Last night was quite possibly the worst batch of performances I have ever seen for a group of contestants in the finals of American Idol. The bottom three for the most part tonight was not a surprise for me; I believed that the bottom three would be Paige Miles, Didi Benami, and Andrew Garcia with Paige Miles going home. All that was important was that my end result was correct and it was.
Paige gave consistently "off" performances throughout the semis and finals and last night was possibly the worst. Her rendition of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" was pitchy, possibly the worst vocal of season 9, and she never seemed to find her comfort zone in the song. Simon said they would not even consider using the "Judges' Save".
The other two contestants in the bottom three were Tim Urban and Katie Stevens; both had off nights but on a night were most performances were lackluster at best. Urban took on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen and received mostly criticism from the judges, I thought the song was right but he should have done more with the tempo and the arrangement. Katie Stevens actually took the judges' advice and went with a younger more contemporary song, choosing "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie. It was a bit of a shock to me to see her in the bottom three, but then again, there was nothing special about her performance.
I agreed with Simon's take on Didi and Andrew's performances. Didi was over the top and overly dramatic with her performance of "You're No Good". Simon said there was quite an irony of you singing, you're no good over and over again. Andrew basically destroyed Marvin Gaye's "I Heard it Through the Grapevine"; Simon said he is starting to think that his performance of "Straight Up" was overrated all those weeks ago in Hollywood.
My two favorites of the night were Crystal Bowersox and Aaron Kelly. Crystal gave a soulful performance of "Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin; Randy said that she is a star and Simon said he would not have changed anything about the performance. Aaron sang the ballad "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing", a number one by Aerosmith; Kara praised his consistency and Randy said he is a fan.
Lee's performance of "The Letter" was impressive and I can see that he improves every week. Randy said he knocked it out of the box and Ellen compared him to her favorite pen. Kara said he raised the bar for himself and has never sounded better.
Michael and Casey were both acceptable but should definitely try to improve next week. Michael sang "When a Man Loves a Woman" to split reviews of the judges. Casey's choice of "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis was an odd song choice which earned him split reviews as well.
Siobhan, unfortunately, sounded like she was screaming throughout her rendition of "Superstition", made famous by the legendary Stevie Wonder. Simon said that she needs to stop screaming at the end of every performance.