Folks, these recaps are going to start getting easier and easier…after tomorrow’s double elimination (dum-dum-duhhhh), there will only be 7 Idoloonies left to review! Depending on who goes home, this could be a welcomed and needed cut or the cause of much outrage from my living room couch. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
I do feel the need to let you in on my mental state as it relates to this season. You know when you are in a store and you hear a song and it takes you back to the exact time and life stage that you associate with that song and the memories come flooding back and make you nostalgic for the days of yore? Yeah. I don’t think this particular group can deliver a song/arrangement with that kind of power. I have not downloaded a single iTunes version of any performance this season. Last season, in comparison, I had downloaded six at this point. I think that’s just sad. My iPod playlists are looking a little desolate.
Now to the show. Was anyone else thrown that Ryan didn’t say “Ammericaaan Idol” right? I can kind of understand – I think he’s probably overthinking…you know like when you say a word over and over and then it sounds wrong? He’s been saying it the same way all these seasons and he’s trying to reinvent the greeting. I kind of get it, though I think we require a little notice to change something that iconic. However, over the course of the evening I thought of another reason for this mishap. I’m posing the question – had Ryan been drinking before he stepped down the stairs of stardom? Before you call me crazy, let me present my case:
Exhibit A: The wazzups and high five’s with random members of the audience
Exhibit B: When he said “results show” it came out ” rsulsh ow” (it was kind of slurry)
Exhibit C: His bizarre need to fluff the fro of an unassuming audience member
Exhibit D: The tongue comment/flub when talking to Adam and his trying to imitate Adam singing his single “Whaddya Want from Me”
And while we’re on the subject, can we just talk about Adam Lambert as mentor? Has all the other seasoned talent dried up? Are they hard up for celebrity appearances on the show because they are tapping too many people for “Idol Gives Back”? Or (most likely), are the more knowledgable and wise performers steering clear so they aren’t lumped in the same camp as all the Disney peeps? I’m thinking the most reasonable answer for why they chose Adam was a simple thing: his hair. He did style his hair like Elvis several times last season and those types of things tend to stick. I mean clearly, Kris Allen can’t compete with that hair. Adam met with each Idoloonie perfectly coiffed and accessorized and gave solid feedback (even I have to admit). I just take issue with the very concept that someone who is still a proverbial baby of the entertainment industry has the breadth of knowledge to carry the title of “mentor”. I’m just sayin’. Okay. Diatribe over.
Crystal Bowersox – “Saved”
Adam’s glittering wisdom: “Use the electric guitar. Let those dreads down.” (I think seeing the dreads undone would cause more dread than excitement. Just my two cents.)
Those iTunes marketing people have been thinking. “You know what, there aren’t as many downloads of this season’s American Idol performances! Maybe it’s because people can’t remember what the iTunes screen looks like.” So, tonight we were treated to Crystal scrolling through songs that were on iTunes trying to choose a song.
Crystal started off with a big note and stayed perfectly in the spirit of the song throughout…I probably would have dialed back the background vocalists a bit, but it was a nice vibe and a well-done. During the judges critic, though, all I wanted to do was sweep that random hair off of Kara’s forehead. Anyone? Anyone?
Andrew Garcia – “Hound Dog”
Adam’s glittering wisdom – “It’s boring, change it up.” (I couldn’t agree more.)
Oh, boy. The father angle is dead, Andrew. I understand being a father is AWESOME for you and Big Mike and that you’re lives will be MUCH better if you’re rich and famous (just look at all those paparazzi photos of celebrity babies that take up a full page of People magazine!). But seriously? How ’bouts you focus on digging yourself out of this massive ditch that you continue to dig for yourself week after week?
I personally thought that Andrew totally rocked the stage tonight! Granted, I could have done without him traipsing around the stage with the microphone in hand. That move made it seem like he was so uncomfortable away from the microphone that he had to take it with him everywhere. But seriously? Give the guy some credit. He put everything into it that performance that he could. He was confident, he was on pitch, he showcased his cool voice, he changed it up. It was awesome. I’m picking up the phone to see if we can get the judges some professional help.
Tim Urban – “Can’t Help Fallin’ In Love”
Adam’s glittering wisdom – “Sing the last line in your head voice.” (Which he didn’t do.)
I’ll admit that I was concerned about this one. During the rehearsal with Adam, the song sounded like a weak lullaby instead of a romantic song, sung by someone who didn’t just come from the lockered halls of a high school. This was kind of a mixed bag for me. I thought parts of it were choppy and pitchy (I. can’t. helllp. falling in love. with. you.). The only thing that saved him was that he changed it up a little bit. The longer phrases were nice as was the big note he hit. He also had less darty-eye going on this week. Folks, I think we might need to conceive of a top 7 that includes young Urban Outfitter.
Lee Dewyse – “A little less conversation”
Adam: “Be playful. Smile. Connect.”
Kudos to Lee on that arrangement! It was the best performance of the night by a mile. I sat there and listened and had a hard time wiping the dopey smile off my face. He commanded the stage much more than other weeks and…wait for it…he’s almost a performer! He’s so close! Yay! Our little Lee! I was sad that the Lee t-shirts were absent on his friends in the audience, but Lee received well-deserved praise this week as opposed to last week. Yes, Kara. The vocal was, indeed, fire. Lee topped off the performance with a super cheesy thumbs up. Awesome.
Aaron Kelly – Blue Suede Shoes
Adam – “Grab it and commit to it.” (Aaron did neither.)
Oh, Aaron. Aaron, Aaron, Aaron. Why in the world would you shoot yourself in the foot by saying that you didn’t believe the song fit you? IF IT DIDN’T, THEN WHY DIDN’T YOU PICK SOMETHING ELSE?? This performance was the textbook definition of karaoke and I’m glad that of all the judges, Simon kept it real. He had some nice notes, he’s got a good voice, but bless his heart, he’s not ready for the American Idol stage. Noelle is right – he got a pass from the judges because he’s young. I don’t really care if he’s around another week, but if I might make a request? I like his jacket. I want his jacket to stick around another week.
Siobhan Magnus – “Suspicious Minds”
I submit to you that Siobhan has the most awkward interviews of all time. Right??
Adam Lambert: “The song needs more ‘oomph'”.
Okay, let’s start with her look. Her outfit is definitely more cohesive this week but definitely shy of normal. She didn’t really own the song. True story: I yawned when listening to her performance. I will say, though, it’s nice to know she can hit a high note without screaming. And also nice to see the parents in the audience, even if they did look like they’d come straight from making moonshine.
Siobhan was the second casualty of the “shoot yourself in the foot” kind. You don’t know who you are or what kind of singer you are? Why are you on the stage? And why is Simon nodding like her response makes complete sense in the context of a SINGING COMPETITION? Sigh.
Michael Lynche – “In the Ghetto”
Adam’s glittering wisdom: “Step it up and be an actor/storyteller.”
The real question the week after “The Big Save” is, did Michael do enough to prove that he is worthy to be on that stage this week? While the performance (and his voice) was beautiful, I don’t think the performance sold me that he’s a contenda’. His falsetto was nice and Simon gave him a boost at the end with his praise, but will it be enough? Oh, the drama. (Sure, it’s manufactured drama and doesn’t really illicit a true anticipation, but that’s the American Idol way this season…)
Katie Stevens – “Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do”
Adam’s glittering wisdom: “Show the anger.”
Well. Her head zig-zagged around a lot, but I don’t necessarily think that means that she’s infusing true emotion into the song. I think the song was fairly well sung and had a little more attitude, but it wasn’t nearly as good as last week’s performance and I find myself wishing that her and her heavily accessorized outfits would be part of the two-pronged contestant departure this week.
Casey James – “Lawdy Miss Claudy”
Adam’s glittering wisdom: “Build an ark, get animals….” Ahem. Just kidding. Adam said “Build an arc and that the arrangement needed more shape.” (Yep. It sure does.)
While Casey took his spot amidst the waving arms of the audience members, I hearkened back to Kris Allen’s performance in much the same place and how he thought that it was his biggest mistake that season. Cue then, a guitar interlude that (in my opinion) was a mistake at this point in the competition when Casey has yet to show us a wide range of vocal abilities. Also, his weird vibrato was back tonight. I agree with Kara and Simon – it fell short, and was a wasted opportunity. Casey seemed like he was really taking the comments to heart and I felt a little bad for him, but at the end of the day all I could think was: Meh.
So, that’s it! After tomorrow night, the stage will be missing two contestants and I’m sure that Ryan will make us suffer through a results show rife with fake drama. As long as Lee and Crystal are safe (they had the best performances last night), I’m good. It’s really a toss up…I’d like for Katie and Aaron to go home, but I’d be okay with almost any other configuration. I’d like to see Andrew stick around ’cause I think he’s more interesting than a lot of other contestants, and I think Siobhan deserves to stay another week, but it’s in the hands of America now.