Blake Lewis: 'Lauren Alaina Is a Firecracker, Pia Toscano Brought the Goods!'

by Blake Lewis, posted Apr 7th 2011 1:00PM
It was a night of rock and roll on 'Idol,' and I was pumped for it. I really enjoyed last week and now that it's down to nine contestants, the show is starting to have a better flow. will.i.am was mentoring all of the contestant's rehearsals and he was funny and had some great suggestions for most of them.

Jacob Lusk started the night singing "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson (rest in peace). He did his thing to it, but it was no M.J. Some of these arrangements the contestants are getting aren't helping them reach their full potential as performers. Jacob killed it last week, but this week was just all right. I don't think it was the best song choice for him, but he is always good.

Last week, Haley Reinhart was one of the best singing Elton John, but her rendition of 'Piece of My Heart' by Janis Joplin wasn't as good. She is still slaying it vocally; I just thought she sounded a little growly. But she's still bringing it and I think she is getting more comfortable on the 'Idol' stage.

Casey Abrams
finally brought back the upright bass slaying CCR's 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain.' I really enjoyed it being stripped down and raw. Although not as good as his performance last week, this song fit him perfectly. What I like about Casey the most is that he picks songs that really fit him, and like many others I can't wait to see what he is going to do each week. Randy called his performance "revolutionary." I wouldn't go that far, but I still really enjoyed his performance.

I'm loving Lauren Alaina more and more each week. She's a firecracker. This week, I wasn't feeling her performance until halfway through. Lauren has an amazing range and she enjoys herself on stage. Her vibrant energy really works for the cameras. She reminds me of my girl, Jordin Sparks. I liked her song choice of 'Natural Woman,' but I didn't believe her until the end. I wanted to see some of that Aretha Franklin come out right out of the gate instead of having to wait for it. Still, though, it was great.

James Durbin sang one of my all time favorite songs, George Harrisons 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.' I liked the soft tones he was working in his voice, but I wanted to hear the arrangement go to a heavier side with distortion, almost like a Led Zeppelin, 'Kashmir'-type vibe. I would have loved to see him really rock it out at the end. His performance was still great and I especially loved that he got a little emotional with it.

Scotty McCreery
sang a song that I actually really enjoyed, Elvis Presley's 'That's All Right (Mama).' I really liked his tone on this song. The arrangement with his low baritone country voice worked in his favor. I'm curious to hear what his iTunes recording will sound like. He did a great job with his stage presence – he just needs to loosen up a bit.

PIA!!! We asked and she brought the goods. Finally she moved around and sang an up tempo song. I knew she could do it, but Jennifer Lopez was right by saying she really needs to study the greats for her stage presence. This girl will be a huge star; she just needs to put some effort into how she presents herself to her audience. I love her talent!

I love that 'American Idol' keeps pairing up Stefano Langone and Pia Toscano back to back, every week. They both kill it vocally and it's a great line up. Stefano was really going for the ladies votes, singing "When a Man Loves a Woman." You can tell he is listening to the judges and producers by trying to perfect his sound and performance each week. He did a great job and locked onto the camera at the end. I like seeing his progression on this stage so far. Nice job, this week!

The night closed out with Paul McDonald singing Johnny Cash's 'Folsom Prison Blues.' I thought this was a great choice for him and a much better performance than last week.

All in all, I wasn't super-impressed with anyone, this week. I liked everyone just fine, but last week, there were more standout performances. I thought everyone's song choices were great and everyone was pretty solid, but I wasn't racing to my phone to dial anyone's number. Am I the only who felt this way, after last night?

I have no clue who will be voted off tomorrow, but I know that I missed Naima.

Love, Peace and Beats,
Blake


Follow Blake Lewis's adventures in music on Twitter and his official YouTube channel. His latest album, 'Heartbreak on Vinyl,' is available on Tommy Boy Entertainment. And check out Blake on vocals in DJ Dan's latest single, 'Operator.'

'American Idol' airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8PM ET on FOX. For more on last night's show, check out our 'American Idol' recap.

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acoolbreeze62

I propose the following solution to the voting problem! They should let the public select one guy, one girl and a wild card from each group of the three final groups. Then the judges should pick another deserving guy and girl. This should continue until the final 12, at which point the judges should pick one person each week deserving to move on and America votes for the remaining contestants. This should continue until it gets down to the final two, then America gets to vote for the final two! This would help assure that “actual” singing talent endures! Some might say this would prolong the show, taking too many episodes but let’s face it, there is a TON of wasted time and prolonging on “Idols” part that could and should be removed, getting down to the nitty gritty! If they did this, I would venture to say that not only would they not have to run any extra episodes but the show would be just as entertaining and exciting! Maybe more so considering it would be more difficult to choose among a more talented group of contestants! All the drama and suspense would still exist and voting would probably be closer than ever! Again, if they would eliminate much of the B.S. and use the time to showcase more true talent then the music world would be much better off! Hence, we Americans would be much better off in what we would have available to listen too! Until this happens ALOT of great talent will continue to walk out the door never to be heard from again! Since all of this is unlikely to happen I say... SO LONG AMERICAN IDOL! Last nights travesty of the teenie boppers causing Pia to be kicked off was the final straw! By the way…To all you tone deaf, hormone driven, little hoes empting daddy's bank account with your little pink jeweled cased covered cell phones with Jonas Brothers ringtones out there...Congratulations! You succeeded in ruining ALOT of peoples favorite show! As for A.I. and it ratings hungry, manipulating, hormonger producers with you're ridiculously flawed system… Congratulations to you as well! They couldn't have ruined it without you! SEE YA!

April 08 2011 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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April 08 2011 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diane Pierce

Yes I miss her too. Wondering if I am the only person in America that thinks Pia is a SNOOZE. I doze off when she is on stage.

I think it is great that the contestants are working with professionals, too bad that did not happen in season 6. I think my other favorite half of cake might have gotten more love from the voters.

Water under the bridge. Still happy everyone from season 6 is still doing what they love and getting paid for it.

April 07 2011 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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