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
19 TV & FremantleMedia North
CBS Television City, Los
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of 11: Billboard #1 Hits
Why is tonight unlike any other night? Because it's a $100,000 ticket to go on
the American Idol tour that's on the line. 10 of them go and one of them
doesn't. Tune in to see which Idoler is going to see a lot of money go away.
The theme this week is #1 hits from Billboard Magazine
(1958). Any time between then and now. Any genre. Our mentor is...Miley Cyrus?
Really? Ms. Hannah Montana (who's dad had an Achy Breaky Heart) gets to show
the kids how to do better. unfortunately, she can't grow their vocal chords
for them. Miley's advice is to connect to their fans. 'I don't know what I can
tell them what they are doing wrong when I don't think they are doing anything
wrong'. Thanks for the sound advice, Miley.
We start with, Lee DeWyze, who
sings 'The Letter' by The Box Tops (though this version sounds more like Joe
The Good - The pitch is
right on point. This is the first time that he's sang on top of the pitch for
the long notes, instead of under the pitch. He hit the long notes in style,
and he finished with a nice flourish.
The Bad - Here's the problem
I have with it - it's not a 'pop' song. It's a nice bluesy lounge song
version, which is good, but it's not a 'pop' song, and I'm wondering how much
of the voting audience would be inspired to vote with that sort of song. I'm
wondering if he was better suited singing the Box Tops version and rocking it
The Verdict - It's the best
that I've seen him. It's the best performance of the song. That being said, I
also agree with Simon that it was the wrong arrangement of it. I don't think
it hurts him, but I'm still with SImon that he needs a moment and hasn't
gotten it yet.
Paige Miles was
one person away from being jettisoned from the show last week. She's trying to
go against all odds to make the Top 10 with 'Against All Odds' by Phil
Collins. Can Paige keep her shaky pitch in check while wearing very high
The Good - Ummm...she didn't
fall down? And she looks like a Yin/Yang cookie, which are quite tasty after
The Bad - Can Paige keep her
shaky pitch in check while wearing very high heels? Very quickly, the answer
is no. Flat all over the place. Missed words as well. I wonder if it's Against
All Odds to see if I can run to my local supermarket, grab some ear plugs, and
run back before we get to commercial break. On second thought, I'm hoping I
can miss the performance.
The Verdict - Somewhere,
Lacey Brown is throwing a spiked high heel of her own at her TV set wondering
how she is off the show and Paige is on. And she may throw her other show at
the tv set tomorrow night if America is stupid enough to keep her in the
competition for another week.
Tim Urban, according
to Miley, needs some personality. Tim is going to be doing 'Crazy Little Thing
Called Love' by Queen. Without even hearing the performance, I'm wondering if
this is going to be bad enough to bail Paige out of her crapterpiece.
The Good - Despite Simon and
Randy complaining, it was actually good, pitch-wise. And if you've heard his
previous performances then you know that this was a huge stride for him.
The Bad - Again,
horrifically bad song choice. He's the second coming of Jon Peter Lewis, and
if you remember, he didn't last too long during season 3. And he took his
baseball slide from the Taylor Hicks school of choreography, though in his
defense, no one will blame him for doing steroids for either his legs or his
The Verdict - This
performance encompasses all you need to know about Tim: The girlies like him,
and they are why he's still in the competition. They will be voting for him in
force this week, because 1. they loved that performance and 2. he was in
danger last week. Despite Randy's whining, he will be safe this week because
the little kiddies will love it. That also puts the guys who get the little
girlies voting (Aaron, Andrew, etc.) on notice.
Speaking of being on notice, Aaron
laryngitis. Keep in mind that he sang 'The Climb' during his audition. Now
he'll be singing Aerosmith's 'Don't Want to Miss a Thing' during this week's
The Good - This is the first
time that he chooses a good song. It's relevant and it fits his vocal range.
It fits within the kiddie boppers who will vote forever, since they don't want
to miss him.
The Bad - I want to miss
this performance. He and Paige are competing for the worst vocal of the night
award. He constantly undersings the notes and he also rushes through the song.
Let's blame the cold. Sure. It's the cold's fault.
The Verdict - Unfortunately,
the cold may or may not be a factor. This performance wasn't good, and America
may forget to vote for him because they think he's safe. I disagree with Simon
- this could be a problem tonight.
Crystal Bowersox gets
an autograph from Miley Cyrus. She could have a signature performace with 'Me
abd Bobby McGee' by Janis Jooplin. Will she make Janis and writer Kris
The Good - Vocally, it was a
lot better than last week. You can feel the passion that was missing 7 days
prior. And the carpet she was performing on is nice and plushy.
The Bad - But she isn't
making this her own at all. This is a carbon copy of Janis Joplin's version.
She may get a pass because the younger generation hasn't heard the song, but
didn't make the song her own.
The Verdict - It's a good
performance of the song (made better by the fact that everyone else has been
midling, bordering on terrible), but Ellen is dead-on accurate. She needs to
find a connect point and I'd like to see her move on stage without that
guitar. I'll disagree with Simon here a little. She needs to let go once and
switch up on a song. If she stays static, she'll get far, but she won't win.
Michael Lynche, wants
Miley to be nice. He sings 'When a Man Loves a Woman' to Miley. Now he has to
sing it to the rest of America.
The Good - It's a great song
choice for him. He nails the vocal out of the park (well, 98% of the time) and
he does carry the money note off with style.
The Bad - It was safe. He's
the only person in R&B, so he's not going anywhere for awhile. So while he has
the time, why not be more daring and cross over? It felt like I was in a
lounge waiting for my table in a 30 minute wait and was slumped in a waiting
chair, falling asleep to the dulcet tones of Michael Lynche.
The Verdict - I don't think
he's going anywhere. That said, he went backwards. He could have been relevant
and taken a chance, but he didn't. I would have loved to have seen that song
being brought into today's R&B style. He's safe, but he's doing nothing to
build up his fanbase, and that could be an issue later.
Andrew Garcia needs
to do something with his Twitter fans. He wants to be a Miley fan, but he
fumbled the words with 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine'. Miley wants Andrew
to lose the guitar. Will he? And will he sound good doing it?
The Good - The performance
aspect was there. He has no problem with being on that stage and giving out
100%. Well he did have fun. And I'm, glad he had fun.
The Bad - Because I had zero
fun. He's doing absolutely nothing with this song. This is a song built for
riffs and improvs (which would be an open invite to do all sorts of
arrangement improv), and instead it's singing by the numbers. And the
trenchcoat makes him look like an oversized beige grape that's waiting to be
squeezed. And don't threaten to kiss Randy. Ew.
The Verdict - I keep saying
that we're going to find out how loyal those Twitter fans are. I think he's
got greater issues because a lot of people will be calling to bail out Tim and
Paige, and Andrew didn't give people a reason on why they should bail him out
Katie Stevens is
hoping that 'Big Girls Don't Cry'. That's a song by Fergie, and we hope that
she shows confidence. Will that be enough to get her on the tour?
The Good - I love the choice
of song. Her choice is amazingly good, as well as her presence. And the tone
sounds like something coming out of a seasoned veteran, not a teenager.
The Bad - Unfortunately, her
coming out of her shell comes at the expense of her pitch. She's incredibly
sharp and foregoes the money note.
The Verdict - From a pitch
standpoint, yuck. From a performance standpoint, it's very good. She's THIS
close to getting a moment on the stage. She just has to get it all together,
and I think she'll get a chance next week to do so. Simon is 100% correct
right on the genre though - there's a lot of pop singers and only Casey James
in the country field. If Katie crosses over to either country or R&B, she'll
have a much longer competition shelf life.
Speaking of him, Simon challenged Casey
push himself. Casey is going to go uptempo with Huey Lewis and the News'
'Power of Love'. What sort of power will he get from the voters?
The Good - It's a great song
choice for him. He rocks out and goes into a different genre for him, which
should gain him some fans.
The Bad - He sounds copycat
good. It's Karaoke-safe. I want MORE out of him. Take some musical risks on a
song and hit some range on it.
The Verdict - It's a solid
vocal. He finally picked the right song, and what works is that he transcended
into a different genre. That's the good news. The bad news is that Simon is
right and he needs to come out of the box to grab an audience. He'll get some
more audience from that performance though, and that's what matters.
Didi Benami's will
sing 'You're No Good' by Linda Ronstadt. Hopefully, it won't be used to
The Good - She looks slinky
and sultry in that black dress. Her flowing blond hair is nice and shiny. The
conception was good.
The Bad - The execution was
bad. Her flat pitch is no good. And neither is the arrangement, which once
again I could hear in any smoky NYC lounge with her playing a character in a
high school musical stage play. What's up with lounge night this evening? And
arguing with the judges is not helping her cause.
The Verdict - If Didi sticks
around, it's only because Paige, Tim and Andrew were infinitely worse than she
The last singer of the evening is Sioban
who will give us some 'Superstition' from Stevie Wonder.
The Good - What I like the
best is that she's creating her own new 2010 riff to a song that's not so
current. And once again, that money note scores.
The Bad - Siobhan needs to
be very careful about consistently screaming out her high note. She's been
great on songs like 'Wicked Game' and 'House of the Rising Sun' when she
didn't do it, and consistent use of it could turn her from a singer to a
caricature. And we know what Sanjaya Malakar has been doing since he lost on
season 6. He's been styling other people's hair. The Siobhan-hawk? It's no
good, it's no good, it's no good, baby, it's no good.
The Verdict - Second best
performance of the night, but she needs to switch it up with her vocals, or
she could be the 'shocking upset'. We know she is multi-talented, so let's see
some of said talent.
Overall Verdict: Tonight did
absolutely nothing for me. We didn't have any great performances, and only a
handful of good (Crystal, Siobhan, Casey, Michael). You could justify any of
the other 7 being in the bottom three, but I can only put three in there. As
for those three...
Trouble: Paige Miles, Tim
Urban, Andrew Garcia
Usually, the people in the bottom two get saved by the voting fans and get
themselves out of the bottom, but this season, there's no justification for
them to escape. Add the fact that Lacey's vote will go to Didi and Aaron Kelly
has the Archueta vote, and Andrew will bounce down here. He'll escape to
safety, and it will be down to the people who gave the 2 worst performances of
the night. I think Paige gets to go home (though again, I could be severely
wrong here, and you could make a case for Tim, Andrew, Didi, Lee, Aaron or
Katie here instead. Yes, it was that unmemorable.)
OUT: PAIGE MILES
We'll see in 24 hours who just lost a lot of money.
To see this episode in its
entirety, go to www.americanidol.com.