American Idol Season 9 - Top 12: March 16, 2010
Top 12 - Rolling Stones Week - March 16, 2010
Yes, it is back, my weekly recap of American Idol. I missed writing it. For some reason I want to start this entry the way Randy Jackson would, "yo yo dawg, look, season nine, alright, it's going to be HOT". But I won't.
Anyway, it was Rolling Stones week, which is sort of an interesting choice for a show like American Idol. Since the Stones are definitively one of the greatest RNR bands of all time, I was intrigued to see what the contestants could do with their catalog.
Michael Lynche - "Miss You" B+
A good solid performance from Big Mike, who continues to ham it up like he's on a cruise ship. And somehow it is incredibly entertaining. It was sort of a jazzy arrangement, which suited Mike's powerful voice. I hear this kind of song from Mike and it takes me back about 45 years to the Motown sound - awesome. He has a nice falsetto and the song was in his range. I liked this performance even better the second time I heard it.
Didi Benami - "Play With Fire" A-
A very subversive and eerie, to use Kara's word, performance by Didi that really resonated with me. An interesting song choice as it is not one of their immediately recognizable songs. She put a good emotion into the song and infused it with something darker. The slowed-down arrangement added to the overall haunting tone of the song. Didi won me over with this performance.
Casey James - "It's All Over Now" B
As Randy would say, I liked it, I didn't love it. Certainly a good performance with a few moments but not something I would take the time necessarily to download. Although since it is Casey, and he is probably one of my favorites in this competition, I probably would. I like the bluesy rock vibe he has throughout this performance and the way he takes the song in a ever-so-slightly different direction than the original.
Lacey Brown - "Ruby Tuesday" D+
Oh no. My least favorite performance of the night, although not the worst I've ever heard. I never could bring myself to be a huge fan of Lacey. I thought she should have gone home the last semi-final week - Katelyn, Lily, and Alex all deserved to stay longer than her. (I think everyone's already forgotten about Todrick. Whoops.) Lacey's unusual voice and tone did not suit this song.
Andrew Garcia - "Gimmie Shelter" C-
I think I am supposed to like Andrew Garcia. But I don't, not really. He is no Matt Giraud. *sigh* But anyway, back to this performance, it was a bit of a mess. The judges have been beating a dead horse with their constant badgering to make a connection to the song. But the lack of connection to this very powerful song was impossible to deny. He could have been singing "Genie In A Bottle" for all I cared. Wait, that was last week.
Katie Stevens - "Wild Horses" A-
One of Katie's best performances, and certainly an improvement from "Breakaway" or "Put Your Records On". I could imagine hearing her cover of this song on the radio. Yet a part of me still wonders what a singer like Carly Smithson could have done with this song. Katie's version was pretty, especially the very last part of the song, and worth a download. High praise to be sure!
Tim Urban - "Under My Thumb" B-
I am not sure what to make of this performance. I like everything about Tim, to that aw-shucks crooked smile of perfect teeth, the shaggy hair, and oh wait, the voice. I know the reggae arrangement did NOT work for this song, and neither did the heinous back up vocals. Tim's voice was solid, and I voted for him the majority of the night, but mainly to see what he would do next week, rather than on the merits of this performance.
Sibohan Magnus - "Paint It Black" A-
Each week, in same way or other, I am impressed by Siobhan. And this week was no exception. This performance also prompted one of the season's best quotes from Ellen: "You rise above like Snooki’s poof." Sibohan has the talent to put a great amount of emotion and inflection to each song, more than any other Season 9 contestant to be sure. Her voice has a lot of texture to it, this pure and dark angst, and I honestly believe anything that she sings.
Lee Dewyze - "Beast Of Burden" B
Don't get me wrong, I like Lee. But come on, am I the only one who thinks he is a poor man's David Cook? I have to say I preferred Lee's version of "Fireflies" that managed to positively transform one of the most hideous songs that has ever made my ears bleed. This was pretty good as performances go, but a little bit forgettable. There is going to be a breakout, standout moment for Lee, and it is going to happen soon.
Paige Miles - "Honky Tonk Woman" B+
For someone who was incredibly sick, this was a great performance. The only thing that threw me off was the gender-switching lyrics. Oh yeah, and the references to cocaine use! COME ON, was I the only one who noticed this? Yes? OK. Anyway, Paige did a great job with this song. Do I think she's the next American Idol? No. But I still enjoy some of her performances, especially the stellar energetic cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away".
Aaron Kelly - "Angie" A-
Oh Aaron, you are so cute. I have to say it was hilarious to find out his mom's name is Kelly Kelly. Why did none of the blog recaps mention this? Such an obvious joke! Aaron put a bit of country stylings in this song, which makes me realize it would actually be incredible as a country song! For that reason alone, I am bumping up Aaron's grade. Worth downloading. But babe, the Ellen hair has got to go.
Crystal Bowersox - "You Can't Always Get What You Want" B+
A great, soulful way to close off the show. Crystal is so effortless I don't think viewers even realize how talented she is. Her voice sounds very Tracy Chapman, very Melissa Etheridge, with a hint of Duffy in this song. An interesting mix to be sure. I was impressed, but not falling off my chair.
Best of the night: Didi
Worst of the night: Lacey