Idol Thoughts — 03.02.10

I don’t remember this happening before on American Idol; In a last-minute switch, the guys are performing tonight instead of the girls. Crystal Bowersox is in the hospital and wouldn’t have been able to perform. Something to do with diabetes.

Hopefully, it’s not a serious thing for Crystal. She’s on track to do very well in this competition. But how will this play out tonight? Will the guys’ performances suffer in any way by going a day early? Let’s find out (all comments live blogged during the show):

Michael Lynche – “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown – We learn more about “Big Mike” in his video piece. The football playing, not surprising. The musical theater, maybe a little. Tackles the song right from the beginning–more determined than we’ve seen him. Nice vocals again. There’s a few phrases he stops short on–a couple notes he could’ve held longer. But some great soul going on here. Judges praising Mike’s performance. And it does feel like he’s stepped up his game–a lot! Good move.

John Park – “Gravity” by John Mayer – John Park’s backstory is still boring. Video piece not resonating. The singing isn’t doing it for me. Seems a little contrived and too “breathy.” How you do that with a deep voice, I’m not sure. But he manages. Ellen DeGeneres is right, though. Better song choice than last week. Simon Cowell says he’s in trouble, and that sounds about right.

Casey James – “I Don’t Wanna Be” by Gavin DeGraw – From the video piece, we find out that lighting hit their house and blew out the T.V. a while back and they didn’t replace it! Casey claims to have never watched American Idol…or much television at all. Playing some tasty licks on that electric guitar tonight. The vocal is not my fave from him. Despite saying he wanted to do something different, it feels about the same, but not as good as Gavin. But here’s the deal, with his guitar skills and a clear musical mission, this guy’s going to make music people buy. Just needs to settle into that musical mission, whatever it is. He’s close to it now.

Alex Lambert – “Everybody Knows” by John Legend – “I was trying to be so likable, that I wasn’t likable at all.” A good analysis from Alex’s video piece of his performance last week. Playing his acoustic guitar tonight. The prop is helping with the nerves. The vocal feels okay. Great, unique tone. But something about it’s not quite 100 percent for me. Seems like the potential’s there. More work with the vocal coaches will undoubtedly help.

Todrick Hall – “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner – Video piece gives us more info on his theater background–he started as a kid. Todrick’s version is another re-vamping of the original. He slows this one down. A better move than his Kelly Clarkson re-working last week. Here’s the thing, though. These arrangements are all over the place and this one’s showing Todrick’s vocal limitations. So he’s not helping himself. He’s not the strongest guy singing tonight. And that’s that.

Jermaine Sellers – “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye – His video piece reveals that Jermaine “rocks his Onesie.” The silliness of him jumping around in a frog-green Onesie will earn him some votes. The song choice and arrangement won’t silence the judges that this guy is coming off “too old” for this competition. I actually don’t think he’s very good. If Jermaine’s your fave, I say you’re giving him too much credit. Kara DioGuardi‘s got it: He’s doing too much. And all that “over-singing” is making it hard on the ears.

Andrew Garcia – “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison – We learn that Andrew’s a breakdancer. Guitarless tonight. This song’s not suiting his voice. Not working. Love this guy anyway. Great tone. Sounds very recordable. Randy Jackson‘s on top of it: Andrew’s not wasn’t doing his thing–he’s more of a guitar-playing, Jason Mraz-kinda guy. Judges are letting him know.

Aaron Kelly – “My Girl” by the Temptations – The song choice is kind of “talent show.” But his fans will probably dig this. He’s got some vocals in there. But still waiting for him to put it all together: the vocals and song choice. Seems comfortable performing, though. I agree with Simon. I think they could’ve made the arrangement on that more contemporary, and it would’ve had the potential to be much cooler.

Tim Urban – “Come On Get Higher” by Matt Nathanson – Video introduction shows how the judges have been piling on this guy. Tonight, he’s better than last week. That’s not saying too much. His voice seems a little lost inside the song. From the screams in the crowd, it’s clear the ladies love them some Tim Urban. I suspect the votes are there to move him forward. So he’ll get another chance to improve. Good on ya.

Lee Dewyze – “Lips Of An Angel” by Hinder – Lee went to “alternative school” during his high school days, according to his video introduction. I think he sounds great. Just a couple pitchy moments. Lee’s version is more tender than the original and his vocal more nuanced. Judges want him to be more comfortable while he performs. And that’s seems like good advice. Good stuff.

Thoughts? Leave a comment.

Greg Valentine
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