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‘American Idol’ top 6 performance show recap

Who were your top two tonight? (Pick up to two)

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I’m so sorry I wasn’t around for live blogging. I got caught up at a CNN meet-and-greet cocktail party in downtown Atlanta featuring local CNN talent (Rick Sanchez), execs (Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent), producers and guests such as Mayor Kasim Reed, “Apprentice” alum Wes Moss, “Real Housewives” alum DeShawn Snow and “Top Chef” contestant and Pure Vida owner Hector Santiago. It figures I recognized the reality TV participants.

I hope Deirdre was able to keep you up to date!

UPDATE: Okay, I’ve got it. I wasn’t quite as impressed with the performances tonight as the judges.

Who will go home? That’s going to be a tough call. I think the bottom three will be Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly and for the first time, Crystal Bowersox. Michael will go home. I thought both Michael and Aaron pulled off perfectly respectable performances but they were both forgettable to me. Crystal cruised through without a lot of effort and may leave the voters a bit less enthusiastic than normal.

I really enjoyed both Casey and Lee. Both felt easygoing and connected to their songs. Siobhan was a mixed bag for me.

My rankings: 1. Lee 2. Casey 3. Crystal 4. Siobhan 5. Aaron 6. Michael

As for Shania as a mentor: sweetly unremarkable.

Up first: Lee DeWyze (”You’re Still the One”) – He picked one of her biggest crossover hits. I wasn’t a big fan of that song. But somehow, Lee made me like it. He sang it with some finesse and lots of love.
Randy: It started out a little pitchy but midway through you made it your own. You found your sweet spot.
Ellen: You did better than a pretty good job. You make it your own. You couldn’t look cuter. All aboard the Shania Twain.
Kara: Look at far you’ve come. That’s a love song. I don’t know if you relate to it but you cracked a smile a few times.
Simon: That was absolutely the perfect song. Started a little hesitant. You were pulling some weird faces. [It's the smirk.]

Who are the bottom three? (Pick up to three)

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Second up: Michael Lynche (”It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”) – It’s a typical Lynche performance. Vocally quite strong but how much you like it depends on how much you buy into his performance. I’m still not buying it.
Randy: You did a great job. You are in the zone of who you are. There’s a wide open space for you.
Ellen: It felt like Luther Vandross. I felt your emotion. I felt you get into it.
Kara: I always that you go to that place that relates to you. You put your mark on it.
Simon: It was spot on. The performance was a little bit wet. You were in a musical acting out the words… it was a little girly.

Third up: Casey James (”Don’t”) – This is definitely one of his better performances, tackling a ballad. He spent too much of the song with his eyes closed but he connected with this song in a similar way to how he did “Jealous Guy.” He clearly does better with the ballads than the faster rock tunes.
Randy: This is one of the best Casey James’ performances ever.
Ellen: That’s where you belong. I thought it was your best performance to date.
Kara: Artists do not hide the good, bad and ugly. You didn’t hide it. You were vulnerable and raw.
Simon: Last week was a much needed wake-up call. I actually agree with Randy. This is probably your best performance so far. You were singing the song. It didn’t feel like somebody else’s song. You should give [Shania] a kiss on the lips. [He gave her a hug, not a kiss.]

Fourth up: Crystal Bowersox (”No One Needs to Know Right Now”) – She really took it country. It was pleasant but ultimately nothing to write home about.
Randy: I love you try different things.
Ellen: I say it every week. There’s nothing you can’t do. Not my favorite performance but like what’s your least favorite color of the rainbow.
Kara: It’s impossible for you not to be good. You’re always coming from a place of truth.
Simon: We don’t like Crystal this week. It was limp, something you see in a coffee shop. I didn’t feel any conviction. And the song was forgettable [sorry Shania].

Fifth up: Aaron Kelly (”It’s in the Way You Love Me”) – Technically, perfectly fine. But tonally, he doesn’t resonate with me. And emotionally, I wasn’t bowled over.
Randy: This is your wheelhouse. You did a really good job.
Ellen: This is going to be tough. Everybody is doing well.
Kara: I completely agree with you. You really felt those words. [He did change a line cos he was singing it to his mom.]
Simon: You’re only 17. The last two or three weeks, you’ve struggled. Didn’t get it at all. However, tonight, you were like a different artist. It felt sincere. It felt believable.

Pimp spot: Siobhan Magnus (”Any Man of Mine”) – This was the song that got Mandisa eliminated season five. Siobhan, as usual, went all out. She went into the crowd, too. But she just seems kind of stiff to me on stage. And her vocals are all over the place. Plus, that scream/screech never endears her to me.
Randy: I love the punky country look. I loved it.
Ellen: Way to pull the Shania Twain into the station. Good way to end the show.
Kara: Guess who’s back? Siobhan!
Simon: I really really liked that song. I’m not normally a fan of country. The screaming may have gone a little bit. It was like you were giving birth out there.

322 comments Add your comment

JTesla

April 28th, 2010
11:27 am

No, really, we do.

Rosita

April 28th, 2010
11:28 am

Deirdre, imo you are the brightest bulb in the ballroom! :-)

Rosita

April 28th, 2010
11:31 am

Neg, just caught up with your analysis of Lee’s performance last night and I think you’re right on target. BUT he grows every week, as do Casey and Aaron. I find that Idol Growth Hormone pretty irresistible.

wreckedpizza

April 28th, 2010
11:36 am

Thanks, JT—had a brainfart and didn’t remember we’d get that info tonight! Getting old, I guess.

Agreed on the two songs; let the people sing!!!

Beetlejuice

April 28th, 2010
11:42 am

lee is apparently tone deaf. no if’s, and’s or but’s. i haven’t heard a performance from him yet that stayed consistently on point pitch wise. don’t know why they are going overboard praising him, when it’s obvious to even the most untrained ear that he has some fundamental problems that need some work correcting before i’d consent to spend a dime on anything he recorded.

mike sang well, has a tone that is smooth and pleasing, but for some reason is coming across arrogant [boggles the mind], and thus looks vulnerable in the popularity contest idol really is. it’s a shame that this show is such a transparent popularity contest, because if it were a real singing contest, he’d be in the hunt every week.

aaron had what i think was his best performance. country def is his bag, and i think it would serve him to just stick to songs in that vein, or let more of that side come through, instead of whipping back and forth trying to please these schizo judges.

casey is taking baby steps to get out of the rut, and the shell he’s in performance wise. this guy to me – if he were a little looser, more willing to use the stage, has the right ingredients to be a contender for the finale. his voice is more than servicable, killer guitar skills, possesses that blond/blue eyed tom petty/surfer boy/gregg allman-esque look that still markets well. i really want to see him give a ‘damn the torpedos’ performance just once this season. it could change everything.

siobhan… i want to like her. she has a great voice, but just doesn’t know how to control it, when to restrain it, when to let it rip for maximum effect. i thought she was behind the beat in the first few bars, and it just threw the rest of her performance off for me. when she went for her trademark scream, i had just lost interest in the whole song. one thing though – it was pretty lively, and a needed uptempo number in another sea of boringness that are these song choices.

not crystal’s best night for me – song choice nor performance. something was just disjointed about the whole arrangement, but compared with the other contestants, she still stands out from them overall. i like her singing style, just not sure she’d be someone i’d purchase a full cd from.

melissa's mom

April 28th, 2010
11:46 am

Siobhan has had some good moments, but for most of the song last night, it sounded like she was singing through her nose.
Casey started out great, but in my humble opinion, his voice was too weak for that song. Also, I don’t like it when the performers sit behind the judges. What’s the point in that?
Crystal sounded great as usual.
Aaron sang his heart out! What a great kid. I was in tears.
Mike was ok. Didn’t like the falsetto notes, though.
Lee – I don’t know what to say about him. He’s cute and looks like a really nice person, but I’m not a fan of his singing.

Neg says it like it is

April 28th, 2010
11:48 am

Mercedes, you’re overthinking the reasons why so many people don’t like Shovahn. It’s not because she’s unconventional or eclectic, it’s that her singing is just, well, annoying.

I think most people who aren’t very impressed with Shovahn view those who idolize her as somewhat gullible. She’s used theatrics, costume, and a special signature shriek as smoke and mirror gimmicks to dupe her believers into thinking she’s vocally gifted and mysterious.

However, if you look at the woman behind the curtain you’ll find it’s not as you dreamed, Dorothy. It was just a big, clever prop used as a cover for a girl with very average talent. That doesn’t mean you can’t admire and respect her for being talented at creating an image from illusion, but don’t confuse the illusion with reality.

ugaaccountant

April 28th, 2010
11:57 am

Smoke and mirrors making the americal idol contestants seem better than they are GASP who would have ever believed that GASP.

JTesla

April 28th, 2010
11:58 am

Neg: “It’s not because she’s unconventional or eclectic, it’s that her singing is just, well, annoying.”

Yep! I want to like her, but can’t.

wreckedpizza

April 28th, 2010
12:02 pm

Yep, I feel kind of like that about Crystal. Not saying she is annoying, but definitely not my cup of tea. I’ve tried to see why so many gush about her, but still haven’t done so. Probably just me…

sam

April 28th, 2010
12:12 pm

Twangy: When someone with a god-awful accent barely discernable as English, puts a clothespin on their nose and just “twangs” the lyrics

Whangy: When the instruments being played are all hillbilly and metally and just don’t sound pleasant.

Neg says it like it is

April 28th, 2010
12:15 pm

311 comments and counting…pretty impressive!

doris

April 28th, 2010
12:50 pm

Do not like Siobhan. She could go home. Then Aaron.

Harriett

April 28th, 2010
12:59 pm

I know we are talking Idol here, but did anyone catch Glee last night? Kurt singing “A House Is Not a Home?” Tears on my part. Also when Mercedes sang “Beautiful” as the finale. Tears again.

ugaaccountant

April 28th, 2010
1:12 pm

Glee is a great show. Kurt isn’t a great singer though. I much preferred Kristen Chenoworth’s song to his. She’s a truly talented broadway singer just pretending to be an actress for this show.

ugaaccountant

April 28th, 2010
1:13 pm

Kurt – weak voice, kind of nasally.

spinster

April 28th, 2010
1:17 pm

casey was the best of the night no doubt about that. the rest was just plain dull..one more solid performance and he will have a chance to win this. And at last! (hallelujah!) someone dragged crystal from her pedestal. i dont know why everyone else is so into her but she is just so plain boring.

just my opinion though.

Harriett

April 28th, 2010
1:22 pm

I was speaking of the “moment,” not a critique of the singing. I thought it was beautiful. The creatror of Glee stated that his “kids” are the “everyman” type, which he finds all over the country. He does not require them to be great singers, just a bit of talent, like a lot of glee club high school kids who try.

Highlander

April 28th, 2010
5:04 pm

“Siobahn. I can’t believe they didn’t say “I don’t know what artist you are.” Terrible song choice. Pitchy. And, of course, the gratuitous big note. I wonder if she ends phone calls that way, too.” – RK, 9:07pm, 4/27

Don’t want to use the emoticon for ‘laughing out loud’ cause it wouldn’t really convey the feeling in this case. I’m just glad I didn’t have anything to drink in my mouth when I read that!

And, that’s the same way I feel about Siobhan’s unnecessary high note at the end of this song!

Highlander

April 28th, 2010
5:07 pm

Also, I would disagree that Siobhan’s dress and styling is unique. Looks to me like she has just watched every ’80’s Madonna video on an endless loop! :D

regina

April 28th, 2010
6:37 pm

No Lee reminds me of Darius Rucker from Hootie and The Blowfish.. I really have liked him from the beginning…

Alex Trebeck

April 28th, 2010
6:57 pm

I’m still ticked about the lame “save” that was used for Cheese Puff Daddy. A guy doesn’t have enough votes to finish any better than 9th place and the use the save on him? Lee seems to get a lot of love from the judges (and I still don’t know why), so how will they feel if he gets the boot tonight?