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

American Idol 10, April 20 – From Muse to Maroon 5, Idols Get Contemporary


Everyone keeps expecting Stefano Langano to leave American Idol, but he still keeps hanging on. He doesn’t seem to be in any danger of winning; he just seems to be the guy that everyone thinks will leave every week, but never does. Usually those people are out this week or next, so it would seem the only way he’s going to stay is if he does really well on this week’s theme, Songs of the 21st Century.

For something a little different, we open the show with a performance of So What by the Idols who have been kicked off already – Ashton Jones, Karen Rodriguez, Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia, Pia Toscano, and Paul McDonald. The five girls come out first, with Karen is showing more spunk than she ever did before. Paul comes out singing halfway through the performance, but this song doesn’t seem to suit him very well, yet it’s nice to see him in one of his flowery suits again. Mark Ballas, rumored to be Pia’s boyfriend, is in the audience. Steven Tyler tells the ex-Idols they just made America think twice about their decision. Nah.

Along with the theme this week, the contestants are also asked to describe their fellow contestants. Scotty McCreery is first, and figuring everyone is going to try and be funny. They decide to mock the way he holds a microphone. They compare the hold to that of a flute.

Scotty is singing Swingin’ by Leann Rimes. Jimmy thinks the audience could be becoming complacement and advises him to bring some edge to it. They joke about putting swings on the stage. Jimmy thinks Scotty should move around a bit to keep the non-country fans interested. He does well with the song, including the holding of his mic, and shows more personality than he has in the past. He completely pays with the audience tonight.

Steven tells Scotty he loves him, his voice, and Leann Rimes. He guesses it was his equivalent of a Rolling Stones tome. He would love it if he just boot-scooted and sacheted around a little like he did for his last girlfriend. Jennifer Lopez likes the storytelling quality he has to his singing, but she’s not sure at this time if it’s not time to pull out the big guns and push past his comfort zone, like Jimmy said. They were expecting more from this genre. Randy Jackson agrees, saying it’s about who’s in it to win it, and every time he has to bring it hard. It was so safe, it was a little boring.

James Durbin gets stool chat with Ryan, who asks how he came up with all the interesting stage things he’s done so far. James explains he gets amazing visions for them somewhere in all the craziness in his head. He recalls it amazing to see it all play out onstage. When asked about James, the other Idols mention the scarf tail in his back pocket. Stefano thought it was a joke the first time he saw it. They also try to emulate his scream.

This week he’s singing Uprising by Muse, because up until this point, he hasn’t gotten a chance to show he can be comtemporary. Jimmy wants to be sure he stays true to himself. James has a vision for it, a post-apocalyptic protest. Jimmy likes the substance of it, saying some of the songs he does are fluff. He likes this song choice and its modern arrangement. A drumline introduces his appearance on the stage.The song definitely sets him out there and gives us a good look at what he’d b recording post-Idol.

Jennifer goes out on a limb and says that it’s going to be theatrically the best performance of the night, and James is only the second one of the night. It was really amazing and the highest they ever heard him sing. Randy tells him Muse is one of his favorites, and he hopes he follows this direction when he makes a record after this and throws in some metal. He was unbelievable up there. Randy also goes out on a limb, suggesting it could be the best of the night. Matt Bellamy, the lead singer of Muse had challenged him to up the octave in th song on the last chorus, and James slayed it. Steven tells James ot stay out of his closet, calling the look Mad Max Meets Stormtroopers on Melrose. It sounds like h’s going in a T-Rex direction and he loves it. It sounds like he’s out of his mind and beautifully so.

Haley Reinhart knows the other Idols are going to rip on her growling in songs, and they do. They call her a sweetie pie, a brat, Miss Sassafrass, and also discuss her signature move with her arm in the air. James talks about her making sure everyone hears it if she says something she thinks was particularly good.


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