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April 8, 2011



My girl, Kristen the Yellow Lab, and I are dancing in the streets!! After all, what better way to celebrate Motown Week on American Idol? Besides, we heard it through the grapevine that it doesn't matter what we wear, as long as we are there! So, we'll keep dancing as long as it's not the same old song. That is, until someone tells us to Stop! in the name of all things holy.

And that person would be Little Ryan Wonder, who proclaims THIS is American Idol. Then, he pulls out the same moldy filmstrip that we are forced to watch every season during MoTown week.

The judges are here because, let's face it, they've got nowhere to run. Steven seems to be on Cloud Nine, per his usual. JLo is creating a heat wave with her gorgeousness, while. Randy's vocab continues to be as simple as ABC.

First up is Casey! He's still into Homeless Man Chic as he growls his way through Marvin Gaye's "Heard It Through The Grapevine." Performance- wise, the set up is cool. Four female violinists (violinistas?) stand behind the judges stage and swoop their bows just as Casey passes by. He saunters through the audience, hunched over and Taylor Hicks-like.  Unfortunately, the vocals are just not good. He is performing the song, rather than singing it. The studio audience goes crazy, though.  Steven tells him he is the perfect combo of perfect pitch and perfect out of control big-ass ego. (He meant that as a compliment, BTW.) He calls him beautiful!! Drink! Jennifer Pretty-In-Pink Lopez likes that there is no one out there like him right now, and he has a distinct sound. Randy Yo's and Dawgs him. Kristen gives him a one-way ticket to Detroit. The guy needs his ass kicked so he can get it together.

Thia sings "Heatwave" by Martha and the Vandellas. She starts off strong, but seems to fade under the pace of the song. She does, however, look youthful and current in a frilly dress and big stone heart necklace.  At the bridge of the song, she  slows down and loses energy. Jennifer feels like we're just starting to scratch the surface with Thia and loves that she let loose. Randy says she took a chance, and is happy to see her move up a notch. Steven agrees. "Just great. I'm good." Is that would you call damning someone with faint praise? Kristen gives her two Diana Ross gowns to add to her pageant collection.

Here comes Jacob! He is singing "You're All I Need To Get By" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel. The background vocalists open the song as Jacob strolls across the stage. Annnnnnnd..... HE'S BACK! The Jacob we loved with "God Bless The Child" and "A House Is Not A Home" takes the stage.  Excellent control, incredible range, lots of emotion but reigning it in. We love it. (We would, however, suggest the stylists do a better job of fitting Jacob's jackets.) Steven gets up out of his chair, walks to the stage and gives 
Jacob a kiss.  
Baby Luther!" he announces. JLo says he made us BEG for those notes.  Randy hyperbolizes all over the place. Jealous of the hug-time Steven got with her grandson, Jacob's grandma comes on stage to give him a squeeze.  Ryan then invites the entire first row to the do the same, and it's a conga line! Kristen gives him an official "Smokey Robinson Standing Ovation for Adam Lambert" to add to his standing ovation collection!

It's Lauren! She's chosen The Supreme's "You Keep Me Hanging On." Perfect song choice! She looks fantastic in a full length, age-appropriate gown. It's more than a credible performance from the youngster. Vocally, it's sound, but she also gives it just enough oomph without overplaying her hand.  Kristen and I agree that it takes one sassy 16-year-old to be able to pull of the "And there ain't nothin' I can do about it" line.  Steven says she ripped the song a new beauty mark.
Paula Honorary Award of Approval
Jennifer tells her she's beautiful and that she brought the attitude the song required. Randy informs us that Lauren has her swagger on high. Kristen gives her the glittery gowns worn by The Supremes to compliment her glittery personality!

Stefano! He has chosen Lionel Ritchies "Hello." It's a nice performance, though Kristen and I aren't jumping up and down.  JLO hits it on the head when she tells him, "I want the intensity not to come from wanting to do well, but because your heart is breaking."  Randy says he bit off a big chunk, but needed to be perfect emotionally. No real connection. Steven thinks he ramped up too soon, but his voice is beautiful. Drink!!
Kristen gives him a spot in The Pips. He'd make a credible background singer.

Here comes Haley dressed like a Motor City street walker.  She has selected "You Really Got a Hold On Me" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. She begins the song by squatting her way down the steps.  It's actually one of her better performance, until she overdoes the growling.  She needs to be told, as Casey was, that audiences prefer it when what they are listening to is more pleasant.  She gives it a nice big finish. Randy says Yo. He said it started rough, which is true.  Steven says it was beautiful....beautiful...beautiful.

Says she doesn't look a day over fabulous.

 JLo says she has effortless control in her voice. She thinks she has the most soulful voice of anyone in the competition.Kristen gives her one of Diana Ross' feathered capes to cover up her naughty parts.

It's Scotty, ya'll! He's doing a countrified version of Stevie's "For Once In My Life." He takes a Stevie Wonder classic and turns it into a Scotty McCreery hit.  Good job!  He does need to lose the George W. Bush facial expressions and mannerisms, though.  Steven says it was beautiful beautiful!! (And we're going to get alcohol poisoning poisoning!)He says he's like Glenn Campbell and Harry Nielson. JLo loved the version. Randy is not sure it was his strongest, but he smiled the whole time.  Kristen gives him the Jackson 5 cartoon series. He's a wholesome youngster. We don't want to corrupt him just yet.

Here comes Pia singing yet another ballad, Stevie Wonders "All In Love Is Fair."  If Pia were an olympic ice skater, her technical scores would be perfect, but her scores for creativity would be in the bottom.  Jennifer would like to see her move around a bit more.  Randy wants something uptempo or at least mid tempo.  Steven says she is the closest thing to a star the show has. "Beautiful!"
Kristen gives her the Florence Ballard award.  Honey, you might be the best singer in the group but you ain't going anywhere unless you can figure out how to own the stage.

Oh, it's Paul. *sigh* He has chosen Smokey Robinson and the Miracles "Tracks of My Tears."  WHAT THE?????????? Who does he think he is? This guy?

 Randy babbles about tender vocals.  Steven says he's different, like Dylan and Willie Nelson. JLo says he's the total package. Or maybe she said she was checking out his package. After all the drinking tonight, Kristen and I can't be too sure.  Kristen gives him the The Who In the Hell Signed Bruce Willis To Motown award for annoying her to the point of destruction. (Paul owes me a new pair of boots.)

It's Naima! She's going to do a little "Dancin' In the Streets" circa Martha and the Vandellas by way Naima. She's got some African dancing coming at us! Vocally, it's solid.  No pitch issues this week. The African dance is pure Naima unique-ification. She's different, inventive, and fun.  Very lab-like, says Kristen! Steven tells her he doesn't know what to say, so he just says, "E to the Z and twiddle dee!"  JLo says it gave her goosebumps! Randy was happy to see the Naima they love return to the stage. Kristen gives her Diana Ross' hairstyle circa 1974 - when Diana went back to her roots!

Finally, it's James! And he is performing the third Stevie Wonder song of the night, "Living For the City." OK. This is awesome. He is all over the stage, playing to the camera and the crowd. He is an exciting performer and most definitely would be worth seeing live. JLo tells him he means serious business when he's on stage.  Randy said he nailed it.  Steven says he thinks it takes being a little bit crazy to make a difference in the world.
Kristen gives him The Funk Brothers award for playing that funky music, white boy!

Kristen's picks:

Truthfully? No one was awful.  Which is kind of taking the fun out of it.

Ted Nugent's Motor City Madness (Fair to Middlin')


Neil Young's Motor City (Solid)


Eminem's Motor City ad (Awesome good)



Ryan is hepped up on something. 30 million votes!! The results will be shocking!!!!!!!!!
JLo's husband, Marc Anthony, helped the kids with their in-ears this week, which explains the lack of  pitchiness.  Good job, JLo's husband!!  Next week, maybe you'll get a job sweeping up after the show.

It's show choir time! "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"

But, what?????????????WHAT???????????????!!! Suddenly, Stevie Wonder and his piano is wheeled onto the stage.  It's obvious the judges had no idea.  He sings "Happy Birthday" to Steven!  Aww!

Dim the lights. Scotty, Pia, Lauren.  Get your asses up here.  Now get your asses back to the seats of safety. You're in the Top 10 and on the Summer Tour!!
Sugarland performs and inane song called "Stuck Like Glue" with Jennifer Nettles dressed as Cher's character, Lavern.

Dim the lights. Paul? James? Center stage. Ryan tells them neither of them is safe. What???? He continues, "Not safe from this..." and here comes Hulk Hogan. He tells them both they are in the top 10 and made the tour.  Then, he tosses Ryan into some poor woman's lap.
Jacob, Thia, Stefano, get up out of their chairs.  Jacob? Get back in that chair. You are on the tour, baby! Thia and Stefano? Bottom 3 for the pair of you.  Oooooo. The plot thickens!
It's Naima, Haley and Casey's turn.  One is getting sent back to chairs and that person is most definitely Case..... Naima???????? Wha???  The one in the bottom 3 is..... Casey! NOOOOOOOOOO! Haley and Naima are in the Top 10 and on the tour.
Jennifer Hudson sings "Where You At" and sings it beautifully. Also, George Huff is in the house!!

Back to results.  One person will be sent to safety and that person is Case..... Thia??????? Casey is in the bottom 2? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Thia made Top 10 and the tour.

And here's where Kristen and I start to sweat. (Actually dogs don't sweat, they pant. So that's what Kristen is doing.) This is the night the Top 10 is announced.  These are the chosen ones who get to go on the lucrative tour. There is no way the judges will use the save as it would create complications. If the person saved tonight makes it through next week, that means someone who had already been selected for the tour would have to be kicked off. Not fair.  So, the name called tonight as the person with the lowest votes is surely going home. It's a given.And that name is Casey Abrams.
Ryan hands him the microphone and asks him to sing for his life, even though everyone knows it's futile. But, Casey wants to go out in style so opts to sing "I Don't Need No Doctor." He goes to the stage apron and starts to sing.

We can see Randy waving his arm, and Ryan tells Casey the judges want him to stop.

  Geez. At least give the guy the impression that you are CONSIDERING saving him, judges! Randy tells Casey they know him and know what he's capable of. He tosses it to Steven who says this is ridiculous.  They aren't letting Casey go. THEY ARE SAVING HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Casey looks like he might pass out/have a stroke/vomit. He thanks the judges and wonders why they'd be so kind to him.

Casey's fellow Idols come out to celebrate with him and Ryan once again silences the audience. He explains that there was a contingency put in just in case something like this happened on Top 11 night. ALL 11 ARE GOING ON TOUR!!! Kristen says that's a lab-like mentality! Happiness for all!!!!!

Next week these kids
Sing the songs of this beloved geezer:

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