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American Idol Fodder

American Idol: The Boys Are Back In Town

Remember a few weeks ago when the judges, the fans and every critic in America had declared that a woman was going to win this season of “American Idol?” And remember when they said it was Crystal’s race to lose? Well, after tonight’s episode, where our (almost) fearless Top 10 tackled R&B, I think the boys are back in this thing.

From Siobhan’s shaky first notes to Crystal’s brave but abrupt change in style, it seemed the train that was taking these ladies to the finals suddenly took a detour. And following close behind them were several guys who decided to finally start singing, making everyone rethink the whole season. I mean, who would have thought last week that I’d be sitting here tonight, scratching my head and asking “Could Andrew Garcia actually win this thing?”

In honor of Usher’s personal little chats with each contestant tonight, here’s what I would’ve said if I had a chance to sit down with each singer and stare at them with my sunglasses on. (That’s right; I too like to wear my sunglasses at night. And indoors.)

-Hi Siobhan, you did an OK job tonight. I thought your nerves got the best of you on “Through the Fire,” but I agree with Usher that you have a very unique voice. You need to take Kara and Simon’s advice about improving your lower register and working on your breathing. If you do that, you’ll be fine. (P.S. Sorry about that judging firing squad they insisted on putting you through tonight and I’m doubly sorry about that camera that followed you backstage.)

-What’s up Casey? You’ve been on a roll since last week when you rocked out to Huey Lewis and the News and you only improved on it tonight with “Hold On, I’m Coming.” Your vocals were the best they’ve been in weeks and you’ve definitely got the blues rock vibe going on. Simon was impressed, but Ellen and Kara seem to want even more from you! Try hitting some higher or lower notes next time and you should be good to go.

-What can I say Michael? From the stripped down performance of “Ready for Love” to the awesome tone of your voice to the nice vibe with the guitar, you came out swinging tonight. I thought it was one of the few slow songs anybody has performed this season that hasn’t been boring. You infused a lot of emotion into it and I agree with Simon that I can finally see you as an original artist.

-Oh Didi, what’s going on lately? I thought you did an admirable job on “What Becomes of a Broken Heart,” but it seems the judges just won’t let up on you. Your voice was good as usual, but I think what the judges are having a problem with is your disconnect with the songs and your overacting. Next week try to infuse a little less Broadway into your song and maybe pick something a little more up-tempo. (By the way, I’d just like to apologize for Mr. Seacrest’s insistence on asking why you cried. We didn’t really need to know.)

-Timmy, Timothy, Tim. What can I say? Your last few weeks have been uneven to say the least, but at least you didn’t do anything reggae-style tonight. To your credit, I’d say this was one of your better vocals, though I’m not sure “Sweet Love” was the best song choice. In terms of advice, just keep smiling man. That’s all I got. (By the way, you have to admit, it was pretty funny when Simon said it didn’t matter what they said because you’d keep smiling and the audience would keep voting. How true!)

-Congratulations Andrew! You’ve finally made it back on track. While I don’t want to jinx this and call it a comeback, I’d say it’s a good start. You did exactly what we’ve all wanted to see ever since Hollywood week. Taking Chris Brown’s “Forever” and transforming it into a slow guitar jam was genius. It was almost like the perfect storm of good voice, good song choice and excellent stage presence finally came together. If there’s one criticism, I think Simon is right when he said you need to show more emotion. I’m looking forward to seeing you next week!

-Like I said to Andrew, Katie you need to work on your personality and attitude. While your singing is pretty perfect, and you don’t hit many bad notes, I think it’s your older persona that is holding you back. You performed an excellent version of “Chain of Fools,” with shades of Katherine McPhee and Kelly Clarkson mixed together, but Simon’s right in saying it was a tad robotic. If you make it to another week, just make sure you have fun when you’re up there.

-Lee, your performance blew me away. You finally stopped holding back and started to believe that you actually belong on the stage. I thought your presentation of “Treat Her Like a Lady” was pure cool. You infused your now trademark rock-growl into an R&B song and it sounded awesome. And that whole thing you did when you sang fast, then slowed it down and then sped the music up again was great. And you know it’s good when the judges lay down compliments like “unbelievable,” “amazing” and “this is the night where your life may have changed forever.”

-Hey Crystal, what happened to your guitar? I kid, I kid! I actually liked the fact that you tried something new with your look and that you played the piano. I also liked that you sang “Midnight Train to Georgia” (woo-woo!). And while I think all this newness threw you a little bit (woo-woo!), you still did a good job. By the way, thanks so much for remembering to open up your eyes more!

-While we didn’t end the show on a really high note, you still did a great job Aaron. Though I wonder if you gave a better performance to Usher than you did to the audience tonight. What happened to that wow moment Usher told you to do on that chain of “I knows?” It all seemed a bit sleepy, but I believe you’ll be around for another week. (And don’t take Simon’s calling you a “cupcake” too personally. He was just cranky for being up so late.)

So, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Has the tide turned from the girls to the guys? Is Lee now the singer to beat or are you still rooting for Crystal? And do you think Usher’s favorite song is “Sunglasses at Night?” Post your comments below and make sure you tune in for the results Wednesday night on “Idol!” –Chris Sardelli


Posted by Chris on March 31, 2010 11:13 AM
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