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.

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