|So far the voters watching American Idol 10 have sent a clear message. They aren’t interested in the female finalists this time around. They might be interested in a couple of them, but so far both bottom threes in the vote have been all female. With this week’s theme of Motown, it could be a repeat of that as we pare down to a final ten for next week.
It may not be clear who America’s favorite Idol is just yet, but it is clear who their favorite judge is, with signs that say, “Hey Steven, Walk This Way,” and “Steven Tyler, You’re My Mom’s Hall Pass,” out in the audience.
Randy Jackson is asked why the Motown sound has stood the test of time, and he explains it’s just like what they said in the Intro to Motown clip, that it was fearless, original, and music for all people that brought people together. Knowing that Motown is filled with amazing songs, Jennifer Lopez is sure everyone has amazing song choices, but she wants them to make it their own. Steven mentions that Motown was as big when he was growing up as the English Invasion. It jus tmade him want to make out with girls. It was the rhythm of the kiss. Ryan thinks he did more than just kiss girls, seeing daughter Liv Tyler in the audience.
Casey Abrams is up first, and says he chose to sing I Heard It Through the Grapevine. He feels the most comfortable with this genre, as he was raised with a lot of it. Jimmy Iovine mentions the judges saying last week Casey was too screechy on the Nirvana song. Producer Kuk Harrell advises him to not overdo the vocals this week. Casey knows he needs to harness that energy. He’s trying hard to harness it and seems to be succeeding as he slowly prances around the stage and out into the audience, singing to someone in the audience. He looks so comfortable up there.
Steven tells Casey he’s the perfect entertainer, perfect pitch and perfect mix of crazy out-of-control ego. That’s what makes an artist today. Jennifer finds who he is so specific, as people already know who Casey is and what he’s going to do. She doesn’t think there’s even anyone else like him out there, meaning he can carve out his own niche. Randy agrees he’s an original, as likes that he takes chances, as it tells everyone to come out and be themselves. What’s perfect is, “You can only do you, and that you is great.” Casey admits to Ryan that the girl he sang to in the audience happens to be one of his friends.
Thia Megia talks about last week being a tough week, and wants to change it up by doing Heat Wave by Martha and the Vandellas. If you look back at my What’s Hot on TV for tonight, I called this one. Someone always does it and fails. It almost sent Kimberley Locke home. Will Thia succeed?
She talks about the song being based on a piano warmup, and wants to do it because it’s uptempo. Jimmy thinks it’s the right record for her to do and thinks she’s singing it great. At least the annoying flames aren’t back there as she takes the stage. Like Jimmy, I admit I’m pleasantly surprised. I know by the end of the night there will be plenty I like more, but it was better than I expected.
Jennifer feels like they’re now scratching the surface with Thia. Now that we’re going there, she needs her to dig deeper every week. She doesn’t expect her to to have all the life experience she needs to bring to the lyrics, but she needs to keep connecting to her lyrics to bring more. Randy tells her she’s here because they know she has it in her, but it’s about taking chances, what she did. He now wants her to believe in herself and keep pushing. Steven agrees with them that she took a step out.
Jacob Lusk is singing You’re All I Need. I still listen nearly monthly to Kelly Clarkson’s version of this. Will he do it as well? Jimmy doesn’t think there’s anyone more natural to sing Motown than Jacob, and he does admit he grew up singing in church, and he can’t just sing a fun song, it has to affect a change in him. Jimmy wants him to grab the song and control the runs and only use the power when it’s justified. So far he’s holding that power at bay just like Kelly did. It’s paying off for him as he got rid of the overused vibrato and we see he has an incredible range.
At the end of the song, Steven comes up onstage and hugs Jacob, apparently proud of him for figuring out what he was missing and absolutely nailing it and making it look so damn easy. The other judges give him a standing ovation.