Naima Adedapo “What’s Love Got to Do With It” – Tina Turner
She honestly sounded out of breath and out of tune, but Jennifer and Randy were right, her vocals were a big ol’ mess. (Although, the irony of Jennifer Lopez telling someone that their vocals are off, was hysterical.) Someone like Britney Spears can get away with that kind of stuff, because she is an amazing entertainer. Naima isn’t on the I-must-lipsynch-because-a-human-can’t-sing-while-they-are-dancing-this-much kind of level.
Paul McDonald “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” – Elton John
I like Paul, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t think his voice is well-suited to a more up-tempo song. Maybe it was because he sounded sick, I don’t know. I liked it, probably because I absolutely love this song, but it wasn’t his best ever.
Thia Megia “Colors of the Wind” – Vanessa Williams
The problem with singing a Disney song is that you run the risk of looking like you’re at a show at Disney World, or on a Disney cruise ship. It was good, it was pretty, but it was also forgettable. Randy hit it on the head when he said he felt like he was at a pageant.
James Durbin “I’ll Be There For You” – Bon Jovi
Out of the big songs in 1989, I don’t know why James chose this one. Poison, Warrant, the Fine Young Cannibals, Guns and Roses all had big songs in ’89. The judges fawned all over him, but I didn’t like it.
Four contestants into it, and I’m feeling kind of meh about the night so far.
Haley Reinhart “I’m Your Baby Tonight” – Whitney Houston
Haley didn’t get the memo that you just should NOT attack a Whitney Houston song. It never ends well. I’m a Haley fan, but this song was a hundred kinds of wrong for her. I think if she had slowed the song down and turned it into more of a ballad, it would have suited her voice much better.
Stefano Langone “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” – Simply Red
Finally, someone who feels like singing tonight. But, he had it riiiiight up until the end of that last note. Yikes! Still, a great job, especially compared to the massive amounts of meh that preceded him.
Pia Toscano “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” – Whitney Houston
Pia wins for world’s most unflattering outfit. Holy cow, what was that hot mess that she was wearing? And, I’m sorry, Pia has a great voice, but this song didn’t need to be remixed. Between the horrid outfit and the remix, I had a hard time focusing on how she actually sounded. I don’t care how much the judges fawn over her, nobody should be touching old school Whitney songs.
Scotty McCreery “Can I Trust You With My Heart” – Travis Tritt
Scotty can sing, but it sounds the same every time. Like some of the contestants before him, there were better, more recognizable country songs that he could have chosen in that year. Meh.
Karen Rodriguez “Love Will Lead You Back” – Taylor Dayne
Karen always makes me feel like I’m on a cruise ship. And the random two lines of Spanish is, well, random. Like, “Toss in some Spanish and people will go nuts.” Karen doesn’t have the upper range to pull off songs like these and make them amazing.
Casey Abrams “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana
My boyfriend watched this episode sitting next to me…this was the first time he’s watched American Idol with me. And I think he summed it up best when he said, “He sounds like the Weird Al Yankovic version of this song.” Sorry, judges, we didn’t like it. And Jennifer, I wouldn’t call any Nirvana songs, “pleasant.” Like, ever.
Lauren Alaina “I’m The Only One” – Melissa Etheridge
Now THAT was a good performance. But Lauren, your mom is trying to be a 16 year old. What was Mommy Alaina wearing in her interview, and then what was that neon thing she wore at the show? Someone send her a memo, that she isn’t 16.
Jacob Lusk “Alone” – Heart
I’m pretty sure this song’s been done a lot on this show. I love the song, and Jacob has done one of my favorite performances of it. He needs a song where he can wail away. He had some pitch problems, but this was a good one for him.
Our votes went to Lauren Alaina.