Lauren - Shania Twain's "Any man of mine" - I can't understand her first verse - no consonants! Not a fan of the camera blocking for her number. Hoping it's not a pattern. I like her a lot, but not my favorite of hers.
Casey - Joe Cocker's "A Little Help From My Friends" - I know this sounds crazy, but until the very end I felt like he was too reserved - I was imagining him doing better than he actually was. But again, how can you go wrong with the Beatles via Joe Cocker?
Ashthon - Diana Ross' "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" - Not a huge fan of this - it's not a great song - she's pretty and her voice is good and all, but all that build up with the video piece made it seem like this note was crazy high, and it just didn't have that build for me.
Paul - Ryan Adams' "Come Pick Me Up" - I feel like he should have a "Jim Henson's" before his name. If anything, his performance suffers from not having enough of a live pub kind of mix in the house- needed more reverb, it's all very contained.
Pia - Celine Dion's "All By Myself" - Okay, so there's no question that she can sing the crap out of stuff - but every other part of her face, her stage presence, her body is so uninvolved - Open your eyes! I realize she's impressive already, but if she would let herself go just a little bit, it would be off the charts.
James - Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" - Great song, one of my favorites. He's great - will he go for the high notes? Do I have to ask? And he's in control of it - which is amazing - makes you realize how shaky Adam Lambert always was. Weird ending to the number, but I loved it.
Haley - Leanne Rimes' "Blue" - Check the difference here between her and Pia - both can sing for sure - but Haley tells a story with her song. And with her face. And I don't even like country music!
Jacob - R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" - No question that he's incredible - but today he was incredibly sharp. But unbelievably, it didn't matter. He's amazing.
Thia - Michael Jackson's "Smile" - I loved loved loved this until the beat kicked in, and then it was very odd to me. But what a pure voice quality.
Stephano - Stevie Wonder's "Lately" - I loved all the parts that weren't a disco inferno. Really, this was the best Stevie song to pick? All that modulation could make a person go blind…
Karen - Selena's "I Could Fall In Love" - interesting to sing an english cut of Selena's after impressing everyone bilingually… Not great for me - just kind of reveals a weak song - does this count as a J-Lo song?
Scotty - Do you think his idol is Ozzy? nope. Garth Brooks' "The River" - Seriously - he's so pure and solid - Did I mention before that I don't even really like country music? Am I being transformed?
Naima - Rihanna's "Umbrella" - Her first moves sent me back to a certain Neneh Cherry performance - she's great and all, but even this as interesting as it is, does not even compare to the earlier great voices. Great spectacle, but probably better when downloaded on iTunes.
Never been jealous of AI contestants until this year - getting to work with Jimmy Iovine, and Don Was… and all the Interscope peeps - wow.
Casey was a "rainbow of talent and a plethora of passion" - Steven Tyler('s writers).
So the judges went easy on that Diana Ross tune what with Barry Gordy in the house… respect. But you know they were thinking it.
Steven really loves to talk about how the "sum total" of [blank] has led someone to the [moment] - with interchangeable nouns. Wondering if he can sustain this 13 week stretch.
The product placement for Coke and Ford was bad, but the product placement for the mics and the sound equipment is even more annoying, because I don't know what the red letters stand for or what they are. Is that Dr. Dre's stuff?
So who is going home? My money is on Naima, but Ashthon is a close second. Or, I guess, twelfth.