When Miley Cyrus is one of the highlights of the night, that should provide a clue to how well the Idols sang — or did not sing, depending on your point of reference. Here I figured the cute, but incredibly non-talented Miley would be a complete bomb as a 17-year-old “mentor,” but she was one of the more entertaining aspects of the entire two hours.
Actually, Miley offered more spot-on criticism than many of the more acclaimed mentors of seasons past. She can’t sing or act a lick, but the kid was at least mildly impressive as a mentor. But not even Miley could have helped the majority of the performances. Heck, I’m not sure not even George, John, Paul or Ringo could have helped most of this bunch Tuesday night.
While there was one shining moment and a few other worthwhile performances, most were forgettable and a couple were absolute embarrassments.
“This was not a good night,” Simon said.
Well put, mate.
1. Crystal Bowersox: When I saw Crystal was going to perform “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin, I just knew this would be amazing, potentially one of the season’s defining moments. My premonition was absolutely correct. How can you not be smiling at the end of any song this girl sings? I’ve said it before, it’s discovering singers like this that make this show what it is. A talent like Crystal Bowersox is a rare find in an arena such as this. Enjoy her. Key comments:
Randy: “That’s what is called being a star. That’s the way you do it. I’m so happy!”
Ellen: “You are consistently great. Take it in, these people love you.”
Kara: “I want to see you let go completely.”
Simon: “I wouldn’t change anything. You just took a song and nailed it.”
2. Katie Stevens: Look who’s back! The Katie Holmes-ish smile/smirk returned when she rocked the house with “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie. My favorite Katie performance to date. I’m guessing this outing will save her come results night. She would have been on thin ice otherwise. Key comments:
Ellen: “I think it was your best performance. You’re evolving. You’re like the Dakota Fanning of American Idol.”
Kara: “This is the lane for you, pop with R&B leanings. This is your vibe. You still have mad pitch issues, but this is where you belong.”
3. Siobhan Magnus: I just can’t stand “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, but Siobhan made it at least interesting — with another of her tribal screams. She, of course, had another wild look and she’s always entertaining. I look forward to her performances as much as Crystal’s. She’s just not quite in Crystal’s league … yet. Key comments:
Randy: “You’re so fearless. You went for it. I loved it.”
Ellen: “More, please.”
Kara: “You express yourself every time you perform. It wasn’t your best performance, but that end note (is always) amazing.”
Simon: “Maybe you should scream at the beginning of the song next week, instead of the end.”
4. Casey James: This is where we begin a slight fall-off in the performances. Casey’s “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News was entertaining and well done, but it broke no new boundaries. I’m still a fan and still convinced he’s top-five material. Key comments:
Ellen: “Best vocal of the night.”
Kara: “You’re just ready to make an album. You’re in a zone now.”
Simon: “It was like watching and listening to an ’80s cover band.”
5. Aaron Kelly: He just keeps getting better. I wasn’t comfortable that he could successfully pull off Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” but he did just that. The most noticeable item about his growth the past month is his confidence. If Crystal were removed from the equation, The Kid would be in the championship conversation with Casey and Siobhan. Key comments:
Randy: “I’m a fan, dude! I’m a fan.”
Ellen: “I see your career already … you are so good.”
Kara: “Week to week, you really know how to pick a song.”
Simon: “There is zero chance you should go home.”
6. Michael Lynche: Big Mike was back in his soulful comfort zone with “When A Man Loves A Woman.” It was a solid, expected performance. He didn’t wow me, but he didn’t disappoint either. Key comments:
Randy: “You know who you are.”
Ellen: “It was a safe choice.”
Kara: “I felt it was a bit boring and lounging at times. I lost my connection with you.”
7. Didi Bename: I’m not sure what is happening with Didi, but I’m beginning to have nightmares of Meghan Joy Corkrey. I ranked her performance this high just because I still like her voice, but not what she did with it — again — on this night. Plus, the boots were cool. Key comments:
Randy: “You never quite hit the pitch right.”
Kara: “I felt like you were playing a character. It didn’t feel like it was you.”
Simon: “There was a bit of irony with you screeching out, ‘You’re No Good … ”
8. Lee Dewyze: The good news? Lee gave us a little more personality on stage. The bad news? I didn’t care at all for his arrangement of “The Letter,” a late 1960s No. 1 by The Box Tops and lead singer Alex Chilton (who died last week), plus Joe Cocker, who gave us a 1970s remake. Lee’s take was more like the Cocker version with a touch more bluesy feel that just didn’t work. Only Simon agreed with me. Key comments:
Randy: “Dude, you knocked it out of the park.”
Kara: “You have raised the bar for yourself.”
Simon: “Quite corny.”
9. Andrew Garcia: A camera shot of Miley Cyrus during Andrew’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” made her appear as if she were bored. I think she probably was, because I certainly was. Wow, how the mighty have fallen. Key comments:
Randy: “It didn’t work, it wasn’t good.”
Ellen: “That was not enough to get a whole lot of people on board.”
Kara: “You’re really confused … that’s not you.”
Simon: “You sucked the soul out of that song, tortured it and ruined one of the great pop songs of all time.”
10. Tim Urban: I finally figured out who Tim reminds me of — Jack Nicholson’s “The Joker” character in the “Batman” movie. OK, back to the performance … Tim gave us “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen and … well, there was sliding … and … umm, touching hands with the audience … and … well, at least there was Paige to keep Tim out of the basement. It’s a toss-up who should go home between those two.
Randy: “The vocals were so boring … it was like bad karaoke.”
Ellen: “It felt like an audition for ‘High School Musical.’”
Kara: “Ellen hit the nail on the head.”
Simon: “It was completely utterly pointless and silly.”
11. Paige Miles: Poor Paige. Poor, poor Paige. She wowed the week before with the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Woman,” but she followed it up with a wretched, dreadful performance of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds.” All things considered, this was the worst performance of the season and easily, easily one of the 10 worst in Idol history.
Randy: “That was honestly terrible.”
Kara: “It was the worst vocal of … possibly the season.”
Simon: “I think you’re going to be in serious, serious trouble.”
The votefortheworst.com poster child continues to be Tim Urban.
Usher is supposed to be the guest mentor next week, at least according to his Web site.
Kara is 39, for those of you who have been asking.
FROM AROUND THE IDOL NATION
From the New York Post: Nigel Lythgoe claims if he was still serving as an American Idol executive producer that fans of the Fox reality series would see sweeping changes next season. “I’d lose the fourth judge, I don’t like four judges. I’d keep Ryan Seacrest and probably change the whole panel to go with [Elton John],” Lythgoe said in a recent interview. “The one thing everyone forgets is that Idol is an onion, it has many layers, but it’s about the talent. I think we’d forgotten that a bit — thank goodness for Adam Lambert because he was an outstanding talent that people could talk about.” Lythgoe — who served as an American Idol executive producer for the show’s first seven seasons — had previously stated his desire for John to replace Simon Cowell, who will end his American Idol judging role after its currently airing ninth season to launch his British The X Factor reality competition series for Fox in the fall of 2011. ”If I were doing it, I’d get Elton John! He is fabulous,” Lythgoe told The Post.
From the Seattle Times: On Wednesday’s American Idol, Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato will perform their duet “Make a Wave.”
From the Los Angeles Times: The official American Idol magazine arrives Friday on newsstands and in supermarkets. The first of four Season 9 issues “promises rare backstage photos of “Idol” past and present, interviews with former finalists, makeup and hair tips from the show’s glam squad (Mezhgan Hussainy gives a step-by-step breakdown of Adam Lambert’s Idol makeup routine) and more.
From Billboard: Cyrus is currently promoting her upcoming new movie “The Last Song” — a romantic drama written by “The Notebook” author Nicholas Sparks — which also stars her current boyfriend, Australian newcomer Liam Hemsworth, as her love interest.