UPDATE: Tim Urban is the Vote For the Worst pick.
Pretty dire night: The best were Andrew Garcia, Casey James and Lee Dewyze. Todrick Hall, Jermaine Sellers and Joe Munoz are in danger of going home.
Tonight, the Top 12 Boys take the Idol stage for the first time. Andrew Garcia has the pimp spot. Of course!
Randy says “the girls blew it out last night.” Well, that’s one way of putting it. Kara warns the guys to watch their nerves. Simon mumbles something about “Little House on the Prairie (??) Ellen said everything sounds way different in the studio than it does at home (NO! Seriously? *eye roll*) She says, if it sounds bad in the studio it sounds worse at home.
Simon says he saw an awful lot of nerves in dress rehearsal. If you mess up, he warns the guys ominously, you’re going home. Eep.
Live blog and videos after the jump…
Todrick Hall – “Since You Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson – Little kids sing back the song he wrote for his audition. Todrick TOTALLY re-works “Since U Been Gone” Pretty big risk to re-work this beloved song. Hm. I don’t personally like this funked up version of the song. But I gotta give him props for not doing the same ole’ same old. Ellen says, “You’re such a great performer. I love that you did something different with it..the chorus was a little rough…love that you took a chance.” Randy says, “It didn’t even sound like the same song…you never want to completely obliterate a song…I still want to see you sing…” Kara agrees with Randy, “You don’t have to arrange the song that much…it’s undeniable that you are a performer…you took a risk that’s how you learn.” Simon said, “I thought it was a crazy arrangement of the song..murdered the original song…it was verging on stupid what you just did.” Seriously, hacking up a song by a beloved Idol is probably not too smart. But on the other hand, the judges are constantly telling these kids not to be copy cats. This reminds me of Season 6 when Chris Sligh caught hell for Coldplayizing “Endless Love”…- 1-866-436-5701 – VIDEO
Aaron Kelly – “Here Comes Goodbye” by Rascall Flatts – Ha ha. His last performance at Hollywood was “Angels”. Way to avoid those David Archuleta comparisons, dude! This 16 year old should have waited a few years before auditioning. He’s very unformed, and I’m not sure he’s in a position to grow over the course of the competition, like the judges suggest he will. The vocals had a couple of pitchy things in there. His vocals are strong, but I’m not seeing much charisma. Simon says, “It actually was quite a good performance…you look as if you are embarrassed to be there…you have to take control of the song…absolutely you will be here next week.” Kara says, “You have no idea what your talent is…I like the pop country lane for you…I think you did a great job…we’re going to see incredible things from you.” Randy says, “You’ve got a huge voice…dude believe in yourself…I’m a big fan.” Ellen says, “You’re going to do very well…I like how humble you are…good job.” – 1-866-436-5702 – VIDEO
Jermaine Sellers – “Get Here” by – He reviews the negative edit he got in Hollywood when he threw the band under the bus. He promises not to do that any more. Ugh. Every time he performs, he over-sings. Somebody needs to tell Jermaine that less is more. I’m not digging his trembley vibrato either. That last note was a little wonky. Ellen says, “I’m a huge fan..I felt you were singing more as a performance than getting into the song…” She tells him he was pitchy and was trying to hard. “I see you more as Maxwell, Ne-yo…the song was old for you…you were trying to do too much with the melody” says Randy. Judges, Jermaine oversings every time he takes the stage…you’re just noticing that now? “When you do those runs, make them meaningful…it felt a little old to me, ” says Kara. Simon says, “In the middle when you were trying to over-sing it…you were screaming…I think you’ve totally blown your chance with that.” The rest of the panel disagrees. Ellen says people will vote for him. When Ryan brings up the Hollywood controversy, Jermaine says “I got made out to look like a Diva…” Then, when Ryan asks if he made up with Michael, Jermain answers “Who is Michael.” Michael Orland comes up on stage for an awkward hug. Oh my. Jermaine is not reversing that shitty Hollywood edit. I think he’s gone. – 1-866-436-5703 – VIDEO
Tim Urban – “Apologize” by OneRepublic – Talks about his last minute Top 24 call back (He took Chris Golightly’s place) He didn’t tell his family he was called back, they found out on TV. We see Randy telling Tim he didn’t make the Top 24. Oh, they filmed Ken calling Tim to ask him to come back (I’ll bet that was faked). Whoa, that falsetto is rough, just like it was during Hollywood when he attempted David Cook’s “Come Back to Me”. He has some good moments, but this performance is all over the place. He’s not picking the right songs for his vocals. He needs to work around his limitations. Simon says, “We absolutely made the right decision not putting you through the first time around based on that performance.” He’s getting slammed, ‘I don’t think your voice is good enough.” Kara says, “The music just swallowed you up…here you were just buried under the beat.” “It was really the wrong song for you, ” says Randy, “None of it worked, ” Ellen says, “You couldn’t hit those high notes.” The entire panel agrees that he’ll get votes because he’s cute, but not on his vocals. Total diss. But he did suck. Tim says the song was a last minute switch. He couldn’t cut down his original pick properly – 1-866-436-5704. – VIDEO
Joe Munoz – “You and I” by Jason Mraz – He was a total fail at guitar playing during Hollywood week. Joe’s got a very nice falsetto–nice transition there. But he pitchy and nervous on the chorus. A very vibrato-y performance. This song choice is pretty boring. Ellen says, “You are so comfortable on stage…you sounded really really good.” Randy says, “Not quite the perfect song choice…singing Jason Mraz is tough…but you worked it out.” Kara says, “I liked that you picked a song I wouldn’t have…you are the best so far.” Simon says, “You have to get out of the bubble…based on that performance…an OK safe performance…you haven’t shown us that you can be a star.” Kara thinks he needs a chance. “A bit limp, a bit forgettable, ” says Simon. Is Kara playing Paula here? Ellen says he looks comfortable and is likable, but he might need to pick a better song. Joe promises to bring something exciting next week. – 1-866-436-5705 – VIDEO
Tyler Grady – “American Woman” by the Guess Who – Tyler’s got the Jim Morrison moves down pat. He’s got a good voice, but there’s something weirdly laconic about the way he wanders around the stage as he sings. His vocals are a little sloppy, especially on the high notes. But, I think he’s going to be popular. He pings that retro-vibe that a particular subset of Idol viewers just love. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make the Top 12. I wish he’d kept the song as an acoustic blues, before he broke out the electrified funk. Simon says, “People are going to remember that performance…partly for the wrong reasons…it doesn’t feel natural…you’ve got to start changing it up.” “there’s an obsession with the 70’s…you have to do something more than the shtick…bring it into this decade.” Randy says he has to bring his act into 2010. Ellen says he’s lacking the charisma and the excitement…he has to work on the singing and forget the poses. “Be an original” says Randy. Style over substance seems to be the consensus. Tyler says he’ll make a trip to the mall to freshen up his wardrobe. – 1-866-436-5706 – VIDEO
Lee Dewyze – “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol – On acoustic guitar. Despite some pitchy moments, Lee did re-arrange the song. It’s kind of Brit-pop goes post-grunge. He messes up some of the notes, but I like the effort. Ellen says, “I thought that was a really good song choice…until you started screaming it too much…but I like the tone of your voice..I hope people vote for you.” Randy says, “I did’n’t like the song for you…a little too rangy….you are a harder kind of rocker for me…you need something you can sink your teeth into.” “You tried to change it up, but you almost made the song unrecognizable in parts…” says Kara. Then she suggests Bad Company. What the eff? Talk about copycats. Dude took a pop song and tried to adapt it to his own style. Isn’t that what you told the girls to do last night? WTF? Simon says, “I thought this was the best performance by a mile…this guy is a naturally good singer…I fought for you to be here…don’t do bad company..do what David Cook did with Lionel Richie…I think you are going to do well in this competition…” And I agree with…SIMON! I said early on this dude would be a dark horse. I’m stickin’ to that. – 1-866-436-5707 – VIDEO
John Park – “God Bless the Child” – John wants to marry Shania Twain. Ha. John is very charming. I love John’s tone and some of his phrasing here, but he’s trying to do too much with the song, and it’s leading him astray. Simon says, “You have got to have an incredible voice to take on that song, and you haven’t…it came over as very flat…0 emotion…It was a pointless performance…a copycat Michael Buble.” Kara agrees with Simon, “There was no connection…loungy, sleepy indulgent…” Randy loved his runs…but the song made him feel old. Ellen says the song was wrong. Ellen liked the performance, but thought the song was wrong. The panel agrees they have no idea how he’d fit into the contemporary landscape. John says sang the song for his parents. Dude, you don’t pick songs for your parents! Pick the song that’s going to advance you to the next round! – 1-866-436-5708 – VIDEO
Michael Lynche – “This Love” by Maroon Five – His baby was born during Hollywood. Lets see if he can transcend his backstory. Is he playing that acoustic guitar he’s got strapped around his neck? I like the neo-soul vibe Michael’s got going on. Lots of energy, but I agree with the judges, he has to challenge himself more. Ellen says, “You have so much personality…I thought that was a great song choice…a few pitch problems but it doesn’t matter.” Randy says, “I like you, you brought the energy up…” Kara says, “It was a little depressing in here…it wasn’t outrageously great…you’re comfortable with you..but you could challenge yourself.” Simon says, “you were llike the suupport guy…it was like a vague jazzy version of that song…you’re better than that.” Ellen warns him not to be cocky, and to challenge himself. – 1-866-436-5709 – VIDEO
Alex Lambert – “Wonderful World” by James Morrison – He was in Mary Power’s nightmare group in Hollywood. Alex sounds like James Morrison, but not as good. That’s not a good thing. Dude is rhythm challenged and super awkward. He looks terrified. Simon is creaming him, “That was the most uncomfortable performance of the night…you’ve got a good voice…but if you can’t get your nerves together…I feel for you.” Kara says, “You sound so much like James Morrison..that’s a problem, but a huge compliment…it’s all there, it’s not together…” Randy says, “Try to pull it all together…I like you.” Ellen compliments him on his mullet, and compares him to an unripe banana. Alex explains that he has limited performance experience. Poor guy. He’ll probably get some pity votes. – 1-866-436-5710 – VIDEO
Casey James – “Heaven” by Bryan Adams – Sitting on a stool, with an acoustic guitar, he delivers a very sensitive performance. Casey can sing–he’s got an interesting voice, unique phrasing. He’s definitely more than a pretty boy. He also looks natural and confident, more than I can say for most of the boys tonight. He reminds me of Bucky Covington, but Casey is a better singer. Kara is swaying. ha ha. Kara says, “I don’t recognize you with your shirt on…I think you were a little pitchy.” Why are they still treating this guy like a piece of meat? Start discussing his singing! Randy liked the song choice, and his singing. Kara says, “You’re eye candy, but you’re also ear candy.” Finally. Simon says, “We were both cursed with good looks…what I really liked about you..you chose the right song…honest, likable..sincere…this was the best I’ve heard from you.” Casey says he was ready to get torn apart. Ryan says Friday is Kara’s HR meeting. – 1-866-436-5711 – VIDEO
Andrew Garcia – “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fallout Boy – So, Andrew does his You Tube acoustic guitar deal with Fallout Boy. He’s really good, but I wonder if this whole OMG Pop song turned on it’s head!!! deal is going to get old fast. Where is there room for improvement? He’s going to be an early front runner. Simon says, “I was disappointed with that…too serious, indulgent, not original enough…I don’t think tonight you took a risk..a bit forgetable.” Kara says, “It was a really strange rendition of that song….it wasn’t meant to be acoustic. (Straight up was?)” Randy agrees with Simon and Kara…”I’m a fan of you…go back to being you.” Ellen says, “I think that Paula song is going to carry you for awhile…you were too inside yourself.” Is this a new strategy? Give a favorite the pimp spot, then criticize their performance so they don’t appear to be front runners too early in the game? Hm. – 1-866-436-5712 – VIDEO