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 6: Shania Twain
This is usually the week that I dread, because it's country week. This is
the time that we shudder as we get some of the most brutal performances in
American Idol history. The only good thing is that with 3 country singers
(Crystal, Casey and Aaron), 1 rocker (Lee) 1 R&B Singer who tries to rock
(Michael) and a Siobhan, this should actually be less painful than most
country weeks....right? RIGHT?
Well maybe not, but this week, we have a mentor with Shania Twain, who is
disappointed that she's not getting 'Man, I Feel Like a Woman'. I'm glad
we're NOT hearing that, to be honest. And I'm sure my colleagues from
GameShowNewsNet.com, Chico Alexander and Jason Block, are glad, too.
Will we be glad that Lee
be singing 'You're Still the One?' Shania thinks so, if he can let go of his
inhibitions. We'll see...
The Good - He is feeling
much more comfortable behind the stage as his presence is getting better,
When he got to the chorus, it was silky smooth. He made it musical for the 2
or 3 lyrics that we heard him.
The Bad - Before and after
that, it was a mess. I will completely disagree with the judges here. It
wasn't at all like 'he made it his own'. It was more like 'he can't find his
pitch and he's going up and down the scale like a yo-yo.' The beginning of
the song was a disaster and he botched the ending.
The Jason - I am sorry,
but the judges were off their rocker. This was a horrible, off pitch, forced
performance and his vocals were just way off base.
The Chico - There's a
reason men shouldn't take on women's songs. This is it. Lee's still sharp as
all get out. No doubt it was stylistically his own, but still... a giant
The Verdict - I don't know
WHAT that was. It was choppy, uneven and messy. A definite step backwards,
and if Casey gives the audience a reason to save him, Lee could wind up in
Don't forget the Summer Tour, featuring Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze and 8
other people who you will completely forget about. I bet you don't even
remember the 4 people eliminated who made the tour.
Michael Lynche should
have been one of them. Instead, he's wowing Shania Twain with 'It only hurts
when I'm breathing'. I hope it's not going to hurt when he's singing.
The Good - He FINALLY
decided to go R&B. That's the right choice on this song. He's got a nice
emotional timbre to his voice and he's looking very dapper in that Luther
Vandross black stylings.
The Bad - I don't
understand why Michael must insist on sounding exactly the same on every
song. That includes sounding 'girly' and 'wet', as SImon puts it. Let me
translate; he doesn't belt out the musical notes and instead of emotionally
blowing the notes out (like Siobhan does), he sounds too restrained, like if
he goes for the gusto that a bunch of country fan girls will come out and
bludgeon him with their high heeled shoes.
The Jason - He needed to
nail the song, and he did! This was in his wheelhouse, and he connected with
the audience big time. His vocals were off the chart as well.
The Chico - Bad news: it
transforms from a forgettable country song to a semi-forgettable lovelorn
soul ballad. The GOOD news: he was in the pocket this week, and after two or
three weeks of dreadful song choices, Big Mike gets it. We could have
American Idol: Rockers In Trouble week.
The Verdict - It's same
old Mike trying to be R&B with a forgettably bad choice. A definite step
backwards, and if Siobhan gives the audience a reason to vote for her, Mike
could wind up in trouble tonight.
Casey James realizes
he didn't give anyone anything new, which is why he wound up in the bottom 2
last week. he hopes that 'Don't' will stand for 'Don't boot me off the
The Good - A thousand
times better than last week. He showed a very raw side of Casey that we
haven't seen when he was doing sloppy cover songs. And hooking up with
Shania is not a bad side gig either.
The Bad - The one thing
that I despise about Casey singing a slow tune is that his tremolo comes out
of the woodwork and plays havoc on his pitch. The falsetto was scary with
that last note, and not in a good way.
The Jason - While his
vocals are the same quality, he is a one trick pony. He is a guitar playing
country singer who bored me this week.
The Chico - Definitely not
lazy anymore. Casey connected with the song, but I don't think I would've
gone to the false, because it seemed weak when it needed to be strong. But
Lee now has reason for concern tonight.
The Verdict - This is the
sort of performance that someone in the bottom 3 needed to get out of the
bottom. Casey will be fine this week. Meanwhile, we're going to see just how
good Lee DeWyze's fan base is.
Crystal Bowersox has
been hit by Cupid, and she wants her boyfriend to know about it. Sorry guys,
The Good - Once she got to
the second half of the song, she started to sing
The Bad - There was
nothing wrong with Crystal. The big problem here is the arrangement, which
completely does not fit the song. If she's going to do anything with the
song, I would have loved to hear this acoustic with no strange instruments
in the background. With the wonky banjo, steel drum, and strange
instruments, I was wondering when the didgeridoo and the bagpipe player was
going to show up.
The Jason - She can sing
the phone book and do it right. She was playful, and her vocals were great
and sounded as pure as Jewel's. And to her boyfriend...say yes and make the
cash right now!
The Chico - Yes, Crystal
nailed the timbre. Yes, she's a performer. Yes, she's the favorite. ... and
yes, she was a mite sharp tonight. She was a little two-drink minimum this
week, not her best, but at the same time... It's Crystal. I think Crystal's
in for a rude awakening tomorrow.
The Verdict - This is the
first time that I may say this, but Crystal is vulnerable this week. You
have a lot of rockers tonight and they are not all going to survive. If
enough audience feels that she's 100% safe, she could have some issues.
Aaron Kelly decides
to sing 'You Got Away'. I'm really hoping that does not describe his pitch,
which I think grabbed a hobo stick and bag and went missing for the past 2
The Good - We're back to
good performance Aaron. The pitch has finally showed up. He picked the
perfect song in his wheelhouse for this genre.
The Bad - He has to watch
his transitional pitch when he goes from verse to verse. He's a lot better
now than then, but he's still having those pitch issues.
The Jason - Yeah...a way
to blow out my ear drums. He was off pitch, and his voice was off. He was
not in connection with the audience at all. He will be in the bottom
The Chico - Aaron was told
not to think. I can sense that he was thinking "don't think, don't think,
don't think". And he didn't think, and it helped him connect to the song. He
nails the tone, but he's a little flat. Vast improvement (though it isn't
hard given who you're talking).
The Verdict - It's the
best performance that I've seen him do. That, adding to him getting the Tim
Urban vote, will make him safe this week. We may see some very interesting
results next week...
Because I think Siobhan
going to knock it out of the park this week with 'Any Man of Mine'.
The Good - Who knew that
she had a nice country twang? She does, and she sounds surprisingly good
with a twang. And she nails the money note.
The Bad - She brought the
tone, but not the attitude. This is a growly gnarly song, and she sang it
with a smile on her face. There's no way she should be going off the stage
to play patty cake with the audience. And the outfit looked less punk and
more like she sang the song in a German Beer Pub and she's ready to serve
out some Heineken after singing some ear-splitting karaoke that cracked a
The Jason - I didn't like
this performance at all. She is NOT THE AUDIENCE JUMPER. She needs to just
stand in front of the mike. But that money note at the end will keep her
safe. The Chico -
This is the closer... And it has a bit of sassafras to it, so Siobhan had
better work it. She... didn't. There's a fine line between singing and
shouting. She just died all over it.
The Verdict - This had the
potential to be hot. Instead, we had a lack of attitude when there should
have been more, and too much attitude at the end when it should have been
restrained. I think she remains safe because she's in the last spot and she
was the only person that gave and delivered in the high register, but oof.
Overall Verdict: So in
this week's version of Bizarro Idol, the 3 singers that have not been in the
bottom 3 gave the 3 weakest performances. Add to it that Casey sang lights
out, and we're going to have some weirdness. How weird?
Trouble: Michael Lynche,
Lee DeWyze, Aaron Kelly
Lee is going to go back to safety, leaving 2 singers that should have been
performing these performances months ago. In the end, pop is going to win
out over a very crowded rock/country field, and Michael is going to realize
that his switch to R&B came a month too late.
OUT: MICHAEL LYNCHE
The Jason: I am so against
the judges this week. Which means I could be totally wrong or very precient:
TROUBLE: Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Aaron Kelly
OUT: Aaron Kelly
The Chico: Country night
is a big equalizer. Save for a couple of notable exceptions (Aaron and
Casey), everyone sucked. So we go to the votes. Aaron's going to siphon a
lot of Tim's audience, so he's not going anywhere. Casey gets the gameball
tonight, so he's not going anywhere. Big Mike is going to have a Big Issue,
because as I've said before, it's better to be bad then forgettable. Lee and
Crystal underwhelmed. Siobhan... well, you'll definitely remember her. So...
TROUBLE: Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Michael Lynche
Will the two of you who will be saved by built-in fan-bases but not without
learning a thing or two about humility please step forward... NOT SO FAST,
OUT: Michael Lynche
Join us in 24 hours to see who gets to do the Texas 2 Step off the stage.
To see this episode in its
entirety, go to www.americanidol.com.