March 9th, 2011
08:05 PM ET
9:55 p.m. - No one gets the number "13" for their phone number because it's unlucky.
Do we think that will really help?
9:51 p.m. - I don't know, Naima.
I wasn't hopeful when they announced that she would be singing Rihanna's "Umbrella" but she started out strong. Great attitude and her voice seemed a good fit.
Then she broke into this Reggae riff and I was like "Dang gurl! Really?"
The song got away from her for a minute, but then she started dancing and I was back on board. I agree with J-Lo that Naima brought it like a real artist. Even though I must point out that some of those real artists are straight pitchy...and that's being kind.
I'm glad she's still in the competition because I think she and Paul are the most original this season.
9:43 p.m. - Has anyone else noticed that Steven Tyler is giving some "Paula Abdul-like" comments? A few times now I've caught myself saying "What is he talking about?"
9:40 p.m. - Scotty's speaking voice reminds me of Elvis for some reason.
The teen's version of "The River" by Garth Brooks has me convinced that he could release a country album tomorrow and make some serious loot. That kid was born to sing country, no doubt.
9:30 p.m. - Awww, I miss the singer Selena.
I was a fan and I can't imagine how nervous Karen must feel singing "I Could Fall In Love" in front of La Lopez, given that she came to fame playing Selena in the biopic.
Karen offers a good rendition, though it felt a bit restrained to me. I kept waiting for her to cut loose.
The judges sensed she was uncomfortable and Randy hit her up with the "sleepy" also. I like her and hope she gets another shot at showing us what she can do.
9:25 p.m. - Steven Tyler, please put down that fan! You look crazy fanning yourself.
Anyhoo, I felt so sad for little Thia, who cried backstage. I had to get myself together quickly though because Stefano is singing my song, "Lately" by Steven Wonder.
I was a little unsure about the funky arrangement, but I started jamming to it.
Well done Stefano. You are beginning to grow on me, young man. Way to work the wild card selection, son.
9:18 p.m. - Sidenote: Not a good move by Seacrest to call it a "West Coast versus East Coast" battle between Stefano and Karen on the day that is the 14th anniversary of the murder of rapper Biggie Smalls.
I cringed just a bit over that one, though I am sure it was not "on purpose."
9:15 p.m. – Thia had me all ready to cry and then she jazzed it up.
Her version of "Smile" initially reminded me of the Michael Jackson memorial where his brother Jermaine performed the song (it was MJ's favorite jam). I think she is amazing, talented and so poised for her age.
The arrangement then got kind of cheesy. It felt very lounge act-like to me. Still love her voice, though. And she is some kind of adorable.
9:05 p.m. - Jacob, I heart you so much.
From the hilarious haircut in his nine-year-old photo to the joy he showed in the studio, recording his cover of the R. Kelly classic "I Believe I Can Fly."
His voice is like a deadly weapon. He slaps you upside with those crazy high notes and Jacob with a choir took me back to the days of Fantasia. Especially because he does her signature "OOO yeah, yeah, yeah."
This man doesn't just sing. He feels every single note and pours himself into the song.
8:55 p.m. -You know what I kind of dig about Haley?
She's absolutely hungry for it. You can tell she really, really wants a music career. She does a great job covering the LeAnn Rimes tune "Blue." She's singing, she's swaying and she's running those notes.
I had pegged her as more of a soul singer, but now I think she is just straight sultry. Randy found it sleeping and boring. BOOOOOO! If you are going to mimic the Simon Cowell toughness, Randy, be constructive AND tough.
8:50 p.m. – James picks Paul McCartney.
I thought he would go harder rock, but I dug his "Maybe I'm Amazed." He's giving me Lambert 2.0 – in a good way. His range is impressive and he's showing versatility.
That kind of messed me up. There is too much talent this season, I'm thinking!
8:40 p.m. – I was wondering who was going to be the first to go with a big ballad and it's Pia.
She selects Celine Dion's version of "All By Myself." She sounded great in rehearsal and in the studio, so I expect her to bring it on stage.
She's got a really strong voice and I think she is groovy. But here's my issue: No one can touch Celine on that song. I liked it, but I wasn't blown away. J-Lo is practically speechless and calls it "really, really beautiful."
Randy dubs it a "hot, dope, cool performance," but it's Tyler who takes the cake by wishing Pia a "Happy International Women's Day."
Wait, I thought that was yesterday. Must Google...
8:30 p.m. - Paul's idol is Ryan Adams and he selects the song "Come Pick Me Up."
I wish I could focus on the song, but Paul is distracting me by jumping around the stage, which looks kind of strange.
I have to say I did not love that performance. His voice is soft and raspy and it came across as a little too laid back for me. Perhaps he needed to jump around the stage to show some energy?
Funny moment when Ryan tries to imitate Paul's moves. Oh Seacrest, you are such a little scamp!
8:19 p.m. - Full disclosure here: I haven't loved Ashton's voice so far.
The only thing I think she has in common with Diana Ross is the big hair. She chooses a Ross song, "When You Tell Me That You Love Me."
They at least try to make her look like Ross in the off-the-shoulder gown and glittery makeup. We learn that producer Rodney Jerkins has worked with her and Iovine has invited Berry Gordy to watch the performance.
Randy dug it, but I still don't get the appeal. She says she wants people to see the soft and elegant side of her.
Ok, I just want to see the singing like a diva side.
8:15 p.m. -We have the backstage camera again this season. Not sure how much that is going to add.
Casey selects the classic Joe Cocker cover of The Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends." He seems to feel a kinship with the singer because he says Cocker "doesn't look too hot" either.
I beg to differ Casey. You are hot and so is your singing. He rocked it along with a small choir. I love this kid! He showed some serious passion and the judges loved it, too.
8:07 p.m. - Wow. Steven Tyler didn't love it and he's been Team Lauren since day one.
J-Lo and Randy jump on the bandwagon, too, and say they want more from her because she is so amazing. Lauren looks stunned and she apologizes to Steven. I'm still pulling for you sweetie!
8:06 p.m. – I liked Lauren's rendition of "Any Man of Mine." That little girl's got some sass and boy can she sing.
8:02 p.m. – Congrats to J-Lo with the No. 1 single this week on iTunes.
I had almost forgotten about Jimmy Iovine being involved, but there he is.
The contestants have chosen a song by their own personal "Idol." Little miss Lauren has selected a song by Shania Twain. YAY!
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