So last night the AI 10 contestants sang songs from the year they were born. This can be ok or it can go so wrong. I think the trick for many of these is to find a great old song that someone did a cover of that particular year and then cover it again. That's what Stefano did and it worked for him. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" was originally performed by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes back in 1972 but Stefano used Simply Red's cover from 1989 as his choice. That's what David Archuleta did when he covered Hearts 1990 release of John Farnham's 1987 release "You're The Voice." It is hard to believe that of all of the songs released in 1995 the best choice for Thia was "Colors of the Wind." Song choice is now the most important factor in how these contestants will fair. We all know that at this point in the competition, they can all sing. What they choose to sing can make or break them. They need to be strong willed and stand up for what they know is right for them. Like Scotty did, saying that he is sticking to country. Change it up some but stick to what you live and breathe.
So, with all of that out of my brain, here's what I thought of last night's performances.
Naima- 1984 - Interesting to hear that her mom is/was a jazz vocalist and used to perform with Naima in a carrier on her back. Naima sang "What's Love Got to Do With It" by Tina Turner. She was ok, but not great. Seemed to struggle with some of it.
Paul- 1984- After hearing his parents talk, I now see why he is kind of weird. Paul sang "That's Why They Call It The Blues" by Elton John. Paul, I'm sorry that you are sick, but I don't think that is the only reason this song was awful. Sorry Paul, but I just don't like your voice. Rod Stewart you are not.
Thia- 1995- Mom and Dad are cute. Interesting to hear Thia wrote a song at 6 yrs old. Thia sang Vanessa Williams "Color of The Wind" from Disney's Pocahantas. I really liked the simple accompaniment for this song. I actually liked this performance the most of any of hers. The judges didn't agree with me though.
James- 1989- Poor James was definitely embarrassed by what his mom said about dolls. James decided to sing a song that he should not have taken on- Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There For You." Not a good choice. I didn't think his voice and style were suited for this song. And I really thought the flash pots at the end of the song were totally unnecessary and over the top wrong.
Haley- 1990- Both of her parents are in a band and mom is the lead singer. Good thing Haley isn't the lead, they might not get many gigs. Haley sang "I'm Your Baby Tonight" by Whitney Houston. What? Why? Please stop this insanity. Haley sounded like a growling baby.
Stefano- 1989- Grandfather owned a music store and Dad is his biggest musical influence. Stefano sang "If You Don't Know Me By Now" Simply Red's cover of Harold Melvin's 1972 tune. Very nice. Lost at a little a couple of times but stayed with it. Very powerful. Best of the night.
Pia- 1988- Pia was a little diva as a child. So what should a diva sing on AI, Whitney Houston. Pia sang "Where Do Broken heart Go." This is a little uptempo from the ballads but I didn't like it as much.
Scotty- 1993- Scotty has always been fascinated with Elvis and an Elvis impersonator. That's funny. I loved the pics of him dressed as Elvis at many different ages. Scotty sang Travis Tritt's "Can I Trust You With My Heart" and I thought he did a great job. Those higher notes were definitely stretching him but they sounded great. He will be an excellent country star on day.
Karen- 1989- Mom is a definite sweetie. Interesting to learn that she wanted to be a singer. All of her dreams are now with Karen. Karen sang "Love Will Lead You Back" by Taylor Dayne. I had never heard this before. I think it wasn't the best for Karen. Sorry Karen, but you might be leaving tonight.
Casey- 1991- His parents are a total hoot. Older that average, they waited until they were in their 40's to have Casey. I think that's what has given Casey his diverse music taste. Good job parents. Casey, you are totally crazy to sing Nirvana on Idol. That being said "Smells Like Teen Spirit" wasn't too bad. Even my husband, who hates Idol for being Karaoke, and was a huge fan of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, thought that the performance wasn't bad. How did you have enough time to perfect that song while in the hospital. Amazing if you ask me.
Lauren- 1994- Yes, the year my son was born too. Lauren's parent are the opposite of Casey's. It looks like they were 15 when Lauren was born. (Don't quote me on that. I have no idea when they were born.) Lauren has the flu as do several of the contestants. that's why the group house living situation is a bad idea. Lauren sang Melissa Ethridge's "I'm The Only One." Beside cracking a few notes from the flu, not bad. I think that she would have nailed it without the flu.
Jacob- 1987- Mom "thinks" she can sing, sort of like Jacob thinks he is great. Sorry, I'm sure he is a wonderful person but I just don't like him as an Idol contestant. Gospel singer, Yes; Idol contestant, No.
Jacob sang "Alone" by Heart. I liked this song, until now. Husband has always had a thing for Heart and had to leave the room when he heard this song. "Bad Karaoke" was all that he could say. I say please stop.
So, here is my list in preference order: Remember, these are just my opinion.