Too many plates spinning to get my reviews typed up from last week...I'll try to get them posted at some point. But, as I'm already playing catch up and don't want to get further behind the eight ball, here's this week's review...
I missed last night's show, so I've only been able to catch the abbreviated video online.
KATIE STEVENS - Breakaway (Kelly Clarkson)
This just sounds like a good singer at a high school talent show.
I'm bored, bored, bored. When will you wow me, Katie?
I'm not holding my breath.
SIOBHAN MAGNUS - House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)
I just don't know what to do with this girl. I dig her voice. I dig that she picks crazy songs competition-wise...I can't help but want to hear more. I hope American digs her weird vibe.
LACEY BROWN - The Story (Brandi Carlile)
I'm sorry, I just don't like what she's bringing to the table. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Argh. While she stayed in tune this time, she nearly put me to sleep. So she annoys me while boring me. A deadly combination.
KATELYN EPPERLY - I Feel The Earth Move (Carole King)
Love me some Carole King on a summer's day. Unfortunately, this version just felt very wedding singer-ish and uninteresting. She's got a decent voice, but it came off as dated and lounge-y.
Being dated? That's the kiss of death.
DIDI BENAMI - Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac)
I have to say, this is my favorite performance of Didi's. I liked her approach to it. Unlike Katelyn's version of a 70's classic (which sounded really dated), this sounded very fresh to me. If I was a downloading kind of girl, I'd be tempted to throw this on my Ipod.
Best she's done thus far. My favorite performance of the night.
I give her two thumbs up.
PAIGE MILES - Smile (Nat King Cole)
As cheesy as I think she is, I really want to like Paige's voice. I think it has a good tone, but man, she kills it for me with all the goaty trilling. Just sing the note. Sing it. Lose even the tiniest vocal gymnastics and sing it, lady. I beg you.
Love this song, but HATED the cheesy Love Boat lounge arrangement.
CRYSTAL BOWERSOX - Give Me One Reason (Tracy Chapman)
I like Crystal and she'd definitely one of the leading ladies in this group, but to me she's still a pale imitation of Susan Tedeschi. I like a girl who can lay down some blues, but something's still missing for me with her.
I still want more from her. And that's a good thing.
LILLY SCOTT - I Fall To Pieces (Patsy Cline)
On the other hand, I have no idea what's up with Lilly. She does nothing for me. Zip.
Tonight, I watched the fellas live.
Can I , once again, scream to the rafters that these folks have to stop bending over backwards trying to please the judges. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be putting 100% of their energy and focus into this - absolutely they should. They should be working their freaking asses off to improve and grow and stretch themselves.
But cow towing to the judges is just a waste of time. Take the criticism, use what is helpful to you and move the fuck on. The judges can't keep you on the show...and the public knows when you're full of crap or being inauthentic or are just completely tone deaf.
The attempt to jump through hoops for the judges is a solid waste of time.
OMIGOD THIS IS AWESOME.
NO STUPID INTRO VIDEOS!!
I HAVE DIED AND GONE TO REALITY TV HEAVEN.
O HAPPY DAY!!!!!
LEE DEWYZE - Fireflies (Owl City)
I'm a fan of this song, hell, it was one of the hottest downloads of 2009. I appreciate that he's trying to stretch a bit out of his "rock" genre and try something new to him. While it was fine, it didn't grab me.
When he has to hold a note in his straight singing voice (without going all Joe Cocker), he kinda loses me. It was a good performance, not great.
ALEX LAMBERT - Trouble (Ray Lamontagne)
Love this song. You know...each week, this kid seems to be getting a slightly better grip on his nerves. Agree with the judges that he needs to find that mix of confidence and relaxed delivery.
That said, this is week two of me digging his tone and song choice. Which is still a bit off putting for me, because all I really want to do is cut off his emo-mullet. I'd have to say this was my second runner up for the night as a vocal.
TIM URBAN - Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley)
Wow. He is swinging for the fences with this pick. Fairly bold move. And after two spectacularly bad weeks, this is by far the best Tim's done in this competition. He still hit a couple sour notes, but just that. The rest sounded honest and I liked his even delivery.
This week, the tweeners can call in with their heads held high and keep their teen dream in the running.
ANDREW GARCIA - Genie In A Bottle (Christina Aguilara)
Close, but no cigar. The song started well, but the chorus wasn't as strong as the rest of the song. I liked parts, but not the sum total. I do think I liked it more than last week. I think.
He's no Jonathan Coulton, but I can see him heading in that direction, if he'd just grow a pair. And if you aren't familiar with JC's cover of "Baby Got Back," you need to wander the interwebs and introduce yourself to it.
If Andrew can stop trying to impress the judges and just embrace his own style and say, "Fuck it. This is how I do, " I think he could really surprise folks. Unfortunately, this is week three of "not being as awesome as his original audition" and I think it's the end of the road for him.
Honestly, he should have said, "Fuck it. You want to hear Paula Abdul? Fine. Here it is." And it would have kept in him the competition for one more week - thusly getting him to the traveling show. Poorly played.
Robert Downey, Jr.
and Samuel L. Jackson??
Iron Man 2...you had me at hello.
CASEY JAMES - (Keith Urban)
Once again, my not knowing the song is a boon because I have no baseline. It sounded pretty good. Good energy, good vibe, good vocal. Didn't knock me out of my socks, but overall, I liked it.
I can't imagine Casey is going anywhere.
AARON KELLY - I'm Already There (Lone Star)
Okay, this kid has got to go home.
Not because he doesn't have a voice, but he just doesn't know what to do with it yet. You're a sweet kid, but you don't have the gravitas to even pull off this semi-mellow country ballad. You just need some seasoning, kid. Some life experience to inform your vocal/performance.
America, please send him home. Please. I'm begging you.
TODRICK HALL - Somebody To Love (Queen)
When you pull out Queen, you have no choice but to LEAVE IT ALL ON THE STAGE. You have to GO BIG OR GO HOME, there is no middle ground when you throw down with the likes of Freddie Mercury.
This was the most tepid version of Queen I've heard....possibly ever. Yeah, he stayed in key and hit that last big note, but even that felt mild. Where's the guts? Where's the passion behind it. Where's the desperation of trying to find someone to love?
And if that was meant as a Gospel (or influenced by gospel) then Todrick should apologize to Gospel performers everywhere. Because that's an insult to good, get me out of my seat, gospel music. That shit was not even Broadway worthy. Best he's done...but not nearly good enough.
MICHAEL LYNCHE - This Woman's Work (Kate Bush)
Let's just say it. This is one of the greatest songs ever written. You could argue with me, but you'd lose. This song make me want to turn my life into a music video where I smash everything smashable in slow motion while crying and laughing and hugging and kissing and dancing and curling up into a ball. God, that woman can write a fucking song.
I'm wondering if Michael is a fan of Greg Laswell, who recently did a delightful cover of this song - not too many fellas have covered it, so I find the choice very...interesting. That said, Michael definitely brought a great R&B vibe to it and made it his own...and of course, it also ties in the "I just had a baby" storyline in without even having to bring it up.
That's some fucking smart play, yo.
Best performance of the night by a long shot.
And I think Simon might be right...best performance of the season thus far.
Ladies: This is a hard one. Because I think Katie, Lacey, Katelyn and Lilly could all be on the chopping block. While I'm not a fan of Lilly, I think she had a following still, so she's safe.
I think Lacey and Katelyn will be going home.
Gents: Andrew and...it's a toss up between Aaron and Todrick. Money on Aaron.