American Idol Recap 4/27/11~ James takes the Crown on Carole King Night

Despite writing some of the most timeless and lovely songs in the pop era, Carole King’s songbook was not much of an inspiration for last night’s American Idol. In fact only one performance really rose to the level of her songwriting artistry and it came from a guy who likes to sing heavy metal. Who knew? … Now, that’s not to say that the rest were bad. They weren’t. They were just a bit blah. We had some nice vocals, but no “wow” moments and the duets seemed a bit hobbled together. And the guidance of Jimmy Iovine and Babyface didn’t seem to offer much help either. So, as we get down to the wire I found myself a bit underwhelmed by the whole night. It was good, not great and a little disappointing at this stage of the game. So, let’s get right down to my rankings and predictions from last night.

American Idol Performance Rankings 4/27/11:

~In a class by himself…
1. James: opening with a gorgeous a capella verse, James had us at the first note of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” a # 1 hit from 1971 from the Shirelles. Every note was pitch perfect, all of his choice and vocal intonations were on point and he made it commercial, current and credible. It was by far the best vocal and performance of the night. I dare say that was the best male vocal in the competition all season. Simply outstanding.

~The Rest…
2. Haley: despite a little technical snaffu right before she sang, Haley nailed King’s 1971 song “Beautiful” from her legendary Tapestry album. Haley continues to improve and grow into herself as a performer. I seriously am shocked at her upward trajectory. I mean, I was kinda mean to her for the first half of the season… let’s be honest. But she continues to make me eat those words with several strong performances in a row. The underdog is fighting hard.
3. Haley/Casey: showcasing great chemistry and very complimentary vocals Haley and Casey had the best duet of the night with Carol’s #1 from 1971 “I Feel the Earth Move” (which was later a hit from Martika if you recall, hehe). Haley owned this song and the two really enjoyed themselves. That said, some of Casey’s solo parts were a little annoying.
4. Lauren: giving another good vocal on “(Where You Lead) I Will Follow”, Lauren showed a boost in confidence and seemed to be having fun for once (despite the weird audience member interaction that was clearly another annoying producer choice). I really love her voice, but she could still break out. I’m sure she did the best she could especially since she’s probably never heard any of King’s songs except maybe for this one as it was the theme to the Gilmore Girls.
5.James/Jacob: in what was a surprisingly entertaining duet Jacob and James worked pretty well together on “I’m into Something Good” a 1964 # 13 hit from Herman and the Hermits. The beginning was a little off, but by the end they complimented each others outlandish styles. It was certainly way better than I anticipated it being.
6. Jacob: opening a little slow, but slaying the ending, Jacob gave another decent performance on Maxine Brown’s top 40 hit from 1964 “Oh No Not My Baby”. He also seemed to be having fun for once and his vocals were never over the top, but fit quite well with the band. It was an improvement over some of his recent performances, but was it enough to keep him in the competition? I’m not so sure.
7. Lauren/Scotty: with a sweet but slightly forgettable version of The Drifters # 5 hit from 1962 “Up on the Roof”, Scotty and Lauren proved to be a nice pair. However, when it comes to actual singing, Lauren utterly destroyed Scotty. He was even flat on his verses and she was simple impeccable. Unfortunately because of Scotty, this duet was the worst of the night.
8. Casey: I gotta tell ya, I like Casey as a person, but I’m totally over him as a singer. He’s a great musician… who belongs in a jam session, not on the Idol stage. Just look at his growly indulgent annoying performance of Blood Sweat & Tears 1964 hit “Hi-De-Ho” for proof. He was interacting with the band who left more of an impression for their solos than his uninspired vocals. And the angry faces have got to go STAT!
9. Scotty: it pains me to put our teen titan in last place, but I did not buy one second of his insincere and incredibly boring performance of the James Taylor 1971 # 1 classic “You’ve Got a Friend”. His country twang did the song no favors and the producers trying to force an Idol “moment” on us really rubbed me the wrong way. Then came the ridiculous over praising from the judges on this lackluster and lazy number. I don’t get it… Scotty can do better and needs to learn how to really interpret and feel his songs, not just coast on his charisma and voice (albeit a good one).

Bottom 3: Casey, Jacob, Haley (but wouldn’t it be neat if we got a Lauren or Scotty surprise here?)
Bottom 2: Casey, Jacob
Going Home: Jacob (though I might gamble on Casey if I was a betting man)

So, tonight James was the (Carole) king of the competition and Scotty definitely didn’t make the Earth move. But that’s just my two cents. What do you think? Is James on a stamped to the season 10 title? Are Scotty and Lauren in trouble for once? Can you believe that Haley was really good again? Is Casey grating on your nerves? And did Jacob take us to church for the last time? … Oh and what the hell was wrong with Seacrest’s face last night? (Did someone get a new weird botox treatment? I’m confused…) Sound off below.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: