Randy said it was perfect.  The judges are fighting to compliment him. Grandma ran up to the stage to hug and kiss Jacob and now there is a parade from the audience to show their appreciation with hugs and kisses.  Jacob Lusk is back.  That was unbelievably awesome.  I just saw over 50 professional performers at SXSW 2011.  Nothing was even close to that.

Lauren Alaina is singing “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes.  This is a great song for Lauren.  Nice slow intro then Lauren steps out to pick up the tempo.  It was a good performance but she never really cut loose vocally.  Steven liked the personality she brought to the song and J-Lo liked her sass.  Randy says Lauren’s got her swagger back.  I think is was just hard to follow that storm the Jacob Lusk created.

Stefano Langone‘s mom went by the mansion and cooked for the Idols, yum. Stefano grew up on Motown and so he chose “Hello” by Lionel Richie.  Jimmy advised Stefano to slow down and let the intimacy of the song grow.  I never really liked this song much.  Stefano starts quietly and then tries to infuse some emotion into the song.  I am not sure it really worked. I think he tried to create the emotion rather than letting the lyrics do the work.  J-Lo advises him to connect with the lyrics and the audience.  J-Lo is a great mentor.  She told him to bring intensity to the story instead of the competition.  All three judges agreed that he needs to bring more feeling.  Steven said he peaked too soon in the song.  The judges did a good job of describing what I was feeling.

Otis Williams, one of the founding members of The Temptations is in the house.  I am geeking out!  The Temps were my Beatles.

Hayley Reinhart is singing “You Really Got A Hold On Me” by Smokey Robinson.  She is tired of being in the bottom 3 and is afraid this is her last chance.  This is not the performance she needs.  Great singing but I am not sure what she was trying to communicate.  Randy liked how she took over the song in the middle of the song.  Steven thought it was beautiful. He really liked her growl.  J-Lo is right that Hayley has the most versatile voice in the competition.  I am a fan, but I was not feeling her performance the way the judges did. If Hayley is voted off this week, I think the judges may save her.

America’s favorite Scott McCreery can sink a basket from the balconey of the mansion.  Scott McCreery has managed to sneak in Stevie Wonder’s version of “For Once In My Life” into the competition.  Scott is going to try bring Stevie’s intensity to avoid sounding like a lounge singer. Scott McCreery just performed a new country No. 1 hit.  There is now a new version of “For Once In My Life.”  Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and now Scott McCreery.  Steven thought he nailed it.  J-Lo thought it was a new version of this song.  The judges did not love the singing, but Randy called him Scotty, the lady killer.

I like the interviews they are doing with the contestants as they leave the stage.  They have done this in the past but the doing just about every performer this year.

What did I tell you?  Pia Toscano is doing Stevie Wonder.  She is doing “All In Love is Fair” from the classic Innervisons album.  This week Pia is concentrating on feeling the song.  Pia has really great soul phrasing and timing.  This song could fall into lounge act territory but she keeps it in the right spot.  And another perfect, perfect singing performance by Pia Toscano. J-Lo says she needs to take control of the stage.  Randy says she is phenomenal but wants her do something other than a ballad. Steven thinks she is the closest star in the American Idol universe.  I think I know what he means?

Paul MacDonald will use his guitar to perform Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears.”  Paul says you can’t listen to Motown without dancing.  Paul dancing? This should be good.  It is good that Paul is singing out a little more these past two weeks.  He sings it well, I am not sure the performance connects with the mood of the song.  I would have liked him to take it very slow and quiet and wring the emotion out of the song.  He did make it a Paul MacDonald song.  Randy nailed it when he says Paul is most powerful when he is tender.  Steven likes it.  J-Lo says he is the most seasoned performer.

The judges are loving the show tonight.  Randy has not said pitchy once.

Naima Adedapo may be singing for her life on American Idol Season 10. She is singing Martha Reeves’ “Dancing In The Street.”  This is the right song for Naima and she loves this song.  What a great song.  She has wrapped a tribal arrangement around the song.  This is by far her best performance and then she throws some crazy African dancing to end the song.  Maybe a little too much dancing for a singing competition but she did very, very well.  Steven and J-Lo both loved her and her performance.  Randy says all of Naima showed up.  He is right that she took her time to sing the song.  Naima Adedapo finally delivered on the promise of Naima Adedapo.

We close this show of soul music with the rocker James Durbin.  He is singing “Living For The City” by Stevie Wonder.  What a great choice from him and he understands Stevie Wonder’s original message of hope in the song. Incredible.  He is not only a mind blowing singer but he is so comfortable on the stage.  A great finale to this wonderful episode of American Idol Season 10.  J-Lo just said incredible as well.  Randy says it started a little rough but he slayed the song.  Steven says he nailed it.

Those were just 11 awesome performances.  More than half of the performers delivered their best performances of Season 10 and everyone did well.  I think Jacob Lusk took the night and maybe delivered the best performance of the season.  I thought Pia Toscano was perfect and Scott McCreery re-interpreted a classic into a new genre.  As much as I hate to say it, I think Casey Abrams was the weakest of the night.  Every one of these young performers deserve to stay on the show after tonight.

Now, go over to our SXSW 2011 coverage to experience the largest musical event in the world.  Make sure to watch the videos in the Found Gospel at SXSW 2011 article.  The Realtives and Shake Anderson are awesome.

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Power Rankings

Big changes are afoot on American Idol Season 10. Dark horses are making a big push to be noticed and some of the early favorites need to pick up their games.  On Wednesday night, Stefano Langone, who had to sing for his life in the wild card round, took the night with his updating of the soul classic “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.”    Early favorite Scott McCreery and rocker James Durbin continued to reveal shades of their skills with solid performances of smart song choices.  Casey Abrams‘ health and Jacob Lusk’s oversinging pushed them to the middle of the pack.

So sad for American Idol.  After three male winners in a row, the top five spots in American Idol Season 10 power rankings go to guys.  Have you noticed that their have been no guys at risk so far?  It looks like it is up to Pia Toscano or Lauren Alaina to push through this bevy of future male pop stars.

American Idol Season 10 Top 11 Power Rankings

  1. James Durbin- I am coming to believe that James Durbin is the best singer on American Idol Season 10.  As he avoids the heavy metal rocks songs he loves so much, he continues to demonstrate a range and personality in his voice that all of us had doubted.  Listen to him sing in the group numbers, it is effortless.  As I watched the recording of Wednesday night’s performance it seemed to me that his singing is so natural that he can focus all of energies on his performances.
  2. Scott McCreery- He is the most popular among the live audiences, in the voting estimates and in page views on the Internet.  Scott McCreery is the guy in school who everyone followed and who was equally nice to the jocks, stoners and geeks alike.  The guy is just likable and we will surprised if he does not win American Idol Season 10.  He is also a very good singer, with a unique style, an easy stage personality and enough self assurance to cause Jimmy Iovine to back track on some comments he had made in the previous week.
  3. Stefano Langone- He has a great sense of song which enables him to personalize and update songs while respecting the original.  This is the second time in three weeks that he has stolen the show.  Stefano has a chance to rival Scott for American Idol Season 10 heart throb and he rivals the best performers of this season.
  4. Casey Abrams- It was obvious that Casey was unable to fully work through his interpretation of “Smells By Teen Spirit” before Wednesday night’s performance.  Casey is a brilliant and thrilling interpreter of song.  Can his health hold up to rigors of American Idol?
  5. Jacob Lusk- Jacob is a once in a generation kind of singer.  Each of the last three weeks he has shown flashes of his vocal and interpretive brilliance, the kind that makes the hair on your neck stand up.  However, that brilliance has been wrapped in pitch problems and unnecessary screaming.  Jacob needs to dial back his histrionics and show some subtlety, or he will not fulfill his American Idol destiny.
  6. Lauren Alaina-  She did not come back as strongly as I thought she would after the previous week’s lazy performance, but she did start the road back.  To be fair, she was working with the flu so her energy level was a little down.  For Lauren that brings her personality down to the rest of us.  Lauren will continue to grow throughout American Idol Season 10.  We are going to be privileged to watch this little Georgia cheerleader grow into a professional musician.  It is clear that she has the personality, self-confidence and drive to make that happen.
  7. Pia Toscano- You gotta give Pia Toscano credit.  She is fearless.  After Chrissie Hynde and Mariah Carey, last week she took on Whitney Houston. Once again she proved that she can sing with the best of them.  However, the rhythm ate her up.  She seemed uncomfortable and wooden. Pia Toscano is a Top 5 contender but she needs to prove she can sing more than ballads.
  8. Hayley Reinhart- The judges did not give her much love but I thought her performance was marvelous.  We agree that Hayley does need to declare her musical style more clearly.  I think America is confused and have expressed that confusion by sending Hayley to the bottom 3 each of the last two weeks.  She needs a defining performance this week or we could lose one of the most talented singers in American Idol Season 10.
  9. Paul MacDonald- “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” forced Paul to sing with more range and expression than anytime in this season.  While his illness caused him to miss a few notes, it was encouraging to hear him work outside his tight mannerisms.
  10. Thia Megia- Another song sang beautifully by a young lady with a beautiful voice who is probably not mature enough yet to have the emotional expressiveness necessary to compete with these guys.
  11. Naima Adedapo- Just the opposite of Thia, Naima Adedapo is all personality and risk and excitement but she has not been able put together a song on key.

This is the week that the touring company is solidified.  Can Naima, Thia and Hayley do enough to take the next step in American Idols Season 10?  Join us Wednesday night as we live blog the Top 11 performances of songs from Motown.

American Idol Season 10 Top 12 Results

One step closer to the American Idol Season 10 touring show.  From 12 to 11 we go tonight and, then we are there.  Join us as we watch Ryan herd one unlucky Idol from the couches to the stool and then to their exit story.  Who will it be?

There is disagreement at the one21music ranch on the performances last night.  Chuck thought Stefano Langone took the night with his updating of the soul classic “You Don’t Know Me By Now”.  Wifey thought we had a three way tie between Scott McCreery, Paul MacDonald and Jacob Lusk.

I think we both agreed that Karen Rodriguez, Naima Adedapo and Hayley Reinhart did not improve their chances of making the American Idol  Season 10 tour.   We expect to see them in the Bottom 3.  We think Naima Adedapo‘s consistently uneven performances should end her time on American Idol.  We are concerned that Hayley Reinhart may have run out of chances to define herself as an artist.  However, we are predicting that Karen Rodriquez sings her final song on American Idol Season 10 tonight.

But is is now time to see what happens, so settle in while we walk you through the American Idol Season 10 Top 12 eliminations.

Tonight Lee DeWyze will be performing his new single and the Grammy award winning group, The Black Eyed Peas, will be singing their latest hit. But first our 12 idols perform.

And so Ryan begins the elimination with a little Irish music.  I would say this may not be the time for frivolity.  He calls Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams and Lauren Alaina over to the hot spot.  Jacob and Lauren are safe.  We are thrilled.  Casey is also safe and joins them on the couch.

Next up Hayley Reinhart and Paul MacDonald.  One is safe and one is in the bottom three.  So let me guess.  I was right.  Hayley goes to the stools and Paul to the couch.

I always liked Lee DeWyze and I pray that his career will be fulfilling.  I do have to say that had he competed this year, he might not have taken the trophy.  Such a nice guy and he tells the group just to remember why they began this journey in the first place.  Because they love to sing!  So win or lose, they will be fine.

Ryan calls Scotty McCreery, Pia Toscano and James Durbin over.  He immediately sends Scotty back to the couch. Yes!  All three of our believers are safe for the time being.   Pia is also safe.  Ryan draws things out with James.  He banters back and forth with Steven Tyler, who is quite funny tonight.  James is safe also.

Stefano Langone and Naima Adedapo are up next.  Naima joins Hayley on the stools and Stefano goes back to the group.  Karen Rodriquez and Thia Megia will hear their fate and are called onto the stage.  Thia is safe and so our pick for the bottom three is correct this time.  So who will go home tonight and will the judges vote to save that person?

The world premiere performance of Just Can’t Get Enough will be performed by the Black Eyed Peas.  They dedicate the song to their friends in Japan.   Always an interesting group. 

The critical moment is here.  After the nation wide vote, Naima Adedapo is safe this week, Hayley is safe and Karen will have to sing one more time.  Karen will sing Hero. 

It is always so difficult to see one of these very talented young people go home.  But alas it is a contest and the judges do have to make hard choices.  They decide not to save Karen tonight.  Hopefully Karen has made an impact  in the music community and will have the chance to sing again.  We wish her the very best here at and we look forward to covering the remainder of the contest with each of you.  Thanks for joining us.

American Idol Season 10 Top 12 Performance Live Blog

Time for another edition of the gauntlet to the American Idol Season 10 touring company and then, ultimately, to a new American Idol.   If you checked out our American Idol Season 10 Top 12 Power Rankings, you would know that Casey Abrams, James Durbin and Pia Toscano have delivered consistently good performances, that we believe that Christian musicians Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina are our favorites to win and our favorite performer is Christian musician Jacob Lusk.  If you didn’t check out our power rankings, well make that a habit in the future.  We generally publish them over the weekend.

The Idols theme this week is the always favorite, “songs from the year you were born”.  From all reports, Casey Abrams is out of the hospital and will be able to perform.

As Chuck stated in his SXSW 2011 preview yesterday, I will be in downtown Austin tonight and tomorrow night so the live blog will be written by another member of the One21music team: wifey.  She sits next to me each week and tells me what to write during the performance shows so I guess I am just the typist.  Tonight you get to see wifey’s unfiltered reactions.  She is much more musically astute than me and more empathetic to the performers so enjoy.

The wifey here.  I tell him what to write?? hmm. Okay, perhaps somewhat truthful.  Anyway, I am delighted to cover American Idol tonight as our team spends the week reporting on all the Christian bands performing at SXSW.  It looks like we will be spending 2 hours together tonight. Wonderful.  American Idol will be helping Japan by donating sales from song downloads.

Here are our top 12 and Casey Abrams is onboard.  That’s good.  Naima Adedapo, born in 1984, will begin the show tonight.  She will be singing What’s Love Got to Do with It.  Naima looks very rock and roll and puts her personality into the song.  She certainly has her own style and I like that she is outside the norm for American Idol.  Steven says she has a sorcerer’s grasp for melody, Jennifer says her pitchiness is hurting her and Randy agrees that her vocals were all over the place. Perhaps not a stellar way to begin the show.

Paul McDonald, of the amazing teeth, was also born in 1984 and will perform Elton John’s I Guess That’s Why they call It the Blues.  He is having throat issues this week.  Paul is fun to watch perform and he is such a natural.  Will he crazy dance tonight?  No, he is a little more subdued.  He is doing a great job.  Jennifer says he has so much soul and star quality, the cold didn’t deter him.  Randy says he was pitchy and Steven says he defines a cool dude in a loose mood.  Do you just shake your head and wonder about Tyler sometimes?

Thia Megia will sing a song from 1995.   She wrote her first song when she was 6 years old named I Will Always Love you.  Cute little girl.  Sweet pictorial.  She will sing Colors of the Wind.  She is singing with a bit more passion this week.  Good for her.  She really does have a wonderful quality to her voice.  Very nice.  Randy says go with a different type of song, it was boring.  Steven asks if this is who she thinks she is.  Jennifer loves the quality of her voice, but says she has been too safe in her choices.

James Durbin’s Mom says he has always had perfect pitch and reveals to America that he did have a doll when he was little.  Those Moms.  Sometimes they just share too much.  He will sing the 1989 hit I’ll Be There For You by Bon Jovi. What twist will James put on this song?  James is rocking it.  The judges are loving him.  Steven asks him about the dolls.  He tells him not to get too “poppy”.  But he loves it.  Jennifer says he was great and  he makes her want to sing along. Randy says he made the song his own. Very tastefully done. 

Hayley Reinhart is up next.  Hayley’s parents are musicians also. She will sing I am Your Baby Tonight.  Very jazzy take on the song.  She has such a smoky, sultry quality to her voice.  I liked it, but lets see what our judges say.  Jennifer says her voice is good, but she is a little unnatural in her performance.  Ryan wipes the red lipstick from her chin.  Yes, we are live.  Randy is confused as to what personna she wants to follow and Steven wants to hear more Janis Joplin blues from her.

Stefano Langone’s family is also involved in the music business.  His choice for tonight is 1989′s If You Don’t Know Me by Now.  Jimmy tells him to remember the words.  Let’s hope he does.  Stefano has a nice voice and certainly seems to do a wonderful job on this song.  Very strong performance.  Randy says the best performance tonight so far.  Steven says it is over the top and Jennifer says he could take the contest.

Pia Toscano’s family calls her a little diva.  She began singing at a very young age and apparently Whitney Houston was a favorite.  She will perform Houston’s Where Do Broken Hearts Go?  Wow, another big singer this week.  Can she handle it this time?  Good job.  I don’t care for this song as much, but she certainly can sing.   Steven says she nailed it and Jennifer was glad that she performed an uptempo song.  Randy feels she is in it to win it.

So finally, one of our believers, Mr. Scotty McCreery is up next.  Wow, he was an Elvis impersonator as a child. Funny stories and pictures.  He will sing Travis Tritt’s Can I Trust You With My Heart?  He plans to stay country.  I really do love his voice.  So amazing that he is so young.    His personality is really coming through.  Great vocal range on this one.  Jennifer says she loves that he pushed it out at the end.  Randy is happy that he is taking chances to hit longer and higher notes.  Steven says it was really good.

Karen Rodriquez says she gets her talent from her Mother.  Her Mom is a sweetie.  She sends her heart to her little girl.  Karen will sing 1989′s  Love will Lead You Back by Taylor Dayne.  She is so pretty.  Karen sings very confidently tonight and does include the Spanish lyrics. She sang a bit flat to me but seemed to end it on a good note.  Randy says it was better than last week.  Steven loves her ethnic “what it isness”.  Jennifer says even though she seemed nervous, she attacked the song.

Next up, Casey Abrams.  So happy he is able to perform tonight.  His parents are a hoot.    He will sing Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.  He says he likes to take risks with the songs he selects.  He is playing his guitar.  Such a talented performer.  And so my rock roots show up as I find myself liking this.  He seems a little manic in places though.  Angry Casey??  Steven thinks he is crazy and talented.  Jennifer felt it was a bit screechy at points.  Randy is most impressed that he puts art first, then commerce.  Says he is fearless.

Our girl, Lauren Alaina, is wearing a mask and has the flu.  Lauren and her Mom look just alike. Wow.  She is singing I’m the Only One by Melissa Etheridge.   She has changed some of the arrangement, and plans to take back the judges’ favor this week.  She is not quite as strong with the low notes but is definitely hitting the rest of this.  Lauren is so cute and seems to be so relaxed on stage.  She has a strong quality to her voice.  Jennifer says it had a country flavor and she made it her own.  Randy thinks it was so nice and states that she is  back.  Steven says she is a shining star. 

Jacob Lusk will close the show out tonight.  Apparently his Mother thinks Jacob got his talent from her and that she can really sing.  She’s cute.  Jacob will perform Heart’s Alone.  He is taking a step out tonight with a rock song.  I am just amazed at this guy.  Such a big voice.  A little off pitch in places, but I definitely have chill bumps.  Randy says he was a little sharp but rebounded and loves that the end was so tender.  Steven says his Mom gave him the moxie to be what he is and something else about the gospel having a baby.  What?  Jennifer loves that he gives himself completely.

Well, that is it for tonight.  I am constantly awed at the wonderful talents and music that God gives us.  I may not be able to sing like these fabulous contestants, but God has blessed me with the ability to hear them and I am amazed.  What a blessing.  Thanks for checking in with One21Music and we will meet you here again tomorrow evening to see who will go home. 


American Idol Season 10 Top 12 Power Rankings

With the departure of Ashton Jones on Thursday night American Idol Season 10 is down to it’s Top 12.  It is a immensely talented, stylistically diverse Top 12. As I discussed in our American Idol Top 13 results show blog, the jury is still our for me on the impact of using Jimmy Iovine and a group of name producers as mentors.  It helped James Durbin greatly and Casey Abrams seems to thrive under their tutelage.  However, the producers pushed Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone and Naima Adedapo beyond their professional maturity.  That is a development to watch.

American Idol Season 10 Top 12

You may notice that Casey Abrams is nothing more than a head on a stick in the picture.  Don’t panic.  There is no reason to call CSI (unless you hope to meet Robin) or those dudes we have forgotten about on Law & Order- LA.  The second overriding theme of American Idol Season 10 is the ongoing health issues of Casey Abrams.  Two weeks in and Casey has had two hospital stays.  This most recent visit evidently required blood transfusions.  Our prayers are for Casey’s health.  Our hope is that he will be able to rejoin the show.

This weeks theme is “songs from the year you were born”.  That means we will reach all the way back to 1984 for Paul MacDonald and Naima Adedapo (“When Doves Cry”). Jacob Lusk will take us to 1987 (“Faith”).  We sneek back to 1988 with Pia Toscano (“Every Rose Has A Thorn”).  Stefano Langone, Karen Rodriguez and James Durbin joined us in 1989 when “My Perogative” ruled the airways. “Black or White” was hot in 1991 when Casey Abrams and Hayley Reinhart came into this world.  The babies of the group are Scott McCreery (1993), Lauren Alaina (1994) and Thia Megia (1995).  I could not find a song from the mid 90′s that you might recognize.

American Idol Season 10 Top 12 Power Rankings

Two weeks in and the list is fluid. We now get into the grind of American Idol Season 10 where variety and consistency are critical. The early front runners need toincrease their focus and some of the performers at the bottom of the list need to stretch themselves to create a defining moment.

  1. Casey Abrams- Two weeks, two great performenace with interesting arrangements of famous but off beat songs.
  2. James Durbin- Now we have heard him sing and it is pretty amazing.  His performance of “Maybe I’m Amazed” was important for him, but did you hear him on the group performance?  The dude has a vocal instrument that can rival Jacob Lusk.
  3. Jacob Lusk- Speaking of Jacob, I thought he got a little away from himself this week.  He did some amazing things with “I Believe (I Can Fly)” but overall it was little out of control.  Jacob just needs to releax andl et his voice do the work.
  4. Scott McCreery- Easily the most popular in the studio and on the Internet voting sites, Scott continues to demonstrate a maturity and confidence well beyond his age.  He will need to step out of his comfort zone soon or America may grow tired of hos act.
  5. Pia Toscano- The Season 10 beauty has demonstrated a set of pipes that can slay the biggest icons (Chrissie Hynde and Celine Dion).  She has amazed us two weeks in a row.  Like Scott, she needs to demonstrate some variety in her performances over the next few weeks.
  6. Lauren Alaina- Everyone should be worried. Lauren Alaina cried of disappointment and embarrassment on Thursday night.  I don’t think she will do that again.  If Lauren has figured out the effort required to deliver a top notch performance every week, a freight train is about blast through American Idol Season 10.
  7. Stefano Langone- The Internet loved Stefano’s version of “Lately” this week.  I thought the prodcution overwhelmed him.
  8. Hayley Reinhart- I loved Hayley’s performance of “Blue” but America evidently did not.  The beuaty was in the the subtle runs and yodels she brought to the song. I would pay to see her sing.  However, she needs to define herself to America and deliver a stamp on Season 10.  She needs to do it soon or she may not make it to the tour.  That would be a shame.
  9. Paul MacDonald- Paul picks great songs to sing but I don’t think this is the right venue for him.
  10. Naima Adedapo- I certaintly do not understand how Wednesday’s performance of Umbrella took Naima from a judges’ wild card save to not even being in the bottom 3.  I thought it was a wonderful glimpse into the interesting performer that naima can become, but I don’t think she pulled it off.
  11. Karen Rodriguez- Karen’s game has not translated well to the big stage.  She seems overwhlemed.
  12. Thia Megia- A beautiful voice who lacks the emotional maturity and depth to deliver the performances required on American Idol.  She will get there but she is not ready for this stage.

Join on Wednesday night as I perform the impossible feat of live blogging the Top 12 performance while, at the saem time, covering Christina musicians performing at South by Southwest.

American Idol Season 10 Top 13 Results

The American Idol Season 10 Top 13 performances did not live up to my expectation.  Several people shined, Casey Abrams, James Durbin and Pia Toscano.  However, the top 3 in my Top 13 power rankings, Jacob Lusk, Scott McCreery and Lauren Alaina just did okay.  The best part of American Idol every season is seeing how the artists develop or wilt under the relentless pressure and the spotlight.  I think we saw some of that in the top 13 performances.

While I like the idea of Jimmy Iovine and the big name producers, I think they overwhelmed some of the performers last night.  They tried to do too much with Jacob Lusk, Stefano Langone, Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia.  It did not seem that these performers were ready to perform such complex arrangements in one week.  Casey Abrams and James Durbin thrived under the producers tutelage. Did it seem to you that Jimmy Iovine was a little frustrated with Scott McCreery and Pia Toscano because they did not really allow the producers to do much.  Let’s see how the producers’ influence plays out during the season.

As we finished off our American Idol Season 10 Top 13 performance live blog we said that Ashton Jones, Karen Rodriguez, Naima Adedapo and Thia Megia were all in danger of going home tonight.  I think  Karen Rodriguez and Ashton Jones will be the bottom two and Ashton Jones will go home.  But it is time for the show to start so let’s see for ourselves.

PDiddy, or whatever he calls himself now, and Adam Lambert perform tonight.  30 million people voted and we learn that the judges have one save for American Idol Season 10.  I don’t expect the judges to use the save tonight.  For the second time in two weeks Casey Abrams is in the hospital.  Let’s hope his health can hold to the rigors of American Idol.

Don’t expect much commentary on the film bits and the performances.  We are here for results, everything else  is filler.  Sometimes the filler is tasty but it is filler.

Time for some results.  We are going to do a Bottom 3.  Karen Rodriguez, Jacob Lusk and Stefano Langone are up first.  I suspect Karen will be in the bottom 3 and she is.  Jacob Lusk and Stefano Langone make it to the American Idol Season 10 Top 12.

Let’s get back to some results.  Who will join Karen Rodriguez.  Lauren Alaina, Ashton Jones and Hayley Reinhart are now on the hot seat, or shall I say the hot spot in the middle of the stage. Ryan pushes Lauren Alaina to cry about her performance last night. Way to go Ryan, must you make a 16 year-old girl cry?  But Lauren Alaina is safe. Ashton Jones and Hayley Reinhart are in the bottom 3.  That is a surprise.  Hayley does not belong in the bottom 3 and they just jump into the bottom 3 without taking everyone through the ringer.

It is time to see who’s dream ends.  Karen Rodriguez is safe.  Ashton Jones is going home and Hayley Reinhart lives to compete another week.  This is the right decision.  Good luck Ashton Jones.  Check back this weekend for my American Idol Season 10 Top 12 power rankings.

American Idol Season 10 Top 12

  • Jacob Lusk
  • Stefano Langone
  • Lauren Alaina
  • Casey Abrams
  • James Durbin
  • Naima Adedapo
  • Pia Toscano
  • Scott McCreery
  • Thia Megia
  • Paul MacDonald
  • Karen Rodriguez
  • Hayley Reinhart