'Idol's' Top 13 take to the stage
March 9th, 2011
08:05 PM ET

'Idol's' Top 13 take to the stage

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.

Kudos Casey!

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!

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Dee

    Is there a reason Randy was not pictured? He is the only judge that has been there from the beginning. Hmmmmm. Showing your true colors maybe...

    March 17, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. jeng

    well steven tyler is indeed a credible judge, respected and good job to thia, whish she can sing pop songs and more of that dancing... good luck to all .....

    March 14, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. heidi ho

    Season10 is the best one by far. With better judges, and Simon gone, things seem to run alot smoother. No more of that British arrogance. As far as the contestants go Pia and James are obviously the best. Naima is nothing more than a ghetto clown. And she looked retarded trying to dance. Glad Ashtons gone. Diana Ross shes not. Too full of herself. Scott is good. But its nothing more than worn out Randy Travis. Boring! Too bad Casey got sick. I hope it doesnt hinder his future preformances.

    March 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. de

    Ok people, simmer- down.... the shows ' just getting started...i feel this will be a 'feel -good' season thanks to the new judges //whom I love to peices ..they make it about the talent - not telling them they are unattractive, bottom feeders the way Simon did. And I think we'll be surprised, pre-finale by a dark horse who will really get their game on and win...
    i.e, Kelly Clarkson /Season 1.. Idol is BACK!... dont know for how long ... but the talent is so good I rewind a lot ... I am Black and I hate country music ..but I will buy Scotty music .... His voice transcends a genre,,, i really don't care if he cant sing everything ... I really don't want him to. ... as for Randy he is stepping up his critucism a bit more..leave him alone .... just focus on Jlo and Steven.... /// I love you S and J!!!!!

    March 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gabor47

    This season so far is a very pleasant surprise. After the last season I kind of joined to those who said "enough is enough, I will no longer watch this show". But I took a peek of one elimination round and I said:"wait a minute, this sure seems different".
    And it is different. Out of the best 24 nobody was actually lousy. Even the voters (people) got the best 10 right. I disagreed with the 3 additional people chosen by the judges. No, not because they were lousy, but I thought that from a 24 there were a couple of contestants who I though were wee bit better.

    Overall, now they are down to 12 and in my humble opinion, they are all basically good singers. The difference will be based on personal choice and taste, as far as the voters go. I think the smartest thing the contestants could do is to check the Nielsen, as far as which age groups are watching the show in what proportion and select their songs accordingly.

    I don't miss Simon at all. I used to like him but his critiques later became sort of self-serving, wanting to live up to his reputation. Now three real musicians/artists are sitting there, I think it is better this way. I think this will be a very good season.

    March 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paula Abdul

    Old school soul is good music! "Rap" is a 4-letter word that starts with C. This show was lame its 1st year and got worse every year. Where do any of these clowns get the idea they have talent?

    March 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cloe

    James Durbin....watch out everyone. He will be a front runner for sure! Mark my words if you like. Wait and see.

    March 10, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tracy

    Scotty is a country singer. and its ok for him – however , black contestants over the years especially recent years have been told they were too old school. old school soul. Randy even told one singer in the auditions lat year that she was just an old soul singer. So how is it hot and ok for Scotty to be an old school country singer – but an old school soul singer is not cool. The point of idol is supposedly variety , this is why they have different themes each week. If you cant cut it in each theme then you should get the boot. Goodbye Scotty !

    March 10, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Trevor

    how did stefano get in over Gamboa – terrible choice by the judges ,. Stefano can't sing at all and is boring as he ll

    March 10, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tracy

    Pia is overrated. She is a fake forced singer. Its forced power . Like Beyonce – not real singing. If she tried out 5x and never made it to Hollywood even – what does that say. No way she can be crowned american idol.

    March 10, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. hannah1

    I don't know why my postings do not appear, but.... "Scotty (Scott, to most of the country) has to be able to sing other stuff besides "hillbilly".
    Pia is perfect and should win!

    March 10, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • RustysRage

      Pia should be able to sing other stuff too then right! Not just diva r&b ballads! Or are you just being a hater and bashing music you apparantly don't like! Get a grip – I don't see Snoop singing country or Mariah singing rock and roll! Scotty – is a country singer, and a very talented one! Get over your stereotypes and get a clue!

      March 10, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. JOhn

    Anyone notice Casey Abrams and Yukon Cornelius form Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer could be brothers...just sayin'

    March 10, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. tracy

    why do people like Casey ? he is like a comedian and its gotten old really fast . His performances are over the top . i am not a fan

    March 10, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Fredx

    Lisa (writer) you really don't have the ears to be the self-appointed 4th judge.

    That aside: Pia doesn't have the tone or complete set of skills to be compared with Celine, Whitney, Mariah, Christina, etc. Her tone is "heavy" and her power is forced. Casey is all power but no real tone at all, if you can hear through the growls you will notice that he ends every lyric lightly out of tune. The only contestants who have effortless power and a pure tone are Lauren and Haley, but Haley is still trying to figure out who she is, so Lauren is the only one who is already on a professional level. Scotty is cool but his range is so limited that it's already old, he's lucky that country music doesn't care about power vocals or a multi-octave range. However, Lauren has both.

    March 10, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. mukazzi

    I safely 'listened' to this show from another room, and it was clear of several things: 1) some of the contestants had a difficult time hearing the band on the stage. 2) some singers have a much better ear for a capella pitch; 3) there are some second thoughts about the 'wild card' (Ashton is just not cutting it and Paul was difficult to listen); 4) Randy is trying to be rein in Steven Tyler's opinions by making pointed, leading (and loaded) questions directly to Steven -who has no problem in contradicting the opinon of the other two. All three need a thesaurus! 5) Naima's reggae riff on "Umbrella" just opened it up -Jennifer WISHES she could sing that good even when she's standing still!

    March 10, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  16. Ram Riva

    This season Idol 10, the winner is...
    Pia Toscano

    March 10, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I doubt it, although I think she is definitely one of the best female singers this year. Are you forgetting that Idol is a popularity contest more so than a singing contest? Usually the person with the biggest, fanatical fanbase wins. The best singer rarely wins.

      March 10, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  17. HR

    Some good talent – Judging is "non-existant" the trio of judges is little more than a "love fest" what a crock – where is Simon???? this show is going down fast – Randy is now a "lover" of all talent, Jlow is low, and Tyler is nothing – last season for Idol

    March 10, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  18. RustysRage

    Personnally dont see what all the hype is about with Casey! He was not good at all last night! He was decent at the very beginning, but once the music kicked in he was just screaming the lyrics. Not till the very end did he come back to any form of singing. Guess I just don't get it! But there were other that were worse than him; he's safe for now!

    March 10, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  19. Maverick2591b

    This show has gone on 9 years too long. The "contestants" sound like one another and no one brings anything new, original, or noteworthy to the stage.

    I am curious about something, though...how singers from the past would have rated...Slim Pickins, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, (although I don't think Bob would have made it past the preliminaries (can anyone understand what he is saying?))

    March 10, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  20. max

    I thought the were all really terrible apart from country boy.
    the producers, Jimmy Iovine, the singers, all bad for not standing up to these people producing all this bad music today. after one contestant was told they rocked by the producer and Iovine, Tyler rightly pointed out they should have sang a song with a chorus in their range. nobody else thought of it prior. It's amazing these people hold the music world in their hands and don't know or lost touch with what's actually beautiful.
    Look inside and try to feel again, just filling up your wallets is making the world a bad place to live.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
  21. Kim Read

    Re: Intl day comment-the show was taped yesterday (tues) that's why Steven made that comment...next week should be an actual LIVE show...(at least for the east coast)

    March 10, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  22. A

    I know who I really like, but I don't have any favorites because I like many of them too much! I'll tell you that I think Lauren and Haley are overrated.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  23. RAbbit One

    J-Lo is wonderfully awesome. So glad she is a judge on the show.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Pony tail

      J-Lo is really showing off the others. I am very impressed with her. Her speech and knowledge of the music business out shines the others on that panel. Poor Randy , says nothing but "Yo Dog,,,,you were pitchy and it made me sleepy..

      March 10, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  24. Lorraine

    Wow – where did the unwarranted bias against truly talented Pia Toscano come from? Because she has failed to give a weak performance. Because she has only gotten better and stronger every week? Wow – Pia is the last one to be lumped on as to being in danger of being eliminated.

    Try suggesting elimination for Haley or Karen or Thia- but no way does Pia go next week.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  25. TD

    True story: met Ashton's mom today. She was our waitress in Nashville and is an absolute sweetheart. Very proud of her daughter and according to one of her coworkers is like, the cast mom. Everybody calls her every day to chat.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  26. Tracy

    How many are eliminated tomorrow? Anyone know?

    March 9, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  27. JD

    Naima was great

    March 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. calimafia

    I vote for Charlie Sheen

    March 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  29. contemplative

    didn't think that Jacob was all that, matter of fact thought he was all over the place. tonight belonged to Casey, James, Pia, and Haley, Stefano. In trouble: Paul, Ashton, Karen. Mid-pack: Scotty, Lauren, Thia, Naima, Jacob. I think its a toss up who gets eliminated, but would be very surprised if its not one of those three.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      LOL! Scotty aint going nowhere and I'm not his fan. The screaming coming from Casey, Jacob and James will get tiresome. James is very good, but he's no Adam Lambert.

      March 10, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  30. Josh

    OMG, yes Steven sounds a lot like Paula....whats in that Coke glass???
    And someone needs to pull JLo back in....she talks waaaaay to much. I guess I dont know why she doesnt respect "The Dawg" more, he has been doing this for 10yrs now, dont know an artist that JLo has produced.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      Steven & JLo are the future of American Idol, if they even have one. "The Dawg" will be out very soon, he's waaay out of his league with those two around, he was waaay out of his league with Simon and even with Paula, they just kept his sorry butt as a token.

      March 10, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  31. pedro

    I was a chinee but i thought it would be fun to be a mexikin for a while ! Plus we get to eat nachos ! OLE !

    March 9, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  32. pedro

    I hope a mexikin wins this season ! Us mexikins rule ! OLE !

    March 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  33. JD

    No matter where Scotty places on "Idol" he will be a country recording artist. Someone in Nashville is chomping at the bit to sign this voice.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tammy

      I would NEVER EVER buy one single thing that Scotty would put out, just on principle alone. Yeah, he showed his true character when he followed the group and kicked out the chubby kid in Hollywood week, he's a follower, not a leader. He's not versatile enough, and a TRUE artist can do many genres, and that's what American Idol is about, he's not American Idol material.

      March 10, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  34. Irada S.

    Casey Abrams is my favorite! He will become an American Idol.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Julia

    Great performance by Stefano

    March 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Mary Lynn

    Paul McDonald is a joy to hear and a joy to watch - he brings a great element of fun to the stage, doesn't take himself too seriously, and just entertains.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  37. sara

    Idol is disappointing. I don't even have a favorite this time. Most of the contestants seem to have had way too much experience already and so there isn't much change or growth going on. Sort of boring, really.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Julia

    Missed James. Will try to catch the recap

    March 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Cynthia

    I'm like Jennifer, Haley needs to get out of her head. This is not a glamour contest, it's a singing contest.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  40. yo yo ma

    what's with jlo's botox?

    March 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Cynthia

    Pia is the one to beat!! She is phenomenal !!

    March 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  42. ashley

    i think its between pia and james! there both great singers but its gonna be a hard decision!...

    March 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  43. James!!!!!!!!

    LOVED JAMES!!!!!!!!!!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Flavio

    Pia Toscano is the best. She'll win this competion, without a doubt.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Julia

    Pia = perfect! She absolutely nailed it

    March 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • nyoka

      i i agree with you, but I think AI will do her a disservice, she has a stage voice, or singing disney songs

      March 12, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  46. Jim

    This is absolutely the best year ever...no more making fun of slow people, no more "wasting time" making fun of slow peeople, and you got rid of the "American" Idol jusge, that hates country music. What??
    A "BRIT" "AMERICAN Idol Judge that hated country music?? Theres a "flaw" if i do say so...ass!
    And the only way that this show could continue is if it got serious...and thanks to Tyler...it has! And J-Lo is a pleasant surprise, not the best singer in the world, but at least has a brain and some integrity.
    Now just get rid of Randy and put another serious respected judge up there.
    The BEST moment of this season was watching Tyler lean over and tell Randy "Dont do that", after Randy made fun of someone!
    You made me a fan!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      That moment when Steven Tyler told Randy "don't do that" [being mean/rude to a contestant] really stood out to me as well! LOVE STEVEN TYLER!!

      March 10, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  47. DIdn't like Paul's

    paul's wasn't his best

    March 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Julia

    Paul was a little off. Not a great song choice.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Love's American Idol

      I really like Paul, but all that jumping around just drove me crazy.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Julia

    Casey: amazing performance

    March 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Lexie

    Maybe the only person in the US who has never watched any of American Idiot, and plan to keep my record in tact. The show was the beginning of an awful era in media, reality TV!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • You're funny

      Yet here you are reading the play by play of the shoe that "was (by your opinion the beginning of an awful era in media... Go fig!

      March 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eileen

      Actually, the beginning of reality TV would probably be The Real World in 1992 or Survivor in 2000.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      I dislike reality TV, but I like this show. I love music, and I love to watch people sing. You say you have never watched, and never will...hey you might want to give it a try. You may not like the IDEA of the show, but you might actually enjoy watching people sing.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Maverick2591b

      Eileen, the beginning of reality TV would be closer to the coverage of the Viet Nam war.

      Shows how old I am, I still remember some of the coverage.

      March 10, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • nyoka

      yet you are reading the blogs, stop fooling yourself

      March 12, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  51. Julia

    Not Lauren's best performance. Disappointing

    March 9, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |

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