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 7: Idol Gives Back
This week, Idol gives back, much to the delight
of charities everywhere and the chagrin of Jason Block, who attributes this
to rich people feeling good about themselves. We find this week wondering
who Idol will be giving back to the land of obscurity.
We still have tickets left to Idol Gives Back, which shows us just how weak
this year's class is. The theme is inspirational songs, and the mentor is
We start with Casey James and
Fleetwood Mac's 'Don't Stop'. Will we be saying the same thing?
The Good - This is Casey
James. It wasn't different (meaning no didgereedon't or bagpipes from hell),
so I guess it was good. Maybe.
The Bad - After he
butchered the opening lyrics, instead of him to not stop, I didn't want him
to start the performance. and unfortunately, it didn't get any better.
The Jason - This is Casey
James, and not a good one. Boring, karaoke and the guitar was a crutch
again. I hated the vocal.
The Chico - Hoo boy, that
was rough. You could hear by the pitch gradient (the band was at least a
full step down) that Casey was expecting something else. So far from him
it's been verse, chorus, guitar solo, chorus. It's lazy singing.
The Verdict - It was
another run of the mill Casey James lackluster performance. but the
difference is that this was a lackluster out of tune Casey James
performance, and that could give him issues tomorrow.
Lee DeWyze, who
I think could be in a competition with Casey James to avoid the bottom 3, is
singing 'The Boxer', originally sung by Simon and Garfunkel. Is Lee going to
score a knockout?
The Good - Once again,
he's the second best performer up there, only second to Crystal. And he's
dressed to impress with the dapper tie.
The Bad - I'm not sure
about that song choice, because I don't know how familiar with that song the
audience is. The adults? Yes. The kids who vote? I don't know.
The Jason - Two in a row
in the round of suck. I didn't care for this version and I didn't connect
with it...and Lee's vocals were awful.
The Chico - A genuine
emotional connection between singer and song. It shows through the
performance. It's almost effortless from the rocker. (and for the first
time, I think Crystal sees someone in her rear view mirror)
The Verdict - I disagree
with Jason. That was surprisingly good. As I don't think there will be 3
rockers in the Top 5, I think this performance could send Casey to the
bottom 3, barring disasters from Aaron, Tim and Michael.
Tim Urban has
had 'Better Days', according to the Goo Goo Dolls. I don't think so - he got
to Idol Gives Back, which is a miracle of itself. Can he make it 2 miracles
and sing it well?
The Good - I'll give him
kudos for using the guitar and trying to be commercial in his performance.
We know what sort of a singer he's going to be whem he markets his cds.
The Bad - However, if this
is his first track, I'm not buying the album. My ears have had better days,
as they have to run to the bathroom and find some cotton swabs to block out
the upper register, which he is clearly doing more screeching than singing.
The Jason - The first song
that emotionally connected me. Unfortunately, he was so off pitch that my
ears got unclogged.
The Chico - That was
absolutely non-remarkable. I mean, we all know he trends upward in pitch and
he's done nothing since the callback to correct himself. And with Katie and
Andrew out of the running and the competition voting still in self-righting
phase... Tim could possibly be WISHING for better days about now.
The Verdict - This is one
of those performances that is dull, dreary, and somnabulistic. In other
words, one that will knock a contestant out of American Idol. Tim could have
major issues tomorrow.
Aaron Kelly has
selected 'I Believe I Can Fly' by R. Kelly, which he has sung since he was
5. Oh no. Please don't sing this song. No no no no no no no no no no no...
The Good - He stayed
within his vocal range and didn't go all over the map like Tim did. From a
performance standpoint, he was decent.
The Bad - I believe my
ears just ran back into the bathroom to take some Benadryl, in hoping they
would be knocked out before hearing the tremolo and out of pitch ending.
Oops. Too late.
The Jason - What's
happening here? I hated this one too. My ears want to be clogged after this
The Chico - Over on GSNN,
we do the WLTI show weekly, and I made this proclamation... "Aaron Kelly
does R Kelly, and because he doesn't have that powerful a voice, he sucks at
it." He did. He doesn't. He did.
The Verdict - I didn't
like it nearly as much as the judges did. A decent second half doesn't cover
the very rocky first half. I agree with Simon that I liked the end, but less
because he sang it well and more because it was over. The same could be said
with Aaron's musical career on the show.
Last week, Sioban Magnus sings
'When you Believe', and she believes she can stick around for another week.
I believe that, too. But can she get more voters?
The Good - She has such an
amazing refined voice when she sings controlled. This was one of those
performances. I think Kara will hate it (and she did), but it was a solid
vocal with a powerful ending.
The Bad - I hate the
arrangement to this song. Too much breathing and very old-fashioned. If
you're trying to get the young vote, that's a really bad arrangement to get
the young vote with. And whoever decided to decorate her with flypaper
(which attracted plastic butterfliles) should be shot.
The Jason - Thank you
Siobhan for saving us from this terrible night. Pure vocals and an emotional
connection! The judges were WAY WRONG.
The Chico - There's a
fellow by the name of Leon Jackson who won "X Factor" on the strength of
this song. It was the season after Leona Lewis won. I got a feeling when I
heard him sing it. Siobhan just inherit the mantle of dark horse on the back
of that same feeling, I think. This is her ticket. And now Crystal has TWO
people in her rear view mirror.
The Verdict - I liked it
more than the judges did. And she gets bonus points for defending her song
choice, with her sounding human instead of saying that she had fun. I think
she'll be fine, because she had a nice performance and she should be getting
the votes of the departed Katie Stevens.
Michael Lynche wants
to take flight and soar with the wings of an eagle (or swing like Spider
Man) with 'Hero', sung by Nickelback and taken from the soundtrack of said
super hero. Can he make like Spider Man and sling his web into action?
The Good - Well, he's got
the physique that he would need to join Spider Man in his fight against
people who are committing a crime againts the musical majority...
The Bad - ...and he can
start by arresting himself. He had a few visible lyrical flubs and
amnesiatic spots. It's 100% the wrong song to sing and the pitch is
terrible. What's up with Michael and his song selection?
The Jason - I loved this.
Energy, Passion and this was great.
The Chico - When Big Mike
was granted the save, he was given a bye last week... but at the same time,
he was put on notice. He could not be allowed to make the same mistakes
again. And then the (^_^)er goes and makes the same mistakes again! He can't
do that! NO MIKE THAT'S A BAD MIKE!
The Verdict - I think
Jason was imbibing whatever Peter Parker was using to make his webs. He
doesn't have the tone in his voice to do justice to this song. And Simon was
right - the song WAS from the movie soundtrack to Spider Man, which Michael
should never be arguing with him about. And unlike Simon, I am not sure that
Michael is going to be around next week.
Crystal Bowersox can't
wait to sing 'People Get Ready'. I can't wait for this terrible episode to
The Good - I like the
musical a capella at the beginning of the song. She was amazing for the
first 99% of the song and was spot on. Far and away the best of the night.
Completely outclassed everyone.
The Bad - She overscreams
the high notes and parts and of course decomposes at the end of the song.
but based on what I have heard so far tonight, that's very forgiven.
The Jason - Loved the a
capella opening. Great arrangement. And she is still the favorite right now.
The Chico - Hands down...
the performance of the night.
The Verdict - And that
once again ends this episode of American Idol Season 9: The Crystal Bowersox
Invitational (Special guest appearance by Lee DeWyze). Now stay tuned for
people maiming Madonna songs or your local programming.
Overall Verdict: A few
1. Can we just fast-forward this to a Crystal/Lee final?
2. Idol Gives Back, huh? Can they give me this hour back?
3. Or conversely, can 5 of these singers take their performances back? Once
again, I can only put 3 in, so...
Trouble: Anyone not named
Crystal or Lee (but for the sake of the column, I'll say Tim Urban, Casey
James and Michael Lynche)
Casey will get sent back to safety, leaving Tim and Michael. Last time
Michael was in the bottom 2, he got sent packing. This time, he gets bailed
out by a guy who couldn't afford to give a mediocre performance.
OUT: TIM URBAN
The Jason: The men blew it
TROUBLE : Casey James, Tim
Urban, Aaron Kelly
In a big shock, Mr, Guitar goes home.
OUT: Casey James
The Chico: Crystal may
still be the favorite. And she may just sail on to finale night while I take
a nap and watch Ninja Warrior reruns and let Haterade do my job for the rest
of the season... but Lee and Siobhan have put her on blast, basically
saying, if you want the title... you're going to have to earn it. Make no
mistake, she's still the overwhelming favorite, but the show is no longer
hers to win exclusively... aww, who the hell am I kidding. Congrats,
Crystal, on winning the season... Oh, picks? Okay, fine.
TROUBLE: Casey James, Tim
Urban, Mike Lynche
Now... Casey was lazy... Big Mike was awkward. Tim... Tim was just there.
OUT: Tim Urban
Join us in 24 hours to see who gets to give back to their community in a way
other than singing.
To see this episode in its
entirety, go to www.americanidol.com.