American Idol – Episode 9-16 Recap

OK, so Tyler and his Jim Morrison look are surprisingly gone. Guess people don’t like 70s throwbacks or something? Joe Munoz was also eliminated, possibly because noone remembers what exactly he sang or how he sang it. At the end of the day it may not really matter, because while I had pegged Tyler as a Top 12 finalist, he probably wasn’t gonna win anyway.

Slight change in seating this week as Randy returns to the end position. Also, is it me or does Ellen reference the rehearsals a lot? Not a bad thing, but occasional Paula blip aside we’ve really never broken the fourth wall as far as the televised performances are concerned.

Michael Lynche, “Man’s World” (James Brown)
I guess Michael took the judges critique as being too Hootie or something? Dunno, because he sounded fine before. This was a really good performance here, and I can’t really say too much bad about it. I’m really enjoying his performances out there – he’s one of the few that have made a connection with the audience.

John Park, “Gravity” (John Mayer)
Performance was good, but it still wasn’t a great performance. I think that maybe Kara is right in the sense that John (and really most of the singers) is trying too hard to please the audience and not giving enough of himself here. As Simon said, it’s one of those performances that noone is likely to remember and in the world of fan voting that puts you more at risk than a crap performance.

Casey James, I Don’t Wannt Be (Gavin DeGraw)
This was not the greatest vocal performance ever, and definitely not the best version I’ve ever heard on the show (Bo Bice is still the standard here). Guitar work was definitely there, but it almost seems like the singing took a backseat to the guitar here. Casey will probably be safe but he’ll need to step it up a bit more. Or maybe not if the guys suck like they mostly did last week.

Alex Lambert, “Everybody Knows” (John Legend)
Did Alex get a mullet extension? Anyway, singing was better (nerves gone?) but I’m still not feeling much of a connection with Alex. And, outside of the mullet, this guy really has no personality. I still don’t really feel like I know who this guy is or what he’s about. It really is a bit of a trend with the majority of singers this season.

Todrick Hall, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” (Tina Turner)
Again, a better performance than last week, but still… not really that great. He took a Tina Turner song and turned it into Generic R&B Song #3 (although for the record, I’d have no idea what #1 & 2 are). I can see where Adam Lambert likes this guy, since he’s trying to make every song his own, but still, Todrick shouldn’t be making these Really Great Songs his own because it’s never a good idea.

Jermaine Sellers, “What’s Goin’ On” (Marvin Gaye)
Better than last week, etc., and I think I felt more of a connection with his singing, but still, people will remember Jermaine more for the bowtie and the disturbing segment in the sleeper. Once again, the guys are underwhelming us with their stuff, and really it seems like the Top 6 will be filled with the good singers and the guys that suck the least.

Andrew Garcia, “You Gave Me Something” (Jason Mraz)
This came out really flat to me, and I just didn’t really feel that it was as good a performance that we’ve heard from Andrew. As they noted, it’s been downhill since “Straight Up” during Hollywood week, but with that he had a lot of time to think about that arrangement. I’m not sure that people are even thinking about that in between Hollywood week and the final selection and then Top 24.

Aaron Kelly, “My Girl” (The Temptations)
Aaron would seem to be that one 16-year old that will go the furthest in this competition, because he’s a pretty good singer. And now that he seems to have gained some confidence (some kind words from Simon will do that to you), he should be better going forward. Still not a fan of having kids so young in the competition though. I’d think that in a couple of years, this guy would kill the competition on The X-Factor.

Tim Urban, “Higher” (Matt Nathanson)
Better performance, but it’s still not great. I think Joe noted that he’s got the VFTW crowd behind him, and he’d better hope so. Because I think he is, in fact, the worst singer left in the competition. I’m ranking Todrick and John below Tim, but that’s really based on not-good performances, whereas Tim gave us something bland, yet not good.

Lee Dewyze, “Lips of an Angel” (Hinder)
Hate this song, but the performance was good. Not the best singer, but probably did the best job of leaving it out there and connecting with the audience. I was probably wrong about Lee’s ability, but I really did feel that he didn’t sing Snow Patrol very well. And this time, he sold me on a song that I hate. So good on him.

Rankings:
Michael
Aaron
Lee
Casey
Andrew
Alex
Jermaine
Tim
John
Todrick

Eliminated:
Todrick
John

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