Like I said in my earlier LOST post...my actual job is seriously infringing on my blogging time, so this may be a little more abbreviated than normal.
Wow, Miley Cyrus as a MENTOR? This should be....interesting.
Theme is Billboard #1 songs, which means that, once again, contestants have a HUGE selection of songs, including (I'm assuming) some more current stuff. So why only Katie Stevens decides to do a song from this decade is a real mystery to me.
1) Lee Dewyze - "The Letter": Man, he is still really nervous. It's getting better, but you can see him TRYING to make it better...he's still not comfortable up there. As for the actual performance, it's very typical Lee: great tone, slightly modified arrangement, pitch problems like WOAH, and a performance I will probably forget about in about 10 minutes.
Two things I noticed after he finished: One, the crowd freaking LOVES him. I don't know if that's a product of going first when the crowd is still amped up or what, but they were freaking out.
Second, Lee made a point of thanking the band as they went offstage...that was very cool. I do like the guy now, which is a big turnaround from when we first met him, but he is just cannon fodder at this point.
2) Paige Myles - "Against All Odds": HA!! Miley called you pitchy! Dang, that's gotta hurt.
The thing is, though...she's RIGHT. Oof, this was awful. This was like a really BAD pageant performance.
After that devastating criticism from the judges, though, I will bet she stays for at least another week due to sympathy votes. Plus, the guilt that we all feel for sending almost all the other minority contestants home in the first three weeks.
3) Tim Urban - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love": Wow. I only thought it couldn't get any worse. This was an awkward, desperate, Taylor-Hicks-level embarrassment.
Let's just move on.
4) Aaron Kelly - "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing": Well, I'll say this for him...he knows his strengths. Stand there, look cute, sing an overly earnest love song, and stare at the camera with big puppy dog eyes. It doesn't hurt that this was by far his best vocal performance so far....which is weird, since he apparently has the Black Plague. He did absolutely nothing with the arrangement, and this was straight out of the American Idol Season 2 playbook, but it will obviously be enough for him to stick around.
5) Crystal Bowersox - "Me and Bobby McGhee": Oh, thank God. I need a palate cleanser.
This was, of course, awesome. One of the things I love most about Crystal (and Siobhan, when she's good...more on that in a minute) is her ability to arrange her songs in a way that they feel like a complete song, even though she only gets 90 seconds. This one had a definite beginning, middle, and end, and that's hard to do in such a short time.
Voice is great, stage presence is awesome, blah, blah, blah. And I loved the interaction with the judges and her and Ryan's little pow-wow on the magic carpet. Talent is great, but personality goes a long way. Just ask Jules Winnfield.
6) Michael Lynch - "When a Man Loves a Woman": I'm going to be a little biased here, because I think this is one of the greatest love songs ever written, but I really enjoyed this. He wasn't nearly as corny this week as he has been in the past, and whatever problem I have ever had with him have never had anything to do with his voice. Dude can SING. This was my very favorite performance of his so far.
And he didn't seem nearly as arrogant after this one either...I'm sure that is an isolated incident.
7) Andrew Garcia - "Heard it Through the Grapevine": Miley gives him the HORRIBLE advice to put down his guitar. He is completely lost without it, and it showed again in this performance. This is TERRIBLE.
Wait....did he throw in a MOONWALK? We'll have to check the tape, because if he did, then I am totally in.
8) Katie Stevens - "Big Girls Don't Cry": Thank goodness it wasn't the Four Seasons song of the same title...Simon probably would have burned her at the stake.
This was really weird...this was somehow both her best performance and her worst vocal simultaneously. She was flat the entire first half, and sharp the entire second half. But this was her smartest song choice so far, and she did seem to loosen up and enjoy herself. If she could have stayed on pitch I might have said this could be a game changer for her...as it is, it ended up being just OK.
9) Casey James - "Power of Love": Another song I am predisposed to love, seeing as how I have seen Back to the Future about 650 times, and wanted to go watch it again as soon as this song was over.
I loved the band in the balcony, I loved Ricky Minor jammin' it out on the front of the stage, the vocal was one of his best so far, and he did manage to move around the stage a little more. The only downside was that he did not change the arrangement at ALL, other than the fact that he eliminated the bridge, which I think was a mistake...it made the song way too repetitive. But on a night like this, this was definitely one of the better performances.
10) DiDi Benami - "You're No Good": Well, she LOOKS fantastic. And I still love her voice. But the judges were right on...this was not her. Now is not the time to be showing "different sides" to yourself as an artist. Now is the time to do what you do, and do it well (see Bowersox, Crystal...and even Kelly, Aaron this week). This was just a bad song choice, sung well...I hope it's good enough for her to stick around, because when she's on her game she is one of my favorites.
11) Siobhan Magnus - "Superstition": Fave part of the whole night :"I think it's wicked cool that Miley Cyrus says my voice has swagger." :-)
This was good...but it was probably my least favorite performance of hers so far. I felt like most of the song was just her killing time until she could get to the last 20 seconds...to compare her to someone that she gets compared to a lot already, it was something that Adam used to do sometimes last year, too, especially toward the end of the season. Again, it was still really good...but she runs the danger of becoming predictable, and that is definitely NOT a place she needs to end up.
Actually, Miley wasn't nearly the disaster I thought she might be. Other than the horrible advice she gave to Andrew, I agreed with a lot of the things she said. And the contestants seemed to enjoy her, so I guess it was a success. Further proof that I have no idea what I'm talking about most of the time.
I haven't said anything about this yet....but good grief, Kara needs to keep her hands off Simon. It's become a distraction, and it's sad because it's distracting from what I think has been a MUCH improved judges panel this season....even Randy only gets the automatic FF about half the time, and that's a huge difference from the last couple of seasons.
Top 3: Crystal, Siobhan, Casey (followed VERY closely by Big Mike and DiDi)
Bottom 3: Tim, Paige, and Andrew (UNLESS he did in fact moonwalk...if so, replace him with Katie).
Who SHOULD go home: Paige
Who WILL go home: Andrew