American Idol 9: Top 16 Guys review

So the girls did pretty well last night. Would the guys match up this week? Hopefully Lee continues to get better (and less pitchy), Andrew finally ups his game and that darn Todrick gets himself off the show. Here we go!

Lee Dewyze

Fireflies – So did not expect him to sing this. I thought he was those alt-rock, Nickelback, Creed kinda guys. Still, despite the arrangement being so similar to the original, he did make it his own. The pitchy issues are still there but I thought he actually sounded pretty good. He gave the song a slight rock treatment and it was quite fun to listen to. Not as memorable as last week but I still enjoyed it (maybe it’s just cause I like the song itself). A- (Just re-listened and the pitch problems were more pronounced than during my first listen through so I’m bumping it down to a B+. Still pretty good though). Just listened to the mp3 and for some reason he sounds way less pitchy than on screen, same as the last two weeks. So bumping him back to A- again.

Alex Lambert

Trouble – Hmm this was a little boring and unmemorable. It was a decent performance, with a decent vocal (although he tended to the nasally this week) but there was this lack of impact from the performance overall (I agree with the judges that he could have slowed it down to a drama-emo arrangement). I definitely won’t remember it even tomorrow. I still love his voice, though, and I really hope he goes through to the top 12. B-

Tim Urban

Hallelujah – This is totally one of my fave songs of all time and, much as it hurts me to say this because dude can’t sing, this was the most perfect choice ever for him. It fit his limited range, it allowed him to emote it pretty well and it came over very controlled and measured. His best performance ever and, like Wei Jian said to me, he won the Best Improvement Award. Darn, he’s so not going out this week. B+

Andrew Garcia

Genie In A Bottle – When I saw this I was totally hoping he would have another Paula Abdul moment and make it totally his own. Well, the acoustic thing he did was pretty different from the original but it just lacked any big whoops like his Hollywood performance. It was just decent but definitely not overwhelmingly so. And I think it just showed the limits of his vocal ability and that he actually isn’t all that great a singer, just a musically inclined one. B-

Casey James

You’ll Think of Me – Wow I really liked this. His vocal was edgy, raw and almost perfect and the song felt very earnest, heartfelt and beautiful. It sounds like the direction he should take and I would totally buy this record. Agree with Randy that it’s kinda safe and that it won’t make him stand out all that much or had much memorable moments but it was just such a solid, wonderful performance and I totally loved it. A-

Aaron Kelly

I’m Already There – Hahah so this season he’s the one choosing all the cheesy, cliche songs while the rest choose interesting, new ones. And it’s such a Anthony Federov cheese-factor song. His boyband movements didn’t help, neither. I thought he started off a little shaky vocally but sounded much better when he took off in the chorus. Still, he’s one of the best male singers this season (although I think he isn’t anywhere near as good as Archuleta, whom everyone’s comparing him to) and I hope he goes on. B

Todrick Hall

Somebody to Love – Ok this arrangement is just totally sterile and lacklustre. Still, though, despite the fact that I can’t stand him, I think he sang this song pretty well. Vocally he was really solid and this is actually my favourite (or least hated) performance from him. Still, I just can’t stand his whole cocky, bitch-please vibe and he needs to get off my screen. Darn it, why did he sing so well tonight?! B+

Michael Lynch

This Woman’s Work – Wow he’s really getting better by the week. I totally didn’t consider him at all three weeks ago but this was one of the best performances of the night. Awesome vocals, great stage presence (albeit a tad gospel-ish), appropriate big moments and definitely memorable. I do think the judges went a bit overboard with the effusive praise (Kara’s crazy) but definitely good. A-

Wow I can’t believe I gave so many high scores today. Either the guys really did well or I’m just in a good mood or I’m just not hearing things right. The good ones were really good and even the lousier ones were decent, definitely not Katie level bad. From a technical point of view, Michael was totally the best but my personal faves were Lee and Casey.

I love how everyone is choosing songs that have never been done on Idol before, or at least doing stylistically different versions of songs that have been. And so far, the guys have been totally rocking it compared to the girls (although my overall fave this season is Siobhan and I think Crystal is going to win).

I don’t think Lee is the best male singer like Simon keeps insisting he is (although now that place has probably been usurped by Michael anyway) but he’s my current fave from the guys because he infuses a certain rock-ish quality into all his performances and he has that special something, for me, pitchy issues aside. I really hope he improves on that though, since no winner that I can remember from this show had so many pitch problems and he’s definitely in my top 5 for now.

So, here’s my top 6 guys:
1. Lee Dewyze
2. Casey James
3. Michael Lynch
4. Alex Lambert
5. Aaron Kelly
6. Andrew Garcia

I really don’t like Tim and Todrick but darn it, they sang so well tonight I’m pretty sure they won’t be going out tomorrow. I think Aaron and Andrew might be in danger, especially the latter, although I still believe he can pull out that one big performance if he continues on. Still, who knows? We’ll see tomorrow.

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