Wednesday, March 10, 2010

American Idol Season 9: The Top 8 Guys

Wow! The guys completely surprised me tonight. I really don't care what the judges say because tonight the guys proved that they are the stronger of the two groups, and I think ultimately a guy has a great chance of winning the whole thing this year. Their song selections were better, their voices were stronger, and five out of eight of them played guitar of some sort. Unfortunately a favorite may go home, while someone who should have gone home a long time ago probably will this week.

The show kicked off with Lee Dewyze putting his own spin on the Owl City song "Fireflies"; I actually liked Lee's version better than the original. Randy liked how he made it his own. Kara, like myself, thought it was better than the original. Simon thought Lee was better than the version of the song that he did. Score: 4.6 (out of 5)

Alex Lambert took on Ray LaMontagne's "Trouble"; Randy criticized him and thought it was too fast. Ellen said Alex, unlike most people, consistently gets better, and she loves his vulnerability. Kara thinks the only thing in the way of Alex winning is him and his struggles with confidence. Simon emphasized that once again he needs to learn how to be comfortable. Score: 4.5

Tim Urban sang the famous Jeff Buckley version of "Hallelujah", and for me, it was one of the best performances of the night. Randy said he walked in some big shoes (those of the contestants who performed it before him) and he did a pretty good job. Ellen hugged him and said it was fantastic; she felt bad about being so hard on him in the weeks past. Kara loved the honesty of his interpretation. Simon said terrific, by far his best performance thus far. Score: 5

Andrew Garcia's interpretation of Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" left me a little disappointed. Randy said it was pitchy and there wasn't enough range in the song. Ellen liked the end, and commented about how much the viewers love him. Kara said he peaked early and now he has been chasing that performance ever since. Simon agreed with Kara and feels like Andrew is going backwards. I think he chose the wrong Christina song, he should have gone with "Beautiful" or "All I Want is You (Come on Over)". Score: 3.5

I enjoyed the sincerity of Casey James singing "You'll Think of Me" by Keith Urban. Randy felt it was too safe a choice for him, which I disagree with because he sounded good. Ellen thought it was great and positively commented on his comfort level. Kara said she liked it better than last week and said he was singing from his heart; she said what was missing was that spark that he has. Simon praised the sincerity of his performance ans said he sounded great. Score: 4.9

As the youngest contestant left in the competition, Aaron Kelly showed that age doesn't mean you are better. His performance of "I'm Already There" by Lonestar showcased his emotion when singing. Randy thought he sounded good but told him to work on the lower register of his voice. Ellen liked the song but thought the song was too big for him. Kara thought the song was irrelevant for him, saying it is about a man calling his kids. Simon called Kara out and said her statement was complete and utter rubbish, and that she is taking it too literally. He said it was a good vocal, the type of song he should be singing, and he could tell that Aaron was really trying. He also commented that the judges tell the contestants one thing one week, and something different the next and it is driving the contestants crazy unnecessarily. Score: 4.9

Todrick Hall's over the top version of "Somebody to Love" by Queen sounded so pitchy to me; I really think his voice cracked within the first few seconds of the performance. For some reason though, all the judges loved it saying that it was good singing. Simon said he proved that he is a Broadway singer, and that what he did may have saved him. Score: 3

Michael Lynche closed the show with "This Woman's Work" by Maxwell which is honestly one of the most difficult songs to sing by a very stylized artist. Randy said, "Really?"; it was dope and hot. Ellen said it was beautiful. A crying Kara said the song was absolutely relevant for him and that it showed his respect for women by the way he sang it. Simon said it was an incredibly difficult song to sing and he nailed it, best performance of the live shows so far. Score: 5