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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Review on American Idol 10: The Top 13

The tenth season of American Idol is exciting and fun to watch for many reasons. First there are new judges, the Latina actress, singer and dancer Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith's frontman Steven Tyler (Randy Jackson is the only judge remain from the original panel). However, I will miss the harsh but constructive comments of Simon Cowell and the technical but helpful critiques of Kara DioGuardi. Second, the debut of Las Vegas round where they sing the hits from The Beatles. Lastly, it is the most diverse set of contestants in terms of their vocal quality and performance level which all of them can perform exceptionally especially when most of them were emerged and stand out during the Hollywood Week with their musical talent. In addition, the selected top 13 this season where all different in terms of their vocal quality, performance level and showmanship. Definitely, all of them were so great and they have a chance that all of them will have a recording deal in the music industry.


Recently, five contestants are already eliminated and nine of them were still on the run to be the next American Idol. During the Motown Week (Top 11) Casey Abrams was saved by the judges from the elimination. But the bad news here is Pia Toscano, considered as a frontrunner in the competition was eliminated during top 9 which was definitely a shocking result. Now here's the review for the contestants of the tenth season of American Idol. 
The finalists from the tenth season of American Idol.
Upper row (L-R): James Durbin, Naima Adedapo, Jacob Lusk, Thia Megia,
Karen Rodriguez, Stefano Langone and Lauren Alaina.
Lower row (L-R): Paul McDonald, Ashthon Jones, Pia Toscano,
Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart and Scotty McCreery.

Source: Google Photos
1. Casey Abrams - He's got a unique looks, a husky voice and an exceptional musical talent (where he can play electric guitar, bass guitar and guitar). The judges definitely make a right choice on saving him from elimination. His performance of "Georgia In My Mind" with the accompaniment of double bass was definitely the first time I have ever seen on American Idol. He is one of the most versatile performers in Idol because he can sing jazz and rock. His performances of Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends", Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Elton John's "Your Song" was surely a hit!


2. Lauren Alaina - She reminds me of Alaina Whitaker, a semi-finalist from season 7 because of her country music vibe and her young age. I liked her song choices which match her voice quality which leads to Randy Jackson's comparison to two previous winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood after her performance of Reba MacEntire's "Turn On The Radio". Her performance of "Candle In The Wind" and "Natural Woman" was remarkable and her best performance so far.

3. James Durbin - The rocker of the tenth season. He is similar to Adam Lambert in terms of extreme vocal style. Definitely he is one of the most consistent performers in American Idol from auditions until the finals phase because of his rocking song choices and performances. His performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by George Harrison (top 9) proves that he is not just a rocker but he can sing other music genres.

4. Stefano Langone - He has a very good vocals and very clear enunciation of words when he sings. His asset so far is his charming looks, powerful voice and clear phrasing of words when he sings especially when he sang Simply Red's "If You Don't Know Me By Now" was a great one. 

5. Jacob Lusk - Among the boys, he has the most soulful voice which resembles to Luther Vandross. He has the right song choice and a soulful voice. His rendition of "God Bless The Child" during the Hollywood week and "A House Is Not A Home" on top 24 week was definitely his best performances so far.

6. Scotty McCreery - The teenage girls were definitely loved him because of his deep baritone voice and his country style of music. He is one of the most consistent performers because he always do country songs. He will definitely the next Willie Nelson or Garth Brooks in contemporary music scene.

7. Paul McDonald - He reminds me of Rod Stewart in terms of the husky voice, he has the quirky footwork while performing and a perfect smile. His performance of "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart was so entertaining and he has the attitude of a total performer and the experience where he belongs to the band Grand Magnolias before he joined in Idol. 


8. Haley Reinhart - She has a soulful voice and she is the dark horse of the competition so far. She is always belongs to the bottom 3 on the first two weeks of the competition. During Hollywood week, she performs "God Bless The Child" where she proves that she deserves to be in Idol. Her performances of Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" and Janis Joplin's "Piece of my Heart" was her best performance so far. In addition, I would like to give her a credit for attempt in singing other genres like rock, R&B and country which shows that she is a versatile singer.

9. Pia Toscano - She is one of the less-known contenders before the Hollywood Week but when she performed Bruno Mars' "Grenade" along with Alessandra Guercio and Brielle Von Hugel during the group round and "Can't Buy Me Love" along with Karen Rodriguez in the Las Vegas Round, Pia is definitely has a captivating voice and the packaging of a diva. Her most memorable performance when she sang Alicia Keys' "Doesn't Mean Anything" in the final Hollywood auditions and The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You" where she received an standing ovation for that great performance. If she sings an upbeat tempo songs, definitely she will nail it! Unfortunately, her elimination was unexpected and it was definitely a shocking moment because she deserves to win this season.

10. Thia Megia - She has a very good and distinct voice which is soulful and she has the confidence which is silent but amazing. Her performance of "Out Here On My Own" by Irene Cara makes her stand-out in the competition. She proved to the judges that she is versatile when she sang "(Love is Like A)Heatwave" by Martha and the Vandellas during the Motown Week. She was eliminated during the Elton John Week along with Naima Adedapo.

11. Naima Adedapo - she has a soulful voice which match her looks and she has a cultural representation of African-Americans through her colorful dress and her dance moves. Her performance of "Dancing In The Street" during the Motown Week was one of the best so far because of energetic, traditional dance moves and the accompaniment of drums. She was eliminated on the second week of top 11 along with Thia Megia.


12. Karen Rodriguez - She is the Latin-American performer of this season where she sings heartfelt rendition of love songs such as "Hero" by Mariah Carey. In addition, she can sing it with the use of Spanish language. However, her shining moment in the show was on the final audition where she sang "No me queda mas" by Selena with accompaniment of piano. She was eliminated during the top 12. 

13. Ashthon Jones - Although she is the first contestant to get eliminated from the show, she has the qualities of a "diva." She's got the looks (which reminds me of Diana Ross), she's got the confidence, the packaging and the soulful voice. Her rendition of Dreamgirls' "And I Am Telling You (I Am Not Going)" makes her shine in the show. In addition, she made the right  choice during the top 13 with the song "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" but she was eliminated.

Now, eight of them are left, who will win this season and who will eliminated next? Definitely this top 13 is one of the most competent batch of contenders in Idol history. 

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