Tuesday, March 23, 2010

American Idol Review
Top 11

I haven't done this in a couple of years, but I'm in the mood. So here we go...

Lee Dewyze -- The Letter

Lee's performance was the best one I've heard from him, since the competition began. He showed less fear and more comfort on the stage. I was most impressed with his use of the horn section, which was more like Joe Cocker's version. GRADE: B+

Paige Miles -- Against All Odds

This was a disaster, from beginning to end. Paige started out below pitch and somehow managed to stray above and below throughout the painful performance. This may have been the worst performance I've seen and heard in years. GRADE: F

Tim Urban -- Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Tim is who Tim is. I believe his biggest issue this week was the song he chose. It may have worked better, had he attempted Dwight Yoakam's version of the song. Instead, he tried to dance and play to the girls in the front. Tim isn't going very far in this competition. But Paige is probably going to save him this week. GRADE: D+

Aaron Kelley - I Don't Want To Miss a Thing

In all fairness to Aaron, he was suffering from laryngitis, and therefore unable to sing as well as he could. Still, he sang the song well and he picked a good, if not boring, song for himself. He has a nice sound to his voice, accented with a bit of a country twang. But he still seems way too young on stage. GRADE: B-

Crystal Bowersox -- Me and Bobby McGee

Crystal is exceptionally talented. That's why I was not as impressed with her choice of song as the panel was. Yes, she sang it impeccably and looked like a star on stage. But where was the surprise? Where was the challenge? If I wanted to hear the song exactly as it sounds on the radio, I'd have turned on the radio. GRADE: A-

Michael Lynche -- When a Man Loves a Woman

Boy, oh boy. This was not good, Dawg. I'm beginning to bore with Mike's mugging for the camera and cheesiness. I agreed with the panel that he chose the wrong song. It wasn't horrible, but it was forgettable. GRADE: C

Andrew Garcia -- Heard it Through The Grapevine

Excuse me, but what has happened to our original front-runner? Yeah, the judges over-played Garcia's Paula Abdul impression. But since then, Andrew has gotten progressively worse. When I watch him, I wonder if he knows what the lyrics mean. Every week is the same and I believe - if nothing else changes - he has perhaps 1-2 weeks left in this competition. GRADE: D

Katie Stevens -- Big Girls Don't Cry

There is no question that Katie is improving each week. I still believe she should not have made it out of the top 16. But her rendition of Fergie's #1 hit was nothing special. But it wasn't bad, either. She's safe for another few weeks. But in years past, she would have been gone by now. GRADE: C+

Casey James -- The Power of Love

My biggest beef with the panel is that they are so inconsistent. Simon was correct - "it was like listening to an 80's cover band." It's hard to take Kara seriously when she critiques Casey. I also felt that Casey (like Crystal) did nothing to the song to make it his own. Was it bad? No, not at all. But as Simon might say, it was like listening to an amatuer band on any given night of the week. GRADE: B-

Didi Benami -- You're No Good

So Didi does Broadway. At least it seemed like this came from a Broadway musical, anyway OMG, Simon just said the same thing). Did has a very distinctive voice and for the past couple of weeks, she has displayed a talent for cat-like style. And it almost suits her. Almost. GRADE: B-

Siobhan Magnus -- Superstition

Okay, what's up with the hair? But man, oh man. She is very, very good. Similar to Adam Lambert last year, Siobhan is the one competitor who I look most forward to each week. It would be a shame for her not to be in the final two. I thought tonight was another outstanding performance - regardless of Simon's deep love for Crystal. GRADE: A

All told, this was not a particularly good week, Idol fans. It goes without saying that this group is not nearly as talented as it was a year ago. While I enjoy Ellen's humor, I don't find she adds anything more than a quick quip before always agreeing with Randy. I am impressed with Kara - well, at at least more than I was a year ago. She seems to be more confident in her comments, which is a welcome sign. Simon is, well, Simon. Although, I do get the sense that he knows he has one foot out the door.

I'll still keep watching - if at least to watch how Crystal, Siobhan, Didi and Lee do. But if the producers wish to keep this franchise working, they need to do better next year.

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