Guest Blogger and 'American Idol' Alum Constantine Maroulis: 'James Will Win'
The Season 4 finalist says if Durbin doesn't, "it will be an Adam Lambert thing again -- second, but really first."
Constantine Maroulis graduated from season 4, which was not only among Idol’s strongest years, but the one that discovered the show’s biggest seller, Carrie Underwood. So it’s serendipitous that this week’s show featured Lauren Alaina styled in classic Underwood regalia (for both numbers). And in another season 4 flashback, Haley Reinhart began her second song a capella, much like Bo Bice did for his Top 3 performance of “In A Dream.”
There is always something to be learned from Idols past -- no doubt James Durbin has looked to Constantine’s experience as Idol’s resident rocker for guidance – but according to the Idol Worship guest blogger (for the appropriately themed “Now and Then” week), the first crucial step towards having a successful career in entertainment starts the day after your elimination, and never truly ends.
Constantine should know. His is among the more diverse post-Idol journeys, and includes a starring role in the Broadway musical “Rock of Ages,” currently touring the country until late-July, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor, along with his own solo shows and recordings. His version of “Unchained Melody,” which Constantine performed on Idol last week, is currently available on iTunes and you can always keep up with the myriad Maroulis projects -- including, a first: fatherhood! -- by following Constantine on Twitter. Read on for his thoughts on Season 10's Top 5.
There has been so much hype this year for American Idol and I think it’s well deserved. Nigel Lythgoe is back and he is a slayer, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are smashing it, Randy and Ryan are holdin' it down, and the rest of the crew are doing their part. The show’s production always improves year-to-year, which is pretty great, but this season, the camera work and quality is next level. Megan Michaels and the other producers kick so much butt and Miles Siggins is an amazing stylist. I can go on and on...
As for the contestants? They’re great. The best ever? Hmmm… moving right along.
Let's see what happens. I wish them all the best. Reaching the Top 5 is pretty amazing, for sure. From here on out, you are a walking commercial for your record. Get the best songs you can and smash them! I feel like they all must be pretty close in terms of vote numbers so get it done, Idols!
I love this season like I love all of them. It’s a great show and a fantastic opportunity for young talent, but it's all about what you do with it. That goes for the people behind the scenes, too. The lineup shake-up has been a tremendous success! They can do 10 more years if they want. They can change the judges, too... In the end, it’s all about the Idols and their journey.
James Durbin ("Closer to the Edge," 30 Seconds to Mars): I mean, he's gonna win or it will be an Adam Lambert thing again -- second, but really first. I love this guy, it’s great to see him grow, 30 Seconds to Mars is a sick band and Jared Leto is a freak singer. This song was a little shaky at times but I get it. Like the idea here: “I can be current.” I'd rather see more Daughtry songs and add some big arena rock hooks, and rock opera, too! Yeah YEAH (doing my best Beavis and Butthead). But James looks great, tough but vulnerable, and he is a great story. Put a sick band behind him and let's go!
Jacob Lusk ("No Air," Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown): I kind of agreed with Randy – it was not a great choice. I appreciate that Jacob wants to be a contemporary R&B artist, but this didn't work for him.
Lauren Alaina ("Flat on the Floor," Carrie Underwood): This is Lauren’s wheelhouse but Carrie Underwood is one of the most powerful and amazing singers there ever has been in popular music -- it’s hard to compete with that. Lauren was strong though. My advice: watch the diction -- if I didn't know the song, I wouldn't have known what you were singing about. "Damage" is a great word and you are a great kid! Let it rip, get out of your head and have fun!” (Side note: what was with the fiddle player's get up? Wow. Ya fiyyyed!)
Scotty McCreery ("Gone," Montgomery Gentry): I love Montgomery Gentry and this is a great song. Scotty had good, contrasting choices, and this one sounded okay but it was kind of wimpy (sorry, bud -- I heart you!) Also, what's with the crazy eyes? Yeah, like I should talk… It was nice to see him move a bit but I'm good now; I kind of want to mess his hair up and stuff.
Haley Reinhart ("You and I," Lady Gaga): My first thought: are we doing a painting? Why are we laying down? OK, you are beautiful and you don't even need to try, but let’s try this: Mike stand. Two hands. You stand there and blow. This unreleased Gaga joint was a good song for Haley but it didn't land for some reason. Her voice was killer, and there was lots of emotion but something wasn’t working. I like the risk, though. That's ON!
James Durbin ("Without You"): James is great at storytelling and connecting with his audience. Who cares if he was off a bit -- he was "there,” and while this wasn’t my favorite song for him, it brought out that side of him that America wanted to see. He was milking it at the end, but I so back it! #winning #duh
Jacob Lusk ("Love Hurts,” Nazareth): Jacob’s voice is sick, no question. I think he could become a gospel opera artist! No? Anyone? Bueller? Someone needs to write Jacob a show because he is a showman. I really liked this arrangement and thought he killed it. Only one thing: Sometimes he starts too high. Just because you can, doesn't mean you have to… Cool?
Lauren Alaina ("Unchained Melody," Righteous Brothers): Way back, I think I said it would be Top 3 for Lauren, and that's about right. I wish she would have auditioned a few years from now when her life experiences catch up with that voice. It’s a gift, no doubt, but she is so inside her head and listening to every note -- it’s uncomfortable. This song started strong for a second but then it didn't happen for her. Still, there is a great singer in there; I just know it!
Scotty McCreery ("Always on My Mind," Elvis Presley): This kid's voice belongs on records, period. Scotty is very appealing -- not a ton of range, but he is very easy to listen to. This is a perfect song for him and I hope Nashville likes him, embraces him and finds him some great songs to cut.
Haley Reinhart ("The House of the Rising Sun”): I like this girl. She has those lazy eyes and super sexy voice. Still, I’m not sure if that is her pure voice or the very "en vogue" faux jazz thang, but she knows how to use it. It started so well and grounded, then that "Liza" hand popped up. Grrr. She's a little green as a performer, but Haley connects, and with a great new song, she can be on the radio easy.
After last night’s show, I would say the next few weeks will roll out in this order:
What do you think?