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In the world's ultimate talent search - where the eyes of a nation are upon the best undiscovered singers in the country, where the audience has the power to make or break you, and where a million-dollar recording contract is on the line, there is only one rule: If you can sing it, bring it.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Host Ryan Seacrest
Judges Simon Cowell
Ellen DeGeneres
Kara DioGuardi
Randy Jackson
Creator Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop Idol")
EP Ken Warwick
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
Simon Fuller
Packager 19 TV & FremantleMedia North America
Origins CBS Television City, Los Angeles
Web americanidol.com
Airs 8p Tues & 9p Wed, Fox
Available In High-Definition Where AvailableStreaming Online

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Web design by Jason Elliott. Logo by Chico Alexander. 

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Round of 12: The Rolling Stones
March 16

Like many people in Bergen County, NJ, Haterade was a victim of the power outage. As he, the Chairman, and the Block celebrate the Stones with the Idols, who gets to join him by seeing their microphone go off, permanently?
Special thanks to Chico Alexander and Jason Block for covering what I missed this week (though I did see a bunch of the show, which turned into all of the show at 6am thanks to my parents' DVR). As for who wrote what...you'll never know. Ha ha ha ha ha. :)

This is where things get serious, according to Ryan Seacrest (so apparently, the shattering of dreams from 12 hopefuls weren't serious enough, eh?) Join Haterade as he tries to figure out who gets shattered this week. 

This week's theme? The Rolling Stones. 

Michael Lynche, 
starts the ball rolling with 'Miss You', which he will be dedicating tonight to his deceased mom. And yes, we finally see the bouncing baby. 
The Good - I liked what he did with the arrangement, slowing it down and throwing in a jazzy R&B hook to it. He's a lot more lively on that stage, which helps his presences and performance. 
The Bad - Maybe TOO lively. He prances around the stage like it was time for Michael Lynche's work out. This week: leg stomps and flexes, as he looked like a bouncing weeble. 
The Jason - He turns a rock/disco anthem into a soulful, yearning, upbeat, fun, bouncy tune. Very good choice of song, and the risk paid off. The show is off to a decent start.
The Verdict - The dancing was corny, but the performance was good. I'm not sure Ryan's histrionics with Simon afterwards is going to help Michael, but he should be safe tonight. 

Didi Benami's 
mom is NOT in the audience this evening, because she doesn't want to hear the judges crucify poor Didi. So I guess, ironically, the song is 'Play With Fire', huh? Will there be any crucifying tonight? 
The Good - I love her tone on this song. This is her best tone and it's her best emotion that she has delivered in any of her performances. Didi had some serious emotion there in a pretty good song choice, and it results in one of her best performances yet. You can tell that came from a place...
The Bad - ... if only the pitch came from the same place. It's a bit sharp to start. But the judges were right. When she pushes, she loses her way a bit. Her pitch was way off in the beginning and low register. Once again, I thought it was the wrong song choice because I don't know it, nor does America. And unfortunately for her, though I didn't realize the had a lyrical flub, Ellen did, and she had no problems pointing it out to the rest of America. 
The Jason - This is a great performance. She played to the camera with an angry look, and she hit most of the money notes. But the only problem is that is NOT a well known Stones song. That being said, I liked it. A lot. 
The Verdict - It was good. There wasn't anything bad with it. However, there was nothing memorable about it either, and I think because of that and how early she is in the show, she could have problems tomorrow. 

Casey James 
thanks his family for getting him through the tough times. He decides to sing 'It's All Over Now', which hopefully won't describe his chances this evening. 
The Good - He countrifies the song, which is the right thing to do. He sings it well, both technically and pitch-wise. He also plays the guitar... 
The Bad - ...Which I'm not sure was the right thing to do. You heard a lot of guitar, and yes he plays well, but for the second straight week, I think it detracted from his performance. Technically it was sound, but there was a lot to be desired, emotionally. I think he's once again playing it too safe, and I completely agree with Simon here. It was very static. He needs to showcase himself more. 
The Jason - Boo-yah. Playing to his strengths, he takes a blues rock song and just absolutely killed it. Aaron Kelly needs to blow him out of the water, if he is going to stay on the show. 
The Verdict - I didn't think it was as fantastic as the judges did. There was something missing from that performance. However, the song choice will get his fan base screaming to the phone lines, and at this stage, it's more than adequate. He has to pick up his game though, because in a month, it won't be adequate enough. 

Lacey Brown, 
straight from Texas, gives us some 'Ruby Tuesday'. Is this going to be rosy or ruddy? 
The Good - It's a good song choice and a good arrangement... 
The Bad - But what in the world came out of her mouth? The rhythms were terrible, the diction was awful, and thepitch was way off. It felt like I overate at the restaurant of the same name and I was hearing that over the loudspeakers while praying to the porcelain goddess. 
The Jason - The first bad performance of the night. Flat, emotionless, and too bouncy for this song. And her voice was too sunny and happy for this song. And wow on that end note. 
The Verdict - This was more like Terrible Tuesday, which could turn into woeful Wednesday. Good singers think about their vocals. GREAT singers KNOW their vocals. She can put more into it, but I doubt that America will give her that chance. 

Andrew Garcia's 
father was a musician. Whether it's collecting keys or going at it on the acoustic, he wants to be "known for something". Hopefully it won't be "that guy who completely bombed 'Gimme Shelter' and was voted out first". 
The Good - ... he sings a song sung by a guy? Hey at least he got the right sex this week, so it has to count for something. 
The Bad - Very VERY flat. Very VERY off-putting tone. Very VERY shouty. Very VERY wrong choice. Or a right choice that didn't really connect. If Mick Jagger was in the audience, he would have come up on stage and put the El Kabong on Andrew with a real guitar, a la the Honky Tonk Man in the 1980's. And it would have been much more entertaining. 
The Jason - And the suck continues. He just was mouthing the words, and brought no passion and emotion to the song. He was overenunciating the words and it felt robotic. And he was straining on the high notes. 
The Verdict - Very VERY much vulnerable. We're going to see if YouTube Nation can overcome 11 other singers. 

Sending us out of the first half is Katie Stevens, 
who did everything but wow us during the semis. The judges' criticism: be young... be current... be youthful... so she sings "Wild Horses", a song made famous in the here and now by an old, frumpy Briton that Simon helped make famous. This is either inspired brilliance or sheer desperation. 
The Good - This is probably the first time since the audition that she actually took a decent song choice and actually DID something with it that wasn't half bad. And for the first time from Katie... a belt where one is called for. 
The Bad - It was too safe for me. I want her to challenge her vocal range. And the split screen made it seem like she was a floating head on the screen. Scary. 
The Jason - Will she be like Susan Boyle? The answer for the most part is yes. This was the first time in watching Katie that I felt a connection to her and the song. She sang herself back into the competition tonight. Her voice was on point and I liked it. 
The Verdict - She was pitchy at eight years old... and she wants to be American Idol?! All kidding aside, she's not back in the competition, but the difference between last week and this is night and day. She definitely avoided the danger zone she was in last week with that performance.

Starting Hour 2 of American Idol: Rolling Stones edition is the Comeback Kid Tim Urban. 
He wanted to be a professional athlete, but he was never tall enough. He'll always be part of the group known as "The Urban Family". Here's hoping that said family will not disown him after "Under My Thumb". 
The Good - He's got this down, Jamaican, style. He's actually singing this very very well. The best I've heard from him. And unlike Haeley Vaughn's rendition of I Want To Hold Your Hand, this sounded pretty good. 
The Bad - That being said, I wanted to crack open a Corona Light with this in the background and watch the end of The Office before going to American Idol for the Top 12. He performed it with the emotion of a dead fish (and they can't really sing anything, cause they're dead). It sort of sounded like a Jamaican version of Barnes and Barnes' Fish Heads. 'Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads'...) 
The Jason - WTF is this? A reggae version of this song makes no sense. And Urban is so NOT reggae it's laughable. His voice is fine, but this is all wrong, wrong, wrong.
The Verdict - He better hopes the audience eats them up, yum, because he could very well be eaten. I don't think he's out this week, but I do think you can make a spot for him in the Bottom 3. 

Siobhan Magnus 
comes from a huge artsy family. She's emerging as a dark horse early in the competition... but we've already done "Wild Horses" this week, so let's "Paint It, Black" 
The Good - She emotes through the song and makes sweet love to the camera. Like Kara, she reminds me of Adam Lambert, but in a good way. She's loud and performancy without being obnoxious. And most importantly, she shows emotion through her singing, and really paints the song. Andrew Garcia needs to take notes. 
The Bad - It was very.... very... slow and plodding to start. When it flips... not as slow... still plodding until the final verse... then it's back to plodding... then it's back to the way it should be. And the opening slow start made her look like Lady Gaga. No, that's NOT a compliment at all. The beginning was dark to the point of the lyrics not being recognizable. All we needed was a scary dancer vaulting across the stage and the transformation would have been complete. 
The Jason - The first half did nothing for me. But wow, that 2nd half was INSANELY good. What a money note, and this was a rock star performance in the making.
The Verdict - Wow. What a voice What a song. What a performance. Not only is she completely safe here, she is a very dangerous dark horse to win the whole thing. 

Lee DeWyze 
is improving by the week. The judges think so. Now can he prove it to him with 'Beast of Burden'? 
The Good - He's clearly more comfortable up there. He also doesn't have pitch problems that plaguesd him earlier. It was a great song choice, because it felt like a Bruce Springsteen/Dave Matthews vibe, which is a good place for him to be. 
The Bad - I agree with Ellen that he could have used some more energy. He mumbles the tail end of those lyrics, which makes me wonder if one of the burdens for him is remembering the lyrics. 
The Jason - Way safe of a performance. He did NOTHING to break out of the mold that he has put himself in. It was fine, and had a John Mayer /Uncle Kracker quality to it, but everything else...meh.
The Verdict - It's good... it could be better. It SHOULD have been better. It'll get him through no problem, but he's not doing himself any favors. 

Paige Miles 
has yet to give me a good performance. Could 'Honky Tonk Woman' be that song? 
The Good - I'll give her credit for maturing up on that stage. It's a female rockabilly song that will surely get her votes from that crowd. It's the best performance that I've seen from her.
The Bad - I said performance, NOT song. Very shaky to begin and she was pitchy throughout. She didn't solve the big problem... that is, the pitch is lost in the shuffle, and she hasn't done anything to set her apart from the pack. And the commando fatigues made her look like she's going after her honky tonk man with an elephant gun. 
The Jason - Where the hell was this for the last two weeks? Welcome back to the game, Paige. This is country rock at it best, and this is what brought Paige to the game in the business in the first place. Smart choice, and great performance. 
The Verdict - I don't like the choice of song at all, as it's like she's conceding the R&B vote to Michael Lynche. And if she's going after a rock and country vote against a VERY crowded field, she's going to have issues sooner than later. Paige is going to score a few votes off of the whole voice thing... But she needs to do something better. She's running out of lives (Minute-to-Win-It check).

Aaron Kelly 
is the only one to sing in the family. He has no idea where it comes from, but if he wants it to go on to next week, he's going to have to deliver with "Angie". 
The Good - He certainly challenged himself with that vocal range. I was expecting him to crack or have pitch issues. He did neither. It was a really nice performance. And like Randy said, he's got a Justin Timberlake image about him when he sings that sort of song.
The Bad - It's still not fundamentally perfect. Still a tad flat. He is starting to look like Ellen Degeneres' long lost son. If Ellen and Portia had a kid, it could look like Aaron. Spooky. 
The Jason - Aaron took a song that Mick Jagger wrote about David Bowie(or his wife depending on the legend) and turned it into a very good country song. He did more than enough to stay in the game this week. His voice was right there.
The Verdict - Aaron is starting to build up steam. He can be one to watch also. No issues this week and maybe the best male performance of the night. 

The evening ends with Crystal Bowersox 
singing some 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'. What I want is a good performance. I'm hoping I get it. 
The Good - She picked it up in the second half of the song. Once she got to the second verse, she let it fly, which is how she should have sung that song. Stop thinking, start performing. 
The Bad - The beginning was downright lethargic. During that point, she had pitch issues and she sounded vulnerable. And NEVER tell America that you think you have it in the bag, because they will turn on you quicker than Elin Nordegren turning Tiger Woods' vehicle into a piņata. 
The Jason - She slows down and twangs up this rock classic. This wasn't her best performance, but I liked her voice and her passion. She is coming back next week. 
The Verdict - The only two people who rocked it out tonight were Siobhan and Aaron. Crystal did not get what she wanted, but maybe the wake-up call is what she needed. 

Overall Verdict: You had some really good performances tonight. You had a few ok ones, and you had 3 really bad ones, which makes this easy.

Trouble: Lacey Brown, Tim Urban, Andrew Garcia

Tim Urban will get the surprisingly first call to the couch, which leaves us with the two weakest people in a very crowded genre: Andrew in pop, and Lacey with Singer-Songwriter. There's more singer-songwriters, so...


The Jason: This week, the song choices were the best overall this season. Most of the top 12 knew what they were doing. And most of them were singing to win. These three weren't however:

TROUBLE: Tim Urban, Andrew Garcia, Lacey Brown

Bottom 2 : Andrew Garcia, Lacey Brown. The run ends tonight for Mr. Garcia 

OUT: Andrew Garcia. 

The Chico: And now, by his satanic majesty's request (reference, kids... look it up)... the OVERALL... The Rolling Stones are easy to emulate, but hard to make your own. Those who did make it their own will have no problem sailing to next week. Those that didn't... gonna have a bit of trouble.

TROUBLE: Lacey Brown, Andrew Garcia, Tim Urban

There are far more pop singers than anyone else. That may be enough to save the lone rocker of the group, Andrew. As I said before, better on "American Idol" to be a thought than to be an afterthought. So the first person to hear Will Young's "Leave Right Now"...


Time will NOT be on someone's side in 24 hours. Hope to see you then.


To see this episode in its entirety, go to www.americanidol.com.