And we’re back… and so are the top eleven… here is Top Eleven Redux as the intro states… they play a recap of last week’s reveal show and i just want to say that it was more than appropriate for Hulk Hogan and professional wrestling to be featured on that episode, because something just rang entirely untrue about the entire show… from the very beginning with Ryan hyping up the ending of the show as a complete stunner and reminding us a thousand times to stay tuned in until the end… perhaps they’re countering a ratings drop as the show progresses?… i don’t buy any of last week’s results… but this week it’s Elton John week and i’ll go ahead and leave the past in the past… two are going home tonight… off we go…

now playing: Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John
Scotty is singing Country Comfort, the only Elton John country song to his grandmother who is in house… of course he’s phenomenal because it’s a country song and he’s a country singer… he’s killing it and he ends with the deep tone that gives all the gals chills… Steven says something about high-heeled cowboy boots and that he loves Scotty… J-Lo tells him never to doubt himself… Randy says that Scotty is already seasoned and in the zone…

Naima… is putting a reggae spin on I’m Still Standing… and it sounds amazing like pretty much every other reggae song in existence… okay, that’s harsh, but it’s really mellow… she had a rough time getting into the chorus, but she held it together for the most part, but it really became a blase and self-indulgent piece… J-Lo says she loves Naima, but some songs aren’t meant to be flipped like that… Randy says he loves reggae, but this was corny… Steven says boom-shaka-lacka-lay-ee… good for Naima because she picked what fit her…

Paul… hmm, i would expect Paul to do well with this one… but before we get to that, here’s an in-show commercial for Coke and some songwriting contest… singing Rocket Man despite it being a disaster for his band five years ago… he’s got his guitar, which bodes well for tempering the crazy undulations he’s prone to… he’s dressed for the part and he’s actually doing pretty well… you know, he kind of reminds me (slightly) of another McDonald… Shawn McDonald… he’s got that twinge to his vocal… it’s a nice job, but not a stand out performance… Randy (with J-Lo’s help) says he probably has a little more to offer… Steven says he loves his voice and he likes the character as defined by missing some notes when he sings… J-Lo (when it’s actually her turn) says they want him to push himself a little more…

Pia… of course she’s singing a ballad… Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me because it’s her facorite song… Jimmy wants her to channel Fergie and Axl Rose… interesting… anyway, it sounds more like she’s channeled Martina McBride… there’s a strong country tinge on the verse at least… i’m not sure i like the arrangement that much, it’s tweaked only slightly, but it’s enough to kind of throw off the emotion of the tune… be that as it may, she clearly needed some more room for her big hits and runs… Steven says it goes to prove that some people were wrong to ask her not to sing ballads and that it was a complete sentence… J-Lo says the notes take us all to another place and she’s trying to break through the barrier… Randy says she’s sung a ballad every time and she’s slayed them every time… he still wants to see her change it up, but that was wonderful…

now playing: Crocodile Rock by Elton John
Stefano… will be singing the Tony Danza song (Tiny Dancer) with the tight pants… he’s got a good voice, but for me he can sometimes fall into a broadway mode where he turns perfectly good pop songs into irritating stage songs… (and, by the way, i actually enjoy a good Broadway show now and again)… this is just plain fine, but again, it’s lacking a bit of energy… i’d like to see him step out on his own and be different… J-Lo says he’s been taking notes about connecting with the crowd and it was amazing… Randy said he loved that he connected with the audience and kept his eyes open… Steven says there’s a real sweet thing to his voice because it’s old… oh, and he said something about a Broadway voice…

Lauren… is singing Candle in the Wind which always reminds me of one of my favorite Disney movies of all time, Pete’s Dragon… anyway, back to Idol… i think she’s got the weakest vocal of those left in the contest… the verses aren’t much to speak of, but i really love the chorus and the country take on it… she sounds like a Dixie Chick there…spectacular the way she shaped that melody to suit her needs… Randy says it’s one of the greatest songs ever written and it was one of the greatest Lauren Alaina performance… Steven says he’s loved her since the moment she first laid eyes on him… and if she keeps singing like that, she’ll be able to afford the rest of her dress… J-Lo says that was it… beautiful…

James… anyone wanna bet he does Crocodile Rock?… okay, i was wrong… he’s singing Saturday Night’s Alright for a Fight… and he’s doing a really good job… i missed some of it, but he’s pretty much consistent at this point… he’s all over the stage… all over the vocal range… see, now he’s on the piano, now his pants ripped, and now the piano is on fire… it’s good… Steven says he really brought the heat (pun), and if he doesn’t watch out, he’ll end up like him… J-Lo says it was a great performance by a great artist… Randy says he really felt like James was having a good time and it was a great, great, great performance…

now playing: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John
Thia… singing Daniel… i’m not sure i know what to expect… but it’s Thia, so i expect a pretty straightforward, almost robotic rendition of the song… oh, i know this song… i think she’s a little on the flatter side of the melody, but it’s not horrible… she has a better voice than Lauren, but zero personality on stage… so, it’s just okay… i’m not excited about it… J-Lo says it was beautiful and she likes what she’s been seeing all night long… Randy says he liked that it was relaxed and he didn’t like that it was a little pitchy and too safe… Steven says that when you find the right song, the voice appears… she sang a great Elton John song well…

Casey… got a haircut and a shave and he’s singing Your Song… i don’t think i ever realized that was the title of this song… he’s going with the mellow approach this week… and showing off a real solid vocal… i think that’s what i questioned last week… whether or not he could actually sing underneath the veneer of all the energy and growling and screaming… Randy says this reminded everyone why they saved him… Steven says that he’s a true artist and just the last two notes were worth it all… J-Lo says she didn’t lose an ounce of sleep over choosing to save him last week… it was all very Casey… i still say last week was a setup…

Jacob… singing Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word… and he’s starting off pretty high… despite being knee deep in stage smoke… Jimmy was concerned that he’d add too much drama to the song, and he’s definitely looking like he’s on the verge of tears… man, he makes the worst faces when he’s singing… i didn’t like it, but that’s not too surprising… honestly, though, i think it was his weakest performance yet… Steven says he’s wonderful for getting totally into the song… J-Lo says it was an amazing arrangement and a great last note… Randy says he loves him and the arrangement, but he needs to find his “Jacob spot” in every song…

Haley… odd that they gave her the last spot, but whatever… she’s singing Bennie and the Jets… and she’s sprawled out on the piano which shows no signs of fire damage… she seems to be struggling to keep up with the rhythm because she’s always got to toss in a stray run or grunt between each phrase… man, when she lets loose, her voice is enough to stop traffic… she slayed the chorus and the ending, but there were enough rough patches early on to place her on shaky ground… J-Lo was dancing during the song and says it was amazing… Randy says BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT RIGHT THERE!… Steven says she sings sexy…

okay, here we go again… two going home so i’ll pick two more who will be on the verge to square out a bottom four… let’s see… i’ll start with the safe ones… James, Casey, Scotty, Paul, and Pia are all safe… Haley may be safe because she was last… that leaves Naima, Lauren, Stefano, Thia, and Jacob… i’ll save Jacob… and send home Thia and Stefano from the remaining four… get that? Bottom Four: Naima, Lauren, Stefano, Thia… Going home: Stefano and Thia… what’s your take

peace… love… bdg…