American Idol 9: Top 10 Performances Ranked

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This week’s recap comes all the way from Amsterdam. It’s about 8:00 am on Wednesday and I just finished watching all the performances on the internet- thank God for online video. Brian and I are currently in Europe for the next two and half weeks on vacay but that isn’t going to stop me from doing my Idol rankings. Talk about dedication, right. Overall, I felt the contestants did a better job cumulatively than last week’s wretched show.

Having only seen the video performances and none of the individual packages nor the judges critique, ranking the contestants was a lot easier. I wasn’t swayed at all by their personalities nor the judges biases. While I didn’t watch any of the judging segments, I did catch a few quotes from the judges on a few websites, so you might see me refer to that occasionally. The only thing that sucks about not watching the complete show was I missed my boy Usher give advice to the contestants. I guess I’ll have to watch it when I get home and play TV catch up on all my recordings.

10. Siobhan Magnus

Performance: Through The Fire by Chaka Khan
WOW. That was the opposite of what is good. When I saw that she was singing one of my all-time favorite songs, I was supremely stoked. But when she started off-key, I hoped she would pick herself up and get back on track. Sadly, she never did and got progressively worse (minus the screaming). I watched the performances in reverse order from the telecast and her “Paige Miles-like” performance is still ringing in my ears. With this poor showing, my Siobhan-Crystal finale hopes, are in serious jeopardy. On a side note, before leaving for our trip, my friend and Kodie and I were drunk singing this song last week and we sounded WAAAAY better than Magnus. Just saying.

9. Didi Benami

Performance: What Becomes of the Brokenhearted by Jimmy Ruffin
It started out okay and was a bit milquetoast, but when reached halfway it went a little schizophrenic. Oh Didi, you should’ve picked up your guitar this week. The whole sultry Michelle Pfeiffer-Fabulous Baker Boys things doesn’t work for you. It seemed at times, she was more worried about dramatizing the performance than actually singing it. Benami needs to go back to being vulnerable instead of being jaded-angry-dumped girl.

8. Tim Urban

Performance: Sweet Love By Anita Baker
Just because he’s not at the bottom this week doesn’t mean he did well, it just means two early favorites crashed and burned. Sweet Love by Anita Baker… really Tim, really? Talk about odd song choice. I love this song and Miss Baker, but this was never meant to be sung by a guy like Tim. Though he was on-key for most of the performance, his odd stares into the crowd really freak me out. America, he needs to go NOW. Stop voting for him and let’s try to salvage what’s left of this season.

7. Casey James

Performance: Hold On, I’m Comin’ by Sam and Dave
From what I heard, he received massive praise from the judges. Really? I don’t get it. I like Casey and he sang it well enough but it was just blah to me. I hate to use one of Simon’s go-to critiques here, but how is this any different than that local band singing at your local pub? Not so different, is it? Casey needs to go back to singing songs like “Heaven” and forget about being the next Jimi Hendrix.

6. Andrew Garcia

Performance: Forever by Chris Brown
Yay for picking up the guitar again. While the first half was nothing to write home about, Andrew definitely picked it up during the bridge. This is the best he’s sounded in weeks- a definite huge move in the right direction. Though it was good, I think Garcia has sunk too low for any sort of redemption and has zero shot of making the Kodak Theater.

5. Aaron Kelly

Performance: Ain’t No Sunshine by Aaron Kelly
How in the world did Aaron get the pimp spot? While I’m not his biggest fan, I have to admit he sang this song pretty well. Considering he’s a skinny little white boy, he gave some solid soul to his performance. Personally I don’t know why he chose this song. Kris Allen’s stupendous vocals from last year’s performance is still fresh in most Idol fanatic’s memories. If you’re going to pick a song previously sung on Idol, make sure it was performed badly so you can improve upon it.

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4. Lee Dewyze

Performance: Treat Her Like a Lady by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
From a few blogs I’ve read about last night’s performance, Dewyze was a clear favorite. While I admit he’s loosened up a bit and looked more comfortable on stage, I really hope he doesn’t win this year. Sure he’s talented and good looking, but with Kris Allen and David Cook being the last two winners, Idol needs to diversify it’s Idol winners with a different type of singer this year.

3. Katie Stevens

Performance: Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin
Sure Katie’s given some God-awful performances, but when she gets it right… she gets it right. I thought she sounded amazing tonight and looked great too. I heard the judges gave her backhanded compliments and didn’t rightly praise her. Also, I heard Ellen wished she had picked a younger song. How is Katie picking an Aretha song any different from Aaron picking a Bill Withers song? I’m not a big Katie supporter, but I wish the judges would stop picking on her and her song choices. It’s a theme week and she can’t always keep picking current songs- that’s not what Idol is all about.

2. Crystal Bowersox

Performance: Midnight Train To Georgia by Gladys Knight and The Pips
When Crystal said last week she had big plans for this week, she wasn’t kidding. Not only did she forgo without a guitar, but she played the piano and wore STILETTOs. You turn it out girl!!! I wish she had stayed at the piano throughout the performance instead of getting up. In my opinion, it lost a bit of intimacy she provided during the first half. I will however say, I did enjoy her working those stiletto heels and the cinched belt. I’m so glad she decided to change it up this week and showed she’s more than a one-trick guitar pony. Also, who knew she had a falsetto? Crystal FTW (for the win).

1. Michael Lynche

Performance: Ready for Love by India.Arie
Out-fricking-standing. With a soul/R&B theme week, I was expecting him to shine. I just had no idea he would do this well. The guitar, the india.arie track and singing behind the judges. It all worked. Sometimes Big Mike comes off a bit cocky and too “show-boaty” but tonight he showed restraint and humbleness. By far the best performance of the night. If he keeps this up, he’ll definitely be crashing the expected Siobhan/Crystal party at the Kodak.

PREDICTED BOTTOM THREE

Based on tonight’s performances only, Siobhan should really be worried. However I think she’ll be safe due to the fact she’s built up enough good favor with the voting public and escape this awful showing. With Didi getting a one-two-three punch of awful performance, middle performance placing and judge bashing, she’s definitely in jeopardy. I sincerely hope she’ll be saved as it would suck to have three girls go home in a row considering this season was supposed to be all about the girls. Sadly with Tim doing a half-decent job, Didi will be go-go’ing home next.

SHOULD GO: Tim Urban
WILL GO: Didi Benami

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  • EZ

    I wish I could get more worked up about Michael Lynche. I think he is just blah. The older women love him I’m sure.

    Crystal FTW. My favorite since she sang A Natural Woman in Hollywood week.