Well! After watching the Idol contestants sing their little hearts out this week, I finally feel like we have ourselves a real season of American Idol! Plus, I have all this down time now that we’re past 2-hour extravaganzas. Hmm…what to do with all that extra time? Maybe I should bake more. Or learn how to pick locks.
I do find it rather funny when Ryan lines up the contestants like they’re getting ready to be shot by a firing squad, and this week the call out of their previous occupations (before their life changed FOR.EV.ERRR) seemed to highlight it. Then again, maybe I’m just really violent. I do really like power tools. I also found myself wishing that this year’s crop of contestants had furnished a butcher, baker and candlestick maker ’cause how cool would THAT have been?
Just a few words about this week’s mentor…she was everything a mentor should be. While I really wanted to poke fun at her (because, c’mon, who is that happy all the time?) I really couldn’t. Shania took to the mentor role like a Mama duck to the water, and she had all the contestants this week in the undertow of her talent–they took her songs and really made a splash! (Okay, okay the duck analogy will stop here). I would like to say that Shania was, in my humble but always true opinion, the most invested mentor EVER. She totally gets the gold star.
What I didn’t appreciate is Ryan’s awkward interview with her before the singing began. Shania’s comment about her wondering how it would work out with the guys singing her songs (you know, girl power songs) prompted to Ryan to pounce and say “Oh, reallllly? Was it hard to get the guys in that groove?” No. It sure wasn’t, Ryan, and how ’bout you stop trying to make drama where there isn’t any? Thanks.
Lee Dewyse – “You’re Still the One”
And I Quote: “All Aboard the Shania Twain.” – Ellen DeGeneres
Oh, Lee and Shania go way back…to the Chicago auditions. They are totally BFF (watch out Andrew Garcia!).
Lee surprised and delighted me this week by pulling a “Kris Allen”. He totally sang out of the side of his mouth just like our reigning American Idol used to! Ahem. As far as the music goes, when he started I wasn’t sure if I liked it because he either started flat or changed it up so much that I didn’t quite recognize the beginning. But honest to goodness, cross my heart and hope to die stick a thousand needles in my eye? I think that’s exactly what he needed to do to the song and his different and unique version earned him the honor of being my first iTunes download of the season. Lee is becoming quite the star on this stage! Also, I can appreciate the fact that he celebrated country week by sporting some bigger, poofy hair. Big Mike did not have that luxury…way to gain the advantage, Lee!
Idol Pet Peeve: It really annoys me when the judges take the title or line in the song to kick off their critique. Kara employed this method this week by using the lyrics “Look how far we’ve come my baby” and applying them to Lee “Look how far YOU’VE come” (sure it’s true, but that doesn’t make it any less irritating!). But, seriously now, how could you NOT love her outfit. That necklace ROCKED! And I have to say that I really loved the “Aw gosh, guys, I was just singing” comment/look from Lee after Simon accused him of “pulling some weird looks” during his performance.
Michael “Big Mike” Lynche – “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”
And I Quote: “The performance was a little bit wet.” – Simon Cowell (Translation: According to Simon wet = girly. Maybe it’s because mermaids are girls. Who knows?)
I think you all know that I heart Shania, but the fact that she pulled the “you could sing the phone book” quote is kind of travesty. I know she’s got better material. I just KNOW it.
Big Mike did a good job, as usual, in staying in key and on pitch throughout. I liked the song and thought he did a good job with it, but honestly? For me, (for you for me) his vibrato got in the way. The vocal just needed to be pure and echo-y to make a bigger impact. I just felt like he pushed too hard, but boy…did he end strong. That ending was fantastic.
Casey James – “Don’t”
And I Quote: “It’s a singing song. I don’t think I’ve sung yet.” – Casey James
Truer words were never spoken, Casey.
In his interview with Casey, Ryan made him re-live the judges comments from last week (and weeks prior) about how he’s not giving them anything different. I may have dozed off for a second in the middle of Casey’s long and convoluted answer, but I admit to being kinda confused about what he was saying was going to make this performance different. I think somewhere in there he acknowledged that he wasn’t giving us anything different from week to week? From that and the intro video, I was super excited to hear him…oh, I don’t know…show some vocal ability and range? ‘Magine that.
One word: WOW. Just imagine if he’d been singing this whole time!!! This move was brilliant because the focus was on his voice, not his skills on the guitar…and that was a good thing! In my opinion, he lost a little steam about half way through but he ended well. I think that he should have slowed it down a bit more to really allow it to resonate, but that’s just me being picky. I think that Casey had the best performance of the night and made me remember why I liked him during Hollywood week. I don’t think we should get crazy, though, Kara. He’s not going to be at the FRONT in a WEEK. At least I don’t think he will…
Crystal Bowersox – “No One Needs to Know”
And I Quote: “It was not my favorite performance of yours, either, but that’s like saying what’s your least favorite color of the rainbow.” – Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen, I have a least favorite color of the rainbow. It’s purple.)
Hey, Crystal? The definition of a hint is when you give someone a little bit of an idea of what you’re talking about but you don’t spell it out. If you’re looking to hint at something by sending a message to your boyfriend through song, you might try to be more subtle than telling all of America (and him) that you’re sending him a message. And also? It’s probably not a good idea to tell your boyfriend to “man up” on national television. I’m just sayin’.
Okay, so no one is disputing that Crystal has vocal talent and pulls out a solid performance each week. But if I’m keeping it real, as Randy would have me do? Her version of the song felt a little hokey. Maybe it’s just me? I mean, the ending was genius with her harmonizing with her back up singer, but the other parts were a lot like a frozen waffle that hadn’t quite been cooked all the way through. Sweet, but surprising (and not in a good way).
Aaron Kelly – “You Got a Way”
And I Quote (x2): “It’s almost as though he’s preoccupied with hitting the note.” – Shania Twain
Ellen DeGeneres: “I still can’t get over the fact that you’re 16 years old…”
Aaron Kelly: “17 .”
Ellen DeGeneres: “How old?”
Aaron Kelly: “17 now.”
Ellen DeGeneres: ” Then I’m not as impressed…I thought you were 16.”
I was distracted a little throughout his performance because it seemed like he was holding his microphone a weird way. I didn’t quite understand it. It also seems like he had a few note problems, but all-in-all his voice rang out loud and clear. Young Aaron-san* didn’t really change the song, though, and I think therein lies his downfall. Aaron’s family looked like they were paid to stand and clap and they didn’t look happy about it. 🙂 I mean, I’m sure they were just nervous for the young lad, but would it have killed them to crack a smile? And leave it to Kara to make a critique the most awkward event of the whole show. Sheesh.
(*Are you guys as excited as I am to see the remake of The Karate Kid in theaters this June???)
Siobhan Magnus – “Any Man of Mine”
And I Quote: “Way to pull the Shania Twain into the station” – Ellen DeGeneres (C’mon guys! I can’t overlook a perfectly good pun!! Even if I don’t really agree with the sentiments)
Oh, Siobhan. I think she’s on her way out, unfortunately. I think she’s lost herself completely now and that’s sad because I thought she had the most potential to be a super great star. Her performance tonight was ultra-controlled, and nearly not powerful enough to showcase her big voice. It was a mistake to walk into the audience while she was singing and she had some pretty obvious pitch problems. It seems as if the young glassblower discarded her effervescent mentor’s advice completely by not playing the role that the song required. While the ending was solidly executed, it’s my opinion that the ending cannot redeem the whole song. I’m disappointed with this one…I feel like she was the worst of the night.
Anyone else think that the violinist tonight was angling to get her own reality series or something? She was totally making eyes at the camera! Those contestants better sleep with one eye open.
Mostly, I’m just stoked that the contestants wore their game faces this week and actually gave us performances that reminded us of the seasons of yore. Here’s hoping they keep it up! If I had to guess, I would say that Big Mike and Aaron Kelly should be on the chopping block. I guess we shall see!