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Morning Express with Robin Meade

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Morning Express American Idol Recap: A Whole Lotta Gaga

AJ is a floor director for HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade". She has been obsessed with this season of Idol, and takes notes to share with the Morning Express writers and producers. The opinions below are AJ’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or HLN. These are her impressions of last night:

American Idol Top 4

A Whole Lotta Gaga... actually it was a whole lotta show in general. The second week of double dips from our singers gave us some drippy songs that inspire, and vintage Leiber and Stoller. Then of course, there was some Lady Gaga, with her sad panda getup and the kind of advice only a bizarro 25-year-old pop creature can give. I kid! I liked her. More on that later.

JAMES: Was anyone else all "OMG WHY" when the Durbs announced he was doing Journey? I calmed down when I realized he sounded good, even though this song is on the "No Fly List" of every restaurant/bar/back-alley karaoke joint ever. It's nice to hear the Idol types sing songs they actually know and like, as opposed to ones they've crammed into their brains in the span of a week. Luckily, no cramming for James, he picked up Love Potion #9 for his second set, and at the behest of a touchy-feely Gaga, went about the painful and complex task of actually moving his body with the music. Piano jumps? Yes. A little bump and sway? No. That's not what the Durbs is about.

HALEY: Growly earth girl totally harshed my mellow with MJ's "Earth Song". Yeah I know it's like, really meaningful and stuff, but that biz can get kind of preachy, especially since Haley, of all the contestants, is the least developed emotionally. Shall we defer to the judges? JLo and Randy continued their anti-Haley campaign, spurring a super awkward tete-a-tete. Like last week, she was revved up for her second song, "I Who Have Nothing". I thoroughly enjoyed Gaga as mentor, so often she appears to be riding the highest of horses but here she was – dare I say – down to earth? Haley took her nugget of theatricality and turned out solid, but the judges, swinging wildly from one side to the other with her, may have overpraised her out of guilt.

SCOTTY: So Scotty the Body is a thing now. Ok. If I had a million words, I couldn't explain to you how much I hate the song "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning." But it was timely (except for that gem about not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran. Oof.) and delivered with the level of McCreery aplomb we've come to expect. And Scotty and Gaga? Love. He tried to be as little freaked out as possible when Gaga instructed him to stick his tongue down the throat of his microphone girlfriend. "I better have a good lookin microphone," he quipped. Such a diplomat! Oddly enough, he surpassed Gaga in weirdness with his series of psycho cherub faces during his take on "Young Blood". Instead of pointing that out, and possibly weeping in terror, the judges' observations have just devolved into a series of hilarious quotes, like this one from Steven to Scotty: "You make Gaga's yaya go lala." Hahaha! Ew.

LAUREN: She framed her inspirational song in light of the tornado devastation in her part of the country, which was a smart move and lent some dimension to her usually cotton-candy kind of appeal. And gosh, Martina's "Anyway" sounded great on her. As for the fancy-pants mullet dress, well! That's a LOT of dress (though not enough, at the same time? A conundrum!). La Alaina was actually concerned about repeating the word "evil" ad nauseam in her Elvis cover. "I don't want America to think I'm evil!" she squeaked. Cowgirl, please. We'd have an easier time believing you were The King himself. However it is disappointing how unconvincing she was during her second performance, no matter how nice her voice, and I found myself wishing Haley had done this song instead.

And there's your top 4. What did you think of Gaga as mentor? Do you think the judges are too hard on Haley? And whose apple is going to be plucked from the Idol tree tonight?

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