Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 4: May 11, 2010


Top 4: Movie Week - May 11, 2010

Lee Dewyze - "Kiss From A Rose" B+

A somewhat bold choice from Lee. The song didn't quite fit his voice very well on the higher notes and it was a bit sleepier than his previous performances. However, still worth a listen as Lee has one of those voices that generally sounds good on most things and amazing on exceptional things.

Michael Lynche - "Will You Be There" A-

Well, Simon got a bit bogged down in the fact that the song was from Free Willy, the movie about a boy and his whale friend. But I was more than impressed with Big Mike's version of this song. I'm the last person to be a Big Mike fan, mind you, but I have to give credit where it's due. The gospel choir and Mike's glory note (towards the end) combined to make this a good if not especially moving performance.

Casey James - "Mrs. Robinson" A-

Casey added something a bit different to this song with the ukelele. Jason Castro -dare I say it - may have done it better in Season 7. (Then again everybody did it better in Season 7, but I disgress.) Each time I listen to this performance, I get a little bit more out of it. The second half is really where Casey shone on this song. The first time I listened to it, I might have given it a B, but the tone of his voice comes out stronger and stronger with repeat listenings. It's a bit too quirky to take it all in the first time around, but give it a chance. One of the sleeper performances of the season.

Crystal Bowersox - "I'm Alright" B

At first I didn't know if I knew the song, but I realized it's the kind of song that still gets played on classic rock stations. Crystal kept switching between a gruffer kind of growl and a sweeter, pretty voice. I don't know if the switch really worked. Not bad by any means, but as Randy would say, it didn't really work for me, dawg.

Lee & Crystal duet - "Falling Slowly" A+

I think this performance showed us the finale. Right then, right there, it was decided. One of the best performances I have ever seen on the Idol stage (and the best duet this side of Carly Smithson and Michael John's amazing A+++ duet of "The Letter" last season when they returned for a results show). The camera angles on this one were epic. I loved how the two guitars gave the slower song a rock edge and changed it up a bit. Amazing.

Casey & Mike duet - "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman" B

I am not sure how many times I'll say it, but here I go again. This performance did not compare to Matt Giraud's "Judge's Save" TM performance from last season of the same song. But hey, I wasn't expecting it to. Casey and Mike both performed admirably on this song, considering the whole concept of them dueting was a bit awkward. They certainly did a better job than the last two male contestants forcd to duet last season: Kris Allen and Danny Gokey on a very odd rendition of "Renegade" by Styx. (I just don't like that song anyway, so maybe I'm biased.)

Best of the night: Lee & Crystal duet
Worst of the night: Casey & Mike duet

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 5: May 4, 2010


Frank Sinatra Week - Top 5: May 4, 2010

Aaron Kelly - "Fly Me To The Moon" B+

Considering Aaron was a bit out of his element in this genre, he did a solid job with the song. It was a pretty, cute performance. He has come a long way in terms of confidence since the semifinals, where Aaron seemed a bit like a fish out of water trying to compete with people 10 years older than him (which he was!) He had really nice pronunciation with this song, when so many slur the words together to the point where you can't understand the lyrics.

Casey James - "Blue Skies" B-

Casey looked like a lost lamb without his guitar, which I don't think bodes too well for his future career. As an artist, you have to be flexible and you may not always have access to whatever it is that keeps you in your comfort zone. Listening to the performance sounds better than watching it, where the awkwardness unfortunately shows through a bit. It's not the kind of performance I'd listen to again. If it was Andrew Garcia, I would have given this performance a C+ but I like Casey.

Crystal Bowersox - "Summer Wind" B+

A jazzy, confident performance by Crystal, although her vocals came out a bit breathy in the first part of the song. I could picture her singing this at a jazz piano bar. She got a lot more confident and stronger in the last part of the song. She did inflect a lot of emotion into the song

Michael Lynche - "The Way You Look Tonight" A-

Big Mike did a great job with this, it pains me a bit to admit it. This is the perfect kind of song for him - a slow but jazzy R&B number. Of course it's a little bit over the top, but what else would you expect from Big Mike? The last note was great and this definitely earned him another week in the competition.

Lee Dewyze - "That's Life" A

Incredible. Sexy. Far and away, my pick to win it all. I absolutely can not wait to see what kind of CD Lee releases. I loved the dynamic between him and guest mentor Harry Connick Jr. It was amazing to see what he did with a theme that may have taken him out of his comfort zone (ie: no guitar) and made it completely his own. Casey could have learned a lot from Lee tonight (and I say that with love, Casey).

Best of the night: Lee
Worst of the night: Casey

Saturday, May 1, 2010

American Idol Season 9 - Top 6: April 27, 2010


Top 6 - Shania Twain Week:
April 27, 2010
Lee Dewyze - "You're Still The One" A-
I had a feeling Lee would take on this song, and of course, I was right. He sounded amazing, as always, and put a lot of emotion into the song that made all the difference in the world.

Michael Lynche - "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing" B+
I have been extremely irritated with Big Mike lately (and his wife, but I digress). I think he's stayed around too long while superior performers have gone home. Do we even have to mention Katelyn Epperly, Alex Lambert, Lily Scott, and Janell Wheeler as examples? But Big Mike redeemed himself with this touching and beautiful performance. Finally a song worthy of Big Mike's theatrics, which he toned down tonight. He actually sounded like an R&B superstar on this song and I was totally impressed.

Casey James - "Don't" A
The best performance of the night. A song I could imagine hearing - and loving - on the radio. Casey stripped it down (don't read any sexual innuendo into that one, Kara!) and was incredible. How he ended up in the Bottom 2 is one of those inevitable and dumbfounding Idol mysteries.

Crystal Bowersox - "No One Needs To Know" C+
This came off as cutesy and over-indulgent. Crystal does have a great voice but the "this is dedicated to my boyfriend - hint hint" came off as irritating. As someone on another blog (Entertainment Weekly, I think) said, this is not A Prairie Home Companion. THIS. IS. AMERICAN. IDOL. (Seacrest. Out!) Whereas the front runner of season 8 (Adam Lambert) was perpetually humble towards the judges, Crystal put forth a haughty attitude that instantly turned me off. Yes, Crystal, bigger isn't always better, and this performance was neither. I liked it less each time I heard it.

Aaron Kelly - "You've Got A Way" B+
A sweet, small country performance that 17-year-old Aaron dedicated to his mother. (Awwwww.) Nothing phenomenal, but Aaron was a breath of fresh air after Crystal.

Sibohan Magnus - "Any Man Of Mine" B
This actually sounded like a country song mixed with R&B in a very odd marriage. There is no way Siobhan deserved to go home based on this performance, which was actually pretty fun. I loved the energy she showed in this performance. However, the scream (the 8th we've probably heard) was out-of-place yet again and the performance suffered for it. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

Best of the night: Casey
Worst of the night: Crystal