American Idol 2011 Top 11 Weekend Update

And then there were eleven. American Idol 2011 eliminated Karen Rodriguez on Thursday’s results show and left us with this season’s Top 11 performers. Karen had managed to climb up to 2% on our poll, ahead of Naima and Haley who both had just 1% of the votes. Unless we see breakthrough performances from those two we can expect them to get extra stage time with Seacrest on the next results show.

This time around the Idol hopefuls will be returning to very, very familiar ground: Motown. Oh yes, that whole “no themes this year” promise from Nigel has vanished down the drain which means we should be lining up for some awkwardly entertaining performances come Wednesday night’s performances. Maybe Scotty can find a way to work “baby, lock them doors” into an existing Motown classic.

I’m not certain the theme will help, but ratings took a dip last week with a season low rating of 5.6 for adults (ages 18-49). This conveyed in to a 16% drop from a week earlier. We might be looking at similar trends until things get a little closer to the end and the pressure builds for who will be making it into the final stretch.

Side notes in Reality TV: Big Brother 13 announced its first casting events this weekend. SYTYCD Season 8 has set its premiere date. X Factor revealed its first confirmed judge, besides Simon of course, but might also pick up Paula!

Source: USA Today & TV By the Numbers




  1. I think "Ben" by Michael Jackson would sound great in Scotty's low register.

    Speaking of Michael Jackson songs, the 1984 Motown release of "Farewell My Summer Love" (which MJ had recorded in the early-mid 70s) would make an excellent song for Stefano.

    Also think "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye would be a good choice for Casey.

      • Somehow I can see Scotty deep voice singing the song "Sitting on the dock of the Bay", by Otis Redding.

      • Some good choices…however I would like to see Scotty change it up some…challenge him to get away from the deep baritone sounds to some higher tenor notes…I feel he can live up to this type of challenge. 🙂

      • Scotty would do really great at a temptation song. Especially with that, "and momma that ain't right…ugh poppa was a rollin stone" deep kind of voice that he has

  2. I don't think Sexual Healing was a Motown song…. not sure though.

    I like "Get Ready" for Scotty, and how about Casey with a little "Brick House"…..

    Thia can crank it up a bit with "Somebody's Watching Me" —

    it should be fun.

    • You mean the Rockwell song? No, Thia needs something more powerful and soulful this week.

      • Her voice is not "soulful" — she is going to need to go power ballad or something fun.

        I can hear her singing "Just my Imagination" or "ABC" or "I Want you Back" by the Jacksons — that may be as soulful as she can get. Just my 2 cents!

      • No, no ABC for Thia. The song doesn't seem to fit. She needs an upbeat song, like Baby love, like someone mentioned.

        Hey guys, if Thia got the voice and can sing, then that is why she is in this singing competition, regardless the age. This isn't any beauty pageant. I don't see her in those contest. She has more than just looks. It sounds to me as I was reading some of these comments that people are looking for 'good looks,' or'hot,' or 'cute.' Sure looks is part of the package too, but this is a singing competition. Besides, I think Thia is a lovely and beautiful girl with a big amazing voice.

      • I have heard her stuff. She's got a good voice — but she doesn't have "soul" in her voice…. I like her voice, and think she is destined to be a ballad singer…. I think her enunciation is turns me against her sometimes, I can't understand what she's singing at times… Just not hearing "soul" in her…… sorry 🙁

      • I think I am picturing when Thia did "I am Changing" on America's Got Talent. That sounded pretty soulful to me. But she needs a really intense song this week.

      • Thia reminds me of a Jr. Miss beauty pageant contestant. I'm not sure why she's even on a show like this. I guess she's trying all the contests until she wins something?

      • You have it right in that Thia has the looks to be in a beauty pageant. But she's on all of these performance shows because she has the goods to be there!

      • I have to agree with Gary. There's some depth lacking in Thia. Maybe it comes with experience or time.

      • Totally agree about the age and lack of emotional experience. She hasn't had enough things (e.g., heartbreaks) to happen in her life to emote that when she sings. I've thought all along that this is the only thing that will keep her from winning the whole thing. But strictly singing (for example, just going by the iTunes studio songs and listening only to her sing on the show), she's the best.

      • I think Idol is completely wrong to lower the age to 15. How can a 15 year old be expected to convey an emotional song as a 28 year old could? I think Thia's voice is beautiful, but if she were maybe 20 or so, she'd have the emotional depth, that quite frankly, is refreshing that she hasn't, at her young age. Not her fault.

      • thia song lats week was the only one that pulled at my heart strings .. it was great .. randy needs to grow a heart and feel the song not just say boring because his heart is black

  3. By the way — has anyone bought the studio versions of last week's songs on Itunes? Haley's studio version of "Be Your Baby Tonight" was pretty darn impressive. I think she's being sold a little short — she has a great voice. Yes, I know the studio version adds to the final product, but her song and Paul's "Guess that Why they call it the Blues" were both superb…..

    • I didn't buy all of them from last week yet. I was going to because Ryan said all sales for last week would go to the Japan relief effort. But there was nothing on iTunes that said that. I did listen, though, to the preview. Haley's was decent, but too much backup vocals…too poppy for me (pop music…not sure what Steven Tyler's "poppy" means). But I can definitely see what you liked. She sang god awful on the show though. Most of the studio versions were better than the stage performances, as you would expect.

    • Haley is smokin hot with a great voice….she should be near the top if anything made sense on AI.

    • If Haley or Lauren does not sing a Grace Potter song this season, they will miss out on some serious votes. "I ain't pickin up that phone"; "Money"; "Oasis"; "Low road" and "Colors".

  4. Is Disco the same as Motown? I keep seeing people suggesting disco songs.How about Stayin Alive by the BeeGees?

    • Some disco is Motown…like some of the Jacksons and Diana Ross and Commodores. But most of it is not Motown. Bee Gees aren't Motown.

      • The Commodores are from the disco era…why are they Motown? When they say Motown I'm thinking The Four Tops, Smokey,Supremes, etc……..did disco come from Motown?

      • Some early disco would be considered a part of Motown… But there was also what is called Funk music that was a part of Motown…Here we get Super Freak I & II by Rick James. The Commodores were a part of early Motown…a lot of Motown artists were signed under Motown Records and Barry Gordy's record label. 🙂

      • @Rose A., true that! I think some people were probably use to the Motown era, that was strongly promoted by Barry Gordy.

    • They just mean the Motown record label, which actually includes quite a bit. Some disco artists did record disco songs under the Motown label, as did the older artists like the ones you mentioned. But a lot of other disco artists were not on the Motown record label. For example, I think the Bee Gees were on the Atlantic record label.

      • True, when people refer to Motown as a 'style of music' it just refers to the sound stylized by the funk brothers. As a theme they are referring to the record label.

    • Who has got the great falsetto of Barry Gibb??? Any one of the contestants? Sherry K.

      • @ Sherry K. & KL. I agree. Although when James Durbin sang..Maybe, I'm Amazed…the judges commented that he did very well with some of the falsetto notes in the song…but I don't really see these contestants pull off a lot of great falsetto…but who knows…there is still a lot of unleashed talent coming out each week…we may be pleasantly suprised. 🙂

      • I think Casey has a good falsetto and maybe Paul. However, I can't see Casey singing Bee gees.

  5. @ Matt. Thank you for the weekend update. It is time for Idol fans to tune back in…DWTS is on Mon. & Tues…AI is on Wed. & Thurs….now you can have the best of both…lol…

    I personally would like to hear Scotty sing "Shop Around" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles…it would definitely chasllenge him to hit some of those higher "tenor" notes that Smokey was famous for or he can play it safe and do "Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye. And for Casey..see how he would do with "Papa was a Rolling Stone"…however I have a feeling he is going to bring out that Bass again… For James…he can do the "Funk" Motown version of "Super Freak" by Rick James and/or "Three Times a Lady" by the Commodores to show his vulnerability again…Both Pia and Thia need to knock it out of the ball park with some moves…for Pia, perhaps "Money, That's What I Want" by Barrett Strong and Thia might try Stevie Wonder's "Living For The City". Paul may want to calm down a bit and Do "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey. For Stefano – "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" by the Temptations. Naima may want to try "A Change is Gonna Come" by Billy Preston (one of the great songwriters of all time collaborating with the Beatles, Rolling Stones..etc) Jacob may try "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" or "I heard It Through The Grapevine" both oringinally recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammie Terrell. Just some thoughts..although I am suspecting that the contestants are going to get a very select list of what they can choose…Hopefylly the choices will be better than last week…where most of them really fell flat. Looking forward to this week. Whoo Hoo~!!! Big hello and 🙂 go out to Phyllis G., Sherry K., Angela and "T".

    • Oops…forgot Haley…"Baby, I Need Your Loving" -Four Tops and for Lauren…"My Guy" by Mary Wells. Just thinking…I know…dangerous 🙂

      • Rose, Sweet Lady I could never come up with all of those songs you have up there for the contestant's. How long did it take you to come up with all of that? WOW! I would like to hear any one of them sing one of the late GREAT Marvin Gaye's songs. A true test of their voices. Hi Phyllis G. too. Have a nice time while we wait for this weeks 2 days. I have just one question. Are they going to just kick off one contestant each week? That is a bit boring! A lot of competition starting now. Dancing with the stars. And not sure when Simons x-Factor starts? Hugs to both of you! Sherry K 🙂

      • PS, Rose, So you are a rock fan. Baby boomers are rock fans. Just kidding. I am a rock fan too. Journey first and foremost. I would love to hear one of the contestants sing a Steve Perry song too! Also love Jon Bon Jovi, Rolling Stones and a lot more I cannot name right now. Go rock fans! Sherry K 🙂

    • Rose…right on…I've been pushing for "Living for the City" for Thia for several days now!

      • @ K.L. I think she can pull it off…She is not my favorite to win…but she does have an incredible voice and definitely has an outstanding career ahead of her. I am a rock fan…always have been…just my taste. I would definitely buy a CD from Thia…when I am in the mood to mellow out. JMHO 🙂

  6. I could see Casey doing James Brown's "It's a Man's World" or James doing "Living in America". Does Otis Redding count? I know I'm not the only one who wants to hear Casey do "Dock of the Bay".

  7. James Brown and Otis aren't Motown

    The Motown label had the supremes. The temptations. The 4 tops. Marvin Gaye. The Jackson five Stevie wonder. The miracles. Etc

  8. what makes me so excited this week is to see how Scotty can manage to turn Motown song into country…

  9. I am so intrigued by this "Living for the City: song.. maybe i should check it on youtube… will be back late hehehe

    • I don't know who else has covered it or what might be on YouTube. I don't think Thia has ever done it (at least not what I have found online). I just have the original in my iTunes. But I keep pushing it because, if she could do it WELL (and I emphasize that because it could backfire if she didn't), it would do a lot of things. First, someone had mentioned that Randy is very picky about Stevie Wonder songs, so if she did it well he would really pump her up during the review. It has such a recognizable beginning that the crowd would get into it. It's also an intense song, which will help her prove that she's not just a ballad singer. And I think voters would become really curious about her, given the change of style, and would want to see her for at least a few more weeks to see what else she may bring…it would give her a free pass with the voters for a couple of weeks…which as we saw this week, was pretty important for Casey.

      • @ Bluedreamer & KL. I lloked under Motown Classic 100 hits and listened to a lot of songs. Living For The City…has an upbeat tempo and seems like a hard song to sing…but I believe Thia would be able to pull it off…just to hear her get out of her comfort zone.

        @ Sherry K. Oh Yes…the baby boomer that I am…and proud of it…Rock is my favorite. Also like Country and Jazz…Journey, the Stones, Eric Burton & the Animals, Guns & Roses, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Metallica, Poison…and more…all the greats. So excited about this week. Bring it on. Whoo Hoo~!!! 🙂

      • Siobhan did Living for the City during Hollywood week last year but they only show a short clip of her on You Tube. She did very well with that, and I hope Thia does, too, but I am a bit worried about the high notes.

  10. I am not going to judge anyone yet until I have seen the performances. Thia wasn't in the bottom three this past week, and I think that is conditional that this week she does something other than a ballad. I think Paul should be judged more critically this week if he's over his cold. Hailey needs to pull something big out of the box if she doesn't want to be in the bottom three for the third week running. Naima should have been voted off this past week instead of Karen, but she's still in it and I am not going to say to vote for her or not vote for her until I actually see her performance. Who knows she might do better. I'd like to see Scotty do a non-country song and put a country spin on it, like how Lauren was able to do last week. Jacob should do a song where he's not screaming, as well as James. Casey probably took a hit last week with his Nirvana song, so this week he should go back to doing something jazz or blues. I know this is Motown week, but I'd love to see Pia do Superstar by the Carpenters. This week I'd like to see Pia so something with a bit more tempo though.

    • I think most of this is right on target. As far as Paul, the judges need to stop saying his voice would be recognizable on the radio. I think saying it once made the point. It's true, his voice would be easily recognizable, but so is Miss Piggy's and I would not want to hear a whole lot of her on the radio! As far as Thia, we'll never know what the exact rankings were, but I'd bet she did better than most people think she did and is safe for a little while…even if she came out and did another ballad this week and took a tongue lashing from the judges. For the past two weeks, she was hammered by the judges (except Tyler…he was cool), yet she was not in the bottom three. This means the voters like listening to her regardless of what the judges think. Especially since some of the bottom three got better reviews from the judges than did Thia.

      • KL, totally agree. Thia doesn't have to dance, just move around a little bit, with the up tempo song.

        I like "You Can't Hurry Love," I can imagine Thia sing this.

  11. Thia fans, I have it all choreographed for her. How about this…she does Diana Ross "I'm Coming Out." She stands on top step (steps Ryan walks down to start the show), guitar starts and she starts first line "I'm coming out." (Immediately recognizable by everyone.) Walks down a few steps, does next line "I'm coming out." Continues down the steps, then singing first to the crowd to her left (Crowd is into the upbeat popular disco song, is clapping and dancing). Walks by the judges, stopping to sing the lines directly at them: "I've got to show the world, all that I wanna be, and all my abilities, there's so much more to me." Moves to the right to work that side of the crowd. The only problem is…I'm not sure if she can dance. lol. Hmmm, I think about this too much. I should have gone out hiking today.

    • LOL… hey, KL, you seem to be very good at that. i can already visualize your choreography. that's nice. i think thia can groove and do a little bit of dancing. i was intensely watching her while the group was performing lady gaga's i was born this way. and i think she moves pretty well.

      • Yeh Jordin, me too. I keep them recorded for the week and so I watched it a couple of times. I did notice her moving a little. She has this quirky thing she does with her right leg though. I say "quirky" but I really think it's kind of cool.

    • Hahahaha KL ur addicted…hahahaha…I like ur imagination…hahahaha..cant stop smiling when I read this…hahahahaha…

  12. yeah steven tayler is genial , arriva casey abrams is genial, steven I love how angry you arriva steven steven steven

  13. casey if you want to come to get yours please sing a disc with a very special gift

  14. i love scotty…… and the best part is that hes from my home town………….his voice is a gift from god… and lauren is my other favorite

  15. I am a big fan of Thia. I think she is saving here swagger songs for the next episodes. =) I just need to wait. My votes goes to James, Lauren, Thia and Stefano. I think these four have what it takes to be the next American Idol this season. I am so excited on their next performance for Motown edition. Bring it on Thia!!!!

  16. I love Thia Megia ,Pia ,James and Casey. They are my top 4.Thia should sing this time a Diana Ross Motown hit " Im Coming Out" .Perfect for her being accused for always singing ballad for the past weeks though infact she is a versatile singer.

  17. You know, if the comments HERE are any indication, Thia may have more support than she's been getting credit for. Yes, we all know she needs to sing some more upbeat songs but look at all the comments here supporting her. I'm just saying…

    • She also has a lot of followers on Twitter, if that's any indication. Not as many as say James and Casey, but I think she's neck and neck with Pia as for number of Twitter followers. She's probably more popular than people think. I think she appeals to a wider demographic than the rest, except maybe Pia, which helps add to her numbers.

      • Thia is already made some exposure because of the America's Got Talent…so maybe that's a big advantage for her too right?

      • I think it's definitely an advantage for her. But I think some others ridicule her for it. Not sure why. I think the more exposure and experience, especially at such a young age, the better.

  18. I think that the more I think about the song possibilities, the more fun this could be……, please excuse me for adding some more ideas, but here goes…. these may be some songs, no one has thought of, but are Motown.

    Casey could do some Levi Stubbs — so how about the 4 Tops – "When She Was My Girl?" —

    Durbin – doing a little Rock and Roll Lionel – "Running With the Night"

    Scotty – a little Country Lionel with "Deep River Woman" (Lionel Richie's duet with Alabama some years ago) even though I still think he would slay "Get Ready" by the Temptations — ""So Fee Fi Foo Fum, Look About Baby, Cuz here I Come"

    Naima – a little Reggae Lionel with "Se La" — from the Can't Slow Down album

    I agree Stefano needs to do Stevie — "Isn't She Lovely" would be good too….

    Pia — "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" or "Just My Imagination"

    Haley — "Oh No" by the Commodores

    Okay, I'll stop……..

    • The judges haven't said this, but Pia has done the same thing three weeks in a row. If she does "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," then that's four of the same in a row as far as I'm concerned. The judges love her though, so she can get away with anything right now.

      • i agree with you KL. pia has done the same thing for the past weeks. the arrangement for her last week's song was kinda tricky cuz if you take out the upbeat tempo in it, it would still be a ballad. but you're right, she's adored by the judges and nothing can go wrong with that.

      • Oh yeh…she totally had J-vibrato-Lo fooled. JLo said something to the effect of being glad that Pia came out and did something different. Love is blindness.

      • I think that Haley would Rock Aint no mountain high enough!! Pia would probably just stand there but Haley would engage the crowd, throw back her arms and belt it out or grab the mic with both hands, and sing that soulful "you don't have to worry..cause baby their aint…"

    • Your list seems fine, except for Just My Imagination. I can't picture or hear Pia sing that. She has too much of a high pitch or tone to sing that song.

      • dosen't seem to fit her style…maybe she'll break out and do dancing in the street. I think that Casey should sing 3 times a lady with his chello and bring it down smooth and soulful like he did in hollywood week

    • I agree with Stacey0128, I also think that Haley would do good with Aint No Mountain High. Haley grooves. Pia don't, just stands there and sticks out her arm.

      Just Imagination wouldn't do go for Pia either, like I said before, she has too high of a pitch for this song. I just can't imagine her singing these two songs.

  19. Latest AI Twitter Followers:

    Scotty: 37,686

    Casey: 36,321

    Paul: 30,548

    Lauren: 26,293

    Pia: 25,741

    Thia: 25,659

    James: 24,543

    Stefano: 22,816

    Jacob: 15,248

    Haley: 13,588

    Naima: 11,930

    • Yea! Paul is third place! ( according to twitter?) What does face book say? (just askin?)

      • Facebook is kind of tough because so many people create Thia profiles and so a lot of fans "like" the wrong profile. But next time I dig those numbers up I'll try to get what I can find on Facebook too and post both of them.

  20. oh hey guys check this out… Thia can play guitar too She did her version og Plain White T's 1234, Jason Mraz I'm Yours and Bob Marley's 3 little birds

  21. I was(not)surprised to notice only 1person of color(poc) sitting with the other winners.Something has happened to"amer.idol", does anyone else sense what i do?One out of all u.s.a. singers appearing on amer.idol & only one poc.Luckily there were more poc on the Reserve list which the judges (after noticing the color imbalance)decided to bring out to try to even out that imbalance,so it was done.(Thanks for the guilty conscience of judges).Everyone knows that the statements made by the judges after each person sings,Greatly influences the way that the audience(home & studio)votes for every single contestant.For amer.idol to ever be fair, I think that habit must stop.

    • @ Ron Brown…I guess if you want to look at it in terms of your context "of color" …. Naima is "of color" in this context. In my way of thinking all the contestants are "of color" … just saying… 🙂

      • i agree rose…american idol now is refreshing..with so many 'color's' and 'ages'….with a mix of the ballads and the rocks and the country and the mellow and the po…so everything considered the a.i 10 is terrific…but are the judges really listening to the songs? scotty and phia both did the same thing..yet they never received remarks and thia got hers?

  22. Top 11 Facebook likes :

    Scotty – 29,376

    Thia – 20,180

    Lauren – 17,111

    James – 12,254

    Pia – 11,780

    Casey – 10,841

    Stefano – 10,320

    Paul – 8,314

    Jacob -5,006

    Haley – 4,263

    Naima – 3,672

    • Good compilation. Not easy to do on Facebook because of all the fan pages claiming to be the real thing. I guess all you can do is grab the largest one since it represents how many people are willing to "like" a fan page.

  23. Great track choices would be:

    The entire group of 11 should open the TV show with the Osmond brother "Motown Special"song!!!!!!

    Scotty should sing the Motown version of He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother by Merrill Osmond.

    Go Scotty!!! You are the Salt and Light to the show.

  24. I am so much aware that Thia owns the best voice in this competition and hopefully she does not perform a ballad-like rendition again. It's time she showed the world how versatile she is by singing an upbeat song next Motown week. If she doesn't follow the advice of the judges, I bet I would really be disappointed in her and I am sure that the whole world would negatively question her presence in the competition. In fact, some have already started doubting her abilities. Yet, I am still keeping my fingers crossed that she would do better next week.

    • There is an Utube interview with Thia where she clearly says she loves doing OLD songs and says she is an OLD soul and so far she has proven this to be true with all her song selections on AI. She is a ballad singer and will always be. I loved her in the beginning but I am bored with her. Beauty and a beautiful voice alone is just not enough for me anymore. She puts me to sleep. Colors of the Wind did me in.

      • When is the last time you bought an entire album with 10 ballads on it? She needs more diversity. Pia is a better singer, anyways. Plain and simple. Pia has the tone, the vocal control, the range AND a whole tonne of power. Thia sings like a sweet little bird but I don't think she'll win the competition if she keeps it up with the sleepy ballads. Country music is VERY popular in the USA and Pia has her work cut out for her.

    • I love ballads. I am always looking for mellow songs and ballads songs. It's so relaxing and pretty.

  25. it was so sad for karen to leave…i liked her alot.guys dont you think scotty must try out sumthing bryan adams mayb. pia diva by beyonce and thia something from toni braxton will do her.

  26. so far this season has beat out every single season I have watched…I love this trio…and that Scotty has the sexiest voice ever!!!!! It's so refreshing to see these contestants be praised for what they do…and they deserve it!

  27. James Durban is like my bro cuz he has teretz(I think that how u spell it) I luv JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Lauren Alaina is my FAV. Person on American idol I LUV her (well ima gurl so I don't really luv her cuz that's wrong but she is my fav…. When I say "LUV" I mean as in she's the best) I LUV Lauren Alaina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Well done Casey!!! You deserve to go on tour… You belong on top… You had me in tears!!! Enjoy the ride… go to the stars

    • I think its very interesting how a contestant can bring one person to tears and yet cause another person to want them to just go away. All the contestants have something unique about them and I'm sure thats what the judges wanted…a diverse group, kind of like the cast of GLEE. I personally wouldn't buy a C.D. made by any one of them at this point. However, I'm hoping this is the year for a female winner. Sorry, I think Lauren and Thia although talented, are way too young. Naima and Haley are doubtful winners but good at what they do just the same. Will they have a career, of course they ALL will. But my pick is Pia for star quality. She could eventually rival Celine Dion if she worked at it and sang a mix of styles instead of a steady diet of ballads. I'm guessing she will go all the way to the finale probably joined by Jacob.

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