American Idol 9: Top 12 sing the Rolling Stones.

And…it’s the first live show on the huge stage (and whoa, is it HUGE) this season. What’s with the X-Factor-ish introduction, with the cheesy announcer? Well, this week’s theme is Rolling Stones and, although I thought I didn’t know many of their songs, I saw the performance list tonight and I actually recognise like half of them so woo for me not being a musical doofus!

So, before I ramble on (and I will be prone to that tonight as I’m really tired from having to use my brain a day at school) too much, let’s head to the performances…

Michael LynchMiss You – Wow he has a really good falsetto. And the rest of his voice is pretty solid, too. I think he had the requisite energy but the song itself just wasn’t a good choice or showy enough for this competition (and I totally agree about the corny movements). It’s a fun song and he did start the finals decently but I don’t think it’s memorable or climatic enough. B-

Whoa, what was that with Ryan? So weird.

Didi BenamiPlay with Fire – Now, this is a good song choice. It was dramatic, dark and emotional, and Didi sang better than I’ve ever heard her done before. She doesn’t have the biggest voice of the girls (and there were a couple of slight bum parts in the song) but there were some pretty impressive solid notes there and it still has a very nice timbre to it. A-

Casey JamesIt’s All Over Now – Casey’s mum totally looks like Kathy Griffin lor. I thought his voice and his style were perfect for a Stones song and he proved me right here. Raw, edgy voice and the bluesy, country rock style totally fit him and the song. Still, like Michael, the song choice and performance are not going to be terribly memorable, though. B

Lacey Brown Ruby Tuesday – Lacey’s dad totally sounds like Thomas Lennon on Reno 911! (Or maybe all these celeb look/soundalikes are just a result of my need to sleep). I actually thought she made the song her own (plus I loved the violin backing), pulled it into her Sixpence performance style (although, like Ellen said, it was a bit snoozy and, like Simon said, it came across very rehearsed and conscious). And like last week, she hit some solid big notes there. She’s actually slowly moving up my top 12 rankings. B

Andrew GarciaGimme Shelter – I think he looks kinda bare and physically awkward without his guitar there (although I guess he has to move away from it sometime or other). Vocally, I thought he was actually much better than the past few weeks and he displayed real power and grit in his voice. Still, while I felt it was a decent performance, it wasn’t mindblowing and I’m not sure if (although I hope that) it can save him from his weekly descent into mediocrity. B

Katie Stevens Wild Horses – How come Katie gets to have a pre-performance interview? Unfair. Anyway, I loved when Eva Avila did this on Canadian Idol 4 (which she eventually won) and I actually thought Katie’s performance was as good as that. I mean, she had the dramatic lighting, a great first verse, some real emoting and, while she had a couple of slightly flat notes, she was really powerful vocally (especially considering the meh she’s been serving up). Her best performance by far. A-

Tim UrbanUnder My Thumb – Y’know, any time he doesn’t give a trainwreck performance, I’m pleasantly surprised and end up comparing him to a lower standard than the rest. Still, even on that standard, this was pretty bad. It was a terrible arrangement and really, really boring and neverending and I totally tuned out. Still, at least it wasn’t as bad as Apologize. C

Siobhan MagnusPaint It Back – Hahha I love her. She speaks in such a sloooooow drawl. And, whoa she looks totally weird. Vocally I actually thought this was one of her weaker performances. Unlike some of the past big-voice singers, her voice does have a limited power range and I thought tonight showed that. Still, she hit some glorious money notes, her singing is still miles above most of the top 12 and the weird, kooky arrangement (with appropriately climatic parts) and performance style totally fit her. A-

Lee DewyzeBeast of Burden – Woo my two faves in a row! I think it’s awesome how he picks stylistically slightly different songs ever week while still managing to infuse that alt-rock vibe into it. I totally love his voice on this song and he had less pitch problems than he usually does so woo for that. The song, though, wasn’t a great choice for this stage and I actually thought he would be rocking out to some harder rock song, considering the theme. Still, a decent performance and he had some vocally woo moments despite the lacklustre arrangement. B

Paige MilesHonky Tonk Women – This was totally her best performance yet. It was spunky, fun and she finally showed that voice that’s supposedly the best of the girls this year (but which the producers inexplicably did not let us hear in Hollywood), and it was pretty impressive (all the more since she was diagnosed with vocal cord laryngitis right before singing, which is weird considering this was her best vocal by far). Not a big WHOA! song but it was really good. B+

Aaron KellyAngie – Well you can’t say he doesn’t have his personal style: he totally managed to transform a Rolling Stones ballad into a Rascal Flatt love song. Still, his voice was great on this song (he even added some edge to it so he doesn’t sound like some pre-pubescent cheesy boybander) and there was some pretty good emoting and a surprisingly mature performance. Really good song choice. A-

Crystal Bowersox You Can’t Always Get What You Want – She got the pimp spot again?! That’s even more unfair (and not like she needs the advantage). Y’know the first time I heard this song was on Glee (yes, sue me) and I liked their version a lot. This one was totally different, less pop and more bluesy folk country rock but it was totally awesome. She had several great vocal moments and it just felt very authentic (which is a word you hear bandied around her a lot and it actually applies). It might not have been the most BOOMZ song choice, she did it so well and that, coupled with being the last to sing tonight, is gonna guarantee her safe passage. And she’s so classy too. A-

I think overall it was a pretty strong showing for a top 12. There weren’t many WHOA!CRAZY!INSANE! songs but overall they did very well and even Tim’s performance, by far the worst of the night, wasn’t all that bad (just really really boring). And it was a bit of a topsy turvy because all the best singers had (by their usual standard) rather middling performances while the early-faves-who-faded turned in decent songs.

I’m hoping Tim goes out tomorrow but I’m pretty sure his manic fangirls will keep him in for a few weeks longer. So, while I like all the other 11 singers, I guess the next one I’d rather see go out than the rest would be Lacey. Still, who knows, though.

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