American Idol: Top 3 Perform

There’s only 3 left on Idol after last week’s total BS ousting of James Durbin and they’re doing three rounds tonight; contestant’s choice, Jimmy Iovine’s choice, and judges choice. Beyonce is helping out as a mentor.

Scotty McCreery is leading off the show with “Amazed” by Lonestar. Beyonce seems taken with him. Scotty’s leaning on the piano in a denim jacket trying to play it cool, putting a real twang to the song. He goes into some higher notes, showing off quite a bit of range. It sounded pretty good, great song choice Scotty. Steven Tyler says he gets better and better. JLo says he’s grown since the show began. Randy Jackson says smart song choice, I produced it.

Lauren Alaina is following up with “Wild One” by Faith Hill. Beyonce is excited by her singing. Lauren is singing this one with quite a bit of sass and energy. For someone who seems so meek and nervous in rehearsal, she freakin’ owns that stage once she’s up there- very good performer, and this was a good performance. Didn’t showcase her voice as much as her showmanship but it was good. JLo says she attacked it. Randy says he likes seeing her having fun.

Haley Reinhart is doing “What is and What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin. Is this the first Led Zep song on Idol? Great song. She’s starting it off a bit Jessica Rabbity until the trio of guitars (including her Dad!) come in and she starts rocking the hell out. She totally trips on her way back up the stairs but plays it off nicely. Wow. Her raspy voice thing works well this time. Good energy all around. Randy says she slayed it, crazy vocals, one of her best ever. Steven says it was superb. JLo commends her for keeping on going after she fell.

For the second round it’s Jimmy Iovine’s choice.

For Scotty McCreery, Jimmy’s chosen “Are You going to Kiss Me or Not” by Thompson Square. Scotty’s going for the blue collar look with his plaid shirt, sleeves rolled up and acoustic guitar. This song is a right in the middle of his range, not doing the real deep thing he’s been doing all season and it actually sounds pretty deece. Brought some real oomph to the chorus. Steven says beautiful, JLo liked his theatrics and he was in the zone, Randy says he approached Garth Brooks level tonight.

Jimmy has chosen “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry for Lauren Alaina. It’s a vocalist type of song with the singing out front over the music. Lauren’s got some big notes to take on here and she does fine. I wasn’t too enthused about this but maybe country fans would dig this way more than me. JLo says she has the most beautiful tone of the finalists. Randy praised the song choice and her ability to come back from some improper notes in the middle.

For Haley Reinhart, Jimmy chose “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac. Her voice should be well suited to sing Stevie Nicks. The got the spooky lights and fan blowing her hair in the smoke effect going on. Total music video stuff. She’s singing really well because the song doesn’t allow her to do my two pet peeves with Haley- the growls and the Jessica Rabbiting. It was actually really good. Randy thought it was a little somber but good job. JLo liked the moment and it was a good contrast to her earlier song. Very ethereal.

The final round is judge’s choice.

Scotty is back at his old job at the grocery store where he gets the text telling him the judges chose “She Believes in Me” by Kenny Rogers for him. This round he’s dressed more seriously with a suit jacket and is simply seated on a stool with piano and strings behind him. Good song, good lyrics and he really seems like he’s feeling it and putting a lot into it. He’s able to use both the high and low register of his voice and it’s a pretty powerful performance. Very good. Steven says he hasn’t heard him sing a chorus like that yet. JLo says they challenged him with that song and he hit it.

The judges have chosen “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. Great song and you can tell that Lauren is excited to sing this one. It really gives her a spot to show off the sweetness and power in her voice and she take full advantage. Yet another strong performance. JLo says it was beautiful. Randy says she slayed it. Steven said she sang it perfectly.

Closing out the night is Haley Reinhart and the judges chose “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrissette. This is great choice for her because it goes from soft to strong. Haley’s bringing some attitude and force to the chorus. Probably not angry enough for the song but a strong vocal overall and good performance. Good stuff. Randy thought the choruses were amazing. Steven said she nailed it.

Tough call this week since for the most part all the performances were good. At this point it’s mostly a popularity contest (technically it always has been) but our call in order from best to worst is: Scotty McCreery, Haley Reinhart, with Lauren Alaina worst. I think Scotty will be your next American Idol at this point. He can do no wrong right now.

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