'American Idol' - 'Top 10 Guys Perform' Recap

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 2nd 2010 11:36PM
American Idol - Top 12 Guys Perform
Ok, a little change-up to start the show off. The ladies were scheduled to perform tonight, but Crystal Bowersox was taken to the hospital this morning (no word on what the deal is), so the top ten guys will be performing. I hope Crystal's doing alright, and that she'll be back on track to sing tomorrow night.

This spurs Ellen DeGeneres to reminisce about the time her back went out and she did her show from a bed. Ryan Seacrest remembers that, and says he actually was in the bed with her at one point. That's just interesting all the way around.

So far, both the guys and girls have been lackluster in my book, but Simon Cowell thinks the girls have the edge. Either way, the two guys and two girls with the lowest number of votes will be out on Thursday night. So vote for your favorites! Let's move on and see if the guys kick it up a notch tonight. Let's hope so.

Michael Lynche ('It's a Man's Man's Man's World,' James Brown). So far so good! Michael looks great dressed in black -- not the emo kind of black, but the classic singer kind of black. You can tell he decided to "bring it" tonight, and he does just that with this great song choice. Randy Jackson says the season is finally getting rolling. He says Michael has the fire in his eyes, and he even gives him a standing ovation to prove it. Ellen loves it and says he's the one to beat. Kara DioGuardi says he went from being a singer to someone who could potentially be a great artist. "You owned it tonight," she said. "You are a different Mike, and I'm feelin' it." Simon Cowell says he went from being a pussy cat to a lion in one week, and even though it's an old song, it didn't sound dated when Michael sang it. Michael notes that his wife is coming out with the new baby on Friday -- if he's still there. I don't think he has to worry.

John Park ('Gravity,' John Mayer). John's acapella group back home is called 'Purple Haze.' That's awesome. I like his white t-shirt and jeans; he's not trying to be something he's not, and says he's working on being "honest." I also like the performance, but I'm not sure it's going to stand out from the pack. As Randy says, "You didn't bring anything new or spicy to it." Ellen loves the song choice, but says there could have been a little more soul in it." Kara says he needs to let loose, get out of his comfort zone, and "take some risks." Simon thinks 'Purple Haze' might get their lead singer back after this performance, because it just wasn't very memorable or "authentic."

Casey James ('I Don't Wanna Be,' Gavin DeGraw). In an interview with Ryan, Casey says he grew up without a TV, ever since lightning hit the family TV when he was about seven. Probably not a bad thing. Oh, and he's not giving away his pre-show secrets because it's a competition, dude. He's awesomely jamming on the electric guitar, but let's not forget that it's a singing competition. This song has been done by a lot of 'Idol' guys, but it's a great fit for Casey's voice. Love his look, love his voice, but he could have ripped it just a little harder. Randy says it's not the best version of this song, but it's definitely Casey's niche. Ellen says he sounded great, but she'd like to see more movement and freedom. Kara thinks he took two steps backwards, and that he didn't take the song to another level. Simon feels that Casy is just "trying to be a rock star," but doesn't have the grit to do this song well.

Alex Lambert ('Everybody Knows,' John Legend). Alex says he usually gets super nervous, but managed to not throw up before tonight's performance. Awesome, dude. He wants to "love being on stage instead of being terrified of being on stage." Hey, we're pulling for ya! He has his guitar, which is probably good because it gives him something to focus on rather than the nerves. Randy says it's a great improvement over last week, and that Alex found his own voice. Ellen says it's like "someone took the unripe banana and put it in a paper bag..." What is it with her and bananas? Anyway, she thinks he's way more confident this week, and out of everybody, he has the most unique style. Kara says everyone is rooting for him, and Simon says it's "a million times better than last week." But Simon also wants him to get a killer instinct to win, and no more talk about nerves! He said it in a nice way, which is cool.

Todrick Hall ('What's Love Got To Do With It?,' Tina Turner).
Todrick's pre-show routine includes doing push-ups, and he talks about being a singer AND a dancer -- one of the criticisms from last week. It's an interesting song choice, and I love that he's slowed it down and made it his own. He's got a little Smokey Robinson in his voice, and he looks like he's having a blast on stage. The audience loves him, too. Randy loves the falsetto run at the end of the song, but reminds him that a great song doesn't need a wild arrangement. But wait -- aren't the judges always saying to change things up? Ellen says he should both sing and dance, although she wasn't crazy about the song either. Kara loved his movement on stage, and says she's been missing Todrick's unique spin on stuff, "and not crazy all over the place.' Simon says "this is not working out at all for you." Oy, it wasn't that bad, Simon!

Jermaine Sellers ('What's Goin' On,' Marvin Gaye). Todrick rocks his onesy, guys, and he's not ashamed of it. That's because his dad turns the heat down in the house at night. Interesting fro-hawk he's got going on stage. I like the song, but feel like it didn't really get going until the end. Randy thinks it's better than last week, but still wasn't great. Ellen loves both his style and the fact that he rocks the onesy, but the song just didn't work for her. Kara says he's hitting some crazy notes and runs, but thinks he should pull it back and look at the meaning of the song. "It just feels forced, like you're trying to show us every trick in every performance." Simon says he waters down the songs by playing around with them too much. Jermaine invites them to go to church, and Simon says ok! I'd love to see a new docu-series called 'Simon and Jermaine Go to Sunday School' (Ryan's creation, not mine). Jermaine asks for song suggestions, and Ellen recommends a Frankie Beverly and Maze tune. We'll see what Jermaine does with that tidbit -- if he's still here next week.

Andrew Garcia ('You Give Me Something,' James Morrison).
I'm not crazy about this song choice. It's a little pitchy and choppy and doesn't seem to fit his voice all that well. Randy agrees with me and says Andrew is better than that. He'd like to see him with a guitar and more of a Jason Mraz vibe. Ellen likes the vibe, but says there were a few pitch problems. She notes that he set the bar high with the Paula Abdul song, so everyone will always be looking for that. Ellen is also thinking about getting his name tattoo'd on her neck. Kara agrees about the Abdul song. "You're a rhythmic singer; you've gotta stay on the rhythm ... you played it too safe. I like when you surprise us." Simon says he's disappointed and thinks Andrew is better than that.

Aaron Kelly ('My Girl,' The Temptations). It's hard to believe this kid is only 16. I mean, he might not have the best vocals out of all the guys, but he's fun and seems to really love being onstage. Randy loves the first half of the song, but not so much on the second half. Still, way better than last week. Ellen loves how he used the stage, but thinks the song was forgettable. Kara really likes it and says he's consistent, which she appreciates. Simon didn't like the song and says it was all over the place. He thinks the arrangement was too old-fashioned. "You've gotta work out your age and what kind of artist you want to be."

Tim Urban ('Come On, Get Higher,' Matt Nathanson). Tim has a huge family -- four brothers and five sisters. He's usually really nervous before a show, and always says a little prayer to calm his nerves. They show a clip of Simon's critiques from last week, and Tim says he'll be better. But oy, guys. He's just not that great. In fact, it's a mess, and I fear for what Simon's going to say. Randy calls it "karaoke," and Ellen agrees. She asks if he can act, and says he should be on "Glee," because he's adorable and girls love him. "I don't think the strong point is the singing," says Ellen. Kara likes the song choice, but says he didn't make it his own. And whoa! Simon calls it a "marked improvement from last week," and says Tim is more relevant tonight than some of the other singers. "I'm impressed not just with your performance, but your work ethic," says Simon. "You didn't whine, and you got on with it." I'm shocked, shocked! And Tim looks completely shocked, too, which is both fun and awesome.

Lee Dewyze ('Lips of an Angel,' Hinder).
Dark horse here. Or maybe just a flat-out front runner. Did the other singers have cool stars and fun back-drops? If so, I didn't notice. Anyway, I love this song and his voice, although parts of it are pitchy. He tugs his pants up during the performance, which is sort of third-gradish and weird, but also a little endearing. Randy likes that he's taking chances and coming out of his comfort zone, even though there were some pitch problems. Ellen agrees, saying she loves his passion and intensity. Kara says it's a big improvement from last week, and she can "hear" him on the radio right now. Simon says he's "head and shoulders above everyone else in the competition," but that he looks terrified. "I'm just waiting for you to totally connect, lose your nerves, sing the right song, and sing as good as you can," says Simon. "You may be the one to beat." Lee tells Ryan he actually has a belt on this week; still, the judges say he needs to work on his body language, which I agree with.

What did you guys think? Who's your favorite out of the ten guys?

Which of the Top 10 guys gave the best performance?
Michael Lynche218 (24.8%)
John Park14 (1.6%)
Casey James74 (8.4%)
Alex Lambert95 (10.8%)
Todrick Hall13 (1.5%)
Jermaine Sellers7 (0.8%)
Andrew Garcia31 (3.5%)
Aaron Kelly41 (4.7%)
Tim Urban22 (2.5%)
Lee Dewyze365 (41.5%)

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My favorite performances of the night were Michael Lynche
and Lee Dewyze. Michael gets the edge because he was more solid and consistent throughout his song, while Lee was good, but had a few problems with pitch and tone. My least favorites were Tim Urban, John Park and Todrick Hall. I would send Tim and John home, because Tim just really isnt a good singer and while John has good voice, he brings no emotion or spark to his songs. Todrick hangs on by the skin of his teeth because I think he has potential to get his singing and dancing together well enough to be pretty good. Not a threat to win, but entertaining and interesting.
I thought the same things as a lot of other posters about Karas' trashing of Casey. She seemed to be overcompensating for her past groupie-like fawning over him. Hopefully, she has gotten that out of her system and can now just give a balanced and honest opinion on his performances. Speaking of his performance, his guitar playing was great, probably the best rock guitar I have heard from a contestant on this show, but his vocal wasnt as good as last week. Also, I dont understand all the praise for this song that he sang and has been sang by a long list of past contestants. Its a decent but not great song, and, to me, isnt much of a singers song.
Andrew Garcia picked a song that didnt showcase his great voice and the kid with the mullet has a very pleasant and interesting voice. If he can stick around long enough to get some more experience and confidence, he will be a very good contestant.
To me, Ellen has done all right as a judge, even though I am not a fan of her or her comedy. She isnt fantastic, but she doesnt suck either. I was afraid she would try to force her comedy into everything, but she seems to have struck a pretty good balance between comedy and critique.

March 04 2010 at 7:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Xander Harris

Have You Seen This Article?

"Has The WWE Found its Way onto American Idol?"


It is mostly about WWE's Edge and American Idol's Casey James!

March 03 2010 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know how John Park made it through from last week's performance but I think he should be gone after this week.
I think the best singers were Michael Lynche and Alex Lambert. Alex sounds a little bit like Teddy Geiger.

March 03 2010 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with some of the posters here, that Kara took it overboard on her critique of Casey this week. I think no matter what he did up there she was going to bash him in hopes to squash the crush-thing. Instead it comes off as she's trying to squash the crush-thing...which is just lame.

Another thing I find lame is the judges' keep mentioning "Straight Up" in Andrew's critiques. I think it's unfair, considering they don't do the same for any of the other contestants...

My favorite of the night was Lee DeWyze (despite the pants pulling). I thought it was just different enough and BETTER than the original and really enjoyed it.

My least favorite was Jermaine Sellers. I think he has an abrasive personality, and he stripped that song of any emotion last night. I really will be surprised him he makes it next week. The other ones that should be worried are John Park (oh no!), Todrick Hall, and Tim Urban...


March 03 2010 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Safe: Lee, Alex and Michael, though Alex will have to ditch the mullet to have any long-term staying power.

In Trouble: Everyone else.

This season is WEAK!

March 03 2010 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I definitely think this was an improvement on last week's performances. Pretty much everyone did a better job, but I agree with Wallflower to an extent that no one really stood out in an amazing way. I'm still waiting for a show stopping performance!


March 03 2010 at 8:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed Lee Dewyze, his performance was the only one that screamed star. Alex Lambert would come in second, maybe for being the most improved since last week. Everyone else was horrible.

March 03 2010 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Incredibly unimpressed with tonight's performances. IMHO, nobody stood out or was memorable. Just glad I was able to watch this episode on my DVR, so I did not waste a whole 2 hours. Maybe I'll wait a couple of weeks before I tune back in.

March 03 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jane Boursaw

Oh yeah, that whole thing about the grit and dirt and sand was weird. I made a few notes, but the judges' comments sort of faded out. Thanks for mentioning, Jimmy. I bet you're right that Kara was told to dial it back. Lest they have another scandal like the one with Paula!

March 03 2010 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jane Boursaw's comment

She is weird but I think head and shoulders better than last year....

March 05 2010 at 8:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Mueller

Wow Jane,

I can't believe you didn't even mention the critique of Casey James where Kara said he sang like "dirt". At the end, when Simon told him his voice has no "grit", but more like "sand", Kara said "more like dirt". That's a pretty rough statement. I don't even remember Simon ever calling anyone "dirt" before.

Something tells me Kara was told by the producers after last week's embarassing fawning over Casey that she had to dial it back, so she decided to go in the complete opposite direction, and basically destroyed him in her comments. She's just so weird, like she tries waaaaay too hard to be "part of the gang" of A.I. Judges, and goes overboard. Her attitude this whole season so far has just been very loud and abbrasive. I actually liked her last year, but this year she is just plain annoying.

March 02 2010 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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