The Top 6 Find Disaster In Numbers

(This recap brought to you by Day Late And Dollar Short Inc.)

American Idol hates me. It refuses to cut itself down to sixty minutes, even though it can absolutely fit into sixty minutes. No, instead it runs ninety minutes long and includes three of the world’s worst duets ever. Idol, why must you constantly ruin my life? The show is more fun if it’s only an hour long! At this rate, the final two are going to have to sing like ten songs each to fill the five hour time slot the producers are going to run it in. Really. Top 6 night should be an hour long. There is no reason for it to run for ninety minutes.

That rant aside, I enjoyed a lot of the show. The performances that weren’t done in twos mostly delivered. And the performances that were done in twos delivered in other, less talented ways. The judging felt a bit more even, though it still hardly qualified as judging. Ryan Seacrest was insane, but what would a season of American Idol be without that one week where nothing Ryan says or does makes a modicum of sense? I know I wanted to say other general comments, and perhaps I’ll remember at some point, but it’s been a while since the show so I’m just gonna jump into the performances.

Jacob Lusk – “Oh No Not My Baby” (Maxine Brown)
First things first, Jacob Lusk’s outfit was super fly (supa dupa fly, I can’t stand the rain) and only in a marginally sarcastic way. Make comparisons to Urkel or Carlton all you want, Jacob was rocking it. So, Jacob wasn’t that bad except for that part in the beginning where he sounded terrible. Oh and that part in the middle. And the little part near the end. But if he had sounded good during the beginning and the middle and the scatting part at the end, it would’ve been a great performance. Really. It was fun and energetic and I liked the arrangement (or maybe I just liked the song, I have never heard the original). Not sure who told this years Idol’s that scatting was in, but it’s not. It’s never been in. America just hates jazz, even Leslie Hunt knows that. The sax player still looks exactly like Lilly Scott. I will never get over this.

Lauren Alaina – “Where You Lead” (The Freaking Gilmore Girls Theme)
They continued Lauren’s two-episode story arc of being afraid to push herself today. Even guest mentor, once relevant Babyface asked her to push her vocals in rehearsal. So Lauren can sing. That’s been established. She’s actually really, really good at singing. She also has a pretty unique voice. It’s a little smoky and a little twangy. I like it. Now, that doesn’t mean I want to hear Lauren belting high notes like they’re going out of style. Yes, she was a little off on a few of them, but not egregiously so (and there were so damn many of them that the law of probability pretty much necessitated a few botched ones). I haven’t talked about the random guy she brought on stage because I don’t know how to. It was just awkward and weird. (You know what else is awkward and weird? Those pod people female backup singers who Lauren went over to midway through her performance. They’re so creepy.)

Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart – “I Feel The Earth Move” (Carole King)
Casey’s awfulness surpassed Haley’s excellence. (And I’m going to ignore the fact that they’re totally hooking up.)

Scotty McCreery – “You’ve Got A Friend” (James Taylor)
Scotty was pretty good. He sang much better than he has been recently. He also sounded much less caricature-y. But have you ever tried to watch Scotty sing? The weird “look how sensitive I am” eyes (also known as “I’m trying really hard to see the back of the room” eyes) and eyebrow quirks are too much for me. At least he held the microphone like a normal human being! Hurrah! One major win for anti-flutists everywhere. Otherwise, the performance was sweet and heartfelt and was probably the closest he’ll come to a “moment” on Idol. (Also, I beg the world to never call Scotty “Scotty the Body” ever ever again. It’s wrong on so many levels.)

James Durbin – “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (The Shirelles)
Wow. James’s a cappella opening was superb. His voice throughout the entire song was perfectly clear and emotion-soaked. He can be entertaining and interesting without all the bells and whistles! And he sounds much, much better without them. He kept a little of his rock flair in, too. It was all really quite good. Except I kind of hated the arrangement? I thought it was bland and stagnant. While his voice was having the time of its life, the instrumentals were sorta chilling out in the background. Apparently, no one told the guitar and the drums that this was supposed to be a bit dramatic and aching so they phoned it in. (I was also told that I might find the original to be a bit bland and stagnant. This may be true. But I’m just going to blame the arrangement.) Still, definitely one of James’s best efforts.

Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery – “American Honey” (Lady Antebellum)
Oh, they didn’t sing “American Honey”? That was a week ago? Woops. The live stream I was watching the show on died when this duet came on and I never bothered to rewatch it. I’m just going to assume I’ve seen it before. (By the way, I legitimately have no idea what they sang. The header was half-gag, half-laziness.)

Casey Abrams – “Hi-De-Ho” (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
Woo hoo! Writing this blog after the results show makes me so much happier! Instead of ranting for paragraphs about how terrible Casey Abrams is and how he can’t sing and how his performances are scary, growly messes of grunts and death stares, I can celebrate! Haha! He’s gone! He got fewer votes than Jacob Lusk in the dead man walking spot! I don’t have to watch his menacing stares and creepy antics any more. Jennifer Lopez can rest assured that Casey will never stalk around her with the goal of breathing in her face. It’s a momentous occasion. Casey was bad, y’all. He stayed about five weeks too long. But he’s gone! Rejoice! There is hope for this show, yet.

Haley Reinhart – “Beautiful” (Carole King)
Had Haley begun the song with the first verse instead of the chorus, it would’ve been my favorite Haley performance yet. (And this is saying a lot, given that just last week I said her “Rolling In The Deep” was far and away my favorite performance of the season.) It would’ve removed one of the abrupt tempo changes, let the song build from zero, and shortened the amount of time it took to get to the amazing conclusion. Everything else about it was pretty amazing. She carried that melody like a pro and then kept her voice controlled while going to church in the last third of the performance. The things she can do with her voice are simply awesome. Most importantly, she’s so much more comfortable on stage now than she was in the beginning of the season. She is moving naturally, without the blatant self-consciousness that plagued her earlier. I really don’t know what else to say. I feel like exclamation points are the only proper way to express my feeligs towards this performance so… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

James Durbin and Jacob Lusk – “I’m Into Something Good” (Herman’s Hermits)

Casey! Is! Gone!


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