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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

American Idol 10, Mar. 23 – Putting Sneakers on and Kicking Ass


Randy tells Jacob the great Berry Gordy is somewhere saying “Oh my God.” This is his other best performance throughout the entire show. It’s just like Jimmy said, he took his time in the song. What was wrong with the performance was absolutely nothing. Steven tells Jacob when he did I Believe I Can Fly, he was all over the place, but with this one, he held it back and milked it. Jennifer thought he made everyone beg for those notes. He moved them. Jacob’s grandma comes up onstage to give him a hug as well, prompting Ryan to invite the entire front row to come up and do the same. I’m sure security loves it.

Lauren Alaina is singing You Keep Me Hanging On. She was originally going to sing something else, but the producers suggested this one, and she fell in love with it. She explains the song is about a guy putting a girl down and her getting sick of it, and she can identity with that. Jimmy was nervous about her a few weeks ago, but sees her showing poise and confidence now. Lauren starts the song off really slowly, then slides into it and once again is surprising me that she’s only a high school girl. She finds a way, too, to modernize the song a little.

Steven tells Lauren she ripped that song another beauty mark. He doesn’t think she listens to anyone about anything, and he likes it. Every time she sings they can see that person inside of her come out a little more. Jennifer tells Lauren she looks amazing tonight. What she loved about the performance is that she threw her head and neck into it with a lot of attitude, an that’s what the song required. Randy remembers seeing a young girl in Nashville that blew them away, and last week that girl came back to compete, and she’s now ready with her swagger on high.

Stefano Legano gets stool chat with Ryan and talks about his mom coming by to cook a homecooked meal for them at the Idol mansion. Someone brings the leftovers to Ryan, as he says he has some pull. Ryan points out the garlic kicking in it. As he gets a coke to wash it down, he requests it every week. Only if the faithful reviewers get some too, Ryan.

Stefano’s parents were always playing Motown, so he was excited to find out they were singing it this week. He’s singing Hello by Lionel Richie, although this is a Motown hit he’d never heard before, but that he thought he could deliver well. Jimmy advises him to pull out a little bit, since it’s such an intimate song and pure emotion. Stefano promises to keep his eyes open this time. He does do really well with this song, but it’s hard to erase the memory of what David Cook did with it.

Jennifer gives Stefano a checklist. Fine – check. Sing like crazy – check. He showed the audience he has it. When they ask him to open his eyes, it’s because they want him to connect. Jimmy was right about the emotion. She wants the intensity to come not from him wanting to do well, but from his heart breaking, and once he does that, he’ll fly right out of the building. Randy agrees, saying all he’s missing is the connection. He had to be perfect emotionally, vocally, and pitch-wise, and sounded good, but had no real connection.

Steven agrees, saying Stefano wrapped up too soon. Jennifer tells him his phrasing will change as well once he gets that. Randy explains they want him to get it and know he’s that great. Jennifer calls it like acting, as you have to figure out every lyric, and if you can’t, you have to throw it away. They know he’s had relationships to relate it to.

Gordon Ramsey, in the audience, isn’t too thrilled with Stefano’s mom’s food. Maybe she needs to connect to it. A founding member of the Temptations, Otis Williams, is in the audience as well. He thinks everyone is singing their heart out. There’s no mention of what he thinks about the food.

Haley Reinhart has a goal to not be in the bottom three and wants to prove she wants to be here. She’s singing You Really Got a Hold on Me by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. She loves Motown and was listening to it on th radio as a young’n. Jimmy thinks she’s another one who needs to connect. She’s definitely bringing the sexy with the song, and goes into that bluesy thing that we all look for from her. This is the perfect song for her.

Randy tells Haley it started a little rough, but by the middle of the song, the Haley they fell in love with, the bluesy one with the growl, came roaring back. This is the type of singer they alway thought she was with a little Janis Joplin in there. He asks if she feels him, and she does. Steven feels him too, and also feels Haley. He calls it beautiful and says it touched him. He adds that she “doesn’t look a day over fabulous.” That’s the Haley he’s been looking for since the first time he heard her.


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