Tuesday, April 13, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 9 Perform Again with the Help of Adam Lambert. Which 2 will go home?

Hello American Idol fanatics and welcome to Deja Vu night!  Not only are we seeing the top 9 for the 2nd week in a row, but we're doing yet ANOTHER Elvis week!  I mean, we can't complain. Elvis tunes are fantastic and all.  It was a pretty solid night what we're rating on a season 9 scale.  But there were still some snoozers and we'll get into that below.

I know I went on a rant LAST WEEK about how I have no idea why they got Adam Lambert to be the guest mentor.  And, yeah, I figured they'd show him in really positive light and I figured he'd actually have good advice for the kids.  It's actually more about about the principle that annoyed me.  And of course, never being a fan of his!   But all of that being said, he did a decent job giving decent advice.   I do NOT like the fact that they got him to mentor on ELVIS week, continuing to draw comparisons to the buzz last year that we were witnessing the "NEXT ELVIS".   But whatever...let's move on!

The Recap: Live Blog

As in the past few weeks, I will keep on live blogging my thoughts during the airing on how I think each contestant is doing.  And then I will post some post performance analysis afterwards.  Here we go! 

  1. Crystal Bowersox - "Saved" - Adam says keep it fresh and surprise people.  Tells her to go electric.   Works for me.  She would have done great either way.  The girl is just in a league of her own!  I don't know what else to say that I haven't said already.  The crowd reaction alone let me know I'm not the only one thinking this.  The judges praised her too.  The only thing that would scare me is that she is going first and people might think she is safe without voting.  But, if this girl doesn't make it to the final 2 (AT LEAST), this show will be beyond saving.  Nice jewels on the guitar by the way! Fancy!
  2. Andrew Garcia - "Hound Dog" - Andrew is interviewing with Ryan right now and pulled out the "I'm a daddy" sympathy card again.  Yep, not doing it for me anymore.  Sell me with your singing bro!  Adam told Andrew's version of "Hound Dog" was boring so he tried to help him spice it up.  Let's see how it goes.  He totally took the life out of a legendary rock song and made it a cruise ship jazz standard.  I'm going with a 85% chance Simon will say this.  I'm sorry, but it was way too slow for "Hound Dog!"  Oh well, Simon went with the "boring musical performance" line instead.  Eh, same difference!  Considering 2 are going this week, it's a safe chance he's one of them.            
  3. Tim Urban - "Can't Help Falling in Love" - Adam tries to push Tim out of comfort zone by making him use falsetto at the end.  I wasn't thrilled to hear he was doing this song, but it sounds like it might actually be good.  Okay, well I got distracted Ryan dance with another man.  Is Tim still singing?  The vocal isn't the greatest but it is a nice guitar arrangement he has going and he has a nice bit of emotion going.  He dropped the falsetto at the end and stayed low.  I'm just surprised he didn't butcher it.    Nice, sweet ballad.  Good stuff!  Simon even pulled out the old staple "Zero to Hero!"  It is pretty crazy that Tim has found a way to stay in this competition after those rough semi-final performances isn't it?
  4. Lee DeWyze - "A Little Less Conversation" - Adam advises Lee to show some facial emotion.  Yeah Lee!  Rock it out!  Man he brought out the power voice for this one.  I always think he isn't going to be able to hit those higher notes, but when he does they sound good and raspy and rockin!  A definite improvement over the bagpipe gimmick last week.  And on the contrary to Andrew, this new arrangement sounded great.  Ugh Kara, SHUT UP!!!  "I said that!  I said that!!"  No one cares!      
  5. Aaron Kelly - "Blue Suede Shoes" - Adam's advice "More Energy!"  As my wife says, the kid is cute as pie.  Hey and he can sing really well too.  And he put his all into that performance.  In the end, he has no shot at winning, does he?  It wasn't awful!  I don't know what to think about it.  But how could Ellen accuse Aaron of taking on Elvis's most iconic song?  Is "Jailhouse Rock" any less iconic? Come on Ellen, they're ALL iconic.  Simon wasn't too crazy about it either, so I guess it wasn't weird for me to not know what to say about it!  Bottom 3 or 4? (not sure how they'll do it this week)   We'll see how everyone else does.    
  6. Siobhan Magnus - "Suspicious Minds" - Adam calls Siobhan "sleepy."  Hmmm maybe Adam is growing on me?  naaaaa So she opens up in her 80's Jane Fonda gear and faces away from the crowd?   Now she's doing her best Kathy Lee Gifford "Let me teach the audience a morally important lesson while I sing" mannerism.   I'm sorry, the girl is 89% a boring and weird singer and then she pulls out the big notes at the end which is what everyone remembers.  Very pageanty.    I have made up my mind and I do not like this girl.   I'd put her on the same level as Kara DioGuardi.  Other people out there may still think she is an equal to Crystal, but I just cannot get on board.  Ugh, Kara why do you have to agree with me?  I want to hate you!  Well, Simon didn't like it either, so I feel better.  "If I can't even label myself I do not feel it is necessary to be labeled"  so deep Siobhan, please write poetry after your American Idol gig ends!    

    OH MAN, I just got so excited when Ryan said Brian Dunkleman was coming back to help out with Idol Gives Back!!!   Nope, it was a joke.  Poor Brian!

  7. Michael "Big Mike" Lynche - "In the Ghetto" - Adam's advice "Bring out the Actor".  Michael says Simon tells him not to.  See????  They were contradictory when Adam was a favorite last year.  All theatric comments went out the window last season. Now, they're back.  I've been harping on this since last season.  Ridiculous.  Michael gave another solid performance.  This one was slow and just an acoustic guitar in his hands.   Will it be enough to save him from elimination again?  I think the fact that he was voted out last week means he'll have a lot more support this week.  Simon said that Michael was a million times better.   I guess...I thought he was pretty good last week too. 
  8. Katie Stevens - "Baby What Do You Want Me to Do?" - Katie is frustrated with the judges' comments so she wanted a song that reflected that.  And Adam wants her to sell it.  She was selling it pretty good tonight!  Maybe a couple of pitch problems but her performance was fierce and solid!  And then Kara had to talk and do her finger snap and head tilt "You showed us judges!"  Simon didn't like it very much.  He said it was too loud.  Maybe I dunno.  I thought it was a lot better than Andrew!      
  9. Casey James - "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" - Adam says to make the song move more dynamically.  Casey is going for another bluesy tune.  Could risk sounding similar to other performances. Let's see!  It was good, not much to complain about.  It sounded like another Casey tune.  But it just seems like more of "what you see is what you get."  Last week, we saw another LEVEL to Casey.  This week, was more of what we had seen before.  Not winning type stuff.  But he should be safe.  Simon calls it a "wasted opportunity" with Elvis song but a good vocal.  I would agree it's a pretty forgettable song. He should be safe, we'll see! 
So, my thoughts really haven't changed since watching the show.  There were some really solid performances and then there were some "whatever" performances.  After a shocking week like last week, I think the ship needs to be righted and we won't get many surprises this week.  Since 3 girls went home for the first 3 weeks, I could see it easily being 2 guys that get the boot tonight.  And with that, let's get to the next segment.

The Elimination Picks

League of Her own: Crystal
Great chance of being safe: Lee, Casey, Michael
Better than average chance of being safe: Tim, Katie
I still think her days are numbered: Siobhan
Not Looking good: Aaron, Andrew

Bottom 3: Aaron, Andrew, Siobhan  Bonus: Tim/Katie (just in case they go to a bottom 4, I'll put them both.)

Elimination Picks: Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly

Hey, I like Aaron and I wish he didn't have to, but I think it's getting close to the time where we have to part ways with the little guy.  Granted, these people could get eliminated in any order as long as Crystal is left standing in the end (in my opinion).  But I'm still not predicting her to be the winner yet!  I just have yet to see a consistent contender to match her.

Anyway, that's it!  I also apologize for my false promises of being out of the Hour PLUS territory with Idol.  I forgot we had yet another Top 9 to go through after that dumb Judges' Save!  But I guarantee they will all be an hour from here on out.  Well, except for Idol Gives Back next week and the Finale.

Adam Lambert takes the stage Wednesday.  I will be here in all of my recapping glory to cover that event and the elimination.   Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always and I'll see you after the results!

Ending Credits

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Anonymous said...

Let me first say I was shocked at Seacrest tonight. He was snarky (and not in a good way), rude, erratic, mean-spirited and completely disrespectful. From the tongue joke to the Dunkleman joke to the dance during Tim's song to the bit with his mom to massaging Ellen, to "Turban" and "Garrrrrrrrrcia"....he was just awful. He's really becoming very irritating to watch.

I liked exactly three performances tonight:

1. Crystal's "Saved" was great, overall.

2. Casey's "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"--it was not "Jealous Guy", and I think it needed to build a bit, but it had the effect of wiping out the hell that was Katie Stevens from my ears, so I appreciated it, even if his vibrato was out of control in spots.

3. Tim's "Can't Help Falling in Love" was quite lovely, and I am also glad he opted out of the falsetto suggestion. Nice guitar work, emotive, sincere. And nice shirt ;-) I actually would put this right behind Crystal's performance tonight.


4. Lee--I almost never agree with Kara, but "A Little Less Conversation" is a really cheeky song, and Lee sounded anything but cheeky and playful. He sounded--pained? And a bit demanding? Adam pegged his biggest issue (besides his inability to find the right notes half the time)--his face is just a big ass blank.

5. Siobhan--I liked the second half better, and I wish Kara would expand *her* vocabulary, because there's a difference between "screaming" and "belting" and I don't think she knows the difference. Siobhan seems to have really lost herself the last few weeks. I would have liked to see her do something way more uptempo and off beat. In fact, I think she should have done Blue Suede Shoes.

Even more meh:

6. Aaron--he was right, it was not the right song for him, and it was all high school talent show. However, the change to an uptempo number might help him a bit.


7. Katie: What do I want from you? To get the hell off my television on Tuesday nights. This was even more high school talent show than Aaron, IMO. And what she thinks is sassy comes across, to me, as sneering and fake.

8. Mike: gets a diss from me just for picking a really obvious song choice. I'd have put money on him doing this--he just can't pass up the chance to "tell a story", which is all about getting all over-cooked for him. This time, in an attempt to restrain himself, he went too far the other way. No build, no emotion, it was just there. I was bored within 15 seconds.

9. Why is Andrew still here? His Hound Dog was just--ugh.

Out: Andrew is done, for sure. I also wouldn't be surprised if Siobhan was a "surprise" boot--surprise in that she was once considered a front runner. But I think Aaron or Katie or more likely victims.

Also, two thumbs up to Adam--best mentor of this season, and one of the better ones they've ever had--he was honest and blunt without being critical, and I think he genuinely helped a few people.

Scott Jenkins

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest, Cystal Bowersox is the only Idol this year that can credibly join the ranks of other Idol champions with respect to vocal talent. For the most part, those that ultimately take the Idol crown are almost always excellent singers rather than song stylists. Too bad she continues to be overpraised. Second coming of Bonnie Raitt? Yeah she's good but I'm not drinking the kool-aid served by the cult of hyperbole.

Ready for Andrew Garcia to go. I Don't know what kind of record he'd make but I suspect neither does he. But there aren't that many songs for a five-note range anyway.

Tim Urban continues to surprise me. Sadly, the surprise is merely how eager people seem ready to jump on the bandwagon of this mediocre singer. I can forgive young teens that think he's cute but I can't forgive these judges. Brian I'm ashamed at you.

Lee DeWyze needs to enjoy himself on stage more. Not sure that "playful" is the right approach but he just doesn't seem all that comfortable when he performs. Love his tone and have enjoyed downloads of his music but I see him as part of a band not a solo artist.

It took a while but I'm finally over Aaron Kelly. Nice voice, nice guy but he needs a few years of seasoning. He might really be something at 22.

While Siobhan Magnus loves that she can't be pigeonholed, I don't care for her lack of control over her voice. Is anyone really ready to buy an album as...um... eclectic... as she is likely to produce?

This was the first time I've like Mike Lynche. Good vocal for a good song with a complete absence of his usual corny bravado.

Katie Stevens is quietly sneaking up on her competition. Slightly missed on those higher notes but it's fun watching her grow each week. But she's got a long way too go before she's showing the same charisma the many teen girls who've gone on to singing success.

Casey James is definitely talented but not seeing real star potential from him. The role of sex symbol seems slightly miscast. Looking effortless isn't always a good thing.

MamaSox wins Idol!

Ian said...

Your thoughts on this week are more or less the same as mine. I really, really hope Andrew's gone tomorrow. I've been sick of him since his audition. Tim is the only one I have a vested interest in right now. As long as he's safe I don't care who else goes (though I'd prefer it to be Ol' Necktat).

Mike V. said...

Scott: Good call on Ryan's comments all night. Some were just flat out bizarre!

As for the performances yeah...i can see how you'd rate them all that way. And I probably could too lol All that matters is Crystal is rated at #1...everyone else just seems irrelevant to me! They could leave this show in any order and I just wouldn't care!

So I agree with the Anonymous 2nd poster. I am pretty cautious with my dubbing of her as the winner too because of the overpraising and the voting american public. Will all the teenagers be picking up their phones and texting votes in for Crystal? I just don't know. But then if she doesn't win...who does??? I just don't see any of them being "credible" as you said.

Wow Ian, Tim's your vested interest right now? very interesting. I am quite impressed with his ability to survive and perform just well enough to stick around. But vocally and "talentedly" I just don't see him on the same playing field as Miss SOX. But, sometimes that doesn't really matter on idol.

I have to say if there is a 1-2 punch of Tim Urban winning American Idol and Simon leaving the show...I am DEFINITELY Retiring from Idol blogging next season. LOL I'm already at 95% on the retirement certainty! lol