All You Need Is IDOL: Season 9 Top 9 Review

by Jason Matthews

Lennon/McCartney was hard to swallow two years ago when the group was super strong, and it doesn’t go down much more easily now, with a lesser cast of Idols. Watching Tim, Andrew, and Aaron fumble their way through the defining music of the 20th century does not good television make.

But hey, at least we got to learn new things about our Idol wannabes. Wait, no we didn’t. Oh, is Crystal a mom? Does Tim smile a lot? Casey has hair! Katie is a teenager! Siobhan is “unique”! Wow. Shocking tidbits, those. I would have rather learned important things like: why Andrew got a neck tattoo, whether Siobhan ate paint chips as a child, if Aaron has ever seen an R-Rated movie, and if Lee and Andrew are the real-life Troy and Abed. But alas, those facts continue to go unrevealed.

Here are reviews of the performances, from best to worst.

Courtesy FOX

Lee Dewyze – “Hey Jude”

Has Lee always been doing that David Cook super-fast-vocal-raise-from-the-side-of-the-mouth thing? How did I JUST notice this? No wonder Lee is doing so well on the show. And the show does love him. Not only did they give him the coveted anchor spot, they gave him the most recognizable song, a bagpiper and a crowd-pleasing “sing it with me” moment (always good for a voting boost). That wasn’t an Idol performance, it was a darn rock show! And it easily wins the night.

Siobhan Magnus – “Across the Universe”

This is tough for me because my all-time favorite crazy person singer, Fiona Apple, did a ridiculously beautiful cover of this song (with an equally amazing music video where she sings on a platform that rotates her 360 degrees while people destroy a coffee shop around her. It’s awesome, seriously, YouTube it NOW!), and the difference between Fiona and Siobhan is basically invisible (’cause you can’t measure crazy), so I’m partial to my favorite Shadowboxer. BUT, Siobhan was captivating, beautiful, controlled and riveting. She took a HUGE chance not screaming her glory note, but that’s the beauty of her—she has no fear. She takes the risks. And it’s what going to vault her past Crystal in the end.

Katie Stevens – “Let It Be”

As pretty as she’s ever looked. As precocious and steely in her Ryan interview as she’s ever been. And she absolutely gets points for nailing the “Single Ladies” dance. This was a good night for Katie. She’s going to get major votes simply for the song choice, but she actually delivered a very worthy, star-like performance. We’re about two weeks from making her the Dark Horse favorite to win this whole thing.

Crystal Bowersox – “Come Together”

Here’s the problem with Crystal: She’s never going to transcend the stage she’s on, the way Adam Lambert, David Cook, and Fantasia did. She’s always going to deliver a rollicking, fun set. She’s solid, but there’s no second level. “Come Together” is a lay up for her. Of course she’s going to nail it! But where’s the daring? Where’s the ambition in it? I’d rather watch Siobhan go crazy with the screaming, risk failure and be a roll of the dice between brilliant and awful, then sit through a billion same safe songs from Crystal. Because safe is what we expect, but brilliant is what we hope for.

Michael Lynche – “Eleanor Rigby”

Big Mike is the Tyler Perry of American Idol, not nearly as fun or enjoyable as the trailers would lead you to believe, lots of bluster only to be revealed as scarily soulless. And worse yet, like Tyler, Mike has the platform to do something and actively chooses not to use it! He could be redefining R&B for the masses, showing that adding some rock and country to it is OK. But he instead chooses to pander for votes with his Peebo Bryson, “preach it” shenanigans. Maybe he is a good singer, but I can’t get past his utter fakeness.

Casey James – “Jealous Guy”

This show can be grossly manipulative sometimes (read: “all the time”). Watching Casey’s boring, slow, not at ALL authentic ballad, I knew the judges were going to trip over themselves to call it brilliant. To say he was brave to use an acoustic guitar! To commend his control and command! Because he has that face, and that hair and the show needs him bad, they were gonna give him a pass. It’s a fraud, and I’m not gonna stand for it. I’m not giving him a pass. He is less interesting by the week, relies too heavily on his guitar, and hides behind his look. It’s a joke. It’s a decoy. And it’s going to get better artists sent home early. I think I may hate Casey James.

Aaron “Yoda” Kelly – “The Long and Winding Road”

Charisma, stage presence? An American Idol needs not these things. Country, he makes the Beatles. Sleepy, he makes me. Solid performance? Maybe. Assured vocal? Yes. But I sense much bottom 3 in him.

Andrew Garcia – “Can’t Buy Me Love”

Being the Latin Buddy Holly, as Andrew attempted to pull off tonight, isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it’s the road he should have tread weeks ago, but someone should tell him this very important point: big hair does not equal big personality. It just makes you look doofy, and not in the “fun” way the incessant and obnoxious video package wants us to believe. And it doesn’t fix his bigger problem: he’s not any good! You can be completely devoid of personality and still run the Idol table, so long as you have the skill (see: Underwood, Carrie). But you have to have the skills. Andrew doesn’t.

Tim Urban – “All My Loving”

If Simon is gonna wave him through, content to let a Haircut Idol crap on the legacy of the show he built with his two furry hands, content to let DIDI go home over an idiot with a sparkly smile, then why should I bother reviewing him? You know what he did up there; he was a C- vocal with an A+ look. Whatever. He’ll be back next week.

What did you think of Beatles night? Can anyone make a Beatles song their own?



  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    The only one I liked last night was Bowersox. Simon must have been chopping onions because Demi Lovato….uh, I mean Siobhan Magnus’ take on “Across the Universe” left my mind about 30 seconds after she finished.

    AND WHY THE HECK DIDN’T LYNCHE DO “GET BACK”?!?! That would have rocked.

    The rest just didn’t step up to the material in front of them.

    So many need to go home, but if Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly are still on the show after tonight, then what everyone’s saying about this season is indeed true. It has been hijacked by 8-year olds.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Sorry! The ONLY one with an interesting voice, pure pitch and any concept of phrasing is Crystal…the rest of them are just average and Siobbhan gets boring when you get past her kookiness (yes, she is adorably kooky). I would not buy an album of hers unless brilliantly conceived and produced by someone with a lot more musical savvy than she and only then if someone else were singing!

    • Reply
      April 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm


  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Alright, lighten up, you guys!

    Crystal Bowersox is going to win. Pure and simple. Even if the silly people who keep Tim Urban and Aaron Kelly from being booted off decide that Bowersox shouldn’t win, then Bowersox can finally get her recording contract all that quicker.

    I do wish Michael Lynche would get out of his sensitive Luther Vandross phase already and rock the house.

    Also: Casey James kind of let me down last night.

    Never been a fan of Magnus anyway. Never noticed how much She looks like Demi Lovato until EIREGO called it. LOL!!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Can I just gripe about Katie? I’m watching right now. “Who were you thinking about last night?” Katie looks around and around and then: “My grandma.” Eyes shine.

    I’m sorry. Enough about your grandmother. I’m really close to my grandmother, but every time? Every time you’re thinking of your grandmother? I highly doubt it. She drives me crazy. As does the other high school kid. It’s ridiculous.

    And two nights? Really? Are we really at such a loss that we have to have two nights of American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, I don’t know any others… but I’m sure they have multiple nights like this. It is so annoying. Thank goodness I don’t have cable.

    Ok. Rant over. Thanks. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Ok, and now let me ask… what was the purpose of this hour-long show if they are not going to kick anyone off? Insane. It’s like an entire wasted week for these people. They need to be getting rid of more, not less. aaaghh.

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      April 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

      Jenn, you are cracking me up. The results show hasn’t aired here yet but I just saw what happened online and feel the same as you.

      Katie’s grandma gimmick was old two months ago. Plus, does her mom think, “Dang, girl, what about me? Don’t you ever think of ME when you sing?”

      • Reply
        April 9, 2010 at 7:55 am

        I know!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Just saw the East coast feed about results from tonight.





    Can’t believe I live in a world where Aaron Kelly and Tim Urban are safe and Michael Lynche has to sing again in order for the judges to save him.


    Glad they saved Lynche, but really? Why the heck was he in trouble?

    Voters thought Aaron Kelly’s mutilation of Long and Winding Road was actually good?

    Tim Urban actually soured the sugary Can’t Buy Me Love and he’s safe?!

    Please!! FOX wake up! This is why people are hating on AI this season.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Am I the only one who HATED Michael Lynche’s “Billy Jean”? I mean, I do recognize that he’s a very good singer (at least for AI9), but he needs to get rid of that huge cheese-factor. Stat. The arrangement was awful, and his persona is really disgusting.

    I’m kind’a glad they saved him -but I don’t believe that much in the judges’ save, so…

    I liked Siobhan this week, maybe because “Across the Universe” is one of my favorite Beatles’ song ever. But I do think it was a little sleepy.

    Again, I loved Crystal. While I think hers was not the best take on “Come Together” done on the Idol Stage (Hello, Carly Smithson), it was original. And the didgeridoo (or whatever it’s called) was way cool, if a little distracting. And she wons mayor points when she said that Lee and Andrew could get married and have Danny Gokey’s babies. Trend after me: #DannyGokeysbabies. Anyway, I laughed so much I almost missed…

    Lee who was actually very fun. I don’t think it was the best of the night, though. But I give him the fun points for the bagpipe player. I don’t think it helped him performance-wise, but it did give him something (and Jason, I have to give you that: you made me realise it gave him something that made it look like a concert-piece).

    I think Katie stepped up her game. For the first time she at least tried to connect to a song, instead of tape-recording it in her voice player. I still think she’s some kind of robot. Perhaps she found that personality chip or something. Lets see if she doesn’t pop a spring next week. Anyway, it’s not hard to connect to a song as emotionally-powerful as “Let It Be”. (Katie = Galatea from “Bicentennial Man”)

    Tim Urban gave his best performance of the season. I don’t think he’s that bad of a person. I just see that he’s lacking a lot of musicality to make a song his own. And even though he’s not good, having Randy say “I’m judging your performances as Tim-performances” was really disrespectful for the guy and the show. Anyway, I think Tim’ll be going after Andrew and Aaron, and perhps Katie and Michael.

    I didn’t understand Andrew‘s performance at all. I thought he was going somewhere after “Forever”, but now he just stood there. He’s bringing nothing to his performances. Stripping down is not enough.

    But Aaron Kelly the one who should go I think he is. Stage presence he has not, and little charisma the screen trascends (not even in his video packages some personality can he transmit). [Sorry, I had to try the Yoda talk]. And come on! Is Idol-music the only music he hears. Has he any other musical knowledge than songs-previously-covered-by-people-on the show. So far 3 out of 4 of his finals perfs were covered previously: ‘That darned Aerosmith song’ by David Cook & Allison Iraheta, “Ain’t No Sunshine” by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named a.k.a. Kris Allen, and “The Long and Winding Road” by Archie. Really. Come. On!

    • Reply
      Pop Culture Nerd
      April 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      I can’t even watch Lynche anymore because he gives me wrinkles from making faces at his cheesy performances.

      I missed the part about Danny Gokey’s babies! I tend to skip over everything except the actual singing. Crystal gets extra points for that.

      I can never get enough of Yoda talk!

      • Reply
        April 9, 2010 at 11:21 am

        I know! Lynche is such a cheesebag I can’t take him anymore.

        I usually only see the actual singing in embeded videos or something (do you know? AI is airing in Mexico on saturdays at 10 p.m.!! I certainly cannnot -and will not- watch it at that hour), so I seldom anything but the singing. This time I found complete videos, and it was fun! #DannyGokeybabies

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