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
Simon Fuller (based upon "Pop
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of 12: The Rolling Stones
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
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
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
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
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
Sending us out of the first half is Katie
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...
OUT: LACEY BROWN
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
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"...
OUT: LACEY BROWN.
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.