Posts Tagged Michael Lynche

Idol Thoughts – 05.12.10

So, last night Michael Lynche was eliminated (again) on American Idol. Here’s a few thoughts this morning, to use Ryan Seacrest‘s careful wording from last night, “in no particular order.”

First off, those Seacrest words were kinda an important detail last night. If you missed them, you might’ve assumed Crystal Bowersox was in the Bottom Two. We really don’t know. The finalists were sent to safety (and the Top 3) one at a time, starting with Casey James, then Lee DeWyze, then Crystal Bowersox.

We don’t know who got the most votes. We don’t know who got the second least. All we know is Big Mike got the lowest amount. Some Idol fans might be frustrated by that. I’m not. In fact, I kinda like knowing that I don’t know. It adds an element of surprise to the two upcoming weeks.

This brings up another thought. Is a Lee-Crystal finale a done deal? They seem to have been the front-runners for a while now. Is there anything Casey can do next week to change that? I don’t know the answer to that. I’d be curious what others think.

I see two sides. On the one hand, yes, they’re the front-runners and it makes sense. Casey’s been in the Bottom Two a couple times. Lee and Crystal have never been. On the other hand, the last two seasons have had guy vs. guy finales, making it seem the block of females who simply vote for their favorite “cute guy” have taken over once and for all. (And c’mon, you know that block of voters exists. Don’t hate on me for pointing it out.)

And let’s not eliminate one other scenario. Casey delivers an amazing performance next week, and America responds with well-deserved votes, sending him into the finale. I honestly like all three. So whatever happens, I’ll be sad to see one leave, but happy for the other two.

Nevertheless (here comes another thought), I think I’m on board with the growing number of voices out there saying this is one of Idol‘s most boring seasons. No Paula Adbul. Simon Cowell seems like he’s already moved on mentally to his next show, the U.S. version of X Factor. And after a season featuring contestants with pipes and big-to-solid personalities (Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta), this season’s Top 12 are a bit dry.

But I think it’s too easy (and too “fashionable”) to say this is the most boring season. The fact is Crystal Bowersox is unlike any Idol contestant before, not unlike how Adam Lambert was in his way last year. In some previous seasons, the likes of Bo Bice and Diana DeGarmo made it into the finale. Heck, Taylor Hicks won the thing! I’d hope even the biggest Crystal hater would agree she’s more talented than the likes of them.

Another thought, what’s the real point of the “Judge’s Save?” Is it to give a performer another chance to win the show? I say no. I don’t think anyone who gets saved will ever win Idol. There’s some fundamental reason why people weren’t voting for that person that won’t go away just because the judge’s override America’s decision.

Clearly, the save is a ratings gimmick for the show, thought of in some brainstorming meeting as producers looked for ways to freshen the show as ratings began to dip. Whether it’s helping ratings remains to be seen. The one thing The Save does do is help a performers recording career. No doubt Michael Lynche will sell more music now then he would have if he’d gone home six weeks ago.

A couple other things we learned last night: winning American Idol doesn’t guarantee you’ll sound great my to ears six years later (Fantasia Barrino, who wowed me back-in-the-day, but not-so-much last night); Finishing fourth on Idol doesn’t mean you won’t go on to be the show’s third biggest-selling artist (Daughtry, my fave then…and now); And that Bon Jovi rocks. I guess that last one was never really in question.

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 05.11.10

I’m surprised by this. But as a theme week on American Idol, “movie songs” doesn’t hold up very well for me.

Sure, it’s a way to put some limits on what song the contestants sing. But genre-wise, movie songs can be every and any genre. So musically, it really isn’t a “theme” at all.

On top of that, I never feel any connection between the performance on the Idol stage to the films the songs are from. Maybe they could show some footage from the movie on the screen behind the singers as they perform? Just thinking out loud. I’m sure that costs money Idol producers would rather not spend.

For that matter, it’d be somewhat dubious to resurrect some of last night’s movies. Helping a giant killer whale find freedom? The second worst Batman movie? A 40-year old AFI Top 100 classic–that 80% of Idol‘s audience has never seen?

Jamie Foxx returned last night. With success in both the films and music, you couldn’t book a guest mentor that makes more sense. Even so, there was a tinge of “been there, done that” seeing that Foxx was on just last season. Foxx got in the finalists faces (literally) and pushed them to be “artists,” not “contestants,” even bestowing tee shirts to the singers with those words on them at the end of his time with them. Big Mike seemed a little put off when Foxx tried to hand him the “contestant” tee. Mike said no, he wouldn’t take it. Foxx didn’t argue. Hey, it’s “Big” Mike…probably wasn’t the right size, anyway!

In addition, the duets were back last night. To save the night, I should say. They turned out to be the highlights. I guess I’m not surprised. On a season where there’s been a shortage of personality, there’s a better chance of getting some when you double these finalists up. Here’s everything ranked, individual and duet performances all together:

1) Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox – “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (from the film Once) – Probably my favorite performance of the entire season. This really worked. Lee and Crystal sang as if something really mattered. Not that they don’t on their own. They do. But the passion was stronger here than ever before. I’ve always felt the best duets allow the individuals to spotlight their vocal strengths while finding some shared, harmonic area. Lee and Crystal nailed that. They made a strong argument for a Lee-Crystal finale.

2) Casey James and Michael Lynche – “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” by Bryan Adams (from the film Don Juan DeMarco) – Another solid duet with some tight harmonies and skillful guitar-work from Casey. Although after singing the opening verse, it seemed to me Casey became Mike’s back-up singer; Casey sounded lower in the vocal mix. That said, “Big Mike” was clearly better suited vocally for the song. And Mike made the most of it, getting more mileage out of his singing here than on his solo song.

3) Crystal Bowersox – “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins (from the film Caddyshack) – Hey, at least it wasn’t “Footloose.” Can you imagine someone doing that? I can. He name is Tim Urban, and he got voted off weeks ago. So, this was kind of a cheesy song choice for Crystal. I’m guessing Crystal loves the comedy goldmine that is Caddyshack (as should everybody!!). As such, Crystal probably has fonder thoughts about this song than are really deserved. On a night where the other finalists’ solo efforts came up short, Crystal made the most of this one, giving it an energetic, bluesy-rock, Janis Joplin vocal.

4) Casey James – “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel (from the film The Graduate) – Oh, c’mon! You know Casey was talked into performing this song by someone behind-the-scenes, right? So the show could play up the whole “Kara DioGuardi is Mrs. Robinson” storyline. Hey, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But outside of that particular  storyline on AI9 (like in, you know, the real world), I’m not sure how Casey doing this song is relevant. At least that’s what I was saying as I was tapping my toes and diggin’ this sit-down, ukulele version. It all came together and worked.

5) Lee DeWyze – “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal (from the film Batman Forever) – This is a complicated song to sing. If you don’t believe me, you try and sing it! The vocal range needed is huge. Bigger than what Lee has. So he did what he could. I happen to love his voice. So I enjoy even a lesser Lee performance. This was a lesser Lee performance. Good thing for Lee he had the duet tonight.

6) Michael Lynche – “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson (from the film Free Willy) – My problem with Big Mike is this. He usually sounds good. Just fine. Nothing really wrong. And yet, I’m just not excited by it. Ever. Well, maybe not ever; “Woman’s Work” was great. So my problem with Big Mike seems to be…I’m not a fan. And it’s beginning to look like that’s not gonna happen. But there’s absolutely nothing about what he’s doing that offends my musical senses. Odd moment: we learned that Big Mike’s goal is to make the Top 3. Really? Not…to win this?

Here’s some predictions. Yep, I continue to make them, even after three consecutive misses! Hey, Shaq doesn’t stop shooting free throws, does he? The Bottom Two tonight seems clear: Casey James and Michael Lynche. Not making the Top 3: Michael Lynche.

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 05.04.10

Seems like the turnaround time on these American Idol “theme nights” is getting shorter and shorter. Yes, Idol producers, you can call it something different. But I know that “Beatles Night” and “Lennon and McCartney Songbook” are the same thing. Same goes for last night’s “Frank Sinatra Night,” which comes fairly quickly after last season’s “Rat Pack Night.”

This is more an observation, and not really a complaint. There was something very satisfying, and a little different, about last night’s episode. And all the credit for that goes to guest mentor Harry Connick Jr., whose hands-on approach to the gig was the equivalent of a sit-down restaurant to the normal fast-food mentor.

Connick told Idol producers he wanted to arrange and score the contestants’ songs and perform with them, along with several members of his band, on stage. They said yes. And the end result: Harry Connick Jr., with his easy-going charm, humor, and superb musicianship and showmanship, was the real winner of the night.

The usual routine with Idol guest mentors is the famous singer meets with contestants, listens to them sing their song, and offers a suggestion or two. Connick’s approach was far more entertaining–and valid.

For starters, this sort of collaboration is what’s ahead for a few of these Top 5 finalists. When they go in to make their first album, they’re gonna need to be ready to follow the directions of the expensive producers that have been brought in to create potential hit songs for them. And in the real world, when it comes to performing standards like these Sinatra songs with a big band, this is the normal route. Singers usually defer to the expertise of their band leaders when it comes to the arrangements.

So, how did the Top 5 do? Here are their performances ranked:

1) Lee DeWyze – “That’s Life” – I flip-flopped my Top 2 after about the third listen to each of their songs. Ultimate Lee won out for “completing the assignment” while retaining his own “voice.” Lee was the only one who really manged to stay himself last night; the others took on the persona of the music they were performing. Lee did have a couple moments where he was off-beat with the big band performing behind him. I’d chalk that up to being a little uncomfortable with singing someone else’s arrangement, seeing as doing his own arrangement is kinda Lee’s “thing.” Lee also had a break-through night in getting the audience behind him. This performance was a crowd-pleaser on a level Lee hadn’t hit yet. That’s huge step forward for Lee, with the finale on the horizon.

2) Crystal Bowersox – “Summer Wind” – I can’t say for sure why Simon Cowell was so critical on Crystal last night. I can only say I believe Simon’s being disingenuous. There’s no way he didn’t appreciate this performance. Crystal’s voice was pure and her phrasing the best of the night. Sure, the big vocals of the second half of the song were more impressive than the quieter first half. But Crystal’s explanation of why she approached the song that way demonstrated that she “gets” this kind of music. She was right. Lee and Crystal go on my iPod this week. And I have to assume Simon’s up to something. Either making Crystal feel like an underdog again to get her enough sympathy to catapult her to the finals. Or (yikes), trying to sabotage her chances. You have to wonder what Idol producers are thinking right about now when it comes to a possible Crystal album. What kinda album would that be? And can it be the huge commercial pop success that they want it to be?

3) Michael Lynche – “The Way You Look Tonight” – Big Mike benefited from Connick’s best arrangement of the night. But that’s not to short-change the vocal, which was solid, and the presentation (old-school suit and fedora), which was fun and fitting. Good stuff. Not in danger of going home tonight.

4) Aaron Kelly – “Fly Me To The Moon” – At 17-years old, Aaron probably had the biggest hurdle in front of him last night–convincingly performing these standards from an ancient era. Fortunately, he picked a very accessible Sinatra song, and turned in a solid performance. There wasn’t much sizzle. And I agree with Simon that he was a “mouse” to Sinatra’s “lion.” But as anyone who’s tried to get rid of a mouse can tell you, they’re pretty crafty.

5) Casey James – “Blue Skies” – Rough night for Casey. Being stripped of his guitar, and having to follow someone else’s musical direction, really screwed with this guy’s head–and his performance showed it! Casey looked awkward and uncomfortable on-stage and seemed to wander without purpose as he sang. You could almost see on Casey’s face as he sang a sort of resignation to his fate; that with appearances in the Bottom Two the last two weeks, this was not going to end well for him. Regardless, Casey’s been one of this season’s faves at our house. So we’ll be looking forward to what he does next.

Predictions for tonight? Well, I kinda just made them. But to formalize, the Bottom Two tonight will be Aaron Kelly and Casey James. And it’s the end of the road for Casey James.

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 04.28.10

If Siobhan Magnus had the personality of Lacey Brown or Didi Benami, she would’ve been voted off American Idol weeks ago.

There, I said it. Somebody has to step up with a reality check.

In the blogiverse this morning, I’m seeing a lot use of the words “shocker” and “shocking” to describe last night’s ouster of Siobhan. Unexpected, yes. But hardly “shocking.”

If you were gonna make a wager, you probably would’ve felt safer saying it’d be Michael Lynche, Casey James or Aaron Kelly. But the here’s the deal. Siobhan’s performances have been uneven, self-indulgent, and have failed to show growth. These are all the ingredients that lead to someone getting voted off.

“Paint It Black” was Siobhan’s “Straight Up,” to compare her fate to this season’s Andrew Garcia. Her version of that Rolling Stones song was the shining moment that earned her the goodwill with voters that sailed her through the weeks that followed as she floundered.

In my opinion, “Paint It Black” also revealed the correct musical road for Siobhan, a road she seemingly didn’t want to travel. “Punky” and “rocker” is who she is a person. And that’s what she sounds the best doing. But for some reason, Siobhan sees herself as an R&B diva. I think. I’m a little unclear, because over the last several weeks, it’s been clear Siobhan herself is not clear who is she as a recording artist.

So, I’m OK with last night’s verdict. I won’t be joining the hysteria. This was not a “shocker.” It was just. Even so, Siobhan’s personality will be missed. She basically was the only finalist with one this season! She was an Adam Lambert “lightning bolt” in a cast of Kris Allen “nice guys.” Unfortunately, Siobhan didn’t have the vocal prowess or nuance of Lambert–or Allen. Or we’d be seeing her next week.

(Add unnecessary, self-indulgent, long scream to end blog here.)

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts – 04.27.10

Shania Twain. Country crossover superstar who’s lived for years in a chateau in Switzerland and seemingly “retired” from music way before her time. Meanwhile, we’ve since learned her husband and musical partner, producer Robert “Mutt” Lange, was having an affair with their secretary/chateau manager. Mutt divorced Shania to be with his mistress. Then Shania started dating that woman’s ex-husband!

Damn! What was really going on at that chateau? Sounds like that would’ve made a hell of a reality show.

As for the “Songs of Shania Twain” episode of American Idol last night, it wasn’t nearly as compelling or intriguing. But it was great seeing Shania again, who mentored this week and who was a guest judge earlier this season during the Chicago auditions. Yes, since her divorce, we’ve seeing much more of Shania than in recent years–which is always good news for my eyes.

So let’s go to the rankings and see who impressed me much, and the ones that don’t:

1) Casey James – “Don’t” – Casey got the message. That appearance in the Bottom Two last week was America saying, “Give us something different, change it up!” The thing that pushed Casey to the top in my rankings this week was “salesmanship.” He really reached inside and sold this sit-down, acoustic-guitar ballad. Yes, the song challenged Casey’s vocal limitations. He made sure not to push too hard for notes that are beyond his grasp. Smartly executed. This one goes on my iPod.

2) Lee DeWyze – “You’re Still The One” – Love this guy’s voice. That’s the only reason I’d rank this performance this highly. Lee stayed kinda close to the original arrangement. Even so, I thought he struggled a little to stay in key. After hearing the nice changes he made to the very end of the song, I kinda wished he would’ve re-vamped more of it. This was not his best, and I wasn’t entirely sold on Lee as “The Love Song Guy.” But tonight, it was good enough. The others listed below could’ve stepped up on this list. But didn’t quite get there.

3) Aaron Kelly – “You’ve Got A Way” – Finally a theme week that plays to Aaron’s strengths. And Aaron delivered a solid version of this country ballad. Of course, that was to be expected. This is exactly the kind of music he should be recording. Aaron will snag a few extra votes this week by making sure everyone knew that he was “thinking of his mom” when he sang. Based on a couple recent Bottom Three appearances, those extra votes will probably come in handy.

4) Michael Lynche – “It Only Hurts When I Breathe” – Big Mike went “Luther Vandross” on this song. Nice-sounding results. Well-played. I’m rooting for this guy to do something that I want to put on my iPod. Hasn’t happened yet.

5) Crystal Bowersox – “No One Needs To Know” – Yeah, wow. I thought this was a mess. And Crystal’s usually at or near the top of my list. Some of the problems were out of Crystal’s control. The group of musicians performing with her didn’t seem to be on the same page. The playing was sloppy and the background vocals were doing their own thing, not following Crystal’s lead. Nevertheless, Crystal’s responsible for the song choice, which could’ve been much better. Honestly, too bad for Crystal she didn’t get to “Don’t” before Casey did. Crystal needs a song like “Don’t” that reveals some vulnerabilities–that something matters to her on a personal level. I think Crystal’s going to need a moment like that to keep the momentum going before the inevitable anti-Crystal backlash kicks in. And believe, it’s coming. This is Idol. And that’s how this thing goes.

6) Siobhan Magnus – “Any Man Of Mine” – Overpraised by the judges last night. It’s like the judges were told the show’s running late, be quick with your comment, and just decided to say, “Yeah, whatever, it was good.” It wasn’t. I think Siobhan’s performance, while more fun to watch than Crystal’s, lacked the sass of Shania’s original. Lately, Siobhan’s vocals haven’t been living up to what I originally thought they were. And the return of the screaming big note at the end of the song? Totally unnecessary. But, I suspect there’s a ton of Idol viewers who are not country music fans. For a bunch of those people, I’m guessing Siobhan’s was the performance of the night.

It’s interesting that the guys fared better with the Shania songs, and that the two women came up short. That’s counter-intuitive. But that is what is was.

Now for some predictions. I honestly forget if they do a Bottom Three this week. I think so. With only six left, that’s half of them in “the bottom.” So I think this week in particular, almost anyone could end up in there. Here’s what I’m feeling. Bottom Three tonight: Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly and Siobhan Magnus. Siobhan gets sent to safety. Between Big Mike and Little Aaron, Michael Lynche exits.

Of course, this is the third time this season I’ve predicted a Big Mike/Aaron Kelly showdown, and it hasn’t happen yet!

Greg Valentine
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Idol Thoughts — 04.20.10

Seems like Songs of Inspiration Week would be the perfect time for the Top 7 to step things up on American Idol. Well, with only a couple exceptions, there wasn’t much “climbing the highest mountain, swimming the deepest ocean” going on last night.

Inspired was the choice in mentors, though. Alicia Keys! A true artist assisting on the season with the largest number of finalists who seem to know “who they are” as artists.

Here are last night’s performances ranked:

1) Crystal Bowersox – “People Get Ready” by Curtis Mayfield – So, why was this the standout performance of the night? Was it because Crystal broke into tears at the end of the song (photo)? No. But that doesn’t hurt her cause. Crystal’s kept her emotions under wraps all season. So much, you have to wonder if Idol voters believe Crystal even wants to win. When the report came out this week that Crystal almost quit the show a couple weeks ago, I’m thinking most Idol fans said, “Yeah, that sounds about right.” Never has there been a front-runner who seems so reluctant. A sign that all this matters is what the audience wants to see from Crystal. So the tears last night were a good thing. So was losing the guitar. The instruments, whether it’s her frequent acoustic guitar or the piano a couple weeks ago, have unintentionally been another barrier between Crystal and the audience. And looking ahead to the finale, where she’d be performing three songs, Crystal’s going to need to mix things up (maybe a song on guitar, another on piano, the other as front-woman sans instrument). So it was a big night for “Mama Sox.” But why was it the standout? Because it sounded the best. An effortless greatness that also was the most inspirational.

2) Lee DeWyze – “The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkle – This was something special. Lee continues to make inspired song choices. One of his best performances this season. And as my girlfriend said last night, Lee is “getting cuter and cuter.” I suspect that means the Idol stylists are doing their jobs, the makeover tweaks preparing Lee for a possible finale showdown with Crystal. But I’m not saying that’s a done deal. A big part in determining who makes the finals is popularity (naturally). There’s five weeks of competition between now and then. Still time for others up their games, make fans, and earn votes.

3) Casey James – “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac – I think Casey’s gonna take a hit this week with Idol fans. Yes, Casey critics, I agree with you. We’ve heard the song Casey did last night several times this season. Yeah, the song has a different name. But it’s basically the same song, right? Well here’s the deal. Casey was full of energy and joy and sounded great (again) last night. Sure it was another missed opportunity. Casey would benefit from another ballad moment like his “Jealous Guy.” And Inspiration Week would be an obvious time to pull that off. But despite its not being what we were hoping for, Casey’s “Don’t Stop” simply out-shined the four less-inspired efforts listed below.

4) Aaron Kelly – “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly – Looks like Aaron Kelly has a new strategy: sing songs by artists with “Kelly” in their names. Next week, some Kelly Clarkson? I say this song with too big for Aaron’s voice, and another in an increasing long list of “hacky” song choices. But Aaron still has a voice I like listening to. He’s going to sound great in the studio. Not crazy great last night. But on a night with few home runs, this effort put him solidly in the middle of the pack.

5) Michael Lynche – “Hero” by Chad Kroger featuring Josey Scott – When they said Big Mike was singing “Hero,” I was like, “Which one?” There’s, like, 50 songs called “Hero.” So, it was the Spider-Man song.  I’m cool with that. Simon Cowell wasn’t. But c’mon, Simon. What’s more inspiring than Spider-Man? And in those months after 9/11, I remember our audience really responding to this song when we played it on the radio. Anyway, Big Mike’s version was just OK. From the way it started, I thought he might take it in a “Seal” direction. Maybe “Kiss From A Rose” the song up. I think Mike should’ve done exactly that, instead of retaining the original’s rock structure. To my ears, Mike didn’t have the fullness of voice to pull it off. But I am impressed that Big Mike has a “playbook,” a list of songs he’s been keeping in case he ever made it to Idol. That shows a desire to win that we haven’t been seeing from front-runner like, well, Crystal.

6) Siobhan Magnus – “When You Believe” by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey – Gotta give Siobhan props for guts. Idol contestants don’t usually do well singing Whitney songs. Or Mariah songs. Siobhan did the one that’s by both! Here’s the best way I can explain what Siobhan’s problem is: during her song last night, she hit an especially bad note, then immediately followed that with one of her best. That inconsistency and unevenness sums it up. Siobhan has a big voice. But the way she uses it isn’t always pleasing to the ears. Sometimes I love what I’m hearing. Other times not. And lately, it’s been both of those in the same song. Ultimately, I can’t put half-satisfying performances on my iPod. Siobhan has got to put it all together.

7) Tim Urban – “Better Days” by the Goo Goo Dolls – This was a step backwards for Tim, who’s still striving for believability and credibility. To be fair, it was a step down from his performances the last couple weeks, still a step up from his early season efforts. Tim had trouble staying on-key last night. And the song was a little larger than what he bought to it. I’d say Tim should stick with the intimate ballad interpretations he’s had the most success with, like last week’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”

So, how will things go down tonight? It’s a week ripe for surprises. Before I pick a Bottom Three, let me say who won’t be in it and why. Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze, because, well, duh! Also Siobhan Magnus and Tim Urban. Their fans have bought tickets to ride their respective trains. Those people are now “invested” in Siobhan and Tim, regardless of their weekly performances. And the numbers of those fans are big.

So, here’s what I’m feeling. In the Bottom Three: Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche and…Casey James. Casey gets sent to safety. And between Big Mike and Little Aaron, Michael Lynche gets the ax.

Where’s Spider-Man when you need him?

Greg Valentine
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ldol Thoughts — 04.14.10

It seems like every time the judges on American Idol tell the contestants to “be an artist” and “take these old songs and make them contemporary,” the next night AI producers force the finalists to sing the cheesiest, Cheez Whiz medley imaginable.

We learned that again last night. But I’m guessing Elvis Presley wouldn’t have minded. He probably loved him some Cheez Whiz on those days when the provisions were running low for peanut butter and ‘nana sandwiches.

So, we found out the names of the two finalists heading home last night, in addition to learning that driving a Ford hybrid will actually lead to trees growing in the middle of city streets. Who knew? For that matter, who was the wicked genius that decided to call what’s basically another television commercial “the Ford Music Video?” Brilliant!

But I digress. Yes, it was two that had to leave, as result of “The Save” being enacted by the judges last week. And just minutes into the show, BANG! Andrew Garcia, you’re going home. Guess producers knew that viewers kinda sensed Andrew would be one of them–might as well get that out of way early.

They waited til the last minutes of the show to send Katie Stevens home. Katie was paired with Michael Lynche as they awaited news of their fates. We’re used to seeing them next each other as the “Bottom Two.” So for a moment, many people probably wondered if Big Mike had come up short in the voting again. He didn’t. Ryan Seacrest announced Big Mike wasn’t even in the Bottom Three this week.

Somebody lucked out last night. Because of the way the results were announced, nobody other than Andrew and Katie bears the stigma of being in the Bottom Three. We all have our best guesses who that third contestant might have been. But we don’t know for sure. So it’s a nice, clean slate for the remaining seven going into Idol Gives Back week, where the show may or may not eliminate another contestant. In 2007, they didn’t because of the charity nature of the week; but in 2008 they did.

Other than that, last night saw the welcome return of Adam Lambert to the Idol stage. Wearing a shiny silver suit jacket that The King himself would’ve worn, were it not for the pointy metallic studs, Lambert gave a smoke-and-laser performance of his hit, “Whataya Want From Me.”

And Season 7’s Brooke White returned for a duet with Nashville Star wannabe, underwear model and former Miley Cyrus boyfriend, Justin Gaston. They performed a version of Elvis’ inspirational tune, “If I Can Dream,” which is (apparently) available for free download on iTunes. Don’t all y’all run away from this blog at once to get that, lol.

Actually, I was wondering why none of the contestants performed “If I Can Dream.” Now I know. Too bad. Great song, well-suited for Siobhan Magnus‘ big voice. Even Katie Stevens could’ve done enough with the song to save her own butt this week. But hey, free download.

Those are my thoughts today. Yours?

Greg Valentine
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