‘American Idol’s’ Top 13 Tackle Songs By Their ‘Personal Idols’
James Durbin and Pia Toscano perform on “American Idol” on March 9, 2011
“American Idol’s” Top 13 2011: Bottom Row L-R: Paul McDonald, Ashthon Jones, Pia Toscano, Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart and Scott McCreery. Top Row L-R: James Durbin, Naima Adedapo, Jacob Lusk, Thia Megia, Karen Rodriguez, Stefano Langone and Lauren Alaina
Jennifer Lopez attends FOX’s “American Idol” Finalist Party in Los Angeles on March 3, 2011
Steven Tyler steps out at FOX’s “American Idol” Finalist Party in Los Angeles on March 3, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. --
“Amercian Idol’s” Top 13 gave their first performances seeking America’s votes on Wednesday night, performing songs by their “personal music idols.”
Under the guidance of Interscope Records Chairman and new “Idol” mentor Jimmy Iovine, along with individually assigned award winning producers, several performers emerged as clear frontrunners, including 20-year-old redhead Casey Abrams.
The bearded Illinois native rocked the house with an energetic performance of Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends,” complete with an onstage choir providing a little “help” with the song’s backing vocals.
“You were so unbelievable and so exciting, you hit all the notes always, you make listening to you sing fun and I loved it, dude!” an excited Randy Jackson enthused. “I loved it.”
“What Randy was trying to say is you are a rainbow of talent, man,” Steven Tyler said. “You never cease to amaze me every time you get up there.”
Jennifer Lopez agreed, saying, “I go by what I feel… Wow! Blew me away!”
Here’s a quick rundown of the rest of the pack’s performances:
Lauren Alaina opened the show with Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine,” impressively belting out the country favorite while strutting up and down the stage. Steven summed up the judges’ critiques saying that though he “loves” her voice, he wished it had been little bit more kick-a**.”
Wild Card winner Ashthon Jones chose Diana Ross’ “When You Tell Me That You Love Me,” and won over the judges after a slightly rocky start. “I was a little worried seeing the song that you were doing… but I actually liked it because I saw you grow a little bit more as a singer,” Randy explained. “You paid attention to the notes when you were going a little sharp or flat, you pulled it back in with the vibrato, so I think you actually did yourself some good with that.”
Paul McDonald sang “Come Pick Me Up,” by Ryan Adams. The performance was a bit pitchy, but the judges couldn’t get enough of Paul’s unique vocals. “I’m a huge fan of you – you’re different and I love you for this show,” Randy remarked. Jennifer agreed, saying, “You’re just so unique – there’s just something about you… I hope America gets it… I do really think that you’re great.”
22-year-old New-Yorker Pia Toscano knocked it out of the park with Celine Dion’s version of “All By Myself” – her powerful vocals leaving judge Jennifer speechless. “I think a lot of people were [wondering] what you were gonna do to top last week – there it is!” Jennifer said. “We always say, ‘Don’t tackle [Celine]’… but these notes that you hit, you just hit them dead on, without even thinking about it!” Randy raved. “You have such a natural gift — I’m in awe every time.”
Rocker James Durbin also emerged as a frontrunner after tackling Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed,” which prompted Randy to declare James “one of his favorites in this whole thing.” “Get used to [the applause] because you have such a quality, “Jennifer advised the young singer. “The truth is, you have what the greatest rock singers have and that is a melodic quality to your voice. You can really actually sing. You’re everything!”
Hailey Reinhart crooned LeAnn Rimes’ country classic, “Blue,” but left the judges with mixed feelings. Randy was less than impressed, dubbing it “boring,” while Steven called it “beautiful.”
Next up was Jacob Lusk, who took on R. Kelly’s famed ballad, “I Believe I Can Fly.” Steven loved the emotional rendition, declaring he couldn’t “judge it” because it was so good.”
16-year-old Thia Megia chose Michael Jackson’s version of the Charlie Chaplin classic, “Smile.” Starting off with a slow acoustic beat, Thia moved into a jazzy up-tempo rhythm halfway, much to the judges’ chagrin. “It got a little pitchy in spots as you started in with the band with the kind of jazzy arrangement… I loved the beginning more than the end,” Randy commented, while Steven warned, “A little pitchy in the middle there.”
Stefano Langone, who was saved by the judges via Wild Card last week, chose to remix Stevie Wonder’s ballad, “Lately,” but seemed to have successfully pulled it off. “You had me dancing there for a minute there, baby! I was like, ‘Wow!’” Jennifer said. “[Stevie] would be proud of this – by the middle you slayed it!” Randy added.
Karen Rodriguez left the judges wanting with her surprisingly lukewarm performance of Selena’s “I Could Fall In Love,” prompting Steven to remark, “I know you can sing so much better, so let’s see next week.”
Country crooner Scotty McCreery tackled Garth Brooks’ “The River” – a performance Randy “loved.” “This is exactly where you belong!” Randy raved, while Steven exclaimed, “You did The Garth justice!”
The evening closed with Wild Card Naima Adedapo’s energetic version of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” – complete with a Reggae-influenced rap addition and plenty of flashy lighting. Steven couldn’t get enough of Naima, saying, “You’re crazy good. I love you. A little pitchy… but you brought flavor tonight!” Jennifer agreed with Steven, telling the Milwaukee resident, “I don’t care about pitchy – you got fire, girl! You’re doing it like stars do it!”
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Ryan Seacrest Talks Kardashians, The Wanted & The Future Of American Idol
American Idol: Nigel Lythgoe Has ‘Hard Feelings’ Over Exit, Says He Understands It Wasn’t ‘Personal’
American Idol Names Producer Of Swedish Edition As New Boss
Simon Cowell’s Egg Attacker Apologizes
Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick Exit American Idol
Oklahoman Carrie Underwood To Lend Her Voice To Tornado Relief During CMT Music Awards
American Idol Alums Ace Young & Diana DeGarmo Wed
Nicki Minaj Third Judge To Exit American Idol (Updated)
Mariah Carey Not Returning To ‘American Idol,’ Planning World Tour, New Album
Keith Urban Announces New Album As He Waits On Word From American Idol
Fox Reality Chief Mike Darnell Exiting The Network
Jennifer Hudson Signs On As American Idol Judge (Report)
American Idol Winner Candice Glover Rolling Out Debut Album In July
Dancing With The Stars Crowns Season 16 Champs
Rep: Mariah Carey Did Not Lip Sync On American Idol Finale
Kree Harrison ‘So Freaking Proud’ Of Candice Glover’s American Idol Win
American Idol Finale Draws Record Low Ratings
American Idol Candice Glover Talks Emotional ‘Ugly Cry’ & Her First Thoughts After Win
American Idol: Candice Glover Wins Season 12
American Idol: Keith Urban Would Return As A Judge ‘In A Heartbeat’
American Idol Finale: Will It Be Kree Harrison Or Candice Glover?
American Idol: Booted Contestant Angie Miller Looks Ahead To Albums, TV & Movies
American Idol Results: Final Two Revealed
Randy Jackson Announces He’s Leaving American Idol
American Idol Recap: Top 3 Compete For Place In Finals
Ryan Seacrest Talks Idol Across America, Kellie Pickler On Dancing & Kim Kardashian’s Baby
Ryan Seacrest chats with Access at the kick-off of “Idol Across America.” Why isn’t he running the first leg of the relay? Plus, what does he think about former “Idol” Kellie Picker competing on “Dancing with the Stars”? Also, what role will Kim Kardashian’s baby have on the reality show, “Keeping Up with The Kardashians”?
Jason Castro Discusses Only A Mountain
Former “American Idol” contestant Jason Castro explains to Access how his new album, “Only a Mountain,” reflects his personal journey. Also, how has his music changed since he got married and became a father?
Grammys 2013: Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman — How Did Their Home Life Prepare Keith For American Idol?
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman chat with Access’ Shaun Robinson about how their home life prepared Keith for being an “American Idol” judge. Plus, the country superstar dishes on bringing the couple’s children to Grammy rehearsals. Which other superstars brought their kids?
Sundance Film Festival 2013: Nicole Kidman’s Stoker Premiere
Nicole Kidman hits the red carpet for the premiere of her new film, “Stoker,” in Park City, UT. where she chats with Access correspondent Tim Vincent about being the face of the Sundance Film Festival. Plus, she gushes about husband Keith Urban being a judge on “American Idol.”
Ryan Seacrest & Randy Jackson Laugh About Idol Security, Pants & Hair
Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson joke with AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman about the increased security presence at the “American Idol” Season 12 premiere. Also, Randy talks about arguing with Keith Urban over a pair of pants.
Jessica Sanchez Dishes On Glee
At the “American Idol” Season 12 premiere, Jessica Sanchez tells AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman she’s very excited to do “Glee” even though she has no idea what her role will be. So, what kind of character does she want to play? Plus, how did she get the plum gig?
Keith Urban: Will Nicole Kidman Stop By American Idol?
Keith Urban talks with AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman about some of the “unusual” singers he’s seen on “American Idol.” Plus, will wife Nicole Kidman come and watch the show? “American Idol” returns Jan. 16 & 17 at 8 PM on FOX.
Randy Jackson Discusses American Idol & Mariah Carey
“American Idol” judge Randy Jackson deflects questions about Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey’s feud at the 2013 FOX TCA. Also, did he ever consider leaving the FOX reality series? Plus, how does he think audiences will react to the new judging panel? Lastly, Randy defends Mariah when questioned about her punctuality.
Nicki Minaj Sets The Record Straight On Alleged Threats To Mariah Carey
Nicki Minaj talks with AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman about what scared her most about joining “American Idol.” Also, she sets the record straight regarding Mariah Carey’s claim she threatened her. Plus, does she have any favorite contestants on the FOX reality series?
Keith Urban Dishes On American Idol
New “American Idol” judge Keith Urban talks with AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman about not only judging the contestants, but helping them out as well on the FOX reality series. Also, he tells The Dish how passionate the judges are on the show.
Ryan Seacrest: You’ll Never Know What To Expect On American Idol Season 12
Ryan Seacrest discusses with Access about how the new season of “American Idol” compares to the past seasons of the FOX reality series. So, can the audience expect to see fireworks on the show? “American Idol” returns January 16 & 17 at 8 PM on FOX.
Keith Urban: There Are Some ‘Really Good Singers’ On American Idol Season 12
Keith Urban talks with Access about why he loves being a new judge on “American Idol.” So, has anything surprised him yet? “American Idol” returns January 16 & 17 at 8 PM on FOX.
Has Mariah Carey Buried The Hatchet With Nicki Minaj On American Idol?
Mariah Carey talks with Access about what her judging experience has been like on “American Idol,” while dodging questions regarding her feud with Nicki Minaj on the FOX reality series. “American Idol” returns January 16 & 17 at 8 PM on FOX.
Is Ryan Seacrest Jealous Of Randy Jackson?
Randy Jackson tells Access he and the new “American Idol” judges are “one big happy family” on the FOX reality series. Also, he talks about why Ryan Seascrest and Keith Urban were jealous of him. “American Idol” returns January 16 & 17 at 8 PM on FOX.
Nicki Minaj ‘Completely Invested’ In American Idol
Nicki Minaj tells Access she’s enjoying her judging gig on “American Idol,” but will she return next season? Also, she talks about her “long days” on the FOX reality series. Plus, how are she and Mariah Carey doing? “American Idol” returns January 16 & 17 at 8 PM on FOX.
L.A Reid Announces He’s Leaving The X Factor - Hollywood News Roundup (December 13, 2012)
L.A. Reid reveals exclusively to Access’ Shaun Robinson his decision to leave “The X Factor.” Why now? And, who does he think should take his place? Plus, Mariah Carey dodges questions about her “American Idol” feud with Nicki Minaj.
Nikki Reed: Taylor Lautner Is Responsible For My First Meeting With Husband Paul McDonald
Husband & wife Paul McDonald and Nikki Reed recall the red carpet meeting that led to their relationship. But how did Nikki’s date nights with Taylor Lautner help bring Nikki & Paul together? The newlywed couple will be running together in the Zappos.com Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon in Las Vegas to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America on December 2nd. For more info, go to http://stripatnight.com/.
Cody Belew: ‘You Have To Own What You’re Doing’ On The Voice
Cody Belew chats with AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman about choosing to perform Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” How difficult was it to convince the show’s producers to let him do it? And, what does he think about being compared to former “American Idol” Adam Lambert?
Has Nicki Minaj Made Nice With Mariah Carey On American Idol? - 2012 American Music Awards
Nicki Minaj chats with Access’ Shaun Robinson at the 2012 American Music Awards about her feud with Mariah Carey on “American Idol.” Have the two divas been able to put their differences aside? Plus, how excited is Nicki for her new album, “Pink Friday,” to drop?
Does Colton Dixon Believe The Idol Feud Between Mariah & Nicki Is Real?
Will Colton Dixon’s sister audition for the new season of “American Idol”? Also, is he excited to see new judges on the FOX reality series? Plus, does he believe the feud between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj is real?
Colton Dixon Discusses Never Gone & New Album
Former “American Idol” contestant Colton Dixon talks with AccessHollywood.com’s Laura Saltman about his new single, “Never Gone.” So, what was the inspiration for his songs, “Never Gone” and “You Are”? Plus, Colton talks about writing music for his new album.
Nick Cannon Weighs In On Mariah Carey & Nicki Minaj’s American Idol Feud
Nicki Minaj unleashed on fellow “American Idol” judge Mariah Carey in a new video leaked from “Idol” auditions — so what does Mariah’s husband Nick Cannon think about video and the rumored feud between Mariah and Nicki? Plus, Nick has some fun joining in with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover to read the transcript of the argument!
Nicki Minaj Addresses American Idol Feud Rumors: Do She & Mariah Carey Get Along?
While promoting her new fragrance, Pink Friday, Nicki Minaj chats with Access’ Michelle Beadle about all the work that goes into being an “American Idol” judge. Also, is she really having a feud with Mariah Carey? Plus, will she show off her sense of style on the reality show?
Nicki Minaj & Mariah Carey Shoot Down American Idol Feud Rumors
Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Randy Jackson and Ryan Seacrest chat with the press about Season 12 of “American Idol.” What do Nicki and Mariah have to say about rumors of a feud between the two divas? Plus, what are the judges looking for this season? And, what’s it been like when a contestant sings one of the judges’ songs?
What Kind Of A Judge Does Mariah Carey Want To Be On American Idol?
Mariah Carey chats with the press about taking a seat at the judges’ table on “American Idol.” What kind of judge does she see herself being? Plus, why does she think she’ll be more sensitive to the needs of a singer? And, will her twins be joining her at work?
American Idol Alumni: From Kelly Clarkson To Candice Glover
Kelly, Carrie, Jennifer, the Davids… and more: from unknowns to superstars, just look at them now!
Country Cutie Kellie Pickler
The adorable and talented Kellie Pickler!
The Verdict Is In! Judges Of Reality Television
Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and more of television’s meanest, hottest and most hilarious reality show judges!
American Idol Season 12 Grand Finale: Inside The Show
Scenes from inside the “American Idol” Season 12 Grand Finale.
American Idol Season 12 Grand Finale: The Red Carpet
The stars hit the red carpet at the “American Idol” Season 12 Grand Finale!
American Idol Season 12 — Countdown To The Finale
Hot shots of the performances, the contenders and all the fun in the run up to the Season 12 finale.
The Original ‘Idol’ Kelly Clarkson
Hot shots of the original ‘American Idol,’ Kelly Clarkson!
American Idol Season 12: Top 10
The “American Idol” Season 12 Top 10!
American Idol Season 12: The Auditions
Hot shots from “American Idol” Season 12 — the audition rounds!
American Idol Team Over The Years: Then & Now
Hot shots of the all of the past & present judges & Ryan Seacrest back in time, and now!
American Idol: Top 10 Most Shocking Eliminations Over The Years
Check out the Top 10 most shocking eliminations in “American Idol” history!
Mariah Carey: From ‘Someday’ To Mom & ‘Idol’ Judge
Check out these hot shots of pop diva Mariah Carey over the years.
Kris Allen: From Arkansas To ‘American Idol’
‘American Idol’s’ Kris Allen
American Idol Winner Phillip Phillips Comes To Access Hollywood
“American Idol” Season 11 winner Phillip Phillip comes to Access Hollywood.
American Idol Season 11 Finale: Inside The Show
All the excitment from the “American Idol” Season 11 finale.
American Idol Season 11 Finale: The Red Carpet
All the stars on the red carpet at the “American Idol” Season 11 finale!
American Idol Season 11 Final 2: Phillip Phillips & Jessica Sanchez
Check out photos of the “American Idol” Season 11 Final 2 — Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez.
American Idol Season 11: The Final 3
A look at the Final 3 of American Idol, Season 11.
Top 5 Artists ‘American Idol’ Finalists Should Avoid Covering
Contestants spend a considerable amount of time picking the pitch-perfect song to display their vocal abilities to the judges and the audience – but which artists would they be wise to steer clear of if they hope to advance?
‘American Idol’ Season 11 - The Top 13!
Check out the final 13 on Season 11 of ‘American Idol’!
Lovely Ladies! ‘American Idol’s’ Top 12 Women, Season 11
Check out these semifinalists on Season 11 of ‘American Idol’
Let’s Hear It For The Boys! ‘American Idol’s’ Top 13 Men, Season 11
Check out these photos of the “American Idol” Season 11 Top 13 men.
Season 10 ‘American Idol’ Winner Scotty McCreery Comes To Access Hollywood
Fresh off his “American Idol” win, Scotty McCreery comes to Access Hollywood.
Lauren Alaina: From High School Student To Superstar
A look back at the journey of “American Idol’s” Lauren Alaina!
‘American Idol’ Season 10 Grand Finale
All the stars and the “Idols” from the “American Idol” Season 10 Grand Finale.