The 'Idol' Top 11 perform
March 23rd, 2011
08:01 PM ET

The 'Idol' Top 11 perform

9:51 p.m. – Hey Jennifer Beals. I love the random folks who show up in the "Idol" audience.

James takes on "Living for the City," and I don't think it was his best performance. It's interesting how Scotty is able to stay in the country mode, while James can't quite always keep it rock 'n' roll. He ventures out a bit.

His strongest asset is his great range, and he shows that off at the end of the song. Still, I think he could and has done better. James should be fine this week though.

9:39 p.m. – Ryan points out that Randy has not at all used the word "pitchy" tonight - yet.

And on that note, we have Naima. She sings "Dancing in the Street," and I am worried. Love Naima the chick;  Naima the singer, not so much.

Not that she is horrible. It's just that this season is so strong and to me, she's not nearly on the level of some of the other singers. She does, however, get points for making it look fun.

Naima takes the "dancing" part literally and busts some African dance moves accompanied by a group of drummers. Jennifer says it gave her  goose bumps, and I sense that Ms. Lopez also gave her extra points for the moves.

That was pretty coolio, and Nigel Lythgoe was clearly having flashbacks to his "So You Think You Can Dance" days.

9:30 p.m. – Who was that poor little child that Seacrest made play along for the cameras and where are her parents?

Paul takes up his guitar and performs "Tracks of My Tears," and his voice is so light I feel like he is whispering to me. What's that you said Paul?

He's a happy dude. So mellow. So sweet. I'm torn here because part of me wants to type at this point "so boring," but I just love his individuality. His voice is unique, and his teeth are so very white.

Paul makes me smile.

9:17 p.m. – I'm a big fan of Pia.

She sings "All in Love Is Fair," and of course she looks effortlessly stunning, but even more impressive is the way the notes just seem to float out of her mouth. J-Lo tells her that she "could have a career like Celine Dion," but she needs to be more dynamic. I feel her on that because it starts to get sleepy after a little while with her just standing there and blowing.

Lots of folks think she may be the one to beat, and I am starting to see that. Steven Tyler thinks she is the closest thing to a star right now in the season.

Well done, Lady P.

9:06 p.m. – I really want to move into the "Idol" mansion, 'cause that house is hot.

Scotty took the words out of my mouth when he said he worried about coming off like a lounge singer while performing "For Once in My Life." Of course, he makes it a country song. Because, well, Scotty is country. I really like his voice, but I need someone to work with him on his stage presence because he has a tendency to come off looking a little bit like a rooster prancing across the stage.

But maybe it's just not for me because the girls in the audience are going crazy. I think it's those crazy low notes. I, too, am a sucker for a deep voice.

8:55 p.m. – Did Gordon Ramsay diss Stefano's mama's cooking?


Good to see Otis Williams, one of the founding members of The Temptations, in the audience. Haley sings "You Really Got a Hold on Me," and for some reason it reminds me of when those kiddie singers perform a tune that is way too old for them.

She's doing all types of runs and strutting, but I just didn't love it. I'm not sure what it is that is off for me about her. I just don't get it.

(Side note - I wish Randy would stop calling women "Yo." It annoys me. That is all.)

8:43 p.m. – "Hello?"

Stefano takes on the classic by Lionel Richie, and I can't help thinking about the recent poster campaign. But back to the song: Stefano's phrasing sounded a little strange to me. He seemed like he was focused so much on trying to keep his eyes open like Rodney Jerkins told him to do.

Jennifer started with him as she always does by saying "Baby" and letting him know that she needs to feel more emotion from him. Technically he was on point, but he isn't connecting with the emotion of the song. But J-Lo is still feeling him cause he really is super adorable with a great voice.

8:35 p.m. – "You Keep Me Hanging On" is one of my favorite songs by the Supremes and little Miss Lauren brings that diva attitude.

Not in a stank way, but completely poised and funky with it. She's very soulful and she owned the stage and the song. Great job and I agree with Randy that Lauren got her swagger on.

Work it girl!

8:25 p.m. – So little Ms. Thia admitted that she forgot the words a little bit. Tsk, tsk.

On to Jacob, who sings "You're All I Need to Get By." Like Casey, he's also been warned to pull back a bit.  Less runs, and high notes.

And he works it out! He sings the song like he was born to do it. Utterly amazing. The judges are on their feet for a standing ovation and Steven Tyler runs up on the stage after wards.


And his grandma gets a hug and a kiss. She has a right to be proud. Funny moment when the entire front row comes up to hug Jacob. So cute!

8:16 p.m. – Sometimes I seriously forget that Thia is only 16 years old.

Her voice is so much older and she showcases that maturity with "Heatwave." Last week Randy urged her to step away from the ballads and perform an up tempo song and she works it out. She struts the stage and sings on pitch. Much more confidence this time around and it worked for her.

The judges want her to "dig deeper" and I wonder how much a girl her age can really dig, but I guess we will see what happens. Steven doesn't judge much, just goes with a "I'm good with it" comment which makes me wonder if he doesn't love Thia as much as Randy and Jennifer.

8:08 p.m. – My goodness how much hair gel does Casey have in that head to tame that 'do?

He's looking a little "Teen Wolf," but sounding in fine form doing "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," though in some parts it starts to sound a little tribute-band like. He's been warned that he needs to harness all of that energy, and I see he is struggling not to go overboard.

Steven Tyler praises him for his "crazy-ass, out-of-control ego," which he says is very necessary for music stars today. I guess ...

Anywhoo, I kind of dug it. Not a bad way to start the show.

8:05 p.m. – Let's have a fashion break: J-Lo is looking very retro with her sparkly pink dress and green eye shadow.

And there's Liv Tyler in the audience supporting her papa Steve. She's a cutie.

8:02 p.m. – Mr. Berry Gordy remains youthful looking.

We get a little retrospective on Motown music, and wow what a list of acts - from Marvin Gaye to the Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder. Hit after hit after hit. The "Idol" gang better do those tunes justice.

8 p.m. –  Are you ready for some Motown? I am.

Love that the show started in black and white. Way to throw it back to the Motown era!

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Hugh

    Randy and Jennifer made a big mistake saving KC. He cannot sing as good as Pia or Naima.Randy especially should talk less and listen more.Also as much as I like Scotty he is limited to Country music only. This year (IDOL) is very exciting.


    April 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Me

    Casey-scruffy & skreechy. Thia-ummm, I liked her necklace. Jacob-he's ok. Lauren-did very well. Stefano-YAWN. Scotty will open for Carrie Underwood someday. Pia-nice voice,but, YAWN. Paul-i'd like to hear him sing Rod's 2night's the night. Naima-what on earth was that? James-he's a crowd pleaser. Just my opinion.

    March 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Moe of Tennessee

    Havent watched one show this year or last, Show is way past its prime. It always boils down to white vs black vote.. The truth is the truth

    March 24, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. Yuk Foo


    March 24, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Greg

    Stefano is a crooner without heart = doesn't work even with a good voice = worst night. Namia has the worst voice but the dancing might get her by = get her hooked up to auto-tune quick. Thia and Pia do similar stuff and Thia looks weak in the comparison. Paul and Scotty are the most polarizing but Country has a big fan base. Haley could rank second to bottom every week but the last and it wouldn't surprise me. Everyone did well this week but James did the best.

    March 24, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lillian Hamilton

    Jacob , Casey , Scotty in that order ... Jacob you made me cry , beautiful...

    March 24, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. AM

    I like, Paul, Casey, James and Hayley. Pia can sing great, but she needs to step it up a bit and stop singing those boring ballads she is becoming too predictable. Paul has that Rod Stewart vibe. Hayley just needs the right song. Thia is a bit boring too. Naima not quite sure about her yet – I would definitely give her a pass this week. Lauren is o.k. too. Stefano really blew it last night trying to oversing the song and not connecting with the audience (I agree with J. Lo and Randy on that one). Scotty is Scotty at least he knows who he is and could be a successful country artist. If I had to pick who was going home tonight it would be STEFANO (his was the weakest performance of the night)

    March 24, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  8. mgc

    wlhy do they keep saying Paul can sing and is unique?? He is awful and is not in the same league with the others, he needs to go!!!

    March 24, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. AZSinger

    I was astonished by how well everyone sang tonight. Not a "pitchy person" in the group. That said, I guess I'm the only one in the world who doesn't like Jacob OR Paul. Thia has a gorgeous voice, but has no idea how to "sell" a song or herself; I think she's gone. Or else Stefano, who has no clue as to what the judges mean by "connecting." IMO, Haley has been beaten up badly–Randy says she doesn't know who she is because she does something different each week? Hello? Adam Lambert, anyone, who reinvented himself each week? (LOVE Adam!) Thought she was even better this week. Pia Toscano has one of the purest voices I've heard, but probably destined to be the Katherine McPhee of Season 10: Gorgeous woman, gorgeous voice, but probably ultimately ignored next to someone with more personality and salesmanship. My vote goes to Scotty, even though I know he does country every week. But he's got a contract even if he loses.

    March 24, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Ross

      scotty SUX bigtime.

      March 24, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • mc

      I agree on Paul and Jacob, I don't get them either, awful!

      March 24, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • JGBananas

      I cannot stand Jacob. I don't get what the big fuss is. I think Casey rocked it. He always does. He just seems like a true musician. Not only can he sing, but he's musical which I think is big right now. I liked paul better this week than last. Also gotta say i like Niema. Also, Stefano has got to go, I think he's way out of his league.

      March 24, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. LVK

    Paul was not good. Ummm he never is. Pia is BORING, BORING, BORING...I don't understand what they see in her. She is just OK......if Simon was there he would comment that she screams half the time instead of singing. Everyone all in all was good. However, I predict that Paul, Thia (Also always BORING), and Pia will be in the bottom three. Paul should pack his bags, but vote for the worst has him as their boy, so who knows. Think the show finally will have James, Jacob, and Casey...sorry girls, but the boys out sing you this year. Lauren is not consistent...

    March 24, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. LovePia

    Tremorous undulations
    Caressing wave from silence
    Pure joy

    March 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • EV

      Sorry but Pia did not do well tonight and she sounds like she is screaming most of the time.

      March 24, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Oldie in TampaBay

    Phenomenal tonight! Bottom 3 Haley-Paul-Thia & I really like Paul .. but seems to me each week is sounding the same even tho he has a great voice!

    March 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. South Texas

    Very strong show tonight. Lots of great performances. Thought Naima truly redeemed herself, while Jacob – to me – was all over the place. My picks for the bottom 3 – Thia, Paul and Stefano.

    March 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    Who Farted?

    March 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. loveAI

    I think everyone sang so great tonight. Everyone looked great too. I honestly do not think that I could pick just one person to be the American Idol. This is the best night of Idol ever, really ever. Every song was so good! just great. Loved it all. The new judges are great too. They judge the contestants and also help them, really help them. They are really great judges.

    March 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  16. fromupinthesky

    I think it's going to come down to James and Pia this year.

    March 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  17. juliejet

    I feel sorry for Naima, she tries so hard and wants fame so much, but I hope she's gone tomorrow night.
    My FAV so far is Jacob !!!

    March 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  18. fromupinthesky

    Am I the only one who thinks Paul is tone-deaf? Nice guy with a different voice, as they keep saying, but different, in this case at least, isn't always a good thing. He also completely messed up the words. Sorry, but I'm just not feeling it the way the judges seem to be. I'm kinda losing respect for the judges. Pia can out sing J-lo any day of the week. Again.. I don't get it this year. LOVE Steven Tyler but I expected honesty from him of all people.

    March 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Froggy

    Naima finally really shined tonight.

    March 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  20. JB

    Pia was so boring. How can you think she's a front-runner? Stefano was boring as well, but I think Haley is doomed to go tomorrow.

    The ones to beat are Jacob, Lauren Alaina, and Thia.

    March 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      Thia are you smoking something? She has no business still being there but will continue to ride the teen vote.

      March 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  21. JB

    Pia was so boring. How can you think she's a front-runner? Stefano was boring as well, but I think Haley is doomed to go tomorrow.

    March 23, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ross

      Haley is so F'n HOT............. I hope she stays a long time! Get rid of scotty or thia.

      March 24, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  22. elle

    I wish Jasmine Trias was a contestant this season. She was pretty wonderful !

    March 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  23. elle


    March 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Juliejet

    O.K. so I know the judges told Scotty to ""Stay in his lane," but I wanted him to be soulful tonight!

    March 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ross

      I HATE scotty – alias A.E. Newman. A one trick pony – with that goofy A$$ grin!

      March 24, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  25. Me

    Ramsey knows food, at least he didn't swear!! LOL !

    March 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  26. heidi ho

    I sure hope Naima goes. I cant stand her, and never could, since the begining. James you rock on. El Paso loves you!

    March 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Me

    Ohhhhhh Lauren!! What a come back!! You go girl!!!!

    March 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Dennis

    A singing contest and only 1 black person in the Top 11 - unbelievable.

    March 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Aside from the fact that race has nothing to do with singing talent, I'd argue that this is one of the more diverse top 11, 12, 13, etc. Idol has had, considering the remaining Italian Americans, Asian Americans, TWO, not one, African Americans (Jacob and Niama... who just did African dance, in case you feel her culture is not represented enough), and some of the contestants who've already left, including two bilingual Spanish/English singers.

      March 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hart

      ..sounds like somebody is a little bit racist..only black people can sing huh??

      March 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • mc

      Dennis I do believe if my eyes can still see I think that there are two Blacks in the top 11 and out of them only one can sing and that is Jacob and he can sing very well and If the judges thought that others were good they would be there

      March 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |

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