'American Idol' - 'Top 12 Perform' Recap

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 16th 2010 10:35PM
American Idol, Top 12 Perform
Tonight's 'American Idol' takes us to the "big stage," so it will be interesting to see how the contestants adjust and adapt to all of that space. And the theme is the Rolling Stones, which should be fun. Let's get to it...

Michael Lynche ('Miss You'). We learned a bit more about his past, and how his focus shifted from football to music after his mom died. Awww, his baby is so cute! He does kind of a bluesy-jazzy-pop version of 'Miss You,' and I like it well enough, although it doesn't blow me away. Randy wasn't crazy about the arrangement, but says Big Mike is a great performer. Ellen and Kara loved it. Simon thought the performance was a little corny and desperate at times, particularly the dancing, but he thought Michael sang it well. At this point, Simon and Ryan got into a little to-do about who Simon should be talking to, and Ryan stomped over to the judge's table and stared right at Simon. It was all very weird.

Didi Benami ('Play With Fire').
We got to see some baby pics of Didi. Very cute. She does a good job with the song, although it's not show-stopping. It's cool to see how the contestants have matured in just the few weeks they've been doing the performance shows. Randy said Didi's "on fire," and Ellen liked that she lost her way in the song and got back into it. Kara liked the sweetness of her voice with the eeriness of the song. Simon thought it was a cool choice of song and a solid performance.

Casey James ('It's All Over Now').
We learned that he had a really bad reaction to the pertussis vaccination as a kid, which resulted in a lot of seizures. This is a great song for him. It's upbeat and rock-ish, and he's accompanying himself on his guitar. Randy loved it. Ellen said that womens' hearts race when they see Casey (and made a crack about herself and whether her heart would race or not ...?). Anyway, Kara said Casey IS a rock start this week (as opposed to just trying to be one). Simon said he looked great and sang well, but that he didn't really use the stage well. There should be more than just Casey playing his guitar in the middle of the stage. I agree with that.

Lacey Brown ('Ruby Tuesday'). The daughter of a pastor, her dad's really proud that she's broken through her shyness and hit the stage. The song starts out a little shaky, and ... really doesn't get much better. Hard to know how it sounded on the big stage, but it seemed a little pitchy to me, although i liked the string quartet. Ellen called it "sleepy," and Kara said it was "50/50" for her. "There definitely were some issues where you didn't hit the notes right." Simon said the performance was ok, but maybe she needs to stop over-thinking things.

Andrew Garcia ('Gimmee Shelter').
His dad gave an emotional spiel about not being able to afford a lot of things for Andrew as a kid. This performance isn't really doing it for me. Randy agreed with me, calling it pitchy, but Ellen said it was his best performance yet. Kara said she didn't really feel the "war" lyrics and wanted more intensity. Simon said she's taking it too literally, and that he thought Andrew was better in rehearsals than the performance.

Katie Stevens ('Wild Horses'). Her mom said she used to dance and dress up; then they played this embarrassing video of Katie singing as a kid. Ryan quizzed her on the Rolling Stones, and she knew Mick Jagger was the lead singer, so bonus points there. This song sort of put me to sleep. You know, I keep waiting for someone to come out and just rock out! It's the Stones, man, and we're getting all these slow, sleepy songs. Randy thought it was a very strong performance. Ellen said once she got into it, she sounded amazing. Kara said it was better than last week, and Simon loved the song choice (he recorded it with Susan Boyle). "This is the first time where I think you connected with the song ... and gave it a hundred percent," he said. "Well done."

Tim Urban ('Under My Thumb').
The "comeback kid" has a big family, and they look like they have a blast. He wanted to be a pro athlete as a kid, but realized he'd never make it and turned to music. This is such a weird reggae arrangement of this song. I'm not really digging it. Randy agreed, and said the song didn't serve Tim well at all. Ellen felt like she was at a resort drinking a pina colada; the performance didn't wow her. Kara gave Tim props for doing something different with the song; he made it his own. Simon thought the song was boring overall, and "it just didn't work." Hmmm ... wonder if Tim will be around next week.

Siobhan Magnus ('Paint it Black').
Siobhan is wearing an interesting outfit -- dark dress, poofy hair -- I like it. I guess you'd call it rocker-glam. The song starts off slow, which, again, come on, people! Let's rock it out! The song picks up a little steam, and she hits a couple of giant notes at the end, then brings it back down to a softer ending. Randy thought it was hot. Ellen loved the way she looked and sounded. Kara is having flashbacks of Adam Lambert with Siobhan's drama. And Simon called it "the standout performance of the night." She put her big-ass glasses on at the end, and they looked really cute.

Lee DeWyze ('Beast of Burden'). Lee used to be really shy, and would only sing if no one looked at him. He still gets nervous, and he's been doing a great job of trying to get past it. Randy loved the song; Ellen was expecting a bit more, but liked it; and Kara said Lee is growing faster than anyone else week to week. Simon said his personality is holding him back, and that he chose a safe, forgettable song. "But the frustrating thing is you've got an incredible voice," he said, adding that he hoped Lee would be back next week with "a moment." Lee agreed that he needs to let go and loosen up.

Paige Miles ('Honky Tonk Woman'). She grew up singing in church, and people actually came to church specifically to hear her sing (way to bring 'em in!). Good job with the song, but what I love most is that she seems really comfortable on the stage. Randy liked it, and Ellen loved that she used the stage and has lots of star quality. Both Kara and Ellen thought she did a great job, despite having laryngitis this week. Simon thought the song was a bit generic and she still hasn't quite connected yet, but added that we're starting to hear her big voice that the judges loved in Hollywood.

Aaron Kelly ('Angie'). I wasn't sure about this song because it's kind of for an older singer, if you listen to the lyrics (we'll see if Kara mentions it). But Aaron does a fantastic job, and you can tell the audience is going a little wild over it. Randy loved the tender moments in his voice and compared him to Justin Timberlake. Ellen said he's trying to copy her hairdo. She loved the song choice, and his and Siobhan's performances are the stand-outs. Kara called it "very powerful," and Simon felt he chose the exact right song. "You sang the song within the limits of your vocals ... you haven't got a big voice, but it was in tune mostly and believable, and I think it was one of your strongest performances so far." Aaron is definitely a bit of a dark horse here. I think he could actually win this competition.

Crystal Bowersox ('You Can't Always Get What You Want').
Her dad served as her "roadie" when she was growing up, and he got emotional talking about Crystal saying she loved him -- even as a teenager! Once again, she proved herself to be a natural performer, and someone who could easily be doing concerts and albums right now. Randy didn't think it was her best performance, but he continues to love her. Ellen said she's born to be on stage, and she started to see a bit more personality again. Kara said Crystal is very comfortable onstage, and Simon said that while it was great, he felt Siobhan had the better performance tonight. Crystal said she's never felt like she's got the contest in the bag (as Simon suggested).

Sound off in the comments below. Who were your favorites and least favorites? Who do you think should go home?

Which of the Top 12 gave the best performance?
Didi Benami51 (4.4%)
Siobhan Magnus534 (46.6%)
Paige Miles12 (1.0%)
Lee Dewyze76 (6.6%)
Casey James35 (3.1%)
Tim Urban31 (2.7%)
Crystal Bowersox257 (22.4%)
Michael Lynche23 (2.0%)
Lacey Brown11 (1.0%)
Aaron Kelly70 (6.1%)
Andrew Garcia15 (1.3%)
Katie Stevens32 (2.8%)

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I don't understand Crystal. She hasn't been the most exuberant person, but her voice overcame the lack of personality. But last week and this week she comes across as sullen and quite unlikeable. I realize she was traumatized that her good friend Lilly did not make the grade, but Crystal's persona is really not helping her. Simon said it right when he stated she shouldn't think she's got it locked up. I thought Siobhan really knocked it out of the park. We'll see tonight.

March 17 2010 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lee was my favorite performance last night. I think Siobhan will get gimmicky after awhile if she continue to scream out her notes after every performance. Crystal performance was ok but all her performance are beginning to sound alike. I didn't like Didi performance like the judges did last night. Her performance last week was much better. Katie was doing good at the beginning but her performance start going downhill at the end. I liked Paige performance last night and believe if she chose the right song she can last 3-4 more weeks.

Mike, Casey, and Aaron performance was ok and they should be safe this week. I rewatched Aaron performance but still didn't love the performance like the judges. The bottom 2 should be Lacey and Tim. I liked Tim ideal of making the song reggae but I think his execution was bad. Tim did not sound good singing the song at all. For the last couple of weeks Lacey has bored me. I think she will be going home in the next 2 weeks.

I wished the 4 that was sent home last week would have been here instead of Lacey, Tim, Aaron, and Katie. I am probably in the minority but I would rather see Todrick rendition of some of the Stones songs than the other four.

March 17 2010 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am by no means a music-expert, I just know what I like or don't and based upon that critieria, I thought Tim did okay with his song. I admit I was (and still am) a Alex Lambert fan and would have preferred him over Tim to in the top 12. I really like Siobhan but didn't necessarily enjoy ALL of this performance...the softer parts yes, the screaming parts NO! I was really surprised with Aaron's performance. He did pretty good and I am one of few Idol fans that think the age limit should be raised too. But all in all...BOWERSOX all the way!

March 17 2010 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I guess it's just me, but I am not a fan of the screaming equals rock music thing some have going on. Siobhan, sorry just couldn't get into it. I LOVE that song, and I thought it was boring, and that note near the end...screaming doesn't do much for me.

Maybe I am alone, but I really dug Lee's version of "Beast of Burden" I thought it was him. Crystal is always great, and again, I am alone here I think...but I didn't think Tim that bad!

But I agree, didn't like the theme at all.

March 17 2010 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil Leitch

All I know is that the two young kids shouldn't even be on. They have zero chance of actually winning and the longer they stay means somebody more deserving has to leave. I don't know if Lily would have won but she was much better than either of those kids.

Idol needs to make the minimum age 18. The only thing that keeps the kids in is that people think they are cute and vote for them because they feel sorry for the poor kid.

Overall last night was horrendous. I actually like Tim's reggae take. Crystal was great. Lee was pretty good. Siobhan was okay but she looks so crazy when she sings.

March 17 2010 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know about anyone else, but I was really annoyed by all of the "fan section" waving their arms around and the camera angle that seemed to show those arms all the time. I know they've had that section for a while, but it seemed much more obnoxious this time around.

March 17 2010 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really thought last night's theme sucked. I am sick of the Rolling Stones. I really liked Crystal's version- her voice is so cool and distinctive. I thought it was great. Everyone else fell short and was pitchy and screechy.
Ryan trying to be tough was sick.
Some notes were painful to hear and my dog ran for cover.

March 17 2010 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last week I tried calling the number for Alex 41 minutes after the show ended and I kept getting busy signals and he's gone.

March 17 2010 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last night was the first "wow" moment for me with Siobhan's performance. I don't want her to scream every week (I got tired of that with Adam), but once in a while, if it's done right, it can be amazing. Tonight it was.

I don't think anyone was bad this week, but for me, Lacey and Tim are still the weak links.


March 17 2010 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Funny, the only 2 I voted for last night was Siobhan and Tim and Tim had almost as many busy signals as Siobhan.

March 17 2010 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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