Season 9 Index

 

American Idol Season 9 (2010)

 

April 13 - A little less conversation, a little more singing, please (Elvis Presley songs)

 

After watching the semi-finals, I avoided writing reviews this year.  Frankly, it's hard to write much of anything when you're falling asleep from boredom.  Then I found out that Adam Lambert was this week's guest mentor.  Squeeee!  Vocally, Adam has nothing to do with Elvis.  But he can imitate his looks and cause controversy on television, so I guess that qualifies him as much as anyone.  At least in the "we're-so-desperate-we'll-try-anything" Idol world.

 

The judges saved Mike Lynch last week, so this week there are nine contestants, and two will be eliminated.  Because remember, in fashion, one week you're in, and the next week you're out.  And hair is important.  Oh, wait, wrong reality show.  Pay attention, Tricia.

 

There's a lot of blather about the contestants going to Las Vegas, and then... Adam comes out with hair that looks like he's stuck his finger in a socket and waxed the result. Oh, Adam. Run to my stylist, 'kay? He feels so honored to mentor, etc. And he's in tonight's audience, in front of the cast of Glee. Ryan exchanges some useless dialogue with him, in which he confesses that his tongue isn't as talented as Adam's. Adam thankfully leaves that comment alone.

Crystal Bowersox (sings "Saved"): Adam calls her authentic and tells her to use an electric guitar to switch it up some. Oh, goody, they've started with the best singer of the season. It's only going downhill from here. She's singing like she's in church with a "bedazzled" electric guitar, as Ryan calls it, and she's rocking it. She's the only one this year who can outsing the overwrought band arrangements, that's for sure. She's also the only performer this year who I've been following online, and my only critique is that I wish she'd get away from an instrument and just sing and move around the stage some more, because while I think her voice is cool, I would be so bored during one of her concerts if she's just standing like she's playing in a coffeehouse the whole time. Randy says she was dope and blues-cool and the second coming of Bonnie Raitt. Ellen calls her fantastic. Kara calls it another solid performance. Simon relates to the lying and cheating lyrics, and calls her original.

Andrew Garcia (sings "Hound Dog"): Andrew like, knows, like, how to, like, say, "like" a lot. Zzzzzzz. Adam says Andrew was boring and tells him to make the song his. I guess that equates to clutching a cool microphone and making "Hound Dog" into a lounge song. Dear God. I think he just sucked half the life out of our living room. And girls are screaming for him? Really? Randy didn't like it at all and calls it not-cool karaoke. Ellen wanted to see more swagger but thinks he pulled it off. Kara doesn't think he owned the stage and was dragging the microphone around too much. Simon thinks it was lazy and like the part of a musical that no one wants to hear. Yep.

Tim Urban (sings "Can't Help Falling In Love"): This show is so boring, Ryan has to talk to his mother first before we get back to the performances. Adam thinks Tim did a good job and has him end the song in a falsetto for more vulnerability. But my husband falls asleep in his yogurt. I keep thinking: Kris Allen would have been so much better on this. Tim is just not a good singer. And he cops out on the falsetto. Weenie. Ppphhht. He must have really sucked throughout this season, though, because Randy likes it. Ellen compares him to tequila, that you have to drink over and over again to like, and now she's drunk. Kara calls it her favorite Tim performance ever. Simon says he's gone from zero to hero in two weeks. Ugh.

Lee DeWyze (sings "A Little Less Conversation"): Adam tells him to show some personality, smile, and connect some more. Oh, yay, another person playing guitar. He's got a pretty contemporary-sounding rock version going on here, but his Eyes. Are. So. Dead. I think he's a zombie. Randy says Lee is in the zone. Ellen says it sounded like a brand new song, and he's showing more confidence. Kara says he really went for it vocally, although she wanted him to be a bit more playful. Simon says Kara doesn't know what she's talking about and says Lee nailed the song. Lee says that Adam really helped him. And now he smiles, and the eyes start to sparkle. Whew. I don't have to pull out my shotgun.

Aaron Kelly (sings "Blue Suede Shoes"): Adam tells Aaron to give more energy in his performance. He thinks Aaron doesn't quite believe in himself yet, and Aaron isn't sure the song suits him. Well, that certainly gives me confidence in him. Actually, he's okay, I guess, for a high school talent show. But I'm sorry, he's 16 or 17, right? I just laugh when this baby-faced boy tries to be sexy in the second, bluesy half of the song. Really, now. Is that even legal? Randy likes that second half of the song, though, so what do I know? Ellen gives him an A for effort. Kara likes that he's out of his comfort zone and thinks it made him younger. What, he's in diapers now? Simon basically agrees with me, saying it was like a high school performance and karaoke. Finally, some sanity in the judges' panel.

Siobhan Magnus (sings "Suspicious Minds"): She's a big Elvis fan - she even did a paper on him in 6th grade! Pardon me while I bang my head against the table. Adam thinks she has the pipes, but it sounded a little sleepy, so he told her to pep it up. Siobhan has to point out to Adam that she's been compared to him. Ummm...shut up. She starts off singing with her back to the audience. She's got a nice enough voice, but sheesh, the arrangement moves from bad 60s vibe to gospel, which just kills it. Randy kinda likes it, especially when Siobhan's big vocals came back at the end. Ellen says she looks fabulous and she liked it a lot. Kara is confused at Siobhan's two voices in the song. Simon says it was erratic and screechy. Daggers flash from Siobhan's eyes, and she tells the judges that she shouldn't have to label herself. Girly, you're not Adam, okay? He at least stayed consistent in one song. Shut up already.

Michael Lynch (sings "In the Ghetto"): Adam wants him to bring a little theater to the performance and connect to the audience. And we have yet another contestant with a guitar. And a predictable song choice, too! But very pretty and--dare I say--a little moving. They're short on time now, so the judges rush through their comments. Randy calls the performance a little sleepy but says Michael has hot vocals. Ellen is glad they saved him last week. Kara says it was beautiful and sung well. Simon calls it a terrific choice of songs and a million, billion times better than last week's song. Whatever last week's song was.

Katie Stevens (sings "Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do"): Adam wants her to show her frustration to the judges some more. Heh. Nice horn arrangement, and she manages to hold her own with all those instruments blasting in her ear. A better high school arrangement than Aaron's, I'd say. I'm not laughing at her sassiness, at least. It's all sort of cute, in an eleventh-grade sense. Randy says the vocals were nice, and he was entertained. Ellen calls it a very horny song...with a lot of horns. LOL. Kara says Katie did a good job. Simon says the performance was loud and annoying, but he believes it doesn't matter what he thinks.

Casey James (sings "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"): Adam wants him to build a little more of an arc with the song, which no one in the studio audience will understand. Casey gives it an Eric Clapton-esque treatment (another guitar player - how original!). Not bad, but Adam's right - the arc isn't there. The song just sort of climaxes and then goes on and on for no reason. Kind of like...okay, I won't go there. Randy calls it another solid performance. Ellen loves Casey's voice and thinks he looks comfortable in a sea of women. Kara says it fell short for her. Simon thinks the song was forgettable, but the vocal was good.

My ranking:

1. Adam Lambert - because even when he's not singing, he's the best

Wait, you mean the contestants? Oh, all right.

1. Crystal Bowersox - The only one worth listening to for an extended period of time
2. Michael Lynch - A little snoozy, but nice vocals, and he was obviously into the song
3. Lee DeWyze - Nice arrangement and vocals, but I think Will Smith is going to hurt you now

Big space.

4. Katie Stevens - Glee called. You made the cast.
5. Aaron Kelly - Glee called. They can't stop laughing.
6. Casey James - Glee called. They'll take Eric Clapton.
6. Siobhan Magnus - Glee called. They'll take your second voice.
8. Tim Urban - Glee called. They say they might be interested in hearing you again in about ten years' time.
9. Andrew Garcia - Glee called. They already have too many auditioners. Go home.

Tomorrow night, Adam will show them all how you're really supposed to perform on the Idol stage. Thank God.

Eliminated:  Andrew Garcia, Katie Stevens

 

Review 2010 by Patricia Lowhorn.  For comments, e-mail tricia@lowhorn.org.

 

Season 9 Index