American Idol Finale review: Crystal Bowersox Knocks out Lee DeWyze

If anyone that is reading this article remembers Muhammad Ali, you will certainly remember the rope-a-dope.  Ali had used the technique in prior fights, but it became famous in his historic battle to retake the world championship from George Foreman in what was certain  to be a humiliation for Ali.

Ali sat back for seven rounds and let Foreman do his worst.  He essentially played possum and made it look like the only man in the fight was Foreman.  Then, gradually, he emerged, stinging Foreman with shots George didn’t even know existed and certainly had never felt in his career.  The slow motion shots of Foreman’s head being twisted unnaturally b y Ali’s shots with sweat and blood flying are not to be forgotten.  Ali fooled everyone, including big George.

Why do we bring this up here?  Because tonight’s competition was not close.  And one performer had laid back on the ropes for the past several weeks,  performing well enough to stay in the competition, but never knocking anyone dead.  This performer had been knocking them dead the first several weeks, but smartly pulled back.  The other performer worked to the front spot fighting to prove that this was not going to be a one horse race.

The Crystal Bowersox Strategy

The rope-a-dope worked.  We believe Crystal held back the last several weeks intentionally to make this her victory in this finale more convincing.  She brought all we remember her for when she started, and we do not think this was any accident.  She came out with her knock-out punches after seeming to play possom hanging on the ropes.  Now there is no question, she dealt the final knockout blow.

Crystal did not just beat Lee, she humiliated him.  Lee never had a chance.

Lee made it much worse.  Earlier in the season we have noted that Lee has often been OA.  He has had bizarre overplayed performances with church choirs and bagpipes and God knows what, and whenever he does this, he looks stupid.

Instead of just being himself, he did it again.  He had huge choirs and overplayed performances that he would hever do under normal circumstances.  Other than his first rather good performance of the Boxer, he had choirs everywhere.  and they ate up his perforamnce alive revealing his insigificance.  They diminished the voice and the unique nature of the man and left us with wondering what happened to the performer we liked over the last several weeks.

We would try to sum up each song and give the points for each, but Crystal nailed every song, and other than his first song, Lee sounded silly.  He has such a recordable voice and it was buried in noise.  He will still make more money than the petty million dollar token trust fund he would have won anyway, so it won’t matter much.

But we can guarantee, Lee will make it on his voice, and he will never make it if he tries to become the lead in a church choir with bagpipes.

American Idol Season 9 Review: Final Two – Whoops, We Forgot One Already

The final three are the correct final three, but honestly, it has been evident for weeks there are two performers at the top of this competition.

Each performer got to pick a song. and then had the judges pick a song for them. Fair enough it seems, but it gives the judges the chance to destroy a performer’s opportunity by specifically targeting something outside of their comfort zone. It also can allow the judges to screw up a performer’s chances by making a horrible song choice like Paula did to xxx last season.

This season though, it didn’t really matter. What happened was predictable from as early as three to five weeks ago.

Round 1: Contestant’s pick

Casey James – “OK It’s Alright With Me” by Eric Hutchinson– To have to go first is often the guaranteed exit strategy on American Idol. Statistically, it is the position that consistently results in the fewest votes. Casey added to his dilemma by putting in a less than stellar effort. Casey’s song has the potential to be done powerfully and could be made to sound like a hit song. But Casey did it with no variation in the tone and it was dull. It was nice, but it just had no pizazz. (6/10)

Crystal Bowersox – “Come To My Window” by Melissa Etheridge – Crystal clearly has the voice to pull this song off, and we know she can sing any Melissa song and kill it. But she just didn’t come across as though she felt it which is what Melissa is about. The judges tried to pinpoint why the performance was less than stellar, but the primary reason is this song is all about putting your heart into it, and Crystal put her left kidney into it instead. The performance did nothing for us. In this instance, Crystal did not blow our Bowersox off. (6/10)

Lee DeWyze – “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd – They gave Lee the strong position letting him finish last. Just like being first is usually the end of the season for a performer, this position tends to generate the most votes. Lee complemented the position by being great. He honestly does sound like Ken Block of Sister Hazel. And that is a great sound to possess. Just ask Ken and his fans. Lee did an excellent version of the song and made it recognizably his. (10/10)

Round 2: Judge’s pick

Casey James – Kara and Randy choose “Daughter” by John Mayer – We don’t love this song on the radio because it sounds like stupid advice being forced upon us by a total narcissist. John Mayer sounds like he is telling us to be good to our daughters because John might nail one some day. Casey didn’t come across like that at all. He did an excellent version that showed respect for women instead. We liked it…a bunch, and would rather listen to it on the radio than the original Mayer version any day. The judges missed this as Casey’s moment. Unfortunately, that first song was a disaster. (9/10)

Crystal Bowersox – Ellen Degeneres chose “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney – Boy did this song choice sound like an attempt to bury Crystal’s chances. It had disaster written all over it. After that first performance, it was possible even Casey could have sent her packing. Crystal pulled a Pheonix on this one, rising from the ashes and performing this song like she should have done the first. She sang it without guitar, she felt it (and we did too) and sang it so much better than the corny McCartney version that we have to say this was hit material. (10/10)

Lee DeWyze – Simon Cowell chose “Hallelujah” by (Too many covers, originally by Leonard Cohen)- There is an acronym that immediately came to mind watching this performance. OA. It stands for Over-Acting. The performance made us roll our eyes it was just so overdone. We had a choir of black women singing, we had smoke rising like we were all going to heaven with Lee, and we also had trouble holding down dinner. The judges praised this Lee’s moment, but Lee even sounded corny thanking Simon for choosing the song. This wasn’t Lee. At least we hope it wasn’t or he won’t get far next week. It was a predictable performance in an overdone setting. The judges were way off the mark on this one. (6/10)

Conclusion:

So, where does that leave us? Exactly where we expected to be. Casey is done. He is not in the same league as Lee and Crystal and that has been evident for weeks.

That is not a negative for Casey really, because no one was in Crystal and Lee’s league. We could have warped to the final weeks ago and skipped some of those painful evenings like Sinatra night.

Casey pulled off a very respectable 15 points in our judging though, and that places him just inches behind Lee and Crystal after the two blew performances they should have killed. So kudos for being in it Casey. Had you not done that first song like your grandmother was singing it, who knows? Maybe you could have proven us wrong.

Lee and Crystal basically tied. Crystal has to learn she must always feel her songs and sing like she did in her second performance or Lee will eat her alive. Lee has to cut out the corniness or people will be rolling their eyes and voting for Crystal. Choirs and angels are for dead folk or church, and bagpipes belong in Scotland not on the Idol stage.

American Idol 9 Top 4 Review: Movie Themes Are Dull and So Was Tonight

We are kind of getting bored with the this show.  It appears the judges and producers cannot hear themselves.

First they want people to sound current, and then then have them do Sinatra and Elvis.  Now this week, they have them do movie themes?  What could possibly be less relevant for new performers than to sing tunes from old movies?

And then they have the performers play duets?  That is just plain unfair.  You cannot pair up two men doing a duet easily, but a woman/man pairing is much more natural.  So anyone that got Bowersox was going to naturally sound better.  We therefore find the duet competition inherently unfair.

Still, the outcome is rather predictable.


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Solos:

1. Lee DeWyze – “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal from Batman Forever– Lee didn’t change this song up like he normally does.  His sound was great, but he just played the original.  Lee is normall off key at times, and we found it amusing that the judges pointed it out like it was some kind of revelation.  Being on key is not Lee’s strong point, it is being original.  This wasn’t.  7/10

2. Michael Lynche – “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson from Free Willy– Boring.  6/10


3. Casey James – “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkle from The Graduate – This is a classic tune from The Graduate in which Mrs. Robinson seduced a younger man.  Of course, with the theme of the season being Casey’s seduction by Shania Tain and Kara, we think it a comical choice showing Casey has a sense of humor.  It was taken way too seriously. We liked Casey’s performance and twist on the song, and we liked the mandolin, but still no knock out punch. 8/10

4. Crystal Bowersox – “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins from Caddyshack – We like the original.  Some of the judges seemed to think this was better than the original.  It wasn’t. 8/10

Duets:

Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze – “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová from Once – This sounded like it belonged on the radio or as the theme song of a current movie.  It was a classic play off of two great vocals augmenting each to make it sound better than the two alone.  That is what a duet should, and this hit the mark dead on.  Awesome performance. (10/10)

Casey James and Michael Lynche – “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” by Bryan Adams from Don Juan DeMarco – Corny.  The guitar by Casey was great, but this is NOT a guitar competition.  These two guys look as natural on stage together as plastic and nuclear waste.  it was dull and the performance left us cringing.  The judges praised it, but it honestly stunk except for the guitar. 6/10

Conclusion:

It is obvious from the audience’s responses tonight this is setting up as a Crystal versus Lee final.  Lee will have to be more original than tonight to win, but he has done that all season and the duet with Crystal was a killer.

Comes down to elimination of either Casey or Michael.  We think Casey is better.  We think the audience will too.  Bye Mike.

American Idol 9 Top 5 attempts Sinatra: Mediocrity in Production Leads To Mediocrity In Performance

The hypocrisy of how this show is run never fails to surprise us.  Week after week the judges have decried that the performers should be more current.

In the last four weeks, we have seen themes based on the Beatles, Elvis, Shania Twain and tonight Frank Sinatra.  Are these people oblivious to their audience and most likely their own rhetoric??  Shania Twain is the most current theme they can tap in four straight weeks???   Little question why Fox wants to can this show as it becomes more and more of a joke.

Next week we expect they will use Julia Andrews as the theme artist and have everyone singing tunes from Mary Poppins.  This show has lost all integrity when it comes to production.  It basically sucks.

You could not have paid us to go see a performance of five young rock, soul and country performers imitating Sinatra.  Think about it.  So they torture us on national TV?? Just Grand.  Lawrence Welk even rolled over in his grave.

It seems as though at times that the show is attempting to cater to a specific artist.  For instance, this week, the only artist this could have possibly unfairly favored was Mike.  We believe this show often does cater to the minority element, attempting to keep performers of color as long as possible.  Giving Mike the save over Didi weeks ago just confirms our suspicion.  The way the judges praised Mike’s dull performance tonight was also confirmation.  It was so obviously scripted, it was as laughable as believing the audience does not know the group performances are all lip synched.

Judging will be hard this week.  Why?  Because the show sucked.  Harry Connick, Jr. was the mentor, and is a fantastic artist, but not for a young group of pop wannabe’s.  When is the last time you heard a Harry Connick Jr. song in the top 100?  Would you even know it was his if you did?

We will, as usual, do our best, but our scale this week will be on a boring scale of 1-10, where 1 signifies boredom beyond which no human being could stay awake and 10 indicates boredom subdued to the point where we could actually admire the effort to perform on this sham of a show.

1. Aaron Kelly – “Fly me to the Moon” Half on key this week, this was pure karaoke of Sinatra.  A 17 year old singing Sinatra is comical, and this was akin to watching pinnochio belt out New York, New York.  Painfully bad.  Painfully boring.  Judges kind of liked it, but we have no idea what they were listening to. (4/10)

2. Casey James – “Blue Skies” –  There is absolutely no doubt who this show was targeting this week and last.  Last week they attempted to make us believe that Casey was in the bottom two after being the best of the week.  That said, this was painful.  It was dull, stiff and boring, but Casey, as we have repeatedly indicated, is more of a band lead than a soloist.  So what do you do to hurt him in the competition?  Have him perform a song from a well known soloist who died 12 years ago at 83!!! We give Casey a point extra because this was so unfair. (5/10)


3. Crystal Bowersox – “Summer Wind” This show has twisted Crystal.  They took a talent that was without repute one of the best Idol has seen and made her dull. The staging of the last four weeks makes her look like she is going downhill, but in reality, the show is placing her further and further out of her element and forcing her to perform songs no one wants to hear her sing.  Did anyone ever hear Janis Joplin belt out a Sinatra song?  Well, it was vastly more current then than it is now.  Crystal was interesting as usual, but dull. (5/10)

4. Mike Lynche – “The Way You Look Tonight” – This night was tailor made for Mike.  He came out dressed like Sinatra.  He tried to imitate the Sinatra style (something difficult for Shrek).  And the judges praised him in what was obviously a scripted segment.  They want to keep Mike in the race.  Pucker up Mike. (6/10)

5. Lee DeWyze – “That’s Life” – We have repeatedly said we like Lee, and he gets better each week.  But could he pull off a good night just as we were passing out on the couch?  To repeat ourselves, we believe Lee has the most recordable voice on this show, and he nailed this performance.  It was one we would have turned up on the radio without even realizing we were listening to a song once performed by Sinatra.  Lee just passed Crystal in our top pick for number one because even with all the absolutely dull choices this production crew has made week after week, Lee has stuffed it back in their face with a great performance.  Thanks Lee for taking an absolute sham of a week and making it fun. (10/10)


Results

Last week we were very close to right about who the bottom three would be, but we didn’t think the cutie would go home.  We felt Siobhan would survive despite a horrible performance and a tie with the equally awful Aaron.  And we felt Casey being in the bottom three was just a joke or staged by Idol.  He was great last week, and everyone knew it.

But somehow, and we find it hard to believe it was the voting audience, threw us a curve and placed Casey in the bottom three after a fantastic performance.

Aaron should have gone home, but he didn’t even make the bottom three.  That set up Siobhan for elimination, who we had tied for most pathetic with Aaron.

All that did was leave us to suffer another week of a 17 year old that no one would listen to if paid.  He was lousy and still should go home.  Our scores show the bottom three to be:

Aaron Kelly
Casey James
Crystal Bowersox

Aaron is so outclassed on this stage, the only possible thing that could save him is how badly Casey and Crystal did Sinatra.  Not that it was their fault, but one has to notice that Lee did it with aplomb.  Lee has more swagger than anyone here and beat these three performers into plow shares.

Our bet would be between Aaron and Casey.  Because the judges love to praise Aaron despite how horrible he is, we are leaning towards Casey.  It seems the show is driving him out by repeatedly forcing him out of character.  This is no longer a show comparing the talent of artists to determine the best current performer.  It is now a sham of a show that allows the producers to dictate the winner by manipulating the theme to cater to their priorities.

We will once again say, Aaron should go.  He is immature, off key most of the time, and just plain dull.  But we wouldn’t be surprised to see Casey get the boot given Idol’s apparent objective to take him out.

American Idol 9 Top 6 review: The Shania Twain station week…

The Twain Is Leaving The Station… Corny!!

Tonight was kind of a close night with respect to performance scores in our book.  There was one absolute standout, but for the most part it was an evening of mediocrity.

The problem is all the artists were asked to do a Shania Twain song.  This led to repeated jokes like the “Twain left  the station”, etc.  Ellen D. was off tonight and just didn’t draw any laughs.

The other judges also seemed out of whack again, not being able to discern a bad performance from one you would actually want to hear on the radio.   The judges ran hot and cold, making some calls right and missing some badly.

One major problem the judges had tonight is one they should have gotten over long ago.  It is the tendency to rate artists based on their prior performances rather than relative to the rest of the talent of a given night.  That is one reason we think Daughtry was eliminated early on a cold Elvis night.  He was a quantum leap better than the other performers, but the judges were down on him because it was his worst week of the season.

Shania is that kind of catchy artist that has a decent range of music and acts well as a mentor, but we believe that her repertoire is way too limited for this kind of competition.  It led to some out of character performances and songs we found difficult to identify with. Still, stars should shine given any circumstance, right?

Let’s get to it.

1. Lee Dewyze – “You’re Still the One” Lee did this “one” very well.  It was not all that recognizable, but still had a major “turn up the radio” factor.  It is not the quality of the vocal as much as it is the uniqueness of the sound.  He could likely sing Happy Birthday off key and make it a hit. While we don’t see Lee as the best singer, he seems, at this juncture, to be the most recordable artist. (9/10)

2. Michael Lynche – “It Only Hurts When I Breath” We did not recognize this song at all.  Michael did a nice job on it and we could see it as nice background music, but not a hit.  Still, well performed, on key, and no fish lips made it a decent performance. (8/10)

3. Casey James – “Don’t” Now here is a prime example of a performance in which an artist can shine.  After a sad and off key debacle last week, Casey created a version of this song we wanted to hear again and again.  The style seemed out of character for him, it seemed like the tune was not relevant, and it seemed like the style would be boring.  It was instead great and by far the best performance of the night. (10/10)

4. Crystal Bowersox – “No One Needs to Know Right Now” This was a prime example of where the judges go astray.  This was a very nice tune, well performed, but out of character from what we know of Crystal.  We associate her with more powerful performers like Janis Joplin not pop pinkies like Shania.  Crystal did this performance all country, including a country band complete with pedal steel guitar. It was not her usual driving style, but it would have grabbed most country fans’ attention.  The judges compared it to her prior performances and were very negative, but she was still, at worst, tied with Michael, whom they praised.  Because the judges have proven they can impact the audience, we think this is a poor method of judging because it could imply Crystal was downright poor relative to the other performers tonight and that is so far from the truth it is silly.  But it is exactly what did Daughtry in, not that it mattered for him in the long run. (8/10)

5. Aaron Kelly – “It’s in the Way You Love Me” Please send this boy home.  The judges were way off the mark praising this performance.  It was mostly off key, dull and had a major radio “change the channel” factor.  The look of the kid is wrong and his immaturity is just too much to bear.  We are surprised that votefortheworst did not jump on Aaron after finally losing their poster child last week, but even they probably expect there is no saving Aaron, and they don’t want a new poster child every week.  The judges praised Aaron, but to even say he as good as Crystal when she is singing in the john is a stretch. (6/10)

6. Siobhan Magnus – “Any Man of Mine”

we have no idea what the judges were listening to, but we hated this performance.  The attempt to move about the audience looked fake on Siobhan’s part.  She is the new postergirl for votefortheworst.  We feel she earned her place on that website.  She was off key, her screams at the end out of place, the song not recognizable…need we go on?  The judges were off by a mile. (6/10)

In the end, if all you heard were the judges words, you would send Crystal home.  Isn’t it sad that the judges can be so off the mark and not have the ability to actually critique this as the week to week contest it is?   It is so obvious Crystal still beat out most of the artists here tonight, but the judges have become so obsessed in putting her down relative to her greatness that they could accidentally cause another Daughtry incident, and that severely damages the rest of the season, but it wouldn’t hurt Crystal one iota, just like it didn’t impact Daughtry’s career.  After all, we know which of these artists we would pay money to see, and it ain’t Aaron or Siobhan.

This year, so far, we have been almost 100% right  We once again called last week’s bottom three and the elimination child once again.  And that demonstrates the audience is in tune with the music even if the judges have no clue.

Based on the scoring, the bottom three are:

  1. Siobhan Magnus
  2. Aaron Kelly
  3. Crystal Bowersox or Michael Lynche

Wow, we did put Crystal as a possibility for the bottom 3, but only because there are only six contestants left and Casey and Lee nailed their performances.  We think the judges could have driven her into the bottom three, but it won’t matter, because the audience will not vote her out, and she was better tonight than most artists are at their best.  We would have to go with Michael as the bottom 3 candidate instead, but still, he did well tonight.

We see Aaron going down this week.  We have been surprised at his staying power to date, but he is painful to listen to, and we would never want to hear him on the radio.  Maybe as a country artist, he could pull something off, but we aren’t country fans, so that is not something we can truly judge.

Siobhan will likely survive as the last hottie of the season.  But this performance was horrible and painful.  We don’t think she is finalist material, and shouldn’t last past next week unless Michael survives and does a fish face.

Well, there you have it.  We have been dead on pretty much so far this season, but you never know…

American Idol Top 7 Review: If only we could have made tonight the finale, Crystal Bowersox wins!

We could have had just two contestants tonight. They would be Crystal Bowersox against the best that each of the other contestants has to offer, and Crystal would just blow them all away as if they were dust.

1. Casey James – Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow – Fleetwood Mac – Casey did leave us thinking about tomorrow, yesterday and any time but not as we watched. He did the song well enough, but he was off key throughout which destroyed a classic for us. We don’t care that he attempted to imitate the song as much as possible, but his vocal sounded more like an off key Huey Lewis instead of Lindsey Buckingham. We have said throughout he is not a soloist, and should be in a band, and that rang true again, but this week, even a band could not have saved the performance. For the first time we can remember, Casey was off key and it wasn’t pleasant. (6/10)

2. Lee Dwyze – The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkle – Lee is possibly the most artistic of the group of performers this year and he also has possibly the most recordable style. Each week we can close our eyes and imagine bopping down the highway cranking up a Lee Dewyze tune. He knows how to really twist a song so it is current and catchy. When you can do that with one of the greatest Simon and Garfunkel songs of all time, that says you are a star. (9.8/10)

3. Tim Urban – Better Days by Goo Goo Dolls Tim did a wonderful arrangement of this song.  His guitar was nice.  But unfortunately, he didn’t sing a single note on key.  He was off key throughout and it hurt to listen to.  We think that had he been on key, this would have been a great performance for him, or at least as great as it could be for Tim.  But it wasn’t.  (4/10)

4. Aaron Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly – R. KellyAaron took this song and made it his own.  He made it spectacularly boring, off key and frightening.  Instead of giving us a life changing experience, he gave us a channel changing one.  Aaron has a great voice, no doubt, but he is so awful on stage.  And we could still never see him doing anything we would ever want to listen to without a fast forward on our DVR.  He should be in the bottom three. (4/10)

5. Siobhan Magnus – When you Believe – Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston (Theme from the Prince of Egypt) – You know, Siobhan can sing, but she takes the songs and makes them all sound like they came from a Disney movie.  We were waiting to see if Mickey Mouse and the crew would take the stage behind her waving at the audience.  She hit one saintly note at the end, but she was pitchy, dull and quite honestly bad.  She keeps saying how much the song meant to her, but that isn’t an excuse for a poor performance.  This was another channel changer.  (6/10)

6. Michael Lynche – Hero – Chad Kroeger feat. Josey ScottThis is a classic power ballad sung by two powerful vocalists that play off each other’s sound.  When a single person does it, it loses that appeal.  However, Michael belted this song out.  He did not pucker like he was going to eat the microphone as he usually does, and he hit every note on target.  It was a strong performance even if the judges didn’t necessarily see it.   We did not believe Michael should have been saved when he was, but this was another example of his better performances, when he stands still, doesn’t come across as Shrek and doesn’t do his fish imitation.  Still, those steroids do nothing for us. (8/10)

7. Crystal Bowersox – People Get Ready by the ImpressionsCrystal took kind of a gospel song and performed it like an absolute pro.  Of course, she is an absolute pro, every week.  She cannot miss.  We believe she could sing a Miss Piggy song at this point and still win this competition. (10/10)

-0-

So now to weed out the most painful performers of the night.  The two absolute worst by far were Aaron and Tim.  Aaron should be gone by now.  He is dull and horrible.  There is no way he could ever win this and he is so outclassed it is pathetic.  Tim is only still here because of votefortheworst, a joke of a website that just seeks to make fun of Idol.  We would like to see both of these jokers go.

But we need someone else for the bottom three.  That would be between Siohban and Casey.  Both were equally bad tonight.  But they were still leaps and bounds better than the Bobbsey Twins of horror.  Either one goes and we will let out a cheer.  We favor Aaron to go over Tim, but not by much.

We were wrong on one artist on double elimination week.  Siobhan or Aaron should have been on the train out of LA.  And they both proved they are not capable of winning unless a miracle happens for one of them.  Tim, well, the miracle happens for him every week.  The Sanjaya of the season.

American Idol Top 9 (Again) Review: “A Little More Action Please…”- Elvis

The theme this week was Elvis Presley. We would rather see an Elvis Costello week. The judges harp on how the artists should make themselves more current and then constantly throw dated material at them. This was kind of a boring week. Thus, the title of our article.

It was an Elvis week performance that took out Daughtry. Daughtry could not take it totally seriously and was overconfident at the time, but still was better than his compatriots. The judges contributed to his downfall with negative comments and he was voted out at number 4, but went on to be the most successful artist of that year by far. Elvis was seemingly just too out of character for him. A couple of the contestants tonight showed, however, that you can take some of the old music and make it current. Some did not and some were outright dull.

1. Crystal Bowersox, “Saved”
There is nothing to say. She is spectacular and consistent. (10/10)

2. Andrew Garcia, “Hound Dog”

“You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog…” And Andrew sounded like one. This was possibly Andrew’s worst performance at a very inopportune time. After being badly judged last week and being forced into the bottom 2, it was not a time to screw up. The hardest part was his over-enunciation of the words stressing the last syllable or making two syllable words out of single syllable words and dragging them out with an awkward whine. We didn’t get it DAWG, but you will.
(3/10)

3. Tim Urban, “Can’t Help Falling in Love”

Tim was off key in this, but he did the guitar right this week and brought a sweetness to it which is exactly what he needed. We kind of liked it, although we won’t be putting it on our IPODs. Note, to give this high a score to Tim this week stunned us. (7/10)
4. Lee DeWyze, “A Little Less Conversation”

Lee did a great version of this, made it current and we would want it on our IPOD. Great Job Lee. (10/10)

5. Aaron Kelly, “Blue Suede Shoes”

Dull, predictable, corny karaoke described the first half. The second half went to a blues style we kind of liked, but it may have been too late. We can’t give him top marks, but Andrew keeps him out of last. (5/10)

6. Siobhan Magnus, “Suspicious Minds”

We know the artists are encouraged to change up the songs, but Siobhan overdid it. We liked the powerful vocals but the arrangement was out of place and not pleasant to listen to. She should have just done the song and not tried to make it into something it was not. (6/10)

7. Michael Lynche, “In the Ghetto”

We voted Michael the most pathetic last week, and we were right once again when we picked him as the bottom performer. It was so obvious how bad he was and the judges didn’t see it, although they acted like they did this week. They had praised Michael and said it was a great performance and we cringed the entire song. The judges didn’t fool the audience though, and he was nearly eliminated, but saved by the judges. Tonight, Michael did this song nice, but we don’t think he should have been saved last week even though we don’t see him going home this week because he managed to not pucker during the song. (7/10)

8. Katie Stevens, “Baby What Do You Want Me to Do”

Katie belted out this number. She was on key and drove it home. And they are dressing this girl to kill! We don’t love her though, and felt this was once again a TV style performance, not a musical artist performance, but she was strong in the vocal, and from that perspective, it was her best. (8/10)
9. Casey James, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”

Casey delivered a strong vocal, nice guitar and “lead singer of a band” type performance. The judges continually call him on being a bit too stationary on the stage and, well, as we have said, not all performers are solo artists. Some belong in a band and we think Casey fits that to a T. While this wasn’t his best, we liked it. (8/10)

So who does that put in the bottom? Remember, 2 are done tomorrow.

1. Andrew Garcia – Andrew blew this so badly it was sad. He was not anywhere near as bad as the judges made him out to be last week. He was vastly better than they placed him. This was not a week to convince the judges and the audience that they were right to have put him so close to elimination, and he screwed up, big time.
2. Aaron Kelly – Dull and time to go. Nuff said.
3. Siobhan Magnus – We said last week that if this gal didn’t get out of her rut, we could see her going home. We think Andrew and Aaron are done, but Siobhan is getting close and closer to getting the boot despite the hot outfits and haircuts.

We see Andrew and Aaron as the bottom two this week, and by a reasonable margin. It is unfortunate, because we think Andrew is much better than he turned out to be tonight. But you don’t always get second chances and Andrew has little hope after butchering his performance.

Aaron just isn’t good enough to be a star, so would like to put him out of the audience’s misery.

Finally, though, Siobhan keeps this up and one week, she could flop into that elimination category quite easily and we wouldn’t be totally surprised if she did this week. We just don’t quite see it, but next week, it is a very good possibility unless Tim Urban steps up and delivers a more characteristic performance.

American Idol Top 9 Beatles Review: The Judges Truly Moved Us This Week…

And after we were done, washed our hands of American Idol as a viable venue for judging talent, and returned from the john, we sat down and tried to analyze what was clearly one of the worst weeks in Idol history from a performance and judging perspective.

One huge problem with this week was the Beatles theme. Out of approximately 400 Beatles songs, not including those done by the individual artists, the bulk of this hapless bunch picked the most overdone and/or boring possible.

But the worst part of all was not listening to the performances themselves, but listening to the judges bickering about style or suffering through the inconsistent and nonsensical comments after each performer had struggled through their respective debacle. (Note all the performers were not horrible, just most of them)

We are changing our rating scale this week. Normally we rate each performance on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being akin to glass being dragged across a chalk board, and 10 being a performance we would like to hear on the radio, or maybe even add to our personal collection!

This week, each artist butchered their particular song in their own special way save a couple. And the judges were clueless. Some of the comments made by this hapless lot prove these individuals are oxygen deprived and suffering from severe brain hemorrhage.

So, this week, we will rate the contestants from 1-10, 1 being the least likely to make their audience barf and 10 being the least likely to get their audience to turn off the radio for the rest of their life.

Before we begin, we send out a humble apology to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr for the embarrassment American Idol has caused you, and we hope that John Lennon’s and George Harrison’s memorials can be repaired after the severe disturbances resulting as they continually rolled over in their graves.

1. Aaron Kelly – “The Long and Winding Road” – We were certain after this performance and after Aaron had to go first, he was certain to rank even below Tim Urban. Aaron picked this song because he has been deluded into believing he can sing. It is painful to watch him because he takes himself so seriously and we feel embarrassed, like when we watch a relative we know can’t hit a single note jump up at a wedding and do a karaoke performance of some outdated love song. This was pure pain because the song, while beautiful, requires an extremely strong artist, and was made popular by one of the best pop vocalists of all time. Aaron made it his own, entering a performance consistent with listening to the after lunch symphony in a men’s room. On a nauseating scale of 1-10, this rates an 8/10.

2. Katie Stevens – “Let It Be” – If you are going to pick a Beatles song, and you honestly believe you are going to compare to them in any way, you shouldn’t pick one of the biggest hits of all time. We don’t normally criticize song choice, but Katie proved we are wrong about that some of the time. For anyone to think they can perform this song well demonstrates a total lack of any understanding of music, or a total inability to grasp how insignificant the performance will be. Katie was far from unquestionable talent on this performance. After babbling and making idiotic comments about Aaron’s Long Whining Toad, the judges started actually arguing about whether this performance was a country or pop/R&B style. They are so clueless, and they get millions to embarrass both America and the worldwide audience. To add insult to injury, the judges liked this horrific, although on key performance, that sounded more like what we would hear during a mid-summer church service while we daydreamed about bolting for the beach as soon as the final note was over. On the nauseating scale of 1-10, Katie almost matched Aaron. (7/10)

3. Andrew Garcia – “Can’t Buy Me Love” – Andrew did a fun and inspiring performance of this song. We think it a bit too pop for his style, but he performed it extremely well and embarrassed the performers that went before him. So, what did the sub-80 IQ judges say? They dumped on it, except for the Ellen, our breath of fresh air. After we had been nauseated two consecutive times by performances upon which the judges commented positively, they bashed Andrew for what was one of his best stage performances of the season, and one we would love to hear on the radio. We can’t rate him up with Crystal this or any week, but he did not make us want to part with our lunch. (2/10)

4. Michael Lynche – “Eleanor Rigby” – We don’t like Michael, but he has a fantastic voice. So week after week, we have these moments where we are so disappointed he is doing well. We didn’t have to worry about it this week. Michael belted out the song alright; it just wasn’t Eleanor Rigby. We have no idea what it was. The judges idiotically claimed they could hear this on the radio. Hopefully not on any radio we listen to. Michael looked comical as he practically kissed the microphone during the performance looking as though if he inhaled he would accidentally consume the thing and have to be rushed to the hospital. This was a horrible performance. Michael destroyed a great song by making it his own. And the judges were clueless. On a nauseating scale of 1-10, (9/10)

5. Crystal Bowersox – “Come Together” –Crystal once again was the shining star. She was so far above the performers that went before her that we think she should go straight to the finals. The only negative comment this clueless bunch of judges could make was to say that it wasn’t her best performance, because there is nothing really negative to say at all, and the judges would do best to just say nothing at all. (1/10)

6. Tim Urban – “All My Loving” – Leave it to Tim to make All My Loving sound like a Ringo Starr song. He played guitar on this song, and it reminded us of a young child that had just finished his first year of guitar lessons and was finally playing for his parents for the first time. He took the song, which is fun and romantic and made it into a dull and senseless torture. After it was over, the judges appeared to be trying to convince the audience not to vote for him any more by actually praising this horrific disaster, even saying they could listen to it on the radio! On the nauseating scale of 1-10, Tim didn’t do all that badly, but only because Michael had been so completely nauseating. (7/10)

7. Casey James – “Jealous Guy” – Casey chose to do a John Lennon song, which we didn’t care for much. It wasn’t because he didn’t nail it, he did. It was because there are so many wonderful Beatles songs so why do an obscure Lennon tune. We could list at least 40 songs he could have done and demonstrated equal talent and the audience could have better identified with. Still, he had a driving performance and received great praise from the judges in their first successful attempt of the night to judge musical talent. So, Casey gets a 1/10 because he was far from nauseating, but we give Crystal the nod on what we would rather hear on the radio.

8. Siobhan Magnus – “Across the Universe” – Well, somebody should change Siobhan’s world this week. What in John Lennon’s name was she thinking? She butchered this song performing it as though it was a Beatles song being performed by a no talent high school opera singer. We weren’t totally nauseated as we were with Michael, but it was pretty sickening. (7/10)

9. Lee Dewyze – “Hey Jude” – Once again, a choice of one of the biggest hits of all time and that has been so overdone on this show and on television by artists that cannot hold a candle to the Beatles. So, what do we get out of Lee this week after some great performances we thought for sure would put him into our MP3 player? We get a boring and foolish off key performance in which a bag pipe player walks down the stairs to join him at the end. A bag pipe player. On Hey Jude. Did we say he was playing a bag pipe? Did we say he was wearing a Scottish kilt? Did we say how completely idiotic it made the performance? Still it was not as sickening as most. (6/10)

So, this week, we have to ship out those contestants most likely to send us rushing to the rest room.

Crystal, Casey and Andrew were great and did not rank among the toilet humor of this show. So, they are safe, thankfully, because we were running out of undigested food.

The rest were all horrible. The four most nauseating were, in this order:

1. Michael Lynche

2. Aaron Kelly

3. Tim Urban

4. Siobhan Magnus

If the audience listens to the judges, who were horrible and defied common sense this week, but still unfortunately influence votes, one of the best performers of the week, Andrew Garcia would go home, and the worst, Michael Lynche just cinched a place in the finals. That is how completely off the mark these judges were, and we hope the audience sees right through their fallacy of self importance.

Our bottom three have to come from the four above, which is almost in direct contrast to the judges’ stated opinions. These four were all horrible, but Michael stood out in the tidy bowl bunch, and if he doesn’t make the bottom three this week, just give him the million bucks, because no one can hear anyway and we can save time.

Aaron should have gone last week but he survived thanks to the tone deaf judges. Once again, they assisted him when they should have just plain out stated he stunk worse than Tim Urban has all season. He is in our bottom three for sure and we hope he doesn’t circle the bowl long before he gets flushed.

Tim Urban was as bad as always, but the Judges have started to actually praise him. Despite the fact that Tim’s haircut looks like it would be effective for cleaning the toilet, we think he wasn’t much worse than Siobhan. The judges praised his flatulent performance and could fool the audience into saving him again this week.

Siobhan was horrible this week and destroyed a great Beatles tune. We think this gal needs a wake-up call because she is good, but she has been butchering songs for several weeks now. If Tim isn’t in the bottom 3, or if Mike is saved because of the blind, deaf and dumb judges failing to flush him, Siobhan should kiss the bottom of the bowl this week.

All that said, we think Michael should go home. If Didi can be eliminated for a bad week, then Michael should go before he swallows a microphone. Didi had a real chance to make the top five if she had gotten to this week. This is exactly the style of music in which she excels. But she blew it on a bad performance last week. Michael blew it worse this week and should go. He shouldn’t be saved.

However, if we are rating the overall nausea factor over several weeks, we would like Aaron to go and would cheer as well if Tim were the chosen one.

Nuff said, we have to go clean up.