March 30th, 2011
08:02 PM ET
9:51 p.m. – OMG, I love "Bennie and the Jets."
That's my jam right there. Haley takes a stab at it, and my husband looks and me and laments "really?!"
Not my favorite performance. I'll forgive her for being sprawled out on the piano a la "The Fabulous Baker Boys," but that hard "s" on the "Jetssssss" was just too much. It all felt weird and wrong to me.
The judges loved it, with Randy saying it was the "best performance of the night."
9:40 p.m. – Work the runway Jacob!
A friend of a friend has dubbed Jacob "Man-tasia," and I have to say I am totally stealing that.
Interestingly he chooses "Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word." Look up Fantasia's performance of that song on YouTube, and you will be blown away, I promise you. Jacob heard Mary J. Blige's version, and Mary shows up in the studio, much to his delight.
Back to Jacob, Jimmy cautions against overdramatizing the song since that gets Jacob in trouble. I feel him on that, except I have to say that what some folks see as "drama" to me is just "taking it to church."
The judges loved it, and Randy wants him to find his "Jacob spot." I'm not even sure what that is, so I will just end my remarks by saying it was another incredible performance by Man-tasia. You rock Jacob!
9:29 p.m. – Wow. Some tough love for Casey Abrams. Jimmy told him everything was wrong about his performance last week. Rodney Jerkins tells him he needs to get rid of the beard.
Casey gets a hair cut and trims up the beard a bit. He looks good.
More importantly, he sounds good singing "Your Song." He sings it straight, and he looks a bit nervous. His voice is top-notch, even if I do miss a little bit of the Casey flavor.
Randy says saving him was one of the greatest saves on the show and calls the performance "tender." Steven Tyler loved the last two notes. and J-Lo's loving comments make Casey look like he is about to cry.
Casey says last week's save completely blew his mind. It blew ours, too, my friend. Believe that.
9:19 p.m. – Little Thia is so cute.
She selects "Daniel," and I start to worry. That's an emotional song, and I don't know if she can pull it off. It seems that Iovine has the same concern as he advises her to not go theatrical but really feel it.
Thia nails it!!!
I feel a tear!
Randy thought it was too safe. Whatever dawg.
9:09 p.m. – James is a little whirlwind.
He sings "Saturday Night's Alright," and the kid is all over the place – in the audience, on the piano, on his knees on the stage.
There's fire and plenty of rock 'n' roll. It felt like a straight concert with the audience clapping on beat. It was hot. Really, really hot.
One funny moment - James says that with the fire and all of his hair spray might cause a "Pepsi" moment. Ryan quickly notes that the show is sponsored by Coke. Remember who pays the bills James.
8:58 p.m. – Way to pimp your special Howie Mandel. And you really do look a lot like Stefano's dad.
Of course Lauren is singing "Candle in the Wind." It just seems to fit what she's trying to do - make America fall back in love with that little girl with a woman's voice who we first met during the auditions.
Randy adored it, and Steven says "It was just perfect." He also teases her about her minidress with the train. She looks amazing and sounded amazing.
Well done, Lauren!
8:47 p.m. – I have so many friends who mess up the lyrics to "Tiny Dancer."
Stefano has a bit of the same trouble in rehearsal, and Iovine is all over him. Bless Stefano's heart as he's trying really hard to keep those eyes open and connect with the audience. He ends it reaching out to touch Jennifer. Smooth move Stefano – you know she's feeling you!
So am I. I heart that dude.
8:36 p.m. – Pia is talking about being a glam girl. I could see her on "America's Next Top Model."
Shockingly, she sings another ballad. I'm stunned (not).
Her choice, "Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me," was super amazing when Clay Aiken did it during the second season. And since it wouldn't be "Idol" without a minichoir, there they are backing Ms. Pia up.
She sings it well - just like she does every week - though this performance I think she tried to show more emotion and passion.
She made Steven Tyler "cry inside" I believe. Jennifer feels her trying to "break the barrier" and hopes that she gets to the point of stomping the floor. Randy says he heard some Whitney and Mariah in there.
Ummm, yeah, OK. I dig Pia, but I'm not quite there yet.
8:28 p.m. – Hey Taio Cruz!
The fans get to help him write a song for Coke. I just love Taio's British accent.
Next up is Paul, singing "Rocket Man," and he's sooooo quiet with it. At some points, I feel like I am straining to hear the lyrics.
Sometimes he makes me a little sleepy. His voice is totally suited for lullabies. Elton John, maybe not so much. He was a little pitchy.
Apparently Steven Tyler likes that though because he claims he can name five good artists who don't hit all of the notes. I can name more than that, but I wouldn't call them good.
8:19 p.m. – Alright Naima. Way to take a risk.
She turns "I'm Still Standing" into a reggae jam. Way to stick it to her critics who have questioned why she is still on the show.
I count myself in that group. Her voice isn't at all on the same level as some of her fellow contestants, but the girl can perform. J-Lo loved her "reggae swag" but doubts that the execution matched the idea. Randy thought it "came off kind of corny."
I liked it, didn't love it but I thought Naima was as true to herself as Scotty was with his country swagger. Big ups Naima!
8:10 p.m. – Leave it to Scotty to find the one country song Elton John ever did.
He sings "Country Comfort," which I had never heard of before. Fittingly, Scotty's grandma is in the audience, and she looks so proud.
Jimmy Iovine makes mention of the fact that some folks think Scotty is a "one-trick pony" with the constant country theme. I really want to see him do something different, too. True, he knows who he is as an artist, but Carrie Underwoood can sing anything - including country. I just need Scotty to stretch a bit more and be as well-rounded an artist as she is, since everyone seems to be using her as the standard when it comes to Scotty.
Regardless, the kid can sing, and the judges love him, his new guitar "Scarlett" and his performance. So keep on rolling in your lane young man.
8:05 p.m. – Wow, look at a young Elton John. He sure was flashy.
I hope our "Idol" contestants can evoke the emotion of the songs.
I'm not sure how a fashion shoot helps the group get into performing, but OK.
8:02 p.m. – Nice to see the recap of last week complete with the backstage footage before the show.
So funny that Casey thought there would be no save this early on. Fooled ya Casey!
8 p.m. – Yay!
It's "Idol" time! Buckle up for the redux!
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