Tuesday, April 13, 2010

‘American Idol 9′ – Top 9 (again) results show recap

We’ve reached what would normally be the Top 8, but because the judges saved Michael Lynche last week, this week we’ve got nine contestants performing for seven spots. That means, of course, that two people will be eliminated Wednesday and there’s no save to, well, save them.

This week, the Idols will be singing Elvis Presley songs and Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert is the guest mentor.

Ryan starts out on the Adam Lambert Memorial Staircase (ALMS). He tells us that after the judges saved Michael Lynche, the pressure is on. He wants to know if we’re ready? Are we? I guess.

Voiceover man intros the judges. Ryan comes down the ALMS once again and greets the audience. Someone has a poster depicting Big Mike as a Sumo wrestler. Ryan reminds us of last week’s save. The nine finalists come out on stage. Ryan is between Mike and Casey and tells us we’re going to be drawing inspiration from one of music’s biggest icons, Elvis. His record sales have topped one billion, more than any other artist ever.

The Idols went to Vegas where they experienced Cirque Du Soleil’s Elvis show. Little video package on Adam. He says it’s an honor to be mentoring and loves Elvis. His mission is to be completely honest, but constructive.

Adam’s in the house. Ryan sits with him for a sec. Adam’s got an Elvis-like do going on. He is the first former Idol to be called back as a mentor. He says they are all special people, but they need to “wake up a little bit.” Adam says he’d do the song Tim’s doing (“Can’t Help Falling in Love”). See, even Adam loves Timmy!

Crystal Bowersox – “Saved”

Adam says Crystal has an authentic voice. He thinks she should go with an electric guitar. He tells her he tried to do something different every week.

Crystal still is a bit congested. But she is putting a whole lot more energy into this performance than usual. She’s got a good gospel vibe going on and I like the electric guitar. Girl’s got talent, that’s for sure. Good performance once again.

Randy says that’s the way to come out. “You’ve got this whole blues vibe going on… I loved it.” Ellen says she’s tired of telling Crystal how great she is and wonders if it’s anyone’s birthday! Kara says it’s another great performance. “I think you did some really good things tonight.” Simon says it was a lyric he could relate to. He says she chose something that suited her and didn’t fall into the karaoke trap. “Original, sounded great, and congratulations once again.”

Andrew Garcia – “Hound Dog”

Andrew gets stool time with Ryan. He’s also performing second, the death spot. Clearly, they want him to go home. Ryan wants to know what Andrew was thinking last week when Michael was singing for his life. He says he was encouraged by seeing Mike perform as if everything was on the line. Ryan wonders if Andrew can break his own “ceiling.”

Adam tells Andrew the arrangement is boring and encourages him to give it some more “punch.” Adam says Andrew has the potential to be great, but he needs to put a twist on it.

Apparently, Andrew didn’t really take Adam’s advice too seriously. It’s still boring. He does walk around a bit, carrying the microphone stand. The vocals are okay, but overall, it’s not enough to save him.

Randy says Simon predicted that was not good karaoke. He didn’t get it at all. Ellen wishes he’d put a little more swagger into it, but thinks he pulled it off. Kara says, “It’s Elvis, you gotta own it… he owned the stage. I thought you used the mike as a crutch.” Simon calls the performance “lazy and unpredictable.” He says it’s was like the part in a musical that no one wants to hear. He thinks all of Andrew’s coolness has been sucked out of him.

Ryan asks Ellen how she saw something so different from Simon. She reiterates that she just liked it. Andrew, you are going home, buddy.

Tim Urban – “Can’t Help Falling in Love”

Tim’s got the second death spot tonight. Think they want to get rid of him too? Adam likes Tim’s voice and “pretty” guitar work. He urges Tim to push the ending in his pretty falsetto.

Ryan calls him “Turban!” The arrangement starts out acoustically. The swaybots are waving their arms in adoration. Tim’s a bit flat and enunciates weirdly, but his delivery is straight-forward and sincere. It’s actually quite nice. Ryan is slow-dancing with someone, Randy perhaps? The little girls will love this. Awww, Timmeh! How sweet. I bet Adam’s even teary-eyed!

Randy says “This may surprise you. I actually liked it.” Ellen says the first time she took a shot of tequila she didn’t think she’d like it, but she took another and another. She feels the same way about Tim.

Kara says this is her favorite Tim performance ever. “Well done.” Simon comments on Ryan’s dancing. “You have managed to go from zero to hero in two weeks,” he tells Timmy. He says Tim has taken the advice really well. Tim is like a bright, shining star.

Ryan was actually dancing with Michael Sarver! All this is just too much to take!

Lee DeWyze – “A Little Less Conversation”

Adam urges Lee to “perform” it and be playful. He thinks if Lee connects and smiles more, he has a chance to do really well.

Lee’s on acoustic guitar. And he gets it. The arrangement is cool, good bass riff from Rickey Minor. Lee’s vocals are right on the money and I think this is his best performance to date.

Randy says Lee is definitely in the zone and loved it. Ellen says Lee made the song current and that he is showing more confidence. “You get better and better.” Kara says she’s never seen him go for it vocally before. “The vocal was fire.” She wants more playfulness, though. Simon wonders if she wants kittens or what? Lee says he’s having fun. Simon says it was “on the money, full stop.”

Lee says talking to Adam helped a lot and realized that he really needs to smile more. Adam is digging this.

Aaron Kelly – “Blue Suede Shoes”

Adam says he underestimated Aaron’s voice. He coaches Aaron to “grab it.” Adam says Aaron doesn’t quite believe in himself yet and needs to commit a bit. “It might be wrong in every possible way. But I’m gonna go out there and have some fun.” Aaron says.

Aaron sort of takes Adam’s advice. He moves around the stage and shows a bit more attitude than we’ve seen from him so far. He looks pretty ridiculous doing this, however. The background singers sound sickly! Vocally, he’s good, but the song was, well, weird. Adam applauds weakly.

Randy wonders why Aaron didn’t think it was the right song. He liked the second half. Ellen thinks it was a big song to take on and that he did a really good job. She doesn’t think he got all the way there, though.

Kara says Aaron is out of his comfort zone and liked it. She says it felt current and young. Simon says it did the opposite. “It was kind of what it was, like someone at a high school doing a concert.” He’s frustrated that Aaron didn’t make it young and thinks it was karaoke. Someone in the audience shouts out “No way.” Aaron could be in danger, but we’ll have to see what Katie does.

Siobhan Magnus – “Suspicious Minds”

Siobhan’s getting stool time too. She’s got her hair did. She tells Ryan she’s a true Elvis fan and did a report on him in the sixth grade. She says the most fascinating thing about Elvis is that he came from practically nothing.

Adam says it feels a little sleepy and suggests she speed it up. He thinks this gives her more oomph. She says it’s an honor to meet Adam and that she’s been compared to him.

Siobhan does take Adam’s advice and speeds it up a bit. She’s even on the staircase. To me, it sounds loungey, or even worse, Broadway. She digs in towards the end and manages to get a scream or two in there. It’s like Elvis meets Celine meets Whitney. I didn’t like it, but Adam clearly did.

Randy says he kinda liked the Supreme-ish kind of opening. He liked the big vocals in the middle. Ellen says she liked the second half better (the screaming half). Kara says Randy and Ellen are picking up on Siobhan’s “two voices.” She’s confused. Simon says it was like Siobhan was put into a time machine and came back as someone he didn’t recognize. He says it sounded erratic and screechy, and that she’s lost who she was two weeks ago.

Ryan asks what Simon would like to see her do. He says the song wasn’t her in the real world. Siobhan says she can’t pinpoint exactly who she is. She doesn’t think it’s necessary to be labeled. “I just love to sing.”

Michael Lynche – “In the Ghetto”

Adam wants Michael to bring the actor out, but Mike says he doesn’t want to irritate Simon. Adam thinks if Michael connects he can redeem himself.

Michael is playing acoustic guitar. It’s a softer version of the song, and Michael does put himself into it and sells it nicely. He totally makes the song his own and it’s really nice. He seems overcome at the end.

Randy says the song was sleepy, but the vocals were hot. Ellen says she’s glad they saved him. Kara says, “It’s a beautiful song.” Simon says it was a million, billion times better than last week, the perfect song, and a terrific performance. Clearly, they’re running out of time here. Gotta get this done so Glee can start at 9:28 on the dot!

Katie Stevens – “Baby What You Want Me to Do?”

Adam wants Katie to show anger. She’s frustrated about the judges and wants to let them know that. He wants her to sell it.

Katie’s voice is way too weak for this song, but she does exhibit a bit of attitude. Like the little chicken neck moves too. It’s a stupid song choice, though. She addresses the line, “Well baby, what you want me to do” to the judges. All in all, it’s pretentious and overdone. You could be in trouble, girly girl.

Randy likes the vocals and attitude. Ellen says it was a very “horny” song – lot of horns in it. Randy is cracking up. Kara says Katie showed the judges. Simon says he found it loud and annoying. He didn’t like the song. Kara argues with him.

The cast of Glee is in the audience!

Casey James – “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”

Adam wants Casey to give it a bit more of an arc. He thinks Casey will do well if he gives the song more “shape.”

This is a super choice for Casey’s rather limited range, but bluesy vibe. He doesn’t really give it the kind of shape Adam wanted, but works it okay. With so many songs to pick, why this one? Didn’t really work for me.

Randy says Casey is in the zone and calls the performance solid. Ellen loves his voice, but it wasn’t exciting as she wanted. Kara says it fell short of the kind of brilliance he’s capable of. Simon thinks it was a wasted opportunity. Casey looks shook.

Best and Worst

Once again, Crystal ruled the night. I’m just sorry her performance was so early in the show. She should have had the pimp spot. I liked Michael and Lee. That was about it. Casey – meh! This leaves me with five in the bottom – Katie, Aaron, Andrew, Siobhan, and Tim. I’m putting Aaron, Tim, and Andrew in the bottom three, with Andrew and Aaron going home.

Breaking news! TMZ is reporting that Rickey Minor will be taking over Kevin Eubank’s spot as music director on Jay Leno’s show. The announcement is supposed to be made officially Wednesday. Kevin is leaving at the end of May right around the time Idol ends. Hmmm.

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