Tuesday, March 23, 2010

American Idol Top 11

The theme this week is Billboard Hot 100 No. 1's, and Miley Cyrus is the mentor.

Lee Dewyze sang “The Letter” by the Box Tops. This was a new sound for Lee with a big band jazz sound. I love his voice, and it was a good performance, but the song is forgettable. Randy said Lee knocked it out of the box. Ellen compared Lee to her favorite pen. Kara said she's never heard Lee sound better or look more comfortable on stage. Simon said he was surprised by the song choice because it was a bit corny and didn't define Lee as a contemporary recording artist.

Paige Miles sang “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins (the Mariah Carey version). It was pitchy from the start and didn't get much better. When Paige gets into her higher register and belts, she sounds so much better; unfortunately, her soft voice was terrible tonight. Randy said it was pitchy all over the place and nothing came together at all. Ellen stuck to the positives: Paige didn't fall in her tall heels and she looked beautiful. Kara said she feels like Paige has stopped competing and said it was the worst vocal of the season. Simon said Paige's performance was all over the place, and he could tell that she knew it was bad too. He said she has stopped believing in herself, and he believes she's in serious trouble.

Tim Urban sang “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen. He used the stage and seemed to be letting loose and having fun, but it was boring. Tim's vocals were decent, but there was nothing outstanding about his performance. Randy said Tim's vocals were boring and karaoke. Ellen said she felt like he was auditioning for High School Musical. She said it was corny and he pushed too hard. Kara compared Tim's performance to Zac Efron in Hairspray (not a bad thing, but not appropriate for this competition). She said he didn't do much with the song and didn't like that he was acting like a star because he hasn't established himself as a star yet. Simon said Tim's dancing around the stage distracted from the song, which was pointless and silly.

Aaron Kelly sang “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. Aaron has both laryngitis and tonsilities; bless his heart. It was evident that his voice wasn't all there, but it was still a good performance and a perfect song choice. Aaron is the youngest contestant, but he knows his voice, and he knows how to play this game. Randy said Aaron had a few pitch problems, but he redeemed the night in spite of his sickness. Ellen said it was the perfect song choice and she can see his career already. Kara said Aaron knows how to pick songs that accentuate his voice. She complimented his consistency, but said she wants to see more stage presence from him. Simon said Aaron is brave, but old fashioned for his age. However, he said Aaron has zero chance of going home this week.

Crystal Bowersox sang “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin. This is my girl. I'll say it again and again: she's fantastic, and I love her voice. This was a perfect song choice and she rocked it. Randy called Crystal a star and a dope singer. He said she is was this competition is about. Ellen said Crystal has an amazing voice and she's consistently great, but she's still missing a full connection. She said Crystal is too shy and stoic on stage. Kara said she is seeing more personality in Crystal's performances, but she wants to see Crystal let go completely. (Crystal hinted that she might leave her guitar behind next week.) Simon said he wouldn't change anything. He said Crystal is doing her own thing and still progressing week by week.

Michael Lynche sang “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Michael Bolton. I knew I was going to love this performance the minute I heard the first note. Mike is so good at connecting to romantic ballads. It was a beautiful performance that had me melting. Randy said that Mike knows who he is and uses that to his advantage. Ellen said that it was a safe song choice, but she loved it. Kara said Mike's performance was technically good, but boring and overindulgent. She said she lost her connection with him. Simon said the song was almost too much. He said Mike was trying to make an old school song sound relevant, but he has tons of charisma and a very good voice.

Andrew Garcia sang “Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye. Miley made Andrew put the guitar down for this one, which I think was a good choice. However, the song was too low for Andrew. It sounded like he was talking instead of singing. Andrew is this season's greatest disappointment. He peaked too soon and doesn't know what to do now. Randy said it was the wrong song choice and just not a good performance. Ellen said Andrew's performance wasn't enough to gain voters. Kara said Andrew is just chasing that moment he had in Hollywood with his Paula Abdul cover and it's playing with his head. Simon said they may have overrated Andrew's "moment." He said Andrew sucked the soul out of this song and called it corny.

Katie Stevens sang “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie. I hate this song, but I like Katie's voice (most of the time). The chorus was all over the place vocally, so this song just didn't do much for me. I still agree with Simon that she needs to go country instead. Randy commended Katie (once again) for listening to the judges' advice in choosing a younger song. Ellen said this was Katie's best performance. Kara said Katie still has some pitch issues, but she believes this Pop/R&B genre is the right choice for Katie. Simon thinks that Katie could find a more loyal market in country music, and he said meeting Miley was the best thing that could happen for Katie because they're the same age and Miley has been so successful.

Casey James sang “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News. Casey is such a rock star. He had me smiling at the first note. It was a great performance, and Casey looked like he was having fun, but I still want to see him move around more. Randy said he wasn't crazy about the song, but it was a good performance. He also said Casey is the best musician (guitar player) they've had on Idol so far. Ellen also wasn't a fan of the song choice, but she said it was the best vocal of the night. Kara said Casey is on another level. She said he's in the zone and ready to make an album. Simon disagreed by calling the performance old fashioned and comparing it to an 80s cover band. He said there was no effort or originality in it.

Didi Benami sang “You’re No Good” by Linda Rondstadt. I thought it was a good song choice. She missed some notes in the beginning, but I liked her attitude and swagger. Randy said Didi's performance didn't translate and was pitchy all over the place. Ellen said she didn't understand the song choice. Kara said it felt dramatic- like Didi was playing a character and trying to be something she's not. Simon said Didi's performance was ironically "no good" because she didn't sound like herself.

Siobahn Magnus sang "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder. This was such a weird song for her. I didn't like it. She's taking those "high notes" too far now. Screaming is not singing. Randy loved her performance and said Siobahn is fearless. Ellen said she wants to see more from Siobahn. Kara said Siobahn always expresses herself with her performances. She said it wasn't her best, but the end note was amazing. (False!) Simon said Siobahn didn't hit the high notes as well as she has before, and the screaming at the end is getting repetitive. He said everyone, except Crystal, needs to start pushing themselves and trying harder to be relevant because tonight was a disaster.

My favorites of the night are Crystal, Casey, and Mike.
The bottom three will be Paige, Tim, Katie. Paige is going home.

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