Quick thoughts on last week's eliminations: I didn't really agree with either of them. I didn't care so much about Joe, because while he was certainly better vocally last week than most of the ones who are left, there was no way he was going to win the whole thing, so the fact that he went home 2-3 weeks too early isn't that egregious.
But I felt bad for Tyler...the judges TOTALLY threw him under the bus for doing the exact same thing that they have been praising every time they've seen him. I don't think he would have won, either, but he was one that I was really looking forward to watching this season.
On with the show...with a little twist this week. I actually got Mrs. Stuff of Legend to chime in with a one-line critique on each performer, just for comparison's sake. She hasn't really watched much of this season, so for a lot of the guys it will be a first impression.
Yeah, I only gave her one line...if she wants more than that she can go start her own blog.
1) Mike Lynche - "This is a Man's World": Great pre-song package, with the most impressive part being when he curled Aaron Kelly about 6 times.
He really does sound good on this song...he has a very nice tone to his voice, and he took just enough liberties with the melody to change it up a little without sounding obnoxious (::coughjermainesellerscough::). But I didn't like this arrangement...WAY too slow.
Mrs. Legend: Good voice, but this didn't grab my attention...and, yes, the arrangement was too slow.
2) John Park - "Gravity": Another bad song choice for him, in my opinion. A very dull, boring performance, and then add some pitch problems in on top of that. Surprisingly, most of the problems were in that "lower end" that Shania loved so much. Plus, his performance just seemed..."forced".
Ellen says that he seemed to "feel it" more here than he did in the rehearsal. If that's the case, he must have rehearsed while comatose.
Mrs. Legend: Boring.
(As you can tell from my ridiculously long blog posts, I'm a little more verbose than she is. But she said in one word what it took me two paragraphs to say, so who is really the better writer?)
3) Casey James - "I Don't Wanna Be": Ugh, I'm tired of this song. He is a very good guitar player, but vocally he's just not that strong. There's not a lot of control there...a lot of vibrato and kind of nasally. He also looked sort of awkward tonight, which he didn't last week, so I'm not sure what's going on there. Vocally, he is at the "bar singer" level (which I actually said about two minutes before Simon did)...but he's a better guitar player.
Kara was gonna criticize him tonight, no matter what, I think...but I do kind of agree with her, so who knows?
Mrs. Legend: I feel bad for him because he's OK, but he picked a song that has been done so much better on this show, by both Bo Bice and Elliot Yamin. (Elliot was her favorite).
4) Alex Lambert - "Everybody Knows": Wow. That was only about 1000 times better than last week. The guitar definitely helped him, and I know exactly what he was talking about in the pre-song interview about trying to figure out where his hands go. When my school and church made the transition from mics with cords to cordless ones at about the same time, I had a really hard time trying to figure out what to do with that free hand...I had always just held on to the mic cord with it before.
Anyway...I would buy this, like, today. It was that good. Great tone, good song choice, and looked tons more comfortable on stage.
This was easily the biggest turnaround I've seen a singer make since Nick Martinelli.
Mrs. Legend: Wonder how good he'll be when he gets used to being on stage? I thought he should have gone home last week, but I'm really glad he stayed.
5) Todrick Hall - "What's Love Got to Do With It": OK, Todrick is falling into that trap that we see more and more people fall into, with the most noticeable example last season being Lil Rounds. He needs to stop trying to be clever and just be good. Stop trying to win American Idol and start finding things you are good at and do them.
I mean, this was decent...his voice is fine, and he didn't try to do as many unnecessary runs as he has in the past. But taking this song, or any song for that matter, and turning it into a slow jam is not playing to Todrick's strengths, which are his ability to move and his stage presence.
The judges are having a hard time explaining this to him...the problem is not THAT you are re-arranging songs. It's HOW you are arranging them. I rarely stick up for Randy, but I totally get what he is saying here...arranging songs is not what Todrick is good at, so let's see what he can do just singing a song straight.
Mrs. Legend: He's not good enough to sing Tina Turner.
6) Jermaine Sellers - "What's Going On": Let's skip past the over-dramatic, corny, old fashioned (was he actually SCATTING at one point?), useless performance and skip to the moment he became dead to me.
Seriously, you're going to ask the judges to just pick the song for you? That's the biggest cop-out I have ever heard on this show. He basically just admitted that he doesn't know how to do this show. That's part of it, Jermaine.....you are supposed to have some idea of who you are as an artist and what you are GOOD at. Do you still get Mommy to cut your steak up for you, too? Ugh...grow up. And stop wearing a frikkin' onesy....what are you, three years old?
And THEN....in response to Simon's remark that he may not be there next week, he throws out the, "No, I will be here...I KNOW GOD" crap. This is offensive on about 10 different levels to me as a Christian, but let's stick to the basic ones, for the sake of time:
1) What you are basically saying is, "God's going to take care of me on this show, but these other guys are godless heathens and are therefore on their own." I absolutely despise this "God favors me" theology, and there is nothing Biblical about it..
2) Does he think God votes on this show? Because I can almost guarantee you He doesn't, despite what the Adam Lambert haters from last season think.
3) Jesus is your HOMEBOY?
Anyway...this guy is the exact OPPOSITE of likable, and I desperately hope that Thursday is the last time I ever see him on my television screen.
Mrs. Legend: It was like Urkel trying to be Fantasia - but I did like the onesy idea. Turn the heat UP!
7) Andrew Garcia - "You Give Me Something": I was still throwing up in my mouth about Jermaine while Andrew was singing, so I may be missing something. But I thought this was extremely boring. I didn't like the arrangement at all, and I felt like he really missed his guitar. His voice still sounds good, but there was nothing memorable about this for me.
ME: What do you think of Andrew?
Mrs. Legend: I don't.
8) Aaron Kelly - "My Girl": Either he is still VERY nervous, or he just has a vibrato that is out of control...because he sounds like a goat. A very awkward, nasally goat.
Maybe it's just me...he has the same type voice as the Jonas Brothers, and it certainly seems to be working for them. But I am not a fan.
Mrs Legend: I thought he sounded good, in comparison to the others...he's a very pleasant little boy.
9) Tim Urban - "Come On, Get Higher": Look, he seems like a REALLY nice guy, and he has a pretty nice voice...but there is no way he should still be here. He is in no way ready for this type of stage.
Even though this was light years better than last week, and I agree with Kara that this is more his thing than the One Republic disaster he put us all through last week, he is just not a Superstar, in my opinion. Of course, I thought the exact same thing about Kris Allen last year.
Mrs. Legend: Undecided on this one, but he does have cute hair and nice arms. How many more are there?
Just one, Baby...welcome to my world.
10) Lee Dewyze - "Lips of an Angel": OK, I have now completely turned around on this guy, although I still hate the skull cap. I loved everything about this, even the slight awkwardness in the performance. The awkwardness actually kind of worked because of the passion in the delivery.
I thought it was by far the most CURRENT performance we have seen all season, and said right before Kara did that I could hear this on the radio right now.
Still some pitch problems, and I don't agree with what Simon said about him having the best voice out of all the guys, but vocally he was tons better than last week. And also, Simon is hearing him with the ear of a record producer...he has a great tone to his voice, and those slight pitch problems can be worked out pretty easily in the studio.
Mrs. Legend: He's cute when he's not wearing the skull cap...and that was really good.
TONS better than last week, even if the improvement was only from "putrid" to "decent, but a bit boring".
I am still waiting for that one big "breakout" performance. As good as Lee and Alex were, it was around this point in the season that David Cook broke out "Hello", Bo Bice burst onto the scene with "Whipping Post", and Daughtry rocked "Hemorrhage". We just haven't seen anybody step up to that level yet.
1) Alex Lambert
2) Lee Dewyze
3) Michael Lynche
4) Casey James/Andrew Garcia (tie)
Who SHOULD go home: Tim Urban and Jermaine Sellers
Who WILL go home: Jermaine Sellers and John Park