Tonight, the Idols did not disappoint with the Motown theme. Plenty of train wrecks and plenty of the Four Horsemen making VFTW proud. Paul McDonald brought out his guitar so that he could remind voters that he is indeed a white guy with a guitar and should thus automatically win the show, Casey growled at an audience member, Naima did some African dancing, and Jacob started a hug line. And if the four horsemen weren’t entertaining enough, Scotty butchered Motown, Haley ramped it up a bit, and the judges actually gave decent critiques for once. How is this show getting better by the week? The four horsemen are 4 of the best Idol contestants ever. Keep it up, Nigel. So here’s my take on the top 11.
Casey Abrams is up first with “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” And I just know it’s gonna be creepy and awesome when I see he’s slicked his hair back like some odd woodland creature. After last week, Casey could’ve toned it down and done something boring, but he sticks with it and makes VFTW proud by making a pitch to be our post-Paul pick. He screamed the entire song and then took a break to grunt at a female audience member. The creepy faces and over the top vocals remained and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Casey even more. Perfection. Steven says that Casey has perfect pitch and a perfect mix of crazy and out of control ego. Exactly, though that was nothing even near perfect pitch. This is what I love about him. Jennifer thinks no one out there is like Casey right now, and she’s right, because Taylor Hicks hasn’t put out a record in a while. Casey, you are just wonderful. Keep up the good work.
Thia Megia performs “Heat Wave” because she wants to show she can do something uptempo. Honestly, it’s better than she normally is because she looks less like a robot. Less… but still somewhat robotic. She’s got the Glee choreographed dance moves down. When she gets to the “ooh” part of the song, it kind of falls apart because the energy completely dies. So she sort of kind of does well. Jennifer is happy that Thia is scratching the surface of being interesting, but wants her to do more now. Randy also wants her to dig deeper. Steven is too high to give a critique. No one calls her out on forgetting some words.
Jacob Lusk says he’s going to tone down the high notes and relax a bit during his performance of “You’re All I Need to Get By.” But 2 seconds in, he’s already queening out and doing some eyelash fluttering. He can’t help it and I can’t help but love him. The sassy neck rolls and the funny faces along with that falsetto scream at the end make me realize Jacob Lusk can never not be VFTW. Good to know for the future. Steven runs up on stage and hugs him, and after the judges all overpraise him since the producers want Jacob on the tour, a line of women come up to hug him too. Way to try to make Jacob look straight, Idol. You’re trying too hard and no one’s buying it. Even Clay Aiken is sitting at home saying, “Girl, please.” Then when a dude tries to hug Jacob, Ryan cuts off the hug line. Dude, that’s the one person in the line Jacob wanted to hug.
Lauren Alaina bitches that she read mean stuff online but she’s risen above this. Well, there’s a veiled VFTW shoutout since the message board posters make a habit of calling her fat. Sweetie, we make fun of everyone. Glad you’re over it. So on to her performance. Lauren does a decent version of “You Keep Me Hanging On.” She smiles through the first half but then oversasses the second half. She isn’t half bad though. A little boring, but she stayed on key and pulled it off pretty well. Jennifer loved Lauren’s attitude during the song and Randy is happy that Lauren has her swagger on. I don’t have much to say about this one because Ceiling Fat actually did ok and I can’t hate on her for sassing.
Stefano Langone picks “Hello” as his song this week. Bad move, DUI boy. This was David Cook’s signature performance during season 7, and the David Cook fans will eat him for breakfast for this. Seriously. They’re large women and they haven’t had anything to eat all day. Run. His version of the song is terrible; it’s boring and it sounds like a ridiculous lounge act. But it’s not fun like Jacob Lusk’s lounge act. It’s a lounge act you don’t even notice. Send him home already so he doesn’t have to bore me anymore. There’s no entertainment value in this one so far. The judges tell him to connect to his songs more because he showed no emotion. Stefano just stood there like a robot as if he didn’t get it, so hopefully he’s setting his program to fly home tomorrow.
Haley Reinhart’s goal is to not be in the bottom 3. Her performance of “You Really Got a Hold on Me” probably isn’t going to help much because I liked it a lot, meaning it was VFTW worthy. I like Haley when she’s drunk, so I like Haley all the time. It’s this weird voice she has with the baby cooing and the growling, I just don’t think people are going to get it. But with the sympathy she’s gotten the past few weeks being in the bottom, she’ll probably skate by again after this, even if she’s in the bottom 3. Haley is getting more comfortable on stage, meaning she’s becoming more of the VFTW awesome I knew she could be with more growling, more drunken movements, and more and more anal sex poses. I loved it because it was weird, somewhat in a good way, somewhat in a bad way. But 100% authentic Haley. Randy says the Haley the judges fell in love with is back. Jennifer says that Haley is the most soulful girl. That was probably a diss to my girl Naima.
Scotty McCreery doesn’t know much Motown, so he chooses “For Once In My Life.” It’s bad. Real bad. Comical. This is way out of his comfort zone and it’s like a bad joke, but Scotty still tries to take it seriously. He’s trying way too hard to come across earnest so it’s over the top funny. You can’t do gang signs and butt crouching dance moves and try to be taken seriously. Steven says that when Scotty went down to the low notes, he tweaked everyone. Jennifer says that when he hit the low note, he got her all over again. And Randy said that the low note was a young Ladykiller. Did the judges all just get an orgasm from Scotty’s performance? He’s a minor, people.
Pia Toscano picks “All in Love is Fair” because Mariah Carey is not a Motown artist. And you know what, it starts off really good. She’s not overdoing it and she’s pulling back a bit. She does scream, but it’s less than normal, so I’d even go as far to say that this is her best performance. It just suffers a little from being slightly boring, but it had way more emotion than Stefano. Jennifer and Randy want to see Pia move to the next level and start to use the stage, own it, and perform. That really is what she needs. Randy also challenges her to stop doing ballads. Steven says that Pia’s the closest star in the American Idol universe, and if she needs to step out and put some sneakers on to kick some ass to do right by the other 2 judges, then she’ll be able to do it.
VFTW pick Paul McDonald says Motown is the music that makes you move, yet he stays in one place mostly as he plays his guitar during “Tracks of My Tears.” Fake out! He starts off with “what’s going on, y’all?” and is horribly off key but then he finds his way as he goes. It’s still a VFTW worthy performance, but you can see just how much more comfortable this guy is with his guitar. He then ends the song even more off key and raspy than he began and it’s all good from here. If this is the best he’s ever going to do on the show (which I bet it is), we have a real winner here. It was smart of him to tone it down a little to get on the tour, then he can ramp it back up next week. Randy liked how Paul ended the song (which was the worst part). Jennifer says Paul is the most seasoned performer of the group. Yeah, seasoned as VFTW. Ryan then points out Paul’s cougar pin because Paul wants the cougar vote. Yes, cougars, vote along with Vote for the Worst.
Naima Adedapo picks “Dancing in the Streets” and her vocals are more on point this week. But then she reveals the twist, she’s adding in African dancing. I think I just wet myself with excitement. Naima doesn’t disappoint, as most of the performance is blasé, but the African dancing is phenomenal. As she seizes around the stage, she seizes the day and seizes more love from me. This girl can perform and I love it. Her African dancing was just flailing her arms back over and over, but it was so entrancing. Naima gave Jennifer goosebumps, which is a heck of a lot more pleasant than what James Durbin gave her. All of the judges loved her and praised her unique performance. Agreed.
Wrapping things up was James Durbin screaming out “Living for the City.” The performance is screechy but forgettable at the same time. I was bored and annoyed and I didn’t have any fun with it like I normally do with my horsemen. The dancing was bad, the singing was eh, but there’s just something not fun about him. I want to see more joy in his performance like Naima, Casey, Paul, and Jacob. The judges love him for some inexplicable reason, so they’ll probably turn on him next week once he makes the tour.
So who’s our bottom 3? Stefano was so boring, he has to make a trip there. Thia Megia can’t avoid the bottom forever, so her too. Rounding out the bottom will either be Haley (if voters are tired of her) or Jacob (if voters give Haley a one week pass because they feel bad for her). The person going home will be the one out of Jacob or Haley who ends up in the bottom since Thia still has her Pinoy voters and Stefano has the tween girls. I’m hoping the 4 horsemen can stay intact for the tour, so we’ll see. But if I had to guess, I'm thinking we might lose Jacob tomorrow.