Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shania Twain returns to American Idol, mentors Top 6

First, a confession: I am a HUGE Shania Twain fan -- or rather a huge fan of her songs. Shania Twain the person? A bit of a flake. Put another way, if American Idol really wanted to find a replacement for Paula Abdul, they should have hired Shania.

Getting back to Shania Twain the songwriter/singer.... I got totally hooked on her crossover country when I lived in Chicago and listened to the local country music station there. (And you thought you knew me.)

"(If your not in it for love) I'm Outta Here"? One of my all-time favorite songs.

Ditto "That Don't Impress Me Much."

So I should be happy that it's Shania Twain night on American Idol, right? But I can't help feeling that tonight could go horribly, horribly wrong, even without Tim Urban there to butcher her songs. Yes, yes, Crystal Bowersox and Casey James should do a kickass job with the Shania Twain songbook.But Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly, Lee DeWyze, and Siobhan Magnus? Not so sure.

Anyway, in less than 60 minutes we will know how it all turned out.

And now let the twanging (or Twaining) -- and judging -- commence!

First up, Lee DeWyze, singing "You're Still the One": I know I sound like a broken record, but I love Lee's raspy rocker voice. And while I'm not lovin' this arrangement of "You're Still the One," he made it sound totally new -- or "fresh," as the judges like to say. A little "pitchy," but looks like he made it. J-THREE-O and I give Lee DeWyze an A-/B+.

Next aboard the Shania Twain...

"Big Mike" Michael Lynche: Not familiar with "It Only Hurts When I'm Breathing." Yeah, well, it only hurts when I'm listening, but I'll survive. What can I say? I'll just quote J-THREE-O: "I am soooo sick of these slow songs." Amen, kid. And while the spouse thinks Big Mike has improved over the season ("He can sing for real"), I thought it was utterly forgettable. (Disagree with me all you like, but I dare you to recall what Michael sang two days from now -- without Googling it.) Yeah, the guy can sing. But... it was "wet" for me too, Simon. Maybe it's because I am not a big fan of R&B, but I give Michael Lynche a B/B+, which the team agrees with.

Casey James: Another Shania Twain song I'm not familiar with. On the plus side, I've got nothing to compare Casey's performance of "Don't!" to (unless I head on over to YouTube). Well, we'll see tomorrow if America tells Casey "don't go." For me, it was just all right, dawgs. Wasn't bad. Wasn't memorable. Though the judges are lovin' it -- and Casey. Maybe they just don't want Casey to wind up in the bottom two again. Our grade for Casey James: B+

Crystal "Mamasox" Bowersox: Am I dreamin' or stupid -- or is Shania Twain night going better than expected? Again, not loving this version or arrangement of "No One Needs to Know." Very disjointed. ("It didn't groove," said the spouse.) And didn't showcase Crystal's voice well. But it was not as bad as Simon said. (And, for the record, I've heard some really good musicians at coffee shops.) Oh, and Crystal's boyfriend? He better man up after that. Our grade for Crystal Bowersox (aka Mamasox): B/B-

Aaron Kelly: Sigh. You've got a way of picking really slow songs, Aaron. "This is really boring," said J-THREE-O. "I agree," chimed in the spouse. I actually thought the song suited Aaron's voice, though I, too, thought it was boring. WHAT IS IT WITH 17-YEAR-OLDS SINGING LIKE THEY'RE NEIL DIAMOND?! Our grade for Aaron Kelly: B (though the spouse and kid really didn't like the song choice)

Siobhan Magnus: OMG, Siobhan looks and sounds a bit (more than a bit) like Shania! Or she did in the rehearsal clip. Now? Not so much, at least on the sound part. This arrangement of "Any Man of Mine" was downright painful (complete with the trademark scream). WTF?! And did you see Shania's face? She did NOT like it, not one little bit. Though the judges all loved it (as did the spouse -- a total surprise). The judges here at J-TWO-O Central are mixed on Siobhan's performance. If I'm being generous, I give Siobhan Magnus a B-, but the kid gave her a B, and the spouse an A- (WHA?!)

No idea who's going home tomorrow, but I'll post the results tomorrow night. Gotta watch me some glee.

UPDATED 4/28/10: Siobhan Magnus is history. Can't say I'm surprised after her last few performances. Just think it's a shame as she had so much potential. Also in the bottom three: Michael Lynche, who was sent back to safety, and Casey James (who will probably be gone next week).


Anonymous said...

We don't get the programme but Shania Twain was really quite something and "Come on over" a really cracking album !!! We also haven't seen or heard much from her on this side of the pond for a while so I am going to have a hunt to see what all the fuss is about !!!

marindenver said...

Basically a B or B- night overall. Be interesting to see who goes home.