Last night ‘American Idol’’s season began in earnest as the Final 13 displayed their wares.
It was a classic episode, by which I mean Randy Jackson managed to gratuitously drop in a mention of his tenuous tenure with the band Journey.
Never tell me the judges aren’t provided with notes to make them look informed. Did you see Steven Tyler hastily put on his reading glasses to ‘casually’ note that the LeAnn Rimes song ‘Blue’ was recorded but never released by country legend Patsy Cline.
Unfortunately someone forgot to provide Randy with a note telling him that ‘All by Myself’ did not originate with Celine Dion, but was written and sung some 35 years ago by Eric Carmen. Oops.
That’s why it was so refreshing when Jennifer Lopez confessed to Paul McDonald that she was totally unfamiliar with the song and the artist (Ryan Adams) he had chosen to cover.
It was a night full of backfires, including McDoanld’s. mopey choice which wasted his pixieish James Blunt-like charm.
The singer who connected with the material most was Karen Rodriguez. And her restrained but passionate homage to Selena may well get her a ticket home tonight.
Haley Reinhart have pulled off the most impressive performance of the night for my money with her yodel happy rendition of ‘Blue’. But it was too subtle for the judges or the crowd.
They far far preferred James Durbin’s air raid version of ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’. Yes, he’s got a freaky, shrieky high register. But when he’s pitched lower and softer, his voice tends to be tremulous and off-key.
Also on the bizarre side: the obscure and unflattering song choices of Stefano Langone and Ashthon Jones. They had the entire catalogues of respectively Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross to work with and they chose songs that wouldn’t make the Top 100 for either of those soul giants.
Priceless moment of the night came when Randy pounded himself on the back for the tremendous job he and the other judges had done of selecting the finalists.
Yes, Randy, this batch has crazy talent, but could you get them to scale back the fireworks just a little bit? I’m talking to you, Jacob Lusk.
Who gets the hook tonight? I think it’s between Ashthon, Karen and Haley. Who do you think will be shown the exit?