James Durbin and Paris Tassin had different motivations than most on the stage last night – their children. Paris sang a copy cat version of “My Heart Will Go On” for her daughter, who suffers from hearing loss. James sang his butt off with “Oh Darlin’” and threw in high notes kind of just because he could. The judges must have liked the show, though, because both parents moved on to the next round.
Beauty queen Stormi Henley sang with no heart and almost no voice. Good thing for her she’s pretty because her singing voice is just plain squeaky and annoying. Stormi was another contestant whose getting past the judges the first time was astounding, though it was obviously based completely on looks since Randy and Steven were the two who were blinded by her, and Jen saw right past her face. As Stormi packed her suitcase, she reflected that she had had no real chance of making it anyway since most still present in Hollywood had such big, strong voices. At least she realizes where her strengths aren’t.
Heidi Khzam had belly danced her way into Steven and Randy’s hearts, but her voice also didn’t stand up when pit against strong ones. It was comforting to see the pretty, albeit not so talented, contestants weeded out for the right reasons in this round.
Lauren Alaina gave a simple, sweet version of “Unchained Melody.” She opened up expertly on the chorus, and then pulled her voice back for the end of it. No question – she moved on to Round 2.
Big sob story guy Chris Medina choked up a bit when Steven inquired about his wheelchair bound fiancée. He was touched that the rock star remembered his story. (Steven had the added bonus of being able to watch back footage of contestants and get reminders about who everyone is from producers. Of course, though, Chris’s over the top tear jerking tale is hard to forget.) In case anyone forgot about Julianna, we got to see a repeat of footage from Chris’s first audition. Then Chris delivered a clear, open, and sort of blasé performance of Jason Mraz’s “You and I Both.” Chris is not the most original or impressive singer ever seen on Idol, but he’s still pleasant enough to listen to.
A lot of people at this point had confessed to being incredibly nervous before delivering low standard, squeaky, pitchy performances. Steven told the hopefuls that seeing so many people wasting their potential “hurts our hearts.” If the Idols of Season 10 weren’t willing to leave their all on the stage, they still wouldn’t get another shot.
One young boy who wouldn’t have to worry about this was JC Badeaux. He sang “Broken Road” with all of the easy control and melody of someone who’s been singing for years. This kid is ridiculously talented without all the bells, whistles, pained facial expressions, and over straining that so many others use to try to prove that they’re really SINGING. He’s great without trying, plain and simple. I can not wait to see more of him.
Robbie Rosen sang “Knocks Me Off My feet”, and Steven gave a big war whoop of approval. Hollie Cavanagh, the English girl who almost completely blew her chances due to nerves when she faced the judges the first time, sang amazingly well in this round and was so much more impressive than she was the first time around. I had to reassess the fact that I thought she’d crack under the heavier pressure – she soared. Both contestants got through.