American Idol Recap 3/16/11 “Born” to Be Idol?

Tonight, American Idol made you feel old. Admit it. I sure did as the theme for the top 12 was “The Year you were Born”. I didn’t feel too bad about myself (but I can do bad all by myself, lol) when I saw that Paul and Naima were born in ’84. However, when Thia was singing a song from when I was in college, I almost started to cry. Well, actually I think I was crying a little earlier when Paul decimated an Elton John classic. But I digress, the show is all about the “kids” and the ones text messaging en masse were probably born in the 90’s too. So, this old fuddy duddy will just do my usual and rank their performances and give you my insight on to who is likely to be bummed that the year of their birth sent them home.

American Idol Performance Rankings 3/16/11

The Good~ Yes, Baby they were Born this Way!
1. Stefano: our little Italian dark horse has stormed his way from the bottom of the pack as a wild card pick to the front of the class with his last few performances. Tonight’s gorgeous rendition of Simply Red’s # 1 hit from 1989 “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” stole the show and announced that Stefano is, in Randy’s words ya’ll, “in it to win it”.
2. Pia: another one fighting hard for the crown, Pia once again showed that she is easily the best singer of the finalists on her great interpretation of Whitney Houston’s seventh consecutive # 1 hit in a row, 1998’s “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”. The producers also added an updated dance remix to the song helping Pia to break out of her balladeer mold. This girl is still my pick to win by the way. Love her.
3. Scotty: the country kid continues to kill it with his easy Southern style and smooth vocals. And tonight may have been his best yet as he delivered Randy Jackson’s good friend Travis Tritt’s 1993 hit “Can I Trust You with my Heart” with aplomb and confidence.
4. Lauren: despite suffering from the flu, Lauren came roaring back tonight with a strong performance of Melissa Etheridge’s top ten smash from 1994 “I’m the Only One” and gave it a great country rock spin.
5. Jacob: he may have gone off the rails at the beginning of the song and on a verse here and there, but Jacob sold it like nobody’s business. And when he’s in the zone, he is fantastic. Sure, he didn’t come close to Carrie Underwood’s iconic version of this song on the Idol stage, but he should be quite satisfied with his performance. (Also, check out the recorded version on iTunes. It’s great and so current!)
6. James: falling a bit from last week’s lofty heights, our resident rocker still made a great impression on his performance of Bon Jovi’s # 1 power ballad from 1989 “I’ll Be There For You”. (Um, yes, that was the theme of one of my proms in high school… ok, I’m really showing my age now). I loved that he kept it in the Jovi vein but still showcasing his own style. I kinda wished he had chosen Skid Row’s “I Remember You” though…

~ The decent~ they were Born to Be Alive
7. Karen: this Latina lady was back on track with great vocals on Taylor Dayne’s # 1 from 1989 “Love Will Lead You Back”. However, that ridiculous leather dress and giant B 52’s hair bun did her no favors and the Spanglish thing is getting old.
8. Thia: currently attempting to win the Miss American Idol pageant, Thia gave a competent but sleepy performance of Vanessa Williams #4 Oscar-winning hit “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas. It was better than last week, but still pretty forgettable overall.
9. Casey: this crazy guy is super fun to watch but his take on Nirvana’s 1991 classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was a hot screechy screamy mess. (Yes, I just stole “screechy screamy” from J.Lo who was totally on target with most of her critiques tonight and gave some good advice to the singers too).

The bottom dwellers~ Will they be Born Again?
10. Haley: Miley Cyrus was up to her old affected annoying and false tricks with a wannabe sexy but utterly irritating version of Whitney Houston’s #1 from 1990 “I’m Your Baby Tonight”. Um, here are some words of advice Miley, er, Haley~ do NOT try to be sexy (you’re not) and do NOT act like you’re on a cruise ship singing at the lunch buffet…. All that said and she was still better than two other singers!
11. Naima: oh dear, how they fall! After last week’s cool interpretation of “Umbrella”, Naima faltered big time with a pitchy and lackluster take on Tina Turner’s Grammy winning #1 comeback smash “What’s Love Got to Do With It” from 1984. Poor Naima seems to only hit every 3rd note… I like the girl and hope she gets another shot, but I’m not bettin’ the bank on it.
12. Paul: ok, you have a great personality and smile and you look like Bradley Cooper. However, you’re kinda terrible when you sing. Tonight, you were simply atrocious on an out of tune, hoarse, and meandering version of Elton John’s great #4 hit from 1984 “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”. Seriously, it was BAD. He’s just lucky he seems to have a good fan base… Oh and on a side note, I’m a little hurt personally by Paul’s perf tonight cuz that is so my fave and one of my best karaoke songs to sing!

The Predictions~
Bottom 3: Naima, Haley, Karen (but Thia and Paul could be in danger too)
Bottom 2: Naima, Haley
Going Home: Haley (am I just wishful thinking though?)

And there you have it, my take on tonight’s Idol. Who did you like? Was anyone Born to Be Your Baby? Or do you wish Jason Bourne had done away with those songs like he does an enemy? Let me hear it below…. Oh and remember, if you did love some of their songs (like Stefano or Pia!), pick up their recorded versions on iTunes now and some of the proceeds go to helping out with disaster relief in Japan.

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