Steven Tyler’s outfits simply amaze me. I think he’s borrowing clothes from his daughter Liv again. (He sometimes does that. I saw his interview on Leno last Friday.)
The Final Four come out on stage and apparently everyone has been glammed up for the night. Haley’s hair is piled atop her head, Scotty’s the man in black, Lauren Alaina is is a full-out gown, and James’ hair looks a little more coiffed and his jacket has tails.
James “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
• Overall, it’s pretty good. James’ mistake is that he picked an iconic song and he can’t beat the original.
• He got screamy a little too soon and didn’t have anywhere much to go with the song.
• The judges all love it (and Randy name drops, since he played with Journey), but James isn’t as good as Steve Perry.
Haley Reinhart “The Earth Song” by Michael Jackson
• I don’t remember this Michael Jackson song.
• The beginning is really slow and kind of boring. And Haley says the word “notice” really weirdly at least twice.
• When Haley gets to the climax of the song, she isn’t even really singing. She’s just shouting in her best Janis Joplin impression.
• She picked an interesting song, but it really didn’t do much to really showcase her voice. It was like she smashed together two very different styles of singing: shouty, gospel-y, growly, bluesy singing and pretty, legato singing.
• In my opinion, she picked a blah song when she could have picked a showstopper.
Scotty McCreery “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”
• I’m not a huge Alan Jackson fan, but this song made me cry when I first heard it soon after 9/11.
• The beginning is good, but Scotty wasn’t really on his notes when he goes into the chorus the first time.
• When he changes up the melodic line a little when he goes into the second chorus and it’s really beautiful and it’s hard for me to say that because he gets on my nerves a lot.
• Mark my words, which I said as Scotty sang: I think he’s going to win this thing. And it hurts me to say that.
Lauren Alaina “Anyway” by Martina McBride
• The first few lines seemed a little rough, but she gets to the build up to the chorus, she’s on the notes perfectly.
• This song has so many power notes and I want Lauren Alaina to hit them all and restore her confidence in herself. And for the most part, she does a beautiful job, except she backs off at the end and I would have preferred it to end big rather than small. It’s hard to try to out-sing a singer like Martina, though.
• Definitely a step up from last week and proved that Lauren can really sing. Maybe not a breakthrough moment for Lauren Alaina, but close to it.
Round #2: Songs of Leiber and Stoller
Haley “I Who Have Nothing”
• I like Haley’s second outfit way better than her first one.
• Haley is singing this song very dramatically, which it needs, with the accompaniment of an strings orchestra.
• Singing-wise, it’s good and when she hits her big note toward the end, she holds it for awhile and really works it. I felt like some of her runs early in the song weren’t as good as they could have been, but were well-placed and thought-out.
• Much better than her first performance.
Scotty McCreery “Young Blood”
• This song is weird.
• Scotty’s crazy facial expressions are on full display, but this song is funny and shows off his sense of humor, plus he got to dig down into his lower register a little.
• The last few notes were good, but I’m not sure it was the best song choice because it didn’t really show off his voice. But it was fun, and I think Scotty’s already planning his concert set-list.
Lauren Alaina “Trouble” by Elvis Presley
• Lauren borrowed her jacket from Tammy Wynette’s costume closet.
• Lauren picked a fun song for her second song and seems focused on having fun with it.
• All of the notes aren’t there, but it’s a fun performance. It’s not a show-stopper or Lauren’s defining moment on the show and I felt like she lost a little control of her voice and the song toward the end, but overall, it was well-done and fun.
James “Love Potion No. 9”
• OK, I’ve never been a huge James’ fan, but he has me from the beginning of this song. It’s just fun and totally different from the original.
• It is a bit screamy, though, and I wish he’d left out the wailing for one episode of this show.
• I like the way James worked the crowd at the end and used his a capella to make the most of the last few lyrics.
• Fun performance, maybe one of the best of the night.
Best of the night: James
Safe: Scotty and Lauren Alaina
In the bottom: Haley