Thanks to Mr. Will Harris for filling in yesterday on the “American Idol” recap, and my apologies to you that you had to watch the likes of Lacey Brown and Paige Miles perform. You can thank the judges for letting them all through, because I still think they did a lousy job this time around, in many cases picking looks over talent. Then again, that’s how the music business operates these days…..sign someone with looks and auto-tune them into a star. But that’s a topic for another day, so I’ll step down off my soap box now.
On to the guys last night, and after looking back in my notes…there was not one great performance. There also wasn’t one awful performance. All of them were mediocre, some on the side of pretty good and some on the side of not so good. So we’ll do our best to rate them, trying to keep in mind that I totally did not agree with some of the judges’ comments.
THE PRETTY GOOD
Alex Lambert brought out his guitar and did a pretty cool version of Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble.” It wasn’t like he re-invented the wheel here, but the thing is, Lambert can sing. So it was pretty damn enjoyable listening to him. As far as his stage fright, I think he’s getting better, and is much more comfortable up there each week. Randy said it was a good song choice but didn’t “wow” him….Ellen made yet another banana reference, but what she meant was that Alex is getting better (i.e. riper) every week, and she added that he looks so innocent up there….Kara said Alex is the only person standing in the way of himself…and Simon agreed with Kara, and said that he doesn’t quite look relaxed on stage yet, but that he does have a good, distinct vocal. I’m pretty sure Alex is safe to be a finalist.
Andrew Garcia went back to performing dance pop and making it his own….this time with Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle.” Look, it wasn’t great, and it wasn’t as good as his rendition of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” during Hollywood week, but I’d still pay to see this guy perform. The song took a little while to make an impact, but eventually it did, though I could already tell the judges would hate it. Randy said it was an interesting choice but that it didn’t quite work….Ellen said it was a great choice and had a good ending, but that the glory note and all that came too late….Kara said Andrew peaked early in the competition and he’s been chasing that moment ever since and isn’t quite there yet….and Simon agreed with Kara, saying Andrew seemed a bit desperate. Yep, I knew that’s how they would react. That’s because they would rather pimp little Aaron Kelly to America. But I know Andrew will get votes, and I think Andrew knows it too.
Lee Dewyze kicked off the night with the recent hit by Owl City, “Fireflies,” and did a cool acoustic version of it. Still, to me this was like eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream. It was nice, but didn’t blow me away. I didn’t catch what Randy said but I think he agreed with me….Ellen said Lee rocked up the song and that he is adorable….Kara said she thinks Lee looks confident and that he made the song better than what it is….Simon said it was not a “moment,” but that Lee keeps improving, and he also thought that Lee is better than what he showed last night.
Tim Urban took on the very, very tired Jeff Buckley version of “Hallelujah,” but it wasn’t too bad at all. Much better than some of Tim’s previous showings. Randy said he loves the song and that Tim did a pretty good job with it….Ellen ran out onto the stage to give Tim a hug, which probably frightened the producers of the show for various reasons….Kara said she thought Tim would be going home in the first few rounds, but that now he appears to be “in it”…and Simon said it wasn’t the best version of the song and not Tim’s best, but that it was a smart choice and that people probably want him to do well. Okay, whatever.
Casey James took on “No Sympathy” by Keith Urban and it also was not bad, but not awesome either. Randy said he felt like it was a safe choice….Ellen said she loved it….Kara said it was better than last week but that Casey seems to be missing a “spark”…and Simon said it was Casey’s “second best” performance so far, and that he liked his Bryan Adams cover better. Okay, this guy is probably safe.
Todrick Hall took on probably the most difficult song of the night, Queen’s “Somebody To Love.” It was pitchy in the lower register, had weird tempo issues and sounded great in the upper register. It was not a “holy crap” moment, but it was decent considering the material. Randy said “Todrick is back!” and added that he can “really sing!”….Ellen said Todrick was brave for doing that song and she liked the Gospel-ish influence…Kara said his vocals were good but that the theatrics were a bit too much….and Simon said it was “good in parts.” Well, I think Todrick could be in trouble tonight just by sheer numbers.
Michael Lynche closed out the night with Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work” and just like I knew the judges would knock Andrew down a few pegs, I knew they would prop Michael up. But I didn’t totally get it. The song wasn’t great and it was weird in spots, but Michael helped himself with a 30 second on-pitch glory note. Randy said (in high pitch), “What???” and that it was “dope”….Ellen said “Oh my God, that was beautiful”…Kara couldn’t really talk because she was moved to tears, which seemed so fake and ridiculous that it sort of made me angry…..and Simon said Michael “100 % nailed it” and that it was the best perfomance by anyone so far. Um, really people? Really??? I’m not going to pretend that I loved it because I just didn’t get it. But it wasn’t bad at all. That’s it, that’s all I will say.
THE OKAY BUT LEANING TOWARD NOT GOOD
Aaron Kelly also was not awful, but to me he was the least entertaining last night. He did Lonestar’s “I’m Already There” and it sucked in the lower register and was a bit pitchy in the upper register. Randy said that Aaron has the makings of greatness but that he needs to work on the lower register….Ellen said she loves Aaron but that the song was too much for him….Kara said he gives it his all but that the lyrics were not believable because it’s a song about a guy on the road missing his kids. Seriously, did anyone but Kara think that when Aaron was singing?….Simon thought Kara’s comment was “complete and utter rubbish” and then went on to say that it “wasn’t a great vocal” but that it was a good song choice and blah blah blah. In other words, Simon forgot that this is a SINGING COMPETITION. Dude, if it’s not a great vocal, he doesn’t belong in the finals! And I think Aaron will miss out based on the pure numbers, because two guys have to go home tonight.
So there you have it. I still can’t get over Kara’s tears following Big Mike’s performance. Seriously, how ridiculous was that? Since I didn’t see the ladies perform, but read Will’s blog, I’m going to take his word for it about Paige Miles, but I also think there is no way Lacey Brown advances to the finals. So those are my two picks for the ladies.
For the guys, I think America will think Todrick’s take on Queen was too weird, and will eliminate him. I also think the other spot will come down to three guys–Aaron Kelly, who should be the one going home in my opinion; Andrew Garcia, who I think ultimately has enough fans but will take a hit because of the judges’ comments; and Tim Urban, who is extremely lucky to still be hanging on but may have done just enough to hang on one more week.
What do you all think? Am I out of line busting on the judges? It should be interesting to see how America votes though, and we’ll find out later tonight. See you tomorrow with the recap!