Okay, so we’re down to a top eleven… i did watch last week, but i watched a few days late, so i didn’t even bother to write up a rundown (sorry)… i was happy to see that my countdown remained in tact with Karen exiting shortly after Ashton… anyway… last week was “songs from the year you were born” and this is “Motown week”… so i suppose that whole ban on theme weeks is totally moot? where did i read that?… anyway… off we go…

now playing: Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye
Casey… singing Heard It Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye… he looks really, really creepy with his hair like that… but this is a rather swankified version of the tune, which is cool… and he’s strutting around the building as he growls and screams the lyrics… i think at some point he should sing that Little Red Riding Hood song… he’s kind of a werewolf-ish kind of character… Steven says he’s a perfect mix of crazy ego and perfect pitch… J-Lo says he may be “the guy” right now… Randy says he’s truly original and “only you can do the you that you do and you can only do the you you do”… or something like that…

Thia… will be singing Heat Wave… well, she seems rather confident and her vocal sounds much older than she is… it’s a pretty solid job, but it’s hard to not think of this as a Karaoke performance… especially since she so cautiously goes into some of the lyrics as if she’s unsure of them… i liked it though… Thia Megia, though, sounds like a puppet name… J-Lo says they’re just scratching the surface and they need to dig deeper and bring even more… Randy says this new mood is a good thing… she took a chance, but can do even more… Steven agrees that she took a step out and he loved it…

Jacob… he’s singing You’re All I Need to Get By in a white suit jacket with a pink tie… he’s an exuberant guy and i think he probably brightens up the room wherever he goes… and he’s on pitch and he has a strong voice… but i really don’t like it… there’s just something about the tone of his voice that rubs me the wrong way… this was a great performance though… perfect match for his skills… Steven runs up to hug and kiss Jacob… Randy says it was the other best performance ever on this stage… absolutely nothing wrong with that performance… Steven says it was beautiful… J-Lo says she’s not too proud to beg… Ryan invites the entire front row up to hug and kiss Jacob…

Lauren Alaina… singing You Keep Me Hanging On… after a slow introduction, the music kicks in and she starts working the stage… and Randy… this is a very controlled performance… all the energy seems to be coming from the music instead of her, which is odd, because she tends to light up the stage… Steven says she ripped that song a new beauty mark… J-Lo says she looks amazing and she brought the song to life… Randy says she’s got her swagger on high and she’s ready…

now playing: Uptight by Stevie Wonder
Stefano… will be singing the song with one of the creepiest music videos of all time, Hello by Lionel Ritchie… it’s too bad about the video, because it’s a great song… it’s very low-key… and i’m not sure i like the tinge of showtune to it… but he’s got a good enough voice and it kind of works… not his best, but it’s alright… J-Lo says it was good, but he didn’t quite connect with the song… Randy says the only thing missing was a connection… Steven agrees, saying that his voice is so good, but he needs to pull back a little to relate to the song better…

Haley singing You Really Got a Hold on Me with straightened hair… and apparently something is weighing down her left side… she seems like she’s going to tip over half of the time… i’m gonna say simply, that it didn’t really work… for as much as they complained about Stefano not connecting to the song, she was even worse… a couple nice moments throughout, but not much to write home about… Randy says it started off slow, but really picked up… Steven says it was beautiful and she doesn’t look a day over fabulous… then Randy makes Steven perform a high note or two… J-Lo says something about her being the “Jacob” of the girls…

Scotty is going to tackle Stevie Wonder’s For Once in My Life… trying not to be a lounge singer… well, he’s definitely toned it down to try to mold it into a country tune… and it kind of works, but it’s a pretty sleepy song and he looks a little awkward there at times… but i think it will get him through without a problem… Steven says it was beautiful, he really ripped it… J-Lo says it was a great version of the song, but it wasn’t his strongest vocal performance… Randy smiled the whole time and liked that he took that chance and called him a young lady killer…

now playing: What It Takes by Aerosmith
Pia… also singing Stevie Wonder, but this time it’s All in Love Is Fair… it’s weird how the videos show all this energy and stuff during the practices and this… well, this is a ballad… and she’s got a killer vocal, but it’s a pretty boring song otherwise… just saying… she did well with it, but it’s a sleeper… J-Lo says she has everything except stage presence… Randy says she’s phenomenal and he liked the falsetto, but she can’t live on ballads alone… Steven says she’s the closest star in the American Idol universe…

Paul singing Tracks of My Tears by Smokie Robinson… with an acoustic guitar strapped on, at least he’s less likely to prance… and he’s turned this song into a pretty nifty little singer/songwriter version… this is definitely more up his alley and i’m glad he played to his strengths here… last week was just not good… Randy lusts after his guitar… Steven points out his uniqueness again… and J-Lo says he just needs a good producer…

Naima… singing Dancing in the Streets with (of course) a fresh twist… so that’s quite an outfit… i don’t know that there’s all tthat much of a twist to this, but she’s at least staying closer to pitch… she’s singing in her lower register though, and it looks like it’s uncomfortable for here… oh, here we go… tribal drums and a little interpretive dance session… there’s the twist… Steven says it was e to the z, well twiddly-dee… (it was great)… J-Lo says she’s an exciting performer and she got some goosebumps… Randy says the whole package was there and it was great…

James… closing out the night with yet another Stevie Wonder song, Living for the City… and i’ve got some technical difficulties muting some of the performance… fantastic.. well, they won’t complain about his stage presence since he’s all over the place, dancing, pointing… and he’s doing a solid job with his vocal… it’s just that he sounds like he’s screaming all the time… it would be nice to know if there’s an actual singing voice somewhere under all of that glam rock… J-Lo OMG’s up a storm… and James continues to work the crowd… she calls him serious business and incredible… Randy says it started out a little bit rough but he did hit his pocket and by the end it was enough to make him say “yes”… Steven calls him crazy again and he nailed it…

Well, according to the master list of eliminations, Lauren is next on deck… and as i’m thinking about how these performances went, i can still see that… i’m going to go with a bottom three of Haley, Stefano, and Lauren… with Lauren going home… what does your bottom three look like and who would YOU send home?

peace… love… bdg…