Jun 6, 2011


The tenth season of American Idol is in its final weeks and there were some terrific performances on Carole King week. But as usual, someone had to go home.

In this week’s show, the dwindling number of contestants had to take on the songs of the iconic Ms. King- singer, songwriter, and pianist, best known for her album Tapestry.  King wrote or co-wrote 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100, made over 20 solo albums, and won four Grammy awards. Did I mention she was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  No pressure.

In my opinion, the two artists that rose to the occasion and delivered the highlights of this week’s show were the solo performances of Haley Reinhart and James Durbin. Haley sang the song Beautiful and the judges loved it. Jennifer Lopez told Haley, “You have one of the best voices in the competition”, and I agree. Steven Tyler said he “heard God in her voice”. Wow…uhm, ditto? James gave a terrific performance of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, originally performed by the Shirelles.  James performances have been consistently good each week and he has proved he can sing just about anything.

After some voting drama, orchestrated by Ryan Seacrest, the multi-talented Casey Abrams was sent packing. Personally, I looked forward to Casey’s performances every week and felt that what set him apart from his fellow competitors was his willingness to take huge song risks in order to showcase his talent. While he survived his performance of Nature Boy, his version of the Carol King’s Hi De Ho, proved to be too much for the American Idol viewers to handle and they gave him the Hi De Heave HO!

But before his departure, Casey proceeded to give one of the best elimination performances in Idol history and brought down the house with a rousing rendition of I Put a Spell on You. While Casey may be gone, during the course of the show he garnered a loyal group of followers and I guarantee you we will be hearing a lot from Casey Abrams in the future.

With the elimination of Casey, we are now down to five contestants. The remaining contestants include Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Jacob Lusk, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery. From my viewpoint, James Durbin continues to be the best of a very talented group of singers and with the surprise early exit of Pia Toscano, James is my odds on favorite to be the next American Idol.

American Idol can be seen Wednesday/Thursday on Fox.