'American Idol' Recap: The Top 8 Take on Songs from the Movies and No One Listens to Jimmy Iovine
'American Idol' Recap: The Top 8 Take on Songs from the Movies and No One Listens to Jimmy Iovine
It's "Songs from the Movies" week on American Idol, which means that this week I will remember that there are other songs to sing besides "Danger Zone" from Top Gun. Maybe Paul McDonald will sing something from the Twilight soundtrack as a nod to his current lady love? Let's hope not. Will James Durbin finally take on a song by Aerosmith? Is 2011 the year of the jumpsuit? Will "My Heart Will Go On" be forever banned from singing competitions? All these questions and more will be answered when American Idol goes to the movies.

First, with special smoke effects, Idol reminds us that we sent Pia home and it's our fault because we didn't vote until our fingers bled for all 9 contestants last week. Well, I didn't. Maybe you did? Anyway, The Most Beautiful Jennifer Lopez is once again congratulated for being beautiful, and the world is right again.

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In Top 8 fashion this week, Haley is wearing what may be her shortest skirt yet, James found a way to make the flatiron work, Casey's beard is but a shadow now, and Paul has ANOTHER rose suit in his closet.

Paul McDonald is singing "Old Time Rock and Roll" from Risky Business. Oh, and Will.I.Am is STILL hanging around the Idol rehearsal set. He's here to stay, you guys. I think Paul is his best when he's a little crazy and out of control, and while the energy was there tonight, the voice was not. It was thin and not great, kind of like that crap saxophone solo that happened in there.

Paulbadsax.jpgSteven Tyler wants to borrow that suit, Jennifer thought he got a little further, and Randy called "the first number in the Paul McDonald concert." Are the judges even going to talk about the singing anymore? Does it still matter?

Lauren Alaina, still wearing her pajamas, wanted to sing "The Climb," from the cinematic masterpiece known as The Hannah Montana Movie and Jimmy will let her. Maybe the song will be better with Lauren taking it on? If you close your eyes, it sounds like a really good live Miley performance, which is actually saying something if you check out Miss Miley's previous live performances of this song, particularly the one on Season 9 of American Idol. So, a disappointing song choice, but a pretty good performance!

Oh my god, Lauren Alaina's mom's hair.

workthathairlaurensmom.jpgStefano Langone is just focusing on not getting eliminated tonight. He tells us that when Pia was eliminated it was a tough night for him and "a tough night for America." Wow. Stefano is singing "End of the Road" from Boomerang. I'm not familiar with Boomerang, but I think we all knew that this theme was a pretty broad one. Stefano is keeping his eyes good and open for this performance, and he's working to make sure it's not the end of the road for him. I think it's a few steps up from his performances the last few weeks. It had a different, better energy to it. Randy thought it was so good that he's expecting a text message about it. Then Randy will text back, "STEFANO'S IN IT 2 WIN IT!!"

Scotty McCreery, America's Country Boy, is singing a George Strait song from Pure Country, naturally. He accidentally called Jimmy Iovine "dude," then corrected himself and said, "sir," which pretty much encapsulates why I like Scotty. That and the way he holds the microphone.

whatchalookinatScotty.jpgLike Jimmy Iovine, I wish he had stuck with "Everybody's Talking," but this was good, too. Not my favorite Scotty performance, but it was still strong. COUNTRY STRONG. Jennifer says, "Everybody wants us to be tough, but you guys are just so damn good!" So there's how she addressed that issue.

Casey Abrams looks good this week, with his beard all trimmed up. Casey is singing "Nature Boy" by Nat King Cole this week, even though Jimmy Iovine was rooting for Phil Collins. He's gotta do him, Jimmy! I like Jimmy Iovine, though, because he's the only remaining hardass on this show. Casey is back to looking scary some of the time, and totally charming at other times when he sings. I am embarrassed to admit that I only know this song from Moulin Rouge (I know. Shut up). I thought he was great. I like that he kept it minimal and jazzy and hip. I like Casey because he always looks surprised that he did a good job. Casey came out of the jazz closet this week and it worked.

JazzyjazzyCasey.jpgHaley Reinhart has had some good weeks. Can she represent for the girls with Blondie's "Call Me"? Apparently this was in the movie American Gigolo. Every time I watch Haley, I'll be enjoying it but thinking, "don't growl, don't growl, don't growl." If I could use the Secret for just one thing, it would be that. It had some really great moments, and some not-as-great moments, but I think she has successfully redeemed herself in this competition. Randy, giving the first criticism of the night, didn't think it was a good song to showcase her voice. Steven liked Haley's short dress and mid-thigh boots. Jennifer doesn't want any more girls to get voted off.

Why is Rob Reiner sitting next to Elvira? Let's just let that one go.

Has Jacob Lusk been called out for saying that thing about looking at yourself in the mirror enough? Either way, Jimmy says that Jacob can't do any more "corny" stuff. Still, he's singing "Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water." A big ballad -- is Jacob the new Pia? This was Jacob the way I like to see him, sort of Luther Vandeross-y, controlled and contained, but taking on a song of appropriate magnitude. Like Steven might say, he took it to church, but in a good way.

James Durbin is last to sing. I hate the tank top he wore to rehearsal. But like his rebellious tank top defies good taste, James is defying Jimmy Iovine with "Heavy Metal." 'Tis the week to get on the Thanks-But-No-Thanks-Jimmy-Iovine Train. There was a big guitar solo, and not a whole lot of singing. There was some screaming, though. I don't really know what to say about this performance because while I hated it, I also acknowledge that I'm not a real metal head, and if heavy metal is your cup of tea, you might have loved it. And if you loved it, you are not wrong. James did his thing, and the judges seemed to think it was fantastic. It was something alright. Maybe I could come around on this if I didn't find James Durbin's personality post-performance so obnoxious. "America asked for it!"

Jamesbackbend.jpgSo there you have it: songs from movies you may have never seen or heard of, and no songs from Top Gun. It was a good show, though, because we saw a really nice diversity in the remaining talent.

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(Images courtesy of FOX)

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