American Idol: Durbin’s Quiet Power
We are getting down to the final weeks of American Idol and a frontrunner has emerged. James Durbin has spent a few weeks typecast as the Idol metal head, but last night’s performance on Carole King night proved that when he goes soft and tender, he shows his true power as an entertainer. He performed “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” starting out with a strum of the guitar followed by an a capella start to the song and he nailed the emotion of love on shaky ground. He then did a more conventional middle section and finished with a touch of the Durbin rocker we’ve come to appreciate. However, it was the soft beginning the truly expressed his versatility.
Scotty McCreery showed real emotion and did finally get out of his comfort zone with a straight up fantastic performance of “You Got a Friend.” No gimmicks, no eyebrow lifts, he delivered the goods by connecting with the song. And, like James, he went soft early and brought the power later on.
On the bottom rung, Jacob Lusk should be going home tonight. He was a screeching disaster during his rendition of “Oh No, Not My Baby,” and the judges were too kind as usual.
Lauren Alaina did a solid, competent job on “Where You Lead.” J-Lo said she was pushing herself but it sounded like another safe choice. At this point in the competition, “safe” is going to send you home.
Casey Abrams has lost his way in the land of jazz growl vs. musical interpreter. He has gotten to the point where he is all about the show and has forgotten that this is a singing competition. He picked a song, “Hi-De-Ho,That Old Sweet Roll” that allowed him to have fun with the musicians on stage but didn’t allow us to remember that he has a sweet, lovely singing voice. Get back to the basics, CA!
Haley Reinhart is finding a better balance than Casey when it comes to growling and singing and she proved that with a wonderful take on “Beautiful.” She showed her full range, with gorgeously modulated notes and just a hint of the growl when it fit the song. She will probably still be in the bottom three, because she has polarized the audience so much this season, but I think she hangs on this week. Casey, however, might not, unless it is finally time to see Jacob’s tearful, angry goodbye.
My Top Six:
1. James Durbin
2. Scotty McCreery
3. Haley Reinhart
4. Lauren Alaina
5. Casey Abrams
6. Jacob Lusk