American Idol: Episode 16 of Season Nine--The Top 10 Men

3/03/2010 Posted by Admin

American Idol: Episode 16 of Season Nine--The Top 10 Men

A Better Night For the Guys

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes


Last night, the guys showed that they’re serious about this competition. Though they were set to sing tonight, due to Crystal Bowersox’s emergency hospitalization, they had to go live last night--with just a couple of hours to prepare. While that might throw many people off their game, the guys, for the most part, rose to the occasion. The guys are proving that they are capable of giving very solid performances--there weren’t any awful ones, and there weren’t any truly phenomenal ones, but they were good enough.

Again, I’ve found myself absolutely loving Casey James’ performance even though he is not the best vocalist of this competition. But think of all the music you own on iTunes--how much of it is performed by truly exceptional singers? Not all of it, I’m willing to bet. Casey James is the whole package. He sings well enough, but he plays guitar surprisingly well and has a great look. The way he took ownership of Gavin DeGraw’s ubiquitous hit “I Don’t Want To Be” shows that Casey has an understanding of what being an artist is. I think--and hope--than he’ll be in this competition for many weeks.

Perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise of the night was the performance of the endearing Alex Lambert, or, as I affectionately call him, Florence Henderson. Last week he gave a nervous, shaky performance, but tonight, singing a surprising John Legend song, he was a totally different person. Maybe what it took for him to conquer his nerves was to have his guitar with him, or to pick a song more befit for his voice. Regardless of what it was, Alex showed that he listened to the judges’ criticism, he internalized it and he worked on it, and he gave one of the best auditions of the night. I think Alex could be a dark horse in this competition, assuming he continues to conquer his nerves and rely on his strong voice.  It also would be great for him to lose the mullet.

While Michael Lynche started the night off on a great note, I’ve found him to be rather forgettable since, which is the inherent problem with going first. He took a very tough song, stepped outside of his normal audition style, and gave an all around solid performance. I thought he was great, and because of a very consistent history and an enthusiastic personality, Michael Lynche isn’t going anywhere.

From his first audition, I’ve been touting Andrew Garcia as the clear winner of this competition. After his past two performances, I feel like I spoke too soon. He set the bar way too high with his rendition of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” and nothing he has done since has come remotely close to it. He’s giving safe and weak performances after proving to America that his strong suit is the opposite of safe. I know that Andrew is capable of greatness, and I think that willll carry him through for weeks, but he really needs to step it up to the incredible performances I know he’s capable of achieving--and that I’m growing to really miss from him.

Although the judges really seem to love Lee DeWyze, I’m not really on his bandwagon just yet. He is fitting too much into the whole Daughtry/Nickelback/Creed style of music that I just can’t get into, and I haven’t liked any of his song choices just yet, other than his audition songs. That said, I think he can sing really well, and his performances are good, but I don’t think he’s the dark horse of the competition, and I certainly don’t think he’s the best of the guys, but I do think he deserves to stick around for a while.

While I’m still not a particularly big fan of Aaron Kelly, I really enjoyed his performance tonight. It came at the right time of the night. The few auditions before him were pretty weak, and Aaron gave an uplifting and energetic performance of my favorite song, “My Girl.” Sure, it was a bit old fashioned, and yes, he still comes across as a bit nervous, but it was fun, and it showed that he has a great quality to his voice.

Last week, I was convinced that Tim Urban did not deserve his second chance to compete. And while I’m still not convinced that he has the vocal chops to last, I’m shocked to say that I’m glad he got a second chance. Tim was another contestant who proved that he listened to and internalized the judges’ criticism. He chose a song that made sense for him to sing. While it wasn’t the best rendition, it was good enough to make it another week. This type of music makes sense for him to be singing, and an attractive guy playing that type of guitar pop music is incredibly marketable. More importantly, he showed a huge improvement in the span of one week, which to me, shows some hidden potential.

The weakest performances of the night were from John Park, Todrick Hall and Jermaine Sellers. After watching all of their packages, I think all three are funny and entertaining guys, and I wish they performed better because I’d like them to stay. Come on, what’s not to love about a dude who embraces his love of the onesie? But week after week, each of the three have given weak performances. I believe all three peaked in their very first audition, but because they did such exceptional jobs, they’ll still around. I think the two who will be given the axe will be from this grouping, and if I were to pick, it’d be John Park and Todrick Hall, the latter of which had two serious misses with changing arrangements of songs.

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2 comments:

  1. Melissa Cole said...

    You're probably right about John and Todrick...though I locked in two votes for John last night, I'm giving him only one more week on the cute train.

    I'm really digging Florence, and I surprising feel very OK about the hair. But I feel like really really concerned that this name is "A"lex "Lambert" ... I see that as a huge problem and I must be the only one because I've heard no one make mention of it.

    Also I too was impressed that the guys could pull it together on such short notice. I think Casey and Andrew Garcia can do terribly next week and still end up in the Top 12.

  2. Catherine said...

    Melissa - I agree with you! I'm giving the contestants one more week on the cute train or the "well your past has been great, so I'll let this slide." Once it turns co-ed, I think it's do or die -- except for Andrew and Casey, I agree that they're into the Top 12 regardless of what they do.

    I think part of the reason why I keep on referring to Alex as Florence is because, the A Lambert thing is about ready to really throw me off.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!