THIS is AMERICAN IDOL!

<i><b>THIS</b> is AMERICAN IDOL!</i>

Idol Six Pack

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Can Haz Idol?




Idol Top Six: interesting that they try to "label" the contestants -- I was wondering what they'd say about Jessica ("Rebel") and Jena ("Wildcard"). Alex is a "Troubadour"? Eh, I guess it fits as well as any frame. They might as well have had a "?" for him and "Winner" for Jena. You gotta love that they're playing her like a longshot.

Dr. L commented that when the Idols came out, Jessica was working the legs! I guess she stepped up her game to compete where she can.

So it's "a little bit Country, a little bit Rock and Roll".

ROCK

Jena -- in the KOD spot doing Barracuda. Wow, it takes balls to attempt Ann Wilson. She really doesn't have the pipes for this until the very end -- I always suspect that she's a better singer with some bad affectations. BTW, I finally listened to Lorde "Royals" for the first time and I get what Jena is going for. I wish she would just sing. Her listless performance took away from the vocal, but she's not going anywhere.

I liked Harry's new hairdo, but Keith's shirt was obviously a re-tread of the classic Woodstock bird. He'll step it back up next week. Who the F is R5? I have to admit I'd never listened to Skrillex until today, and I never will again LOL.

Next up: Sam. It's Time by Imagine Dragons. I think he kind of came alive by the end of the song. He's always consistent with the vocals but it's his arc to try and sell the emotion of the songs. I think this felt more like a real performance and not Sam onstage at the Retirement Home on Bingo Night with Gram and Grampa. I never understand how guys like him come back after being voted off -- he hasn't changed that much, so why is anyone else voting for him?

CJ: the man from Jasper. Is this his week to go home? He's doing a feel-good AOR classic, American Woman.   He commits the Idol primary sin of singing lyrics that have "gotta go" or "bye-bye". I think he could sing a rock song like this, but this was not the best performance. Kind of herky-jerky. Harry takes his weekly crap on him but they all kind of take it easy -- I think they know he's probably gone. Nice jacket, though!

Side note: Ryan's patter with the Judges, JLo in particualr, has been cringe-inducing all season. Sometimes with her he almost seems like a creepy lech. But he's pushing this awkward, forced familiarity on all of them that rings totally false. The banter between the Judges this season, ironically, seems genuine. I can believe they kind of get along. Ryan just seems like a doofus inserting himself into the mix because he's a gazillionaire and the "veteran" of the show.

Alex: namedropping Jeff Buckley and Jason Mraz -- you can hear them in his music. I'm not feeling his jacket with the contrasting piping. So glad his pants reach his shoes, however. He's doing a Neon Trees song. Keith always knows the lyrics to these songs, have you noticed? Alex is a little out of his comfort zone, and we see a more rocking side. It's probably good for America to see it. He probably needs to do some cardio if he wants to do it again, LOL.  Wow, the Judges didn't embrace it. Is he competition for Sam? It wasn't his best performance but we'll see how he does later.

Caleb: the resident Rocker. Doing Sting Me. I like that he doesn't go for the low-hanging fruit, and picks some out-of-the-box songs. Dr. L says now we've left the competition and are just watching a show. Caleb is born for this. Best of the night so far. The mic drop was hilarious, and showed he was a trooper.

Jessica: in the ... bottom Pimp Spot? Other than her standing in place, she was the only legit rocker besides Caleb. Great voice, possibly the best left here? Amazingly Harry praised her!! They all kind of back-handed praised her, but of course, it's with caveats. I see now why the had Jena up first: they had to distance her from the real rockers. I wonder if they will change the order for the second rounds?

COUNTRY

Yep. Sam is up first in the Country round. Doing Shania Twain. This is way too reserved. When it hits the chorus he relaxes a lot. The song is too old for him, for sure. Harry looks like he's passing a kidney-stone as he watches Sam sing. Keith brings up the relax thing. When Ryan asks if he was comfortable Ryan makes the creepy Uncle thing again -- ugh! Just stop it. This was kind of forgettable. \

WTF -- Grumpy Cat? This reminded me of last week, what Rubbertoe said about the Special Guests on the show. Idol is digging up YouTube LOLCats now? Damn.

Caleb: doing a FarmBot song. He rocked the shit out of that -- I don't know if you could call it Country any more, but it was good. The beginning was a bit of a stutter, but he kicked in pretty quick The first was way more of a moment, for sure, but this was good.

Alex: doing a classic Willie song. He does better on these quiet more intimate songs. This was pretty rendition. Probably good for some Granma votes! It was Legit Country sounding, too. Harry feels guilty for beating him up earlier and praises him.

BTW, Dr. L and I went to see Captain America TWS this weekend, and when the  trailer for Godzilla came up (just saw it in the commercials) a dude in the back of the theater yelled out "GodZIRRAH!!!" It just cracked us all up, I don't know why.

Jena: doing Carrie Underwear as well, of course. Damn, she can't help but do her Lorde all over the intro. JLo has the "goosies" on one cutaway in the middle, but maybe you had to be there. This is way better than her first song, but it's still nowhere near a "moment". Maybe it's because I never feel like she really sings the song, but just notes? The Judges cream all over it, which baffles me. Harry comes close to expressing this, thank God, the thing about disconnected melisma I was trying to say. I like her stank face as he dared to critique her.

We're gonna go see this tour! What about ya'll?

CJ: he should own this round. Doing Zak Brown band, a smart choice. This is better than the first song by a mile, but he gets off key in the middle. They stick the knives in, because maybe they know it's his time? This was not enough to stay in, I think.

Jessica: in the Pimp Spot again?!! Doing Jolene, a good song to show her range. I thought this was fantastic, having grown up hearing this song a million times before. I agree that the arrangement was a little weird, but holy crap her vocals are strong. We know Idol wants Jena to win -- is she that far ahead that they are OK with Jessica now? Maybe they just don't want it to be a Sausage Party going into the bottom five.

Bottom Two: Alex and CJ. Going home: CJ, I'm afraid. I know we've predicted it for a while now,  but who else could it be this week?

-- Dr l & K OUT!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Competitor's Picks

So let me start off by just saying that I think this was one of the best Idol themese ever and it resulted in a show where all of the competitors performed well. It also had a second benefit. It really came across that these contestants really DO like each other...something that has always made AI a special kind of show....competitive but not cut-throat. One additional comment before we talk about the performances. I thought there was a lot of really weird stuff...why is AI doing this? Why were Terry Bradshaw and the UFC or whatever woman on the show for? What was any of that about....and why bring in Demi Lovato...who was treated like a 4th judge, but only parroted the comments of the other judges? With Idol's ratings way down and them seemingly struggling how to keep the show relevant I have 3 suggestions: 1. Stop trying so hard 2. Get rid of the stupid Judge's Save 3. Return to the original formula that worked so well...including the recap at the end and the group numbers (as cheesy as they are. Ok...enough of the soapbox....lets talk about the show. Best of the night? Surprisingly I would have to say Jena. It almost comes across that AI is molding her to win the show. She is gradually looking more the part and the judges are beginnning to hype her more and more...including Jennifer saying last night "You will be here to the very end". Close second - Caleb. Song was perfect for him. He shines in the upper range. I think it is clearly going to be a Jena/Caleb finale Third best of the night - I am going to completely disagree with the judges on this one but I say Jessica. I thought Jessica sounded great, she looked great and for once she looked comfortable (Despite the judges saying she didn't). I thought it was by far her best performance and one of the best of the night. Fourth - Alex. Doing what Alex does best. Problem with Alex is that these slower songs don't really do much to propel him to the front. They are nice....but I can't see him as the Idol winner without more. Fifth - Sam. and Sixth - CJ - both were good, but rather lackluster and a little boring. Sixth - Dexter. It was ok...not bad....but just didn't rise to the level of the others. So....Rubbertoe's bottom 3: Sam, CJ and Dexter - with Dexter going home. However....I think America is going to send CJ home....these will be the bottom 3 though......I have to believe that despite the judges obvious attempts to trash Jessica....it will backfire on them.

Radiohead in the Pimp Spot, Who Woulda Thunk It


Idol Top Seven

Had to crack up at the sign in the audience that said "Old Broads Love Sam Too".
Keith t-shirt update: for those of you old enough to remember, the drawing on the shirt is an accessory of a turntable, so you can play a 45.

So, the Idols are picking songs for each other. Randy says it isn't sabotage, but hey, it can't be worse than what some of them pick for themselves each week. Some of the choices are really intriguing. let's see how it pans out.

Caleb: picked Alex' choice, a Kings of Leon song. Perfect song for him. This is one of those KOD spots where they KNOW he isn't going anywhere. So they must want to prop up one of their other Idols who would have died in this spot. Caleb is going to do well post-Idol. The judges all love it.

Jessica: Ryan owns up to his lack of bad-ass-ness in referencing the Miranda Lambert song. This was probably a smart choice to shift her rocker vibe over into Country, always good for a couple of votes. I think I've heard this done better on Idol before but she did a fine job. Dr. l said she hated her pants LOL.

Idol conspiracy note: I had a "Hmm?" moment in the opening sequence where they were playing up the sympathy for Malaya leaving, and then Jessica is edited in saying how happy she is (out of context). Now the judges shit on her from a great height, right after Caleb rocked it out. I think this is the substitute KOD spot I was referencing earlier. They must want her to go, and I think it's to send Jena forward, if that makes sense.

Demi Lovato walks on with the most god-awful haircut I've ever seen. It's not punk, baby. And those extensions look like they should be swinging behind a horse's butt.

Sam and Alex duet. I think the set is supposed top remind us of a basement, but I'd venture it's the only basement no dope would ever get smoked in, looking at these two. They sound good together. I thought the judges weren't supposed to critique the duets? Harry heaps derision on them anyway.

CJ: loves Spongebob and grillin'. He's doing a John Mayer tune, Gravity. This is such a sleepy song; he does a good job with it, but it never really goes anywhere. I think sometimes America blanks out on songs like this. They showed his family in the crowd, so he's got that working for him. Keith says what I was trying to say -- he needed to build to a crescendo. JLo, too. Harry praises him as well -- this is shaping up to be one of those old Idols from the Simon era where they are manipulating the votes big-time. I think they want CJ fans to think he's safe -- and he's far from it.

Who the hell is Martin Garrix? All I know about new music is what they play on KCRW, and I've never heard of this kid. Clara Hill is fantastic, BTW. You'll never se her on Idol.

Dexter: doing Muckalee Creek Water. CJ picked a good one for him, this is right in his wheelhouse. This is what CJ needs desperately, something that has some more power to it. I agree with Jlo, I like the edgier tune for him. I'm not a country fan by any means, but I can see how he would fit in with that genre. I think he sealed CJ's fate with that one, despite what they said to him.

Caleb and Jena are doing the Stones. It was kind of a weird bastardization but it showcased how these guys are easily going to the final four or so. I do like Jena's voice better on the duets but some of her goat-strangling oddness crept in. Of course Demi Lovato loved it, she has no idea how badass the original really was.

Alex: doing the A Team, a Dexter pick for him. I would probably buy a record Alex would release. He seems like an Indie guy, and he already sounds very professional. Hard to believe he's just 20. I don't know where he stands with America, but has be been in the B3 yet? This was a good song choice. I think he's safe this week.

Sam: doing a David Gray song Jessica chose for him. I like David Gray. Once again I get the disconnect, because he sounds grown-up, and then I look up and he's got that Keebler elf hat on, and looks like the love child of Howdy Doody and Ricky Nelson.
Jlo's look when he finished was priceless, kind of a "huh? Oh, OK". They take it easy on him.

Alabama Power LOL, the trio. Lady Antebellum. Jessica has her dress from her side job with the X Men on. The avalanche of scorn continues from Harry, and the others praise the individual vocals. Maybe it was kind of cobbled together, but it seems kind of over the top to beat them up for that very reason.

Jena: doing Creep by Radiohead. I had the great fortune of hearing Radiohead do this live, when they opened up for REM back in the day. This version started off weird, but it came together somewhat during the chorus. She was doing fine until a kind of screechy section mid-song. The judges orgasm all over it. It's clear now -- she's the Chosen One. My

So it's almost easier to count down from Jena to the bottom now: you know she's not going anywhere, neither is Caleb, Alex is probably fine, so is Dexter, then there's Sam, Jessica, and CJ. I think CJ is in the most trouble, performance-wise, and Jessica is next. Sam has a lot of hype buoying him up now, so I don't think he's going away.
I say CJ goes tomorrow, but it's Jessica's time soon.

K out!!!






Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Kids in America Eat Some Rock Lobster While Burning Down The House (and other great songs they should've sung on 80s Week)


80s Week! Cookie is back! With his rockabilly Clark Kent glasses look. Let's get to the Idol intro...

Idol relives the drama of Sam's near-elimination. Like Rubbertoe, I think this was kind of pre-ordained to some degree. Have they been sitting on all that confetti all season? What a fun mishap that could have been. Just an oh shit moment raining down live on Ryan. 

The Top Eight get to address the camera and make the claim that they're the next American Idol: some of them sound like they believe it, others not so much. JLo and Keith come in looking retro, so cute. Harry looks like he's over it (a theme that will play out all night).

Ryan claims Facebook, Snapchat, the Selfie, etc did not exist in the 80s. I beg to differ: we had Selfies, we just had to use Polaroid. And now we're into it:

Jena -- doing some kind of warped version of I Love Rock-n-Roll, it kind of freaks Cookie out at first. The firs thought I had was that Simon would have called it indulgent. Typical of Jena, I can't hear a damn thing when she's in her lower register. This sucked, IMO. No wonder they buried her in the KOD spot. JLo tried to keep it real, this was lifeless, but nobody really dressed her down. I think they want her to stay in. 

Keith's 'bear" shirt is awesome again. I cracked up when Jena's "number getup" was straight out of Jane Fonda's workout video. 

Dexter -- does the same Alabama barroom version of "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" that I heard a thousand times back in the day. But He's good at entertainment value, almost how Taylor Hicks did it. that's good and bad LOL. 

Alex and Sam duet: they sound really good together, they should hit the road as a new Jan and Dean or something. The Wonder (Bread) Twins. 

Malaya doing Chaka Khan. Sounds like Cookie gave her some good advice. Can she take it? It was too sleepy at first, then she was struggling thought the supposed "wow" moments, to me and Dr. L. When the judges all say "we know how talented you are, BUT" then you know they want America to overlook the actual performance.

Harry goes into the pit for Caleb and Jena's duet -- hilarious. You know, I kind of love her in the duets. They play off each other well. 

Jessica does Blondie. Cookie is so right, she needs to lighten up. I think she's trying. Man, she's really got a great voice. She kills the vocals here. They never really praise her but I feel like she delivers week after week. 

Sam -- doing Cyndi Lauper. They are really pushing this kid and trying to get a connection out of him. He brings home the goods vocally but they still want more. I think harry is on the right track with the Ricky Nelson suggestion, but the idea that this kid could deliver even the 50s version of sex appeal that RN had in spades is kind of funny. 

CJ and Malaya suck the life out of a song that was kind of lame to begin with. Wow, they looked awkward. Harry couldn't help himself but to shit on it a bit. 

Alex -- Every Breath You Take: this is how you make a song your own. This was incredible. We loved it. It just really pulled you in, and delivered a surprisingly big note near the end. This was as close as we've had to a "moment" performance in a long time. Harry and the others seemed to be ready to crap from a great height on it but I couldn't disagree more. I felt for Alex having to listen to it.

Jessica and Dexter -- it has to be hard to sing a cheesy love song to a lantern-jawed redneck in a backwards trucker cap, but she gives it a shot. Their voices sound good together, but I always hated this song. There's some fun with the musical chairs onstage. 

Wow, when the impromptu "Like a Virgin" kicked in, it really showcased how Ryan can't sing his way out of a wet paper bag. 

CJ -- doing "Freefallin'". Sounds like they're going for a new vibe on it. It sounded better acapella in rehearsal, but this one sounded better when he hit the chorus. I keep coming back to his genuine-ness but I can see how the shaky vocals could be damning him in the voting. 

Caleb -- doing Journey??! This could be genius. Faithfully -- he's going for the intimate rock thing. I think he pulled it off. He really seemed to be focused on the message of the song, I thought he was going to cry. He definitely killed it, even with Keith's WTF? comment about a fanny pack. 

Who's in trouble? I have to say Malaya for sure. Dexter kind of phoned it in but he might get the Classic Rock vote. CJ was dangerously boring, so he might get slammed for it. And Sam was still Sam, and that got him voted off last week. If two of them go home, I say Malaya and Sam. If only one, maybe Malaya? We'll see. 

The real question is, how will I get all of Keith's t-shirts? I couldn't find this bear shirt either. And I will NEVER forget the Cobra Jet fiasco of last week. The search goes on…

K Out!

Put on your black jelly bracelets...its time for the 80's

Are you ready for the 80's, ready for the 80's ready for the time of your life.....are you ready for me....cuz I"m ready for you baby. Ok....just a little Village People (But that was the 70's)... Anyway...I do love 80's music, so I'm anxious to see what they are going to do. What is Dexter going to do? Hmmmmmmmm I would love to see Caleb do "Relax" - Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I think he would be a very interesting version. Sam Wolf could do Rick Astley. Maybe some Alison Moyet from Jessica? Jena - Joan Jett. I love Rock and Roll. I thought she did a good job, but with so many 80's artists that could showcase her unique voice, I don't know that joan jett was the best choice for her. Next up....Dexter. Keep your hands to yourself. David Cook was right, You can't understand 4 of every 5 words that Dexter says...and when you sing an iconic song with lyrics like this, you lost it when you can't understand the words. I thought his performance was good, but the vocal was not great. More Duets? Really? Sam And Alex - As much as I love Sam...watching him head to head with Alex it is painfully obvious how much a better performer Alex is. Alex looks comfortable and professional....Sam looks like a kid at a talent show. LOL....Sam thanks the Judges and AMERICA for giving him another chance? Dude.....America voted you off. Malaya - Chaka Khan. Through the fire. I'm not personally a fan of Chaka Khan or this style of music. Okay...with that said. This is not good. The beginning was extremely weak right up to the "C'mon" which came across very high school talent show ish. I do love her Dad though. I did like the build up, but the entire performance was a little cheesy. Jena/Caleb duet - I don't know the song.....and the duet is not good....but they look like they are having fun....so that's cool. Jessica - LOVE LOVE LOVE the friendship braclets and the checkered vans. Call me...Blondie. Great choice. I think this is a perfect song for her and she could really blow this one out of the house. Stange...her hair matches her shirt. She's definitely got a great voice....problem is....she is not a performer. With a better performance this would have been an idol moment, but instead it was just a decent performance. Too bad. Sam - Time after time - Cindy Lauper - Hmmmmm interesting song choice. I think the arrangement with him alone on guitar was not a wise move for someone who got sent home last week. He needed to come out and do something much more than this. This came across to me like he already gave up, not that he kicked it up. What remains to be seen is if the tween vote was rocked last week by his near departure and come up in strong numbers for him. Another Duet - CJ and Malaya. This one is weak weak weak. Alwx- Every breath you take - the Police. Just noticing that the violin player looks like sideshow bob in the silhouette. I actually really like this/ I like his voice a lot. For me....this competition is clearly coming down to Alex, Caleb and Jena. Caleb blew Another Duet - Dexter and Jessica - Dexter is super weak.....Jessica though sounds great. Next up - CJ.....Freefalling - Tom Petty. whoa......beginning is way off key and CJ looks like he is in pain...did he say "Love Cheesus". Wow...this is painfully bad. I love CJ, but this arrangement is horrible and is not doing CJ any justice. CJ is going home. Caleb - Doing Journey. Faithfully. I DO think this is a perfect choice for him. Caleb Blew this one out of the water. By far the best performance of the night. Rubbertoes bottom 3: Malaya, Dexter and CJ America's bottom 3: Malaya, Dexter and CJ Going Home: Sadly CJ. If 2 go home....I would say Malaya and CJ.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Back to the Start -- and some weak Duets


Idol Top 8

Going back to the start? I don't get this theme -- maybe it will become apparent as we hear these retreads. BTW, I want Keith's Cobra Jet shirt -- I will now seek it out online. 


Oh, and we are back to the Idol tradition of Duets. 

Jessica -- doing an original song. I really like this song. Her dress makes her look like a tomato. I thought she did a good job, maybe one of her better performances. 

CJ-- I like his soul sound. Not as much a fan of this song, but the crowd seems to love him. He does seem like a genuine guy. I think he's OK on votes -- has he been in the B3 yet?

Now, the first Duet of the night. Wow, I already had doubts about the styling tonight, but Jena and Alex look like ass. Alex looks like a demon ate an H&M store and had a Sherwin Williams as dessert, then puked them back up on him. They sound better than they look, but were so intent on not screwing up, I couldn't really enjoy it as it had me on pins and needles too. 

Cobra shirt update: it is harder than I thought to find this exact shirt. I found a lot of knockoffs but I am determined to find it. 

Now Sam -- he has one of the best voices left in this year's group. I guess it's a disconnect with his Howdy Doody exterior, but I could hear him on the radio. Harry is right, that he needs to connect. 

Caleb and Jessica duet on  the classic Stop Draggin' My Heart Around -- this was a great matchup, they both have that AOR rock sound. 

Malaya -- her Dad seems cool. I think she's really grown a lot through this process. She re-does Ain't No Way. I was worried it would go off the rails and it kinda did once or twice but it held together much more, and showed off her range. SHe's getting better at control, and as she gets older she'll really be great. Is America behind her, though? I don't know who her voting block is. 

Dexter -- I had one of those sailor suits too, pal. This song is another in a string of perfect choices for his fan base.  Hey! it was great to see Alison. She sounded great too. 

Malaya and Sam duet -- this is like some Donny Osmond flashback from 1973. For the first time I really see how young they are! Kind of awkward for me. 

Jena -- hearing her audition again, I was reminded how I would never have voted her into the show. I wonder if her new version of Adele will be be any better? The chorus was OK, pretty good actually, but this arrangement was like a dirge. The melody was kind of strangled. Then she went into a goat-murdering melisma sound at the end. She looks the part, but I feel like I'm on acid or something when I hear her singing. 

CJ and Dexter -- this was shaky at the beginning but found itself. I just love seeing these two Alabama country boys making it this far and genuinely seeming excited to be here. 

Caleb -- Chain of Fools. This was another nuclear bomb performance. I don't know if he will win this thing, but he was born to do this kind of gig for a living. It always seems effortless. Maybe Harry is right, I find myself wanting to hear him do something that isn't cranked to eleven, too, but how would America react?

Alex -- interesting that he and Jessica get to do originals on the Idol stage. I could hear this on the radio -- I agree with Jlo, I feel like I already have. This was one of those rare Idol nights where everybody seemed invested, and it was nice to hear. 

Cobra shirt final update: sadly, I don't think they make this anymore. James Durbin ('memba him?) was rocking this shirt last year as well, but the website that had it (junkfoodclothing.com) doesn't carry it anymore. Looks like I'm going to have to break into Keith's trailer…

This was a tough one to call. Dr. L & I drove into Hollywood tonight and went to a taping of @midnight -- it was a lot of fun but damn it took a lot of time. Upside was, the 101 was running like the Autobahn. But we still got in late and Dr. L fell asleep on me as the DVR of Idol was just beginning! So this is my take on the Top 8.

I would say B3 is CJ, Malaya, and--to me-- Jena. I doubt America will see it that way, but who knows. I would say CJ might be heading back to the farm, but he does have that big ol' Bama voting block. I guess I will say Malaya gets the boot. 

-- K out! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'm with the band

I'm with the band Show begins with a mashup of a bunch of songs. What really hits me about this year is there are some definite stand out performers and some that just come across really amateurish and immature...and others that just are not that great. For me...Caleb, Alex and even Jessica stand out. Sam, CJ and Jena are just ok....and the rest just don't seem to cut it for me. I'm anticipating a Caleb/Alex finale at this point. First up Alex - Classic Alex. I'm being a bit of a hypocrite here, because I ragged on Phillip Phillps a lot for always doing the phil phillips version of a song...and Alex does much the same. I just tend to really dig Alex's versions a lot. Second - Majesty. I liked her energy but the song really didn't do much for me. Third - Dexter. This is one of his better performances. This song is exactly the type of music that he needs to be doing. "This is who I am"...yes Dexter, tonight you are right. Overall that was pretty good. Funny....the judges all said the exact opposite (oh well). Fourth - Melaya - Parts of it were good, but some parts were just screaming. Fifth - Sam....Sam, Sam , Sam....you completely let me down again and this time, it might be fatal. Sam, in my opinion has so much potential, but he has no judgment or sense. He needs someone to guide him. Harry is looking at him like...Dude....what were you thinking. He looked great in the opening group number, now he's back to the hokey style that doesn't suit him or do anything for him. Sixth - Jessica. Fleetwood Mac was a great choice. Jessica has a good look, she has a great voice...the problem I have with Jessica is that she seems incapable of taking it to that next level, which means that she will always be a small venue musician. She needs to break out of her shell and kick it up a notch if she wants to win or succeed. Seventh - CJ. Interesting number, but I'm a little afraid that the obscure nature of the song might be trouble for CJ. I think he performed it well, but I'm not sure that this style of song attracts votes. Eighth - Jena. The song showed her range, but I'm sure that it suits her well. Wow...enough tough ranking. Rubbertoe's bottom 3 - Cj, Majesty and Sam America's bottom 3 - CJ, Majesty and Sam Going home: CJ - Now....will the judges save him....my guess is no.

"Sing it like it feels, not like it sounds" --wtf?


Tonite's theme" "I'm with the band"? Whatever that means. I guess the band is onstage with the Idols. Seems tailor-made for some of the idols, don't you think?

Fall Out Boy is a "mentor" this week? Could be my generation but I could not tell you one song these guys did. OK, it's Top 9 so we're getting the filler content now, with the terrible off-key group number. Almost makers you long for the days when Idol did the super-Autotune versions of these numbers. Remember that?

So now, the real show begins. Alex, doing No Doubt. Changing it up, sounds good at the start to me. This may not be the best performance ever, but it was the first time so far I have seen him do a song that had a vibe that I might buy. He's in the KOD spot but he's probably OK. Harry stealing Ryan's shoe and then grabbing his butt was comedy gold.

Up next,  Majesty. Shake it Out By Florence and the Machine. This is definitely a more energetic performance than Alex, but she should have picked a more widely-known tune. Started shaky, too. I don't think the judges praise will help her. I like her but for some reason she's not connecting. Her outfit looked kinda waitress-y to me.

Dexter is next. doing Little Big Town, the Boondocks. Great song choice for him, he's the master of this so far. It was a solid performance, and really seemed to mesh with the band. Harry always wants him to find a song that he stands out from, but his choices have taken him this far. Keith dug it. Reminds me of the old days when Simon would push a contestant to do something, next week they did it, and then they went home.

Malaya -- doing the Beatles' Long and Winding Road. Her voice is pretty, but this arrangement is a snoozefest. She tried to blow it up with the big note at the end, but it just seemed tacked on to some musical Ambien. Maybe the grannies across America are voting for this. I almost forgot she was 16, this made her sound 60.

Sam -- Hey There Delilah. If I close  my eyes, I really like his voice. I think coming out of his Hardy Boys-looking mug I don't give him credit. This was a kind of slow song, verging on coma time, but it managed to stay a little more buoyant than Malaya.
The tweentards love him, so he's probably got the votes.

Jessica -- honoring her post-Apocalyptic redneck within. Doing Stevie Nicks, Rhiannon. I thought she was a little stiff, but her voice is really nice, and she looked great. This was a good performance. I think she's getting it together. If she holds on, she seems to get better every week.

CJ Harris -- doing a Steel Drivers song Dr. L actually heard in Nashville last week. This was awesome. I think this was a great song choice for him. I like the bluesy sound of his voice. The judges were kinda hard on him, but maybe they really believe in him -- and is he safe with the Southern voting block?

Caleb -- when I said earlier that this Theme Week was tailor-made for some Idols, this was what I was anticipating. Doing Zeppelin, Dazed and Confused. I like this song, and he's up to it, but vocally it doesn't really give him anywhere to go? I'm sure this song will be a hit with the Classic Rock FM crowd, and the Idol studio loved it too. I just wish he had picked one of the other two dozen classic Zeppelin songs. But he definitely has the swagger to pull off being the frontman of a band. Ricky and the band did a kick ass job. He's not going anywhere.

Jena -- doing Evanescence. Idol PTB obviously love her. Her voice is so freaking annoying to me. During the group numbers, she just kind of disappears. I think she has the capability to sing better; she just has this pretentious stylized crap with the phrasing. How will she do on this song? Started off strong, then fell apart for a while. Gotta give it to her,  she's got the right vibe for this kind of emo psuedo-goth metal music. But is it breath  control? She seems to have no real power in spots. It was a big song, and in the studio I can see her doing something like this, where she can do ten takes to fill it out. But she's probably safe -- I think Idol would love to see a Jena/Caleb final two.

Our Top 3: Caleb, Jessica, CJ
Bottom 3:  Majesty, Malaya, maybe Alex just because of placement. I think Majesty is going home.

Dr. L & K out!!