"American Idol" Season 10, Episode 5

2/03/2011 Posted by Admin

"American Idol" Season 10, Episode 5

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

"American Idol" moved to Austin, and their search seemed entirely focused on finding a cowboy who can sing. My quest of the season, finding a new Casey James, has been ongoing, and I was hoping that his home state of Texas would allow me to find the new Casey. Turns out, Austin was successful for both "American Idol" and myself in our quests.

The highest point of the night was the final performance, as to be expected, but for the first time this season, he did not come with an incredibly sad story. Instead, Casey Abrams, who looks like a scruffy Seth Rogen with a melodica, came across as very pleasant and downright fun. I didn’t expect him to have a good voice, but when he sang, everyone stopped, immediately closed their eyes and got into the zone, and I very quickly admitted that I’ve found my favorite contestant of the season thus far.

As for Idol’s search to find a talented cowboy and my search to find a replacement Casey James, John Wayne Schulz fulfilled both of our desires. He was named after John Wayne because his dad wanted a “son who was rough and tough,” and he came into the audition in boots, jeans, and a cowboy hat. His voice was great, and I’m excited to see what he does next.

Randy started to get tough with the contestants and was quick to give a few nos. I was confused by some negative votes, especially considering some contestants this season he’s passed onto the Hollywood round, but it’s good seeing him be tough without using his once preferred criticism of being too “pitchy.”

One contestant Randy was initially tough with was young British transplant, Hollie Cavanagh. While her rendition of Etta James’ “At Last” was a bit all over the place and not entirely correct, the quality of her voice was actually really great – better than some 16-year-olds he’s given a golden ticket to. After Jennifer asked her to sing something new and she chose to sing Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” all three judges gave her emphatic votes of yes, and she made it to Hollywood. I liked her. She’s young and she’s emotional--and maybe Hollywood will be too intense for her--but she’s undeniably talented and just needs to not let the gravity of the situation impact her.

Another example of Randy being tough was with another teenage girl with a big voice, Courtney Penry. I liked Courtney a lot. She had a big voice, an even bigger personality and she can do a chicken dance so impeccably that makes me wonder if she’s a long lost member of Arrested Development’s Bluth family. In short, she’s everything "American Idol" needs to not be boring. (Think of last year: Katie Stevens had an incredible voice, but was also incredibly dull to watch. This girl may not be as talented, but she’s good enough and certainly enjoyable to watch.) And more importantly, Courtney has an insane, irrational and comically huge crush on Ryan Seacrest. Things like that can only be scripted, I would’ve guessed. Randy wasn’t a fan, but I was, and she’s through to Hollywood.

In the gimmick of the night, Jacqueline Dunford and Nick Fink auditioned together in hopes of becoming the first "American Idol" power couple. Nick is one of my favorite contestants of the night – and of the season – I loved the tone of his voice and felt that Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” was a perfect choice. I was less excited about Jacqueline’s performance of “Mercy,” and was waiting for Randy to call her pitchy. Both will appear in Hollywood, and their quest to be the first "Idol" power couple continues… but how long will it last?

Cory Levoy, the first contestant, started the episode off well, but unfortunately became a bit forgettable as the night progressed. Similarly, I thought Shauntel Campos sounded awesome in the itty bitty clip I saw of her in a montage of three great vocalists.

More props to "American Idol" for keeping the bad to the montage format, which saves time and spares us our power of hearing. One was themed appropriately to cowboys who can’t sing, and the other was geared of people in odd costumes, anchored by a girl dressed as an armadillo, who slunk off in tears after she got the no vote, realizing her future will be spent dressed as an armadillo, rather than as an Americal Idol.

All in all, Austin was a great night, and I am loving that "Idol" is keeping these audition rounds to an hour per night. It keeps them fresh and exciting unlike last season, when they seemed to blend together and drag on.

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  1. poisnivyred said...

    why do you need to find a "replacement" for Casey James? there IS no replacement.. he's the real deal and heading out on the March leg of Sugarland's tour. I'm dying to hear the music from his album! One thing is for sure.. there is only one Casey James, and he is perfection.

  2. Carman said...

    You want a replacement for Casey James? Not gonna happen, he's one of a kind. I like the John Wayne guy, but he's no Casey James.

  3. Anonymous said...

    @ Carman - Argeed!

    The real Casey James is doing just fine, so why would you want a replacement? I've stopped watching idols after last year, I just could not stand their terrible treatment of Casey, and for what? Lee's album is a flop and he is singing in malls.
    Casey will soon be opening for Sugarland soon, luckily they can see talent in the real world, AI is out of touch.

  4. Anonymous said...

    Casey Abrams wasn't too bad. However, since you mentioned Casey James he does, "I dont need no doctor" much better.
    However, I like Casey Abrams's Jazzy voice.

    As for John Wayne Schulz, the only thing he and Casey James has in common is that they are both from Texas. Some people complained about Casey not being such a good singer last year, John Wayne Schulz is even less of a singer. Casey James can do Country, Rock and Blues at the drop of a hat, on top of that he is really a fantastic guitar player and musician. I can guarantee now that John Wayne Schulz is not in the same class as Casey James, guitar skill wise or even singing wise. John Wayne Schulz is very likeable and he seems to be a very nice guy and he is very good looking (although perhaps not as conventional good looking as Casey James), therefore he can and properly will do well in the competition, but in country he would be a little too generic. Casey James will stand out in country because he is not the same as everyone else. Watch this:
    Casey James is a very different artist.