Saturday, April 17, 2010

American Idol Preview
Top Seven

Okay, I know I've been ignoring American Idol for the past few weeks. After an outstanding week two weeks ago, the contestants seemed to take a step backwards during "Elvis week" this past Tuesday night. Although, in their defense, Elvis is hard to make current.

Two weeks ago, the judges utilized their one, and only, save of the season - keeping Michael Lynche, after a decent performance of "Eleanor Rigby." In my view, however, I really felt this was a mistake. While I agree that Big Mike is better than two or three of the remaining contestants, because it's highly unlikely he can win it all, using the save on him may come back to haunt the show. I still remember, back in Season 3, when Fantasia was in the bottom three with LaToya London and Jennifer Hudson (Hudson was eliminated that night, much to the shock and disgust of many, many viewers).

What happens if, for whatever reason, Crystal Bowersox finds herself facing elimination? While she is not my personal favorite, she is the one who seems most likely to win. If she is eliminated, will the show survive? Well, yeah it will. But it will be a huge black mark - reminiscent of Hudson's and Chris Daughtry's early, shocking eliminations.

This week, "Idol Gives Back" returns after a year hiatus. I suppose I will watch at least the contestants singing. I'm not excited about seeing the President (yet again), but I have no issue with his appearance. Still, the theme is going to be "inspirational songs." The show has already been the most boring of the recent years - so adding on to that will only be painful to watch.

On the other hand, I have seen tremendous improvement in some of the competitors. Tim Urban was an absolute joke, just a few weeks ago. But while he is close to the end of his line, he hasn't been half bad. Casey James had a true Idol moment a week ago, when he blew away John Lennon's "Jealous Guy." This put Casey back into the thick of things.

So here is my list of the top seven:

7. Aaron Kelley -- Aaron is a nice kids, with a nice voice. I actually think he could become a decent country music artist one day. But his inability/unwillingness to change up the arrangements will cause him to be eliminated within the next couple of weeks.

6. Tim Urban -- Tim has been getting better every week. But like Aaron, he is unable to change things up. He's less talented than Aaron, but has become more popular, due to the constant abuse he receives from the judges.

5. Michael Lynche -- Big Mike was very fortunate to be saved last week. However, even though he was not in the bottom three last week, he still only has a limited amount of support. While Mike has a nice voice, his personality comes across very strongly. In addition, he has made some arrogant comments that have alienated voters, as well.

4. Casey James -- At the beginning, I wondered whether or not Casey advanced to the top 12 because of his looks (and Kara's slobbering). After a few weeks, I agreed he deserved to be there, but was destined for a week 2 or 3 elimination. But then came his rendition of "Jealous Guy" and all that has changed. Can he keep up the momentum?

3. Lee Dewyze -- Lee is also getting better and better. Should he make it to the finals, which is a decent possibility, he is probably the only one who can defeat Crystal. He still needs to develop greater sense of self-belief. But he is this years' David Cook - and we all remember how well he did.

2. Siobhan Mangus -- I find Siobhan to be the most interesting contestant this year. She is certainly the most quirky. What I like best about her is her ability to creat Idol moments every time she steps on the stage. While she has not been as remarkable as she had been earlier, I found both her "Across the Universe" and "Suspicious Minds" to be pretty darn good. I don't think she can beat Crystal, although she is my personal favorite.

1. Crystal Bowersox -- Crystal is the clear front-runner. It's obvious the judges feel that way, as they have refrained from criticizing any aspect of her performances. Personally, I agree that she is the most seasoned. However, my problem with her is that she doesn't change up the arrangements. When she took on Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee," it sounded just like a radio performance by the original artist. While flawless, it was unoriginal.

I'll try to post American Idol reviews every Saturday night - at least until I develop a social life.

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