Loyal fans of American Idol already know that Simon Cowell does not like country music. He says it every year, and yet every season they have Country Week on Idol.
To me, Shania Twain is more of a pop/country crossover artist, so I guess that is why Simon was a little less cruel than he usually is during the country music performances by the Idol contestants.
Ryan Seacrest announced that Idol Gives Back raised 45 million dollars. I thought I remembered in previous years, Idol Gives Back raised money each time someone voted for the favorite contestant, but no one else seems to remember that. I did not think, given the amount of viewers American Idol has, that this was a large amount of money, but the economy is tight, so that could be it.
Lee Dewyze performed You're Still the One and I am glad he chose this song. This is one of my favorite Shania Twain songs. He sounded great and reminded me more than ever of David Cook last night. I think he has a real shot at the finale.
Simon thought it was the perfect song for Lee, but he started in with the useless, irrelevant comments that are normal for him at this phase of the competition. He told Lee he made weird faces when he sang. I guess Simon never watched Joe Cocker or Bruce Springsteen perform. Simon is the one who always complains about people not voting on the contestants' singing ability alone, but he is the one who talks about everything from their hair to the way they are dressed. Kara said Lee sounded relevant, and if she means to today's music, I am not so sure that is a compliment. Given some of the stuff people are listening to today, relevant may not be a compliment, unless you are talking about Chris Daughtry.
I gave Lee an A+ and I think there is a good chance it will be a Dewyze/Bowersox finale.
Michael Lynche sang It Only Hurts When I Breathe and I thought he actually did sound Luther Vandross-ish, as the judges said. His voice is every bit as good as Season One Winner Reuben Studdard, but Michael seems more at ease with people, and on the stage. Reuben was shy and not as confident, but he was the 'teddy bear'.
I thought Michael was on his game last night and proved that the judges were right in using the save on him a few weeks back. Michael can sing R&B, country, rock, and I think he will be a success long after he leaves the Idol stage.
I gave Michael an A+ also last night, and disagreed with Simon when he insinuated that Michael's performance was 'wet', which apparently means 'girly'. I did not see that at all and I think Simon only wants to stay true to his convictions that country music is not his thing.
Casey James performed Shania Twain's Don't, and I don't understand all the excitement surrounding the judges' accolades to Casey's performance. I thought the song was a little slow and boring, and I think Casey does better with rock songs. I do not think this was the right choice of song for him, but the judges appeared to think it was his best performance.
I never liked the contestants using the musical instruments anyway, but since I saw the judges talking during Casey's performance, I wonder how much they really paid attention to his while he was singing. Randy and Simon said it was Casey's best performance.
Between Kara's head bopping and the fact that it looked as though her hair suffered from lack of water pressure last night, she expressed her pleasure in his performance. I think she expresses too much pleasure for Casey, given the large amount of young girls watching the show. Some of the language and innuendo on the show this season appears geared toward a more mature audience. I think that is strange because I always thought the young crowd was the one who voted.
I gave Casey a B and I thought he sounded good, but not as good as the judges thought he was.
Crystal Bowersox, this year's favorite to win, sang No One Needs to Know, and no one needs to worry that Crystal's performance did not blow the judges away last night, because we already know that Simon clearly wants Crystal to win this year.
Kara wanted 'bigger' and Crystal told her that bigger is not always better. Oh, brother, the back talk again; not a fan of the back talking. Simon went as far as to insult her by saying she sounded like one of those people who come up to your booth in a coffee shop and start performing when you do not want them to do that. He was on a roll last night with the stupid comments and even though I agreed with Randy and Ellen that it was also not my favorite, the girl can sing like nobody's business.
I gave Crystal a B+ for her performance, but she has A+ vocals and no song can hide that.
Aaron Kelly appears to be Idol's underdog this year. I think he is holding his own with the older contestants and he did it again last night with his performance of You've Got a Way. I agreed with Ellen that he seemed more mature than his 17 years, and he explained changing lyrics to dedicate the performance to his mother.
Simon was totally off with his remarks about Aaron struggling in past performances. I have not really seen struggling, but because Aaron did wind up in the bottom three, Simon likes to act as though he is always right, so he tells Aaron that last night's performance showed a different Aaron than in previous weeks. I think Simon just wanted to prove he knows what the audience likes because Aaron was in the bottom 3 last week.
I gave Aaron a B+ for his performance, and an A for telling the judges he sang the song for his mom. I think that alone may keep him out of the bottom tonight.
The judges do not give Siobhan Magnus the credit she deserves as of late. The girl has mad vocals and can hold a note longer than most popular singers today, including present, and past Idol contestants.
Randy and Ellen loved Siobhan's performance, and even though Simon said it was a good performance, he told Siobhan the note she hit sounded as though she was giving birth. Again, not really that funny and not a comment that makes any sense.
I gave Siobhan a B+ for her performance of Shania Twain's hit, but an A+ for the vocals.
At least Simon did not insult country music singers everywhere, as he normally does, last night. I guess he liked Shania Twain when she appeared as a guest judge early on, so that was the reason he was a little more reserved in his criticism of the music genre.
Most of the contestants performed well enough to remain another week, but someone has to go home tonight. I think it could be either Aaron or Siobhan, but my choice would be Casey. I just do not think he is as good as the judges think he is, or as he himself thinks, he is.