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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


Steven lets out a little scream of his own, and Jennifer jumps in, saying the same way he does that, Haley has the same effortless control in her voice. She can do anything with her voice, probably more than anyone, and definitely more than anyone else in the competition.

Scotty McCreery sits down with Ryan for some stool time. Ryan shows some video of Scotty playing basketball in the mansion. He stands on a balcony and shoots what isn’t even a three-pointer, but more like a ten-pointer, and makes it. Although Ryan’s only giving him nine points.

Scotty didn’t hear a lot of Motown growing up being such a country fan, but his dad always had the Jackson Five CDs around. He’s singing For Once in My Life, and while it’s been done by so many artists, the version we all know is by Stevie Wonder. The producer and Jimmy tried to give it a country vibe, yet stay true to Stevie. Scotty is worried about coming off like a lounge singer, but doesn’t think he will after working on it. I would have never thought this would work, but it so much does, I think he can make a new hit of this. He needs to not dance though … really.

The crowd loves Scotty. Steven tells him he was just like Glen Gampbell, who stepped up and took country music another whole step. He knows he can’t make a 3-pointer from under the net. He took a big chance in doing it, and he love that he really ripped it. When he goes down to the low notes, he tweaks everybody. Jennifer calls it a great version of the song. She didn’t know what he was going to do with it, but he really made it his own. It wasn’t his strongest vocal performance, but every time he hits the low note, he gets her all over again.

Randy agrees, and doesn’t know if it was Scotty’s strongest, but he was smiling the whole time beuase he’s taking chances. It did sound like it needed to peak a little sooner, but by the end, with the low note, he was a young ladykiller. Ryan asks if the voice inside Scott’s head is that deep as well.

Pia Toscano is excited for Motown week, as she’s been performing these songs with her dad. She’s singing All In Love Is Fair by Stevie Wonder. Really? Is that what she sings with her dad? Producer Harvey Mason, Jr., doesn’t feel there are singers out there like her anymore. Jimmy thinks it’s time to take all her implements and turn it into her own voice. She admits she’s always in her head too much, but thinks she’ll be less nervous with this song. It’s back to the ballads for her. It’s absolutely beautiful, but does get a little boring in the beginning.

Jennifer points out to Pia that she’s killing them with another killer ballad. It’s another checklist. Amazing vocals – check. Beauty, image, look – check. Feeling – check. As for constructive criticism, Pia could have a career like Celine Dion, as everyone can’t hit the notes as special as she does. Celine stomps all over the stage, and Pia can’t hit the song and knock them over. She’s going to have to do a two-horur concert someday.

Randy agrees Pia is phenomenal, and furthers it to say she just thinks of the note and hits it dead on. What he loves that she did this time was incorporate a little more falsetto. His one criticism is “ballad, ballad, ballad.” He knows he can do some other stuff. She can’t live by ballads alone. Steven thinks PIa is the closest star right now in this American Idol Universe. She is all that, and if putting some sneakers on and kicking some ass is what she needs to do by them, he knows she will.

Paul McDonald calls Motown good times. He grew up listening to it too, and says it’s music that makes you want to move around. H’s singing Tracks of My Tears, but again, Adam Lambert so killed this song with emotion a couple years ago, I don’t know if Paul can beat that. He can’t sing like Smokey, but the producers turned it into a vibe for him. Jimmy notes you always know who Paul is in a song, and that’s a gift. Paul sings this time with his guitar. He gets a little pitchy in the beginning, but finds it at some point. It looks hard for him not to dance.

Randy asks Paul if he had a good time. Would anyone ever say no to this question? Randy likes that he was doing this thing playing the guitar and not dancing around. He has a distinctive different voice, and the tone is so unique, and while he was worried where he was going to take it, he too, it to some Rod Stewart like place, and had the crowd on their feet. At the end when he sang tender, it was cool.


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