After a week off to rest, recuperate and actively avoid the awful monolith that is Idol Gives Back, I return to find that nothing has changed, the season is still boring, Randy is still useless, Ellen is still unfunny, Simon is still bored out of his mind and Ryan is still trying too hard to make everyone happy (classic Seacrest!). We are in the death throes of a harpooned TV whale, slowly sinking to the bottom of the pop culture sea. If there is any karma in this world, you can bet Paula Abdul is that harpoon. Let’s go ahead and put the once majestic mammal out of its misery.
Here are the reviews of the performances, from best to worst.
Casey James – “Don’t”
Ooh, I do love to see the mentor sing along with the Idolist. Shania and Casey would make a dream performance in Hair Heaven. Just locks and locks for days. Casey was great tonight. Nice voice, beautiful control, smooth vocal. Good choice of stool. He sounded so good he could make this a radio hit tomorrow. Shania loved the performance. I, however, love Casey’s secret double chin and super girl face more.
Crystal Bowersox – “No One Needs to Know”
Either the producers told her to take a dive this week to make the next month appear 2% less completely predictable, or the judges huddled up before the show and picked Crystal out of a hat as the Idol to roundly hate on for no good reason. Was Crystal just all right? Yes. Was the song sort of lounge-y and lullaby-ish? Yes. But it wasn’t BAD. And the judges don’t need to uniformly agree not to LIKE her this week. What kind of gross collusion is that? Just let the hippie win already!
Lee DeWyze – “You’re Still the One”
Lee was the right Idolist to get the BIG Shania hit; he just didn’t do anything special with it. Crystal would have killed it. Like, whoa. Siobhan would have been too karaoke. Aaron would have been a joke. Big Mike would have dripped cornball juice on it. And Casey didn’t need the recognition juice from the song. This was the chance for Lee to write his ticket to the Top 3 and he biffed it with note-perfect mediocrity. Limp opening, serviceable middle, bland alt-rock ending. I wish Shania had sat him down and showed him the Kris Allen “Heartless” performance as a lesson on how to white-guy reevaluate and rock a hit. Instead, we got something forgettable. May I make a bad joke? Lee is still the (bland) one.
Michael Lynche – “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”
My Idol break did nothing to make Mike seem less corny. If anything, it’s worse. He certainly FEELS the song, which is all well and good, but his “sincerity” just comes off as totes cheeser balls. Nice falsetto at the end, though. While I’m here, it was nice to see Shania love Big Mike so much, always a joy to see the mentor enjoy their time. I did notice one thing, though. I was watching Shania gesticulate with Mike and it appeared to me as if…well, does Shania Twain have…frists?
Siobhan Magnus – “Any Man of Mine”
Boots? Love. All the stage roaming? Hate. Dudechickbro, just chill the hell out at the mic stand and sing. The movement is slowing her already tortoise-fast voice and the music is practically lapping her. And she gets no points for the glory note, because it was pandering. It was begging for votes. David Cook never begged. Carrie Underwood never begged. Taylor Hicks didn’t even beg. Because the first moment you beg is the first moment you start losing.
Aaron Kelly – “You’ve Got a Way”
Very cute watching Shania go into instant Mama-Bear mode the moment Aaron started to struggle. She looked liked she might try to adopt him right there. He could do worse for a stage mom. OK, let’s get real for a hot moment: This teen talent show shenanigan has gone on far too long. A nice Archuleta voice is fine and dandy, but Top 5 on American Idol? I don’t think so. No power or second level to his voice. No grit. No life experience. Just admirable determination and want. Which isn’t good enough to make it to May.
Is it time for Aaron to go back to school? Or will Siobhan give birth on stage to her Idol doom? Let me know in the comments.