Elvis Night on Shaky Legs: AMERICAN IDOL S9 TOP 9 Perform (Again)
by Jason Matthews
We already did this group of nine, and weren’t much happy with them the first time, so let’s not waste time with a second overly wordy and witty introduction. The faster we get to the results show, the sooner we can boot out all the kids we should have kicked off last week (ahem, Tim, Andrew, and Aaron) instead of making Big Mike grovel his way into getting an unnecessary save. Hopefully, we’ll get this awful season back on track (not likely).
Here are the reviews of the performances, from best to worst.
Crystal Bowersox – “Saved”
Another good performance. Expert singing, fine arrangement, thoroughly enjoyable. What else is there to say about Crystal? Oh yeah, that’s right, there’s this: It was safe. When will Crystal show us something NEW? Or anything shocking, interesting, scary or mindblowing? The answer is “never.” She’s just going to be good every week. And that’s fine. After all, being just good every week worked for Kris Allen. What’s that guy doing these days, car commercials? Yeah, that’s kinda like having an impactful singing career.
Michael Lynche – “In the Ghetto”
I can’t be mad at Michael for America’s stupidity in voting him off, causing the judges to use the save on him instead of keeping it for Siobhan, who needs it way more at this point. I’d sure like to be mad, though. I still don’t fully buy his act, but I can admit he sounded great, and came from the heart. He was good; for now at least, he was worth saving.
Lee Dewyze – “A Little Less Conversation”
Lee sang well, but his rough voice wasn’t suited for such a slick-sounding rock song. For such a fun song, his alt-rock growl was not Elvis-like fun. Maybe he needed to have a big, show-stopping stage number backing him up, taking the lead on the good times. A big band or a crazy light show, even. Just him up there with his growl was good, but not good enough.
Casey James – “Lawdy, Miss Clawdy”
If someone doesn’t start paying attention, Casey James is gonna sneak his way into the finale. Which will be a crime, because he isn’t actually doing anything of merit. He gives the same performance every week, never extends himself, and never challenges his artistry. But that hair and smile and voice are keeping him under the radar. A Crystal/Casey finale will be aurally nice, but utterly boring to actually listen to.
Siobhan Magnus – “Suspicious Minds”
Loved watching Siobhan and Adam crush on each other. Loved seeing Adam step up his mentoring game for Siobhan. Loved her starting the song with her back to the audience. Loved the outfit. And that’s all I loved. Her arrangement was all over the place. Her voice was weak to start, ragged during the glory note-heavy middle, and desperate in the climax. I’m not sure if she’s second-guessing what got her here or she’s running out of game. But Siobhan is fading, and fast.
Katie Stevens – “Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do”
Katie’s performance was missing the one thing she needed the most: actual emotion. Making the “frustrated,” “sassy,” and “bitchy” faces isn’t the same thing as actually feeling those emotions. I doubt there’s been anything in her life that gave her the emotional experience to pull from. She’s so the Veruca Salt of this Top 12. I’m not exactly sure what she’s so upset about, either; didn’t they love her last week? And the week before? Why rankle them now?
Tim Urban – “Can’t Help Falling In Love”
A malevolent masterstroke to play to the tween crowd and steal votes in the face of the double elimination, but a calculated error in thinking he had the voice for this song. He couldn’t keep up the falsetto, dropping his voice out at least once per verse. And the whole thing had a bad frat-guy-with-a-soul-patch-under-a-tree feel to it. The guy’s just not good enough. Saying this was the “best Tim Urban performance ever” is like saying Dukes of Hazzard has “the best Jessica Simpson performance ever”; it’s such a back-handed compliment it’s practically a forehand!
Aaron Kelly – “Blue Suede Shoes”
Did you see the look he gave at the end of his taped segment? After he confessed to picking the wrong song and suggested he would be a total trainwreck? He stopped talking and a look of pure terror came over his face. This kid knows he doesn’t belong here. Knows he isn’t capable of being the big shoulders in this competition. Why should we vote for him if he doesn’t think himself worthy of our votes? It’s time we let the weak ones go, to send Aaron back to school. Elementary school.
Andrew Garcia – “Hound Dog”
Sure, slow down the most fun Elvis song there is. Yeah, that’s a good idea. That’ll keep you on the show another week. NOT. As boring as it is to keep saying Crystal is “good,” it’s even more boring to continue to say how much Andrew misses the point. In the face of Adam TELLING him he was boring, he chose to be MORE boring. In the face of Simon saying he has no personality, Andrew chose to show LESS personality. Maybe if we predict he’ll stay on the show, Andrew will choose to leave?
At this point, which two Idolists do you want to see in the finals? Let us know in the comments.