- Fan favorite James Durbin
was voted off on Thursday, and it was a bit testy on Wednesday's 'Idol' stage, as the contestants were instructed to perform two songs; first a song that personally inspired them, and second - a cover of any song written by the legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber
and Mike Stoller
, who was in the audience.
Contestants also received mentoring from Lady Gaga
who definitely knows how to showcase not only herself but her vocals as well. She offered insightful, positive and appropriate advice to each contestant, and should be commended as a generous and thoughtful artist who truly believes in all these young performers.
It was particularly refreshing that weekly mentor Jimmy Iovine
basically kept his opinions to himself and let Lady Gaga really work and advise the contestants. Iovine and his mismatched information and advice are getting tiresome and tedious.
Unfortunately, it appears that America was not as willing to give metal as much as a chance as the very talented, personable and enthusiastic Durbin had hoped, as he was voted off on Thursday. The judges and many in the audience were visibly surprised. Durbin, in tears, told Seacrest and everyone else, "I have overcome great obstacles in my life as I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and as a high functioning autistic, I met an angel (his wife Heidi), so I had the strength to come as far as I have. I gave all I had week after week" - and he most certainly did. The young father of one also stated "I had a feeling this morning, but I am so grateful for this opportunity and thank you." During his exit song, Durbin made a point of going down into the audience to bestow a kiss on his wife. There are many established bands that will be calling James so the best advice to give this talented young man (21) is to always and forever rock on! Many will miss the pure energy and happiness Durbin brought to each and every performance.
On Wednesday's show his first performance of Journey's
"Don't Stop Believing," with a particular shout out to Jackson blew the roof off the venue. Durbin's energy has always been infectious. Lopez simply stated "It was a great performance," and Tyler sagely concurred by stating "This is an indication of things to come." His next performace of "Love Potion No. 9" also rocked the house, and Jackson told him "You are peaking at the right time, dude."
On Wednesday's show, host Ryan Seacrest
made a point of introducing Stoller to the audience and this gracious and celebrated songwriter indicated that Lieber was not in attendance due to illness - get well soon Jerry.
Seacrest, usually so smooth and professional appeared to put his foot in his mouth, however, when he pressed the judges on who won the first round. Judge Randy Jackson
answered honestly and singled out Haley Reinhart
, who became quite upset. Judge Jennifer Lopez
nicely dodged the question but did indicate her agreement with Jackson, while Tyler - visibly angry - vehemently defended Reinhart by advising her "Don't listen to them." The surprising emotion displayed by all created an air of obvious tension not only among the judges, but the contestants as well.
(16) - The first to make it to the safe seat on Thursday - Alaina is as she appears - a sweet and lovely country girl - until she sings - then all suppositions are off. On Wednesday, she slayed the audience and the judges with her first performance of "Anyway" by Martina McBride
- whenever a cover is better than the original it is time to really listen. Tyler stated "Your voice was pure and perfect." Tyler has let it be known since this young lady's first audition - "I think we found the one" and he has never wavered in his faith in this powerhouse vocalist. Her second performance of Elvis Presley's
"Trouble" showed that Miss Lauren has some real moxie and with the great advice she received from Lady Gaga she put it all out there on the stage - surprising some perhaps - Lopez commented "Some serious, good performance there." Look for Alaina to be among the final two to duke it out to the finish.
(17) - Jackson is correct, this young man is headed for "superstardom." McCreery's first performance of Alan Jackson's
"Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning" was not only beautifully done, but timely as well given recent world events. Nashville
is just waiting for this talented crooner to complete his 'Idol' run and then he will enjoy a huge and long career as one of America's (if not "American Idol
") great voices. His second performance of The Coaster's
"Young Blood" showed off his humorous side - the fans loved it and so did the judges, although Tyler, while praising his humor, did compare him to Pat Boone
- not sure if that was such a great reference.
(20) - Reinhart gave another "Hail Mary" performance with her second song of the evening, but not before being bashed by both Jackson and Lopez for choosing Michael Jackson's
"Earth Song" for her first performance. Jackson was clear when he stated "My opinion was I didn't like it." For the second week in a row, she received a standing ovation from the judges when she came back for her second performance with an emotional cover of "I Who Have Nothing." No doubt this girl can sing, but has adopted a bit of an attitude and for the second week in a row, while the other contestants have slammed each performance - Haley ended up with only one. She's made it to the final three but would be wise to listen more to what the judges are saying and perhaps less to what others may be advising her. No one was more surprised that Reinhart at the outcome of Thursday's show. A record 72 million voted according to Seacrest.
Thursday's guest performers included dismal performances from former 'Idol' winner Jordin Sparks
, Enrique Iglesias
. A video from Lady Gaga's "Monster Ball" at Madison Square Garden, and a world premiere of Judge Steven Tyler's
new song (fabulous!). Tyler's recent book is now at #1, and the well loved rocker reminds us all how to get it real and fresh.
Who is my Choice? Who is Your Choice? Who is America's Choice? Post a comment and let us know who you are cheering for
Read our other 'Idol' articles here: "American Idol: Down To Four"
, and "American Idol: Contestants Feel The Heat"
, and "American Idol: Bring It To Win It"
, and "American Idol: This Is Competition"
and "American Idol: A Surprising Upset"
, and "American Idol Rocks On"
, and "This Is American Idol Season 10"
Stay tuned to Hamptons.com for weekly 'Idol' updates
Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.