So, it’s the top 9 again, only this time it’s even scarier during the results because two will be going. This week, the theme is Elvis Presley and the mentor is Glambert and I have no idea what’s the connection between the two is but I’m loving how, even though they keep saying it’s a girl’s (i.e. Crystal’s) season, they keep choosing themes that lean towards the guys more. I’m not saying girls can’t rock Elvis, but it’s obviously more suited to guys, y’know?
In any case, let’s see how they did!
Crystal Bowersox – Saved – I think she should have picked one of his ballads and rocked the hell out of it. This song is just too much in her comfort zone and too much like her previous performances. That said, though, it was, of course, a very solid performance, with a rocking, raw vocal and her usual confident swag. Very good but a little safe (and I’m not sure how much she can sell if she releases albums in this genre) and I think she had more potential with this theme. Even with the meh choice, though, she deserves a B+.
Andrew Garcia – Hound Dog – We actually get an Elvis week and he got rid of the Elvis poofhair? On the one week it wouldn’t look (so) ridiculous? His vocals for this song were actually pretty good but it was just. So. Boring. The arrangement was plodding, there was no climax and even he looked disinterested and bored with it. Agree with Ellen about the lack of swagger. C
Tim Urban – Can’t Help Falling In Love – LOL at Ryan dancing with the random roly-poly Michael Sarver in the audience. And damn, Tim needs to stop randomly performing above expectations. He’s never getting eliminated this way. Again, he made a really good song choice. It fit his range perfectly, it was simple, sincere and quiet but not boring and there were subtle nuances in the arrangement. And I think his normal ending was actually better than Adam’s suggested ending. B+
Lee Dewyze – A Little Less Conversation – I liked this a lot. While he was also a bit in his safe zone like Crystal, I thought he did manage to add a rockier, heavier feel to the song that it usually doesn’t have. He didn’t go for the quirky, cheesy, machine-gun delivery that most covers go for (Jon Peter Lewis, anyone?). His vocals were really on this week (no more pitch problems!) and I thought the slight shouting was perfect for this song. Plus, he’s more confident and, although I thought the arrangement could have been a bit more explosive at the end, it was still a great performance.. A-
Aaron Kelly – Blue Suede Shoes – Well, at least he’s self-aware of how totally wrong this song is for him, hahah. I thought his vocals had that gritty growl Glambert loved so much but it lacked any sort of real explosive power. His strangely fierce stage swagger felt rehearsed and fake. Still, it was a okay performance if not great and, although I still think it’s pretty karaoke (for an Elvis song), it wasn’t bad. B-
Siobhan Magnus – Suspicious Minds – My favourite Elvis song and I really hope she pushes herself back into the race. And whoa at her faux-Glambert hair. Hmm, it was…odd. The first half was really boring (with her doing that too-controlled thing again) and the second part was pretty good, although the arrangement was a bit choppy. But at least she did get back to that huge vocal power (without overdoing it this time, I might add). Should have moved a little more though (maybe she’s scared to rip her Project Runway outfit). Still, better than the past few weeks. B
Michael Lynche – In The Ghetto – I really liked this! I didn’t actually feel it was sleepy, although it was slow. He actually told the story without being overly theatrical, it was earnest, it was gentle and, even singing at a slower pace, his vocals were spot on. Not climatic or ended with a big bang but I thought he managed to tell a story with the song. Best of the night so far. I’m usually a fan of those big-oomph showstoppers more than anything but I really thought this was great and I’m giving it (if I remember correctly) my very first A for this show.
Katie Stevens – Baby, What You Want Me To Do – Haha I totally read the title with a Singlish slang. It was LOL. That head-shifting, Destiny’s Child swagger might have been overdoing it a tad little but, note to Aaron Kelly, this is how you fake attitude more convincingly. She had pitch problems here and there but she did sound pretty good and strong at parts and this is probably one of her more complete performances so far. B
Casey James – Lawdy Miss Clawdy – Ryan is…high. This song is totally in Casey’s safety zone (just like, again, Crystal). Old-school rock n’ roll, fun, decently strong vocals and it was rocky, but very forgettable, like the judges’ said. Agree with Simon about the wasted Elvis potential and he totally squandered his pimp spot position. Hopefully he’ll come back next week with a performance at the ‘Jealous Guy’ level. B
I thought Adam actually did pretty well as a mentor. He didn’t say much but the points he gave did seem very appropriate (although some were pretty common-sensical). And it does show how great he was that, for most the advice he gave to the contestants, he had displayed them fully himself last season.
My rankings for the remaining nine:
1. Lee Dewyze – He might not be as polished or as great a singer as Crystal but his performance style and song choices are more towards my taste. And he’s been steadily improving, too.
2. Crystal Bowersox – The whole gospel-old-school-rock vibe is still not my thing but it’s undeniable that she’s probably the best performer this entire season by far.
3. Michael Lynche – I’ve always loved his vocals and I’m consistently surprised by the fact that he’s a way stronger and better Ruben but he’s always under the radar.
4. Casey James – This week was meh but he has shown before that he could be great so hopefully he’ll improve.
5. Siobhan Magnus – She’s really dropping for me because she’s really showing that even her best point, her singing, isn’t all that great anymore (or was that great to begin with, actually). Still, she has the potential to knock songs out if she chooses the right one so I’m hoping she doesn’t go out early in an upset.
6. Katie Stevens – She’s still boring as heck to me and her singing isn’t good enough to warrant her the teen vocal wonder spot this season.
7. Aaron Kelly – I still think he’s overrated and nothing he sings, at least going by the way he has, will come off as anything more than good karaoke.
8. Tim Urban – Surprise! He’s not my lowest anymore! He’s been steadily improving but it’s no biggie if he goes out though.
9. Andrew – It’s sad that he used to be by far the favourite in Hollywood and he’s now this season’s Sanjaya (I mean, he actually managed to snatch that status from Tim, which says something).
For tomorrow, I’ll be happy if any two of my bottom four head off. Just don’t touch my top five, please.