Melinda Doolittle critiques the ‘American Idol’ Top 7 for HitFix

Season 6 favorite Melinda Doolittle is one of the experts in HitFix’s Fantasy American Idol game and throughout the competition, she’ll be providing analysis on this season’s contenders.

Let me just start this off by saying, I loved this week! There were definitely some “what just happened” moments, but the show, as a whole, was just fun to watch! One of my favorite things is seeing the contestants be able to laugh at themselves. That”s one thing that has definitely gotten me through the up and downs of this crazy business. *Shameless plug* I even have a chapter in my book, Beyond Me, entitled ‘Laugh It Off” because I think it”s that important. :-)  Ok…back to the show! 


The opening group number…”So What”…

There”s also a chapter in my book called ‘Say Three Nice Things.” It”s something my mom used to make do before I was allowed to say anything bad about someone or something. If I couldn”t think of 3 nice things, I wasn”t allowed to say the bad stuff. Therefore, my critique of this song is over.


Scotty McCreery: “Swingin””

1. Love that the other contestants tease him about holding his microphone like a flute.

2. Really love that Scotty doesn”t care, is able to laugh about it, and isn”t going to change for anybody. 

3. Really liked the fact that he changed it up a bit and gave us a fun, upbeat song. 

My only critique is only a negative when you”re on a TV show where the audience is watching other contestants have “moments” all around you. The cool thing about Scotty is, he”s consistently good. The sad thing is, sometimes that can bore an audience. I love that the judges encouraged him to step up his game and give a bit more. I hope he does. 


James Durbin: “Uprising”

1. Love the way James” mind works. He”s such an entertainer!

2. I felt like I was being given a concert performance.

3. I really love this song by the Muse.

I love the fact that the Muse front man, Matt Bellamy, has taken such an interest in James and what he does. That”s cool. I liked his challenge to take the chorus up the octave. My only issue was that James had some major pitch issues when he took the chorus up. That being said, his pure showmanship made up for a lot of that. He”s just exciting to watch! 


Haley Reinhart: “Rolling In The Deep”

1. Haley”s voice is an amazing instrument!

2. Love how she added her own twist to this song.

3. This was my favorite performance tonight.

Haley won me over back when she sang “Benny and the Jets”, but she made me a true believer during last week”s result show performance of “Moanin”” with Casey. This girl can just flat out sing. I was watching the show last night with some of my favorite singers and we were in awe of what her voice can do. She can go from a raspy tone to one that is as clear as a bell in a matter of seconds. She has the vocal flexibility of a singer twice her age. She is amazing. Having said that, I was really nervous when she chose a song by one of my all-time favorite artists, Adele. I felt like I was going to be comparing them the whole time. That feeling went away quickly. She really added her own spice to it and I loved it. Sure, she had a couple pitch issues when she sang the word ‘deep”, but all in all, I think she nailed it! 


Jacob Lusk: “Dance With My Father”

1. I love this song!

2. I really liked that he picked a song that meant something to him.

3. I like shiny suits. :-)

So, I feel bad even critiquing this one because of his sound issues. I know that something like that can throw off a performer in a second. Not only did it mess Jacob up, the strings were even confused, so something really happened to jack things up. Since that happened at the very beginning of his song, I”m not sure we”ll ever know what kind of performance he was really planning on delivering. I know that some people have said that Jacob”s emotions got in the way of him singing the song well, and that may be the case. I imagine he was so emotionally connected to this song that all he wanted to do was pour his whole heart into it, but he couldn”t. He had to worry about whether he could hear or not. That”s so frustrating as a singer. After a while, you learn to deal with those kinds of situations, but it takes time. I hate it for him!


Casey Abrams: “Harder To Breathe”

1. I love me some Casey Abrams!

2. I like that he got a little funky at the beginning. 

3. This boy is fearless!

Let me just get this out of the way. I wish I had the guts to go up and kiss Simon at the end of one of my songs when I was on Idol. Some people were upset by Casey kissing a judge…I was jealous. :-)  Now, back to the song. I was nervous about this one because I thought he might scream it like “Teen Spirit”, so I was pleasantly surprised when he didn”t. I loved the groove at the beginning and then loved his rock feel once he got to the chorus. Yes, his fast walk across the stage was funny/awkward and some little girl”s hand probably still hurts today from Casey”s version of a high five, but I liked it! I love that Casey just gets into the song and seems to be having so much fun with it. I”m just glad he takes us along for the ride. 


Stefano Langone: “Closer”

1. He”s so cute.

2. He sang a fast song!

3. He wore short sleeves so I could see his arms. *swoon*

I was reminded this morning that Stefano was a boxer. That explains his “One, Two Punch” approach to this song. I admit it was hard for me to let go of Ne-yo”s smooth delivery of this song and embrace the harder hitting version Stefano chose. I love him and I think his voice is gorgeous, plus I think he”s cute, so I was intrigued to say the least…but something didn”t click all the way for me. I think I like it when a man”s “sexy” is understated and this performance definitely didn”t have that element. 


Lauren Alaina: “Born To Fly”

1. I love Lauren”s tone.

2. This was a really fun song.

3. She”s such a cutie. :-)

I think Lauren has so much more in her that we are not getting to see. First of all, something tells me she could have done this song in a higher key without breaking a sweat. Secondly, I don”t know that we”ve seen her fully commit to a performance yet. Sometimes, it seems like Lauren is a little distracted by everything going on around her. Trust me, it”s easy to do. I would really like to see a week where she lets all of that go and just soars. It”s easier said than done, but I think that when that happens, she will have the time of her life and we will see her true potential. Come on Lauren, I believe in you!

Like I said, this was a great week. The season 10 contestants are bringing it, so it may be a hard one this week. Who do you think goes home tonight? 



Stay in touch with Melinda…Go to MelindaDoolittle.com for tour dates, pics & video, and more (and make sure to ‘Follow‘ and ‘Like‘ her while you’re there)!