|It’s stool time, our first of the season, and this time it’s Ryan and Tim Halperin, 23, in advertising sales, in Fort Worth, Texas. He’s asked about the dynamic between the contestants when they’re not filming. He explains that while some people think it’s tough, as you’re competing with them and in close quarters all the time, in reality everyone is supportive of each other. All these guys are like his brothers. Tim sings Streetcorner Symphony and is falling to the same thing that got the last couple of guys. He’s not doing something significantly better or different than Rob Thomas.
Steven isn’t sure the song did Tim any justice. It really let him down. As he says this the rest of the top guys give him, meaning Steven, the thumbs down. He’s heard him sing so much better with the piano, and it’s just how he feels. Jennifer doesn’t think it’s his strength, and says it’s not that he didn’t do it well, but it didn’t show America who he is as an artist, and she’d hate to lose him over that because she wants them to see who he is and that he’s one of the most beautiful voices she ever heard.
Randy thinks Tim has been much better before. This song is usually such a cool song, and it’s not one Randy equates him with Tim. Again, he didn’t bring anything new to it. Tim tells Ryan he felt like it went pretty good, and he hopes American will agree with that. You have to appreciate a positive thinker.
Brett Loewenstern, 16, of Boca Raton, Florida, says there’s only one life to live and you have to be yourself, yet there are so many people out there who can’t be themselves. Tonight, Brett sings Light My Fire, and normally I just don’t get the Brett appeal, but he’s impressing me tonight. He’s totally comfortable, and he actually is adding something different to the song.
Steven tells Brett he did it again and brought it home. He is on fire. Jennifer mentions Bertt and his hair, saying it’s more hair taunting than her and Beyoncé in the past ten years. He needs a video! She liked his performance and likes he is who he is. Randy tells Brett that someone counted earlier and said there were about fourteen hair shakes in the song. Brett claims he didn’t know he was doing it, but Randy disbelieves it. He also found some pitch problems, yet says Brett is definitely fun and definitely bold when he’s doing it.
James Durbin, 21, unemployed in Santa Cruz, California, sings You Got Another Thing Coming and totally rocks it out. He does bring something different to it, and it’s great. J-Lo is loving it, and Steven looks to be digging it too. Can I tell you I had this 45 back in the early 80s? Loved it then, love it now. He gets a standing ovation from the audience.
Steven tells James it was [silenced] crazy good. It appears he forgot to hold his Idol bubble in front of his profane mouth. He thinks all of America agrees with that word choice anyway. I’m sure he’s right about that. It’s probably what they were saying on their living room couches without an Idol bubble. Steven also figures it’s the first Judas Priest song on the show. He doesn’t want to tell him to have more control as he likes him over the top.
Jennifer loves the way James performs, and it’s the same as the first time she saw him. It’s organic and real. Every move he makes comes from somewhere inside of him. “It’s insane.” Randy says this right here is how you do it.” He wants all the final 24 to see it, and doesn’t think he overdid the high thing too much. Randy wants Ryan to see the tail James is rocking. James admits he was nervous before he went on, but once he hit the stage with the audience and music, it was the best thing in the world with the best audience in the world. He’s already hitting it. And he’s going to get it.
Robbie Rosen, 16, of Merrick, New York, wants to do something different that people can relate to. He sings Angel and has a few small pitch problems, but what’s great is that he does make this his own. it’s not just this guy singing the Sarah McLachlan song. He puts something new on it. Some of the runs he goes for don’t work, but he does well at making it his own.
Steven tells Robbie he can sing a ballad like nobody’s business. He was riding the audience, and it was a beautiful thing. Jennifer said it before … when you sing songs, you have to tell a story, and Robbie does. He sings every single word. To hear him make choices she liked better than Sarah is really an accomplishment and huge. Randy differs with the others about this, but adds Robbie has been a favorite for along time. It didn’t really work, though, with the notes being really pithy. Randy is sure Robbie would say he was never comfortable with it. But instead Robbie says he did his own thing and had fun with it.
Scotty McCreery, 16, from Garner, North Carolina, says being the American Idol is one of the things he wants to do in life. Tonight, he sings Letters from Home, and it’s 100% nail in the coffin who this guy is. He’s been ready to record since he walked in for his first audition, at least in voice, maybe not with other choices.