Idol Thoughts — 05.05.10

So, the Top 5 on American Idol learned their fate last night on, of all days, Cinco de Mayo (cinco = five). And as fate would have it, the one guy who could’ve used a tequila shot the most just happened to be the only one who can’t drink legally: Aaron Kelly.

Fate kinda sucks, sometimes. But, keeping with the theme of Sinatra Week, “That’s Life.” More about Aaron’s departure in a moment.

I believe a sort of travesty was avoided last night. Of all the finalists, Casey James got screwed with the most by the change of format Tuesday night.

I’m talking about the contestants having to sing Harry Connick Jr.‘s arrangements and perform with him and what was largely his band. Don’t get me wrong. I still believe that was an awesome exercise and learning experience. And I believe the next American Idol should be able to navigate a night like Tuesday and shine.

But it was horrible timing for Casey, who’d just spent two weeks in the Bottom Two, and who had to change his style as an artist the most to accommodate the structure of the Harry Connick Jr. mentoring. Tuesday was the first time this season Casey’s had to perform without a guitar in his hand. Keep in mind, that’s what Casey does. That’s his whole thing. It’s not a minor change.

Seems to me, they should’ve found a way to incorporate Casey’s acoustic guitar into that arrangement of “Blue Skies.” But they didn’t, and wandering around on stage trying to be the crooner he has no desire to be, Casey looked awkward and unsure of himself. It affected his performance, which was arguably his worst.

It’s no wonder, with those consecutive appearances in the Bottom Two, and the awkwardness of Tuesday, that so many in the “Idol Blogiverse” (including myself) were predicting that Casey would would packing his guitars this morning and heading back to Texas.

Oh, who were those bloggers? Ummm, virtually 100% of all the big ones: James Cantiello (MTV), Steve Gidlow (In Touch Weekly), Jessica Herndon (People), Joseph Kapsch (, Brian Mansfield (USA Today), Shirley Halperin (L.A. Times), Lyndsey Parker (Yahoo), Ann Powers (L.A. Times), Rickey Yaneza ( and Mara Reinstein (Us Weekly). Good on ya, Michael Slezak (Entertainment Weekly), for getting this one right!

How Casey ended up in the Bottom Two when he had performances I ranked as strong, but escaped the Bottom Two when he had his worst, is another of those Idol “Unsolved Mysteries.” But I’m glad he’s still around. He’s one of my faves, and deserves at shot a making the Top 3.

As for Aaron Kelly, he’s got a very recordable voice. At 17, this may or may not be “his time.” But surely as he seasons and develops his persona, he’s got a legit shot at recording some music that sells. My guess is he’ll go down the “New Country” road, making music that falls squarely between Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift. Seems to me, that’d be a strong move.

Greg Valentine
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1 Comment »

  1. Beverly said

    You didn’t include all the best music bloggers in your list. I read the very best and most insightful Idol writer, Davido LegEagle, at his blog named “The Jukebox Hero”. Mr. Davido believes like alot of people do that Idol is unjustly conjuring up soft, syrupy music nights to take away the rock and take the guitar out of Casey’s hands. He just posted another new Casey story today. Davido LegEagle is by far the best Idol blogger around.

    —Beverly Goodroe

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