After getting home around midnight after a fun-filled day watching the women’s bob sleigh finals up in Whistler today, I immediately sat on the couch, grabbed a drink and began my American Idol viewing. After last night’s lackluster performances on a whole, I was hoping to be blown off my seat. Sadly, I remained planted on my ass during the entire two hours.
Besides a trio of stellar performances, I’m hard-pressed to think that these 12 boys are the best the country has to offer. Its a shame the producers decided to go back to this gender-leveling format after last year’s male heavy top 12. If I had my way this year, the top 12 would consist of eight ladies and only four men.
So sit back and relax, while I critique and praise last night’s performances by the XY chromosone gender.
12. Tim Urban
Performance: Apologize by OneRepublic
After viewing some shirtless pics of Tim, I was praying so hard that he had a voice to match his hot little body. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be. God and the Idol producers can be so mean. Seriously, how off-key was he? Had he been half decent, you know I’d be praising him and calling him the second-coming of Justin Timberlake. Even though he sucked big time, I have a funny feeling he’ll squeak through based on his sexy looks and support from VoteForTheWorst.com. During the first round of voting, it’s better to be amazing or a huge trainwreck. Being boring and forgettable during this round is the kiss of death. Urban was many things (sucky, pitchy, off-tune) but boring he was not.
11. Jermaine Sellers
Performance: Get Here by Oleta Adams
First, what the eff was he wearing. Secondly, why the eff would you pick this tired overused Idol cliche of a song. As much as a joke Justin Guarini became, he owned this song during his time on season one. With his “edited” diva attitude during Hollywood week plus his vote splitting with Todrick Hall, he’s pretty much Stevie Wonder’d- signed, sealed and delivered. Hope you didn’t unpack your suitcase, because you’re out here faster than Simon Cowell after this year’s finale.
10. Joe Munoz
Performance: You and I Both by Jason Mraz
No joke. When downloading the pictures from the Fox press site, everyone had a picture of their performance except Joe (as of publish time). This isn’t the first time he’s been screwed by Idol. Despite airing ten episodes before tonight, the producers hid his vocal abilities like a fat woman hides her vajayjay from the viewing public. In his defense, he didn’t sing all that badly and I like the Marc Anthony vibe he’s giving. Unfortunately for him, that won’t be enough and he’ll be hasta la vista’ing very rapido.
9. John Park
Performance: God Bless This Child by Billie Holiday
I never realized John ran marathons during his spare time. How else would you explain the ridiculous over-usage of runs in his minute-and-a-half performance. It was overkill to the nth degree. At times I felt like downing some Pepto-Bismol to ward of the runs he was giving me. When he was just singing and not over-stylizing his performance, I liked his voice- especially during the high notes. But like the judges stated, this was the WRONG song for him. It aged him and made him out to be a bore. In addition, the lame excuse he gave Seacrest for choosing this song made him sound like an idiot. Public speaking is not his friend.
8. Tyler Grady
Performance: American Woman by The Guess Who
Tyler reminds me of those unconventional looking rock stars of the 70s like Mick Jagger, David Bowie et al. They weren’t handsome but they were filled with so much talent, they transformed their heinousness into a sexual mystique that turned on millions of women. You know, so unattractive that they became ugly hot. Grady has the same special powers and that’ll probably save him despite his so-so performance last night. Vocally it was alright, but the song choice was expected and his rendition was nothing to write home about.
7. Aaron Kelly
Performance: Here Comes Goodbye by Rascal Flatts
I really didn’t want to put Aaron this high on my list, but I had no choice, considering half the guys royally sucked. For some reason, I just can’t get behind this kid. He picked the right song, sang it well but it wasn’t enough for me. I admit it’s sometimes unfair to compare present contestants with previous ones, but at times it just can’t be helped. Whenever he steps on stage, all I see is a poor man’s David Archuleta. It reminds me of Microsoft’s Vista OS. The sub-par offering between Microsoft’s superior Windows XP and Windows 7. Wow, that was kinda nerdy of me. Ex-nay the computer talk-ay.
6. Michael Lynche
Performance: This Love by Maroon 5
Sure he was off-key at points, but he actually woke me up after watching several sleep-inducing performances. Even though he was crucified for his song selection, I kinda liked it and his R&B injection. I did, however, agree with Ellen’s comment about him not relying on his personality and his newborn baby, and to step up his game. If he doesn’t provide a solid performance in the next few weeks, his shtick is going to get old real fast.
5. Todrick Hall
Performance: Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
Yes, it was a tad sacrilegious for him to deface one of Idol’s greatest winner’s signature songs, but I’m ashamed it sorta won me over. Sure, the chorus was a bit of a train wreck, his dancing distracting, and his vocals weren’t spot on, but you have to admire his cojones for being so bold. If you take away the chorus, the rest of the arrangement was wickedly awesome. After his performance, the judges displayed one of my biggest pet peeves about the show- their judging inconsistencies. How can you one minute encourage contestants to rework songs and praise others for doing it and then flip the script and chastise others. Todrick’s R&B infused rendition may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m perplexed on their negative judgment. Trust me, I’m not biased here. I actually think Todrick is a tad douchey, but I will give credit where credit is due.
4. Alex Lambert
Performance: Wonderful World by James Morrison
Oh pumpkin. When watching the performances, I jot down my notes and opinions before the judges spew their comments. More often than not, they never 100% completely match up. Most of my thoughts are duplicated but never exactly spot-on. It’s like the judges were reading my notes tonight. Everything from Alex’s heinous mullet to his insane vocal likeness to James Morrison to his too-awkward-to-watch nervousness on stage. Out of all the Teen Bop contestants (Aaron Kelly and Tim Urban), Lambert is by a long shot my favorite. If he manages to settle his nerves and works on his stage presence, this kid could be a factor.
3. Lee Dewyze
Performance: Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
My current Idol crush of the season did not disappoint. Considering his past song selections, “Chasing Cars” wasn’t exactly earth-shattering, but it did provide for one of the few pitch-perfect highlights of the evening. Thankfully Simon provided Lee worthy praise after Kara and Randy’s inexplicable negative comments. Who pissed in their Coke bottles?
2. Andrew Garcia
Performance: Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down by Fall Out Boy
As I feared, Garcia is being punished for his out-of-this-world rendition of Paula Abdul’s “Straight up”. With such an exceptional star-making performance like that, it’s hard to live up to all the hype. Personally, I loved his song choice and his take on it. Again I have to point out the inconsistent judging feedback about contestant artistry. Regardless of what they thought, the Idol producers are clearly on Team Garcia. Why else would he receive the coveted pimp (last) spot of the evening. Ignore the judges comments Andrew, keep doing what you do best.
1. Casey James
Performance: Heaven by Bryan Adams
Okay, I have to admit I loved him during tonight’s show. I was ready to toss him aside during this portion of the competition, but that all changed after tonight. He’s no longer the gimmicky long-haired guy who stripped for Kara. Hopefully the judges follow the same path and stop joking about Kara’s crush on him. It’s getting annoying and distracting. During the first few seconds of Casey’s performance, you could hear the panel giggling and goofing around. Casey, the show and the audience deserve more respect than that. Shame on you, DioGuardi. If he keeps this up, Casey could overtake Garcia as my favorite male singer of this season. Everything about him tonight was “heaven”ly. Cheesy, I know but that’s just me.
ELIMINATION PREDICTION: Taking into account not only tonight’s performances but season-to-date coverage, I’m predicting Joe Munoz and Jermaine Sellers getting the boot. Potential alternates could be John Park and Tyler Grady. Who do you think will receive their pink slips.