Wednesday, April 28, 2010

American Idol Results

Rascall Flatts performed "Unstoppable" and also debuted their duet with Shakira, "Gypsy."

Sons of Sylvia performed. Carrie Underwood even stopped by to introduce her longtime friends.

Lady Antebellum also performed "Need You Now."

Casey, Mike and Siobahn were in the bottom three. Siobahn went home.

The theme next week is Frank Sinatra. Harry Connick Jr. will be the mentor.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

American Idol Top 6

The theme this week is music by tonight's mentor, Shania Twain. I loved Shania Twain when I was younger (before she went completely pop with "Up"). I'm excited to see what the contestants (especially the guys) will do tonight.

Lee Dewyze sang “You’re Still the One.” I love this song. Lee had a few awkward moments, but he made some great melodic changes as well. Randy said Lee started out pitchy, but he found his sweet spot and made it his own. Ellen said that Lee makes every song his own. Kara complemented Lee on how far he's come in this competition. Simon said Lee seemed hesitant, but it was the perfect song choice.

Michael Lynche sang “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing.” I'm not familiar with this song, so it's hard to critique. I thought Mike used too much vibrato in the first verse, and the melody was strange. However, Mike really connected to the song and sang it well. Randy said Mike has found his zone in R&B ballads. Ellen compared Mike's performance to Luther Vandross. She said Mike felt the emotion of the song and called it a beautiful performance. Kara said Mike connected to the song and changed the melody enough to put his mark on the song while still staying true to the song. Simon called Mike's performance wet and girly, but he agreed with Ellen about the Luther reference.

Casey James sang “Don’t.” Casey said this is a singing song. "I don't think I've sung yet." He's finally taking the judges' advice. This was a simple song, and Casey just sang it. This was my absolute favorite performance of his. It was heartfelt and beautiful. Randy said this side of Casey provides a nice contrast to his rocking guitar songs. Ellen said Casey sang this song like it's where he belongs and called it his best performance. Kara said that true artists don't hide. She said Casey showed everything tonight; he was vulnerable and raw, and that will take him to the top. Simon said last week was a wake-up call for Casey. He also said this was Casey's best performance.

Crystal Bowersox sang “No One Needs Know.” She said this song was to drop hints to her boyfriend. She said he'll man up someday. I thought it was the perfect Shania song for Crystal. I loved it. She didn't quite hit the high notes in the bridge, but she got them in the end. Randy said he loved the arrangement, but it wasn't his favorite performance of Crystal's. Ellen said there's nothing Crystal can't do. She said, "It wasn't my favorite either, but that's like saying, 'What's your least favorite color of the rainbow?'" Kara said it's impossible for Crystal to not be good because she's so honest. She said it wasn't Crystal's best, but it was still an amazing performance. Simon said Crystal's performance was limp and compared it to a coffee shop performance. He said it was forgettable, and he didn't feel the conviction from her.

Aaron Kelly sang “You‘ve Got a Way.” This is Aaron's week, so I had high hopes. He didn't disappoint. This song suited his range, and he sang it really well. It was a sweet and tender vocal, possibly my favorite performance of his. Randy said Aaron did a really good job with the song. Ellen said she's impressed by Aaron's talent and emotion at just 17 years old. She said he really embraced the lyrics. Kara agreed with Ellen about Aaron feeling the words. She complimented Aaron on his decision to change the line about making love. (Aaron said he sang the song for his mom.) Simon said Aaron has struggled the past two weeks, but he was a different artist tonight. He said this is the kind of record Aaron should make because it felt sincere and believable.

Siobahn Magnus sang “Any Man of Mine.” I'm sad that she didn't do the line dance in the middle of the song. The judges loved it, but I didn't like it at all. I will say it was one of Siobahn's better performances, but I'm just not a fan. She sang the song too legato (long and drawn out) which made her fall behind. The whole thing was awkward for me, and then Siobahn went back to her ridiculous screaming. Go home, Siobahn. Randy said he loved Siobahn's punk country version. Ellen said it was fantastic and a good way to end the show. Kara said Siobahn's back in the competition. Simon said it was the perfect song choice, but Siobahn's screaming at the end was too much.

I loved everyone except Siobahn tonight. My absolute favorites were Lee and Casey though (with Crystal and Aaron following closely behind.)

I think Mike and (hopefully) Siobahn may be in trouble this week, and Mike's time may be up.

Lady Antebellum is performing tomorrow night on the results show.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jason Castro (finally)

If you know me at all, you know how long I've been waiting for Jason Castro's debut album. It was originally set to release back in November 2009, but Jason and his team wanted the album to be perfect for the fans, so they decided to delay the release until January 2010. Well, then that didn't happen either. Instead of releasing a full-length album, Jason released a five-track EP to tide us over until the real release, April 13, 2010.

The full-length 14-track album is available on iTunes (digital copy) or Amazon (hard copy). You can also buy an 8-track version in stores (or the digital copy online as well).

This long awaited debut album features all five tracks found on Jason Castro's Love Uncompromised EP as well as two favorites from Jason's time on American Idol, "Hallelujah" and "Over the Rainbow."

My favorite new tracks are "That's What I'm Here For" and "Heart of Stone." Last month Jason Castro sang "That's What I'm Here For" (and "Over the Rainbow") at Bachelor star Jason Mesnick's wedding. He also performed it on Ellen this week, so I assume it's his next single. This track is Jason Castro at his best. While his first single, "Let's Just Fall In Love Again," is quirky and fun, this song is genuine, heartfelt songwriting. ("When you need a little less or you want a little more, when you need someone to find you when you're hiding from it all, that's what I'm here for.") I also really love the strings featured on this track.

"This Heart of Stone" is a happy medium between the two singles. It's upbeat and fun, but it tells the story of a girl breaking down the walls around his heart. "It was a sucker-punch that took me down. She took a sledgehammer and went to town...She took her best swing and broke into this heart of stone." I love this song because I think many people will relate to it (no matter which side of the story they happen to be on). Everyone is looking for that one person who they can trust and be vulnerable with, but sometimes it takes a sledgehammer to get to that vulnerable state.

1. Let's Just Fall In Love Again
2. This Heart of Mine
3. That's What I'm Here For
4. Heart of Stone
5. If I Were You
6. You Can Always Come Home
7. Love Uncompromised
8. Closer
9. All Wrapped Up
10. It Matters To Me
11. Hallelujah
12. Let's Just Fall In Love Again (Acoustic)
13. Sweet Medicine
14. Over the Rainbow

It's been a huge year for Jason Castro. He's been working hard on this album since he signed with Atlantic Records exactly one year ago (April 2009). He completed his first club tour, he got married, he saw his dream come true (finally), and he is now on his first headlining tour.

It's been an incredible journey watching this talented singer-songwriter grow from a shy kid playing at The Door in Dallas to an American Idol star and now a talented musician living his dream.

Be sure to buy Jason's album and catch him on tour if you can!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I won't recap the whole evening of Idol Gives Back, but I will say that I bawled my eyes out. Carrie Underwood's performance was powerful, and Sir Elton John's performance was amazing.

Casey, Aaron, and Tim were in the bottom three.

Tim went home.

Shania Twain will serve as both the mentor and theme for next week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

American Idol Top 7

The theme tonight is Inspirational Songs qith Alicia Keys serving as the mentor. This week is Idol Gives Back, so all of your votes go to help save lives. Also, all proceeds from this week's iTunes performances go towards Idol Gives Back beneficiaries. Tomorrow night will be the two-hour Idol Gives Back star-studded show.

Casey James sang “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac. Casey was in his blues-rock element, but it wasn't an inspirational song or performance. However, it was still a good performance, and Casey is still a rock star. Randy said Casey's performance was good but not his best. He's looking for something special and wants Casey to step out of his comfort zone. Ellen said that people won't be talking about Casey's performance tomorrow. Kara said Casey made himself like everyone else tonight and she misses the vulnerability of his "Jealous Guy" performance. Simon said the song was not inspiring and Casey lacked emotion and originality in his performance.

Lee Dewyze sang “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel. The beginning was awkward for me, and Lee didn't always hit the high notes. However, he was connected to the song and very emotional. Randy said Lee is a great artist ready to go make great music. He predicted that Lee will have a big career. Ellen said it was a beautiful song choice. She said Lee has soul and depth and called this his best performance. Kara said that Lee had his "moment" tonight. She said connection makes all the difference. Simon said Lee made the song current and called it sincere, emotional, inspirational, and brilliant.

Tim Urban sang “Better Days” by the Goo Goo Dolls. I thought it was a good song choice. Tim has really grown in this competition. His higher register has improved, and he's hitting his stride. Randy said it was just an okay karaoke version of the original. Ellen compared Tim to the soup of the day--sometimes you like it, and sometimes you don't--and she didn't like it today. Kara said Tim's performance was not the best execution, but she still believes that he's on the right track. Simon said Tim has improved over the weeks, but tonight was a little bit of a letdown.

Aaron Kelly sang “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly. (A. Kelly singing R. Kelly!) I had high hopes for this performance. Aaron started pretty shaky, but he settled into the chorus and really belted at the key change. I also noticed that he was putting more rasp into his voice, and I liked it. Randy said Aaron did a good job with a giant song. Ellen said Aaron has a big voice and he's on his way. Kara said Aaron's performance was like taking off on a flight--rough at the start, but soaring in the end. Simon said Aaron's vocals were not very good but his personality made the performance better.

Siobahn Magnus sang “When You Believe” by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. She had too much vibrato in the beginning, but her vocals were tender (and not screaming). I thought she had some good moments and some not so good moments. Randy said Siobahn's performance was just okay. Ellen disagreed with Randy and said Siobahn showed that she deserves to be in this competition. Kara said Siobahn technically sang the song well, but she still doesn't know who Siobahn is as an artist. Simon said the arrangement was old fashioned, odd, and all over the place. He also said she progressed through the song too quickly; too much happened too soon.

Michael Lynche sang “Hero” by Nickelback. Big Mike was out of his comfort zone on this one. It wasn't my favorite, but it was okay. The chorus was rough. The verses were good. The ending was better. Randy said Mike held his own with this song and it worked out. Ellen said Mike did a great job. Kara said this wasn't her favorite performance of Mike's because he doesn't have the tone for this song. She said he made the song unrecognizable. Simon said Mike sang the song pretty well but it felt artificial. He also said the theme is inspirational songs and that song is about Spiderman. (Yes. He said that.)

Crystal Bowersox sang “People Get Ready” by The Chambers Brothers. Crystal performed without an instrument for the first time on this show, but she still looked comfortable on stage. She even used her own personal antique mic stand. Crystal's performance was fantastic. I loved the acapella introduction, and this was clearly an emotional song for Crystal. She saw her dad in the audience and started to cry at the end of her performance. Randy said Crystal's performance was unbelievable and gave her a standing ovation. Ellen said Crystal is evolving and growing, and getting better and better, and said her performance was beautiful. Kara said Crystal took a risk and she schooled all the other contestants. Simon said Crystal's performance was truly inspirational and called it fantastic. He said he was happy to see emotion from her and that she's in a completely different class from the other performances tonight.

My favorites of the night were Crystal, Lee, and Aaron.

I think Siobahn, Tim and Casey will be in the bottom three. Aaron might be in the bottom three, but I say Casey because he played first and bored us all.

Tim will probably go home, though I'd rather see Siobahn go home.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

5 New Tracks

These five new tracks are on heavy rotation on my iTunes right now, so I thought I would share some new music with you.

Michael McEachern: "What's Inside"
I can't take the credit for finding this artist because he found me. A few weeks ago I noticed I had gained a new follower on Twitter (@michaelmceach). I checked out his profile, as I do with all new followers, to find that he is a musician. I fell in love with this song after the first line. McEachern has such a tender and refined voice, and the lyrics of this song are simply beautiful. At just 19 years old, McEachern has a very bright future ahead of him if he keeps writing songs like this. Rumor has it, he's touring a bit! Make sure to give this guy a listen and try to catch him on tour. Listen to this song here.

B.o.B. ft Hayley Williams: "Airplanes"
If you haven't heard this song yet, what are you waiting for? This is my absolute favorite song right now. I'm usually not a big fan of rap, but B.o.B. is fantastic. Combine his storytelling capabilities with Hayley Williams' (of Paramore) incredible vocals, and you're bound to have a hit. B.o.B., also known as Bobby Ray, is currently on tour, and his new album comes out next week (April 27). Listen to this track here.

Tyler Hilton: "I Believe In You"
Though Tyler Hilton hasn't released a full-length album since 2004, his newest EP, "Ladies and Gentlemen," though not yet released, is already gaining popularity with both this track and "Sunset Blvd." You can buy it on iTunes this Tuesday. Tyler Hilton is better known for his acting than his career as a musician. He played the role of Elvis in Walk the Line and Chris Keller in One Tree Hill. He was also featured in Taylor Swift's music video for "Teardrops on My Guitar." However, Tyler Hilton has evolved as a musician, and I feel that he is finally hitting his stride. Be on the lookout for this one. Listen to this track here.

Zach Berkman: "All That I Know"
This song was recently featured on ABC Family's Make It Or Break It. I searched the lyrics because I had to find out who this guy was. Zach Berkman is such a talented songwriter. He has spent many years chasing his dream across the both the U.S. and Europe. In 2008 he released a full length album and an EP. Last year he wrote a song called "Drop in the Ocean" for Ron Pope that was fairly popular. However, Berkman's newest single, "All That I Know," is looking to be his biggest success yet. Listen to this song here.

Neon Trees: "Animal"
My roommate recently introduced me to Neon Trees. Their debut album, Habits, was released in March, and I think this band has huge potential. Neon Trees' great alternative sound is similar to The Killers, via Hot Fuss. "Animal" is a fantastic track that just makes you want to dance in the car with the windows down. However, you must be wearing shades and swaying to the beat with both hands on the steering wheel. It's definitely not a Miley Cyrus song. You can watch the video for this song here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

American Idol Results

Brooke White and Justin Gaston performed "If I Can Dream" together. Adam Lambert performed "Whataya Want From Me."

Remember, since the judges saved Mike last week, there is a double elimination tonight.

Andrew was the first to leave the competition.

Katie also left tonight.

Next week the theme is "inspirational songs." Alicia Keys will mentor.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

American Idol Top 9 (Again)

Since the judges chose to save Michael Lynche last week, the top nine finalists will compete once again with a double elimination tomorrow night.

This week's theme is Elvis Presley, and Adam Lambert is the mentor. Don't get me started. Why did they pick Adam to mentor before any other previous Idol? He didn't even win. Team Kris.

Crystal Bowersox sang “Saved.” She busted out the electric guitar tonight. I wasn't so fond of this performance. It was less dynamic than what I've become accustomed to with Crystal. I felt like she was screaming at me. However, it was still a good performance, and I still love her. Randy said he loved Crystal's blues vibe and energy. Ellen said, once again, great job to Crystal. Kara said this was another solid performance for Crystal, and she loved the up tempo song choice. Simon said Crystal chose something that suited her and didn't fall into the karaoke trap.

Andrew Garcia sang “Hound Dog.” Andrew slowed down the tempo because Adam suggested he make more changes. However, it was still boring. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either. Randy said it sounded karaoke. Ellen said she wished Andrew had put more swagger in his performance, but she thought he pulled it off. Kara said Andrew needs to own the stage instead of letting the microphone be his crutch. She said he made some nice melodic changes but she wanted to feel more. Simon said Andrew's performance was lazy and didn't feel like a star performance.

Tim Urban sang “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.” Tim is peaking at the right time. He kept the song simple with just an acoustic guitar and his tender heartfelt vocals. I really liked the falsetto melodic changes he made, but I'm curious why he didn't take Adam's advice to stay in the falsetto at the end. Randy said he liked it. (Eloquent, I know.) Ellen said she really enjoyed it and can't help falling in love with Tim. Kara said it was her favorite performance of Tim's. She called his performance authentic, real, meaningful, and current. Simon said Tim managed to go from zero to hero in two weeks.

Lee Dewyze sang “A Little Less Conversation.” This was a great song choice for Lee. It perfectly suited his raspy blues edge. I thought it was a fun performance. Randy said Lee is in the zone with another great performance. Ellen said Lee made the song current, engaged with the audience more, and showed more confidence. Kara said Lee went for it vocally with an intensity we haven't seen yet. She said the vocal was fire, but Lee needs to be more playful and less serious. Simon said Lee nailed the song.

Aaron Kelly sang “Blue Suede Shoes.” I was surprised and impressed by this performance. I didn't know Aaron could do the raspy voice. I thought he was adorable. It was a good, fun performance, and the breakdown was fantastic. Randy said the second half with the bluesy breakdown suited Aaron's voice better than the first half of the song. Ellen said it was a big song to take on, but she gave Aaron an "A" for effort and said he did a really good job. Kara said Aaron was out of his comfort zone and she liked it. She said this song pushed him and kept him on edge. Simon disagreed, calling Aaron's performance old-fashioned and karaoke.

Siobahn Magnus sang “Suspicious Minds.” She picked the whiniest song, so she whined along with it. I thought her performance was boring. The second half was better at the breakdown. She managed to hit the high notes without screaming. Randy said Siobahn took some risks, but she didn't come alive until the half time breakdown. Ellen said Siobahn has a beautiful voice and the second half was much better than the first half. Kara said she's confused by the Siobahn's "two voices," and she didn't like the performance. Simon said Siobahn is a completely different person, as if she lost herself. He said the first part was terrible and called her performance erratic and screechy.

Michael Lynche sang “In the Ghetto.” Thank you, judges! I loved Mike's performance. It was heartfelt, captivating, and beautiful. He told the story well. Randy said the song was sleepy but the vocals were hot. Ellen said she's glad they chose to save Mike. Kara said it is a beautiful song and Mike sang it well. Simon said Mike's performance was much better than last week. He said it was a terrific song choice and one of his favorite performances.

Katie Stevens sang “Baby, What Do You Want Me to Do." She chose this song because she's frustrated by the conflicting criticisms from the judges. I thought the beginning was boring, but the song picked up when the horns section came in. She missed some notes, but it was a good performance. Randy said it was sassy and entertaining. Ellen said Katie is a great singer. Kara said Katie showed the judges. Simon, however, said it was loud and annoying.

Casey James sang “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” I liked the cool acapella introduction. Casey was in his element with Elvis. He's such a rock star. I love him. Randy said it was another solid performance. Ellen said she loves Casey's voice, but this performance wasn't as exciting as she would have liked. Kara said Casey is a brilliant artist, but he fell short tonight. Simon said Casey wasted an opportunity with a forgettable song, but it was a good vocal.

My favorites of the night were Tim, Mike, and Lee.

I predict that Andrew, Katie, and Siobahn will be in the bottom three.  Aaron might be in the bottom three, but I think he's doing better than Siobahn as far as song choice goes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

OneRepublic: Waking Up

After seeing OneRepublic in concert, I could not wait to buy this album. Unfortunately, I did have to wait until I could talk my mom into buying it for me (since I'm a broke college student), but that's another story.

It was worth the wait.

OneRepublic has grown so much since their first album, Dreaming Out Loud, debuted in 2007. They have harnessed their sound into something truly unique and original. Waking Up, which released last November, blends OneRepublic's original mellow, smooth sound with faster tempo, hip-hop inspired beats.

The first single off of Waking Up, "All the Right Moves," has maintained a steady spot on Billboad's Hot 100 chart for over six months. OneRepublic has released two other singles off Waking Up, "Everybody Loves Me" and "Good Life."

My favorite songs on the album are "Good Life," "Secrets," and of course, "All the Right Moves."

1. Made for You
2. All the Right Moves
3. Secrets
4. Everybody Loves Me
5. Missing Persons 1&2
6. Good Life
7. All This Time
8. Fear
9. Waking Up
10. Marching On
11. Lullaby

Frontman Ryan Tedder wrote and produced this entire album, which allows for an extremely cohesive sound as well as a wide portrayal of the band's talent. Both this album and a deluxe version are available in stores and at iTunes. I highly recommend Waking Up, so go get your copy and keep supporting these guys. I have a feeling that they'll be sticking around for a while.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Featured New Artist of the Month: Honor Society

Two weeks ago I saw Honor Society at the White Rabbit in San Antonio. This is definitely a band on the rise. They opened up for the Jonas Brothers World Tour in 2009; but don't worry, these guys are not the teeny-bopper JoBros (though they do have many of the same fans because of the world tour).

Honor Society is like a mature Jonas Brothers sound. They have the fun pop music and the cute boys, but without the whiny vocals. Their debut album, Fashionably Late, released in September 2009.

All in all it was a great concert. It was a relatively small venue with about 50 people in attendance, which made for a very personal show. I think everyone in the crowd caught a guitar pick, drum stick, or set list from at least one band.

Ashlynne Huff was the first opener. She is an incredibly talented singer with a big voice. Her first single, "Heart of Gold," is out now, and her debut album is set to release on April 23.

The next opener was Just Kait. I was not a fan. She was like an Avril Lavigne wannabe with worse vocals. She was spunky and fun, but it's never a good sign when your best song is a cover.

Honor Society put on a fantastic show. Their music is just fun pop that you can dance to and sing along with. In fact, they have their own dance called The Honor Roll for their single, "See U In The Dark." They played about eight songs off of their album as well as an acoustic cover set featuring songs by Lady Antebellum, Jay Sean, Rihanna, and Lady Gaga. My two favorite songs (though it's difficult to choose) are "Two Rebels" and "Nobody Has to Know." I love these guys. They are definitely a band to watch in 2010.

For more videos from the show, check out my YouTube channel.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

American Idol Results

Jason Derulo, Rihanna, and David Archuleta all performed.

Mike, Aaron, and Andrew were in the bottom three.

Mike had the lowest number of votes and sang "This Woman's Work" to fight for his life in the competition. It was enough. The judges used their one save for the season. Mike will be back next week, but that means two contestants will go home.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

American Idol Top 9

The theme tonight is hits from the Lennon/McCartney songbook.

Aaron Kelly sang “The Long and Winding Road.” He put a country spin on it, but it was boring and his vocals were shaky. Randy said Aaron has a beautiful tone, but it was a sleepy arrangement. Ellen said Aaron's performance felt like a long and winding song. Kara said she wants to see Aaron to sing an up-tempo song because every performance of his is starting to feel the same. Simon said it was old fashioned and boring.

Katie Stevens sang “Let It Be.” The beginning was still not technically correct, but the second half of the performance was fantastic when Katie belted. I thought Katie made a smart song choice and was smart to raise the key. Randy said this was Katie's best performance and she proved her place in the top nine. Ellen said Katie changed the song just enough to make it her own without disrespecting the artist. Kara said Katie is blossoming on stage. She commended Katie for coming out with confidence after two consecutive weeks in the bottom three. Simon said Katie got it right tonight and she finally connected to a song.

Andrew Garcia sang “Can’t Buy Me Love.” I thought it was an interesting arrangement, but I wasn't really impressed. Andrew's tone just didn't fit with that song. Randy said it was a solid performance, but it was corny. Ellen said it was the perfect song choice for Andrew. Kara said Andrew could have done more with his interpretation. Simon compared Andrew's performance to a corny wedding singer and said the band overpowered him on guitar.

Michael Lynche sang “Eleanor Rigby.” He put an R&B spin on the song. I liked what he was trying to do, but I'm not sure it could translate to a hit record. I thought the chorus was great, but the verses were choppy and awkward. Randy said Mike had some great parts and some not so great parts. He said Mike's interpretation could be a hit on the radio. Ellen said Mike took a huge risk and it was incredible. Kara said she loved the dramatic build and amazing vocals. She said Mike sold the story and made the song relevant. Simon disagreed with the other judges. He said it was a good performance but it was too over the top.

Crystal Bowersox sang “Come Together.” This was another perfect song choice by Crystal. I loved it from the first note of the didgeridoo. (Yes, there was a didgeridoo.) My only negative comment was that Crystal had to concentrate on the guitar so much that she moved away from the microphone a couple of times. It was another fantastic performance that showed Crystal's range and power. Randy said it was a solid performance and Crystal got into her groove. Ellen said that Crystal never ceases to amaze her. Kara said Crystal showed more personality with this playful and sexy performance. Simon said it was quirky, contemporary, and terrific.

Tim Urban sang “All My Loving.” This is the first time that I've been truly impressed by Tim. It was a fun performance, and the song suited his tone. I thought it was a fantastic song choice and his pitch was right on. Randy said Tim was much better tonight than he's been the past few weeks. Ellen said it was the perfect song choice for Tim and his second best performance after "Hallelujah." Kara said Tim is best with his guitar and commended Tim for taking the judges' criticisms to heart. Simon said Tim did really well with no gimmicks. He said the song suited Tim's voice and Tim made it sound current.

Casey James sang “Jealous Guy.” I'd never heard this song before, but I loved Casey's interpretation of it. It was a tender vocal with nice vibrato that showed more range. I loved the simplicity of it with just the guitar and cello. Casey took the judges' advice in focusing on his vocals more than his guitar. Randy said he loved the acoustic guitar and heartfelt sensitive vibe. Ellen called this Casey's best performance and said it was soulful and connected. Kara said Casey showed vulnerability and depth with this song. She also commended him for reaching higher into his range. Simon said Casey put his stamp on the song and made it emotional. He also said it was the best performance of the night.

Siobahn Magnus sang “Across the Universe.” This was my least favorite performance of the night. I thought it was too nasally and Siobahn's vibrato was all over the place. Her higher register is so much stronger, but she only went into it a couple times. However, I will commend her for not screaming. Randy said it was sleepy, but he loves her artistry and tender falsetto. Ellen said it was beautiful and she likes that Siobahn marches to the beat of her own drum. Kara said Siobahn hit the notes and showed control, but her performance was restrained and polite. Simon said Siobahn came back stronger this week and called her unpredictable.

Lee Dewyze sang “Hey Jude.” This was fantastic. Lee kept it simple in the beginning with just his guitar, but during the "na na na" part he had a bagpipe player come down the stairs. He also got the crowd going with him. This was my favorite performance of his and one of the best of the night. Randy said Lee needs to believe in himself because he's got it. Ellen said Lee is showing more confidence every week. Kara said this performance has some good moments and a few off moments but she can hear Lee on the radio. Simon basically just said he didn't like the bagpipes.

My favorites of the night were Lee, Casey, Crystal, and (surprisingly) Tim.

I predict that Katie, Aaron, and Andrew will be in the bottom three.

Tomorrow night Rihanna, Jason Derulo, and David Archuleta will perform.