Top 11 are equal in talent and likeability. So we’ve changed the way we vote. Whoever has the best performance of the night gets our vote. We’re gonna rank last night from worst-to-best in our opinions.
Worst: The judges: Steven Tyler isn’t adding any substantial, helpful critiques. Has the Tyler Show peaked too soon? And we are sick of having to hear Randy’s “Yo yo yo” signal the end of just about every performance. Only Jennifer Lopez is useful at this point. And that last sentence is one we thought we would never write.
Scotty McCreery - One-trick pony is right! We are really starting to dislike Scotty. He’s a country poseur. He doesn’t have his own sound, even in the country realm. If he came on the radio, Ern wouldn’t be able to tell him apart from any other country guy. He’s a copycat. Not only that, but last night’s song was pitchy. If he could reach for some high notes, that would be alright, but he refuses to (and maybe he can’t). We are bored with his “charming,” cheesy head swivels and his imitation George Bush laugh. Scotty, you bored us. Go home.
Jacob Lusk - Blah. And the last note was a little holler-y.
Stefano Langone - Man, this guy can’t catch a break with us. “Tiny Dancer” is a great song, but not a great song for him. We would have liked to hear a girl try this one. It was a breathy start and a disappointing second half. Not impressed.
Naima Adedapo - We actually dig the reggae version of “I’m Still Standing.” She consistently takes risks, and she wasn’t as pitchy as usual last night. We want her to stay. But she is ranked low because everyone else killed it last night.
Paul McDonald - Did both of us actually like a Paul performance? One of us has been overwhelmed with him from the get-go, but his tender sound is pretty good. We also like seeing him without a full band in the back (as another blog, TV Musings, pointed out).
Thia Megia - She has the most beautiful vocal tone of the competition, but the judges were right. She played it too safe last night.
Lauren Alaina - WE HATE "CANDLE IN THE WIND". And mullet dresses. But we liked Tyler’s crack about it: You keep singing like that and one day you will be able to buy the rest of that dress. Her reaction was cute too. Lauren has an amazing voice, but someone needs to pick her songs for her. She even went flat once last night, which is rare for her. We didn’t love it as much as the judges did. We want her to do another ballad; just not this one.
Pia Toscano - She ignored the judges and sang another ballad, but she promised to pick it up the following week. Who cares? Why mess with perfection? She can do the same boring old thing, because she does it well. Unlike Scotty.
Haley Reinhart - The judges crowned this the best performance of the night. True, the image of her in that very flattering dress, crooning on top of the piano was the most memorable image of the night. Her vocals, while still too growly during the big moments, were pretty perfect. We still love the way she dips down for the big notes, and we even like the way she plays up the sex appeal. It’s not slutty, tasteless sex appeal. It’s more subtle and classy than that. But we can’t help but think the show is trying to make her happen the way they were trying to make Julie Zorilla happen earlier this season. It’s not going to happen. They pumped her very typical Haley performance and they let her close the show. Still, it was good. Good song too.
Casey Abrams - A chastised-looking Casey with toned-down hair took the stage, and we wondered if he had lost his mojo after last week. Instead, he did what we were praying he would do: He took away the growl. It was weird at first, but then it got good. There was a little growl, but it was reasonably used. Damn Casey, we love you for finally letting us hear you sing. Keep it up. We want a mix of growl and singing, like Haley uses. Best performance of the night, because it was good AND a risk.