Tuesday, March 02, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 20 - Final 10 Guys Perform

Greetings fellow Idol Watchers!  4 are down and 19 to go in our hunt for the next Idol.  And these kids aren't making the search very easy for us.  (definitely not a compliment either!)   The boys were requested to take the stage a day early due to an unexpected trip to the hospital for Crystal Bowersox.  I'm not sure if the extra day would have helped the guys get their performances fine tuned, but having less time certainly didn't!  There were a couple decent performances, but as a whole, the boys turned in another snooze fest.  If they want to keep going head to head with the final season of LOST, this show needs to get in gear! (yes, every night I pause Idol and watch LOST from 9-10 and then finish this watching this crazy show.  For anyone who was wondering!)

Let's get into the recap and then we'll pick who is leaving us Wednesday night.    One thing to note:  Ellen has now moved a spot over.  Looks like they're trying to figure out where she works best.  So the DAWG will go first again.  Thank goodness!  Any way you slice it, Simon is still the only one I'm listening to for value!  Not a good sign for season 10.    Each contestant was asked to tell us something we would never know about them.   Some things were better left unsaid!  Let's dive in!

  1. Michael Lynche - Theatric Footballer - Big Mike is going to coast through these semi-finals.  He's a likable guy and he has a great voice.  That all being said, I wouldn't rate his James Brown song choice and rendition as great as the judges did.   Maybe it's wrong of me to not really know the song "This is a Man's World" but I'm guessing many people out there don't know it either.  But between his clip of lifting Aaron Kelly with incredible ease and just being silly all night that is really all he needs to get through at this point.   And, like I said, he has a great voice and is a good performer.   I just want more songs I know or to make me enjoy and want to buy the ones I don't.   Keep working on it Mike!    
  2. John Park - The Korean Speaker (woaa shocker) -  John was told by the vocal teacher to be honest.  Well, honestly, something was weighing down his rendition of John Mayer's "Gravity".  (Did you like that? Weighing down....gravity?  I know, you can laugh, it's okay!)   I'll echo the judges by saying it was a better song choice than last week.  (unfortunately, I think it was the ever more annoying Kara that said that)  But it was still just so boring!   2 weeks in a row, he performed some mellow slow stuff.  If it's really good, that's one thing.  But if it's just kinda there?   Not so good.  Also not good going 2nd and throwing that kind of song out there.   As Simon suggested, John might want to be prepared for the worst.  I was way off the mark putting him in the Top 12.  Even if he gets there somehow, I don't think he'll have earned it.  
  3. Casey James - "Secret in a Box Man" - Well, ladies, you now have more incentive to vote hiim into the top 10.  You will find out his pre-game ritual!   Casey went to the Idol library and pulled out a recurring song from prior seasons:  Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Wanna Be".  Great tune.  His rendition?  Just as bland as everyone else's.  Don't get me wrong, the guitar playing was exquisite.  And I was saying the same thing Kara was saying (ugh...again!).  This is a singing competition.  Use the guitar to help, but there is no need for solos in the middle of the performance.  Yeah, the ladies will eat it up and vote him through.   And he probably deserves to go through for his potential (and based on the lack of potential of everyone else).  But his vocal tonight was pretty bland.  Simon argued there was no grit to his voice to pull that song off.  That might be it.  I buy it!

    By the way, a way Kara can get MORE annoying?  Rub shoulders with Simon a LITTLE more during the night.  I mean, what on earth is wrong with this woman?  I am not alone in this, right?  Doesn't she just seem all high and mighty and way too comfortable with herself at that table?  Does anyone feel enlightened after she talks?    And doesn't anyone miss Paula dancing and blabbering about anything that came out of her mouth before she even thought it?  There were a few tonight that she would have been crying about due to their marked improvement.  SEE:  MULLET BOY!        
  4. Alex Lambert - THE LANGUAGE MAKER MULLET MAN - So, I actually was really impressed with Alex this week.  I was actually impressed with the voice LAST week.  With the sit down pose and the guitar he seemed much more comfortable and we could voice on the music and the mullet.  And it was glorious!   No seriously, you know how sometimes when you listen to a REALLY good performance on idol you get those chills?   Well, for the good performances it's usually for the whole thing.   I can say with Alex's performance I got it for like 2 seconds during the song.  And that's a compliment based on the performances this week!   His voice is unbelievable.  And his improvement over last week was great.  Simon thinks if Alex gets over the hump on the nerves he could be  great singer.  He even wishes he was choosing the songs for him.     I agree though.  This kid has something.  And hopefully he continues to find it.  I'm torn though on if he should keep the mullet or lose it.  He really is rockin it right now.   Maybe he should keep it and spike the top up a little more.  Yeah...that's my decision!  Keep the mullet Alex!  Lose the last name too, too many bad vibes and memories of screeching voices from last year.  (oooh ZING!!) 
  5. Todrick Hall - The Colorblind Nutcracker - Now we come to the portion of the show that I like to call TOTAL DISASTER (although I prefer not to because that is the name of my band on my PS3's "ROCK BAND"  it's an insult to call it that!)   But the 1-2 punch of Todrick and Jermaine was beyond lousy.  Don't get me started on  his whole "I Have A Dream" speech in getting casted for dancing in the Nutcracker and stuff.  It was like Foot Loose meets The Jackie Robinson Story or something.  Not that it isn't a great thing that he got to dance and wasn't kept down by the non-dancing town, but please, don't hit us over the head with it.  Show us your talent.  And right now?  I'm not seeing it at all!   He decided to improve on last week's disaster of destroying Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" by making Tina Turner's biggest 80's hit into his own rendition!  REALLY?  Of all Tina songs you pick "What's Love Got To Do With It?"   THAT is the song you think is going to skyrocket you to the stratosphere of superstardom?   It was a totally bland, boring and uninventive rendition.  And I really have nothing else to say about it.  Granted, the judges started being hypocritical.  Last week they tell people to change up the songs.  This week Randy started saying "just sing the songs"   I can understand where the contestants would get confused.  But I just don't care.  The only notes I wrote down during his performance was "SEND HIM HOME!"  So, there isn't much else I can say right now! 
  6. Jermaine Sellers - "THE ONESIE ROCK'S'ER" -  I may be treading a seriously dangerous line here folks, but please riddle me this.  How hard is it to say the word "ASK?"    I mean come on!  "AKS????"   Can I "AKS" you a question?  It just sounds dumb!   Well, then again, this is a guy that "ROCKS" the onesie.   I guess I'm just not supposed to get it.   What I can get is MUSIC.   And butchering Marvin Gaye like Jermaine did is grounds for firing!   I can't say it better than Simon did.  He waters down great songs with great melodies by adding way too many runs.  He's trying to impress with his vocals instead of connecting with the songs.  RUNS aren't what it is all about Jermaine!   Of course, he has God on his side, so I guess he'll be staying this week.  I loved Simon's response instructing Ryan to not show the phone number for Jermaine.  Classic!    I guess the sad thing is.  Definitely someone will be returning from the trifecta of Todrick, John and Jermaine!   And if our worst nightmares come true, maybe even 2 of them will return! 
  7. Andrew Garcia - The Breakdancing Rhythm Guy - Now, I do like Andrew Garcia.  And he probably still is getting a pass for his "Straight Up" performance.  Not that we need to be reminded Kara!   (oh duh, I just did it too.)   Andrew is in a rut now of picking some strange follow-up songs to his Paula performance.   This week we got James Morrison's "You Give Me Something".   I think it was probably still good enough to keep him going through.   The judges are convincing themselves that maybe they have set the bar too high for him.  Maybe.  Maybe, he only had that one trick up his sleeve like I suggested last week.  I'm not ready to rule the guy out.  I think I also said last week that his Hollywood performance almost has given him a pass to the Top 12.   His singing well enough to keep his fan base confident that he'll step back into the game.   But, I think we may be losing confidence each week that it is going to happen.   You better have something good cooked up for next week Andy!  
  8. Aaron Kelly - I LOVE PICTURES!!! -  You know how I feel about the younglings on this show.  In fact, you probably know so much that I can stop saying "You know how I feel."  I think Aaron has a really good voice and he has the Mom vote locked up.  He's a cute kid and people are still going to vote for him.   He performed "My Girl" and it was better than I thought it would be.  Although, I agree with Simon that it may have been a little too old fashioned.  I even rolled my eyes when I heard that is what he was singing.   But after some of the bizarrely awful performances we heard this week it was actually kind of refreshing to hear someone just sing the hell out of a good melody without going too crazy.   So, Aaron, props for that.  You'll be back and I can see you making the top 12.  Maybe not too far after that, but we'll see! 
  9. Tim Urban - JUST THE 10 OF US! - Tim having 4 Brothers and 5 Sisters makes 10 children in all right?  Yikes.  That's nuts.  I liked Tim's choice of Matt Nathanson's "Come on Get Higher" this week.  It seemed to fit his voice much better than One Republic.   I also commented that it was pretty much a copy cat performance.  But it was still decent.  One issue I see with Tim is his range.  He definitely avoided hitting any high notes like the plague.   Though, that made it sound a lot better since we heard his crazy high notes last week.   The 3 non-simon judges were pretty rough on Tim but Simon actually was impressed with Tim's work ethic and desire to improve.   That's all well and good, but I don't see this guy having a very high ceiling in the improvement house.  But he probably did just enough to skate by yet again.   
  10. Lee Dewyze - Alternative School Bad Boy - And of course we could count on Lee to close up the show with the Family Anthem "Lips of an Angel" by Hinder.   Lee definitely was the "surprise guy" this year when he performed is little rendition of "Chasing Cars" last week.  He ditched the guitar this week and tried to go where Chris Daughtry had gone before.  Yes, anyone reading my season 5 blogs should remember the tale of Molly the Mic Stand and Chris's love affair with her!   But Lee, has some work to do before he can tackle Mic Stand love.   The vocal was decent I guess.  I'm not sure where Simon got that Lee was by far the best male vocalist though.  I thought he was definitely struggling with the high notes in this performance.   How long can he get by using the "raspy voice is just part of my style" vibe?   Of course, this makes it sound like I don't like Lee.  I actually do like him and hope he succeeds.   But, I'm not buying into the Simon hype that he may be the one to beat.  Not yet.   Then again, no one on either side has really stepped up to claim that frontrunner status yet!   
Can you tell I was frustrated with this episode?   I'm sure I wasn't alone.  Let's try and figure out who is going home after the Tuesday Night massacre! 
    Should be safe?  Big Mike, Andy G, Casey Jones (oops!), Mullet Man, Lee D.
    Sketchy Ground? Timmy, Aaron
    No Question the worst of the night?  John Park, Jermaine Sellers, Todrick Hall

    My Elimination Picks:  John Park,  Jermaine Sellers  Bonus: Todrick Hall

    My justification - John was pretty forgettable and went 2nd.   Jermaine, a personal choice.  I didn't like him talking back to the judges and wanting to take Simon to Church.  I think that might turn off a few people too.   But I wouldn't count out Todrick either.   They were all pretty forgettable performances.  

    Whew, that's all I have kids!  I'll be back in my recapping glory to tackle Ladies' Night on Wednesday.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you after the Wednesday show!

    Ending Credits

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    Ian said...

    Did I miss something in Alex's performance? I liked his voice and his personality, but I thought the performance itself was too nerve-wracked and shaky. Some of those notes were pretty bad. Oh well. I hope he stays anyway. He seems like a good guy.

    Mike V. said...

    I dunno, maybe I overrated him. But the dude has a Mullet! That gets points in my book! lol

    Marian said...

    John Park gotta go- ewwww.....

    Jenn said...

    I knew that Jermaine was completely out of touch with what he was singing when he winked and smiled his way through the line "don't punish me with brutality." Did he even understand what this song was about? Marvin probably rolled over in his grave.

    p.s. I do the same back and forth on Tuesday nights! lol

    Anonymous said...

    It's sleepy throw-back night on Idol..........
    WOULD ONE OF THE IDOL PRODUCERS DO US ALL A FAVOR AND TORCH THE STOOL!!! Maybe if they weren't all sitting, we could get some real entertainment. What's next, no shoes and laying on the ground?
    I feel bad that Lee is Simon's big star. I don't see it. I saw it when he said that about Chris Daughtry. Or David Cook. We all know that the rules are different for whoever is singing. It was not original but that was ok for him. Tim Urban wasn't original (but since last week was soooooo awful, this too was ok.)

    Could someone tell Todrick that his song was about domestic abuse? Maybe he would have gotten why that was kind of an untouchable song. I think he will go- but I wish it were Jermaine instead. WHy is God not rooting for anyone else but Jermaine? How extremely self-righteous of him. Maybe God needs to teach him a little humility.

    I kept thinking Danny Gokey when Andrew Garcia was performing. Does anyone else?

    I have figured out the problem of this years idol crop. I don't think ANY of them have EVER watched this show!! Casey James confirmed this. Case closed- haha.

    All I have to say is that if we are now okay with mediocre, it's gonna be a long season! I will never be ok with the mediocre performances we have seen so far. Here's hoping for some quick improvements!!!


    Mike V. said...

    Jenn, yeah it was truly brutal! lol Glad i'm not the only one with the LOST/Idol conflict. It just has become so hard this year with the final season moving to Tuesday (PERFORMANCE NIGHT on Idol)...Idol used to be my blogging appetizer the day before. Now it's just a pain in my rear and making me lose sleep on Tuesday nights! Makes for a fun Wednesday work day! lol

    Jennifer...i totally agree the rules are different for each contestant up there..for better or worse. They have their favorites and they also might base it on what they think a contestant is capable of.

    If I didn't entertain myself so much with making fun of these kids, I probably would have abandoned the Idol blog years ago! So, I will stick with it this season. But I will not be happy about it, and maybe that is WIN-WIN for everyone! lol