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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Idol tidbits: Jimmy Fallon, Pia Toscano, Simon Cowell

Casey Abrams stripped it down on "Your Song" last night. CR: Michael Becker/Fox

Casey Abrams stripped it down on "Your Song" last night. CR: Michael Becker/Fox

No big news right now. Let’s do a quick ranking of the top 11 and where they stand:

1. Scotty. I’m still keeping him at No. 1 until he proves otherwise. I don’t think his performance last night helped or hurt him either way.

2. Lauren. She has sweetness and heart. She has shown signs she could make it to the finals and turn this into teen week.

3. James. James didn’t blow me away last night but his stagecraft can keep the voters voting regardless of his vocals, which ultimately are not as interesting as the man he’s constantly compared to, Adam Lambert.

4. Pia. She is boring me now but good looks and a powerhouse voice means she’s only one great performance away from a secure spot in the top 5.

5. Casey. “Saved” a week ago, I think he has learned what works for him and what doesn’t. Relax, sing, and cut back the growling. He can be redeemed all the way into the top 5 in my opinion.

6. Jacob. He has dialed it back and it’s worked. I still find his facial expressions distracting. I can’t see him getting much further than this.

7. Haley. She saved herself this week and may actually stick around awhile. Heck, last week, everyone thought she was going home and she wasn’t even in the bottom three! I find her too calculating myself but she’s gaining fans by the week.

8. Thia. Her time is short. She did her most heartfelt performance to date last night and she still got a tepid response from judges and viewers. She lacks the personality to go much further than this.

9. Stefano. He’s a soulful singer but his cheesy lounge act (reminiscent of R.J. Helton season one) has grown tiresome for many. This could be his last night.

10. Paul. He has his fan base, for sure. They might even save him tonight over Stefano. Vote for the Worsters I’m sure worked their hardest last night!

11. Naima. Like Nadia Turner a few years ago, she sings to her own drummer. Her fake reggae accent didn’t endear herself to the judges and I think she’s doomed.

[UPDATE at 4:07 p.m.] The Zap2it panel of experts has Thia and Naima going home. 20 out of 27 picked Naima, 17 picked Thia and 15 picked Stefano. Paul and Jacob both had two an done person chose James to go home, too. I was definitely in the minority picking Paul but Naima is a fairly safe bet. Of the 27 experts, I match up only with Matt Whitfield of Yahoo! TV.]

- Early Wednesday ratings: 23.6 million viewers with a 7.5/21 18-49 ratings/share. These numbers recently have been adjusted upwards by 300K to 500K in recent weeks by the time the final calculations are included (especially when the show goes long). If so, it will be similar to a week ago and up 8% or so from the comparable top 10 episode in 2010. In other words, ratings are stable.

- Pia Toscano promises an upbeat song next week: “River Deep, Mountain High.” That makes us wonder what the theme is going to be? 1960s? Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Songs which reference nature?

- EW’s talk with the vocal coaches gleaned some interesting tidbits.

* Scotty was psyched about his song.
* Naima worked with Ziggy Marley’s band and Debra Byrd was shocked the judges weren’t too keen on her reggae take, the first time anyone has ever gone full reggae on the show.
* Paul’s voice is not at 100%.
* Pia is headstrong and didn’t care that her song had been done a gazillion times already.
* Stefano had to force himself to stop doing the “two step” (one step, two step, sing).
* Despite the fact Lauren has a Marilyn Monroe collection in her room, it took her time to connect with “Candle in the Wind.” They had to teach her the tragic history of Monroe.
* And yes, the piano on fire idea was all James.
* Debra compared Thia to Diana DeGarmo. Stage kid syndrome. Thia had to break out of it.
* Casey wanted it simple and he got it.
* Jacob went off the basic 20-song list and chose this deliberately. (It wasn’t on the list because Robbie Rosen had sung it already.)

- My make-up time to talk to Simon Cowell is 10:53 a.m. tomorrow. I guess he wants to get folks to Miami “X Factor” auditions April 7 and Atlanta is (somewhat) close by. If you have any good questions I could ask, please email me at rho@ajc.com. I may have time to ask him maybe 10 questions tops so it better be good!

- Jimmy Fallon spoofed Casey Abrams Tuesday night by seeing him take advantage of every endorsement he could find:

50 comments Add your comment

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
12:13 pm

Thanks for the ranking and all the info Rodney!

Rodney Ho

March 31st, 2011
12:18 pm

Went back to what I said about the top 10 performance show in 2010:

This isn’t a top 10 that would be known for its soul (the theme for the night). Good voices, mostly so. Stage presence and heart? Not so much.

Rickster™ © ®

March 31st, 2011
12:48 pm

I’ve never been a Jimmy Fallon fan… but that was hilarious! :-D

Deirdre

March 31st, 2011
12:55 pm

Thanks for the list, Rodney…I think many of us are expecting a Scotty, Pia, James, Casey, Lauren top 5 but, as we all know, expectations are frequently not met on Idol.

Rickster™ © ®

March 31st, 2011
1:12 pm

My Rankings:

Pia: Still the “total package” with great looks & a great voice. Just needs to learn to move.

Thia: Still one of the most pure voices – if not the most pure voice – on the show. There’s a LOT of sadness behind that beautiful smile.

Lauren: Love the country drawl. Love the voice. Needs to act older.

Scotty: Absolutely no doubt whatsoever as to who he is artistically. Liked the guitar. Cut down on the mic hand-switching.

Casey: “Come back from the dark side, Casey.” This is where you need to be.

James: Less and less thrilled with his voice. It’s not as great – from a tone standpoint – as it’s made out to be.

Jacob: Rich voice, but the vocal gymnastics and the facial gyrations just wear me out.

Stefano: His best performance was his “sing for your life” to get the wild card. He’s not gotten close since.

Paul: Great smile

Haley: Still don’t understand all the judges’ fawning. If I want growling, I’ll go try and take a bone away from a dog.

Naima: Placed behind Haley because H comes before N. Never should have gotten the wild card.

dssssi

March 31st, 2011
1:49 pm

I think Paul had the worst performance of the season last night….a great song totally aborted. No one has crucified a song like he did in a very long time.

Rickster™ © ®

March 31st, 2011
2:01 pm

I have to admit.. I couldn’t hum three bars of River Deep Mountain High if my life depended on it.

Good thing it doesn’t, huh?

♥ kelly&carriefan ♥

March 31st, 2011
2:15 pm

Hey y’all,

Can’t wait to see who gets eliminated tonight. I like Pia, Lauren and Scotty as my top 3 at the moment.

BTW, here you go Rickster/JT/guys:
http://www.people.com/people/gallery/0,,20477721,00.html

Mo Schreibman

March 31st, 2011
2:18 pm

The dabbing with just water and a paper towel works just as JTesla and Pitchy recommended. Everything gets clean without getting mushy.

jill castillo

March 31st, 2011
2:20 pm

Tried to vote on line and got hit with 20 viruses from the American Idol weg page.
That stinks.
My votes, Casey,James,Pia,Stephano

Alex Trebek ™©®, Esquire

March 31st, 2011
2:22 pm

Rickster™ © ®
March 31st, 2011
2:01 pm

River Deep, Mountain High is a very high energy song (Tina Turner) but I think it could be a mess for Pia. The chorus might save her, but the verses could turn into a scream fest. Here’s an old clip of Tina belting it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KkMSkmx7sM

Alex Trebek

March 31st, 2011
2:24 pm

I’ll be glad someone’s going home tonight (actually 2). It seems like forever since Karen hit the road.

Alex Trebek

March 31st, 2011
2:25 pm

♥ kelly&carriefan ♥
March 31st, 2011
2:15 pm

I cannot argue with your top 3. I’d add James in to make it a “Final Four”.

♥ kelly&carriefan ♥

March 31st, 2011
2:28 pm

Thanks, Alex. I agree with that Final Four.

Here’s a picture of the lovely Carrie with the cast of Soul Surfer and the real Bethany Hamilton:
http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/03/31/soul-surfer-premiere-bethany-hamilton/

Mo Schreibman

March 31st, 2011
2:30 pm

Instead they should be teaching this Lauren how when speaking to complete a sentence and not about Marilyn Monroe who could not complete a sentence either just ask 20th Century Fox.

Alex Trebek

March 31st, 2011
2:31 pm

While I referenced Tina Turner’s verions of RDMH, I believe Pia is thinking more along the lines of Celine Dion (to whom she’s been compared) and the TV Show Glee. That would certainly make it more current.

Deirdre

March 31st, 2011
2:32 pm

LOL!!!!!!!!!

Leslie

March 31st, 2011
2:33 pm

Like Pia and Thia ( doing ballads)….I think James has to mix it up also. Tiring of him.

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
2:57 pm

What happened to Helen Hunt?

Ron Smith

March 31st, 2011
2:59 pm

My List
1. Scotty
2. James
3. Lauren
4. Casey
5. Insert any name
6. Ditto
7. Ditto
8. Ditto
9. Ditto
10. Ditto
11. Ditto

Alex Trebek

March 31st, 2011
3:03 pm

JTesla
March 31st, 2011
2:57 pm

“What happened to Helen Hunt?”

Was she the one who got voted off in week 6 of Season 7? :cool:

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
3:21 pm

No, that was Kristy Lee Cook. In one picture K&Cfan posted there is someone going by the name of “Helen Hunt” standing there. I know there was an actress named Helen Hunt a while back, did a great movie about tornados, but obviously not the same Helen Hunt as the one pictured.

Mickey F

March 31st, 2011
3:28 pm

Looking at Rodney’s polls, it seems people here currently have Lauren, Casey, Pia, Haley, and James as the top 5. The surprise for me is Haley’s presence and Scotty’s absence.

Personally, I would put Scotty in and Lauren out of this top five. I’ve liked Haley all along, but was beginning to believe that even in spite of last night she didn’t have a chance.

Can someone or several someones please explain in some detail why they like Lauren so much? This is a serious question, not rhetorical, not meaning to diss her. I think she’s OK, no big flaws at all, but it seems nearly everybody thinks she really exciting, and they really really like her performances. I’m curious what you are hearing that I’m not.

Rickster™ © ®

March 31st, 2011
3:36 pm

Thanks for the link, K&CF!

♥ kelly&carriefan ♥

March 31st, 2011
3:44 pm

You’re most welcome, Rickster!

confused

March 31st, 2011
3:46 pm

I would take Casey out and put Lauren in.

Rickster™ © ®

March 31st, 2011
3:46 pm

I have a great idea for a commercial:

Paul McDonald is singing…. in his usual breathy voice.

Suddenly, he stops, pulls out an asthma inhaler and uses it.

He continues to sing… this time in a voice like Paul Potts!

:-)

Sam-A

March 31st, 2011
3:48 pm

JT: Helen Hunt is the second from right. She just got old like the rest of us! And was in much more than “a great tornado movie”. Actually won an Oscar, and was in a big hit tv show (’Mad About You’) for years and won an Emmy or two.

Sam-A

March 31st, 2011
3:50 pm

Oscar was for “As Good As It Gets” with Jack Nicholson

Rodney Ho

March 31st, 2011
4:04 pm

The cry-baby Jackson family is upset by James Durbin’s “Pepsi moment” reference worried his hair might get caught on fire like MJ’s during the Pepsi commercial back in 1984. The fact Durbin even made that reference was kind of funny. The fact he didn’t reference MJ and nobody else did means the Jackson family shouldn’t sweat it. Yet, of course they do.

http://www.tmz.com/2011/03/31/michael-jackson-pepsi-commercial-american-idol-james-durbin-family-reaction/

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
4:27 pm

What? The Jackson family disgusts me. Heck, Durbin wasn’t even alive in ‘84 was he? I’ll now laugh at the Jackson family.

Sam-A, speak for yourself, I’m not getting old like that ;)

However, the tornado movie was really good, it’s what she will be remembered for. Oh and I’m pretty sure she was the woman in the Terminator movies too, she just used a different name back then.

confused

March 31st, 2011
4:29 pm

She was NOT the woman in the Terminator movies. That was Linda Hamilton.

And somebody needs to tell the Jacksons to go away. Please…you’re just sad and pathetic.

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
4:32 pm

Yeah, that’s the name she used ;) she was married for a time to the guy who directed The Abyss, before he tried to kill her career.

She should have been in Jurassic Park too, she would have gone all ‘Chuck Norris’ on those fake Velociraptors.

Sam-A

March 31st, 2011
4:34 pm

JT: You’re right – exactly how old are you? Two? No Helen Hunt was not in “Terminator”! That would be Linda Hamilton, who was also in the tv series “Beauty and the Beast” and was married to James Cameron until he met some gal in “Titanic” and left her.

And Helen Hunt will most certainly be remembered for more than that tornado flick!

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
4:41 pm

Can we at least agree that Helen Hunt would have gone medieval on the fake Velociraptors in Jurassic Park? Tell you what, lets team up Linda Hamilton with Bruce Campbell and send them to Jurassic Park! They’d poke feathers onto the Velociraptors just before they dispatch them.

Oh and I’m young enough to have a Kool-Aid Jammer and a PBJ for lunch, but old enough to get the “Pepsi” reference that the Jackson family is all uptight about.

Sam-A

March 31st, 2011
4:42 pm

Confused: can you lend your name to JTesla for awhile until his brain defogs? Looks like he doesn’t get out to the movies too often!

Sam-A

March 31st, 2011
4:44 pm

JT: No No No – Helen Hunt would NOT “go medieval” – she’s a good actress who’s played ladylike roles; have you ever seen “Pay It Forward” with Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt????

♥ kelly&carriefan ♥

March 31st, 2011
4:47 pm

Um, *tapping screen* y’all….this is just JT being JT. aka, them’s just jokes.

:mrgreen:

Deirdre

March 31st, 2011
4:48 pm

JT! Behave yourself!

I’m heading out folks. I’ll probably pop in from California. Enjoy the results show and use the mute button for you-know-who!

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
4:52 pm

Let’s see, I’ve seen her take on tornadoes, take on a crazy Jack Nicholson with the help of that one guy who played the “good” super hero in Mystery Men, and I’ve seen her take on a crazy Mel Gibson who could read minds. OK, Mel’s role wasn’t crazy, but Mel is the crazy. So, yeah she would take on dinosaurs, and do quite well. If she can defeat a tornado while strapped to a well with the guy who probably helped that director be led astray in Titanic, all without being hurt by debris, then it follows that dinosaurs would be no challenge.

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
4:53 pm

What? ;)

Safe flight Deirdre! Enjoy the grandson.

Ben Lurkin

March 31st, 2011
4:59 pm

Re: Jackson Family (and a lot of other folks out there). Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

Ben Lurkin

March 31st, 2011
5:00 pm

Mo Schriebman

March 31st, 2011
5:21 pm

Sitting right there was Randy Jackson as an Idol program panelist so why did he not speak up then if his brothers hair being fire was so offensive to him? Better yet did he help to put it out even? If it were not for Tito this family would not be worth yesterdays corned beef or the cabbage even.

Ben Lurkin

March 31st, 2011
5:23 pm

Mo, Well said…….I think

Mercedes S.

March 31st, 2011
5:36 pm

Maybe the Jackson family expected some Pepsi money to come its way, hence the snap to judgement.

Mercedes S.

March 31st, 2011
5:37 pm

Btw, “Pay it Forward” is one of the worst movies ever. And the kid dies.

Mercedes S.

March 31st, 2011
5:42 pm

PS looked up “Pay it Forward” in Mich Martin’s excellent “DVD and Video Guide” from 2007 (sadly the last year this tome was published) and to my surprise he gave it 4 stars and said about it, “this film is an uncommonly moving motion picture that only cynics will be able to resist.”

Still hated it. And the kid still dies.

Ben Lurkin

March 31st, 2011
5:54 pm

James should be the one Pepsi pays, if anyone. He broke Coke’s stranglehold on the show, and very cleverly. Funny thing was the next commercial break on Comcast was a Kroger commercial featuring Pepsi.

JTesla

March 31st, 2011
6:14 pm

Thank you Mercedes, for giving me an out when it comes to watching “Pay it Forward”. I’ll use the time you saved me to work on my screen play titled:”Ash, Sarah Connor, and Jack Burton vs. The Velociraptors”