'American Idol' - 'Top 9 Compete ... Again' Recap

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 14th 2010 4:08AM
American Idol, Casey James, Elvis Week"My tongue is not nearly as talented as yours." - Ryan Seacrest to Adam Lambert

It was an interesting night on 'American Idol,' as that statement suggests. Obviously, Ryan was talking about Adam's tongue action while singing, but when he said it, Adam's eyebrows went up. He and Ryan would make a cute couple, wouldn't they?

Anyway, Ryan's mom was in the audience, too, which made things even more interesting. That and the fact that after Big Mike's save last week -- which I'm thankful for -- the Idols are definitely feeling the pressure. Two -- count 'em, two -- people will be sent packing this week.

Based on the performances, I'm guessing they won't be the ones we predict. Meaning that Tim Urban and Andrew Garcia will still be here after tonight. Ok, maybe not Andrew.

The theme this week is Elvis, and the mentor is Adam Lambert. What a great combination! The Top Nine took a field trip to Vegas to grab the Elvis vibe and meet with Adam. There's a lot to love about Adam, including his 3-foot high hair (totally glambert), his inspired advice to the Idols, and the fact that he's this fun-loving guy off-stage and fierce entertainer onstage. He's the perfect former Idol to offer advice, because he's been through the mill and knows the drill.

Before I launch into the performances, what was up with Ryan's Brian Dunkleman reference? He was talking about 'Idol Gives Back,' then said Dunkleman would be hosting, then said no, he's just kidding and Queen Latifah was the host. It was all very weird. By the way, check out Patricia Chui's interview with Dunkleman. Good stuff. Now, for the performances...

Crystal Bowersox, 'Saved.' Adam suggested she rock the (totally bedazzled) electric guitar, and I loved it. Randy loved it, too, calling it "the second coming of Bonnie Raitt." Simon said he could personally relate to the lyrics about lying and cheating, and he loved that she chose a song that suited her. "It was original, it sounded great, and congratulations once again."

Andrew Garcia, 'Hound Dog.' After hearing him during rehearsal, Adam flat out told him it was boring and he needed to step it up. He did ... sort of. His version was a little slower than I'm used to hearing, but I liked it. He looked like he was making out with the mic, but Kara thought he was using it as a crutch. Randy called it karaoke, and Ellen was hoping for a little more swagger. Simon said "it was like you see in some of these musicals, there's always the one part which nobody really wants to see and hear, and that was the part." He added that all of Andrew's coolness is being sucked out of him right now. Well, that's harsh.

Tim Urban, 'Can't Help Falling in Love With You.'
Adam encouraged Tim to use his falsetto at the end, which he didn't do, but it would have been pretty. I also liked the guitar work. Randy said, "This may surprise you, right? I actually liked it." Ellen compared it to doing shots of tequila, and Kara said it was her favorite Tim performance ever. Simon said nice things, too: "You've managed to go from zero to hero in two weeks ... you don't need much. You, the guitar, good song, very clean arrangement, you're growing in confidence, and you've taken the advice really really well from us. Congratulations." Mark my words, Tim could be the last one standing.

Lee DeWyze, 'A Little Less Conversation.'
Adam encouraged him to smile, connect with the audience, and actually "perform." He's not in the studio, after all, he's in front of a live audience. This is one of my favorite songs, and it's slower than the Elvis version, but he definitely puts his spin on it. There's not much range in the song, so he can't really show off. But Lee has that raspy rocker voice that works well with just about anything. Randy called him "in the zone." Ellen said it sounded like a brand new song, and Kara was glad he went for it, but wants him to be more playful and looser. Simon asked what the hell she was talking about, because Lee nailed the song. I get what she's saying, though; Lee is pretty intense. You sort of grit your teeth when you're watching him onstage.

American Idol, Siobhan Magnus, Elvis WeekAaron Kelly, 'Blue Suede Shoes.'
Aaron said the song was probably wrong for him in every possible way, but I still loved it. I'm rooting for both Aaron and Katie. Randy liked when he broke into the half-time in the middle, Ellen thought it was a big song but he did a good job, and Kara said, "You're out of your comfort zone, and I like it." Simon called it karaoke, like Aaron was playing dress-up.

Siobhan Magnus, 'Suspicious Minds.' It was fun seeing Adam and Siobhan together. They should do a renegades tour together, although I wasn't crazy about her performance. As usual, she got conflicting advice from the judges, ranging from Ellen liking the bigger voice to Simon saying it seemed like she went back in time 20 years. I agree that it sounded very screechy and erratic. "I kind of feel like you've lost who you were two or three weeks ago," said Simon. Siobhan defended herself, saying she doesn't think it's necessary to be labeled as a particular type of singer. Ok, I'm down with that, but your performances have to be top notch every time, and this one wasn't.

Michael Lynche, 'In the Ghetto.' Michael has that same thing Crystal has -- they're just natural born performers, very comfortable on stage. I've never been a fan of this song, but after hearing Michael sing it, it's ok. I like the little Aaron Neville runs he puts in there. Randy thought the song was a little sleepy, but said the vocals were hot. The other judges loved it, and Simon called it one of his favorite Michael performances.

Katie Stevens, 'Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do.' Katie continues to surprise me every week. Her vocals are always spot on, she looks great, and her performance tonight was gutsy and edgy. And you can't go wrong with a one-four-five blues progression. Randy loved it, Ellen called it "horny" (because of all the horns!), Kara said Katie showed the judges, and Simon called it loud and annoying. Really, Simon? It's a classic blues song. Lighten up, old man.

Casey James, 'Lawdy, Miss Clawdy.'
This performance reminded me of Bo Bice. It was fun, funky and had me chair-dancing while I was typing. Randy called it another solid performance, Ellen said it wasn't as exciting as she'd like (wtf?), Kara said it fell short, and Simon thought the song was forgettable, although the vocals were good. Oh pish posh, judges.

My favorites tonight were Crystal Bowersox, Katie Stevens, and Casey James. What say you, Idol fans?

Who gave the best performance on 'American Idol' last night?
Crystal Bowersox480 (40.2%)
Michael Lynche91 (7.6%)
Aaron Kelly21 (1.8%)
Katie Stevens79 (6.6%)
Tim Urban150 (12.6%)
Siobhan Magnus52 (4.4%)
Casey James65 (5.4%)
Lee DeWyze242 (20.3%)
Andrew Garcia14 (1.2%)

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It's Crystal and Casey in the finals, unless Tim slides through, which would be a sin, because if he somehow pulls a victory out of this season, it WILL be the final season of American Idol.

April 14 2010 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can understand why they asked Adam...he's a good entertainer. He kept trying to make songs fresh, his theatre background taught him how to own the stage, he has a good voice, and he's still relevant. I don't think many of the idols who won had all of the above. I thought he did well, most of the advice was about presenting yourself on stage and changing a song, which I thought was good for group.

April 14 2010 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Andrew is definitely going tonight. In my opinion Big Mike is one of the best singers they have, however I don't think he has enough fans to keep him in the game. It may be the end for him. The majority of voters are teeny boppers who can't appreciate what he has to offer.

Tim surprisingly will get through yet again. He actually did ok last night and I agreed with Adam suggesting the falsetto in the end. He should have done it, it would have made it even better.

If Mike does get through, then one of the girls will leave.

April 14 2010 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they got Adam to mentor because he resembles Elvis a little bit and perhaps since he had gone through the whole American Idol experience felt that he could suggest a few things to these contestants. I think he did a fair job. Aretha Franklin has been on a couple of shows saying she would love to be a mentor, but they have not asked her.

April 14 2010 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marsha's comment

Maybe the producers are afraid she would eat one of them. Or wear one as a hat.

April 14 2010 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Despite what the last person commented I thought that Adam was by far the best mentor they have had on idol in a long time. Especially after the Miley fiasco a few weeks ago. Now can we please get rid of Katie and Aaron who are just not good........

April 14 2010 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I the only one to wonder why the HELL an Idol 2nd place finisher - not even a winner, a *loser* - came back to mentor? And from just last season?!? He's put out a grand total of one album, and it's had lackluster sales *at best*. It's disgusting the way they slurped this guy last year. He was good a couple of times, but never really great, and screechy many other times with the screaming. This is what they want their Idol contestants to model themselves after? And I thought Miley Cyrus mentoring was a new low for Idol. Sheesh.

April 14 2010 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think last night was one of Idol's more interesting episodes this season. Proven contestants like Crystal, Casey, and Lee continued to perform, but the more interesting surprise was Tim and Katie - who I think both gave really solid performances. Looks like Andrew, Michael, and Aaron should be nervous tonight. http://thesmogger.com/2010/04/14/idol-hangover-the-still-top-9-perform/

April 14 2010 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorites of the night were Lee, Tim (WHAT?!) and Crystal (in that order). My least favorites of the night, and the ones I think deserve to be in the bottom 3 tonight are Katie "I try too hard" Stevens, Aaron "No Creavitive Bone in My Bony Body" Kelly and Andrew "I Pick My Nose In Public To Show My Personality" Garcia.

I wouldn't mind seeing any combination of those 3 go home this week, but I'm hoping Andrew is one of them.

And for the first I actually liked Ryan Seacrest, maybe it's because his mama was there, and he actually let go of his "cool persona" for at least half the time he was on camera.


April 14 2010 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Andrew and Aaron should totally leave. Aaron was out of his comfort zone, and unlike Kara, I did not like it. I've never been a fan, but for me, tonight was terrible. Andrew has been such a huge disappointment, he's so much better than he's showing on stage (check him out on youtube) but even though I think he's got more to offer, I'm bored of waiting for it. Katie's performance made me want to laugh, the whole "frustration" at the judges came across like a little girl stamping her feet, in my personal opinion. As ever, Crystal was completely in a league of her own and I've got to admit it, Tim wasn't too far behind. I've said it before - I think there are people who are more problematic than he is and who should go first. Big Mike was also really good - I'd never heard the song before but it felt like it could've been written today. The others were much of a muchness of me, didn't love, didn't hate.

April 14 2010 at 9:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ok so these is my favorites I hope these three are the last standing...Crystal blows us away every week she has it.....Lee is another solid performance each week love his voice and he is adorable....and Casey is as solid as it gets.I love his voice too...and he is eye candy.....sorry everyone else for me are okay but not as good as the three I picked..

April 14 2010 at 8:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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