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American Idol 2011: James Durbin Rocks, Haley Reinhart Growls

Posted by on April 21, 2011 at 7:41 PM EST

casey abrams idol 2011James Durbin showed us his Muse, Haley Reinhart growled into the night and Casey Abrams made us all feel awkward as hell.

It was songs from the 21st century night on American Idol last night which gave the final 7 a lot of range of songs to choose from. As you might expect there were some who did better than others during this strange night that saw the Steven Tyler curse on live TV, Jennifer Lopez get kissed and the judges actually be kind of critical. Out of this melee here are my picks (James Durbin, Haley Reinhart, Casey Abrams) for this week’s best performances.

James Durbin, to me, was the hands down winner of the week. His choice of Muse’s “Uprising” was inspired and having a live drum line playing along with him was a great idea. His voice was strong and the high notes were put to better use than I have seen so far this season. His outfit was a little odd and the whole thing was a little over the top, but it was still hands and arms above what everyone else did. It seems to me that James Durbin knows two speeds, all or nothing, which is a good thing when it comes to a rock singer.

Haley Reinhart took a risk and it paid off well when she did Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” It is a big song meant for a big voice and she brought it home nicely. She could have easily gotten lost in the song, but she held her own and she brought that jazzy growl of hers out to lend it some emotion. The danger of doing a song that is a current hit is that everyone will compare you instantly to that song, but here I thought Haley Reinhart did a good job and showed that she does belong.

As an honorable mention I add Casey Abrams. Choosing Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe “was an interesting choice. Choosing to play guitar while being backed by a band showed that he really is a musician. Towards the end of the song he even played the guitar like a bass for a few bars. It was kind of like glam pop meets geek rock. Casey Abrams is the only singer I look forward to seeing each week because I am interested in knowing what he is going to do. When he kissed Jennifer Lopez and made her blush it was perfection, crazy and fun – just like he is. He may not win this competition (I really doubt he will), but his the album I would most look forward to hearing.

James, Haley and Casey are my choices for this week’s American Idol winners. Tune in tonight at 8PM of FOX to see who gets voted out. I have a feeling Casey Abrams and James Durbin will be safe. Haley Reinhart is a girl so she is always in danger, but I would still be a little shocked if any of these three were sent packing.



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