Thursday, March 18, 2010

American Idol - Top Twelve do the Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones night. I was hoping we'd get to see Keith Richards mentor the kids on how to fall out of a palm tree like a rock star, but no such luck.

Michael Lynche - "Miss You"

Big Mike always does it big. Good performance, a bit hokey and theme-park-ish at times.

Didi Benami - "Play with Fire"

We learn that Didi's mom gets too nervous so she can't come to the show to watch Didi sing. If I was Didi, this would really piss me off, but she seems nonplussed. This was a strong performance. Didi came off as confident, not ditzy or fluffy. But it wasn't all that memorable.

Casey James - "It's All Over Now"

Casey brings a bluesy, country vibe. Good guitar work. Simon might be right that's his performance isn't all that special, but it's good enough and mixed with his sex appeal, he's surely safe.

Lacey Brown - "Ruby Tuesday"

It was an interesting arrangement and a quirky performance. I thought it was one of her best, however I don't think it's good enough to keep her safe. It could be Goodbye Lacey Wednesday.

Andrew Garcia - "Gimme Shelter"

This was one odd parental interview. His ex-gang member dad breaks down crying and talks about his son while his mother just stares at the camera stone-faced and doesn't say a word. I imagine growing up in the Garcia family wasn't a million laughs. Andrew frustrates me. I think he's really talented, but his performances continue to suck. He didn't seem to get the emotion, desperation, terror of this tune at all.

Katie Stevens - "Wild Horses"

Katie has a nice voice, but I'm always bored when she sings. It reminds me of how I felt during the Diana DiGarmo year. Blah. She doesn't seem to connect with the emotion of the song.

Tim Urban - "Under My Thumb"

Tim puts a bizarre reggae spin on this one, leaving the judges baffled while lovestruck tweens hit speed-dial and wait for the Bop! magazine pin-ups to appear. I'm pretty sure "The Sanjaya Factor" will keep Tim around for a few weeks - he's a dreamboat.

Siobhan Magnus - "Paint It Black"

Thank God for Siobhan, keeping me awake. She pulls out another weird and wonderful performance, using the Adam Lambert playbook. I did think her look was way overstyled. Nerdia says perms are coming back - say it isn't so!

Lee Dewyze - "Beast of Burden"

I think Lee has a little Springsteen in him. I love the gravel in his voice. He definitely needs some Jagger swagger though. He often has a deer in the headlights look about him, and the judges told him to work on his confidence. But I'm rooting for him.

Paige Miles - "Honkytonk Woman"

Paige belted this one out with panache. We learned after the performance that she had been struggling with laryngitis, but I couldn't tell at all. Interestingly, she seemed like she could pull off a country twang. She could be vulnerable, but the judges mentioned the illness enough that it should earn her sympathy votes.

Aaron Kelly - "Angie"

Once again, I thought the song was a bit old for him, but I give him points for connecting emotionally with the material. It wasn't cheesy, and it easily could have been. His relationship with his mom seems sweet, too.

Crystal Bowersox - "You Can't Always Get What You Want"

The producers clearly love Crystal, letting her sing last. She delivers another strong performance. Great song choice, totally watchable. She avoided being too sassy with Simon when he accused her of thinking she had the competition in the bag. At this point, it does seem to be between Crystal and Siobahn, but a lot can happen. Crystal's dad's emotional interview will help her too.


Lacey Brown

The judges didn't use their save for Lacey. In the tradition of punky haired Idol finalists, she fell short of Amy Adams, Alison Iraheta and Nikki McKibben. In the battle of quirky females, both Lacey and Lilly Scott have fallen, yet Siobhan remains strong. I think it's because Siobhan has serious pipes whereas the other two are really just Lilith Fair side stage caliber singers.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

American Idol: Top Eight Girls

Katie Stevens - "Breakaway"

Katie is the type of contestant that Simon loves: teen, cute, solid voice, bland and easily molded. Unfortunately, her song choice was lame and only showed us that she's no Kelly Clarkson. I think she will be safe though, because she's so likable.

Siobhan Magnus - "House of the Rising Sun"

Wow, I thought this was really cool. I loved the acapella opening and found it to be really smooth and stirring. She felt the emotion of the song throughout the performance. This was a gutsy song choice, and she pulled it off. She's like a nicer Sinead O'Conner. I was surprised Simon was critical of the performance, and I hope that critique - coupled with her quirkiness - won't hurt her chances to advance. Clips of her dad in the audience being all intense brought back memories of Mr. Archuletta.

Lacey Brown - "The Story"

Lacey's makeup was so thick tonight that visions of Tammy Faye came to mind. And she's a pretty girl - she doesn't need to apply the makeup with a trowel. She also shouldn't raid Mrs. Roper's closet when it's time to choose an outfit for the show. I'd agree with the judges that this was her best performance yet. But while Simon praised her knowledge of where the cameras were and her ability to play to them, her calculated stage presence reminded me of her lookalike Nikki McKibben winking at the camera. It somehow rings false.

Katelyn Epperly - "I Feel the Earth Move"

I kinda like Katelyn, but I'm afraid she will be going home. The judges nailed her to the cross for doing this Carole King tune. I thought they were a little overly harsh, but they were right that it was a pretty easy song to choose. She looked cute, but it was a cruise ship performance.

Didi Benami - "Rhiannon"

I was happy to see Didi redeem herself with a haunting rendition of this Fleetwood Mac chestnut. It was a gusty song choice after Lacey was criticized for picking "Landslide." Didi's performance recalled her Hollywood Week "American Boy" audition - lots of style and emotion.

Paige Miles - "Smile"

Paige failed to make the audience and the judges turn their frowns upside down with this performance. It was pretty dreadful, and Ellen was right to point out that she missed the uplifting spirit of the song. I think Paige will have to find a way to smile while her heart is breaking on Thursday when's she sent home.

Crystal Bowersox - "Gimme One Reason"

The judges loved this song choice, but I thought it was kinda predictable. Still, she really belted it out, and she's becoming more likable. Simon said she would sail into the Top 12, and I'm sure he's right.

Lilly Scott - "I Fall to Pieces"

Bjork does Patsy Cline. Apparently it's just me, but I feel like this girl's voice is like fingernails on the chalkboard. I don't get it.

Who's Going Home?

Paige, Katelyn, Lilly, and Lacey all seem vulnerable. I'm gonna ponder a while, but I'm thinking it'll be Paige and Katelyn going home.

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