I'm actually bummed that the producers of American Idol changed tonight's theme from "Teen Idols" to "Billboard #1 Hits" over the weekend. After all, for most of America, the American Idol contestants are Teen Idols (whether they are teens or not). And for us writers, the comedy (or snarkiness) potential was much greater with "Teen Idols" than with "Billboard #1 Hits." (Hmm... maybe that's why the producers switched the theme over the weekend.)
Despite the theme change, Miley Cyrus is still this week's mentor -- and will be pole dancing, I mean singing, her new song, "When I Look At You," on tomorrow's American Idol results show. Can't wait to see the video clips of Miley, like, giving the contestants, like, you know, pointers, dude.
Before we get to the Top 11 contestants, though, what is the deal with Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell and the overt flirting? Not only is it making me physically ill, it is very distracting. (Did Kara just yank down Simon's sweater?! EW.)
Now, on with highest rated Party in the USA.
Lee Dewyze: Can Lee deliver "The Letter"? Sigh. I think it got lost in the mail. I still love Lee Dewyze's voice, but like Miley -- and, like, everyone -- observed, Lee really needs to connect more with his fans and the audience, and deliver a great performance, which, contrary to what Randy, Ellen, and Kara said, he did not do. The good news, though -- at least for me, and other Lee Dewyze fans -- is that that performance was good enough to keep him around for another week. But Simon is right that Lee needs to prove he can be a contemporary artist if he wants to stick around for more than a week or two. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Lee a 6.5.
Paige Miles: First, a fashion note: I really like the way Paige is dressed tonight, though WTF was she wearing when she met with Miley?! As for her song choice, though, PHIL COLLINS?! OMG, shoot me now. Of all the Billboard #1s this young woman could have chosen, she chose Phil Collins's "Against All Odds"?! Well, it was against all odds that she would get this far, but after that ATROCIOUS -- and I mean ATROCIOUS -- performance, she has GOT to go. And for the record, she was never that good -- and should have gone weeks ago. Bring back Lilly Scott! Heck, I'd take Alex Lambert over this chick. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Paige a 1.
AN ASIDE: My daughter just asked me to multiply 116 x 52, which is 6032. When I asked her why, she said, "That's the number of Billboard number one songs the Idol contestants could have chosen." When put that way, it is downright depressing that we got "The Letter" and "Against All Odds."
Tim Urban: Queen?! Are you KIDDING me?! And, of course, Miley Cyrus has to hug the cute Jonas Brother wannabe. Ew ew ew. I am trying to be objective -- swear -- but Tim Urban can NOT carry a tune, even if it was strapped to his back. To say that that performance was "pitchy" is being kind. That was DREADFUL. Can we send two contestants home this week? The judges or producers only have themselves to blame for giving this no-talent a second chance. (And, for the record, my little girl thought Tim Urban SUCKED. "Not just sucked, but sucked BIG TIME," and I quote.) On a scale of 1 to 10, we give the Jonas Brother wannabe a 1.
Aaron Kelly: Frankly, I wouldn't mind missing the rest of this season of American Idol, but I keep hoping things will get better. Amazingly, despite having tonsillitis and laryngitis, Aaron Kelly sounds WAY better than both Tim Urban and Paige Miles -- even better than Lee Dewyze. Props to Aaron. He's a trooper, even if I hate his song choices. We give Kelly Kelly's son a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Crystal Bowersox: I am slightly disappointed in Crystal's rendition of Janis Joplin's cover of "Me and Bobby McGee." Don't get me wrong. It was light years better than what we've heard so far, and definitely got better -- had that "WOW" moment -- towards the end. And Crystal Bowersox is still my favorite to win American Idol Season 9. But it was kind of flat. Like Ellen DeGeneres said, there is something lacking in Crystal's performance, a lack of connection between her and the audience. And for the record, I do NOT think that performance was as good as Pink. Sorry, Simon. Still, on a scale of 1 to 10, we give Mamasox an 8.
Michael Lynche: Like, OMG, (heart), Miley, like, totally loved Big Mike. I'm a fan, but I don't, like, (heart) Michael Lynche. Not that it's an either/or, but between Michael Lynche and Ruben Studdard, I'd take Ruben. Sorry Big Mike fans. Still, it was a nice performance, albeit it a safe, slightly boring one. And again, not a great song choice. Though, as Simon said, the guy's got tons of charisma and will be around for a while, which is not a bad thing. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Big Mike a 7.
Andrew Garcia: Speaking of the grapevine, I could use a drink. I am also "thisclose" to losing my mind with these performances. Sigh. WHY DIDN'T ANDREW JUST SING "STRAIGHT UP"?! It was a #1 on the Billboard chart, and clearly the judges want him to sing the damn song. "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" was not a good song choice for Andrew Garcia, though it is a good (make that great) song. And Simon (once again) was absolutely correct in saying Andrew sucked the soul out of that song, and that it was a lousy arrangement. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Andrew a 3. (Hey, he was better than Paige and Tim! Though that's not saying much.)
Clearly, a change in theme, to something you would think would be hard for contestants to screw up, did not help.
Katie Stevens: Listening to Katie (without looking at her), it is hard for me to believe that's the voice of a just 17-year-old. She has great tone, but OMG, PITCHY. Really pitchy. Make that really really pitchy. Sigh. Even though I'm a big girl, I think I may cry. :~( But, okay, compared to her other performances, this was better. Not great, but better. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Katie a 5.
Casey James: This one's for you, Kara. I'm a BIG Huey Lewis (and the News) fan, and always liked "The Power of Love" -- and think it was a good song choice for Casey James. He's just not selling it. "It's like he's in a frikkin' cover band," said the spouse (who just joined me). So true. Bleh. ("The best vocal of the night"?! Come on, Ellen! As for Kara... puh-lease.) For the record, the spouse made his comment way before Simon did. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Casey a 7.5.
Didi Benami: Pretty risky singing a song titled "You're No Good" on American Idol. And while it wasn't bad, it wasn't good. Toooo slooow. (Who arranges these songs anyway? Is it the contestants or someone else? Whoever it is, he or she should be fired.) And it was, all together now... pitchy. Sigh. Seriously, can we send them ALL home and start the season over? On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Didi a 5.
Siobhan Magnus: Clearly, someone has decided that Siobhan is this season's Adam Lambert. And Lord knows this season could use an Adam Lambert. (Hmm. If Siobhan is Adam, does that make Crystal Bowersox Kris Allen?) Hey, Siobhan: I think YOU are wicked cool. Not crazy about this arrangement of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition." A little too slow for me. But it's definitely one of the best performances tonight (though that isn't saying much). And -- right on cue -- there's THAT NOTE. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give Siobhan Magnus a 7.5, maybe an 8.
I've had it with American Idol. And I'm with Simon, tonight SUCKED, and the contestants need to step it up. It's like they don't care. Bleh.
UPDATED: Yawn. Paige is gone. We're coming for you next, Tim.