American Idol – Episode 9-14 Recap

So, funny story. I had Tuesday’s show written up for posting today (Wednesday), and saved on my work laptop. So naturally, I was future endeavoured this morning.

I’m not bitter about being made redundant (for reasons that will surface in the Ep9-13 recap) but I have to say, cutting a guy when two of his projects go live on March 1 is maybe a bit short-sighted?

My picks for eliminated girls were Katie and Lacey, so we’ll see if I’m right – and I’ll post that recap once I’m allowed to retrieve my personal items from my former employer.

Todrick Hall, “Since You’ve Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson)
Sometimes redoing a song stands out. Unfortunately for Todrick, this stood out in a bad way. The R&B vibe really didn’t work because the song was unrecognizable, and you want people to recognize what you’re singing. On the plus side, Todrick did try his own thing. Not a good start.

Aaron Kelly, “Here Comes Goodbye” (Rascal Flatts)
When did Rascal Flatts become the go-to artist for crossover country? It was a good performance, vocally, but Aaron’s youth and nervousness showed through this time around. Kara’s already broken out the “you don’t know how good you can be” line so it’s possible that Aaron will be pulled into the Top 12 through the will of the judges. Hopefully he won’t be as hateable as Archuleta.

Jermaine Sellers, “Get Here” (Oleta Adams)
Not good. Jermaine was really off key and it just got worse from there. And you can tell from his eyes that he knew that this wasn’t going well. I even thought he might restart at one point, but he was no Brooke White, and just kept going on. Unfortunately I think this is the end of the line for Jermaine.

Tim Urban, “Apologize” (OneRepublic)
I think Tim’s second chance will be short lived. He was really rough on the chorus, and the whole thing felt something like a musical number, and I didn’t really feel anything that connected me to his singing.

Joe Munoz, “You and I Both” (Jason Mraz)
This song was a hit? But I’ve never heard this song before? Maybe I need to stop listening to satellite radio. I’m typing this as Joe is singing and honestly, I can’t think of one thing about the song that’s memorable. That’s probably bad news for Joe, but at least there’s some guys that were a lot worse on this day.

Tyler Grady, “American Woman” (The Guess Who)
Finally, a standout performance. It wasn’t the best of the night, but people will remember him. Tyler definitely has the presence down pat. I get what the judges are saying though, because they’ve seen him a few more times and have seen the Jim Morrison thing consistently. I think Tyler can adjust though, and he seems to be taking the criticism to heart so he should be OK for next week.

Lee Dewyze, “Chasing Cars” (Snow Patrol)
This performance was both bad and forgettable, so it’s probably good news for Lee since people won’t remember that this sucked. Or maybe it’s bad because I don’t remember Lee at all from the previous rounds. Personally, I don’t think he’ll be around too long so I won’t waste much time investing words on this guy.

John Park, “God Bless the Child” (Billie Holiday)
John already has the whole “America hates Asians (unless you’re from Hawaii)” thing going against him, so picking an old-fashioned song is not going to help things. The song is probably indicative of his style but it’s not one that will get him very far in the competition.

Michael Lynche, “This Love” (Maroon 5)
This is one of those songs which seem easy to sing, but then the contestants will go and screw it up – witness what’s her name last year. Fortunately, Michael did not mess up, brought the energy, tweaked the song to his style a bit and turned in arguably the performance of the night. Granted, he was likely through to the Top 12 based on his story and personality alone, but it’s nice to see the talent show that he belongs.

Alex Lambert, “Wonderful World” (James Morrison)
What do you get when you sing a boring song by a boring artist? Yep, you get a performance that sucks. Alex is probably “better than that”, but really the shame here is that if he made it to the Final Two his mullet (props for sporting one) would be a level of awesome that Idol has never seen. And rest assured, he’s not making the final two for maybe even the Top 20 given that Simon just said he’s creepy.

Casey James, Heaven (Bryan Adams)
Props to Casey for ignoring the giggles for Kara and Randy’s antics at the beginning. This was a pretty strong performance from Casey, good song choice, and he’s easily through but seriously, can the judges please be professional for this poor guy?

Andrew Garcia, “Sugar We’re Going Down” (Fall Out Boy)
Andrew stood out during Hollywood Week by doing songs his way, and this was no exception here. He stripped down the song, and it probably wasn’t the best thing to do. As Simon put it, it was too safe but as Kara noted, his “Straight Up” rendition probably bought him a ticket to the Top 12, so he’s got some time to get it together.

Rankings (Best to worst):
Casey
Aaron
Michael
Tyler
Andrew
Lee
Joe
John
Todrick
Tim
Alex
Jermaine

Eliminated:
Tim
Jermaine

Thus far, there hasn’t truly been anyone to get super excited about. At the same time we don’t get the blatant jobbers like the Normans, Nates and Tatiana’s of the world. I think my Top 5 guys here will be safe and be in the Top 12, and we’ve got 7 guys fighting for the one spot (where they’ll subsequently be fighting for a Top 10 spot). We’ll see if I’m correct Thursday night (usually I’m not).

See you next week. Go Canada!

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