I didn’t think I’d be writing about something like this in Season 9, but here it is. No one on last night’s “American Idol” gave a performance worthy of getting booted off the show. In fact, now more than ever, you could point to the judges’ save of big Michael Lynche a few weeks ago as being premature, because they surely are going to want that save back tonight. Why? Because everyone brought it last night, to the point that the judges and host Ryan Seacrest wondered out loud how anyone could be eliminated. But it has to happen. So let’s look at the way it all played out, and this week’s mentor was country superstar Shania Twain. You may remember Shania was one of the judges for this season’s initial auditions. Now she had the pleasure of watching the contestants perform her songs. Would they butcher those songs or make her proud? Let’s read on….


Lee Dewyze kicked things off last night with “Still the One” and it was a very cool, David Cook-ish version. Lee has that same ability as Cook to take a song like this and make it sound radio-friendly in 2010. Of course, there were moments in this one where Lee was reaching for the notes, but all in all a very solid showing again. Randy said it was one of his favorites of Lee’s, that it started out pitchy but that he worked it out….Ellen said it was better than “pretty good”…..Kara said that she loves Lee’s voice and that he’s come so far…and Simon said it was the perfect song choice.

Michael Lynche took on “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing” and it was perfect for his balladeer style. I wrote down that he reminded me of Luther Vandross, and I swear I didn’t text Ellen my thoughts during the performance. Randy said that Mike has found his zone with these ballads, and that it was very good….Ellen said she was nervous about the song choice going in, but that this rendition reminded her of Luther Vandross (where have I heard that before??)…..Kara said she loves how Shania connects with her songs and that on this one, Mike connected with it….and Simon said that the Luther Vandross comparison was “spot on,” so I pat myself on the back again, but he also said it was a “wet” performance. He couldn’t really give an accurate explanation of that, other than to say it was a bit “girly.’ Okay, whatever…dude was great last night.

Casey James sang “Don’t” and this time he strapped on an acoustic guitar and let his own voice shine. It was clearly one of Casey’s best. Randy said it was Casey’s best yet….Ellen said he sang like he belonged last night….Kara said that this time Casey didn’t hide behind his guitar….and Simon said that while last week may have been a wake up call for Casey, this week he delivered his best yet.

Aaron Kelly took on “You Got A Way” and it was maybe the best of any performances last night. I’m not a huge fan of this kid, but holy crap, he made me a believer at least for one night. Randy said the song was in Aaron’s country music wheelhouse and that it was a really good job….Ellen said at this point (Aaron was fifth) that it was going to be tough to send someone home, and that he showed a lot of maturity….Kara said she really felt Aaron connecting to the lyrics (whatever, Kara!)….and Simon said that while Aaron has struggled for the last two or three weeks, last night he was like a totally different artist.


Crystal Bowersox sang “No One Needs to Know,” after having a funny video clip in which she told her boyfriend that he needs to “man up.” Nice! Unfortunately for Crystal, this song did her no favors. It was one of her weakest performances yet–not because she didn’t perform it well, but because the song didn’t lend itself to making the singer look or sound special. Randy said he liked the whole Nickel Creek vibe, but it wasn’t his favorite performance of Crystal’s….Ellen said there is nothing Crystal can’t do, but also that it wasn’t one of her favorites from this favorite….Kara said it’s impossible for Crystal to not be good, but that while this one wasn’t her best, she is still amazing…and Simon said it was like a limp coffee shop performance. Not exactly a good night for Crystal to swing and miss, or at most hit a bloop to the shortstop.

Siobhan Magnus closed out the night in the pimp slot, with “Any Man of Mine.” It wasn’t bad but wasn’t nearly as good as the rest of the performers last night. And once again, Siobhan broke out her Adam Lambert scream at the end to add punctuation. Randy said he loved it…Ellen said it was a good way to end the show….Kara said, “Guess who’s back?”….and Simon said he likes that song a lot, and it was a great job, albeit with too much screaming. He even likened it to sounding like Siobhan was giving birth on stage. Ha! But I have to say, I don’t agree with the judges here….they were once again intoxicated by those Lambert screams, but this performance was good at times, hard to watch at others.

So here we go…..judging solely by last night, Crystal or Siobhan should be going home, at least in my eyes. But Crystal absolutely won’t be. And because of the judges salivating over those screams, just like they did with Lambert last year, Siobhan is probably safe, too.

So who do you send home from Lee, Mike, Casey and Aaron? That’s a tough one. The only thing I can say is that Mike had the lowest number of votes one week, so maybe he’s the most likely to have the lowest number of votes again. He wouldn’t deserve it based on last night, but it’s now a numbers game. Same goes for Aaron, and Casey. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was your Bottom 3, and I still think this is going to wind up being a Lee vs. Crystal finale.

Your thoughts? I’m curious if anyone has a good argument for anyone to be eliminated. Thanks for reading and see you back here tomorrow morning!