Last night’s “1 of 8 Voted Off” American Idol results show was pretty normal. A couple standard results night performances, including Kelly Clarkson’s return to the Idol stage, where she proceeded to knock it out of the park (even though Jason Aldean, her duet partner, certainly did not) and the unfortunate (though expected) ouster of Paul McDonald. We love you, Paul! Thanks for being so upbeat about getting voted off!
But, I can’t be too upset about Paul’s exit when there was (finally) a definitive Idol “moment” last night. Mr. Casey Abrams and Miss Haley Reinhart sang a jazzy, precise and melodic (they even had a scatting exchange!) rendition of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ “Moanin'” that brought the crowd to their feet. Haley displayed an expert use of her head voice, complete with healthy vibrato (though she managed to avoid the Jacob Lusk-esque vibrato overkill) and she carried the melody line wonderfully on top of Casey’s harmonies. And, of course, she growled. But, she growled excellently. The show’s stylists also deserve some kind of award for making her look so good last night. Best she’s looked all season. Casey’s scatting section was so precise and musical, and he dirtied up his vocals at all the necessary junctures. His voice was perfectly suited (even more so than Haley’s) to this kind of jazzy arrangement.
Finally, a performance that lives up to these two’s massive potential. I’ve embedded the video below, so do yourself a favor and watch it. Until next week, fellow Idol super-fans.