Yoda, Goldilocks and MamaSox

You know what? It’s good that I have this blog. Writing tonight takes my mind off of the fact that every time I step outside wind gusts of 50 mph threaten to be the literal wind beneath my proverbial wings.  It’s only 9:48 PM, but due to circumstances mostly beyond my control, this will have to be posted tonight. So, let’s get started shall we? And just ignore the whistling wind…I know it’s distracting, but then again so were the RANDOM instrumentalists that took the American Idol stage tonight, so hopefully you can put things into a proper perspective.

Disclaimer: Amy’s Rank is meant to show how much I like the contestants and how I’d like to see the voting go from here on out. It may or may not take into account their performances tonight.

A few things about the top of the show:

  • Why do Kara and Simon continue to creep me out? (Hint: I don’t think it’s just me). C’mon guys. Get it together.
  • Did anyone else notice Ryan’s flippant dismissal of a one Didi Benami? I believe his exact words were: “That’s the way it goes”. And while that’s true enough, I didn’t really appreciate the calloused shrug off so soon after Didi departed and allowed Tim, Aaron and Katie to suck up more of the American Idol television waves. Maybe he was overcompensating so people wouldn’t be able to tell that he was mourning the loss of his crush? I guess we’ll never know the inner workings of Ry-Ry’s mind but…
  • …We can know the inner workings of the American Idol “control booth” and behind the scenes! Lucky us. It still kind of weirds me out, but it’s getting to the point where I’ll probably just have to suck it up.
  • Why does Kara insist on looking like a human disco ball?
  • That little pre-taped shout-out from Paul McCartney was laaaaame. Really, guys? That was the equivalent of a video postcard that didn’t really add much to the show except to drastically contrast the mentors that they’ve had (Miley Cyrus, Usher) and what they could’ve had (Paul McCartney). And did you hear that Adam Lambert will be the mentor for next week? Don’t even get me started on that.
  • The idea of interviewing the other American Idol contestants about the one about to perform? That was GENIUS. I don’t know why it didn’t happen sooner. Those intro videos were magical because they sometimes made you fall in love with the contestants that were speaking rather than the one they were speaking about! Kudos to whomever came up with that little gem.

Aaron Kelly – “Along the Winding Road”

Knowledge gleaned from the intro video:

  • Aaron is known as “Yoda” because he’s wise for being so young. I think it’s quite possibly the best nickname in the bunch and has endless comedic implications. 
  • Siobhan can do a wicked Yoda voice and seems at home doing it.
  •  Lee can’t remember being 16 (perhaps too much partying?)
  • Oh, and did you know Big Mike can lift people??

While his detective-like trench coat seemed to indicate that he’d be searching for some notes, I was pleased to hear that Aaron actually did a really nice job with the song. Now, it was boring. Sure was boring. But he sang mostly in key and gave us a few patented rhythmic sways.(The dude seriously only moves in a small square foot when he’s on that huge stage and it seems to point to the fact that he’s as swallowed up in the competition around him as the stage swallows any hint of stage presence.) Here’s the thing about Aaron: I don’t hate him. Aaaaand I don’t love him. It would be a shame to lose him this week, though, because his hair is finally working for him.

Amy’s Rank: 7 of 9

Katie Stevens – “Let It Be”

 

Knowledge gained from the intro interview/video:

  • Out of the vast American Idol male voters, only 5 want to take Katie to the prom. (Ouch!) But she turns it into a winning , funny moment by asking for their phone bills and going with whomever voted for her the most. American Idol may not be the place for her long-term, but I think she should go into marketing. Nice spin.
  • Katie does a ‘Single Ladies’ dance that resembles a cheerleading routine and Siobhan envies her dancing ability. Of course she does.
  • The American Idol contestants think Katie’s happy, fun, awesome. I think that’s kind of code for boring. She didn’t even get a nickname!

I was, as you might expect, concerned that Katie would attempt a song covered by Kris Allen (brilliantly, I might add) mere weeks ago. And while I definitely prefer Kris’ version (what did you expect me to say?!?!), I thought this was Katie’s best performance to date. The pitch problems of yore became a faded memory and the emotion of the song really came through.

Here’s my deal, though. This week they dressed Katie in another outfit that, I can only assume, is meant to be cool. I think it’s missing the mark by a lot and ends up making her look like she’s trying too hard. Maybe that’s harsh, but it’s true.

Amy’s Rank: 8 of 9

 

Andrew Garcia – “Can’t Buy Me Love”

Knowledge gleaned from the intro video:

  • Big Mike knows how to speak “text” and can even translate it.
  • Andrew makes everyone laugh.
  • Andrew has the biggest personality of the group. (Notice I did not say that Andrew is the biggest person in the group. We all know Big Mike has a corner on THAT market).
  • Andrew and Lee are BFF and are probably only a few weeks away from celebrating that friendship with homemade friendship bracelets. Watch for it. It’s totally coming.

A few things irritated me about Andrew’s performance. First – he strayed from the big stage. I hate it when they do that. Second – his outfit was super awful. Why does he always have to wear a suit? Third – I kept wanting to push his glasses up his nose. Half the time I could only see half his eye (Wait. Does that make a whole? I’m confused.)

But all in all, I really liked Andrew’s performance. I kinda got what they were saying about the cheesiness of the performance, it was (at times) a little swinging sounding. However, I think he pulled it off (which wasn’t easy when his yellow polo was screaming at us). My friend Todd summarized Andrew’s situation accurately: He said that Andrew has proven that he can’t re-create another moment like “Straight Up” and so the best he can do is rebel against the box we’ve put him in and re-define himself. He’s right, no? 🙂

Amy’s Rank – 5 of 9

 

Michael “Big Mike” Lynche – “Eleanor Rigby”

 

Knowledge gleaned from the intro video:

  • Michael’s nickname is “Big Mike”. Well, duh! If you don’t know that, you’ve been living under a rock for the last…um…3 months.
  • Many of the other contestants referred to him as a “teddy bear”. Hey, guys? The “Velvet Teddy Bear” moniker is already taken. And I don’t think you should really foist it on Big Mike anyway.
  • Katie’s not very clever
  • Mike snores and Casey is hilarious.

I’m a little torn about this performance. I actually completely agree with Randy – there were moments of weirdness where I couldn’t tell if he was singing off pitch? Or just lost his way? Or that maybe he was a victim of musical choppy-ness from the strings? Or if I wasn’t cool enough to get what he was doing? And then there were moments of greatness where all I could think was that he has an amazing voice.  I mean, the vocal run he did totally fell apart, but the ending was worthy. Can I just say something to Randy, though? Glee wouldn’t be caught dead doing that arrangement of that song. I’m just sayin’.

Amy’s Rank – 6 of 9

 

Crystal Bowersox – “Come Together”

Knowledge gleaned from the intro interview/video:

  • Crystal is sick. (Okay, fine.)
  • The new sign proclaiming Elliston as the home of Crystal Bowersox is on Witty Road. They think alot of their creative abilities in Elliston. (Although, in Crystal’s case, that’s probably well deserved :))
  • Crystal is known as MamaSox
  • Crystal will tell you the truth to your face and knows who she is (Pst! Katie, Tim and Aaron! Are you hearing this?)
  • Crystal’s only strategy was to be herself. I have a hard time believing that “herself” is into wearing dresses like last week’s and high heels. Maybe that’s just me.

Anyone who expected Crystal to flop during this performance probably should be institutionalized. It’s crazy to think that she won’t crank out an individual, cool, jive version of her style of whatever song each week. As far as I can tell, there’s only two things working against her this week (and I don’t really think they’ll be factors at all):
1. Sharing the stage with a didgeridoo player is kinda weird.

2.  She was so into the guitar riffs that at times she sacrificed her vocals.

All in all, though, I think she’s here to stay and I think it’d be sad if she’s not in the finale. She’s just very talented!

Amy’s Rank: 2 of 9

 

Tim Urban – “All My Lovin'”

 

Knowledge gleaned from the intro video/interview:

  • Did you know he likes to smile? And he has a great smile? And he likes to make people smile? Gag me. (Sorry, Mom!)
  • Andrew is hilarious.
  • Tim’s teeth should sparkle (but they don’t)
  • Tim denies that he did his hair to resemble the Beatles’. I think he’s lyin’.

Tim is really upping his game the last few weeks. His eye contact situation didn’t make me feel as awkward and his vocals were mostly spot on. I mean, it didn’t put a smile on my face, but I thought it started solid, meandered a bit in the middle and ended okay. I did think Randy’s comment that Tim is in his own category and can’t really be judged against the other contestants was kind of mean-spirited. I have a confession: I didn’t even notice that he played the guitar at all during this performance. And why is it that every American Idol contestant this year has to play the guitar in order to be authentic enough for the likes of Kara? Guitar-wielding Idoloonies: Tim, Andrew, Casey, Crystal, Lee and the late Didi. Also Ellen?  No way was Tim Urban’s performance of “Hallelujah” his best! That performance was super awful.

Amy’s Rank – 9 of 9

 

 [David Boreanez! Emily Deschanel!]

Casey James – “Jealous Guy”

Knowledge gained from the intro video:

  • Casey is made fun of for being the “play boy” of the group
  • His fellow contestants are trying to come up with a soap opera name for him. Entries include: Trevor, Fabio, Drake…
  • His laugh is recognizable, but Aaron does a really lame impersonation of it
  • Lee thinks Casey’s hair is flowy and Andrew thinks that the backlighting on the hair makes Casey look angelic. Now that was a funny moment. There’s nothing quite like guys ragging on other guys. 🙂

Here’s the thing about Casey – he totally rides his guitar and will probably continue to ride it into the sunset. The fact that he’s a brilliant guitarist sometimes masks that he’s only really shown passable vocal abilities in his performances to date. Not that I don’t love Casey, but I think that he really needs to take a step back from his guitar if he really has the chops to make it just as a vocalist. If not, he’s probably implementing the best strategy that he’s got, eh? Whatever his performance was, it wasn’t the most fantastic thing since the iPod or anything like that, and listening to the judges rave about him made me feel like I was missing something. Oh, well.

 Amy’s Rank: 4 of 9

 

Siobhan Magnus – “Across the Universe”

 

Knowledge gained from the intro video:

  • Crystal joins Ryan and Simon in pronouncing Siobhan’s name “Shivaughn”
  • Casey calls her, in what is obviously the understatement of the year,”Without a doubt the most interesting person I’ve ever met.”
  • Katie thinks her personal style really works. Has she been seeing the outfits??
  • Siobhan has eerie eye contact

This whole performance was really nasally. Memo to Siobhan: Just because you aren’t planning to scream/sing a note doesn’t mean that you have to stay within a one to two note radius the entire song! It also doesn’t mean that you can go from being gutsy to toothless in a mere week’s time. I think Siobhan has some mega potential, but she’s not very consistent is she? Then again, we never know when she’s going to zag just when we think she’d zig! And what was that deal with the loud audience guy who will be heretofore known as “5 minutes of fame guy”. I didn’t really love the performance and the dress made me expect Roma Downey to appear at any moment. Who knows? Maybe her message could help Siobhan find her way back to the brilliance of the “House of the Rising Sun” performance?

Amy’s Rank: 3 of 9

 

Lee Dewyse – “Hey Jude”

Knowledge gained from the intro video:

  • He’s the resident worry wart. I knew I liked this guy.
  • The contestants make fun of Lee for always interpreting any feedback from the judges (even good!) as a bad omen of him going home and have started to bet him that he’ll stay each week.
  • Andrew is funny (“You owe me $100).
  • Andrew and Lee are BFF.

I wasn’t really feeling Lee’s version. The tempo was a little awkward to me and I think it either needed to be taken slower or taken a lot faster. I did find it extremely odd and more than a little disconcerting to see a man playing the bagpipes descend the staircase of stardom in the middle of Lee’s rendition of the song. But the weirdness I felt dissipated when Lee took full ownership of the idea…he made it funny and cool. I hate to say this, but I think Lee’s performance was the worst of the night. And it’s a sad night in the Idolverse when I like Tim Urban over Lee Dewyse. I mean, I’m still a fan, but I think the judges were smoking something (or maybe just trying to rock the vote this week).

Amy’s Rank: 1 of 9

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3 thoughts on “Yoda, Goldilocks and MamaSox

  1. Dad says:

    Hey M,

    Lee…number one, huh? Maybe…maybe not. We shall see.

    Good call in the contrast between Paul McCartney and, well, anyone else in recent history that has been a mentor. It was cheesy & lame…although the artists do that on awards shows if they can’t be there.

    In any case…thanks for the “Amy’s Rank” feature! 🙂

    ILY, D

  2. Nora Salem says:

    Hey Amy! I’m totally loving your blog and totally feel you on your Idol opinions! I will keep reading!

    I love Lee! He’s just got a lot of star quality.

    Feel free to check out my blog (www.norasalemwrites.wordpress.com).

    Keep blogging!

    Nora Salem

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