American Idol: Episode 28 of Season Nine--The Top 9

4/07/2010 Posted by Admin

American Idol: Episode 28 of Season Nine--The Top 9

Across the Board Improvement in American Idol

By our guest blogger, Catherine Fuentes

Beatles night of "American Idol," or in this case “Songs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney” night, is always one of my favorite nights. There’s a ton of options that play upon different vocal strengths and performance types, and well, the songs are lovingly familiar.

Because of the keen sense of familiarity with these songs, a friend and I spent part of our afternoon predicting which songs each contestant would sing. For the most part, our accuracy needs to be commended. This means that the contestants are finally coming into their own, learning who they are as artists, and are overcoming from weeks of poor song choices. Finally, they’re competing.

The shocking thing in watching this episode was realizing that there are only three females left. Wasn’t this touted as the “season of the girl”? Six guys remain – will this be the first week where a male is eliminated?

It pleases me to no end to boast that Casey James was the performance of the night. Singing John Lennon’s hit “Jealous Guy,” Casey showed his sensitive and vulnerable side. Until tonight, one of his best performances to date was an acoustic version of “Heaven,” and here, Casey built upon that, showing the growth, depth and maturity he’s garnered in the weeks since. It was by miles the best of the night, and if there was any doubt that Casey is a serious contender this season, I think tonight put those skeptical thoughts to bed.

Katie Stevens also gave her best performance of the competition with “Let It Be.” After two weeks of being in the bottom two, Katie finally gave a performance that should put her at the top. The slower ballad nature of the song allowed her to show the power to her voice, and the arrangement switches she made, made the song a bit more contemporary. On top of that, her pre-performance package made Katie come across as a bit more likable.

While it may not have been as great as last week’s, I felt Andrew Garcia’s performance of “Can’t Buy Me Love” was great. It was a perfect song choice for him, since it was light, fun and involved the guitar. He gave a solid, fun performance – nothing spectacular – but he put a modern twist on one of the most beloved Beatles hits of all time. While the judges called it corny, I don’t think that’s a fair bit of criticism. Andrew Garcia is a corny guy, and that song is incredibly corny, and that’s okay.

Although I was expecting Crystal Bowersox to sing “Imagine,” I was pleased to see her perform “Come Together.” While it was a great song for her, as it allowed her to play her guitar and rock out a bit more, I would’ve expected and preferred either Casey or Lee to take this one on. To me, it didn’t come close to matching last week’s performance, and this should’ve been a slam dunk week for Crystal.

Tim Urban finally did it right this week, although I’m sure he’ll wind up in the bottom three once more. As predicted, Tim chose an earlier Beatles hit with “All My Loving” and sang it with full-on Beatles hair. It wasn’t the best of the pack – it wasn’t close to it – but it’s been my favorite performance of Tim’s to date. The judges may have half-joked about judging Tim on a separate category, which certainly was a dig, but it may be true. Tim isn’t close to being up to par with the rest of the pack, yet somehow (boyish good looks?), he remains fighting week after week.

Siobhan Magnus strayed from her path of big, boisterous songs by singing “Across the Universe.” It showed a different side to her voice and while I was glad to see that Siobhan can excel while being more subdued and using her falsetto, next week I want a powerful song.

Lee DeWyze’s performance of “Hey Jude” was a bit of a disappointment, and that’s probably because I was so distracted by the enormous kilted bagpiper who emerged and descended down the stairs halfway through the performance. He missed some of the notes and it was far from being one of his best performances, which is a shame since this song should’ve been perfect for him. But I did realize how much I like the quality of his voice, and after last week, I’m really pulling for him.

I was let down a bit by Big Mike’s performance of “Eleanor Rigby.” He took tremendous license with changing the arrangement of the song by putting a soulful slant on it. The performance was nowhere near as good as David Cook’s performance of the same song two years back. That said, he’s been so consistently strong, that he has nothing to worry about.

The weakest performance of the night was Aaron Kelly’s rendition of Paul McCartney’s “The Long and Winding Road.” It had a boring tempo, it was entirely forgettable – even when watching it--and it just wasn’t his best. He sang it well, but it was a step down from past weeks, and considering how much people improved this week, this puts Aaron in considerable risk.

My guesses for the bottom three: Aaron, Tim and who knows, maybe Siobhan? Maybe Andrew? I bet that third spot will be a shock, but it’ll also likely be the person to be brought back to safety first.

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes