Tuesday, April 13, 2010

American Idol 9: Top 9

This was the best show of the season so far. Who would've thought?

WOW! This whole episode was such a pleasant surprise! Really. Nobody was cringe worthy and some of them actually sounded like Top Ten American Idol contestants! Finally!

Almost everything worked well tonight. I liked the hilarious introductions of the contestants this week, I dig the fiesty audience and Paul McCartney puts a smile on my face. Haha.

That said, could some of these people be anymore CLUELESS? I mean, out of all the songs they could have chosen, they chose the Season 7 playlist! Ok, so there were three that are “new” to Idol, but you’d think that with all of the Lennon-McCartney songs, they’d avoid the Season 7 selections. They never learn do they?

Seriously. The song choices this week were some of the most iconic Beatles songs and some of the most WELL KNOWN. I was kind of hoping someone would pick something a little more off beat and not the ones that were the biggest hits. I don't know. But maybe that's just me nit-picking.

Anyway, here we go!

09. Aaron Kelly
The Long And Winding Road
Why is he singing that song again? Oh wait, that was David Archuleta! Geez. You have gone way too far kid. First, it was David Cook, then Kris Allen and now this? So, who's next? Carrie Underwood? Haha. I know (I know, I know, I know) David Archuleta's version didn't make the song untouchable or anything but he clearly proved here that he's no Archuleta by any means! I mean, he started off quite pitchy and his head tone had that unpleasant nasal quality to it. His interpretation, I thought, had no power and no emotion whatsoever. Sure, it was pleasant but his performances are starting to mesh up together - predictable and unimpressive. Also, this is becoming an epidemic — picking songs because you identify with one phrase in the song — and pretty much blowing off the rest of the lyrics. I mean, it’s a road that “leads to your door,” Aaron. That isn’t about your “Idol journey”. So how were you planning to get a connection to that part of the lyric? Gah.

08. Andrew Garcia
Can't Buy Me Love
I sure like his personality! The singing? Not so much. Frankly, this could be one of the few Beatles songs I don’t necessarily like, and Andrew has done nothing to change my mind. I thought that the band was a little overbearing and his brass backing made it sound dated and very cruise ship. I’ll give him credit for changing it up, but that performance was just okay, at best. I mean, I somehow felt like  there's a lot of people who could do this song at this caliber. Maybe he just doesn't sing that well. On a shallow note, his hair gets larger every week! Haha.

07. Michael Lynche
Eleanor Rigby
I like his reason for picking the song, the strings are my favorite part. Haha. Mike is slowly becoming a showboat again! Geez. For the record, I always love the effect of a whole strings section in the background, but this felt a little strange. Fortunately, the song built at the end because the beginning wasn't so great. Easily, David Cook's version was much better than this one. Haha. To me, Big Mike just doesn't seem to be connecting at all. I don’t know if it was the over the top runs, the cheese, the schmaltzy emoting, or what but it all seemed so fake somehow.

06. Lee Dewyze
Hey Jude
OMG Crystal! Little Danny Gokey babies! That was hilarious! Haha. So what did my eyes just witness? Haha. That man playing bagpipes wearing kilt totally scared me! He came out of nowhere. Haha. Now, Lee did seem more confident and comfortable tonight, which was good. However, I found his vocals to be a little off key especially during the verses. I also would've liked it if Lee sang a more stripped down version of it because I really liked the first part when it was just pure acoustic. Outside of the bagpipes, which I admit charmed me, I thought the performance was just decent.

05. Tim Urban
All My Loving
You know, Tim does really have a nice voice. Frankly, this performance was actually good! I thought that it was THE perfect song choice for him. Jaunty without being too hilariously bad. I admit, I don't hate him as much as before - he's kind of growing on me now. Yes, you can kill me now! Haha. Too bad, Simon delivered the "Sanjaya speech" on him. Reverse psychology? Maybe. That said, Randy acted such a jerk to Tim. Just as condescending as Kara was last week. Come on Randy, don't talk to him like he's an idiot. Geez.

04. Crystal Bowersox
Come Together
Look, A didgeridoo! Nice. Well, that's a first, which is ironic because this was the third performance of Come Together in three seasons. Ok. Maybe the song choice was a bit predictable but I kind of liked it. Sure, it got a bit shouty and strained at times - especially at the end - but there was a sultry vibe to her vocals this week. I also thought that this was a very cool interpretation with a pretty good arrangement. Arguably, Carly Smithson did it better two seasons ago but this was still pretty solid for Crystal.

03. Siobhan Magnus
Across The Universe
Ok. Time for her to make a comeback! Ha! Beautiful. Ethereal. Haunting. Pure Siobhan. Love it. I thought her performance was mesmerizing. Vocally, it still wasn't as great as some of her previous performances as her lower register sounded a bit moany and quite nasally but her vocal control was impeccable. She had this whole restrained power vocals, which I actually liked. I think she's back!

02. Casey James
Jealous Guy
Wow. Casey's suit jacket is blinding. Haha. Hate to admit it, but he was amazing. Finally! He showed a different side of himself and he's not grinning like an idiot! I liked that he got rid of the electric guitar and the loud band and showed some emotion. He actually had a great connection with the song. To be honest, this performance would've been phenomenal if it weren't for his distracting vibrato and some pitch issues, especially at the beginning. His goaty and nasal sound kind of kept me from loving this performance all the way through. But this can be worked on by with a good vocal coach. So there. Haha.

01. Katie Stevens
Let It Be
Ok. Shoot me now but I really liked this performance! Haha. I mean, this song invites comparisons to Brooke White AND Kris Allen - two of the most emotive performers in American Idol history, on a very emotive song - and yet she managed to do really well. Of course, nobody can touch Brooke White's performance of Let It Be but for me this was Katie's best performance to date. It was much better than what I would have imagined, mainly because she was able to connect to the lyrics this time. Her falsetto was beautiful and I loved the tone of her voice on this song. Maybe she lost some of the momentum near the end but I didn't really mind. Oh, and Kara, why do you have to always sing to let everyone know that you can? And to you Simon, repeating country over and over will not magically turn Katie into a brunette Underwood? Drop it already!


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