Interesting trivia...my 420th blog post was published yesterday, on 4/20. I will leave it to you to infer what that fact may mean about what factors influence my blog posts....
You ready to be INSPIRED? Because this week is Inspirational Song week! Also known as Gokey/Archuletta week....and I don't mean that as a good thing.
Let's get to it!
1) Casey James - "Don't Stop": First of all, this song was killed very dead for me back when Bill Clinton used it as his campaign theme....once I've seen Al Gore "dancing" to a song, it's impossible for me to every truly enjoy it again.
Was it just me, or did the arrangement on this song make it sound like he was singing the words to "Don't Stop" set to the tune of "Power of Love"? Was it one of those mash-up things the kids today are so crazy about?
Look, this is what Casey is, OK? The judges keep talking about him doing something "different", but I was not nearly as in love with his rendition of "Jealous Guy" a couple of weeks ago, as I thought it really showed his weakness as a vocalist. If they didn't want to hear Casey do these type of songs, they shouldn't have put him on the show. This is Casey doing what he does best, and it is what it is....like Ellen said, it's good not great.
2) Lee Dewyze - "The Boxer": Ooooh, great song choice! I love this song, and I was very interested to see how he arranged it.
I talk about how Lee sounds like people that I listen to right now...in this song he mostly reminded me of Andy Hull, the lead singer of Manchester Orchestra (one of my new favorite bands, by the way...check out "I've Got Friends" if you've never heard them). I think he is doing a MUCH better job of emotionally connecting, both with the song and with the audience, and that can be attributed to his ever-increasing confidence.
Yeah, the pitch problems kind of came back this week...but like I've said over and over, this is not a singing competition, it's a Pop Star competition, and I know I would buy this.
3) Tim Urban - "Better Days": Another nice vocal from him, but I'm not seeing any kind of "performance"....and he's shaking his head too much, which is causing his voice to fade in and out.
Sorry, I'm distracted....did Ryan say that Aaron was going to be singing R. Kelly?
4) Aaron Kelly - "I Believe I can Fly": YES!!! This is going to be so awful it might flip inside out into Sanjaya levels of AWESOME.
Yep....this was bad. Schmaltzy, karaoke crap, and the song was WAY too big for him...it swallowed him WHOLE. He is off pitch basically through the whole song (including the end, which all the judges seemed to like). And, to continue what I said when talking about Lee, it wouldn't matter if he sang it perfectly...this kind of performance no longer belongs on this show. Nothing current or relevant about it, and I'm getting really sick of the judges just giving him a pass every week. More on that when we talk about....
5) Siobhan Magnus - "When You Believe": Well, she looks fantastic...I even liked the butterflies. But this is yet another boring, old fashioned song choice and performance. And, yes, the girl can definitely sing...I still think she has the best pure vocal ability of anybody in this competition. But there is no longer any WOW factor with her.
But...compare this to the crap Aaron just pulled, and there's no contest. They both sang a boring, irrelevant, old fashoned song....but Siobhan's vocal blew Aaron's away and it wasn't even close. So why do the judges use Siobhan as a punching bag and say that Aaron "soared"?
Right. Because they are morons. I keep forgetting.
By the way, I'm still voting for Siobhan every single week, because I love her and want her to stick around...but she no longer has any chance of even being in the final unless she gets back to what put her on the map in the first place.
6) Michael Lynche - "Hero": Well, I got one pleasant surprise, at least...I thought he was doing the Mariah Carey song, and was preparing myself for two minutes of Danny Gokey flashbacks.
Vocally, this was pretty good, although definitely not his best performance. I know I'm going to sound like one of the judges, this is so contradictory to what I've said about him before...but I think he made a mistake using the guitar this week. Normally, I prefer him to hold the guitar because it cuts down on all of the cheesy over-the-top stuff he does when his arms are free. But this arrangement was so BIG, I actually thought his usual performance would have suited it better. As it was, I think his voice was overpowered by the band, the lights, the whole thing. And what was up with the exaggerated lick-lip at the end? That was...uncomfortable.
7) Crystal Bowersox - "People Get Ready": OK, I'll skip over the usual...yes, she sounds awesome again (although she did reach for a couple of notes that were out of her range and missed them), she really did look fantastic, and I loved the mic stand.
What I want to talk about is that I have actually seen many online commentators accusing her of "fake crying" in order to get sympathy votes. The only thing I can imagine is that these morons are just ardent supporters of one of the other performers and are looking for a reason to bash Crystal, because that is ridiculous.
She told us why she got emotional...the last line of the song is (approximately) "Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord you're here". As she's singing that, she's thinking about where she was before and where she is now, and then she looks out in the audience at her father, who is there for the first time, and gets overwhelmed by the moment.
That is AWESOME. That is REAL. And people ripping her for that just makes me mad at the Internet all over again. I hate that there is a large segment of our society who have decided that you are only "cool" if you are being negative...I blame blogs, message boards, and talk radio (which, by the way, are three of my favorite things). Unintelligent people have decided that you only sound smart if you are being critical. Cynicism is at an all time high, and I find that very sad.
And, by the way, do any of these people actually think Crystal needs sympathy votes? She's doing just fine with "awesomely and ridiculously talented" votes.
OK, rant over...
Overall, another pretty boring night that I felt like was just something I wanted to hurry through so that I could watch LOST. It's not so much that these people are bad (other than Aaron)...it's that they're so darn boring. As much as I hated Danny Gokey (and, oh, how I hated him)...I wasn't BORED by him.
Take a look at this...these are the top 7 from each season that I have been diligently watching (the first three seasons I was kind of in and out on):
Season 4: Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice, Vonzell Solomon, Constantine Maroulis, Scott Savol, Anthony Fedorov, Anwar Robinson
Season 5: Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Elliot Yamin, Paris Bennet, Kellie Pickler, Ace Young
Season 6 : Jordin Sparks, Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle, Lakisha Jones, Phil Stacey, Chris Richardson, Sanjaya Malakar
Season 7: David Cook, David Archuletta, Syesha Mercado, Jason Castro, Brook White, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook (and Michael Johns was number 8)
Season 8 : Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Alison Iraheta, Danny Gokey, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai, Lil Rounds
I mean, even if you say that Season 6 was the weakest, you still were going to be interested in what Blake was going to do, you got to hear Jordan/Melinda/Lakisha belt it out, and Sanjaya was going to be the very definition of a train wreck.
Oh, well...maybe with Simon leaving TPTB will take the opportunity to try and revamp some things. Or maybe the show will just disappear with a whimper, and next year you will all be reading my thoughts on X Factor.
This week's rankings:
3) ummm....I don't know. So I guess I'll just say Siobhan.
Honestly, you could arrange 3-6 anyway you want...I thought there was no doubt that Crystal and Lee were the best and that Aaron was by far the worst. The rest were an unimpressive collection of "meh".
Who SHOULD go home: Aaron
Who WILL go home: Hmmm....I'm going to guess Siobhan, again. I still think the teenybopper and grandma votes are going to be enough to inflict Aaron on us for another week.
So much for this being the "Year of the Female", huh?