'Idol Top 9' perform Rock Hall of Fame hits
April 6th, 2011
08:00 PM ET

'Idol Top 9' perform Rock Hall of Fame hits

9:22 p.m. – Paul closes out the show with Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues."

Jimmy tells him he needs to sing it crazy. I'm not sure how crazy he got, but it was rockabilly fine with him on that guitar. I felt like I was for real at a concert.

Wait, did Paul just bring it? I'm going to have to rewind the DVR and peep that again.

Steven Tyler says he "rocked the house" and J-Lo thinks he was "right in his lane." He even gets Seacrest dancing a little bit as he leads into the numbers to call.

Nicely done.

9:11 p.m. – Todd Rundgren is so rock 'n' roll that he doesn't even have to take his shades off inside.

Do you, Mr. Rundgren?

Next up we have Stefano singing Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves a Woman." He's got a nice falsetto.

And he can hold some notes! Well alright Stefano. You came to play baby!

Nice to see him connecting a bit with the emotion of the song. Randy wanted him to let the song "marinate."

Whatever dawg.

9:00 p.m. – Come on Christian Slater, you know you brought your daughter to "Idol" as an excuse. You are a fan.

I'm glad someone apparently told Pia she needs to show some personality. She can blow, but I'm getting sleepy.

She goes with Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High." That song is all about the attitude and Pia tries to turn it on, bless her heart.

My friend points out that J-Lo has more energy watching the performance than Pia brings to the song. Still, her pipes are amazing. Steven Tyler calls her a "murderer" cause she "killed it."

Jennifer keeps it real by telling her she really needs to study the art of performing. I agree.

8:52 p.m. – No country Scotty this week?

Surely you jest!

The teen tackles "That's Alright Mama" by Elvis Presley and it was alright. I felt like I was at a honky tonk.

Nice touch to have a bunch of girls rush the stage at the end. Scotty quipped, "I don't mind."

I bet he didn't! Jennifer sees what I see with the little bit of hip-hop swagger Scotty shows on stage.

Watch out for that youngster. He could. Go. All. The. Way!

8:40 p.m. – We must be running fast because Ryan takes a few minutes to ask the judges how they think the show is going.

They are digging it.

James sings George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and it was so soft. Totally unexpected on a night like tonight and I love that!

He's all emotional and looks like he is about to break down. Way to go James!

8:32 p.m. – We may have a new category of music thanks to Lauren.

Will says she has a "Countroul" flavor which is country blended with soul. She shows a little bit of that on Aretha Franklin's "Natural Woman" and she is reminding me more and more of Kelly Clarkson every week. She was soft, yet strong and held her own.

Love her. And Steven and Jennifer do, too. Randy wasn't wowed, but he thought she did well with such a difficult song.

And there's Christian Slater doing the fist pump in the audience.

8:25 p.m. – Poor Casey is nervous in front of Will.

I feel ya on that Boo. It ain't easy to sing in front of a Black Eyed Pea.

Here we go with the song swap again. Instead of "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" by The Police, Casey goes with "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. He rocks the upright bass and I feel like we have the old Casey back.

He seems much more comfortable than he was the past two weeks. J-Lo said she would pay top dollar to be in the front row for him.

8:15 p.m. – I will admit that I have yet to board the Haley train.

Will.I.Am thinks she sounds like a straight up artist on Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" and she does the gravely voice thing to death. I'm sorry, I just don't get what is so amazing about her.

What am I missing? She brought energy, I'll give her that, but I was not blown away by the performance. The judges loved it, though.

8:05 p.m. – I am disappointed that Jacob decides not to sing Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On."

This week's coach Will.I.Am and Jimmy both feel like he is incredible on it. But Jacob feels like it's just not him and instead goes with Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror."

Let's start with what I loved: He was joined on stage by Siedah Garrett, who wrote that song, and that chick can blow. Awesome songwriter and singer.

Jacob wasn't at all shabby either with the vocals. But MJ is so sacred to me that it's hard for me to really embrace covers of his song. Plus, Jacob stated in the video that if he's in the bottom three this week it's because America wasn't ready to look in the mirror.

That might annoy some folks, Mantasia. Viewers like a humble contestant.

8:02 p.m. – I sense that Steven Tyler is going to have a blast tonight.

He takes us through the history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, singing snatches of songs by James Brown and Paul McCartney. I was a tad bit freaked out, though, when he kissed the statue of his face and said "That's the prettiest bust I've kissed all day."


Cleveland is getting some serious love this week, first with Charlie Sheen's tour and now "Idol."

8:00 p.m. – Love the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so tonight's Top 9 are going to have to amp it up to impress it. Can't wait to see what everyone sings.

Let's go!

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soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. mrs_moor

    Paul drives me CRAZY! He can't dance or sing! I agree he has a different sound...but different is not always better. He sounds so whiney and drunk. I think his saving grace are his beautiful teeth, so white and perfect.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. stella pearl

    And the girls' outfits were ugly and ill-fitting. Girls with Rubenesque behinds should never wear puffy shorts.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |

    Best 2 performances of the night definitely Jacob and James! Worst 2 performances of the night definitely Lauren[so average] and Stefano[say goodbye tonite]. I agree about the judges, they are CHEERLEADERS. it's if they are afraid to criticize!!

    April 7, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. GH

    Maybe once, just once, can one of those 3 "judges" make a critical comment... or are they all "wonderful... great... in it to win it" to the end?? By this time in past seasons, Simon would have driven the bus over the whole group, one by one. Boring, tiring, and so flippin predictable these critiques have become.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. jimbo

    if you want to follow who is going to be in danger of being voted off, you need to go to dialidol.com click on predictions. every week scotty is number one, and i just dont get it.....but the results have been very true to form so far..Paul is the lowest, but i think stefano might get cut.....What will Jennifer do if Stefano is cut....I think she might have a break down....lol

    April 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. stella pearl

    James's control and clarity blew me away. He's gotta be the one. I had goosebumps. Stefano and Pia are high-end lounge singers like in Vegas. Haley's too young and inexperienced to sing emotion into songs. Scotty remains Howdy Doody. Initially I was Casey all the way, but he gets a little more less interesting as time goes by. The rest are at the bottom of the pack. And I agree, the judges are too nice and not pushing them to excel.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sharon Ray

    I loved Paul, Scotty, James and Stefano!! Not necessarily in that order, I think one of them should win. The others are all good, but did not move me enough! I must say that Paul had us dancing, he not only sings well, but he entertains!!!

    April 7, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. blue

    They all did a pretty good job this week, but I think Scotty needs to go.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jane

    In general, I think the women are smiling way too much – at songs about sadness, anger... Haley, Lauren, Pia, just smiling through everything. The songs have not convinced me and I've disconnected. Stefano does that too.. Just keeps smiling. Paul smiles – he's Paul – but somehow he doesn't, just at the right moments. And correct, the judges never call them on this smiling thing, so they keep on doing it. I'm a big Jacob fan, though I didn't like his pre-show comment; great voice, and he has the right emotion at the right time.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Head Diva In Charge - EL

    I thought this week was awesome. The weakest link was Stephano, but he was still GREAT. What a season......totally different then the last 5.

    April 7, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. GiGiB

    I am pretty sure that Steven said "That is the Second prettiest bust I have kissed all day."

    April 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. hannah1

    Listen up all you Bloggers: If you cannot SPELL (e.g. b*lls in a "vice" for vise, etc), or use English grammar, please don't comment. You irritate the pants off those of us who can. Good grief; has this entire country dropped out of school at 6th grade? Of course! You spend all of your time watching TV and blogging (badly)!

    April 7, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mark S

    Jacob is full of himself and overly dramatic. Butch it up a little will ya? And stop crying when you sing! Please don't sing another MJ song. Really?? Haley please go home. Can't stand your constant growling. UGH! Love Pia's voice but yeah she needs to learn how to entertain. James was really good tonight and will do well even if he doesn't win. Love Lauren. She's just getting started and will go far with the right vocal coaches. Casey, well let' s just say he is talented and unique. He won't win though. LIked Paul tonight. Still not sure about him as a winner. Stefano can sing but needs the right material and coaching. Scotty is growing on me. He will get a recording contract in the country genre for sure.

    April 7, 2011 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • dogs rule

      I generally agree. Pia is amazing. Perfect. But, she needs to loosen up a little. Haley and Jacob need to leave, and soon-PUHLEEZE James was totally amazing..who knew he could be sensitive. Jacob is anal retentive and sings that way – Hayley is just annoying. As for Alfred E. Neumann, he's growing on me, too.....growing more ANNOYING every week! Why do the others have to bring variety, while he brings hillbilly every single week? He's 2011's Crystal

      April 7, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lady Di

    I sure agree with previous comments that the judges are being too soft and not critiquing enough. I loved James'
    version of 'When My Guitar Gently Weeps',,,always one of my favorite songs anyway, but ' he made it his own'.

    April 7, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. Santos

    Okay James and Haley and my top! Stef and Pia need to go! Scotty and Cassey??? yes they can sing but they are not American I, put it this way.. I wouldn't buy or spend my money on their music....

    April 7, 2011 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  16. DFWDelia

    James Durbin is just simply amazing! Casey, Scotty, and Haley are very good too but they are not in the same league as James! He can do anything and he does it so good!

    April 7, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  17. GH

    Maybe once, just once, can one of those 3 "judges" make a critical comment... or are they all "wonderful... great... in it to win it" to the end?? By this time in past seasons, Simon would have driven the bus over the whole group, one by one. Boring, tiring, and so flippin predictable these critiques have become.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  18. lana

    Won't it be sad that Pia is in the bottom and goes home. I am not on American Idol anymore Totto, I wanna go back to Howard Beach Queens New York, Yes, Pia click your heels together and hold on tight to Totto, and repeat I am not on American Idol, I am not on American Idol, Totto we are going back to Howard Beach Queens New York

    April 7, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  19. lois lane

    OMG! Stephano was singing like his b*lls were in a vice. He completely ruined a beautiful song. He really needs to go. I sure wish Jacob would use the restroom before the show. He always looks constipated. If I have to look at Haleys ridiculous cross eyed face close up one more time, I think Im gonna puke. James is best by far.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  20. Sunshine Girl

    Stephano totally ruined Percy Sledge! He was about 3 octaves too high. Haley's fake coyness is aggrevating. Cant stand those close up shots of her. She looks like a cross eyed cartoon character. James /Casey/Scott were excellent. dont like Lauren/Paul. Pia is good, but needs to learn to dance. Jacob at least toned it down for a change. But his facial movements are annoying. He always looks like hes straining to use the restroom. AI is still my favorite show.

    April 7, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  21. Dan

    By not giving an honest constructive critcism, the judges are not helping these contestants to push for better performances. Pia was screaming and totally disconected from her song, she was a robot like usual. Jacob, Paul and Haley vocal were so annoying and unatural (growling & squeaking). Casey, James did just enough okay without going overboard. Lauren was good, but not that good. Scotty tried something else, but the kid needs serious acting/dancing lesson on stage, so awkward. And finanlly Stefano must go home!

    April 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Tammy

    I'm usually really hard on the Scotty kid, but this week he picked a song that was best suited for the week, WTG kid. If you stay this week I won't be mad b/c you actually deserve to stay based on your performance for tonight and the theme that they chose. Stefano sucked, and I'm really dumbfounded as to what the judges heard with Hayley. Jacob as usual sounded constipated and Paul well.... he's Paul. The rest rawked the house.

    April 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  23. dpbfeb

    I think Jacob is going home tonight. Not because of his talent. I just think that unless a Black guy can do Usher or Chris Brown the audience doesn't get it.

    April 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  24. KayBrown

    Scotty is the winner

    April 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • hannah1

      Scotty sucks. He's arrogant, clumsy and CANNOT sing anything but hillbilly! (Were you there when the judges mentioned that one can't sing THE SAME THING all the time and still be an all-around Idol?) This ain't country idol, y'all.
      Alfred E. Neuman...go home already!

      April 7, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  25. novembersky11

    actually thought they all were good tonight from ballad to rock. wish Scottie would try once out of the country genre, and thought when some took risk (James, Jacob, Haley, Lauren) it came across while singing. Still think anyone can win, but get annoyed just like two seasons ago (Kris, Adam, Danny (ugh)) when the judges (IMO) were trying to influence who they want versus giving fair and balanced critiques (esp. Randy), though think that the winner will be either Lauren or Pia, with James and Scotty as close calls for the top spot, from this far out. Really going to be tough from here on out who to send home, not even going to venture a guess after tongiht's performances.

    April 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jennygirl

      i thought exactly the same thing, that the judges' critiques will influence the votes. don't worry, judges. america has good ears and eyes. america sees who has the whole package, and who is an outstanding singer but has no stage presence.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  26. suzanne

    Great performances by everyone, and as usual, I have my favorites: Jacob, James and Scotty (who is a new favorite, by the way), and not necessarily in that order. None of them are boring, they have emotion, hit the notes and move me. The technically perfect have futures as well, but just don't do it for me.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Sherri

    Paul....Best of the night so far!

    April 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  28. sherri

    I thought the key was a little too high for Stephano's performance. That is such a manly song...he made it sound girly to me.

    April 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  29. BarbP

    Agree Lisa – I hear this amazing vocal and I look up and Pia is just walking around – like her mouth and voice are disconnected from her body. One thing Tina Turner never did was just 'walk around' – she strutted, she stomped, she shook. Glad Jennifer Lopez said it. It's sad to have a beautiful gal with such a great voice not move. Maybe she can learn to?

    April 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Old Guy

      Someone else needs to dress Pia. Everytime she comes on, I think her outfit looks outdated and frumpy. The clothing is not doing her any favors.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  30. Erinn

    So, the judges are just not going to critique anymore?

    Yea, most of the performances have been good tonight, but these kids could be great with some constructive criticism. If they just keep telling them every performance is great/beautiful/perfect how are they going to improve? Where is the incentive to get better?

    April 6, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  31. juliejet

    Yay Scottie! I knew you could do it!!!

    April 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • dogs rule

      Do what? An Alfred E. Neuman impression? Sing some more country? What exactly was different? Back to the barn, Alfred!

      April 7, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  32. Sherri

    McCountry did Elvis proud!

    April 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Republican Shame

      McCreepy stinks, Elvis was turning over in his grave covering his ears.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  33. simple

    is american idol looking for a good unique voice, someone to add-on to one of the famous singers? well, Jacob, and Pia should have audition from the last season (season 6) Jordan sparks got better voice than PIA though, when all the singers sang like them. And Lauren sounded like Kelly Clarkson- not so unique. I say go to James, Paul and Haley who have a unique voice which you know when they sing, it's really them and not just another singer. Casey? well, lets just say his an entertainer.. if you guys say that Haley grunts too much, well, how do you call casey's grunts?

    April 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  34. James S

    Haley "does the gravelly voice thing to death?" What else is a singer supposed to do...when they have a GRAVELLY VOICE?

    April 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Respers France, CNN.com writer

      Sorry James, it just feels a little forced to me. She has range and I'd like to see more of it.

      April 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet P.

      Haley has a great voice but she oversings. She will get better as she matures. When Janis sang that song, she used dynamics which is what made her version more powerful, going soft in parts and then building. I agree with another poster, she is going to blow out her voice and then she really will have a gravelly voice.

      April 7, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  35. juliejet

    Is it just me, or did James sing off key? I also wish he wouldn't copy Adam L. on his song endings...

    April 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • BarbP

      I sort of thought that too – but I don't always trust the sound we hear over the TV. Maybe it was his emotion – it wasn't as on key as he usually is, but it was cool to hear him try something new.

      April 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • sandra

      I though he was the best of the night. So NO he did not sing off key. đŸ™‚

      April 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • lana

      James was "PERFECT"

      April 7, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • ELLEN

      No, James didn't sing off-key; in fact, I actually heard some real George Harrison in his voice tonight. He's proving to be a versatile singer and will surely go far in the music industry no matter what the outcome on AI.

      April 7, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Joanne

      I am SICK of James!! He is so full of himself! He is nothing more than an Adam Lambert wannabe! And I agree, the judges are worthless this year. It's a lovefest. Bring back Simon for some REAL FEEDBACK!

      April 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  36. Sherri

    Mantasia...good one. Haley did well, Casey is still the best.

    April 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Melissa Flores

    Mantasia?!?! lol... still lol... I have to agree with you about the humble bit. Presumption always backfires. GO CASEY!

    April 6, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  38. BarbP

    There's something just not genuine about Hayley. I love her voice – but she doesn't display the feeling that goes with her bluesy voice. Overdoing the gravel a bit. She really shouldn't have smiled through the Joplin song – and she has an odd way of bouncing and stooping that is getting on my nerves. But I really do like her voice.

    April 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Respers France, CNN.com writer

      I think you hit the nail on the head BarbP!

      April 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • B=Dog

      Word is that Casey and Hailey are an item.

      April 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • ELLEN

      I totally agree...she shouldn't have smiled so much; it's a song about anger and she should have related to that a little more. It was a good rendition, tho.

      April 7, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  39. BarbP

    Agree – wish I could have heard the Marvin Gaye – maybe later he can do one ("What's Goin On?"). Did great on the MJ song, but I winced at the 'bottom 3' comment. That could hurt him.

    April 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • efm

      @Barb :
      The throat singing will hurt her larynx, if she does it too much for too long. Doesn't the AI vocal coach know this? She could actually lose her voice this way

      April 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Erinn

    After Hollywood week and the first week of live performances, I was on the Haley train, but then completely jumped off. I must say, after last week and that performance just now, I am back on and strapped in and ready to go! Rock on Haley!

    April 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  41. ADT

    Powerful performance by Jacob, simply magnificent, and how awesome is it that he got to perform with one of the artists who wrote it, Siedah Garrett. Wow.

    April 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |

      "Powerful" , as is the sound of someone stepping on a cat! OMG Screech owl! He's horrible...looks like he's straining on the loo!!!!!!!!

      April 7, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • bryan hood

      Jacob needs to go! its time! definitely the bottom 3 for him. casey, pia, and james the top 3!

      April 7, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Gregg Harris

      If Michael Jackson's "Man In the Mirror" (I like the song) passes for Rock and Roll, what is the world coming to? And what pray tell is R & B if Michael Jackson isn't R & B?

      April 7, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • ria fu

      NOT! first of all, it was rock and roll night. how is 'man in the mirror' a michael jackson, king of POP song, fit into rock and roll night??? oh i know why...cuz jacob can't sing Rock. he's actually not versatile at all. he needs to sing in church or on broadway. ba-bye

      April 7, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |

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