In the 10th season of American Idol, several changes were made, some which were more noteworthy than others. Because of the loss of Simon Cowell, they decided to get rid of everyone else including the love of my life, Miss Kara DioGuardi, except for one Randall Jackson. Signing Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler to judges’ table, they created a lot of buzz, but people were skeptical as to how entertaining they would be in Simon’s absense.

After last week, I’ll say that the three-some is better than I thought. J. Lo is a much prettier, dynamic, and coherent version of Paula Abdul. High Definition television was made especially for J to the El Oh (hello!). Steven Tyler is still a mixed bag when it comes to his actual judging, but he’s a riot. I do worry that Tyler and J. Lo are way too easy on the contestants and Randall is the one actually critiquing without worrying about feelings. It’s scary to think that he’s the good judge.

The 13 contestants are a pretty strong group, maybe the strongest vocally there’s ever been for a top 12/13. And that’s what’s going to carry this show. It’s not the judges or what kind of themes there are for the season. If there’s a Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Chris Daughtry, Kelly Clarkson, or even a Taylor Hicks/Elliott Yamin underdog, the show will produce. If there are a bunch of carbon copy Kris Allen’s (like David Cook and Lee DeWyze), the ratings may struggle a bit.

This season, I’m going to be adding tweets from my Twitter family to the posts to give them a bit more perspective. It should be a fun way to watch the show as well. Twitter is the ultimate feedback tool, for good or bad.

The Hot List returns next week. But right now, I think Jacob Lusk (who needs tone it down), Lauren Alaina (who needs to show some maturity), Casey Abrams (who can’t fall into the Taylor Hicks trap), and Pia Toscano are the front runners. My two underdogs are Thia Megia and James Durbin. Don’t underestimate Durbin’s feel good story.

(I always trying to peek around the TV to see if they show a back shot of J. Lo. I want to see if she’s still bootylicious.)

And Ryno Seacrest is now on screen which means Idol is back. He says that the group gets to choose a song by their personal idol and they were able to work with Jimmy Iovine and his group of producers. Jimmy’s in the crowd.

Lauren Alaina is up first singing Shania Twain’s Any Man Of Mine. Much of Lauren’s charm is her energy and her ability to wail when she needs to wail. So she chose a fairly straight forward country song where she doesn’t really get to show off her vocals. It’s pretty hard for her to be boring, but she succeeded in being boring tonight. Steven says that he wishes her song was a bit more “kick-ass”. J. Lo says that it’s time to kick it up a bit. Randall says her voice is so big and she needs to shine beyond belief.

@mrbjorke says:

Lauren A. kicks off #idol10 with a Shania song. Its just average and doesn’t show off her range.

By the way, two of my best friends are already in on J. Lo.

@girlwonderful says:

J.Lo’s red lip is stunning!

@aubreyanne says:

I’m diggin JLo’s red lips…I may have to start sporting color…

Casey Abrams chooses Joe Cocker as his idol. Casey says he’s partly a Joe Cocker fan because he’s not that handsome. Ha! He’s singing With A Little Help From My Friends. He gives us exactly what Randall was talking about. He showed the judges exactly what they wanted to see out of him. J. Lo says she felt him. Randall says he was unbelievable and makes listening to singing fun. Steven says he’s a rainbow of talent and a plethora of passion. Maybe he should title his album, “Plethora of Passion”.

@amymoore15

I would buy Casey’s album right now #Idol10

@AmandaMarieSFG

WHEN Casey Abrams has an album … I’ll BUY it. #idol

@IAMJericho

Getting ready to cast my vote for Casey Abrams. He gave me some serious goosebumps tonight…

Ashthon Jones is singing Diana Ross’ When You Tell Me That You Love Me. It’s kind of odd because she doesn’t have a Diana-like voice, or Diana’s diva-ish vibe. It wasn’t terrible, but it was very forgettable. And I’m not sure when Diana Ross was every forgettable, good or bad. Randall says it was safe, but he liked it. Steven says he has confidence that she’ll show more. J. Lo says she needs to sing songs that are easier to sing along with.

@cake_gal says:

She can sing but I am not an aston fan..hope she goes home.

@KSay4SF says:

I think Ashthon has a great voice. But she doesn’t bring anything new. Plenty like her. IMO #Idol10

Paul McDonald is next and he’s singing Come Pick Me Up by Ryan Adams. I have a feeling this will be the most polarizing performance of the night. He’s going to need his fans to pick him up. His voice was raspy and his dancing was a bit drunken. I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow, word got out that he drank a bottle of whiskey before his performance. Steven says he loves the rasp in his voice. J. Lo says he’s so unique and he moved the crowd, but she’s not sure that America will get it. Randall says he loves the character of who Paul is.

@jflorez says:

I don’t want to hear Paul Mcdonald’s voice anymore-don’t get it. #idol10

Pia Toscano is singing Celine Dion’s All By Myself. I’m very afraid for her. She was a bit nervous, but she did far better than I thought was possible. And the fact that she’s absolutely gorgeous doesn’t hurt either. J. Lo says she topped last week. Randall says she hit the notes dead on without even thinking about them. Steve says she polished the apple.

@karizzmma says:

Heard from a male member of my household about Pia: “Wow, she’s my favorite. I haven’t heard her sing yet.” #idol10

@Rivas_Island says:

Idk who Pia Toscano is but that breezy is smokin’ hot!!

@HoachX says:

I think Steven Tyler has run out of one liners. He needs to call Simon or @TheRock for some advice. #idol10

James Durbin looks up to Paul McCartney and he’s wearing a dangling cross earring, worn only by himself, Barry Bonds, and a 21-year old me. He’s singing Maybe I’m Amazed. Durbin understands what his meal ticket is. He’s going to make his money with that rocker wail and he better give it to us every performance. Good stuff. Randall says he can do anything. Steven says he did such a good job. J. Lo says he has a melodic quality to his voice and he’s everything.

@taylove2 says:

#idol10 is crazy good this year. I can’t pick my favorite! #Jamesdurbin you are awesome! No doubt about it.

Haley Reinhart is singing Blue by LeeAnn Rimes. She has the sass and confidence that Lauren was missing tonight. Vocally, she was a bit off at points, but she closed it well. Steven says she did a good job and it was so so fine. J. Lo says she does special things with her voice that are so diverse. Randall says it was a little boring and sleepy.

@cake_gal says:

I like haley…not sure why she was hula dancin to a country song though lol

Jacob Lusk’s idol is R. Kelly. Let’s hope he doesn’t start peeing on stage. He’s going to sing I Believe I Can Fly from Michael Jordan’s Space Jam. Holy cow, Jacob’s voice is rich. He went from zero to sixty in three seconds. It’s a bit over the top though and what I fear is that people get sick of him going so far over the top. Steven says he can’t judge it because it’s so good. J. Lo says he’s hard to judge because he makes them feel so much. Randall says he has such a signature sound.

@tati1120 says:

Jacob just took idol to church. #idol10

Thia Megia is singing Smile, which she knows is by her hero Michael Jackson, but doesn’t know is originally from Charlie Chaplain. Out of all the Michael Jackson songs to choose from, I don’t get this choice. The performance is just odd. Her voice is much more suited for someone like recent number one selling artist Adele so she comes off a bit old fashioned. But this wasn’t necessarily bad, it was just weird. Randall says he loved the intro much better than the end and wishes the entire song was like that. Steven says it was pitchy in the middle, though he liked it all in all. J. Lo says the intro was good and she likes to see her move.

@GingerSnaps says:

I miss Simon Cowell. There is no TRUE critiquing going on here. It’s all rainbows & unicorns.

Stefano Langone is next and his idol is Stevie Wonder. He’s singing Lately. I wonder if it’s the faster Wonder version or the slower Jodeci version? It’s the Stevie version. Well, until they put a dance beat behind it. What the heck was that? Vocally, he did a pretty decent job. But the fist pumping beat behind it? Horrendous. Whoever’s idea it was to do that should be fired. Stefano did yeoman’s work considering he was covering Stevie. Steven says he pulled it off and it built from the beginning to the end. J. Lo says the song was really him and it sounded great. Randall says he covered Stevie in a way that would make him proud.

@mrbjorke says:

Stefano sings “Lately” with a horrible disco beat. But nails notes. All in all it was aight. #idol10

Karen Rodriguez’s hero is Selena and she’s singing my favorite Selena song I Could Fall In Love. I really thought she was going to knock this out of the park, but there was something missing. This is exactly her lane and it wasn’t well-sung and was quite boring. J. Lo says she was a bit uncomfortable with the notes and she’s usually spot on. Randall says it felt like she was fighting the song. Steven says the energy was lacking.

@mlsoliman says:

OMG this chick is going to sing a Selena song in front of Selinasssss? It better be good. #idol10

Scotty McCreery is singing his idol Garth Brooks’ The River. It’s right in his wheelhouse. He’s going to nail these kinds of performances. It’s when they make him sing something different that he may struggle. Randall says if it ain’t broke, don’t think about fixing it. Steven says he did Garth justice. J. Lo says he’s opening up as a performer.

@tati1120

Scotty was good.. and the crowd loved him. #idol10

Naima Adedapo is next and her idol is Rihanna. Chris Brown just punched a car window. She’s singing Umbrella. Imagine a quirky and less sexy singer than Rihanna, but with a better voice. That’s Naima. Wait, I think she just freestyled. It was definitely the most original performance of the night completely with faux lightening in the middle of the performance. It might be top three of the entire night. Steven says she brought flavor tonight. J. Lo says she has fire. Randall says he loved the reggae freestyle, though she lost her breath a bit with the dancing.

@Genspin says:

Ooh! Hold on. Wait a minute. Naima Adedapo just stole the show! I love the reggae feel! #americanidol

It was a very long night. These two hour shows are hard to get through. I think my favorite performances were by Big Game James Durbin, Naima, and Casey. I think the bottom three will be Thia, Karen, and Ashton.

Seacrest out!

The photo of Jennifer Lopez was shared by Wikipedia and through the public domain.

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