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Blake Lewis: 'Lauren Alaina Is a Firecracker, Pia Toscano Brought the Goods!'

It was a night of rock and roll on 'Idol,' and I was pumped for it. I really enjoyed last week and now that it's down to nine contestants, the show is starting to have a better flow. will.i.am was mentoring all of the contestant's rehearsals and he was funny and had some great suggestions for most of them. Jacob Lusk started the night singing "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson (rest in peace). He did his thing to it, but it was no M.J. Some of these arrangements the contestants are getting aren't helping them reach their full potential as performers. Jacob killed it last week, but this week was just all right. I don't think it was the best song choice for him, but he is always good. //www.tvsquad.com/2011/04/07/blake-lewis-lauren-alaina-is-a-firecracker/

'American Idol' Season 10: Post Game Live Chat!

Join us here at Zap2it's "State of the American Idol Union" every Thursday at 10 a.m. PST/1 pm. EST for our "American Idol Season 10 Post Game Live Chats!" The conversations will bring together a core group of "Idol" experts, aficionados and fanatics around the blogoshere. The chat series weekly regulars I'll be joining are:Richard Rushfield, creator of Idol Inferno and author of "American Idol: The Untold Story"Kate Aurthur, West Coast Editor of The Daily BeastRickey Yaneza, the namesake behind Rickey.org, called "the essential 'American Idol' fan site" by Entertainment WeeklyM.J. Santilli, creator of MJsBigBlog and "Idol" commentary contributor to the New York Post and AOL TelevisionSpecial guests including past "American Idol" performers and insiders will add another dimension to the conversations. Guests will be announced as the chat series progresses. <a href="//www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=9fa181802c" >American Idol Top 9 Week Post Game Chat</a>... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/04/american-idol-season-10-post-game-live-chat.html

'American Idol's' Lauren Alaina: Did her 'Natural Woman' compare to those who have sung before?

While we're absolutely loving the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame week on "American Idol," there's no denying that many these songs have all been heard before, a significant number of times, on the show. The trouble with a covering a classic is that you're up against a lot of history.Such was the case with Lauren Alaina's "Natural Woman" on Wednesday night's performance show. Guest coach Will.I.Am warned her to stay controlled on the song, but it could be argued that the first part of her performance was a little too controlled. She belted it out at the end, finishing strong."It went really well," she said later, backstage. "There's a super high note in that song. I'm going to have to listen back to it, but I feel like I hit it."Steven Tyler, who has an undeniable affection for Lauren, said, "Four months ago you came in here an immature little girl, and tonight you... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/04/american-idols-lauren-alaina-did-her-natural-woman-compare-to-those-who-have-sung-before.html

'American Idol's' Scotty McCreery rocks some Elvis for Top 9

Scotty McCreery finally got to take on some Elvis for "American Idol" Top 9 Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame theme week and it was a very fun performance. The judges loved it, though Randy pointed out that this showed Scotty isn't just a "one-trick pony." We'd argue it was still pretty country, but that's what Scotty does and he does it well, so that's OK.His stage presence is still a little awkward, but he's getting more comfortable up there every week. We could've done with out the girls storming the stage at the end - that was weird and contrived.What do you think? Are you still smitten with Scotty? Did he do the King proud? And do you think he rocked out enough not to be a one-trick pony?... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/04/american-idols-scotty-mccreery-rocks-some-elvis-for-top-9.html

Did 'American Idol's' Paul McDonald make 'Folsom Prison Blues' his own?

Paul McDonald took on a legend (and one of his most famous songs, to boot) when he chose Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" for "American Idol's" Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame week. How did he do?We thought he rocked it. It was very different from Cash - and that's a good thing. It was totally Paul and it was his best song on the show so far. It also was an actual performance. So many Idols have to work on their showmanship and whether you like Paul or not, you cannot deny he's got showmanship and stage presence.What did you think? Did it rock for you like it did for us? We're seeing mixed reviews on Twitter, so let us know in the comments! ... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/04/did-american-idols-paul-mcdonald-make-folsom-prison-blues-his-own.html

'American Idol's' Casey Abrams does Creedence Clearwater Revival proud

We will confess - we love us some Creedence Clearwater Revival. They're like the hillbilly Beatles! And we had high hopes for Casey Abrams during "American Idol's" Top 9 when he chose "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" Luckily, we were not even a little disappointed. Casey sounds like he could front CCR. He was growly and in his zone, without getting too over the top and indulgent. We also love any time he brings out the upright bass.The judges heaped praise on him - this is the Casey we all know and love. What did you think? Did Casey rock on Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame week?... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/04/american-idols-casey-abrams-does-creedence-clearwater-revival-proud.html

'American Idol': Jacob Lusk is 'The Man in the Mirror'

Jacob Lusk took to the "American Idol" Top 9 stage to perform Michael Jackson's hit "Man in the Mirror." He had some weird comments about America needing to look at themselves and make a change if he doesn't advance, which - what?  It's not like he's ever been in any danger.But anyway, as a performance it was another solid outing by Jacob, we thought. He reined in the gospel sound in the beginning and then busted it out at the end, very nice build.What do you think, "Idol" fans? How did Jacob do? Do you think America needs to look in the mirror and vote for Jacob?... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/04/american-idol-jacob-lusk-is-the-man-in-the-mirror.html

'American Idol': How does Haley Reinhart's 'Piece of My Heart' stack up against other Idols?

When taking on "Piece of My Heart," on "American Idol," you aren't just putting yourself up against Janis Joplin (and Dusty Springfield, Erma Franklin and Faith Hill), you're singing a tune that's been in heavy rotation on the series since Season 1.But Haley Reinhart was up to for the challenge during the Top 9 performance night -- and the judges loved it. Jennifer Lopez called her a "contender," Steven Tyler dubbed it "beautiful" and Randy Jackson praised the little touches she put on the iconic tune. But how does it compare to the Idols that sang it before her? In addition to Haley, we've gather clips of Carrie Underwood, Asia'h Epperson and Crystal Bowersox. (Nikki McKibbin, who was the first to sing "Piece" in Season 1, is regrettably absent. The only video we could find is on some Eastern European version of YouTube and we don't know the proper translation for "embed code.")Haley ReinhartThis... //blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/04/american-idol-how-does-haley-reinharts-piece-of-my-heart-stack-up-against-other-idols.html