Tuesday, March 30, 2010

American Idol Top 10

The them this week is Soul/R&B.  Usher is the mentor.

Siobahn Magnus sang “Through the Fire” by Chaka Kahn. I had banked on Siobahn nailing this week, but it was terrible. She sounded whiny and out of control. She missed the same set of notes in the chorus every time, and the ending run was awful. Randy said it was all over the place and never caught on pitch wise, but he still loves Siobahn's courage and conviction. Ellen said Siobahn sounded lost and freaked out. Kara said Siobahn's lower register is not strong enough, but every great singer is entitled to an off night. Simon said this was Siobahn's weakest performance and he's bored of her screaming at the end of her performances.

Casey James sang “Hold On, I’m Coming” by Sam and Dave. Casey showed off his bluesy side. He was grinning ear to ear, clearly enjoying himself. It was a great performance, but I'm still waiting for Casey to blow me away. Randy said Casey stayed in his element, showed his vocal range, and selected the perfect song. Ellen said Casey is consistently good, but she thought it was a bit safe. Kara said she believes Casey has more range in him and he's limiting his vocal skills with his song choices. She wants him to go back to his acoustic guitar and show everything he's got. Simon said it was Casey's strongest performance so far. He said Casey showed a completely different side of himself, and he was really impressed.

Michael Lynche sang “Ready for Love” by India Arie. I loved this performance. Mike kept it simple with tender vocals and acoustic guitar. He was so completely in his element, and he connected with the song. Randy said Mike is in the zone and he's loving every performance. He said it wasn't an exciting performance, but it's good to pull it back every now and then. Ellen said it was beautiful and she loved it. Kara said Mike did an incredible job mastering the intention behind the song. Simon said this was the first time he's taken Mike seriously in this competition. He called Mike's performance terrific and believable.

Didi Benami sang “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” by Jimmy Ruffin. This was an emotional song for Didi, but I thought she did well. We saw more power in her vocals, and it showed off her tone well. However, there were (yet again) pitch problems, and it just sounded heavy and dramatic. Randy said he waited for that "moment," but the performance fell flat. Ellen said the performance was too dramatic and not Didi's best. Kara said the song was overdone and that Didi seems to have lost her way in this competition. Simon called it over the top and old fashioned.

Tim Urban sang “Sweet Love” by Anita Baker. I thought Tim sounded like a lounge singer. His stage presence is awkward, and he doesn't know how to connect with the camera. It was a good vocal but not impressive. Randy said Tim sounded like a singing waiter, but at least he sang in tune. Again, Randy called it a flat performance and wants Tim to really connect. Ellen said it was a tough song choice and she just didn't get it. Kara called it was Broadway and Vegas rolled into one and said that Tim took the soul out of the song. Simon didn't even critique Tim. He said "You're not going to win, but you’re going to smile, the audience is going to vote for you, and you’ll be here next week."

Andrew Garcia sang “Forever” by Chris Brown. Finally, someone chose a current song. Ladies and gentlemen, Andrew is back! This is the Andrew we all fell in love with. Tonight he was back in his element, and I loved it. It was my favorite of the night. Randy said Andrew made the song his own and called it his best performance. Ellen said it was an amazing, strong performance. Kara said this was one giant leap in the right direction for Andrew. Simon said Andrew's performance was miles better than the past few weeks, but he still needs to show more personality and drive.

Katie Stevens sang “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin. Katie has such a big voice, but I wish she had more vocal training. It was a good performance, but Katie could have done more with the song. Randy said it was one of the best vocal performances and it showed off her pipes, but she needs to find a way to connect. Ellen said Katie has great vocals, but she needs to pick a current song. Kara said Katie has found where she belongs in Pop/R&B, but she needs to make it young and commercial. Simon called Katie's performance robotic and cold, and he still doesn't believe she's an R&B artist.

Lee Dewyze sang “Treat Her Like a Lady” by the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose. I absolutely loved this performance. Lee made it his own. This sounded like it could be a current record. Lee could be a dark horse in this competition. He may sneak up on the other contestants. Randy said it was unbelievable. Ellen called it the best of the night. Kara said Lee brought the song into his world and it could have been on his record. Simon said, "This is the night your life may have changed forever."

Crystal Bowersox sang “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight. Last week Crystal said she had a surprise for this week, so she played piano in the beginning and stood up and walked around during the chorus. As usual, this was a fantastic performance. Crystal even hit some high notes that I didn't know she could hit. She also showed more personality, but I still love her with her guitar. Randy said it was another great performance by Crystal. Ellen said Crystal showed another side of her, and she's in it to win it. Kara said she was glad that Crystal took a risk and can't wait to see what she'll do next. Simon said it was a sensational song choice with incredible vocals, but he's worried that Crystal will let this process suck the identity out of her. He said she's real and should not change.

Aaron Kelly sang “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. His vocals were shaky in the beginning, but Aaron settled into it. It was a good performance, but it was boring and lacked dynamics. Randy said Aaron has more soul and flavor than he showed tonight. Ellen said it was a good song choice and Aaron did a good job. Kara said she liked it but it needed more energy. Simon said it was an okay performance, but it's been done so well on the show before that it didn't compare. However, Simon believes Aaron is safe for another week.

My favorites of the night were Andrew, Lee, and Crystal (with Casey and Mike following closely).

I think Tim, Didi, and Katie will be in the bottom three.

Tomorrow night Usher will perform, as well as Diddy and season two winner, Ruben Studdard.

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