American Idol Top 8 Recap: Songs from the Movies Week
Apr 13 2011 10:55 pm CET

This week's theme, officially "Songs from the Movies", was "Songs Recorded at Some Point." Jennifer Lopez acknowledged that the judges have been asked to be tougher and that they aren't going to follow the advice. Here are tonight's 8 performances.

After the shocking elimination of Pia Toscano last week (really America?) many American Idol fans have been left reeling over the loss. I personally am still in mourning, but have bravely agreed to go on. The final eight contestants are left to vie for your votes by singing songs from the movies. So away we go.

First up tonight we have Paul McDonald singing “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger. Paul says he is treating all of his performances as if they are the encore performance at his solo show. I just can’t believe this guy is still here and Pia is gone! The performance was just okay at best. The vocals lacked Seger’s power and growl making a comparison impossible, mainly because they are simply in different leagues. Steven loves his energy. Jennifer thinks he improves every week. Randy called him an artist and that he loves him.

Up next is Lauren Alaina singing “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. Jimmy informed her she’s a much better singer than Cyrus and if anyone thinks that Cyrus sings the song better then Lauren, she’s done, so she better kill it. Although she did in fact sing it better than Miley (not much of a challenge for any singer really), it wasn’t by much so I’m a bit disappointed. I just don’t understand why this girl doesn’t power through these songs. Jimmy’s right: she’s better than a Cyrus or a Spears, so show it. Quit hiding that giant voice away and belt it out like you did the first time we saw you! Jennifer loved the performance but she wants her to push further. Randy thinks the Lauren they first saw is roaring back (wrong). Steven said she moved him.

Next up is Stefano Langone singing “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men. He seemed pretty defeated during rehearsals until he got a bit of a pep talk from and Jimmy. During the performance he truly seemed more energized and connected to the song than I‘ve ever seen from him before. It was a strong performance with an even stronger vocal – great job. Randy said he slayed it, and went on to call it his best performance so far. Steven said he knows how to milk a song. Jennifer said he finally gets how it’s all about the performance, and loved the song.

Scotty McCreery is up and singing “I Cross My Heart” by George Strait. Scotty actually changed his song choice, much to the displeasure of Jimmy. It was your standard Scotty performance, meaning country and well sung. This kid's going to be a huge country star. Steven said he loves his voice. Jennifer said it wasn’t her favorite song choice for him, but that it was great. Randy said why fix what ain’t broke. He went on to tell America to take a good look at Scotty because a star was born on this stage, and he‘s absolutely right.

Up next is Casey Abrams singing Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy”. Jimmy Iovine suggested he go with his second choice “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. Casey stuck to his guns, saying that the song was more him. Adding that he can’t afford to lose himself in this process (yes Casey!). Once again he had his stand up bass and the performance had a very jazzy feel, there was even a scatting solo. It was a great performance that I’m not sure voters will get. However, the judges certainly did, giving Casey a standing ovation. Jennifer commended him for being true to himself and called him special. Randy said he hopes America gets it, because he is brilliant. Steven called him an artist, going on to say he’s “so good."

Haley Reinhart is next, singing Blondie’s classic “Call Me”. Well it certainly wasn’t as good as last week's performance. It wasn’t particularly bad necessarily, but it just wasn‘t impressive and didn‘t show that great voice we‘ve all learned our little dark horse has. Randy said the beginning felt pretty karaoke to him, and that the song wasn’t a good showcase for her voice. Steven agreed with Randy, but said she nailed the chorus. Jennifer said she agrees with Randy, however she pleaded with the audience to keep the girls in the competition (yes please!).

Next up we have Jacob Lusk singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkle. The song wasn’t Jacob’s first choice, it actually wasn’t even in the running. However, Jimmy Iovine didn’t like either of Jacob’s choices and suggested the song to him, saying it would be perfect for his voice. Wow, just wow! I don’t know that I really have the words to express how absolutely beautiful that was. The high notes at the end were enough to take your breath away. Amazing! Steven called his voice angelic. Jennifer called him a gifted vocalist, even giving her the chills. Randy called it perfect, and it was.

Last up tonight and singing a song called "Heavy Metal" from a movie of the same title by Sammy Hagar is James Durbin. Once again Jimmy doesn’t like his song choice and tries to talk him out of it, but James refused to change his song (good!). Wow, that kid has some energy, and even more talent! He was practically standing on the judges table at one point. What a great performance from James! Jennifer said that she loved it and that he killed it. Randy said it was unbelievable and was glad he stuck to his guns. Steven called it outstanding.

Well once again we had some stellar performances tonight. And all I can really say is that I hope America sends Paul home this week, instead of sacrificing another contestant like Pia, who so deserves to still be in the competition! In my opinion Paul has overstayed his welcome by several weeks at this point, and I may lose my mind if he’s not let go this week. But as Pia’s elimination last week proves, you never know who America will stand by. Be sure to join us tomorrow for our live coverage to find out who will leave the show tomorrow night.

Kellee Knowles –
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