Tuesday, April 06, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 9 Perform Songs from the Lennon/McCartney Songbook

Hello American Idol fanatics!  We return for the top 9 performances with the songs from the most infamous songwriting duo of all time, John Lennon and Paul McCartney!  This covers both Beatles songs and also songs from John and Paul's solo careers as well.   For the most part, it was a decent night.  I'm still not enjoying this season as much as seasons in the past, but there is one consistent singer that I always enjoy, and there seems to be one contestant that surprises me each week.  It gives me hope that this season can turn things around before the end.

Of course, hearing the news today that Adam Lambert will be MENTORING the Top 8 next week is not information that gives me much hope!  I had discussed in the opening Idol Blog of the season that I was positive American Idol would attempt to perform "Damage Control" to his career, but I never thought they'd stoop to this level.  I'm sorry, but if any contestant is going to be mentoring the contestants, shouldn't it be someone who WON?   Or someone that won and has had more success?  Yes yes, I know Adam has a hot single right now and everything, but he didn't win!  He is not a grammy award winning artist such as Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood (both Idol winners by the way).  Now granted, they may have been asked and weren't available.  But I think the biggest insult would be to last year's winner - Kris Allen.  This just makes no sense to me at all, except for the fact that they're going to try and put Adam's Top 20 single to #1 overnight.  And they will hope to improve the image that made him lose 50% of his fan-base when strutting his stuff on the American Music Awards last fall.   All I can say is, don't fall for it Mom!  Anyway, my rant is over for now.  I wanted to get it out of my system before next week.

Let's get into the RECAP!

The Recap (Live Blogging)
As I have been trying out the last few weeks, I will document my thoughts as I am viewing the episode for each contestant and then give more thoughts at the end after I have had a chance to ponder it all.  Here we go!
  1. Aaron "Yoda" Kelly - "The Long and Winding Road" - Loved the other contestants calling Aaron, Yoda and mimicking the Jedi Master.  Good times!  Aaron isn't sounding as good as he normally does.  He got in a few good notes here and there.  But not the greatest performance or song choice to be kicking off the show.  Hopefully some other contestants won't be as good so he can stick around!   The judges kind of were on the same page.  Kara suggests more tempo (just say faster Kara!).  Loved how Simon rolled his eyes when Aaron said "this whole journey has been a long and winding road."  They added that Aaron is doing the same thing week after week.  He needs to change things up and get younger.  Bottom 3 maybe?    
  2. Katie "Vote for me and Win a Date" Stevens - "Let it Be" - What was up with those shots of Katie dancing in the pre-performance club?  Kinda bizarre!  She is sounding really good on the tune.  Changing up the melody just enough to make it her own version.  Nice low notes, nice high notes. Nothing really bad to say about that one.  Pardon my slang but she done real good!  Ellen stole my line!!  "Changing it up just enough to make your own"  We all know I'm live blogging though, so we're good.  Is Kara repeatedly saying that she's blossoming?  Oh boy.  Simon takes credit for Katie singing a little more country and Kara gets all high and mighty and has to show people her singing voice.  Way to go Kara. You go ahead and steal Katie's moment.  I'll sit here and continuously roll my eyes!           
  3. Andrew "Mr. Comedian" Garcia - "Can't Buy Me Love" - Andrew didn't want to mess with the song too much because it's legendary.  Wait, "Straight Up" isn't LEGENDARY?  Come on dude!  First of all, the polo shirt buttoned up all the way with a suit?  I don't know about that either.  I think he's doing a solid job on the song though.  That one high note was a bit "crackily" but compared to a couple weeks ago, he seems to have righted his ship.  An Idol winner?  I'm still not seeing it.  But he's doing pretty well.   And of course Randy had to steal my "Solid" line.  (LIVE BLOG people!)  I don't care if Kara is giving constructive criticism.  I just can't listen to her.  Simon called it "wedding corny".  I guess I can agree with them on that it was a tad corny, but I still thought he did a pretty good job.  But like I said, he won't be taking home any trophies.  We'll see how the rest of the competition does! 
  4. Michael "Incredible Snoring Teddy Bear" Lynche - "Eleanor Rigby" - David Cook did a great rendition of this in season 7.  Can he match it?  Well, he did a totally different arrangement than Cook, obviously.  But he did a really great job with it!  He has a powerful voice and it's a powerful song.  How can you go wrong?  The judges raved about it as well.  I think Kara could have toned it down a little bit!  (am I dissing her too much in this recap?)  Simon went the "broadway musical" route.  Ever since they loved Adam Lambert last year, I have given up on hearing them compare anyone to Broadway.  Michael should be safe this week.     
  5. Crystal "Mama Sox" Bowersox - "Come Together" - Crystal has a cold.  Hopefully it won't hurt her too much.  Wow, they brought out a digiridoo on us!  Not sure that was really necessary, but it was a good time.  Still can't see how anyone can compete with her.  She just has a natural gift.  Usually, the obvious people don't seem to win American Idol though, so I'm still being reserved with my pick for this year's winner!  But, if you ask me, she's still the best.  And this week further proved it.  The judges were 4 for 4 with loving it!  I love how they brought the digiridoo player back out.  If you didn't get it from my statements above, I think she'll be perfectly fine tonight.  And as my wife adds, she has gotten a lot more personable since the beginning.  All positive steps for the Mama Sox!       
  6. Tim "Smiles" Urban - "All My Lovin" - Tim is rocking the electric guitar tonight.  He even got his hair to look like the old Beatles' Mop Top.  Is it wrong if I say that I actually think he's doing a decent job?  Definitely a simple song, but it showcased that this guy actually has a pretty decent voice.  And he played some decent rhythm guitar too.  I wonder what the judges will say.  Man, Randy stole my "hair" line!  I am ON tonight!  The judges all gave him props.  Simon said Tim has handled the criticism really well.  Nice.  I actually think Tim is gonna be safe this week.  Not looking good for Aaron and Andrew right now.    
  7. Casey "Soap Opera Stud" James - "Jealous Guy" by John Lennon - Casey decided to ditch the Beatles and go with some Lennon solo stuff.  He picked a great song.  I've always loved that one.  Loving the toned town acoustic guitar plus solo string player.  He is doing fantastic.  Great stuff, very heartfelt.  That was a star making performance if you ask me.  Not that he could do something that low key each week, but it was nice!  Not sure why the judges are holding back.  They're saying some good stuff but they're giving all of this criticism.  Finally, THANK YOU Simon!  He finally said it was the best of the night.  I thought it really was good!  Definitely safe this week.    
  8. Siobhan "Amazingly Weird" Magnus - "Across the Universe" - Siobhan wants to show a different side of her voice.  Will she avoid the big note?  I doubt it.  Let's see!  First of all, the outfit? Top notch in ridiculousness!  Obviously, it's a good song.  But, I don't think it's a good song to be performing when looking for votes.  Sang it okay, though it sounded weird at times.  I don't know, I wasn't a big fan.  Then again, I'm not her biggest supporter.  My wife said it best, the judges just like her because she's weird.  I can't explain any other reason for why they're putting positive spins on her performance instead of slamming her.  Simon said it was much better than last week.  I don't know.  I am just not getting it.     
  9. Lee "I'm Worried" DeWyze - "Hey Jude" - Love that Crystal said Andy and Lee could go get married and have Danny Gokey babies.  Don't know why it was funny, but it was super funny!  So Lee was doing a decent job with the performance and then he brought out the bagpipe guy.  WHAAT???  When the digiridoo is not the biggest gimmick of the night, something is really wrong!  I'm sure Lee will be fine, but that was just bizarre!   I guess it was one way to make the "Na Na Na Na" part of the song less boring!  Simon stole my line on the digiridoo and bagpipes!  The digiri-dingleberries all praised the performance.  Simon had a little more sensibility questioning the bagpipes.  Hey, I thought he was doing just fine and then it got all over the top.  Just out of uniqueness, he'll be safe.  But he would have been safe anyway!           
Kara "huh?" quote of the week: You're Blossoming!  (to Katie Stevens)

The Elimination Pick

I really don't think I have changed my opinions too much after watching everyone.  But, I think the weakest performances had to be Aaron and Andrew.  I, personally, would have put Siobhan in this category too, but the judges were pretty cautious with her.  Let's be honest, if Siobhan ever was booted this early, they would use that stupid Judges' Save on her.  I know she has her fans out there, but you cannot tell me these past 2 weeks have been GREAT weeks for her!   And even though I liked Tim's performance, based on the other competition, he might be in danger.  He's been in the bottom 3 before.  Neither Andrew nor Aaron have been in the bottom 3 yet.   Katie and Tim both have.  This is going to be really interesting.  Let's do our process of elimination.

Who is beyond safe?  Crystal, Casey
Who else gave solid performances?  Katie, Michael, Lee, Tim
Who don't I like and didn't do fantastic? Siobhan
Who had a pretty lousy night?  Aaron
Who did I forget? Andrew

Bottom 3 Predictions: Aaron Kelly, Andrew Garcia, Tim Urban  Bonus Pick: Katie Stevens

Elimination Pick: Andrew Garcia - Normally, I'd be happy about this pick.  But, I felt like he was doing better in recent weeks.  But I just don't feel right about picking anyone else after this week!

I don't know.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's Katie or Tim just based on them being in the bottom 3 so consistently.  I just don't think America is ready to let Aaron go down without another week to fight, but it easily could be him too.  But, I think Andrew gets lost in the mix.  Simon called him corny tonight.   And, in comparison to the rest of the talent, maybe it was.  At the end of the day, who would you vote for after last night?  I don't think Andrew would have been at the top of my list.

Hey, it's a gutsy pick and I'm sticking to it.  Let's see how far I can go with this perfect streak I have going.  Seriously, if I get this one right, then I guess I'm untouchable!  I'm thinking this week will be my downfall though.  Just too tough to call!

Tune in for the results as we get to see Rhianna, Jason Derulo (A Kara protege'? Of course!) and good ol' David Archuleta's return to the Idol stage.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you after the results!

Ending Credits

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Anonymous said...

Wow MikeV...your shoulder must reallllllllly be hurtin' with you patting yourself on the back so much with the judges aping your comments. Hope you recover soon. ;> )

Aaron Kelly – Long and Winding Road – The long and winding road to naptime, it is. Of course the judges want him. There is no try, only do. He didn't.

Katie – Let it Be – Smug Teen Witch is smug about having 5 offers to go to the prom. So, when it comes time to choose a husband, will she auction herself off to the highest bidding investment banker? Yet, it pains me to say, this was not a bad performance. Actually, it was a good performance. She still wears that stank face that keeps it from even approaching Brooke White's beautiful rendition, but vocally it was very good, the best she's been since her audition. The Judgery fawns all over it as it were a moment, because this season, being in tune = a moment. But standing on its own, I think she probably deserves to last another week. {{sobs}} And no, Simon, she did not sound country to me.

Andrew – Can’t Buy Me Love – There were at least four different arrangements schmushed together here in the vain hope that something would stick. Every once in a while a cool jazz guitar version would stick its head out like Puxtatawney Phil on Groundhog Day, only to be chased back into his lair by the blazing desert sunniness of a Wayne Newton Vegas arrangement. Come to think of it, Andrew is beginning to look like Wayne Newton. Hair and all...LOL

Big Mike – Eleanor Rigby – No. No to starting this song with an indulgent falsetto. No to throwing your huge body around the stage again. Overwrought. I won't even honor it with a comparison to Cookie's version. The first three judges give him a tongue bath; when Simon critiques it -- correctly -- three hysterically funny things happen: Mr. Cocky's mask of good cheer evaporates into a stankface; Randy claims that hit radio is playing nothing but GLEE!; and then the ClassClown challenges Simon to a Battle of the Man Boobs. I enjoy all three of those things more than the performance.

Crystal – Come Together – How in God's name did this girl think of bringing out a didgeridoo? I didn't even know what a didgeridoo was until tonight. I loved it. I love her. Her voice is amazing even with bronchitis or Ebola or whatever it is she has. She rocked it up and it was great. Bonnie Raitt Jr. is stealing the year!

Teflon Tim, – All My Loving – Last week, Kara treats Tim like a special ed student: "Do you understand when we use big words, Timmy?" This week, Randy scores him like a Special Olympian: "I'm going to grade this as a Tim performance." Which at first I think is obnoxious, but then when Simon says, "I'm not going to grade it on a curve, I thought it was good," I begin to suspect this is an attempt at reverse juju. The future orthodontist is happy and smiley, but will it make his fans complacent? Fact is, it was one of Tim's better performances. However, to say that it was good is an acknowledgment of the general sucktitude of the season.

Casey – Jealous Guy – I didn't recognize the song by name; only when Casey began to play it did I recognize it, and that's only because I'm as old as sin and remember the song from high school. Excellent song choice for him, and definitely Casey's best performance ever, way above his usual competent cover band level. He may have finally made himself a contenduh. Very cool, very contemporary. I really liked it.

end of part 1

Anonymous said...

beginning of part 2

Siobhan – Across the Universe – I liked this, and it was way way better than last week, but it wasn't quite back up to House of the Rising Sun/Wicked Game/Paint It Black. Siobhan explains the meaning of the song to her, Simon looks like he's revving up to deflate her, but then she tears up and he can't, and then some jerk in the back starts yelling, and so naturally Sprinkles decides to reward his boorish behavior by bringing him onstage and allowing him to TOUCH THE CONTESTANT. Way to go, Sprinkles. Perhaps this is how Paula's stalker got started too. I think I see a major problem with this type of fan behavior brewing in the near future. (Big Mike...prepare for battle...LOL)

Lee – Hey Jude – Lee is the worrywart of the group. Shocker, huh? He would've been right to worry about this, because he starts out singing in the Key of Lee. He's looking more comfortable on stage than last week, and sounds 100 billion percent worse. This is not good. And then...yes, the spoilers were true. A refugee from the St. Paddy's Day Parade comes down the big Idol staircase. What, did Lee get jealous of Crystal's didgeridoo and call in a retired police officer? Or maybe Lee had a vision of the future and knew that his voice would suck and figured the bagpipes would cover it up. I thought the only one who was allowed to use that staircase was Sprinkles Seacrest...wait!...did Ryan actually perform that move in rehearsals?

Bottom three - Andrew, Aaron, Tim

Should go home - Andrew

Will go home - Aaron

Gene Scott

Mike V. said...

LOL...nice Gene. I would think more than anything, the most patting on the back I've done this season is my streak of accurate elimination picks! lol But I think it will end this week. I say that every week though!

But it was kinda crazy how I kept typing things and then the judges kept saying exactly what I said. Wasn't trying to be patting myself on the back! LOL If anything, it disgusted me because 3 of the judges I can't even stand!

Nice write-up yourself and I could totally see Aaron going home too. We'll see!

Ian said...

Great recap. You had me laughing out loud several times.

We picked the same Bottom 3, except I have Aaron going home. I hope it's Andrew though.

Mike V. said...

Thanks Ian! With my LOST blog being on the same night, I barely remember what I write anymore for either blog! LOL I'm glad it was entertaining. And I'm hoping it's Andrew too!