'American Idol' - 'Top 8 Boys Compete' Recap

by Kona Gallagher, posted Mar 10th 2010 11:23PM
american idol top 8 guys
Quick! Someone explain to Simon what a "binky" is. After a weird show opening on Tuesday involving Ellen sitting on his lap, Ryan starts the show on Wednesday asking why Kara and Simon are sitting so close together this season. He then calls Kara Simon's "binky," which confuses Simon greatly. All in all, the lady judges cannot get enough of Mr. Cowell this week.

Tonight's episode is really exciting, because for the first time so far, it's going to be kind of difficult to find two contestants to eliminate. Overall it's a strong night of performances, with a couple of pleasant surprises. I definitely have my favorite, how about you?

Lee Dewyze is singing 'Fireflies,' but it's not the amazing Rhett Miller song, so I'm already disappointed. He's fine, but it's not a particularly interesting performance. Turns out, it's an Adam Young song, and the judges must be in a good mood this week, because Randy and Ellen both praise him. Kara even goes so far as to say that he made it a better song. Simon, however, dials it down a little bit and tells Lee that he "didn't have a moment" with that song, but is generally positive.

Alex Lambert, on the other hand, is singing 'Trouble,' a song I actually like. His mullet is so distracting however, that it's hard to enjoy it. Also making it difficult is the fact that he's singing the song completely out of his nose. He's always kind of nasally, but it's so, so intense this week. Randy wished he would have slowed the song down a little bit, while Ellen says he gets "better and better every week." She also warns him against becoming "a cocky banana," but let's not talk about that. Kara tells him that the only thing standing in the way of his winning is him, because he's "not letting go." Simon tells him that he needs to relax and picture Randy in a bikini. Let's just move on, shall we?

Tim Urban is singing Jeff Buckley's version of 'Hallelujah,' which is a hard song to touch. Tim hasn't exactly been setting the stage on fire the past several weeks, so this is definitely a risky choice for him. While it doesn't come close to Buckley's version in terms of pure, heartbreaking beauty, it's certainly the best performance I've seen from Tim so far. If he's made it this far in the competition spouting the nonsense he's been singing the past several weeks, he definitely deserves to advance based on this. Randy seems to agree, saying that he's got some big shoes to fill, but he did a good job. Ellen tells Tim that she feels as though she's been criticizing him a lot lately, so she actually gets up, runs to the stage, hugs him and tells him that he was fantastic. When she gets up, poor Tim looks like a terrified little bunny, and it's all kind of hilarious. Kara tells him that he's "in it," while Simon takes credit for him doing so well.

Andrew Garcia peaked early during Hollywood week with 'Straight Up,' so doing 'Genie in a Bottle' is kind of risky. He's covered Adele and Alicia Keys since then, and while this is his most successful re-imagining since 'Straight Up,' he's veering dangerously close to gimmick alley over here. Randy liked the choice, but it didn't quite work for him. Ellen says that the "genie came out of the bottle too late," and while Kara can appreciate what he did with this song, she says that he was fighting with the rhythm of the guitar. Simon calls it "a little bit desperate," and tells him that he's still going backwards a little bit.

Casey James is singing a song with which I am not familiar, Keith Urban's 'You'll Think of Me,' so I have no expectations going into it. This also means that I can't really compare it to the original. However, just going into it blind, I really enjoy Casey's performance. It didn't totally rock my world, but it was a simple, honest, and most of all, strong performance. Randy says that it was a safe choice, but Ellen thinks that it was great. Kara is kind of back on the Casey train, which I'm sure her husband will be thrilled about. Simon tells Casey that this performance was his "second best," and it made him sincere. However, it wasn't terribly memorable.

Aaron Kelly is singing 'I'm Already There,' which just screams "wedding reception" to me. He starts off super-shaky. He seems off-key and mumbles the first couple of lines. He picks up steam during the chorus, but the whole thing is just kind of cheesy to me. Randy says that there's still some work to do, but that it was a job well done. Ellen loves the way he carries himself, but says that it was a little "too much song for him." Kara loves him, but says the song isn't relevant to his life. Simon, however tells Kara that what she said is "complete and utter rubbish." He says that it wasn't a great vocal, but it was a perfect song choice.

Todrick Hall is singing Queen, and I'm interested to see what he does with it. 'Somebody to Love' is probably one of my favorite Queen songs, and I'm excited going into Todrick's performance. He starts off with a pretty sweet high note. The first few lines don't quite do it for me, but he quickly gets comfortable and does a really interesting soulful version. I love what he does, but it seems as though when I like what Todrick does, the judges feel the exact opposite. However, Randy simply says, "Todrick is back," and praises him effusively. Ellen says he was brave. She wishes he would have committed to making it more of a gospel song, but really enjoyed it. Kara tells him he sang it well, but says that she didn't know whether to laugh or love it at times, which seems a little harsh. Simon tells him that it was good in parts, but that he told them that he's more of a Broadway singer than a recording artist. However, he also says that this song may have saved him.

Michael Lynche is singing 'This Woman's Work' and starts with a very daring falsetto. While he shows a different side vocally than we've really seen from him in this competition, the performance kind of bores me, despite the fact that he does an admirable job with the vocals. Randy, however, loved it and pretty much has a seizure while praising him. Ellen tells Big Mike that he's the one to beat, and Kara is literally in tears. I should probably watch this performance again, because I clearly missed something the first time around. Simon tells him that this was "so needed tonight," and that he 100% nailed it. Meanwhile, Kara still can't get it together. I've never quite seen a reaction like this before. UPDATE: Okay, I actually went back and watched the performance. I turned the volume up, and now I see where the judges were coming from. It didn't quite move me to tears, but it showed a range and an emotion that we really haven't seen from Mike before. It was a daring performance, and he absolutely pulled it off. In any case, it was a great way to end the show.

Who had the strongest performance tonight?
Lee Dewyze69 (7.1%)
Alex Lambert76 (7.8%)
Tim Urban77 (7.9%)
Andrew Garcia26 (2.7%)
Casey James87 (8.9%)
Aaron Kelly18 (1.8%)
Todrick Hall50 (5.1%)
Michael Lynche573 (58.7%)

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Michael Allen

Back Again!

Just thought I'd say that (even though this is not about the performances), this is the LAST year I am watching American Idol. Simon, as confirmed, is not going to be judging anymore and taking his place will be Howard Stern. If anyone here has common sense, you'll do the same. Honestly, I think this will be the last season of 'Idol'. I seriously doubt that they'll get ratings with Howard Stern.

March 20 2010 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Allen

Whoever it was that said at the top, quote, "Alex Lambert, on the other hand, is singing 'Trouble,' a song I actually like. His mullet is so distracting however, that it's hard to enjoy it," I have to disagree about two things - # 1: Not only was the mullet distracting, but # 2: THAT SUCKED!!!! I just watched the DVR version of it last night, and I am glad he is gone. I wish that the Judges had not kissed up to him as much as they did. And, FYI Ellen, I like your humor alot, however...He was a mushy banana alright - but I certainly wouldn't have followed it up with "Oh, you were so awesome, you were great!!!" and all that CRAP." I like that song 'Trouble' as well but I thought he completely butchered it. Also, he did not pick a song where he could move around on the stage - I am glad he was eliminated. HE SUCKED!!!

March 20 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Garrett

Michael may have sung well but how is it that no one talks of how cocky he is? Randy kept saying "Like that?" or something and Michael would be like Yeah Yeah, like you know Im the best.

March 11 2010 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie

Lee - Great start for the show, Big Mike - Great way to end the show - it was amazing, pure emotion poured from every note. Casey, doesnt sound like Keith Urban but he did a nice rendition, Alex, loose the mullet, do something else with the hair, he was boring. Tim - much better. Andrew - I am afraid for him. Todrick bold move taking on Queen a little showy but ok- Aaron - felt stiff - vocals were not what I was used to - they warbled - maybe a little more nerves. Going home based on performances- Andrew and Alex or Aaron. I think Tim will stay another week, he shown some improvement. The top three boys are Lee, Casey and Mike.

March 11 2010 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
davidm3825

I did not care for Michael's song. I liked him in previous weeks but did not like this song. Does anyone else think he reminds them of Ruben Studdard?
My favorites were Tim Urban, Todrick Hall and Aaron Kelly.
Goodbye Andrew Garcia

March 11 2010 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkny

I think one of the major themes so far is how different the show is on TV than for the people in-studio. I certainly enjoyed Mike's performance but was no where near moved to tears. I also watched the women on DVR just before the men and have to say the Siobhan is an early favorite of mine. Along with the obvious Crystal and Lee - I think the mullet boys and short red spiky hair girls are in trouble.

March 11 2010 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NightOwl

Michael was clearly the best performer last night. He showed some impressive vocal range and authentic emotion.Thats two weeks in a row that Big Mike was the standout among the guys.
I was prepared to fast forward through Tims' song, but he did a very good job with a difficult song. His voice sounds good when he puts some power behind it, not volume necessarily, but supporting the notes with proper breath control. Otherwise his voice has no umph and gets lost in the music and is boring.
Andrew was a big disappointment. He has a very good and interesting voice, but cant seem to stay consistent through a whole song. He has a lot of rough patches where it seems he loses concentration or something.
Aarons' voice seemed off last night, to me. He didnt sound like the same smooth singer I have heard before.Dont know if it was the song or what, but he just seemed off track.
Nobody was really awful, so it's hard to say who should go home. I think I would vote to send Andrew and Todrick home. Andrew hasnt lived up to his potential and Todrick is living on borrowed time anyway, since he cant compete vocally with the rest of the guys.

March 11 2010 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Safe: Casey and Michael

Too average to distinguish from each other: Lee, Alex, Tim, Andrew and Aaron

Wildcard: Todrick

Random notes on the song choices:

* Fireflies: Inspired song choice, so-so vocals

* Trouble: OK song choice, copycat vocals

* Hallelujah: Great song, but it's becoming passé. (And what do they mean when they say, "the Jeff Buckley version?" Is Leonard Cohen not cool enough for Idol?)

* You'll Think of Me: I'm not familiar with the song, but I thought it was Casey's best performance yet.

* Somebody to Love: Ballsy. I'm not sure he pulled it off.

* This Woman's Work: Brilliant, brilliant song choice. I was impressed.

March 11 2010 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RJ

Yeah I totally had goosebumps by the time Big Mike was done with the song. I hope Andrew Garcia goes home this week, he's just been riding the coat tails of one good performance he had during Hollywood week. Really? Genie in a Bottle? Reaaaally?

March 11 2010 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Xina

(Speaking of Mike Lynche's performance here)Perhaps it is just me, but I originally heard that song in the movie "She's Having a Baby." It is played at the end of the movie where Kevin Bacon is pushed out of the delivery room, not knowing the fate of his wife and unborn child. The song is beyond moving. I have seen my husband go through this with our son when he was born premature. As a dad your part is small in the delivery of a child, and I totally bought that from Mike tonight. Amazing, simply amazing. For the first time this season I was impressed with someone.

March 11 2010 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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