Fingers (toes and eyes) crossed that the remaining 12 American Idol contestants will come to my emotional rescue tonight and not leave me sticking out my tongue and screaming "I can't get no satisfaction."
(Note: While I am a big fan of the Rolling Stones, or was, like, 20+ years ago, I have to seriously question their judgment in allowing their songs to be eviscerated in front of millions of people. Are the Stones that hard up for money or fame? Really? Sure, there will probably be a few standout performances tonight -- Crystal Bowersox, Siobhan Magnus, Lee Dewyze, Michael Lynche -- but then again, maybe not. Taking on Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones on live TV is a risky proposition for anyone.)
And now, ladies and gentleman, your 12 American Idol finalists...
Michael Lynche: Aaaaw. Issa wittle bebe. Woogie woogie woogie. Sympathy vote! I like "Big Mike," but I won't miss him when he goes. To quote Randy Jackson (which I find myself doing waaay too often), Michael Lynche's version of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" was "just all right for me, dawg" (contrary to Randy's "you slayed it" -- WHA?!). A good performance, but as Simon Cowell said, "it was verging at times on desperate... and corny." My grade for the Baby Daddy: B-
Didi Benami: So, Didi Benami is singing "Playing with Fire." Will she get burned? Methinks yes. Sigh. Once again Didi has forgotten the cardinal rule of American Idol, which can be summed up in six words: Song choice, song choice, song choice. Say WHA?! Randy? Seriously, you cannot think that performance was "on fire." A little smokey, but on fire? I don't think so. Once again, I disagree with the judges, whom I think will think differently when they listen to the playback. My grade for Didi Benami: B-
Casey James: Another sympathy vote. Good looking, can sing, and his mama raised him and his brother single-handedly after she divorced Casey's daddy and nursed him through a serious illness?! How does American not vote for Casey James?! (If Kara DioGuardi does not weep or go nuts over Casey, I want a refund.) Although it wasn't a great performance, I doubt "It's All Over Now" for Casey. My grade for Casey James: B
Lacey Brown: Another Texan. Yee-haw! Hmm. "Ruby Tuesday." Isn't that the name of a restaurant chain? ;-) Maybe Lacey was confused. Putting the snark aside for a few seconds, I like Lacey's voice; I just think she picks the wrong song and isn't a great performer. Tooooo sloooow. And no "wow factor." Lacey Brown's grade: B- -- and I think she may be going home this week.
Andrew Garcia: Another sad story. Sniff. Very touching, but I refuse to vote based on sympathy. So the question is, will America give Andrew Garcia shelter for another week? Maybe. Maybe not. Not an awful performance of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," but definitely not memorable. And -- GASP -- I agree with Kara that the song needed (required?) a bit more intensity. Not a tank, like Simon said, but something... more. Andrew Garcia's grade: B- (Question: Are the judges going to mention "Straight Up" EVERY SINGLE WEEK? Does Paula Abdul get a royalty check every time one of them does or something? ENOUGH.)
Katie Stevens: I like Katie. She's cute, she's bubbly, and she has a good voice. But is she the next American Idol? Not this season. And "Wild Horses"? Well, wild horses may not drag her away, but a lack of votes may. Not a good song choice for young Katie, IMHO -- and toooo sloooow. Also, she still has some pitch problems. Still, the girl can sing. Just think her voice may be better suited to GLEE than to American Idol. A good performance, but far from great. I give Katie Stevens a B.
Tim Urban: Wait, is it Reggae night and someone forgot to tell me? (We've secretly replaced the Urbans with the Wailers. Now if only Tim Urban was Bob Marley.) Or, oo oo, is Tim Urban trying to do Jason Mraz doing the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb"? Regardless, it didn't work. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't good. And the judges, I think, sent a pretty clear message that they want Tim Urban gone -- and I do too. Unfortunately, Tim's Jonas Brothers (or Cassidy Brothers, for those of us who remember the 1970s) good lucks may keep him in the competition another week or two (or longer). Tim Urban's grade: C+
Siobhan Magnus: I see my television screen, and I want to paint it black. Though I am somewhat enjoying Siobhan's performance of "Paint It Black," even though it seems a little more "Phantom of the Opera" than Rolling Stones. And, OMG, there's that NOTE she sang in "Freedom." Is she going to be going all Adam Lambert on us, bringing out the drama and that signature high note in EVERY song? And for the record, I typed that BEFORE Kara DioGuardi made her Adam Lambert comment. So there. My grade for Siobhan Magnus: B+ (bordering on an A-)
Lee Dewyze: I can't believe Lee is nervous. He's got the whole package: voice, looks, talent. But I guess you can be good and not know it. How refreshing, though on American Idol that can get you sent home. And Lee Dewyze IS good. And he totally had a John Mellencamp thing going on with the Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden," in a good way (though I kept waiting for him to segue into "Pink Houses.") But like Simon Cowell said, Lee needs to believe in himself, to make a stand, and have more confidence in himself. Otherwise, his killer voice and brooding good looks will be back in Mt. Prospect before the season is over (though not if I can help it). Lee Dewyze's grade: B+
Paige Miles: "Honky Tonk Woman"? Really? Of ALL the HUNDREDS of Rolling Stones songs, Paige picks "Honky Tonk Woman"? Huh. I'm kind of speechless. Kind of. And those wedgie-inducing shorts Paige is wearing are not helping. Back to Paige Miles' voice, I was about to write that I still did not think her voice was "all that." But now that I know she has laryngitis -- I have to give the girl props. Though I am only going to give her a B. Sorry Paige fans.
Aaron Kelly: First all, I just have to say: Kelly Kelly? His mother's name is Kelly Kelly? That may be worse than Elaine LaLanne. Okay, back to Aaron Kelly. Wait. Back to Kelly Kelly. No, back to Aaron Kelly. Sorry, "Angie" is just not doing it for me. Again, of ALL the HUNDREDS of Rolling Stones songs, Aaron picks "Angie"?! What is going ON?! Enough with the "tender moments." The kid is, what, 16? Why aren't the judges after him for picking songs that seem/sound way too old? Katie must be P.O.'d. I think Aaron has a nice voice -- NOT great. Bet the judges will re-think his performance when they listen back to Aaron's later tonight and/or tomorrow. My grade: a B (and that's being GENEROUS)
Crystal Bowersox: Does Ryan Seacrest have a tear in his eye? Why, I believe he does. Though Crystal's story -- or really her dad's -- about writing the song about her dad working all the time, but that she still loved him, was pretty touching. Sniff. Listening to Crystal sing "You Can't Always Get What You Want (But If You Try Sometimes You Get What You Need)," I find that hard to believe, at least in her case. At the very least, she's going to get into the Top Three on American Idol. Like Randy Jackson said, not Crystal's best performance, but I still love her. But like Simon Cowell said, she's got to bring it here on out if she wants to remain the favorite -- and not wind up like Lilly Scott.
Who do I think is going home after tonight? If I had my way it would be Tim Urban or Paige Miles, though I wouldn't be surprised if Lacey Brown is voted off.
That's all for tonight, peeps. Will update the post tomorrow night, after the American Idol results show.
UPDATED 3/17/10: Well, the luck of the Irish was not with Lacey Brown tonight. Filling out the bottom three were Tim Urban, who was sent back to safety first, and Paige Miles, both of whom should have gone home before Lacey. But that's American Idol for you. If Idol was fair, Lilly Scott would still be on.
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