American Idol 9 Top 9 iTunes Performance Reviews

I review this week’s iTunes performances. No surprises this week. If I liked the stage performance, I dug the itunes and vice versa. My favorite recording this week is Casey James “Jealous Guy” followed by Crystal Bowersox’s “Come Together”…

New feature: I’ve added links to You Tube uploads so you can sample the tunes for yourselves…

Exclusive: Clay Aiken Webisode - Sp...
Exclusive: Clay Aiken Webisode - Spamalot And In The Studio Recording
  • Download iTunes performances HERE. Or, click the individual links below
  • Aaron Kelly – “The Long and Winding Road” –  If you can get past the syrup and the bombast in the original production of this song, McCartney’s vocals convey heartbreak and longing.  Aaron’s version is competent, but snoozey.  Or, sleepy, as Randy would say. – AudioVideoYouTube
  • Katie Stevens – “Let it Be” – The recording is as good as the live version. Just goes to show you, what a difference the right song makes.  She connects emotionally to the song–her vocals here are soulful and rich. – AudioVideoYouTube
  • Andrew Garcia – “Can’t Buy Me Love” – I like Andrew’s vocals here, but the arrangement? Not so much.  Way too cheesy–it’s the opposite of what Andrew needs to do right now.  I don’t understand why he doesn’t go acoustic.  I love Rickey Minor, but he’s killing Andrew here. – AudioVideoYouTube
  • Michael Lynche – “Eleanor Rigby” – I was a little surprised to find that a lot of folks had a negative reaction to Michael’s performance Tuesday night.  Michael has a tendency to overdo it sometimes, but he really knows how to phrase a song. – AudioVideoYouTube
  • Crystal Bowersox – “Come Together” – Crystal is at her soulful best here. She could record this song for an album, it’s that good. AudioVideoYouTube
  • Tim Urban – “All My Loving” – Tim picked the perfect song this week.  He’s not a great singer, but when he sticks to the teen idol material, he’s got a winsome charm. Aaron needs to take note. –  AudioVideoYouTube
  • Casey James – “Jealous Guy” – Casey’s vocals are front and center here, with a delivery that’s absolutely heartbreaking.  I get a chill when he sings, “I was swallowing my pain.” Amazing. – AudioVideoYouTube
  • Siobhan Magnus – “Across the Universe” –  When Siobhan’s not singing in her upper register, she sounds flat and unemotional. She’s either soft or loud, without much shading in between. – AudioVideoYouTube
  • Lee DeWyze – “Hey Jude” – Believe it or not, I kinda miss the bagpipes!  The background vocals are LAME, but Lee’s raspy vocals are spot on, as usual. – AudioVideoYouTube

About mj santilli 33696 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!

62 Comments

  1. Um Siobhan’s studio was beautiful..
    I don’t get your taste at all…

  2. I don’t miss the bagpipes, though Lee’s voice does hit a few nasal spots. Otherwise, a major improvement over that live performance so far. Maybe a little too high for him, but it’s much more pleasant. It’s very nice :). Ooh, some kinda Crystal-esque phrasing here, me likey.

    Wow, Casey’s voice is really really good, IMO. I really like this, it’s appropriately painful.

    rofl @ beginning of Crystal’s. Caught me quite off guard with that almost safari-esque noise. I’m not liking it as much as Me & Bobby McGee (one of my favorite studio versions of all time, so that’s kinda a high bar), but it’s still very Crystamazing. I like when she hits the “Come together” part. I think I like Kris’s version more, but I have no issue having the original, Kris, and Crystal on my iPhone. I think each has their own advantages.

    Siobhan’s voice is kinda….. well, pretty. A bit congested sounding, but I don’t hear any flatness. I kinda get the unemotionalness if that’s a word, though.

    Wow, Katie’s version of Let It Be actually was really good! Surprising, but she really hit it. I think it’s quite beautiful.

    I really do like Aaron’s voice, and it kinda shows here. Much better than his live performance, IMO. I think he needs more guitar in his performances >_>. I don’t really care about the overload of WGWG this season, but I think Aaron learning to play guitar could be a good thing.

    Don’t really care to listen to Tim, Michael, or Andrew, to be honest.

  3. Casey’s Studio Jealous Guy has been playing on repeat here all day. Love it so much…for me, he walked over to Crystal’s bandwagon, grabbed me by the heart and pulled me over to his. Although I’m not really vested this season ( ;) ) I’m anxious to see what happens next week. So far I haven’t been motivated to pick up a phone. :)

  4. Actually no. Siobhan’s recorded vocals are very weak and surprisingly boring. She is Danny Gokey of season 9 in terms of overrated by judges (and Danny recordings were usually much better than this btw). Her voice is just uninteresting and insignificant and her personality is gonna take her only so far. Sorry but this is third week in a row when i can’t get through the whole song. Whole CD of this? Not many people are going to buy that. She needs to get better, cause she sucks….

  5. I might be in the minority but this is definitely my favorite Crystal studio track so far. I really love the prominence of the didgeridoo on this recording.

  6. Well, this is what makes the world go ’round!……I LOVED Michael’s the best….I find his voice so soothing and I love his phrasing on this song in particular. I am so glad he was saved but fear it will only last for a minute!

  7. I really love Casey’s “Jealous Guy” – very nice. I might have to go buy Crystal’s “Come Together,” too, it sounds great. I keep wanting to hear David Cook when I hear Michael’s “Eleanor Rigby” so I’ll pass on that one since I’m a big dork :)

  8. Across The Universe – “was beautiful” & Lee’s tune? the backups were fine..

  9. I wasn’t crazy about Crystal’s peformance last week, but that studio version is all kinds of awesome. Casey’s song this week is still my favorite, mainly because it’s a great song that hasn’t been done to death, and his guitar playing complements his emotional vocals beautifully.

    I would be really happy if Crystal and Casey were the last two standing this season and if Crystal won the crown. It would NOT be a good thing if Casey outlasted Crystal — for her or him!

    I still like Siobhan and think she has a lot of potential, but I don’t think her artistic decisions are really working at this point. Lee is completely blech for me. I like him as a person, but I just don’t get the tongue baths he gets from the judges.

  10. You’re really harsh on Siobhan. She has the biggest range out of everyone on the show, and she comes across a very sincere person with strong emotions– an important element of artistry. I know you were quite fond of her back when the judges were giving her nothing less than stellar reviews, but you’ve turned on her completely in the past two weeks. She was taking their advice by “pulling it back,” when she should’ve just stayed true to herself all along. That’s why it felt unnatural. You said “Stop screaming at me!” so she did, and now you’re bored. Whataya want from her? Seriously. She should stop reading the blogs and start ignoring her advisors and just do Siobhan.

  11. I still like her better than Crystal but I’ve kind of gone off Siobhan myself. I did like her performance this week though. Didi was my favorite of the girls and missed her this week.

    The only 2 studios I listened to were Casey’s and Lee’s. Loved (and bought) Casey’s. Lee’s was a bit better than the live version.

  12. I love Lee’s and Casey’s, and I miss the bagpipes too. I can understand why people found having the bagpiper come onstage halfway through the performance was distracting, but I felt like the sound of the bagpipe fit the mood of the song, and set Lee’s version apart from the zillion other versions that are out there. I like Crystal’s too, I just think I own enough versions of Come Together already, courtesy of Kris Allen, so I probably won’t buy it.

  13. I’m with you, MJ. Casey’s and Crystal’s are my faves this week. I absolutely LOVE Casey’s. I keep replaying it over and over and over again. Amazing and beautiful. I can hear Come Together on Crystal’s album. She did an awesome job with the song. I also liked Katie’s. Before, I felt her voice was just too sharp on the songs she was picking…but she picked the right one this week. Did not like Siobhan’s. She has a nice mid range…but she rarely uses it. She’s either low or “screaming”. She needs to find that happy medium in the middle of her vocals.

  14. She should stop reading the blogs and start ignoring her advisors and just do Siobhan.

    Well cripes, I hope she isn’t reading the blogs to get directions on what to do on the show. That’s what her vocal coaches and whatever are there for. I’m pretty over her, too, I gotta say. Hopefully she’ll come out this week and win me back.

  15. I bought Casey’s studio — first song I’ve purchased from season 9. It’s gorgeous, and it’s been running through my head for days.

  16. I can understand why people found having the bagpiper come onstage halfway through the performance was distracting, but I felt like the sound of the bagpipe fit the mood of the song,

    I said the exact same thing in an earlier thread!

  17. :sigh: another week another viscious drubbing of Siobhan please try to be more objective their is plenty of emotion in Siobhan’s recording sorry she dosen’t go out into full diva belt mode it is a sleepy ballad. I’m starting to beleive you have some sort of agenda against her or something as you have never said one nice thing about her all season and it’s funny how you only focus on any vocal flaws she has and completely ignore Lee’s awful pitchyness and Crystal’s offpitch screaming this week please stop playing favorites.

  18. Siobhan just doesn’t appeal to MJ, there’s no point arguing taste. She is still one of my favorites, but I have to admit her interpretation of this song isn’t really very compelling, despite what I consider to be impeccable vocals. It just doesn’t take off for some reason.

    I wanted to thank MJ for including the YouTube links — and for finally spelling Lee’s name with the capped W!

  19. Well, I guess we know which is the next fanbase to be really really mad at MJ. LOL.

    Siobhan does seem to have lost some of her mojo lately IMO. Let’s see if she gets it back this week.

    I like Casey’s ITunes but I don’t flove it. I still don’t quite get Lee. Didn’t love Crystal’s performance Tuesday, but the ITunes is great. Aaron is still boring. Katie and Tim sound the best they ever sounded, but I’m still underwhelmed. But I do see potential in Katie though. Mike still sounds like Anthony Hamilton. Didn’t bother with Andrew’s.

  20. Disclaimer: I’ve not watched this season until this week, but somehow saw Lee and Andrew the week before (I have no idea…!) With that…

    Casey’s recording is fine, nothing spectacular to me. Thought he was one of this week’s best live though.

    Crystal’s sounds fantastic to me. Very Bonnie Raitt-esque, which I like. TBH, she’s the reason I started watching, after MJ posted a couple of her pre-Idol songs last week.

    Lee sounds very good, and I agree on the lame background vocals and lack of bagpipes. I LOL’ed at the live gig, and thought it looked exactly as Ellen described it (about which I also LOL’ed.) But, the sound was indeed spot on. Go figure.

    Siobhan sounds good to me too, but the recording itself sounds miles below the professional caliber of, say, Crystal’s. NGL, I had flashbacks of The Carpenters (who pre-date me, just so we’re clear. :-))

    I’m not buying any of them. I guess I have to be a little invested first before spending $$ on Idols. Heh.

    Didn’t listen to any others, for lack of any interest whatsoever. Thanks MJ, as always, for your reviews of these recordings. I’ve always found them to be a blog highlight, and the youtube links are a fantastically convenient addition!

  21. Siobhan seems to be having less fun every week…even prior to the judges massacre on R&B week. I’d guess that she is homesick from her post performance comments this week. But, to my ear, her voice is in another league, even when singing David Foster dreck like the Chaka Khan song from last week.

  22. Mj – I’d like to thank you as well for including the you tube links. A++++

  23. She should stop reading the blogs and start ignoring her advisors and just do Siobhan.

    What makes you think she’s reading the blogs? I think she doesn’t have her own artistic identity quite nailed down yet, so she flounders.

    I haven’t been impressed with Siobhan since “Wicked Games” actually.

    ETA:

    Well, I guess we know which is the next fanbase to be really really mad at MJ. LOL.

    YEP. There’s always at least one every season! And scarily, her hometown peeps could get to my house by car in say oh…about 90 minutes. LOL.

  24. I rated Casey #1 and Crystal #2 on the show, but, on the recorded versions, just the opposite. Lee’s & Mike’s equalled their show, none of the rest impressed me enough to purchase.

  25. mj, thanks for adding those links to check out the songs, that is so helpful! Much appreciated.

  26. I haven’t listened to the others, but I bought Casey’s and Crystal’s and love them. I’ve listened to both repeatedly.

  27. I liked Aaron’s. He has a really nice voice. But he has the fewest views on the youtube versions so I’m in the minority. I already knew that though. lol.

  28. You’re really harsh on Siobhan. She has the biggest range out of everyone on the show, and she comes across a very sincere person with strong emotions– an important element of artistry.

    No, I think that’s an important element of adolescense. I’ve no doubt Siobhan is a lovely young girl, but I find watching her flounder to showcase her voice rather than any meaningful artistry offers diminishing returns. She’s really lost what was appealing in the beginning – a kind of devil may care bravado. It’s been replaced with a desperation to get back the “love” of the judges. Nothing wrong with that, she’s 19. But I’m just not that into that pursuit.

  29. Only bought Casie’s and Crystal’s this week and I’m happy with those 2.

    The new feature is awesome! Talk about real sampling of the I-Tunes singles. That was always my problem, only able to listen for just 20 sec. This is just great!

  30. MJ, I agree that Aaron needs to watch Timmeh b/c while Timmeh might not have the best voice, he doesn’t have the pitch problems Aaron has because he knows his limits. Plus he has a great attitude.

    I’m wishing I had picked Casey in the pool, because he could be the dark horse.

    I really want to like Lee. He’s a Chicago peep. Why can’t I warm up to him?

    Crystal’s voice is amazing.

    ETA: I like Mike, but after listening to the youtube, I’m still like wtf? The arrangement dilutes the mood of song, which is basically a storytelling song. I just don’t get it. There is no loneliness or desperation. His vocals are fine… the rest is a sad mess.

  31. I know, I know. Sioban is such a reprobate! Ugh. How the heck did she get past the audition round?! Her fan-peeps must be trippin’ cuz she can’t sing a lick. Not a lick! Even Tim PWNs her arse. Pathetic.

  32. I love Casey’s recording! I was very surprised with the emotional connection :) Is he the dark horse? Oh and I can totally hear why Simon wants Katie to do Country. Let it be was actually good.

  33. So according to MJ, Siobhan Magnus is the worst singer this season….

  34. Listened to Crystal, Siobhan, Casey, Lee.
    I like Lee’s voice and many of his recordings, but Hey Jude studio is bland and his vocals shaky.
    Crystal’s Come Together is OK, nothing else to say. She is always good but I never play her songs more than once or twice.

    Have played a lot Siobhan’s Across the Universe that is slightly too tame but full of emotion, and Casey’s Jealous Guy that’s great, my favourite this week.

  35. songsungblue,

    I have mixed feelings about what you said regarding Siobhan. On the one hand, I actually find a singer’s journey to discover themselves artistically, to be one of the special pleasures of this show. I initially saw Siobhan as raw talent, a diamond in the rough. I feel that she is lacking some vocal technical skills which would help her to use it to greater effect. But the voice is definitely there without question.

    Where I do find common ground with you is your comment that she has lost that devil may care bravado! Well said! This is exactly what I loved about her the first few times I saw her. She had a gutsy fearlessness that was quite appealing. I think part of the reason she has lost that bravado is directly related to the mixed feedback and comments she has had from the judges. I don’t even understand what on earth they are talking about when they give her their critiques, so I can only imagine how she feels. I do believe that part of Siobhan’s problem is that she is now trying to please the judges, instead of herself. This girl has got to get back to her strengths, the things that got her here in the first place. That performance of Aretha Franklin’s “Think” should have been a disaster, but Siobhan literally willed herself to sing the life out of that song. That is the quality that is missing now.

    I am also usually pretty much in agreement with mj about the singers in general, but it would appear that we are polar opposites when it comes to Siobhan. I have to go with my instincts, my knowledge of voice, my pitch perfect ear and my ability to know a great voice when I hear it. I stand by my belief that Siobhan has an incredible voice, but is still somewhat green with her technical skills. I am hoping that Adam can help her out, since he knows so much about vocal technique and also how to deal with these flaky judges.

  36. Whoa! I can’t believe how good Katie is on her recording. Definitely her best week by far!

    I’ve listened to everyone but Andrew and Big Mike’s. I can’t bring myself to do so.

    Ugh, what did they do to Aaron’s? His performance wasn’t good, but the background music on this is awful! He has a great tone and I believe he could go far in the country music industry, but yech!

    I’m saving Casey’s until last, I’ll get back in a few.

    Crystal! Brilliant as always! I honestly don’t think she can go wrong. Granted her performance (forgetting lyrics and looking at her guitar too much) wasn’t the best, but still loved it.

    Lee, eh! I mentioned before the market is too saturated for his style. Loved the bagpipes and his attitude on performance night, but studio not the best I’ve heard from him.

    Timmy!! Stay right here Timmy and you’ll be here longer than expected.

    Siobhan, love it! Loved her performance as well. Someone mentioned the Carpenters. Yep, I hear it! I don’t get why peeps think mj’s out to get her though. You know, it’s all personal preference. I don’t like how Siobhan’s fans always want to find something wrong with Crystal either.

    Going to listen to Casey and will report on my opinion.

    mj, thanks for the youtube links!! I generally go there to listen, but what you’ve done makes it so much easier! I’m going to get my ipod going to buy some of these by the end of the season.

  37. Okay, Casey. Beautiful!!! I have to say that this didn’t quite catch the emotion that the live performance did, but since when has a studio version done so?

    Casey, if you continue doing this, I truly believe you have a chance in the final with Crystal!!!!! I think you found your voice this week!

    My hubby and I were both extremely impressed with this performance. Neither of us could look away. Very impressive!

  38. Nativenewyorker, I agree with everything you say about Siobhan.

  39. cookcricket,

    I just wanted to jump in here to say that this particular Siobhan fan doesn’t think that mj is out to get her at all. I have had chats with other people online who normally like the same singers that I do, and they cannot connect with Siobhan. To each his/her own, as the case may be! I am just surprised, because I am usually very much in agreement with mj’s feelings about everyone.

    Also, I very much want to say that this Siobhan fan also happens to like Crystal. I don’t like the judges not calling her out on messing up the words to the song this week. Fair is fair. They are going so overboard and that’s what is bothering me. Crystal doesn’t need that kind of pimping. It’s overkill. Her vocals speak for themselves. But the judges should keep it real. I think what some Siobhan fans may resent is the distinct feeling they are getting from the judges, that they want a Crystal/Lee final.

    I thought the comment about the Carpenters was quite interesting. I haven’t gone back through all the comments, but whoever said it definitely has something there. I loved Karen Carpenter so much and never felt that she got the credit she deserved for being a brilliant singer with an incomparable voice. Now I will have to go back and give it another listen and see if I hear the Carpenters, too.

  40. I only have 1 recording and have been listening to it all day n night in my car, at home.. And it is Casey’s. I swear, and it may disturb some readers, but I literally wet my pants! Ok, I was just kidding… Lol! Sorry! And now I understand why he has the cougar vote. Heck I’m not considered a cougar but I’ll sure be voting for him if he continues on this path. He definitely has market appeal and middle America loves this type of authentic American style singing. I do believe right now that the Top 2 is goin to be C&C, and it’ll be a tight race.

    I like Crystal’s voice but didn’t get her recording this week just cos it’s been done so many times and I have Kris’s version.

  41. No, I think that’s an important element of adolescense. I’ve no doubt Siobhan is a lovely young girl, but I find watching her flounder to showcase her voice rather than any meaningful artistry offers diminishing returns. She’s really lost what was appealing in the beginning – a kind of devil may care bravado. It’s been replaced with a desperation to get back the “love” of the judges. Nothing wrong with that, she’s 19. But I’m just not that into that pursuit.

    I see where you’re coming from (although she’s 20, her birthday was a month ago :P). I think she’s trying too hard to please the judges. She hasn’t fully lost me, I still think she has potential (However, I did say the same thing about Lil Rounds last year), but she’s really gotta hit it again. I miss freaky different Siobhan with her good screamy notes (note: good, not the ones she did that were kinda off), her uniqueness, and her somewhat haunting ballads (i.e. Wicked Game, House of the Rising Sun).

    She just has to pretend the judges aren’t there. I think it has to do with most of MJ’s critiques of her, she’s not choosing songs and “making them her own” any more. I don’t think anyone here thinks she’s a terrible singer. She isn’t (at least IMO). She just kinda lost herself trying to please.

    Siobhan used to be my #1, but now she’s about #4 or #5. My ideal top 5 would be Crystal, Siobhan, Aaron, Lee, and Casey. And though Siobhan was my competition with Crystal, I can see Aaron, Lee, and Casey overtaking her.

    A Crystal/Siobhan finale would still be very interesting, IMO.

  42. Well, I downloaded the recordings from Casey, Crystal, Siobhan, Mike and Lee…it’s the first time that I download anything non Crystal this season, but the theme was worth it!

    The background singers on Hey Jude are lame indeed. Those chorus are not supposed to sound like that, the song was great until that moment, I don’t think I’ll be listening to it again.

    Siobhan’s recording confuses me. I’m with Kara on this one. I want to like her, she’s got so much potential, but then again I keep waiting and waiting to be wowed by her. This week was nice, and she remains my distant 2nd favorite, I want her to do well and go far, because whatever she does after Idol, will surely be interesting.

    Mike’s recording…meh, this is why I don’t have that many R&B songs in my music library. Those big nice R&B voices don’t do anything for my ears. Cookie, I need ya!

    Crystal…damn this girl knows how to sing with the right amount of passion! I was so afraid that they were going to use the same backgrounds they used for Carly or Kris, but I was glad to find that Crystal kept the cool, groovy arrangement for the recording. Soooo enjoyable, another nice addition to the Bowersox playlist.

    Casey’s recording will be kept among my favorite Lennon covers, a truly gold piece of music for an idol recording. But then again, with AI production less is more, and this the case of this song. I hope he keeps doing things like this.

    I’d rate them…1.- Casey 2- Crystal 3.- Siobhan 4.- Lee 5.- Mike. No, I truly don’t care about the others.

  43. I don’t like how Siobhan’s fans always want to find something wrong with Crystal either.

    I agree, it’s just senseless (and I’ve seen this from a couple of Siobhan’s fans on places other than MJ’s).

    Crystal’s my #1, but I want Siobhan to do great in an epic way so badly!

  44. My daughter downloaded Casey and Lee. I agree about missing the bagpipes- the studio version ( and the live one a little) was missing that….ooomph that even the original has. Not a Kris Allen fan at all but he did this song great live in concert on the Idols tour. Having said that, I like Lee’s tone to his voice better.

    Casey was much more compelling live. I couldn’t get through the whole song on the ipod, it kind of bored me, but I LOVED it live.

    I know Adam isn’t going to perform miracles with these kids this week, but I HOPE HOPE HOPE he can make these two break out of their shells.

  45. So according to MJ, Siobhan Magnus is the worst singer this season….

    Where do I say that exactly? Way to put words in my mouth LOL!

  46. WOW. Casey’s is my very favorite of all the downloads so far this season. I bought Crystal and Lee’s as well but I can’t stop listening to this. So beautiful and chilling. If he got the pimp spot with the dramatic lighting now THAT would have been a moment.

  47. I apologize to Miss MJ if my initial comment came off as rude and presumptuous. I reread what I said, and I felt it was unbecoming of a Siobhan fan. I was just frustrated because I usually agree with you, and she’s the only contestant where we’re completely split… unless you count Lee, because the way you feel about Lee is the way I feel about Siobhan, and vice versa.

    Again, I’m sorry, MJ. This blog is still my #1 spot for Idol News.

  48. monleo1705:
    04/11/2010 at 4:28 am
    I only have 1 recording and have been listening to it all day n night in my car, at home.. And it is Casey’s. I swear, and it may disturb some readers, but I literally wet my pants! Ok, I was just kidding… Lol! Sorry! And now I understand why he has the cougar vote. Heck I’m not considered a cougar but I’ll sure be voting for him if he continues on this path. He definitely has market appeal and middle America loves this type of authentic American style singing. I do believe right now that the Top 2 is goin to be C&C, and it’ll be a tight race.

    That’s what I’m hoping, that Casey found his groove, that he continues on this vein and gets better and better every week so that he’ll be aiming straight to the Kodiak Theatre next May along with Crystal. I’d really like to be emotionnally connected to one of them this year (and be part of one’s journey). Right now I’m not.

    Crystal and Casey have been the most consistent ones on the show so far and have giving us some pretty decent recordings to listen to.

  49. Again, I’m sorry, MJ. This blog is still my #1 spot for Idol News.

    No worries. I tend to turn away from the contestants who don’t seem to know who they are as artists. For Siobhan, it may be a matter of experience and confidence–she’s still pretty young.

    I had the same issues with Carly Smithson back in Season 7, and I stood alone in my criticism of Carly, even as much of the Idol blogosphere raved on about her.

  50. mj,

    You make an interesting point about Carly. That was one reason I didn’t like her, but I also just wasn’t all that crazy about her voice. However, thinking back I seem to remember that her big problem was that she let Simon get in her head and tried too hard to please him. Sound familiar? That’s exactly what is now happening with Siobhan. I happen to think Siobhan has a much better voice than Carly, but it is possible that not having an artistic identity is hurting her right now. I have said that I believe this is the one big advantage that Crystal has over Siobhan. Maybe that is one reason why Crystal can handle the judges so well. She has always projected a quiet confidence and a sense of being comfortable in her own skin. I think that is working in her favor.

    I wanted to make a few observations about Lee. It’s nice that the judges are on the Lee train right now, but I am becoming more frustrated with him. I think he is sacrificing vocals for the sake of performance. I thought “Hey Jude” was all over the place. He was beyond being off pitch. There were a dozen songs that would have suited him better. I really think that he needs to get his vocals in order, at least as far as I am concerned.

    Casey stepped up in a big way and now has some real momentum going into next week. This was the first performance of his that made me sit up and take notice. I don’t normally love his kind of voice, but I give him all the credit in the world for picking an obscure song with which he could connect. He came out and told a powerful story with his voice. I also think, except for one or two points in the song, that this was his best pure vocal, much more on key and the emotion and feeling that came out was unbelievable.

  51. I’ve noticed that Siobhan may have a speech impediment when she talks, but it isn’t there so much when she sings. Has anyone heard anyone speak to that or seen it in print? Also, there seems to be something going on somewhere between her throat and nose that makes some deep nasal sound in her lower register, but it isn’t the classic nasal singing that you often here with some. I relistened to her performances so far and find that she is still my favorite, and I think her “screams” are the least of her probs. For the most part she nails them.

    I’m a fan of Crystal also I might add. Siobhan is first fav, Crystal second. None of the guys have done too much for me this year, probably because in years past, MANY of the male contestants were simply outstanding in comparison.

  52. I finally figured out who’s voice Tim reminds me of: Sondre Lerche. Without the falsetto, of course. Viva La Teflon

  53. To risk of being off topic here – it’s interesting that Siobhan is compared to Carly because I feel the same disconnect for Siobhan that I felt for Carly. I’m indifferent. I recognise that they are both technically talented (powerful voice instrument and all) and it wouldn’t bother me if Siobhan places very high at the end (which I expect she will) but I don’t care ultimately how she will place in the competition. I don’t connect emotionally to her.

    Last year, my fav was Allison (even if I really liked Kris and Adam too). Ultimately Allison was for me “the One” I got nervous about when she performed, I wanted her to do well, was bummed out when she didn’t and was very sad when she left. I don’t have one this year where I feel that same giddy feeling and I’m hoping Casey will do that to me eventually. If nothing else, Jealous Guy for me will remain one of the best songs ever performed and recorded on Idol.

  54. JudyOhio,

    I am hearing this comment elsewhere online about this supposed nasally sound in Siobhan’s voice. I have been discussing it on another site that focuses on vocal technical skills. It is definitely not a nasal sound, but some people are using that word to describe it. I don’t know if it would make sense to get into the technical aspects of what is going on with Siobhan. Sometimes people don’t really care. If they like it fine, if not then they don’t care to analyze it.

    There are issues with the mix of head and chest voice in Siobhan’s voice that are contributing to what some people are hearing. She has more head voice and not enough chest voice. There is also a quality called “twang” that she doesn’t have enough of in her lower register. This results in a somewhat muddy sound that people identify as nasal. Siobhan could definitely benefit from learning some solid vocal technical skills. It would help her bring out the real strengths in her voice. Right now she doesn’t really know fully how to use her voice for maximum effect. I am hoping that Adam can give her some good advice on vocal technique to help her out.

    You are right in saying that the screams are the least of her problems. But her imbalance between head and chest voice can be corrected and it wouldn’t be that difficult for her to learn.

    Siobhan is my favorite with Crystal being my second favorite. I am not crazy about the guys this season. I think Mike is the best pure singer, but many don’t like his r&b sound. The guy never loses pitch, has great vocal skills and transitions nicely into his upper falsetto. Until last week, I really didn’t care for Casey, but he showed me something. As I said before, I don’t know that I will ever love his voice. It’s just not my thing. I like Lee, but am becoming unhappy with his increasingly off pitch performances. For me it’s still about the girls.

  55. Loved Katie’s (beautiful and soulful!), Siobhan’s, Crystal’s and Lee’s. Aaron is one of my favourites but I did not like the song choice – it was like the long and winding song that would never end. =/

    Indifferent to the others.

  56. Nativenewyorker: Siobhan could definitely benefit from learning some solid vocal technical skills. It would help her bring out the real strengths in her voice. Right now she doesn’t really know fully how to use her voice for maximum effect.

    Thanks for discussing issues with Siobhan’s vocal technique, which I have also noticed, not liked, and struggled to describe. Sometimes it seems there is an overdramatic expression in her voice going on, if that makes any sense. I was a very enthusiastic Siobhan supporter in the beginning, even declaring her the next American Idol. Sadly, my enthusiasm for her is now nearly nil.

    If this is something she might correct, do you think the Idol vocal coach is trying to help her with it and/or would it take longer than the season to correct? I’ve always wondered about how much high-quality vocal coaching contestants receive and if that coaching is distributed fairly.

  57. HappyDaisy,

    A lot of it is a matter of personal taste. But there are many people who hear Siobhan as nasal because of the fact that she has a lot of head voice in her chest voice. She can correct this imbalance with some vocal guidance, but it’s a matter of whether or not she wants to do it. She may feel her voice is more distinctive with the stronger head voice. It reminds me at times of a young Barbra Streisand. Of course, I am not saying that she is in that league. Not at all. But there is a lot of potential for her to develop and learn to control her voice.

    What you hear as overdramatic, may very well be too much head voice. Some people just don’t like that sound. I have discussed this with professional singers online who have much more technical knowledge than I do. They do think she could benefit from better vocal technical skills to gain control of her voice. I don’t know how much of this they get on the show. She may not have a lot of time with Adam, but he has so much knowledge about the technical aspects of singing and any advice from him can only help.

    It’s an ongoing process to learn good vocal technical skills. There are experienced singers who have a lot of training and they are continuously trying to improve their technique. I don’t want to see Siobhan overwhelmed right now. She is already having trouble dealing with the conflicting critiques from the judges.

    I have one question for you – did you like her performance of “House of the Rising Sun”? I thought she got it totally right with that performance. Starting off by singing acapella was just genius. I thought she seemed more comfortable with her voice.

    It’s up to you, but I would try to keep an open mind. Siobhan may not be the next American Idol because she is so different, unusual and uniquely her own, but she has an extraordinary voice. I hope she continues to work on perfecting her vocals. It will be worthwhile in the long run, no matter what happens on the show.

  58. Re: comparisons between Carly and Siobhan – gotta remember that Siobhan is much younger that Carly was when she performed on AI, and has far less experience as a performer. As several have mentioned on this blog, Siobhan has had no professional vocal training. Comparisons between Siobhan and Carly, and between Siobhan and Adam, for that matter, really aren’t justified. The only things I see with Siobhan are raw talent, emotional performances, huge potential and a tremendous work ethic to to succeed at something she loves. As far as I’m concerned, that is a combination which should be celebrated and nurtured! Finishing in the top 3 would be a great kick-start to Siobhan’s career, but regardless, I have no doubt that she will ultimately be the most successful of this year’s Idol crop.

  59. chili1000,

    Believe me, I agree with you! I said earlier that I think Siobhan has a much better voice than Carly. It is true that she has had no professional vocal training. I dislike the comparisons between Siobhan and Adam. It’s because of the high power notes, but it’s not accurate or fair in any way. The only comparison I see between Siobhan and Carly is that they let Simon get in their heads, which is quite natural and not at all hard to understand.

    I see what you see in Siobhan, however, I have come to know this show very well over the years. I wish it was about the best pure singer, but we know that this is not necessarily the case. I believe that someone like Siobhan should be nurtured and encouraged. I am not sure how much a show like this does that. At times it reminds me of survival of the fittest. I hope that Siobhan finishes in the top 3 and agree that this would be a great start to what should be a brilliant and successful career.

    The consensus among the professionally trained singers with whom I have chatted online, is that with a little work and vocal technical skills, Siobhan’s voice could be glorious. Yes, she has the raw talent, emotion and potential. I heard the potential in her voice the first time I watched her in the semifinals.

    I am hopeful that Adam will give her some vocal tips that will help her fully realize her great potential. I also hope that she will learn from the vocal coaches she works with on the show. She is so close, but just needs a little refinement and knowledge about her voice to be able to achieve her dream.

    I try to guard my enthusiasm about my personal favorite, because I have been disappointed too many times in the past. I do look for the best pure voice, that special someone who has a unique quality and the potential for greatness. I would be very happy with a top 3 finish for Siobhan.

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