At this point in the game, I assume the judges have given up on actual commentary and just moved on to repeat-mode?
Going back and reading some of my earlier posts, I expressed disappointment in the contestants this year. I couldn't find anyone to love or hate. I didn't think I'd even enjoy the show.
I stand corrected. Last night was just wonderful.
In order of performance:
Scotty sings “Amazed” by Lonestar. The quintessential country wedding song. He sings it fine, it’s probably technically perfect or something. But it’s sung *just like* Lonestar sang it. I’d really, really like to see Scotty show a little creativity or artistic control. But it’s a little late for that, I guess. And why should he, the judges (and America) are all over him just the way he is.
Lauren sings “Wild One” because she totally gets that America wants her to be country music’s next Carrie Underwood/Kelly Pickler. Her white go-go boots and ridiculous earrings are interesting (read: ugly), which I guess is good because her performance wasn’t anything special. Unless, of course, you’re pervy Stephen Tyler.
Haley’s Zeppelin song was just insane. That, dancing-monkey-tweens, is an actual PERFORMANCE. And maybe it’s because my own baby girl has an extra-special bond with her Daddy, but I got a little choked up watching Haley fawn all over her father.
Jimmy Iovine should have been in charge of picking all the songs all season. It would’ve been a much better show all around. And the man can wear baseball hats and t-shirts all he wants, Ryan Seacrest, because he’s a genius.
“Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” was tailor made for Scotty. Never heard it before, pretty sure the original version isn’t as good as Scotty’s. If I were a 17 year old girl, I’d be in love with Scotty. The guitar was a nice change from the obnoxious flute-microphone. And Paula Abdul … I mean, JLo … was right about Scotty’s hair. Apparently, the judges have run out of phrases praising Scotty, so that’s what they went with.
Jimmy picked another teenager-ish song for Lauren, after waiting all season to have her sing “If I Die Young”, apparently. Honestly, all I remember about the performance is (1) thinking “these girls wear pantyhose every time?”, (2) the music not starting when Lauren thought it should, and (3) her missing her key change (I swear I heard an “oops” in there, but I’d had some wine, so I could be imagining that.) The judges, not wanting to send Lauren into another tail-spin of self-doubt, praised her for missing her key change, and blamed her emotions (?). Whatever.
Solidifying his weird obsession with Stevie Nicks, Jimmy picks “Rhiannon” for his clear favorite, Haley. I still have Didi Benami’s version of this song on a CD in my car, and I play it all the time, because it was amazing. Haley showed some of her own creativity and artistic control (take notes, Bobsey Twins) by changing it up a little. I have to admit that I, too, was distracted by the wind-machine. How can she sing with that thing blowing in her face like that?
The judges Googled “deep country voice”, “17 year old country girl”, and “screaming, growly song”, and that’s how they picked their songs. Or maybe they had a monkey do it for them?
Have I mentioned that I'm not a country fan (once or twice?). Apparently, I should know “She Believes In Me” because, apparently, Kenny Rogers is classic-country. But I’ve never heard it. There was a lot of talk about “hitting a big chorus” or something. Frankly, it sounded like every other song and ever other chorus Scotty has ever sung.
I’m pretty sure that *I* could sing “I Hope You Dance”. Continuing on with the “handle Lauren with gentle gloves” theme, the judges punted this one. Lauren donned her ugly prom dress, and put her hair down – 100% Toddlers and Tiaras. The judges, however, loved it. Stephen wants to sleep with her, it gave JLo “gooseys”, and I’m sure Randy said “in it to win it” or something.
After repeatedly criticizing Haley for being too “growly” and too “screamy”, the judges pick the growliest, screamiest song every written – “You Oughta Know”. I was an angsty teen in the 90’s, I dressed like Alanis Morrisette, I’m sure I screamed this song about an old boyfriend. I like the song in general, but it was, in fact, sabotage. Haley did the best she could, even remembering to change the lyrics for TV. Not my favorite performance of hers.
I’d like to believe that Haley earned the respect of enough fans to make it to the finale. But, I’m pretty convinced it’ll be a Lauren/Scotty showdown.