American Idol 2011: Top 11 performance show recap – Too many ballads

If I had any doubts that the drama from last week’s “American Idol” was staged, they were squashed in the first MINUTE of Wednesday night’s episode. I mean they asked the contestants last week about the judge’s save? As in, they already knew they were going to use it. I was offended last week and I’m even more offended this week.

And I’m sorry, but all that pimping of Casey was a lot unfair. He’s already going to be safe because of the drama last week. Pimping him out tonight was overkill.

Oh well, I’m going to just forget how stupid they think we are and focus on Ryan Seacrest’s brand new botox. Seriously, did anyone else notice he looked 10 years younger tonight? Creepy. And can someone please tell Jennifer Lopez to stop interrupting the other judges during their critiques?

OK, enough of the small talk and filler (what am I, “American Idol”?) On to the reviews. As always, I’ll review each performance and assign them the grade I think their performances deserve this week.

In order of performance

*Scotty McCreery, “Country Comfort.” It was nice to see Scotty on the guitar, but did we really have to pick this song? Where’s the risk? Where’s the shock.  Sure he has a fantastic voice and can sing country. But take a chance for a change. I like Scotty, but the bad and boring song choices are tiring. B+

*Naima Adedapo, “I’m Still Standing.” Well, you won’t be tomorrow night, Naima. I’m pretty sure she sealed her fate with this one. I REALLY do appreciate the risk she took. I like that about her. But she’s just not a good technical singer. She’s just not. I’m sorry. D-

*Paul McDonald, “Rocket Man.” Oh Paul. You make me so mad. I love Paul, but but tonight did nothing for me. He shouldn’t have chosen that song. But I bet “Your Song” was handed to Casey Abrams on a silver platter, so Paul had to pick something else. I’ve finally concluded that Paul is probably better suited fronting a band. Not being the American Idol. I like him (He has been my favorite all season) and look forward to his career. But I don’t think he’ll last much longer in the competition. C+

*Pia Toscano, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.” REALLY? Again, Pia? I’m sorry, but I don’t care how great her voice is, I’m tired of her singing ballads. And an extremely over-done one at that. And to make things worse, a choir comes out and makes it even more of a boring ballad. I’d like to give her an F, but she really doesn’t deserve that. C

*Stefano Lagone, “Tiny Dancer.” Tonight is the night of opposites for me. My favorites are just letting me down tonight. I think Stefano’s performance was boring. Maybe it’s not his fault that I was bored. Maybe it was all the ballads before it. I’m tired of ballads! Have I mentioned that? B

*Lauren Alaina, “Candle in the Wind.” It was very nice for Lauren to slow things down (for her, a ballad is fresh). I had immediate goosebumps. This is such an emotional song and she nailed it. I think it’s the best performance of her run and probably of the night. I’ve had issues with Lauren in the past, but I had none tonight. A+

*James Durbin, “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.”
I called that song choice (it’s the only one I got right, but whatever).  James’ performance was insane. In a good way. It was better than most “Idol” finale performances. The only thing missing was Elton coming out himself. I’m still not a major James fan, but I always give him the credit he deserves. A+

*Thia Megia, “Daniel.”
I was surprised to hear she was singing this. That’s my favorite song by Elton John, so needless to say, I hated the arrangement. It’s already a slow song, but they slowed it down even more. And it came off way more somber than that song was ever intended. She sounded good, but again, I think the song choice wasn’t right. B+

*Casey Abrams, “Your Song.” I can’t believe he decided to slow things down. But I think it paid off. Even if Casey wasn’t already going to be 100 percent safe from last week’s drama and this week’s pimping, that performance would be enough to save him. I’ve made it no secret that I don’t like Casey at all. But tonight was the first time I enjoyed hearing him sing. And it was the first time I believed him as a performer. I didn’t feel like he was making a big joke of it like I normally feel. A

*Jacob Lusk, “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.” What was with that fake crying face? I’m so tired of the dramatics with him. And I just don’t like his voice. I want to be fair to Jacob, because I think he’s a good artist. But I just can’t get into his voice and his singing style. He’s always the hardest for me to grade because I know he can sing, but I can’t stand listening to him. Ugh. I don’t know what to say. D? C? B?

*Haley Reinhart, “Bennie and The Jets.” Haley in the pimp spot. Good for her. I thought the performance was a little Broadway, but it was good Broadway. I had a fun listening to her sing this song. A-

Now I’ll suggest what I think the outcome of American’s vote will be tomorrow night. (I’m not sure why so many people get confused by this, but my predictions here are NOT based on my personal opinions. It’s SIMPLY what I think could happen tomorrow night based on America’s vote):

100 Percent Safe: James Durbin, Casey Abrams, Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery

Most Likely Safe: Pia Toscano, Haley Reinhart, Stefano Langone, Jacob Lusk

Probably the Bottom 3: Paul McDonald, Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia

Possibly Going Home: Naima Adedapo, Paul McDonald

This could be another crazy week. Between Casey and Haley’s pimping and Stefano’s improvement, things could play out like I said. Sorry, Paul. But again, I’m not confident in these predictions. So I don’t expect to be 100 percent accurate (but haters, if it makes you feel better about yourselves, be sure to still point it out tomorrow night if I’m wrong).

What are your thoughts on the performances and what do you think will happen Thursday night?