Last week the judges saved Big Mike Lynche and then inexplicably all celebrated with each other even though they were the ones to make the decision. I was told this was because they had to convince Simon, but it still looked ridiculous. This week we get, thankfully, an hour and a half block to crank out nine singers. Why they couldn’t do this last week with the exact same amount of performers is beyond me. I know they probably already slotted the time, but still this just proves it can be done.
Tonight, in another turn of modern day relevance, the Idol producers turn to Elvis songs. Can I just be the first to say that I hate Elvis songs. Crush me if you will, but compared to The Beatles classics, this just can’t hold a candle. Adam Lambert mentored the crew tonight with a hairdo that looked like he was standing behind a blowing jet engine. Anyway, let’s get to the performances and some scores for the evening.
(I usually never mention the idiotic banter on the show, but Ryan had a true classic when he told Adam, “My tongue is not nearly as talented as yours.” Hey- YOOOO! I’m sure Simon almost fell off his chair when he heard that.)
9-Tim Urban (Can’t Help Falling In Love)
Yeah, I know, I can’t believe it either. My wife asked, “Wait, who is this guy?” Tim’s version of this song was impassioned, powerful and pretty excellent. I was shocked. Like legit stunned. Tim showed off a vocal range that had me go wide-eyed and just speechless. This was remnant of Jason Castro’s “Over the Rainbow” a few seasons back. Tim temporarily earned a reprieve from the scorn I dish out to him each week. His high score is as much a testament to his previous suckfests as it was to how great his version sounded.
8.5-Crystal Bowersox (Save )
Crystal took the stage with the electric axe tonight and came out channeling even more Janis Joplin-bluesy folk than usual. Usually up-tempo songs make for difficult vocal showacases, but Crystal sang the faster and slower sections with equal power. This was another strong performance from, most likely, the Idol frontrunner. She has come out every week and just crushed. She understands every nuance of the show at this point: song choice, energy, vocal prowess and overall talent.
7.8- Lee DeWyze ( A Little Less Conversation)
Lee has been coming on strong over the season as he gains more confidence in his stage presence and vocals. He’s been consistently using his musical style to his advantage, and tonight was right in line with his last couple of weeks. He’s honing that “Rocker-edge” that is important when standing out from the crowd. I thought tonight was another solid showing and he kept the energy up.
7.5- Mike Lynche (
I wish Mike would do songs that were a little grittier. Every week, he makes things sound so schmaltzy. I just feel like I’m getting the same thing every time out and that he’s trying to make me cry. It’s not working on me Big Mike. Look, his performances are decent and even range into the great at times. What stopped tonight’s song from getting to the next level, for me, was its pace. Judges were higher on it than me.
6.6-Katie Stevens (Baby, What Do You Want Me to Do? ) Adam wanted to Katie to act a little more frustrated on stage to combat the judges getting frustrated with her. Katie can sing, no doubt about it, and I thought she took Adam’s advice. Her vocals and stage presence were a bit more animated than in the past. I didn’t think this was other-worldly, but it wasn’t the worst thing ever. As a complete package I would grade it out at slightly above Siobhan.
6.5-Siobhan Magnus (Suspicious Minds )
Siobhan had to love seeing Adam Lambert this week considering she’s basically the female version of what he threw out there last year. She continues to freak me out on a week-to-week basis. I just don’t get it, at all. Tonight she sounded like a lounge singer from the 70’s and I imagined her singing in some bar with a bunch of smoke and random Mafioso types sitting around. Again, she hits a big note near the end and brought more power down the stretch, but from a whole song perspective, this wasn’t her best. I agree with Kara (gasp) that Siobhan just gives off two separate voices.
6-Casey James ( Lawdy Miss Clawdy)
Of anyone, I thought Casey would most embrace Elvis week. He’s the in-house blues musician after all. Casey is interesting because I don’t think he and Crystal are doing too dissimilar things on stage, and yet she does it so much better. Casey still brings the same abover-average performance each week, but this one drops him a bit. It was fairly mono-tempo’d and never really went anywhere.
5-Aaron Kelly (Blue Suede Shoes )
When someone says, “I don’t know if the song fits me,” does the performance have any real chance at all? Additionally, have we reached the limit of Aaron’s potential? When a performer starts stretching to try and find a song he/she can go on stage with, the well has probably run dry. What I mean here is that it would be tough for Aaron to come out and “wow” anyone from here on forward. His rendition was okay, but didn’t grab me at all.
4.7-Andrew Garcia ( )
Props to Adam for telling Andrew his version “Hound Dog” was boring. Unfortunately, Andrew wasn’t able to do much about it. He gave it a try by walking around the stage a bit and pointing at girls. The tough part is that this song just isn’t going to be captivating in any format or style. It wasn’t a terrible performance; it was just another Andrew standard. Average, but nothing more.
All in all, this was a fairly standard week of Idol outside of Teflon Tim’s body being inhabited by someone with actual talent. My prediction is Andrew Garcia goes home tomorrow night.