Saturday, May 21, 2011

American Idol's Haley Reinhart & James Durbin together make up 13 of the Top 25 most popular iTunes singles this year.

"We’re getting down to the wire, so this is about the time when we all start to speculate on how successful our beloved contestants will be when they are done with the show. The first step to achieving success, at least for most, is fairing well in the recording studio.

The great part about Idol is we get a glimpse into what these kids’ recordings will sound like, as each week, the contestants release full-studio versions of their live performances.

So, without further ado, here are American Idol Season 10’s most popular studio recordings on iTunes:

(NOTE: Rankings are based on the number of iTunes song ratings (as well as their star ratings) and the number of file-sharers to account for total popularity)

1. “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals — Haley Reinhart (Top 5)

What an awesome song! Just like her live version, the song starts out a capella and builds from there. She also belts out a few more big notes than in the live version (since she was forced to cut some parts out), and I honestly believe those are the best parts of the studio bit. The Animals’ version is pretty epic, but Haley somehow tops it 46 years later.

2. “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John — Haley Reinhart (Top 11 Redux)

Haley haters: you should really check out her studio recordings. She growls a lot less! Just so you know: she doesn’t have to growl, she just does it because it adds so much character to her voice. I happen to love the growl, and even though it’s almost non-existent in this version, it’s still extremely catchy. As well as Haley sang this one live, her studio version might even be better. Her vocals are perfect and everything about it sounds really modern. It’s also quicker than Elton John’s.

3. “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele — Haley Reinhart (Top 7)

It sure does bode well for Haley that she can take the #1 song in the country, put her own twist on it, and make it sound at least as good as the original. I liked that there is a lot more variety here than in Adele’s. Her phrasing is gorgeous (she seems to be the best at that), and the liberties she takes with the runs are quite impressive. If the radio has destroyed Adele’s song for you, give this one a go!

4. “The River” by Garth Brooks — Scotty McCreery (Top 13)

This is Scotty’s first studio recording, which explains why it is so high in the rankings. The first time you hear his studio voice, you can’t help but bop your head up and down with the song. Even if you don’t like country music, he has a much deeper, richer tone than any of the current pop-country stars we have today. His lower register is showcased brilliantly in this song.

5. “Uprising” by Muse — James Durbin (Top 7)

James was a bit clumsy with the notes in his live performance of this song, and those screams actually turned screechy. I enjoy a good on-key scream, but it was a bit much. In his studio version, his notes are obviously spot-on, and there is no overcooked scream at the end. Also, his lower register sounds infinitely better in the studio than it does on the stage, which really helped make this one sound superb. He left the song virtually unchanged from the Muse version, but I still like it a lot.

6. “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney and Wings — James Durbin (Top 13)

The lower parts of the song sound really nice, but when he goes into his upper register, his voice sounds strikingly thin for a studio version. This song’s ranking is a bit inflated because of James’ “shock boot”. He sang this one for his swan song, so a lot of people came back and downloaded it.

7. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by Carole King/The Shirelles – James Durbin (Top 6)

For the most part, James’ voice sounds excellent in the studio. He has showcased some weaknesses live, such as a thin lower register, wobbly notes, and screechiness, but you should definitely check out his recorded stuff. Since he doesn’t have to belt it out as much in-studio, his voice has a much crisper tone, and his lower register sounds really strong. There’s a lot more substance in his recording voice, which could help him land a good contract. One thing he has to do is lose the excessive screaming in his recordings, as that’s built more for live performances, not for my iPod’s ear buds.

8. “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen/Celine Dion— Pia Toscano (Top 13)

Oh. My. God. This is just unreal. Everyone knows that Pia has an amazing live voice, but she is just as good here. There’s a pureness about it that is so pleasing. Her high notes in this bit are incredible. The power notes are, of course, spectacular, but her soft highs are even more enjoyable. Great build up to the finish. I can see why it cracked the Top 10. Celine Dion has a new rival.

9. “Can I Trust You With My Heart” by Travis Tritt — Scotty McCreery (Top 12)

Meh. This one puts me to sleep. It feels like he is singing the same three notes over and over again. That’s the thing about Scotty – he has such a limited range. The first couple of times you hear him, he sounds outstanding, but that fondness wears out rather quickly. How else do you explain that after his FIRST TWO studio recordings, none of his songs appear on this list until #24? And that #24 song is “Gone” – way out of the box for Scotty. Even though he can stay in his comfort zone right now without risk of penalty, he can’t do that if he wants to be a post-Idol success. He needs to keep things fresh; hopefully he realizes that.

10. “Blue” written for Patsy Cline; by LeAnn Rimes — Haley Reinhart (Top 13)

This is going to fluster the Scotty/Lauren fans, but some may argue that Haley Reinhart owns the best Country performance on the American Idol stage this year, with this LeAnn Rimes song. The recorded version isn’t quite as strong as her live performance, but it’s still great. Some people don’t appreciate the yodel, but it’s very difficult to do. You’re moving in and out of falsetto with each note, so making smooth transitions and staying on pitch can be a nightmare. But this was done perfectly. Believe it or not, this is the first recorded song I downloaded this season, and apparently I wasn’t the only one.

11. “With a Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles — Casey Abrams (Top 13)

12. “Your Song” by Elton John; in the movie Moulin Rouge — Casey Abrams (Top 11 Redux)

13. “I (Who Have Nothing)” by Ben E. King/Tom Jones/Shirley Bassey — Haley Reinhart (Top 4)

14. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles — James Durbin (Top 9)

15. “I’ll Be There For You” by Bon Jovi — James Durbin (Top 12)

16. “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner — Pia Toscano (Top 9)

17. “Living For the City” by Stevie Wonder — James Durbin (Top 11)

18. “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5 — Casey Abrams (Top 7)

19. “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus — Lauren Alaina (Top 8

20. “Come Pick Me Up” by Ryan Adams — Paul McDonald (Top 13)

21. “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin — Haley Reinhart (Top 9)

22. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival — Casey Abrams (Top 9)

23. “You and I” by Lady Gaga — Haley Reinhart (Top 5)

24. “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry — Scotty McCreery (Top 5)

25. “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John — Lauren Alaina (Top 11 Redux)
source:idolheaded


Studio Versions of all American Idol Season 10 songs from the Top 13 performances through the Top 3 are available! Save money by getting the entire album for each week, or click the Idols name for a list of all their performances. Click below to go to ITunes:
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American Idol's James Durbin Rocks The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

James Durbin, American Idol Season 10's resident Metal~Head, rocks The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

The day following his elimination from American Idol, James Durbin stepped onto The Tonight Show stage and rocked the house.

Despite Idol viewers making such a huge mistake, the Santa Cruz kid is proud of what he brought to the competition.

“I came here [Idol] to do what I wanted to do and I stuck to it,” Durbin told Jay Leno, “and I think I did a pretty good job.”

James then sat in with The Tonight Show band for the rest of the show, rocking many of his Idol tracks, including "You Got Another Thing Coming" by Judas Priest, "Heavy Metal" by Sammy Hagar (from the movie Heavy Metal), Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City", "Saturday's Alright for Fighting" by Elton John and Carole King's (and The Shirelles') "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow".




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American Idol's Haley Reinhart Gives a Hauntingly Beautiful Performance of “Rhiannon”

Haley Reinhart, American Idol Season 10's frisky and feisty fighter gives a hauntingly beautiful performance of “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac as her second song, producer Jimmy Iovine's choice, during the Final 3 Showdown.

"Haley says she’s got to remember the words to “Rhiannon”. It’s an abstract song, but she loves it. Jimmy says from the minute he met her, he thought she should sing a Stevie Nicks song. Haley loves Stevie Nicks. Her mom is a fan. Jimmy says the important thing is to grab the end so we can hear every color she has. The song begins slow with a piano. Haley’s unusual tone is perfect, haunting. The song speeds up, the band comes in, the wind machine starts blowing, and Haley seems a little preoccupied with remembering the words – keeping her from going full out at the end like Jimmy suggested. Randy Jackson: Why were you looking up like “thank God I got through that.” I think you did a good job with it. Your pitch was perfect. More of a somber mood for me. Steven, do guys have wind machines? Positively, says Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. Steven: You sang that song so beautifully. Jlo: It was a beautiful moment. It looked beautiful on camera. I thought you were going to take it a little further at the end, but it was a nice contrast to what you did first."
source:mjs

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Judging




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American Idol's Scotty McCreery Singing “She Believes in Me” on the Final 3 Showdown

Scotty McCreery, American Idol Season 10's Country Crooner, sings “She Believes in Me” by Kenny Rogers as his third song ~ the 'Judges Choice' ~ on the Final 3 Showdown.

"We see footage of Scotty in Garner receiving his song pick. Really judges? This song is ANCIENT. Jimmy’s pick was way better than yours. This is way too old for Scotty. He’s doing a solid job, however, telling a sweet story. He does a beautiful job hitting the big notes in the chorus. Steven Tyler: That’s the first big chorus in a big way. You put it over the top for me. Jennifer Lopez: We wanted to see if you could hit that chorus. You showed us. It’s about you stretching yourself at this point. It was a little different for you...you were so sweet and tender in the front, you hit the chorus...very nicely done. Scotty’s dad tells him, from the audience, how proud he is of him. “Very proud of you song.” Dad sings a snippet, "Baby Lock them doors" (imitating Josh Turner)...Scotty laughs."
source:mjs






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Lauren Alaina Performs “I Hope You Dance” on the American Idol Final 3 Showdown

Country singer Lauren Alaina performed “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack as her 'Judges Choice' song on the American Idol Season 10 Final 3 Showdown.

"Lauren has collected herself and is singing without incident or mishap! A solid job from Lauren, beautiful tone, nice phrasing. I can’t help imagining what Carrie Underwood or Jordin Sparks would have done with that song. Jlo: You cannot buy those, those are not for sale. You gave me goosies from head to toe. I’m going to dare say you won that round already. Randy: Leann would say you slayed it. I love your dress. You sang it great. Ryan this girl is also in it to win it. Steven: You walked down here like you owned the Grand Ole Opry. You sang that song perfectly LOL at Jlo calling the round for Lauren before Haley even sings.
source:mjs






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Friday, May 20, 2011

American Idol's James Durbin Asks "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" at the Durbin Day Concert

After the shocking elimination of American Idol Season 10's Metal-Head James Durbin, he was still allowed a hometown visit. This was the first time in Idol history that a finalist outside of the Final 3 was given the honour of a Homecoming. During Durbin Day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on May 14, 2011, James asked the assembled crowd of 30,000, "Will you Still Love Me Tomorrow?", and sang an amazing version of this Carole King/The Shirelles song.



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American Idol's Lauren Alaina Singing “If I Die Young” on the Top 3 Showdown

American Idol Season 10's Sweet Young Thang Lauren Alaina sings “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry on the Final 3 Showdown.

Lauren's audition plays, and there she is – the confident kid who had the cajones to vocally spar with Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. Where’d that kid go? Lauren was 6 years old when first started watching Idol. She wants this more than anything. Jimmy Iovine has wanted her to sing this song since he met her. Jimmy says it’s right in her sweet spot. She begins beautifully, with a gorgeous tone, hitting the high notes with a nice rasp. But she gets distracted in the middle and misses the modulation. Another example of why Lauren should have waited a minute or two before trying out. Jlo: You have the most beautiful tone of our finalists. A magical thing. You had an honest moment, you got caught up in yourself, in the honesty. That’s ok. You’re only 16. Randy Jackson: You realized right away – that’s what it’s all about. You’ve got such a beautiful tone. A good song choice from Jimmy. You are in it to win it too. Steven Tyler: I loved it. I heard that turn around. It’s a beautiful song, you’ve got a beautiful voice. You nailed it again. “I missed my key change,” says Lauren. “It’s how you recover,” says Ryan. Mom, from the audience says, “It’s crazy, nerve wracking, and I think I’ve aged 20 years.”
source:mjs

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American Idol's Scotty McCreery Asks “Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not” on the Final 3 Showdown

American Idol Season 10's Scotty McCreery ask “Are You Going to Kiss Me or Not” by Thompson Square...and all the girls in American answer "Hell YES!!"

A recap of Scotty’s first audition in front of the judges. BABY LOCK THEM DOORS. Scotty says his audition feels like it happened 10 years ago. Jimmy says the song reminds him of the Tom Petty records he worked on. Scotty strums his guitar. Good song choice for Scotty, although I wish he would have added a little more of a rock feel to it, like Jimmy Iovine suggested. The tune’s got a GREAT chorus. Is this what Scotty will sound like when he records his record? If so, he’s definitely moving in the right direction. Steven Tyler: I never heard you deliver a chorus like that before. Real character shown through. Jlo: There was so many moments in there I liked so much. That’s what the zone feels like – you feel so comfortable in your skin. Will you shave your head for the finale? Randy Jackson: Jimmy picked a good song for you. It had a great chorus. I felt like Garth Brooks is such a great performer – you were approaching that Garth level. I felt like I was at your concert again. Guess what I’m going to say again Ryan? SCOTTY’S IN IT TO WIN IT. Drink! Drink! Drink!
source:mjs

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American Idol's Haley Reinhart Goes Out With a Bang Belting "Bennie & The Jets" on the Final 3 Results Show

Feisty Haley Reinhart goes out with a bang ~ and gets her revenge ~ belting out Elton John's "Bennie & The Jets" as her final song on the American Idol Season 10 Final 3 Results Show. We've all been waiting for someone to have their 'moment' during the Final 3. Haley came very close with Led Zeppelin's “What is and What Should Never Be”, but that was one song out of nine ~ on a very boring, very safe show. Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina never sang a show-stopping song for the Final 3. But after Haley got eliminated, she blew them both out of the water. You could tell by the looks on their faces, they were both wondering, "How am I going to top Haley's "Bennie & The Jets" on the Finale?"

BRAVO HALEY!!! You went out with grace, and one of the best performances of the season. We are so, so proud of you!

Did you all catch Haley's subtle, yet beautifully placed, slap in the face to JeaLous JLo and Randy?? Her brilliant change of words in "Bennie & The Jets" told us exactly what Haley thought of their harsh, unjustified criticism...

"Say, Randy and JLo, have you seen them yet?
OH, BUT THEY ARE SO SPACED OUT, B-B-B-Bennie and Steven"





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Thursday, May 19, 2011

American Idol's Haley Reinhart Sings “What is and What Should Never Be” on the Final 3 Showdown

American Idol Season 10's Fearless Haley Reinhart 'gets the Led out' with “What is and What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin as her 'Personal Choice' song on the Final 3 Showdown. Tonight the Idols will sing three songs each, and the guest celebrity mentor is Beyonce. Beyonce says this Led Zeppelin song shows Haley's "guts, strength and fearlessness. She’s a risk taker for not picking a Pop song or something everyone knows. She has conviction. It makes you believe in what she believes in. Which is a huge part of being a Super Star. I think Haley is a Rock Star. Haley has a presence." Beyonce loves the warmth and natural raspiness in Haley's voice. Haley says she’s "grown up around Classic Rock, and my parents are in a band together." Haley's dad is going to join her onstage, playing guitar!

Haley looks fantastic! She starts the song at the top of the stairs and struts down, showing all her confidence. Haley growls and wails, and shows off her whole range. She takes command of the stage and has the audience on it's feet. Haley is definitely a Rock Star tonight! Haley takes a spill on the stairs, and gets up without missing a beat...a consummate professional! She ends the song with a bang...glorious, luminous vocals. The strongest performance so far. The audience goes wild, and Randy Jackson and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler are on their feet. Huge standing ovation. Round One HALEY REINHART!!! No one is going to remember the first two performances after Haley slayed it like that. Haley has
had her moment! Randy yells, "This is what it’s all about! I love the fact that this girl is slaying it. You’re fearless. This is like crazy vocals. Got your father on stage. One of your best performances EVER! CRAZY CRAZY! HALEY’S IN IT TO WIN IT!" Steven Tyler asks, "Did you fall for me? It's not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get up. That was superb. That was just so so good." Randy said, "I thought the fall was planned!" Jlo praised, "Everybody's fallen onstage. You gotta keep going. That’s a sign of a professional. That's the sign of someone who knows what they're doing. These people deserve more than that, and you gave it to them. It was a really tough song, you sang it reallly, really great. It was a good good round for you."

Host Ryan Seacrest has a chat with the judges ~ It's unanimous! Rund One goes to Haley Reinhart!

Pre-Performance Video with Beyonce


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Judging



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