Adam: It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, friends (at least Beth and I have been waiting for it): we’re down to single digits! After dropping two contestants that came as a total and complete shock to me last week, the final nine are taking on songs from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame artists. But first off, Beth, have you noticed what Randy’s wearing? Not just tonight, but at all this season? J-Lo and Steven are always so dazzling, I think Randy could walk out in his bathrobe and I wouldn’t bat an eye.
Randy’s clothing is a bit interesting once I looked at it but I don’t notice it much, either. Sometimes I do notice his big purple watches, though. Those are nice. (and congratulations on choosing the two to go last week, you over-achiever, you.)
Adam: Jacob Lusk starts the night with a switch: he dropped “Let’s Get It On,” because it was too suggestive. Instead, he thrust his pelvis to Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” Steven called it the finest song that’s ever been written, and, Beth? Michael Jackson’s version is one of my top five favorite songs ever. So I agree with Steven. But I don’t agree with the judges that this performance was any good. I like Jacob, but it fell flat for me. But I’m completely biased on this one.
Jacob’s statement about if he’s in the bottom three it will only be because America can’t look at themselves in the mirror? Um no, Jacob, don’t kid yourself. It’s because the best part of your performance was the OTHER person singing the song. Nice try, though, son.
Oh, Lord, help me, my least favorite person is up next. Haley Reinhart is taking on Janice Joplin tonight, it was nice of her to break out her leather pants for the occasion. I also wear mine when I sing a song by Janice Joplin. I know I’m not a fan of hers but this song just added to the reasons why. So corny, she yelled all the way through it. I wish people would stop voting for her. Are the judges deaf tonight, Adam? or did you enjoy this song? (It’s okay if you liked it, I have a toothache and I’m pretty grouchy, so maybe that’s the problem.)
Adam: Mmm . . . I don’t want to speculate on the grouchiness, but I kinda loved it. I have to say, I was distracted throughout trying to figure out what was going on with her shoes. They were a mystery to me. (I should tell you my brother’s reaction to Haley’s performance last week: “I didn’t want to set her on fire, which is really high praise coming from me.”) I generally don’t like people to sing this song, but I thought it suited her voice if not her perpetually giddy smile. Also: her ring looked like one of those industrial strength doorstops spray painted gold.
Casey Abrams decided not to put “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” to its untimely death and instead took “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” to Tahiti. I kid. I’m so glad he broke out the upright bass, because it reminds us that Casey is an extraordinarily talented musician. It also keeps him from snapping. I love this guy’s voice, and I didn’t feel like I had defend him to the cool kids this week. I had a lot of fun listening to that.
Oh, Casey. First, I love this song. Second, I adore that he plays the upright base. Third, the rain falling in the background is making me have to pee. I enjoyed this performance. Sometimes he sounded a lot like a bee singing but I don’t have anything against bees. I still love this guy.
Lauren Alaina is singing You Make Me Feel like a Natural Woman. (or is it Natural Woman?) Whatever, you get the idea. I’m not enjoying her look tonight, too much going on between the shorts and the tights and the 924 bracelets and the hair that goes up six inches above her head. It distracted me from her singing, which I think, I THINK, Adam, was a good thing. Booooring.
Adam: Look, Christian Slater! Wait, was someone singing? Yeah, Beth, I don’t know what to tell Lauren if I see her in person. It’s going to be awkward if it happens. But that song, which I’m strangely tempted to sing far too frequently, is a song that should keep us hanging on every single note and constantly begging for more. I remember two of her notes, and I was pleading for her to stop. Or to start. I totally agree, this made me feel like a sleepy man.
James Durbin switched gears (there’s an awful lot of switching going on tonight) by singing “While My Cello Gently Weeps,” a song that I believe originally featured Eric Clapton playing a different instrument, but whatever. I’ve been tough on James, but I loved hearing a cleaner, simpler, gentler side of his voice. It didn’t give me chills, I just really liked it. He sounded . . . good. I ignored the frivolous note at the end. I respected that performance and the thought and work he put into it. Bravo.
James Durbin, well, I was looking forward to this because I adore that song, I was also looking forward to him not screaming because, you know, it’s a slow song, but alas, he still found a place to scream. I was a bit bored, he was definitely emotional but you know, I’m not that impressed.
Scotty McCreery is giving us some Elvis tonight. He’s also moving around stage, engaging with the audience and being flirty with the camera. Who is this character on stage? Now, towards the end he did give us some crazy eyes, but that’s okay. As long as he never does it again. I loved this performance. Scotty is definitely becoming one of my favorites.
I love, love, love the singing, the decision to go with an Elvis song, and the playful way he refuses your requests that he wear a cowboy hat. But Scotty sports the aura of a man who is still looking all over Blueberry Hill and has yet to find his thrill, if you get my drift. He’s Richie Cunningham pretending he’s the Fonz. I absolutely love the vocals, but the theatrics are a thousand miles from sexy. Teenage girls in the front row disagree with me wholeheartedly. When Scotty understands why, I might take him more seriously.
Adam, I agree with you, he’s not sexy and maybe that’s why I like my daughter watching him. But listen, last week when he sang “I Told You So” with Lauren, that? Sexy. Trust me. I watched it 15 times.
Adam: Pia Toscano. There you are. Okay, Pia is very pretty. She’s very snazzy. Her outfit is a little . . . pouchy? Like that of a young Blanche Devereaux? And her movements just screamed of constipation. But her vocals were good. Not perfect. But she competes, I’ll give her that. Pia is in it to win it. I kind of hope she doesn’t win it. But she has every intention, and I like that about her.
Pia performed a nice fast-paced song, she did well. She really does have an amazing voice. Although, I definitely thought this was Glee-like but that’s okay, right? Everyone loves Glee. And Blanche Devereaux? Perfect description, Adam.
Stefano Langone sings “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Adam, lean in, I have to tell you a little secret, in the middle of this performance, I got up and peed. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this performance. Like I said last week, I like the kid, he’s cute, good attitude, but he is not an album seller. I said those same words about Ruben. And I was so right.
Adam: It made me notice what Randy was wearing. Actually, as Stefano performances go, I liked it. He’s a frustrating guy for me, because I think he could be much better than he is. I like his personality and his stage presence. I just wish he’d open up the tap on his soul. I want to know he’s not just a performer and that he’s an actual person. One who feels. Who thinks. Who pees. Right now, I’m not convinced he does any of those things.
The intersection of Paul McDonald and Johnny Cash is . . . something I had never even considered until this moment. Now that I’ve considered it? I’m not really happy about it. I don’t know that the Man in Black needed to be turned into the human sequins factory. Look, in a vacuum, it wasn’t a bad piece of music. But I refuse to believe that Paul shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. Tickled him to death maybe, but no gunshots. And I was genuinely concerned for Tony on the guitar. I was sure Paul was going to kick him in the jewels.
Problem: I have a major, super, massive crush on Johnny Cash. I have a major, super, massive dislike for Paul. I’m trying to like Paul more, it’s just that his voice is so whiny and wrong. I enjoyed that he rocked out tonight and he did, got the crowd going but still. Not my favorite of the night but maybe my favorite performance of his so far.
Who’s going home?
Beth says Stefano.
Adam says Stefano.
Do you agree? Disagree? Who’s your favorite? YES, YOU!