I am not familiar with Alicia Keys' hits, but I saw that she did a fine job of inspiring the American Idol contestants during Inspirational week on the performance shows. I have seen her perform on awards' shows and I like that she plays the piano, as opposed to so many who walk on stage half-naked and grab their crotches. Although, I do think that Lady Gaga has a tremendous voice. I can excuse antics somewhat.
I listed the songs that I wanted the contestants to choose to sing from the list, and I was, as before, wrong on every one of them.
I was not familiar with a few of the songs, and I used to dislike that, but now I think that without having heard the original, it is better to judge them on their own merits with a song.
Casey James performed Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac. I wish he Casey had chosen a song that a group had not performed. There is always something missing no matter how good the vocals are, when the contestants choose a song recorded by a group. I guess the other voices are what are missing.
His vocals are great and he puts me in mind of Huey Leeis, but he needs to stop smiling between breaths. I know that Kara told him in the beginning that he needed to show more personality, but I think he smiles even more than Tim Urban does. At least Tim does not smile all the way through the performance. It almost makes me think that Casey is smiling because he knows how good he is doing.
The judges apparently did not agree with Casey, if in fact that is what he was doing. Randy and Kara thought it sounded no different from his other performances. Simon used the word of the night to say that Casey's performance was non-inspiring and lazy. I gave Casey a C for his performance; his vocals sounded good, but as Ellen said, the performance was unforgettable.
Lee Dewyze (got it right this time) sang The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel. I honestly was going to pick this song for one of the contestants, but I did not think they would want to take on the challenge.
Lee not only took the challenger, for me, he nailed it. It is a five-minute song and unfortunately, Lee could not sing the whole song. What he did sing, was fantastic and I believe he could record that song and have a hit with it. Simon and Garfunkel's hits are timeless and will be contemporary no matter how music styles change.
Lee proved that point and I give him an A for his performance. This is how all the contestants should sound at this point in the competition; better each week. Kara thought THIS performance was HIS moment, and frightening as it is, I agree again with Kara. Simon used the word of the night again and said Lee's performance was inspirational.
Tim Urban sang Better Days by the Goo Goo Dolls, a group I thought were females until my teenage son corrected me. I guess I was thinking the Go Go Girls.
I like Tim's voice and I think it is perfectly fine if the young crowd votes for him because he is just so darn cute. He is a handsome young man, but he does have talent and deserves a spot in this competition.
I thought it was an odd song, odder still for Tim to choose, but I think he did, as Randy likes to say often, "Aw-ight". Tim's performance last night only managed to get a similarity to a karaoke performance from Randy, while Ellen rambled on about soup that was not helpful and was just silly, while Kara at least said he sounded commercial. Simon said he was disappointed given Tim's performance last week, and that he did not 'believe' it, whatever that means.
I gave Tim a B for his vocals but not more than that because I did not like the song in general.
Aaron Kelly did one of the most challenging songs of the night with I Believe I Can Fly. I think Aaron appeared nervous at first, but I thought he was able to pull it off and I think he was unfairly judged last week, which may account for his nervousness at first last night.
All the judges liked it and agreed with me in saying that he has pure talent. Simon loves to pick on the young contestants with mean remarks, and last night was no different when he told Aaron if he heard him singing that song on the radio, he would turn it off. Useless and deliberately mean, I hope the voters did not heed Simon's comments when they voted last night.
I give Aaron a B for his performance. If he had performed the entire song they way he did the second half, I would have given him an A.
Siobhan Magnus performed a Whitney Houston song I really do not know, When You Believe. I think Siobhan has just as much raw talent as Crystal Bowersox does, and the judges believed that in the beginning of this season. Last night, and in previous weeks, they seemed to have changed their mind.
Even though during the performance she reached a note many other contestants on the entire run of American Idol, have not been able to do without sounding as though they were screaming, the judges still did not give her that credit. She also held a note longer than any contestant that I can recall, except for one Diana Degarmo held during Disco week on American Idol years back.
Kara told Siobhan she did not know "who she is" and I ask, "who is Kara to judge someone with Siobhan's amazing vocal talents?" I never heard of Kara before American Idol, so I wonder how she could say that to one out of two female contestants who are in a different league from the other females eliminated in previous weeks.
I gave Siobhan an A and I hope that the voters agreed with me and not the judges so that Siobhan will be around until at least the week before the finale, if not for the finale.
Michael Lynche sang Hero. Simon may know the business side of the music business, but he shows his ignorance of the actual music part of the music business at times. It is either that or he is just trying to be clever while being sarcastic. Michael has fantastic vocals and a charming, loveable personality, but Simon chooses to make fun of the song because it came from a super-hero movie, to make a remark about the song sounding artificial because it came from a Spiderman movie. Kara said his tone was unrecognizable, and again I refer back to my previous remark that Kara's experience in the music business is unrecognizable to me, because I never heard of her before.
I gave Michael a B for his song selection because I thought there were more challenging songs he could have nailed on the list, but an A for his performance as a whole.
Crystal Bowersox before People Get Ready. It was an emotional song for her and she performed flawlessly, as she does week after week. Randy gave her a standing ovation, Simon, using the key word again, said it was inspirational. He also said that performance put her in a different class than the other contestants last night.
I am trying to figure out how many different ways Simon can show how much he wants Crystal to win this year. From the first performance show, Simon predicted a female to win this year. Simon keeps comparing her to Kelly Clarkson, the only winner that Simon pushed and routed for, who became a success. The more he says it about Crystal, the less I want her to win, and not because she does not deserve it, but because Simon's critiques of Crystal's performance and his critiques of the other contestants last night, gave Crystal the unfair advantage. Kara said that Crystal schooled the other contestants, but the only lesson she taught Siobhan last night is that the judges want Crystal to win, and not her.
I thought the contestants all chose songs that were inspirational, but not all of them inspired me to want to see them win this year.
I cannot even make an educated guess as to who will go home tonight, according to the way people will vote. I think that Casey should go home tonight, but it will probably be someone else, someone the judges did not like last night.
What are your thoughts?