March 16th, 2011
08:01 PM ET
9:50 p.m. – Whenever I hear Heart's "Alone," I am always reminded of Carrie Underwood's performance a few seasons ago, which was amazing. Utterly amazing.
Jacob attacks this 1987 song like his life depended on it. He has been so consistent so far and I was really feeling it. My husband said he reminds him of a male version of Jennifer Hudson and I can see that. Big voice, emotion and range. Love!
He definitely put some "Lusky stank" on it. Do your thing Jacob!
9:39 p.m. – Oh no, Lauren has the flu!
She hands Seacrest a face mask. I'm worried. Meanwhile, her mom looks like her sister and her daddy cries when offering his support. All together now: Awwwwwwww!
Lauren performs Melissa Etheridge's "I'm The Only One" from 1994 and she starts off a little rough before trying to nail it toward the end. She's still got that raspy thing happening, but I wasn't as blown away as the judges seem to be.
9:30 p.m. – I have been Team Casey from day one, but I was not on board for this one.
He selected the 1991 Nirvana song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and even though he played the guitar and grunged it up, it sounded off to me. More yelling than singing. He gets some points for taking a risk, though.
The judges agreed with me.
9:20 p.m. – I loved Taylor Dane's "Love Will Lead You Back" in 1989. But even more, I adored the emotion Karen's mama has for her baby. She called Karen her "Oscar" and her "prize."
Her mother had a right to be proud of her daughter, who sang well and worked it out again in Spanish. The more I see of her, the more I see J.Lo 2.0. The look, the spunk and the Latin pride. Jennifer tells her to never expose her weaknesses – that is if she can't hit a note, don't go there.
Listen to her Mamacita cause J-Lo knows of what she speaks.
9:10 p.m. – Scotty was a "bit of a chunky monkey" when he was born in 1993, according to his mama.
A young Scotty was a big Elvis fan and I can totally see that. His dad thinks he gets his deep voice from him, and I got a kick out of watching Scotty's parents sing "Baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low." That was pretty cute.
Scotty sings the Travis Tritt song "Can I Trust You With My Heart." Way to stay in your lane baby.
Despite being barely out of diapers, he is so believable singing this love song. He could release an album today and make some serious loot, I think.
9:00 p.m. – Too bad YouTube wasn't around when Pia was a little girl because she was tearing up "I Will Always Love You."
She does a slightly faster version of the 1988 Whitney Houston tune "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and she is soooooo on point. Her voice is so fully formed that I wonder how she is going to grow during this competition. Is there such a thing as being too good?
"You are why this show is called 'American Idol,' " Tyler says.
8:53 p.m. – Stefano is so mad cool.
That kid has swagger – and I can call him a kid 'cause he was born in 1989. His song choice is the Simply Red version of "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and it gives him the opportunity to display not only his chops, but also the passion he has for music.
He wrings every bit of emotion out of those notes and you can see Jennifer falling more and more in love. She's been a fan since day one and it is so warranted. Don't sleep on Stefano 'cause for me, the show just started!
Awww, he went and hugged his mama!
8:43 p.m. – Haley's parents are in a band, so that's kind of cool.
She was born in 1990 and selects Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight," and the one time I expected her to be sultry, she wasn't. She definitely puts her own touch on it and makes it a little bit more jazzy. Hmmmm, I dunno.
I'm not sure if she knows how to control her instrument. And I'm trying to figure out how she managed to get her lipstick smeared on her face. Ryan ends up trying to spit clean her. Watch that, Seacrest!
8:31 p.m. – Why is Kate Hudson sitting way in the back of the audience clutching bags of Cheetos?
James selects from 1989 the Bon Jovi song "I'll Be There For You" and he is working the stage like a seasoned rock star. Apparently he and some of the other "Idol" guys have formed a band in the mansion, so maybe he's been practicing.
James gets a little cocky by saying he doesn't want to spoil the Aerosmith until the finale. Steven says if James sings it, he'll join him and they shake on it. Oh snap! It's on like popcorn and the deal even leads Steven to curse. Not that getting Steven Tyler to curse is difficult.
8:21 p.m. – I think Thia might be reading this site.
I included her in a gallery of contestants to watch this season and I mentioned that she reminded me of a little Disney princess. So Thia goes and picks "Colors of the Wind" by Vanessa Williams from the 1995 animated film "Pocahontas."
She has a pretty voice, but Randy says he was bored. It was a little sleepy, but still she's very talented. What I am seeing is what I worried about with the younger contestants – a lack of connecting with the song's emotion.
I think she will still be safe this week. And there in the audience is Thia's old friend Peggy Blue, the vocal coach who showed no mercy during the auditions.
8:13 p.m. – Paul was so cute as a kid!
He, too, was born in 1984 and he selects Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues." Again, he has such an interesting performance style. The song didn't thrill me, but Paul is just so chill.
He's got that crazy little Rod Stewart voice and that Kenny Loggins look. It's just all peace and love when it comes to this dude.
"Pitchy" appears to be the word du jour tonight.
8:07 p.m. – Here is where I start to feel old.
Tonight's theme is songs from the year the contestant was born and Naima was born in 1984. She's a baby, but she cries over having to be away from her babies who are only 1 and 3 years old. Naima's mama sheds some tears over her baby as she is so proud of her. I love the legacy as both mother and daughter are singers.
Naima selects Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It." Sadly, I didn't love it – but I love her. She's so unique and cool, but Jennifer calls her pitchy and Randy says her vocals "were all over the place." On another season she may have gotten a pass. Actually, only last season she would have gotten a pass. But this year she has to bring it.
There is just so much talent this time around that the weaker contestants are going to have a more difficult time Sanjaying it I believe.
8:05 p.m. – I love me some Ryan Seacrest.
There's just something about his little spikey 'do which sets my heart racing.
Tyler looks like he is rocking some Mardi Gras beads with that necklace and I ain't even mad at him. It's always a party for Steven Tyler.
8:00 p.m. – It's time to get it popping Idol-ators.
The judges start us off with the announcement that profits from tonight's downloads will be going to the Red Cross relief efforts to help Japan.
Well done "Idol."
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