Wednesday, April 21, 2010

American Idol Season 9, Episode 32: Performances

Ugh. Do y'all know how much I just wanted to throw in the towel after last night's episode and just give you all a one-word synopsis for each performance? For starters, the "Inspirational Songs" theme has never given us much inspiration. Like, what does "inspirational" mean anyway? It can mean religious songs, or songs like "Man In The Mirror" that make want to be a better person. Or, you know, Peggy Lee's "I Enjoy Being A Girl", because I find clothes and makeup inspiring. And books. But I don't think there are any songs about books. Except the theme to Reading Rainbow.

By the way, the theme wasn't "Inspirational Songs", but rather "Idol Gives Back: Songs of Inspiration" as Ryan was so nice to inform me, and the mentor was Alicia Keyes.

This is American Idol!

Casey James opened the show with Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop". The vocal was good. He played his guitar well. It was a solid performance, but probably my least favorite of his. It just felt like it was missing...something. Randy was right when he said that his performances are beginning to get repetitive.

Lee Dewyze sang "The Boxer" by Simon & Garfunkel. A song like this is quite a departure for him, but I'm glad he took the risk. He's getting more and more comfortable on stage and with his role on the show. It's pretty great, sitting here and watching him blossom as an artist. He took the song and really made it his own. Every song he sings sounds like it either belongs on his CD or like something he would sing in concert.

Tim Urban brought his guitar out again with The Goo Goo Dolls' "Better Days". All through Alicia's tutelage of Tim, I kept wondering if he was going to continue his trend of improving slowly with each performance. Sadly, or not, depending on where you stand on the whole Tim Urban issue, last night's performance did not earn a grade of "exceeds expectations". You could tell that he was really into singing that song, but I just really couldn't tell if he sang it well or not. I didn't hate it, but is that good enough?

Soup of the day? Where does Ellen get this stuff? Her brain fascinates me.

Four performances in, and I am bored to TEARS. My screensaver is more interesting to watch than American Idol last night, especially Aaron Kelly's rendition of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly". He was up there on that stage singing his little heart out, and I couldn't muster any emotion stronger than "Meh". Maybe it's the head cold I'm getting, but probably not.

Ryan, Alicia, and Siobhan all told us that she was singing "When You Believe" by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, but I didn't hear a word over that wood-nymph creation she was wearing. Good mother Mary of mercy, the girl had butterflies perched on twigs wrapped around her arms, various types of leaves and fauna pasted across the bodice, and shoes that resembled tree bark crawling up her shins. It was like Mother Nature had flown in and was now a contestant on American Idol. I remember hearing some high notes and some big notes, but I couldn't hear the words over her dress.

Michael Lynche hasn't taken the rock route in a while, and hearing him sing "Hero" by Nickleback is refreshing. I'm not sure that we've heard him sing a song like this since the first week of the Top 24. Did Tim and Mike go shopping together? Because they're both wearing black long-sleeved henleys and black jeans. And playing guitars. Good gravy, Michael has a voice on him. I love it when he belts his notes out--he takes that note, digs around into and makes it his new home.

Wisely, they had the most exciting performer, Crystal Bowersox, close the show with an amazing version of "People Get Ready". Crystal completely turned my world upside down by not only going almost completely acapella, and decided to not have an instrument during her performance, but also wearing a gown! No, not a nightgown, but a red-carpet event worthy evening gown! My mind, it was fully blown. Almost like I had watched Shutter Island again. It really made sense for her to sing "People Get Ready" last night, transitioning from the uptempo Elvis song "Saved", both of which have an overtly gospel sound. Allow me a total fangirl moment: OMG SHE IS AMAZING!!! Thank you. Sometimes it's difficult to come up with a more astute description of their performances other than, you know, "OMG AMAZING" and "OMG SUCKS GO HOOOOOME ALREADY". But, because I love all you, I search for things to say. Back to Crystal's performance--she is breathtakingly talented, and her breaking down at the end really accented the performance and drove home the emotion that she was feeling. She totally, totally owned that song and made everyone else look like an amateur. Yes, even Micheal and Lee, whom I both really like.

I don't have much of a summary except to say that Alicia was not a very effective mentor, and that last night's show was a gaping sinkhole of charisma, with ONE notable exception. UGH.

Bottom Three: Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly, Siobhan Magnus

Possibly going home: Honestly, I just really don't care as long as it's not Crystal, Lee, or Michael.

Tonight--results and another gasping stinkfest of "Idol Gives Back".


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