Tag Archive: Lauren Alaina


http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/thatsreallyweek/134443/may-23-29-jay-z-captures-beyonces-subtler-side-in-dressing-room-rehearsal-footage/

It’s been a great week for Beyoncé’s confident, fist-pumping, female-anthem-making alter ego Sasha Fierce. She rocked three major stages to rave reviews: the “Billboard Music Awards“, “Oprah’s Farewell Spectacular,” and “American Idol.” But she’s also receiving some deserved attention for her impressive acoustic rehearsal footage.

Following the “Idol” broadcast, Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z, posted behind-the-scenes footage of his wife singing her new emotional ballad “1+1” in her dressing room. Accompanied by a pianist and her background singers, Beyoncé simply stands in front of a vanity mirror with her head humbly held low and eyes closed as she belts her way through the lyrics while her mother, nephew, and cousin, among others, watch in awe.

  the song, Beyoncé pledges her unconditional love for someone special. “We ain’t got nothing but love, and darling you’ve got enough for both of us,” she sings.

Jay-Z, who actually videotaped the clip, stressed the uniqueness of the stripped-down run-through. “This is the dressing-room rehearsal for ‘American Idol,'” he wrote on his Life+Times website under the pseudonym Andy WarHOV. “‘NO MICROPHONE. No effects.”

Fans online are equally pleased, saying this raw performance reflects the depths of Beyoncé’s talent. “Amazing pitch! Great control over her voice. No reverb, microphone, fade-in/out, vocaline, compressor, emlodyne, autotune, logic audio or protools needed,” Denasimone commented on popular urban blog Concrete Loop, one of the first sites to post the video.

Jay-Z described Beyoncé’s “pregame” show as refreshing. “Sometimes you need perspective,” he wrote. “You’ve been right in front of greatness so often that you need to step back and see it again for the first time.”

https://i2.wp.com/a323.yahoofs.com/ymg/realityrocks__27/realityrocks-379931122-1306382768.jpgBut of course, Beyoncé’s “Idol” experience wasn’t the only cool “Idol” news to break this week. On Wednesday night, the show named its 10th winner, Scotty McCreery. Elsewhere in the latest happenings in the music world, Justin Bieber and girlfriend Selena Gomez confirmed their boyfriend-girlfriend status when they shared an on camera kiss as the 17-year-old pop singer headed to the stage to receive a Billboard Music Award. The demand for Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” album caused the servers at online retailer Amazon to crash, as eager fans rushed to take advantage of the 99-cent presale promotion. And the Grammys caught flack from music veterans Carlos Santa and Paul Simon who demanded that the respected National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences reinstate the 30 categories it eliminated earlier this year.

Hopefully, this recap gives you the information you need to be pop culture experts at Memorial Day barbecues this weekend. Enjoy. We’ll see you back next week.

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Egypt permanently opens Gaza border crossing

Palestinian Yasser Srsaui, right, embraces a family member before crossing into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, southern Gaza Strip, Saturdayhttp://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110528/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_gaza_border

By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Ibrahim Barzak, Associated Press 2 hrs 58 mins ago

RAFAH, Gaza Strip – Egypt lifted a four-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip’s main link to the outside world Saturday, bringing relief to the crowded territory’s 1.5 million Palestinians but deepening a rift with Israel since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

The Egyptian move will allow thousands of Gazans to move freely in and out of the area — heightening Israeli fears that militants and weapons could easily reach its doorstep.

Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after the Islamic militant Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007. The closure, which also included tight Israeli restrictions at its cargo crossings with Gaza and a naval blockade, was meant to weaken Hamas, but it also fueled an economic crisis in the densely populated territory.

Hundreds of Gazans gathered early Saturday as the first bus load of passengers crossed the border at 9 a.m. Two Egyptian officers stood guard next to a large Egyptian flag atop the border gate as the vehicle rumbled through.

Rami Arafat, 52, was among the earliest arrivals. He said he hoped to catch a flight out of Cairo on Sunday to Algeria for his daughter’s wedding.

“All we need is to travel like humans, be treated with dignity, and feel like any other citizens of the world who can travel in and out freely,” Arafat said. He said he believed the relaxing of travel restrictions “will guarantee more support from all Arabs and Palestinians for the new Egyptian regime.”

Nearby, 28-year-old Khaled Halaweh said he was headed to Egypt to study for a master’s degree in engineering at Alexandria University.

“The closure did not affect only the travel of passengers or the flowing of goods. Our brains and our thoughts were under blockade,” said Halaweh, who said he hadn’t been out of Gaza for seven years.

Until Saturday, the Rafah border terminal had functioned at a limited capacity. Only certain classes of people, such as students, businessmen or medical patients, were eligible to travel and the crossing was often subject to closures, leading to huge backlogs that forced people to wait for months.

Under the new system, most restrictions are being lifted, and a much larger number of Palestinians are expected to be able to cross each day.

Inside the border terminal Saturday, the atmosphere was orderly, as Hamas police called up passengers one by one to register their travel documents.

After 5 1/2 hours of operation, terminal officials said 340 people had crossed from Gaza into Egypt. None were forced to return, a departure from the past when Egypt had rejected passengers found to be on “blacklists.” Another 150 people crossed from Egypt into Gaza.

“Today is a cornerstone for a new era that we hope will pave the road to ending the siege and blockade on Gaza,” said Hatem Awideh, director general of the Hamas border authority in Gaza. “We hope this facilitation by our Egyptian brothers will improve travel and will allow everyone to leave Gaza.”

One after another buses crossed Rafah, pulling blue carts behind them with luggage piled high. Inside the terminal, many waited with high hopes.

One woman, who gave her name as Aisha, said she was headed for a long overdue medical checkup in Cairo. She underwent surgery for blocked arteries at a Cairo hospital in October, but Egyptian authorities had prevented her from returning for checkups because a distant relative was caught — and killed — operating a smuggling tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border. During the four-year blockade, a thriving smuggling business has grown along the border.

Salama Baraka, head of police at the Rafah terminal on the Gaza side, said travel has been limited to about 300 passengers a day under the old system. He said it was unclear how many people would pass through Saturday, but that officials hoped to get about three days’ worth of people, or roughly 900, across.

About 100 Hamas supporters marched with Palestinian and Egyptian flags outside the border terminal in a gesture of gratitude to Egypt.

“This courageous step by Egypt reflects the deep historic relations between the Palestinian and Egyptian nations,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri. “We hope this will be a step in the long process to end the blockade imposed on Gaza.”

The new system will not resolve Gazans’ travel woes completely.

While Egypt has dropped its restrictions on who can travel, bureaucratic obstacles remain. Men between the ages of 18 and 40 will have to apply for Egyptian visas, a process that can take weeks. Women, children and older men need easier-to-obtain travel permits, which can be obtained in several days.

Israel, which controls Gaza’s cargo crossings, allows most consumer goods into Gaza, but it still restricts exports as well as the entry of much-needed construction materials, saying they could be used by militants. Israel also enforces a naval blockade aimed at weapons smuggling.

Israeli and American officials have expressed concerns that Hamas will exploit the opening to bring weapons and fighters into Gaza. In January 2008, masked militants blew open the Rafah border wall, allowing thousands of people to pour in and out of Egypt.

Egyptian officials say they have security measures in place to keep weapons from crossing through Rafah.

Hamas has long used tunnels to get arms into Gaza. Gaza militants now have military-grade rockets that have hit cities in southern Israel.

Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official, told Channel 2 TV Friday that Israel’s primary concern is that military training personnel could cross to instruct Hamas fighters.

“One trainer who tells them how to set up the rockets and how to use them is equal to a large quantity of weapons,” Gilad said.

Egypt’s decision to open the border is also meant to boost an Egyptian-mediated unity deal between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah. Hamas has governed Gaza since routing Fatah forces in 2007, leaving the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in control only of the West Bank.

Last month, the Egyptian regime brokered a reconciliation deal. With details still being worked out, Hamas will be in charge of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, but Egypt coordinated the opening with the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, said Yaser Afnan, Egypt’s ambassador in the West Bank.

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/realityrocks/422572/why-lauren-alaina-will-outsell-scotty-mccreery/

Scotty McCreery was just declared the 10th “American Idol” winner, but as the past two seasons’ Crystal Bowersox and Adam Lambert can tell you, winning isn’t everything. Both of those runners-up have sold more albums than the respective contestants who beat them, and I have a feeling this season’s runner-up, Lauren Alaina, will continue that pattern when she and Scotty release their albums later this year.

Why, do you ask? Read on.

1) Lauren May Get More Airplay – “Idol” fans loved Scotty, yes, but country radio staffers don’t seem to be quite as enthusiastic. Stark Radio recently reported that country radio broadcasters are already resistant to Scotty; WFRE’s Jess Wright even said, “If Scotty McCreery gets signed, I’m gonna need to change my phone number,” and KUZZ’s Toni-Marie quipped, “I’m calling in sick the day they bring Scotty by on the radio tour.” These same programmers also seemed to think Lauren has a good shot, with the right material and proper handling.

2) Lauren May Get Better Material – For her first single, Universal Records honcho Jimmy Iovine gave her “Like My Mother Does,” a catchy, heartstring-plucking ballad about a young girl’s admiration for her mom. Aw. Scotty, on the other hand, got the grammatically awkward “I Love You This Big,” with a silly chorus a boy might sing to his mom at age 5, not age 17. Were the “Idol” powers-that-be, who clearly wanted a girl winner this year, trying to sabotage him by giving him the weaker song? I don’t know–but I don’t think “I Love You This Big” did him any favors, and if he gets material like that for his first album, those above-mentioned radio programmers aren’t going to change their minds about him.

3) Lauren May Get More Label & Management Support – It’s been proven that if the “Idol” powers-that-be don’t get the winner they wanted, they’ll proceed with their original plans anyway. For instance, Taylor Hicks won Season 5, but all the 19 Entertainment marketing efforts that year went into making Chris Daughtry a star. Way more support was given to Adam Lambert than Kris Allen, and we all see how much effort the “Idol” machine put into launching Lee DeWyze’s career. On this week’s final showdown it was obvious how hard Lauren was pimped over Scotty, and while that attempt failed, that doesn’t mean Lauren won’t get a bigger marketing budget and bigger push later on.

4) Lauren Has More Crossover Potential – Let’s face it, most modern country music nowadays doesn’t sound very country at all, save for a bit of steel guitar buried in the mix and the teeniest hint of twang in the singer’s Pro-Tooled voice. I personally like the fact that Scotty doesn’t try to mix too much pop in his country, and keeps it old-school, hearkening back to the classic hat acts of yore. But Lauren’s poppier style does seem more in tune with today’s country scene. Those radio programmers’ comments cannot be discounted, nor can the fact that two of “Idol’s” most successful alums ever are Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. (Lauren has also been compared to that other mega-selling “Idol” lady, Kelly Clarkson.) Carrie and Lauren’s finale night duet almost seemed like a staged symbolic torch-passing, and Lauren later told reporters backstage that Carrie told her, “Wow, that was incredible. We should take that on the road!” So Lauren has the potential to become Underwood 2.0.

5) Girls Dominate The Charts – The biggest sellers right now are Adele, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Rihanna, and the like, and ladies rule the country charts, too (Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, the female-fronted Lady Antebellum, and of course, Carrie Underwood). Girls don’t tend to do too well on “Idol” anymore–we’ve had four male winners in a row now–but they sure do well in the real world.

Of course, this is no diss on Scotty; he is the superior performer of the two, a real showman, so he may pick up even more diehard (read: record-buying) fans as he headlines the Idols Live Tour this summer. But hopefully getting all the way to “Idol” finale gave Lauren a confidence boost, and the sassy girl we saw back in Nashville, the one who had the guts to challenge Steven Tyler to a “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” duet, will soon reemerge onstage and on record. On “Idol” Lauren sometimes seemed like a butterfly turning back into a caterpillar, as the pressure of competing got to her, but now it’s time for her to her to break out of her cocoon. So don’t rule out Lauren just yet.

Mission Fuge part one

Hi! everyone. How are ya’ll? I’m fine just dealing with some family problems lately and got I got to think about some stuff I did last year that I shouldn’t have, but any way like the title of today’s posts says I’m going to be talking about Mission Fuge. Yes, I will being going to Mission Fuge this year with the youth group I’m in and we’ll be heading to South Caroline. This is going to be an interseting, but kind of scary because I’ve only been out of state once in my life and I was to young to even remember what happened.( I was two at the time) But yea like it says in the title this is part one and hopefully if I dont forget I’ll do a part two at later date. I guess thats about it for this post so please leave a comment and tell me what you think about my posts or if you went on a mission fuge before tell me how was it.

Bye

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/amplifier/89173/your-burning-american-idol-finale-questions-answered/

The 10th season of American Idol wrapped last night with a two-hour-and-seven-minute finale during which baby-faced country crooner Scotty McCreery won the big prize and Lady Gaga gave the most literal performance of her career. As expected, the show was weird — special guests included Judas Priest and Tony Bennett — but hopefully we can answer all your lingering questions right now:

Did Idol cut away from Scotty maybe kissing Lauren Alaina when the results were read?
Possibly! Business Insider points out that cameras seemed to cut away from the two finalists whenever they got close, and there was definitely a suspicious edit (visible at the :20 mark in the below video). Before McCreery even thanked the Lord, he told Ryan Seacrest, “It’s been a year since me and Lauren Alaina tried out now, me and her have been together since day one, and we’re going to stay together.” Oh, really? Confronted about the dating question after the show, they played it coy. “We’re really close friends… I don’t know about the dating part. She’s just being funny,” said Scotty when Lauren playfully told the press to confront him about their status, according to Zap2it. “She’s such a sweetheart. We’ve grown so close. It’s a special relationship we have.”

Who was in Steven Tyler’s backing band?
Well, it wasn’t Aerosmith! New judge Tyler had promised his band would perform on the Idol finale, but guitarist Joe Perry swore it wasn’t gonna happen. And the winner of this truth contest is… Joe Perry! When Tyler sat down at a white grand piano to play “Dream On,” he was backed by Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert and Dean DeLeo, drummer Marti Frederiksen and pianist Russ Irwin. Frederiksen is a longtime Aerosmith collaborator and one of the “Boneyard Boys” who help write and produce the band’s music. Irwin is best known for his 1991 single “My Heart Belongs to You,” and has been part of Aerosmith’s touring band since the late ’90s.

Who was that dude singing with Bono and the Edge?
Half of U2 were on the scene at Idol to promote their struggling $70 million Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. The young guy trading verses with Bono was Reeve Carney, the 28-year-old musician who plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the show. He fronts a band called Carney whose other members scored a sweet gig playing in the pit orchestra for the production. Last night the trio performed “Rise Above 1,” which was produced by Alex Da Kid. The song gets a solid “meh” from us — we’d have preferred if they’d done the more U2-y “Boy Falls From the Sky.”

Where was last year’s winner?
It’s traditional for the most recent American Idol victor to make an appearance at the finale to A) pass the crown on to the new winner and B) remind America he/she is still alive. This year, though, producers didn’t let season nine Idol Lee DeWyze take the stage. “Hey guys, no I’m not performing at the Finale. I wasn’t asked to,” he tweeted. “A lot of questions so I thought I’d fill you in.”

What was the ballad Beyoncé sang?
If the super sexy song Beyoncé performed didn’t sound familiar, there’s a good reason for that — it’s brand new! “1 + 1” is the opening track on the singer’s June 28th LP 4 and a big chance of pace from her frantic first single “Run the World (Girls),” which she performed at the Billboard Music Awards earlier this week.

Now is the perfect time to follow The Amplifier on Twitter!

See Also:
Lady Gaga Brings Extremely Literal Performance to ‘Idol’ Finale

[Photo: Kevin Winter/American Idol 2011/Getty Images]

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/realityrocks/422566/sand-your-new-american-idol-is/

It was pretty obvious–after three consecutive seasons of cute, guitar-strumming male “Idol” winners–that the “American Idol” powers-that-be wanted a female champion this season. And in finalist Lauren Alaina, a girl that judge Steve Tyler declared “The One” after her very first audition–they had a very strong contender. Many fans actually thought she did better than Scotty on Tuesday’s final showdown. But even Lauren, a likable girl next door in the Clarkson/Underwood/Sparks mold, could not break the girls’ dry spell on this show. Yes, baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low, because it’s just been announced that, despite all of the show’s blatant Lauren pimping this week…Scotty McCreery is the tenth American Idol.

This is hardly an upset, of course. Lauren was a season-long favorite of both the judges and viewers, but if there was anyone who seemed even more of a shoo-in than her, it was Scotty. Unlike Lauren, he’d never been in the bottom three before, and the boy seemed to be coated in Teflon no matter what he did. He forgot the words to one of his songs during Hollywood Week, was peripherally involved in the Hollywood Week bullying of Jacee Badeaux that ended up ruining Clint Gamboa’s chances, and delivered similar live performances week after week without the judges ever encouraging him to mix it up…and he got a free pass every time. Scotty was simply unstoppable. It almost seemed like his ascendance to the “Idol” throne was pre-ordained, since he was glowingly mentioned in some of producer Nigel Lythgoe’s promotional interviews before Season 10 even began.

It’s also not a huge surprise that Scotty won considering that, while he hardly had the stronger voice of these two (Lauren was one of this season’s best singers), he was the better all-around entertainer. Scotty always projected a certain unshakable confidence that Lauren sadly seemed to lose after her stellar first audition, as the pressures of live competition clearly got to her. Lauren’s confidence probably received another big blow when she lost this week, but she may be better off coming in second and having a little more luxury of time to mature outside of the “Idol” bubble.

But now, of course, the real work begins, for both contestants. While Scotty is “Idol’s” first male country winner–which, to be fair, differentiates him from previous male winners Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, and David Cook–it’s unclear whether the country world will accept him (Stark Radio posted a surprising report about country radio programmers already snubbing him), or if, at such a young age, he will be able to establish an identity outside of the country stars he sometimes imitates (like Josh Turner). Meanwhile, Lauren, who obviously wanted to win badly (she actually used to entertain her relatives by pretending to perform on “American Idol” as a little girl), and had trouble concealing her girlish disappointment when she came in second, may end up victorious in the long run; considering that her pop-country style has more crossover potential than Scotty’s more old-school, hat-act style, she could sell more records when she inevitably lands her own record deal. (It should be noted that the last two “Idol” runners-up outsold their respective seasons’ winners.)

However, both contestants are very young and have a lot of growing up to do, and now they’ll be growing up on the road and in the studio. So let’s hope Interscope and 19 Entertainment surround them with the right people.

Do you think viewers elected the right American Idol? And who do you think will ultimately be more successful, sales-wise? Let me know on the message board below.

[photo courtesy of Fox]

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http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/idol-worship/american-idol-recap-scotty-mccreery-175786

For Rock and Roll Hall of Fame week, the night started off with just the right superstar talking points: Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Elton John, James Brown… Will.I.Am? Errrkay. The week’s co-mentor is a Jimmy Iovine crony — and a serious hitmaker in his own right — much like Gwen Stefani, who styled the Top 9 in her own L.A.M.B. line (it must be said: did Gwen also dress Randy Jackson, or is he auditioning for a spot in the Black Eyed Peas?) Neither was seen in the studio audience, according to our own Shirley Halperin, but Todd Rungren was along with Christian Slater (more on him later), pimping his new Fox show Breaking In. Also spotted in the house: Season 8 finalist Scott MacIntyre and his fiancée Christina Teich, who canoodled every chance they got. 

Up first was Jacob Lusk, who said that he changed his song from “Let’s Get It On” to “Man in the Mirror” because his moral code prevents him from conveying that raunchy a message or something like that. Then, he threw down a challenge: if he ends up in the bottom 3 on Thursday night, then America “wasn’t ready to look at themselves in the mirror.” Ok, Jacob — way to triple dog dare the audience. We’ll see how that works out for you. 
 
As for the performance, Jacob seemed to be having trouble with his in-ears at the beginning of the song so he just yanked them out. He then sang a duet with Naima… Ok, not Naima, but Siedah Garrett, who co-wrote the Michael Jackson hit. Jacob looked a little awkward trying some hip swivels, but I like him working with a partner. Too bad he didn’t try to do something that had a little more rock in it.  After beckoning Garrett back out and crediting her with writing the ‘greatest song ever written,” Steven Tyler then gave his standard critique: “that was beautiful.” Steven, please do us all a favor and try another adjective. Jennifer said Jacob makes us feel like we can do anything (except get it on, perhaps?). Randy was proud of him and said he had “Jacob moments all over the place.” 
 
Haley Reinhart probably has the best shot on a rock-and-roll-themed night, with that Janis Joplin growl on “Piece of My Heart. It was time that she embraced the Joplin comparison, but if you’ve never seen footage of the legendary singer, check out one of the greatest moments at WoodstockMelissa Etheridge also absolutely KILLED it performing the same song at Woodstock 94 decades later. So Reinhart had big shoes to fill Wednesday night, and she had the rock look down decked in leather, but for some reason hiding her legs in pants (a bummer for Idol’s few male viewers, no doubt). Still, she brought it down with a bluesy finish that had Jennifer growling while speaking — it’s infectious! Jennifer said the competition was off to a strong start and Randy agreed, welcoming Haley back for the umpteenth time this season. Steven credits Janis with giving rock and roll “the voice in 1968,” and Haley brought it back. A mighty big compliment for what was by far Haley’s strongest performance, even if I still see her as Miley Cyrus’s long lost twin. 
 
For Casey Abrams to do “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” the same week the mighty Constantine Maroulis returns to the stage was a tall order. Even Jimmy warned him that he sounded too Vegas, so Casey changed his song as well, even deciding to bring out the upright bass. It turned out Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty’s vocal was a much better match for Casey. Though he’s still gritting his teeth when he sings, which puts me off every time, this was a fine performance. Randy told him that he made CCR proud, and proclaimed him a revolutionary for making the upright bass cool again. Steven called him a “true musician,” and Jennifer said she would pay top dollar to be in the front row, which is, of course, a fraction of what she pays for a pair of her Louboutin shoes. 
 
Lauren Alaina came next with Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman” which had Christian Slater cheering in the audience. Lauren’s country spin holds up and is pleasant enough but I’ve heard it done better. Still, Jennifer called her amazing, and Randy wasn’t jumping up and down, but alluded to people in previous seasons (ahem, Kelly Clarkson) who sang the heck out of that song. Steven loved her voice and was borderline drooling over Lauren, telling her, “You came here an immature little girl. Now you’re a natural born woman.” Walk this way, Lauren. Walk this way.
 
James Durbin also referenced a past Idol, channeling the Adam Lambert look on his slowed down version of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” I understand James trying to turn in a more subtle performance a la Adam, but the song’s lower register threatens his pitch. He can’t help himself, though, and lets out a wail at the end. He even, yes, weeped. Jennifer and Randy loved his sensitive side, and advised him that chances like these advance careers. As for Steven, perhaps he needs a reminder that George Harrison was in the Beatles when he wrote that song.
 
Bringing out the country side of rock was Scotty McCreery with “That’s All Right, Mama” by Elvis Presley, and for the second time, we got an upright bass!  Scotty grew up idolizing Elvis, and dagumit, he sounded like him on Wednesday night! If you closed your eyes and listened, it was as if the King were there possessing young Scotty (his hip swivels even rivaled Jacob’s). The unlikely teen idol this season had girls bum-rushing the stage (orchestrated by Nigel Lythgoe, says Shirley) but left me wondering: did Elvis hold his microphone to the side? Just putting it out there. Randy announced that we were witnessing the “new Scotty,” while Jennifer wanted to know if Scotty watches rap, because she feels some “flavor.” Um, not so much. Steven, in classic form, whips up another Tyler-ism, “I thought you were all hat, no cattle.” 
 
As promised, Pia Toscano took on Tina Turner’s “River Deep Mountain High.” I would have preferred “Proud Mary“ but that’s just me. Meanwhile, Gwen dressed her like a lamb. As in Mary Had a Little Lamb. I have to hand it to Pia, she is so in control of her vocals, it’s scary. She even used pyrotechnics, and actually moved around the stage. Christian Slater’s daughter also loves Pia, and I’m having trouble seeing my dreamboat from “Heathers” as a dad. Sigh… Jennifer told Pia how special she is and declared that her mission is to make Pia even greater. Randy was pleased that Pia can deliver an up-tempo song and I was loving Pia’s jewelry. Steven made another head-scratching quip: “There’s a million guys, in a million bars, having a million drinks about you tonight.”  Again — what? He really is becoming the male version of Paula!
 
Still looking for connection, Stefano Langone chose Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves a Woman.” Coached by Will.I.am and Ryan Tedder, they tried their best to get him to be more Percy and less Michael Bolton. Stefano kept his eyes open, used his sweet falsetto, and engaged in a way we haven’t seen yet, but he was nearly wheezing towards the end and I still felt like I was on a cruise ship (Simon Cowell, come back!). Jennifer was, of course, super proud of him, and cried out “Baby, baby, I knew you had it in you!” But Randy wasn’t feeling it, instructing Stefano to let the song marinate. So Idol is now a cooking show. 
 
Idol’s “imperfect boy” and Vote For The Worst’s love child Paul McDonald considered toning down Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” but Will.i.am and Jimmy disagreed, advising him to do all kinds of crazy things, like drink his own spit and get all “method” with his hair. It’s unclear whether Paul listened, but he nevertheless redeemed himself with impressive energy, nearly attacking the guitarist with some crazed dance moves. It’s a barn burner, y’all! Randy gave him three words, “I loved it,” and Jennifer said the performance was right in Paul’s lane. It all led to a raucous end to the show as the contestants boogied through the credits, but was it enough to erase the stench Paul left on stage last week?
 
Bottom 3 this week? I call Jacob (because he dared me), Stefano, and a toss up between Paul and Lauren. What say you, Idol Worshipers? 
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