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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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Round of 9 Redux: Elvis
April 13

Haterade hated Michael Lynche's performance last week - and apparently, so did the rest of America, who forced the judges to burn their save for him. Can Michael rebound enough to send 2 of his peers packing, or did he just delay the inevitable?

Let's do last week over. Seriously, let's just throw last week out. That's what we're doing after Michael Lynche gets saved, prompting this week to be double trouble. 2 singers are going to get the steel-tipped boot out of the competition. Chico Alexander and Jason Block join me this week to determine who those people are.

However, before we start, let's discuss a trend that can't possibly be good to Idol fans. And no, I'm not talking about the ratings, which have dropped to the point that they are no longer the #1 show on TV. I'm talking about something more damning to Idol - the votes. Ryan Seacrest said that after the season total of over 140 million votes, which is a lot...but when you factor that the first show had 28 million votes, and you had 7 voting shows total, that means the other 6 shows averaged around 18 million votes. That's not only a decline, that's a measurable one - the first time in American Idol history that there's been a decline, let alone a 40% plunge. 

America has said that they don't like what they are hearing, and when you have less voters, you have a greater chance for upsets. With the judges save gone, this could be a real roller coaster ride the rest of the way. So let's enjoy the ride. 

This week, it's one of music's biggest icons. No, not Adam Lambert (who's this week's mentor), but Elvis Presley. Adam Lambert a mentor? Really? Between him and Miley Cyrus as mentors, you wonder why these kids aren't improving? No reason to look much further than that. Adam's looking to be completely honest (well, he'd be the first this season to do that) and instill the spirit of Elvis in everyone. I'd like to point out that 1. Adam Lambert never did an Elvis song on Idol 2. 'What Do You Want From Me' is not an Elvis song, 3. I don't need to see neither Adam's tongue or Ryan Seacrests' infatuation with said tongue. 

I do need to see some Crystal Bowersox's with the song 'Saved'. Give me what I want. Now. 
The Good - It's a very nice performance. Her vocals are on point, the guitar was used properly, and she put her own spin on an Elvis song that people will remember. Nice job.
The Bad - I wonder if she could have done herself better if she took a more well-known song and Crystalled it up. Not an obvious song, but one that the audience can relate to, which could get her even more votes. And improper use of the shiny guitar could cause blindness to vision impaired people. 
The Jason - Elvis's favorite type of music was GOSPEL, and this was a perfect choice for her. It had elements of gospel, rockabilly and blues. Right in her wheelhouse and a great performance out of the box. 
The Chico - First of all... Adam Lambert... WHY? Second of all, She was told to "surprise people" and "keep it fresh". Well, she surprised me. The song, which I haven't heard of, fits in her wheelhouse, but I wish I knew what she was singing, because she was screaming the whole thing. She did have energy and she may have knocked it out of the park in the judges' eyes... but I'm not wowed. Still, she'll survive.
The Verdict - Well that concludes the entertainment portion of this episode of American Idol 9: The Crystal Bowersox Invitational. Now stay tuned for Glee, or even better, do some channel surfing for the next 75 or so minutes and then come back to the show when Idol is over. I know I will. 

...oh wait, I can't do that? Something about legal and duty negligence? Fine, I'll cover the rest of the show, but I'm not going to be happy about it.

We start the rest of the show with Andrew Garcia, who was proclaimed 'Boring' by Adam Lambert. Lambert wants Garcia to switch it up, and Garcia decides to do so with 'Hound Dog' will the performance leave us wagging our tails or howling at the moon? . 
The Good - Well, he did change it up. I will say that it was different, as Andrew jazzes it up. And he looks nice in the formal wear. 
The Bad - If Andrew swung the microphone pole around while walking in the audience, he could have accidentally knocked someone in the head. If he swung it around and knocked himself in the head, then we'd be spared from an uncomfortable 90 second flat pitched disaster. He cements his 'boring' status thanks to not only Lambert, but with his interview with Ryan, when he gave us 60 seconds of absolutely nothing. Ryan was tossing him softballs and it was swing and a miss. And I'll give Seacrest points for trying, but not even he can draw blood from a stone. 
The Jason - I loved the swing, Brian Setzer like arrangement to this. This was very very good. Two weeks in a row, his risks paid off. But was it enough for him to stay? Not sure. 
The Chico - Changing it up wasn't the problem for Andrew. The problem for Andrew... was Andrew. He has this nasally tone which he just can't seem to escape. Couple it with a risk that didn't seem to pay off (it lacked swagger and totally lost the story of the original), and Andrew is in deep dog doo.
The Verdict - Usually, when you're in the bottom 3, you usually get a swing from the audience to get yourself out of the bottom three, but the effort was so bad that I don't know if that's going to help. He needs at least 2 disasters from the remaining singers to stick around in the competition, but with some of the people waiting to perform, he may get it. 

Tim Urban is one of those people. Adam wants Tim to get out of his comfort zone and get into a falsetto. Sure, it sounds pretty - if Tim can keep it in pitch while singing 'I Can't Help Falling In Love'. Will he? 
The Good - You know what really makes this a nice song? Not Tim, but the arrangement itself. The arrangement in the background is amazing and really accentuates Tim's vocals. And the melody line is beautiful. 
The Bad - And now I get to talk about Tim's vocals, which completely breaks down at the end of the song. I actually liked that he didn't use Adam's suggestion of not hitting it into the falsetto, because that would have been ghastly. But not holding out that last note was equally as ghastly and turned the song from a potential 'moment' to 'What in the world was that last nite? Did he hiccup at the end?' 
The Jason - And the boredom continues. His voice was whisper light, and I didn't feel the love in the song here. 
The Chico - This is one of those songs that can really showcase a mellow moment that Tim actually has the capacity to produce. That said, it looked like Justin Bieber doing a Dylan impersonation to start. And it was flat. This could've been a real game changer, too. Props for trying to make the song his own, though.
The Verdict - Tim did the one thins that almost no one else could do this season - capitalize on success they had the week before. That was the best Tim performance, and his selection will get his fan base to get to the phone. That may have sealed the fate of Mr. Garcia. 

Adam wants Lee DeWyze to be happy, playful and sexy with his interpretation of 'A Little Less Conversation'. 
The Good - Lee absolutely brings the spunk and energy with him tonight. It's possibly the most complete version of that song that I've heard of that song and almost drowns out Jon Peter Lewis' version out of my head. 
The Bad - He brought the spunk with him, but he left the lyric book at home. Half of those lyrics were made up and I was wondering it this was the 'Rock Alzheimer's Remix' of the song. 
The Jason - This I Liked. This is a popular song(from the Junkie XL remix a few years back), but his bluesy vocal had the energy we missed over the last few songs.
The Chico - Lee had to get back to what he does best, especially after last week. Other a couple of obvious lyric flubs, Lee goes back into his element and it works for him. 
The Verdict - MUCH better than last week. This, for me, would have been the best performance if he remembered the lyrics. If we get a few more of these, we could finally have someone that could somewhat be in Crystal's league.

Aaron Kelly Aaron Kellysays that he's going to have a great time with 'Blue Suede Shoes'. Whenever you hear 'have a great time', it's usually at the expense of the pacing, the pitch, the lyrics or a combination of all of the above. Will Aaron prove me right? 
The Good - I actually liked the end of the song. He slowed it down, displayed his range during the half time and really gave us a nice performance. 
The Bad - The problem is that he needed to do that for the whole song. If he did the whole song in half time, it would have been a great performance. The problem is that the first half was so dreary that I don't know if people stayed around to hear the second part 
The Jason - He said it was the wrong choice for him. Believe the kid. It was too big of a song, and he wouldn't know about the mature subjects in it. Wrong choice, wrong, wrong, wrong. 
The Chico - This was a tale of two halves. Aaron needed to give it 110 percent. He ended up giving it 83 percent, and it was all in the ending.
The Verdict - Simon's 100% right - even in half time, the arrangement made him completely uncontemporary and old. And that's going to be a major problem when your fan base is the young kids. Unlike Tim, who completely nailed his fan base, Aaron missed his, and it could be costly tonight. 

Last week, Sioban Magnus has the pipes for 'Suspicious Minds', but will she bring the energy? We know she will, but she needs to be restrained. Can she combine the best of both worlds? 
The Good - The second half of that song sizzled. Once again, the half time break down worked again, which again makes me wonder... 
The Bad - ...why we had to wait 60% of the song to hear it. I don't know why the producers are giving the idols the formulaic do nothing for the first half of the song and then give us the second version of the song. And her dress and looked like what I would be expecting if I went to the prom with the Bride of Frankenstein. 
The Jason - Loved the arrangement, and her vocals were top notch. This was a lot of fun. 
The Chico -Technically, Siobhan nailed it. She had the right tone, and the right pitch, but for the most part, it was missing a little je ne sais quoi until the tail end of it. Then it really started to pop, so good job for her. 
The Verdict - I do like Siobhan's versatility, but she has to showcase it throught the WHOLE song. The energy that she had for other songs at the beginning just wasn't there this week. Michael Lynche learned that if you don't bring it every week, you could have issues, and I think this week, she could have some problems if her fans are asleep at the wheel.

Speaking of, Michael Lynche needs to do something to bring his voters back. Maybe 'In The Ghetto' will be that song. For his sake, it better be. 
The Good - At least Michael strips down the goofiness of last week and gets down to basics. It's a nice idea to get that acoustic guitar in there, and the accompaniment really complements his vocals. 
The Bad - If I'm singing for my life and I'm an R&B singer, I do not sing a slow country version of the song and bring my guitar to it. And I certainly don't sing flat. And massive boos for Seacrest for #1. Going after Brian Dunkleman in a cheap shot and #2. Screwing up Michael Lynche's names with Adam Lambert, calling him 'Lambert Lynche' in terms of singing for redemption. If it's not obvious that Ryan isn't completely into the show tonight, it should be now. 
The Jason - Again, he has his Seal voice on. And this is a great interpretation of it. He told a story here. He was redeemed, and should be here next week. 
The Chico - Only one thing on Michael's mind... redemption. He has to become the song and connect to the hearts of the voters... So he decides to strip it down and keep it simple. Probably the best thing he could do, even if it IS a little boring and safe, because barring another out-there performance, there's no way that his fan club is going to let him down for a second consecutive week.
The Verdict - Yuck. I hated this also. A million times better than last week, sure, but I hated it. That being said, he's going to be absolutely safe as his million of fans will be dialing until their fingers fall off. 

Katie Stevens has a question for the jdges, 'Baby What Do You Want Me To Do?' Well I want her to get more energy and emotion, but will she respond to my request? 
The Good - You know she's going to have no problems with the pitch, which is fine, and the money note, which is fine. Automatons don't make pitch mistakes. 
The Bad - Once again, the arrangement makes her sound like she's in her 60's on a revival tour. But that's not the biggest issue for our robotic friend. This is why she is a robot. This is a song that Adam Lambert correctly phrases as 'frustrating', and instead of that, she's smiling. She loses all believability and creates a disjunction between us and her. Maybe she's not old enough yet to convey those emotions, or maybe Skylab just hasn't built a model that gives us a pouty face...yet... 
The Jason - Sultry, sassy and a serious dose of attitude. Liked this a lot. She brought it. 
The Chico - I'm hoping Adam infused a little emotion into our little automaton. It... worked? She worked the crowd, she played with the vocals. I know it was hard for her, but it was something she needed to do.
The Verdict - I actually agree with Simon. It was loud, annoying and there's still no emotional connect. I want her to sit down, sing a slow ballad and give us some sort of emotion. That is, if she survives this week.

Casey James wraps up the show tonight with 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy', who sure looks good to Casey. Will Casey look good to everyone else? 
The Good - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (Translation of Gordon's snoring: The vocal was ok. The technicality was ok. Everything was ok.)
The Bad - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (Translation of Gordon's snoring: Wrong sonng to sing. Completely boring and forgettable. As much emotional energy as a rocking chair.) 
The Jason - The judges were right on this one. This was a safe, by the numbers Casey performance. I don't think he will be out, but this one COULD put him in potential trouble tonight.
The Chico - Very soulful. Very smooth. Very solid, but not much to write home about. 
The Verdict - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (Translation of Gordon's snoring: He could have done so much here, and did absolutely nothing. If he wasn't in the last spot for the evening, I think he could be in serious danger, but the pimp slot will bail him out.)

Overall Verdict: Take one Crystal Bowersox and stir. Take Lee and Michael, who are both safe. Stir, mix, and serve. That's your main course, and for your desserts, have some Siobhan and Casey. The other 4 are like the leftovers that we can store in the back of the refrigerator. We'll probably be forgetting about 2 of these and leave them to rot. 

Trouble: Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly, Katie Stevens, Tim Urban

Tim had...a good performance? Wha? Yes, he's still in the bottom for me because America will be voting to save Michael, and that could be problematic for him. That being said, I do think Tim's effort spells curtains for Mr. Garcia. As for the other person, I think there's a glut in pop, and it's a coin flip between Aaron (who was streaky) and Katie (who went back to a disconnect). I think what bails out Aaron is that his fan base knew he was in the bottom and voted for him, whereas Katie's going to have the same problems that Michael Lynche had - and there's no Judge's Save this time. 


The Jason: Adam Lambert was a decent mentor, but these 4 have problems tonight. 

TROUBLE: Andrew Garcia, Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly, Casey James. 

The two going home are the people who really didn't bring it. 

OUT: Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly 

The Chico: I may have to go chalk on this one after last week's shocker, because a) Crystal's army is a strong one, and b) after last week, all Big Mike has to do is show up and his fanbase will save him. 

TROUBLE: Andrew Garcia, Aaron Kelly, Katie Stevens, Tim Urban. 

Tim had a good week... twice in a row now, so he'll go back to safety. If you put Katie and Aaron's performances together, you have ONE good performance. I'm tempted to give Katie the edge just because she managed to deliver a performance that at least LOOKED lively for once. Andrew just blew it.

OUT: Andrew Garcia & Aaron Kelly. 

Join us in 24 hours to see who goes to the Jailhouse of obscurity and won't be rocking out any more.


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