Beatles Week! Ok fine, so it’s songbooks of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. But that’s kinda the same anyway. Looking at this batch, it looks like quite a few of them have the potential to knock it out of the park, since it fits into their genres pretty well.
Whoa, for a moment there, I thought the show managed to get “Sir Paul” as the mentor of the week. Wouldn’t that have been awesome?
Hahha ok it’s kinda sad that, since they don’t have a mentor, they have to do the weird contestants-on-other-contestants thing. But it’s kinda funny. Especially everyone’s Yoda impressions.
Aaron Kelly – The Long and Winding Road – Wow, that was surprisingly bad. The instant he started his pitch started flying all over the place and his entire performance lacked any form of vocal power. I mean, I’ve always felt that his singing prowess was vastly overrated but this was below even my expectations. The snoozy arrangement totally didn’t help. And his phrasing was weirdly choppy and disjointed. Some good notes there and his voice had this new rough edge in parts that sounded decent but it was totally boring. And again, most cliche cheesy choice from him. C
Katie Stevens – Let It Be – Ahh, one of my favourite song from those two. Definitely doesn’t match up to the artistry of Brooke White’s rendition a few seasons ago (or even to the high standard that the forum people made it out to be) but it was definitely a right step for her. Her pitch was much better than usual, she had a few great notes and she did change it up a little. Still, though, I actually thought the arrangement was a little boring and slow (and not the good, emotional, story/tale kind of slow) and I still prefer ‘Wild Horses’. B
Andrew Garcia – Can’t Buy Me Love – Seriously, WHAT is with the hair?! He looked like a spruced up garden gnome. Anyway, the forum-ers totally bashed him to pieces but I actually liked it. It was spunky, fun and, while it did sound cheesy, but that’s the whole spirit of this song, right? I agree with Kara that he could have done more but he did actually sound pretty good (except for that one big note he tried to go for). Not a winning performance but actually pretty decent. B-
Michael Lynche – Eleanor Rigby – I realised I’ve been spelling his name wrongly for weeks! Not going back to change it, though (because I’m lazy like that). Anyway, I thought this was a decent performance from him (again, totally different from the forums). The beginning was a bit messy and manic but I thought it started to pick up at the chorus and he still had one of the best vocals so far. And he did make it sound pretty modern, even if (like Simon said) it did sound like a musical number. I still have no idea why he’s so under-the-radar so far but I hope he does stay for a while because he’s the best technical singer to me this season. B+
Crystal Bowersox – Come Together – Definitely one of the better ones at that point but I actually thought it was pretty meh for her. She seemed to lack energy (although that’s probably her cold), she kept moving away from the mic, at times she didn’t seem to know what to do with her body and she looked a bit distracted by the guitar. Still, it was a very solid vocal and, although she did sound like she was just going through the motions, it’s a sign of her ability that, even when phoning it in, she’s still pretty good. B+
Tim Urban – All My Lovin’ – Oh! I know this song but had no idea this was the title. Wow, I was pleasantly surprised by this! His vocals were pretty on, he chose a song that’s perfect for his range and he put a little spunk and sass into it. It was fun and pretty easy-listening and smooth and, like Simon said, he didn’t try to overdo it. Definitely not a winning performance but it was surprisingly decent and definitely one of his best yet. B
Casey James – Jealous Guy – Haha omg Katie’s impersonation of his laugh was hilarious. And this is my fave John Lennon song and I was wondering when it would turn up on American Idol. And wow, I loved it. It was earnest, it was heartfelt, it was emotional, it was dramatic and his raw, edgy voice (although a little pitchy at parts) sounded perfect for it. It totally sounds like what Gavin DeGraw (who’s my fave male singer of all time, btw) would have done with it and the arrangement was perfect. Much better than all those bluesy, cruise-ship songs he’s done so far and best of the night. A-
Siobhan Magnus – Across The Universe – Whoa, love the lighting and the whole deranged bride look. It’s very Kelly Clarkson slash Jane Austen movie. The song, though, was a big snooze. The arrangement was uber slow and lacked any form of excitement or even any real climax of any sort. Her singing was much improved over last week’s debacle but it was perhaps a bit too controlled. I’m not saying she needs to be doing her signature screech all the time but this time it felt like she toned it down so much it sounded…boring. Still, her voice is great and, while the song was zzz, it was much better than last week and I just hope she goes back to rocking it out (without so many shrieks, some how). B
Lee Dewyze – Hey Jude – Pimp spot! I totally wouldn’t have pegged him to choose this song. The online opinions has been pretty polarized on this performance but I liked it a lot. Sure, his vocals were a little pitchy at moments but I thought his singing is way solid compared to what he used to do and, rather than just stand and sing, I thought he performed. He was confident, he engaged the crowd and it definitely sounds like a cover a real artiste would do during a concert. Plus, even though that rock edge to his voice might have been a bit overdone for the song, I do like his voice a lot and he definitely “made it his own”. Agree with Simon that the bagpipes were a bit odd but it was totally hilarious too so all’s good. A-
Overall, I thought the night was pretty good. Very few standouts (and even the standouts weren’t that…outstanding) but it was a pretty decent standard generally. My faves of the night were definitely all guys – Casey, Lee and Big Mike – but I’m pretty sure they’re all staying in. Or, even if one of them gets kicked out, the judges will probably use that save.
My rankings of the remaining nine:
1. Lee Dewyze
2 & 3. Crystal Bowersox & Siobhan Magnus
4. Michael Lynche
5. Casey James
6. Andrew Garcia
7. Aaron Kelly
8. Katie Stevens
9. Tim Urban
My top five are really close and can (and will) pretty much change every week. There’s a big gap between them and the last three though, so I’m hoping those three would go out soon. Since Katie redeemed herself this week though (apparently), it’ll probably be a guy who gets out finally. Probably Andrew or Aaron. But then again, I’m always wrong so who knows.