American Idol 9 Top 10 – iTunes Reviews

This week’s iTunes reviews! My favorites this week are Lee Dewyze, and Casey James.  I’m not gonna lie–Katie Stevens did good this week. Crystal Bowersox delivers a fine vocal, but it’s not one of my favorites…

  • Siobhan Magnus – “Through the Fire”  – My initial gut reaction about Siobhan–that she’s a dilettante and a one trick pony were pretty much confirmed this week with her awful live performance of “Through the Fire”.  She’s got a tremendous instrument, but she doesn’t know how to use it, nor does she have any sort of an artistic identity–she just flits from style to style, uncomprehendingly.  The pitch problems are cleaned up here, which is a plus, but the result is a lifeless, uninteresting rendering of Chaka Khan’s classic.  I really want to dig Siobhan, I really do…  – Audio Video
  • Casey James – “Hold On I’m Coming” – Casey really gets his groove on, and proves he’s got some funk in his southern soul in this gritty rendition of one of my favorite sixties classics. I think Sam and Dave would approve. – Audio Video
  • Mike Lynche – “Ready For Love” – Wow. I thought Big Mike delivered a very tender  version of India.Arie’s sweet ballad live on the Idol stage, but I couldn’t get through the recorded version twice. The emotion Mike brought to the live version is completely absent here. Zzz. – Audio Video
  • Didi Benami – “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” – The recorded version of Jimmy Ruffin’s Motown hit almost has a country twang.  If she’d sung it like this, rather than as an overwrought lounge song? Well, I’m not sure it would have saved her, but it would not have seemed so crazy.  Still liking Didi’s tone, and can see hear why the judges liked her so much in the first place –  Audio Video
  • Tim Urban – “Sweet Love” – Well, if you like your sweet soul classics Disneyfied? This is the song for you!  With the pitch problems cleaned up, this isn’t half bad, until you remember Anita Bakers grown-up, romantic take on the song –  Audio Video
  • Andrew Garcia – “Forever” – Andrew does a decent job with this Chris Brown joint.  But, the recorded version just does not match the infectious joy of the Brown original.  I wish Andrew would lose the band and do something truly acoustic.  – Audio Video
  • Katie Stevens – “Chain of Fools” – I’m totally on the Katie hate train, but I’m not gonna lie, Katie no Aretha of course, but she manages to put her own bluesy contemporary twist on the tune.  Maybe Kara is right–pop soul is Katie’s wheelhouse. –  Audio Video
  • Lee Dewyze – “Treat Her Like a Lady” –  After Lee’s breakthrough performance this week am I jumping on his train? Oh wait! I was already there! Welcome aboard y’all! Heh.  Another TREMENDOUS vocal performance from Lee.  I would have been skeptical of this song choice if I’d known it in advance–I’m not a fan of the cheesy original. But, Lee’s gutsy, passionate growl is an improvement.  My favorite of the bunch. –  Audio Video
  • Crystal Bowersox – “Midnight Train to Georgia” –  Crystal can’t sing a song badly–her performance of Gladys Knight’s tune is soulful and heartfelt.  But stepping out of her box means losing some of that effortless charm that makes Crystal so compulsively listenable.  Don’t get me wrong–this is good stuff, just not one of my favs. – Audio Video
  • Aaron Kelly – “Ain’t No Sunshine” – It’s pleasant enough, and Aaron’s recorded vocal sounds really good, but his rendition lacks the  soulful urgency of the original. Aaron’s youthful inexperience almost always shines through when he tackles adult themes. – Audio Video
About mj santilli 33700 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

95 Comments

  1. I’m totally on the Katie hate train,

    Hate is such a strong word =/. I don’t like her much either, but hate? :P.

    After Lee’s breakthrough performance this week am I jumping on his train? Oh wait! I was already there! Welcome aboard y’all! Heh

    ROFL. That’s true. I was so frustrated because I didn’t see the potential, I just saw Gokey with a guitar until that last performance. Now I get it. Jumping aboard that train. I have to pick his up from this week and two weeks ago.

    One thing I like about this year was that unlike last year’s Motown studio recordings, this year didn’t just have the singer’s voice plastered over the original song. WTF were they thinking last year?

    Andrew’s made me sad. I wanted it to be just acoustic. But I guess you don’t really win with a studio version with just an acoustic guitar (Heartless, SWHFTM last year).

    I half agree about Crystal’s. I like her when she’s with her guitar.

    I’m not sure if I’ll get Aaron or Siobhan (I still have to get theirs from last week). Did not like Siobhan’s performance this week, and I already have Kris’s ANS. Aaron’s is different, so I might get it anyway.

    Question, are these all available for the rest of the season?

  2. I love Siobhan’s and Lee’s. Siobhan’s isn’t lifeless or boring for me, it just great.

  3. Question, are these all available for the rest of the season?

    Last year, all the performances were available until…I think it was sometime in the summer when they took everything down except for the winner’s singles? I’d have to check. But yeah, you can go back to prior weeks and purchase. Just click on the the contestant’s name to see all of their performances.

  4. Keep trying to dig Siobhan, MJ!

    But I mean I’m not sure you really want to dig her, as you obviously are in love with Crystal, so you feel Siobhan is her competition and there’s no way you’ll like both.

    Siobhan is the unique pop/rock girl. she’s like a higher lady gaga. she knows who she is. each of her song choices (with the exception of this past week) have shown a rock-pop influence. House of the Rising Sun was like her rock ballad. She owns.

  5. I have had absolutely NO desire to buy any itunes studio versions of anything this year. I think last year by this time I had already bught stuff my Kris, Adam, and maybe a couple of others. And for season 7 I had already bough some stuff too. I don’t know. These recordings just sound do lifeless.

  6. I wasn’t too excited about this week’s studios because I wasn’t thrilled with most song choices – but I still checked most of them out:

    Didi
    – The live version was awful – terribly loungey. However, I actually really like this studio version. It sounds more folky and less loungey. Why didn’t she sing it this way?? I really like the rhythm of this arrangement, it kinda rolls along.

    Tim – He is my guilty pleasure on this show. I actually enjoy his recorded tone too – he kinda sounds like a crooner to me, minus a lot of life experience. I hope he gets a Disney career from this! (Not a slight, Disney is also my guilty pleasure ;))

    Lee – He is funny for me, cause I like him and feel for him, but I’m not really on his train. I think – when he’s in tune – that he has a really interesting tone, but it resides in that Dave Matthews / John Mayer range that I only like sparingly. That said – really good studio version.

    Siobhan / Katie / Crystal – Bored by all their song choices so I refused to listen ;p

    Casey – He is so funny for me – I literally have no interest in him from week to week because I find him so forgettable and karaoke but his voice records well. Too bad he has yet to sing anything I’d care to listen to…

    Big Mike – I think he has a lovely voice but I do not like his song interpretations – they feel overwrought to me.

    Andrew – I thought his live acoustic rendition was pleasant, if unremarkable. I laughed when I realized the studio version was basically identical to the Chris Brown arrangement, just with Andrew’s vocals. I always think of that gum commercial when I hear this song.

    Aaron – While he has a sweet voice, I cannot figure out why they can’t seem to balance it so his vocals aren’t overwhelmed by the instrumentals in his recordings. So odd. Wonder if he’ll choose a Beatles ballad or shock the world by rocking out next week.

  7. I like Cyrstal on the show and loved her last performance, but I never play any of her live or studio performances.
    So far I have ever played more than a couple of times the songs from Siobhan, Lee and also Alex, Didi and Lilly.

  8. I loved Andrew’s live performance. I knew from last year that the production mix could mess with that–and it does here. Even Adam last year, so knowledgeable and assertive, couldn’t thwart the rotten (they are rushed) production mixes. The acoustic is gone in Andrew’s single and we get a dull synth mix instead. (The producers did that with Kris last year on Heartless, I recall. And look at Heartless on his album. Yetch.) Crystal’s single is lovely, her voice really is lovely, but, again, the mix….the Pips are out in full force with a copycat mix of the original. But I disagree about Michael. I thought his performance was the best of the night and I’ve got the live performance and the single. They’re both really fine. Casey has a good voice, but his arrangement is copycat. I love the Sam and Dave original and Casey’s voice isn’t so good that I have to have his version. I liked Lee’s performance, but really don’t like that song, so I didn’t buy it. Also, it seems that the idols believe that they need to pick a familiar song to hit it out of the ballpark. More often, the opposite is true. Ready for Love isn’t Top 40. Mad World wasn’t Top 40. Jason Castro made Hallelujah a hit. The songs are available until right after the last results show. Sometimes I’m torn about whether I really like a song and buy it at the last minute.

  9. But I mean I’m not sure you really want to dig her, as you obviously are in love with Crystal, so you feel Siobhan is her competition and there’s no way you’ll like both.

    If fear of competition was really my motivation, I’d be hating on Lee right now. Because, really, that’s who is in second place behind Crystal at the moment, and moving in on her. And guess what? I flove them both. So there goes your theory…

  10. Keep trying to dig Siobhan, MJ!

    But I mean I’m not sure you really want to dig her, as you obviously are in love with Crystal, so you feel Siobhan is her competition and there’s no way you’ll like both.

    I can’t believe that anyone that reads this blog thinks that mj is ever anything but fair.

    And at the risk now of sounding like a total suck-up, I agree with mj’s reviews.

  11. I’m a Crystal fan and I don’t care who likes or dislikes her. I’m not swayed by popular opinion.

  12. Ok, no need to defend me…I can do that myself…Let’s keep the post on topic. :).

  13. I agree with you MJ about Midnight Train to Georgia. I think, however it was necessary because I saw people saying they liked her for the first time because she stepped away from the guitar., even if it means its the first song of her’s I don’t download.

  14. If fear of competition was really my motivation, I’d be hating on Lee right now. Because, really, that’s who is in second place behind Crystal at the moment, and moving in on her. And guess what? I flove them both. So there goes your theory…

    I’m with you on this one. I think Lee could take this if he continues improving. The Dark Horse… LOL

  15. I’m with you on this one. I think Lee could take this if he continues improving.

    Plus he has the most potential for a successful recording career and a live performing career, too, if he can overcome his shyness. There may be something else going on, but at this point I think it is basically a shyness issue.

  16. I love Crystal more when she’s armed with her guitar, but I genuinely love this track! I can’t get the freakin song out of my head! Btw I never expected the head voice note that came out of Crystal didn’t think she had that in her woah! I also love Lee and Casey, I always download songs from this three! They are self assured artists and I can imagine what kind of album they’re going to put out!

  17. Wow, Katie’s recording is really beautiful! Nice voice, well done girl! I really don’t want her to leave the show anytime soon.

    I like Siobhan’s voice, but the song itself is rather dull, so ehhh…

    Didi… lost my attention.

    Crystal did a great job this week, I’m really happy that she stepped out of her comfort zone. She can sing well without her guitar.

    I listened to the guys, but I don’t like any of their recordings.

  18. Lee was best this week. Unfortunately his performance style just doesn’t work on the big stage. What we saw Tuesday is his style, that’s what he did in his club gigs around Chicago. Still nowhere near the comfort level he had back home.

    I liked Casey, Crystal, Siobhan and Didi. Why Didi didn’t just use the arraignment she had on the studio is beyond my comprehension. She would have easily sent Tim packing.

    Mike and Andrew just lose something from live to studio.

    Aaron, Katie and Tim, could barely give them one listening.

    The LA Times in their after show report says Siobhan may have been steered to that song by the show, that it was the type of impact song the judges(Simon) was looking for. Siobhan said she learned from that mistake, so perhaps we may see what the real Siobhan is in the next few weeks.

  19. Didn’t like any of the recordings this week, except Crystal, I thought she had a bad case of nerves that affected her performance but I really like her recording among the ones I heard.

    Without being rude, Lee’s story arc has been apparent for anyone who has followed the show for some time, the guy has been pimped by Simon the whole way since week 1 of the semifinals and he’s exactly the right type of contestant for the idol demography.
    I’m glad we’re getting another corporate rocker from this year’s idol crop (/sarcasm), at least Cook and Daughtry could rock on the idol stage (/not sarcasm).

  20. I think Lee is the best among the guys, but I didn’t like the snippet of this song — too shouty. That’s another thing he does like Nickelback — shout instead of actually sing the song. I really hate that stuff. I liked his RS cover song much better.

    Also, the producers really have to stop steering contestants away from the songs they want to sing. As long as the song clears, let them sing it. What does it matter if tons of people know the song or not? If you don’t know it, then you won’t being tempted to compare it to the original or other cover versions of it — instead, just would judge it on whether or not you liked it and/or it sounds current. What’s wrong with that?

  21. I’m with you on this one. I think Lee could take this if he continues improving.

    Plus he has the most potential for a successful recording career and a live performing career, too, if he can overcome his shyness. There may be something else going on, but at this point I think it is basically a shyness issue.

    I’m with you on this one. I think Lee could take this if he continues improving.

    Plus he has the most potential for a successful recording career and a live performing career, too, if he can overcome his shyness. There may be something else going on, but at this point I think it is basically a shyness issue.

    I think it’s shyness and maybe confidence. I also think he’s not connecting to the audience but I think that will come.

    I have liked Lee since early in the competition and thought he has a lot of potential. He’s been my favorite this year. I’ve heard his original music and covers and liked it too, it seems current, like John Mayer to me. I really think he’s going in the right direction now.

  22. I don’t think Lee is shy actually. I just think that he doesn’t believe in himself at all. He doesn’t believe that he could win.
    Nervous? Yes. Low self-esteem? Yes. Shy? Nah.

    If he could believe in himself I think his music would get 10000x better.

  23. My favorite was Lee’s, he’s really solidified himself as my favorite for the season. I haven’t not enjoyed any of his performances, and I think his “Beast of Burden” was ridiculously overcriticized. I thought his recording here was very good, as was Crystal’s, Casey’s, and Katies. I have to also admit that I was pleasantly surprised by both Didi’s recording and Tim’s (never thought I’d say that).

  24. I’m glad we’re getting another corporate rocker from this year’s idol crop (/sarcasm), at least Cook and Daughtry could rock on the idol stage (/not sarcasm).

    Having listened to his pre-idol music, I don’t see Lee as the new Daughtry/Cook, more, like Karenc, a John Mayer or soft pop/rock in the vein of the Script or the Fray..

  25. I try to like Lee but see no stage presence. Plus I think he’ll be another Taylor Hicks if he wins — can’t sell CD’s because he’s not rock, country or pop.

  26. Lee has the superior recording voice this season, there’s not questioning that (even if Crystal has been vastly dominant onstage). ‘Beast of Burden’ might just be the best studio recording any contestant has produced since Season 7’s Always Be My Baby, and ‘Treat Her Like a Lady’ was right up there too. That being said, I think it’s unfair to plaster him into the Cook/Daughtry category, because, as was mentioned before, his pre-Idol music shows a completely different vibe, much more along the lines of Sister Hazel or Matchbox 20. Plus, I get the impression he has no desire to have the same brand of swagger that Cook doled out: while Lee clearly wants to have more confidence in himself, I think he well knows that he’s just not a Cook-type performer.

  27. seriously:
    04/03/2010 at 4:14 pm
    I don’t think Lee is shy actually. I just think that he doesn’t believe in himself at all. He doesn’t believe that he could win.
    Nervous? Yes. Low self-esteem? Yes. Shy? Nah.

    If he could believe in himself I think his music would get 10000x better.

    I don’t believe that Lee lacks confidence. I think he is playing the “growth arc” game. Watch, you will see him getting ballsier and more swaggery(not in an arrogant way) each week. He knows that is what America likes to see. They want to see a catapillar turn into a butterfly.

  28. emmuzka:
    04/03/2010 at 3:23 pm

    For example, I’ll have to confess that I knew “Through the Fire” only as the chorus of Kanye’s “Trough the wire”. If Siobhan would have loaned the arrangement from that one, I would have probably been eating it up like candy.

    Exactly. :)

  29. Having listened to all the samples, I ended up only purchasing Mike’s this week – and I absolutely love it. Mike is a fully matured singer/interpreter of songs. I don’t find it boring at all. It is a very emotive song – deeply passionate and effortlessly delivered with beautiful vocals.

    My votes have usually been split between Crystal, Mike and sometimes Lee, (or the now departed Didi, Alex and Lily). But recently, I have found both Crystal and Lee’s studio songs lacking – too contained, tamed, lacking soul? Can’t quite put my finger on it, but I don’t think either has made the studio their home yet, while I believe Mike has. Unfortunately, I don’t know if that view is very shared since Mike’s ratings on iTunes have definitely been lagging behind many of the others.

  30. I don’t believe that Lee lacks confidence. I think he is playing the “growth arc” game. Watch, you will see him getting ballsier and more swaggery(not in an arrogant way) each week. He knows that is what America likes to see. They want to see a catapillar turn into a butterfly.

    Except in Lee’s case the metamorphosis will more closely track that of a polliwog. What we get at the end of “the journey” is the rather toad-like Mr Dewyze.

    I love Siobhan but think ultimately she will end up singing in musical theater somewhere. Every time I hear her voice I think that.

  31. I bought both Lee’s and Casey’s this week and love them both with the slight edge going to Lee. I am going to go back and pick up a couple of Didi’s songs since there aren’t going to be any more. :(

  32. @hqzaj – – – “she’s like a higher Lady GaGa” — do you mean more “dope” LOL – just kidding. But, seriously, I’m not a huge Lady GaGa fan but think she is very creative/talented. I can’t put Siobhan on that level at all and most certainly not “higher”. Lady GaGa has a really good voice and knows how to use it – just not a fan of the Euro-smut.

  33. I still say – Lee and Casey will be the top two. And, I LOVE me some Lee!!! Awesome recording voice!

  34. Hey, Lu…I agree that Lee will be in the final two but I think the result will be Crystal and Lee. I have to shut my eyes when he sings …not because he isn’t a great looking guy…just makes me hurt a little for him because he seems so unsure of himself. (hope this finds you and the girls doing well….Pix!)

  35. Well, I must be fully on the Crystal train (hee) because I thought her recording was fantastic! Even though there were flashes of RDJ, JB and BS which I will visualize/hear every time I hear that song. LOL. Lee sounds really good, but I guess I’m not that huge of a fan of his voice. I actually like Casey’s voice better, but Lee’s phrasing. I just.don’t.want. a WGWG to win this year and being fans of the last two that were winners and loving their voices, just makes it difficult for another one to reach that quality for me. And there is the fact that Crystal is just plain straight up amazing!!!

    Having said that, I’m looking forward to seeing Siobhan make a come back next week.

  36. Just downloaded Lee, Casey and Crystal. Too lazy to check the others and not really interested or motivated (previewed Andrew’s Forever but didn’t downloaded. I loved his live version though). It’s too bad Didi is gone, not that I thought she’d win but anyway… Slim pickings for me this year but still watching and still enjoying this board.

  37. I am liking Lee and Crystal more each week. They seem the most consistent, to me. And Casey’s guitar skills are probably the best Idol has seen in terms of a musician singer on the show.

    I spent the afternoon dubbing some of my favorite Idol performances from past years from VCR to DVD. I came across some of Jennifer Hudson’s and Fantasia’s, Latoya’s, Chris Daughtry’s and of course, David Cook, Adam, Adam, Adam.

    Wow now those were some performances. Listening to them after listening to the idol contestants this year is day and night.
    Amazing !

  38. My favourites this week were Big Mike, Katie, Andrew, Aaron and Siobhan, especially Big Mike. I LOVE that song he chose. It was the first time I’d ever heard it and I thought it was beautiful and really moving. A little disappointed that the arrangement on Andrew’s Itunes track is different from his live performance, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.

    I usually love Crystal but I don’t really like the song, “Midnight Train to Georgia”. And I’m actually losing interest in Lee as the weeks go by. Big Mike is slowly taking over his place on my list of favourites.

  39. Well MJ, what can I say, regarding Shioban, I can’t disagree with you more.

    Despite Siobhan’s off-pitch live performance of Chaka Khan’s THROUGH THE FIRE, I still am a fan.

    Why ? Up until this week Siobhan had been nothing but great. She brought something new every week and she always dared to be different. She never tried to play it safe.

    In fact only Crystal’s studio version is arguably more stellar. However Crystal’s choice was safer and less exciting.

    But after listening to the studio version of Siobhan’s “Through the Fire”, I cannot disagree with MJ more. This studio ( not live but studio ) version was for me, one of the best recordings of ANY song this season yet.

    You don’t have to buy it from iTunes, you can listen to it here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGqlEboH-9o

    Listen to what she did on the studio version of Chaka Khan’s song after the 3 Minute mark — JUST AMAZING !!

    This is not an easy song to sing. It is one of the most melodically challenging. I would challenge any other Idol this or any season to try this and do justice to it in the brief 2 minutes alloted for you live. It is a whopper of a song. It reads DANGER to anyone who attempts it. This is one of the qualities that makes Siobhan one of the most interesting and exciting contestants this season. She’s DARING.

    Shioban is this season’s Eve to last year’s Adam.

    I believe Shioban went off pitch on this song last week because SHE WAS FIRST. Being first means you get to be the first to experiment with the sound system on that day ( and yes, the sound/props do change every week ). The staff got to correct the sound as the night went along. Most of the other finalist did not have as challenging as song as Shioban’s. That is the reason why most of them did better.

    Remember the finale of Season 3 between Diana Degarmo and Fantasia ? Diana De Garmo went off pitch later when she did DON’T CRY OUT LOUD. Same problem as Shioban’s — Can’t hear herself through the sound system.

    SEE HERE for a reminder :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWpuj2wmc8k

    Big Mike Lynche ( only Ruben is bigger ) is a very smart player in that he went in FRONT of the stage. Everyone had problems hearing themselves to some degree except big Mike. That’s the reason why I think Mike was the only main singer who was on pitch throughout the night (unlike others who had some off pitch moments)

    But going back to the studio versions of each contestant last week, I personally would rank the top 3 as : Shioban, Crystal and Lee. That’s the way I see it.

  40. CRB:
    04/03/2010 at 5:19 pm
    I don’t believe that Lee lacks confidence. I think he is playing the “growth arc” game. Watch, you will see him getting ballsier and more swaggery(not in an arrogant way) each week. He knows that is what America likes to see. They want to see a catapillar turn into a butterfly.
    —————————
    Except in Lee’s case the metamorphosis will more closely track that of a polliwog. What we get at the end of “the journey” is the rather toad-like Mr Dewyze.

    Interesting transformation…. LOL If Lee is really playing the growth-arc game, he should go into acting instead of music. He sure has me fooled!

    I think Lee has a lot of vocal talent – Thanks MJ for the reviews, I need to go and takke a listen.

  41. Listen to what [Siobhan] did on the studio version Chaka Khan’s song after the 3 Minute mark — JUST AMAZING !!

    It’s always difficult to dispute taste. I found her song to be almost completely soulless. She has a great upper register, but sounds almost indistinct from the back up singers in tone.

    I think most, if not all of the cpmtestant’s performances are so similar to the original in arrangement that they pale in comparison to the original. In fact, many of these sound like they are being sung to a good karaoke recording with none of the charm of the live performances. Not faulting the performance, but Crystal’s arrangement sounds as old as the song. Curse these record producers for being either complete idiots or not have the resources to do it right.

  42. Every time I hear Midnight Train to Georgia, I see Gladys singing with the Pips and them pretending to pull the train horn while they do their thing. lol. It is stuck in my mind.

  43. The acoustic is gone in Andrew’s single and we get a dull synth mix instead. (The producers did that with Kris last year on Heartless, I recall. And look at Heartless on his album. Yetch.)

    Curse you Idol producers!!!! Wtf happened to Andrew’s acoustic version of Forever??! His studio just sounds exactly like Chris Brown’s dance version just adding Andrew’s sleepy vocals on it. !@W$@!%!^@&@!!!##
    Bring back the acoustic version with the violins and percussions!!!

    Ahem…ok sorry, now that i’m done with that rant. I gotta say – and i am surprised at myself, i LOVED Siobhan’s studio version! Maybe it’s also because i am a fan of the original song Through the Fire, but i thought Siobhan cleaned up real nice on this recording and her ability to belt at the end was effing unbelievable. Almost like Miss Chaka Khan herself. But i hated Siobhan’s live performance though…

    The others i loved were Crystal’s – absolutely flawless as always. My husband actually commented she has a ‘black voice’. Powerfully soulful.
    Loved Lee’s too. He is getting better – but seeing him as the winner….hmmm still not convinced yet.
    Casey – I like Casey alot and i think he’s extremely marketable. I think i know the problem i have with him – is his song choices. They just seem so bland and boring.

    The others i did not bother listening at all.

  44. I’ve seen a few people say they think Siobhan will end up in musical theatre when this is over, instead of a recording artist. She certainly has the background, having been in musical theatre productions since 4th grade. Frankly, despite Simon’s attitude, I don’t see what’s wrong with that. Look where she is coming from. Her dad is on disability due to a trucking accident, her mom was recently laid off, Siobhan herself was working and taking care of her younger sisters. That’s a lot of pressure for an 18/19/20 year old to deal with. If she can get good paying jobs on Broadway, where is the failure in that?

  45. Has Lee has written any original songs?

    Dude has two full albums of original material… “So I’m Told” came out in 2007 and “Slumberland” came out just last year I think. They’re both on cdbaby.com and Amazon.

  46. Mike is a fully matured singer/interpreter of songs. I don’t find it boring at all. It is a very emotive song – deeply passionate and effortlessly delivered with beautiful vocals.

    I agree. Best performance of the Top Ten. Just lovely. I say that and Crystal’s my girl.

    Curse you Idol producers!!!! Wtf happened to Andrew’s acoustic version of Forever??!

    Yeah, This is what I hate about the singles.

    Her dad is on disability due to a trucking accident, her mom was recently laid off, Siobhan herself was working and taking care of her younger sisters.

    Wow, You’re a fan, right? That’s a lot to know. Siobhan has a shot at winning AI, because from my unofficial, anectdotal observation, the same people that supported Kris Allen are behind her this year. It makes no sense, I know. I like Siobahn. She has a great instrument and a great tone. I think she needs a few more years to simmer, though. She hasn’t Crystal’s artistry, not by a long shot. I love her off-the-wall vibe, though. Her best performance so far has been House of the Rising Sun, Simon be darned.
    If I were to pick a Top Five in descending order now, in terms of what I think will happen, but also in terms of wishful thinking, it would be Lee, Andrew, Michael, Siobhan, Crystal.

  47. Yeouch, Thems fightin words mj “dilettante” and “one trick pony” LOL!
    Poor Siobhan one lousy song, and she is all that eh! Each their own,
    I say.
    I don’t have major dillusions of her winning the whole thang, and
    going on to Trifecta stardom. I just really like her and I think that except for takeing on that Big, complicated song of Chaka’s
    she has shown us a lot of versatility.
    Unlike the judges,I don’t feel all the contestants need to have a
    artistic BOX they “must” fit into. I’m quite sure she knows what she likes and what direction she is likely to go,but i do think she is trying to show us all that she can do, and she definitely did screw that one song up! I just want her to come back fighting!!

    She would be great in theater/broadway because she has the experience
    of Local and school theater. I believe she could be a star because
    I believe she has the goods. She is still young and I expect that
    she is still developing her niche and I think it could range from
    Metal/ punk rock to classic ballads, and to pop/r&b and almost
    anything between. I would like her to use her high notes only if
    the song really calls for that. Like swearing…if you do it too
    often, it just exposes a poor vocabulary!

    Yup, I think the world will be her oyster even if she finishes as
    low as Allison who will also get older and better!!

  48. Yeouch, Thems fightin words mj “dilettante” and “one trick pony” LOL!
    Poor Siobhan one lousy song, and she is all that eh! Each their own,
    I say.

    I think that people who call her one trick pony think that her only stand out feature is her scream, but it is not generally why she is appreciated. Most like her softer performances best, and she delivers with subtlety and a lot of emotion.
    I hope that she will shine next week, otherwise I am convinced that she’ll do well away from American Idol as she has star quality even if it is not what AI is looking for this year.

  49. Siobhan’s outfits bother me. They’re like costumes. I’m sure it doesn’t bother everyone but I can’t be the only one who finds it a major distraction from her music. If she simply enjoys dressing differently, fine, but she would be wise to save it for the tour, when people aren’t voting. I think it would even be fun on the tour. Next week, I would like to see this very pretty girl with a becoming hairdo and in a more conforming type of dress. But what do I know, maybe that would upset her fans…..she might be getting lots of feedback from people who like her look.

  50. I like Siobhan despite her outfits in most performances except Paint It Black, when she looked great.

  51. Has Lee has written any original songs?

    Type Slumberland or So I’m Told into the ITunes store. :)

  52. Casey’s is my favorite, with Crystal & Lee tied for second. I thought Mike’s live performance was great, but the recording doesn’t pack the same punch. He’s one of my favorites this year, this just isn’t one of my favortie recordings. His live rendition was just a totally different experience.

    Overall, I think Crystal is the best of this bunch. I think her performances are the most entertaining and the most polished. She knows who she is artistically, and I think she’s the most ready for the next step in the industry. That said, I think there’s every chance that someone like Casey or Lee will beat her. I don’t think there’s a significant chance for any of the rest of them to make the top 2.

    Siobhan’s live performance was horrible. And, while the vocals have been cleaned up – this recorded version still does nothing for me. Maybe that’s because I have this song on my iPod, with Chaka Khan’s stellar vocals. And, Siobhan is about 15 levels below that. She’s got talent, no doubt. But, so far at this point, it’s just not a talent that interests me.

    I bought Didi’s just because I’ll miss her LOL. As for Katie, Aaron and Tim, if you suck that bad on my tv, I’m not going to even waste my time listening to your snippit.

  53. Siobhan’s a one-trick pony? They’re all one-trick ponies! Crystal sings the same thing week after week, same type of song, and changing the instrument and wearing heels doesn’t matter. Lee and Casey sing the same thing over and over, all the songs are interchangeable. Mike is the only one with any versatility. The only fun left is waiting to see what crazy mess Tim is going to come up with and watching him, once again, put Kara in her place.
    That’s why the season is so boring. There’s no variety, it’s the same boring voices doing the same predictable songs. A giant snooze fest. No wonder the ratings are in the toilet.
    Maybe I was spoiled by last season’s performers.

  54. Crystal sings the same thing week after week, same type of song, and changing the instrument and wearing heels doesn’t matter.

    How are Alanis Morisette, Aretha Franklin, CCR, Tracy Chapman, and Gladys Knight the same artists? People keep saying she keeps playing the same music, but those are very different artists. She also has used the harmonica, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and piano. The only thing that is the same week to week is that she is constantly amazing.

  55. springboard:
    04/04/2010 at 6:08 am

    Yeouch, Thems fightin words mj “dilettante” and “one trick pony” LOL!
    Poor Siobhan one lousy song, and she is all that eh! Each their own,
    I say.

    I think that people who call her one trick pony think that her only stand out feature is her scream, but it is not generally why she is appreciated. Most like her softer performances best, and she delivers with subtlety and a lot of emotion.
    I hope that she will shine next week, otherwise I am convinced that she’ll do well away from American Idol as she has star quality even if it is not what AI is looking for this year.

    this. Shes one of the only contestants that actually have star power as well. Plus she appeals to teens and young adults who are a big determinant of radio success.

  56. I’ve been disappointed in Siobahn. I had her miles ahead of everyone after Wicked Game and each week felt less confident that she has the makings of a marketable recording artist. She does seem more and more like a musical drama (broadway) type. We haven’t seen her do anything simple and heartfelt. She needs a week of not going BIG–kind of how big Mike pulled it back this week–to stay in the top three.

  57. Siobhan has really only had one bad week, I think it’s too soon to write her off. She’s good, and she has an offbeat appeal. It’s just not clear yet what kind of record she’d make but that doesn’t mean it won’t get clearer as the weeks go on.

  58. Siobhan had an off week but at least she attempted to change things up and try something different. Nowhere near to what she did with PIB and Superstition. I’m convinced this girl will be a star with or without idol. She will headline the tour just because she is so exciting and gain new fans. The studio was impeccable and she hits some insane awesome notes that I haven’t heard a female hit for a long long time. I think that is why people are so excited about Siobhan because AI and even the music business hasn’t had a huge huge female belter since probably Kelly or Carrie. Celine Dion, Mariah, Cristina Aguilera are older so Siobhan can fit in those Diva spots. Yeah Jordan and Syesha could go really high but they are black and black woman are known for their high notes. Siobhan creates a huge impact when you see a skinny little dorky white girl do those highs it’s pretty impressive. Even Usher said it that he was not expecting that big voice to come out of her. It’s so weird and strange yet exciting.
    I like Crystal but she is like Kris. Predictable and safe. She sings everything the same. No matter what song she sings she just does it the same and all the songs are just mashing together for me. The studio was okay.
    Lee completely screamed his last song. He was trying to give it a rock feel I guess but he just screamed the entire song. The studio was better imo.
    Casey He admitted that he plays it safe and I don’t reward people that don’t push themselves and try to do something different. He is so bland and his stage presence is pretty terrible. The studio transmits his X factor and I mean that in not a good way.
    Mike I think this dude might win! He is not my fav and not my type so I find it really hard to connect but I have to admit that Mike is in the zone. Really creative guy and tries to mix things and push himself. I’m starting to dig him and if Siobhan leaves I will support him. I think Mike is gaining a lot of momentum and he deserves it. The studio was bland tho.

  59. Siobhan has been advised to scream by Simon every week, and when she doesn’t he tells her that she is boring. So I think that she has lost her sense of direction. She needs to forget him and listen to herself.

  60. The person who I really thought was genius with song choice was David Cook. His mix throughout the season was brilliant. Siobhan and Lee would benefit from talking to him about it I think.

  61. weese, I don’t think that David Cook was always able to pick the perfect song from their restricted playlist, but he was able to knock off brilliant arrangements very quickly. Little Sparrow or Always be My Baby for example were not ideal picks for him on paper, they turned out great because he made them great.

  62. Just a note to MJ, Michael Slezak, and any other bloggers this may apply to: Lee DeWyze’s surname has an upper-case W. That may seem trivial, but since he’s shown he has a real chance of winning this season, we should learn to spell his name correctly!

  63. Loved Lee’s studio – the only one I purchased from the bunch. I have also been on the Lee’s love train for a while – so I hope he does not disappoint!!

    Casey’s studio was fine – but I have heard a better version of this song from Michael Johns – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntFPeRcM1Yc (starts from 0:50)

    I did not particularly care for the rest, although I am sorry to see Didi go.

  64. weese, I don’t think that David Cook was always able to pick the perfect song from their restricted playlist, but he was able to knock off brilliant arrangements very quickly. Little Sparrow or Always be My Baby for example were not ideal picks for him on paper, they turned out great because he made them great.

    I agree. But he also had a really great sense of mixing it up. I think once he said he thought of his run as a set list. That is a great strategy because we do compare week to week–each performance is not an isolated event.

  65. Would love to see Casey vs. Lee final, with Crystal 3rd, Mike 4th and Siobhan/Andrew 5th. I wouldn’t mind seeing a WGWEG – E for Electric win!

  66. What show are some of you watching?
    Crystal is already ready to record an album, some others are close but to say some of them are a good candidate for musical theater; come on… None of them have the chops for 8 shows a week full out singing every night. Musical theater isn’t a joke job- it takes ability to stay consistent and sing great every time.
    As far as the ai performances Crystal is still the one I am watching and the one I buy on iTunes.

  67. Musical theater isn’t a joke job

    No it isn’t. Some voices do seem better suited to musical theatre than others though. While I never would have seen Taylor or Ace ending up there because I didn’t think vocally they were strong enough, Siobhan and Adam would seem very at home on broadway to me. It is a compliment to say someone would be good in theatre, however in some cases it may also indicate the belief that someone has a great voice that may be difficult to market or a great voice that is not distinctive.

  68. Oh dear. More provocative (and lengthy!) musings on Sioban from our illustrious leader. So dramatic. So definite. So damning. So…ahem…cocksure?

    Is Sioban even listening? What ever will she do??

    My Dearest Sioban: You really ought to know that the most influential of all Idol bloggers is only aiming to help you. Yes, uh huh. You heard me right. Let not your heart be troubled. These tongue lashings are for your own good! You see, Sioban, MJ seeks to spare you the misery and embarrassment of your continued existence…er, um…on AI9, I mean! Yeah.

    So, Little Screamer, please don’t be so dense. Take the hint, won’t you? Go effin’ off yourself. And straight away!! (Well, before next Tuesday anyway.)

  69. So, Little Screamer, please don’t be so dense. Take the hint, won’t you? Go effin’ off yourself. And straight away!! (Well, before next Tuesday anyway.)

    This seems a bit…..extreme.

  70. This seems a bit…..extreme.

    And so, too, are her critiques. I employ sarcasm to illustrate the absurd…. (Oh well, it’s not for everyone.)

  71. Yeouch, Thems fightin words mj “dilettante” and “one trick pony” LOL!
    Poor Siobhan one lousy song, and she is all that eh! Each their own,

    Siobhan has been overrated the whole season, imo.

  72. Is Sioban even listening? What ever will she do??

    My Dearest Sioban: You really ought to know that the most influential of all Idol bloggers is only aiming to help you. Yes, uh huh. You heard me right. Let not your heart be troubled. These tongue lashings are for your own good! You see, Sioban, MJ seeks to spare you the misery and embarrassment of your continued existence…er, um…on AI9, I mean! Yeah.

    Of course Siobhan isn’t reading this, or should be taking my advice. It’s just an opinion, we’ve all got them right? Including you.

    So, Little Screamer, please don’t be so dense. Take the hint, won’t you? Go effin’ off yourself. And straight away!! (Well, before next Tuesday anyway.)

    *blink* No words, for that really.

  73. Sorry, MJ. Have to disagree with you this week. I absolutely LOVE Crystal’s studio version of MTTG, and think it is the best of the week.

  74. The only thing I don’t understand in your critique of Siobhan, MJ, is how you can call her a “one-trick pony” and also a “dilettante” who flits from style to style. Is it the “scream” you’re referring to as her “trick”? Because I believe she’s only really employed that twice.

    When I think of a “one-trick pony,” sorry, but the first contestant that comes to mind is Crystal. Granted she performs her “trick” superbly. I didn’t see “Midnight Train” as being that much of a departure for her.

  75. The only thing I don’t understand in your critique of Siobhan, MJ, is how you can call her a “one-trick pony” and also a “dilettante” who flits from style to style. Is it the “scream” you’re referring to as her “trick”? Because I believe she’s only really employed that twice.

    She’s employed a version of the scream nearly every week. (not week one) Tuesday’s scream wasn’t quite as screamy, but it was still there.

  76. She’s employed a version of the scream nearly every week.

    Just rewatched the videos. You say “scream,” but I say a superbly executed high note in “Think.” And she didn’t go there at all in “House of the Rising Sun,” in fact she barely used any of her upper register in that song. So I still say it’s only really been twice! There may have been something approaching a scream in “Through the Fire,” as you say, but frankly I can’t bear to review the video of that, too painful.

  77. will:
    04/04/2010 at 7:37 pm

    The only thing I don’t understand in your critique of Siobhan, MJ, is how you can call her a “one-trick pony” and also a “dilettante” who flits from style to style. Is it the “scream” you’re referring to as her “trick”? Because I believe she’s only really employed that twice.

    When I think of a “one-trick pony,” sorry, but the first contestant that comes to mind is Crystal. Granted she performs her “trick” superbly. I didn’t see “Midnight Train” as being that much of a departure for her.

    This. I usually agree with MJ and last year I was on the Kradison train. This year I don’t agree with all the comments about Siobhan. Like Simon said maybe you either love her or hate her. I love her and MJ doesn’t but that’s okay she can have favorites like all of us. I do think Crystal is the one trick pony here but everybody has their opinion so whatever.
    I’m also surprised that MJ completely overlooked and didn’t notice that Lee yelled his entire song. He was screaming like crazy his last performance….That is screaming Simon and MJ imo.

  78. I too think that the Siobhan criticism is a bit harsh and using a word like dilletante, to me it implies that the contestant doesn’t take the competition seriously when we have no idea of what’s the reality of the situation.

    That said, of course you’re entitled to your opinion and I enjoy reading the blog no matter what’s your take on the contestants.

  79. These tongue lashings are for your own good!

    MJ – you’ve been giving Siobhan toungue lashings? I’m feeling a little left out that you’re hiding those from me. I actually thought your criticism was somewhat respectful, considering how badly she sucked this week.

    Siobhan has been overrated the whole season, imo.

    Ah, so that’s it. My persective is colored by the fact that I completely and totally agree about her overratedness :).

  80. They all seem pretty much like one-trickers to me so far. I don’t see any of them with any consistent, great versatility yet. I mean, they can only do so much with what they have.

    The thing that concerns me about Siobhan is that the word “screaming” has “caught on” where she is concerned and is being used every time she goes for the high notes (wails, or whatever) whether it’s truly screaming or not. I hate to see someone have to give up their “trick” just because they don’t want to be told they are screaming. Imo, I like the “screaming” and don’t find it remotely like Danny in “scream-on gate”. If I were to complain about anything regarding Siobhan’s performance last week, it would have to do with her diction in her lower register; it was a bit hard to understand the words….kind of muddled.

  81. Totally agree about Siobhan being overrated. Her voice is generic and undistinctive; I couldn’t pick it out of a lineup. Just because someone is quirky and interesting doesn’t mean they’ll be even a marginally compelling recording artist.

    I also agree that so far, we have not seen any transformative performances from any of these contestants. However, I am still hopeful.

  82. One could even say they are all overrated. I do think they are a lesser talent pool in general as compared to prior seasons, notably 5, 7, and 8.

  83. I respect mj’s opinions and am usually pretty much in agreement with her, but I must respectfully disagree about Siobhan. I think her problem is that she doesn’t fully know how to use her voice yet. I also think that she is trying to do too much in her vocal performances. I said on another site that it felt like three songs in one when she sang “Paint it Black”. I loved it, but was concerned even then that she was going for too much vocal acrobatics. One doesn’t have to overwhelm the listening audience. I dearly wish she would go back to something like “House of the Rising Sun’, which I still believe was her best performance. She let her beautiful range and high notes shine and, surprise, no screaming! But I do remember Simon giving her a pretty stinging negative critique. I wonder if that’s why she hasn’t done anything like it since. I honestly hope she returns to a slow beautiful ballad and showcases some of the beauty of her timbre and tone. I also want her to show mj that she’s not a one-trick pony. I think she has the best pure voice in the competition.

    My advice to Siobhan is – go back to what got you here, girl! Stick to the basics, keep it simple, don’t try to do too much, go for a lovely, haunting ballad and blow everyone away with pure vocals – no screaming allowed! You don’t need it! Show us the real Siobhan!

  84. I’m also surprised that MJ completely overlooked and didn’t notice that Lee yelled his entire song.

    It didn’t sound like yelling to me.

  85. Funny how some find that screechy, tuneless screaming good and some hate it. I personally hate it.
    I don’t understand why any of these contestants are “allowed” to have an off week. Uh, hello? This is International level exposure. They should be at their best every week. There should be no excuses like “off week” other than illness.
    I picked Lee and Alex as the best of the bunch for talent and uniqueness and so far, Lee has proven himself every week. Loved his studio version this week(and every other week and his pre Idol recordings are awesome!) I am completely on the Lee train!
    Woot woot :)

  86. Well, I’d say mj, that even if we do not totally agree re Ms Magnus’s
    talent or lack of, you certainly provided us with the fodder to
    have a very fun and spirited blog. Much better than just excessive flailing or reviling, and I really enjoyed the subsequent disscussion.
    So thanks for that….Fun!!

  87. will:
    04/04/2010 at 1:39 pm
    Just a note to MJ, Michael Slezak, and any other bloggers this may apply to: Lee DeWyze’s surname has an upper-case W. That may seem trivial, but since he’s shown he has a real chance of winning this season, we should learn to spell his name correctly!

    I know. It irks me when the ‘W’ isn’t capitalized. It isn’t even capitalized on the AI singles image. BTW, I saw an interview and Lee said his real name was Leon. I like that better. :)

  88. glamertitis:

    I don’t understand why any of these contestants are “allowed” to have an off week. Uh, hello? This is International level exposure. They should be at their best every week. There should be no excuses like “off week” other than illness.

    Because no one is always at their best at the exact moment they need to be. Not you, not me… no one. We’re all strangely human that way.

  89. OK…I NEED TO POST!…(M.J) you are missing the Boat! like you did with (Adam)..last year!…((Siobhan Magnus))…is a Ferrari…bOWER SOX IS GOOD…but she cant sing like Siobhan..Or looks as good as her!

    Need i say more? youll come around. :)

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