I’ll admit that I was hoping that when TPTB finally decided to bring an Idol on board to mentor, it would be one of the elder’s with a proven track record, like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson or Chris Daughtry. I’d love to see Kelly mentor, but hey, this week she’s in Australia and not exactly available.
So, in the meantime, we have Adam Lambert who is promoting his single, and still striving to make his way in the cutthroat music biz. So why not let him mentor? He’s definitely got something the Season 9 kids don’t–the ability to craft a performance that’s vocally, visually and emotionally satisfying.
The kids all can sing, but tend to crumple when they hit the big stage. Adam was on hand to give them much needed advice in that area. And, I have to say his suggestions were smart and articulate.
Elvis proved to be too big for some of these performance-challenged kids, but not for all…
Live blog and videos, after the jump…
Tonight, the Top 9 tackle the songs of Elvis Presley. Adam Lambert brings his Idol experience, as he mentors the contestants…
This week, after the save of Big Mike, TWO contestants must fall! No backstage footage? No time I guess! Got to fit in 9 kids in 90 minutes. The judges are introduced…here comes Ryan. He’s hi-fiving the chicks in the mosh pit.
The finalists are introduced and take the stage. The Elvis Presley video package rolls. What a sexy young guy he was. But then later? EEP. The kids flew to Vegas this weekend. They saw Viva Elvis and were mentored by “one of Idol’s favorite contestants.” Adam says he loves Elvis because he was a complete showman. He tells the kids that he knows exactly where they are right now. He hopes they give us “something to listen to look at and to feel.”
Ryan introduces Adam, and sits next to him in the audience. They talk about Adam being the first Idol to mentor. Adam says he tried to be honest, but constructive. They all have great voices, all very talented, but they had to “wake up” he says, “I want a little more energy…let’s put on a show, ” he says. Ryan quip: “My tongue isn’t nearly as talented as yours.” Erm. If Adam was choosing an Elvis song for Idol, he would have picked Tim’s choice” “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” – VIDEO
Crystal Bowersox – “Saved” – Adam says, “Awesome voice, so authentic so real” She says she loves gospel music. Adam helps Crystal decide to pick up the electric guitar this week. She’s got the background singers on stage with her. And Crystal and her bedazzled electric guitar just took us too church. Crazy gospel rave from Crystal. Wow, she’s so good. Randy says, “That’s the way to come out and give it up. that was dope. second coming of Bonnie Raitt. I loved it.” Ellen says “Fantastic” Kara says, “Another solid performance, love the uptempo, drama..did some really good things tonight.” Simon says, “That was a lyric I could personally relate to. (ha ha) You didn’t choose an obvious song, you put your on slant on it, you didn’t fall into the karaoke trap. Congratulations once again.” Bejeweled guitar! 1-866-436-5701 – VIDEO
Andrew Garcia – “Hound Dog” – Andrew gets a sit down with Ryan. Adam tells Andrew he was bored and his performance needs a little more “punch”. He says Andrew has the potential, but has to step up his game. Andrew slows down the tempo, and I don’t like it at all. It needs to be bluesier. ballsier. It’s very flat and dull. Andrew is just…not improving. He takes the performance to the catwalk behind the judges. Zzz. Randy says, “That was definitely not good karaoke. It was pitchy…I didn’t like it.” Ellen says, “I wish you had put a little more swagger into it…but I thought you pulled it off.” Kara says, “It’s Elvis, you’ve got to own it. The mike was your crutch..There were some nice places, but I wanted to feel more..swagger.” Simon says, “Lazy, unpredictable…it didn’t feel like a star performance. All of your cool has been sucked out of you.” Ellen says, we all have different opinions. 1-866-436-5702 – VIDEO
Ryan is sitting next to his mom is in the audience!
Tim Urban – “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Adam thought Tim did a really good job, and liked his “pretty” guitar. He advised Tim that he stay in his head voice to finish. Tim’s phrasing is crap, but he doesn’t sound bad. He’s keeping it simple, staying in key and looks cute sitting on his stool with his guitar. So Ricky Nelson, but not as good. Tim’s golden for another week, for sure. The lighting peeps shouldn’t keep him in shadow his looks sell him. Randy says, “Believe it or not, I actually liked it.” Ellen compared Tim to Tequila– taking shot after shot until she likes it. She says, “I really enjoyed it…I thought that was beautiful.” Kara says, “Probably my favorite Tim performance, authentic, real, current, from your heart, well done.” Simon says, “You have managed to go from zero to hero in two weeks. Very clean, you’re growing in confidence, you’ve taken advice really really well.” 1-866-436-5703 Ryan dancing with a man in the background during Tim’s song and then thanking Michael Sarver for the dance? WTF? VIDEO
Lee DeWyze – “A Little Less Conversation” – Adam says Lee is great, but he needs to smile more, be playful. “If Lee smiles and connects a little bit more, he has a chance to do really well, ” says Adam. Lee’s on the acoustic guitar. The band comes in after a few bars. He’s not smiling. It needs to be more playful, like Adam says. He looks like he’s passing a stone instead of convincing a girl to go home with him. The vocals were growly and good, but he still needs to loosen up more. Randy says, “You are definitely in the zone.” Ellen says, “You made that so current…more confidence…you’re getting better and better.” Kara says, “I never seen you go vocally like you did tonight…it could have been a little bit lighter, playful…but the vocal was on fire.” Simon disagrees about the playful part. Simon says, “It was about nailing the song, it was on the money full stop.” Lee says talking to Adam helped a lot. 1-866-436-5704 – VIDEO
Aaron Kelly – “Blue Suede Shoes” Adam says he underestimated Aaron, his voice is “great.” Adam tells Aaron to grab it from the get go. Aaron doesn’t believe in himself yet, says Adam. Aaron says the song is probably wrong for him? Hm. The vocals are actually pretty good. Nice tone. But the performance is boring. He’s up on the catwalk now. I dunno, I’m not believing this. It’s better with my eyes closed. Randy says, “It started off kind of weird, but when you broke into the half time, it fit better.” Ellen says, “I thought that was a big song to take on. A for effort. You didn’t get all the way there.” Kara says, “You’re out of your comfort zone, and I really like it…it pushed you, it kept you on edge, felt more current.” Simon says, “It didn’t make you younger, it was like somebody at a high school doing a concert at the end, very karaoke…not original…dressing up for the part.” 1-866-436-5705 – VIDEO
Siobhan Magnus – “Suspicious Minds” – Ryan has a sit down with Siobhan. She LOVES Elvis. “She’s got the pipes, but it feels sleepy” says Adam. He suggests she speed it up. Siobhan is honored to be compared to him. Adam respects her quirkiness. Her lower register is flat and uninteresting, and when she abruptly shifts into her upper register, she’s pitchy and all over the place. Further proof she doesn’t have a handle on her own instrument. Randy says, “When you broke into the slower part, that’s when I liked it…that girl can sing.” Ellen says, “I liked the second half more than the first..that’s what you do best.” Kara says, “Siobhan has two voices and it’s getting confusing for me…I wasn’t crazy about it…” Simon says, “It was like you were put in a time machine, this was like a completely different person, the first part of the song was terrible, second part very erratic and screechy. Not one of your best performances.” Simon thinks she needs to choose a better song. Siobhan says she can’t pinpoint who she is, and she takes pride in that. She refuses to label herself. Eh. 1-866-436-5706 – VIDEO
Ryan just made a mean Brian Dunkleman joke! Next week is Idol Gives Back, and he announced that Dunkleman would be co-hosting. Just Kidding! Aw. Poor Dunk.
Mike Lynche – “In The Ghetto” – Adam says, If Mike finds a way to connect to people’s hearts tonight, he’ll stay in it. He really deserves it, he has a great voice, says Adam. Big Mike has the guitar back. Good vocal, very soulful, but intimate. The arrangement is more folk than big and gospely–an interesting twist. He needed to scale it back. I expected him to do this song, but not in that way. Randy says, “The song was a little sleepy, but those were hot vocals.” Ellen says, “I’m glad we saved you.” Kara says, “You definitely sang it well.” Simon says, “It was a million billion times better than last week. Judges running out of time! Short critiques from here on out! 1-866-436-5707 – VIDEO
Katie Stevens – “Baby What Do You Want Me to Do” – Katie’s been frustrated with the judges, the song is a message to them. Adam tells her to express her anger, get throatier, sell it a little bit more. Holy sh*t. Katie-bot is making a comeback! It’s Diana Degarmo all over again! The vocal is a little bit pitchy here and there, but it’s full, throaty and rich. She’s feeling it up there. Wow. She told them! Randy says, “Katie’s getting a little sassy, very nice.” Ellen says, “It was a very horny song..a lot of horns. (uh…) Man you can sing.” Kara says, “Katie I think you just showed us judges! Good job.” Simon says, “I just found it really loud, annoying, I didn’t like the song very much.” Kara shouts him down. Simon says, “They liked it, it doesn’t matter what I think.” 1-866-436-5708 – VIDEO
The cast of Glee is in the audience!
Casey James – “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” – Adam suggests Casey build more of an arc…more dynamics. But Adam thinks it’s cool. Casey is on a platform, surrounded by sway bots. He’s kinda back to the monochromatic performance–good vocals, but not a lot of wow. Randy says, “you’re in the zone, I wanted more, but it’s another solid performance.” Ellen says, “I love your voice, you look comfortable surrounded by woman, not as exciting as I would have liked, but you’re always good.” Kara says, “That really fell short for me.” Simon says, “That was a wasted opportunity, but your vocal was good.” – 1-866-436-5709 – VIDEO
They rushed so fast through the critiques…now they have extra time. Go Bruce Gowers! *eyeroll*