Yes, I said that, a wonky American Idol week.
A couple of general notes about American Idol last night.
If one of the  American Idol contestants is sick, why are they not being quarantined as opposed to remaining in the American Idol home and risking giving everyone bird flu?

Not one performer but at least three American Idol performers were sick this week.
Second American Idol note. Is Steven Tyler listening to the same performances we are? American Idol has been blessed with Steven Tyler as a judge but were his ears painted on last night? No, seriously.  Some of the American Idol singers were horrendous this week.
I like, however, that J. Lo has stepped up (with Randy) and was not afraid to call some of the American Idol hopefuls out on their sour notes.  Having said that, J. Lo got caught a couple of times, filing her nails and/or making horrified faces when someone was bombing.
Third American Idol note. Let’s lose the producers vying for American Idol screen time, including disinterested- holier-than-thou-Wizard-of –Oz Jimmy Iovine.
American Idol is not better with him on camera so let’s not have him on camera.
There’s a reason these people are behind the scenes on American Idol. They’re boring.
American Idol should go back to performers critiquing the contestants; ie Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, heck even Barry Manilow.

Okay, onto the show. Last night’s American Idol theme- contestants got to perform a song from their year of birth. Wow, was there life before American Idol and how old do I feel?
Naima Adedapo, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (1984)
Naima was extremely flat.  Thank goodness the judges called her on it. I was a big fan of this American Idol contestant from the beginning but now I think she’s staggering towards being chopped.
Speaking of staggering…..
Paul McDonald, “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” (1984)

This American Idol hopeful staggered around the stage through a painful rendition of this song. I might say the flu bug threw off Paul’s inner ear balance ( it definitely threw off his voice) but he moves like this every week!

Thia Megia, “Colors of The Wind” (1995)
Thia picked a safe song but if an American Idol top 12 needed a safe song it was Thia. Holy crap, it’s week after week of American Idol good-song- choice-a-phobia. Thia still had problems with a couple easy riffs and it was a little karaoke-ish in parts. But the audience loves her.
They were ready to tear Randy apart for one minor criticism of her. I think, at this point, though, Thia needs to pick up her game. She needs to sing something closer to that unique style she exhibited in the beginning of the American Idol competition.
James Durbin, “I’ll Be There For You” (1989)
A clunky start somewhere in the middle of the song that sounded like someone in the American Idol studio was turning up the radio. Durbin was flat in number of places but his otherwise solid American Idol weekly performances and cute Kurt Russell boyishness should keep him safe this week.   .
Haley Reinhart, “I’m Your Baby Tonight” (1990).


Stefano Langone, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (1989)
I’ve been pretty hard on this American Idol contestant up until now but I have to admit, Stefano actually did a pretty good job. Other than the last note that trailed into the dumpster, he was aiiiight, according to the American Idol dictionary.
Pia Toscano, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” (1988)

I love Pia’s family. Her mom was hilarious. For a second, I felt like I was watching The Sopranos instead of American Idol. The back story about her grandfather’s support  was extremely touching.
I got to hand it to Pia. She has gone from American Idol dark horse to American Idol deserved champion.   Who else has the balls to take on not only Miriah, not only Celine but Whitney too?  Wow. This sister is laying down the gauntlet.
Solid…solid…solid.   The American Idol studio and judges love her. The camera loves her. So here’s the million dollar question… why is the American Idol wardrobe department trying to sabotage her career? From that bizarre Star Trek cape that they threw over her shoulders last week to this week’s ABBA retro white pantsuit this week!
By the way, I know the judges don’t want to hear Pia doing another ballad but she does them well, so who cares? I personally would have like to have heard the ballad version of Where Do Broken Hearts Go as opposed to the American Idol  shack- a- lack-a machine cheesy disco version.
Scotty McCreery, “Can I Trust You With My Heart” (1993)

Scotty pulled off a terrific version of this Travis Tritt hit. I’ve changed my mind. I’m glad he’s in the competition. He won’t win the American Idol crown but he does what he does well.
I’m suspicious of his range but Randy Travis has made a pretty good career singing in that range of keys on the piano that nobody else ever uses.
American Idol disco week might be somewhat frightening for Scotty but maybe producers can pull out the American Idol shack-a –lack-a-machine one more time for Travis’s hit,  I’m Going To Love You Forever.
Karen Rodriguez, “Love Will Lead You Back” (1989)

I think Karen is the American Idol casualty this week. It was a  pretty karaoke-ish performance and I constantly found myself distracted by the sofa cushion pinned to the back of Karen’s head. Once again, I think the American Idol wardrobe department has their own agenda.
Casey Abrams, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)

Hmm, that was a bit stinky. Again, like James Durbin, Casey  ( aka Yukon Cornelius from Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer) has been solid throughout the competition but I think this week’s song choice, was a bit too much. Kurt Cobain would not have approved of this American Idol shout-fest.
Casey’s yellow  (with the yellow lit back drop) almost looked demonic. Yes, I’d love to see a softer, gentler make-over. Lose the beard!

Lauren Alaina, “I’m The Only One” (1994)

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest did not look too pleased with the I’ve-got- the –flu- haha- mask –chit chat.
Doesn’t Lauren know that Ryan has to stay healthy for his twelve hundred other American Idol spin-off gigs?
To her credit, Lauren pulled it off..

Jacob Lusk, “Alone” (1987)

Okay, did the judges not hear the same terrible American Idol produced version of that song that I did?
That was a baaad song choice.
The way that Lusk held his pose after the performance- he thought he nailed it!
I don’t blame him. The judges have been pumping his ego week after week.
Again, he’s one of the best singers that American Idol has ever had in the competition. His flawless Luther Vandross performance a few weeks ago was beautiful. But somewhere along the road to American Idol stardom, Lusk fell off of the turnip truck.
It’s not too late to get back on. But someone needs to tell him the truth. Jacob, you need to pull it back a thousand.  You’re coming across as desperate.
I can’t believe Randy said to him, “You found your way back in a couple of bars.” In a couple of bars???
Who else gets that freedom? During American Idol, no less!

Okay, so based on last night’s performances, this is where I think everyone should place  on American Idol finals night.

  1. Pia Toscano
  2. James Durbin
  3. Casey Abrams
  4. Stephano Langone
  5. Jacob Lusk
  6. Thia Magia
  7. Lauren Alaina
  8. Paul Macdonald
  9. Haley Reinhart
  10. Scotty McCreery
  11. Naima Adedapo
  12. Karen Rodriguez

Once again, a wonky week for American Idol.