This season of Idol has been fairly boring, but at least the singing has been below average. Did the judges and producers just pick the wrong people? Are they making the wrong song choices? With the girls, I’m tempted to say, “yes,” to the latter. Last night the song selection was absolutely dreadful. Tonight, the guys kept on their path to the middle. It’s just a bunch of above average singers in a singing competition where people want to hear the best. It clearly is not happening. Many of my scores, this season, have trended towards the middle. That is for good reason. No one has done much to stand out. That trend continued tonight.
Going to take the same format as last night. I will score each song (1=sucks, 5= fine, 10=I will YouTube it later), go in order of performance rather than score. It’s easier in terms of my individual comments. I write all my notes during the performances and include anything of note the judges contribute (often not much).
4 - Lee DeWyze ( Fireflies) Umm. Am I the only one who’s never heard of this song? Like I said last week, Lee isn’t bad. He’s just not nearly good enough to perform the kind of songs he wants to sing. His song tonight just did not sound great and I don’t really get the judges’ love. Like, at all. Were we listening to something different? His voice was all over the place and unbelievably flat. Almost monotone.
5 - Alex Lambert (Trouble)Ray Lamontagne is one of my favorite artists and “Trouble” is one of my favorite songs. Alex’s voice is distinct and I thought this was his strongest performance of the season. But, the kid just looks like a deer in headlights. And just because it was his best doesn’t mean it was great. He is improving from week to week, but can you see this guy standing on stage at the very end being proclaimed the winner? Me neither.
7 -Tim Urban (Hallelujah) – A couple of seasons ago Jason Castro totally crushed this song so for me the shine’s worn off a bit. That being said, this was Tim’s personal best. He kept it simple and understated. His voice sounded significantly better than in past weeks. Sidenote: I completely hate this guy’s hair. It looks like it’s confused and doesn’t know what it wants to be.
6- Andrew Garcia (Genie in a Bottle)The kid just loves to sing girlie songs. For weeks Andrew has been trying to recapture the magic he pulled off in Hollywood. He hasn’t been able to. I kept waiting for this song to take off and it just never did. I wanted to energy to get to another level. I agree with Kara’s sentiment (gasp) that he may have peaked too early. It would be a shame because I really want this guy to go far.
7.5 - Casey James (You’ll Think of Me) Casey has been the only consistent male performer this season. His voice is the most mature and he probably has the most overall talent. Of the males, he is the only one I can envision, right now, being around the competition until the end. Tonight wasn’t his best performance from an energy level, but it was still light years ahead of some other guys in the competition.
4.5- Aaron Kelly (I’m Already There )This song started off very, very rough. He sounded soft and a little nervous. It never got any better. Aaron seemed to strain to hit certain notes and just came up way short. His big ending wasn’t enough to change my mind on this. And here I totally agree with Randy. His lower notes were well below average, and while he worked toward a power finish, the whole song needs to be complete.
6 - Toderick Hall (Somebody to Love) This song is insanely hard to sing. Toderick found this out the hard way tonight. Another example of a guy (or girl) picking s song way beyond their pay grade. I simply do not understand why performers do this. It would be near impossible to improve on Freddie Mercury’s vocal (akin to singing anything by Whitney Houston). Toderick made a valiant effort and that is one reason I didn’t kill his score, but it was nowhere near a great performance.
6 - Mike Lynche (This Woman’s Work)Big Mike tried to channel a little of his inner (and outer) Ruben Studdard tonight. Was I listening to something totally different than the panel of “experts?” I wasn’t feeling it as much as the judges (Randy especially), and I don’t know if he is the one to beat, and I certainly wouldn’t be moved to tears (Kara), and I don’t think it was the best performance of the live shows, and Mike was clearly not the best of the night. The whole thing felt forced, shallow and off. Again, an example of too much song.
Tomorrow night we find out the Top 12. I wish I cared a little more.