Thursday, April 01, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 26: Performances

I'm getting ready to tell you all something that's going to be shocking: I missed the first hour of American Idol Tuesday night because I was hanging out with my friends! I know! And the funny thing is, even though I tell Cathryn that the first rule of our house on Tuesday nights is Thou Shalt Not Disturb Mommy While She Is Watching American Idol, I wasn't even slightly upset about it. Believe it or not, there are more important things in this world than American Idol.

This is what I've gleaned from Ryan Seacrest's end-of-show recap and What Not To Sing:

Siobhan Magnus sang a very off-key version of Chaka Khan's "Through The Fire" but I loved her braid. I've been completely obsessed with braids for the last couple months. Haven't worn a braid since Monday, though, when my hairstylist worked her magic fingers in my hair.

Casey James treated us to another power performance, singing "Hold On" by Sam & Dave.

Michael Lynche is still solid, this time bringing his guitar back to the stage to sing India.Arie's "Ready For Love".

Did DiDi Benami just sing the same three notes over and over again in her rendition of Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of The Broken Hearted"?

Tim Urban made the fatal mistake of singing a beautiful song that he had no business singing--"Sweet Love" by Anita Baker.

I turned the TV on just in time to see Randy, Ellen, Kara, and Simon ripping Tim apart on stage. Well, I take that back. Simon wasn't really ripping him apart. Simon verbalized what we've all been thinking: it doesn't matter how much Tim stinks it up on stage, he's going to continue to stay in the competition because Grandmas and little girls like his smile.

Andrew Garcia, who before the commercial break was waving at us from the balcony like he was Forrest Gump, chose to do an acoustic version of Chris Brown's song "Forever". At first, I was immensely worried. But, then I got to see the week's mentor, Usher, work his magic on Andrew. He immediately recognized that Andrew was over-thinking and overworking his arrangements and performances. When Andrew began to play his guitar and sing, all I could say was "whoa." This was the Andrew we saw so many weeks ago. It was a phenomenal performance. Usher really brought out the best in him, and I hope this is a trend that continues.

Also, how awesome and adorable was Andrew's mom? You could tell that Simon adored her.

Why did Katie Stevens choose to wear a jumper? I had to wear them when I was like four, and I still hate them. It's very difficult to go to the bathroom and they're terribly unflattering. Here Katie is, cute as a button, singing Aretha Franklin's "Chain Of Fools" and looking bottom heavy when we all know that she's not! I loved watching her sing this song. She carried around enough attitude for the whole cast. I was half-expecting her to cut her eyes at the judging panel. I had to agree with the judges' assessment, though. Her vocals were beautiful but she once again chose an older song instead of something current.

Lee Dewyze sang "Treat Her Like a Lady" by The Temptations. Usher, once again proving himself to be the coolest guy on the planet, called hearing Lee's version 'a treat'. That bodes well for his chances in the competition, since he seems to be getting better all the time as his confidence grows. Speaking of Lee's confidence issue, Usher picked up on that, and played therapist to him. Once again, Usher worked his Fonz-like cool-guy magic because this turned out to be one of Lee's best performances, if not his best. Lee sang not like he was in competition, but like he was in concert, and that's always a good thing.

Crystal Bowersox wore stilettos. If that wasn't enough to blow your mind, she also sat down at a piano to sing the first verse of Gladys Knight & the Pips very excellent song "Midnight Train to Georgia", then stood up and held the mic in her hand. No guitar! I kind of missed it, though. I was surprised to hear that this was her song choice, because Gladys Knight is about as far away from Janis Joplin as you can get, but when Crystal began to sing, it all made sense. This song has the same longing as "Bobby McGee", and that kind of song really suits her. She hit notes I didn't know were in her register. She really is the most amazing singer. My only wish is that she's gone for just the strapless dress and had left the shrug behind because it made her shoulders seem too wide.

Aaron Kelly closed out the show with Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine", a song most recently hit out of the park by our reigning American Idol, Kris Allen. I don't think I'd choose a song so fresh in everyone's memory, because everyone is going to compare it to Kris's performance. Listening to him sing, you could really tell that nerves had him, because the beginning of the song was very shaky. This is such a passionate song, but it seemed that the performance was completely passionless. Usher, who by now we know is full of wisdom, gave Aaron advice on how to sing the most important part of the song, but he completely ignored it. I didn't hear any of that desire or longing in his voice that this song calls for. In short, Aaron Kelly is no Kris Allen, even if they have the same initials, only backwards.

From what I saw, we had a lot of solid performances last night, but those performances only highlighted the contestants who are clearly not in the running for the title of American Idol 2010. Every contestant could have benefited from Usher's considerable knowledge in both the Soul/R&B genre arena, as well as the performance aspect, and those that are in the running for winning this whole thing really took his advice to heart. I hope they bring Usher back, and soon. Or maybe someone can give him his own reality show, Performance Clinics with Dr. Usher. I would totally watch that.

Can't name a bottom three, because I didn't see the entire show.

Results Wednesday night!


No comments: