This week the finalists are cut to 11 as we enter the long home stretch of American Idol Season 9.Â It was Rolling Stones week.Â Donât know if itâs because of performance rights negotiations or what, but the producersâ choices of really old bands like the Stones are ironic because theyâre the favorite bands of some of these contestantâs grandparents.Â
Here are my evalutions in performance order:
Simonâs critique of Michael Lyncheâs âMiss Youâ was dead-on, as usual.Â (Simon consistently has the most constructive criticism of all the judges.)Â Michaelâs dancing was indeed âcornyâ.Â My wife liked it, but one of her favorite artists of all time is Barry Whiteânuff said.Â Oh, and the singing was---whatever.Â A far cry from last weekâs slam dunk.
Didi Benami was at the bottom a couple of times early in the competition, but sheâs safe this week after her performance of âPlay With Fireâ which is a really obscure Stones song Iâd never even heard before.Â She struggled with the awkward lyrics, some of which are arcane references to London landmarks.Â Way too British for an all-American girl.Â
Loved Casey Jamesâ take on âItâs All Over Nowâ, but I think Simon nailed it.Â Heâs just a guy with a guitar standing on a stage.Â Sure, he can play; but there are thousands of great guitar players in this country who will never be stars.Â Caseyâs eventually got to have that âmomentâ or he wonât win.Â Unless, of course, only women are allowed to vote.
Ellen had one of the best lines of the night when she told Lacey Brown that because of her fondness for sitting on the edge of things she should not visit the Grand Canyon.Â Once again, Lacey sat down on the edge of the steps and did a ho-hum version of a song.Â This time it was âRuby Tuesdayâ.Â Good song choice, but lackluster performance.
Andrew Garcia tried to break out of singular-caper equine territory with a soulful take on âGimme Shelterâ but he was like a Shetland out of his pasture.Â
Youâd think that with her obvious talent Katie Stevens is bound to have a breakout week at some point.Â Sheâd better do it fast; her version of âWild Horsesâ was way too tame.
Tim Urban.Â Who?
Like I said on Friday, I look forward to every one of Siobhan Magnusâ performances, and last night she didnât disappoint.Â Simon has been talking all season about having âa momentâ where your star quality shines through, and Siobhan had a blazing moment with âPaint It Blackâ.Â She started off in dulcet tones, crescendoed into a raking screech, and then pulled it back to a silky sultriness all in a minute-and-a-half.Â By far the best performance of the night.Â Sheâs an odd duck, but with her supple voice and interpretive gift she can make any song her own.Â
I caught a glimpse of the great voice the judges have been ascribing to Lee Dewyze during this competition.Â âBeast Of Burdenâ has never been one of my favorite Stonesâ tunes, but Leeâs decision to take it acoustic really worked for him.Â He showed more vocal range and emotion than in previous appearances.Â Still, I keep thinking, âBeen there, done thatâ.
I knew Paige Miles was sick!Â I had commented to a couple of people around the office that she sounded hoarse when she was singing âSmileâ last week.Â It was revealed last night that she has been battling laryngitis which explains why she struggled last weekÂ with what is basically a simple song to sing.Â She battled back this week with a strong performance of âHonky Tonk Womenâ.Â
Aaron Kelly (aka Little Edward Norton) was a little less creepy last night.Â âAngieâ was the perfect song for him.Â Itâs one of Mick Jaggerâs best vocals, and Aaron did a nice interpretation.
Crystal Bowersox did the exact same song she did last week, or at least thatâs what it sounded like.Â Sheâs going to have to change it up some or sheâll be moving into one-trick pony territory.
So, hereâs how I rank âem, strictly on last night's peformance.Â
The last two are a toss-up, and I wonât be sad to see either one of âem go.