American Idol does Motown

Posted by Shazy on Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Idol does Motown

'American Idol' Top 11 Does Motown Proud -- So Who Deserves to Go Home?

Wednesday evening's "American Idol" may have exhibited the best all-around night of performances in the show's 10-year history. Although some contestants stood out, there truly was not a bad performance in the 11 offerings for "Motown Week." That said, one of them will be voted off the show -- unless the judges decide to use their one and only "Save" of the season, which, given the quality of performances, wouldn't be a terrible idea -- or would it?

The Top 11, all of whom seemed to be over the bout of viruses that had overtaken them the week before, took on the Motown sound with surprising results. Even Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery, whose country music roots show each week, were able to give the signature Motown sound a unique twist.

The most disappointing performance may have been Stefano Langone's somewhat over-the-top version of Lionel Richie's "Hello." Although sung well, he did not seem to have an emotional connection to the song -- and the judges noticed, calling him on it.

Thia Megia, the youngest performer still alive in Season 10, performed Martha and the Vandellas' "Heat Wave." Again, although sung well, there was a presentation problem. No matter what she sings, Megia unfortunately appears "pageanty" -- like she's some pageant performer offering her talent routine.

The standouts from the weeks before remained the standouts of Motown Week. Casey Abrams worked the audience with his controlled growl on Marvin Gaye's "Heard It Through The Grapevine." Jacob Lusk soared with Marvin Gaye's "You're All I Need to Get By," prompting judge Steven Tyler to rush the stage and hug the finalist (followed by Lusk's grandmother and half of the front row of the studio audience). Pia Toscano and James Durbin mesmerized (again) with Stevie Wonder songs and Lauren Alaina simply nailed The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On."

Besides Naima Adedapo's Africanized version of the classic "Dancing In The Streets," Paul McDonald's version of The Miracles' "Tracks Of My Tears" was possibly the most unique, putting a folksy twist to the tune. But then there was Scotty McCreery's version of Stevie Wonder's "For Once In My Life," which was given a Glen Campbell-esque arrangement, something that Tyler picked up on. (An aside: Does McCreery at times resemble Alfred E. Newman, the iconic cover mascot for "Mad" magazine?).

Although it seems that none of the contestants really deserve to be eliminated this week -- a very rare occurrence (nay, something that has never occurred in the history of "American Idol"). Could this be the cue for the judges to use their "Save"? Still, given the show's penchant for using the Save and then eliminating two contestants the following week, that decision might cause problems with the "American Idol" live tour that showcases the Top 10. Of course, they could make an exception and take 11 contestants on the road...

The results show will build the Top 10 live on Thursday evening, March 24. Season 3 alum Jennifer Hudson returns to perform her latest single. Country hitmakers Sugarland will also perform.