American Idol Season 9 - Top 9 (Part II): April 13, 2010

Top 9 (Redux) - Elvis Week - April 13, 2010

Crystal Bowersox - "Saved" B
The second half of this performance was better than the first. There was a fun groove to this performance and I liked the arrangement more towards the end after the breakdown....but in the end, I couldn't get too excited about it. Crystal put a lot of energy into the performance which made it more entertaining to watch. I won't be downloading it however.

Andrew Garcia - "Hound Dog" C
Andrew never found his spark on the Idol big stage, and this would be his last performance. Utterly forgettable although not a train wreck. I never found Andrew's voice to be particularly strong, and certainly not better than Alex Lambert, Janelle Wheeler, or Katelyn Epperly, all of whom were voted off in the semi-final round.

Tim Urban - "Can't Help Falling In Love" A-
Although Tim didn't take Adam Lambert's advice to sing the last part of the song in his "head voice" (which must be a fancy term for his falsetto), he shined in this performance. It was a simple yet elegant song arrangement and Tim sounded good. Simon even trotted out the "Zero to Hero" left-handed compliment he bestowed on Anoop Desai last season.

Lee Dewyze - "A Little Less Conversation" A+
In one word: AMAZING. In a few: soulful, sexy, and perfect. The studio version is equally (if not slightly more so) amazing. Lee outdid Chris Daughtry's Season 5 version, which is not something you'll hear me say very often. More than worth a listen.

The studio version:

Aaron Kelly - "Blue Suede Shoes" B+
I loved the bluesy arrangement which saved the song. Simon was right when he said it was like a high school performance. (I hate to say it, but it's true.) Aaron even threw in a little bit of country in this version, which made it different from the original. The second half was, again, much better than the first where there was more of a slower breakdown. I had to laugh at the addition of the words "fruit jar" to replace something related to liquor.

Siobhan Magnus - "Suspicious Minds" B-
Sibohan brought more of a diva style into this song, something we have been sorely missing this season on Idol. It was a much better performance than last week and Siobhan sang it a little more "pretty" and a little less "screechy". She gave a nice response to the criticism Simon threw at her but overall it wasn't one of Siobhan's best.

Michael Lynche - "In The Ghetto" B+
A toned-down and suprisingly touching performance from Big Mike. At first when I heard he was going to do this song, I was expecting another over-wraught and melodramatic performance but he did the song justice. It was very authentic and sounded from the heart. Mike made this song sound current, even though I am sure it is 40+ years old.

Katie Stevens - "Baby What Do You Want Me To Do" B+
A sassy and fun performance. She has grown in confidence on the Idol stage and seemed less robotic and more herself this week. Her voice cracked on one of the notes but overall a solid performance although not one I will be downloading.

Casey James - "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" A-
A sexy, bluesy, and great performance of a more obscure Elvis song. I think the judges feel his selection of more obscure tracks works against him, however I would have to say the opposite. He isn't going to be compared to prior Idol contestants or, worse, the original artist.

Best of the night: Lee
Worst of the night: Andrew