Idol/Spec: Top 12 Performance Show – 3/16/2010

03/17/2010 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Net/Spec | Leave a comment
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American Idol started the Top 12 finals last night in a Rolling Stones theme.

Here’s the recap:

Michael Lynche – “Miss You”


Once again, his vocals were pretty strong.  He seemed to add some R&B to the rock arrangement.  However, being the huge Musiq Soulchild fan that I am, I’ve been spoiled by his take on the song – so I wished that he would have done that version.  The only thing I didn’t care for was his Danny Gokey-type dancing while singing.  His movements started seeming a little corny.  All the judges loved him, except Simon thought the dancing came off a little desperate.

Didi Benami – “Play With Fire”

My favorite female contestant was pretty solid, if not a little uninteresting.  Her voice is so amazing, but this performance didn’t really do anything for me.  Because of that, I was worried that the judges would bash her (like they have done quite a bit in the past).  However, the judges seemed to really love it, and are finally realizing that there’s something special about her.  Friggin finally!

Casey James – “It’s All Over Now”

Man, can he wail on guitar.  His lead guitar skills are off the charts!  That said, I’m not a fan of his voice.  He comes off as SO unnautral up there, throwing on a smile during breaks in lyrics (and any time he’s not speaking).  He seems like such a nice guy, and I’m sure he does it out of nerves, but it can make it seem like he’s going through the motions and not really into the song.  I see tons of musicians in bars like that, where they go through certain motions because “that’s what a rocker does” instead of actually getting into the song.  Once again, the judges raved about it – though Simon thought it seemed like an audition performance.

Lacey Brown – “Ruby Tuesday”

Seriously, what song did you expect her to sing?  With Rolling Stones songs, there was no doubt she’d choose this for her babydoll voice.  She started it out standing next to a few string players, then when she got into the song she walked up and…sat down at the front of the stage.  Again.  Two weeks in a row.  Seriously, stand up, Thundercat Ho!  Are your feet THAT tired that you have to sit for 3 out of your last 4 songs (she also sat on a stool the week of the Top 24)?  May I suggest some orthopedic footwear?

After that, I knew the judges would get on her about that at some point.  Randy somewhat enjoyed it, Ellen didn’t care for it and noted her sitting down, Kara was 50-50 on it, and Simon warned her that she was going to go stale if she just repeated herself each week.

Andrew Garcia – “Gimmie Shelter”

The spark has left this early favorite.  While this performance was alright, he just isn’t the upbeat person he used to be after three weeks of being beaten into the ground by the judges.  However, he has no one to blame but himself.  For two weeks, Didi was destroyed verbally, yet she was able to pick herself back up – yet, it’s obvious Andrew has been greatly affected by the weeks of negative feedback.  His performance went alright, but once it was over and he went to stand and listen to the judges, he looked like a kid who had just been called into the principal’s office (where the kid KNEW what he had done wrong, but hadn’t been called out on it yet).

Randy said his favorite word “pitchy” to describe it, Ellen loved it, Kara thought it was great and that he connected, and Simon guessed that the performance was better in rehearsal & that he hoped he made it to next week.

Katie Stevens – “Wild Horses”

I will ask again: What did you expect her to sing?  The teen girl who doesn’t know who she is will of course pick the most obvious song, and sing it as is.  It was boring and unimpressive – but hey, at least she was already dressed for her school’s spring formal.

The judges loved it.  Randy thought she sang it well, Ellen loved her voice, Kara thought it was better than last week, and Simon once again (like last week) graded her more on effort than the performance.  Sometimes it’s painful how obvious the judge/producer favoritism is.

Tim Urban – “Under My Thumb”

This week’s WTF award goes to Tim.  His weird, Bob Marley/Jason Castro inspired reggae version just didn’t make sense with the song.  How odd was the music versus the lyrics?  Think of Marilyn Manson doing “Jesus Loves Me”.  To be fair, judging by his long nails, he probably could have fit someone “under my thumb (nail)”.  But seriously, it was just weird, and it showed that there’s NO reason he should be in the Top 12. 

The judges were very confused by the whole thing, with Kara being the one with a positive note of him trying something different.

Siobhan Magnus – “Paint It Black”

I may be the only person who doesn’t care for her.  She’s like the female (well, at least more female) version of Adam Lambert, complete with the weekly screaming session to the song.  Ever since she sang Aretha and wowed the judges, every song has those “power notes” which are just her yelling 80s hair metal-style.  Also, the stage lighting favoritism they show her also remind me of Adam.  All of the judges loved it (of course), saying it was the best of the night.

Lee Dewyze – “Beast of Burden”

Someone else I don’t really get, hype-wise.  It was ok, if not underwhelming.  Less pitchy than usual, but still dull.  He’s Nickleback with a sore throat.  Anyway, the judges loved it.  Somehow, Randy was reminded of Rob Thomas (which makes me think he’s never actually heard Rob’s voice), Kara thought he was moving forward faster than the other contestants – however, Ellen expected more from him; and while Simon thought it was good, he was a little concerned that he didn’t really shine like he should have.

Paige Miles – “Honky Tonk Woman”

The name of the song next to her isn’t a mistake.  Someone without an identity on this show (as opposed to the kicked-out Lilly & Katelyn) chose a song that didn’t help with giving her a clear niche.  That said, she sounded better than the past 3 weeks (which is saying a lot since she had just recovered from a bout of laryngitis).  I will give it to her that she does some great karaoke.

The judges all raved about her performance, and really milked the sympathy angle (about her illness) so she didn’t have to. 

Aaron Kelly – “Angie”

He actually did very well with this song.  Nothing is ever incredibly special about his performances, but this one was really good – compared to his other songs (most of the other Top 12 could still sing him until a table).  All of the judges agreed that this was a very strong performance for him.

Crystal Bowersox – “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

Vocally, it wasn’t her strongest song.  However, she’s one of the best all-around performers in the Top 12.  She sells the lyrics to her songs in her presentation, and just makes it feel so natural.  All the judges loved it, but Simon thought she really needs to step up and push herself. 


So who is in the bottom 3, and who is going home?  Honestly, it’s so hard to guess early into the finals, since voting patterns haven’t been set yet.

But if I HAD to guess, I’d put Tim, Lacey, & Katie in the bottom 3 (with an alternate being Paige).  I’d say that Tim will be going home tonight – however, those guesses are based on the performances and not how I feel America will vote.

What’d you think of the show?  Who do you think are in the bottom 3?  Who is going home?


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