Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Season 9 Stepping It Up - Top 10 Idol Recap

It's R&B/Soul week on American Idol which meant we were in store for a fair share of genius & disaster. Or, it would have in past years. Tonight was mostly made up of...well that sucked or hey, that was pretty all right!. Idol, you make me sad sometimes. Though, if I'm gonna be honest, tonight was at least interesting - my bottom three and top three are both combinations that have never been matched before. Looks like some new contenders are entering the race. Also this week we had someone on the inside, who actually attended the show, so look for one or two insider fun facts sprinkled throughout!

Siobhan - Through the Fire by Chaka Kahn
I've already heard about what this performance is gonna be like and I'm disappointed already. For what it's worth, I heard she rocked it in the dress rehearsal.
 Don't like the arrangement. Oh this is karaoke-weird. Yikes. This song does not suit her voice or Siobhan as an artist. Oh yikes. She is missing all the notes. Siobhan, what's happening?!!?!?!?! Only the scream was in tune. BAD song choice. - Step back
Randy - Didn't quite catch on pitch-wise. Not one of her shining moments, but loves courageousness and convinction. Not her best performance at all, kinda rough
Ellen - Loves her, but not her best performance
Kara - Got a little nervous up there and lower register wasn't there. But she has delivered every week and every performer is entitled to an off night. At the end of the day, a great singer
Simon - Sounded like she had run a marathon and was singing while she was running out of breath, so all over the place. Looks all over the place. (Randy likes the outfit.) She's kidding herself if she thinks it was a good performance, worst from her so far

Siobhan is really sad & upset backstage. Big Mike tries to comfort her. Awe.

The rest after the jump

Casey James - Hold On, I'm Coming by Sam & Dave
Oooh, oh my, I'm gonna like this. Ohhhhh Casey. I love him. Oh my goodness. Oh he's so dreamy. The song has never been performed on Idol.
He's so freakin cute. His voice is too. He keeps pulling away from the mic at the end of the line. Stop doing that! Oh but he's so cute, who cares. Could have changed up the arrangement a bit, but he sounds good and looks good and it's all good. He's such a cute rock star cute face.The crowd goes WILD. I just want a little more from him. Just something totally different. But I love him. - Step sideways - still reliably great, but too safe
Randy - Another hot night for Casey! Stayed in his element, showed a lot of vocal range, perfect song choice, nice job.
Ellen - You are consistent, great voice, great talent. A little generic, wanted to see a different song, (gets BOOED like woah) song was safe, but he did great
Kara - Thinks he has more vocal range in him and we aren't seeing how much more he can do. She wants him to do acoustic guitar and sing and show us everything he's got
Simon - Simon thinks it was his strongest performance so far. Showed completely different side to him, sounded authentic. Really impressed this week.

He says he has an acoustic song for next week! Yay!

Michael Lynche - Ready For Love by India Arie
Oh I have a feeling this is gonna be really effing cool. With guitar! Nice!
Oh this is cool. He doesn't need the rest of the orchestra, would be fine just him and the guitar. His voice sounds amazing. Really didn't need the rest of the orchestra, bahhh. The judges can't see him. That's awkward. Just listening, can't see his face. Oh they have the screen behind him at least. Very nice performance. - Step forward
Randy - Loved that he used the guitar. In the zone, loving every performance. Wasn't as exciting as in the past, but good to pull back and show the sensitive side.
Ellen - Doesn't like it when people sing behind her back, but it was beautiful and she loved it.
Kara - Had never heard the song before this week, tasteful, lovely, one of her favorite performances
Simon - The first time since they entered the live shows where Simon can take him seriously as an artist. Not one of his favorite songs, he demonstrated the difference between being original & having a moment versus being a karaoke singer. Believed his performance

Didi Benami - What Becomes of the Broken Hearted by Jimmy Ruffin
We'll see how this goes. Why is she crying? Oh, her friend. Aw.
This arrangement is strange. Wish it was her with a guitar instead. Flat. I still love her. This isn't what I wanted her to do this week. Muzak arrangement. Yeah. Not her best performance. Sounds like she is straining. "Tell me" part is awkward. If she had done a different arrangement of the song, would have been better. Arrghh, she maybe could have killed it with a great arrangement. - Step back
Randy - Great song, but performance flat-lined, wasn't great, waiting for a moment, but never quite caught. Didn't get it.
Ellen - Way dramatic, not her best
Kara - It was overdone. Go back to singer/songwriter thing. She lost her way. Very confusing. She's puzzled.
Simon - Also puzzles. Was just like swimming in jelly. Old fashioned, off melody.

Ryan is sleazy and tries to get Didi to talk about her dead friend so she can some sympathy votes. I'm hoping she pulls through without the sympathy votes. 

Tim Urban - Sweet Love by Anita Baker
Usher tells Tim to sing to him and Tim is weirded out. Bwhahaha.
Stupid arrangement. As usual. "You" is hilarious and I want to turn it into a 1 second clip. Probably the best his voice has sounded, but that's not REALLY saying much. He still sucks. One of our party observes that he has rapist eyes. Another counters with "or unconscious eyes". I think what we're all trying to say is that Tim Urban needs to go home already. Ughhhh this is so boring. Why is this performance so long? END I can't handle it for much longer. Please end. Def his best vocal, but who cares? - Side sideways. Still shitty
Randy - Pluses & minuses. Singing waiter thing. Felt pedestrian, not American Idol. But at least he sang in tune. Mostly in tune. But no vibe to it or swag on it. Swag on it? huh? Fell flat.
Ellen - He's adorable. Apparently after Ellen says he is probably going home, he says "Ouch!" but they didn't show it. "Oh boy, why" reaction to if he comes back.
Kara - Took the soul out of the song, vegasy. She doesn't understand why he keeps sucking.
Simon - Thinks he is laughing because he thinks he will be around no matter what. Not gonna win, doesn't matter, he's gonna smile and nobody cares and he'll be here next week and well done.

Andrew Garcia - Forever by Chris Brown
Usher is making all of us very uncomfortable. But the advice about connecting is very true.
Liking this arrangement. Voice sounds good and in key and everything! Why does he always pick songs with awkward lyrics? I think he could have stayed with the guitar and the box, but it's nice, so it's okay. I like strings. Kara is grooving to it. You'd have no idea this was a dance-ish sort of song, except for the part where it says "dance floor" over and over and over again. Great job though! Best performance yet from Andrew. - Step forward
Randy - Andrew's back
Ellen - Finally all of a sudden on it
Kara - One giant leap in the right direction
Simon - Miles better than what we've heard over the past few weeks. Problem is, as a person, he comes across as very boring.

Kara says if he can do it again next week, he's back in the game

A lot happens with Andrew's mom and it's weird for everyone.

Katie Stevens - Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin
Stupid hair. Has some attitude, that's fun. Oh! Sounds good! She would be much better on this show in like 5 years. Shame. But her voice sounds its best tonight. Well, kinda missed that note. Still, probably the best she's sounded. - Step sideways - sounded great, but still too mature
Randy - A little disconnected vocally but one of best vocal performances of the night. Showed that she has the pipes. Like a young Christina in a way. Started rough. Felt like bunch of small moments not one big moment
Ellen - Great vocals. Great voice, wish the song had been a little more current. Sang it well, but always sound so mature
Katie - R&B pop is right where she belongs. Great vocal. But gotta go back to young and commercial now but great vocals
Simon - Crazy to compare to Christina. They say she has the potential. Simon said it was pretty good but robotic and cold. All a little bit Star Search. Kara points out that her vocals are getting better but Simon thinks Kara is wrong about what kind of artist she is. Simon says take advice from him, not Kara.

Ellen looks pissed and it's weird. Awkward moment! I don't think Ellen is enjoying this.

Lee Dewyze - Treat Her Like A Lady by Cornelius Brothers
Aw he's cute. He's growing on me. This song sounds gospel rockish?, nothing like modern day R&B. Badass. It's like actual rhythm and blues, not what I think R&B is. He's very Joe Cocker this week or something. Now I wanna hear him sing With A Little Help Fro My Friends SO bad. Showed a ton of range and charisma tonight. And looked hot! Sweet! Getting so confident! - Step forward, pimp spot next week?
Randy - Unbelievable. Best he's heard from him in weeks
Ellen - Now the night started, best performance of the night & prob that he's done so far
Kara - Could be on his record, amazing
Simon - Always believed in him since the beginning, had frustrations w/ fact that he didn't believe in himself, this has been his problem throughout, but he says watch the show back and understand that tonight was the night his life may have changed forever.

Ryan - "Now we have a competition!"

Crystal Bowersox - Midnight Train to Georgia by Gladys Knight and the Pips
Great song choice. She is the best at song choice. Seems a little concerced with the piano, but she sounds amazing. SHE STOOD UP. AHH. Falsetto. Eeee! Seems a little more nervous, but still WAY better than I thought she would be without the guitar! Oh, that was great! - Step forward, she's awesome even without the guitar!
Randy - Love the outfit, love the stilettos, did Gladys Knight proud. Great performance.
Ellen - You're never not good, always great, another side of her, she's in it to win it, really competing, wonderful idea
Kara - So glad she took that risk. Wanted to see other side of her. So many things about her that she loves, can't wait to see what she does next
Simon - Sensational choice of song, vocals at times were incredible. Shouldn't have used backup, overthinking the piano, so not let the process suck the identity out of her, cause what she was doing before was fantastic, has had no issues Crystal wanted to prove it to herself that she could do it. Don't change into something that she's not. Crystal says she'd never do anything that wasn't comfortable to her

Aaron with the pimp spot! Totally thought he was getting the pimp spot.

Aaron Kelley - Aint No Sunshine by Bill Withers
Oh come on, Kris Allen just sang this! Amazingly, too. Oh wow, could be great though if the mentoring video means anything.
Up! But no. It's not amazing. Kris Allen's version is already miles better. Sounding a little shaky. Nice sounding tone, true - poor man's Archie. Why is he sounding shaky? Such little consistency this season. Sounds much better in his higher register. Didn't really take Usher's advice, but sounds really nice at times. Definitely should not have sung something Kris Allen did so well with last season. Just a dumb idea. - Step back
Randy - Started rough, power notes helps to work it out, but thinks he has more soul flavor than that, so was just all right
Ellen - Good song choice, really good job
Kara - Liked it, wasn't in love with it, could have had more energy, gone higher up in his register
Simon - If you compare it to great performances tonight, it was like a cupcake. Simon's heard it too many times sung brilliantly on this show. Was okay, but he won't be going home.

What we learned: Usher was kind of an awesome mentor, Lee Dewyze is starting to get hot, Didi is much classier than Seacrest will ever be

Bottom Three:

Top Three:

Going Home: I want it to be Tim, but thanks to Vote for the Worst I'm TERRIFIED it's gonna be Didi. Even though I thought Andrew did a great job tonight, I could also see him going home, just out of indifference from the audience, plus he's who Dial Idol is predicting. But I'm aiming high and going for Tim.

Crystal - A-
Lee - A-
Andrew - B+
Mike - B+
Casey - B
Katie - B
Aaron - C+
Siobhan - C
Didi - C-
Tim - D