The judges were harder on Andrew Garcia and Casey Jones than I thought they deserved, and Lee Dewyze and Alex Lambert could do great things if they could only get over their nerves. Not a complete trainweck slate of guys here, I don’t think. Although, Simon’s praise of the awkward and tuneless Tim Urban was a great big giant WTF…
That’s right–it’s the boys tonight. Crystal Bowersox is unable to perform tonight due to “medical reasons”–sources are reporting that a trip to the hospital today was prompted by complications from Type 1 diabetes.
At any rate, those same sources are also reporting she’ll be fine to perform tomorrow night with the rest of the girls. Get well soon, Crystal!
Now, on with the Top 10 boys. Hopefully, they bring it this week!
Recap and Videos below…
Ryan explains why the guys are performing tonight instead of the girls. Crystal Bowersox was taken to the hospital this morning, she is unable to perform tonight, by doctors orders.
Randy doesn’t think the performance will affect the guys negatively, because it’s the boys against the boys. Ellen makes an American Gladiators/Bewitched joke, before mentioning that she’s never missed a show. Kara on the rehearsals: She thinks the guys have improved. Simon says the girls are in the lead “by a smidge”.
Michael Lynche – “This is a Man’s World” by James Brown – Michael attended a performing arts high school AND he played football. A musical geek/athlete. He enjoyed last week’s performance, even if the judges were a little disappointed. Michael is out to prove he has serious chops. Not a powerhouse singer, Michael’s imbues the song with feeling and soul. I like the neo-soul thing he does, but I think it was necessary for Mike to showcase the vocals this week. “I feel like right now, this season is getting rolling, ” says Randy giving him a standing O. Ellen likes all his varied song choice, and says his is the performance to top. Kara says, “I did not get until tonight…you owned it…you are not the same guy. I’m feeling it.” What a difference, from a pussycat to a lion in one week…you are an old soul…it didn’t sound dated…best performance in the competition so far, ” says Simon. Mike explains they found out about the switch at 10:30 this morning. 1-866-436-5701 – VIDEO
John Park – Gravity by John Mayer – Talks about his a’capella group, “Purple Haze.” He watched his performance last week and thought he was trying to hard with his voice. This week he’s going to focus on the “honesty.” English is his second language, although he was born in the US. “Gravity” is relevant to what John wants to do, he explains. Ok, this is 100% better than last week. He’s like a different singer this week. He’s got a sweet tenor, great phrasing. Still not seeing star power, but good. “You didn’t bring anything new or spicy to it..flat for me, ” says Randy. Ellen thought it was a better song choice, but thought it could have used a little more soul. Kara says, “Way better than last week….when you sing it, I don’t always believe it…you’re a little bit safe, I want you to take risks.” “I think Purple haze will get their lead singer back, ” says Simon, “..it was a “so what” song choice. I struggle with the believability factor.” Ellen and Kara try to counter Simon’s harsh words with encouragement–they both feel he has it in him, he jneeds to bring it out and WOW us. – 1-866-436-5702 – VIDEO
Casey James – “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin Degraw – Never watched AI before he was on the show. He picked the song before he realized it had been done a gazillion times already. He checked out all the performances–Elliott, Chris Rich, Bo. Casey hasn’t had a TV for most of his life. He bought and restored his own house. He’s playing electric guitar tonight… He’s a decent guitar player. Although not my fav Idol version of this song, I like this dude’s gruff vocals. Casey has confidence and charisma plus good looks. I’ll eat my hat if he doesn’t make Top 12. Randy says, “I don’t know if you did the best vocal, but this is the kind of records I would make with you…that was hot.” Ellen says, “I thought you sounded great, I love you on guitar..but there’s a stiffness about you…I want to see you perform more.” Kara says, “Tonight, I got to say, you took 2 steps backward for me…you are a great lead guitar player, but everything that was distinct about your vocals went away.” Simon says, “I’m kinda with Kara here, you turned into somebody you will see in any bar in America, I don’t think you had the grit in your voice to make that work.” Hm. I disagree. It wasn’t the perfect vocal, but not because he lacks grit. Aw, I don’t think Casey was expecting to be dissed. – 1-866-436-5703 – VIDEO
Alex Lambert – “Everybody Knows” by John Legend – Alex talks about his stage fright. He’ll feel more comfortable, because he’s playing his guitar tonight. He uses a made-up language when he forgets the words. Wow, soooo much better than last week. Alex has an interesting, distinctive vocal tone that will sound beautiful recorded. On the right songs, and with more confidence, he could surge ahead of the pack. Not sure how quickly he can get it all together, though. Maybe he auditioned a few years too early. “This is such an improvement…I love you with your guitar, ” says Randy, “You’re finding your own niche…way legit.” “So much better than last week…you’re gaining so much experience so much, ” says Ellen, “Underneath that mullet you’re a little Sam Cook. You have a unique style, ‘ “There isn’t a person out there who isn’t rooting for you, ” says Kara, “You have a beautiful recording voice, you don’t even know what to do with it.” Almost fatherly, Simon gives Alex advice, “The only time you should be nervous is when you’re useless, ” He says, “And you’re not.” Simon tells Alex he has to have a killer instinct now. “You’ve got a good voice, ” he says. – 1-866-436-5704 – VIDEO
Todrick Hall – “What’s Love Got to do with It” by Tina Turner – Chat about last week’s Kelly Clarkson cover. This week, he didn’t change it up as much. He began dancing when he was 9 years old. Aw, Todd’s a dancer and he namechecks Paula. He slows up Tina Turner, and at least it’s recognizable, but I don’t really like this either. Vocally, he sounds off tonight, or the slowed up arrangement hilights some vocal limitations. Randy says, “that falsetto run was hot…I didn’t love this…just sing a nice song, just sing it.” Ellen says, “Sing and move…you should always go with your strength…it’s a hard song to sing…I don’t think that song helped you get any votes, ” says Ellen. Kara says, “We all like you…I don’t get it what happened to Todrick.” She calls his style, “crazy and all over the place.” Simon says, “Move but don’t sing…this is not working out at all for you…it’s like a theme park performance…very corny bad version of a Tina Turner song.” The problem with the song was not that he changed it too much, but that the arrangement sucked, and he didn’t sing it very well. I don’t understand why he is getting criticized for changing the song, because the judges are constantly harping on the contestants to change things up. Having said that, I think the munchkin-scamming Todrick is in big trouble this week. – 1-866-436-5705 – VIDEO
Jermaine Sellers – “What’s Goin’ On” by Marvin Gaye – Jermaine rocks his “onsie”. Uhm. OK. “Them judges were cutthroat” says Jermaine. Erm, no–you really really sucked last week. OMG. His hair looks really stupid. Bob’s Big Boy is not a good look. He’s still pitchy and warbly. The song is too big for him–he makes a bunch of senseless vocal choices, just to show off his voice, and the result is that he doesn’t. But, this is better than last week. Randy says, “Better than last week…it was so close but so far…it just wasn’t a great performance.” Ellen says, “I love your style…It just didn’t work for me, it was off a little bit and you need to pull it back.” Kara says, “You’re always doing too much…look at the meaning of the song…it just feels forced…we don’t need every trick in every performance.” Simon says, “We’re frustrated and disappointed, You watered down the song, you made it lose it’s importance, you play around with it too much.” Jermaine’s got a ‘tude, “You need to come to church with me.” Jermaine then challenges the judges to pick his song. Simon says, “I don’t know if you’ll be here next week.” Jermaine thinks God will make sure he advances to the Top 16. Sheesh. This kid is super unlikable. – 1-866-436-5706 – VIDEO
Andrew Garcia – “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison – He’s been a break dancer since grade school. No guitar tonight. He sings a song without changing up the arrangement much. No guitar, he proves he’s got the vocal chops and confidence. Like Alex, he’s got a unique, recordable tone. Randy says, “Honestly, that wasn’t the vibe for you tonight…pitchy all over the place, ” Randy wants him to change it up, says Andrew should be doing Mraz because he’s not a sould singer like Morrison. Huh? Ellen liked it a lot, and feels he set the bar high with “Straight Up.”. Kara says, “Straight Up was so brilliant, but since then it’s been going down…you have to surprise us.” Kara doesn’t like it that he sang it straight. Simon says, “You haven’t chosen the right song in two weeks….with that song, you’re never going to look back on that song and think it’s an incredible version.” So what is it judges? Change it up? Don’t change it up? Sing a song straight? I completely understand what Andrew was trying to do here. He sang a song straight, putting the focus on his vocals. There were a few pitch problems here and there, but he did a good job. Dude can sing. – 1-866-436-5707 – VIDEO
Aaron Kelly – “My Girl” by the Temptations – He loves photography, because he can do what he wants, dammit. Backstage, Simon told Aaron he did a good job. This is a terrible song choice. Dude has NO soul. And he’s got a serious case of goat vibrato going on here. Oh that falsetto was not pleasant. Stick to modern country, kid. Randy says, “The first half of that song was brilliant…you can really sing.” Ellen says, “A whole lot more confidence, I think the song was a little forgetable, you definitely have a great voice.” Kara really liked it. “I think you’re going to get better and better.” She liked his vibrato. What? Simon says, “I didn’t like the song, it was all over the place, you went backwards.” Simon says he has to work out who he is, and that the arrangement was too old fashioned. I so totally agree with Simon.- 1-866-436-5708 – VIDEO
Tim Urban – “Come On Get Higher” by Matt He has 4 brothers and 5 sisters. He prays before he sings. It’s not helping. Guitar in hand, tries to redeem himself and…he still sucks. Not as bad as last week, but he’s still way pitchy and all over the place. Dude is cute, but he doesn’t have it. Not sure how far he can advance on his looks. Randy said, “I didn’t really get it, it was very karaoke…pitch problems everywhere.” Ellen tells him he should act. “There’s no charisma and no stage presence, but you are so adorable, ” Kara liked the song choice, but, ‘You didn’t make it your own…you look and play the part, but it’s not all there yet…it could be there. I still want to see you next week.” Simon says, “It was a marked improvement on last week, I think you listened to the criticism, you were more relevant than some of the singers we saw tonight…I’m impressed about your attitude and your work ethic, I think you did great. Tim looked absolutely shocked by Simon’s remarks. I am too. Wow. Simon. Seriously? – 1-866-436-5709 – VIDEO
Lee Dewyze – “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder – He had a rough time, getting placed in an alternative high school. A couple of teachers helped him straighten out. He knew he was pitchy last week.Oh this song. HATE. HATE. HATE. I like you Lee, but if continue to choose this crappy post-grunge dreck, I’ll be over it. Having said that, his vocals are better this week. Not too much pitchyness, except when he pushes on the high notes. Also, he looked really nervous. Did I mention that i H-A-T-E this song? Randy says, “It was a bold move, but I like that you take chances…the song had a couple of pitch problems, but I liked it.” Ellen says, “There was so much passion and intensity, it came out as a great performance, ” says Ellen. Kara says, “I thought it was a great improvement over last week…I could hear you on the radio right now.” Simon says, “Vocally you are head and shoulders above everyone else in this competition…you look terrified.” says Simon. Lee says he’s nervous without his guitar. Simon says, if he gets it together, he may be the one to beat. Do I keep saying, Dark Horse? He reminds me of Matt Giraud last year, who was also the Dark Horse who needed to get over his nerves. Matt never did. Not sure if Lee is going to be able to get it together. – 1-866-436-5710 – VIDEO