While American Idol is not quite the same anymore without Casey, last night’s performance show certainly had its moments.
James Durbin, the rocker who usually slams the crowd with a high-energy piece (as he did early in the show), chose to do Harry Nilsson/Badfinger’s ‘Without You’ later in the show, and it proved that the singer can connect with the audience not just at a rock star level, but at an emotional level as well.
Yes, the singer still went up to his trademark high notes towards the end, but the somber tone of the song left audiences moved and downright entranced.
“Fighting back through the emotions for you to give a vocal like you gave,” Randy Jackson said “No, it wasn’t perfect. But it was emotionally perfect.”
Haley has been many things over the season, but consistent is not one of them. She is truly a contestant that may not make it back next week—but she still makes it. Her first performance was an unknown Lady Gaga song, and while it was sang well, the judges were not impressed. J-Lo actually gave negative words, citing the choice of an unknown song was a risk she shouldn’t have taken. Randy Jackson simply noted that it wasn’t that great of a song, which means it didn’t showcase Haley’s ability. Steven Tyler agreed, and if he ever gives even mildly negative critique, it must be problematic. He, by the way, said Haley sang the song beautifully—but this hardly means anything because it feels like Steven Tyler usually notes how the songs were ‘beautiful.’
Kate Ward, writer for EW.com, discusses her love for Haley and how the show seems to be against the singer. She argues that the judging has been sub par—encouraging contestants (like Haley) to play it safe when taking risks often is the better advice, since it can make a stronger performer, or at least better TV. She makes a good point about their criticism, noting that, “their criticism of Haley for choosing an unknown song makes no sense: After all, we are expecting these Idol kids to release unknown songs in the future, right? Would the judges criticize Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” because it wasn’t already sung by Phil Collins? Should Carrie Underwood have released an entire album of Edwin McCain covers?”
At least the judges praised Haley for her second song, which Randy called the best song of the night.
I can understand Ward’s frustration with the show, because Haley definitely had a better performance than Jacob’s version of Jordin Sparks’ and Chris Brown’s “No Air.” The judges keep telling Jacob that he is one of the best vocalists that have graced the stage, but Jacob’s performance was, as Ward accurately described, “incredibly painful, off-key rendition.” At least Randy pointed out that parts of the song were sharp. I would imagine that musicians (or anyone that’s not tone deaf) from all over the country were yelling at the TV about how off the song was. Nevertheless, J-Lo and Steven Tyler did not say one word about the seemingly obvious issue.
Hopefully Americans sees things differently—we’ll find out tonight on the results sh