By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes
I really like a night of ‘Idol’ where all my favorites are safe and will get to sing another song. Thursday night’s episode was another one of those nights. The only drawback to this kind of night is that there is no nail-biting suspense, and let’s face it, that’s one of the charms of ‘American Idol.’
Girls with big voices singing good songs was the early theme of the episode, with notable early standout, 15-year-old Thia Megia, proving why people like myself have been rooting for her since her first audition.
Yesterday, I didn’t write about Clint Jun Gamboa because, truth be told, I don’t like him. He has a really strong, incredible voice, and he knows how to work with a backing band and command a stage. In short, he’s everything an American Idol should be, but he just has always come across as so cocky and arrogant, I can’t like him. But in the spirit of objective fairness, I will say his ad-lib and vocal trill filled version of “Georgia on my Mind” was beautiful.
However, if I’m still sticking to my spirit of objective fairness, I have to say that Casey Abrams’ version of the same song was the veritable high point of the evening. Casey brought a stand up bass to the center of the stage for the first time in ‘Idol’ history and played the best arrangement of “Georgia on My Mind” that I have ever heard on 'American Idol.'
The most moving part of the evening belongs to Jacob Lusk, whose performance of “God Bless the Child” was so emotional that he left the stage in hysterics, despite claiming he’s not one to cry. Every person in the room, the judges included, gave him a deserved standing ovation. I can’t believe I missed Jacob and his big voice during his initial audition, because he’s quickly become one to watch in the competition.
The judges clearly looked toward past performances as an indicator of future successes, as they let Ashley Sullivan and Scotty McCreery through, despite both forgetting words and giving otherwise disastrous performances. I’m tired of Scotty’s deep voice and Ashley’s intense personality and hope neither survives the Beatles round. It is in Las Vegas, and somehow I feel that it might be trouble for Ashley.
Chris Medina, whose on-air performance time has been seeming limited and underwhelming, decided to sing an acoustic version of Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative” as he felt it would be a totally unexpected moment. That may be fair, but to me it seemed like Andrew Garcia’s memorable acoustic performance of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” last year only not nearly as good or as memorable. Sure, it was great, but I think he missed the point a little with that one.
Unfortunately for Chris, the over-the-top-in-a-good-way Carson Higgins also decided to sing the same song, which oddly enough, seemed perfect for him. He stuck more to Bobby’s original tempo, and added his zany dance moves to round out the performance. He’s not the most vocally talented performer in the competition, but the show could use his energy, since so far, it’s not grating and annoying.
As for more expected performances: Robbie Rosen played the piano and was one of the night’s best, Brett Lowenstern played the guitar and delivered a solidly good performance, Lauren Alaina sang “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” and impressed all the judges as always, Ashley Sullivan went crazy. As I mentioned before, nothing terribly shocking happened all night.
As per usual, the contestants were broken up into rooms, including the all-star room A, which consisted of the likes of Casey Abrams, Jacee Badeaux, Brett Lowenstern, Chris Medina, Lauren Alaina, Robbie Rosen, Jacob Lusk, and shockingly, Ashley Sullivan. Other memorable people to progress to the new Las Vegas Beatles round will be Jovanny Baretto, Julie Zorilla, Carson Higgins, and Scotty McCreery.
Next week, the Idol hopefuls head to Las Vegas where they will perform Beatles songs to help trim the pool down to 25, before returning back to Hollywood. I for one am ridiculously excited to hear the contestants tackle the Beatles, and I have faith that there’s enough talent in the pool to ensure that Beatles night will be pretty successful.