American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "5 Finalists Compete"

Season 10, Episode 32
Episode Synopsis: Five singers perform one current song and one from the 1960s.
Original Air Date: May 4, 2011

American Idol Episode Recap: The Top 5 Perform Season 10, Episode 32

This week American Idol took on songs from both the present and past generations, which is a nice change from sticking to one artist throughout the show. Sheryl Crow was the mentor of the week and a nice addition to the rehearsal process. Crow, who's a talented singer and songwriter in her own right, had some thoughtful notes and criticism that the kiddies seemed to really respond to. (Did you know she was a backup singer for Michael Jackson?) And James Durbin, of all people, seemed the most excited to be working with her.

Hey everyone, it's Robyn Ross, the girl who interviews all the Idols post-elimination, filling in for Adam this week. While I'm not sure I have as accurate of a musical ear as my colleague, I'll try my best to weigh in on all the performances. So let's get to it.

James Durbin, "Closer to the Edge"
Right away I'm struck by James' 1980s-style wardrobe complete with fringe and all, which doesn't seem to fit with 30 Seconds to Mars, whose frontman is Jared Leto. It's ironic considering Jimmy Iovine previously said that James fits better in this contemporary rock genre more than in the '80s.  All I can hear him sing though is the word "sayin'" followed by wailing. I'm not feeling it, and this is a girl who loves to rock out with the best of them.
The Judges Say:
Tyler says Durbs is ready for Freddie, Jennifer says it's his competition to take and Randy says that he's in it to win it.

Jacob Lusk, "No Air"
I never realized how tough of a song this is to sing, and having to sing both sides of a duet doesn't help Jacob's case. Sheryl thinks he has the range to sing both parts, but I don't think he was able to pull it off. But he certainly made love to the camera, so there's that.
The Judges Say: Jennifer is glad that he's showing the audience what type of song he would record and that it's important to keep choosing songs that represent who he is. Randy is in disagreement and adds that it's not the direction he should take. He also mentions it was corny. Agreed.

Lauren Alaina, "Flat on the Floor"
Sheryl tells Lauren to forget everyone around her and just soak it all in and she sure does do that once she gets on stage. It's no easy task taking on former Idol Carrie Underwood, but I found Lauren's performance extremely entertaining. Girl looked gorgeous and was completely in her element.
The Judges Say: Randy says he loved seeing Lauren show her fun and energetic side and Jennifer added that she "ate it up."

Scotty McCreery, "Gone"
Jimmy thinks it's the right song for Scotty and Sheryl says people will be on their feet during the performance. They're both right. He had a blast during this song, even jumping on the judges' stage. Scotty definitely showed some range and proved he could be a real country superstar.
The Judges Say: Steven says, "Up until now you're been a Puritan, but I saw you dance with the devil tonight." Jennifer agreed that he owned the stage and Randy felt like he was sitting in a concert.

Haley Reinhart, "You and I"
Jimmy suggested Haley sing Lady Gaga's as-yet unreleased song and although she was hesitant at first, she decided to go for it. Unfortunately, the judges say it was a bad decision. Haley starts out awkwardly lying on the stage seductively and although the beginning was a little bit of a snooze, I thought she sort of pulled it out by the end.
The Judges Say: Jennifer says she loved the way Haley sounded, but that she's not sure Jimmy gave her the best advice. Randy says it was risky and didn't do her any favors. Steven, on the other hand, called it a beautiful thing.

James Durbin, "Without You"
During rehearsal James broke down upon hearing the words. He talks about how every time his family leaves he has to let them go and the song is pulling at those emotions. On stage, James lets his feelings show. As he hits the notes at the end, the tears are welling up in his eyes. Although it was clearly heartfelt, I thought the singing was pretty painful.
The Judges Say: Randy says that although his notes weren't perfect, it was "emotionally perfect." He calls the competition his to lose. Jennifer adds that he has the heart and soul to back up his talent and that he's amazing.

Jacob Lusk, "Love Hurts"
During rehearsals, Sheryl notes that this song is not in Jacob's genre so the performance should be interesting. Jacob takes her advice by starting out very softly, but it hurts my ears. It gets better, but I also get confused as Jacob continues to go back and forth between singing high and singing low.
The Judges Say: Steven tells him, "Everybody got lost in you because you got lost in the song." Randy thinks he redeemed himself with this song and remarks that he possibly sang the highest note anyone has ever sung on that stage.

Lauren Alaina, "Unchained Melody"
Who doesn't love this song? Lauren gives a slightly boring performance (maybe I just don't like the slow songs), but her notes at the end are on point and very powerful.
The Judges Say:
Jennifer has nothing to say because it was simply beautiful. Randy thinks she sings like a bird and Steven, well Steven says he could listen to her all night.

Scotty McCreery, "Always on My Mind"
Jimmy tells Scotty to be true to himself, and he can't get any truer than choosing an Elvis tune. It's pretty much made for him and although it's another slow song, that's a little snoozy, Scotty gets it just right. And he cleans up nicely in that suit.
The Judges Say: Jennifer says this performance showed them what a well-rounded artist he is and how comfortable he is in his own skin. Steven once again calls it beautiful. Randy says if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Haley Reinhart, "House of the Rising Sun"
Per Sheryl's suggestion, Haley begins the song singing a capella and belts her notes out in a soulful strong way. Other than the awkward dancing she always does and a little bit of annoying wailing, you can't argue that it wasn't good, especially in those final notes. Definitely a reprieve from her earlier performance.
The Judges Say: Randy labels it the best performance of the night and comments how much she has blossomed on the show. Steven calls it sweet and sour and Jennifer adds that the song has never been sung like that before.

So whose performance was your favorite? Who should be sent home?

 

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This week American Idol took on songs from both the present and past generations, which is a nice change from sticking to one artist throughout the show. Sheryl Crow was the mentor of the week and a nice addition to the rehearsal process. Crow, who's a talented singer and songwriter in her own right, had some thoughtful notes and criticism that the kiddies seemed to really respond to. (Did you know she was a backup singer for Michael Jackson?) And James Durbin, of all people, seemed the most excited to be working with her.

Hey everyone, it's Robyn Ross, the girl who interviews all the Idols post-elimination, filling in for Adam this week. While I'm not sure I have as accurate of a musical ear as my colleague, I'll try my best to weigh in on all the performances. So let's get to it.

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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