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 email@example.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: